T h e

K a s h m i r

T  e  l  e  g  r  a  p  h

Third Edition

A Kashmir Bachao Andolan Publication

July 2002


Spotlight    Romeet Watt

Top of Page        B Raman

Special Report Hamid Bashani

Fundamentals Subash Kapila

Economy            B N Kaul

InsideTrack          R Upadhyay

Himalayan Blunder              Romeet Watt

In Black & White B Raman

Statecraft             Romeet Watt

Bottomline           R Upadhyay


May Edition

June Edition


A b o u t  U s

F e e d b a c k

D i s c l a i m er

C o p y r i g h t s




Donald Rumsfeld & Richard Armitage:  A Backgrounder

B Raman

DONALD RUMSFELD- His Past, Present and Future

In the foreign policy and national security fields, Mr.Donald Rumsfeld, the Defence Secretary of President George Bush (Jr), will be one of the four heavy weights of the Bush Administration, the other three being Mr.Dick Cheney, the Vice-President, Gen. Colin Powell, the Secretary of State, and Ms.Condoleezza Rice, the National Security Adviser.

While the other three, over the years while out of office, have expressed themselves on a variety of foreign and national security policy-related issues, the publicly-expressed views of Mr.Rumsfeld largely relate to defence-related matters and he has rarely spoken on issues of direct interest to India, such as his perceptions of US relations with India,Pakistan and China etc. Therefore, from the Indian point of view, it is difficult to have a comprehensive and insightful profile of him.

Mr. Donald Rumsfeld was born in 1932 in Chicago, Illinois, and studied in the Princeton University on scholarship and served in the U.S. Navy's air wing from 1954 to 57. Married his wife Joyce in 1954.

In 1962, when he was just 30, he was elected to his first of four terms in the U.S. Congress. In 1969, he resigned from Congress to join as the Director of the Office of Economic Opportunity and Assistant to President Nixon. He then became the Director of the Economic Stabilization Program and was re-designated as Counselor to the President. In January 1973, he was posted as the U.S. Ambassador to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in Brussels.

In August 1974, Mr. Rumsfeld was re-called to Washington, D.C., to serve as the Chairman of the transition team of President Gerald R. Ford. He then took over as the White House Chief of Staff and, shortly thereafter, was named by Mr.Ford as his Defence Secretary in 1975, the youngest in US history. He continued in that post till Mr.Ford's exit in January,1977.

After lecturing for five months at the Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of International Affairs and at Northwestern University's Kellogg Graduate School of Management, in June 1977, he joined as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of G. D. Searle & Co., a well-known pharmaceutical company with global interests, where he served until 1985. He was named the Outstanding CEO in the US Pharmaceutical Industry in 1980 and 1981.

After leaving the company in 1985,he was in private business till 1990. From 1990 to 1993, Mr. Rumsfeld served as the Chairman and the CEO of the General Instrument Corporation, specialising in broadband and digital high-definition television technology.

During his years in business, he simultaneously served as President Reagan's Special Envoy for the Middle East and as a Member of the President's General Advisory Committee on Arms Control, and of the National Economic Commission.

Before his appointment as the Defence Secretary by Mr.Bush, Mr. Rumsfeld was the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Gilead Sciences, Inc,a member of the boards of directors of ABB (Asea Brown Boveri) Ltd. (Zurich, Switzerland), Amylin Pharmaceuticals, and the Tribune Company and Chairman of the Salomon Smith Barney International Advisory Board and an advisor to a number of companies, including Investor AB of Sweden.

He was also associated with the Chicago Historical Society, the Eisenhower Exchange Fellowships, the Hoover Institution at the Stanford University, the Rand Corporation and the National Park Foundation and was also a member of the U.S.-Russia Business Forum.

However, it was as the Chairman of the Congressionally-appointed nine-member bipartisan Commission that concluded in 1998 that U.S. intelligence had underestimated missile threats to the United States, particularly from the so-called rogue States such as North Korea, Iran and Iraq, that he became well-known outside the US, particularly in Asia.

An unclassified summary of the Commission's report, made public on July 15, 1998, questioned a 1995 CIA national intelligence estimate that predicted no nation outside of declared nuclear powers would be capable of hitting the contiguous 48 U.S. states and Canada before 2011.

Instead, the Rumsfeld Commission unanimously found that countries such as Iran, North Korea and, eventually, Iraq, could field ballistic missiles with ''little or no warning.''

