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|December 18, 2000|
Bush Foreign Policy Team: Media Spotlight On Powell, Rice
resident-elect Bush's weekend appointments of General Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice as secretary of state and national security advisor respectively drew close scrutiny from media overseas. Many pondered how a Republican administration, with its chief diplomat a general who advocates a "policy of strength," would conduct its foreign affairs. Some, including papers in Asia, saw "no major changes" on the horizon, Russian and Arab observers hoped for a "course correction" after the Clinton administration. Others, particularly in Europe, saw dangers ahead if the U.S. pursues a less "internationalist," more unilateralist policy. Regional highlights follow:
EUROPE - Mixed Views On Powell Appointment: London's liberal Guardian spoke for others in Germany and Austria in noting that General Powell's advocacy of NMD and his support for Iraq sanctions hold the potential for conflict with the U.S.' European allies. The paper averred that, like Mr. Bush, Powell "seems determined to delimit the U.S. world role, to view international obligations through the prism of narrow, national interest." Paris's right-of-center Le Figaro, by contrast, appeared unfazed by a Powell State Department, predicting "no major changes." Others in Germany and Italy applauded the choice of Powell, a man "who stands for determination and reliability." Some Moscow dailies foresaw future U.S.-Russian relations as "more constructive and balanced" than under President Clinton.
MIDDLE EAST-- Israel Ponders Powell; Arabs Seek U.S. Policy 'Correction': Editorialists, treating it as a foregone conclusion that the U.S. will continue to play a crucial role in the region, focused their attention on how Mr. Bush will address the Middle East peace process and the standoff with Iraq. Weighing the Powell nomination, an analyst in Tel Aviv's independent Ha'aretz supported his choice as secretary of state since he would be "not so hostile that he would advance only American interests in the Arab world, [and] not so enthusiastic a friend that he would lend support to Israeli military escapades or to 'a new order' in the Middle East." Conversely, Arab writers, seeking a "correction" in what they saw as the U.S.' pro-Israeli bias, hoped that the new president would prove that he is "not tied to Israel's love" and would be "driven only by America's interests."
EAST/SOUTH ASIA - Friendly With Japan And India, While Containing China: Most envisioned General Powell taking a "tough," "pragmatic" line toward China that would color bilateral relations throughout the region. Official Beijing Youth Daily foresaw a policy of "two faces" in which the U.S. would actively engage Beijing while "working...with its East Asian allies to take military precautions against China." Japanese papers hoped for "a strengthening" of the U.S.-Japan alliance but saw trouble ahead should Tokyo fail to live up to U.S. expectations in shouldering more of its self-defense. Indian writers predicted better times for New Delhi, but deemed it unlikely that the U.S. would "embrace India as a regional power in an effort to counter China." India, its media said, will have to keep a keen watch for "tectonic shifts in the U.S. nuclear doctrine."
EDITORS: Katherine Starr, Stephen Thibeault, Gail Hamer Burke, Kathleen J. Brahney
EDITOR'S NOTE: This survey is based on 35 reports from 17 countries December 15-18.
Editorial excerpts are grouped by region; editorials from each country are listed from the most recent date.
BRITAIN: "The Powell Doctrine"
Under the subhead, "Do what we say--and do not expect help," the liberal Guardian editorialized (12/18): "In nominating General Colin Powell as the next U.S. secretary of state, Bush has chosen a symbol not a diplomat, a soldier not a peacemaker, an ardent nationalist not an internationalist.... General Powell, it is said, is a hero, the personification of the American dream. Unfortunately, his new job is about dealing with the deeply unheroic realities of life beyond America. For this he appears unsuited, except as a symbol...of this new administration's likely refusal to engage on equal terms with a world it by turns distrusts, fears, cannot understand and seeks to dominate. General Powell is famous for his military doctrine of 'overwhelming force.' But, like his boss, Gen. Powell seems determined to delimit the U.S. world role, to view international obligations through the prism of narrow, national interest. Yet, again like Mr. Bush, he believes the United States retains the right to threaten unfavored regimes, dictate global business and trade terms, ignore environmental standards, flout treaties, defy international law, and build destabilizing, self-insulating missile systems in defiance of allies and adversaries alike. Gen. Powell helped create an army that will not fight. Now, symbolically, he looks set to sound the retreat from a multipolar world."
