CIAO DATE: 04/02
Volume XXXVI No. 3 (July-September 2001)
The attack on New York and Washington could not but lead to war. But the conflict is likely to be unprecedented in that for the first time it will be waged against a phenomenon, not a country. The war will also have important effects on the international situation, some of which could turn out to be positive. Above all, one outcome to be expected is that the US will be more involved in international affairs and more cooperative with and attentive to the priorities and requirements of its allies and other international actors.
The costs of pursuing a war against terror, combined with the impact of an economic slide and reduced tax revenues, will impose hard choices on the US government concerning defence priorities and may make the price tag attached to an ambitious missile defence program less attractive. At the same time, a sustained effort to throttle transnational terrorism will demand close cooperation with allies and could make the frictions associated with an aggressive commitment to missile defence more difficult to override, the costs of unilateral abandonment of the ABM treaty less easy to sustain. The article looks into arguments for and against National Missile Defence and evaluates prospects after 11 September.
Arms control negotiations have highlighted the importance of precise language in defining treaty obligations and definitions, but sometimes this goal must be put aside in order to achieve an outcome acceptable to all parties. Thus, to this end diplomats and negotiators have at times successfully employed "constructive ambiguity", the use of deliberately ambiguous terminology in order to "resolve" issues and thereby achieve a positive outcome to the negotiation. This article examines the role of ambiguity in constructing effective agreements in order to identify lessons applicable to the current impasse over US NMD plans and Russian concerns about the integrity of the ABM Treaty.
TEPSA Europe Forum
Given the time it has taken to bring essential competences in currency, foreign policy and justice together in the EU, one can expect it to take a long time before strong operativity will be achieved in new areas of the Union. With an eye to enlargement, the author examines the current problems afflicting the European Union's structure and suggests ways of alleviating them.
Development of the "area of freedom, security and justice" (AFSJ) has become one of the most important and rapidly developing political projects of the EU, especially because it correlates to some of the primary concerns of European citizens. Yet it has also emerged as a difficult area for the upcoming enlargement. Four factors make adjustment to the acquis by the new eastern candidate countries more difficult in this sector than in others: the security rationale of AFSJ; the particular sensitivity of justice and home affairs in the national political context; the fact that preparations for accession in JHA started relatively late; and the rapid growth of the EU acquis following the entry into force of the Treaty of Amsterdam. While the EU may have to reconsider its maximalist approach, the applicant countries will have to accept that this is a very sensitive area for the EU in which few compromises will be on offer.
It took forty years for Europe to agree on a security dimension, thus turning over a new page in history. New politico-military bodies came into being in March 2000 and the Union now has a crisis management capability, allowing it to be active in Petersberg tasks. But it does not yet have a defence policy. After the experience of the Kosovo campaign, it became evident that priority should be given to improving capabilities in key areas. A culture of security must be fostered and an efficient decision-making process developed.Wise political governance is required in moving ahead. It is crucial that the process not imply differentiation from NATO and its shared values (cooperation in Macedonia is a good example to follow). Duplication is not in Europe's interests.
The article sets the results of the various issues discussed at the Genoa G-8 Summit into context. Whether it be the fight against poverty, foreign debt cancellation, trade and investments, development aid, the fight against AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis, the environment or the digital divide, the author argues that, in contrast to the post-summit rhetoric, the concrete results of the July summit are disappointing above all because there seems to be no consistency in and little long-term implementation of the policies and commitments already taken on on several occasions.
Despite the riots in the streets, the Genoa summit marked some important achievements, thanks to recent developments in decision-making. The heads of government themselves put their mark on the Genoa Plan for Africa.The supporting apparatus stimulated agreement on launching a new trade round and enabled the heads to give their authority to the new Global AIDS and Health Fund. Involving other actors - business and NGOs - gave substance to the G8's work on bridging the digital divide. Genoa was thus productive; but the summits' reputation depends on these commitments being met.
Italian foreign policy survey
The failure of the Nice European Council in December 2000 to strengthen Europe's supranational authorities will make it more difficult to pass reforms that increase the transferability of social protection benefits. Without this kind of updating, labour mobility will remain low in the EU. Indeed, it is still hard for European citizens to take advantage of one of the main benefits associated with belonging to a single, integrated economic space: the possibility of changing your job and moving elsewhere if you like. Achieving this objective will call for the intervention of European supranational authorities. As for Italy, the Italian system still has great difficulty in fulfilling the three main objectives of any social protection system: reducing extreme poverty and social exclusion; providing insurance coverage against possible events that provoke a vertical drop in income; increasing the benefits deriving from participation in the labour market. Suggestions are offered of ways in which the EU can improve the efficiency, effectiveness and equity of the welfare systems of its member countries.
Despite the soothing rhetoric of continued co-operation it is clear that the first months of the Bush administration have sharpened pre-existing transatlantic disputes in foreign policy. Increasingly, Europeans and Americans differ over the importance of global rules and norms; over what counts as a security problem; and over what sort of strategies are most effective to deal with them. The article identifies the factors that in recent years have created a new climate of opinion in Washington. Moreover, it offers concrete policy suggestions that both sides of the Atlantic should implement in order to stem the harmful transatlantic drift over "global governance".
China and Japan will celebrate the 30th anniversary of the normalisation of bilateral relations in 2002. Despite their pragmatic approaches and close economic cooperation, they face a number of unsettled issues including those of historical perceptions and Taiwan. The article aims to analyse political divergences and convergences between the two neighbouring countries and the prospects for developing their ties and collaboration in the regional framework.Thus, it reviews current key issues between them; envisages how overall Sino-Japanese relations will unfold in the near future; and considers how regional arrangements can support their mutual cooperation, with reference to the ASEAN.
Book Reviews and Notes