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NEWS SUPPLEMENT, 15-22/10/00 * Iran's diplomatic push highlights its key regional, Muslim roles * Saudi- Yemeni arrangements to carry out border demarcation agreement * The Saddam angle [by Laurie Mylroie. Who has recently published a book arguing that Saddam will have his revenge] * United States and Russia: Battling for Influence in Yemen [Stratfor.com analysis of the strategic importance of the Yemen] * Middle East stalemate benefits Iraq [not much here we don't know but an interesting, non hysterical, summary of recent developments] * Middle East spends more than £7bn on weapons ['Saddam's neighbours' don't seem to feel that the protection we offer them is quite enough] * Suppose Baghdad Was Behind the Cole Bombing by Jim Hoagland [seems to be advocating that Iraq should be flattenedon the off chance that it might have had a hand in the Cole bombing] * War Scares: Beware, Globalization Doesn't Have to Succeed by Robert J. Samuelson ['Globalization presumes that materialism refashions world politics' an interesting statement of the general philosophy behind US foreign policy] * Zinni: 'Significant' change in Yemeni attitude led to decision to refuel Cole at Aden * Britain opens links with North Korea * Rogues? Not any more The doctrine of containment is dying [two articles from the Guardian which I include because of the parallels between North Korea and Iraq] * Hastert Withdraws 'Genocide' Resolution [on the resolution before congress to ask Clinton to call the Turkish massacre of the Armenians 'genocide'. This was prompting Turkey to become less cooperative in the containment of Iraq.] * Whatever happened to the rogue states? * Documents link Gore to arms sales to Iran * Limits to participation [Germany and Japan both getting over their inhibitions about engaging in military action] http://www.timesofindia.com/161000/16mide6.htm * IRAN'S DIPLOMATIC PUSH HIGHLIGHTS ITS KEY REGIONAL, MUSLIM ROLES TEHRAN, 16/10/00: Iran has made a spectacular diplomatic push in the past week as the Middle East crisis shifts attention to the nation's role as both regional power and key spokesman for the Islamic world, diplomats and analysts said Sunday. Foreign Minister Kamal Kharazi made lightning trips to Lebanon and Syria to underscore Iran's unwavering support for the Palestinian uprising against Israel, then visited Baghdad to settle issues still unresolved from the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war. "Even if its most radical positions are out of synch with other nations, Iran is taken seriously," according to a Western diplomat in Tehran. "It exercises influence and cannot be ignored." Kharazi held talks Wednesday in Syria, Iran's primary regional ally and its co-supporter of anti-Israeli guerrilla movements, including a meeting with President Bashar al-Assad as the latest violence erupted. "Cooperation is strong between Iran and us," Syria's ambassador to Tehran, Ahmed al Hassan, told AFP. "Iran tries to be highly engaged in ongoing events and plays an important role." The minister then moved on to Beirut, where he met a string of leaders including UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, Lebanese President Emile Lahoud and Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov. He also held talks with Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, the fiery chief of the militant Hezbollah which, with the support of Tehran and Damascus, helped put an end to 22 years of Israeli occupation in south Lebanon in May. "The current crisis is boosting Iran's political weight," said political analysts Iraj Rashti. "Although it's a non-Arab nation left out of all official negotiations, Iran takes every opportunity to try to speak in the name of all Muslims." Iran holds the rotating presidency of the 56-nation Organisation of the Islamic Conference until December and has repeatedly pushed for Muslim solidarity, especially during the latest violence in the Holy Land. In particular it has backed calls for the liberation of all Palestinian prisoners being held in Israel, and demanded the release of four Iranians abducted in Lebanon during the 1982 Israeli invasion and reportedly dead. Iran in recent days has also given a red-carpet welcome to leaders of the Islamic Resistance Movement, or Hamas, who have urged the Muslim world to unleash an all-out holy war on Israel. Kharazi then turned his attention to Iran's western neighbour, flying into Iraq on Friday in defiance of an international air embargo on Baghdad that it had previously respected since it was put in place in 1990. It was the first visit by an Iranian foreign minister to Baghdad in a decade and Kharazi insisted that Tehran would work to resolve all the unresolved issues from their brutal 1980 1988 war. Iran state television in a commentary Sunday morning said that the embargo against Iraq was now "broken" and vowed that Tehran would "give economic aid to the Muslim people of Iraq." But Kharazi also stressed the importance of restoring the so-called Algiers accord, a 1975 border pact that Saddam discarded ahead of his 1980 invasion of Iran that sparked the war. AFP http://www.arabicnews.com/ansub/Daily/Day/001016/2000101616.html * SAUDI- YEMENI ARRANGEMENTS TO CARRY OUT BORDER DEMARCATION AGREEMENT Saudi Arabia, Politics, 10/16/2000 Yemen's minister of the Interior Maj. Gen. Hussein Arab will arrive in Saudi Arabia tomorrow in a visit to Saudi Arabia which lasts for two days during which he will hold talks with his Saudi counterpart Prince Nayef Bin Abdul Aziz. Well-informed sources said the two ministers would discuss arrangements agreed upon by the military and technical committees concerning conditions on the borders, which were demarcated between the two states according to Jeddah treaty, which was signed in June. The sources stressed that among these arrangements are defining four border openings which are al-Tewal near the Red Sea coast to the west; and Hard, al-Wadeaa and Albein on the eastern borders. Passengers will be only permitted between the two states from these openings. http://www.washtimes.com/op-ed/ed-column-20001017184159.htm * THE SADDAM ANGLE by Laurie Mylroie, Washington Times, October 17, 2000 When historians analyze the failure of Bill Clinton's Middle East policy, they will almost certainly focus on the distorting effects of the "peace process." Pursued with a willful, quasi messianic enthusiasm by the Clinton administration and Israel's Labor governments, the diplomacy was based on a fundamentally flawed premise ‹ that the U.S. victory in the Cold War and its victory in the Gulf War had created an entirely new situation in the region. Given America's demonstrated strength, it was argued, figures like Hafez Assad and Yasser Arafat would recognize they had no choice but to reach agreements with America's close ally, Israel. But Mr. Assad never made peace with Israel. And it should be clear that Mr. Arafat has no intent to do so either. Moreover, the United States never really defeated Iraq, because the Gulf War never really ended. Saddam Hussein is coming back. The rabid outburst of Palestinian violence against Israel could scarcely have come at a better time for Baghdad. Since early August, Iraq has been in a bellicose mood, issuing one angry statement after another. Habitually the Clinton administration ignores them. "Same-old, same old" was actually how State Department spokesman Richard Boucher disposed of one of Saddam's more violent utterances. But when Baghdad's rhetoric reaches a sustained and angry peak, Iraq usually does something ‹ one of several reasons to suspect Baghdad's hand in the attack on the USS Cole, which was headed for the Persian Gulf to enforce the embargo against Iraq. But the Palestinian violence ‹ for which Ariel Sharon's Sept. 28 visit to Jerusalem's Temple Mount was only a pretext ‹ has afforded Baghdad another avenue to assert its power and threaten U.S. allies in the region. Iraq has assumed the most vicious, virulent posture toward Israel of any state in the region and it is using the Palestinian issue to embarrass and undermine other Arab governments. Baghdad's language is incredibly vile. Soon after the Palestinian clashes began, Iraq's foreign minister denounced Israel as "a midget entity, a usurper, and a claw of colonialism." A few days later, Saddam asserted, "An end must be put