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  • Author: Robert McNally
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Columbia University Press
  • Abstract: As OPEC has loosened its grip over the past ten years, the oil market has been rocked by wild price swings, the likes of which haven't been seen for eight decades. Crafting an engrossing journey from the gushing Pennsylvania oil fields of the 1860s to today's fraught and fractious Middle East, Crude Volatility explains how past periods of stability and volatility in oil prices help us understand the new boom-bust era. Oil's notorious volatility has always been considered a scourge afflicting not only the oil industry but also the broader economy and geopolitical landscape; Robert McNally makes sense of how oil became so central to our world and why it is subject to such extreme price fluctuations. Tracing a history marked by conflict, intrigue, and extreme uncertainty, McNally shows how—even from the oil industry's first years—wild and harmful price volatility prompted industry leaders and officials to undertake extraordinary efforts to stabilize oil prices by controlling production. Herculean market interventions—first, by Rockefeller's Standard Oil, then, by U.S. state regulators in partnership with major international oil companies, and, finally, by OPEC—succeeded to varying degrees in taming the beast. McNally, a veteran oil market and policy expert, explains the consequences of the ebbing of OPEC's power, debunking myths and offering recommendations—including mistakes to avoid—as we confront the unwelcome return of boom and bust oil prices.
  • Topic: Economics, Oil, OPEC
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East
  • Publication Identifier: 9780231543682
  • Publication Identifier Type: ISBN
  • Author: Paul R. Pillar
  • Publication Date: 02-2016
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Columbia University Press
  • Abstract: Drawing a line from colonial events to America's handling of modern international terrorism, Pillar shows how presumption and misperception bolstered the "with us or against us" attitude of the George W. Bush administration. Fundamental misunderstandings have created a cycle in which threats are underestimated before an attack occurs and then are overestimated after they happen. By exposing this longstanding tradition of misperception, Pillar hopes the United States can develop policies that better address international realities rather than biased beliefs.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Government, United States
  • Political Geography: United States, Global Focus
  • Publication Identifier: 9780231540353
  • Publication Identifier Type: ISBN
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Columbia University Press
  • Abstract: In the poorest countries, such as Afghanistan, Haiti, and Mali, the United States has struggled to work with governments whose corruption and lack of capacity are increasingly seen to be the cause of instability and poverty. The development and security communities call for "good governance" to improve the rule of law, democratic accountability, and the delivery of public goods and services. The United States and other rich liberal democracies insist that this is the only legitimate model of governance. Yet poor governments cannot afford to govern according to these ideals and instead are compelled to rely more heavily on older, cheaper strategies of holding power, such as patronage and repression. The unwillingness to admit that poor governments do and must govern differently has cost the United States and others inestimable blood and coin. Informed by years of fieldwork and drawing on practitioner work and academic scholarship in politics, economics, law, and history, this book explains the origins of poor governments in the formation of the modern state system and describes the way they govern. It argues that, surprisingly, the effort to stigmatize and criminalize the governance of the poor is both fruitless and destabilizing. The United States must pursue a more effective foreign policy to engage poor governments and acknowledge how they govern.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Corruption, Development, Poverty, Fragile/Failed State, Governance
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Haiti, Mali
  • Publication Identifier: 9780231171205
  • Publication Identifier Type: ISBN
  • Author: Seyom Brown
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Columbia University Press
  • Abstract: Seyom Brown's authoritative account of U.S. foreign policy from the end of the Second World War to the present challenges common assumptions about American presidents and their struggle with power and purpose. Brown shows Truman to be more anguished than he publicly revealed about the use of the atomic bomb; Eisenhower and George W. Bush to be more immersed in the details of policy formulation and implementation than generally believed; Reagan to be more invested in changing his worldview while in office than any previous president; and Obama to have modeled his military exit from Iraq and Afghanistan more closely to Nixon and Kissinger's exit strategy from Vietnam than he would like to admit. Brown's analyses of Obama's policies for countering terrorist threats at home and abroad, dealing with unprecedented upheavals in the Middle East, preventing the proliferation of nuclear weapons, and containing new territorial expansion by China and Russia reinforce the book's "constancy and change" theme, which shows that serving the interests of the most powerful country in the world transforms the Oval Office's occupant more than its occupant can transform the world.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Arms Control and Proliferation, Cold War, Terrorism, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Identifier: 9780231133296
  • Publication Identifier Type: ISBN
  • Author: John F. Lehman (ed), Harvey Sicherman (ed)
  • Publication Date: 10-2014
