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Voice of America, 99-12-21

Voice of America: Selected Articles Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Voice of America <gopher://gopher.voa.gov>


CONTENTS

  • [01] RUSSIA / CHECHNYA (L) BY EVE CONANT (MOSCOW)
  • [02] RUSSIAN ELECTION BY ANDREW GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)
  • [03] BRITAIN/DEBT RELIEF (L-O) BY LAURIE KASSMAN (LONDON)
  • [04] EUROPE / CHINA / SUMMIT (L-O) BY STEPHANIE HO (BEIJING)
  • [05] NY ECON WRAP (S & L) BY ELAINE JOHANSON (NEW YORK)
  • [06] TUESDAY'S EDITORIALS BY ANDREW GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)
  • [07] YEARENDER: NATO / KOSOVO BY RON PEMSTEIN (BRUSSELS)
  • [08] YEARENDER: U-S FOREIGN POLICY - ONE BY ED WARNER (WASHINGTON)
  • [09] YEARENDER: U-S FOREIGN POLICY - TWO BY ED WARNER (WASHINGTON)

  • [01] RUSSIA / CHECHNYA (L) BY EVE CONANT (MOSCOW)

    DATE=12/21/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-257360
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: Russian troops are battling Chechen fighters along the foothills of the republic's southern mountains and on the edges of the capital, Grozny. Moscow Correspondent Eve Conant reports Chechen commanders say they have surrounded a Russian unit in a Grozny suburb.

    TEXT: Heavy fighting is reported between Russian forces and an estimated 500 Chechen rebels near the village of Serzhen-Yurt, on the edge of Chechnya's mountainous south. Chechen fighters have set up military bases in the mountains and Russian forces say the village, 30-kilometers southeast of Grozny, lies along a strategic rebel transit route. Russian warplanes also hit targets across southern Chechnya, including the towns of Shatoi and Vedeno. Clashes are reported on the outskirts of Grozny as troops move forward toward the city center. But Russia's Defense Minister Igor Sergeyev is dismissing reports that federal troops are planning to storm Grozny within days.

    /// SERGEYEV ACT - IN RUSSIAN - FADE UNDER ///

    He calls the reports a provocation. He says there are no dates set to undertake what he calls -- special operations. Chechen television broadcasts from the capital reported a Russian army unit was cornered in the Grozny suburb of Chernorechiye. There was no independent confirmation. A Chechen commander interviewed for the report said heavy fighting left casualties on both sides and Russian troops were retreating from the southern district. (SIGNED)
    NEB/EC/JWH/RAE 21-Dec-1999 09:24 AM EDT (21-Dec-1999 1424 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [02] RUSSIAN ELECTION BY ANDREW GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)

    DATE=12/21/1999
    TYPE=U-S OPINION ROUNDUP
    NUMBER=6-11604
    EDITOR=ASSIGNMENTS
    TELEPHONE=619-3335
    CONTENT=

    INTRO: American daily papers are filled with comment about Russia's parliamentary elections (12/19), but are divided over what the results mean. We get a sampling of these divergent views now from _________ in today's U-S Opinion Roundup.

    TEXT: Summarizing U-S press reaction to the parliamentary voting in Sunday's Russian election, you might refer to that old adage about the glass being half full or half empty. The returns showed Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's newly created Unity Party scoring a strong showing against the Communists, who got the most seats, but fewer than in prior elections. The papers, and an array of guest columnists, are interpreting those facts quite differently. We begin with the opinion of New York Times correspondent Michael Gordon, trying to make sense out of it all from his post in Moscow. In a front-page analysis, he ties support for the war in Chechnya to the results:

    VOICE: ... millions went to the polls and demonstrated their support for the war ... despite its apparent brutality, by voting for candidates backed by Vladimir Putin, the hawkish prime minister closely associated with the war. Western governments, especially the United States have run into many difficulties in trying to deal with the new Russia: corrupt tycoons, die-hard Communists and an enfeebled president. But now they have found themselves squarely at odds with the Russian public. The widespread backing for the war ... not only reduces the already minuscule chance for a political accommodation in Chechnya. It also suggests a broad shift in Russian public sentiment toward a more nationalist, if pro-capitalist, stance.

    TEXT: On the Pacific coast, The Oregonian in Portland sees the results somewhat more optimistically, judging a political shift away from the extremes of the Communist left and the Nationalist right, toward the center. But the paper also holds out a caution.

