After the Cold War

[ History ]

After the Cold War

Essays on the Emerging World Order

Edited by Keith Philip Lepor

Twenty world leaders assess the possibilities and perils of the new strategic, political, and economic interrelationships that are emerging around the world.

1997

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6 x 9 | 344 pp.

ISBN: 978-0-292-72340-5

The end of the Cold War between the United States and the former Soviet Union reassured people around the world who had lived in fear of a nuclear confrontation between the superpowers. Yet the early euphoria over "peace dividends" and a "new world order" was premature. Conflicts within and between nation-states are springing up around the globe, challenging world leaders and ordinary citizens to find peaceful means for national, group, and individual self-determination.

In this book of specially commissioned essays, twenty world leaders assess the possibilities and perils of the new strategic, political, and economic interrelationships that are emerging around the world. They tackle such fundamental questions as: What is the future of the international system as we approach the twenty-first century? What will be the fate of disintegrating nation-states, and how will the international community respond? Has the nation-state outlived its usefulness? Are we beginning to witness the complete breakdown of the international system?

The contributors are:

  • Ali Alatas (Indonesia)
  • Tariq Aziz (Iraq)
  • James A. Baker III (United States)
  • Benazir Bhutto (Pakistan)
  • Boutros Boutros-Ghali (United Nations)
  • Fernando Henrique Cardoso (Brazil)
  • Osama El-Baz (Egypt)
  • Eduardo Frei (Chile)
  • Alberto Fujimori (Peru)
  • Rachid Ghannouchi (eminent Islamic thinker)
  • Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev (Russian Federation)
  • Kamal Kharrazi (Iran)
  • Andrei Kozyrev (Russian Federation)
  • Leonid Kuchma (Ukraine)
  • Nelson Mandela (South Africa)
  • Nursultan Nazarbayev (Kazakhstan)
  • Olusegun Obasanjo (Nigeria)
  • Muammar El-Qadhafi (Libya)
  • Fidel Ramos (Philippines)
  • Shri P. V. Narasimha Rao (India)

  • Foreword (His Excellency Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev, Former President of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics)
  • Preface
  • Introduction (Keith Philip Lepor)
  • Part 1. The Post-Cold War Order: Conceptual Foundation
    • Toward the Twenty-first Century (His Excellency Nelson Mandela, President of South Africa)
    • The Post-Cold War Era: A View from the South (His Excellency Fernando Henrique Cardoso, President of Brazil)
  • Part 2. The International System in the Post-Cold War Order
    • The United Nations in a Post-Cold War Order (His Excellency Boutros Boutros-Ghali, Secretary-General of the United Nations)
    • Challenge and Opportunity in the Post-Cold War Era: Building an International Environment Supportive of Democracy (His Excellency Shri P. V Narasimha Rao, Prime Minister of India)
    • The Post-Cold War Era: "Facts and Prospects" (His Excellency Tariq Aziz, Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Iraq)
  • Part 3. The United States and the Commonwealth of Independent States in the Post-Cold War Order
    • Selective Engagement: Principles for American Foreign Policy in a New Era (The Honorable James A. Baker III, Former Secretary of State, United States)
    • Russia in the Multipolar World (The Honorable Andrei Kozyrev, Former Foreign Minister of the Russian Federation)
    • Kazakhstan and the Commonwealth of Independent States: Inevitable Integration in the Post-Cold War Order (His Excellency Nursultan A. Nazarbayev, President of the Republic of Kazakhstan)
    • Ukraine: Identity in the Post-Cold War Era (His Excellency Leonid Kuchma, President of Ukraine)
  • Part 4. Regional Divisions in the Post-Cold War Order
    • Iran's View of the Post-Cold War Era: Continuity and Change in the Region (His Excellency Dr. Kamal Kharrazi, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Islamic Republic of Iran; Permanent Representative to the United Nations)
    • The Age of People Power in the Pacific (His Excellency Fidel V. Ramos, President of the Philippines)
    • Peru and Latin America in the Post-Cold War World (His Excellency Alberto Fujimori, President of Peru)
    • Pakistan's Foreign Policy: Challenges and Responses in the Post-Cold War Era (Her Excellency Benazir Bhutto, Prime Minister of Pakistan)
    • The African Region in the Post-Cold War Global System (His Excellency Olusegun Obasanjo, Former President of Nigeria)
  • Part 5. The Nonaligned Movement and the View from the South
    • The Nonaligned Movement in the Post-Cold War Order: An Indonesian View (His Excellency All Alatas, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia)
    • The Third World and the Post-Cold War Order: Challenges and Contributions (The Honorable Dr. Osama El-Baz, Director for Political Affairs, Office of the President of Egypt)
  • Part 6. Ideology in the Post-Cold War Order
    • Liberty and Solidarity: Post-Cold War Challenges to Democracy (His Excellency Eduardo Frei Ruiz-Tagle, President of the Republic of Chile)
    • A Revolutionary Perspective on the New World Order (His Excellency Muammar Abu Minyar El-Qadhafi, Revolutionary Leader of the Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya)
    • Islam and the West: Concord or Inevitable Conflict (The Honorable Rachid Ghannouchi, Eminent Islamic Thinker and Leader of the Tunisian Opposition Party An-Nahdah)
  • Contributors

