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Back in 1979 talk began about stationing Pershing missiles in Europe as a way of renewing Washington's time-worn pledge to its NATO allies and of preventing the U.S. from “decoupling” in Europe. This had the effect of opening a lively debate in foreign policy circles about the missiles per se as well as about the three-decade-old North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Congress took a serious interest, as did the peace movement in Europe. Yet not long ago, when the USSR shot down a Korean civilian airliner, the debate stopped. Such underlying issues as whether NATO should continue in its present form or indeed should exist at all never reached public consciousness.
Since 1970 Cambodia has experienced a coup d'état, civil war, saturation bombing, revolution, genocide, invasion, occupation, and famine. This spring is the tenth anniversary of the Communist revolutions that swept Cambodia, Vietnam, and Laos in 1975. For Cambodians, and anyone concerned with that much-punished country, it is an opportunity to reflect—and mourn.
No name is more closely tied with Cambodia's postwar history than that of Prince Norodom Sihanouk. Placed on the throne by French colonial authorities in 1941 at the age of nineteen, Sihanouk gained international fame during his Croisade Royale pour l' Independence, which reached fruition with the Geneva Accords of 1954. Abdicating shortly thereafter, Sihanouk formed a political party that swept the first National Assembly elections. He ruled without interruption until 1970.
Game theory in both popular and academic circles is prominently associated with the nuclear standoff between the United States and the Soviet Union. But game theory, unfortunately, is not easy to use, and much of its application to the nuclear dilemma has only fathered confusion. Two of these confusions are particularly destructive.
The first comes from thinking of strategic interactions as games, to be won like chess and poker. We owe this confusion directly to John von Neumann, who gave the name “game theory” to his analysis of the logical structures of strategic interactions. It is too late to change the name, but it may not be too late to quit thinking of poker and chess when we are involved in the more crucial strategic interactions that fill our lives.