WAR AND DIPLOMACY

1990S

Persian Gulf War

On August 2, 1990 Iraq invaded Kuwait. With the oil rich states of the Persian Golf playing such a key role in the world economy, everyone even the United states saw the invasion as a direct threat to the international system. President George Bush, saw the invasion as a chance to strengthen international ties. When the Iraqi leader, Saddam Hussein, defied the United Nations Security Council's demands to withdraw from Kuwait by mid- January of 1991, the Persian Gulf War began with a massive U.S led air offensive . By mid- February, the coalition forces had shifted the focus of their air attacks toward Iraqi ground forces in Kuwait and southern Iraq. This massive allied ground offensive known as Operation Desert Sabre, had troops heading from northern Saudi Arabia into Kuwait were they encircled and defeated the Iraqis and liberated Kuwait. With Iraqi resistance nearing and end, Bush declared a ceasefire on February 28 ending the Persian Gulf War. According to the terms Hussein subsequently agreed to, Iraq would be recognize Kuwait's sovereignty and get rid of all its weapons of mass destruction such as nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons.

Cold War Ends

President George Bush and Gorbachev met three times at bilateral summits and twice at multilateral sessions. This intensively personal diplomatic activity produced numerous formal agreements and informal understandings that, in effect, led to the end of the Cold War. Most important, perhaps, was the US-Soviet partnership that helped Gorbachev and Shevardnadze in downsizing the overly militarized Soviet state. The main factor that lead to the end of the Cold War was the giant effort involving a handful of statesmen on both sides of the US-Soviet relationship and recorded in the agreements they reached.

Détente rather than confrontation led to the collapse of Soviet power and the breakup of the Soviet Union. As soon as Gorbachev succeeded in gaining the U.S's trust in the late 1980s, he began undermining the Soviet system. Once the perceived Western military threat to Russia was eliminated or was redefined out of existence, the USSR's last remaining state purpose disappeared with it. The Cold War ended when the diehards finally realized that they could not revive it.

The Estimates clarified the debate on Soviet intentions that was ongoing early in the Bush administration, and they made the appropriate connection between Gorbachev's need for stability on the international front and the opportunity for the United States to negotiate favorable arms reduction agreements. The military Estimates also documented and anticipated the profound changes occurring in Eastern Europe as a result of arms control and political disintegration, giving American policymakers the confidence they needed to bring the Gulf crisis to a successful conclusion and reach new agreements with Moscow. The strategic Estimates provided vital information on the absence of basic change in Soviet strategic programs despite perestroika and, later, on the fundamental changes resulting from the START Treaty and the host of new problems raised by the Soviet collapse. All in all, the Estimates stand up well in the light of what we now know.



START Treaty

The proposal was first announced by United States President Ronald Reagan in a commencement address at his alma mater on 9 May, 1982, and presented by President Ronald Reagan in Geneva on 29 June 1982. Reagan proposed a dramatic reduction in strategic forces in two phases, which he referred to as SALT III at the time The first phase would reduce overall warhead counts on any missile type to 5,000, with an additional limit of 2,500 on ICBMs. Additionally, a total of 850 ICBMs would be allowed, with a limit of 110 "heavy throw" missiles like the SS-18, with additional limits on the total "throw weight" of the missiles as well. The second phase introduced similar limits on heavy bombers and their warheads, and other strategic systems as well.

Continued negotiation of the START process was delayed several times because the U.S agreement terms were considered non-negotiable by pre-Gorbachev Soviet rulers. President Reagan's introduction of the Strategic Defense Initiative program in 1983 was viewed as a threat by the Soviet Union, and the Soviets withdrew from setting a timetable for further negotiations. Due to these facts, a dramatic nuclear arms race proceeded during the 1980s, and essentially ended in 1991 by nuclear parity preservation at a level of more than ten thousand strategic warheads on both sides. This treaty also stated that the United States and Russia would have 6,000 fighter aircraft, 10,000 tanks, 20,000 artillery pieces and 2,000 attack helicopters.

365 B-52s were flown to the Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Center at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Arizona. The bombers were stripped of all usable parts, then chopped into five pieces by a 13,000-pound steel blade dropped from a crane. The guillotine sliced four times on each plane, severing the wings and leaving the fuselage in three pieces. The ruined B-52s remained in place for three months so that Russian satellites could confirm that the bombers had been destroyed, after which they were sold for scrap.

