Pakistan’s Nuclear Future

January 19, 2010

The risk of war between Pakistan and India and possible nuclear escalation would be bad enough, however, most American security experts are riveted on the frightening possibility of Pakistani nuclear weapons capabilities falling into the hands of terrorists intent on attacking the United States.

Unfortunately, a nuclear terrorist act is only one of several frightening security threats Pakistan now faces or poses.

A new book edited by Henry D. Sokolski, Executive Director of the Nonproliferation Policy Education Center, takes a long look at these threats as possible. Its companion volume, Worries Beyond War, (2008) focused on the challenges of Pakistani nuclear terrorism. These analyses offer a window into what is possible and why Pakistani nuclear terrorism is best seen as a lesser included threat to war, and terrorism more generally. Could the United States do more with Pakistan to secure Pakistan’s nuclear weapons holdings against possible seizure? News reports indicate that the United States has already spent $100 million toward this end. It is unclear what this money has bought. If policymakers view the lack of specific intelligence on Pakistani nuclear terrorist plots against the United States as cold comfort and believe that such strikes are imminent, then the answer is not much. If, conventional acts of terrorism and war are far more likely than acts of nuclear terrorism, then there is almost too much to do. In the later case, nuclear terrorism would not be a primary, stand-alone peril, but a lesser included threat. What sort of Pakistan would that be? A country that was significantly more prosperous, educated, and far more secure against internal political strife and from external security threats than it currently is. How might one bring about such a state? The short answer is by doing more to prevent the worst. Nuclear use may not be the likeliest bad thing that might occur in Pakistan, but it is by far the nastiest. Certainly in the near- to mid-term, it is at least as likely as any act of nuclear terrorism. More important, it is more amenable to remediation.

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Sumit Lal: The ubiquitous Indian

October 28, 2009

Our friend from New Delhi, Sumit Lal, former Director and General Manager at ECCO INDIA, and currently Business Adviser at ECCO Asia Pacific Limited, has just started his own blog.

Please check it out here.

India gets nuclear submarine

July 9, 2009

India will launch its first nuclear submarine later this month, the Financial Times reports.

The submarine would add India to a short list of countries with the capability to launch a nuclear strike from the sea.

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Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal at risk

May 4, 2009

The New York Times reports today that Washington is increasingly concerned about the security of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons arsenal, including the potential of militants to steal a weapon or otherwise infiltrate nuclear laboratories or fuel-production facilities.

Meanwhile, the spokesman for Sufi Mohammad, the radical and increasingly influential Muslim cleric in Pakistan, said the Taliban would not lay down their arms in the Malakand region unless government military operations there are halted.

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Fears About Pakistan’s Nuclear Weapons

April 27, 2009

As militancy grows in Pakistan, U.S. officials are increasingly concerned about the security of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons.

The Washington Times reports that the military controls the country’s nuclear stockpile, so any scenario that changes the balance of power in the military – from a coup to a Taliban takeover – could endanger the security of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons.

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Afpak: Richard Holbrooke’ U.S. Strategy for South Asia

April 8, 2009

Richard Holbrooke, the U.S. special representative to Afghanistan and Pakistan, opened meetings with Indian officials today in an attempt to win support for President Barack Obama’s strategy to bring peace to the region.

Al-Jazeera reports Richard Holbrooke will meet with India’s foreign minister, to counter concerns from India that Washington favours Pakistan.

Pakistani officials have disputed that Washington shows disproportionate support for India in its bilateral relations with Pakistan, and have criticized the parameters of Holbrooke’s “Af-Pak” mission, saying a more productive assignment would include mediation of the India-Pakistan conflict in Kashmir, which foreign policy experts say is inextricably linked with terrorism in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

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Interview with U.S. General David Petraeus

March 31, 2009

The chief foundations of all states… are good laws and good arms. And as there cannot be good laws where there are not good arms… where there are good arms there must be good laws. (Niccolo Machiavelli)

U.S. General David Petraeus, in an interview with Fox News, said the U.S. military is putting “additional focus” on rooting out ties between Pakistan’s intelligence service and the Taliban. He also said the U.S. military reserves the “right of last resort” to take out threats inside Pakistan.

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Pakistan crackdown

March 13, 2009

The BBC reports Pakistani authorities have broadened their crackdown on anti-government protests in several parts of the country. Authorities in the country’s northwest have banned political gatherings, the article says, and officials in Sindh province blocked a protest convoy.

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani ordered security for opposition leader Nawaz Sharif to be stepped up, following intelligence reports that Sharif and his brother are under threat.

Meanwhile, Britain’s Foreign Minister David Miliband and U.S. regional envoy Richard Holbrooke held talks with Pakistan’s President Asif Ali Zardari. The Times of India reports Zardari also held meetings with Pakistan’s military chief Ashfaq Kiyani.

Dawn continues its coverage with a blog dedicated to the protests.

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Pakistan Planned Mumbai Terrorist Attack

February 12, 2009

A Pakistani official admitted for the first time that the deadly attacks in Mumbai, India, late last year were planned partly in Pakistan.

In a news conference today, Interior Ministry Chief Rehman Malik said legal proceedings have begun for eight suspects connected to militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LET). Tensions have been high between India and Pakistan following the attacks in Mumbai, which killed 173 people.

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Falsche Toleranz am Beispiel der Kapitulation der europäischen Aufklärung vor dem Islamismus

February 7, 2009

Jede Niederlage beginnt damit, dass man den Standpunkt des Gegners anerkennt. (Winston Churchill)

Und noch etwas passierte, nämlich, dass die Israelis sich selber geholfen haben, ohne die Hilfe der deutschen Linken oder der französischen Linken. Und da erkennen Sie das Wesen der Sorte Gutmenschen: Die sind nur dann für jemanden da, wenn Du ganz tief in der Scheiße sitzt oder wenn sie glauben, dass Du tief drin sitzt und sie glauben, man müsse Dir helfen. Aber jemand, der sich selber helfen kann, für den interessiert sich dieser Typ Gutmensch nicht mehr. […] Und da haben sie die armen Palästinenser entdeckt. (Ignatz Bubis im Gespräch mit Bettina Röhl)

20 Jahre nach der vom iranischen Ayatollah Khomeini ausgesprochenen Fatwa bzw. Mordaufruf gegen den britischen Schriftsteller muslimischen Glaubens Sir Ahmed Salman Rushdie, zieht Thierry Chervel – Mitbegründer des Kulturmagazins perlentaucher – eine düstere Bilanz über die Unterwerfung Europas vor der islamistischen Reaktion (Islam bedeutet Unterwerfung auf Arabisch, sprich Aufgabe der Individualität, und nicht Friede wie Multikulti-Apostel bzw. Grüne Opportunisten à la Cem Özdemir uns perfiderweise weis machen wollen) und über die Frage, was der Islamismus im Westen und der Linken seitdem angerichtet hat:

“Die Linke hat in der Auseinandersetzung mit dem Islamismus ihre Prinzipien aufgegeben. Sie stand für Loslösung von Sitte und Tradition, aber im Islam setzt sie sie im Namen von Multikulti wieder ins Recht. Sie ist stolz, die Frauenrechte erkämpft zu haben, aber im Islam toleriert sie Kopftücher, arrangierte Ehen und prügelnde Männer. Sie stand für Gleichheit der Rechte, nun plädiert sie für ein Recht auf Differenz – und damit für eine Differenz der Rechte. Sie proklamierte die Freiheit des Worts und gerät beim Islam in hüstelnde Verlegenheit. Sie unterstützte die Emanzipation der Schwulen und beschweigt das Tabu im Islam. Die fällige Selbstrelativierung des Westens nach der kolonialen Ära, die von postmodernen und strukturalistischen Ideen vorangetrieben wurde, führte zu Kulturrelativismus und Kriterienverlust.”

Zum Artikel.

Terrorism Update: Pakistani Islamic group targets India

January 28, 2009

In response to Israel’s military action in Gaza to stop Hamas rockets from being fired at Israeli towns and cities, several terrorist groups and their supporters have increased their threats against Israel and Jews, like Lashkar-e-Taiba (LET), a Pakistani-based Islamic terrorist organization.

The threats, which are coming from Hamas, Hezbollah, Al Qaeda, and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine among others, exhort Muslims to target Israeli civilians, Jews all over the world, Israeli embassies and American forces in Afghanistan.

Lashkar-e-Taiba (LET), a Pakistani-based Islamic terrorist organization, has embraced a more global anti-Western ideology that considers the United States of America, Israel and India to be its primary enemies. LET has vowed that it will plant the “flag of Islam” in Washington, Tel Aviv and New Delhi.

LET demonstrated this new ideology in a series of coordinated terror attacks in Mumbai, India, in November 2008, that killed over 170 people and wounded approximately 300 others. At least ten armed militants attacked several locations frequented by tourists throughout Mumbai, including a railway station, a popular restaurant, a hospital, two hotels and a Jewish Center.  Although LET never claimed responsibility for the attack, one of the militants captured by Indian authorities reportedly admitted that he belongs to LET and trained with the other gunmen at LET camps in Pakistan in preparation for the attacks.

The front group for LET in Pakistan, Jamaat-ud Dawa, reportedly changed its name in January 2009 to Tehreek-e-Tahafuz Qibla Awal, or the Movement for the Safeguarding of the First Center of Prayer, which appears to be in reference to Al Aqsa Mosque.  The name change demonstrates an ideological shift to further support and identify with the Palestinians.

LET was designated as a terrorist organization by the United States of America in December 2001; designated by Pakistan in January 2002; and designated by the United Nations in May 2005.

In Memoriam: Samuel P. Huntington (1927-2008)

January 24, 2009


To commemorate the passing of Samuel P. Huntington, the preeminent political scientist of the second half of the twentieth century, who died on December 24th, 2008, we reproduce his great controversial essay The Clash of Civilizations, published 1993 in the leading magazine for international affairs Foreign Affairs.


