Obama’s Challenge: Building Sino-Russian Support on Denuclearizing Iran

The real test of President Barack H. Obama’s dealing with China and Russia will emerge in his success to persuade those countries to support the U.S. in pressuring Iran to give up its nuclear weapons aspirations.  Obama has reported to have lobbied China on that issue during his recent visit. He also broached Russia in the recent past for the same purpose, but with little success. Iran denies having such aspirations, but Washington has no faith in those denials.
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Getting Serious About Denuclearizing Iran

On the front page of Saturday’s Financial Times (September 26, 2009) there was a somber looking picture of the American President Barack H. Obama, U.K.’s Premier Gordon Brown, and French President Nicolas Sarkozy heading toward a podium to address the world press condemning Iran’s secret uranium enrichment plant near the city of Qom. The United States and its allies believe that Iran is getting closer to making nuclear weapons. However, the how much closer is still a matter of speculation.
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Remembering Huntington


Samuel P. Huntington died on Christmas Eve at the ripe age of 81.  I never met the man.  But I read most of his work.  I had the occasion of hearing his presentation as a Ph.D. candidate, when he was invited by our Political Science Department at Southern Illinois University around 1974 or 1975.  All the faculty members were present to hear one of their brainiest, if not most famous, counterparts.  Huntington was well known for two books then: 

The Soldier and the State: The Theory and Politics of Civil-Military Relations

(1957), and Political Order in Changing Societies (1968).  The discussion of his presentation revolved around the second book.


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The Dubious Hillary Choice

The reported choice of Hillary Clinton as President Barack Obama’s Secretary of State does not make much sense. All presidents come to office with a definite worldview and a vision of America’s foreign policy during their term. Assuming that Obama shares these characteristics with his predecessors, his worldview was not quite similar to that which Hillary conveyed during her campaign to defeat Obama for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination.

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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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