FRANCE: "Bush The Skillful"
Charles Lambroschini put forth this view on right-of-center Le Figaro (12/18): "In naming Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice, George W. Bush has sent a message that is so clear that his entire strategy is defined. In terms of diplomacy, it means there will be no major changes."
"Bush's Black Trump Card"
Pascal Riche had this to say in left-of-center Liberation (12/18): "Bush's choice for secetary of state is an icon. Powell is a model of integration for black youth.... While Powell has always shown moderation in matters of foreign intervention, his initial remarks were enough to drive anyone to buy shares in U.S. defense companies."
GERMANY: "Another General In The State Department"
Hinnerk Berlekamp judged in left-of-center Berliner Zeitung (12/18): "Colin Powell announced that he would follow a 'policy of strength.' According to Powell, the NMD program, which is being opposed by the European allies, is absolutely necessary, and the pressure on Iraq has to increase. Just like Alexander Haig, Powell has internalized Clausewitz's 200-year-old motto which says that war is the logical continuation of politics by other means. However, there is a big difference between Powell and Haig. During the 1989 Panama invasion, the 1991 Gulf War, and in the conflict with Milosevic's Yugoslavia, Powell always belonged to the skeptics, the cool managers, who warned of the risks involved in military adventures. The new secretary of state may not be a 'dove,' but he also has not shown the behavior of a 'hawk.' And that alone is worth a lot."
"More Military, Less Politics"
Friedemann Diederichs commented in centrist Tagesspiegel of Berlin (12/18): "At first glance, the appointment of Powell as secretary of state appears to be a good choice.... Powell's experience in international conflicts can be an asset for the inexperienced Texan.
"However, Powell's appointment is also a return to old times which could lead to the revival of political strategies popular under Reagan and Bush senior. With Powell at the helm, the military component of foreign policy could gain special prominence. After all, the designated secretary of state has more experience with the execution of political decisions than with the process
leading to them. All of this points to a considerable conflict potential, which may also affect NATO."
"Germany Can Count On The United States"
Rafael Seligman observed in right-of-center, mass-circulation Bild Zeitung of Hamburg (12/18): "The United States is looking to the future. The irregularities of the vote count in Florida are a thing of the past. The future president is putting together an able cabinet. His first decision was to appoint Colin Powell secretary of state. The former general stands for determination and reliability. Germany and the world can continue to count on the United States."
ITALY: "Black Power At The White House"
Centrist, influential La Stampa (12/18) led with the following commentary by Enzo Bettiza: "The Europeans will have to keep in mind that Bush is not a Clinton-style Third Way specimen. For African-Americans Powell and Rice, Europe will have a secondary weight vis-a-vis Latin America, the Middle East and perhaps even Africa. The Europeans will have to get used to interacting with a diplomatic counterpart that is no longer represented by Americans of European extraction like Kissinger and Albright. Obviously it would not be wise to sever the historical ties that link the fate of the European continent with that of America. But the Europeans, made somewhat into orphans by the Bush administration, should nonetheless begin to give serious consideration to dealing independently with their own recurring regional crises in Kosovo and elsewhere."
"And What About Europe?"
A front-page analysis in centrist, top-circulation Corriere della Sera read (12/17): "And what about Europe? The Bush Administration can do a lot of good for Europe. An American president less concerned with what happens on the other side of the Atlantic will force the Europeans to deal with their own security and stability problems. If Europe really wants to play the role of a leader in the world, it should begin to provide itself with the necessary tools in order to resolve its own regional crises without the help of the Americans."
