Rumsfeld & Richard Armitage: A Backgrounder
Past, Present and Future
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
the Rumsfeld Commission unanimously found that countries such as
Iran, North Korea and, eventually, Iraq, could field ballistic
missiles with ''little or no warning.''
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.
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.
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.''
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.
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.
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.''
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.
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.
the Center for Security Policy, Washington, on October 7, 1998, on
the Commission's report, Mr.Rumsfeld stated as follows:
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.
media interviews before and after the Republican Party's convention
in August last, Mr.Rumsfeld also stated as follows:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
Past, Present and Future
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
Commission identified only five vital US national interests today.
"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
"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);
"To establish productive relations, consistent with American
national interests, with nations that could become strategic
adversaries, China and Russia. "
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
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.
Commission also identified certain other national interests, with a
lower grading. These are:
(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
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
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.
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.
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
Europe and NATO
The Middle East
The Western Hemisphere
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
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
That peace be maintained in the Taiwan Strait and on the Korean
That China and Japan achieve lasting reconciliation under terms that
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
That a peaceful solution is reached to secondary territorial
disputes such as those in the South China Sea or Senkaku Islands.
report said on China:
China's rise to power, though indisputable, is happening at a
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
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.
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.
the nuclear issue, the Commission identified the US national
interests as follows:
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,
That the safety and reliability of the US nuclear stockpile be
That there be no hostile use of nuclear, biological, or chemical
weapons anywhere in the world.
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."
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
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).
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.
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.
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."
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
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
CYBERSPACE AND INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY,
the Commission identified the following national interests:
That the US critical infrastructure be reasonably resistant to
concerted, sophisticated cyber-attack.
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.
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
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.'
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.
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."
writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of
India, and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies,
special arrangement with South Asian Analysis Group, New