The Clash of Civilizations?

by Samuel P. Huntington

Summary: World politics is entering a new phase, in which the great divisions among humankind and the dominating source of international conflict will be cultural. Civilizations – the highest cultural groupings of people – are differentiated from each other by religion, history, language and tradition. These divisions are deep and increasing in importance. From Yugoslavia to the Middle East to Central Asia, the fault lines of civilizations are the battle lines of the future. In this emerging era of cultural conflict the United States must forge alliances with similar cultures and spread its values wherever possible. With alien civilizations the West must be accommodating if possible, but confrontational if necessary. In the final analysis, however, all civilizations will have to learn to tolerate each other.


World politics is entering a new phase, and intellectuals have not hesitated to proliferate visions of what it will be-the end of history, the return of traditional rivalries between nation states, and the decline of the nation state from the conflicting pulls of tribalism and globalism, among others. Each of these visions catches aspects of the emerging reality. Yet they all miss a crucial, indeed a central, aspect of what global politics is likely to be in the coming years.

It is my hypothesis that the fundamental source of conflict in this new world will not be primarily ideological or primarily economic. The great divisions among humankind and the dominating source of conflict will be cultural. Nation states will remain the most powerful actors in world affairs, but the principal conflicts of global politics will occur between nations and groups of different civilizations. The clash of civilizations will dominate global politics. The fault lines between civilizations will be the battle lines of the future.

Conflict between civilizations will be the latest phase in the evolution of conflict in the modern world. For a century and a half after the emergence of the modern international system with the Peace of Westphalia, the conflicts of the Western world were largely among princes-emperors, absolute monarchs and constitutional monarchs attempting to expand their bureaucracies, their armies, their mercantilist economic strength and, most important, the territory they ruled. In the process they created nation states, and beginning with the French Revolution the principal lines of conflict were between nations rather than princes.

In 1793, as R. R. Palmer put it, “The wars of kings were over; the wars of peoples had begun.” This nineteenth-century pattern lasted until the end of World War I. Then, as a result of the Russian Revolution and the reaction against it, the conflict of nations yielded to the conflict of ideologies, first among communism, fascism-Nazism and liberal democracy, and then between communism and liberal democracy. During the Cold War, this latter conflict became embodied in the struggle between the two superpowers, neither of which was a nation state in the classical European sense and each of which defined its identity in terms of its ideology.

These conflicts between princes, nation states and ideologies were primarily conflicts within Western civilization, “Western civil wars,” as William Lind has labeled them. This was as true of the Cold War as it was of the world wars and the earlier wars of the seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. With the end of the Cold War, international politics moves out of its Western phase, and its centerpiece becomes the interaction between the West and non-Western civilizations and among non-Western civilizations. In the politics of civilizations, the peoples and governments of non-Western civilizations no longer remain the objects of history as targets of Western colonialism but join the West as movers and shapers of history.


During the cold war the world was divided into the First, Second and Third Worlds. Those divisions are no longer relevant. It is far more meaningful now to group countries not in terms of their political or economic systems or in terms of their level of economic development but rather in terms of their culture and civilization.

What do we mean when we talk of a civilization? A civilization is a cultural entity. Villages, regions, ethnic groups, nationalities, religious groups, all have distinct cultures at different levels of cultural heterogeneity. The culture of a village in southern Italy may be different from that of a village in northern Italy, but both will share in a common Italian culture that distinguishes them from German villages. European communities, in turn, will share cultural features that distinguish them from Arab or Chinese communities. Arabs, Chinese and Westerners, however, are not part of any broader cultural entity. They constitute civilizations. A civilization is thus the highest cultural grouping of people and the broadest level of cultural identity people have short of that which distinguishes humans from other species. It is defined both by common objective elements, such as language, history, religion, customs, institutions, and by the subjective self-identification of people. People have levels of identity: a resident of Rome may define himself with varying degrees of intensity as a Roman, an Italian, a Catholic, a Christian, a European, a Westerner. The civilization to which he belongs is the broadest level of identification with which he intensely identifies. People can and do redefine their identities and, as a result, the composition and boundaries of civilizations change.

Civilizations may involve a large number of people, as with China (“a civilization pretending to be a state,” as Lucian Pye put it), or a very small number of people, such as the Anglophone Caribbean. A civilization may include several nation states, as is the case with Western, Latin American and Arab civilizations, or only one, as is the case with Japanese civilization. Civilizations obviously blend and overlap, and may include subcivilizations. Western civilization has two major variants, European and North American, and Islam has its Arab, Turkic and Malay subdivisions. Civilizations are nonetheless meaningful entities, and while the lines between them are seldom sharp, they are real. Civilizations are dynamic; they rise and fall; they divide and merge. And, as any student of history knows, civilizations disappear and are buried in the sands of time.

Westerners tend to think of nation states as the principal actors in global affairs. They have been that, however, for only a few centuries. The broader reaches of human history have been the history of civilizations. In A Study of History, Arnold Toynbee identified 21 major civilizations; only six of them exist in the contemporary world.


Civilization identity will be increasingly important in the future, and the world will be shaped in large measure by the interactions among seven or eight major civilizations. These include Western, Confucian, Japanese, Islamic, Hindu, Slavic-Orthodox, Latin American and possibly African civilization. The most important conflicts of the future will occur along the cultural fault lines separating these civilizations from one another.

Why will this be the case?

First, differences among civilizations are not only real; they are basic. Civilizations are differentiated from each other by history, language, culture, tradition and, most important, religion. The people of different civilizations have different views on the relations between God and man, the individual and the group, the citizen and the state, parents and children, husband and wife, as well as differing views of the relative importance of rights and responsibilities, liberty and authority, equality and hierarchy. These differences are the product of centuries. They will not soon disappear. They are far more fundamental than differences among political ideologies and political regimes. Differences do not necessarily mean conflict, and conflict does not necessarily mean violence. Over the centuries, however, differences among civilizations have generated the most prolonged and the most violent conflicts.

Second, the world is becoming a smaller place. The interactions between peoples of different civilizations are increasing; these increasing interactions intensify civilization consciousness and awareness of differences between civilizations and commonalities within civilizations. North African immigration to France generates hostility among Frenchmen and at the same time increased receptivity to immigration by “good” European Catholic Poles. Americans react far more negatively to Japanese investment than to larger investments from Canada and European countries.

Similarly, as Donald Horowitz has pointed out, “An Ibo may be … an Owerri Ibo or an Onitsha Ibo in what was the Eastern region of Nigeria. In Lagos, he is simply an Ibo. In London, he is a Nigerian. In New York, he is an African.”

The interactions among peoples of different civilizations enhance the civilization-consciousness of people that, in turn, invigorates differences and animosities stretching or thought to stretch back deep into history.

Third, the processes of economic modernization and social change throughout the world are separating people from longstanding local identities. They also weaken the nation state as a source of identity. In much of the world religion has moved in to fill this gap, often in the form of movements that are labeled “fundamentalist.” Such movements are found in Western Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism and Hinduism, as well as in Islam. In most countries and most religions the people active in fundamentalist movements are young, college-educated, middle-class technicians, professionals and business persons. The “unsecularization of the world,” George Weigel has remarked, “is one of the dominant social facts of life in the late twentieth century.” The revival of religion, “la revanche de Dieu,” as Gilles Kepel labeled it, provides a basis for identity and commitment that transcends national boundaries and unites civilizations.

Fourth, the growth of civilization-consciousness is enhanced by the dual role of the West. On the one hand, the West is at a peak of power. At the same time, however, and perhaps as a result, a return to the roots phenomenon is occurring among non-Western civilizations. Increasingly one hears references to trends toward a turning inward and “Asianization” in Japan, the end of the Nehru legacy and the “Hinduization” of India, the failure of Western ideas of socialism and nationalism and hence “re-Islamization” of the Middle East, and now a debate over Westernization versus Russianization in Boris Yeltsin’s country. A West at the peak of its power confronts non-Wests that increasingly have the desire, the will and the resources to shape the world in non-Western ways.

In the past, the elites of non-Western societies were usually the people who were most involved with the West, had been educated at Oxford, the Sorbonne or Sandhurst, and had absorbed Western attitudes and values. At the same time, the populace in non-Western countries often remained deeply imbued with the indigenous culture. Now, however, these relationships are being reversed. A de-Westernization and indigenization of elites is occurring in many non-Western countries at the same time that Western, usually American, cultures, styles and habits become more popular among the mass of the people.

Fifth, cultural characteristics and differences are less mutable and hence less easily compromised and resolved than political and economic ones. In the former Soviet Union, communists can become democrats, the rich can become poor and the poor rich, but Russians cannot become Estonians and Azeris cannot become Armenians. In class and ideological conflicts, the key question was “Which side are you on?” and people could and did choose sides and change sides. In conflicts between civilizations, the question is “What are you?” That is a given that cannot be changed. And as we know, from Bosnia to the Caucasus to the Sudan, the wrong answer to that question can mean a bullet in the head. Even more than ethnicity, religion discriminates sharply and exclusively among people. A person can be half-French and half-Arab and simultaneously even a citizen of two countries. It is more difficult to be half-Catholic and half-Muslim.

Finally, economic regionalism is increasing. The proportions of total trade that were intraregional rose between 1980 and 1989 from 51 percent to 59 percent in Europe, 33 percent to 37 percent in East Asia, and 32 percent to 36 percent in North America. The importance of regional economic blocs is likely to continue to increase in the future. On the one hand, successful economic regionalism will reinforce civilization-consciousness. On the other hand, economic regionalism may succeed only when it is rooted in a common civilization. The European Community rests on the shared foundation of European culture and Western Christianity. The success of the North American Free Trade Area depends on the convergence now underway of Mexican, Canadian and American cultures. Japan, in contrast, faces difficulties in creating a comparable economic entity in East Asia because Japan is a society and civilization unique to itself. However strong the trade and investment links Japan may develop with other East Asian countries, its cultural differences with those countries inhibit and perhaps preclude its promoting regional economic integration like that in Europe and North America.

