Search

You searched for: Content Type Journal Article Remove constraint Content Type: Journal Article Political Geography America Remove constraint Political Geography: America
Number of results to display per page

Search Results

  • Author: Sandra Halperin
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Politics
  • Institution: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Abstract: This article relates the Anglo-American invasion of Iraq to fundamental aspects of Anglo-American political economy, including the increasing integration of the British and US economies, and the largely Anglo-American-led project of global economic restructuring currently taking place. Part I discusses the political economy of UK–US relations and the evolution of an Anglo-American military–industrial conglomerate. Part II links the Anglo-American relations and interests detailed in the first part of the article to an on-going project of global reconstruction. With this as a context, Part III reviews the history of British and US foreign policies towards Iraq and the culmination of these policies in the invasion of the country. The conclusions draw implications for the overall nature and direction of current trends of change.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, America
  • Author: Tony Smith
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Politics
  • Institution: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Abstract: The secular notion of American exceptionalism divorced from explicit racial or religious expression and based on governmental institutions and civic virtue – America as 'the last, best hope of earth' (Lincoln), America as 'the ark of the liberties of the world' (Melville) – goes back to the American Revolution. Nevertheless, before Wilson the conceptual framework that could explain the rightness of American global expansion in terms of bringing democratic government to others had not been well formulated. With Wilson, by contrast, the United States for the first time could present in secular terms, concepts argued from a cultural and historical perspective that made the expansion of American influence around the globe legitimate, not only in terms of national security but to the benefit of all mankind. Here is the key, I would propose, to the self-confidence and self-righteousness, which has been the hallmark of American foreign policy for a century now. Democracy promotion (associated with open markets economically and multilateralism) reflected America's cultural superiority (inherited from racial thinking), as well as its mission to help others (descended from its religious background). In Wilson's hands, an enduring framework for American foreign policy was born, one that remains with us to this day.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Srdjan Vucetic
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Politics
  • Institution: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Abstract: This article argues that the American empire cannot be fully understood without reference to the ways in which American imperial identities have been associated with the historical experience of England/Britain. To make this argument, the article considers four discourses of identity in particular – Anglo-Protestantism (religion), Anglo-Saxonism (ethnicity/race), Anglo-Saxon capitalism (institutions) and English (language). US imperial development was conditioned by many forces, but none match the aggregate power of America's 'Anglo-ness'. Although it is too early to assess the ways in which these discourses are negotiated, critiqued and reproduced in the 'age of Obama', the American empire is likely to continue to protect and project Anglo-ness vis-à-vis to the rest of the world.
  • Political Geography: Britain, America
  • Author: Giles Scott-Smith, Moritz Baumgärtel
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Politics
  • Institution: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Abstract: As Obama took office at the beginning of 2009, several new figures attained important advisory positions in his administration. Anne-Marie Slaughter, former Dean of the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University, and now Director of Policy Planning in the State Department, is a prime example of the 'change' that has come to Washington. In recent years she has been part of a growing academic circle that views networks at the centre of international relations. At the same time, she has promoted the idea that the United States can be 'the most connected country' in such a world. By taking a closer look into the discourse of US supremacy and the current state-of-the-art in the theory of transnational networks, this article reveals the divergence between wishful thinking and reality in Slaughter's position. By analysing her position and introducing three case studies, we conclude that the complexity of power relations in a world of networks makes any assumption of US supremacy highly problematic. Some might 'mirror' the beliefs and values of America (Open Society Institute); some might only be a 'prism' of various different voices (Al-Jazeera); and some might fall totally outside state control to form 'shadow networks' (Khan Network). Ultimately, it is the belief in US exceptionalism that perpetuates the claim that the United States has 'an edge' in such a world, with potentially problematic consequences.
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Stuart Croft
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Politics
  • Institution: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Abstract: American identities have traditionally been bound up with racial and religious markers – the WASP marker being for many, many decades and that which described the fullest state of American-ness. In the age of an African-American President, such conventional wisdoms are clearly challenged; and yet race and religion still describe different degrees of American-ness. This article investigates these identity themes not through the traditional duologue of white and African American, but seeks to understand in different communities how race and religion combine to produce different American-ness. Through an examination of two communities deemed problematic because of the high percentage of unchurched among them – First Peoples and Asian Americans – the article describes different processes at work. First Peoples are often seen in racial rather than national terms. The work of evangelicals 'among' such peoples is assessed within the United States and beyond. In contrast, Asian-American identities are often articulated through evangelism, particularly on the campuses of the United States. Together, these case studies show that American-ness is being redefined, to include new racial categories and groups newly empowered by their religious activity. This connects to issues of migration; evangelism is now active in America as well as beyond, as the world comes to live in the United States, traditional boundaries – inside/outside and white/African American – carry different and often less weight than hitherto has been the case.
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, America, Asia
  • Author: Mark Ledwidge
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Politics
  • Institution: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Abstract: This article consists of a critical discourse that examines the meteoric rise of Barack Obama within the context of international and domestic race relations. The article explores the impact of American racism on domestic and foreign affairs, in addition to providing contrasting viewpoints on the significance of Obama's election to the presidency. The article utilises the Obama phenomenon to assess US perceptions of the North–South divide, race, ethnicity, religion and anti-Americanism, in addition to unpacking the controversy surrounding Rev. Jeremiah Wright's characterisations of American power. The Obama campaign's post-9/11 context will be used to ascertain whether conservative efforts to associate Obama with Islam represent a conservative backlash that represents an ethnocentric re-articulation related to race, religion and the War on Terror, followed by an assessment of whether the Obama phenomenon is indicative of the perfectibility of US democracy, which would justify the exportation of American values. The article will engage in an interdisciplinary discourse grounded in political science, history and IR to provide the depth of knowledge and theoretical competency to frame the discussion in a historical and contemporary context that acknowledges Obama's relevance to domestic and international politics.
  • Topic: Politics
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Lee Marsden
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Politics
  • Institution: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Abstract: US foreign policy owes much to a malleable religious identity, shaped by foundational myths, and that this religious dimension has, until recently, been largely neglected in the US foreign policy literature to the detriment of our understanding of how America's status as global hegemon is formed, sustained and expanded. This article explores the role of the foundational myths of manifest destiny, exceptionalism and innocent nation. These foundational myths are explored as they develop into a civil religion espoused by successive presidents from George to the present day. The article considers how Barack Obama has utilised civil religion to maximise domestic support for a foreign policy agenda, which seeks to maintain US hegemony through a more conciliatory and multilateral approach than his predecessor in the White House. Examples of the use of soft power through missionary endeavour and the evangelicalisation of military hard power beginning during the George W. Bush presidency are detailed in order to reveal an Obama presidency that continues to define itself in religious terms while providing opportunities for religious actors to continue to play a role in representing US interests beyond its shores.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Washington
  • Author: Kevern Verney
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Politics
  • Institution: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Abstract: This article addresses two questions. It begins by comparing the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination contest with the 1980s campaigns of Jesse Jackson. It examines the different background and personalities of Obama and Jackson, together with an analysis of what has changed in US political life in the intervening decades, in an attempt to understand why Obama succeeded where the earlier Jackson campaigns failed. The second part of the article analyses the subsequent general election with a view to determining whether Obama's defeat of John McCain should be seen as a result of a unique set of political circumstances, or evidence of the increasing irrelevance of race in US electoral politics. In particular, this discussion assesses the validity of the claims made by some commentators that Obama's victory marks the beginning of a new 'post-racial' era in American political life.
  • Topic: Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Richard Jackson
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Politics
  • Institution: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Abstract: This article explores the social and political construction of US counterterrorism policy since the onset of the war on terrorism. The first part of the article focuses on the period of the Bush administration. It explores the cultural grammar expressed in the language of the war on terror, as well as administration attempts to 'sell' the policy to the American public. In addition, it explores the ways in which the war on terror has been institutionalised in counterterrorism practices and institutions, and how it has been normalised and embedded in American popular culture and linked by the national identity narratives surrounding '9/11' and the negative ideograph of 'terrorism', to American identity. Section two of the article explores the discourse and practice of the war on terrorism in the initial period of the Obama administration. It questions the extent to which counterterrorism policy can be rewritten, given the degree to which it accords with the deep cultural grammar of American identity and is now a well-established ideograph, the extent to which it has been institutionalised in American political practice and embedded in American culture and the ways in which it is rooted in the political-economic interests of the American polity and empire. Finally, the article briefly reflects on questions of change and identity in the construction of US foreign policy.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Michael J. Boyle
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Politics
  • Institution: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Abstract: Why have two successive US administrations concluded that fighting terrorism must involve democracy promotion? This assumption became prevalent in US political discourse following the events of September 11 despite the fact that the empirical evidence linking democracy and terrorism is weak or ambiguous. More strikingly, it has persisted even after the missions to establish democracies in Afghanistan and Iraq have led to increasing violence, including a worldwide increase in terrorist attacks. This article argues that the link between democracy and terrorism was established by the combined effect of three factors: (a) the framing of the September 11 attacks in a way that increased the receptivity to this conceptual opposition between freedom and fear; (b) the ideological influence of the Wilsonian tradition, as manifested today in an unusual consensus between modern neo-conservatives and liberal internationalists on the desirability of democratic reform as a means of changing foreign policy behaviour; and (c) a powerful bipartisan domestic constituency in favour of democracy promotion. Owing to these three factors, the contraposition of democracy and terrorism in American political discourse is effectively over-determined because it mirrors the dominant ideological and political preferences of American elites. This fixed preference for democracy promotion explains why the Obama Administration has remained wedded to the binary distinction between freedom and fear in its public statements despite its efforts to break in style and substance with the policies of its predecessor.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Iraq, America
  • Author: Steven Rattner
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: As Americans fret about their economic decline, Germans are celebrating their country's success as a manufacturing juggernaut. Obama's former auto czar explains the key to Germany's export boom -- and how the United States can emulate it.
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Germany
  • Author: Edward Alden, Bryan Roberts
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: In response to record numbers of illegal border crossings and the security fears triggered by the 9/11 attacks, over the past two decades the United States has steadily increased its efforts to secure its borders against illegal immigration. The number of U.S. Border Patrol agents has risen from fewer than 3,000 to more than 20,700; nearly 700 miles of fencing have been built along the southern border with Mexico; and surveillance systems, including pilotless drones, now monitor much of the rest of the border. In a speech in El Paso, Texas, in May, U.S. President Barack Obama claimed that the United States had "strengthened border security beyond what many believed was possible." Yet according to spring 2011 Rasmussen poll, nearly two-thirds of Americans think the border is no more, or even less, secure than it was five years ago. Some administration critics claim that the United States' frontiers have never been more porous. This contradiction stems in part from the fact that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has never clearly defined what border control means in practice. A secure border cannot mean one with no illegal crossings -- that would be unrealistic for almost any country, especially one as big and as open as the United States. On the other hand, the borders cannot be considered secure if many of those attempting to enter illegally succeed. Defining a sensible middle ground, where border enforcement and other programs discourage many illegal crossings and most of those who try to cross illegally are apprehended, is the challenge. Unfortunately, the U.S. government has failed to develop good measures for fixing goals and determining progress toward them. Since 2005, the DHS has reported how many miles of the country's land borders are under its "operational control," but it has done so without having clearly defined what that standard means and without providing hard data to back it up. The lack of sound measurement has left the administration touting its efforts rather than their results: during a press conference in 2010, Obama noted, "We have more of everything: ICE [Immigration and Customs Enforcement], Border Patrol, surveillance, you name it. So we take border security seriously."
  • Topic: Security, Border Control
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Peter R. Orszag
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: The United States' fiscal future depends on whether the country can limit health-care costs. Obama's reforms were a major step in the right direction, argues the former White House budget director. But to finish the job, the U.S. medical system must evolve so that it emphasizes evidence and pursues quality rather than quantity.
  • Topic: Health
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: F. Gregory Gause III
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: The vast majority of academic specialists on the Arab world were as surprised as everyone else by the upheavals that toppled two Arab leaders last winter and that now threaten several others. It was clear that Arab regimes were deeply unpopular and faced serious demographic, economic, and political problems. Yet many academics focused on explaining what they saw as the most interesting and anomalous aspect of Arab politics: the persistence of undemocratic rulers. Until this year, the Arab world boasted a long list of such leaders. Muammar al-Qaddafi took charge of Libya in 1969; the Assad family has ruled Syria since 1970; Ali Abdullah Saleh became president of North Yemen (later united with South Yemen) in 1978; Hosni Mubarak took charge of Egypt in 1981; and Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali ascended to Tunisia's presidency in 1987. The monarchies enjoyed even longer pedigrees, with the Hashemites running Jordan since its creation in 1920, the al-Saud family ruling a unified Saudi Arabia since 1932, and the Alaouite dynasty in Morocco first coming to power in the seventeenth century. These regimes survived over a period of decades in which democratic waves rolled through East Asia, eastern Europe, Latin America, and sub-Saharan Africa. Even the Arab countries' neighbors in the Muslim Middle East (Iran and Turkey) experienced enormous political change in that period, with a revolution and three subsequent decades of political struggle in Iran and a quasi-Islamist party building a more open and democratic system in secular Turkey.
  • Political Geography: America, Europe, Turkey, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Sandy Hornick
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: New books by Witold Rybczynski and Edward Glaeser celebrate the ever-changing American urban experience. In proposing how to revitalize modern cities, however, both books underplay the critical role of the government.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Manzar Foroohar
  • Publication Date: 05-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: This survey of the understudied topic of the Palestinian diaspora in Central America, based on existing documentation and interviews, focuses mainly on Honduras and El Salvador, the areas of greatest Palestinian concentration. Two waves of immigration are studied: the first and largest, in the early decades of the 20th century, was mainly Christian from the Bethlehem area in search of economic opportunities and intending to return; the second, especially after 1967, came as a permanent diaspora. The article describes the arrival from Palestine, the factors behind their considerable success, the backlash of discrimination, and finally assimilation. Palestinian involvement in Central American politics ( Right and the Left) is also addressed. The article ends with a discussion of identity issues and renewal of ties with Palestine. SINCE THE EARLY YEARS of the twentieth century, Palestinian immigrants to Central America have played a major role in the social, cultural, and economic development of their host countries. In some places, such as Honduras, they have been at the very forefront of commercial and industrial development. But while the history of Palestinian immigration to the United States, Mexico, and South America has been the subject of major scholarly investigations, Palestinians remain almost invisible in Central American historiography. Indeed, this is a research field that is just opening. This article is an attempt to compile existing documentation on the Palestinian international diaspora in Central America. The material is supplemented by nearly two dozen interviews, in Central America and in Palestine, with immigrants or their descendants, or with persons “back home” familiar with the emigration. It focuses on the history of the formation of Palestinian communities in Central America and their social, economic, and political contributions to their adopted countries. While Palestinian communities throughout Central America will be discussed, particular attention will be paid to Honduras and El Salvador, the countries with the largest concentrations of Palestinians in the region. The research and the interviews together shed light on the degree to which Palestinian diaspora communities have been assimilated into their host countries, and the degree to which they have simultaneously retained their identity and ties to their Palestinian origins. THE EARLY IMMIGRANTS Palestinian immigration to Central America began at the end of the nineteenth century. Because Palestine, like most of the Arab Middle East, was under Ottoman rule until 1918, it is difficult before that date to document their numbers accurately, since the immigrants carried Ottoman (Turkish) passports and therefore were categorized in the Central American registries as Turks (turcos). Though some documentation of the Palestinian component of Arab immigration exists for Honduras, where Palestinians are shown to constitute the overwhelming majority, no such information is available for the other states of the region. Palestinian immigration in the early period swelled as of the second decade of the twentieth century and peaked in the 1920s. It is not difficult to understand why. Most historians of the Middle East point to the general economic decline of the Ottoman Empire and the ongoing wars as the main reasons for emigration during the early period. The new Ottoman conscription law of 1908 intensified emigration among young male citizens of the Empire, and indeed the early immigrants to Central America were generally young males, 15 to 30 years old. Moreover, the Ottoman lands, including Palestine, suffered excruciating hardship and even starvation during World War I. Thus, in interviews with descendants of early immigrants, the two factors repeatedly highlighted as the causes of emigration from Palestine were miserable economic conditions in wartime and the military draft obligations. Most of the emigrants initially intended to return home after accumulating savings and for that reason did not invest in real estate in their host countries. After the end of the war and the restoration of stability following Palestine's occupation by Britain (and the establishment of the Mandate), economic and educational opportunities in the homeland increased. According to some scholars, between a third and a half of the early emigrants did return home and invested their savings in land and homes. Meanwhile, the returning emigrants served as sources of information about economic opportunities in the Americas, and their wealth and prosperity spurred others, especially young men, to try their luck in foreign adventures.
