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  • Author: Matias Spektor
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: Brazilian attitudes toward national sovereignty and non-intervention are in a state of flux. Leaders in Brasília are seeking to actively take part in the current global rethink about the future of humanitarian intervention, and are increasingly willing to deploy men in uniform to distant lands when the lives of civilians are at stake. The change is significant because Brazil has historically championed national sovereignty. Many in Washington DC and in European capitals, however, view this as problematic. The skeptics dismiss Brazil's newly professed commitment to humanitarian intervention as an effort to complicate the ability of the United States and its allies to intervene worldwide on behalf of democracy and human rights. As U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice said in reaction to the attitudes of Brazil and other developing countries to policy toward Libya, Sudan, Côte d'Ivoire, and Syria: “Let me just say, we've learned a lot and, frankly, not all of it encouraging.”
  • Topic: Human Rights, Humanitarian Aid, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Washington, Syria
  • Author: Wendy Cukier
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: With gun violence once again at the top of the U.S. political agenda, the rest of the world waits anxiously for signs that Washington can move beyond the polarizing national debate over gun control and develop even modest improvements to firearms legislation. The issue is particularly sensitive in the Americas, where the trafficking of American guns, both legal and illegal, represents a threat to public safety. The National Rifle Association (NRA) will be at the center of this debate. Though widely considered one of the most powerful lobby groups in the U.S., the NRA's impact on firearms policies extends far beyond U.S. borders.
  • Topic: United Nations
  • Political Geography: United States, Washington, Canada
  • Author: Ned Parker
  • Publication Date: 03-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Nine years after U.S. troops toppled Saddam Hussein and just a few months after the last U.S. soldier left Iraq, the country has become something close to a failed state. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki presides over a system rife with corruption and brutality, in which political leaders use security forces and militias to repress enemies and intimidate the general population. The law exists as a weapon to be wielded against rivals and to hide the misdeeds of allies. The dream of an Iraq governed by elected leaders answerable to the people is rapidly fading away.
  • Topic: Government, United Nations
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Washington
  • Author: Stephen P. Cohen, Sunil Dasgupta
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: With India planning to buy $100 billion worth of new weapons over the next ten years, arms sales may be the best way to revive Washington's relationship with New Delhi, its most important strategic partner in the region.
  • Topic: United Nations
  • Political Geography: Washington, India, New Delhi
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: A1. United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and World Food Program (WFP), Report on the Humanitarian Impact of Israeli-Imposed Restrictions on Access to Land and Sea in the Gaza Strip, Executive Summary, Jerusalem and Gaza, August 2010 (excerpts). A2. International Crisis Group (ICG), Report on Palestinian Security Reform under Occupation, Ramallah, Jerusalem, Washington, Brussels, 7 September 2010 (excerpts). A3. World Bank, "The Underpinnings of the Future Palestinian State: Sustainable Growth and Institutions," Executive Summary, Washington, 21 September 2010. A4. United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), Report by International Fact-Finding Mission to Investigate the Israeli Attacks on the Humanitarian Aid Flotilla Bound for Gaza, Geneva, 27 September 2010 (excerpts). A5. Synod of Middle East Catholic Bishops, Concluding Statement, Vatican City, 24 October 2010 (excerpts).
  • Topic: Humanitarian Aid, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Washington, Israel, Jerusalem, Gaza, Brussels
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: A1. Richard Goldstone, Former Chair of the UN Fact-Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict, "Reconsidering the Goldstone Report on Israel and War Crimes," Washington Post, 1 April 2011. A2. Office of the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, "Palestinian State-Building: A Decisive Period," Brussels, 13 April 2011 (excerpts). A3. Members of the Goldstone-led UN Fact-Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict, Response to Goldstone's Statement "Reconsidering" the Mission's Findings, Guardian, 14 April 2011. A4. Turkish Pres. Abdullah Gül, Op-Ed on the Importance of the Palestine Issue, "The Revolution's Missing Peace," New York Times, 20 April 2011.