Common culture, in contrast, is clearly facilitating the rapid expansion of the economic relations between the People’s Republic of China and Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore and the overseas Chinese communities in other Asian countries. With the Cold War over, cultural commonalities increasingly overcome ideological differences, and mainland China and Taiwan move closer together. If cultural commonality is a prerequisite for economic integration, the principal East Asian economic bloc of the future is likely to be centered on China. This bloc is, in fact, already coming into existence. As Murray Weidenbaum has observed,

Despite the current Japanese dominance of the region, the Chinese-based economy of Asia is rapidly emerging as a new epicenter for industry, commerce and finance. This strategic area contains substantial amounts of technology and manufacturing capability (Taiwan), outstanding entrepreneurial, marketing and services acumen (Hong Kong), a fine communications network (Singapore), a tremendous pool of financial capital (all three), and very large endowments of land, resources and labor (mainland China)…. From Guangzhou to Singapore, from Kuala Lumpur to Manila, this influential network-often based on extensions of the traditional clans-has been described as the backbone of the East Asian economy.

Culture and religion also form the basis of the Economic Cooperation Organization, which brings together ten non-Arab Muslim countries: Iran, Pakistan, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Tadjikistan, Uzbekistan and Afghanistan. One impetus to the revival and expansion of this organization, founded originally in the 1960s by Turkey, Pakistan and Iran, is the realization by the leaders of several of these countries that they had no chance of admission to the European Community. Similarly, Caricom, the Central American Common Market and Mercosur rest on common cultural foundations. Efforts to build a broader Caribbean-Central American economic entity bridging the Anglo-Latin divide, however, have to date failed.

As people define their identity in ethnic and religious terms, they are likely to see an “us” versus “them” relation existing between themselves and people of different ethnicity or religion. The end of ideologically defined states in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union permits traditional ethnic identities and animosities to come to the fore. Differences in culture and religion create differences over policy issues, ranging from human rights to immigration to trade and commerce to the environment. Geographical propinquity gives rise to conflicting territorial claims from Bosnia to Mindanao. Most important, the efforts of the West to promote its values of democracy and liberalism as universal values, to maintain its military predominance and to advance its economic interests engender countering responses from other civilizations. Decreasingly able to mobilize support and form coalitions on the basis of ideology, governments and groups will increasingly attempt to mobilize support by appealing to common religion and civilization identity.

The clash of civilizations thus occurs at two levels. At the micro- level, adjacent groups along the fault lines between civilizations struggle, often violently, over the control of territory and each other. At the macro-level, states from different civilizations compete for relative military and economic power, struggle over the control of international institutions and third parties, and competitively promote their particular political and religious values.


The fault lines between civilizations are replacing the political and ideological boundaries of the Cold War as the flash points for crisis and bloodshed. The Cold War began when the Iron Curtain divided Europe politically and ideologically. The Cold War ended with the end of the Iron Curtain. As the ideological division of Europe has disappeared, the cultural division of Europe between Western Christianity, on the one hand, and Orthodox Christianity and Islam, on the other, has reemerged. The most significant dividing line in Europe, as William Wallace has suggested, may well be the eastern boundary of Western Christianity in the year 1500. This line runs along what are now the boundaries between Finland and Russia and between the Baltic states and Russia, cuts through Belarus and Ukraine separating the more Catholic western Ukraine from Orthodox eastern Ukraine, swings westward separating Transylvania from the rest of Romania, and then goes through Yugoslavia almost exactly along the line now separating Croatia and Slovenia from the rest of Yugoslavia. In the Balkans this line, of course, coincides with the historic boundary between the Hapsburg and Ottoman empires. The peoples to the north and west of this line are Protestant or Catholic; they shared the common experiences of European history-feudalism, the Renaissance, the Reformation, the Enlightenment, the French Revolution, the Industrial Revolution; they are generally economically better off than the peoples to the east; and they may now look forward to increasing involvement in a common European economy and to the consolidation of democratic political systems. The peoples to the east and south of this line are Orthodox or Muslim; they historically belonged to the Ottoman or Tsarist empires and were only lightly touched by the shaping events in the rest of Europe; they are generally less advanced economically; they seem much less likely to develop stable democratic political systems. The Velvet Curtain of culture has replaced the Iron Curtain of ideology as the most significant dividing line in Europe. As the events in Yugoslavia show, it is not only a line of difference; it is also at times a line of bloody conflict.

Conflict along the fault line between Western and Islamic civilizations has been going on for 1,300 years. After the founding of Islam, the Arab and Moorish surge west and north only ended at Tours in 732. From the eleventh to the thirteenth century the Crusaders attempted with temporary success to bring Christianity and Christian rule to the Holy Land. From the fourteenth to the seventeenth century, the Ottoman Turks reversed the balance, extended their sway over the Middle East and the Balkans, captured Constantinople, and twice laid siege to Vienna. In the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries as Ottoman power declined Britain, France, and Italy established Western control over most of North Africa and the Middle East.

After World War II, the West, in turn, began to retreat; the colonial empires disappeared; first Arab nationalism and then Islamic fundamentalism manifested themselves; the West became heavily dependent on the Persian Gulf countries for its energy; the oil-rich Muslim countries became money-rich and, when they wished to, weapons-rich. Several wars occurred between Arabs and Israel (created by the West). France fought a bloody and ruthless war in Algeria for most of the 1950s; British and French forces invaded Egypt in 1956; American forces went into Lebanon in 1958; subsequently American forces returned to Lebanon, attacked Libya, and engaged in various military encounters with Iran; Arab and Islamic terrorists, supported by at least three Middle Eastern governments, employed the weapon of the weak and bombed Western planes and installations and seized Western hostages. This warfare between Arabs and the West culminated in 1990, when the United States sent a massive army to the Persian Gulf to defend some Arab countries against aggression by another. In its aftermath NATO planning is increasingly directed to potential threats and instability along its “southern tier.”

This centuries-old military interaction between the West and Islam is unlikely to decline. It could become more virulent. The Gulf War left some Arabs feeling proud that Saddam Hussein had attacked Israel and stood up to the West. It also left many feeling humiliated and resentful of the West’s military presence in the Persian Gulf, the West’s overwhelming military dominance, and their apparent inability to shape their own destiny. Many Arab countries, in addition to the oil exporters, are reaching levels of economic and social development where autocratic forms of government become inappropriate and efforts to introduce democracy become stronger. Some openings in Arab political systems have already occurred. The principal beneficiaries of these openings have been Islamist movements. In the Arab world, in short, Western democracy strengthens anti-Western political forces. This may be a passing phenomenon, but it surely complicates relations between Islamic countries and the West.

Those relations are also complicated by demography. The spectacular population growth in Arab countries, particularly in North Africa, has led to increased migration to Western Europe. The movement within Western Europe toward minimizing internal boundaries has sharpened political sensitivities with respect to this development. In Italy, France and Germany, racism is increasingly open, and political reactions and violence against Arab and Turkish migrants have become more intense and more widespread since 1990.

On both sides the interaction between Islam and the West is seen as a clash of civilizations. The West’s “next confrontation,” observes M. J. Akbar, an Indian Muslim author, “is definitely going to come from the Muslim world. It is in the sweep of the Islamic nations from the Maghreb to Pakistan that the struggle for a new world order will begin.” Bernard Lewis comes to a similar conclusion:

We are facing a mood and a movement far transcending the level of issues and policies and the governments that pursue them. This is no less than a clash of civilizations-the perhaps irrational but surely historic reaction of an ancient rival against our Judeo-Christian heritage, our secular present, and the worldwide expansion of both.

Historically, the other great antagonistic interaction of Arab Islamic civilization has been with the pagan, animist, and now increasingly Christian black peoples to the south. In the past, this antagonism was epitomized in the image of Arab slave dealers and black slaves. It has been reflected in the on-going civil war in the Sudan between Arabs and blacks, the fighting in Chad between Libyan-supported insurgents and the government, the tensions between Orthodox Christians and Muslims in the Horn of Africa, and the political conflicts, recurring riots and communal violence between Muslims and Christians in Nigeria. The modernization of Africa and the spread of Christianity are likely to enhance the probability of violence along this fault line. Symptomatic of the intensification of this conflict was the Pope John Paul II’s speech in Khartoum in February 1993 attacking the actions of the Sudan’s Islamist government against the Christian minority there.

On the northern border of Islam, conflict has increasingly erupted between Orthodox and Muslim peoples, including the carnage of Bosnia and Sarajevo, the simmering violence between Serb and Albanian, the tenuous relations between Bulgarians and their Turkish minority, the violence between Ossetians and Ingush, the unremitting slaughter of each other by Armenians and Azeris, the tense relations between Russians and Muslims in Central Asia, and the deployment of Russian troops to protect Russian interests in the Caucasus and Central Asia. Religion reinforces the revival of ethnic identities and restimulates Russian fears about the security of their southern borders. This concern is well captured by Archie Roosevelt:

Much of Russian history concerns the struggle between the Slavs and the Turkic peoples on their borders, which dates back to the foundation of the Russian state more than a thousand years ago. In the Slavs’ millennium-long confrontation with their eastern neighbors lies the key to an understanding not only of Russian history, but Russian character. To understand Russian realities today one has to have a concept of the great Turkic ethnic group that has preoccupied Russians through the centuries.‹

The conflict of civilizations is deeply rooted elsewhere in Asia. The historic clash between Muslim and Hindu in the subcontinent manifests itself now not only in the rivalry between Pakistan and India but also in intensifying religious strife within India between increasingly militant Hindu groups and India’s substantial Muslim minority. The destruction of the Ayodhya mosque in December 1992 brought to the fore the issue of whether India will remain a secular democratic state or become a Hindu one. In East Asia, China has outstanding territorial disputes with most of its neighbors. It has pursued a ruthless policy toward the Buddhist people of Tibet, and it is pursuing an increasingly ruthless policy toward its Turkic-Muslim minority. With the Cold War over, the underlying differences between China and the United States have reasserted themselves in areas such as human rights, trade and weapons proliferation. These differences are unlikely to moderate. A “new cold war,” Deng Xaioping reportedly asserted in 1991, is under way between China and America.