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Palestine
  • Author: Graham Usher
  • Publication Date: 05-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: Obama's first veto in defense of Israel at the UN was of a Security Council draft resolution that condemned Israeli settlements in language reflecting the administration's own stated policy. The draft, supported by all other UNSC members, forced the U.S. to choose between undermining its credibility internationally and alienating constituencies at home. For the Palestinians, insistence on tabling the draft in defiance of Washington was seen by some as a first step in an “alternative peace strategy” involving a turn away from the Oslo framework in favor of the UN. After reviewing the context of the resolution, the author analyzes the stakes for the various players, the repercussions of the veto, and the diplomatic prospects in its wake. On 18 February 2011, the Obama administration vetoed a United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolution that would have condemned as illegal Israeli settlement in the occupied territories. Palestinian insistence on submitting the resolution incurred America's wrath. But the Council's fourteen other member states (including permanent members Britain, France, China, and Russia and nonpermanent powers Germany, Brazil, India, and South Africa) all voted for the resolution. And a colossal 123 countries cosponsored it, including every Arab and African state except Libya (which rejects a twostate solution to the conflict). Israel “deeply appreciated” the American veto—understandably so. Rarely had it been left so alone internationally, with even close allies like Germany ignoring appeals to abstain. For the Americans, Obama's first veto in defense of Israel at the United Nations came at a time when he wanted to appear at least rhetorically on the side of young Arab protestors who from Morocco to Yemen had been demanding change, rather than with the ancien régimes defending inertia. U.S. Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice's contortions were palpable as she tried to explain a veto that violated elemental justice, international law, and until recently her administration's own stated policy on settlements—all in the name of a peace process that no longer exists. The veto “cost the Americans blood,” admitted Israel's Maariv newspaper, paraphrasing a “sharp” exchange between Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the aftermath. It also cost Obama in the occupied territories. In Ramallah, some 3,000 mainly Fatah members staged a “day of rage” against the veto, with the West Bank Palestinian Authority's (PA) usually pro-American Prime Minister Salam Fayyad incandescent: “The Americans have chosen to be alone in disrupting the internationally backed Palestinian efforts,” he said. Smaller Fatah anti-America demonstrations occurred in Qalqilya, Hebron, Jenin, and East Jerusalem. The Palestinian and Arab decision to take the resolution to the UN was born of the beaching of the U.S.-steered “peace process” after the Israeli government's refusal last September to renew a partial moratorium on West Bank settlement starts. It was the first run of what has been called the PA's new “alternative” diplomatic strategy. Combined with the promise of new elections in the West Bank and Gaza, moves toward reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah, and the approaching climax of Fayyad's state-building agenda in September, the alternative strategy involves freeing the Palestinian case from the grip of American tutelage in order to anchor it again on UNSC resolutions and international law. How serious is the alternative?
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, America, India, South Africa, Brazil, Palestine, Germany
  • Author: Francis Rooney
  • Publication Date: 04-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ambassadors Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: While many Americans only see him as a spiritual leader of Roman Catholics, the Pope exerts an often subtle but undeniable influence in international affairs. The Pope is the final authority of the Holy See, which derives its name from “seat” in Latin and signifies the repository of authority and direction over the organization and affairs of the Church. As an institution and sovereign, the Holy See is the “oldest diplomatic entity in the world.”
  • Topic: Sovereignty
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Daniel M. Gropper, Robert A. Lawson, Jere T. Thorne Jr.
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: That liberty is necessary for greater happiness and a better life is a notion deeply rooted in the American sensibility. But is there a link between greater freedom and greater happiness across countries? In this article we explore this question by examining the empirical relationship between liberty, as measured by economic freedom, and happiness across more than 100 countries.
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Joseph Romance
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: In many ways, George Washington represents the most difficult of the Founders to approach. His importance in the American Revolution and the central role he played in the formation of the Republic is beyond dispute. Yet, as so many have pointed out, he becomes more the marble statue than a real man. Thus, it may not be surprising that the most recent spurt of scholarship and popular history concerning the American Founders tends to focus on reinterpretations of the agreed-upon intellectual greats (Jefferson, Madison, and Hamilton) and a rediscovery of neglected Founders (Mason, Morris, and Pickney). Alas, what are we to do with Washington beyond revere?
  • Political Geography: America, Washington
  • Author: Hilda L. Solis
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: The U.S. labor secretary offers a blueprint for immigration reform.
  • Topic: Government, Immigration, Reform
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Matias Spektor
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: Read any Brazilian foreign policy college textbook and you will be surprised. Global order since 1945 is not described as open, inclusive or rooted in multilateralism. Instead, you learn that big powers impose their will on the weak through force and rules that are strict and often arbitrary. In this world view, international institutions bend over backwards to please their most powerful masters. International law, when it is used by the strong, is less about binding great powers and self-restraint than about strong players controlling weaker ones. After finishing the book, you couldn't be blamed for believing that the liberal international order has never established the just, level playing field for world politics that its supporters claim. This intellectual approach is responsible for the ambiguity at the heart of Brazilian strategic thinking. On one hand, Brazil has benefited enormously from existing patterns of global order. It was transformed from a modest rural economy in the 1940s into an industrial powerhouse less than 50 years later, thanks to the twin forces of capitalism and an alliance system that kept it safe. On the other hand, the world has been a nasty place for Brazil. Today, it is one of the most unequal societies in the world. Millions still live in poverty and violence abounds. In 2009, there were more violent civilian deaths in the state of Rio de Janeiro alone than in the whole of Iraq. No doubt a fair share of the blame belongs to successive generations of Brazilian politicians and policymakers. But some of it is a function of the many inequities and distortions that recur when you are on the “periphery” of a very unequal international system. The result is a view of global order that vastly differs from perceptions held by the United States. Take, for instance, Brazilian perceptions of “international threats.” Polls show that the average Brazilian worries little about terrorism, radical Islam or a major international war. Instead, the primary fears concern climate change, poverty and infectious disease. Many Brazilians, in fact, fear the U.S., focusing in particular on the perceived threat it poses to the natural riches of the Amazon and the newfound oil fields under the Brazilian seabed. Perceptions matter enormously. It is no wonder that the Brazilian military spends a chunk of its time studying how Vietnamese guerrillas won a war against far superior forces in jungle battlefields. Nor should it be a surprise that Brazil is now investing heavily in the development of nuclear-propulsion submarines that its admirals think will facilitate the nation's ability to defend oil wells in open waters. But Brazil is nowhere near being a revolutionary state. While its leaders believe that a major transition of global power is currently underway, they want to be seen as smooth operators when new rules to the game emerge. Their designs are moderate because they have a stake in preserving the principles that underwrite Brazil's emergence as a major world player. They will not seek to radically overturn existing norms and practices but to adapt them to suit their own interests instead. Could Brazilian intentions change over time? No doubt. Notions of what constitutes the national interest will transform as the country rises. Brazil's international ambitions are likely to expand—no matter who runs the country. Three factors will shape the way national goals will evolve in the next few years: the relationship with the U.S., Brasilia's strategies for dealing with the rest of South America, and Brazil's ideas about how to produce global order. When it Comes to the U.S., Lie Low Brazilian officials are used to repeating that to be on the U.S. “radar screen” is not good. In their eyes, being the source of American attention poses two possible threats. It either raises expectations in Washington that Brazil will work as a “responsible stakeholder” according to some arbitrary criteria of what “responsible” means, or it turns Brazil into a target of U.S. pressure when interests don't coincide. As a result, there is a consensus among Brazilians that a policy of “ducking”—hiding your head underwater when the hegemonic eagle is around—has served them well. Whether this judgment is correct or not is for historians to explore. But the utility of a policy based on such a consensus is declining fast. You cannot flex your diplomatic muscle abroad and hope to go unnoticed. Furthermore, being a “rising state” is never a mere function of concrete things, such as a growing economy, skilled armies, mighty industries, a booming middle class, or a functional state that is effective in tax collection and the provision of public goods. The perception of other states matters just as much. And nobody's perception matters more than that of the most powerful state of all: the United States. Brazil's current rise is therefore deeply intertwined with the perception in Washington that Brazil is moving upwards in global hierarchies. Securing the acceptance or the implicit support of the U.S. while maintaining some distance will always be a fragile position to maintain. But as Brazil grows more powerful, it will be difficult to accomplish its global objectives without the complicity—and the tacit acceptance—of the United States. For Brazil this means that the “off the radar” option will become increasingly difficult. Not the Natural Regional Leader Brazil accounts for over 50 percent of South America's wealth, people and territory. If power were a product of relative material capabilities alone, Brazil would be more powerful in its own region than China, India, Turkey or South Africa are in theirs. But Brazil is not your typical regional power. It has sponsored layers of formal institutions and regional norms, but its leaders recoil at the thought of pooling sovereignty into supranational bodies. Yes, Brazil has modernized South American politics by promoting norms to protect democracy and to establish a regional zone of peace, but its efforts at promoting a regional sense of shared purposes have been mixed and, some say, halfhearted at best. Brazilian public opinion and private-sector business increasingly doubt the benefits of deep regional integration with neighbors, and plans for a South American Free Trade Zone have gone asunder. And yes, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), from 1998 to 2007, Brazil spent far more on its armed forces than Argentina, Chile, Colombia, and Venezuela combined. Yet, Brazil's ability to project military power abroad remains minimal. The end result is that many challenge the notion that Brazil is a regional leader. From the perspective of smaller neighboring countries, it remains a country that is too hard to follow sometimes. If you are sitting on its borders, as 10 South American nations do, you find it difficult to jump on its bandwagon. This is problematic for Brazil. As a major and growing regional creditor, investor, consumer, and exporter, its own economic fate is interconnected with that of its neighbors. Crises abroad impact its banks and companies at home as never before. Populism, ethnic nationalism, narcotics trafficking, guerrilla warfare, deforestation, unlawful pasturing, economic decay, and political upheaval in neighbors will deeply harm Brazilian interests. Whether, when and how Brazil will develop the policy instruments to shape a regional order beneficial to itself remains to be seen. But curiously enough, Brazilian leaders do not normally think their interests in South America might converge with those of the United States. On the contrary, Brazil in the twenty-first century has geared its regional policies to deflect, hedge, bind, and restrain U.S. power in South America to the extent that it can. This is not to say that Brazil is a stubborn challenger of U.S. interests in the region. That would be silly for a country whose success depends on the perception of economic gain and regional stability. But it means that future generations of Brazilians might discover that if they want to unlock some of the most pressing problems in the region, perhaps they will have to reconsider their attitude towards the United States...