to Zionism . . . Let them give us a small adjacent piece of land . . . We will not wait until the day comes when the blockade is lifted to put an end to them." Saddam's next step was to start moving Iraqi forces toward the Jordanian border, as the Pentagon revealed last week. The Barak government was quick to disavow any intent to take action against those forces ‹ in decided contrast to the government of Itzhak Shamir, which itched to defend Israel against Iraq during the Gulf War. Mr. Barak, it seems, is prepared to accept Washington's position that the United States will take care of Iraq and Israel should maintain a low profile on the issue. Thus on Sunday, Secretary of Defense William Cohen cautioned Saddam, "We follow [Iraqi troop movements] very closely and we should forewarn him, as we have, that any move that he would make to attack his neighbors would be met by a very strong response by the United States." Why wait? Given the Clinton administration's record, Saddam may not be much impressed. And what if it is not necessarily his intent to cross the Jordanian border? The Palestinian clashes with Israel precipitated serious unrest in Jordan, where the population is more than 60 percent Palestinian. What if Iraqi forces simply sit on the Iraqi side of the border, while Saddam reiterates that he would destroy Israel, if only he were given access to land bordering the Jewish state? In the spring of 1998, the late King Hussein urged Mr. Clinton to develop a plan to overthrow Saddam. He was aware he might not live much longer (he did not survive the year) and aware that Saddam could threaten Jordan's internal stability once he was gone. But the king was rebuffed. Of course, Jordan is not going to allow Iraqi forces into the country. Not only would it be a violation of the Jordan-Israel peace treaty and unacceptable to the United States, but Iraqi forces inside Jordan would threaten the rule of the young King Abdullah. Still, by making it appear as if the Jordanian government stood in the way of Palestine's liberation, Saddam might be able to exacerbate significantly Palestinian unrest there. Moreover, he would appear as a hero to Arabs elsewhere. And that is just one of several ways Saddam might exploit present tensions. Indeed, he has already gained a great deal. In an attempt to contain the Palestinian unrest, Egypt will host an Arab summit at week's end. It is only the second Arab summit since the Gulf War, and it is the first to which Iraq is invited. It is another step in the normalization of Iraq's position in the region and internationally. And that will only serve as a springboard for Saddam's next war. Laurie Mylroie is the author of "Study of Revenge: Saddam Hussein's Unfinished War Against America" (American Enterprise Institute Press, September 2000), and publisher of Iraq News. http://www.stratfor.com/MEAF/commentary/0010180104.htm * UNITED STATES AND RUSSIA: BATTLING FOR INFLUENCE IN YEMEN Stratfor. Com, 18/10/00 Summary The recent attack on the USS Cole in Yemen brought to light how far the United States will go to win influence in a region once dominated by the former Soviet Union. Since the 1960s, the Russians have supported Yemen, supplying it with hardware and advising its military leaders. But now the United States wants a presence in the region largely for strategic reasons. Russia will apply pressure to deter U.S. expansion in Yemen, but Moscow can probably do little to keep the United States from raising its profile on the tip of the Arabian Peninsula. Analysis The terrorist attack on the USS Cole docked in the Yemeni port of Aden has spotlighted a tough battle for influence over this Arabian Peninsula port. Both Washington and Moscow covet the port, whose geographic position would allow an established foreign power control of important sea trade and energy supply routes. The United States has worked to increase its profile in Yemen a move that has met resistance from other global and regional powers, including China, India, Iran and, most significantly, Russia. Russia fears losing control over a region it has dominated and one that is of key strategic importance to Russian security and ability to counter terrorism in Chechnya. Russian officials believe the United States is laying out plans that would allow an attack from the south and give the Pentagon the ability to project military power over the Middle East, the Transcaucasus and Central Asia key areas of Russian national interest. Russia has been the most influential foreign power in Yemen since the 1960s. Soviet advisors worked closely with the armed forces in North and South Yemen before unification, arming them with Soviet-era hardware. After unification of Yemen and the fall of the Soviet Union, Yemen retained strong ties to Russia. It continues to receive Russian arms and Russian advisors still work in its military. Yet Russia is suspicious about Yemen¹s newfound friend - the United States. Russian officials are unhappy with Pentagon plans to build an electronic intelligence facility on the nearby island of Sokotra. The Pentagon¹s Central Command and U.S. Naval activities in Yemen and surrounding waters also concern Moscow. According to sources in the Russian General Staff and its intelligence agency, the Main Intelligence Directorate, or GRU, Russia believes the Sokotra facility is the first step toward building a naval air base and giving the United States an important military stronghold in the Indian Ocean. Russian military intelligence analysts believe, according to a GRU source, that the United States wants a strategic base on Sokotra to double for Diego Garcia atoll in case a global war destroys the atoll. There is also some concern that the main strategic mission of U.S. forces in the Indian Ocean is to launch a nuclear attack against Russia from the south in a global conflict, according to a source in General Staff's Main Operations Directorate. Russian military planners also assert that if the United States had such a facility on Sokotra and enjoyed facilities at Aden, these would significantly enhance the Pentagon¹s ability to project military power over southern Russia, the Middle East, and the Transcaucasus and Central Asia - areas of Russian national interests. To derail the U.S. effort, Russia seeks to slow developing US-Yemen security ties by offering an increase in Russian military aid to Yemen. In addition to the high-level bilateral security talks, Russia plans arms shipments that include battle tanks, Su-27 fighters, and multiple rocket launching systems. Moreover, Russian military advisors are working to remain instrumental in conveying Russian policy in Yemen. Subject to Military Cooperation Directorate of the Russian Defense Ministry, the advisors are securing flawless Russian-made arms for Yemeni officials and conducting combat training of Yemeni troops. Russian advisors also cooperate with Yemeni officers in planning or strategic and tactical operations. For their part, Yemeni officials still believe Russia is an easier and more equal partner for military cooperation than the United States. For Russia, the importance of ensuring close ties in Yemen is significant. Russia struggles to monitor terrorist groups in the region that are active in Chechnya. In fact, one of these groups is probably responsible for the attack on the Cole. Yemen has become an important source of support for Islamic guerrillas in Russia¹s South. Combat-tested Yemeni veterans of the Afghan war have come to Chechnya and Dagestan to fight the Russian army. In fact, the Russian military identified several dozen Yemeni-born fighters among dead guerrillas in Chechnya. And many mojaheddins from other Arab countries settled in Yemen¹s lawless, mountainous countryside to train and plan for new terrorist missions against the "infidels" in Russia, Israel or the United States. A source in the Russian Foreign Intelligence office estimates that from 900 to 2,500 mojaheddins, of Yemeni and foreign origin, are currently in Yemen and working with terrorist Osama bin Laden and the Taliban. Russia cannot afford to lose control in Yemen - an important strategic point to defend and a region where Russian influence can stem the threat of terrorism in Chechnya. The attack by terrorists on the Cole presents a two-pronged opportunity for Russia. It can push Yemeni officials into cooperating less with the United States