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When Russians Behave Like Soviets

by Richard F. Staarvia Hoover Digest
Thursday, January 30, 1997

The United States gives Russia billions in aid every year, subject to certain important conditions, including the condition that the Russians demilitarize. The Russians keep on violating the conditions-and we keep on giving them more money. By Hoover fellow Richard F. Staar.

Is the Third Wave Receding?

by Larry Diamondvia Hoover Digest
Thursday, January 30, 1997

The rapid emergence of new democracies during the past two decades is often termed the third wave of democratization. (The first wave took place from the 1820s to the 1920s, the second, from the 1940s to the early 1960s.) Hoover fellow Larry Diamond argues that the third wave is substantially over-and that we must act now to prevent a reverse wave from sweeping the weaker democracies away.

Leave Somalia Alone

via Hoover Digest
Thursday, January 30, 1997

Almost four years after the U.S. mission to Somalia ended in catastrophe, some Americans still feel an urge to lend Somalia a helping hand. Yet as Hoover fellow Robert J. Myers explains, there is only one kind of people who can make a difference in Somalia: Somalis.

The Short March

by Henry S. Rowenvia Hoover Digest
Thursday, January 30, 1997

When will China become a democracy? The answer is, around 2015, says Hoover fellow Henry S. Rowen.

Back to the Future

by Edward Teller, Edward Neilan, Peter M. Robinsonvia Hoover Digest
Thursday, January 30, 1997

Hoover fellow Edward Teller became a central figure in President Reagan's effort to develop a defense against ballistic missiles-the Strategic Defense Initiative, or, as it was quickly nicknamed, Star Wars. Recently, some in Congress have once again begun to urge the deployment of a space-based missile defense. Teller is right back in the middle of the controversy.

We present a brief appreciation of Teller by Hoover media fellow Edward Neilan. Then we present an interview with Teller himself, who talks with Hoover fellow Peter Robinson.

North Korea at a Crossroads

via Analysis
Wednesday, January 1, 1997

North Korea remains a country difficult for outsiders to analyze, given the paucity of hard data. Yet certain facts have been established. The economy is in crisis, a product not only of the Russian demise and the recent floods but of the inadequacies of a Stalinist economic strategy: autarky, imbalance, and overbureaucratization. A growing number of the elite now recognize these facts, and the momentum for reform is rising despite perceived political hazards. Whether it will be in time to prevent collapse is debated by outside observers.

Politically, the effort is to maintain the existing order by reproducing Kim Il Sung in his son, Kim Jong Il. Young Kim is cultivating the military assiduously and carefully replacing his father's guerrilla generation with individuals closer to his age, some of them relatives. There are no signs of cleavage at this point, but the decision-making structure remains difficult to discern. The goal, however, is clear: total unity under the leader and party.

The Democratic People's Republic of Korea's (DPRK's) foreign policy is rational from the North's perspective: achieve diplomatic relations with the United States and Japan while relegating the Republic of Korea (ROK) to the sidelines. Yet improvements in North-South relations will be essential if the broader goal is to be reached. Meanwhile, relations with China are relatively satisfactory but lack the old warmth, and those with Russia are still tepid not- withstanding Moscow's efforts.

Despite the uncertainties surrounding the DPRK's future, the interests of others, including the ROK and the United States, lie in seeing this state undergo an evolutionary process rather than a collapse. Thus policies should be directed toward that end, acknowledging that the outcome will depend heavily on North Korean leaders and their decisions.

