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  • Author: Michael Mylrea
  • Publication Date: 09-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: al Nakhlah
  • Institution: The Fletcher School, Tufts University
  • Abstract: In an attempt to revive peace talks, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert recently met with Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas at his residence in Jerusalem. Once again, Palestinian and Israeli leaders appear to be at an important crossroads. Is peace on the horizon? Or will violence erupt? Tough questions loom ominously. The complex environment of Middle East diplomacy is like walking a tightrope, where each negotiation rests on a delicate balance between peace and war. As Israel's former Ambassador to the United States and Chief Negotiator to Syria, Itamar Rabinovich has walked this tightrope, negotiating through some of Israel's most challenging times. Former Ambassador Rabinovich sat down with al Nakhlah to shed light on his diplomatic experience, offering important lessons from the past and his unique perspective on the future challenges and opportunities in the Middle East.
  • Topic: International Relations, Diplomacy
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Israel, Palestine
  • Author: Nicholas Szechenyi, Michael J. Green
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Prime Minister Fukuda Yasuo outlined his foreign policy agenda in an address to the Diet, highlighting – as did his predecessors Abe Shinzo and Koizumi Junichiro – the U.S.-Japan alliance and international cooperation as the foundations of Japanese diplomacy. But legislation authorizing Japan's naval refueling mission in the Indian Ocean became a political football in a divided legislature and expired on Nov. 1, forcing Fukuda to draft a new bill and extend the Diet session twice in an attempt to continue Japan's support for the war on terror. Fukuda noted the importance of the bill during a November summit with President Bush in Washington that also covered other issues including the Six-Party Talks and concerns in Japan about a perceived shift in the U.S. position on Japanese citizens abducted by North Korea. Other developments such as a new agreement on host nation support for U.S. forces in Japan and a successful sea-based missile defense test demonstrated forward trajectory for alliance cooperation. Yet the quarter ended with other issues unresolved, namely Japan's suspension of Indian Ocean refueling operations and Pyongyang's failure to come clean on its nuclear programs.
  • Topic: International Relations
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, Washington, India, North Korea, Pyongyang
  • Author: Victor D. Cha
  • Publication Date: 04-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The major event of the first quarter of 2008 was the inauguration of a new government in South Korea. The Lee Myung-bak government offered some initial signals of the types of policies it intends to pursue both on and off the peninsula. While there is much that was accomplished under the Roh Moo-hyun government in U.S.-ROK relations, most experts agree that the overall tone between the new Lee government and the Bush administration will improve considerably. Meanwhile, U.S.-DPRK relations in the context of the Six-Party Talks remain stuck on completing the second phase of the denuclearization agreement, despite some audibles by the U.S. team in conjunction with the Chinese. While we may be in the first quarter of the year, it may be the last quarter for the six-party process absent any progress.
  • Topic: International Relations
  • Political Geography: United States, South Korea, North Korea
  • Author: Ji-Young Lee, David C. Kang
  • Publication Date: 04-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Despite the change in Japanese leadership from hard-liner Abe Shintaro to the more dialogue-oriented Fukuda Yasuo, this quarter's Japan-North Korea relations were largely uneventful and produced little progress. Tokyo criticized Pyongyang for missing the year-end deadline for declaring all its nuclear programs and facilities, urging North Korea to make a “political decision” to fulfill its commitment under the Six-Party Talks agreement. Pyongyang reiterated that Japan should be excluded from the talks, and blamed Japan for the U.S. failure to remove Pyongyang from its list of state sponsors of terror. North Korea asserted that there would be no improvement in their bilateral relations as long as Japan continues to press resolution of the abduction issue on Pyongyang. By mid-March, Tokyo had decided to extend economic sanctions against Pyongyang for another six months after they expire April 13, if the current situation continues with no breakthroughs. Meanwhile, with the change in South Korean leadership from a liberal-minded Roh Moo-hyun to the more conservative Lee Myung-bak, Tokyo exerted diplomatic efforts to bring South Korea closer to Japan by trying to form a united front between Japan, South Korea, and the U.S. against North Korea.