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, International Law, Islam
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Washington, Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, South America, Venezuela, Chile
  • Author: Saskia Sassen
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: There is little doubt that the North-South axis remains dominant for Latin America's geopolitical positioning. But new relations are emerging and deepening at subnational levels, in turn creating new intercity geographies and challenging that geopolitical notion. These relations are a direct product of economic and cultural globalization. Some examples are the shift of migration from Ecuador and Colombia toward Spain rather than the U.S., the growing economic relations between Chinese businesses and organizations and São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, and the emergent relations between these cities and Johannesburg, South Africa. The Internet has allowed a rapidly growing number of people to become a part of diverse networks that crisscross the world. And nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) from various parts of the world are establishing active connections over social struggles in Latin America. In other words, beneath the still-dominant North-South geopolitics, transversal geographies are growing in bits and pieces. One trend is the formation of intercity geographies as the number of global cities has expanded since the 1990s. These subnational circuits cut across the world in many directions. A second trend is the growth of civil society organizations and individuals who are connecting around the world in ways that, again, often do not follow the patterns of traditional geopolitics. The New, Multiple Circuits There is no such entity as the global economy. It is more correct to say there are global formations, such as electronic financial markets and firms that operate globally. But what defines the current era is the creation of numerous, highly particular, global circuits—some specialized and some not—interlacing across the world and connecting specific areas, most of which are cities. While many of these global circuits have long existed, they began to proliferate and establish increasingly complex organizational and financial foundations in the 1980s. These emergent intercity geographies function as an infrastructure for globalization, and have led to the increased urbanization of global networks. Different circuits contain different groups of countries and cities. For instance, Mumbai today is part of a global circuit for real estate development that includes investors from cities as diverse as London and Bogotá. Coffee is mostly produced in Brazil, Kenya and Indonesia, but the main place for trading its future is on Wall Street. The specialized circuits in gold, coffee, oil and other commodities each involve particular countries and cities, which will vary depending on whether they are production, trading or financial circuits. If, for example, we track the global circuits of gold as a financial instrument, it is London, New York, Chicago, and Zurich that dominate. But the wholesale trade in the metal brings São Paulo, Johannesburg and Sydney into the circuit, while trade in the commodity, much of it aimed at the retail level, adds Mumbai and Dubai. And then there are the types of circuits a firm such as Wal-Mart needs to outsource the production of vast amounts of goods—circuits that include manufacturing, trading, and financial and insurance services. The 250,000 multinationals in the world, together with their over 1 million affiliates and partnership arrangements worldwide, have created a new pattern of relations that combine global dispersal with the spatial concentration of certain functions often while retaining headquarters in their home countries. The same is true of the 100 top global advanced-services firms that together have operations in 350 cities outside their home base. While financial services can be bought everywhere electronically, the headquarters of leading global financial services firms tend to be concentrated in a limited number of cities. Each of these financial centers specializes in specific segments of global finance, even as they engage in routine types of transactions executed by all financial centers. It's not just global economic forces that feed this proliferation of circuits. Forces such as migration and cultural exchange, along with civil society struggles to protect human rights, preserve the environment and promote social justice, which also contribute to circuit formation and development. NGOs fighting for the protection of the rainforest function in circuits that include Brazil and Indonesia as homes of the major rainforests, the global media centers of New York and London, and the places where the key forestry companies selling and buying wood are headquartered—notably Oslo, London and Tokyo. There are even music circuits that connect specific areas of India with London, New York, Chicago, and Johannesburg. Adopting the perspective of one of these cities reveals the diversity and specificity of its location on some or many of these circuits, which is determined by its unique capabilities. Ultimately, being a global firm or market means entering the specificities and particularities of national economies. This explains why global firms and markets need more and more global cities as they expand their operations across the world. While there is competition among cities, there is far less of it than is usually assumed. A global firm does not want one global city, but many. Moreover, given the variable level of specialization of globalized firms, their preferred cities will vary. Firms thrive on the specialized differences of cities, and it is those differences that give a city its particular advantage in the global economy. Thus, the economic history of a place matters for the type of knowledge economy that a city or city-region ends up developing. This goes against the common view that globalization homogenizes economies. Globalization homogenizes standards—for managing, accounting, building state-of-the-art office districts, and so on. But it needs diverse specialized economic capabilities. Latin America on the Circuit This allows many of Latin America's cities to become part of global circuits. Some, such as São Paulo and Buenos Aires, are located on hundreds of such circuits, others just on a few. Regardless of the case, these cities are not necessarily competing with one other. The growing number of global cities, each specialized, signals a shift to a multipolar world. Clearly, the major Latin American cities have circuits that connect them directly to destinations across the world. What is perhaps most surprising is the intensity of connections with Asia and Europe. Traditional geopolitics would lead one to think that Latin America connects, above all, with North America. There is a strong tendency for global money flows to generate partial geographies. This becomes clear, for example, when we consider foreign direct investment (FDI) in Latin America, a disproportionate share of which goes to a handful of countries. In 2008, for example (a relative peak of FDI), FDI flows into Latin America were topped by Brazil at $45.1 billion, followed at a distance by Mexico at $23.7 billion, Chile at $15.2 billion, and Argentina with $9.7 billion. On average, between 1991–1996 and 2003–2008, FDI in Brazil increased more than five-fold while tripling in Chile and Mexico. Among the countries in the Latin American and Caribbean region receiving the lowest levels of foreign investment in 2008 were Haiti, at $30 million; Guyana, at $178 million; and Paraguay, at $109 million. Globalization and the new information and communication technologies have enabled a variety of local activists and organizations to enter international arenas that were once the exclusive domain of national states. Going global has also been partly facilitated and conditioned by the infrastructure of the global economy…
  • Topic: Economics, Government, Non-Governmental Organization
  • Political Geography: United States, New York, America, South Africa, London, Colombia, Latin America, Mumbai, Sydney, Ecuador, Dubai, Chicago
  • Author: Gaston Chillier, Ernesto Seman
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: Most Latin American countries have regarded immigration policy as a function of border protection, using approaches that emphasize security and law enforcement, including strict regulation of work and residency permits. Nevertheless, such policies have not only failed in recent years to curb the growth of undocumented migrants; they have also clashed with resolutions adopted in 2003 and 2008 by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights that guarantee migrant rights. Argentina is a notable exception. Thanks to a law passed in 2004, it has emerged as a model for innovative immigration policymaking. The law incorporated the recognition of migration as a human right. But what really made it historic was the open, consultative process used to conceive, develop and pass the legislation. How Argentina got there is an instructive story—and it may hold lessons for its neighbors and for other areas of the world. A Country of Immigrants Struggles with Its Limits As a country known both as a source and a destination for immigrants, Argentina has always carved out a special place for itself in Latin America. In the nineteenth century, it forged a national identity through an open-door immigration policy that was geared selectively toward European immigrants. But migration from neighboring countries such as Bolivia, Chile and Paraguay increased steadily to the point that—by the 1960s—the number of immigrants from its neighbors outpaced arrivals from Europe. In response, Argentina imposed stricter controls on the entry and exit of foreigners, beginning with legislation introduced in 1966. The legislation established new measures for deporting undocumented immigrants. In 1981, under the military dictatorship, legislative decrees that allowed the state to expel migrants were codified into law for the first time as Law 22.439, also known as La Ley Videla (named after the military dictator Jorge Rafael Videla, who was later convicted of human rights violations). The law contained several provisions that affected constitutional guarantees, including the right of authorities to detain and expel foreigners without judicial redress; the obligation of public officials to report the presence of unauthorized immigrants; and restrictions on their health care and education. For example, undocumented immigrants could receive emergency health care, but hospitals were then obligated to report them. The resolutions and decrees of the National Migration Office—first established in 1949—turned the office into a vehicle for the violation of migrant rights and precluded it from regulating immigration and addressing immigrants' status. From the downfall of the military dictatorship in 1983 until 2003, congress failed to repeal La Ley Videla or enact an immigration law in accordance with the constitution and international human rights treaties recognizing migrant rights. In fact, the executive branch expanded the law's discriminatory features and promoted the autonomy of the National Migration Office to establish criteria for admission and expulsion from the country without any legal oversight. The continuation of La Ley Videla relegated close to 800,000 immigrants—most of whom came from neighboring countries—to “irregular” status, with serious sociopolitical consequences. Efforts to rectify the situation at first met little success. In the absence of reform, Argentine immigration policy was based on individual agreements with countries like Bolivia and Peru to regulate immigrant flows. These agreements failed to address the larger realities of immigrant flows and Argentine authorities often expelled immigrants despite the treaties. As a result, courts repeatedly upheld detentions and expulsions sanctioned by the immigration authorities, with no formal mechanisms to ensure justice for immigrants. In turn, the high cost of filing or pursuing an appeal generally made this an unlikely option. In 1996, this unjust and unsustainable situation led to the creation of the Roundtable of Civil Society Organizations for the Defense of Migrant Rights, a diverse coalition of human rights groups. The roundtable sought to counter xenophobic rhetoric from state ministries and from the president. It worked for migrant rights and included a diverse coalition of immigrant associations, religious groups, unions, and academic institutions. A key goal was to expose the contradictions and inconsistencies of La Ley Videla by sponsoring reports on human rights abuses of migrants, bringing cases to court and submitting complaints to the Inter-American Human Rights System. In 2000, the organization outlined a specific agenda to repeal La Ley Videla and to pass a new immigration law that respected the rights of foreigners. Criteria for the new legislation included: administrative and judicial control over the National Migration Office; reform of deportation and detention procedures to guarantee due process; recognition of the rights of migrants and their families to normalize their immigration status; and elimination of discrimination and other forms of restrictive control in order to ensure access to constitutionally guaranteed social rights and services…
  • Topic: Human Rights, Migration, Immigration
  • Political Geography: America, Argentina, Latin America, Chile, Bolivia
  • Author: Robert Maguire
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: Haiti's next president must put the country on a path to real development.
  • Topic: Development, Government, United Nations
  • Political Geography: America, Haiti
  • Author: Jose Antonio Lucero
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: Has the increased political involvement of Indigenous peoples improved their situation?
  • Topic: Government, Politics, Reform
  • Political Geography: America, Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: Americas Quarterly: Why is China today so interested economically in Latin America? Li Jinzhang: After 30 years of reform and economic opening, China has scored remarkable achievements in economic and social development, and its connections with the rest of the world have become closer. China needs the world to achieve development, and the world needs China as a contributor to development and stability. Latin America is an important part of the developing world. In recent years, China and Latin America have drawn on their respective strengths and economic complementarity. The result has been rapid growth in economic cooperation and trade, and a vigorous boost to their respective economies. These synergies have brought real benefits to our peoples and contributed to global development and stability. Moreover, the potential for future growth in cooperation and trade is huge. We hope to achieve mutually-beneficial cooperation and common development through closer economic cooperation and trade with the region.
  • Political Geography: China, America, Latin America
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: Stay up-to-date with the latest trends and events from around the hemisphere with AQ's Panorama. Each issue, AQ packs its bags and offers readers travel tips on a new Americas destination.
  • Political Geography: America, Colombia
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: Stay up-to-date with the latest trends and events from around the hemisphere with AQ's Panorama. Each issue, AQ packs its bags and offers readers travel tips on a new Americas destination.
  • Political Geography: America
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: Stay up-to-date with the latest trends and events from around the hemisphere with AQ's Panorama. Each issue, AQ packs its bags and offers readers travel tips on a new Americas destination.
  • Political Geography: America
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: Stay up-to-date with the latest trends and events from around the hemisphere with AQ's Panorama. Each issue, AQ packs its bags and offers readers travel tips on a new Americas destination.
  • Political Geography: America
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: Stay up-to-date with the latest trends and events from around the hemisphere with AQ's Panorama. Each issue, AQ packs its bags and offers readers travel tips on a new Americas destination.
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Paul J. Beard II
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Objective Standard
  • Institution: The Objective Standard
  • Abstract: Matt Sissel is a young entrepreneur who is pursuing the American dream. After returning from military service in Iraq and paying his way through art school, he opened a studio in Iowa City, where he sells his fine art and offers art lessons. Until recently, Matt's entire focus had been on furthering his education and art business. So he made the considered judgment to forgo some luxuries-such as health insurance. In his twenties, Matt is healthy and has no preexisting medical conditions. He is self-insured-paying out of pocket any medical expenses that might arise-and wants to continue to self-insure because he believes the cost of health insurance premiums is excessive and that his money is better devoted to his business. But the federal government couldn't care less about Matt's priorities and choices. Beginning in 2014, it will force Matt, along with almost every other American, to buy a comprehensive, government-approved health-insurance plan from a private insurance company, on pain of stiff civil penalties. This "Individual Mandate" is at the heart of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act-also known as "ObamaCare"-which Congress enacted and the president signed into law in 2010. As a consequence of the Individual Mandate, Matt must act now to make financial plans: either purchase health insurance or pay a hefty annual penalty. Given the financial burden it will impose, he can no longer afford to hone his craft by furthering his education in art. Matt must focus exclusively on the creation and sale of his artwork in order to brace himself for the impending obligations the Individual Mandate imposes. Outraged that he is being forced to divert his hard-earned resources away from his education and career in order to buy a service he neither needs nor wants, Matt has decided to sue the federal government, asking the federal district court in Washington, D.C., to enjoin enforcement of the Individual Mandate on the grounds that it violates the United States Constitution. Other legal challenges to the Individual Mandate are pending in courts across the country, such as the well-known lawsuits brought by various state governments and officials whose purpose is to protect their sovereignty against federal encroachment. But few challenges take up the cause as championed by Matt, who is driven by the explicit desire to have the government recognize his right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, exercised in accordance with his own values and goals.1 Let us consider the prospects for Matt's constitutional challenge to the Individual Mandate. ObamaCare's Individual Mandate In brief, here is how the Individual Mandate will work: Beginning in 2014, with few exceptions, all individuals with legal residence in the United States will be forced to purchase a health-insurance plan with "minimum essential coverage," as defined by the government. Exempt individuals include Native Americans, religious objectors, Americans living abroad, and the poor (whose health care will be subsidized). And what the law defines as "minimum essential coverage" is far more than is necessary for young and healthy individuals such as Matt. Thus, a catastrophic health-insurance plan covering only expenses related to medical emergencies-which would make sense for many Americans-would not satisfy the mandate's requirements. Moreover, individuals subject to the Individual Mandate cannot satisfy the "minimum essential coverage" requirement by self-insuring: Under the act, they are prohibited from paying for their medical expenses out of pocket.2 Thus, if Matt fails to buy "minimum essential coverage" by January 1, 2014, the government will assess a financial penalty against him for every month he remains without such coverage. The penalty for failing to purchase approved health insurance is the greater of 2.5 percent of the taxpayer's annual income, or $695 for each uninsured family member per year, up to a maximum of $2,085 per family per year-not an insignificant sum.3 Does the federal government-specifically, Congress-really have the legal power to force Matt and other Americans to buy a product or service, such as health insurance, from a private company? . . .
  • Topic: Education
  • Political Geography: Iraq, America
  • Author: Craig Biddle
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Objective Standard
  • Institution: The Objective Standard
  • Abstract: As political uprisings and civil wars rage in the Middle East, and as America's self-crippled efforts to defeat Al-Qaeda and the Taliban limp on, the need to identify and eliminate the primary threats to American security becomes more urgent by the day. As you read these words, the Islamist regime in Iran is sponsoring the slaughter of American soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan,1 funding Hamas and Hezbollah in their efforts to destroy our vital ally Israel,2 building nuclear bombs to further “Allah's” ends,3 chanting “Death to America! Death to Israel!” in Friday prayers and political parades,4 and declaring: “With the destruction of these two evil countries, the world will become free of oppression.”5 The U.S. government knows all of this (and much more), which is why the State Department has identified the Islamist regime in Iran as “the most active state sponsor of terrorism” in the world.6 Meanwhile, the Islamist regime in Saudi Arabia is funding American-slaughtering terrorist groups such as Al-Qaeda and the Taliban,7 building mosques and “cultural centers” across America, and flooding these Islamist outposts not only with hundreds of millions of dollars for “operating expenses” but also with a steady stream of materials calling for all Muslims “to be dissociated from the infidels . . . to hate them for their religion . . . to always oppose them in every way according to Islamic law” and, ultimately, “to abolish all traces of such primitive life (jahiliyya) and to reinforce the understanding and application of the eternal and universal Islamic deen [religion] until it becomes the ruling power throughout the world.” The Saudi-sponsored materials further specify that those who “accept any religion other than Islam, like Judaism or Christianity, which are not acceptable,” have “denied the Koran” and thus “should be killed.”8 None of this is news, at least not to the U.S. government. The Saudis' anti-infidel efforts have been tracked, documented, and reported for years. As the Rand Corporation concluded in a briefing to a top Pentagon advisory board in 2002, “The Saudis are active at every level of the terror chain, from planners to financiers, from cadre to foot-soldier, from ideologist to cheerleader.”9 What is the U.S. government doing about these clear and present dangers? Nothing. Following the atrocities of 9/11, America has gone to war with Afghanistan, Iraq, and now Libya, but it has done nothing of substance to end the threats posed by the primary enemies of America: the regimes in Iran and Saudi Arabia. Instead, the Obama administration, like the Bush administration before it, continues the policy of seeking “negotiations” with the Iranian regime and calling the Saudi regime our “friend and ally.” This is insanity. And it is time for American citizens to demand that our politicians put an end to it. The Iranian and Saudi regimes must go. And in order to persuade American politicians to get rid of them, American citizens must make clear that we won't settle for anything less. Of course, the Obama administration is not going to take any pro-American actions against either of these regimes. But Americans can and should demand that any politician—especially any presidential candidate—seeking our support in the 2012 elections provide an explicit statement of his general policy with respect to Iran and Saudi Arabia. And we should demand that the policy be along the following lines . . .
  • Topic: Islam, War
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, America, Libya, Saudi Arabia
  • Author: Craig Biddle
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Objective Standard
  • Institution: The Objective Standard
  • Abstract: Craig Biddle: I'm honored to be joined today by Reza Kahlili, author of A Time to Betray, a book about his double life as a CIA agent in Iran's Revolutionary Guards. The book is the winner of both best new nonfiction and autobiography/memoirs in the 2011 International Book Awards sponsored by JPX Media Group. Reza Kahlili is a pseudonym used for security reasons. Thank you for joining me, Reza. Reza Kahlili: Thank you so much for having me.
  • Political Geography: America, Iran
  • Author: Craig Biddle
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Objective Standard
  • Institution: The Objective Standard
  • Abstract: I recently spoke with Dr. John David Lewis about American foreign policy, the uprisings in the Muslim world, the killing of Osama bin Laden, and the light that history can shed on such matters. Dr. Lewis is visiting associate professor in the philosophy, politics, and economics program at Duke University and he's the author, most recently, of Nothing Less Than Victory: Decisive Wars and the Lessons of History. —Craig Biddle Craig Biddle: Thank you for joining me, John. John David Lewis: I'm glad to be here. Thank you for having me. CB: Before we dive into some questions about U.S. foreign policy and the situation in the Middle East, would you say a few words about your work at Duke? What courses do you teach and how do they relate to foreign policy and the history of war? JL: The courses I teach all bring the thought of the ancients into the modern day and always dive to the moral level. For example, I teach freshman seminars on ancient political thought. I also teach a course on the justice of market exchange in which I draw upon the thought of Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, etcetera, and approach the question from a moral perspective. In regard to foreign policy and the history of war, I just finished a graduate course at Duke University on Thucydides and the Realist tradition in international relations. International relations studies have been dominated by a school of thought called Realism. This course explores the ideas of Thucydides and how they've translated through history into modern international relations studies and ultimately into the formulation of foreign policy in the modern day. I also teach courses at the University of North Carolina on the moral foundations of capitalism, which use Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged as its core text. I've been involved in speaking to Duke University medical students on health care where, again, I approach the issue from a moral perspective, namely, from the principle of individual rights. CB: That's quite an array of courses, and I know you speak at various conferences and events across the country as well, not to mention your book projects. Your productivity is inspiring. Let's turn your historical lights to some recent events. On the second of May, U.S. SEALs killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan. This is certainly worthy of celebration, but it's also almost ten years after he and his Islamist cohorts murdered nearly three thousand Americans on American soil. In the meantime, America has gone to war in Afghanistan and Iraq, where more than five thousand additional American soldiers have been killed, and now we're at war in Libya as well. In all of this, neither the Bush administration nor the Obama administration has so much as touched the regimes that everyone knows are the main sponsors of terrorism, those in Iran and Saudi Arabia. What's more, neither administration has identified the enemy as Islamists and the states that sponsor them. Bush called the enemy “terror” and “evildoers,” and Obama, uncomfortable with such “clarity,” speaks instead of “man-caused disasters” and calls for “overseas contingency operations.” Are there historical precedents for such massive evasions, and whether there are or aren't, what has led America to this level of lunacy? JL: That's a very interesting question, with many levels of answers. . . .
