Cato Foreign Policy Briefing No. 40 April 5, 1996

Foreign Policy Briefing

Instinct for the Capillary:
The Clinton Administration's Foreign Policy "Successes"

by Jonathan G. Clarke

Jonathan G. Clarke is a research fellow in foreign policy studies at the Cato Institute and coauthor of After the Crusade: American Foreign Policy for the Post-Superpower Age (Madison Books, 1995).

Executive Summary

President Clinton and his senior advisers have claimed a lengthy list of foreign policy successes in such places as Bosnia, Haiti, Northern Ireland, North Korea, and the Middle East. Those claims should be viewed skeptically. The recent terror bombings in Britain and Israel, conducted by the Irish Republican Army and Hamas, respectively, underscore the ephemeral nature of Washington's alleged diplomatic achievements. Events in Haiti, North Korea, and Bosnia likewise provide little cause for optimism in the long run.

Even if the administration's claims are accepted at face value, most of the "successes" involve countries that have little relevance to America's vital interests. At the same time, Washington's relations with such crucial nations as Russia, China, Japan, and the West European powers are in disarray. Indeed, the United States appears to be drifting toward confrontations with both Russia and China. A string of miscellaneous policy successes on peripheral matters cannot begin to compensate for such a dangerous intellectual vacuum at what should be the epicenter of foreign policy.


Within the foreign policy community and the wider electorate, President Clinton's foreign policy performance has rarely attracted positive comment. Recently, however, the administration has begun to fight back. In the, albeit exceptionally brief, section devoted to foreign affairs in his state of the union message on January 23, 1996, Clinton painted a rosy picture, claiming successes in Haiti, North Korea, Northern Ireland, and Bosnia. Senior administration officials have been making similar upbeat claims in other speeches. [l]

With the onset of the 1996 presidential campaign, those assertions will undoubtedly be expanded and embellished. Before the rhetoric takes over, however, it makes sense to look more closely at whether the administration's claims are justified. Foreign policy is unlikely to play the decisive role in the general election, but that is not to say that it will be irrelevant. Even in so domestically oriented an election as that of 1992, the Clinton campaign was able to make good use of the conflict in Bosnia to puncture Republican claims of superior foreign policy skills. Though concentrating on matters nearer home, the American people will in 1996 also be pondering such questions as whether they can trust the administration on foreign policy and whether a Republican in the White House might do better.

The Central Issue of Foreign Policy

The perception of increased foreign policy competence on the part of the Clinton administration is not entirely unjustified. Even its harshest critics would admit that, after two years of amateurish mismanagement, the administration has displayed a surer touch over the past year. As one academic observer has commented, "Clinton is now awake in class." That new alertness has not gone unnoticed overseas. [2]

At first glance, the list of administration achievements looks reasonably impressive. U.S. officials moved rapidly to help dampen tensions between Greece and Turkey in the eastern Aegean. The State Department's dogged support of the Middle East peace process has been showing signs of bearing fruit (although the recent rash of terror bombings in Israel raises new doubts about the outcome). The Partnership for Peace is facilitating military cooperation between West and East European countries. Thanks to American support, Mexico is, at least for the time being, no longer on the brink of financial disaster. Elsewhere, even if the "successes" in such places as Bosnia and Northern Ireland prove to be ephemeral or to make little long-lasting contribution to core American interests, at least the administration is no longer so painfully prone to the embarrassing public gaffes and contradictions that bedeviled its earlier days.

Further, the administration's more assured performance contrasts favorably with the continuing confusion in the Republican ranks. The GOP's public split over policy toward Bosnia and the party's muddle-headed obsession with increasing the level of military spending rather than examining the validity of the underlying strategic rationales hardly inspire confidence. Even worse is the GOP's tendency to support ill-considered initiatives. The unnuanced support for Taiwanese independence irrespective of Chinese reactions and the public advocacy of covert action against Iran are the most prominent examples. Such actions are not signs of a coherent, much less a prudent, approach to the problems of post-Cold War diplomacy.[3]

It may be tempting, therefore, for the electorate to conclude that foreign policy is in reasonably good shape and that it can safely rely on the administration's continued stewardship. Doing so would be sadly premature. A review of the facts shows that the administration's foreign policy, though more accomplished than during 1993 and 1994, betrays an alarming void in precisely the area of greatest importance. The real question of foreign policy is, not whether the United States can rack up a string of miscellaneous "successes," but whether Washington's actions have made it more or less likely that the nation will have to fight a major war in the foreseeable future.