"Direct, Sensible Know-How"
New York correspondent Arturo Zampaglione commented in left-leaning, influential La Repubblica (12/17): "How will Powell be as chief of the U.S. diplomacy? In yesterday's ceremony, he insisted on the need to support the structures of the State Department and the Pentagon and showed that he has a direct, in-depth, sensible knowledge of all the main international crises."
RUSSIA: "More Constructive And Balanced Relations Ahead?"
Yuri Sigov wrote from Washington in reformist Novye Izvestia (12/16): "If, under the new U.S. administration, Russia's relations with America will become more constructive and balanced, it is we (in Russia) who are going to gain from this in the first instance."
"What To Expect From 43rd President"
Andrei Kabannikov observed from Washington in youth-oriented, reformist Komsomolskaya Pravda (12/16): "Russia should expect much sharper criticism from Washington. "But the policy of the Republicans in respect of Russia has its pluses. It is not ideologized and much clearer than Clinton's romantic but barren love for Yeltsin. It should be recalled that Moscow had excellently interacted [in the past] with Nixon, Reagan and Bush Sr. "
"A General Of Foreign Affairs"
Nikolai Zimin filed from Washington in reformist Segodnya (12/18): "Powell agrees with Bush that it is necessary to set up an ABM system.... With Russia, just as with China, the new secretary of state intends to deal with us not as with potential enemies, not as with adversaries, not yet as with strategic partners but as with nations that are searching for their identity."
AUSTRIA: "Bush's Legacy"
Foreign affairs editor Gudrun Harrer commented in liberal Der Standard (12/18): "The new administration will...completely ignore European wishes if it--as Powell repeatedly announced--continues to pursue the NMD project...[which] represents an antiquated security concept, clearly coming from the era of Bush Sr. and before."
GREECE: "Mr. Bush And Us"
In pro-government, widely-read Sunday To Vima (12/18), managing editor Yannis Kartalis wrote: "It is not known if Messrs. Powell and Cheney, who praised Turkey's role in the Gulf War, will continue to stress the importance of supporting our neighboring country. What is certain is that the Greek foreign minister will miss the open communication line he had to Madeleine Albright personally, and he will need quite some time to re-establish direct access to American seats of power."
ISRAEL: "Neither A Marshall, Nor A Haig"
Analyst Amir Oren wrote in a page one article in independent Ha'aretz (12/17): "Since World War II, there have been only two former military chiefs of staff in the U.S. to be named to the post of Secretary of State.... From the Israeli perspective, [George] Marshall was not sufficiently supportive of the fledgling Jewish state in 1948, and [Alexander] Haig was a bit too supportive during Israel's invasion of Lebanon in 1982. Powell is precisely in the middle, not so hostile that he will advance American interest only in the Arab world, not so enthusiastic a friend that he will lend support to Israeli military escapades or to 'a new order' in the Middle East.... His association with [former U.S. Defense Secretary Caspar] Weinberger affected him both on a personal and on a philosophical basis. He became closely associated with a group that included then Vice-President George Bush (senior), and to White House chief of staff (and later Secretary of State) James Baker. This group was closely aligned to Haig and his successor George Shultz as well as to DIA chief William Casey. In practice, these men tended top continue the practices of the Carter Administration toward Israel, without going so far as supporting broad Israeli ventures into Lebanon."