The dramatic images of the destruction of the Berlin Wall in November 1989 had a profound psychological effect on viewers around the world. The wall had come to symbolize the physical, philosophical, economic, and political division between East and West, and its fall now symbolized a new era. Few observers could have foreseen the upheaval across Eastern Europe that led to this collapse of communism in the German Democratic Republic, Czechoslovakia, Rumania, Bulgaria, Hungary, and Poland. Still fewer observers could imagine what this collapse would bring to Moscow some twenty-one months later: the August 1991 aborted coup and the subsequent rapid dissolution of the Soviet Empire; President Mikhail Gorbachev's resignation in December 1991 as the eighth and final leader of the Soviet Union; and Boris Yeltsin's democratic victory as president of the Russian Federation in June 1991 and his assumption of leadership of a new Russian Federation to replace the Soviet Union.

Perhaps nowhere outside the former Soviet borders did this transformation have as significant a psychological impact as among military and political strategists in the United States. Since the end of World War II, there had been two competing superpowers, and with the collapse of communism, foreign policy analysts in Washington and throughout the world have been scrambling to understand the ramifications of this collapse and to anticipate future implications. The Bush administration attempted to come to terms with what it called the New World Order, but President Bush could not seem to define that order clearly enough for the American people, nor could he make them grasp its potential effect on domestic politics. More important, he lacked domestic political and economic focus and consequently lost his bid for the presidency to Bill Clinton, who was elected to the White House in 1992 on a mandate for domestic economic revitalization. This mandate soon became a preoccupation at the expense of foreign policy, however.

Clinton believed that he had only to "jump start" the American economy and the world would take care of itself. This misguided belief would not have been so troubling had American foreign policy been passed to exceptionally competent architects and administrators, skilled at translating American domestic policy benefits into foreign ones. But the administration's diplomatic team soon displayed a lack of strategic and geopolitical vision and experience when it came to articulating that American foreign policy. This was a critical shortfall as the United States sought to negotiate the new minefields unearthed by the dramatic changes accompanying the end of the Cold War.

The post-Cold War euphoria over "a new era of opportunity" seems, in this light, particularly optimistic, for while the Cold War may be over between the United States and the Russian Federation, as the successor state to the former Soviet Union, the world in many ways has become a much more dangerous and unpredictable place. It is this fact which the following collection of essays attempts to address. The book aspires to present a highly informative look at the post-Cold War world through the eyes of twenty of its most provocative and influential leaders, men and women who have either played a significant role in or are currently shaping events during an extremely mutable period in international politics. Their contributions confront specific questions on the challenges that await the community of nations in the post-Cold War world. These essays should facilitate more informed discussions, even reassessments of American foreign policy, a policy struggling to adjust not only to dramatic geopolitical changes but also to America's own reduced economic and political resources. Perhaps ultimately these essays may help counter what appears to be growing isolationism in the United States, a movement that threatens to disengage it from the international community at a time when its involvement is crucial.

New World Definitions

The "post-Cold War world," the "New World Order," "fragmented multipolarity," the "new interventionism"—what do all of these terms mean? Although they attempt to simplify the dramatic global strategic transformation currently under way, they remain "think tank" argot that does not enhance our understanding of current international relations much less future ones.

