Last Call: Denuclearizing Iran and North Korea

The Bush administration has thus far failed to resolve the nuclear conflict with two so-called “rogue states”–Iran and North Korea.  In the final three months of his tenure, George W. Bush is making last-ditch deals with Russia and China to put pressure on Tehran and Pyongyang, respectively.  The focus of those deals is to persuade North Korea, through China, to unravel its nuclear weapons program and dismantle its nuclear weapons.  Though the Six-Party Talks–involving the U.S., China, South and North Korea, Russia and Japan–have been helpful, they have not succeeded in extracting a political solution to the conflict.  In the case of Iran, Washington is persuading Russia to cooperate in passing tough U.N. sanctions unless Iran agrees to abandon its nuclear program.  Even though Iran has been insisting that it has no aspirations to develop nuclear weapons, the Bush administration continues to pooh-pooh that explanation and states that Iran’s real intentions are to do just that. 

 

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The New Global Crisis Requires A Major Revamping of the Global Power Structure

If the 1990s and the first eight years of the first decade of the 21st Century represented an era when transnational terrorism dominated world attention, the remainder of this decade and the next one promise to be a period of a new global crisis, which might be even more obdurate than fighting global terrorism.  Robert Zoelick, President of the World Bank, described this era as marked by the “double-jeopardy of food and fuel prices,” which will defy solution.  These issues will also make a number of countries of Asia, Africa, and Latin America favorite places for the mushrooming of drug cartels, transnational crimes, small arms trade, and even terrorism.  The search for solutions for this new crisis might require a radical reconfiguring of global decisionmaking structures, an issue on which major powers must reflect with utmost seriousness.

 

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