    VOICE: /// OPT /// That he [President Boris Yeltsin] and his inner circle did not [try to cancel the election] ... and opted instead to back a coalition of centrist parties - - should be reassuring to Russian democrats and their supporters abroad. [Mr.] Yeltsin's administration may have a cooperative legislature for the first time since the demise of the Soviet Union, which is good news for economic reforms. /// END OPT /// From the standpoint of the United States, though, all of this will be a mixed blessing. If the new Duma is more committed to the economic principles embraced by the United States, it is likely to be far more critical of almost every other aspect of American foreign and security policy.

    TEXT: The Wall Street Journal in New York City also sees progress in the very fact that the vote took place at all, and on schedule, and had a good turnout despite bitter cold. The Journal adds:

    VOICE: More than sixty percent of the Russian electorate came out in frigid weather to cast a ballot, and the election appears to have been relatively clean. Preliminary results, moreover, show 54 percent of this vote going to centrist or economically liberal parties. In striking contrast, the ultra-nationalist party of Vladimir Zhirinovsky saw its share of the vote fall by nearly half. Indeed, reform-minded parties such as Grigori Yavlinsky's Yabloko Party and Anatoly Chubais's Union of Right Forces (S-P-S) scored some surprising gains. Though obscured by the financial shenanigans of Russia's politicians and the prominence of its oligarchs ... an emerging Russian middle class does exist, and its interests lie in honest government, low taxes and transparent regulatory policies. Sunday's vote was a clear indication of the growing influence of this new generation.

    TEXT: However the Journal goes on to worry that the increasingly hawkish Mr. Putin, may "pursue further military adventures instead of tackling the much- needed economic reforms." The business daily concludes that it is possible the future shape of Russia could well be molded on the battlefields of little Chechnya. Taking a more positive view is the Chicago Tribune, which calls Sunday's Duma election a "milestone" in Russia's transformation toward a democracy.

    VOICE: What is emerging from this election of 450 members to Russia's Lower House of parliament is encouraging indeed. Half of Russian voters rejected extremes - - the communists on the left and the nationalists on the right - - in favor of moderate, pro-democratic parties and candidates who favor continuing market reforms. This central core wants a government that isn't paralyzed by turmoil and conflict.

    TEXT: USA Today, the national daily published in a Washington, D-C suburb, agrees with the Chicago Tribune that the Russian vote as a victory for Boris Yeltsin's heir apparent, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. But USA Today feels Americans may not be comforted by the results.

    VOICE: Clearly, the election outcome cuts two ways: There are signs of reform, but, more ominously, there are strong portents that Russia's leaders may retreat even further into anti-democratic methods and hostile nationalism. ... Until elections become expressions of voters' free, unmanipulated choices, hopes for bringing Russia firmly into the capitalist, democratic club will remain as tenuous and uncertain as the results of Sunday's election.

    /// OPT ///

    VOICE: The San Francisco Chronicle sees the vote more positive than negative, suggesting:

    VOICE: The results ... showed that Russian voters were determined to move forward on reform despite the long stretch of tough years that can fan the passions of extremists on the right and left. The previous two elections were dominated by Communists and right-wing nationalists. This time a majority of voters supported centrist parties for [the] Duma for the first time since the Soviet collapse. ... The positive aspect of the results is that it could produce pragmatism and progress on economic matters. The unsettling side of the elections is that the strong showing for Unity, the main centrist party, could be interpreted as support for Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and his management of the war in Chechnya. .....

    /// END OPT ///

    TEXT: The Washington Post quotes two political scientists as suggesting one of the most remarkable features of the vote is that relatively free elections are now commonplace in what was until very recently a totally totalitarian state. The New York Times sees "several distinct messages" in the voting, "some more encouraging than others," with the most heartening:

    VOICE: ... a clear preference for centrists, [with voters] selecting what may turn out to be the first reform-minded Duma majority since the Soviet collapse.

    TEXT: The Times however, frets about the ability of the reformist parties to form a parliamentary alliance, a less than clean campaign, and the lack of objective media coverage, which it wants to see improved for the Presidential election in six months.

    TEXT: On that note, we conclude this sampling of comment on Russia's parliamentary election. NEB/ANG/gm 21-Dec-1999 14:49 PM EDT (21-Dec-1999 1949 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [03] BRITAIN/DEBT RELIEF (L-O) BY LAURIE KASSMAN (LONDON)

    DATE=12/21/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-257358
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: The world's richest nations earlier this year pledged to help the world's poorest countries and cut world poverty in half by 2015. The World Bank and International Monetary Fund (I-M-F) are preparing the global debt relief strategy. London Correspondent Laurie Kassman reports that Britain has announced its contribution to the strategy, including a billion- dollar debt write-off for the world's 41 poorest states.