to avoid being the target of terrorist attacks and, in the process, close the Pentagon out of the port of Aden. Russia could try to persuade Washington to work against the terrorists that have been a thorn in Moscow¹s side in Chechnya for far too long. The risk is high with this approach. Moscow could find Yemen looking to the United States for help and the United States may remember its failed efforts in support of Muslims in Afghanistan, but right now it may be the only hand Russia has to play. MEAF Intelligence Center http://www.dawn.com/2000/10/19/int12.htm * MIDDLE EAST STALEMATE BENEFITS IRAQ by Paul Taylor AL QUDS: As the US-Middle East policy has foundered in the flames of Israeli-Palestinian violence, Iraqi president Saddam Hussain is emerging from international isolation and chipping away at the edges of UN sanctions. Analysts say Saddam has been the main indirect beneficiary of a wave of Arab and Muslim outrage at Israel's behaviour and Washington's perceived support for the Jewish state. A trickle of "humanitarian" flights from France, Russia and Middle Eastern states has turned into a stream and two Russian airlines now plan scheduled flights to Baghdad, breaching an air embargo the US and Britain have upheld for a decade. For the first time since the 1991 Gulf War, Iraq will attend an Arab summit in Cairo on Saturday, returning to the fold at a conference called to show solidarity with the Palestinians. Vice-President Ezzat Ibrahim and Deputy Prime Minister Tareq Aziz will represent Iraq, but Saddam is staying home. "Iraq has successfully engaged in a rollback strategy...with the easing of its diplomatic isolation over recent months," the Washington-based Petroleum Finance Corp said in an analysis. "Despite the fact that most Arab states and Iran are still fearful of Iraq's potential power and ambitions, the country is seen as useful in bolstering the front against Israel, and perhaps more importantly as a means to signal discontent with the lack of strategic vision and perceived bias in U.S. policy." Regional developments are raising doubts about the future of the no-fly zones that the two Western powers have enforced over northern and southern Iraq since the Gulf War, ostensibly to protect Iraq's Kurdish and Shia civilian populations. "Our coalition against Saddam is unravelling. Sanctions are loosened. He may be developing weapons of mass destruction. We don't know because inspectors aren't in," Republican candidate George W. Bush said in Tuesday's US presidential debate. While dismayed at these trends, US and British officials insist that the core sanctions denying Saddam control of Iraq's oil revenues and tightly restricting imports remain in place. But some acknowledge privately that the economic embargo is starting to look untenable and may have to be eased after a new US administration reviews policy next year, even if Saddam maintains his refusal to readmit UN arms inspectors. Saddam's most significant gains have come in relations with his neighbours. Syria and Iran, both longtime bitter foes, have undertaken a rapprochement with Baghdad. "This is as a counterweight to US attempts to overthrow the Iraqi regime and replace it with a pro-Western regime," said Patrick Seale, a veteran Middle East analyst. "Tehran and Damascus believe that an implosion or breakup of Iraq would be dangerous for them and are determined that any change must not be against Syrian and Iranian interests." Seale noted that Baghdad had agreed during a visit by Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi last week to restore a 1975 border agreement which Saddam tore up when he invaded Iran in 1980, launching a bloody eight-year war. Iraqi trade with Syria was growing and Damascus saw an opportunity for its Mediterranean ports to replace Aqaba in Jordan as Iraq's main commercial conduit, he said. Western officials say Iran tolerates Iraqi oil smuggling through its coastal waters intermittently, clamping down only when Iraqi-based Iranian guerrillas stage attacks inside Iran. The proceeds of oil smuggled out through Iran, Turkey and Jordan evade U.N. controls and maintain the lifestyle of Saddam and his loyalists. Diplomats say even pro-Western states such as Saudi Arabia and Egypt, members of the US-led coalition that drove Iraqi troops out of Kuwait in 1991, are reviewing policy towards Baghdad, partly under pressure from their publics. Egypt has been expanding trade with Iraq within the UN oil-for-food deal and Foreign Minister Amr Moussa often calls for an end to sanctions, without saying they should be defied. Increasingly, Gulf Arab officials argue that the world will have to deal with Saddam, however much they mistrust him, and that Arab public opinion demands an end to the suffering of ordinary Iraqis, which they blame on the sanctions. Steven Simon, a former White House official now at London's International Institute for Strategic Studies, said he believed Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah had asked the US and the UK to phase out patrol overflights of southern Iraq from Saudi soil. "My instinct tells me he has told us, "We've got to wind this thing up," without setting a deadline," said Simon. But US officials with Secretary of State Madeleine Albright in Riyadh on Wednesday denied any weakening of Saudi support for the overflights. NATO ally Turkey has threatened to restrict the "Northern Watch" patrols if the US House of Representatives passes a bitterly disputed resolution recognising the 1915 killings of Armenians by Turks as a genocide. Even without the no-fly zones, Simon said the US would have enough air power and troops in the Gulf region to prevent Iraq from threatening its neighbours. The Iraqi leadership reaped a public relations windfall last weekend with its deft handling of the hijack of a Saudi airliner to Baghdad. But the courteous treatment of British and Saudi passengers is unlikely to soften Saddam's image durably. -Reuters http://www.telegraph.co.uk:80/et?ac=000579381554028&rtmo=qXbbtRK9&atmo=99999 999&pg=/et/00/10/19/wmid119.html * MIDDLE EAST SPENDS MORE THAN £7BN ON WEAPONS By Simon Scott Plummer, Daily Telegraph, 19 October 2000 THE Middle East remained the world's biggest regional arms market in 1999, with purchases worth more than $10 billion (£7 billion), the International Institute for Strategic Studies reports today. Top of the list was Saudi Arabia, with £4.3 billion. Behind it came Israel, with £1 billion, though that figure does not include £1.3 billion for procurement the country received from Washington under US Foreign Military Financing. Of the hardline Islamic countries, Iran spent £334 million and Syria £83 million. These sums compared with expenditure in 1987 of £1.6 billion and £1.9 billion respectively. The London-based think tank reports the figures in its annual Military Balance.Figures for Iraq, which is subject to a United Nations arms embargo, were not available. Egypt, which this weekend is hosting an Arab summit called in response to the latest Arab Israeli clashes, spent £556 million on arms deliveries in 1999. In addition, as a consequence of the peace treaty which it signed with Israel in 1979, it received £900 million in Foreign Military Assistance from the United States. Worldwide, the estimated value of arms deliveries fell last year from £40.3 billion to £37.1 billion, though total military expenditure, at £562 billion, remained much the same, the IISS said. Of the suppliers, the United States increased its market share to 49.1 per cent. It was followed by Britain, with 18.7 per cent, and France, with 12.4 per cent. Russia, benefiting from a devalued rouble, was in fourth place, with 6.6 per cent. [A link is given for a summary of the ISS document http://www.iiss.org/pub/milbal1.asp] http://www.iht.com/IHT/TODAY/THU/ED/edhoag.2.html * SUPPOSE BAGHDAD WAS BEHIND THE COLE BOMBING By Jim Hoagland The Washington Post International Herald Tribune, Paris, Thursday,October 19, 2000 WASHINGTON - The terrorists who bombed the destroyer Cole in Aden climbed an important rung on the ladder of terrorism. Americans can no longer turn away from the ugly realities of the shadow war directed against their nation. Nor can they ignore the ineptness of U.S. responses. The Aden massacre was an intelligence success of major proportions for at least one of America's enemies in the Middle East. The tradecraft