Oct. 1, 1995
No Single Gulf Syndrome

We’re releasing today a report on our clinical investigation of [Persian] Gulf War veterans with illness symptoms. . . . It is a report of extensive and intensive medical evaluation of over 10,000 patients. . . . We do not find a single or unique illness responsible for a large or even significant proportion . . . of illness [in veterans of the 1991 war]. Rather, what we find are multiple illnesses with overlapping symptoms and causes-illnesses and symptoms with an extremely broad range. . . . I want to be clear that I’m not saying here that there are not people who are significantly ill [or] who are seriously disabled as a result of their symptoms, post-Gulf. There certainly are. But again, we’re looking at the evidence from a large group-10,000 patients-and most of them are not seriously disabled.

Dr. Stephen C. Joseph, assistant secretary of defense for Health Affairs, in an August 1, 1995, press conference announcing the results of the Pentagon’s probe of “Gulf War Syndrome.”

Yeah, Right

I estimate that 500 to 1,000 Western soldiers would be killed in a Bosnian war.

Michael E. Brown, associate director of the International Security Program, Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University, in the July 25, 1995, Washington Post.

Collision Course With China

By far the most worrisome policy area concerns Sino-American relations. For over twenty years after 1949, China and the US had no relations at all. Between 1971 and 1989, they achieved something approaching a strategic partnership. Since then, relations have steadily declined as a result, first, of the impact of Tiananmen Square and congressional pressures and, more recently, a cycle of action and reaction over Taiwan. Having just returned from Beijing, I want to say in the most solemn way that our two countries are again on a collision course. I want to warn against the dangerous argument that good relations with China were important in the Cold War but have lost their significance with the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, in July 13, 1995, testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Of Prophecies and Tragedies

If NATO enlargement [into eastern Europe] stays on its current course, reaction in Russia is likely to be a sense of isolation by those committed to democracy and economic reform, with varying degrees of paranoia, nationalism, and demagoguery emerging from across the current political spectrum. . . . By forcing the pace of NATO enlargement at a volatile and unpredictable moment in Russia’s history, we could place ourselves in the worst of all security environments: rapidly declining defense budgets, broader responsibilities, and heightened instability. We will also find ourselves with increasingly difficult relations with the most important country in the world in terms of potential for proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. This is the stuff that self-fulfilling prophecies, and historic tragedies, are made of.

Sen. Sam Nunn (D-Ga.), in a June 22, 1995, address delivered to the SACLANT Seminar 95, Norfolk, Va.

The Heartbreak of Satellites

It was a most heartbreaking business. If an airplane goes on a test flight and something malfunctions, and it gets back, the pilot can tell you about the malfunction, or you can look it over and find out. But in the case of a [reconnaissance] satellite, you fire the damn thing off, and you’ve got some telemetry, and you never get it back. There is no pilot, of course, and you’ve got no hardware; you never see it again. So you have to infer from telemetry what went wrong. Then you make a fix, and if it fails again, you know you’ve inferred wrong. In the case of Corona, it went on and on.

Richard M. Bissell, Jr., senior CIA official, commenting after the failure of the Discoverer I spy satellite in 1959, as quoted in a recently released official CIA history of the Corona satellite program.

This Just In

Iraq, marking the fifth anniversary of its invasion of Kuwait on Wednesday, blamed the United States and the rulers of [Kuwait] for the events of August 2, 1990.

State-run newspapers carried front-page editorials hitting out at Washington, with one paper saying the US represented the “empire of evil” in the world.

“The responsibility for the crisis does not fall on Iraq but on America in the first place and Kuwaiti rulers in the second,” said the government newspaper al-Jumhouriya.

Reuters News Service, in an August 2, 1995, dispatch from Iraq’s capital.

“Not a Threat,” But. . .

With one-fifth of the world’s population, strategic nuclear weapons, permanent membership on the United Nations Security Council, and a dynamic economy, China is already a world power. . . . China continues to increase the pace and scope of its military modernization program, and many regional nations view China’s growing power-projection capabilities with concern. Is China a threat? A threat comprises both capability and intention. Improved Chinese military capabilities, given China’s robust economic growth, are inevitable. But a China with hostile intentions is not inevitable. I believe they desire a stronger . . . influence in global affairs and see military strength as supporting those ends. . . . I do not see China as a threat. My assessment would change, however, if we choose to isolate-rather than engage-China.

Adm. Richard C. Macke, CINC, US Pacific Command, in June 27, 1995, testimony to the House International Relations Committee’s Asia and the Pacific Subcommittee.