The CIA at first stood by its 1995 conclusions. In a July 15, 1998, letter to Congress, CIA Director George Tenet said the intelligence community's predictions were "supported by the available evidence and were well tested'' in an internal review. Since then, the CIA has said it agrees that a missile threat could emerge sooner than it originally had predicted.

Mr.Rumsfeld said his Commission had reached a different conclusion because Mr.Tenet had granted it unrestricted access to a range of classified material that was unavailable in its entirety for security reasons to all but the most senior analysts.

The Rumsfeld report also called into question the ability of U.S. intelligence agencies to detect emerging threats, saying this was 'eroding'. It said: "Deception and denial efforts are intense and often successful, and U.S. collection and analysis assets are limited. Together they create a high risk of continued surprise.''

After the release of the Commission's findings, President Clinton, in response to long-standing Republican pressure, had to set in motion the plan for a National Missile and Theatre Missile Defence.

The need to expedite the implementation of this plan despite misgivings and concerns in Russia and China was an important plank of Mr.Bush's manifesto and his naming of Mr.Rumsfeld as the Defence Secretary did not, therefore, come as a surprise.

While nominating him, Mr.Bush said: "We've got a great opportunity in America to redefine how wars are fought and won, and therefore how the peace is kept.''

While accepting the nomination, Mr.Rumsfeld said that the US must prepare itself to cope with new threats, including "information warfare'' or computer-generated attacks on vital systems, defense of space assets such as satellites and the spread of weapons of mass destruction throughout the world.

While Mr.Rumsfeld's chairmanship of the Congressional Commission on missile threats was well known outside the US, equally well-known was not the fact that he also headed another Congressionally nominated commission to study the use of space for national security purposes, including employing space assets to support military operations and protecting U.S. satellites from possible attack.

Addressing the Center for Security Policy, Washington, on October 7, 1998, on the Commission's report, Mr.Rumsfeld stated as follows:

"It is increasingly clear that anti-proliferation efforts, coupled with the inevitable imposition of still more sanctions--which already cover a large majority of the people on earth--are not stopping other nations from acquiring increasingly sophisticated weapons of mass destruction and missile technologies. There are two schools of thought as to how to deal with this obvious failure: One is to try still harder and impose still more sanctions. The second approach is to seriously work to prevent the availability of the most important technologies, try to delay the availability of the next tier of information, but to recognize that we live in a world where those who don't wish us well will inevitably gain sophisticated weapons, and that, therefore, the answer is to invest as necessary in the offensive and defense capabilities and the intelligence assets that will enable us to live with these increasingly dangerous threats. "

In media interviews before and after the Republican Party's convention in August last, Mr.Rumsfeld also stated as follows:

"The thing that struck me about the missile-defense issue as it is being considered in the United States, in Russia, in China, in Western Europe is this: If you think about it, Russia and the People's Republic of China, along with North Korea, are the principal proliferators of missile technology and weapons of mass destruction.

"The Russians, for example, have helped North Korea. They are currently providing assistance to China. They are providing assistance to Iran. They have, over a sustained period, provided assistance to India. They have helped Iraq over time. They are active in spreading these technologies around the world.

"So too, with China. China has helped Iran, Pakistan, North Korea. The ironic thing is that here you have two countries that are actively creating a more dangerous world through the proliferation of these technologies, complaining and protesting that the United States has decided that it thinks that it is in our best interest to provide a capability to defend against those various technologies. Their argument is that it is destabilizing.

"What is destabilizing is proliferation. They are the ones who are taking an act that is causing an instability to be injected into the world equation. Only leaders that are deluding themselves can fail to see what's happening. And it is just beyond comprehension why someone doesn't just call them on it. For them to be arguing that the United States should not take steps to defend itself against ballistic missiles from states that they have been providing assistance to, because it's destabilizing, is on its face inconsistent.

"One thing that is new in the world equation is that the Soviet Union does not exist. And therefore the threat of a Soviet attack across Germany or the threat of a nuclear exchange with the Soviet Union has diminished substantially.

"What has come up — a relatively new phenomenon — is the fact that, given the number of years since nuclear weapons have existed, and given the end of the Cold War and the relaxed mood around the world, proliferation has become pervasive. With the result being, if a country wants those capabilities, they can, in fact, over a period of time, get them.

"Not a lot of them, and not highly accurate, and not particularly safe. But they can get weapons that can threaten and impose great damage on their neighbors and other countries. Now that's a fact. What ought to be done about it? Well, at the moment, the nations that have those are nations that have essentially been cooperating with Russia and China because Russia and China have been providing them assistance. They are nations that in many instances are not friendly to the United States or Western Europe or to the United States's friends and allies in Northeast Asia.

