Alberto Priego sums up the significance of the recent Summit of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in Latvia, in one phrase: NATO‘s door remains open. Priego explains that the issue of new members into the organization –such as Georgia, Ukraine, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Albania, and Croatia— played an important role at the meeting in Riga, on an equal plain with discussion of the ongoing turmoil in Afghanistan. Also discussed were the possibility of Global Partnership with countries like Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, and Japan, as well as the War in Iraq, international terrorism, and relations between NATO and the EU.
Dan Bavly explains how the post-Cold War immigration of Muslims to many Western countries, as well as the increasing globalization of the 21st century, have exacerbated the modern era’s clash of civilizations. In Bavly‘s opinion, terrorism should not be shocking as it is simply an updated form of warfare in a world that has always been dangerous. But to meet this new threat, Bavly writes, the West must improve its intelligence systems, and open up dialogue with the countries that it has placed in the axis of evil based upon mutual respect, equality, and understanding. Only then can the baseless opinions that have been ruling Western foreign policy be replaced with more innovative and intelligent approaches to peace.
Sohail Mahmood explains how despite Iran‘s insistence that it is developing its nuclear program for purely pacific means, it can be reasonably assumed that Iran wants to obtain nuclear weapons. The possession of nuclear capabilities would reduce Iran‘s historical sense of insecurity, and allow the ambitious country to become a leader in the Muslim World. In Mahmood‘s opinion, in order to avoid the further escalation of the crisis, the US and Western powers must learn to be patient, and establish multilateral negotiations with Iran in order to convince the country to give up its nuclear program without losing face. Given the weakening of the US in Iraq and Afghanistan, Iran‘s history of prominence in the Middle East, and the lack of support for sanctions, diplomacy is the only viable option available.
Juan Pedro García explains why, with the advance of the Internet, printed newspapers are coming up against a great number of challenges. In Garcia‘s opinion, it is essential for the printed media to adapt itself to fit the new times and technologies, not only to ensure their own survival, but also to avoid negative impacts on free expression, and objective reporting. A reduction in the diversity of printed news sources could present a backsliding for pluralism and democracy. The press, therefore, needs to look towards the future, taking advantage of new technologies and offering readers a diversity of viewpoints. If not, we may very well see in our lifetime, the end of printed news.
Luciano Anzelini analyzes the challenges that the United Nations will face in taking on the undeniable reform of its Security Council, suggested by Kofi Annan in 2005. In Anzelini‘s opinion, the stagnation of the reforms process is due to the fact that the Security Council is an exclusionary organism, which fails to faithfully represent the international reality. In order for the United Nations to finally advance to the path towards democratization, Anzelini outlines some reforms that should, and should not, be taken.
Edgardo Mocca takes advantage of the most recent meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement in Havana to reflect on the necessities of global democracy, and on the very real possibility that NAM‘s influence as a global voice may not have the same importance as it did during the Cold War. Mocca gives important ideas on how NAM can renew its strength by taking on a realistic and pragmatic series of goals to give it meaning and importance.
Pedro G. Cavallero discusses Venezuela‘s candidacy to replace Argentina as a nonpermanent member of the UN Security Council. Under the leadership of Hugo Chávez, Venezuela‘s foreign policy has become erratic. Chávez has allied himself with Iran and supported its bid for nuclear weapons, and if elected to such an important position in the Security Council could destabilize the Middle East. In Cavallero‘s opinion, another state must be chosen, capable of playing a constructive role in the United Nations.
Juan Tokatlian explains how the United States has increasingly practiced policies of unilateralism and aggression, ignored international protocols, and responsibilities, and set its own goals above those of the global community. Because the rest of the world cannot ignore Washington‘s international influence, the best response to the country’s increasingly belligerent foreign policy would be to involve Washington more in nation building, and to promote and defend international interests. Yet, while the US remains resolved to hold its course, the rest of the world need not sit by and allow itself to be intimidated. The battle against world problems such as poverty, the abuse of human rights, the destruction of the environment, the abuse of drugs, the proliferation of nuclear weapons, AIDS, and wide-spread corruption, can be fought without the United States. In the end, multilateral solutions can prevail over unilateral interests.