If the question is framed--as it should be--in that way, the answer is somber. Despite the end of the Cold War and the collapse of adversarial ideologies, the United States has failed to promote the evolution of a global system that permits it to have stable, nonvolatile relationships with other important powers, most notably Russia and China. To the contrary, the United States is almost on the point of turning those two powerful nations into strategic adversaries, possibly even in alliance with each other. At the same time, the United States has failed to redefine its increasingly troubled relationships with Western Europe and Japan. That such disarray may be the ultimate outcome of the American triumph in the Cold War constitutes a bitter commentary on the Clinton administration's stewardship. An enormous opportunity may be in the process of being squandered.

That disturbing possibility is being covered up by the rhetorical abandon with which administration leaders celebrate their "success" on secondary issues. That may be effective politics, but as a substantive means of encouraging global stability and the conditions under which America's interests can flourish, it is exactly the opposite of what is required.

Politics versus Substance

In the long-running debate about post-Cold War foreign policy, Cato Institute scholars have consistently argued against foreign policy activity for activity's sake. They have pointedly criticized many of the more extravagant agendas for international activism put forward by the for eign policy community since the end of the Cold War. Although often criticized as neoisolationist, the more cautious approach is, in fact, firmly centered on American interests. It argues that peripheral adventuring can and should be stripped away--not so that the country can bury its head in the sand but so that the nation's remaining core interests can be protected with a well-thought-out strategy that brings aspirations and resources into an operationally sustainable balance. [4] The administration's failure to pay any attention to that principle raises profound doubts about Clinton's claims of foreign policy prowess.

Despite the fact that Clinton is now the longest serving post-Cold War president, he continues to shy away from any effort to establish a rational set of foreign policy priorities. Though billed as the launch of his election campaign, his state of the union message contained not a word about the long-term foreign policy goals toward which, if reelected, the president would try to steer the country. Apart from the self-congratulations about Haiti, North Korea, Northern Ireland, and Bosnia and a routine extolling of the alleged indispensability of American leadership, the speech provided virtually no evidence that the administration is today any closer to defining priorities than it was when it first came into office.

To say, for example, as Clinton did, that the United States can neither do everything in the world nor be isolationist is simply to restate the problem without identifying a solution. What is needed is some framework for making choices. In his speech, Clinton's list of foreign policy concerns (including terrorism, nuclear proliferation, and narcotics trafficking) remained as undifferentiated and as unprioritized as any of his administration's early 1993 foreign policy declarations. More troubling, he made no mention of the vital question of the resources that would have to be devoted to the pursuit of specific objectives.[5]

The judgment must stand, therefore, that, in terms of the intellectual underpinnings of its foreign policy, the administration is, in the words of Sen. Phil Gramm (R-Tex.), doing little more than "channel surfing." Further evidence of the administration's tendency to "muddle through" came in Secretary of State Warren Christopher's address at Harvard on January 18, 1996, when he catalogued the administrations foreign policy activities without once showing how those actions were part of an overall scheme for protecting America's vital interests.[6]

Christopher's omission goes to the heart of the problem. The absence of a coherent, comprehensive approach to foreign policy explains why, despite the administration's improved performance, it is appropriate to remain lukewarm about the administration's record and its overall ability to chart a safe course for the nation.

The Unconvincing Definition of "Success"

After the perpetual disarray that marked the first two years of the Clinton administration, it is appropriate to acknowledge that matters have improved. However slight the prospects for lasting peace may be in Bosnia, for example, there can be no doubting the professionalism of the American diplomatic and military team that is attempting to implement the Dayton accords. Similarly, even if the motivation was largely rooted in American domestic politics, the administration's 1995 diplomatic initiative regarding Northern Ireland was useful in regaining some of the lost momentum of the peace process.

