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  • Author: Nicolo Sartori
  • Publication Date: 06-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The unconventional oil and gas revolution is certainly a game changer in the current international political setting, since it will bring the United States close to energy self-sufficiency. However, it seems unlikely that this new energy status will dramatically redefine US foreign policy and security priorities. In strategic regions such as the Middle East, US interests are expected to remain unchanged, while the new energy status will contribute only in part to modifying the US approach towards the EU's energy posture vis-à-vis Russia. What the new American energy condition is likely to change are the tools and policy options available to Washington to cope with the strategic challenges - China's power in primis - emerging in the multipolar international relations system.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Washington
  • Author: Shashank Joshi
  • Publication Date: 06-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: For India, the Western drawdown of forces in Afghanistan will represent the greatest adverse structural shift in its security environment for over a decade. Yet, a fundamental congruity of interests between Washington and New Delhi, and opportunities for cooperation, remain.
  • Topic: Security, NATO, Environment
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Washington, India
  • Author: Stephen Blank
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Institution: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The SCO grew out of a Chinese initiative (hence its name) from the late 1990s that brought together all the states that had emerged from the Soviet Union in 1991 and signed bilateral border-delimiting treaties with China: Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan. In 2001, these states and Uzbekistan formally created the SCO. Since then it has added observer states—Mongolia, Afghanistan, India, Iran, and Pakistan—and dialogue partners—Turkey, Belarus, and Sri Lanka. The SCO's original mandate seemingly formulated it as a collective security organization pledged to the defense of any member threatened by secession, terrorism, or extremism—for example, from Islamic militancy. This pre-9/11 threat listing reflected the fact that each member confronted restive Muslim minorities within its own borders. That threat may indeed be what brought them together since China's concern for its territorial integrity in Xinjiang drives its overall Central Asian policy. Thus, the SCO's original charter and mandate formally debarred Central Asian states from helping Uyghur Muslim citizens fight the repression of their Uyghur kinsmen in China. Likewise, the charter formally precludes Russian or Chinese assistance to disaffected minorities in one or more Central Asian states should they launch an insurgency. In practice the SCO has refrained from defense activities and followed an idiosyncratic, even elusive, path; it is an organization that is supposed to be promoting its members' security, yet it is difficult to see what, if anything, it actually does. Officially published accounts are of little help in assessing the SCO since they confine themselves to high-flown, vague language and are short on specifics. We see from members' actual behavior that they primarily rely on bilateral ties with Washington, Beijing, or Moscow, or on other multilateral formations like the Russian-organized Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), itself an organization of questionable effectiveness. Therefore, this essay argues that the SCO is not primarily a security organization. Rather, it provides a platform and regulatory framework for Central Asian nations to engage and cope with China's rise and with Sino-Russian efforts to dominate the area. As such, it is attractive to small nations and neighboring powers but problematic for Russia and the United States. Analyzing the SCO's lack of genuine security provision, its membership expansion considerations, and Russia's decline in power will help clarify the organization's current and future roles.
  • Topic: Security
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Afghanistan, Russia, United States, China, Iran, Washington, Central Asia, India, Shanghai, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Beijing, Tajikistan, Soviet Union, Moscow
  • Author: Anand Menon
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The furore that greeted news that negotiations were to start on a transatlantic free trade agreement revealed not only the potential importance of any putative deal, but also the tendency of Europeans to view international politics almost uniquely in economic terms. This neglect of security and broader geostrategic issues is short-sighted and dangerous. It is precisely the liberal world order in place since the Second World War that has allowed Europeans to develop their economic potential. Leaving it to the United States to preserve that order is an increasingly problematic strategy, with the US ever more reluctant to police the world in the way it once did. The US has, for many years, asked its partners to contribute more to the preservation of common security interests. Given the failure of these attempts to date, it might be time for Washington to resort to tougher tactics in an attempt to entice Europeans out of their geostrategic retirement.
  • Topic: Security, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Washington
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: It has been ten years since the four most powerful players in the Middle East peace process-the United States, the European Union, Russia, and the United Nations-came together under the diplomatic umbrella known as the Quartet. Formed in response to the outbreak of the second intifada in late 2000 and the collapse of peace negotiations a few months later, the Quartet appeared ideally suited for dealing with the seemingly intractable con!ict between Israelis and Palestinians. Its small but powerful membership allowed it to act swiftly and decisively, while its informal structure gave it the !exibility needed to navigate crises and adapt to changing developments on the ground.
