ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Articles by Zia MianSubscribe to Zia Mian

Protecting the Empire

As the US seeks to establish its fighting capability in space, it continues to increase its military bases around the world. And given its desire to contain Iran's nuclear ambitions, keep an eye on Pakistan's radical elements and provide a counter to China, the US is naturally considering a closer relationship with India.

250,000 Are Not Enough

President George Bush's decision to increase US troop strength in Iraq has found few supporters and will only make things worse.

Choosing War, Confronting Defeat

What history will emerge from the Bush wars is still uncertain. But it grows clearer with each passing day that the Bush administration must now grapple with the reality of defeat.

America, Iran and the Nuclear Option

The Washington Post reported in early April that the Bush administration was "studying options for military strikes against Iran". But there is little reason to be surprised by all this. An attack on Iran would fit nicely in the long history of US practice. It has always declared a policy of being prepared to use nuclear weapons first in a conflict. The US has also made it repeatedly clear that it would use nuclear weapons even against countries that do not have them.

Bush's War

On this third anniversary of the invasion and occupation of Iraq, it is pertinent to reiterate that the act was not a shocking departure from the norm of US foreign policy. The US has a long history, going back to its founding, of intervening, often violently and with appalling effect, in other countries.

Controlling the Bomb

US efforts to check "proliferation" are hypocritical as well as ineffective. Since the US (and other nuclear powers) are not engaged in disarmament, the hopefuls are not convinced about why they should be denied the "absolute weapon". The use of force (as against Iraq in 2003 and now a looming possibility against Iran) only serves to make other states believe that if only they had the bomb they would be safe.

How Americans See the US

The recent Pew Survey polled a wide cross-section of Americans for their views on, among other issues, the state of the US today, the performance of the Bush administration and the role of their country in world affairs. The survey report noted that this was the most "negative national assessment" in nearly a decade.

Leaders, Partners and Clients

The recent Indo-US agreements on military and nuclear policy need to be seen in the light of more than 50 years of US efforts to have India become a part of American political, strategic and economic plans for Asia. What becomes clear is how difficult this has proved to be over the decades. It begs the question why Indian leaders have finally started to fall in step so easily in the past few years.

Feeding the Nuclear Fire

There are two fundamental questions at the core of the Indo-US nuclear agreement. The first is whether India needs nuclear energy for its development. A good case can be made that it does not. The second is whether the country needs nuclear weapons if it wants to live in peace with the world. Many believe, with good reason, that it does not. The answer to both questions that is offered by the deal is a future in which a nuclear-powered and nuclear-armed India swaggers along in the shadow of the US. The choice could not be more stark.

Unravelling of the US Military

Newspapers describe the US army as facing one of the greatest recruiting challenges in its history, despite the enormous incentives now being offered to join the military. A study commissioned by the army found that resistance to recruitment was due to popular objection to the war in Iraq, the casualties and media coverage of the torture at Abu Ghraib. Solutions include a bill that was introduced in the Senate but that has not yet been voted on: offering legal status and eligibility for citizenship to the children of illegal immigrants residing in the US. The nightmare of war is offered as the prelude to the ?American dream?.

Lingering Shadows

The 60th anniversary commemorating the end of the second world war in Europe was recently observed, yet there has been little introspection of the dangers the war unleashed; the threats that still persist, in more virulent a form. The nuclear race between the two original superpowers that began towards the end of the war continues unabated. But the post-cold war world is now a more vulnerable one, as several more countries continue to build on and develop their own nuclear stockpiles.

America's Time and Place

The neo-conservative project of an expanding role for the US in world affairs is in trouble. Few countries are enthusiastic about a pre-eminent role for the US and at home scepticism about the government's approach is growing.


Back to Top