used shows that it was not executed by a band of free-lancers who got lucky. Itis no longer possible to treat a dozen years of high-profile terror attacks on U.S. targets as random, episodic and self-contained events that can be left to the normal procedures of criminal justice and government bureaucracy. Modern terrorists climb the ladder of technology with determination. They progress from car bombs to nerve gas. They have moved on to packing a ton of sophisticated explosives on a small boat to slaughter U.S. sailors. American airliners, the World Trade Center in New York, United Nations headquarters, U.S. military barracks and embassies abroad and now a warship have been the actual or intended targets of bombers with roots in the Middle East. Easy explanations are available. That's the price of being a global superpower. Somebody somewhere isalways going to be angry at you for treading on his culture. Bring the boys back home, or grin and bear it. Either answer will seemingly do. But what if these targets are being attacked because of the principles and policies of the United States? What if the extensive state resources needed to infiltrate the Aden port operation and gather intelligence on the Cole's movements were mobilized by a state friendly enough to Yemen and hostile enough to the United States to achieve the bombing of the Cole? The outgoing administration has not made a serious effort to confront and answer similar questions in the earlier attacks. It has appointed ineffectual commissions and left anti-terror policy to midlevel bureaucrats at the National Security Council. A policy heavyweight, a Sam Nunn or a Warren Rudman, should be named to head up a blue-ribbon panel to investigate the operational failures that exposed the Cole to disaster and the larger questions about terrorism. Bureaucracies instinctively understand when they are being asked to avoid forcing hard choices on leaders. And no president welcomes evidence that may require him to undertake acts of warfare in murky circumstances. President George Bush faced sucha choice shortly after his election in 1988 when Pan Am 103 was blown up over Scotland. His administration responded to evidence implicating Libya's intelligence service by ruling out military retaliation and opting for economic sanctions and the slow path of criminal justice. The sanctions, and the legal case finally brought against two Libyan underlings under Scottish law, were both unraveling as the Cole tragedy happened. A new book by the investigative author Laurie Mylroie, ''Study of Revenge,'' argues that significant leads tying the Feb. 26, 1993, bombing of the World Trade Center to Iraq have not been followed up effectively, either. Her case is far from airtight. But she advances what James Woolsey, the former CIA director, calls ''a testable hypothesis'' which has studiously not been tested by the administration. After the attack on the Cole, which was on its way to enforce UN sanctions against Iraq, such views cannot be dismissed as Iraqophobia or paranoia.Iraqi intelligence has long maintained a significant presence in the former British coaling station of Aden. The CIA upgraded its presence there in recent years to try to penetrate Saddam Hussein's operations. He has long-standing political and financial ties with the Yemeni leader Ali Abdullah Saleh, who initially insisted that the Cole explosion was just an accident. That explanation echoes uncomfortably in my ears. In 1987 an Iraqi jet hit the frigate Stark with an Exocet missile and killed 37 sailors. Saddam insisted that it was an accident, and the Reagan administration quickly accepted his apology rather than aggressively pursue a difficult inquiry. The U.S. team sent to Baghdad meekly accepted the Iraqi refusal to allow it to question the attacking jet's pilot. Covering that pseudo investigation was my last trip to Baghdad. Three years later Saddam went to war against an American nation he was convinced would never respond to his aggression. Somewhere someone is watching the American response to the attack on the Cole and thinking about the future. So must America, without further illusion. http://www.iht.com/IHT/TODAY/THU/ED/edsam.2.html * WAR SCARES: BEWARE, GLOBALIZATION DOESN'T HAVE TO SUCCEED by Robert J. Samuelson, The Washington Post International Herald Tribune, Paris, Thursday,October 19, 2000 WASHINGTON - The violence in and on the edges of Israel, however it turns out, has provided a sobering tutorial in the vulnerabilities of the global economy. The enthusiasm for ''globalization'' overlooked the disturbing possibility that nationalism, religious hatreds and old-fashioned regional rivalries could disrupt world trade and investment. But this is obviously so. Geopolitics and global economics are colliding in ways that we resist contemplating because the possible consequences are too upsetting and confusing. Oil is the largest flash point but not the only one. This is globalization's dark side. Of course, oil's strategic importance is no secret. The world now uses about 76 million barrels a day. Last month about 21 million of that came from the Gulf. Saudi Arabia was the biggest producer (8.9 million), followed by Iran (3.7 million), Iraq (2.9 million), the United Arab Emirates (2.3 million), Kuwait (2.2 million) and Qatar (0.7 million). Any sizable reduction might raise prices sharply and even trigger a recession. Global stock markets are naturally nervous. Nor are the Mideast's politics any secret. Crises occur with depressing regularity. Despite this history, the hazards have recently been minimized. Globalization presumes that materialism refashions world politics. Countries that trade and invest together accommodate political difference. In the Gulf region, Iran and Iraq remain hostile to the West, but even they need oil revenues. Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and other producers invest heavily in world stock markets. They don't want to damage the economies of their biggest customers. And the Saudis and Kuwaitis rely on the U.S. military for security, so oil won't be usedas a political weapon. These arguments make some sense - but only up to a point. They also rationalize wishful thinking by ignoring the potential for chaos, which may force governments to do things that they would ordinarily reject. ''There's a hair trigger between the Israeli crisis and the Gulf,'' says Geoffrey Kemp, a Mideast expert at the Nixon Center, a bipartisan think tank. The man who could pull the trigger is Saddam Hussein. One possibility would be to shut down oil production in sympathy with the Palestinian people. ''He'd become a hero.'' The Saudis have spare capacity of about 1.6 million barrels a day, estimates the International Energy Agency. That is not enough to offset a full Iraqi shutdown. But Mr. Kemp wonders whether the Saudis would offset even a partial Iraqi cutback. ''In the passion of the moment, the Saudis have to be sensitive to the street,'' he says. ''They're superb survivors. They're not going to defy the consensus of the Arab world.'' Oil-consuming nations are not entirely defenseless. ''The Europeans, the United States and Japan have 1.2 billion barrels in strategic reserves,'' says the oil economist Philip Verleger. A quick release of these reserves, he says, could neutralize any Iraqi cutback. Existing stocks could offset a 3 million barrel loss for slightly more than a year. But the larger point is that no strategic reserve can erase the basic conflict. The world inevitably depends on Gulf oil. The Gulf War was an economic conflict. It was fought to keep oil supplies in friendly hands. World trade and investment are constantly redefining national security and economic stability. Asia's 1997-1998 financial crisis showed that bad investments made in distant countries can boomerang onthe advanced world. Similarly, changing production patterns can make global industries vulnerable to local disruptions. Consider electronics. Components from one country are assembled with components from another to create final products. Taiwan is the world leader in 10 computer products, including circuit boards and modems. China has increasingly become a supplier of components. Last year, U.S. electronic imports were nearly $20 billion from China and almost $18 billion from Taiwan Political upheaval in China or a war over Taiwan would affect world electronics production, especially if the war involved America. Some production losses could be replaced fairly quickly. ''Printed circuit boards are not highly complex,'' says the economist Kenneth Flamm of the University of Texas. He estimates that new factories could be built elsewhere within a year. But as U.S.