The same phrase has been applied to the increasingly difficult relations between Japan and the United States. Here cultural difference exacerbates economic conflict. People on each side allege racism on the other, but at least on the American side the antipathies are not racial but cultural. The basic values, attitudes, behavioral patterns of the two societies could hardly be more different. The economic issues between the United States and Europe are no less serious than those between the United States and Japan, but they do not have the same political salience and emotional intensity because the differences between American culture and European culture are so much less than those between American civilization and Japanese civilization.

The interactions between civilizations vary greatly in the extent to which they are likely to be characterized by violence. Economic competition clearly predominates between the American and European subcivilizations of the West and between both of them and Japan. On the Eurasian continent, however, the proliferation of ethnic conflict, epitomized at the extreme in “ethnic cleansing,” has not been totally random. It has been most frequent and most violent between groups belonging to different civilizations. In Eurasia the great historic fault lines between civilizations are once more aflame. This is particularly true along the boundaries of the crescent-shaped Islamic bloc of nations from the bulge of Africa to central Asia. Violence also occurs between Muslims, on the one hand, and Orthodox Serbs in the Balkans, Jews in Israel, Hindus in India, Buddhists in Burma and Catholics in the Philippines. Islam has bloody borders.


Groups or states belonging to one civilization that become involved in war with people from a different civilization naturally try to rally support from other members of their own civilization. As the post-Cold War world evolves, civilization commonality, what H. D. S. Greenway has termed the “kin-country” syndrome, is replacing political ideology and traditional balance of power considerations as the principal basis for cooperation and coalitions. It can be seen gradually emerging in the post-Cold War conflicts in the Persian Gulf, the Caucasus and Bosnia. None of these was a full-scale war between civilizations, but each involved some elements of civilizational rallying, which seemed to become more important as the conflict continued and which may provide a foretaste of the future.

First, in the Gulf War one Arab state invaded another and then fought a coalition of Arab, Western and other states. While only a few Muslim governments overtly supported Saddam Hussein, many Arab elites privately cheered him on, and he was highly popular among large sections of the Arab publics. Islamic fundamentalist movements universally supported Iraq rather than the Western-backed governments of Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. Forswearing Arab nationalism, Saddam Hussein explicitly invoked an Islamic appeal. He and his supporters attempted to define the war as a war between civilizations. “It is not the world against Iraq,” as Safar Al-Hawali, dean of Islamic Studies at the Umm Al-Qura University in Mecca, put it in a widely circulated tape. “It is the West against Islam.” Ignoring the rivalry between Iran and Iraq, the chief Iranian religious leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, called for a holy war against the West: “The struggle against American aggression, greed, plans and policies will be counted as a jihad, and anybody who is killed on that path is a martyr.” “This is a war,” King Hussein of Jordan argued, “against all Arabs and all Muslims and not against Iraq alone.”

The rallying of substantial sections of Arab elites and publics behind Saddam Hussein caused those Arab governments in the anti-Iraq coalition to moderate their activities and temper their public statements. Arab governments opposed or distanced themselves from subsequent Western efforts to apply pressure on Iraq, including enforcement of a no-fly zone in the summer of 1992 and the bombing of Iraq in January 1993. The Western-Soviet-Turkish-Arab anti-Iraq coalition of 1990 had by 1993 become a coalition of almost only the West and Kuwait against Iraq.

Muslims contrasted Western actions against Iraq with the West’s failure to protect Bosnians against Serbs and to impose sanctions on Israel for violating U.N. resolutions. The West, they alleged, was using a double standard. A world of clashing civilizations, however, is inevitably a world of double standards: people apply one standard to their kin-countries and a different standard to others.

Second, the kin-country syndrome also appeared in conflicts in the former Soviet Union. Armenian military successes in 1992 and 1993 stimulated Turkey to become increasingly supportive of its religious, ethnic and linguistic brethren in Azerbaijan. “We have a Turkish nation feeling the same sentiments as the Azerbaijanis,” said one Turkish official in 1992. “We are under pressure. Our newspapers are full of the photos of atrocities and are asking us if we are still serious about pursuing our neutral policy. Maybe we should show Armenia that there’s a big Turkey in the region.” President Turgut Özal agreed, remarking that Turkey should at least “scare the Armenians a little bit.” Turkey, Özal threatened again in 1993, would “show its fangs.” Turkish Air Force jets flew reconnaissance flights along the Armenian border; Turkey suspended food shipments and air flights to Armenia; and Turkey and Iran announced they would not accept dismemberment of Azerbaijan. In the last years of its existence, the Soviet government supported Azerbaijan because its government was dominated by former communists. With the end of the Soviet Union, however, political considerations gave way to religious ones. Russian troops fought on the side of the Armenians, and Azerbaijan accused the “Russian government of turning 180 degrees” toward support for Christian Armenia.

Third, with respect to the fighting in the former Yugoslavia, Western publics manifested sympathy and support for the Bosnian Muslims and the horrors they suffered at the hands of the Serbs. Relatively little concern was expressed, however, over Croatian attacks on Muslims and participation in the dismemberment of Bosnia-Herzegovina. In the early stages of the Yugoslav breakup, Germany, in an unusual display of diplomatic initiative and muscle, induced the other 11 members of the European Community to follow its lead in recognizing Slovenia and Croatia. As a result of the pope’s determination to provide strong backing to the two Catholic countries, the Vatican extended recognition even before the Community did. The United States followed the European lead. Thus the leading actors in Western civilization rallied behind their coreligionists. Subsequently Croatia was reported to be receiving substantial quantities of arms from Central European and other Western countries. Boris Yeltsin’s government, on the other hand, attempted to pursue a middle course that would be sympathetic to the Orthodox Serbs but not alienate Russia from the West. Russian conservative and nationalist groups, however, including many legislators, attacked the government for not being more forthcoming in its support for the Serbs. By early 1993 several hundred Russians apparently were serving with the Serbian forces, and reports circulated of Russian arms being supplied to Serbia.

Islamic governments and groups, on the other hand, castigated the West for not coming to the defense of the Bosnians. Iranian leaders urged Muslims from all countries to provide help to Bosnia; in violation of the U.N. arms embargo, Iran supplied weapons and men for the Bosnians; Iranian-supported Lebanese groups sent guerrillas to train and organize the Bosnian forces. In 1993 up to 4,000 Muslims from over two dozen Islamic countries were reported to be fighting in Bosnia. The governments of Saudi Arabia and other countries felt under increasing pressure from fundamentalist groups in their own societies to provide more vigorous support for the Bosnians. By the end of 1992, Saudi Arabia had reportedly supplied substantial funding for weapons and supplies for the Bosnians, which significantly increased their military capabilities vis-à-vis the Serbs.

In the 1930s the Spanish Civil War provoked intervention from countries that politically were fascist, communist and democratic. In the 1990s the Yugoslav conflict is provoking intervention from countries that are Muslim, Orthodox and Western Christian. The parallel has not gone unnoticed. “The war in Bosnia-Herzegovina has become the emotional equivalent of the fight against fascism in the Spanish Civil War,” one Saudi editor observed. “Those who died there are regarded as martyrs who tried to save their fellow Muslims.”

Conflicts and violence will also occur between states and groups within the same civilization. Such conflicts, however, are likely to be less intense and less likely to expand than conflicts between civilizations. Common membership in a civilization reduces the probability of violence in situations where it might otherwise occur. In 1991 and 1992 many people were alarmed by the possibility of violent conflict between Russia and Ukraine over territory, particularly Crimea, the Black Sea fleet, nuclear weapons and economic issues. If civilization is what counts, however, the likelihood of violence between Ukrainians and Russians should be low. They are two Slavic, primarily Orthodox peoples who have had close relationships with each other for centuries. As of early 1993, despite all the reasons for conflict, the leaders of the two countries were effectively negotiating and defusing the issues between the two countries. While there has been serious fighting between Muslims and Christians elsewhere in the former Soviet Union and much tension and some fighting between Western and Orthodox Christians in the Baltic states, there has been virtually no violence between Russians and Ukrainians.

Civilization rallying to date has been limited, but it has been growing, and it clearly has the potential to spread much further. As the conflicts in the Persian Gulf, the Caucasus and Bosnia continued, the positions of nations and the cleavages between them increasingly were along civilizational lines. Populist politicians, religious leaders and the media have found it a potent means of arousing mass support and of pressuring hesitant governments. In the coming years, the local conflicts most likely to escalate into major wars will be those, as in Bosnia and the Caucasus, along the fault lines between civilizations. The next world war, if there is one, will be a war between civilizations.


The west is now at an extraordinary peak of power in relation to other civilizations. Its superpower opponent has disappeared from the map. Military conflict among Western states is unthinkable, and Western military power is unrivaled. Apart from Japan, the West faces no economic challenge. It dominates international political and security institutions and with Japan international economic institutions. Global political and security issues are effectively settled by a directorate of the United States, Britain and France, world economic issues by a directorate of the United States, Germany and Japan, all of which maintain extraordinarily close relations with each other to the exclusion of lesser and largely non-Western countries. Decisions made at the U.N. Security Council or in the International Monetary Fund that reflect the interests of the West are presented to the world as reflecting the desires of the world community. The very phrase “the world community” has become the euphemistic collective noun (replacing “the Free World”) to give global legitimacy to actions reflecting the interests of the United States and other Western powers.› Through the IMF and other international economic institutions, the West promotes its economic interests and imposes on other nations the economic policies it thinks appropriate. In any poll of non-Western peoples, the IMF undoubtedly would win the support of finance ministers and a few others, but get an overwhelmingly unfavorable rating from just about everyone else, who would agree with Georgy Arbatov’s characterization of IMF officials as “neo-Bolsheviks who love expropriating other people’s money, imposing undemocratic and alien rules of economic and political conduct and stifling economic freedom.”