"So, the question is, who are they more likely to threaten? Obviously, not China or Russia at the present time. So, it's not surprising that Mr. Putin apparently conceded in his communiqué that there is in fact a growing threat from such countries in the world. But the reality is that that threat is essentially not against Russia or China at the present time, but much more likely against the United States and our friends and allies around the world.

"The truth, however, is that when proliferation starts, it tends to not stop. That is to say, if Russia helps Iran, Iran does not necessarily have to take an oath that they'll never take those same technologies and give them to anybody else. And over time Iran could decide to give those technologies to someone who could in fact threaten Russia. So Russia is playing a very dangerous game by continuing this pattern of proliferation.

"The issue of sharing of technologies is a complex one. It could be done in a variety of ways. At one extreme, someone could argue that you could have a world system that would immediately shoot down any missile that had not been previously announced and understood to be for peaceful purposes. And it could be independently operated. There have been people who've proposed that. You could have a theater system that the United States could help to use to protect a friend or an ally or a location where we have deployed troops. So that is a sharing of the capability, as we are discussing with Israel.

"You could have, for example, a system where the United States might have a shared warning system, a detection system, as opposed to a shoot-down system. So there are pieces that could be shared. There are technologies that could be shared.

"It's an enormously complex subject, and there are things that we would not want to share. And there are things that we would not want jointly operated. But there are other things that we could conceivably share or that could be jointly operated."

Richard Armitage: His Past, Present and Future

Born in 1945, Mr. Richard Lee Armitage, who has been nominated by President George Bush as Deputy Secretary of State under Gen.Colin Powell, graduated in 1967 from the U.S. Naval Academy and was commissioned as an Ensign. He served on a destroyer stationed on the Vietnam coastline and subsequently did three combat tours with the riverine/advisory forces in Vietnam. He became fluent in Vietnamese.

Mr. Armitage left active duty in 1973 and joined the U.S. Defense Attache's Office in Saigon. Before the fall of Saigon, he organized the evacuation of Vietnamese naval assets and personnel, who had collaborated with the US, from the country.

In May 1975 Mr. Armitage joined the Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) in Washington as a consultant and was posted in Tehran, Iran, until November 1976, when he resigned from the Government service and joined the private sector.

It is generally believed that Mr.Armitage actually served in the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) till 1978 and from 1976, after a cover resignation from the CIA, worked for some private companies of the CIA, which were being used by it for covert actions in Indo-China. His critics had alleged in the past that he was the author of the idea of using heroin to weaken the fighting capability of the communists in Indo-China and then in Afghanistan though the late Le Comte de Marenches, the head of the French External Intelligence Agency under Presidents George Pompidou and Giscard d'Estaing, had claimed that it was he who had given this idea to the Americans with specific reference to Afghanistan.

In 1978, he joined the staff of Senator Robert Dole of Kansas as Administrative Assistant. During the 1980 presidential campaign of President Ronald Reagan, Mr. Armitage served as senior advisor to Mr.Reagan's Interim Foreign Policy Advisory Board. After becoming the President in January,1981, Mr.Reagan appointed him as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for East Asia and Pacific Affairs. In June 1983, he was elevated as Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs, in which post he continued till May,1989.

In that capacity, he was responsible for developing politico-military relationships and initiatives throughout the world, the U.S. Pacific security policy, including the U.S.-Japan and the U.S.-China security relationships, all DoD Security Assistance programs, and oversight of policies relating to the law of the sea, U.S. special operations forces, and counter-terrorism. He also played a leading role in Middle East Security policies.

Between 1989 and 1992, Mr. Armitage served as Presidential Special Negotiator for the Philippines Military Bases Agreement and as Special Mediator for Water in the Middle East. President Bush (Sr) also sent him as a Special Emissary to Jordan's King Hussein during the 1991 Gulf War.

From March 1992 until his departure from public service in May 1993, Mr. Armitage (with the personal rank of Ambassador) directed U.S. Assistance to the new independent states (NIS) of the former Soviet Union.

In May 1993, he floated an organisation called the Armitage Associates L.C., with himself as its President, to provide consultancy services to Government Departments and business companies on a wide range of subjects relating to international relations and security.