There is, however, a disturbing pattern to those and the other successes claimed by the administration: the more closely they are examined, the less impressive they are. They tend to be fragile or unfinished, puzzlingly remote from the nation's true interests, or founded on ill-conceived diplomacy. A brief review of the administration's list of successes shows the validity of such criticisms.


The September 1994 invasion of Haiti involved the deployment of 20,000 U.S. troops at an approximate cost of $2 billion. With that expenditure of effort and resources, the United States has brought about little change in Haiti's underlying problems. To be sure, a democratic political structure has been reestablished, including the first peace ful transfer of presidential power in Haiti's history. Beyond that step, however, the gains have been meager. On the economic front, the vital process of privatization has stalled (prompting the resignation of Prime Minister Smarck Michel in October 1995). Unemployment has reached 75 percent of the working population, with little prospect for improvement in the foreseeable future. Political activity is far from free and open. Those opposed to Jean-Bertrand Aristide and his Lavalas Party are still subject to assassination and intimidation. Some two dozen opposition figures (including prominent Aristide critic Mireille Durocher Bertin) have perished since Aristide was restored to power. The political process is so rigged by Lavalas that most of the opposition parties refused to participate in the December 1995 presidential election.[7]

In other words, the conditions that prompted the United States to invade Haiti have not fundamentally changed. The mission is thus unfinished. Yet American troops and police personnel--with the exception of some logistical units--are being withdrawn. The question for the administration is why, if, as Clinton argued in 1994, it was essential to invade Haiti and "restore democracy," it can now also be good policy to abandon the task before it is complete.

North Korea

The framework agreement on nuclear issues negotiated with the North Korean regime in October 1994 attracted mixed reviews from the start. Even such normally sympathetic bodies as the Council on Foreign Relations gave what was at best a tepid endorsement of the administration's handiwork. Other observers argued forcefully that the United States had been out-negotiated: Washington agreed to provide diplomatic recognition, oil, and funding for new (albeit supposedly more proliferation-resistant) reactors and in return was shortchanged on the vital issue of North Korea's accounting for its past research and reprocessing activities.[8]

Some 17 months later, it is becoming apparent that the accord is a "success" only in the sense that the issue has receded from the headlines. The underlying concerns that in 1994 caused the Pentagon to ship missiles and other advanced equipment to reinforce U.S. forces in South Korea remain as cloudy as ever. The most grievous concerns are whether North Korea ever assembled any nuclear weapons and, if so, the current disposition of those weapons.[9] At the moment, the United States has few security gains to show for its diplomatic brinkmanship.

Northern Ireland

The Clinton administration is not the first U.S. administration to have involved itself in the affairs of Northern Ireland.[10] But it is certainly the first to have pursued high-profile policies in the teeth of explicit objections from the British government. The granting of a visa to the Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams in March 1995 bruised Anglo- American relations.[1l]

The justification for that action was that it nudged the British over a hurdle--namely, their previous refusal to talk to Adams officially--that they needed to clear if the faltering peace process was to have any chance of success. For their part, the British argued that they enjoyed more than adequate indirect access to Sinn Fein. From their perspective, the more important requirement was to obtain a renunciation of terrorism from Sinn Fein and the Irish Republican Army's agreement to decommission its stock of weapons.

Whatever the respective merits of those two positions (the resumption by the IRA of their terror campaign with a bomb attack in London on February 9, 1996, suggests that the British position was not without foundation), the real question for the assessment of Washington's initiative turns on American interests.[12] With the peace process continual ly subject to stresses beyond America's control, what was the utility of Washington's intervention? Did it achieve a lasting breakthrough, or was it premature, if not gratuitously intrusive? Given that resources for foreign policy ventures are finite, there seems little reason for American energies to be expended in Northern Ireland--other than perhaps at specific British request.