"Bush's Saddam Test"
The independent Jerusalem Post editorialized (12/18): "The case of Iraq...is a good place to start in judging who will be 'setting the agenda,' as [President-elect George W.] Bush puts it: The United States or Saddam. Powell's opening salvo, in this respect, is not encouraging. On the one hand, in setting his tone regarding the world as a whole, Powell tracked his new boss's more muscular approach nicely.... But when it came to the specific case of Iraq, Powell began to sound awfully like the people he was replacing: 'We will work with our allies to re-energize the sanctions regime. And I will make the case in every opportunity I get that we're not doing this to hurt the Iraqi people.... I think it is possible to reenergize those sanctions and to continue to contain him and then confront him, should that become necessary again.'... Powell, of all people, should understand that Saddam Hussein is not impressed by empty saber-rattling. Sitting back and waiting for Saddam to put up a sign stating 'We have nuclear weapons' is precisely the reactive foreign policy that the Bush team claims to be rejecting. A lack of realism toward Saddam bodes ill for the Arab-Israeli peace process as well, since the forces of rejectionism will take their cue from how the United Stattes treats its most aggressive leader."
EGYPT: "Bush More Likely To Be Guided By American, Not Israeli, Interests"
Abdel Azim Hammad observed in pro-government Al Ahram (12/18): "The former Israeli ambassador to Washington...said that President-elect Bush does not love Israel and the White House pampering of Israel is over.... The new President said, however, that Israel's security would be the basis of any peace in the Middle East. Is there a contradiction?... This contradiction rises among those who think that Bush's different views on the Middle East from Gore's or Clinton's...will mean he will turn totally against Israel and Jews.... The difference between an American president who loves Israel and allies with American Jews and one who is not...is that the former is ready to defend Israel's ambitions in Arab territories on any occasion. Clinton did that after his Geneva summit with the late Syrian President Assad...and after Camp David II...[whereas] a president who is not tied to Israel's love and Jewish alliance is driven only by American interests. This does not require succumbing to Israel's expansionist appetite."
"Arab World Wants American Policy To Serve American Interests"
Pro-government Al Ahram noted (12/16): "The Arab world, primarily, it seeks to maintain an American role in the peace process and achieve a final settlement that satisfies all parties.... It seeks a more effective American policy than in Clinton's era. Despite the huge efforts Clinton made, which Arabs appreciate, these efforts did not achieve the aspired for final settlement. Arab public opinion has the impression that Bush's victory will favor the Arab position in the peace process based on the fact that he will be relatively free of the Jewish lobby's influence and he will be eager to pursue American interests in the Arab world.... Given the Arab inability to change the unquestionable American-Israeli strategic relations, the Arab world should work to prevent these relations to be forged at the expense of Arab rights in the peace process.... The Arab world is eager to maximize the relations of friendship and cooperation with the United States, and eager to achieve security, stability and peace. Both these aims serve American interests. However, the Arab world cannot hide its frustration. There is no way for the United States to reach the heart of the Arab world unless this frustration is eliminated."
"Saddam Will Wear Out Bush Jr. As Well"
Mahmoud Abdel Moneim Mourad predicted in pro-government Al Akhbar (12/15): "What will Bush Jr. do with Saddam Hussein who tired Bush Sr.? Bush Jr. may pursue Saddam, but Saddam will tell him, 'Son, you are playing with a man who wore out your father until he left power, while I am still in the presidency and am calling for raising oil prices.' We will see strange things from Bush Jr., as we witnessed from his father, the man of both politics and war.
"We, as Arabs, hope that Bush is less sympathetic with Israel than Gore. However, we should not base our calculations merely on wishes."
JORDAN: "Bush Pledges To Protect Israel's Security, Strengthen Sanctions On Iraq!"
Mohammad Amayreh wrote in semi-official Al-Ra'y (12/18): "The first thing that the new American era brought forth [were] President-elect George Bush's remarks stressing his pledge to protect Israel's security, his hard-line policy towards Iraq and his defense of U.S. interests in the Gulf.... Whether Republicans or Democrats, there is definitely an agreement in the U.S. policies towards Arab issues. This does not mean however that methods and approaches of these policies do not differ. The appointment of General Collin Powel as secretary of state shows the way that the President-elect is thinking of dealing with issues in the region, and particularly the Iraqi issue. His appointment means that a more hard-line approach is going to be used in implementing the sanctions against Iraqi, in continuing the siege and in working
towards containing the Iraqi regime.... It is not too early to speculate about how the new President is going to deal with peace in the Middle East, with Iraq and with Israeli relations. The indications are clear and the policy is declared. We therefore do not expect logical and acceptable solutions for the issues in the region; neither do we expect the peace process to be revitalized in such a way as to serve Arab and Palestinian rights. True, the U.S. administration is going to witness a change of faces and tactics, but not a change in the content of policies and pledges."