Amongst other positions held by him since leaving public service in 1993 were as a member of the Board of Directors of the General Dynamics Electric Systems, Inc.; a member of the Board of Visitors of the United States Naval Academy; holder of the Brig.Gen. H. L. Oppenheimer Chair of Warfighting Strategy at the Marine Corps University; a member of the National Defense Panel; a member of the Board of Directors of the Roy F. Weston, Inc., and of the U.S.-Azerbaijan Chamber of Commerce; Chairman of the Board of Visitors of the National Defense University, a member of the Secretary Navy Committee on Women in the Navy and Marine Corps; a member of the Board of Visitors of the Naval War College and of the Advisory Board of the ManTech International Corporation; and Chairman of the Honor Review Committee for the United States Naval Academy.

He is reputed to be one of the highly decorated officers of the US public service. He has received numerous military decorations from the Governments of Thailand, Republic of Korea, Bahrain, and Pakistan. He has been awarded the Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service four times, the Presidential Citizens' Medal, presented by the President to citizens who have performed exemplary deeds of service, and the Department of State Distinguished Honor Award.

National Interests

In July 2000,a Commission on America's National Interests, established by a group of Americans with the help of well-known US think-tanks such as Harvard's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, the Nixon Center, the RAND and the Hauser Foundation released a report identifying the US national interests that should receive the attention of the new US Administration coming to office in January, 2001.

The Commission was jointly chaired by Mr.Robert Ellsworth of the Hamilton Technology Ventures, L.P., Mr.Andrew Goodpaster of the Eisenhower World Affairs Institute and Ms.Rita Hauser of the Hauser Foundation and included, amongst its members, Mr.Armitage, Ms.Condoleezza Rice, Mr.Bush's National Security Adviser, and Mr.Brent Scowcroft, National Security Adviser under Mr.George Bush (Sr), whom Ms.Rice once described as amongst her mentors. Though this Commission was not set up by the Republican Party, considering the active role played in it by these three prominent personalities as well as many others close to the Republican Party, its report needs close study by our policy-makers and analysts.

The Commission identified only five vital US national interests today. These are:

* "To prevent, deter, and reduce the threat of nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons attacks on the United States or its military forces abroad;

* "To ensure US allies' survival and their active cooperation with the US in shaping an international system in which we can thrive;

* "To prevent the emergence of hostile major powers or failed states on US borders;

* "To ensure the viability and stability of major global systems (trade, financial markets, supplies of energy, and the environment); and

* "To establish productive relations, consistent with American national interests, with nations that could become strategic adversaries, China and Russia. "

The Commission also identified the following six cardinal challenges for the next US president:

* strengthen strategic partnerships with Japan and the European allies despite the absence of an overwhelming, immediate threat;

* facilitate China's entry onto the world stage without disruption;

* prevent loss of control of nuclear weapons and nuclear weapons-usable materials, and contain the proliferation of biological and chemical weapons;

* prevent Russia's reversion to authoritarianism or disintegration into chaos;

* maintain the United States' singular leadership, military, and intelligence capabilities, and its international credibility; and

* marshal unprecedented economic, technological, military, and political advantages to shape a twenty-first century global system that promotes freedom, peace, and prosperity for Americans, our allies, and the world.

The Commission also identified certain other national interests, with a lower grading. These are:

Extremely Important (conditions that, if compromised, would severely prejudice but not strictly imperil the ability of the US Government to safeguard and enhance the well-being of Americans in a free and secure nation):

* Prevent, deter, and reduce the threat of the use of nuclear, biological, or chemical weapons anywhere;

* Prevent the regional proliferation of WMD and delivery systems;

* Promote the acceptance of international rules of law and mechanisms for resolving or managing disputes peacefully;

* Prevent the emergence of a regional hegemon in important regions, especially the Persian Gulf;

* Promote the well-being of US allies and friends and protect them from external aggression;

* Promote democracy, prosperity, and stability in the Western Hemisphere;

* Prevent, manage, and, if possible at reasonable cost, end major conflicts in important geographic regions;

* Maintain a lead in key military-related and other strategic technologies, particularly information systems;

* Prevent massive, uncontrolled immigration across US borders;

* Suppress terrorism (especially state-sponsored terrorism), transnational crime, and drug trafficking; and

* Prevent genocide.