What is happening to the international system as we approach the twenty-first century? On the one hand, with the technology and telecommunications revolution, the world is increasingly characterized by a growing cosmopolitan world culture and made more accessible by air travel. But the world is also undergoing widespread denuding of rural environments, massive migration into urban slums, growth in bitter ethnic disputes, and an intensified urgency to deal with a variety of ecological and demographic problems, all of which paradoxically create economic and political schisms between "East" and "West" certainly, but more profoundly between "North" and "South." Without the imposed superpower order, there is a risk that nations with diverse ethnic populations will continue to disintegrate into warring factions with no recognizable sovereign borders and that this disintegration will worsen, fomented by technological advances like television and facsimile machines, which lead to a more informed but disaffected underclass. Finally, the end of external support for these regimes comes amid advanced decay and a faltering governance within many states.

What will be the fate of those failing nations and how will the international community respond? Are we beginning to witness the breakdown of the international system entirely? Has the nation-state outlived its usefulness? These questions seem much more useful in helping define our evolving world order than does short-lived political jargon, and the following essays should provide valuable insights relevant to answering these questions. However, it is important to note that there are issues which transcend a purely regional importance and will affect global stability and the new notions of international security into the future: these include the environment, nonproliferation, terrorism, global finance, international crime, and narcotics. What follows is a brief global survey and conceptual framework from which each essay might be viewed.

East Asia

The success of newly industrialized countries like the Republic of Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, and Hong Kong; China's dramatic growth; and the success of the "new tigers" of Malaysia, Thailand, and Indonesia are all examples of what is commonly called the Asian economic miracle. Asia's export growth has turned the region into one of the most important economic engines of the global community. Yet Asia can by no means be considered a "Pacific Community" for a number of reasons, including intra- and extraregional political and security concerns, uncertainties resulting from democratization, intraregional economic factors, and other international undercurrents and tensions. The post-Cold War order, specifically the end of the U.S.-Soviet rivalry, has had a significant impact on the region's strategic and security concerns, particularly in that it has given rise to two new regional superpowers—China and Japan.

The fundamental economic growth and change that have occurred in China since 1979 suggests to many that China may surpass the United States as the largest world economy in the coming century. This growth cannot continue, however, until the political future of China becomes clearer. The assumption of power by Deng Xiaoping's chosen successor, Jiang Zemin, the Chinese president and general secretary of the Communist Party, seems improbable. In his place some sort of a collective leadership appears more likely. Should this transition be disorderly, internal political instability would reverse the great successes of the Chinese economy, and China would prove an immediate threat to its neighbors, particularly Vietnam and India, with whom China may resume border disputes. Despite the security a modernized and nuclear arsenal brings, China also remains particularly anxious about Japan and the Russian Federation. It has responded through increased military spending, despite the fact that China is more "secure" than it has been since 1949. It seems more likely that China sees the reduction of both U.S. and Russian influences in the region as an opportunity for its own projection, both on the Asian continent and in the South China Sea.

Japan is currently the main economic engine in East Asia. The strength of the yen has led to a migration of Japanese manufacturers throughout Asia, and as Japanese economic and business interests shift increasingly toward Asia, it is only natural that Japanese diplomacy should do the same. These diplomatic shifts, however, will increase the risk of confrontation with the interests of the West in general and the United States in particular. Japan has become an increasingly independent actor, seeking to solidify itself in both global and regional institutions. Given the potential for instability throughout the region, Japan will at least in the short-term wish to continue to benefit from U.S. security guarantees, but in time a more confident and adventurous Japan will seek a higher profile and a broader international role, with less or little reliance on U.S. security assistance. Sino-Japanese relations have improved through economic dealings between the two countries, but should the American presence in the region diminish without a significant multilateral security arrangement, it is possible that historical tensions between China and Japan could resurface, particularly if Japan attempts to use its regional economic leverage to counter any of Beijing's strategic regional moves. Japan has a massive military budget, and if the political will develops, it could conceivably convert its civilian nuclear-processing program into a formidable nuclear arsenal.