"Bush As President"
Daily columnist Fahd Fanek opined in semi-official Al-Ra'y (12/17): "The legal battle over the U.S. presidential elections was concluded with the downfall of Al Gore and the victory of George Bush. It is no secret that the Arabs were reassured by this turn of events, not only because the event proved that the Jewish Lobby in the United States is not always capable of getting its way, but also because Bush made a pledge to the Arab community to be more honest and balanced in dealing with Middle East issues. We have no illusions about Bush being the savior, that he will lift the sanctions off Iraq or force Israel to withdraw from the occupied Arab territories and to acknowledge the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people. We do however claim that he is the better of the two candidates as far as the Arab-Israeli relationship is concerned. America will remain biased in favor of Israel. The strategic alliance is a set policy that does not change with the changing administrations. But at least the Jewish team that Clinton brought into office, giving it the ruling regime and peace file is gone forever. What do the Arabs want from President Bush? We will not ask him to be biased in favor of the Arabs, but we will ask him to undo some of the wrong that was inflicted upon the Arabs by the United States. For starters, the siege on Iraq can be eased and the establishment of a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital can be supported."
SYRIA: "What Is Required Is Correction Of American Mideast Policy"
Mohamed Ali Buza commented in government-owned Al-Thawra (12/17): "What is required today from the new U.S. Administration is to correct American Policy and abandon its negative stand and silence. It should adopt more positive stands on the Arab-Israeli struggle and should defuse the exploding crisis so as to put an end to the cycle of violence and tension in the region. It should also curb Israel's flagrant violations of human values and international laws.... The United States should shoulder its responsibilities as the sole superpower in an imbalanced world and a sponsor of the Madrid Process. George W. Bush should continue his father's mediation in the peace efforts by rationalizing the American policy and making it more considerate to Arab causes and its alliance with Israel, taking into consideration America's strategic interest."
"George Bush Junior"
An unsigned editorial in government-owned Tishreen stated (12/17): "The new U.S. administration should move quickly to save the peace process from an inevitable death on the basis of the Madrid Conference and the Land for Peace formula. We believe that George W. Bush can make use of his father's experience in this regard to revive the Madrid Process which is vital to the whole region.... It is impossible to further the peace process without decisive, objective and balanced American mediation to correct the state of affairs and secure the implementation of international resolutions. If the new administration moves seriously and objectively towards reviving the peace process, certainly it will see cooperation from all Arabs who look forward to a just and comprehensive peace."
UNITED ARAB EMIRATES: "President Must End 'Double Standards' Policy"
Abu Dhabi-based semi-official Al-Ittihad editorialized (12/15): "Although we take for granted there will be no difference between Republicans and Democrats on the Arab-Israeli dispute and the competition of both parties to satisfy Israel and its policies...Arabs have expressed satisfaction over Bush's victory in the White House race. The satisfaction over Bush's victory has not come out of a vacuum; Arabs have suffered bitterly and felt deeply wronged and duped as a result of the Clinton administration's support of Israel.... What is required of the new president is a review of the peace process from its different angles to see what has been achieved, [a review] based on a single standard which will put an end to the former policy of double standards.... We want Bush to take into consideration, as he seeks 'to build a new America for every citizen'...that America is leading the entire world. He needs to project a good image, an image of the honest shepherd who safeguards the principles of international law, not the cowboy who flexes his muscles before the weak and looks with one eye at his country's interests and with the other at the Jewish votes that will decide his destiny four years from now."