Important (conditions that, if compromised, would have major negative consequences for the ability of the US Government to safeguard and enhance the well-being of Americans in a free and secure nation)

* Discourage massive human rights violations in foreign countries;

* Promote pluralism, freedom, and democracy in strategically important states as much as is feasible without destabilization;

* Prevent and, if possible at low cost, end conflicts in strategically less significant geographic regions;

* Protect the lives and well-being of American citizens who are targeted or taken hostage by terrorist organizations;

* Reduce the economic gap between rich and poor nations;

* Prevent the nationalization of US-owned assets abroad;

* Boost the domestic output of key strategic industries and sectors;

* Maintain an edge in the international distribution of information to ensure that American values continue to positively influence the cultures of foreign nations;

* Promote international environmental policies consistent with long-term ecological requirements; and

* Maximize US GNP growth from international trade and investment.

Less important or secondary national interests (are not unimportant. They are important and desirable conditions, but ones that have little direct impact on the ability of the US Government to safeguard and enhance the well-being of Americans in a free and secure nation)

* Balancing bilateral trade deficits;

* Enlarging democracy everywhere for its own sake;

* Preserving the territorial integrity or particular political constitution of other states everywhere; and

* Enhancing exports of specific economic sectors.

The Commission then identified twelve regions and issues that will present challenges and opportunities to the leaders of the US Government who take office in January 2001. These are:


* China, Japan, and East Asia

* Russia

* Europe and NATO

* The Middle East

* The Western Hemisphere

Functional Issues

* Nuclear Futures--US and Worldwide

* The Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction

* Terrorism, Transnational Crime, and Drugs

* International Trade and Investment

* Cyberspace and Information Technology

* The Global Environment

With specific reference to CHINA, JAPAN, AND EAST ASIA, the report identified the following interests:


* That the US establish productive relations with China, America's major potential strategic adversary in East Asia.

* That South Korea and Japan survive as free and independent states, and cooperate actively with the US to resolve important global and regional problems.

Extremely Important

* That peace be maintained in the Taiwan Strait and on the Korean Peninsula.

* That China and Japan achieve lasting reconciliation under terms that benefit America.


* That the East Asian countries, including China, continue on the path toward democracy and free markets.

* That East Asian markets grow more open to US goods, services, and investment.

* That a peaceful solution is reached to secondary territorial disputes such as those in the South China Sea or Senkaku Islands.


The report said on China:

* China's rise to power, though indisputable, is happening at a manageable pace.

* Despite severe fiscal constraints, Beijing continues to modernize the People's Liberation Army, which is large but severely constrained by outdated technology. China has recently acquired advanced fighter planes, warships, and anti-ship missiles from Russia. In addition, the People's Republic of China (PRC) is testing a new generation of solid-fueled, road-mobile intercontinental ballistic missiles--though there is no evidence that Beijing is moving away from its traditional nuclear doctrine of minimal deterrence. Most disturbingly, China is boosting its deployment of short-range ballistic missiles opposite Taiwan. Thus, while China is by no measure emerging as a new Soviet-scale threat, it is gaining a greater ability to challenge America and its allies in areas close to China's shores.

* As the region's largest power, China is the key to present and future stability. The United States has the opportunity to maintain a policy of vigorous engagement with the PRC that includes regular contact between top leaders and serious dialogue about key strategic issues, including Taiwan, Korea, stability in South and Central Asia, and non-proliferation. Rather than try to build a strategic partnership, which implies an intimacy and common purpose that does not yet exist, Washington and Beijing should concentrate on the more modest goals of managing differences while making the most of the points of converging interest and potential cooperation (e.g., stability on the Korean peninsula). Ties to China, however, cannot take precedence over US alliances with Japan, South Korea, or Australia.

* The greatest immediate threat to the United States is not a hegemonic China, but rather the potential outbreak of localized wars in either the Taiwan Strait or Korea. An abating famine in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), Kim Jongil's apparent consolidation of power, and Seoul's "sunshine policy" have helped reduce tensions on the peninsula somewhat since the nuclear crisis of 1994. However, North Korea's ballistic missile program, including an August 1998 Tae-po Dong launch over Japan, shows that Pyongyang is still a threat to stability. China's cooperation in moderating the DPRK's behavior is of great importance.

* In the Taiwan Strait, the situation is more dangerous. Even as Taiwan and China have expanded their economic ties, the cross-Strait political relationship has grown steadily worse. Though Taipei and Beijing both express a desire for political talks, they remain deadlocked over the "one China" principle and fundamental sovereignty issues. Meanwhile, both sides are accelerating their purchases of advanced weaponry in preparation for a possible conflict. Taiwan's absorption into the PRC through force would represent a failure of US leadership and would call into question Washington's reliability as an ally, thus undermining America's crucial bilateral alliances. A peaceful solution must be America's bottom line. While taking no position on what Taiwan's ultimate status should be, the US must continue to provide the island with defensive arms and implicit military backup.