The Korean Peninsula is home not only to one of the world's most dynamic and successful economic development stories, but also to one of its most potentially deadly conflicts. A formidable military exists in the North under the new and as yet unsolidified leadership of Kim Jong II. On the Korean Peninsula, the end of the Cold War has had little effect on the arms race. Pyongyang's long-term nuclear weapons program must be looked at in the context of the question of Korean unification. Given the deterioration in U.S.-Japanese relations as well as the U.S. military reduction in South Korea, Seoul may feel it necessary to keep a nuclear option open.

Although East Asia is poised for considerable economic growth into the next century, Sino-Japanese and Korean security and stability must be vigilantly pursued by all powers involved. Other issues, however, are equally difficult, and their resolutions equally crucial if economic growth is to continue: Chinese impatience with Taiwan over Beijing's desire for unification with the mainland; threats to critically important shipping lanes like the straits of both Malacca and Singapore in the South China Sea; Russo-Japanese dispute over the Kuril Islands, seized by the Russians at the end of World War II; and potential instability in the Russian Federation, possibly affecting the resumption of Sino-Russian border disputes along the Amur and Ussuri rivers. These concerns will grow as U.S. regional economic and military, particularly maritime, power is perceived to diminish; stability and peace in Asia will be maintained not through bilateral agreements with the United States but by a balance of power regionally. There are in fact numerous territorial disputes affecting the region; the Spratley Islands in the South China Sea, for example, are currently claimed by Vietnam, China, the Philippines, Malaysia, Taiwan, and Brunei.

Interregionally, Northeast Asia—specifically the People's Republic of China, the Korean Peninsula, and Japan—is of the greatest strategic importance to the West. Since the end of the Korean War, the Chinese, Soviets, and Americans have all sought to ensure stability in the region, for any hostilities would ultimately involve them all. One multilateral arrangement, the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum (APEC), has met with some success in stabilizing the region. It encompasses numerous extraregional powers, including the United States and Canada, and seeks to promote cooperation among the region's economies through regional trade and investment liberalization by the year 2020. Likewise the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), comprised of the most dynamic countries of Southeast Asia, creates a stabilizing influence by providing a forum for nations such as Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, Brunei, and the Philippines to consider strategies for economic productivity. While Indochina has considerable economic distance to travel, it also seems well situated to join in the region's prosperity particularly as Vietnam has recently joined ASEAN.

South Asia

South Asia was the site of one of the last Cold War confrontations, namely in Afghanistan, but it faces a far more deadly conflict today: South Asia is the most dangerous nuclear flash point in the world. India, now a South Asian superpower, has even more to contend with than its internal security challenges, most notably communal rivalries among and between Hindus, Muslims, and Sikhs. India's detonation of its first nuclear weapon in 1974, while aimed at enhancing its own security vis-à-vis China, initiated an arms race in South Asia with Pakistan, which sought to develop its own nuclear deterrent in response. To the great concern and frustration of the West, India has been unwilling to sign the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT), protesting that it is "inherently discriminatory." India perceives the NPT as a mechanism that blocks the proliferation of nuclear weapons to nonnuclear nations while simultaneously providing inadequate guarantees of security. Another objection is that the NPT does not get rid of existing stockpiles in weapon states.

Pakistan is also an important NPT nonsignatory state, and considerable debate goes on within the intelligence community over Pakistan's nuclear program. Pakistan alsofaces serious internal problems from Islamic fundamentalists, which may increasingly work to destabilize Islamabad and perniciously affect its relationship with India, particularly regarding Kashmir.

Another major potential security threat to India exists in the form of the People's Republic of China. While New Delhi and Beijing have pursued closer relations in recent years, sidestepping their territorial disputes along the Himalayan border and deciding to expand relations, India will not forget the 1962 border war with China nor can she ignore China's current military strength. Presently, efforts by the West to pressure India into conformity over issues such as nuclear nonproliferation and human rights have made it more attractive for New Delhi to nurture its relationship with Beijing. However, their volatile strategic rivalry will ultimately resume.

Despite China's improved relationship with New Delhi, it cultivates good relations with Pakistan, a strategic maneuver clearly indicating that it considers Islamabad a significant tool for Chinese foreign policy in South Asia. The Indians have little tofear unless Pakistan is able to work together militarily with the Chinese. An undertaking of this nature would leave India with a confrontation on twofronts. Consequently, India maintained close relations with the Soviet Union as a balance to Chinese ambitions, but with the dissolution of the Soviet Union India now seeks stability through an evolving relationship with both China and the United States.