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Foreign Policy Research Institute
  • Abstract: A decade has passed since the end of the Cold War. The demise of the Soviet Union concluded the most vulnerable period in American history, a time when the possibility of nuclear attack threatened the very existence of the United States. No wonder then that Americans heaved a mighty sigh of relief, having survived to watch the fall of their country's most powerful enemy.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, Arms Control and Proliferation, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Arthur T. Coumbe
  • Publication Date: 10-2014
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: With the assistance of the Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College, the Army's Office of Economic and Manpower Analysis published a series of monographs that were intended to provide a theoretical and conceptual framework for the development of an Army Officer Corps Strategy. These monographs consider the creation and maintenance of a highly skilled Officer Corps in the context of the nation's continuing commitment to an all-volunteer military, its far flung international interests, and ongoing changes in its domestic labor market. The authors of the various monographs believe that the confluence of these factors demands a comprehensive Officer Corps strategy that recognizes the interdependency of accessing, developing, retaining, and employing talent. In their view, building a talent-focused strategy around this four-activity human capital model would best enable the Army to match individual officer competencies to specific competency requirements.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, War, International Affairs, History
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: John R. Deni
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: The revolutions of the Arab Spring have had profound implications for global security generally and for U.S. security specifically. In most cases, these implications are only beginning to reveal themselves in the various countries affected across the region. Most obviously, the future of Syria—indeed, whether it remains a unified political entity—remains an open question. Whether and how the Syrian civil war is resolved is bound to impact significantly U.S. efforts to help Israel maintain its security. Meanwhile, in Libya, weak governmental institutions and rival power centers have made it difficult for the authorities in Tripoli to gain full control over the entire country. Particularly along Libya's borders, this has magnified the risk of transnational terrorists and traffickers exploiting the poorly governed spaces of the Pan Sahel. Elsewhere, the unfinished revolution in Egypt holds implications for Israel and the Palestinian Authority, for the balance of regional power vis-à-vis Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Iran, and for the global trade—especially energy resources—that passes through the Suez Canal every day.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, Arms Control and Proliferation, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran, Arabia, Syria, Egypt
  • Author: Michael J. Fratantuono, Dr. David M. Sarcone, John D. Colwell Jr.
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: In August 2012, my colleague, David Sarcone, and I learned that a proposal for a workshop entitled, “The U.S.-India Relationship: Cross-Sector Collaboration to Promote Sustainable Development,” that we had submitted to the Strategic Studies Institute (SSI) of the U.S. Army War College (USAWC) had been selected for funding under the Academic Engagement Program of SSI. The workshop, which we coordinated and directed in conjunction with SSI, was held at our home institution, Dickinson College, from March 12- 14, 2013. The roster of participants was diverse and impressive: It included leading scholars, military officers, government officials, and representatives from the for-profit and not-for-profit sectors from India and the United States. The purpose of this volume is to share formal contributions made to the workshop by participants, and to convey some of the insights that surfaced during workshop sessions.
  • Topic: Development, Treaties and Agreements, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: United States, South Asia, India
  • Author: Peter Feaver (ed)
  • Publication Date: 08-2014
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: American strategic debates are rarely new. They generally replay inherited conflicts of vision and interpretation in new settings. The consistent, almost obsessive, focus on “enduring dilemmas” has led historians like Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., to emphasize the “cycles of American history,” especially as they relate to politics and defense policy.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Arms Control and Proliferation, International Affairs, Governance
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Cori E. Dauber, Carol K. Winkler
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: The presence of terrorist and other extremist groups online has risen sharply over the last 2 decades. In 1998, less than half of the U.S. designated Foreign Terrorist Organizations had websites; by the end of 1999, the number had already jumped to include almost all of them. Between 2003 and 2005, the number of websites serving terrorists and their supporters rose to 4,300. The University of Arizona's Dark Web Project provided a recent snapshot of the substantial traffic operating through online sites associated with extremist groups. In 2011, the Dark Web team reported that they had downloaded the contents of 29 extremist online forums, which resulted in the retrieval of more than 1.5 million conversation threads from more than 350,000 authors who had left 14 million messages.
  • Topic: Political Violence, Defense Policy, Globalization, Science and Technology, Terrorism, Communications
  • Political Geography: United States