Prospects for Democratic Development in Africa

by Larry Diamondvia Analysis
Wednesday, January 1, 1997

Although Africa has been one of the least democratic regions of the world, it has been experiencing widespread pressures for democratic change since 1990. Although pressure-from both domestic civil societies and international donors-has failed to bring about a transition to democracy in most cases, it has succeeded in many. Today, about a third of all African countries are at least electoral democracies, and virtually all regimes in sub-Saharan Africa have at least legalized opposition parties. Conventional political science theories view Africa's democratic prospects as grim because of its extreme poverty and deep ethnic divisions. This essay takes a more hopeful and "developmental" view. It argues that democratic change can occur in Africa and must if it is to develop economically. But this will inevitably involve a long-term process of political and social change and, in particular, institution building. African countries need new, more appropriate, and more effective institutions to control corruption, provide a market-oriented enabling environment for economic growth, and generate incentives for political parties to craft broad multiethnic appeals and constituencies. If institutions of governance, electoral politics, and civil society can be strengthened and innovatively designed, there is hope for democracy in Africa. But this will also require heavy international conditionality and pressure for more responsible policies and more effective institutions, as well as greater international support for those African regimes that appear serious about democracy and good governance. African societies are ready for a new democratic beginning, but they require the right institutional frameworks at home and vigorous engagement of the international community if deeply entrenched patterns of statism, corruption, repression, ethnic exclusion, and violence are to be overcome.

Clinton's Foreign Policy in Somalia, Bosnia, Haiti, and North Korea

by Thomas H. Henriksenvia Analysis
Tuesday, October 1, 1996

Half a decade has elapsed since the collapse of the Soviet Union, and nearly four years have passed since Bill Clinton became president of the United States. These two events, nearly simultaneous in occurrence, present a fitting time for an assessment of specific international policy decisions made by the White House. This juncture is particularly appropriate for an evaluation of President Clinton's handling of prominent foreign policy crises as he seeks a second term.

The Clinton administration has dealt with four high-profile problems- Somalia, Bosnia, Haiti, and North Korea-which demanded presidential attention, resulted in the deployment of U.S. military forces, and generated congressional and public controversy. All were small-scale operations when compared with U.S. involvement in major twentieth-century conflicts. Yet they are significant because the way they were handled may determine the way future large-scale emergencies are managed.

The Clinton administration displayed hesitation, vacillation, and ambivalence in addressing turmoil in Somalia, Bosnia, and Haiti, which carried international ramifications. Somalia emerges as a defining foreign policy decision for the Clinton administration. After suffering a setback in Somalia, the White House moved overcautiously and abdicated leadership in the Bosnian crisis. When Clinton intervened in Bosnia and Haiti, he first narrowed the operational scope, set rigid timetables, put undue restrictions on the missions, and finally emphasized exit strategies. The results of these American efforts, therefore, are likely to be transitory. In the case of North Korea, the White House has been correct to engage the decrepit but dangerous North Korean regime, but the administration's nuclear agreement is difficult to verify and has secured inadequate quid pro quos in return for American, Japanese, and South Korean inducements for cooperation. Most important, the Geneva Agreement set a bad international precedent in the fight against nuclear proliferation.

Whoever wins the national election and takes office as president must reassert America's moral and strategic leadership to bolster U.S. credibility in a world undergoing profound change. The next president must articulate with clarity and conviction for Congress and the public the importance of America's international responsibilities that accompany its power and influence. Among the specific recommendations for the incoming administration in 1997 are the eastward enlargement of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the construction of a missile defense system, and an increase in military spending to meet future crises, which are almost certain to be greater challenges than Somalia, Bosnia, Haiti, or North Korea.

North Korean Economic Reform and Political Stability

by Bruce Bueno de Mesquitavia Analysis
Saturday, June 1, 1996

Using a model with a strong track record of predictive accuracy, we posit the unraveling of Kim Jong-Il's hold over power in North Korea. Our analysis suggests that the North Korean military and leaders of heavy industry in North Korea are pivotal powers who control North Korea's destiny over the next few years. We infer from the evidence that Kim Jong-Il's family and the second generation of leaders are opportunists who are likely to break ranks with Kim Jong-Il to secure their own well-being. The result of their anticipated break with Kim Jong-Il is likely to be a slowing of economic reform and of economic openings to South Korea. North Korea is expected to enter a period of political instability that will render Kim Jong-Il little more than a figurehead. Barring strategic efforts by the partisans and some others with credible leverage, North Korea is unlikely to improve its economy or stabilize its government in the next two or three years.

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