Middle East

The Middle East is not only a region steeped in intractable conflict, Islamic fundamentalism, and dominant oil resources, but it is also a geographic region rich in history and culture. Its diverse collection of states, spanning two continents, confront a variety of challenges in the postCold War world.

Since its founding in 1948, Israel has been seen by the Arab world as one of the principal threats to regional order. To the contrary, however, Israel appears to have helped "unify" Arabs—that is, until the late President Anwar Sadat made his historic trip to Israel in 1977. Following that trip came a peace treaty between Israel and Egypt. After many lost opportunities a new era in dialogue commenced with the October 1991 Madrid Conference. This was eventually followed by the August 1993 Oslo accord and consequent PLO-Israeli accord in September 1993. The dialogue between the Israeli government and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) under Chairman Yasser Arafat led to an interim agreement over Gaza and Jericho. Jordan then followed Egypt's example in July 1994 with its own peace treaty.

Considerable work remains in stabilizing the region, however, not only in helping Palestinians realize their national aspirations diplomatically but in resolving legitimate Israeli security issues. These efforts must all be pursued rapidly but warily, as the fundamentalist Hammas threatens to undermine the PLO's hold over the territories. Syria also remains a serious threat to regional stability, but without the backing of his former Soviet patron, President Hafez al-Assad is unlikely to attempt direct military confrontation unless he can achieve strategic parity with Israel. The status of the Golan Heights is the key to the resolution of this conflict, and the security concerns for Israel here are immense. As such, lasting peace will be impossible without international guarantees and involvement.

Countries throughout the region face a host of problems both economic and political. Some of these are external as the West, for instance, attempts to isolate Libya in view of accusations against Colonel Muammar El-Qadhafi for supporting international terrorism. One must admit a certain inconsistency here, however, considering the West's continued courtship of other "terrorist nations." Syria's terrorist status, for example, was suspended in exchange for its support during the Gulf War against Iraq in 1990. In return, Lebanese sovereignty was sacrificed.

With the collapse of communism and the former Soviet Union, the West has identified what it views as a new sinister threat emanating from the Muslim world in the form of Islamic fundamentalism. This threat affects such countries as Egypt, and while authorities there have serious problems with Islamic insurgents and the Muslim Brotherhood, this confrontation is far less serious than the civil war currently tearing away at Algeria. The cancellation of Algeria's first democratic elections in January 1992 led to the current crisis with the Islamic Salvation Front. Should Algeria not succeed in coming to terms with this challenge, the military-backed regime will be replaced by an Islamic government that may adversely affect the stability of Algeria's neighbors, notably Tunisia and Morocco.

In yet another region of the Middle East vital to western strategic interests, Iran and Iraq actively antagonize the West while pursuing their own antithetical ambitions. Nuclear nonproliferation issues are particularly worrisome here, for without superpower rivalry, it is more difficult to keep these states in check. Now that Iraq is under United Nations sanctions in the aftermath of the 1991 Gulf War, Iran has emerged as the main threat to future western interests in the Persian Gulf.

The eight states bordering the Persian Gulf possess much of the world's largest oil reserves and are the greatest source of world oil exports: Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Oman. Since 1981, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, UAE, and Oman have formally come together in a security and economic group known as the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), but the GCC offers little hope of regional policing and enforcement without extraregional cooperation and support.

The instability in the Gulf region has it roots in the historical rivalry between Persians and Arabs on opposite sides of the Gulf. There are many border and territorial disputes throughout the region: the islands of Warbah and Bubiyan are the subject of a dispute between Iraq and Kuwait; Bahrain and Qatar argue over the Huwar Islands; Iran has territorial claims on the island of Bahrain and currently occupies three islands in the Strait of Hormuz—Abu Musa and the Greater and Lesser Tumbs—sovereignty over which is claimed by two of the emirates in the UAE, Ras al Khaimah and Sharjah. The strategic value of the islands is defined by the flow of Arab crude oil to the West and Asia, which dramatically enhances this region's importance.