In making its case for foreign policy competence, the administration puts Bosnia at the center. In view of Bosnia's high profile as an international issue and in light of the technical expertise displayed in the negotiation and implementation of the Dayton agreement, that emphasis is understandable. To have brought peace--or at least the chance for peace--to a country so wracked by civil war is a significant diplomatic achievement. But in many respects, Bosnia is the least defensible of the administration's claimed foreign policy successes.

There are so many ways in which the Dayton accord could unravel that, if it does so, analysts will have no trouble pointing out its multiple internal flaws .[13] But even if the U.S. initiative proves to be a success and brings peace of a sort to Bosnia, the episode will remain one of very ambivalent quality.

Many volumes remain to be written about the Yugoslav tragedy. [14] Given the passions and professional reputations involved, it will probably be some time before the awkward truth is allowed to emerge: that a settlement not far removed from (and in some ways superior to) the Dayton accord was available in the shape of a European Union (EU)-sponsored agreement reached in Lisbon in early 1992 and in the EU-United Nations-sponsored proposals put forward by Cyrus Vance and David Owen in 1993. No one would argue that those plans were perfect, but, in each case, the opposition of the United States on the grounds that the proposal condoned ethnic partition constituted the decisive reason for the failure of the initiative.[15]

The constitutional arrangements of the Dayton agree ment, however, implicitly accept the ethnic partition of Bosnia, not only by region but even by village and suburb. Despite vigorous denials by the administration, ethnic separation is proceeding apace--sometimes with the explicit assistance of NATO troops.[16] The unpleasant question that the administration is avoiding is, if in 1992 and 1993 it was wrong to accept the results of ethnic cleansing, why was it right to do so in 1995?

Despite the significant public relations dividends reaped by the administration from the Dayton agreement, the substantive story is ambiguous. America's policy regarding Bosnia can be counted a success only in the somewhat techni cal sense that, having dug itself into a deep hole, the administration managed to dig itself out--by accepting the very arguments for ethnic partition that it had once reject ed. The claim made by administration spokesmen and their media supporters that the Bosnian peace settlement proves the brilliance of American diplomacy and the incompetence of the rest of the world's is massively overwrought .[17]

At a time when the administration is seeking to extract as much advantage as possible from the Dayton settlement, it is important to keep the facts in mind. Even if the agree ment beats the odds and endures, that will simply mean that by dint of some skillful diplomacy the administration has extracted itself from a mess of its own making. In addition to the needless loss of life and property in Bosnia itself, the cost to the United States has been a significant expenditure of money and the unnecessary placing of American forces at risk. Far from being the crown jewel in the administration's diplomatic diadem, Bosnia is the chief skeleton in the administration's foreign policy closet.

Subregional Success Cannot Compensate for Strategic Failure

An assessment of the initiatives in Haiti, North Korea, Northern Ireland, and Bosnia raises questions about whether the successes are as full as the administration claims. But that is not the most important reason for concern. In fact, even if the administration's claims of success were accepted at face value, there would still be cause for deep disquiet.

With the exception of Mexico, all the issues on which the administration sings its own praises are of secondary or lower importance to the United States. While meriting American attention on grounds of geographical proximity, Haiti is hardly the stuff of global politics. Northern Ireland falls into the same category, but without the justification of proximity. North Korea is important in a re gional context but falls short of being a strategic threat to the United States. Through mismanagement, Bosnia was allowed to assume an importance that far transcended its intrinsic relevance to the United States.[18]

In other words, those activities--whether they are rated as successful or otherwise--do not in themselves add up to the foreign policy of a global power like the United States. For such a power, success in subregional theaters cannot compensate for failure at the strategic level.

The Vacuum at the Center of Foreign Policy

Yet the United States can boast only of peripheral foreign policy successes. Conspicuous by their absence from the state of the union message were any significant references to Russia, China, Western Europe, or Japan. That omission is remarkable. The first two countries have the potential to become strategic adversaries if relations are bungled. Japan and the nations of Western Europe constitute important American security and economic interests.

