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Commentary on Current Issues
Other recent commentary in American Diplomacy:

Walter A. McDougall, in Religion in Diplomatic History, took a different look at the Westphalian system of nation-states and the role played by religion: "Americans have been prone to justify their behavior abroad in Protestant Christian terms, however much they may disagree about what constitutes right and wrong." [Summer 1999]

Amb. Ronald Palmer assessed the South-east Asian case in Globalism vs. Economic Nationalism: "The 1997 financial crisis revealed problems in the region that the surging growth of the earlier 1990's had obscured, problems rooted in inward-looking development strategies designed for yesterday's world." [Summer 1999]

Elvio Baldinelli on Latin American integration in Exitos y Retrocesos: “La principal explicación del poco éxito de esquemas como ALALC-ALADI y del Grupo Andino se encuentra en que los estímulos políticos que los inspiraron no fueron lo suficientemente fuertes como para vencer la oposición de intereses amparados por altísimas protecciones arancelarias.” [Summer 1999]

Since the end of the Cold War in 1989, the United States has developed overwhelming military power, which it has exercised in an unprecedented outburst of worldwide military interventions. Kosovo was only the latest in a long series of major and minor engagements in the Balkans, the Middle East, Africa, Asia, South America, and the Caribbean designed to promote human rights and punish various malefactors. [But] there are reasons to believe that America’s global military activism of the past decade will not be sustained. [FULL TEXT]

Waging Peace in Kosovo

The Reformation permanently destroyed the cohesion of Europe. Competing communities, owing to a variety of religious allegiances, ultimately formed themselves into what we recognize as sovereign nation-states. The Treaty of Westphalia formalized the fragmentation of Europe into a multiplicity of petty states that conducted their internal affairs free from interference by other nation-states. This autonomy of action came to be enshrined in international law and applied to nation-states beyond the borders of Europe. Given this background, there can be no question that NATO’s intervention in Kosovo marks a defining moment in international law.[FULL TEXT]

Revising the U.N. Trusteeship
System – Will It Work?

Somalia as a case study for a ‘commerce-based’ alternative

The failure of the international community to act in the past has not been the lack of legal authority to implement an agreed-upon and resourced solution. To the contrary, it has been the international community’s unwillingness to act or inability to decide what should be done that has allowed hundreds of thousands either to die of starvation or to be slaughtered by powerful forces within their borders, official or otherwise . . . . A new approach is needed that does not rely upon a distribution of political power as the foundation for reconciliation..[FULL TEXT]

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