Friday, Oct 04, 2002
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By Sridhar Krishnaswami
". . . This approach must be treated with great caution. The number of cases in which it might be justified will always be small,'' Dr. Rice remarked. "It does not give a green light to the United States or any other nation to act first without exhausting other means, including diplomacy,'' she argued. Dr. Rice made her comments while delivering the 2002 Wriston Lecture at The Manhattan Institute for Policy Research on Tuesday. Among other things, she talked of the challenges and opportunities of not only the post-Cold War era but more immediately of the post-September 11, 2001 tragedy that hit America by way of terrorist attacks.
"Pre-emptive action does not come at the beginning of a long chain of effort. The threat must be very grave. And the risks of waiting must far outweigh the risks of action,'' Dr. Rice argued stressing that there was nothing new in this doctrine of pre-emption.
"Pre-emption is not a new concept. There has never been a moral or legal requirement that a country wait to be attacked before it can address existential threats ... The United States has long affirmed the right to anticipatory self-defence from the Cuban missile crisis in 1962 to the Korean Peninsula in 1994," she said.
"The national security strategy does not overturn five decades of doctrine and jettison either containment or deterrence,'' Dr. Rice argued.
She also mentioned about India and Pakistan and Kashmir, although these were not the central themes of her address in New York. Rather, it was in the context of the evolving international situation in the post-9/11 phase and in the positive fallouts of great power cooperation to regional conflicts. ". . . since September 11, all the world's great powers see themselves as falling on the same side of a profound divide between the forces of chaos and order and they are acting accordingly,'' Dr. Rice remarked, going on to say, "The U.S. is also cooperating with India across a range of issues even as we work closely with Pakistan.''
After discussing the kind of cooperation the U.S. has had with Russia and China, Dr. Rice commented on the meaning of this to the different problematic regions of the world.
"The confluence of common interests and increasingly common values creates a moment of enormous opportunities. Instead of repeating the historic pattern where great power rivalry exacerbates local conflicts, we can use great power cooperation to solve conflicts, from the Middle East to Kashmir, Congo and beyond,'' Dr. Rice observed.
At the White House, the spokesman, Ari Fleischer, denied that the Bush administration was opening the doors of arms sale to Pakistan including the F16s; and argued that the President would remain focussed on the "existing problems'' between India and Pakistan "which is a focus that this administration has repeatedly made and will continue to make, because it's a priority''.
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