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

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International Relations : Decline of Omnipotence?


The turn of the century and three-fourths into its first year has seen the United States of America at the peak of its power and prosperity. The dollar is mightier than ever attracting investments from Europe in addition to Japan and bringing down all other currencies, including the euro, pound, sterling and the Swiss franc. (The Indian rupee incidentally has fallen much less than the euro in terms of the US dollar.) Almost every country has tried to improve ties with the US, which no longer regards Iran and Libya as untouchables. China and Vietnam are friends, North Korea will soon be one, and Cuba too if Castro is not mishandled. (Iraq alone is in a different category, a pariah, to which we will come later.)

Yet recent happenings in west Asia cast some doubt on continued US omnipotence. The oil crisis which was not supply-induced, preceded, and did not follow, the Israeli-Arab tension. Whether because of election politics in the US or inter-party bickerings in Israel, the US and Clinton are unable to bell the cat. The UN Security Council, the Human Rights Council and the General Assembly resolutions condemnatory of Israel could not be prevented by the US, and UN Secretary General Kofi Annan has rightly stepped into the breach created by Clinton's lame duck presidency.

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