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, War
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, America, Middle East
  • Author: Craig Biddle
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Objective Standard
  • Institution: The Objective Standard
  • Abstract: Private-sector colleges and universities, also known as career colleges or for-profit colleges, educate more than three million people annually in the United States. These colleges—which include the University of Phoenix, ITT Technical Institutes, Kaplan University, Strayer University, Capella University, and Monroe College—provide vital services to Americans seeking to improve their lives. Programs in career colleges range from information technology and business administration, to commercial art and interior design, to allied health care and nursing, to accounting and finance, to criminal justice and law. These highly focused, career-specific programs enable people to achieve their occupational goals and to become productive, self-supporting, prosperous, and happy. These colleges are, for many people, pathways to the American dream. Unfortunately, certain individuals and agencies in the U.S. government are seeking to cripple and destroy these schools via an assault that includes fraud, collusion, and defamation. Before turning to the details of this assault, however, let us take a closer look at the enormous life-serving value provided by career colleges.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Gideon Reich
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Objective Standard
  • Institution: The Objective Standard
  • Abstract: What is it like to be an American diplomat trying to advance U.S. interests? In Surrender Is Not an Option: Defending America at the United Nations and Abroad, John Bolton recounts his harrowing experiences in the foreign policy establishment of the United States government. The book is an enlightening introduction to the bureaucratic machinations that guide our foreign policy. At the book's start, Bolton describes himself as a “libertarian conservative” (p. 7) and tells why he agreed to join the Agency for International Development (AID) when Reagan offered him the appointment in 1980. I was attracted to AID because it involved both U.S. foreign policy and domestic policy in the recipient countries. Our goal was to make AID's programs more market-driven, to induce recipient countries to foster private enterprise, and to turn AID away from a welfare-oriented approach known as “basic human needs.” This rubric disguised a belief that poverty in developing countries was caused by a lack of resources and that poverty could be overcome by developed countries' transferring the missing resources. I regarded this as essentially backward: The creation of wealth by developing countries was the long term cure to their poverty, which they could accomplish by market-oriented policies that rewarded rather than penalized domestic and foreign trade and investment. (p. 20) While there, Bolton helped return $28 million to the Treasury, by “canceling AID projects around the world that were failing” (p. 20). He also had his first professional contact with the UN, where he says he learned much about the behavior of countries at international bodies—for instance, that “countries with which the United States has close bilateral relations are not always helpful in such bodies” and that “this was just business as usual at the UN” (p. 21). . . .
  • Topic: United Nations, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Jared M. Rhoads
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Objective Standard
  • Institution: The Objective Standard
  • Abstract: Turn back the clock for a moment to the months leading up to the March 2010 enactment of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as ObamaCare. What do you remember about the president's pitch for health care reform? You may recall the administration's claim that ObamaCare will expand health insurance coverage to 32 million Americans, guaranteeing that nearly all Americans will be covered. You may recall the claim that the new program will reduce waste and overhead, and save the typical American family $2,500 per year. And who could forget Obama's personal promise, delivered time and again: "If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor. Period. If you like your health care plan, you will be able to keep your health care plan. Period. No one will take it away. No matter what."1 With this and other rhetoric, the president and other supporters of this Act were able to push the program through Congress on a partisan vote despite low popular appeal and indeed amid public furor. But although the bill has been signed, history has yet to be written. Within the more than two thousand pages of legislation are countless provisions and authorizations for additional regulatory changes to be rolled out in the years to come. Thus Americans are left wondering what exactly will change, when it will change, and how. For everyone, the question remains: What does ObamaCare mean for me? Why ObamaCare is Wrong for America summarizes the key provisions of the new law, explaining how this historic piece of legislation fails to achieve the goals so loudly trumpeted by its proponents, and what it will actually do instead. The authors-four health policy experts from four different conservative public policy organizations-largely succeed in making a complex topic comprehensible to a general audience. For starters, they organize their analysis of the legislation into reader-friendly themes such as "Impact on Families and Young Adults," "Impact on Seniors," and "Impact on You and Your Employer." The subsection headings are descriptive and frequent, dividing the chapters into easily digestible segments, many of which are less than a page in length. . . .
  • Topic: Law
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Burgess Laughlin
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Objective Standard
  • Institution: The Objective Standard
  • Abstract: Imagine you are touring America—not its landscapes or buildings, but its intellect and soul. You have two guides. Both are practiced speakers who walk quickly from site to site, dazzle you with their commentary on a variety of subjects, and mix their personal views with statistical profiles. Such an experience awaits those who tour a dark facet of the history of American culture through two books: Richard Hofstadter's Anti-intellectualism in American Life and Susan Jacoby's The Age of American Unreason. Each author focuses on the social and political phenomenon of “anti-intellectualism.” For our purposes, that phenomenon may be defined as social and political opposition to the practice of applying broad abstractions—usually learned from philosophers—to social issues. The two authors maintain that the application of such abstractions by intellectuals poses a threat to the social and political ambitions of some individuals (creationists and populists being classic examples), provoking their antipathy toward both the intellectuals' ideas and the intellectuals themselves. The elder guide in this case is Hofstadter, a history professor writing in the late 1950s. His purpose is “to shed a little light on our cultural problems.” [W]hat I have done is merely to use the idea of anti-intellectualism as a device for looking at various aspects, hardly the most appealing, of American society and culture. Despite the fringes of documentation on many of its pages, this work is by no means a formal history but largely a personal book, whose factual details are organized and dominated by my views. (AAL, p. vii) The heart of Hofstadter's book is parts 2–5, which cover what Hofstadter considers to be the main homes of anti-intellectualism in America: religion, politics, business, and education. The order of the four core parts and of the discussions within each part is generally chronological. In the first of part 2's three chapters, “The Evangelical Spirit,” Hofstadter focuses on what he holds was the anti-intellectualism lurking in the culture at the time of our nation's founding: The American mind was shaped in the mold of early modern Protestantism. Religion was the first arena for American intellectual life, and thus the first arena for an anti-intellectual impulse. Anything that seriously diminished the role of rationality and learning in early American religion would later diminish its role in secular culture. The feeling that ideas should above all be made to work, the disdain for doctrine and for refinement in ideas, the subordination of men of ideas to men of emotional power or manipulative skill are hardly innovations of the twentieth century; they are inheritances from American Protestantism. (AAL, p. 55) This passage is typical of both the virtues and vices of our elder guide's style. It flows well and offers interesting observations, but at the end of the passage the objective reader must stop and ask himself, “What exactly did Hofstadter just say?” For example, readers might not understand (until later in the book) that “made to work” is an oblique reference to the anti-intellectual notion that ideas are acceptable only where they apply immediately to everyday concerns, that is, “practical” in a way that excludes theories and other forms of integration. From that nebulous opening, our tour guide proceeds to do what he does best, which is narrating a flow of events accompanied by specific dates as well as names of persons, places, and publications that conveyed the views of intellectuals and their foes, the anti-intellectuals. The core of the book is not a philosophical analysis of anti-intellectualism or a history of the idea of anti-intellectualism. It is a social history, specifically a history of the struggle between various social and political groups wherein one side attacks the other side's intellectualism—as when Christian fundamentalists rejected Darwin's scientific theory of evolution in favor of a direct reading of the Bible's account in Genesis…
  • Topic: Politics, History
  • Political Geography: America
441. Iranium
  • Author: Daniel Wahl
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Objective Standard
  • Institution: The Objective Standard
  • Abstract: Many Americans are concerned about the Iranian regime's progress in its efforts to obtain a nuclear weapon, yet few are demanding that the U.S. government do anything about it. Iranium, a new documentary by Alex Traiman, seeks to change that. Narrated by Shohreh Aghdashloo, and with commentary by (among others) John Bolton, Bernard Lewis, Michael Ledeen, and Reza Kahlili, the documentary begins by looking at both the founding ideology and the constitution of the Iranian regime. It shows the Ayatollah Khomeini following the overthrow of the shah, saying, “When we revolted, we revolted for the sake of Islam.” It shows footage of him calling for a global caliphate: “This movement cannot be limited to one country only. It cannot be limited to Islamic countries either.” And it shows how Iran's constitution codifies those views, establishing a nation “in accordance with Islamic law,” providing “the necessary basis for ensuring the continuation of the revolution” toward “a universal and holy government” and “the downfall of others.” “From the very beginning, explains Kenneth Timmerman, executive director of the Foundation for Democracy in Iran, Iran's leaders “considered terrorism as a tool of policy. . . . Iran set up Hezbollah . . . to have a 'cut-out' [that] could 'independently' carry out terrorist attacks with 'no fingerprints' back to Tehran.” Iranium lines up the facts like a long series of dominoes, enabling viewers to see how the murderous ideology at the foundation of modern Iran led to a constitution demanding its implementation, which, in turn, led to the creation of terrorist proxies and the terrorizing and murdering of Americans and other “infidels” worldwide. . . .
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: America, Iran
  • Author: Susan Marks
  • Publication Date: 05-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: In 1992 the American Journal of International Law published an article by Tom Franck entitled 'The Emerging Right to Democratic Governance'. The article inaugurated an important debate on the relationship between international law and democracy. Reviewing that debate, I examine four different ways of thinking about the contemporary significance of the emerging right to democratic governance. While not claiming that any is wrong, I consider some respects in which each is limited. I also discuss Haiti, as a country which inspired the thesis of the emerging democratic entitlement, and one which remains illuminating for it today.
  • Topic: Governance
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Gorm Rye Olsen
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of International Relations and Development
  • Institution: Central and East European International Studies Association
  • Abstract: Cooperation between civilian and military actors has become a catchphrase in international crisis management and development policy in the 21st century. This paper examines the crisis management policies adopted in Africa by the United States and the European Union (EU), respectively. It is hypothesised that both actors' crisis management policies are likely to be path dependent, despite recent significant changes in policy preferences. It is shown that the priority combining civilian and military resources in American crisis management is only implemented to a limited degree. It is consistent with the persistent predominance of the Pentagon and of the military instruments in US Africa policy. It illustrates the conspicuous institutional path dependency of US Africa policy, which by some is described as 'militarised'. The EU has been able to apply both civilian and military instruments in crisis management in Africa, suggesting the policy is not path dependent. The European situation is arguably attributable to the widespread consensus among European actors that it is necessary to combine civilian and military instruments in crisis management.
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, America
  • Author: Bruce Riedel
  • Publication Date: 08-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: CTC Sentinel
  • Institution: The Combating Terrorism Center at West Point
  • Abstract: American counterterrorism officials recently warned that al-Qa`ida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) is trying to produce the lethal poison ricin to be packed around small bombs for use in attacks against the U.S. homeland. This latest development is further evidence of AQAP's growing threat to the United States. The group has demonstrated remarkable resiliency and adaptability in its history, surviving several leadership changes and major crackdowns in both Saudi Arabia and Yemen. Its success in the face of adversity is a model for other al-Qa`ida units now threatened. In particular, with al-Qa`ida's core in Pakistan under severe pressure due to Usama bin Ladin's death in May 2011, AQAP provides insights into the jihad's capacity to rally back from defeat.
  • Topic: Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, America, Yemen, Arabia
  • Author: James M Lindsay
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: The foreign policy world views of George W. Bush and Barack Obama differ dramatically. Bush made terrorism the focal point of his foreign policy and dismissed the idea that either allies or international institutions should constrain America's freedom of action. Obama sees terrorism as one of many transnational problems that require the cooperation of other countries to combat and, as a result, the United States must invest more in diplomatic efforts to build partnerships. Despite these differences, both presidents share one common conviction: that other countries long for US leadership. Bush believed that friends and allies would eventually rally to the side of the United States, even if they bristled at its actions, because they shared America's goals and had faith in its motives. Obama believed that a United States that listened more to others, stressed common interests and favored multinational action would command followers. In practice, however, both visions of American global leadership faltered. Bush discovered that many countries rejected his style of leadership as well as his strategies. Obama discovered that in a globalized world, where power has been more widely dispersed, many countries are not looking to Washington for direction. The future success of US foreign policy depends on the ability of policy-makers to recognize and adapt to a changing geopolitical environment in which the US remains the most significant military, diplomatic and economic power but finds it, nonetheless, increasingly difficult to drive the global agenda.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Washington
  • Author: Trevor Mccrisken
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: It has been almost ten years since the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon led President George W. Bush to proclaim a 'war on terror'. This article focuses on the difficulties faced by his successor, Barack Obama, as he has attempted to move away from much of the Bush rhetoric and practice of counterterrorism. Obama came to office determined to 'reboot' US counter-terrorism policy so that it would not only be more effective but also more in keeping with what he perceived as the core moral values and principles at the heart of American political culture. For many observers, Obama has not lived up to expectations as he has not made wholesale changes to counter-terrorism policy. This article argues, however, that he always intended to not only maintain but, in fact, deepen Bush's war against terrorism, not because he was trapped by Bush's institutionalized construction of a global war on terror, but because he agrees fundamentally with the core assumptions and imperatives of that war on terror narrative. Nonetheless, Obama promised to continue combating terrorism in ways that were distinctive from his predecessor, not least because a higher moral standard would be applied to the conduct of counter-terrorism. By addressing his policies toward Afghanistan and Pakistan, Guantanamo Bay and torture, and the use of unmanned drone attacks, it is argued that Obama's 'war' against terrorism is not only in keeping with the assumptions and priorities of the last ten years but also that, despite some successes, it is just as problematic as that of his predecessor.
  • Topic: Terrorism, War
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Afghanistan, United States, America
  • Author: Adam Quinn
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: Predictions of 'American decline' have come and gone before, apparently in cycles, leading some to regard it as a cultural trope stemming from domestic insecurities rather than a serious prospect. There is reason to believe, however, that this time is different. Fundamental erosion of the United States' decades-long primacy may finally be at hand, and wise analysis should resist the temptations of contrarianism or denial. Critics of 'declinism' have offered important caveats with which we should qualify any overly simplistic or deterministic portrait of America's trajectory from hegemon to lesser status. This article gives such qualifications due weight while nevertheless seeking to steer our gaze back towards the core truth at the heart of the declinist thesis. That is: unless something very significant changes to jolt the course of events onto a different track, the relative power of the United States—measured in terms of its advantage over others in economic and military capacity—will be shrinking significantly over the decades to come. Happily, the nation's current president seems to have a disposition well fitted to leading the nation into the opening stages of an era of relative decline. President Obama has made headlines in recent months for his boldness in orchestrating the killing of Osama bin Laden. A fuller survey of his foreign policy, however, reveals that its most signal feature has been prudence and circumspection regarding American power and its exercise. Major divergence between the ends pursued and the capacities available for their pursuit is one of the cardinal sins giving rise to strategic failure. It is thus fortunate for the United States that it should have a president who, even if he may not be inclined to cast it in such words himself, seems disposed not to 'rage against the dying of the light' of American primacy, but to practice the admirable art of declining politely.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Brendan Taylor
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: Japan has long been regarded as a central component of America's grand strategyin Asia. Scholars and practitioners assume this situation will persist in the face of China's rise and, indeed, that a more 'normal' Japan can and should take on anincreasingly central role in US-led strategies to manage this power transition. Thisarticle challenges those assumptions by arguing that they are, paradoxically, beingmade at a time when Japan's economic and strategic weight in Asian security isgradually diminishing. The article documents Japan's economic and demographicchallenges and their strategic ramifications. It considers what role Japan mightplay in an evolving security order where China and the US emerge as Asia's twodominant powers by a significant margin. Whether the US-China relationshipis ultimately one of strategic competition or accommodation, it is argued thatJapan's continued centrality in America's Asian grand strategy threatens to becomeincreasingly problematic. It is posited that the best hope for circumventing thisproblem and its potentially destabilizing consequences lies in the nurturing of anascent 'shadow condominium' comprising the US and China, with Japan as a'marginal weight' on the US side of that arrangement.