* Taiwan's protracted separation, which the PRC blames on the United States, is heightening China's discomfort with American preponderance. Chinese leaders point to American arms sales to Taiwan, Washington's plans to deploy a regional missile defense system, and the strengthened security alliance between the US and Japan as evidence of a growing US hegemony that runs counter to China's vision of a multipolar world. China's opposition to the perceived US position is mostly rhetoric. In actions, China displays a desire to boost its power and prestige within the current international system rather than pushing for radical change. China's efforts to join the World Trade Organization and its signing of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty are consistent with a trend, going back to the late 1970s, of gradually adopting the norms of international economic and political behavior. However, this trend toward greater integration may not continue if China remains frustrated in its quest to regain Taiwan.

* Unlike Europe, Northeast Asia is devoid of multilateral institutions, such as NATO, that are capable of contributing to stability when power balances are shifting. Maintaining the US military presence in East Asia--both through alliances and unilaterally with the Seventh Fleet--is thus critical for long-run stability. Any unilateral reduction of the US military would likely be the opening bell in a fresh round of competition between China and Japan for supremacy in the region. Japan has demonstrated a desire to become a "normal" country with a defense and foreign policy more independent of the United States. America should welcome efforts by Japan, East Asia's largest economy and most stable democracy, to play a more active role in regional security, but this cannot come at the expense of Japan's alliance with the United States. In addition, Japan and China should work to achieve meaningful reconciliation, and Tokyo must be sensitive to historically rooted fears of Japanese remilitarization.

* The crucial long-term problem facing the United States in East Asia is how to accommodate China's inevitable rise in ways that maintain stable security in the area. Further integration of China into the international system, a peaceful solution to the Taiwan issue, and the continued presence of the United States through its alliance relationships are the three key requirements for successfully finessing this difficult transition. Sino-Japanese reconciliation, democratic change within China itself, and continued economic prosperity in the region, while less essential, will help smooth over the inevitable bumps along the way.

Energy Security

The Commission's preoccupation with energy security was evident in its observations cited below:

* The danger of a substantial, sustained disruption of the flow of oil from the Persian Gulf looms as large today as it did when the energy crisis of 1973 shocked America, triggering a period of prolonged stagflation in the American economy. In the year 2000, the US will import a larger share of its daily consumption of gasoline than it did in 1973: more than one out of every two gallons. Today energy is a less significant factor in the American economy, as demonstrated by the limited impact of the doubling of oil prices in 1999. But the percentage of world daily oil consumption supplied by the Persian Gulf has increased. Moreover, world dependence on a single country, Saudi Arabia, as the sole producer and the source of all current surge capacity, has grown dramatically. Currently, Saudi Arabia produces one out of every eight barrels of oil exported to international markets. Saudi Arabia is the only state that maintains a substantial standby capability that would allow it to increase world oil supplies in response to a crisis elsewhere. While there is currently little evidence of instability in Saudi Arabia, an upheaval in the Persian Gulf as disruptive as the Iranian revolution of the 1980s cannot be excluded.

* A prudent US response to this danger would give greater emphasis to energy efficiency and to research on alternative technologies for supplying energy requirements. Nonetheless, for the foreseeable future, oil will remain an essential commodity. Greater attention must therefore be given to increasing supplies of oil in ways that diversify supplies from areas other than the Persian Gulf. The most promising new source of world supplies is the Caspian region, which appears to contain the largest petroleum reserves discovered since the North Sea. This geopolitical crossroad, which includes Iran, Russia, and a number of newly-independent states struggling with post-Soviet modernization and dangers of Islamic extremism, demands more attention by American policymakers.

Nuclear Issue

On the nuclear issue, the Commission identified the US national interests as follows:


*That the nuclear danger to the US be reduced to the achievable minimum.

* That no country acquire new or build up existing intercontinental-range strategic nuclear capabilities.

* That all global stockpiles of nuclear weapons and weapons-usable nuclear material be maintained in conditions of security, safety, and accountability.

* That the safety and reliability of the US nuclear stockpile be assured.

Extremely Important

* That there be no hostile use of nuclear, biological, or chemical weapons anywhere in the world.

