‘WORSE THAN A NEW COLD WAR’ — CENTER’S GAFFNEY WARNS OF THE ‘GATHERING STORM’ ON THE INTERNATIONAL HORIZON

(Washington, D.C.): In an address yesterday before an
audience at the CATO Institute, the Center for Security Policy’s
director, Frank J. Gaffney Jr., warned that the United States is
heading into heavy weather in the international arena. To the
question that was the focus of the forum, “Are we entering a
new Cold War era?,” Gaffney offered the sobering response:
“We should be so lucky!”

Gaffney elaborated by describing the myriad dangers emerging
not only from Russia but from other potential adversaries in
China, North Korea and the Middle East. Referring to the
“Gathering Storm” used by Winston Churchill to describe
the inter-war period, Gaffney warned of troubling geostrategic
“weather patterns” for which the United States must be
prepared. He also outlined steps the United States can take to
mitigate the effects of such destabilizing developments, if they
cannot be prevented altogether.

With regard to Russia and its “Arctic Cold Front,”
Gaffney foresees:

“The emergence of an informal red-brown coalition of
Communists and nationalists whose policies — both domestic
and foreign — are inimical to U.S. and Western interests.
The December elections for the Duma are likely to increase
the influence of these factions. And the subsequent June
presidential elections, if they are held, may give them the
powerful presidency, as well.”

Gaffney also described how the Kremlin is flexing its muscles
throughout the former Soviet Union, seeking through intimidation,
assassinations, covertly promoted “civil wars” and
full-fledged combat operations, to re-subordinate the “near
abroad” and discourage independent policies on the part of
former Warsaw Pact states. Such efforts appear to be paying
dividends, not the least of which is with respect to controlling
the strategically sensitive Caspian Sea’s immense oil reserves.
In addition, Russia continues to violate its international arms
control obligations, including — but not limited to — the
Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty, the INF Treaty, the START I
Treaty, the Biological Weapons Convention and various chemical
weapons conventions.

However, as the attached excerpts of
his speech make clear, other very troubling “storms”
are brewing in Asia and the Middle East. In regard to the former,
Gaffney noted that “Beijing’s booming economy and vast trade
surplus are making possible an immense military build-up.”
And the Clinton Administration’s decision to reward North Korea
for having “gone nuclear” is already having very
undesirable repercussions. With regard to the Middle East, Iran
threatens a regional crisis at least as severe as the last
Persian Gulf war. After all, Iran’s support of terrorism and its
current economic conditions are dangerously reminiscent of Iraq
in the summer of 1990.

Click here for a copy of the full text of
Gaffney’s remarks.

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