  • Topic: Security, Economics
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, China, America
  • Author: Heather A Conley
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: Europe and the United States—the West—urgently need political leadership, economic fortitude and a clear vision of the future if they are to contend with the challenges posed by emerging regional powers and to resist the downward pressures of 'relative decline', the central focus of David Marquand's book, The end of the West: the once and future Europe. Central to this goal will be the West's ability to 'rebalance' between its institutions and democracy; its power and commitments; and its political and moral authority. Europe must 'rebalance' on issues related to ethnicity and identity, governance and authority, and civilization and territory. EU enlargement and its institutional reform processes have exacerbated this imbalance. American foreign policy objectives currently exceed its resources and are hampered by lack of strategic clarity and intellectual vision which keeps the United States from achieving an adaptive leadership model more capable of successfully operating in an increasingly complex and multipolar world. For Europe to become internally healthy and externally productive—both politically and economically—it needs to regain balance between its utopian, institutional objectives and democratic support for its future ambitions and policy course. Strong leadership and a powerful vision of prosperity from the West will be vital to return the transatlantic partnership to global economic and political advantage.
  • Topic: Reform
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Europe
  • Author: Stefan Halper
  • Publication Date: 01-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: This article provides an analysis of President Obama at mid-term. It looks at the mid-term elections from the perspective of the political issues that informed the debate, the implications of Republican control of the House of Representatives for both legislation and relations between the administration and Congress, and the policy areas where cooperation and possible progress is possible. The article looks at the Tea Party movement as a collection of single issue and multi-issue political groups ranging from 'nativists' to Christian fundamentalists to the eclectic and unprecedented combination of fiscal and social conservatives seen at Glen Beck's 'honoring America' event at the Washington Monument. This broad movement may be seen as a classical revitalization movement, not unlike those described by Anthony F. C. Wallace. It is opposed by another 'revitalization movement' namely the 'American renewal' promised by Obama as he ran for office in 2008. These countervailing narratives—in effect two different versions of America, one reflecting the Tea Party broadly conceived and the other reflecting Obama's 'promise'—are seeking political traction among independents. The implications of this struggle are momentous. The prevailing narrative will frame policy going forward on a range of domestic issues and on selected foreign policy questions, which will include the present debate on the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) with Russia and the upcoming debate on China, which will have even further reaching effects. Finally, this article describes Obama's struggle to frame his policy successes and the ensuing debate in a favourable light. His opponents have sought to limit his progress by presenting him as 'the other', an effective but destructive technique that could have longer term effects on the domestic political discourse. However, the author remains an optimist; he believes, together with 50 per cent of Americans, the president is likable, logical and gives a good speech, and that he will be re-elected in 2012.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: China, America
  • Author: Michael Dunne
  • Publication Date: 01-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: The recent US mid-term elections have not only dented President Obama's image at home and abroad, they have seen the return to 'divided government' whereby one party controls the Executive and the other controls either the Senate or the House of Representatives or both. Such divided government has been quite frequent since the Second World War; but the situation is often portrayed by political scientists as dysfunctional, even as they acknowledge that the Founders of the Republic deliberately created a federal system which would minimize concentrations of political power. Yet divided government is only one complaint among many levelled by American commentators at their political system. This article examines such criticisms both theoretically and historically, and also develops a historical approach which discusses American attitudes to the past, particularly US foreign relations. Here the emphasis is upon the ideologies that have powered American expansion, first across the North American continent and then overseas. A peculiar, even 'exceptional' aspect of this expansion has been its rhetorical form, in particular the invocation of past presidents to justify contemporary actions and the creation of a doctrinal canon (classically expressed in the Monroe doctrine). While these two lines of enquiry (emphasizing history and political science) are the methodological double core of the article, they are not treated discretely; rather the focus is on the interplay between the two.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Saverio Saverio Giovacchini
  • Publication Date: 01-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Global Analysis
  • Institution: Centre for Strategic Research and Analysis
  • Abstract: In 2004 Hollywood produced three purportedly blockbuster epic films: Troy, King Arthur and Alexander. Many critics suggested a direct link between the 1950s “sword and sandal” epic and this new crop of movies. Similarities between the two cycles certainly exist but in this essay I want to emphasize a crucial difference between the contemporary, cosmopolitan, epic and the previous, more nation-bound, 1950s cycle. Rather than being in tune with key elements of American foreign policy, the new cycle of “sword and sandal” films offers a somber assessment of American imperial adventures. I shall contend, in fact, that the new crop of epic films had to choose between two generic conventions that are, at present, not compatible. On the one hand, epic films had traditionally been the bearers of the foreign policy vision of the country that produced them. On the other, their inflated budgets made them dependent on an international market. Deeply aware of a globalized and rising opposition to US foreign policy and of the fact that foreign box office now exceeds the domestic take of a blockbuster, it may be no wonder that the makers of these films chose to craft them into citizens of the world.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: D1. Freshmen Republican Representatives to Congress, Letter Urging Republican Leaders of the House of Representatives to Maintain Current Aid Levels to Israel Despite the FY 2011 U.S. Budget Crisis, Washington, February 2011. D2. American Association of University Professors and American Jewish Committee, "Anti-Semitism on Campus," Washington, 20 April 2011.
  • Political Geography: America, Washington, Israel
  • Author: William J. Lynn, III
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: As disaster struck Japan and revolution swept the Middle East, Americans once again watched events unfold in real time, through a network of satellites in space that have revolutionized the dissemination of information and changed how we live. For decades, we have taken this network, and the operational environment of space which supports it, for granted. But quietly, almost imperceptibly, revolutions of a less visible kind have been unfolding above us in space itself. Over the Middle East, censorship imposed by autocratic states has for the first time extended into the upper reaches of the atmosphere. The satellite-based telecommunications services of Thuraya—a regional satellite phone provider—have been disrupted, and the satellite broadcasts of Al Jazeera, the Voice of America, and the BBC rendered unintelligible. Libya and Iran are the primary offenders, but even less technologically developed countries such as Ethiopia have employed jamming technologies for political purposes.
  • Political Geography: America, Middle East
  • Author: Daniel Byman
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Americans took heart as they watched Egyptian demonstrators rally in Tahrir Square and topple the regime of Hosni Mubarak in a peaceful revolution. Next door in Israel, however, the mood was somber: “When some people in the West see what's happening in Egypt, they see Europe 1989,” an Israeli official remarked. “We see it as Tehran 1979.” Political leaders vied to see who could be the most pessimistic, with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu publicly warning that it was even possible that “Egypt will go in the direction of Iran,” with the new Cairo government becoming even more dictatorial and lashing out abroad. As he pointed out in remarks to the Knesset, “They too had demonstrations; multitudes filled the town squares. But, of course it progressed in a different way.” As unrest spread from Egypt to Bahrain, Jordan, Syria, and Yemen, the gloom seemed to deepen.
  • Political Geography: America, Europe, Iran, Yemen, Arabia, Syria, Egypt, Jordan, Bahrain
  • Author: Paul R. Pillar
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: CTC Sentinel
  • Institution: The Combating Terrorism Center at West Point
  • Abstract: The tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks has become an occasion for reevaluating the terrorism threat to the United States. Three key questions have been raised. What is the status and current strength of al-Qa`ida, the group that perpetrated 9/11? Have measures taken since 9/11 made Americans any safer today? Why has the United States not been attacked again—at least in the sense of being attacked on a scale approaching 9/11? These are worthwhile questions, although they each involve a restricted perspective toward terrorism and counterterrorism. The first is inherently limited by being focused on only a single variety of terrorism or even just a single group. The second usually omits reference to any standard of success and failure in securing Americans from terrorism or to the costs and trade-offs entailed in obtaining a given degree of safety. The third question is usually a yearning for an explanation that would be too simple to be an accurate analysis of what has determined the amount of terrorism directed against the United States during the past decade.
  • Topic: Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Jim Harper
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: Lisa Nelson's America Identified: Biometric Technology and Society is a slow and careful examination of a formidably broad landscape—at least until she springs to her conclusions. Among them: “Individual liberty must be reconceptualized to account for the use of data by individuals for communication, transactions, and networking.” It's a scholar's way of saying, “Move over, sovereign individual. Experts are going to handle this.”
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Willem Oosterveld
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Central European University Political Science Journal
  • Institution: Central European University
  • Abstract: David Ekbladh's first book, The Great American Mission, deals with the role of development policy in American foreign relations during the Cold War. More specifically, it discusses modernization as a developmental approach, tracing its rise and fall over a period of about forty years. In Ekbladh's view, modernization theory fused political, ideological and strategic objectives at a time when the United States waged what was, in essence, a global struggle over ideas.
  • Topic: Cold War, Development
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Vasiliki Saranti
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Goettingen Journal of International Law
  • Institution: The Goettingen Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: In the years that followed the end of the Cold War, the international community showed a growing interest in the democratic legitimacy of governments. With regard to the Western Hemisphere, the Organization of American States has been particularly pioneering in this respect, since it initiated a mechanism of intervention by peaceful means, once the democratic stability in a state was threatened, a process which culminated with the approval of the Inter-American Democratic Charter.
  • Topic: Cold War
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: John David Lewis
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Objective Standard
  • Institution: The Objective Standard
  • Abstract: Examines the essence of this approach and what it's delivered so far.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: America
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Objective Standard
  • Institution: The Objective Standard
  • Abstract: John R. Bolton is an outspoken advocate of a foreign policy of American self-interest and a domestic policy of free markets and fiscal responsibility. He has spent many years in public service, including a term as the U.S. permanent representative to the United Nations and a term as undersecretary of state for arms control and international security. He is the author of Surrender Is Not an Option (Threshold Editions/Simon Schuster, 2007) and How Barack Obama Is Endangering Our National Sovereignty (Encounter Books, 2010). Mr. Bolton is currently a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, where he focuses on U.S. foreign and national security policy. I spoke with him on August 29, 2011, just before he announced (to my disappointment) that he would not be running in the 2012 presidential election. —Craig Biddle Craig Biddle: Thank you very much for joining me, Ambassador Bolton; it's an honor to speak with you. John Bolton: Thank you. Glad to do it. CB: As a teenager, you found inspiration in Barry Goldwater, whom you praised as “an individualist, not a collectivist.” I take individualism to mean that the individual is sovereign—that he has a right to life, liberty, property, and the pursuit of happiness—and collectivism to mean that he is not—that he is beholden to the state or society and is not an end in himself. Is that what you mean by these terms? JB: Right, exactly. I think that, in terms of choice of government, what we should look for is a government that enhances the possibility of individual freedom and individual activity and reduces the potential for collective government action. That's just a broad philosophical statement, but I think that's what the political battle has been about for many years and particularly right now. CB: How do individual rights play into that? What is the relation between rights and freedom? JB: I think that the two are closely related. If you look at how mankind comes into civil society, the individuals bring the rights with them—they're inherent in their status as human beings and don't come from the government as a matter of sufferance. So, in a social contract, ideally what you're looking for is benefits that bring mankind together but also maximize individual liberty. That's admittedly easier said than done, but that ought to be the preference—to try and find that balance—rather than to assume that the government is going to take a larger and larger role because some people think, number one, that they're better at making decisions than individual citizens are; and, number two, that it's a politically convenient way to stay in power—to tax and regulate people in order to “spread wealth” and benefit others. CB: So you essentially take the same position as the Founders on rights and freedom: We have inalienable rights, and the purpose of government is to protect them. JB: Exactly, and that, I think, is why they created a government of enumerated powers. We've slipped a long way from that point, but that's not to say that that shouldn't be what we aspire to return to. CB: Why do you think we hear so little in politics today about the proper purpose of government and the principle of individual rights? JB: Well, I think it's been a long slide away from what the intent of the original framers of the Constitution was. And I think it's an important task of political leaders—or should be—to return to that. If the only issues are how much taxation is going to be and what the size of the government is, and as many Republicans learned over the years, so-called “me-too” policies are going to inevitably lead to defeat because the statists can always outbid you. I think that in a time of fiscal crisis, this is the opportune moment to have an adult conversation about what the purpose of government is—a conversation not about how big the size of government programs is going to be, but whether they should exist in the first place. CB: I want to ask some questions about both foreign and domestic policy. Since you turned to domestic policy there, let's begin with that. What do you regard as the fundamental cause of America's economic decline today—crashing markets, skyrocketing unemployment, sheepish investors, and so forth? . . .
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Government
  • Political Geography: America
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Objective Standard
  • Institution: The Objective Standard
  • Abstract: Gary Johnson currently campaigns as a candidate for U.S. president with the same outspoken fidelity to free markets, limited government, and fiscal responsibility that guided his two terms as governor of New Mexico. Aside from making headlines earlier this year with his strong opposition to an antihomosexual Republican-circulated marriage pledge, which he called “offensive” and “un-American,” he has been neglected by the mainstream press and has been excluded from several televised debates. He presses on in a struggle from which higher-polling candidates have already dropped out. Johnson started a one-man handyman company in 1976 and over the next two decades developed it to employing one thousand people. Against the odds, he launched his campaign for governor in 1994 and carried his win to a second term, a governorship marked by his stand for “freedom across the board.” During his eight years in office, his main focus was responsible management of the government pocketbook, and he earned the nickname “Governor Veto” by vetoing more bills than the other forty-nine governors combined. He cut twelve hundred state job positions, cut taxes, reformed Medicaid, promoted school vouchers, privatized prisons, and helped eliminate the state's budget deficit. An unconventional Republican, he supports the right to abortion, the legalization of marijuana, and legal equality for homosexuals. Today he retains popularity among New Mexico's voters. Goal-driven, independent, and with a zest for life, he has competed in multiple Ironman Triathlons, summited Mt. Everest, and personally built his current home in Taos, New Mexico. He's a divorced father of two and lives with his fiancée. I spoke with him just before his strong campaign push in New Hampshire at the end of August. —David Baucom David Baucom: Thank you for speaking with me, Governor Johnson. Gary Johnson: Absolutely. DB: With the decline of the U.S. economy and the emergence of the Tea Party movement, people in America are finally asking questions to the effect of, What is the proper role of government? As a candidate for president of the United States, what do you regard as the proper purpose of government? GJ: The proper purpose of government would be to protect you and me against individuals, groups, corporations that would do us harm, whether that's from a property perspective or physical harm. And that would also apply to other countries. DB: Relating to that, how would you define “rights,” and where would you draw the line for what individuals can properly claim as a right? GJ: You know, my definition of it, I guess, is the whole notion that we have too many laws. And that when it comes to rights, that they really have a basis in common sense, that they really have a basis in natural law, if you will. Do unto others as you would have others do unto you. That government gets way, way, way too involved in trying to define that, as opposed to you and me working that out. DB: President Obama calls for “sacrifice” from everyone, but especially from “rich” individuals and corporations, whose taxes he wants to raise. You've said you don't think raising taxes on the rich is the way to deal with the financial crisis. As president, what would be your solution to the crisis? GJ: Well, I'm advocating the FairTax. I think we should scrap the entire tax system that we have and replace it with the FairTax. I'm talking about FairTax.org, for those who aren't aware of this proposal that I think has been around now for about ten years. By all free market economists' reckoning, it is what it is: it's fair, and it simplifies the existing tax system. So, by “simplify [the] existing tax system,” it abolishes the IRS and does away with all existing federal taxes: income tax, Social Security withholding, Medicare withholding, unemployment insurance, business-to-business tax, corporate tax. Replacing the current system would be a one-time federal consumption tax of 23 percent, which is meant to be revenue neutral, so we would still need to cut our spending by 43 percent, believing that part of revitalizing this country is balancing the federal budget and replacing it with the FairTax. . . .
