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Readers Write

NATO Plus Russia Is Key to Security

The opinion-page article "Wrong About NATO" (Feb. 25) demonstrates how flawed our Russia policy is and shows how wrong we are in believing Russia could have veto power if allowed into NATO.

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We need to ensure that Russia succeeds in its bid for democracy. There is no better way than bringing it into Western institutions as quickly as possible.

With China emerging as a world power, we need to ensure it never feels capable of taking on the rest of the world. Though we hope China will join in international stability, as tiny Singapore has done, we must prepare for the worst, in case 1 billion-plus Chinese are someday tricked by their leaders into a world conquest attempt.

Nothing could make this less likely than the present NATO, plus Russia, plus all the eastern European countries in between, uniting in a common security pact.

Tom Hudgens


Association to Unite the Democracies

Status quo in Brcko

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It might amplify the opinion-page article "Remember Brcko! Why It's Not Easy to Be Hard in Bosnia" (March 5) to note that the Brcko decision of Feb. 15 was actually made by one arbitrator, Roberts Owen, an American designated by the president of the International Court of Justice.

The other two arbitrators, designated by the parties, refused to sign. In the 45-page decision there was no attempt to justify leaving the boundary where it is except the statement that "absent further action by the Tribunal, the IEBL [Inter-Entity Boundary Line] in the region will remain unchanged." In such a situation, pretending to make no decision is in fact making a decision, in favor of the party in control - the Serbs.

John Carey

New York

Editor, United Nations Law Reports

Hope for US-China relations

I would like to add some information to your Page 1 story "Albright Visit to China Ushers in New Ties" (Feb. 25).

Dr. Eric Hyer, an authority on US-China relations and professor of international relations at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, says the US needs to establish a bilateral relationship like the one we share with Canada. He compared our relations with China to our relations with Russia in the cold war. Each country thought the other was out to get it but has learned differently since 1989. He said the US and China have made tremendous progress in business, cultural, and trade interactions, but political relations have not improved very much. Stereotypes on both sides are due to our poor political relationship.

The article said that Albright "set out a roadmap for important bilateral visits." This is a good sign. It shows that our countries are coming closer to having a bilateral relationship like the one we have with Russia.

Aaron Myers

Rexburg, Idaho

International Language Program Volunteer, China Program

Monitoring before the cold war

"Even the Elite Can Feel the Budget Ax" (Feb. 4) on the US Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS), was interesting but not entirely accurate. It described the FBIS as having been "created during the cold war to monitor former Soviet-run media." Actually, the agency was formed early in World War II to monitor Axis-controlled transmitters around the world, and to cover broadcasts from Moscow. Originally called the Foreign Broadcast Monitoring Service, it played a substantial role in delivering hard news, military and diplomatic intelligence, economic data, and propaganda analysis to a score of key wartime agencies including the Office of Strategic Services, forerunner of the CIA.

Ted Berkman

Santa Barbara, Calif.

Balkan-Middle East chief of the FBIS, 1944-46

Your letters are welcome. Letters for publication must be signed and include your mailing address and telephone number. Mail to "Readers Write," One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115, fax to 617-450-2317, or e-mail (200 words maximum) to

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