  • Topic: Security
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, Washington, Middle East, United Nations
  • Author: Walter Lohman
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Journal of International Security Affairs
  • Institution: Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs
  • Abstract: In the course of two months in the fall of 2011, the President and his administration—particularly the Secretary of State—conducted a political and diplomatic offensive to prove American staying power in Asia. It marked a 180-degree turn from where the White House had begun three years earlier. The fall offensive began with the long-awaited passage of the Korea-U.S. FTA (KORUS), an agreement of major economic importance. After years of accumulated opportunity costs, in October, the administration finally pushed the agreement forward and arranged for South Korean President Lee Myun-bak to be in Washington for the occasion of its passage. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton framed the new approach in her November “America's Pacific Century” speech, wherein she declared the Administration's “Asia Pivot.”1 President Obama gave the approach authority and economic substance at APEC, where the U.S. secured a game-changing commitment from Japan to join the Transpacific Partnership trade pact (TPP). The President then embarked on his third visit to the Asia Pacific. In Australia, he announced new training rotations of up to 2,500 U.S. Marines through Australia's northern shore, a move with obvious implications for the security of our allies and sea lanes, and in Indonesia, he became the first American president to participate in the East Asian Summit (EAS). At the EAS meeting of 18 regional leaders, President Obama raised the importance of maritime security and freedom of navigation and “expressed strong opposition to the threat or use of force by any party to advance its territorial or maritime claims or interfere in legitimate economic activity”—thereby tying American interests to regional concerns about China. For her part, Secretary Clinton headed to Manila to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the U.S.-Philippines Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT)—and then on to America's other treaty ally in Southeast Asia, Thailand. In Manila Bay, she signed a reaffirmation of the U.S.-Philippines MDT on the deck of a U.S. Navy destroyer and essentially declared America ready to “fight” for the Philippines. She also announced the dispatch to Manila of the second (of what will likely be four) refurbished coast guard cutters. En route to Indonesia, President Obama phoned long-suffering Burmese human rights icon Aung San Suu Kyi to get her blessing for a Burma visit from Secretary Clinton. Clinton arrived in Burma by the end of November, meeting Suu Kyi and the Burmese president and beginning a careful, “action for action” process of normalization that could have major implications for the U.S. strategic position in the region. The Chinese have long taken advantage of Burma's isolation from the U.S. If Burmese political reform proves to be real, it will offer an opportunity for the U.S. to reassert itself there. It will also remove a roadblock in America's relationship with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) with which it has long disagreed on Burma. A democratic Burma would tip the scales in ASEAN—a hodgepodge of governing systems—in favor of democracy, a state of play that improves the sustainability of American engagement.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Japan, America, Washington, Asia, Australia, Korea
  • Author: Jeffrey S. Selinger
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Political Science Quarterly
  • Institution: Academy of Political Science
  • Abstract: Writing in 1813 to his old friend and political adversary Thomas Jefferson, John Adams vividly described the scene in Philadelphia when the French Revolutionary Wars broke out: “You certainly never felt the Terrorism excited by Genêt, in 1793, when ten thousand People in the Streets of Philadelphia, day after day threatened to drag Washington out of his House, and effect a Revolution in the Government, or compell it to declare War in favour of the French Revolution and against England.”1 Adams andWashington had witnessed firsthand this “terrorism” incited by Edmond Genêt, Foreign Minister from France, and it powerfully influenced their appraisal of the risks political parties and other extra-constitutional amalgamations posed to the young Republic. Just a few years after the Genêt Affair, President George Washington issued his often-quoted Farewell Address, in which he admonished the American people to avoid foreign entanglements and be wary of the “baneful effects of the spirit of party.”2 These two recommendations went hand-in-hand: political parties, in Washingtonʼs view, would only continue to polarize a polity divided by foreign war.3 The first President was particularly suspicious of the Jeffersonian Republican Party, which he believed had encouraged Francophile partisans to take up arms in support of the French revolutionary struggle against Britain and other powers.
  • Topic: Security, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Washington, France, England
  • Author: Paul D. Miller
  • Publication Date: 01-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Since 2001, Afghanistan's economy has grown at an impressive rate and major development indicators in the country have improved dramatically. Even security and the rule of law -- long neglected -- are now improving. Washington and its allies could still win in Afghanistan if they are given the time they need.
  • Topic: Security, NATO, Corruption, Law
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Washington
  • Author: Sheldon W. Simon
  • Publication Date: 04-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Both the US and ASEAN expressed dismay at border skirmishes between Thailand and Cambodia around the Preah Vihear temple and two other ancient temples about 160 km to the west. Artillery exchanges and small arms fire call into question the two countries' commitment to the ASEAN rule of the peaceful settlement of disputes among its members. Washington has promised to aid Philippine maritime capabilities to patrol both its South China and Sulu Seas' territorial waters as part of a larger US goal of keeping Asian sea lanes open. New ships and radar installations as well as navy and coast guard training are being provided by the US. In Indonesia, the US embassy inaugurated a new public diplomacy program, @america, an interactive information technology site designed to demonstrate the breadth of American life to Indonesia's tech-savvy young people. Wikileaks releases of US embassy cables published in the Australian press critical of President Yudhoyono caused some tension between Jakarta and Washington. As the current ASEAN chair, Indonesia seemed to follow Secretary of State Clinton's call for an ASEAN role in resolving the South China Sea islands dispute. US relations with Vietnam and Cambodia continue to be strained over human rights concerns. While ASEAN has called for the lifting of economic sanctions on Burma since its recent national election and the release of Aung San Suu Kyi from house arrest, Washington seems in no hurry to follow suit, labeling the election as fatally flawed and noting that political prisoners remain in jail. Finally, the US promised high-level participation in ASEAN-led regional organizations, including the ARF, the ADMM+, APEC, and the EAS.
  • Topic: Security, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: United States, Washington, Indonesia, Vietnam, Philippines, Cambodia, Thailand, South China
  • 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