The New Multilateralism

(Wall Street Journal) The Bush Administration has embarked on a burst of "multilateral" cooperation called the Proliferation Security Initiative, and in only a few months it has already had more success than the UN in controlling weapons of mass destruction. Just ask Moammar Gadhafi after the U.S. and its PSI allies halted the illegal shipment of uranium-enrichment equipment headed for Libya's nuclear-arms program. The 16 PSI allies have agreed to interdict shipments of WMD, delivery systems, and related materials at sea, in the air, and on land, and more than 50 nations have signed on to PSI's principles and may be called on should their help be needed. Call it mix-and-match multilateralism. Countries participate or not, depending on the need at hand and on their own capabilities. The one common thread is U.S. leadership. The spread of WMD is the gravest threat to world security and will sometimes need to be met with force. The U.S. needs all the help it can get, but the old global institutions aren't up to the job. The PSI is a herald of the real new world order, multilateralism with teeth.

2004-01-09 00:00:00

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