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  • Publication Date: 07-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: The issue of political reform in Syria straddles the line between reform of political institutions and removal from power of a particular regime and entails both domestic and external actors. The regime of Bashar al-Asad is under pressure from Syrian citizens who want a different political system and different leadership. He is also under pressure from the United States, which wants Syria to change its regional policy: stop intruding in Lebanese affairs, reduce support of Palestinian groups, and make a bigger effort to prevent infiltration of radical Islamists into Iraq. As a result, it is impossible to separate completely a domestic process of political reform from the external pressures. The two are entangled to a much greater extent than in any other country in the region except Iraq, and the analysis that follows reflects this entanglement.
  • Topic: International Relations, Politics, Regime Change
  • Political Geography: China, Iraq, Middle East, Asia, Syria
  • Author: George Perkovich
  • Publication Date: 05-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: The debate over the nuclear deal negotiated by the Bush Administration and the government of India is too narrow. This is ironic in as much as the best argument for the deal is that it advances big strategic goals. Some administration officials admit privately that the purported nonproliferation benefits of the deal are thinner than the paper it's not yet written on, and they hope to convince Congress that even if there are no nonproliferation gains, the grand strategic benefits still make the deal worth supporting. Strangely, nevertheless, the debate focuses on the nonproliferation aspects of the deal and leaves larger strategic questions relatively unexamined.
  • Topic: International Relations, Defense Policy, Arms Control and Proliferation, Government
  • Political Geography: India, Asia
  • Author: Albert Kiedel
  • Publication Date: 09-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: China is confronting widespread violent and even deadly social unrest, raising Communist Party alarms about national security. Some observers speculate that unrest could undermine China's national leadership, as it did in the Ukraine and the Philippines. Some U.S. policy makers might welcome unrest in China as a path to democracy and “freedom.” But rather than an opportunity to transform China's political order, China's social unrest should be understood as the unavoidable side effects—worsened by local corruption—of successful market reforms and expanded economic and social choice. Managing this unrest humanely requires accelerated reform of legal and social institutions with special attention to corruption. More violence would generate more suffering, potentially destabilizing East Asia and harming U.S. interests. The United States should encourage China to strengthen its social reconciliation capabilities, without making electoral political reform a prerequisite for intensifying engagement across the board.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Development, Economics
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Ukraine, East Asia, Asia
  • Author: Josh Kurlantzick
  • Publication Date: 06-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Over the past decade China has downplayed its hard power in Southeast Asia, instead creating a strategy to build its soft power. For the first time in post-WWII history, the United States may be facing a situation in which another country's appeal outstrips its own in an important region, a change sure to shock the United States. Before China's appeal spreads to other parts of the developing world, U.S. policy makers need to understand how China exerts soft power, if China's soft power could be dangerous to developing nations, and whether elements of China's charm could threaten U.S. interests.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Asia, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Frédéric Grare
  • Publication Date: 02-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: The risk of an Islamist takeover in Pakistan is a myth invented by the Pakistani military to consolidate its hold on power. In fact, religious political parties and militant organizations are manipulated by the Pakistani Army to achieve its own objectives, domestically and abroad. The army, not the Islamists, is the real source of insecurity on the subcontinent.
  • Topic: International Relations, Ethnic Conflict, Religion
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Asia
  • Author: Veron Mei-Ying Hung
  • Publication Date: 04-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: The George W. Bush administration in September 2002 laid out in the “National Security Strategy of the United States” its strategy toward China: “We welcome the emergence of a strong, peaceful, and prosperous China.” During a trip to Asia in March 2005, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice adopted a similar phrase to welcome “the rise of a confident, peaceful, and prosperous China.”
  • Topic: International Relations, Development, Government
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Shanghai, Asia
  • Author: Martha Brill Olcott
  • Publication Date: 02-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: The honeymoon between the Western oil industry and Russian President Vladimir Putin ended in mid-2003 when the Russian procurator's office began arresting Yukos executives. The Kremlin's seemingly sudden attack on private industry surprised the international business community that was expecting investment-friendly behavior from the Russian leadership. After assuming power in late 1999, Putin quickly signaled interest in developing a strong energy partnership with the United States, including increased opportunities for Western firms to invest in Russia's oil and gas industry.
  • Topic: Development, Energy Policy, Industrial Policy
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Michael Swaine, Minxin Pei
  • Publication Date: 11-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: The rapid deterioration in Sino-Japanese relations in recent years has raised geopolitical tensions in East Asia and could embroil China and Japan in a dangerous strategic conflict that could be threatening to U.S. interests. China's rise, Japan's growing assertiveness in foreign policy, and new security threats and uncertainties in Asia are driving the two countries increasingly further apart. Political pandering to nationalist sentiments in each country has also contributed to the mismanagement of bilateral ties. But Japan and China are not destined to repeat the past. Their leaders must ease the tensions, restore stability, and pursue a new agenda of cooperation as equals. For its part, the United States must play a more positive and active role.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Relations
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, China, Israel, East Asia, Asia
  • Author: Dmitri V. Trenin
  • Publication Date: 10-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: After the fall of Communism, Russia reverted to czarism. But more importantly, Russia embraced capitalism. Although not democratic, Russia is largely free. Property rights are more deeply anchored than they were five years ago, and the once-collectivist society is going private. Indeed, private consumption is the main driver of economic growth. Russia's future now depends heavily on how fast a middle class—a self-identified group with personal stakes in having a law-based government accountable to tax payers—can be created. The West needs to take the long view, stay engaged, and maximize contacts, especially with younger Russians.
  • Topic: Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Anders Åslund
  • Publication Date: 08-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Russia's regime has gone through a major aggravation during the first year of President Vladimir Putin's second term. The regime suffers from serious overcentralization of power, which has led to a paralysis of policy making. Putin's power base has been shrunk to secret policemen from St. Petersburg. Although his popularity remains high, it is falling. Neither unbiased information nor negative feedback is accepted. As a result, the Putin regime is much more fragile than generally understood. Russia's current abandonment of democracy is an anomaly for such a developed and relatively wealthy country, and it has made Russia's interests part from those of the United States. The United States should not hesitate to promote democracy in Russia, while pragmatically pursuing common interests in nonproliferation and energy.
  • Topic: International Relations, Democratization, Government
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, America, Europe, Asia