There are also internal threats to the stability of Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, two of the most important countries on the Arabian Peninsula. Both are dominated by regimes ruled by single powerful families—the al-Sa'ud and the al-Sabah families, respectively. The time is rapidly approaching when these ruling elites will not be able to buy the political allegiance of their own people, particularly as financial resources are reduced. Contrary to a belief that prevailed for a time in the 1970s, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is not able to exercise a decisive influence over the world market price of petroleum. Conflict may also result within the Saudi ruling family as the line for monarchical succession begins to blur. Finally, an increasingly frustrated and educated middle class threatens to rebel against what it perceives to be a corrupt and illegitimate leadership. These factors in conjunction with rising Islamic fundamentalism throughout the region do not augur well for Arab countries that are not truly democratic and are unable appreciably to enhance the standard of living of their own peoples.

Europe

As both a beneficiary and a victim of the Cold War's end, Europe has been forced, more than any other region in the world, to confront the conundrums concerning post-Cold War relationships. Ironically, the very events that seemed to usher in a new period of security—the collapse of East-bloc communism, the reunification of Germany, and the withdrawal of Soviet/ Russian troops and tactical nuclear weapons from Central Europe—have instead led to a resurgence in ethnic conflicts and nationalism and to doubts about the legitimacy of the "nation-state" itself. All of this in turn complicates European economic interdependence, political integrity, and security.

The December 1991 Maastricht treaty on European union, signed by the twelve-nation European Community, was to be part of the natural progression of both the 1958 creation of the Common Market and the 1987 Single European Act, which formed an integrated customs union. When the single market subsequently opened in January 1993, it coincided with the worst recession in sixty years. As regards economic and monetary union, the realization of a single European currency encountered an immediate obstacle in the form of Germany's high interest rates. At the same time, the common foreign and security policy, also put into effect by Maastricht, was quickly exposed as unworkable: the Yugoslav civil war demonstrated Europe's inability to act in unison when dealing with a crisis on its own doorstep. Other security crises still hover over Europe. Algeria and Islamic fundamentalism in the south threaten to disrupt North Africa and could lead to a massive refugee exodus affecting France, Spain, and Italy. Russian instability could likewise result in a mass migration of refugees. The collapse of the Soviet Union, the spread of democracy, and the resultant paradoxical disorder, even chaos, in Eastern Europe have prompted some former Warsaw Pact states (Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic, for example) to request membership not only in the European Union but also in NATO in order to attain a cheap security guarantee of their eastern frontiers against a possible Russian attack.

But even NATO's survival seems questionable, as perhaps the Bosnian crisis suggests. Although it has made halfhearted attempts to evolve into an organization as useful at present and in the future as it was in the past, its success has been marginal. The success of undertakings like the United Nations peacekeeping missions and involvement in the prevention of regional, often ethnic conflicts in conjunction with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (another multilateral security organization) will depend not only on the strength of its core members' political will. A new realism is required, given the absence of any major ideological obstacles to introducing peacekeeping troops, and a proper assessment of the situation is also required to see what role these troops can play.

Commonwealth of Independent States

The Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), a group of sovereign nations previously belonging to the Soviet Union, consists of Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Ukraine. The Russian Federation, under the leadership of President Boris Yeltsin, is the dominant member of the CIS and successor state to the former Soviet Union. The relationship of the Russian Federation to the other CIS states is one of "first amongst equals," and one in which Moscow seeks to consolidate its own power and foreign policy goals through both subtle threats of force (and not so subtle, as in Chechnya) and through economic pressure.

The most formidable threat to the Russian Federation is the precarious state of the economy. After decades of state domination and the consequent mismanagement, corruption, and waste, Russian industry is in desperate shape. While Prime Minister Victor Chernomyrdin's economic reform policies have had a degree of success, supported by accompanying political changes, the economy still requires that some key issues be tackled, such as privatization, agricultural reform, and the breakup of the industrial empires that are the residue of the military industrial complex. These tasks will require further sacrifices from a population impatient with the speed and benefits of economic reform.

