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  • Author: I.M. Destler
  • Publication Date: 05-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: As Democrats took over the United States Congress in January 2007, many trade advocates trembled. Over the past decade, votes on trade liberalization had broken increasingly along partisan lines. Trade promotion authority (TPA)—indispensable for negotiating new trade agreements—passed by just one House vote in December 2001, with just 21 out of 210 Democrats in favor. In July 2006 the Central American Free Trade Agreement—Dominican Republic (CAFTA-DR) won by just two votes, with a minuscule 15 of 202 Democrats voting “aye.” By one accounting, voters in November 2006 had replaced 16 trade-friendly House Republicans (and five similar Senate Republicans) with tradeskeptical Democrats. No seats in either house moved in the free trade direction (Evenett and Meier 2006).
  • Topic: Development, Government, International Trade and Finance, Politics
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Roger Noriega
  • Publication Date: 06-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: Not long ago, the governments of the Americas recognized the value of working together to consolidate the historic, promising trend toward democracy. Now, with democracy being dismantled in several nations and being assailed by authoritarian Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez Frías, Latin American countries seem to have abandoned the fraternal ideal of inter-American solidarity. The United States and the Organization of American States (OAS) can both do more to salvage the regional commitment to democracy, but unless Latin American and Caribbean governments are willing to stand together to defend their principles, the end of democratic solidarity is in sight.
  • Topic: Democratization, Political Economy, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Latin America, Caribbean, Venezuela
  • Author: Newt Gingrich
  • Publication Date: 10-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: We meet five years after the initial attack on American soil. However we should note we come together twenty-seven years after what Mark Bowden in Guests of the Ayatollah called “the first battle in America's war with militant Islam”—the seizure of the American embassy and the 444-day hostage taking of fifty-two Americans in total violation of international law.
  • Topic: International Relations, Politics, Terrorism, War
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: John Yoo
  • Publication Date: 09-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: Accusations of imperial ambitions have flooded the political landscape as President George W. Bush has used his executive powers to improve counterterror strategies, but is Congressional anxiety warranted? Or is a stronger executive branch characteristic of an America at war and symbolic of how the Constitution intended presidential power to be employed?
  • Topic: International Relations, Politics, Terrorism, War
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Simon Henderson
  • Publication Date: 09-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On September 20, amid reports of al-Qaeda plots against local American targets, the people of the strategically important but impoverished Arabian Peninsula state of Yemen go to the polls to elect a president. The president will not be new -- the incumbent Ali Abdullah Saleh, who has been in power for twenty-eight years, is expected to be reelected. Apart from last-minute doubts about the poll caused by the security crisis, the main question is how sweeping his victory will be. The last time elections were held, in 1999, President Saleh polled 96 percent, including the vote of his only opponent, a member of his own political party who said he considered Saleh more worthy. This time the field includes four other candidates. Saleh's main rival is Faysal bin Shamlan, a former oil minister who is backed by an alliance of opposition parties and whom Saleh has linked to an arrested "major terrorist."
  • Topic: International Relations, Politics, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: America, Yemen
  • Author: Cindy Williams
  • Publication Date: 06-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: MIT Center for International Studies
  • Abstract: Since September 2001, federal budgets for national security have climbed more than 50 percent in real terms. Unfortunately, much of the added money reflects “business as usual” rather than programs aimed at making the nation safer from today's threats. Compared with past decades, national security spending makes up a relatively small share of the U.S. economy. Nevertheless, with the federal debt growing rapidly and as large numbers of baby boomers approach retirement age, many observers expect future federal budgets to be tight. Thus it is critically important to ensure that national security funds go to projects that make the nation more secure. This article examines broad changes in national security budgets since September 2001. It first reviews the three categories of federal spending for national security. It then examines how budgets in those categories have changed since September 2001. It ends with a look at alternatives that seem more relevant in an era of international mass-casualty terrorism.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: America, North America
  • Author: Moeletsi Mbeki
  • Publication Date: 04-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: Economic growth in Africa, as in the rest of the world, depends on a vibrant private sector. Entrepreneurs in Africa, however, face daunting constraints. They are prevented from creating wealth by predatory political elites that control the state. African political elites use marketing boards and taxation to divert agricultural savings to finance their own consumption and to strengthen the repressive apparatus of the state. Peasants, who constitute the core of the private sector in sub-Saharan Africa, are the biggest losers. In order for Africa to prosper, peasants need to become the real owners of their primary asset—land—over which they currently have no property rights.
  • Topic: Economics, Human Rights, Politics
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Thomas Donnelly
  • Publication Date: 07-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: To those who follow the politics of national security and defense, it came as no surprise recently when Senator Hillary Clinton (N.Y.) put herself in the vanguard of Democrats calling for a substantial increase in the size of the active-duty army. Hillary—the one-named superstar of Democratic politics— actually has been working hard over the past few years to burnish her credentials on these issues, particularly in regard to Iraq. She seems to grasp what many in her party still cannot: in the post-9/11 world, the job of an American president is to be a wartime commander in chief.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Iraq, America
  • Author: Zia Mian
  • Publication Date: 05-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Foreign Policy In Focus
  • Abstract: PNAC is focused on the concern that "American foreign and defense policy is adrift." The group worries that the U.S. may not have what it describes as the "resolve to shape a new century favorable to American principles and interests." Its members seem disappointed in the willingness of Americans to take up the burden of America's role in the world. PNAC's goal, the group says, is to "make the case and rally support for American global leadership.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Robert Vickers
  • Publication Date: 09-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: MIT Center for International Studies
  • Abstract: To most Americans, the prospect of a united Europe has long been viewed not only as a favorable development, but even as an increasingly inevitable one. Our common political, religious and cultural heritage, democratic governments, market economies, and Cold War experiences have all contributed to the perception of Europe as a friend and natural ally of the United States, occasional differences not withstanding. The formation of NATO in 1949 gave a military tone to the developing political alliance between the U.S. and Western Europe, and the beginnings of united Europe in the early 1950s was generally viewed in Washington as a favorable trend that would make Western Europe a stronger economic partner and a stronger ally in the struggle against Soviet Communism.
  • Topic: International Relations, Politics, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Europe, Washington, Soviet Union