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International Security 28.2 (2003) 3-4



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Editors' Note


Amid continuing despair over the stalled implementation of President George W. Bush's "roadmap" for peace in the Middle East, Jeremy Pressman of the University of Connecticut offers a glimmer of hope. Pressman begins with an analysis of the Israeli-Palestinian-U.S. summit at Camp David in 2000 and the talks in Taba, Egypt, in 2001. He explicates the Palestinian, Israeli, and U.S. claims about what happened at the talks and compares each version to the evidentiary record. He concludes that although the negotiations did not produce a final peace settlement, they were not the dismal failures that Israeli and U.S. officials, in particular, have portrayed them to be. Pressman asserts that Israeli and Palestinian negotiators made significant progress on a number of crucial issues, creating "building blocks" that can serve as the foundation for an eventual peace agreement.

Zeev Maoz, a visiting scholar at the University of Michigan, challenges the widespread belief that Israel's policy of nuclear ambiguity has deterred an all-out Arab attack for more than thirty years. He credits instead Israel's strategy of conventional deterrence and the increasing willingness of Israeli leaders since the 1973 Yom Kippur War to engage in diplomacy. In addition, Maoz claims that Israel's policy of nuclear ambiguity has had two negative side effects: First, it has accelerated the conventional arms race in the Middle East and sparked a regional nonconventional arms race. Second, the "regime of secrecy" that surrounds Israel's nuclear policy has prevented open debate regarding its effectiveness. Maoz proposes that Israel disband its nuclear weapons program and join with other countries in the region to establish a nuclear- weapons-free zone.

Is globalization moving us toward a border-free world? Are borders, as some international relations scholars maintain, becoming irrelevant? According to Peter Andreas of Brown University, "The importance of territoriality is persisting—but with a shift in emphasis." Andreas argues that "clandestine transnational actors" (CTAs) such as terrorists, drug traffickers, unauthorized migrants, and migrant smugglers are posing increasing challenges to traditional border policing and law enforcement. In exploring recent policy initiatives in the United States and the European Union to restrict territorial access to CTAs while assuring continued access to more "desirable" entries, Andreas finds that "growing anxiety over CTAs not only has transformed state border regulatory practices and cross-border relations, but has blurred traditional distinctions between external and internal security." [End Page 3]

Thomas Mahnken of the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and James FitzSimonds of the U.S. Naval War College offer an explanation for why the Department of Defense is not having greater success in its strategy to fundamentally transform the U.S. armed forces. According to the authors, "Broad support of the officer corps is a key element in force transformation." Thus far, however, the officer corps, though open to the idea of change in the abstract, does not appear to support changes that would create new services or devalue currently dominant weapons systems.

Risa Brooks of Northwestern University reviews two books on regime type and military effectiveness:Arabs at War, by Kenneth Pollack, and Democracies at War, by Dan Reiter and Allan Stam. Brooks commends the authors for their ambitious efforts to explain why states win and lose wars. She argues, however, that major conceptual and methodological weaknesses undermine the main findings of both books.

In our correspondence section, Charles Knight and Melissa Murphy raise several objections to Michael Mousseau's hypothesis on the "social origins of terror." Mousseau answers his critics.

With this issue, we bid a farewell to Michelle Von Euw, who left her position as editorial assistant to take up graduate studies at the University of Maryland. We welcome Sarah Buckley, a recent graduate of Simmons College, as the journal's new editorial assistant.



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Additional Information

ISSN
1531-4804
Print ISSN
0162-2889
Pages
pp. 3-4
Launched on MUSE
2004-01-12
Open Access
No
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