-Chinese trade develops, the connections may become closer and costlier to break. Hardly anyone discusses these issues, because they do not suggest obvious answers. Once a country decides to join the world economy (as China did), it cannot easily be excluded. Too many other countries want its business. The U.S. economy is now so intertwined with the global economy that isolationism is unimaginable. But Americans fear relying on trade with countries that are unfriendly, and other peoples are as uneasy with these ambiguous relationships as Americans are. The promise of globalization is that mutual dependence will prevent conflict and inspire cooperation. But it's just a promise. http://www.cnn.com/2000/ALLPOLITICS/stories/10/19/cole.hearing/index.html * ZINNI: 'SIGNIFICANT' CHANGE IN YEMENI ATTITUDE LED TO DECISION TO REFUEL COLE AT ADEN By Ian Christopher McCaleb/CNN, October 19, 2000 WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The former U.S. armed forces commander-in-chief in charge of overseeing operations in the Middle East -- and the man who made the decision to enter into a ship-servicing contract with the Yemeni government -- told the Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday that a series of Yemeni government overtures to the United States four years ago created the circumstances that led to the attack on the USS Cole last week. Gen. Anthony Zinni testifies in front of the Senate Armed Services Committee Gen. Anthony Zinni, one-time commander of USCENTCOM, or the United States Central Command, said social and political changes that have occurred in Yemen in the last decade and the country's willingness to broaden its contacts with the United States prompted Central Command to slowly and deliberately open up cooperative efforts with the Red Sea nation. Zinni retired as Centcom's commander three months ago. That cooperation with Yemen, he said, has consisted of limited military to military contact, and the signing of a contract opening up Yemeni shipping lanes to U.S. military craft patrolling the Persian Gulf to enforce U.N. sanctions in place against Iraq. Under that contract, now some 18 months old, 23 U.S. vessels have visited the southern Yemeni port of Aden to be refueled, all without incident. "The refueling of that ship in Aden," Zinni said Wednesday, "...Was my decision. I pass the buck on to nobody." The day's Senate hearing was convened to open the legislative branch investigation into the apparent terrorist attack on the Cole, a state-of-the-art guided missile destroyer, in the port waters of Aden last week. Current versions of the incident indicate a small harbor boat was maneuvered toward the port side of the vessel as it attempted to dock for refueling. An explosion, thought to have originated from materials carried on that harborcraft, tore into the ship's hull, opening up a gaping, crippling hole and taking a estimated 17 lives. Yemeni ties, cooperation Zinni explained in detail how Central Command, military command back home, a variety of intelligence agencies and the State Department approved Aden as a safe port-of-call for the U.S. carrier groups and their support ships operating in the Persian Gulf and the Red Sea area. Central Command, he explained, consists of a U.S. military presence in some 25 nations, including the Middle East and Africa. Area threats are consistently under review, Zinni said, and U.S. ships in need of refueling and support are routed and rerouted to area ports based on changes in those threat assessments. In short, Zinni said, only one of the 25 nations in Centcom's area has ever registered a consistently low threat assessment -- the Seychelle Islands, which are too far from U.S. naval operations in the region. Yemen, once considered one of the most dangerous countries in the region, Zinni said, has within the last two years moved up Centcom's list of suitable nations. "Threat conditions there were better than we expected, and certainly no worse than anywhere else," he said. "I made four visits to Yemen," Zinni said. "And two of those were to Aden." The last of those visits, Zinni said, occurred in May of this year. Sen. John Warner chairs the committee Vulnerability assessment teams, Zinni continued, took into account recent Yemeni history, the state of its government, its recent overtures to the United States, and its anti-terrorist actions before it was decided that Aden was suitable for occasional U.S. naval stopovers. In the first part of the decade, the U.S. had no relations with Yemen, which supported Iraq in the Gulf War. The country was also one of the last to recover from the polar influences of the Cold War -- it had been split into a Marxist south, and a North Yemen that leaned toward other Arab nations and the West, until unification in 1990. Zinni acknowledged that the United States has a vital strategic interest in improving relations with Yemen, which is situated south of Saudi Arabia, with the Gulf state of Oman to the northeast, and the African nations of Eritrea and Djibouti across the eastern straits separating the Middle East and the African Coast. Still, he insisted that Aden's location was what prompted the decision to enter into the refueling contract, not a broader desire to score points with the Yemeni government. "This was not a gratuitous attempt to improve relations with the Yemenis," he said. The Armed Services Committee will hold a second hearing on the matter Friday. That session will be closed. More probes opened The Pentagon planned to announce later Thursday that Defense Secretary William Cohen has requested the initiation of an investigation into the Cole tragedy that will be led by Adm. Harold W. Gehman, who retired this summer as commander in chief of U.S. Joint Forces Command, and Gen. William Crouch, who retired in 1999 as Army deputy chief of staff. Crouch also is a former commander of U.S. Army Europe and chief of NATO's Allied Land Forces Central Europe. In that capacity he commanded the U.S.-led NATO peacekeepers in Bosnia in 1996-97. Gehman served in Vietnam, and commanded his own destroyer. He later served as vice chief of naval operations, the No. 2 post in the Navy. The investigation will examine the circumstances explosion, and assess ways in which standard security precautions during visits to foreign ports can be improved. Natter, the fleet commander, said: "To my knowledge, I'm very pleased with what the ship was doing with respect to self-defense." But he declined to say whether he has seen evidence of a security lapse, saying that is the purpose of the investigation. The probe will be independent of the FBI's ongoing investigation of who carried out the attack. http://www.guardianunlimited.co.uk/international/story/0,3604,385239,00.html * BRITAIN OPENS LINKS WITH NORTH KOREA Special report: Korea Jonathan Watts in Seoul , Friday October 20, 2000 Britain will open up diplomatic relations with North Korea to support reconciliation on the divided peninsula, the foreign secretary, Robin Cook, said yesterday. It will be the first time there have been full relations between the two countries since the communist government came into existence more than 50 years ago. The move was announced by Mr Cook on his way to the South Korean capital of Seoul, where he and the prime minister, Tony Blair, will attend a summit of Asian and European leaders. Mr Cook said North Korea approached Britain about establishing relations last month through its embassy in Beijing. "I think it is likely we will respond positively to that," he said. The move is a surprise. Unlike Italy, which has already opened up an embassy in Pyongyang, Britain has until now taken a cautious stance on upgrading its relations with the North, which is slowly emerging from decades of isolation. The Foreign Office is also in the process of re-establishing political ties with the former Yugoslavia, leaving just Iraq and Bhutan outside the diplomatic fold with Britain. Mr Cook said the shift in policy was requested by the South Korean president, Kim Dae jung, who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize last week for breaking with a history of confrontation to engage the North in dialogue. In June, he became the first leader from the South to travel to Pyongyang, where he held a summit with his counterpart, Kim Jong-il. "Momentous developments are under way on the Korean peninsula," said Tony Blair in Seoul yesterday. "The summit has created the real opportunity for lasting peace and reconciliation." Human rights groups, however, warned that Britain should not ignore reports of torture and other violations in North Korean prisons. Questions are also likely to be asked about the North's ballistic missile programme. Mr Cook said the government was going into relations "with its eyes open". The opening of full ties will not happen immediately, he said, and it will be some time before an embassy is established in Pyongyang. At tomorrow's Asia-Europe summit, leaders from the two continents are expected to back the peace process. South Korea hopes the west will also help to develop the impoverished North and pave the way towards reunification. In a sign of the growing thaw, Madeleine Albright will make the first visit to Pyongyang by an American secretary of state later this month. The German chancellor, Gerhard Schröder, also in Seoul, said his country would also now establish diplomatic relations with the North. http://www.guardianunlimited.co.uk/leaders/story/0,3604,385259,00.html * ROGUES? NOT ANY MORE THE DOCTRINE OF CONTAINMENT IS DYING Special report: Korea Leader in The Guardian, Friday October 20, 2000 Britain's decision to establish diplomatic ties with North Korea, while welcome in itself, is another body blow for the US policy of containment of so-called "rogue states". It stems from the sensible belief that dialogue with problematic regimes, where possible, is preferable to isolation, sanctions and military threats. Foreign secretary Robin Cook has successfully used this approach, dubbed "critical engagement", to improve relations with Iran, Libya, Cuba and Sudan. Talking to, rather than shouting at, North Korea increases the chances of persuading it to curb human rights abuses and weapons proliferation. It opens up a seductive lifeline of additional EU humanitarian aid and technical assistance for a woefully misled people plagued by famine and underdevelopment. It is a timely boost for the Korean peninsula peace process, which has stumbled since last June's epic bilateral summit. And it will help buttress regional stability. As such, Britain's move was welcomed yesterday by Seoul. Even the US is tacitly beginning to recognise that its containment policy, a cold war hangover, is simply not working. Washington no longer uses the term "rogue states" to describe its perceived enemies; they are now "countries of concern". In the past year, it has warily followed Britain in pursuing better relations with Iran and Libya. Last month, two years after being blasted by cruise missiles, Afghanistan's Taliban were invited for coffee at the state department. This week, congress finally (finally!) moved to ease sanctions on Fidel Castro's Cuba. And this Sunday, secretary of state Madeleine Albright will make her bow in Pyongyang, a possible prelude to a legacy tour by Bill Clinton himself. To appreciate what a volte-face this is, remember that only a few months ago the Pentagon was citing roguish North Korea as the main justification for deploying a new Star Wars missile defence system. It is too much to hope that US diplomacy is at last turning pragmatical. Nor are these shifts necessarily permanent: both Al Gore and George W Bush still seem to think that superpower is invariably insuperable. But as they constantly tell voters, it's good to talk. AND OUT THERE, IN THE WORLD BEYOND THE POTOMAC, THE DIPLOMATIC APARTHEID KNOWN AS CONTAINMENT IS DEAD IN THE WATER. IF MORE PROOF IS REQUIRED, JUST LOOK AT IRAQ. FOR ALL AMERICA'S GREAT PAINS, SADDAM IS OUT OF HIS BOX, BIG TIME; AND SHORT OF MASSIVE, BRUTE FORCE, THERE IS LITTLE THE US CAN DO. [My emphasis PB] http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A44431-2000Oct19.html * HASTERT WITHDRAWS 'GENOCIDE' RESOLUTION by Juliet Eilperin and Steven Mufson, Washington Post Staff Writers, Friday, October 20, 2000; Page A04 After a vigorous lobbying effort by the White House, Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) canceled a House vote on a resolution that would have angered the Turkish government by labeling as "genocide" the massacres of Armenians that took place under the Ottoman Empire from 1915 to 1923. The nonbinding resolution, which had 141 co-sponsors and bipartisan support, had been scheduled for a vote last night, but Hastert and other GOP leaders withdrew the resolution after President Clinton sent a letter yesterday urging them "in the strongest terms" not to bring it to the floor. The withdrawal of the resolution was likely to avert a diplomatic crisis with Turkey, which is a NATO member, a key U.S. ally in the battle against Islamic fundamentalism, and a base for U.S. and British fighter jets that patrol the skies over northern Iraq. But supporters of the measure lamented the failure to make a statement about the massacres of Armenians. "It's an opportunity lost to speak truth to the world about a holocaust that remains a festering sore," said Rep. Christopher H. Smith (R-N.J.). By withdrawing the resolution, Hastert broke a pledge he made in August to Rep. James E. Rogan (R-Calif.), who is locked in a tight contest in a district that has the nation's largest concentration of Armenian Americans. Democrats have targeted Rogan, a leader in the impeachment battle against Clinton, in their efforts to win control of the House, and Rogan had appealed to Hastert in August to back the resolution. As a sign of the resolution's significance, Hastert had personally placed the measure onto yesterday's legislative calendar. Many Democrats also supported the measure, including the resolution's co-author, House Minority Whip David E. Bonior (D-Mich.). "It's a bipartisan bill, and Mr. Rogan and others think it's important to get the House on record on this issue," Hastert spokesman John Feehery said early in the day. But Hastert changed his position after talks with Clinton and other White House officials. In a letter to the speaker, Clinton said he was "deeply concerned" the measure "could have far reaching negative consequences for the United States." "We thought the resolution was ill-advised," White House spokesman Jake Siewert said last night. "We're pleased that they decided not to do this." Hastert said he had little choice after Clinton appealed to him during a phone call Wednesday night and after receiving letters from Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Henry H. Shelton, as well as Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright and Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen. "The president believes that passage of this resolution may adversely impact the situation in the Middle East and risk the lives of Americans," Hastert said. "This is not an idle request. We all know the situation in the Middle East is unusually tense. . . . The Congress, while it has a right to express its opinions on critical issues of the day, also must be cognizant of the consequences of the expression of those opinions." The administration's efforts were prompted by Turkey's angry reaction to the resolution, even though it was nonbinding and had no Senate counterpart. Turkey warned that House adoption of the resolution would damage U.S.