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  • Author: Derek M. Scissors
  • Publication Date: 01-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: New data published in the American Enterprise Institute-Heritage Foundation China Global Investment Tracker show that China continues to invest heavily around the world. Outward investment excluding bonds stood at $85 billion in 2013 and is likely to reach $100 billion annually by 2015. Energy, metals, and real estate are the prime targets. The United States in particular received a record of more than $14 billion in Chinese investment in 2013. Although China has shown a pattern of focusing on one region for a time then moving on to the next, the United States could prove to be a viable long-term investment location. The economic benefits of this investment flow are notable, but US policymakers (and those in other countries) should consider national security, the treatment of state-owned enterprises, and reciprocity when deciding to encourage or limit future Chinese investment.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Development, Economics, Emerging Markets, International Trade and Finance, Foreign Direct Investment, Sovereign Wealth Funds
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Asia
  • Author: Bruce E. Bechtol
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: South Korea is in a unique position. It is an economic powerhouse and a thriving democracy that faces the most ­ominous and imminent threat on its borders of any democracy in the world. Moreover, this is a threat that continues to evolve, with increasing missile, cyber, special operations, and nuclear capabilities and a new leader who shows no signs that he will be any less ruthless or belligerent than his father. To meet this threat, Seoul has undertaken a number of efforts to better deter and defend against North Korean capabilities and provocations, including increasing the defense budget, upping training with US forces, creating new command elements, and establishing plans for preemptive strikes against imminent North Korean missile launches. However, in part because of administration changes in Seoul, the South Korean effort has been uneven. And decisions remain to be made in the areas of missile defense, tactical fighter aircraft, and command-and-control arrangements that will be significant for not only South Korea but all states that have an interest in Northeast Asia's peace and stability.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Democratization, Development, Emerging Markets, Nuclear Weapons, Bilateral Relations, Territorial Disputes
  • Political Geography: United States, East Asia, South Korea, North Korea
  • Author: Ahmad Khalid Majidyar
  • Publication Date: 08-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: For decades the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has been America's indispensable ally in the Middle East, and the ­Kingdom's stability remains vital for US strategic interests in the region. While antigovernment protests in the Kingdom's Sunni-majority regions have been small and sporadic in the wake of Arab Spring, there has been an unremitting unrest in the strategic Eastern Province, home to Saudi Arabia's marginalized Shi'ite minority and major oil fields. As in the 1980s, if government repression and discrimination push the Shi'ites to extremes, some may resort to violence and terrorism, jeopardizing American interests in the region, benefitting Iran and ­al-Qaeda, disrupting the equilibrium of global oil markets, and adversely affecting economic recovery in the West. To ensure lasting stability in the Kingdom, the United States must work with the Saudi government to achieve gradual but meaningful reforms that include integrating the Shi'ites into the Kingdom's sociopolitical system.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Security, Islam, Sectarian violence
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Arabia, Saudi Arabia
  • Author: Michael Auslin
  • Publication Date: 12-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: Ensuring security in the Indo-Pacific region will be the primary foreign policy challenge for the United States and liberal nations over the next generation. Doing so successfully will provide the greatest economic and political opportunities for the next quarter century. Conversely, a failure to maintain stability, support liberal regimes, create cooperative regional relations, and uphold norms and standards of international behavior will lead to a region, and world, of greater uncertainty, insecurity, and instability. Due to its economic strength, military power, and political dynamism, the Indo-Pacific will be the world's most important region in coming decades, and its significance will be felt throughout the globe. Since the end of World War II, it has transformed itself into the world's economic powerhouse, yet has also witnessed a struggle between tides of liberalism, authoritarianism, and even totalitarianism. It remains riven by distrust, territorial disputes, ethnic tensions, and painful historical memories. The Indo-Pacific's unique geography makes the balance of regional security most vulnerable in its "commons": the open seas, air lanes, and cyber networks that link the region together and to the world.