  • Topic: Development
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: C.A. Wolski
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Objective Standard
  • Institution: The Objective Standard
  • Abstract: Although shot in vivid color, Paramount studios' Captain America: The First Avenger embraces a refreshing black-and-white, good versus evil worldview lacking in most of the recent spate of dark, nihilistic superhero films. The picture occurs mostly in flashback—with a very brief framing story set in the present day—during the early days of America's involvement in World War Two. Steve Rogers (played by Chris Evans), like most patriotic young men of the day, is itching to enlist and join the fight. However, his motivation is more than patriotism: He does not like bullies and sees the Third Reich as the biggest bully on the planet. Unfortunately, he is too short and underweight to meet the fighting ideal, and finds himself marked “4F” at recruiting station after recruiting station. But although he does not have the physical strength of his friend, strapping U.S. infantryman “Bucky” Barnes (played by Sebastian Stan), he is at least as brave, standing up to bullies with little regard for his personal safety. Soon, the tenacious and brave Rogers comes to the attention of Dr. Erskine (played by Stanley Tucci), who is looking for volunteers to take part in his “Project Rebirth,” an experiment that aims to create an army of U.S. “super soldiers.” Because of his bravery and strong moral code, Rogers is a perfect choice for Dr. Erskine's project and becomes America's first super soldier, thanks to Rebirth Serum. (However, due to an unfortunate turn of events, Rogers remains America's only super soldier.) After capturing the public's imagination with a spectacular display of heroics, the newly minted “Captain America” is relegated to life as a propaganda tool for the U.S. government, contributing to the cause of freedom with a two-bit floor show aimed at selling war bonds. But when Rogers discovers that his old buddy Bucky's squad has been captured by Nazi super soldier Red Skull (played by Hugo Weaving) and his horde of HYDRA agents, Captain America springs into action. . . .
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Joseph Kellard
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Objective Standard
  • Institution: The Objective Standard
  • Abstract: Ayaan Hirsi Ali gained international recognition in 2004 after she and Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh made Submission, a documentary about the brutal oppression of women under Islamic law. In response to the film, a radical Muslim savagely murdered van Gogh on the streets of Holland and posted a note on the filmmaker's body in which he threatened Hirsi Ali's life as well. Nevertheless, in 2007 Hirsi Ali wrote Infidel, in which she recounts the horrors of growing up female under the rights-violating Islamic cultures in Somalia and Saudi Arabia; how she fled to and settled in Holland, worked menial jobs, attended university, and collaborated on Submission; and how, in 2003, she ran for and was elected to the Dutch parliament as a candidate with a single issue: to stop the oppression of and violence against Muslim women in Holland. In Infidel, Hirsi Ali championed the Western secularist ideals that she came to adopt as true and right—free inquiry, the equal rights of the sexes, individualism, and personal liberty. Since then, she has moved to the land that she declares in her follow-up book, Nomad, to be her final home: the United States. In this latest book, Hirsi Ali shares the observations and emotional journey she has made since leaving Europe and arriving in America, even as radical Muslims continue to threaten her life for her uncompromising condemnation of Islam. In some respects Nomad demonstrates that Hirsi Ali has not only retained the intellectual independence and moral courage at the heart of her prior book, but that she has also strengthened and developed her thinking on the secular values she came to embrace. For example, in Nomad she elaborates on Enlightenment principles, including free inquiry, individual freedom, and property rights, exercising a thought process that grasps fundamentals: Every important freedom that Western individuals possess rests on free expression. We observe what is wrong, and we say what is wrong, in order that it may be corrected. This is the message of the Enlightenment, the rational process that developed today's Western values: Go. Inquire. Ask. Find out. Dare to know. Don't be afraid of what you'll find. Knowledge is better than superstition, blind faith, and dogma. (p. 214) Hirsi Ali proceeds to correctly identify Enlightenment principles as this-worldly and thus incongruent with Islam: The Enlightenment honors life. It is not about honor after death or honor in the hereafter, as Islam is, but honor in individual life, now. It is about development of the individual will, not the submission of the will. Islam, by contrast, is incompatible with the principles of liberty that are at the heart of the Enlightenment's legacy. (p. 214) She powerfully illustrates her development in the contrasts she draws between herself on the one hand, and, on the other, her relatives and other devout Muslims, both of whom cling unquestioningly to their religion and clannish traditions such as “family honor.” . . .
  • Topic: Islam
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Objective Standard
  • Institution: The Objective Standard
  • Abstract: Welcome to the Fall issue of The Objective Standard. Ten years have passed since Islamic barbarians slaughtered thousands of Americans on U.S. soil, and America has yet to name the primary enemies (the Iranian and Saudi regimes), let alone eliminate them. Instead, we have gone to war with lesser enemies, enemies that we could retaliate against without appearing sure of ourselves, without appearing morally certain, without seeming selfish. In his article “9/11 Ten Years Later: The Fruits of the Philosophy of Self-Abnegation,” John David Lewis examines the essence of this approach and what it's delivered so far. The opposite philosophy—that of cognitive clarity, moral certainty, and self-respect—is Ayn Rand's philosophy of rational egoism, the political principles of which should be guiding U.S. policy. In “Ayn Rand's Theory of Rights: The Moral Foundation of a Free Society,” I examine the essential aspects of her philosophy that give rise to her theory of rights, as against the theories of God-given, government-granted, and “natural” rights. Using the principle of rights as his standard of evaluation, Joshua Lipana examines and grades various components of Rep. Paul Ryan's “Path to Prosperity,” which, although rejected in the Senate, is perhaps the best plan put forth by an elected official to date about how to deal with America's financial crisis. The report card is telling. In an exclusive interview with TOS, John R. Bolton, a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, presents his ideas on the proper purpose of government and on various issues facing America today. This discussion will leave many TOS readers disappointed that Mr. Bolton has decided not to run for president. Gary Johnson, former governor of New Mexico, is running for president, and his exclusive interview with TOS sheds important light on his view of the proper role of government and on what he would do if elected commander in chief. Where does he stand on domestic issues? How about foreign policy? Governor Johnson answers the tough questions here. In “The Mastermind behind SEAL Team Six and the End of Osama bin Laden,” Daniel Wahl surveys the history and principles that have given rise to the breathtaking competence of U.S. special operations forces, and finds that one man is primarily responsible. This, to borrow the words of Ragnar Danneskjöld, is a story of what happens when brute force encounters mind and force. Speaking of intelligence, ability, and heroism, sculptor Sandra J. Shaw explains, among other things, how she captures such qualities in the subjects of her works, including her bronze busts of Ayn Rand and Michelangelo. Several images accompany this lengthy interview, and Ms. Shaw's bust of Rand graces the current cover of the journal. Fuel for the soul from beginning to end. In addition to the above articles and interviews are film reviews of Captain America (directed by Joe Johnston) and Lifting King Kong (directed by Park Geon-yong) as well as book reviews of A Time to Betray by Reza Kahlili, Nomad by Ayaan Hirsi Ali, The Fear by Peter Godwin, The Bourgeois Virtues by Deirdre N. McCloskey, Gauntlet by Barbara Masin, Crashing Through by Robert Kurson, The Extra 2% by Jonah Keri, Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh, and My Lucky Life In and Out of Show Business by Dick Van Dyke. Enjoy the articles, interviews, and reviews, and have a wonderful and productive fall. —Craig Biddle
  • Topic: Islam
  • Political Geography: America, Mexico
  • Author: Erik Jones
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The Obama administration is attempting to 'lead from behind' in Libya, causing much concern among its allies and derision among its adversaries. Nevertheless this strategy represents an appropriate response both to the specific situation in Libya and to the wider constraints on American global leadership. With the shift in global resources from North to South and West to East, collective action has become more difficult to organise and global institutions have become harder to reinforce. Meanwhile governments in the United States and elsewhere must wrestle to bring their fiscal accounts back under control. A cooperative approach is the only answer. The difficulty for the Obama administration is that by emphasizing cooperation they make the success of their Libya intervention depend upon the actions of the other countries involved. Should France and Great Britain fail in Libya, President Obama's new conception of American global leadership will falter as well.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, America, France, Libya
  • Author: Koichi Mori
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research
  • Abstract: This article seeks to find the origin of the “mission of America”, which lies at the root of the nation's global strategy, in a feature of Puritanism and its eschatology. At the same time, this article considers elements found in America's global strategy that hinder co-existence and how to overcome them. Global strategy pursued by the Bush administration after 9/11, to the point of arrogance, was not based just on practical diplomatic decisions to pursue national interests. What lay behind these decisions were America's sense of mission, an awareness that is ideological as well as religious. If we look at the state of religion in America today, it is hard to see prominent acts of criticism against the global strategy of the current administration from transcendental, self-critical American awareness. However, this consciousness has not disappeared from the American religious tradition. What is needed is an awareness once again that another religious tradition exists, and to assist this tradition from a position of empathy.
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: David M. Rodriguez
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: In the summer of 2011, I visited the Afghan army's Regional Military Training Center in Helmand Province. The recruits had been there for two weeks, and they looked as strong as any group of U.S. soldiers in basic training. The Afghan drill instructors were as competent, and had the same cocky swagger, as American ones. "Sir, look at all of our volunteers," one drill sergeant proudly said to me. "They're great. We have already won. . . . We just don't know it yet." To comprehend the United States' progress in Afghanistan, it is important to understand how and where we have focused our resources and what work lies ahead. To be sure, the United States and its coalition partners still have plenty of challenges left to tackle in Afghanistan. However, there are indisputable gains everywhere we have focused our efforts. In 2009, General Stanley McChrystal, then the commander of U.S. and International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) troops, with the help of David Petraeus, then the commander of the U.S. Central Command, worked hard to design a comprehensive counterinsurgency campaign for Afghanistan that would "get the inputs right," as Petraues often said. The upshot was more resources, troops, and civilian support and better command coherence. There are now more Afghan and coalition soldiers in Helmand and Kandahar Provinces alone than there were in all of Regional Command East, the formation responsible for security in Afghanistan's 14 eastern provinces, when I commanded the latter from 2007 to 2008. As 33,000 U.S. troops begin the drawdown, returning to the United States by next summer, 352,000 Afghan soldiers and police will be in place to continue their work. There are clear signs of progress in Afghanistan, and coalition forces have regained the initiative. The strategy has worked because it sought to match the coalition's goals with available resources. It involved four major concepts. First, use a bottom-up approach founded on good governance, capable security forces, and engagement with local communities. If towns had good leaders and security providers, populations would find local solutions to their local problems, with just a little help from Kabul. Insurgents could no longer exploit popular grievances about security, justice, and a lack of basic services.
  • Topic: Security
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, America
  • Author: Robert O. Blake, Jr.
  • Publication Date: 10-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ambassadors Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: This year marks the 20th anniversary of independence for the five republics of Central Asia: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. This anniversary is a good opportunity to reflect on America's growing stake in Central Asia. Since 1991, our desire for a stable, independent, and prosperous Central Asia has guided US policy priorities in the region, with each of the five nations working towards building strong, market-oriented democracies. In recent years, the United States has sought to increase engagement with this region on a broad range of issues, particularly as we work to bring stability, security, and prosperity to Afghanistan, which borders three of the Central Asian republics. Located at the critical geostrategic crossroads of Eurasia, the region is rich not only in natural resources, economic opportunity, and human capacity, but also in its diversity of people, culture, and ideas. Just as the region was at the center of the Silk Road of centuries past, Central Asia has the potential once again to serve as a hub of trade, transport, and ideas in Eurasia, linking the people and markets of East and West, and North and South. We look forward to working with the Central Asian republics, their neighbors, and international partners to create a new Silk Road that integrates this strategically vital region and offers new opportunities for its people.
  • Topic: Culture
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, America, Central Asia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan
  • Author: Hugo Llorens
  • Publication Date: 10-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ambassadors Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: This should be a time of triumph and opportunity for Honduras. Two years after a coup d'état toppled President José Manuel Zelaya, Honduras has successfully restored its dynamic and democratic political system. The freely elected government of President Porfirio Lobo has secured deserved international recognition. In May, former President Zelaya returned to Honduras, ending a lengthy exile in the Dominican Republic that had prolonged the country's political polarization. The following month, the Organization of American States (OAS) lifted its suspension on Honduras's participation, a moment of profound symbolic and practical significance and a diplomatic objective that the United States and other countries in the region had worked long and hard to achieve.
  • Topic: Democratization, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Dominican Republic
  • Author: Michelle A. Lee, Ph.D.
  • Publication Date: 10-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ambassadors Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: “He who can, does. He who cannot, teaches.” Many educators would bristle at least a little bit at this statement, originally penned by George Bernard Shaw in his work, Maxims for Revolutionists. While the divide between practitioners and theorists in various subjects is long-standing, it has never been more apparent in the field of public diplomacy than today. This is partly attributable to the fact that the formal academic study of public diplomacy is a relatively new undertaking. Increasingly in the past decade, academics, independent analysts, councils, and commissions dedicated to US public diplomacy have produced numerous articles, blogs, publications, and reports, often focusing on the weakness of American public diplomacy. Many include recommendations on ways to improve the US government's efforts to engage foreign publics around the world. The extent to which these analyses are read by actual practitioners of public diplomacy is unknown; anecdotally, I venture the guess that few active field practitioners have the time to read much of the published academic literature on the subject of public diplomacy.
  • Topic: Diplomacy
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Dustin Dehez
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Global Analysis
  • Institution: Centre for Strategic Research and Analysis
  • Abstract: Colin Dueck's superbly written history of Republican American presidents since the end of World War II is a fine introduction to American conservatism and American presidential politics alike. Most historians and political scientists focus their attention on a single administration and try to describe changes within a single or between two or three consecutive administrations. That is quite fine of course, but what is often missing is the evolution in a particular brand of a political party's approach to a specific area over a prolonged period of time, a longue durée so to speak. This lack of attention to changes in the long run has contributed to the misperception that there is one Republican or Democratic angle to foreign affairs. Dueck therefore tries to complement the history by focusing on the evolution of Republican foreign policy over the past six decades and though the book's title suggests a consistent Republican approach to foreign affairs, he excels in describing the different angles by which American Republican presidents have perceived international relations and formulated their policies. The author does not hide his general sympathy for a conservative stance on foreign policy but manages a critical evaluation where it is being called for. The book's narrative does not necessarily add anything new to the existing body of research, but it is, nonetheless, a rather apt description of American conservative thought and Republican politics alike. Dueck brilliantly conflates the recent history of political thought, the emergence of new and powerful lobbies, party and domestic politics, and public diplomacy with the performance of Republican presidents. And wherever convenient Dueck pays sufficient attention to developments on the side of the Democratic party as well.
  • Topic: Development
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Michele Dunne, Uri Dadush
  • Publication Date: 10-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The Arab countries straddle the lifelines of world trade. They link Europe to Asia and, with Iran, surround the Persian Gulf home to some 54 percent of global oil reserves. The region's many international and domestic disputes, as well as restraints on political expression and human rights, have spawned extremism. In turn, the region's endemic instability or perceived risk of instability has provided cover for some of the world's most authoritarian and corrupt regimes. Until the turn of this year, the Arab countries had almost uniformly resisted the process of democratization that swept up other regions in recent decade.