-Turkish relations and imperil U.S. rights to use Incirlik Air Base in southern Turkey for patrolling the "no-fly zone" over northern Iraq. In their letter to Hastert, Albright and Cohen wrote that they were "deeply concerned about the potential damage" the measure could inflict on American security interests. But Smith said administration concerns about Turkish retaliation were exaggerated. Clinton noted in his letter that on April 24 every year he commemorates "Armenian Remembrance Day, mourning the deportations and massacres of innocent Armenians during that era." Nonetheless, he added, "we have significant interests in this troubled region of the world: containing the threat posed by Saddam Hussein; working for peace and stability in the Middle East and Central Asia; stabilizing the Balkans; and developing new sources of energy. Consideration of this resolution at this sensitive time will negatively affect those interests and could undermine efforts to encourage improved relations between Armenia and Turkey--the very goal the sponsors of this resolution seek to advance." Bonior offered a melancholy assessment of the measure's demise. "It will never be the right time to do this with those who disagree with us, and we had the votes to pass it," he said, adding that he had secured the support of 130 Democrats. "Countries need to own up to their own inadequacies. In order for there to be reconciliation between Turkey and Armenia, this has to be part of it." Rogan issued a statement last night saying that he was "saddened" by the decision but pleased by how far he had pushed the issue. "Never before has this legislation earned even a hearing. This year, working with Democrats and Republicans, we were able to secure not just one hearing, but two hearings, a markup and a scheduled floor vote," he said. "That is great progress." Republican strategists said shelving the resolution might not hurt Rogan's electoral prospects. "We've spoken to Mr. Rogan and he doesn't think it's a problem," said Jim Wilkinson, spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee. "He's confident the Armenian American community will realize that this resolution would never have had a prayer were it not for him." http://www.vny.com/cf/News/upidetail.cfm?QID=129712 * WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE ROGUE STATES? Friday, 20 October 2000 19:27 (ET) by MARTIN WALKER WASHINGTON, Oct. 20 (UPI) - When Britain's Tony Blair and German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder announced in Seoul this week that they were about to re-open diplomatic relations with North Korea, they joined the US in ending the curious six-year reign of the 'rogue state' thesis. America's closest allies were not blazing a trail ahead of Washington, US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright is on her way to Pyongyang. And President Clinton is planning a post election visit to the long-forbidden North Korean capital, part of an Asian tour whose highlight will be the first US Presidential visit to Vietnam since the end of the Vietnam War 25 years ago. Just in time for the new thaw with North Korea, the US State Department formally in June of this year dropped the term 'rogue states' for countries deemed to be international outlaws, and replaced it with the bland phrase 'states of concern'. The term 'rogue states' was formally born in 1994, when White House national security adviser Tony Lake used it to describe North Korea, Libya, Iran, Iraq and Cuba. In February, 1998, President Clinton stressed that they were becoming the most important threat to American security. "In the next century, the community of nations may see more and more of the very kind of threat Iraq poses now - a rogue state with weapons of mass destruction, ready to use them or provide them to terrorists, drug traffickers or organized criminals who travel the world among us unnoticed," Clinton said. But the former rogues have been breaking out of the isolation in which US policy sought to contain them. Saddam Hussein's Iraq was able, despite the continued United Nations sanctions, to make a deal to sell oil for food and medical supplies which is currently earning Iraq $20 billions a year. And the sanctions on Iraq's air travel has been breached daily in the past three weeks, with flights into Baghdad from Russia, France and Arab neighbors. This weekend, above all, the long isolation from the Arab world that had endured since the 1991 Gulf War ended when Iraqi officials arrived in Cairo for the Arab League summit on the Palestine crisis. Iran had hardly qualified for the old title since the election of the reformist President Mohammad Khatami in 1997. Britain, America's closest ally, has re-opened diplomatic links, and says it sees "no evidence' that Iran is still a state that sponsors terrorism. European countries have reopened commercial ties, despite continuing US fears that Iran continues a secret nuclear weapons program. Libya has come out of the cold since its wayward leader Muammar Gadafy accepted the mediation of former South African President Nelson Mandela and surrendered two Libyans, suspected of the 1998 bombing of the Pan-Am 007 jumbo jet over Scotland, to trial in the Hague. And the US Senate last week relaxed its long-standing sanctions against Cuba, as another close US ally, Canada, stepped up its efforts to have Cuba re-admitted to the meetings of the Organization of American States. The question is whether the 'rogues' have fundamentally changed their behavior, or whether the shift has come in American and Western perceptions. The answer may be a bit of both, but the issue remains contentious in domestic American politics. Earlier this year, when he was challenging Texas Governor George W Bush for the Republican Presidential nomination, US Senator John McCain argued that America should show no mercy to rogue states. "I'd institute a policy that I call a rogue state rollback. I would arm, train and equip forces that would eventually overthrow the governments and install free and democratically elected governments", McCain said. The US foreign policy establishment disagreed. Brent Scowcroft, national security adviser to President Bush from 1989-92, has long urged the need to differentiate between so-called 'rogues'. The policies needed to encourage Iran further along the path toward democratic reforms should be different from those designed to keep Saddam Hussein "in his box". Lee Hamilton, veteran chairman of the House of Representatives committee on international relations, and a leading contender for Secretary of Sate in a Gore administration, has stressed US self-interest. "Iran, Iraq and Libya will be key suppliers of energy in the future - we should not call them rogue states nor seek to isolate them at all costs". But in the case of North Korea, this key change has come from within the peninsula. The historic North-South summit in June this year, the first since the Korean War broke out fifty years ago, was the event that triggered the formal end of the State department's use of the term 'rogue states'. This carries an important policy implication for the future. US plans to develop a defense system that could shoot down ballistic missiles in flight has been justified as a necessary precaution against attack by 'rogue states'. President Clinton has left the decision whether to proceed with building the infrastructure for such a system to the next President. Governor Bush says he is strongly in favor. Vice-President Gore says "American security must be the priority". But if the rogue states have gone, persuading Congress to vote the estimated $80 billions to pay for such a ballistic missile defense system will be a hard sell. There is more than just semantics at stake in the words "rogue state". -- Copyright 2000 by United Press International. All rights reserved. -- http://www.nationalpost.com/home/story.html?f=/stories/20001021/436887.html * DOCUMENTS LINK GORE TO ARMS SALES TO IRAN: Hearings to be held: Vice President's aide says timing of charge 'outrageous' October 21, 2000 Alexander RoseNational PostWASHINGTON - Secret documents leaked to U.S. newspapers appear to show Al Gore, the Vice-President, played a crucial role in abetting covert Russian sales of conventional weaponry to Iran. Now, the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee plans to hold hearings to probe the legality of the deal struck by Mr. Gore, which promised Russia would not face U.S. sanctions for certain arms shipments to Iran. Mr. Gore is being accused of jeopardizing U.S. security and violating U.S. law by negotiating a classified agreement in 1995 with Viktor Chernomyrdin, then Russian prime minister. Ties between the Clinton administration and the government of president Boris Yeltsin, then Mr. Chernomyrdin's boss, were close at the time. There are also indications the Vice-President withheld information from Congress regarding Russia's nuclear and missile component deals with Iran, which the State Department classifies as a state sponsor of terrorism. The Washington Times reported this week that Mr. Chernomyrdin urged Mr. Gore in a classified "Dear Al" letter on Dec. 9, 1995, to keep Russian nuclear co-operation with Iran confidential