  • Topic: Security, Development, Emerging Markets, Governance
  • Political Geography: United States, China, India, Australia/Pacific
  • Author: Alan D. Viard
  • Publication Date: 04-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: Buried in the 227-page Social Security trustees' report are some dramatic numbers about Social Security's future promises. AEI resident scholar Alan D. Viard tells us that "a typical worker retiring in 2050 has been promised 47 percent more than today's retirees, and one retiring in 2080 has been promised more than double today's benefits." To address the program's financial problems, he says, the rules need to be changed to link future retirees' benefits to inflation. That move, he says, would go a long way toward solving the system's problems.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Frederick W. Kagan
  • Publication Date: 03-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: The debate about American policy and strategy in Iraq has veered off course. A number of myths have crept into the discussion over the past two years that distort understanding and confuse discussion. It is possible and appropriate to question the wisdom of any particular strategy proposed for Iraq, including the Bush administration's strategy, and there is reason to be both concerned and encouraged by recent events there. But constructive dialogue about how to choose the best way forward is hampered by the distortions caused by certain myths. Until these myths recede from discussions about Iraq strategy, progress in those discussions is extremely unlikely.
  • Topic: Security, War
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, America, Middle East
  • Author: Thomas Donnelly
  • Publication Date: 01-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: For the world's unreconstructed monarchies, autocracies, and tyrannies—the demographic of aggressive states— and for those like Osama bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri, and Abu Musab al-Zarqawi who aspire to create such states, there is not much to like about American geopolitical preeminence. Indeed, it sometimes appears as though it is the United States that is the aggressive, rising power. President George W. Bush's desire to maintain a “balance of power that favors freedom,” coupled with hyper-powerful means, prevents the United States from acting like a traditional, status-quo power. Viewed from the outside, the Pax Americana can appear less than peaceful.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Foreign Policy, Sovereignty
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Veronique de Rugy
  • Publication Date: 09-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: Congress should direct home land security funding to program s that provide the greatest return in the most crucial security missions. Since the number of possible attacks is effectively unlimited and the resources we can devote to the fight against terror are limited, spending should not occur without a careful cost-benefit analysis. Most importantly, it is perfectly reasonable to decide not to implement an antiterrorism measure, not because it has no benefit, but because the costs are too high compared to the potential benefits. Of course, program s that are not cost effective should never be implemented.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Economics
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Karlyn H. Bowman
  • Publication Date: 02-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: What do Americans think about the health of the Social Security system and proposals to reform it? This AEI Public Opinion Study looks at how different pollsters have approached the issue. It provides historical data and includes trends on aspects of the debate from major pollsters.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: John H. Makin
  • Publication Date: 02-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: Alarmists who call for American households to save more point to a steady drop in the conventionally measured U.S. saving rate to about 1 per- cent at the end of last year and to a rise in household debt to a level well over 100 percent of personal disposable income. The current account deficit, our external deficit, measures national dis-saving at close to 6 percent of GDP. The federal government's budget deficit contributes about 4 percentage points to national dis-saving and it, too, is the subject of considerable hand-wringing by those who point to a need for higher U.S. saving at both the household and national levels.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Frederick W. Kagan
  • Publication Date: 08-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: U.S. defense policy today rests heavily on two basic assumptions: that the American armed forces will make perfect decisions and take perfect actions, and that the enemy will never surprise us or offer us unexpected opportunities to exploit. These assumptions can be seen in the elimination of reserve forces from all echelons of the military structure and the heavy burden that the current war has placed on the Army Reserves and National Guard. The result of these decisions has been to leave the United States with little ability to react to unforeseen difficulties, either in Iraq or Afghanistan or elsewhere. If this policy continues, it will place American national security in grave jeopardy for years to come.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Government, War
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Iraq, America
  • Author: Thomas Donnelly
  • Publication Date: 04-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: One hundred days into the second term of President George W. Bush, a clear national security agenda and policy team have emerged. While there has been some change—most notably, the elevation of Condoleezza Rice to secretary of state and primary policy pilot—there is also a great deal of continuity, particularly in the Pentagon, where Donald Rumsfeld still rules supreme. In addition to fighting wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the defense secretary is leading the charge on a third front—the internal fight to transform the U.S. military. Yet two recent books by experienced war correspondents tell important stories that call parts of the transformation program into question. David Zucchino and Sean Naylor, both “embedded” with units in the thick of operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, respectively, perform the traditional journalist's function of telling truth to power. Their books and their messages deserve careful scrutiny.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Iraq
  • Author: Vance Serchuk, Thomas Donnelly