    TEXT: Britain's top finance official, Gordon Brown, says the aim of the debt relief program is to help developing countries help themselves. He says eliminating foreign debts means government funds now can pay for much-needed reforms and development programs.

    /// BROWN ACT ///

    We want to ensure that the money saved in all these countries goes to health, education, and poverty reduction, not to bureaucracy or buying military arms or luxury projects.

    /// END ACT ///

    The debt relief program has tough conditions and all recipient countries must prove the savings are being used to bankroll development programs, not corruption. The World Bank and I-M-F have listed Uganda, Mozambique, Bolivia, and Mauritania as the first four states to benefit from the massive debt relief program. Six more states will be named by April and 25 others by the end of next year. Ugandan Treasury Secretary Emmanuel Tumusiime Mutebile describes the program as a millennium gift. He says funds saved under the debt relief program are earmarked for a national education program.

    /// MUTEBILE ACT ///

    Effective teaching is currently impeded by a shortage of both human and fiscal resources. The pupil-teacher ratio is 100-to-one and this is unacceptably high. Resources saved from this initiative therefore will be used to halve this ratio within two-years.

    /// END ACT ///

    Uganda also intends to build more schools and to expand access to safe drinking water and sanitation facilities. British Chancellor of the Exchequer Brown says his government has pledged 385-million dollars to a special Millennium Trust Fund to help the World Bank bridge the financial gap of the debt relief initiatives. Britain is the largest donor to the fund. Other European states have also pledged millions of dollars for the World Bank and I-M-F program.

    /// BROWN ACT TWO ///

    In 1999, the world's richest countries have finally accepted their obligations to the world's poorest countries. We believe that in 2000 we can achieve much more.

    /// END ACT ///

    Mr. Brown says Britain will also cancel more than one- billion-dollars worth of bilateral debts from the world's 41 poorest nations. Britain's contribution to the debt relief program will surpass eight-billion dollars. Mr. Brown expects other creditor states to follow the example. NEB/LMK/GE/LTD/RAE 21-Dec-1999 09:16 AM EDT (21-Dec-1999 1416 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [04] EUROPE / CHINA / SUMMIT (L-O) BY STEPHANIE HO (BEIJING)

    DATE=12/21/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-257353
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: European leaders expressed optimism they will soon resolve all outstanding issues on China's entry into the World Trade Organization. V-O-A's Stephanie Ho reports the issue of human rights also figured prominently in a summit meeting Tuesday with Chinese leaders in Beijing.

    TEXT: Finnish Prime Minister Paavo Lipponen, whose country holds the rotating presidency of the European Union, first outlined the E-U's worries.

    // LIPPONEN ACTUALITY //

    We expressed our concern about the pace of China's evolution toward a more open and transparent society, based on the rule of law and internationally-recognized human rights standards.

    // END ACTUALITY //

    The Finnish leader said the issues of Tibet, the jailing of democracy activists and Beijing's crackdown against the spiritual group, Falun Gong, were raised in Tuesday's meeting with Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji.

    // LIPPONEN ACTUALITY //

    On the issue of capital punishment, the prime minister (Zhu) said the government is unwilling to give it up and he referred to the stability of society. That is the Chinese view.

    // END ACTUALITY //

    One famous critic of China's human rights record is Chris Patten. He was the last British governor of Hong Kong before it returned to Chinese sovereignty in 1997, and is now the E-U external relations commissioner. Mr. Patten said the E-U delegation urged China to ratify two United Nations covenants on human rights.

    // PATTEN ACTUALITY //

    I do not think that anybody will be throwing their hats in the air or dancing in the streets until China ratifies the international covenants, which we hope will come sooner rather than later.

    // END ACTUALITY //

    On the separate issue of China's bid to join the World Trade Organization, Mr. Patten said the European Union wants China in, but not at any price.

    // PATTEN ACTUALITY //

    We do not think we should sacrifice substance for speed.

    // END ACTUALITY //

    The president of the European Commission, Romano Prodi, says the list of differences with China on its W-T-O application is not so long.

    // PRODI ACTUALITY //

    Regarding the European Union priorities, I could list telecommunications, especially mobile telecommunications, life insurance and the tariff problem.

