Continue Foreign Aid to Russia, Israel, & others


This question is looking for your views on the US role in the world at large. However you answer the above question would be similar to your response to these statements:


Asian Economic Crisis

The economies of the Asia-Pacific region until 1997 seemed to be rushing towards prosperity on par with the US and Europe. But in July 1997, the currencies of Thailand and Indonesia collapsed, followed by recessions throughout East Asia. The 'Asian Miracle' countries were characterized by limited democracy (usually one-party) in open economies (albeit via political insiders). The current situation is: Japan: In slump since 1990 and in recession since June 1998; Japan outlined an Emergency Economic Package in Nov. 1998. Indonesia: President Suharto resigned after 1998 riots in which 1,200 were killed; elections promised for 1999. East Timor: Indonesia invaded East Timor in 1975 shortly after Portugal granted it independence. This island of 800,000 people (to Indonesia's 200 million) voted 80% for independence in August 1999. In September, Pres. Habibie invited in an Australian-led, UN-sponsored force of 7,000, including US support groups but no troops, to stop a massacre by the Indonesian army. China: Holding the line on devaluing its currency is credited with stopping total Asian economic collapse. China's economy has been growing by 8-10% annually in recent years, by far the world's fastest growth. They maintain a partially open economy with a Communist government. Asian Tigers: Singapore, Hong Kong, South Korea, and Taiwan all suffered minor recessions and are currently recovering. ASEAN: Malaysia, the Philippines, Brunei, and Thailand were economically weaker than the more developed 'Tigers,' and suffered accordingly. Nevertheless, ASEAN admitted 4 new members (Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar, and Laos), which may open and democratize those countries. 

North Korea

As many as 2 million have died from starvation since 1995. Drought and famine continue today, and South Korea is concerned that the North will attack if facing imminent political collapse. Naval clashes threatened open warfare in spring and summer 1999. 


Since the Gulf War in 1991, the US has launched 4 major military strikes against Iraq, most recently Operation Desert Fox in December 1998. The US and UN continue to actively enforce a containment policy against Saddam Hussein; our primary tools are the 'no-fly zones' and an economic embargo. 

Israel & Palestine

The hard-line Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu lost the election to Ehud Barak in May 1999. Barak has re-opened peace talks with Syria and Lebanon as of July 1999, promising a negotiated peace with both by next year.

A land-for-peace deal was negotiated with Palestine in the Wye River Accords of 1998, but the process was stalled under Netanyahu. The Palestinian Authority under Yassir Arafat currently controls 27% of the land area of West Bank and Gaza; the Wye River Accords would add 13%. The current land area includes 98% of the Palestinian population.

Israel has occupied Syria's Golan Heights since 1967. Israel has controlled much of South Lebanon since the early 1980s, with Syria controlling much of the rest of Lebanon. Negotiations with Syria will focus on returning Golan to Syria and returning Lebanon to independence.


Russia continues to suffer from 50% annual inflation and a recession exacerbated by the Asian economic crisis. The IMF is planning to shore up Russia with a $4.5 billion loan.

US-Russian relations have been strained by the Kosovo conflict (Russia has historically supported the Serbs); the expansion of NATO (we added 3 former Soviet satellites over Russian objections in 1997); and uncertainty over President Yeltsin's political stability (elections are scheduled for June 2000).


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