The Russian Federation also confronts a number of security concerns, either real or imagined. These include threats by minority groups within the Russian Federation (as in Chechnya) and its southern neighbors. Central Asia is of great concern, as civil strife could erupt in areas where either regional and ethnic splits exist or where there are power struggles between the old and new "elites." These ethnic conflicts range from antagonisms surrounding Islamic fundamentalism in Tajikistan to clashes between the local nation and the Russian minority in Moldova to a combination of political, communal (among Abkhazians), and geographic separatism in Georgia. Russia has deployed its forces to "reestablish order." Yet another concern for Russia is the civil war between Armenia and Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh. Finally, the federation worries about the prospects of an expanding NATO alliance, which may extend membership to Moscow's former Warsaw Pact allies. This development could certainly rekindle historic Russian insecurities about encirclement by hostile nations.

Russian reaction to these perceived threats—its invasion of Chechnya, for instance—has considerably increased the concern that democracy and economic reform may be derailed. Now there is growing concern over right-wingers like Vladimir Zhirinovsky, whose proposed aggressive policies of expansion and domination are reminiscent of the past. Yeltsin's inability or unwillingness to take the necessary and difficult measures required to deepen market reforms in the Russian economy increase the risk of the rise of the right and of military intervention in government.

In recent years, the United States and other advanced western nations have attempted to include the Russian Federation in their economic and military dealings: President Yeltsin was asked to participate in the last G-7 summit of leading industrial nations and Russia was invited to join NATO's Partnership for Peace. The West hoped in this way to have a favorable influence on Moscow's behavior. Russia has taken advantage of this dialogue, as well as Europe's possible interest in expanding NATO, by seeking the approval of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) to police the unstable region south of the Russian Federation. Russia would like the OSCE to become the principal institution for conflict resolution in Europe. The CIS would then become an agent of the OSCE, and as such would give the federation the right to intervene through the CIS in its sphere of influence anywhere within the former Soviet borders. Russia's neighbors interpret these maneuvers as a reiteration of the old Soviet expansionist foreign policy.

Africa

Africa is undoubtedly the world's most troubled continent, racked not only with AIDS, tremendous poverty, corruption, and political unrest but also by ethnic and tribal conflict. The superpower rivalry that formerly imposed a type of organized chaos on Africa defined the continent's strategic importance mostly in ideological terms. With the dissolution of this faceoff, however, Africa seems to have lost much of its strategic appeal. South African mineral reserves, Namibian uranium deposits, and Angolan and Libyan oil still dominate western involvement with the continent, but the end of the Cold War has brought with it an overall disjunctive strategic view of Africa. Only concerns about Islamic fundamentalism and mass migration to Europe seem tofocus it.

While Africa's problems seem monumental, the most overwhelming challenge is economic development, and here Africa faces a classic paradox. In order to develop economically, Africa needs political stability, but to achieve stability, it needs economic development to enhance the general welfare of its people. Political freedom, in and of itself, does little to benefit economic development if the past serves as an indicator. The chaos usually following political reform only discourages foreign direct investment and hurts the rural poor. The Organization of African Unity (OAU), the continent's primary political gathering, may in time be able to deploy its own peacekeeping force to thwart such chaos—resulting mostly from tribal conflict—but currently the OAU is incapable of achieving this objective, and the disorder and economic impediments continue.

South Africa, one possible exception to this apparent rule, is the continent's most promising long-term hope for economic growth. Nelson Mandela's government could possibly energize not only the South African economy but those of the entire southern Africa region. Perhaps it will also prove that tribal differences can be set aside for general economic and political welfare. In any event, South Africa's importance for regional stability cannot be overstated.

Latin America

Latin America confronts two major issues: the need for political and economic liberalization and the need to improve social justice, which in part depends on maintaining government services. There is a degree of tension between these two objectives. Regionally, there are three economic organizations aimed at further developing Latin America. The first is NAFTA, which now affects only Mexico, although Chile has been invited to join. The second is the Mercosur free-trade area, which has been made possible by the political stability in the southern sphere of Latin America. This group will bring together Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, and Paraguay into a customs union with a common external tariff. The third organization is a regional one reactivated in the 1990s and called the Andean Pact. It is comprised of Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, and Venezuela. At the Summit of the Americas in December 1994, the hemispheric leaders agreed to set up a Free Trade Area of the Americas by 2005, which would include all of these organizations and the countries of Central America and the Caribbean.