  • Political Geography: America, Europe, Iran, Asia, Arabia
  • Author: Anthony DePalma
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Human Rights
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Brazil
  • Author: Ilan Berman
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Journal of International Security Affairs
  • Institution: Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs
  • Abstract: Ten years ago this Fall, al-Qaeda carried out the most devastating attacks on the U.S. homeland in our country's history. That brazen attack propelled the United States—and the world—into a qualitatively new kind of global conflict. Ten years on, the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks provides the opportunity to reflect upon where we are in this effort. To do so, The Journal convened a symposium of seventeen of the country's premier counterterrorism specialists. These experts—drawn from Congress, the U.S. military and the Beltway policy community—have shared their unique insights into how far we have come in the past decade in our struggle against terrorism, and how far the United States and its allies still need to go. From there, we turn to the other pressing topic of the day: the so-called “Arab Spring.” The past half-year has seen unprecedented change sweep over the Middle East and North Africa. Long-standing regimes in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya have fallen. Others (such as Syria) continue to struggle against widespread domestic discontent. Still others—Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Jordan and beyond—have felt their fair share of grassroots ferment. What does this geopolitical earthquake augur for the Middle East? What should America's role be in these changes? And how will the region change in the months ahead? We start to answer some of those questions with six cutting-edge articles. Barry Rubin, one of Israel's leading commentators on Mideast affairs, outlines in damning detail the misconceptions that animate the Obama administration's approach to the region—and explains how these flawed ideas have wreaked havoc on America's stature there. Indiana University's Jamsheed Choksy provides a tantalizing glimpse into the high-stakes political conflict now taking place between Iran's firebrand president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and the country's entrenched clerical elite. Brent Talbot of the U.S. Air Force Academy then examines Israel's strategic options for dealing with Iran's persistent nuclear program, and argues that the Israeli government is likely to take decisive action in the not-too-distant future. The Henry Jackson Society's Julia Pettengill and Houriya Ahmed sketch the motivations behind—and implications of—the attempted “unity” deal between the Hamas movement and the Fatah faction of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. Robert Freedman of Baltimore Hebrew University and Johns Hopkins University outlines how the Russian government of Dmitry Medvedev and Vladimir Putin has attempted to weather the changes taking place in the region so far. And Daniel Jackman and Daniel Wagner, two geopolitical risk experts with the consulting firm Country Risk Solutions, provide a masterful tour d'horizon of the economic and social ferment that has accompanied the region's revolutions. Also in this issue, we're delighted to have as our “Perspective” interviewee former Treasury Under Secretary Stuart Levey—who, as the U.S. government's long-standing point man on sanctions against Iran and al-Qaeda, spearheaded the “financial front” of the War on Terror for much of that conflict. We also have Dispatches from Russia, Belarus and Jordan, as well as book reviews covering U.S. and Israeli counterterrorism efforts, Pakistan's duplicitous relationship with radical Islam, and the high cost of terrorism on Israel and the Jews. Over the years, our readers have come to rely on The Journal as a leading source of cutting-edge analysis of the trends, developments and policies that shape our world. The contents of this issue are but the latest proof we live up to that promise.
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, United States, America, Middle East, Israel, North Africa, Syria, Jordan
  • Author: The Hon. Patrick Meehan
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Journal of International Security Affairs
  • Institution: Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, America, Middle East, Yemen, Latin America
  • Author: Matthew Levitt
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Journal of International Security Affairs
  • Institution: Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Afghanistan, New York, America
  • Author: Benjamin A. Valentino
  • Publication Date: 11-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: As forces fighting Libyan leader Muammar al-Qaddafi consolidated control of Tripoli in the last days of August 2011, many pundits began speaking of a victory not just for the rebels but also for the idea of humanitarian intervention. In Libya, advocates of intervention argued, U.S. President Barack Obama had found the formula for success: broad regional and international support, genuine burden sharing with allies, and a capable local fighting force to wage the war on the ground. Some even heralded the intervention as a sign of an emerging Obama doctrine. It is clearly too soon for this kind of triumphalism, since the final balance of the Libyan intervention has yet to be tallied. The country could still fall into civil war, and the new Libyan government could turn out to be little better than the last. As of this writing, troubling signs of infighting among the rebel ranks had begun to emerge, along with credible reports of serious human rights abuses by rebel forces. Yet even if the intervention does ultimately give birth to a stable and prosperous democracy, this outcome will not prove that intervention was the right choice in Libya or that similar interventions should be attempted elsewhere. To establish that requires comparing the full costs of intervention with its benefits and asking whether those benefits could be achieved at a lower cost. The evidence from the last two decades is not promising on this score. Although humanitarian intervention has undoubtedly saved lives, Americans have seriously underappreciated the moral, political, and economic price involved. This does not mean that the United States should stop trying to promote its values abroad, even when its national security is not at risk. It just needs a different strategy. Washington should replace its focus on military intervention with a humanitarian foreign policy centered on saving lives by funding public health programs in the developing world, aiding victims of natural disasters, and assisting refugees fleeing violent conflict. Abandoning humanitarian intervention in most cases would not mean leaving victims of genocide and repression to their fate. Indeed, such a strategy could actually save far more people, at a far lower price.
  • Topic: Security, Government, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: America, Washington, Libya
  • Author: Robert Z. Lawrence, Richard Katz, Michael Spence
  • Publication Date: 11-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: TROUBLE ON THE HOME FRONT Richard Katz A decade ago, the great American jobs train fell off its tracks. Traditionally, boosts in private-sector employment have accompanied recoveries from economic downturns. In the first seven years after the beginning of the 1980 and 1990 recessions, for example, the number of private-sector jobs increased by 14 percent. Yet in January 2008, seven years after the previous pre-recession peak and before the most recent recession began, private-sector jobs were up only four percent. Today, for the first time in the postwar era, there are fewer of these jobs than there were ten years before. Ignoring the overall dearth of jobs, Michael Spence (“The Impact of Globalization on Income and Unemployment,” July/August 2011) singles out the fraction of employment in sectors related to trade. He claims that China and other developing countries have taken U.S. jobs and blames globalization for the substantial increase in income inequality across the country. It is misleading, he says, to argue that “the most important forces operating on the structure of the U.S. economy are internal, not external.” He is wrong: the fault lies not in China or South Korea but at home.
  • Topic: Globalization
  • Political Geography: China, America, South Korea
  • Author: Travis Sharp, Matthew Irvine
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Journal of International Security Affairs
  • Institution: Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs
  • Abstract: Dana Priest and William Arkin's misguided quest to stop “secret America”
  • Topic: Terrorism
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Craig Biddle
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Objective Standard
  • Institution: The Objective Standard
  • Abstract: Now that the 2012 GOP presidential nominee is almost certain to be either Mitt Romney or Newt Gingrich (who, in terms of policy and lack of principle, are practically indistinguishable), many on the right are turning their attention to the 2012 Senate races. And they are wise to do so. In the 2010 midterm elections, Republicans gained control of the House but failed to secure a majority in the Senate, leaving Democrats with 53 of 100 seats. Of the 33 Senate seats up for election in 2012, 21 are held by Democrats, 2 by independents. Republicans are likely to retain control of the House, and if they manage to gain control of the Senate as well, they will have the opportunity to repeal Obama Care, Dodd-Frank, and other disastrous laws and regulations, and to begin cutting federal spending. These are crucial short-term goals. But if we want to return America to the free republic it is supposed to be, we must do more than campaign and vote for Republicans. We must embrace and advocate the only principle that can unify our political efforts and ground them in moral fact. That principle pertains to the purpose of government. Government is an institution with a legal monopoly on the use of physical force in a given geographic area. What is the proper purpose of such an institution? Why, morally speaking, do we need it? The proper purpose of government is, as the Founding Fathers recognized, to protect people's inalienable rights to life, liberty, property, and the pursuit of happiness. Government fulfills this vital function, as Ayn Rand put it, by banning the use of physical force from social relationships and by using force only in retaliation and only against those who initiate its use. Insofar as an individual respects rights—that is, insofar as he refrains from assault, robbery, rape, fraud, extortion, and the like—a proper government leaves him fully free to act on his own judgment and to keep and use the product of his effort. Insofar as an individual violates rights—whether by direct force (e.g., assault) or indirect force (e.g., fraud)—a proper government employs the police and courts as necessary to stop him, to seek restitution for his victims, and/or to punish him. Likewise for international relations: So long as a foreign country refrains from using (or calling for) physical force against our citizens, our government properly leaves that country alone. But if a foreign country (or gang) attacks or calls for others to attack us, our government properly employs our military to eliminate that threat. As Thomas Jefferson summed up, a proper government “shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government.”In order to begin moving America toward good government, we must explicitly embrace this principle, and we must demand that politicians who want our support explicitly embrace it as well. To do so, however, we must understand what the principle means in practice, especially with respect to major political issues of the day, such as “entitlement” programs, corporate bailouts, “stimulus” packages, and the Islamist assault on America. . . .
  • Topic: Government, Islam
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Ari Armstrong, Diana Hsieh
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Objective Standard
  • Institution: The Objective Standard
  • Abstract: Surveys the expanding efforts to outlaw abortion in America, examines the facts that give rise to a woman's right to abortion, and shows why the assault on this right is an assault on all our rights
  • Topic: Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: C.A. Wolski
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Objective Standard
  • Institution: The Objective Standard
  • Abstract: Only a handful of fictional films-among them, To Kill a Mockingbird and In the Heat of the Night-have successfully addressed the ugly realities of racism in 20th-century America in compelling, dramatic ways. Tate Taylor's The Help can be added to this list. Set in the deeply segregated Mississippi of 1963, The Help is, on one level, about a young, privileged white woman's attempts to become a professional writer. Skeeter Phelan, played by Emma Stone, is the daughter of an old, wealthy, socially connected white family in Jackson, Mississippi. After graduating from Ole Miss with an English degree, Skeeter has come home, hoping to pursue her dream of writing literature, taking her first step by writing the housekeeping column for the local paper. Skeeter's career choice is diametrically opposed to those of her lifelong friends and the rest of the Junior League who, at twenty-three, have already settled down and begun having babies. Led by Hilly Holbrook (Bryce Dallas Howard), these would-be Scarlett O'Haras are supported by "the help" of the title, black housekeepers who do the cleaning, shopping, cooking, and, most critically, raising generation after generation of white children, yet are not even allowed to use their employers' bathrooms. While writing her column, Skeeter seeks the assistance of Abileen Clark (Viola Davis), the black maid of one of her friends. In so doing, she sees for the first time the ugliness that underlies the system in which she has lived her entire life. Here the story turns to deeper matters and the theme of independence versus conformity. . . .
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Michael |A. LaFerrara
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Objective Standard
  • Institution: The Objective Standard
  • Abstract: New York: Crown Forum, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, a division of Random House, Inc. 247 pp. $24.99 (hardcover). Reviewed by Michael A. LaFerrara While working on the 2004 Bush-Cheney reelection campaign team, Fox News contributor Margaret Hoover came to a stark realization: On gay rights, reproductive freedom, immigration, and environmentalism, the Republican party “was falling seriously out of step with a rising generation of Americans . . . the 'millennials'” (pp. ix, x). “[B]orn roughly between the years 1980 and 1999 [and] 50 million strong,” this rising new voter block, says Hoover, has “yet to solidly commit to a political party” and thus could hold the key to the GOP's electoral future (p. xi). Hoover looks back for comparison to 1980, when Ronald Reagan fused a coalition of diverse conservative “tribes” around a central theme: anticommunism (p. 25). If the millennials, who “demonstrate decidedly conservative tendencies” (p. xii), could be united with today's conservatives under “a new kind of fusionism” (p. 41), the Republican party would be on its way to majority status, she holds. Hoover sees differences among conservatives and divides the “organized modern conservative coalition in America” (p. 28) into three main categories: economic libertarians and fiscal conservatives led by three “leading lights” who “were . . . not populists [nor] self-described conservatives,” but “thinkers”—Friedrich von Hayek, Milton Friedman, and Ayn Rand. social conservatives, traditionalists, and the “Religious Right” led early on by Russell Kirk, Richard Weaver, and Robert Novak, and later by Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, James Dobson, and Phyllis Schlafly. anticommunists and paleocons led by Whittaker Chambers, John Chamberlain, James Burnham, and Pat Buchanan. According to Hoover, these three factions have formed the core of the movement that began with the publication of the National Review in November 1955 (p. 28) and have since been joined by neocons (p. 35), Rush Limbaugh's “Dittoheads,” Sarah Palin's “Mama Grizzlies,” the Tea Party uprising (pp. 36–37), and the “Crunchy Cons” and “enviro-cons” (p. 37). Hoover's hope is to find common ground between these conservatives and the millennials. . . .
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Joshua Lipana
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Objective Standard
  • Institution: The Objective Standard
  • Abstract: Nashville: WND Books, 2004. 240 pp. $17.99 (hardcover). Reviewed by Joshua Lipana For the purpose of “helping” the disabled, President George H. W. Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act into law in 1990. In Disabling America, Greg Perry tells us that the “ADA infiltrates the lives of average Americans in ways far beyond what we usually think—wheelchair signs in parking lots and grab bars in public restrooms” (p. 2). And as the book shows, the ADA affects virtually everything in the private sector. Perry, a successful writer and businessman who was born with one leg and only three fingers, explains in chapter 1, “Compassion or Coercion,” why he believes the ADA is immoral. He compares a situation in which a person voluntarily helps an elderly lady cross a street with a situation in which the government forces you to help the lady to cross the street. In the guise of compassion, we get state coercion. With a legal gun to your head, the government now states that you will be compassionate to the disabled and you must implement that commission exactly [how] the government spells out that you are to do so. Such force is cruel to both the disabled and the non-disabled. (p. 3) Perry moves on to show the damage that government intervention in the name of the disabled has done to businesses, including forcing some to close down. He reports on how business owners have had to spend hundreds of thousands—in some cases millions—of dollars fighting baseless lawsuits and complying with ADA standards, and how their overall freedom has been diminished. . . .
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Loribeth Kowalski
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Objective Standard
  • Institution: The Objective Standard
  • Abstract: Cato Institute, 2010. 376 pp. $25.95 (hardcover). Reviewed by Loribeth Kowalski Parents in America typically tell their children that they can be anything they want to be when they grow up, and children tend to believe it and explore the countless possibilities. I recall my own childhood aspirations: imagining myself as an archaeologist, wearing a khaki hat and digging in the desert sun; as a veterinarian, talking to the animals like Dr. Doolittle; as a writer, alone at my desk, fingers poised over a typewriter keyboard. Recently I found an old note in a drawer. It said, “When I grow up, I want to be a doctor. I want to save people. When I grow up, I WILL be a doctor.” Underneath my signature I had written “age 10.” Unfortunately, in today's America, a child cannot be whatever he wants to be. Leave aside for the time being the difficulties involved in entering a profession such as medicine. Consider the more man-on-the-street jobs through which millions of Americans seek to earn a living, support their families, and better themselves. Suppose a person wants to drive a taxi in New York City. To do so, he will first have to come up with a million dollars to buy a “medallion.” If he wants to create and sell flower arrangements, and lives in Louisiana, he'll have to pass a “highly subjective, State-mandated licensing exam.” If he wants to sell tacos or the like from a “food truck,” and lives in Chicago, he had better keep his business away from competing restaurants, or else face a ticket and fine. And a child doesn't have to wait until he's an adult to directly experience such limitations on his freedom. Last summer, authorities in various states shut down children's lemonade stands because they didn't have vending permits or meet other local regulations. In today's America, it is increasingly difficult to enter various professions, near impossible to enter some, and, whatever one's profession, it is likely saddled with regulations that severely limit the ways in which one can produce and trade. Timothy Sandefur explores and explains these developments in The Right to Earn a Living: Economic Freedom and the Law. Sandefur addresses this subject in the most comprehensive manner I've seen, surveying the history of economic liberty from 17th-century England through the Progressive era in America and up to the present day. He shows how the freedom to earn a living has been eroded in multiple ways throughout the legal system, from unreasonable rules, to licensing schemes, to limitations on advertising, to restrictions on contracts. In The Right to Earn a Living, we see how these and other factors combine to create a system in which it is more and more difficult to support oneself and one's family in the manner one chooses.