The only specific reference to India and Pakistan in the entire report running to about 60 pages is under this head and as follows: "The problem of the nuclear weapons states not recognized in the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty--Israel, India, Pakistan--is well recognized and was given even greater import by the 1998 nuclear weapons tests by India and Pakistan. In the case of Israel, the underlying impetus for nuclear weapons status--the mortal threat from its Arab neighbors--may be on the way toward resolution, though it will likely be a very long time before Israel will consider deep reductions or the elimination of its nuclear arsenal. In the case of India and Pakistan, vital US national interests would not necessarily be directly threatened by a nuclear conflict between them, should it occur, but there can be no doubt that the United States has an extremely important national interest in maintaining the current implicit taboo on nuclear weapons use."

Regarding the non-proliferation of the weapons of mass destruction (WMD), the Commission identified the US national interests as follows:


* That there be no nuclear, biological, or chemical weapons attacks on the United States or against its military forces abroad.

* That there be no major leakage of loose nuclear weapons and weapons-usable fissile material from the former Soviet Union.

* That US military forces be prepared to fight in proliferated environments.

Extremely Important

* That there be no hostile use of nuclear, biological, or chemical weapons anywhere in the world.

* That there be no further proliferation or build-up of WMD capabilities in countries hostile to the United States (e.g., Iraq, North Korea, Iran, Libya).

The report said: "There is an emerging consensus within the US national security community that the greatest source of direct threat to US national interests stems from the proliferation of nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons and their delivery systems to hostile states and non-state actors. This view is correct. Because of its geographic position, the United States is highly secure from conventional forms of attack. Only weapons of mass destruction offer US adversaries a powerful way to strike America's cities and citizens. Moreover, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction poses profound challenges to the US government as it seeks to advance or protect other interests in distant regions. With its immense conventional military superiority, the only current real threats to US military forces abroad are adversaries equipped with, and prepared to use effectively, nuclear, biological, or chemical weapons. These facts force WMD proliferation to the center of any US assessment of the threats to US national interests.

"Clearly the highest aim of US national security policy should be to prevent nuclear or biological weapons attacks against American cities and civilians, or American military forces abroad. While the shape of the biological weapons threat is only beginning to emerge, the nuclear threat had been familiar in the form of the Soviet strategic nuclear arsenal. The disappearance of the Soviet Union and the accompanying collapse of its command-and-control state has presented today a new nuclear challenge. As a result of the disintegration of the Soviet Union, the risks of one or a dozen nuclear devices being exploded in an American city have increased. Today the most serious threat to vital American interests is the threat that loose nuclear weapons and fissile material from the former Soviet Union will fall into the hands of pariah states or terrorist or criminal groups.

"Preventing the proliferation of nuclear and biological weapons to countries and entities that wish America ill must take priority over controlling proliferation to friendly, democratic countries."

Under terrorism and narcotics, the Commission identified the US national interests as follows:


* That terrorist groups be prevented from acquiring weapons of mass destruction and using them against US citizens, property, and troops.

Extremely Important

* That US vulnerability to all forms of international and domestic terrorism be reduced in a manner consistent with the liberal, democratic principles of the American constitution.

* That states which support international terrorism, or shelter individual terrorists, be punished and convinced to desist.


* That American lives, well-being, and wealth be protected from international crime and drug trafficking.

* That the lives and well-being of individual American citizens who are targeted or taken hostage by terrorist organizations be protected.

ON CYBERSPACE AND INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY, the Commission identified the following national interests:


* That the US critical infrastructure be reasonably resistant to concerted, sophisticated cyber-attack.

Extremely Important

* That the United States maintain a technological lead in key military-related information technologies.


* That the United States maintain its strong position in international distribution of information so that American values continue to influence positively the cultures of other nations.

Thus, in the Commission's report, the only reference to India was in passing. However, subsequently, Mr.Armitage has been highlighting the importance that would be attached to India by the Bush Administration.

Importance Of India

In an interview during the Republican Party convention on August 3,2001, Mr.Armitage said: "In a Bush Administration, we believe we have to get the big ones right. We must get correct our relations with Japan, China, Europe, India and the Southern Hemisphere. If properly handled, these relationships foster the prospect for peace and prosperity. If mishandled, we will have repercussions in almost every corner of the globe. The Bush Administration would focus on Japan as our key relationship in Asia. And the Bush Administration -- wanting to have a friendly and cooperative relationship with the Russian Federation -- would be more intent on developing institutions rather than individuals. The Bush Administration is very intent on having a more positive relationship with the Southern hemisphere, an area of the world that has been too often overlooked by the United States.