Not long ago a survey of Latin America would have included numerous military dictatorships. Today, democracy appears, at least for the present, to be taking hold in Latin America. The real test of democracy will come, however, when and if the region's economies do not grow at the speed required to meet the increasing expectations of their populations. As with other developing regions of the world, it is of critical importance that all countries pursue responsible and sustainable economic development.

There are also security concerns throughout the region. Guerilla insurgencies exist not only in Peru but also in Colombia, Guatemala, Ecuador, Bolivia, and even in our NAFTA partner, Mexico. Drugs and their associated corruption have had a pernicious effect on countries from Colombia and Bolivia to Panama and Mexico and threaten security as well. The potential for conflict exists not only between Chile and Argentina over the Beagle Channel, but elsewhere in Latin America too as nationalism, dormant but not dead, rears its head at the borders of countries like Peru and Ecuador. Cuba remains the only communist government in Latin America but poses no threat to the hemisphere. Cuba does, however, have tremendous potential as an economic miracle once the United States lifts its economic embargo and the Cuban government further liberalizes the country's economy. The principal defensive pact in the region is the Organization of American States (OAS).

As we prepare to enter the twenty-first century, ideological conflict no longer provides a frame of reference for either viewing or understanding East-West and North-South relations. New paradigms must be created in which members of the international community will have to come to terms not only with the new geopolitical reality but with the increasingly dangerous and serious challenges ahead. Furthermore, although the schism between North and South will continue to grow in the future, the identity of the Third World today, given the new emerging industrial countries, is far different from that of twenty years ago; as such, the simplistic rhetoric of the past will be inappropriate in understanding or anticipating the future.

 

Edited by Keith Philip Lepor

Keith Philip Lepor, of Boston, Massachusetts, is a global business and public policy advisor and consultant to international companies. He holds an M.Litt. in International Relations (Comparative East Asian Economic Development Strategies) from St. Antony’s College, Oxford University, and an M.A. in Middle Eastern Studies from the American University in Cairo.

"In an ambitious attempt to characterize andunderstand the unprecedented changes in the post-Cold War global order, the editor has amazingly collected the perspectives of 20 notable (and busy) world leaders and diplomats. Contributors range from Mikhail Gorbachev (once president of the USSR) and former US Secretary of State James Baker to various Third World heads of state, including Fernando Cardoso (Brazil), Alberto Fujimori (Peru), and Muammar El-Qadhafi (Libya). . . . The selections transcend speechifying and mirror diverse cultural, national, and ideological worldviews."

Choice

". . . a number of present or former world leaders, predominantly from the global south, write on the state of the world, where it is heading, and the roles of their countries. Although Lepor regrets the refusal of representatives of the industrailized states to participate, the lacuna is not debilitating: their views are readily available and widely known. This collection's value lies precisely in the unmediated presentation of perspectives from representatives of the global south."

Middle East Insight

"This look at how many of the world's leaders view the developing 'world order' in the aftermath of the Cold War is both fascinating and disturbing. Those who believe that the 21st century may prove to be as unstable as the century we are about to leave will find much to support their pessimism. But they will find, as well, reason to hope that the wisest among us may be able to find a common path toward a more stable and productive future. One reality jumps from almost every page: without the active engagement of the United States in the decades ahead chaos is assured."

—Lawrence S. Eagleburger

"Mr. Lepor is to be warmly congratulated on his initiative in persuading so many of the world's leading statesmen and politicians to send him concise statements of their view. They provide a unique guide to the major themes facing the international community in the 21st century. The range is enormous: think of Gorbachev and Baker, Mandela and Cardoso, Qadhafi and Tariq Aziz, all in the same volume. This is an invaluable resource for those studying the shape of the world to come."

—Roger Owen, A. J. Meyer Professor of Middle East History and Director, Center for Middle Eastern Studies, Harvard University

"A remarkable compendium of the Weltanschaung of twenty present and recent world leaders on the diverse issues confronting us at the turn of the century. Rarely has such a comparative exposition appeared in a single volume. The compiler has made a significant contribution to international studies."

—Hermann Frederick Eilts, Former U.S. Ambassador to Egypt and Saudi Arabia