U.S. policies toward those countries must be managed competently, not just because of their individual significance but also because of their interdependence. An alien ated Russia, for example, might be forced back into a strategic partnership with China that would in turn cause great uneasiness in Japan and Western Europe. That may appear to be an improbable scenario, but at least a limited Sino- Russian rapprochement is already under way. Moreover, even the possibility of a Beijing-Moscow axis serves to illustrate the point that strategic policy issues cannot be neatly compartmentalized. At some point--either in the Oval Office or by the national security adviser or secretary of state--the threads have to be drawn together. Sadly, that is not happening in the Clinton administration.

To start with Russia and China: both countries find themselves at very dangerous points in their political and economic development. Russia is an immensely powerful country, at present down on its luck but looking at ways to reassert itself. China is a rising superpower seething from a sense of grievance over mistreatment in past periods of weakness. The noted China scholar Orville Schell has characterized China's mentality as "not playing to solve problems but to win."[19] Accommodating those volatile countries within the context of a stable global system is a crucial challenge for American foreign policy. Bosnia and Haiti are not going to bomb Los Angeles. China--as Speaker Newt Gingrich has acknowledged--just might if matters go awry.[20]

This is not the place to revisit the specifics of desirable policy toward Russia and China.[21] In both cases, policy is the subject of intense debate, and it would be disingenuous to pretend that there are any easy answers. What is disturbing, however, is that the administration seems unable to order its thoughts on either of those crucial countries. Half facetiously, administration officials refer to a posture of "deliberate ambiguity." [22] "Indecision" would perhaps be a better description.

That leaves a massive vacuum at what should be the epicenter of foreign policy. And that vacuum in turn raises legitimate doubt about whether the administration really has its foreign policy house in order.

A brief look at U.S. policy on China illustrates the point. The array of contentious and mutually conflicting issues is intimidating: Taiwan, commercial opportunities, Beijing's sales of advanced (including nuclear) technology, China's increasing defense spending, territorial expansion ism in the South China Sea, and human rights.[23] Unfortunately, there is little sign--despite some occasional rhetoric--that the administration is developing a coherent approach. [24]

In many of those areas, a classic American dilemma between realism and idealism exists. But the administration has done little to resolve that dilemma or to consider what level of risk the United States should be willing to incur in pursuit of specific objectives. In November 1995 Joseph Nye, at the time assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs, answered Chinese questions about the potential U.S. reaction to a Chinese move against Taiwan with the vague statement that "it would depend on the circumstances."[25] That formulation might be forgiven as a justifiable public circumlocution on an extremely delicate matter if there was any sense of confidence that the administration in private knew how it wished to proceed and was making dispositions on that basis. But U.S. officials do not even seem clear in their own minds whether American democratic values are sufficiently on the line in Taiwan to risk a military confrontation with Beijing. Even at a time when two American carrier battle groups have been moved close to Taiwan, U.S. officials have not made the case to the American people that such a risk ought to be incurred. Such ambiguity and ambivalence virtually invite the "miscalculation and accident" that the State Department insists must be avoided. [26]

Not only is the administration stumbling toward a possible military crisis; it also risks placing the United States in the position of fighting China by itself. Washington's military relationships with key nations in East Asia badly need to be revamped. Instead, America's East Asian policy is virtually on autopilot. Washington continues to encourage such countries as the Republic of Korea and Japan to rely as heavily on the United States for their defense as they did during the Cold War. There has been a notable failure to address the issue of what role various East Asian countries (especially Japan) can or should play in the region's overall security equation.