  • Topic: United Nations
  • Political Geography: New York, Washington, Gaza, Brussels
  • Author: Graham T. Allison
  • Publication Date: 01-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: The global nuclear order today could be as fragile as the global financial order was two years ago, when conventional wisdom declared it to be sound, stable, and resilient. In the aftermath of the 1962 Cuban missile crisis, a confrontation that he thought had one chance in three of ending in nuclear war, U.S. President John F. Kennedy concluded that the nuclear order of the time posed unacceptable risks to mankind. "I see the possibility in the 1970s of the president of the United States having to face a world in which 15 or 20 or 25 nations may have these weapons," he forecast. "I regard that as the greatest possible danger." Kennedy's estimate reflected the general expectation that as nations acquired the advanced technological capability to build nuclear weapons, they would do so. Although history did not proceed along that trajectory, Kennedy's warning helped awaken the world to the intolerable dangers of unconstrained nuclear proliferation. His conviction spurred a surge of diplomatic initiatives: a hot line between Washington and Moscow, a unilateral moratorium on nuclear testing, a ban on nuclear weapons in outer space. Refusing to accept the future Kennedy had spotlighted, the international community instead negotiated various international constraints, the centerpiece of which was the 1968 Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT). Thanks to the nonproliferation regime, 184 nations, including more than 40 that have the technical ability to build nuclear arsenals, have renounced nuclear weapons. Four decades since the NPT was signed, there are only nine nuclear states. Moreover, for more than 60 years, no nuclear weapon has been used in an attack. In 2004, the secretary-general of the UN created a panel to review future threats to international peace and security. It identified nuclear Armageddon as the prime threat, warning, "We are approaching a point at which the erosion of the nonproliferation regime could become irreversible and result in a cascade of proliferation." Developments since 2004 have only magnified the risks of an irreversible cascade.
  • Topic: United Nations
  • Political Geography: United States, Washington, Moscow
  • Author: Abraham D. Sofaer
  • Publication Date: 01-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: After 9/11, U.S. President George W. Bush announced his determination to do whatever was necessary to prevent future terrorist attacks against the United States. Following the lead of several countries that had recently come to similar conclusions after their own bitter experiences -- including India, Israel, Japan, Russia, Spain, and the United Kingdom -- the United States tightened its immigration laws; increased the protection of its borders, ports, and infrastructure; criminalized providing "material support" for terrorist groups; and tore down the wall between the intelligence agencies and law enforcement agencies, which had crippled counterterrorist efforts for decades. Washington did not authorize preventive detention, as other countries had, but it used other measures to hold persons against whom criminal charges could not be brought -- thereby preventing terrorist attacks. The U.S. government also led or joined various international efforts aimed at warding off new dangers, such as the Proliferation Security Initiative, through which over 70 states cooperate to interdict the movement of nuclear materials across international borders. But the Bush administration's call for preventive action went further: it endorsed using force against states that supported terrorism or failed to prevent it. This was a particularly controversial position, since using (or threatening to use) preventive force across international borders is generally considered to be a violation of international law: the International Court of Justice (ICJ) and most international legal authorities currently construe the United Nations Charter as prohibiting any use of force not sanctioned by the UN Security Council, with the exception of actions taken in self-defense against an actual or imminent state-sponsored "armed attack."
  • Topic: Security, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Japan, United Kingdom, Washington, Israel, Spain
  • Author: Michael J. Green
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The ruling Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) suffered an embarrassing defeat in the July Upper House election less than a year after assuming power. Prime Minister Kan Naoto subsequently took a beating in the polls but managed to withstand a challenge from former DPJ Secretary General Ozawa Ichiro in a party presidential election marked by heated debate over economic policy. Political turmoil did not preclude active diplomacy on the part of Kan‟s government, nor coordination between Washington and Tokyo on a range of bilateral, regional, and global issues including the relocation of Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Futenma on Okinawa; a collision between a Chinese fishing boat and Japanese Coast Guard vessels near the Senkaku Islands; and sanctions on Iran to condemn its nuclear activities. The quarter came to a close with President Obama and Prime Minister Kan taking stock of a rapidly developing bilateral agenda during a brief yet productive meeting on the margins of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York, setting the stage for the president‟s trip to Japan in November.
  • Topic: United Nations
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, Washington, Tokyo
  • Author: Jennifer Welsh
  • Publication Date: 10-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ethics & International Affairs
  • Institution: Carnegie Council
  • Abstract: Responsibility to Protect: The Global Effort to End Mass Atrocities, Alex J. Bellamy (Cambridge: Polity Press, 2009), 249 pp., $70 cloth, $25 paper. The Responsibility to Protect: Ending Mass Atrocity Crimes Once and for All, Gareth Evans (Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution Press, 2008), 349 pp., $37 cloth, $20 paper. Humanitarian Intervention and the Responsibility to Protect: Who Should Intervene?, James Pattison (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010), 284 pp., $95 cloth. In June 2010 intercommunal violence exploded in Kyrgyzstan's southern cities of Osh and Jalalabad, resulting in the dramatic scene of thousands of ethnic Uzbeks fleeing their homes to avoid persecution by groups of ethnic Kyrgyz (allegedly backed by government troops). Reports of arson, rape, and other atrocities were widespread, accompanied by varying accounts of the number of civilians killed.1 The response to the persecution and displacement followed a pattern that we have seen before: calls for urgent international action by nongovernmental organizations, such as Human Rights Watch and the International Crisis Group, followed by a muted response on the part of international organizations (in this case, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe and the United Nations Security Council). While both Russia and the United States were active in supporting efforts to organize humanitarian assistance to those affected by the violence, neither state was prepared to tackle the political and logistical challenge of deploying military forces to the region to protect civilians.
  • Topic: Security, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Washington