CHINA: "Bush Asks For Powell's Service"
Wang Rujun commented in the official Global Times (12/18): "With Cheney as vice president and Powell in change of the State Department, the new Bush administration bears much resemblance to his father's cabinet.... Some American experts on international affairs predict that Bush's policy towards China will tend to be tough. However, America's national interests will not allow Bush to disregard the reality and adopt a too-tough stance towards China. Therefore, Bush's China policy will also have a moderate aspect, thus sustaining the colorful exchanges between the two nations. Accordingly, many people are quite optimistic about the Sino-U.S. relationship in the coming four years."
"What Kind Of Policy Will Bush Adopt After He Enters The White House?"
Xi Laiwang commented in the Beijing Youth Daily (Beijing Qingnianbao, 12/18): "Bush's China policy will have two faces. While actively engaging in exchanges with China, the new Bush Administration will work together with its East Asian allies to take military precautions against China. Predictably, his stance in his early term will be quite a tough one, somewhere between besiegement and engagement.... However, George W. Bush is unlikely to fundamentally change the current China policy which has been a consensus reached by American politicians. Engagement with China will maintain the basic diplomatic guideline that Bush is going to follow. In the long perspective, the Republican party may have more advantages than the Democrats in developing the U.S.-China relationship: 1) Bush may make greater efforts to enhance trade with, and investment in, China; 2) The Republican Party may adopt a less tough stance towards China on such issues as democracy and human rights;
3) Most of the new president's men are pragmatic and experienced experts in international affairs.... Bush will be prudent in making decisions on the Taiwan issue."
HONG KONG: "Powell Is A Soldier But Not A Hawk"
The centrist Hong Kong Daily News opined (12/18): "Powell is the first black American in U.S. history to be appointed as the secretary of state. Such an appointment shows that George W. Bush wants to draw support from black Americans and traditionally black Americans support the Democratic Party.... From the Gulf War, we can see that Powell is not a warlike man but a man with wisdom, this was evident from his support of the 'minimum force' doctrine. Having him as the secretary of state should be good for world peace. However, China is a strong competitor of the United States Having such a strong secretary of state, China should pay more attention to future Sino-U.S. diplomatic ties."
"The Democratic Progressive Party Has Great Expectations For General Powell"
The center-left Hong Kong Globe wrote in its editorial (12/18): "The Democratic Progressive Party in Taiwan is happy about the news that George W. Bush is the president-elect. It is
because during the election, Bush claimed that if a war not provoked by Taiwan breaks out in the Taiwan Strait, the United States will still be involved in it. Besides, General Powell has a history of sending troops abroad.... Based on the two recent regional conflicts in which the United States was involved, there is an indication that the United States does not have sufficient military strength to deal with military conflicts in the Taiwan Strait. George W. Bush's security adviser also thinks that if a battle line is overextended, it makes victory difficult. For this reason, we can see that trying to avoid the Taiwan Strait crisis will be a key issue that Bush has to deal with when tackling cross-strait relations. Although Bush may view the Taiwan Strait as a potential area to use force, he would rather guard against a crisis."
MACAU: "Will Bush Adjust Asian Policy?"
The pro-PRC Macau Daily News had this editorial (12/16): "Bush will treat China as a 'strategic competitor'. This is not an innovation. Bush will merely be following the national security plan and Asian Pacific strategic ideology. In other words, he will try to be friendly with Japan while containing China so as to strengthen the U.S. position in the Asian Pacific area. On top of that, the policy will be to withdraw from the 'anti-missile treaty,' set up the national missile defense system and theater missile defense system, support Taiwan with military force that will build a safety net but which will also force Taiwan to rely more on its own power rather than on international treaties. In light of the above, it is possible that Bush may adjust his Asian policy and adopt a stronger stance towards China than during the Clinton era."