    // END ACTUALITY //

    The European Union says it agrees with 80 percent of the bilateral W-T-O deal reached last month by China and the United States. European officials say they are waiting for the Chinese Government to finish reviewing E-U proposals for the remaining 20 percent. Mr. Prodi says European trade negotiators may come to China as early as mid-January, to discuss a bilateral W-T-O deal. (signed)
    NEB/HO/WD 21-Dec-1999 06:29 AM EDT (21-Dec-1999 1129 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [05] NY ECON WRAP (S & L) BY ELAINE JOHANSON (NEW YORK)

    DATE=12/21/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-257375
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: Stock prices in the United States were higher today (Tuesday) as the U-S central bank announced no change in short-term interest rates. V-O-A correspondent Elaine Johanson reports from New York:

    TEXT: The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 56 points, one-half of one percent, closing at 11- thousand-200. The Standard and Poor's 500 index went up 15 points. Meanwhile, the technology-led Nasdaq composite soared three and one-third percent to another record high, one of its best gains ever. Telecommunications company, Qualcomm, led the Nasdaq climb, as fund investors bought stocks that have gained the most this year, before reporting to investors. Qualcomm is up over one-thousand-seven- hundred percent year-to-date. The U-S central bank's decision to leave interest rates unchanged boosted the market generally. The Federal Reserve Board, however, was not expected to take action just four days before Christmas and, more importantly, before the changeover to the year 2000.

    /// REST OPT ///

    Most analysts agree - though some, begrudgingly - that the Federal Reserve Board will raise short-term rates when it meets next year. Economist David Jones says the "Fed" was too pre-occupied Tuesday with the year 2000 computer problem to do anything that might shake the stock market at this critical time:

    /// JONES ACT ///

    But once we get past that period, I think the Fed (Federal Reserve Board) has to get busy again. My view is they've done very little to slow this red-hot economy. And if they want a soft landing next year, they're going to have to do some tightening early in 2000.

    /// END ACT ///

    Leading U-S auto-maker General Motors and Honda - number three car-maker in Japan - have agreed to supply engines to each other and study future cooperation, including collaboration on technological and business opportunities. The agreement marks Honda's first such partnership in its 50-year history. General Motors has shown a lot of interest in Asia's auto market and is currently negotiating to buy South Korea's ailing Daewoo Motor. A new survey shows the popular Internet portal Yahoo has extended its lead over the competition in recent months. Yahoo accounts for about 56-percent of all search engine referrals. Yahoo stock surged to a new high. (Signed) NEB/EJ/LSF/TVM/gm 21-Dec-1999 16:53 PM EDT (21-Dec-1999 2153 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [06] TUESDAY'S EDITORIALS BY ANDREW GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)

    DATE=12/21/1999
    TYPE=U-S EDITORIAL DIGEST
    NUMBER=6-11603
    TELEPHONE=619-3335
    CONTENT=

    INTRO: Russia's parliamentary elections are a major topic in the editorial columns of many U-S daily papers this Tuesday. Also prominent in the commentaries are concerns about terrorism. Other topics include the latest Gore Bradley debates in the presidential race; the flooding in Venezuela; Israel and Syria giving peace talks another chance; and a woman who lived for two years in a tree. Now, here is ___________with a few excerpts in today's Editorial Digest.

    TEXT: The U-S press has some good things to say about Sunday's parliamentary elections in Russia. The Chicago Tribune, for example, calls the elections a "milestone" in Russia's transformation toward a democracy. The paper writes:

    VOICE: What is emerging from this election of 450 members to Russia's lower house of parliament is encouraging indeed. Half of Russian voters rejected extremes - - the communists on the left and the nationalists on the right - in favor of moderate, pro- democratic parties and candidates who favor continuing market reforms. This central core wants a government that isn't paralyzed by turmoil and conflict.

    TEXT: USA Today, the national daily published in a Washington, D-C suburb, considers the vote a victory for Boris Yeltsin's heir apparent, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, but says Americans may not be comforted by the results.

    VOICE: Clearly, the election outcome cuts two ways: There are signs of reform, but, more ominously, there are strong portents that Russia's leaders may retreat even further into anti-democratic methods and hostile nationalism. . Until elections become expressions of voters' free, unmanipulated choices, hopes for bringing Russia firmly into the capitalist, democratic club will remain as tenuous and uncertain as the results of Sunday's election.

    VOICE: The San Francisco Chronicle sees more positive than negative, suggesting:

    VOICE: The results . showed that Russian voters were determined to move forward on reform despite the long stretch of tough years that can fan the passions of extremists.