Western domination of the U.N. Security Council and its decisions, tempered only by occasional abstention by China, produced U.N. legitimation of the West’s use of force to drive Iraq out of Kuwait and its elimination of Iraq’s sophisticated weapons and capacity to produce such weapons. It also produced the quite unprecedented action by the United States, Britain and France in getting the Security Council to demand that Libya hand over the Pan Am 103 bombing suspects and then to impose sanctions when Libya refused. After defeating the largest Arab army, the West did not hesitate to throw its weight around in the Arab world. The West in effect is using international institutions, military power and economic resources to run the world in ways that will maintain Western predominance, protect Western interests and promote Western political and economic values.

That at least is the way in which non-Westerners see the new world, and there is a significant element of truth in their view. Differences in power and struggles for military, economic and institutional power are thus one source of conflict between the West and other civilizations. Differences in culture, that is basic values and beliefs, are a second source of conflict. V. S. Naipaul has argued that Western civilization is the “universal civilization” that “fits all men.” At a superficial level much of Western culture has indeed permeated the rest of the world. At a more basic level, however, Western concepts differ fundamentally from those prevalent in other civilizations. Western ideas of individualism, liberalism, constitutionalism, human rights, equality, liberty, the rule of law, democracy, free markets, the separation of church and state, often have little resonance in Islamic, Confucian, Japanese, Hindu, Buddhist or Orthodox cultures. Western efforts to propagate such ideas produce instead a reaction against “human rights imperialism” and a reaffirmation of indigenous values, as can be seen in the support for religious fundamentalism by the younger generation in non-Western cultures. The very notion that there could be a “universal civilization” is a Western idea, directly at odds with the particularism of most Asian societies and their emphasis on what distinguishes one people from another. Indeed, the author of a review of 100 comparative studies of values in different societies concluded that “the values that are most important in the West are least important worldwide.” In the political realm, of course, these differences are most manifest in the efforts of the United States and other Western powers to induce other peoples to adopt Western ideas concerning democracy and human rights. Modern democratic government originated in the West. When it has developed in non-Western societies it has usually been the product of Western colonialism or imposition.

The central axis of world politics in the future is likely to be, in Kishore Mahbubani’s phrase, the conflict between “the West and the Rest” and the responses of non-Western civilizations to Western power and values. Those responses generally take one or a combination of three forms. At one extreme, non-Western states can, like Burma and North Korea, attempt to pursue a course of isolation, to insulate their societies from penetration or “corruption” by the West, and, in effect, to opt out of participation in the Western-dominated global community. The costs of this course, however, are high, and few states have pursued it exclusively. A second alternative, the equivalent of “band-wagoning” in international relations theory, is to attempt to join the West and accept its values and institutions. The third alternative is to attempt to “balance” the West by developing economic and military power and cooperating with other non-Western societies against the West, while preserving indigenous values and institutions; in short, to modernize but not to Westernize.


In the future, as people differentiate themselves by civilization, countries with large numbers of peoples of different civilizations, such as the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia, are candidates for dismemberment. Some other countries have a fair degree of cultural homogeneity but are divided over whether their society belongs to one civilization or another. These are torn countries. Their leaders typically wish to pursue a bandwagoning strategy and to make their countries members of the West, but the history, culture and traditions of their countries are non-Western. The most obvious and prototypical torn country is Turkey. The late twentieth-century leaders of Turkey have followed in the Attatürk tradition and defined Turkey as a modern, secular, Western nation state. They allied Turkey with the West in NATO and in the Gulf War; they applied for membership in the European Community. At the same time, however, elements in Turkish society have supported an Islamic revival and have argued that Turkey is basically a Middle Eastern Muslim society. In addition, while the elite of Turkey has defined Turkey as a Western society, the elite of the West refuses to accept Turkey as such. Turkey will not become a member of the European Community, and the real reason, as President Özal said, “is that we are Muslim and they are Christian and they don’t say that.” Having rejected Mecca, and then being rejected by Brussels, where does Turkey look? Tashkent may be the answer. The end of the Soviet Union gives Turkey the opportunity to become the leader of a revived Turkic civilization involving seven countries from the borders of Greece to those of China. Encouraged by the West, Turkey is making strenuous efforts to carve out this new identity for itself.

During the past decade Mexico has assumed a position somewhat similar to that of Turkey. Just as Turkey abandoned its historic opposition to Europe and attempted to join Europe, Mexico has stopped defining itself by its opposition to the United States and is instead attempting to imitate the United States and to join it in the North American Free Trade Area. Mexican leaders are engaged in the great task of redefining Mexican identity and have introduced fundamental economic reforms that eventually will lead to fundamental political change. In 1991 a top adviser to President Carlos Salinas de Gortari described at length to me all the changes the Salinas government was making. When he finished, I remarked: “That’s most impressive. It seems to me that basically you want to change Mexico from a Latin American country into a North American country.” He looked at me with surprise and exclaimed: “Exactly! That’s precisely what we are trying to do, but of course we could never say so publicly.” As his remark indicates, in Mexico as in Turkey, significant elements in society resist the redefinition of their country’s identity. In Turkey, European-oriented leaders have to make gestures to Islam (Özal’s pilgrimage to Mecca); so also Mexico’s North American-oriented leaders have to make gestures to those who hold Mexico to be a Latin American country (Salinas’ Ibero-American Guadalajara summit).

Historically Turkey has been the most profoundly torn country. For the United States, Mexico is the most immediate torn country. Globally the most important torn country is Russia. The question of whether Russia is part of the West or the leader of a distinct Slavic-Orthodox civilization has been a recurring one in Russian history. That issue was obscured by the communist victory in Russia, which imported a Western ideology, adapted it to Russian conditions and then challenged the West in the name of that ideology. The dominance of communism shut off the historic debate over Westernization versus Russification. With communism discredited Russians once again face that question.

President Yeltsin is adopting Western principles and goals and seeking to make Russia a “normal” country and a part of the West. Yet both the Russian elite and the Russian public are divided on this issue. Among the more moderate dissenters, Sergei Stankevich argues that Russia should reject the “Atlanticist” course, which would lead it “to become European, to become a part of the world economy in rapid and organized fashion, to become the eighth member of the Seven, and to put particular emphasis on Germany and the United States as the two dominant members of the Atlantic alliance.” While also rejecting an exclusively Eurasian policy, Stankevich nonetheless argues that Russia should give priority to the protection of Russians in other countries, emphasize its Turkic and Muslim connections, and promote “an appreciable redistribution of our resources, our options, our ties, and our interests in favor of Asia, of the eastern direction.” People of this persuasion criticize Yeltsin for subordinating Russia’s interests to those of the West, for reducing Russian military strength, for failing to support traditional friends such as Serbia, and for pushing economic and political reform in ways injurious to the Russian people. Indicative of this trend is the new popularity of the ideas of Petr Savitsky, who in the 1920s argued that Russia was a unique Eurasian civilization.‡ More extreme dissidents voice much more blatantly nationalist, anti-Western and anti-Semitic views, and urge Russia to redevelop its military strength and to establish closer ties with China and Muslim countries. The people of Russia are as divided as the elite. An opinion survey in European Russia in the spring of 1992 revealed that 40 percent of the public had positive attitudes toward the West and 36 percent had negative attitudes. As it has been for much of its history, Russia in the early 1990s is truly a torn country.

To redefine its civilization identity, a torn country must meet three requirements. First, its political and economic elite has to be generally supportive of and enthusiastic about this move. Second, its public has to be willing to acquiesce in the redefinition. Third, the dominant groups in the recipient civilization have to be willing to embrace the convert. All three requirements in large part exist with respect to Mexico. The first two in large part exist with respect to Turkey. It is not clear that any of them exist with respect to Russia’s joining the West. The conflict between liberal democracy and Marxism-Leninism was between ideologies which, despite their major differences, ostensibly shared ultimate goals of freedom, equality and prosperity. A traditional, authoritarian, nationalist Russia could have quite different goals. A Western democrat could carry on an intellectual debate with a Soviet Marxist. It would be virtually impossible for him to do that with a Russian traditionalist. If, as the Russians stop behaving like Marxists, they reject liberal democracy and begin behaving like Russians but not like Westerners, the relations between Russia and the West could again become distant and conflictual.


The obstacles to non-Western countries joining the West vary considerably. They are least for Latin American and East European countries. They are greater for the Orthodox countries of the former Soviet Union. They are still greater for Muslim, Confucian, Hindu and Buddhist societies. Japan has established a unique position for itself as an associate member of the West: it is in the West in some respects but clearly not of the West in important dimensions. Those countries that for reason of culture and power do not wish to, or cannot, join the West compete with the West by developing their own economic, military and political power. They do this by promoting their internal development and by cooperating with other non-Western countries. The most prominent form of this cooperation is the Confucian-Islamic connection that has emerged to challenge Western interests, values and power.

Almost without exception, Western countries are reducing their military power; under Yeltsin’s leadership so also is Russia. China, North Korea and several Middle Eastern states, however, are significantly expanding their military capabilities. They are doing this by the import of arms from Western and non-Western sources and by the development of indigenous arms industries. One result is the emergence of what Charles Krauthammer has called “Weapon States,” and the Weapon States are not Western states. Another result is the redefinition of arms control, which is a Western concept and a Western goal. During the Cold War the primary purpose of arms control was to establish a stable military balance between the United States and its allies and the Soviet Union and its allies. In the post-Cold War world the primary objective of arms control is to prevent the development by non-Western societies of military capabilities that could threaten Western interests. The West attempts to do this through international agreements, economic pressure and controls on the transfer of arms and weapons technologies.

