In his classic 1973 book The Imperial Presidency, historian Arthur Schlesinger Jr. warned that the American political system was threatened by “a conception of presidential power so spacious and peremptory as to imply a radical transformation of the traditional polity.” America's rise to global dominance and Cold War leadership, Schlesinger explained, had dangerously concentrated power in the presidency, transforming the Framers' energetic but constitutionally constrained chief executive into a sort of elected emperor with virtually unchecked authority in the international arena.
Demand for alternatives to state-run schools has swelled over the past decade, as witnessed by rising poll numbers favoring increased choice and by the creation of new charter schools, voucher programs, education tax credits, homeschools, and private scholarship funds. Despite mounting demand, however, such alternatives reach relatively few students. Charters and vouchers, for instance, serve only 2 percent of school children nationwide.
In 1996 the U.S. Congress passed and the president signed the Nunn-Lugar-Domenici Act on domestic preparedness for terrorism using weapons of mass destruction. That law directs various departments and agencies of the federal government to make available to state and local governments training and equipment to respond to acts of terrorism involving the use of radiological, biological, and chemical weapons. The program—costing tens of billions of dollars per year—seeks to train local law enforcement, fire, medical, and other emergency response personnel to deal with such an attack against the American public.
Education companies, or “edupreneurs,” are entering the education marketplace in droves with creative, cost efficient products and services for students of all ages. This rapidly expanding industry, which constitutes approximately 10 percent of the $740 billion education market, demonstrates that private enterprises, even when competing against a monopolistic system, can deliver a wide range of affordable high-quality educational services. This study provides a glimpse of the products, services, and innovations that a fully competitive marketplace could generate if the government's stranglehold on education were loosened.
Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson's final judgment in the Microsoft case indicates that he has fallen hook, line, and sinker for the government's flawed arguments. But the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit is unlikely to be so accommodating. The Justice Department's case will crumble as a result of procedural errors, flawed fact-finding, wrongheaded legal conclusions, and Jackson's preposterous plan to break up the software company most directly responsible for America's high-tech revolution.
Government, Industrial Policy, and Science and Technology
The foreign policy record of the Clinton-Gore administration deserves a less than stellar grade. At the end of the Cold War, there was an extraordinary opportunity to build a new relationship with a democratic Russia; restructure U.S. security policy in both Europe and East Asia to reduce America's burdens and risk exposure; and revisit intractable Cold War–era problems, such as the frosty relations with Cuba, Vietnam, and North Korea. The administration's performance must be judged within the context of such an unprecedented opportunity for constructive change.
International Relations and Foreign Policy
Russia, United States, China, Europe, Israel, East Asia, Asia, North Korea, and Vietnam
American interest in and concerns about India rose sharply after that country carried out underground nuclear tests in May 1998. Clinton administration officials belatedly acknowledged that developing a good working relationship with India should be one of America's top foreign policy priorities. President Clinton's visit to South Asia in March 2000 was an important symbolic step.
International Relations and Foreign Policy
United States, America, South Asia, Washington, and India
Sea-based missile defense is being advocated as an alternative to the Clinton administration\'s limited land-based national missile defense (NMD), which is in the early stages of testing. Proponents of sea-based NMD (which is only a concept, not a program) argue that such a system can be deployed more quickly and will be less expensive than the Clinton administration\'s land-based system. Some argue that the Navy Theater Wide (NTW) system—which is being designed to provide midcourse intercept capability against slower, shorter-range theater ballistic missiles—can be upgraded to attack longrange intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) in their boost phase (when under powered flight at the beginning of their trajectories). Interestingly enough, advocates of sea-based NMD include not only traditional supporters of missile defense but also people who were previously opposed to missile defense.
The 1972 Biological Toxins and Weapons Convention—often called the Biological Weapons Convention, or BWC—requires the signatories to renounce the development, employment, transfer, acquisition, production, and possession of all biological weapons listed in the convention.
Traditionally, strategic offensive arms control and ballistic missile defense have been viewed as mutually exclusive. During the Cold War, the general belief was that anti–ballistic missile (ABM) systems would call into question the ability of the superpowers to successfully survive a first nuclear strike and inflict sufficient damage with a second strike. That is, missile defense could allow one superpower to launch a first strike and then use its defenses to intercept a second strike with the other superpower's surviving warheads—thereby undermining deterrence and stability. Furthermore, the thinking was that this situation would result in a dangerous offensive arms race as each side sought to counter the effects of the other's defenses.
Defense Policy, Arms Control and Proliferation, and Nuclear Weapons