    TEXT: Today's Washington Post quotes two political scientists as suggesting one of the most remarkable features of the vote is that it was n o t a remarkable event, that is, relatively free elections are now commonplace in what was until very recently a totally totalitarian state. The New York Times sees "several distinct messages" in the voting, "some more encouraging than others," with the most heartening:

    VOICE: . a clear preference for centrists, [with voters] selecting what may turn out to be the first reform-minded Duma majority since the Soviet collapse.

    TEXT: The Times however, frets about the ability of the reformist parties to form a parliamentary alliance, a less than clean campaign, and the lack of objective media coverage, which it wants to see improved for the presidential election in six months.

    VOICE: Terrorism directed at Americans both inside and outside the United States is a popular topic, following the arrest of two more people crossing the border from Canada, who may have been on a criminal mission. The Boston Globe strives for a balanced view.

    VOICE: As always, there is philosophical wisdom in the advice from government officials that Americans should not hand terrorists a victory by ceding to anxiety about recent warnings of terrorist attacks. Nonetheless, the capture of an Algerian transporting bomb-making materials . from British Columbia last week has properly set off alarm bells among intelligence and law-enforcement professionals.

    TEXT: The Detroit Free Press is also alarmed, but warns that home-grown terrorists may also pose a threat.

    VOICE: The F-B-I says two militia-types arrested in California this month had been storing up explosives to detonate huge propane storage tanks for the new year, hoping for a national declaration of martial law that would lead to the overthrow of the government. Such plans don't seem as farfetched as they once did.

    TEXT: Lastly on this subject, Nebraska's Omaha World- Herald says prudence is called for, but not panic.

    VOICE: Of course, everyone could just stay home, safe and scared. But that [hands] any evil-doers, real or imagined, a victory by forfeiture. This is the height of the holiday season .Part of the idea is to have fun, within . sane limits . while at the same time watching our backs [Editors: slang for: "being more cautious than usual"].

    TEXT: There is a good deal of comment on the Democratic presidential race between Vice President Al Gore and former Senator Bill Bradley. In Ohio, the Akron Beacon Journal ends a lengthy editorial on the pair's most recent television appearances, chiding the vice president for failing to match Senator Bradley in respect for the electorate.

    VOICE: "'The point is, Al,' [Mr.] Bradley said in the Sunday debate, `and I don't know if you get this, but a political campaign is not just a performance for people . but . rather a dialogue with people.'" A "dialogue" indicates a level of respect, and that is what is missing from the Gore campaign. The maneuvers, the feints, the fakery, all invite the question: Who is Al Gore? When [Mr.] Bradley and [Arizona Republican Senator John] McCain got together in New Hampshire, the suggestion was plain: Here were two men who seemed genuine about reform, about reaching across party lines to find compromise. Isn't that a style of leadership in short supply in Washington?

    TEXT: Turning to the flooding and mud slides in Venezuela, The Sun in Baltimore laments that man-made conditions are worsening the inevitable natural calamities.

    VOICE: Shantytowns perched on mountainsides [are] no match for nature and her furies. . Between Caracas and the sea rises Mount Avila, picturesque until covered in recent decades by the shantytowns of squatters who poured into the metropolitan capital in desperate search of jobs and opportunity. Shacks of tin, tar paper and mud lack foundations to withstand the mudslides. . It may be that natural disasters are not increasing, only that the population in their path is.

    TEXT: To the Middle East now, and the renewed peace effort between Syria and Israel, which draws cautious optimism from the Chicago Tribune.

    VOICE: The fact is that [Syrian President Hafez] Assad and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak have found the wisdom to compromise and the courage to resume - with open minds - the peace talks that broke off four years ago. . For Israel and Syria, officially at war for over a half century, this was the highest-level summit ever - - and a remarkable achievement in itself.

    /// OPT ///

    TEXT: Still in the region, today's Detroit News is angry about what it believes is another victory for Iraq's Saddam Hussein at the U-N.

    VOICE: Saddam Hussein won another round in his effort to weaken economic sanctions imposed against his country after the Gulf War. A divided United Nations Security Council approved removal of the ceiling on Iraq's oil sales to the outside world, even as Saddam was [ignoring] U-N demands that he accept a new round of weapons inspections. It would appear that the world appetite for oil is proving more durable than hostility to the Iraqi dictator.