The conflict between the West and the Confucian-Islamic states focuses largely, although not exclusively, on nuclear, chemical and biological weapons, ballistic missiles and other sophisticated means for delivering them, and the guidance, intelligence and other electronic capabilities for achieving that goal. The West promotes nonproliferation as a universal norm and nonproliferation treaties and inspections as means of realizing that norm. It also threatens a variety of sanctions against those who promote the spread of sophisticated weapons and proposes some benefits for those who do not. The attention of the West focuses, naturally, on nations that are actually or potentially hostile to the West.

The non-Western nations, on the other hand, assert their right to acquire and to deploy whatever weapons they think necessary for their security. They also have absorbed, to the full, the truth of the response of the Indian defense minister when asked what lesson he learned from the Gulf War: “Don’t fight the United States unless you have nuclear weapons.” Nuclear weapons, chemical weapons and missiles are viewed, probably erroneously, as the potential equalizer of superior Western conventional power. China, of course, already has nuclear weapons; Pakistan and India have the capability to deploy them. North Korea, Iran, Iraq, Libya and Algeria appear to be attempting to acquire them. A top Iranian official has declared that all Muslim states should acquire nuclear weapons, and in 1988 the president of Iran reportedly issued a directive calling for development of “offensive and defensive chemical, biological and radiological weapons.”

Centrally important to the development of counter-West military capabilities is the sustained expansion of China’s military power and its means to create military power. Buoyed by spectacular economic development, China is rapidly increasing its military spending and vigorously moving forward with the modernization of its armed forces. It is purchasing weapons from the former Soviet states; it is developing long-range missiles; in 1992 it tested a one-megaton nuclear device. It is developing power-projection capabilities, acquiring aerial refueling technology, and trying to purchase an aircraft carrier. Its military buildup and assertion of sovereignty over the South China Sea are provoking a multilateral regional arms race in East Asia. China is also a major exporter of arms and weapons technology. It has exported materials to Libya and Iraq that could be used to manufacture nuclear weapons and nerve gas. It has helped Algeria build a reactor suitable for nuclear weapons research and production. China has sold to Iran nuclear technology that American officials believe could only be used to create weapons and apparently has shipped components of 300-mile-range missiles to Pakistan. North Korea has had a nuclear weapons program under way for some while and has sold advanced missiles and missile technology to Syria and Iran. The flow of weapons and weapons technology is generally from East Asia to the Middle East. There is, however, some movement in the reverse direction; China has received Stinger missiles from Pakistan.

A Confucian-Islamic military connection has thus come into being, designed to promote acquisition by its members of the weapons and weapons technologies needed to counter the military power of the West. It may or may not last. At present, however, it is, as Dave McCurdy has said, “a renegades’ mutual support pact, run by the proliferators and their backers.” A new form of arms competition is thus occurring between Islamic-Confucian states and the West. In an old-fashioned arms race, each side developed its own arms to balance or to achieve superiority against the other side. In this new form of arms competition, one side is developing its arms and the other side is attempting not to balance but to limit and prevent that arms build-up while at the same time reducing its own military capabilities.


This article does not argue that civilization identities will replace all other identities, that nation states will disappear, that each civilization will become a single coherent political entity, that groups within a civilization will not conflict with and even fight each other. This paper does set forth the hypotheses that differences between civilizations are real and important; civilization-consciousness is increasing; conflict between civilizations will supplant ideological and other forms of conflict as the dominant global form of conflict; international relations, historically a game played out within Western civilization, will increasingly be de-Westernized and become a game in which non-Western civilizations are actors and not simply objects; successful political, security and economic international institutions are more likely to develop within civilizations than across civilizations; conflicts between groups in different civilizations will be more frequent, more sustained and more violent than conflicts between groups in the same civilization; violent conflicts between groups in different civilizations are the most likely and most dangerous source of escalation that could lead to global wars; the paramount axis of world politics will be the relations between “the West and the Rest”; the elites in some torn non-Western countries will try to make their countries part of the West, but in most cases face major obstacles to accomplishing this; a central focus of conflict for the immediate future will be between the West and several Islamic-Confucian states.

This is not to advocate the desirability of conflicts between civilizations. It is to set forth descriptive hypotheses as to what the future may be like. If these are plausible hypotheses, however, it is necessary to consider their implications for Western policy. These implications should be divided between short-term advantage and long-term accommodation. In the short term it is clearly in the interest of the West to promote greater cooperation and unity within its own civilization, particularly between its European and North American components; to incorporate into the West societies in Eastern Europe and Latin America whose cultures are close to those of the West; to promote and maintain cooperative relations with Russia and Japan; to prevent escalation of local inter-civilization conflicts into major inter-civilization wars; to limit the expansion of the military strength of Confucian and Islamic states; to moderate the reduction of Western military capabilities and maintain military superiority in East and Southwest Asia; to exploit differences and conflicts among Confucian and Islamic states; to support in other civilizations groups sympathetic to Western values and interests; to strengthen international institutions that reflect and legitimate Western interests and values and to promote the involvement of non-Western states in those institutions.

In the longer term other measures would be called for. Western civilization is both Western and modern. Non-Western civilizations have attempted to become modern without becoming Western. To date only Japan has fully succeeded in this quest. Non-Western civilizations will continue to attempt to acquire the wealth, technology, skills, machines and weapons that are part of being modern. They will also attempt to reconcile this modernity with their traditional culture and values. Their economic and military strength relative to the West will increase. Hence the West will increasingly have to accommodate these non-Western modern civilizations whose power approaches that of the West but whose values and interests differ significantly from those of the West. This will require the West to maintain the economic and military power necessary to protect its interests in relation to these civilizations. It will also, however, require the West to develop a more profound understanding of the basic religious and philosophical assumptions underlying other civilizations and the ways in which people in those civilizations see their interests. It will require an effort to identify elements of commonality between Western and other civilizations. For the relevant future, there will be no universal civilization, but instead a world of different civilizations, each of which will have to learn to coexist with the others.

Samuel P. Huntington was Professor at Harvard University, where he was also director of the John M. Olin Institute for Strategic Studies and chairman of the Harvard Academy for International and Area Studies. He was one of the co-founders of the influential magazine Foreign Affairs.

An American Strategy for Asia

January 12, 2009

by Dan Blumenthal and Aaron Friedberg

ASIA STRATEGY WORKING GROUP – American Enterprise Institute (AEI)

On the global shift in wealth and power toward Asia

The new U.S. administration confronts an unusually long and daunting list of pressing foreign policy problems: ongoing conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq, the continuing threat of global terrorism, a brewing crisis in Pakistan, unresolved nuclear standoffs with Iran and North Korea, Russia’s new aggressiveness toward its neighbors, and the lingering aftereffects of a global financial meltdown. All will demand urgent attention and timely action. The president-elect will be lucky if he has a moment to savor his victory, let alone to pause and reflect on the longer-term trends that are reshaping the world.

Yet such reflection is badly needed. As important as they undoubtedly are, all of the issues listed above are being played out against the backdrop of something even bigger: a massive, rapid shift in the distribution of global wealth and power toward Asia. This process has been gathering momentum for more than thirty years; if current projections are borne out, in the next thirty Asia’s rise will fundamentally alter the structure of the international system and the character of great power politics.

It is difficult to exaggerate the magnitude of what is taking place. The changes now underway are comparable in scale, and potentially in historical significance, to the “rise of the West” – the emergence of Europe as the world’s leader in wealth and military power – or the rise of the United States to global preponderance that began in the nineteenth century.

Such a profound shift will eventually require the reexamination, and ultimately the reorientation, of many aspects of America’s foreign, economic, and defense policies. These changes may be forced by events. Or they could be shaped by a clear and coherent national strategy, a plan of action that looks beyond today’s turmoil, sets broad goals, and identifies the tools and policies that will be necessary to achieve them.

The purpose of this report is to put forward an American strategy for Asia. While it is motivated by an awareness of long-term trends, the emphasis of this report will be on the concrete and practical. We intend not only to identify goals, but also to specify the steps that a new president should take over the next four to eight years to bring them closer to realization.

Our report differs from others on related subjects in two important ways.

First, it is focused rather than comprehensive. Instead of touching lightly on every conceivable subject relevant to Asia, we have chosen to concentrate on those that we believe to be of greatest strategic importance.

Second, our report is more candid than is typically the case about the challenges that are likely to emanate from Asia and, in particular, about those that may result from the rise of China. Our intention is not to be provocative, but rather to be clear. Ritualized “happy talk” about where China is headed will do little, if anything, to alter Beijing’s course. But unwarranted optimism on the part of our leaders may make it harder to maintain public support for the policies necessary to keep the peace and secure American interests, and it could set the stage for future disappointment and overreaction if exaggerated expectations of Sino-American friendship are not met.

We have been reminded in recent years how important it is not to overstate the magnitude and imminence of threats to our nation’s security, but it is at least as important to be clear and honest in acknowledging their existence.

Read full report.

George W. Bush’s positive foreign policy legacy

January 7, 2009

In the last issue of Newsweek International, David Frum, a Canadian-born conservative journalist active in the both United States and Canadian political arenas and former speechwriter for President George W. Bush, highlighted George W. Bush positive foreign policy aspects, e.g. U.S.-India ties, Latin America links, and aiding Afghanistan.

Where Bush Was Right

by David Frum

“Change” was the magic word of this year’s campaign. In his speech to the Republican convention, John McCain – a 26-year Washington veteran – promised to change “almost everything” that the U.S. government does. Barack Obama, of course, put the word “change” into seemingly every campaign sign, TV ad, and sound bite. Yet there are some things the next president shouldn’t change.

George W. Bush hasn’t gotten much good press in recent years, but he’s accomplished some important things that the next president would do well to preserve and extend.