and said it was "not to be conveyed to third parties, including the U.S. Congress." "No mention of this nuclear dialogue [between Mr. Gore and Mr. Chernomyrdin] was ever made to Congress, despite the fact that the Nuclear Nonproliferation Act requires full and immediate disclosure to Congress of such diplomatic discussion," said Sam Brownback, a Republican Senator from Kansas and chairman of the Near East subcommittee. "The administration must immediately provide the Foreign Relations Committee with all relevant documents, or hearings of the committee will be convened." If the White House does not react, hearings are likely to begin on Tuesday or Wednesday, and the relevant documents may be subpoenaed. Gore spokesmen say holding a "partisan hearing so close to the [presidential] election is an outrageous abuse of power and a dangerous mix of politics and national security." Excerpts from the secret pact, dated June 30, 1995, between Mr. Gore and Mr. Chernomyrdin were published in The New York Times on Oct. 13. "This aide-memoire, as well as the attached annexes, will remain strictly confidential," the 12-paragraph document declared. It called for an end to Russian conventional arms sales to Iran by Dec. 31, 1999. In return for Russia's pledge, Washington promised "to take appropriate steps to avoid any penalties [i.e., sanctions] to Russia that might otherwise arise under domestic law." The "domestic law" refers to the 1992 Iran-Iraq Arms Nonproliferation Act, which banned sales of advanced conventional weapons that might destabilize the region's balance of power. The Act's main sponsors were Mr. Gore, then a senator for Tennessee, and Senator John McCain of Arizona. Leon Fuerth, Mr. Gore's long-time foreign policy advisor, has said the weapons intended for Tehran would not have triggered sanctions under the Gore-McCain Act as they did not fall under the definition of advanced and did not destabilize the Persian Gulf. Earlier this month, however, Mr. McCain, disagreed: "If the administration has acquiesced in the sale, then I believe they have violated both the intent and the letter of the law." In 1996, the Gore-McCain Act was amended to require the imposition of sanctions against suppliers providing weapons to state sponsors of terrorism. Weapons scheduled for delivery to Iran included a new Kilo-class diesel-electric submarine, 160 T-72 tanks, 600 armoured personnel carriers, anti-ship mines, cluster bombs and sophisticated wake-homing torpedoes. The submarine was the third Kilo-class Iran contracted to buy. The first was delivered in the spring of 1993. Even before the Gore-Chernomyrdin agreement, the Joint Chiefs of Staff told the National Security Council Iran's naval power would allow it "to close the Strait of Hormuz in less than four hours" to the U.S. Navy. Recent intelligence reports show the Russian arms sales continued past the Dec. 31 cut-off date specified in the secret pact. The Times also published a classified letter written by Madeleine Albright, the U.S. Secretary of State, to Igor Ivanov, the Russian Foreign Minister, on Jan. 13. This warns that "without the [1995 Gore-Chernomyrdin] aide-memoire, Russia's conventional arms sales to Iran would have been subject to sanctions." If transfers do not halt, "this possibility still exists." Moreover, the aide-memoire specifically excluded "nuclear-related co-operation with Iran." But Russian co-operation with Iran appears to have accelerated since 1995. In September, 1997, Israeli intelligence sources reported private and state-owned Russian firms were providing Tehran with gyroscopes, electronic components, wind tunnels, and guidance and propulsion systems. That same month, Mr. Yeltsin denied Moscow was supplying nuclear and missile components. "There is nothing further from the truth. I again and again categorically deny such rumours," he said. The following July, the Commission to Assess the Ballistic Missile Threat to the United States was told Iran had obtained the design for the RD-214 rocket engine used in the Russian SS-4 and SL-7 space launch vehicle. http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/newse/1022in14.htm * LIMITS TO PARTICIPATION Daily Yomiuri, Japan, 22/10.00 THE FOLLOWING ARE EXCERPTS OF A KEYNOTE SPEECH DELIVERED BY WOLFGANG ISCHINGER, STATE SECRETARY OF THE GERMAN FEDERAL FOREIGN OFFICE. When the Cold War ended 11 years ago and the U.N. Security Council was deadlocked from the stalemate of the East-West confrontation, many believed that conflicts could now be kept at bay effectively, but this has proved to be an illusion. The need for effective peacekeeping is evident, but the conditions are different today from what they had been one or two decades ago. First, conflicts today are more often internal rather than international. Secondly, the challenge of peacekeeping highlights a dilemma between traditional state sovereignty and effective protection of human rights. Consequently, the nature of peacekeeping operations is changing and will continue to change. As can be seen in operations in Sierra Leone, Kosovo or East Timor, they have become multidimensional, increasingly including civilian and police components to perform broader tasks. After World War II, it was difficult for Germany to deploy soldiers outside of the country for various reasons, including political, historical, ethical and legal ones. Despite these difficulties, German Bundeswehr has contributed to U.N. peacekeeping missions, providing transport services and deploying civilian and medical experts in the early stage of its U.N. membership. The Federal Constitutional Court's decision in July 1994 lifted this fundamental restriction on the dispatch of military personnel with the ruling that "armed military units may serve with international peacekeeping missions provided these take place within the framework of a mutually collective security system and in accordance with its rules." As a consequence of this decision, Germany since 1995 has been increasingly participating in peacekeeping missions, sending a 3,600-strong Bundeswehr contingent to the former Yugoslavia, 3,000 soldiers to Bosnia and Herzegovina, and 5,800 troops to Kosovo. FOLLOWING ARE EXCERPTS FROM A KEYNOTE SPEECH BY FORMER FOREIGN MINISTER TARO NAKAYAMA. It is no exaggeration that Japan's struggles over peacekeeping missions date back to Iraq's invasion of Kuwait in August 1990. Because of restrictions under Article 9 of the Constitution, which prohibits the dispatch of military forces overseas, Japan was unable to send Self-Defense Forces, despite requests by the then Saudi Arabia foreign minister given before the start of the Gulf War. As a consequence, Japan provided only medical and water supplies. After the end of the Gulf War, the country cooperated in the removal of oil spills in the Persian Gulf and dispatched Maritime Self-Defense Force minesweepers to get rid of mines that had been abandoned. This turned out to be the first experience for the country to send SDFs overseas. However, the discussion was locked in stalemate over whether it conformed with the Constitution, and this led to serious international criticism against Japan. In 1992, Japan enacted the International Peace Cooperation Law, which enabled the dispatch of SDF personnel to Cambodia, but only on the condition that they would not be engaged in military activities. In other words, SDFs can be sent only after the fighting in a country or area in conflict has ended. In terms of the number of personnel sent to U.N. peacekeeping missions, the difference between Japan and Germany is significant. As of July this year, Japan had sent a total of 45 personnel, while Germany had already dispatched a total of about 480. Apart from peacekeeping missions under the U.N. mandate, Germany has sent thousands of troops each to three different regions, including Kosovo. Although both countries were defeated in World War II, it is regrettable to say that Japan's contributions to international peace remain insufficient. To this end, I believe it is important to raise people's awareness of the issue. -- ----------------------------------------------------------------------- This is a discussion list run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq For removal from list, email email@example.com Full details of CASI's various lists can be found on the CASI website: http://www.casi.org.uk