Even the administration's China policy has lacked a coherent theme. In a style that is all too reminiscent of the uncoordinated, interdepartmental battles of 1993 and 1994, cabinet officers are again vying among themselves for primacy on China policy. The U.S. trade representative is demanding that the issue of Chinese violation of American intellectual property rights, to music and software, for example, should have pride of place. At the same time the secretary of defense is arguing for greater military cooper ation with China.[27] Both of those issues are important, but, at a time when the triangular political relationship involving Beijing, Taipei, and Washington is subject to such extraordinary stress and when other subjects such as Chinese nuclear sales abroad and reported closer Chinese-Russian cooperation will demand the exercise of American influence in Beijing, the essential need is for the administration to sort out its priorities. It has not done so. [28]

The fact is that the administration's current issue-by-issue approach--sanctions here, a honeyed word there--is not going to work with China. Something much more imaginative is required. In particular, the American approach needs to be coordinated with that of important East Asian countries, especially Japan. But U.S. policy toward Tokyo has also been a mish-mash of security, economic, and political fac tors that have never been connected. Indeed, the adminis tration has explicitly tried to compartmentalize trade and security issues. [29] The connections, however, are unavoidable. For example, since the United States once praised the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum as the key instrument of transpacific cooperation, it is not surprising that the Asians are nonplussed when two years later the United States allows the organization to atrophy. [30]

British historian A. J. P. Taylor advanced the theory that World War I broke out, not by design or conspiracy, but because of blundering by the great powers. Unless the administration is careful, the United States could all too easily blunder into war with China--and end up waging that struggle alone while the democratic East Asian nations stand on the sidelines.

A similar uncoordinated and reactive policy toward Russia is discernible. Once again, the issues are multiple: the fragility of political and economic reform, communist resurgence, arms control, nationalist passions, security concerns, Chechnya, irredentism, and so on. As with China, it would be idle to suppose that it rests within Washington's power to ensure a favorable outcome in each and every one of those matters. It would be disingenuous to imagine that ready-made answers are available, especially in light of the violent gyrations inside the Russian body politic.[31] But even a mediocre outcome will become impossible if policy toward Russia continues to be made without some strategic parameters.

A sense of strategic purpose has, however, been con- spicuously lacking from the administration's approach. On such diverse subjects as NATO expansion, International Monetary Fund loans, and the nature of the new Russian Communists, the administration has wavered back and forth. Wholly absent has been any hint of statesmanship that can see the interconnecting threads and draw them into a coherent whole. Once again, the administration has failed to take into account the relevance of other key powers. The West Europeans have made substantial reductions in defense spending with scarcely a murmur of criticism from Washington at the very time that they should have been encouraged to take on more responsibility for their own security and for overall European stability. Even one of the administration's most prominent supporters has observed that its policy toward Europe amounts to little more than "Cold War-lite . ''[32]

Needed: Strategic Coherence

From time to time the administration has courted comparison between itself and the foreign policy titans that built such post-World War II international institutions as NATO and the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade.[33] The desire to emulate high standards is laudable. The administration's early efforts in that direction were, however, so palpably insufficient that it now seems content to try to gain laurels for its actions on secondary issues.

That is not good enough for a great power like the United States. As the presidential campaign unfolds, the central question that the administration needs to answer is, not whether conditions are better in Haiti, Bosnia, or Ulster, but whether the United States is closer to war or peace with the great powers. Judging by America's deteriorating relationships with China and Russia, and the confusion in its relationships with the major West European and East Asian countries, the administration still has a long way to go.


1. The full text of the state of the union message may be found in Washington Post, January 24, 1996, p. A13. For a review of the early criticism of the administration's foreign policy together with one of the first attempts at rehabilitation, see Owen Harries, "My So-Called Foreign Policy," New Republic, October 10, 1994, pp. 24-31.

2. Richard H. Ullman, "A Late Recovery," Foreign Policy (Winter 1995-86): 75. For foreign praise of Clinton, see "The Improbable Statesman," The Economist, December 16, 1995, p. 14.

3. See, for example, Jonathan G. Clarke, "The New GOP Needs Lessons in Diplomacy," Los Angeles Times, January 7, 1996, p. C-5; David Tell, "Bosnia: The Republican Challenge," Weekly Standard, December 11, 1995, pp. 7-9; and Robert S. Greenberger, "Dateline Capitol Hill: The New Majority's Foreign Policy," Foreign Policy (Winter 1995-96): 159-69.