Consider three in particular:

1. The emerging U.S.-India strategic partnership.

Since 1995, there have been more than a dozen joint U.S.-Indian military exercises, but the size and importance of these operations has expanded dramatically under Bush. In 2007, the two countries conducted a three-week Special Forces counterinsurgency training exercise. That same year, Indian warships joined two U.S. aircraft carriers and warships from Australia, Japan and Singapore to practice maneuvers. India has begun buying U.S. military hardware, requesting more than a billion dollars in arms in 2007 and acquiring what is now the second-largest ship in the Indian navy: the I.N.S. Jalashva, formerly the U.S.S. Trenton, an amphibious transport vessel. And the United States and India have negotiated a new deal granting New Delhi access to nuclear fuel for civilian purposes.

India isn’t always an easy partner. New Delhi’s strategic interests sometimes don’t align with Washington’s – witness India’s comfortable relationship with Iran. And India is always sensitive to any hint it is being treated as anything less than an absolute equal. But with China becoming more assertive, India – along with Vietnam and other states on China’s seacoast – shares some vital interests with the United States. The next U.S. president should therefore build on Bush’s India legacy by drawing New Delhi into a closer defense relationship – not because Washington expects conflict with China, but in order to deter conflict.

2. A more equal partnership with Latin America.

During this decade, the big countries of South America turned to the left. Former union leader Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva won the presidency of Brazil in 2002. The populist husband-and-wife team of Nestor and Cristina Kirchner has governed Argentina since 2003. Michelle Bachelet, a center-left leader, governs Chile.

In the past, leftist Latin governments have clashed with conservative U.S. administrations. Venezuela’s Hugo Chávez has gleefully goaded Washington, hoping to justify his increasingly authoritarian rule by inciting a clash with the colossus of the North. But the Bush administration frustrated Chávez with something unexpected: nothing. Instead of snapping at Chávez’s bait, Washington largely ignored him. (Except for one bad day, when it briefly seemed to countenance an attempted anti-Chávez coup – a mistake swiftly corrected.)

Given enough rope to hang himself, Chávez quickly alienated his democratic left neighbors, even as Washington showed it was ready to do business with them. The economic policies of the Latin left may have slowed growth and stoked inflation, but there is good reason to hope that South American states have now developed the political means to correct such errors–without crisis or violence. The Latins themselves deserve most of the credit for this. But for the first time since the McKinley administration, Washington under Bush can fairly claim that it didn’t get in the way. The next president could learn a lesson from Bush’s restraint – and perhaps apply it to Cuba, where five decades of U.S. isolation have failed to achieve much.

3. The determination to do counterinsurgency right.

The Bush administration made many serious mistakes in Iraq, but the president got the big thing right. Faced with defeat, his administration first acted to cut off foreign support for the Iraqi insurgency by arresting and (covertly) killing Iranian operatives inside Iraq. It then developed unexpected new allies among the Sunni tribes, adopted effective new counterinsurgency tactics and deployed large reinforcements. The result was an unexpected success that has opened the way for political reconciliation.

The next president will face a very similar problem in Afghanistan. Covertly aided by Pakistan, a nasty insurgency by the resurgent Taliban has taken shape there. While the mission retains broad support in the United States, many NATO allies are under serious domestic pressure to cut their losses and withdraw.

Bush’s Iraq model should be reapplied: pressure Pakistan into ending its assistance to the insurgents, send in more troops and adopt new tactics. The job will be tough. But the new president should know that if the last one could do it in Iraq, surely he can do it in Afghanistan.

© 2009, Newsweek Inc.

Pakistan State-sponsored terrorism: Obama’s biggest foreign-policy challenge

January 7, 2009

In his most pointed criticism to date, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has blamed Pakistan for helping the terrorists responsible for the Mumbai attacks, an accusation that Pakistan denies.

Meanwhile, in a preview of remarks to be made today, outgoing National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley tells the Wall Street Journal Pakistan will be the biggest foreign policy challenge awaiting President-elect Barack Obama.

Read full story.

Ten worst news stories of 2008

December 23, 2008

by David A. Harris
Executive Director of the American Jewish Committee (AJC)
New York, December 22, 2008

This year, it wasn’t difficult to identify candidates for the worst news stories. The challenge was limiting them to ten. Here’s my list:

An ethical meltdown

An Israeli prime minister compelled to leave office, on the heels of an Israeli president who was obliged to leave his post under a cloud in 2007, sent another disturbing message that all is not well in Israeli politics.

The Bernie Madoff story, embodying greed and fraud to the Nth degree, inflicted more harm this year on the Jewish world than all of our external enemies combined.

And the front-page stories on the accusations against Agriprocessors, the kosher meat plant in Iowa charged with massive labor violations, triggered shock and embarrassment.

For a people whose mission statement puts a moral code front and center, clearly, there’s remedial work to be done.

An American meltdown

For those who believe that a strong, robust United States is critical to the defense of freedom and protection of human rights worldwide, there were troubling signs in 2008.

The world’s leading nation was revealed to have major cracks in its foundation.

Wall Street is teetering and Main Street is reeling. Detroit’s car manufacturers are on the brink of collapse, while many of the nation’s bridges and roadways aren’t far behind.

America was revealed to be #1 in the rates of obesity and incarceration, and at the bottom in the rate of savings. It was strikingly absent from the top ten countries in the Human Development Index, the global barometer of quality of life.

Iran’s nuclear ambition

Iran kept brazenly marching ahead toward nuclear weapons capability. It added substantially to the number of centrifuges – last month, it claimed 5,000 – and was revealed to have enriched sufficient uranium for one nuclear bomb.

At the same time, it brandished its latest missiles with a range of more 2000 kilometers.

Various diplomatic efforts, including sending a senior U.S. official, Bill Burns, to join talks with the Iranians, came up empty.

Legitimizing evil

While Iran violates UN Security Council resolutions, many nations carried on with a business-as-usual attitude toward Tehran.

Iranian President Ahmadinejad, who has repeatedly called for a world without Israel, denied the Holocaust, and trampled on the human rights of his own citizens, visited India, Turkey, and China in 2008. Brazil extended an open invitation for him to visit.

In addition, he returned to New York for the opening of the UN session, where he was literally embraced by UN General Assembly President Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann, and hosted at a dinner by Mennonite and Quaker groups.

And the reluctance of China and Russia to support toughened sanctions measures against Iran has stymied the efforts of the U.S., France, and Britain, the other three permanent members of the Security Council.

Swiss Foreign Minister Micheline Calmy-Rey traveled to Tehran in March, where she met with Ahmadinejad and was caught on camera laughing with a leader who should be a pariah.

And despite public proclamations to the contrary, many European countries actually increased their volume of commercial dealings with Iran. EU exports for the first eight months of 2008 rose 13 percent over the same period in 2007. Iran’s three largest European partners all increased their exports. Italy registered the most significant jump, followed by France and Germany.

Iran’s proxies gain ground

Hamas and Hezbollah emerged stronger in 2008. The two Iranian-backed terrorist groups are better armed, prepared, and fortified than one year ago.

In the case of Hamas, the just-ended six-month “lull” with Israel allowed it to add to its extensive tunnel network, command-and-control structure, arsenal of advanced weaponry, and training of forces, while keeping a tight grip on Gaza and holding on to kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.

Hamas believes it can have the best of both worlds – the right to attack Israel at will, while complaining about Israeli counter-measures and seeking sympathy from the international community.

In Lebanon, Hezbollah’s position was strengthened. True, UNIFIL forces deployed in southern Lebanon have prevented further fighting with Israel. But intelligence reports indicate that Hezbollah, with Syrian and Iranian help, has doubled its arsenal of missiles from 2006 and increased their range to include most, if not all, of Israel.

Child murderer honored

In a highly controversial exchange, Israel released Samir Kuntar. He was involved in a terrorist attack, in 1979, in the Israeli seaside town of Nahariya. Among his victims was a four-year-old girl, Einat Haran, whose skull was smashed.

Unrepentant, Kuntar returned to Lebanon, where he received a hero’s welcome. In fact, the country was given the day off to celebrate.

Not to be outdone, Syrian President Bashar Assad awarded Kuntar the Order of Merit, the nation’s top honor!

Anti-Semitism on the rise

In September, the highly regarded Pew Global Attitudes Project released its latest report.

Of European countries, Spain had the highest rate of negative attitudes toward Jews. By a margin of 46 to 37 percent, more Spaniards had an unfavorable image of Jews than favorable. In fact, more than twice as many Spaniards hold negative views of Jews than in 2005.

The same study revealed that, since 2004, negative views of Jews have also risen in France (from 11 to 20 percent), Germany (from 20 to 25 percent), Poland (from 27 to 36 percent), and Russia (from 25 to 34 percent).

Previous Pew studies revealed that 76 percent of Turks have a negative view of Jews, while the same figure for Lebanese is 97 percent, Jordanians 96 percent, and Egyptians 95 percent.

The Mumbai massacre

Once again, an open, multicultural society was the terrorists’ target. Once again, Jews were among those sought out for the “crime” of simply being Jewish. As a result, two-year-old Moshe Holtzberg will go through life as an orphan, his parents having been among the targeted victims.

The story is yet another reminder that Pakistan is “ground zero” in the war against radical Islamic forces.

With a weak government, nuclear arsenal, intelligence service with questionable loyalties, Saudi-funded madrassas spreading radicalism, and vast swaths of the country beyond central control, it’s not at all clear how to rein in the forces wreaking havoc in neighboring Afghanistan or plotting terrorist attacks at home and abroad.

Add places like Somalia and Sudan, also havens for jihadists, and the extent of the global challenge becomes still starker.

Russia is back

After reeling toward third-world status in the ’90s, Russia is back, its reemergence highlighted by its August conflict with Georgia.

Though largely dependent on high commodity prices to fuel its superpower ambitions, Russia has the talent and resources to be a major factor once again on the world stage. And it’s wasting no time in underscoring the point.