    ///END OPT ///

    TEXT: From Oklahoma comes support in the Tulsa World, for a new plan by NATO's new secretary general, George Robertson, to establish a rapid reaction military force of 60-thousand European troops to deal with the Bosnias and Kosovos of the future, without necessarily calling in NATO. Says the Tulsa daily:

    VOICE: Right now, only the United States has the military and political might to keep rogue countries in line. /// OPT /// [Mr.] Robertson presented a plan . to create a rapid reaction force . to give Western Europe the capability to solve its own problems. /// END OPT /// In the end, such a move was necessary for Europe. The less the United States has to become involved militarily in Europe's smaller problems the better.

    TEXT: And finally, a long and highly unusual protest in the United States has ended, drawing comment from the San Francisco Chronicle. Julia "Butterfly" Hill, a young woman who lived in the branches of a California redwood tree for two years to keep it from being cut down by the lumber company that owned it, has won a concession, and climbed down. The tree and the redwoods surrounding it will be spared. Says the Chronicle:

    VOICE: [Ms. Hill's] protest drew news reporters from around the world, and helped draw attention to the plight of the redwood groves owned by the Pacific Lumber company. . It was illegal, to be sure, but it was nonviolent and actually added a touch of levity and wit to the long-running timber wars of the Redwood Empire. Charles Hurwitz, president of the parent company Maxaam Corporation, and a notoriously hardball negotiator, ultimately blinked[ Editors: gave in.] Score one for butterfly.

    TEXT: On that note, we conclude this sampling of comment from Tuesday's U-S editorial pages.
    NEB/ANG/KL 21-Dec-1999 12:20 PM EDT (21-Dec-1999 1720 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [07] YEARENDER: NATO / KOSOVO BY RON PEMSTEIN (BRUSSELS)

    DATE=12/21/1999
    TYPE=BACKGROUND REPORT
    NUMBER=5-45072
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: For the first time in its 50-year history, the NATO alliance went to war with a sovereign country. For 78 days, NATO airpower pounded Yugoslavia to force that government to withdraw its military from Kosovo province. Correspondent Ron Pemstein reported from NATO headquarters during the war and reviews the reasons and the lessons of the Kosovo campaign.

    TEXT: NATO had five objectives for going to war in Kosovo. Secretary-General Javier Solana made those goals clear in the first days of NATO's bombing campaign, which started March 25th.

    /// SOLANA ACT ///

    The first is a verifiable stop to all military action and the immediate ending of violence and repression. The second is the withdrawal from Kosovo of the Yugoslav army, the military, the police, and the para-military forces. Third, the stationing in Kosovo of an international military presence. The fourth is the unconditional and safe return of all refugees and all the displaced persons. The fifth, the credible assurance of (Yugoslav President Slobodan) Milosevic's willingness to work on the basis of the Rambouillet accord towards a political solution for Kosovo in conformity with international law and the charter of the United Nations.

    /// END ACT ///

    Those were NATO's political goals. NATO's military commander, General Wesley Clark, had more basic military objectives.

    /// CLARK ACT ///

    We aim to put his (President Milosevic's) military and security forces at risk. We are going to systematically and progressively attack, disrupt, degrade, devastate, and ultimately - unless President Milosevic complies with the demands of the international community - we are going to destroy these forces and their facilities and support. In that respect, the operation will be just as long and difficult as President Milosevic requires it to be.

    /// END ACT ///

    The bombing lasted 78-days. There were difficulties for NATO, too. In the first days of the war, heavy clouds forced NATO jets to return to base without dropping their bombs. To avoid casualties, NATO jets had to fly so high, they frequently could not distinguish their targets. But there were civilian casualties. NATO took five- days to determine its aircraft really bombed Kosovo- Albanian refugees instead of Yugoslav military targets in early April. Another jet bombed a railroad bridge as a passenger train started crossing the bridge. For an alliance that declared itself not at war with the Serbian people, these incidents proved embarrassing. In May, a precision bomb landed on its intended target, but the U-S Central Intelligence Agency had misidentified the target -- it was the Chinese Embassy to Yugoslavia. NATO used precision weapons to turn out the lights in Belgrade by disabling power plants. By June 10th, Secretary-General Solana announced that NATO's objectives had been achieved in Kosovo.

    /// SOLANA ACT ///

    I can announce today that (President) Milosevic has complied with the five conditions that the International Community had placed, and therefore a few moments ago I instructed General Clark to suspend NATO's air operations against Yugoslavia.