"We don't feel that we share sufficient views and interests to define our relationship with China as a strategic partnership. We view China as a great country with great internal problems. We want China to take a helpful place on the world stage. We do see China as a competitor, and competition per se is not a bad thing. It's the matter in which the competition is carried out which could make it unhealthy. For instance, if China and the United States compete for market space, this will make both nations better, and the consumers in the region will benefit. We can even have a competition of ideas. But it has to be clear to China that the United States is intent on remaining a Pacific power, and Chinese attempts to undermine our alliances will be seen as an unfriendly act. For example, the Chinese have been very intent on undermining the U.S./Japan alliance and to a lesser degree the U.S./Australian alliance.

"Governor Bush chose the word competitor. Now that can be benign or less benign, but it's a very accurate definition. A strategic partnership approach is not true. Competition can be a healthy thing. Competition for influence can be unhealthy; competition for ideas can be healthy. It's in both China's interest and the region's interest to have China's involvement in international economics raised to a higher lever."

In another interview in September, 2000, in the State Department's International Information Programe, Mr.Armitage said:

" Another major factor in the way that the Republicans would approach foreign policy is the strong use of alliances. We believe in them. George Bush believes very strongly in the need to nurture and maintain alliances, and he believes that if you're going to rely on allies in times of travail and difficulty, you have to respect them in times of peace and stability. That is, it's important to maintain consistently good relations with our friends and allies.

"In the main, we see the key elements of Republican foreign policy as being the management of the rise of two great powers -- China and India -- and the further management, at least temporarily, of the decline of another great power, the Russian Federation. And we need to manage these three events simultaneously in a way that brings general stability and peace and, hopefully, prosperity to all concerned. And that's a very difficult task.

"We acknowledge the desire and right of India and China to take a place on the world stage. A benign, stable and economically healthy addition to the world stage will be most welcome. But we want this to be accomplished with minimum disruption to regional stability. Regarding Russia, we understand the high gulf between her national aspirations on the one hand and her national capability on the other. We need to be respectful in our dealings with Russia, while being firm about the need for political openness, including freedom of the press.

"On the CTBT, the Republican view has been discussed many, many times. We're not in the business of ratifying treaties that are unverifiable. I think a Republican administration would be much more inclined to negotiate a treaty that actually would hold water and might have verification measures in it that would withstand scrutiny."


Earlier, in March, 1999, a group of the National Defense University's Strategic Forum chaired by Mr.Armitage had prepared 'A Comprehensive Approach to North Korea'. The salient points were as follows: "North Korean missiles have become a far more prominent problem than was the case when the Agreed Framework ( with the US ) was signed. It implicitly puts the missile problem on the agenda. Our near-term objectives are to end testing and exports, and, over the long term, to obtain North Korean adherence to the Missile Technology Control Regime limits. However, if missile exports continue and the United States can identify them, we should do what we can to intercept those shipments. We will make it clear that we will act under the UN Charter's right of self-defense.

"The United States, along with the Republic of Korea and Japan, should propose a six-party (the United States, Russia, China, Japan, South Korea, and North Korea) meeting to deal with the security of North Korea. A multilateral commitment should be based on the pledges made in Kim Dae Jung's inaugural address--that we have no intent to implode North Korea, to absorb North Korea, or to force North Korea to change its political system. Assurances could run the gamut from a pledge of non-aggression to a commitment to respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of North Korea. Our goal should be to foster an environment making it as easy as possible for Pyongyang to choose reform.

" Should diplomacy fail, the United States would have to consider two alternative courses, neither of which is attractive. One is to live with and deter a nuclear North Korea armed with delivery systems, with all its implications for the region. The other is preemption, with the attendant uncertainties.

"Strengthened deterrence and containment. This would involve a more ready and robust posture, including a willingness to interdict North Korean missile exports on the high seas. Our posture in the wake of a failure of diplomacy would position the United States and its allies to enforce 'red lines.'

"Preemption. We recognize the dangers and difficulties associated with this option. To be considered, any such initiative must be based on precise knowledge of facilities, assessment of probable success, and clear understanding with our allies of the risks.

"We are under no illusions about the prospects for success of the comprehensive package outlined above. The issues are serious and the implications of a failure of diplomacy are profound."

The writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai. 

By special arrangement with South Asian Analysis Group, New Delhi

>>> back

All Rights Reserved. Copyright@2002 Kashmir Bachao Andolan