In 2008, Russia went ahead with providing fuel for the Bushehr nuclear reactor in Iran, after stalling for several years. And it discussed major arms deals with Iran, Lebanon, and Syria, all of which, if they go forward, will prove destabilizing in a region not known for its stability. (At the same time, ironically, Russia seeks to purchase weapons from Israel.)

And Russia’s coziness with Hugo Chavez, underscored this year by major weapons deals and warships arriving in Venezuelan ports, is a reminder of Moscow’s capacity for long-distance reach. Cuba, Nicaragua, Bolivia, Ecuador, and Venezuela, linked by anti-American sentiment, must be joyful at Russia’s reemergence as an alternative big-power address.

Self-inflicted wounds

With all the external challenges faced by Israel and the Jewish people, it would be nice to think that internal differences could be minimized. Hardly.

Instead, the Jewish world continues to be riven by an ever-growing profusion of organizations battling each other for funds, members, publicity, and access. And in tough economic times, the atmosphere only becomes more highly charged.

Moreover, some individuals and organizations hurl charges – privately or publicly – at one another with abandon, as if anyone with an opposing perspective needs to be cut off at the knees.

But then again, what’s new? In 1914, the legendary jurist Louis Marshall, president of AJC, spoke of the threats to Jews in Europe triggered by World War I:

“Unity of action is essential. There should be no division in counsel or in sentiment. All differences should be laid aside and forgotten. Nothing counts now but harmonious and effective action.”

Ninety-five years later, despite the external challenges, we’re no closer to Marshall’s idealistic goal. If anything, we’re only further away.

What a pity!

India-France nuclear talks

September 29, 2008

After the U.S. House of Representatives voted this weekend to pass the U.S.-India nuclear deal (it still must pass the U.S. Senate), Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh meets today with French President Nicolas Sarkozy to discuss boosting civilian nuclear energy trade, the BBC reports.

Read full story.

China and Pakistan: A New Strategic Alliance

September 20, 2008

Senior U.S. and Pakistani officials say they are hoping a new strategic partnership plan will be announced ahead of meetings between Presidents George W. Bush and Asif Ali Zardari in New York next week.

With Pakistan-U.S. ties strained, Islamabad looks also to its regional ally, China, to guarantee longterm stability. Policy experts say Pakistan also hopes for a nuclear deal with China to balance the U.S.-India nuclear pact now before the U.S. Congress.

Read full story.

Kashmir: Old Religious War Escalates

August 26, 2008

The Hindu reports fresh clashes in the Kashmir region have left six people dead, and looks at Indian government efforts to impose a curfew to contain the violence.

The Economist says more fights between Muslims and Hindus might be on the horizon.

Read full story.

India Nuclear Plans

July 18, 2008

The BBC previews meetings at which Indian nuclear officials will brief the United Nations on steps the country is taking to safeguard its nuclear facilities.

Read full story.

Kabul bombing blasts Indian embassy

July 8, 2008

Pakistan denied allegations that it was behind a car bombing of the Indian embassy in Kabul on Monday.

The denial followed statements from Afghanistan’s interior ministry that the attack was carried out “with coordination and advice from regional intelligence circles.”

Read full story.

U.S.-India Nuclear Deal

June 22, 2008

Rediff reports Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is upping the pressure on parliament to pass a nuclear cooperation deal with the United States, and that Singh may even resign over the issue.

Read full story.

Syrian President Assad: ‘India can bring balance to Middle East peace process’

June 13, 2008

Israeli press picked up on comments by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in an interview with the Indian newspaper The Hindu.

Assad said Israel never made Damascus cutting ties with Iran a precondition for peace talks, adding that Israel knows it needs peace with Syria to guarantee its safety.

The original text of the interview is available here.

Deepening Intraregional Trade and Investment in South Asia

May 21, 2008

A report from an Indian economic think tank looks at efforts to expand intra-regional trade in South Asia, particularly in clothing and textiles.

“This paper draws on recent field work within South Asia and an extensive review of secondary data to examine the dynamics of cross border trade and investment in South Asia, exploring the potential for, and obstacles to, such trade through the lens of a sector that is salient throughout South Asia: Textiles and Clothing.  Despite the growing competitiveness of this sector in the SAARC region, there is very little regional inter-linkage within South Asia’s textile and clothing industry.  Currently less than 4% of SAARC’s global T&C exports are traded within the region.  There is growing evidence of widespread substitution of South Asia by East Asia as the sourcing hub of fabric and accessories by the region’s major clothing exporters. Over 80% of the fabric needs of Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, for example, come from outside the region even though India and Pakistan are net exporters of textiles.”

Read full story.

Russian-Indian Arms Deals

May 20, 2008

New data shows major weaknesses in Russian-Indian arms trade, which Moscow had hoped might offset recent declines in arms sales to China.

The latest figures released by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute show a precipitous decline in the volume of Russian weapons sales to the Chinese military. Although Beijing remains the single largest recipient of Russian arms, the figures show a 63 percent decrease in the value of major Russian weapons deliveries to China, which is the lowest level in a decade. The decrease contributed to a 29 percent reduction in Russia’s overall export of major conventional weapons systems between 2006 and 2007. In addition, China and Russia have not signed any major new arms contracts in recent years and are in the process of completing past agreements.”

Read full story.

Wir sind Dalai Lama! Gehirnwäsche für Dummies

May 18, 2008

Ich stimme mit der Mathematik nicht überein. Ich meine, dass die Summe von Nullen eine gefährliche Zahl ist. (Stanislaw Jerzy Lec)

Öffentliche Meinungen – private Faulheiten. (Friedrich Nietzsche)

Guter Journalismus kann erstickt werden, aber er wird niemals konformistisch sein. (Hans Leyendecker)

Es hat sehr lange gedauert bis im Zusammenhang mit der Propaganda-Tournee des Sektenführers Dalai Lama quer durch Deutschland und der erbärmlichen Idolatrie in der Bevölkerung die ersten kritischen Artikel in den deutschen Medien erschienen. Bisher musste man von einer regelrechten Gleichschaltung der Presse sprechen, so identisch waren die abgeschmackten Lobhudeleien und devoten Anbiederungen von BILD bis Spiegel.

Zwei Hamburger retten die Ehre des deutschen Journalismus: Helmut Schmidt und Ulrich Wickert.

In der ZEIT hat sich Altbundeskanzler Helmut Schmidt zu Wort gemeldet (Tibet als Prüfstand) und mit Sachkenntnis auf die unmenschliche Situation der Bevölkerung Tibets unter dem buddhistischen Lama-Staat verwiesen.

In einem Video-Kommentar (Der Dalai Lama ist kein Heilsbringer) gibt der Journalist und Mitherausgeber des Nachrichtenportals Zoomer Ulrich Wickert seinen Senf dazu und verteidigt die Entscheidung von Bundespräsident Horst Köhler und Bundesaußenminister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, den Dalai Lama nicht zu empfangen. “Mutig sein, heißt heute, den Dalai Lama nicht zu treffen”, so soll Steinmeier seinen – richtigen – Entschluß begründet haben.

In einem Artikel der Frankfurter Allgemeinen Zeitung (Dalai sein ist alles) geht Nils Minkmar mit Ironie auf die so genannte Shugden-Affäre ein, die den Dalai Lama in schiere Rage versetzt.

Tibet-Experten Victoria und Victor Trimondi haben den Shugden-Fall, der jetzt immer mehr in das Licht der Öffentlichkeit gerät, ausführlich untersucht in dem Artikel Krieg der Orakelgötter – Shugden-Mönche beantragten gegen den Religionsführer eine Klage wegen Menschenrechtsverletzung beim Obersten Gericht Indiens.

Siehe auch unsere Artikel der vergangenen Monate:

Unverdiente Auszeichnung: Bürgermeister von Paris macht Sektenführer Dalai Lama zum Ehrenbürger

Der Dalai Lama – Sprücheklopfer für den Abreißkalender

China und der Westen: Wie man Feindbilder erzeugt

Aus gegebenem Anlass: Der Dalai Lama – ein Wolf im Schafspelz

Der Dalai Lama: Bewußtsein ohne Gehirn?

Buddhismus ist keine Religion des Friedens

Dalai Lama wegen Menschenrechtsverletzung von dem Obersten Gerichthof Indiens angeklagt

May 14, 2008
Während der XIV. Dalai Lama in den westlichen Medien wie ein „Gott zum Anfassen” (Der Spiegel) gefeiert wird, ist seit dem Frühjahr 2008 ein Verfahren gegen ihn wegen Menschenrechtsverletzung und Hinderung der freien Religionsausübung am höchsten Gericht seines Gastlandes Indien anhängig.

Kläger ist die so genannte Dorje-Shugden-Society, eine Gruppierung tibetischer Mönche, die den Schutzgott Dorje Shugden verehrt. Am 5. Mai 2008 gaben die Dorje Shugden Anhänger in einer Pressemitteilung bekannt, dass sie weltweit und insbesondere auch bei dem Deutschland-Besuch des XIV. Dalai Lama vom 16. bis zum 19. Mai 2008 gegen ihn demonstrieren werden.

Die Anklagepunkte gegen den tibetischen Religionsführer lauten: Unterdrückung religiöser Minderheiten, Verletzung des Rechts auf freie Meinungsäußerung, Inquisition, anti-demokratische Machenschaften, Denunziationen, Heuchelei, Doppelmoral.

Die Tibet-Experten Victor und Victoria Trimondi zeigen in einer gut recherchierten Studie, was hinter diesen Anschuldigungen steckt. Sie untersuchen den Shugden-Fall insbesondere unter der Frage, ob der exiltibetische Staat und der XIV. Dalai Lama die Trennung von Staat und Kirche wirklich anerkennen.

Der erbitterte Kampf des XIV. Dalai Lama gegen den Dorje-Shugden-Geist zeigt: die Grundgesetze des säkularen und humanistischen Staates haben für den tibetischen Religionsführer keine Bedeutung.

Zum Artikel.