    /// END ACT ///

    A NATO-led peacekeeping unit was dispatched to Kosovo to oversee the withdrawal of the Yugoslav forces and the return of 850-thousand Kosovo-Albanian refugees. That multi-national unit now numbers 52-thousand and has restored peace to the province. Meanwhile, NATO has struggled to protect the Serb minority from revenge-minded Albanians. In reviewing the military lessons of the Kosovo war, General Clark says NATO's use of airpower in Kosovo was justified.

    /// CLARK ACT ///

    All of the lessons learned from this campaign have to be approached from the standpoint that NATO achieved essentially what it set out to do. This was a successful campaign, and it worked even though it was in the words of some of the critics -- an unconventional, asymmetric campaign. It did achieve NATO's results.

    /// END ACT ///

    The European Union learned some lessons of its own from Kosovo. During the war, American pilots flew 85- percent of the air missions. The European role in achieving peace in Kosovo was minimal. The European Union appointed NATO's Secretary General, Javier Solana, to lead E-U efforts to build an independent military capacity. NATO turned to Britain's Defense Secretary, George Robertson, to lead the alliance in the Post-Kosovo era. Mr. Robertson supported an independent European military capacity in his previous job and he says the E-U proposal for a 50-thousand-soldier rapid reaction force poses no threat to NATO.

    /// ROBERTSON ACT ///

    /// OPT ///

    What we are talking about here are troops that can be brought together quickly, that are inter-operable and know how to work with each other, and can be deployed in the cause of stability of humanitarian missions of peacekeeping in the future. /// END OPT /// We are not creating a single European army. We are creating the component parts of a force that can act on European instructions if the (NATO) alliance does not wish to become engaged militarily and as a whole, that will be able to do the kind of things that most people in Europe want it to do.

    /// END ACT ///

    The challenge for NATO in the new century is to build up the European component of its forces without replacing the United States that led NATO's air power victory in Kosovo. (SIGNED)
    NEB/RP/GE/RAE 21-Dec-1999 10:13 AM EDT (21-Dec-1999 1513 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [08] YEARENDER: U-S FOREIGN POLICY - ONE BY ED WARNER (WASHINGTON)

    DATE=12/21/1999
    TYPE=BACKGROUND REPORT
    NUMBER=5-45073
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:
    /// EDS: This is the first of two year-end spots on U-S foreign policy ///

    INTRO: Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, America has been searching for a new foreign policy. During the Cold War, containment was generally the U-S response to Soviet expansionism. Though that policy was often criticized by both the left and right, it served as a rough guide, and in time, it succeeded. What can replace it now in a much more complicated world? V-O-A's Ed Warner asked four leading analysts for their views on the foreign policy the United States should pursue in the post-communist era.

    TEXT: We are still trying to find a post-communist strategy to deal with the world, says Michael Mandelbaum of the Council on Foreign Relations:

    /// Mandelbaum Act ///

    No one has found a comparable framework or simplifying assumption to the one that guided American foreign policy during the Cold War - namely, containment. Perhaps the closest to an equivalent strategy or framework is globalization, or trade. Certainly, this administration has emphasized trade throughout its term in office, but it does not quite fill the gap left by the collapse of the Soviet Union.

    /// End Act ///

    Mr. Mandelbaum says although trade might be considered a kind of "junior containment," it hardly carries the weight of that earlier policy. Maybe we should abandon the search, says Joseph Nye, dean of the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. No overall policy can cope with today's global confusion:

    /// Nye Act ///

    There is not a clear and present danger as there was during the Cold War. There is not one dominant enemy, as there was with the Soviet Union. The effort to reduce all the complexity of foreign policy to a single slogan like "democratization" or something of that sort is probably misleading. We are going to have to learn to live with a somewhat more complex world.

    /// End Act ///

    Mr. Nye says the United States should probably follow the example of nineteenth century Britain, which used its global power to maintain an open economy and a degree of order in the world. Global stability now rests on American power, says General William Odum, director of National Security Studies at the Hudson Institute and a former Director of the National Security Agency:

    /// Odum Act ///

    What I see is a world in which U-S power is really dramatically larger vis-vis the rest of the world than most people understand, much larger than most American political leaders understand. And when you add to it the resources of NATO and South Korea and Japan, then this alliance structure really is hegemonic. And hegemonic not in an oppressive way, but in a way that countries fight to get into it. They do not fight to get out of it.