Belarus, Kazakhstan and Ukraine have disposed of all their nuclear weapons or transferred them to Russia; while the U.S. and Russia have reduced the capacity of delivery vehicles to 1,600 each, with no more than 6,000 warheads

World Trade Center Bombing

In 1993 a terrorist bomb exploded in a parking garage of the World Trade Center, leaving a crater 60 feet wide and causing the collapse of several steel-reinforced concrete floors in the vicinity of the blast. Although the terrorist bomb failed to critically damage the main structure of the skyscrapers, six people were killed and more than 1,000 were injured. The World Trade Center itself suffered more than $500 million in damage. After the attack, authorities evacuated 50,000 people from the buildings, hundreds of whom were suffering from smoke inhalation. The evacuation lasted the whole afternoon.

City authorities and the FBI undertook a massive manhunt for suspects, and within days several radical Islamic fundamentalists were arrested. In March 1994, Mohammed Salameh, Ahmad Ajaj, Nidal Ayyad, and Mahmoud Abouhalima were convicted by a federal jury for their role in the bombing, and each was sentenced to life in prison. Salameh, a Palestinian, was arrested when he went to retrieve the $400 deposit he had left for the Ryder rental van used in the attack. Ajaj and Ayyad, who both played a role in the construction of the bomb, were arrested soon after. Abouhalima, who helped buy and mix the explosives, fled to Saudi Arabia but was caught in Egypt two weeks later.

The mastermind of the attack, Ramzi Ahmed Yousef, was arrested in Pakistan. He had previously been in the Philippines, and in a computer he left there were found terrorist plans that included a plot to kill Pope John Paul II and a plan to bomb 15 American airliners in 48 hours. On the flight back to the U.S, Yousef reportedly admitted to a Secret Service agent that he had directed the Trade Center attack from the beginning and even claimed to have set the fuse that exploded the 1,200-pound bomb.

NAFTA

NAFTA or The North American Free Trade Agreement, was designed to remove tariff barriers between the U.S, Canada, and Mexico. It also included two important side agreements on enviromental and labor issues that extended into cooperative efforts to reconcile policies, and procedures for dispute resolution between the member states. It was signed in 1992 by Canada, Mexico, and the United States and took effect on January 1, 1994. NAFTA immediately lifted tariffs on the majority of goods produced by the signatory nations. It also calls for the gradual elimination, over a period of 15 years, of most remaining barriers to cross-border investment and to the movement of goods and services among the three countries.
1996 Olympic Park Bombing

CNN Report on the 1996 Summer Olympics bombing

1996 Summer Olympics Bombing

The Centennial Olympic Park bombing was a terrorist bomb attack in Atlanta, Georgia during the1996 Summer Olympics. The blast killed 1 life and injured 111 people, It was the first of four bombings committed by Eric Robert Rudolph, a carpenter and handyman, who had detonated three pipe bombs inside an ALICE Pack. Motivated by the government's sanctioning of abortion on demand, Rudolph wanted to force the cancellation of the Olympics.. Security guard Richard Jewell discovered the bomb before detonation and cleared most of the spectators out of the park. After the bombings, Jewell was falsely implicated as a suspect by the FBI and the news media focused aggressively on him as the presumed culprit. Following three more bombings in 1997, Rudolph was identified by the FBI as the suspect. In 2003, Rudolph was arrested and tried before being convicted two years later. Rudolph was sentenced to life imprisonment without parole for the Georgia incidents.

"How to Prepare Your Family for Y2K" - 1999 - pt. 1 of 5!

How To Prepare Your Family for Y2K

Y2K Scare

In 1999 the fear was that all of the computers that everyone depended on would malfunction. People also feared that our luxuries would be destroyed and that we would revert back to living like the olden days without any electricity, heat or running water. The scare consisted of the fear that the entire computer systems were going to fail on New Year’s Eve 1999. This is because computer memory space was pricey then and memory was saved by using two digits for the date instead four. For example, a date representing 1995 would be saved as “95.” Therefore, when the year changed to 2000, the disaster that was anticipated by so many was that the computers would not be able to tell if “00” meant 2000 or 1900. Some problems with the dates were already occurring before the millennium. Therefore, people assumed that all of the world’s computers would fail to function. People saw the new millennium as the apocalypse. They feared that the end of the world was near. Famalies took it to such an extreme that they bought gas-powered generators and a year’s supply of dry food because they were so convinced that the end was near. There was complete chaos occurring around the world.
The economy blossomed for all computer programmers, those specializing in data recovery, and any other computer savvy people. Companies that had the solution to “fixing” the Y2K problem sold mass numbers of products.