(Peace&Justice) Introducing three new papers from Foreign Policy In Focus
1 Missile Defense..Again
2 War & Globalization Connection
3 Iraq Indecision
Peace and Justice News from FPIF
October 19, 2004
1 Missile Defense All Over Again
By Michelle Ciarrocca
The Bush administration remains determined to deploy a national missile defense (NMD) despite its continued technical failures. Five interceptors have already been installed in Alaska and exercises have begun in order to make the system capable of going on alert by the end of 2004. Deployment of the NMD system will continue to weaken nonproliferation efforts while failing to improve the security of Americans -- the most likely delivery vehicle for a weapon of mass destruction remains a suitcase or other non-missile delivery system.
But as analyst Michelle Ciarocca notes, the Bush administration remains committed to pursuing missile defense over multilateral arms control and disarmament. President Bush recently said that those opposing missile defense "don't understand the threats of the 21st century." "They're living in the past. We're living in the future," he told a crowd of Boeing employees in Pennsylvania. However, deploying a missile defense system dreamt up over two decades ago simply shows that we have not learned from the past. This is the challenge facing architects of a security policy adequate to the needs of the 21st century. Increasing funding for nonproliferation programs, getting U.S. nuclear weapons reductions back on track, and focusing on diplomatic disarmament efforts will provide real, lasting security.
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2 Are the War and Globalization Really Connected?
By Mark Engler
To be radical, in the oldest sense of the word, is to go to the root. One strength of truly progressive analysis is that it places what appear to be isolated events in a larger context. It seeks to make connections between seemingly disparate political issues by revealing underlying ideological frameworks.
And so it has been central task, in the post 9-11 era, for activists to demonstrate how the war against terror and the drive for corporate globalization are one and the sameÂhow peace and global justice movements share vital common ground. That these two issues are connected, in a fundamental way, is an article of faith on the political left, reinforced by the fact that many participants in globalization protests have also mobilized against the Bush administration's militarism.
All such articles of faith deserve a bit of critical skepticism, so I would like to offer a constructive challenge. Many of the arguments wedding the war in Iraq with a strategy for neoliberal expansion are not readily convincing. They risk reading causality into tangential relationships. And, in their drive to connect, they overlook important disjunctures between the Bush administration's foreign policy and the policy preferred by many business elites. Activists have good reason to look again at the neoconservative hawks now in power and to consider whether they have outdone the corporate globalists of earlier years or whether they have betrayed them.
Mark Engler, a writer based in New York, is a commentator for Foreign Policy in Focus (online at http://www.fpif.org). He can be reached via the web site http://www.DemocracyUprising.com. Research assistance for this article was provided by Jason Rowe.
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3 Indecision on Iraq?
By Colonel Daniel Smith, USA (Ret.)
As the first half of October 2004 slips into history, Iraq presents a bewildering kaleidoscope of conflicting tactics both within and outside the country.
What can be said for sure about Iraq nineteen months after the U.S.-led invasion is that the fog of war, as thick as ever, has merged with the equally unpredictable fog of politics in the U.S., Iraq, a growing number of NATO countries, and countries in the Gulf region. Lacking a comprehensive regional and global strategy (which counterterrorism is not) that promotes process over specific outcomes, those charged with implementing policy risk losing all sense of tactical direction. And this in turn inevitably undermines the international cohesion essential for managing global economic, political, and security ills.
Dan Smith is a military affairs analyst for Foreign Policy in Focus, online at http://www.fpif.org, a retired U.S. Army colonel and a senior fellow on Military Affairs at the Friends Committee on National Legislation.
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