JAPAN: "Bush Administration And U.S.-Japan Ties"
Quasi-governmental NHK-TV's commentator Hiroshi Hasegawa observed (12/18): "Whether under a Democratic or Republican administration, the fundamental importance of U.S.-Japan relations will remain unchanged. There are already rising expectations in Japan that the forthcoming Bush administration will attach greater importance to the U.S.-Japan alliance. Although the Clinton administration has put a high value on U.S.-Japan ties, it occasionally gave Japan the impression that it was attaching greater importance to China than to Japan. Since the start of his election campaign, Gov. Bush has made clear his intention to strengthen the U.S.-Japan alliance, while calling Japan the most important ally in Asia and describing China as a strategic competitor. The so-called 'Armitage Report,' published before the election proposed that Japan play a greater role in maintaining security, including participation in collective self-defense, in order to make the alliance more efficient. The question is how much the proposal will be reflected in Mr. Bush's security policy toward Japan."
"GOJ Concerned About U.S. Call For Greater Defense Cooperation"
The business-oriented Nihon Keizai opined (12/17): "Former President Bush, the father of the president-elect, under pressure from recession-hit industries, adopted a tough trade stance toward Japan at the end of his administration. Former Fed Governor Lindsey, who is an economic adviser for Gov. Bush, said that although 'gaiatsu' (external pressure) remains an important element of U.S. trade policy toward Tokyo, the new administration needs--first and foremost--to build a new relationship of mutual cooperation and respect with Japan. If Japan fails to meet the administration's expectations, however, it may be in for an unexpected move or two from the administration in the form of new 'gaiatsu.'"
NEW ZEALAND: "Retreat On Defense Benchmarks Would Stir Misgivings"
Wellington's leading morning newspaper, conservative Dominion staed (12/15): "Mr. Bush is expected to pursue a free trade agenda more vigorously than Mr. Gore would have done. On defense, Mr. Bush is determined to strengthen the United States missile defense program, even if it means jettisoning the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty with Russia. He also opposes the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. Any American retreat from those benchmarks would stir international misgiving."
INDIA: "Comfort Zone"
An editorial in the centrist Pioneer said (12/18): "Indian foreign affairs (specialists) can take heart from several factors. Most important is the fact that Bush Jr. seems to be convinced in his skepticism about the CTBT. That means, in effect, that he will not pressure India to sign the treaty.... The government must cement the potential advantages of the change of regime in the United States with appropriate diplomatic initiatives."
"Bush, Powell Proclaim 'Uniquely' American Internationalism"
Strategic affairs editor C. Raja Mohan analyzed in the centrist Hindu (12/18): "As a new nuclear weapon power, India will keenly follow the prospects for a radical change in the presumed relationship between offense and defense in the U.S. nuclear strategy. While emphasizing the increased importance of defense-related technologies, Bush has also called for radical, and even unilateral, cuts in the American arsenal. India will have to carefully assess the potential for tectonic shifts in the U.S. nuclear doctrine and adapt its own nuclear security and arms control positions."
"The Cheney Presidency"
An editorial page analysis by Washington correspondent Chidanand Rajghatta in the centrist Indian Express held (12/18): "Indian commentators appear to have been waiting eagerly for a Bush presidency. They seem to believe a Bush White House will embrace India as a regional power in an effort to counter China, lift sanctions instantly, open up the transfer of high-tech goodies, and build a strategic alliance that will be the envy of the world.... Give me a break. The scenario is based on a naïve understanding of how the American system works.... Most of all, it overlooks the record of conservatives as hard-headed realpolitickers.... For reasons not entirely clear, Indian analysts seem particularly smitten by the prospect of Condoleezza Rice becoming the National Security Advisor.... Rice, worthy though she may be of the position, might not exactly be the principal foreign policy architect in the Bush White House.... In short, Rice will be a lightweight.... Richard Cheney, whose world view clashes with every outlook of liberal India, can be good news for New Delhi....
"At the end of the day, New Delhi should not make any presumptions of a strategic relationship coming from Washington. India's best ally is India."