  • Publication Date: 04-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: With China's declaration of an anti-secession law, Washington has received a timely if unwelcome reminder of the depth of Beijing's determination to retake Taiwan and the reality of geopolitical rivalry in East Asia. Contrary to the crisis-management mentality that too often has governed U.S. China policy, however, the anti-secession law represents an important strategic blunder by Beijing and an important opportunity for the United States—one that, if properly managed, could actually advance American interests in the region more than anything U.S. policy planners would otherwise hatch on their own. After four years in which the White House was preoccupied with more pressing problems in the greater Middle East, the Bush administration should now take advantage of its second term to align U.S. strategy for the Asia-Pacific region with the fundamental tenets of the Bush Doctrine and develop a new framework for its relations with Beijing and Taipei.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, China, America, Washington, Middle East, Taiwan, Beijing, East Asia, Taipei
  • Author: Thomas Donnelly
  • Publication Date: 03-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: More than any of the other armed services, the U.S. Air Force approaches the 2005 Quadrennial Defense Review with a sense of foreboding. Touted just a few years ago as the shining exemplar of the revolution in military affairs and the new American way of war, the Air Force is today under increasing scrutiny from Congress and the Pentagon to justify its procurement priorities in the context of the global war on terror. Neither the Air Force's most fervent detractors nor its most devoted acolytes, however, offer an accurate assessment of the role of air power in the post-9/11 strategic environment. The time is ripe for a more realistic, balanced reappraisal of what air power can—and cannot—be expected to accomplish against present and future threats to U.S. national security.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Vance Serchuk, Thomas Donnelly
  • Publication Date: 02-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: As this goes to press, Iraqis are preparing to vote on January 30 in what will be their country's first democratic elections in nearly fifty years. In the face of the ongoing insurgency in the Sunni Triangle and efforts by guerrillas to disrupt voting, however, a chorus of voices—from former U.S. national security advisers to prominent Sunni politicians—is warning that the elections are likely to do more harm than good, strengthening the very forces responsible for the violence. But while some of these critics raise compelling objections, they fail to grasp why it is precisely U.S. counterinsurgency strategy—as much as any abstract, moral commitment to democracy—that makes holding elections more, rather than less, necessary.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq
  • Author: Vance Serchuk, Thomas Donnelly
  • Publication Date: 01-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: Despite ingrained perceptions of unilateralism, the Bush administration has overseen the most sweeping expansion of American security commitments around the world since the dawn of the Cold War. Even as recriminations over Iraq dominate headlines, the contours of a new alliance system are quietly emerging out of America's partnerships with dozens of countries, from Mali to the Philippines, under attack by al Qaeda and its ideological affiliates. The challenge now is to ensure that this coalition of the willing is also a coalition of the committed—an enduring network of relationships for fighting the war on terror that the Bush administration can bequeath to its successors, be they Democrat or Republican.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, America, Philippines
  • Author: Radek Sikorski
  • Publication Date: 09-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: Europe has been slow to respond to the menace of terrorism, but there are signs that its perception of threats is converging with that of the United States. Paradoxically, America's costly war in Iraq is convincing Europeans that they need a more capable military to give them greater influence over how the West uses force beyond its perimeter.
  • Topic: Security, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Europe
  • Author: Thomas Donnelly
  • Publication Date: 12-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: One of the key questions for the second term of the Bush administration is how to reposture U.S. military forces both at home and abroad. Fifteen years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, these forces resemble nothing so much as a smaller version of their Cold War selves, in many ways improved but hardly “transformed”— to use Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's mantra—let alone optimized for the missions they face today and are most likely to face in the near future. While the idea of “force posture” includes factors beyond basing, the tyrannies of time and distance still do much to shape the character of war. The value of bases is as the value of other real estate: it all comes down to location, location, location.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, National Security
  • Political Geography: United States, Berlin
  • Author: Thomas Donnelly
  • Publication Date: 11-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: The defense of the American homeland has always been the core mission of the U.S. military, but the meaning of that responsibility is undergoing a transformation and demands careful rethinking. Specifically, the September 11 attacks and the global war on terror are forcing American strategists to reevaluate conventional assumptions about how missile defense and neighboring nations fit into U.S. national security.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, National Security
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Thomas Donnelly
  • Publication Date: 10-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: Regardless of who is elected to the presidency in November, the growing threat posed by a nuclear Iran is certain to be at the top of the next administration's national security agenda. Unfortunately, neither a "grand bargain" with Tehran nor a conventional military strike against its nuclear facilities offers much hope of preventing one of the world's most dangerous regimes from acquiring the world's most dangerous weapons. In the short term, at least, the United States must instead work to isolate Iran not only militarily but ideologically, by succeeding in the democratic transformation of Afghanistan and Iraq.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Iraq, Iran