  • Topic: Development, Economics
  • Political Geography: New York, America
  • Author: Ari Armstrong
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Objective Standard
  • Institution: The Objective Standard
  • Abstract: New Brunswick: Transaction Publishers, 2012. 180 pp. $34.95 (hardcover). Reviewed by Ari Armstrong How often does an author defend the right of citizens to own guns and the right of homosexuals to marry—in the same book chapter? In his new book Capitalist Solutions, Andrew Bernstein applies the principle of individual rights not only to “social” issues such as gun rights and gay marriage but also to economic matters such as health care and education and to the threat of Islamic totalitarianism. Bernstein augments his philosophical discussions with a wide range of facts from history, economics, and science. The release of Capitalist Solutions could not have been timed more perfectly: It coincides with the rise of the “Occupy Wall Street” movement that focuses on “corporate greed” and the alleged evils of income inequality. Whereas many “Occupiers” call for more government involvement in various areas of the economy—including welfare support and subsidies for mortgages and student loans—Bernstein argues forcefully that government interference in the market caused today's economic problems and that capitalism is the solution. The introductory essay reviews Ayn Rand's basic philosophical theories, with an emphasis on her ethics of egoism and her politics of individual rights. Bernstein harkens back to this philosophical foundation throughout his book, applying it to the issues of the day. . . .
  • Topic: Economics, Education, Health
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Daniel Wahl
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Objective Standard
  • Institution: The Objective Standard
  • Abstract: New York: McGraw-Hill, 2011. 237 pp. $20 (Kindle edition). Reviewed by Daniel Wahl Already battered by slowing automobile sales due to the 2008 recession, Toyota faced a second crisis: claims that its management had put short-term profits ahead of their customers' safety. With commentators in the United States harshly criticizing the Japanese car manufacturer, Jeffrey K. Liker felt compelled to rise to Toyota's defense. Liker is the author of six books on the company, including the international best seller The Toyota Way, which shows readers the principles and operations that enabled Toyota to become both highly regarded by its customers and one of the most consistently profitable companies ever. In short, Liker knows Toyota more intimately than most, and the claims he was hearing in 2009 didn't correspond to that knowledge. But before he rushed to defend the company, Liker paused. A friend reminded him that blindly defending the company wasn't “the Toyota way,” and he had to agree. The Toyota Way demands that any problem be thoroughly investigated before any conclusions are reached. It demands that problem solvers “go and see” the problem firsthand and not rely on abstract, thirdhand reports. It demands thoughtful and critical reflection to find root causes and develop effective solutions. Most of all, it demands that every team member openly bring problems to the surface and work to continuously improve what is within their control. I wasn't doing any of these things. Whether Toyota was living up to its principles or not, I wasn't. (loc 165) So Liker set aside his defense of Toyota and set out to investigate what happened at Toyota during these crises; Toyota Under Fire: Lessons for Turning Crisis into Opportunity presents his findings. Together, Liker and coauthor Timothy N. Ogden went to plants across America and Japan to see whether Toyota was still the same company that Liker profiled in his earlier books—a company living up to its principles. As it turned out, Liker was glad he paused.
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, New York, America
  • Author: Craig Biddle
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Objective Standard
  • Institution: The Objective Standard
  • Abstract: Merry Christmas, readers! And welcome to the Winter 2011 issue of The Objective Standard. I'd like to begin by congratulating Antonio Puglielli, the winner of the second annual TOS essay contest. Mr. Puglielli's entry, “'Dog Benefits Dog': The Harmony of Rational Men's Interests,” won him $2,000 and publication of his essay in TOS (see p. 67). Second place went to Caleb Nelson (winning $700) and third place to Deborah B. Sloan (winning $300). Congratulations to Mr. Nelson and Ms. Sloan, as well! As Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich vie for the GOP presidential nomination, and as Republicans marshal efforts to secure as many Senate seats as possible, advocates of liberty need to keep an eye on the one principle that unifies our political goals and grounds them in moral fact. In “The American Right, the Purpose of Government, and the Future of Liberty,” I identify that principle and discuss its application to issues of the day, including “entitlement” spending, corporate bailouts, and the Islamist threat. If you wonder which side of the abortion debate has the facts straight—or why the issue should matter to anyone other than pregnant women—you will find answers in “The Assault on Abortion Rights Undermines All Our Liberties,” by Diana Hsieh and Ari Armstrong. And if you already know the answers, I think you'll agree that this is the article to circulate on this matter. You may think that Steve Jobs was an impatient man, and you may know of evidence to support that idea, but in Daniel Wahl's “The Patience of Jobs,” you'll discover that Jobs, once again, breaks the mold. He was not patient, yet he was. How can that be? (Hint: The answer has nothing to do with Buddhism.) Get ready to fall in love with Linda Mann's still lifes and her manner of discussing them. Why do they grab your attention? Why do they hold it? Why are they so fascinating and rich and beautiful? I press Ms. Mann for answers, and she delivers. The interview is accompanied by color images of the paintings discussed. What's so great about the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.? Sanctum sanctorum—it's the holy of holies—says Lee Sandstead, and he has facts and photos to prove it. Chris Wolski reviews the movie The Help, directed by Tate Taylor. And the books reviewed in this issue are: Steve Jobs, by Walter Isaacson (reviewed by Daniel Wahl); This is Herman Cain! My Journey to the White House, by Herman Cain (reviewed by Gideon Reich); American Individualism—How a New Generation of Conservatives Can Save the Republican Party, by Margaret Hoover (reviewed by Michael A. LaFerrara); Disabling America: The Unintended Consequences of the Government's Protection of the Handicapped, by Greg Perry (reviewed by Joshua Lipana); The Right to Earn a Living: Economic Freedom and the Law, by Timothy Sandefur (reviewed by Loribeth Kowalski); Keynes Hayek: The Clash That Defined Modern Economics, by Nicholas Wapshott (reviewed by Richard M. Salsman); Capitalist Solutions: A Philosophy of American Moral Dilemmas, by Andrew Bernstein (reviewed by Ari Armstrong); Toyota Under Fire: Lessons for Turning Crisis into Opportunity, by Jeffrey K. Liker and Timothy N. Ogden (reviewed by Daniel Wahl); Dare to Stand Alone: The Story of Charles Bradlaugh, Atheist and Republican, by Bryan Niblett (reviewed by Roderick Fitts). This issue of TOS completes our sixth year of moving minds with the ideas on which a culture of reason and freedom depend. Our seventh year will be, as every year is, bigger and better than the last, and we thank you for your continued business and support. We couldn't do what we do without you. Have a joyful Christmas, a happy New Year, and a prosperous 2012. —Craig Biddle
  • Topic: Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: New York, America, Washington
  • Author: Risa Brooks
  • Publication Date: 11-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Are Muslims born or living in the United States increasingly inclined to engage in terrorist attacks within the country's borders? For much of the post-September 11 era, the answer to that question was largely no. Unlike its European counterparts, the United States was viewed as being relatively immune to terrorism committed by its residents and citizens-what is commonly referred to as "homegrown" terrorism-because of the social status and degree of assimilation evinced by American Muslims. In 2006, in the long shadow cast by the Madrid 2004 and London 2005 attacks perpetrated by European homegrown terrorists, there was a perceptible shift in the characterization of the threat posed by American Muslims. Public officials began to speak more regularly and assertively about the potential threat of some Muslims taking up terrorism, elevating it in their discussions alongside threats from foreign operatives and transnational terrorist organizations. By 2009, in part catalyzed by a surge in terrorist-related arrests and concerns that they could portend a growing radicalization of the American Muslim population, policymakers and terrorist analysts seemed increasingly worried about homegrown terrorism. When U.S. Special Forces killed Osama bin Laden in May 2011, some members of Congress and other commentators argued that the threat of homegrown terrorism would become even more important.
  • Topic: Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Europe
  • Author: Cheryl Rubenberg
  • Publication Date: 08-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: America's Misadventures in the Middle East by Chas W. Freeman Jr. Charlottesville, VA: Just World Books, 2010. 221 pages + 3 maps. Glossary to p. 239. $22.95 paper. Reviewed by Cheryl Rubenberg Freeman defines the national interest in terms of four broad categories with subinterests. These broad categories include: (1) access to reliable sources of energy for the United States, and, more important, for the entire global community, which includes “burden sharing,” rather than unilateral U.S. management of the security and exports of the region; (2) securing the State of Israel, “given the prestige we have committed to it,” by achieving acceptance for it in the region, which includes the brokering of mutually respectful arrangements for stable borders between Israel and the Palestinians, peaceful coexistence between Israel and its neighboring states, and Israel's political, economic, and cultural integration into the region (p. 100); (3) unfettered access to the military, commercial, cultural, and religious institutions of the region, involving, among other things, untrammeled and nondiscriminatory access to the holy places in Jerusalem for all Jews, Muslims, and Christians; and (4) the containment of problems that arise in the Middle East in order to maintain stability, involving careful attention to dialogue among faiths, the enlistment of religious authorities in the cause of reasoned compromise, and seeking allies among these authorities who could discredit extremism among their coreligionists (pp. 97–103).
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Middle East, Israel, Palestine
  • Author: Lukáš KANTOR
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Obrana a strategie (Defence Strategy)
  • Institution: University of Defence
  • Abstract: The main aim of this article is to provide a more solid theoretical anchor for numerous past and present debates about the various versions of American missile defence in Europe. The author claims that the neo-realism's concept of alliance security dilemma is the most appropriate framework for Czech, Polish, Romanian, and EU-wide experts'reflections and political decisions regarding the possible accepting of elements of American or NATO missile defence. Under appreciated explanatory power of the concept of the alliance's security dilemma is illustrated in the text on the case of the original Bush's plan of the so-called third pillar in Poland and the Czech Republic.
  • Topic: Security, NATO
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Europe, Poland, Rome, Czech Republic
  • Author: Norton A. Schwartz
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: PRISM
  • Institution: National Defense University Press
  • Abstract: In 2001, the U.S. military, aided by indigenous forces, swiftly toppled a Taliban government responsible for providing sanctuary to al Qaeda. In 2003, the Iraqi military disintegrated in the face of a devastating demonstration of American power that ended the regime of Saddam Hussein. America showcased its unique ability to project power over vast distances to achieve substantial results. Unfortunately, those initial victories were short-lived. As the security situations deteriorated in both Iraq and Afghanistan, the United States became engaged in longer term irregular conflicts. American and allied militaries struggled to adapt their doctrine, training, and technology to counter an elusive foe. While ground forces relearned and incorporated counterinsurgency (COIN) lessons, Airmen explored how airpower's flexibility, responsiveness, and bird's-eye view of the battlefield could respond to those lessons.
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Iraq, America, Taliban
  • Author: James Derleath, Jason Alexander
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: PRISM
  • Institution: National Defense University Press
  • Abstract: The 2002 National Security Strategy of the United States of America led to a number of bureaucratic and policy changes. In 2004, the Department of State established the Office of the Coordinator for Reconstruction and Stabilization (S/CRS). It was charged with coordinating the Nation's postconflict and stabilization efforts. In 2005, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) created an Office of Military Affairs. Its mission was to serve as the agency's focal point for civilian-military planning and interaction with the Department of Defense (DOD) and foreign militaries. On November 28, 2005, DOD published Directive 3000.05, which established stability operations as a core U.S. military mission with the same priority as combat operations. Over the next few years, DOD also issued new military doctrine—Field Manual (FM) 3–24, Counterinsurgency, and FM 3–07, Stability Operations. The latter defines stability operations as the “various military missions, tasks, and activities conducted outside the United States in coordination with other instruments of national power to maintain or reestablish a safe, secure environment, provide essential government services, emergency infrastructure reconstruction, and humanitarian relief.”
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Michael Mazarr
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: PRISM
  • Institution: National Defense University Press
  • Abstract: Gideon Rachman has an intriguing notion. The broad assumptions of most analyses of world politics since 1989—that the major and middle powers of the world are agreed on a set of shared interests, that globalization has created a positive-sum context in which all can benefit at the same time, that a sort of modern alliance of likeminded states opposed to major conflict and other annoyances such as terrorism and environmental degradation will work to preserve stability—may be breaking down. The “international political system has . . . entered a period of dangerous instability and profound change,” he writes, which will fracture the foundations of the positive-sum, like-minded-powers world.
  • Topic: Cold War
  • Political Geography: China, America
  • Author: Pauline Baker
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: PRISM
  • Institution: National Defense University Press
  • Abstract: Imagine a debate erupting in the United States over how much the government should invest in cancer research. (Such a debate might well emerge from the budget cutting that we are going to face over the next few years.) One school of thought argues that we should continue to fund the research generously because men have about a 1 in 2 chance of developing cancer at some point in their lives, and women have a 1 in 3 chance. Impressive statistics, says the other side, but while millions may contract cancer, the actual number of cancer deaths is estimated to be less than 600,000 in 2011. Millions of Americans may suffer and we should make them comfortable, but cancer is not an existential threat to America. We need not continue funding the search for a cure.
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: S. Nikolaev
  • Publication Date: 04-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs: A Russian Journal of World Politics, Diplomacy and International Relations
  • Institution: East View Information Services
  • Abstract: Central Asia has a rich history. At one time, it boasted the Great Silk Road, a major trade route between Europe and China. It was also an arena where Chinese, Mongolian, Persian, Turkish, and Arabian military commanders led their armies in brutal battles, prosperous towns were built and destroyed, and huge empires appeared and disappeared. So researchers have examined this region in the most diverse geographical configurations.
  • Political Geography: China, America, Europe, Central Asia, Turkey, Mongolia, Soviet Union
  • Author: Cawo Abdi
  • Publication Date: 01-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Bildhaan: An International Journal of Somali Studies
  • Institution: Macalester College
  • Abstract: Migration anchors the essence of what it means to be an American. The “imagined community” is made up of individuals, their parents, grandparents or even great-grandparents, who crossed oceans to seek better pastures for their families. In other words, America is synonymous with migration. At its core, it remains characterized by the different waves of immigrants from across the world who, over the last five centuries, sought their fortunes and fates in this beautiful land. However, being an American is also a contested notion, one that over its long history too often failed to measure up to its ideals. The slavery of Africans as well as the brutal treatment and extermination of many Native Americans also anchor the idea of belonging to this nation. From the founding of the nation at the end of the 18th century, cracks and contradictions in its ideals continue to manifest themselves through institutionalized discrimination and the exclusion of certain groups within its diverse population.
  • Political Geography: Africa, America
  • Author: Owen Truesdell
  • Publication Date: 01-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Bildhaan: An International Journal of Somali Studies
  • Institution: Macalester College
  • Abstract: This moment in American history represents a confluence of major national and international events almost unparalleled in modern history. The United States faces two major wars, a massive and seemingly intractable recession that has robbed many of its citizens of their livelihoods and savings, and a sclerotic system of American government that seems to have lost its ability to take on and overcome big challenges for the good of the American people. Internationally, the “Arab Spring” in the Middle East has led to the toppling of feckless dictators and a move toward democracy in Egypt. However, it has also led to the deaths of thousands of civilians, further political repression in certain parts of the region, and a civil war in Libya, which also features military action by NATO and the United States and its Arab and Western allies. This chaotic and troubling time presents numerous challenges for the United States and the world.
  • Topic: NATO
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Middle East, Libya, Arabia, Egypt, Somalia
  • Author: Farhan Hussein
  • Publication Date: 01-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Bildhaan: An International Journal of Somali Studies
  • Institution: Macalester College
  • Abstract: Most of the Somali community in the United Stated came here after civil war broke out in Somalia in 1991. During the war, hundreds of thousands of people fled to neighboring countries where many received resettlement aid from yet other countries, including the United States. The largest Somali community in the United States lives in Minnesota, mainly in the Minneapolis area.
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Somalia