4. See, for example, Ted Galen Carpenter, "Foreign Policy," in The Cato Handbook for Congress: 104th Congress (Washington: Cato Institute, 1995), pp. 263-68.

5. For a review of early Clinton administration foreign policy statements, see Jonathan Clarke and James Clad, After the Crusade: American Foreign Policy for the Post-Superpower Age (Lanham, Md.: Madison Books, 1995), pp. 13-25.

6. Warren Christopher, "Leadership in the Next American Century," U.S. Department of State Dispatch 7, no. 4 (January 22, 1996):

7. Larry Rother, "Haitian Taking Office, with Daunting Job Ahead," New York Times, February 7, 1996, p. A1; and Johanna McGeary, "Did the American Mission Matter?" Time, February 19, 1996, pp. 36-38.

8. The text of the agreement may be found in Department of State Dispatch 5, no. 50 (December 12, 1994): 820-22. For analyses of the agreement, see "Success or Sellout: The U.S.-North Korea Nuclear Accord," Council on Foreign Relations, New York, 1995; and Michael J. Mazarr, "Going Just a Little Nuclear," International security (Fall 1995): 92-122. For an account of the background to the accord, see Samuel S. Kim, "North Korea in 1994," Asian Survey, January 1995, pp. 13-27.

9. For a regional perspective, see Tae-Hwan Kwak, "U.S. Military Security Policy toward the Korean Peninsula in the 1990s," Korean Journal of Defense Analysis 7, no. 2 (Winter 1995): 237-62.

10. For a well-rounded and prescient account of the search for peace in Ulster, including the American role, see Kevin Boyle and Tom Hadden, "The Peace Process in Northern Ireland," International Affairs 71 (April 1995): 269-83.

11. "Gerry and the Peace-Makers," The Economist, March 18, 1995, p. 15.

12. For an assessment of the British position, see Fred Barbash, "Northern Ireland: From Hope to Horror," Washington Post, February 12, 1996, p. A1.

13. For an analysis, see Ted Galen Carpenter, "Holbrooke Horror: The U.S. Peace Plan for Bosnia," Cato Institute Foreign Policy Briefing no. 37, October 27, 1995.

14. Unfortunately, far too much of the extensive literature about Bosnia is either partisan or self-serving. For those looking to enlighten themselves about the underlying conditions in Yugoslavia rather than simply to confirm their prejudices about whom to blame, an exception is Payam Akhavan, ed., Yugoslavia the Former and Future: Reflections by Scholars from the Region (Washington: Brookings Institution, 1995).

15. A review of some of the contemporaneous statements from the administration and others may be found in Jonathan G. Clarke, "Rhetoric before Reality," Foreign Affairs 74, no. 5 (September-October 1995): 2-7. See also Robert W. Tucker and David C. Hendrickson, "America and Bosnia," National Interest (Fall 1993): 14-27.

16. See Annexes 2 and 4 of the Dayton agreement. Events such as the exodus of the Serb population from the suburbs of Sarajevo and Croat-Muslim tensions confirm this analysis. See Michael Ignatieff, "The Missed Chance in Bosnia," New York Review of Books, February 29, 1996, pp. 8-10; Mike O'Conner, "Bosnian Croats Resist Peace Accord," New York Times, February 13, 1996, p. A8; and Stephen Kinzer, "NATO to Let Bosnian Army Aid Exodus," New York Times, February 25, 1996, p. A10.

17. This analysis can be found in David Owen, Balkan Odyssey (New York: Harcourt, 1995), pp. 88-149, 330-34. Although some may find Owen's account too self-exculpatory, American analysts are beginning to make many of the same points. See Michael Mandelbaum, "Foreign Policy as Social Work," Foreign Affairs 75, no. 1 (January-February 1996): 23-25; and Charles G. Boyd, "Making Peace with the Guilty," Foreign Affairs 74, no. 5 (September-October 1995): 22-38.

18. After initially arguing that vital American interests were involved in Bosnia, the administration and its support ers based their justifications for the deployment to Bosnia on the risks to American prestige and credibility rather than on anything more substantial. A good selection of these speeches may be found in Congressional Digest 75, no. 2 (February 1996): 40-63.