  • Topic: International Relations
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, South Korea, North Korea, Tokyo, Pyongyang
  • Author: Murat Gül
  • Publication Date: 06-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations
  • Institution: Prof. Bulent Aras
  • Abstract: The sudden collapse of the Soviet Union has, on several levels, brought about many novel complexities to world politics. On the global level, the collapse of the Soviet Union ended the bi-polar world politics in the dangerous confrontations between Soviet ideology and power and that of the United States. The impact of the disintegration of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) has been seen at the regional level as well. In particular, Central Asia and Caucasus, Eastern and Central Europe, and Baltic countries have escaped from direct Soviet domination, and so new competitions for domination have arisen. However, the most important and challenging changes have been witnessed at the individual level, insofar as fifteen new independent states have emerged post-collapse. After escaping from the domination of the USSR, these emerging states have been perplexed by the challenges of nationhood, identity politics, and state-building, re-reformulating their economic system, and entering into a global situation as independent but weak states. Thus, the collapse of Pax Sovieticus has raised a series of new foreign and security challenges, posing various obstacles and dilemmas for them.
  • Topic: International Relations
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, Central Asia, Asia, Soviet Union, Azerbaijan
  • Author: Enayatollah Yazdani
  • Publication Date: 06-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations
  • Institution: Prof. Bulent Aras
  • Abstract: US relations with the Islamic world are a part of its international relations that cannot be overlooked. Here the main questions are how America has instituted its policy towards the Muslim world? How has the US global hegemony affected the Islamic World? How US policy towards the Islamic World may be influenced by the radical Islamic movements? And what is the influence of the war in Iraq on perceptions of US relations with the Islamic World? This paper aims to answer these questions.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Islam
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, America, Middle East
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Affairs
  • Institution: The European Institute
  • Abstract: European Affairs traces the path that has brought a new, more statesmanlike tone to Polish foreign policy. As both Warsaw (and Prague) proceed with plans to accept the U.S. missile defense system, Sikorski sets the initiative in broader NATO context.
  • Topic: International Relations, Defense Policy, Government, International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Poland
  • Author: Victor D. Cha
  • Publication Date: 07-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The quarter started off well with the first meeting of Presidents George W. Bush and Lee Myung-bak at Camp David in April. The two leaders emphasized common values and the global scope of the alliance. They reached an agreement to maintain current U.S. troop levels on the Peninsula, which appeared to be an attempt by conservatives in Seoul to reverse the unfortunate trend they saw during the Roh-Rumsfeld era where each side was perceived as whittling away at the foundations of the alliance for disparate reasons. An important but understated accomplishment was Bush's public support of Lee's request to upgrade the ROK's foreign military sales status. Should this request be approved by the Congress, it would amount to a substantial upgrading of the bilateral alliance relationship as it would give Seoul access to a wider range of U.S. military technologies similar to what NATO and other allies like Australia enjoy. Finally, the two governments inked a memorandum of understanding on security improvements necessary to enable the ROK's entry to the U.S. visa waiver program.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Cooperation, Military Affairs
  • Political Geography: United States, South Korea, Korean Peninsula
  • Author: Susan Waltz
  • Publication Date: 06-2007
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: World Policy Institute
  • Abstract: Does United States policy indeed represent the gold standard for export controls on small arms, as often asserted? Recent events suggest that it is time for a fresh look at this common claim.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Relations, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East
  • Author: Angel Rabasa, Cheryl Benar, Lowell H. Schwartz, Peter Sickle
  • Publication Date: 01-2007
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Radical and dogmatic interpretations of Islam have gained ground in recent years in many Muslim societies. Aside from a willingness to resort to violence to compel fellow Muslims to conform to their religious and political views, radicals enjoy two critical advantages over moderate and liberal Muslims. The first is money. Saudi funding for the export of the Wahhabi version of Islam over the last three decades has had the effect, whether intended or not, of promoting the growth of religious extremism throughout the Muslim world. The radicals' second advantage is organization. Radical groups have developed extensive networks over the years, which are themselves embedded in a dense net of international relationships. In this report we describe, first, how network building was actually done during the Cold War—how the United States identified and supported partners and how it attempted to avoid endangering them. Second, we analyze the similarities and the differences between the Cold War environment and today's struggle with radical Islamism and how these similarities and differences affect U.S. efforts to build networks today. Third, we examine current U.S. strategies and programs of engagement with the Muslim world. Finally, informed by the efforts of the Cold War and previous RAND work on the ideological tendencies in the Muslim world, we develop a "road map" for the construction of moderate Muslim networks and institutions. A key finding of this report—which one of our reviewers notes is particularly important—is that the U.S. government and its allies need, but thus far have failed, to develop clear criteria for partnerships with authentic moderates. The net result, already visible, is the discouragement of truly moderate Muslims.
  • Topic: International Relations, Cold War, Islam
  • Political Geography: United States