    /// End Act ///

    General Odum says today's hegemonic America has been called an "empire by invitation." Others join voluntarily. They are not coerced. U-S power serves to spread liberal institutions around the world and then to protect them. Military ties are an important component of this. Then why does the United States get involved in so many peripheral matters? asks Ted Carpenter, director of Defense and Foreign Policy Studies at Washington's Cato Institute. He believes the lack of a strategy has led the United States into conflicts it should avoid:

    /// Carpenter Act ///

    The United States should focus on the major developments in the international system that could really affect our security and well-being and not get bogged down in petty problems that should be handled by powers in the region that is affected. Becoming the baby-sitter of the Persian Gulf, the baby sitter of the Balkans, should not be in the job description of a country as powerful as the United States.

    /// End Act ///

    Mr. Carpenter says the United States has its hands full dealing with troublesome powers such as China and Russia and should not go looking for trouble elsewhere. (signed)
    NEB/EW/JP 21-Dec-1999 10:57 AM EDT (21-Dec-1999 1557 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [09] YEARENDER: U-S FOREIGN POLICY - TWO BY ED WARNER (WASHINGTON)

    DATE=12/21/1999
    TYPE=BACKGROUND REPORT
    NUMBER=5-45076
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:
    /// EDS: This is the second of two year- end spots on foreign policy. The first moved as 5- 45073 ///

    INTRO: As U-S officials try to develop a post-Cold War foreign policy, many foreign policy experts debate what they see as the need to reconcile two sometimes conflicting needs - the desire to do good in the world and the requirement to defend U-S national interests. V-O-A's Ed Warner asked four leading foreign policy analysts for their views of this continuing dilemma.

    TEXT: There is always tension between the national interest and humanitarian impulses in American foreign policy, says Joseph Nye, Dean of the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University:

    /// Nye Act ///

    It is not enough just to say one should look only at the interests we have and not at our values because our values are included in our interests. The hard part is to find ways to include our values without at the same time undercutting the larger foreign policy. Human rights policy is part of a foreign policy, but it is not a whole foreign policy.

    /// End Act ///

    Too often, says Mr. Nye, U-S foreign policy may be driven by what he calls the "C-N-N factor" - that is, television images of suffering people may lead to a public demand for action that does not turn out to be in the national interest. He cites the U-S intervention in Somalia in 1992 as an example. Americans cannot impose their morality on such an imperfect world, says Michael Mandelbaum of the Council on Foreign Relation. Trying to right too many wrongs can make things worse:

    /// Mandelbaum Act ///

    The new kinds of commitments, the humanitarian interventions - what some have called foreign policy as social work - are not very well defined and have not been particularly successful. The United States led NATO to war against Yugoslavia in 1999, but it is not clear on the basis of what principle that war was fought and therefore it is not clear where else the United States would fight under similar circumstances.

    /// End Act ///

    Mr. Mandelbaum says despite its good intentions, the United States is gaining the reputation of a rogue superpower. This may lead other powers to join an anti-American coalition. Many consider the United States the bully of the planet, says Ted Carpenter, director of Defense and Foreign Policy Studies at the Cato Institute, a libertarian policy research group in Washington. The trouble with humanitarian intervention, he says, is that it can quickly become inhumane:

    /// Carpenter Act ///

    It also assumes almost unlimited knowledge on the part of American policy makers that we know who is on the side of the angels in a quarrel and who is the aggressor and the evil party. As we have seen in the Balkans, Somalia and so many other parts of the world, these conflicts are often very murky struggles involving parties that are not all that savory. There may be no good guys in a particular conflict.

    /// End Act ///

    Mr. Carpenter says the United States bombed the Serbs in Kosovo to stop their ethnic cleansing of Albanians. Now Albanians are cleaning out Serbs. What, he asks, has been accomplished, other than some Americans feeling good about themselves? General William Odum, director of National Security Studies at the Hudson Institute, a policy research group, believes American values and interests coincide in the Balkans, which are part of Europe and therefore of vital concern to the United States. He concedes that interventions are usually a close call - a trial and error process:

    /// Odum Act ///

    If presidents decide to intervene in places that do not work out, after they become failures, the American public will take their retribution in voting, and presidents will have to get out of some of these areas. There is no formula that will resolve the morality issue versus our strategic interest issue in advance and in all cases. Some of them are fairly clear cut, but most are not. It takes leadership and judgment.

    /// End Act ///

    General Odum says no policy or formula can ever replace informed judgment on foreign affairs and the will and ability to put it into action. (signed)
    NEB/EW/JP 21-Dec-1999 11:40 AM EDT (21-Dec-1999 1640 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America
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