19. Quoted in Jim Hoagland, "China: Before There Is a War," Washington Post, February 11, 1996, p. C7.

20. Elaine Sciolino, "China, Vying with Taiwan, Explores Public Relations," New York Times, February 2, 1996, p. A1.

21. For recent Cato Institute analyses of these and other major foreign policy issues, see Leon T. Hadar, "The Sweet- and-Sour Sino-American Relationship," Cato Policy Analysis no. 248, January 23, 1996; Stanley Kober, "NATO Expansion and the Danger of a Second Cold War," Cato Foreign Policy Briefing no. 38, January 31, 1996; Ted Galen Carpenter, "Paternalism and Dependence: The U.S.-Japanese Security Relationship," Cato Policy Analysis no. 244, November 1, 1995; and W. Lee Hoskins and James W. Coons, "Mexico: Policy Failure, Moral Hazard, and Market Solutions," Cato Policy Analysis no. 243, October 10, 1995.

22. R. Jeffrey Smith, "China Planning Maneuvers off Taiwan," Washington Post, February 5, 1996, p. A18.

23. For an important scholarly analysis of the long-term underlying problems facing China, see Kenneth Lieberthal, Governing China: From Revolution through Reform (New York: W. W. Norton, 1995).

24. A recent statement of administration policy toward China came in a speech by Secretary of Defense, William Perry, at the National Defense University in Washington, D.C., on February 13, 1996. Office of the Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs), press release no. 078-96. See also Winston Lord, "Working Together toward a Stable Relationship," U.S. Department of State Dispatch 6, no. 45 (November 6, 1995): 816; and Winston Lord, "U.S. Policy toward China: Security and Military Considerations," U.S. Department of State Dispatch 6, no. 43 (October 23, 1995): 773.

25. Associated Press, "Perry Voices Concern for Taiwan," New York Times, February 7, 1996, p. A3.

26. R. Jeffrey Smith, "China Plans Maneuvers off Taiwan," Washington Post, February 5, 1996, p. A1. For Secretary of Defense William Perry's explanation of the U.S. show of force, see Steven Mufson, "China Blasts U.S. for Dispatching Warship Group," Washington Post, March 20, 1996, pA21.

27. For the views of the U.S. trade representative, see David E. Sanger, "U.S. Warns China over Violations of Trade Accord," New York Times, February 4, 1996, p. A1. On defense cooperation, see Associated Press, "U.S. Is Seeking Forum to Calm Asia Tensions," New York Times, February 14, 1996, p. A6.

28. For details of Chinses nuclear sales to Pakistan and military cooperation with Russia, see R. Jeffrey Smith, "China Aids Pakistan Nuclear Program," Washington Post, February 7, 1996, p. A1; and Patrick E. Tyler, "China to Buy 72 Advanced Fighter Planes from Russia," New York Times, February 7, 1995, p. A3.

29. James Sterngold, "Some Leaders in Japan Begin to Question U.S. Bases," New York Times, August 28, 1994, p. A16.

30. David Hulme, "Asia Takes Charge of the Apec Train," Asian Business, January 1996, pp. 32-35.

31. For a warning on the limitations on Washington's power to affect developments inside Russia, see Jack F. Matlock Jr., "The Russian Prospect," New York Review of Books, February 29, 1996, pp. 43-46.

32. For a wide-ranging analysis of what has gone wrong in the relationship with Russia, see Sen. Bill Bradley, "Eurasia Letter: A Misguided Russia Policy," Foreign Policy (Winter 1995-96): 81-97. That point is elaborated in Charles H. Fairbanks Jr., "A Tired Anarchy," National Interest, no. 39 (Spring 1995): 15-25.

33. Invitations to make such comparisons were issued by Clinton's entourage at the inaugural summit of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting in Seattle in November 1994. See R. W. Apple, "Godfather to Pacific Era," New York Times, November 21, 1994, p. 14.

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