December 16, 2001
Three times in recent decades the United States has approached Arab countries to join broad coalitions in support of military objectives: ousting the Soviet Union from Afghanistan in the 1980s, ousting Iraq from Kuwait in 1991, and the current war on terrorism. In each case, efforts to garner Arab support created tensions with the U.S. commitment to maintain Israel's "qualitative military edge" against all potential adversaries. Proposed sales in 2001 of AGM-84 Harpoon "Block II" missiles and MLRS rocket systems to Egypt indicate that once again there is a danger that a fundamental strategic principle may be sacrificed for ephemeral diplomatic gains.
October 14, 2001
President George W. Bush was very cautious about the marks he gave to Palestinian Authority leader Yasser Arafat on the latter's cease-fire efforts. True, Bush stated: "I was pleased to see that Mr. Arafat is trying to control the radical elements within the Palestinian Authority, and I think the world ought to applaud him for that" (emphasis added). Bush re-stated his belief that "there ought to be a Palestinian state, the boundaries of which will be negotiated by the parties" (Presidential News Conference -- October 11, 2001 -- CNN.com).