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  • Author: Bennett Ramberg
  • Publication Date: 03-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: As Washington ponders how long to stay in Iraq, it would do well to remember the limited impact of the United States' withdrawal from Vietnam and Cambodia in the 1970s, Lebanon in the 1980s, and Somalia in the 1990s.
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Washington, Vietnam, Cambodia, Lebanon, Somalia
  • Author: Stephen G. Brooks, William C. Wohlforth
  • Publication Date: 03-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: The current architecture of international institutions must be updated, but skeptics question whether the United States is up to the task. They need not worry: Washington still possesses enough power and legitimacy to spearhead reform.
  • Topic: Reform
  • Political Geography: United States, Washington
  • Author: Frank Procida, Peter Huessy
  • Publication Date: 03-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: To the Editor:The shift in U.S. nuclear policy advocated by Ivo Daalder and Jan Lodal ("The Logic of Zero," November/December 2008) might make sense for a number of important reasons -- not least among them safety, cost, and reducing the risk of annihilation through miscalculation. But it would be naive to expect any of the authors' recommendations to alter the decision-making of the rogue states that are currently pursuing nuclear technology. Assuming it were feasible, even the complete elimination of the United States' nuclear arsenal would almost certainly have little positive effect on Tehran's or Pyongyang's proliferation, as the same complex set of internal and external factors now driving their policies would persist, as would their perceived vulnerability to U.S. conventional superiority. The less drastic measures the authors call for, such as Washington's accepting international oversight over its own fissile material, far from enhancing the likelihood of reaching agreements with rogue states, would probably barely register in negotiations.
  • Topic: Security, United Nations
  • Political Geography: United States, Washington, North Korea
  • Author: Amy B. Frumin
  • Publication Date: 03-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Security, Fragile/Failed State, Reform
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Washington
  • Author: Elizabeth C. Economy, Adam Segal
  • Publication Date: 05-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: A heightened bilateral relationship may not be possible for China and the United States, as the two countries have mismatched interests and values. Washington should embrace a more flexible and multilateral approach.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Washington, Israel, Palestine
  • Author: John Newhouse
  • Publication Date: 05-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Lobbies representing foreign interests have an increasingly powerful -- and often harmful -- impact on how the United States formulates its foreign policy, and ultimately hurt U.S. credibility around the world.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Government
  • Political Geography: United States, Washington, Armenia
  • Author: Catherine Bertini, Dan Glickman
  • Publication Date: 05-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Hunger remains one of world's gravest humanitarian problems, but the United States has failed to prioritize food aid and agricultural development. Washington must put agriculture at the center of development aid -- and make it a key part of a new U.S. foreign policy.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, Washington, Asia
  • Author: Andrew F. Krepinevich Jr.
  • Publication Date: 07-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Summary -- The military foundations of U.S. dominance are eroding. In response, Washington should pursue new sources of military advantage and a more modest grand strategy.
  • Topic: Military Strategy
  • Political Geography: United States, Washington
  • Author: Josef Joffe
  • Publication Date: 09-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Every ten years, it is decline time in the United States. In the late 1950s, it was the Sputnik shock, followed by the "missile gap" trumpeted by John F. Kennedy in the 1960 presidential campaign. A decade later, Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger sounded the dirge over bipolarity, predicting a world of five, rather than two, global powers. At the end of the 1970s, Jimmy Carter's "malaise" speech invoked "a crisis of confidence" that struck "at the very heart and soul and spirit of our national will." A decade later, academics such as the Yale historian Paul Kennedy predicted the ruin of the United States, driven by overextension abroad and profligacy at home. The United States was at risk of "imperial overstretch," Kennedy wrote in 1987, arguing that "the sum total of the United States' global interests and obligations is nowadays far larger than the country's power to defend them all simultaneously." But three years later, Washington dispatched 600,000 soldiers to fight the first Iraq war -- without reinstating the draft or raising taxes. The only price of "overstretch" turned out to be the mild recession of 1991. Declinism took a break in the 1990s. The United States was enjoying a nice run after the suicide of the Soviet Union, and Japan, the economic powerhouse of the 1980s, was stuck in its "lost decade" of stagnation and so no longer stirred U.S. paranoia with its takeover of national treasures such as Pebble Beach and Rockefeller Center. The United States had moved into the longest economic expansion in history, which, apart from eight down months in 2001, continued until 2008. "Gloom is the dominant mood in Japan these days," one Asian commentator reported in 1997, whereas "American capitalism is resurgent, confident and brash." That year, the New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman wrote that "the defining feature of world affairs" was "globalization" and that if "you had to design a country best suited to compete in such a world, [it would be] today's America." He concluded on a triumphant note: "Globalization is us."
  • Topic: Globalization
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, Washington
  • Author: Michael Levi
  • Publication Date: 09-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: This December, diplomats from nearly 200 countries will gather in Copenhagen to negotiate a successor to the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, which for the first time bound wealthy countries to specific cuts in greenhouse gas emissions. Most of these emissions come from burning fossil fuels -- coal, oil, and natural gas -- for energy, from deforestation, and from the agricultural sector. They must be cut deeply in the coming decades if the world is to control the risks of dangerous climate change. Most of those devoted to slashing the world's greenhouse gas emissions have placed enormous weight on the Copenhagen conference. Speaking earlier this year about the conference, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon was emphatic: "We must harness the necessary political will to seal the deal on an ambitious new climate agreement in December here in Copenhagen. . . . If we get it wrong we face catastrophic damage to people, to the planet." Hopes are higher than ever for a breakthrough climate deal. For the past eight years, many argued that developing nations reluctant to commit to a new global climate-change deal -- particularly China and India -- were simply hiding behind the United States, whose enthusiastic engagement was all that was needed for a breakthrough. Now the long-awaited shift in U.S. policy has arrived. The Obama administration is taking ambitious steps to limit carbon dioxide emissions at home, and Congress is considering important cap-and-trade and clean-energy legislation. The road to a global treaty that contains the climate problem now appears to be clear. But it is not so simple. The odds of signing a comprehensive treaty in December are vanishingly small. And even reaching such a deal the following year would be an extraordinary challenge, given the domestic political constraints in Washington and in other capitals that make such an agreement difficult to negotiate and ratify. The many government officials and activists seeking to solve the climate problem therefore need to fundamentally rethink their strategy and expectations for the Copenhagen conference.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: United States, Washington