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  • Author: John Feffer
  • Publication Date: 05-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Foreign Policy In Focus
  • Abstract: "I need a little space." When lovers utter these words, it's usually a bad sign for the relationship. They feel suffocated. They're reexamining their commitment. They're checking out other options. But they don't have the courage to make a clean break.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, International Affairs, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: United States, China, North Korea
  • Author: John Feffer
  • Publication Date: 12-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Foreign Policy In Focus
  • Abstract: The latest recruitment brochure from the Central Intelligence Agency, which beckons the uninitiated to be a part of a mission that's larger than all of us, opens to reveal an image of the red-roofed entrance to Beijing's Forbidden City. From an oversized portrait on the ancient wall, Chairman Mao and his Mona Lisa smile behold the vast granite expanse of Tiananmen Square. The Cold War is over, and the Soviet Union is gone. The cloak-and-dagger games of Berlin and Prague have been replaced by business and tourism. But Chinaland of ancient secrets, autocratic leaders, and memories of suppressed uprisingsstill holds out the promise of world-historical struggle that can help the CIA meet its recruitment goals.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Cold War
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Asia, Soviet Union
  • Author: John Feffer
  • Publication Date: 10-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Foreign Policy In Focus
  • Abstract: North Korea's decision to return to the negotiating table is a win-win-win situation, at least temporarily. The United States, China, and even North Korea gain from the announcement. However, the boost given to each country—a modest “October surprise” for the Bush administration, a diplomatic achievement for China, and a stronger negotiating position for North Korea—will not carry over into the negotiations themselves. A decision to talk, after all, does not translate automatically into a decision to compromise.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, Asia
  • Author: Stephen Zunes
  • Publication Date: 09-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Foreign Policy In Focus
  • Abstract: President George W. Bush's address before the United Nations General Assembly on September 19 appeared to be designed for the domestic U.S. audience. Indeed, few of the foreign delegations or international journalists present could take seriously his rhetoric regarding the promotion of democracy in the Middle East, given the reality of U.S. policy in the region.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Democratization, United Nations
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: John Gershman
  • Publication Date: 11-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Foreign Policy In Focus
  • Abstract: President Bush is in Asia this week for a series of meetings, including bilateral meetings in Japan, South Korea, China, and Mongolia and attending the economic leaders meeting of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum. This trip comes on the heels of a disastrous trip by President Bush to Latin America, but there is little sign this trip will do much to rescue the President's sinking foreign policy reputation.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, China, Asia, South Korea
  • Author: R. S. Zaharna
  • Publication Date: 04-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Foreign Policy In Focus
  • Abstract: With the nomination of Karen Hughes as the new undersecretary of state for public diplomacy, the United States has the potential to embark on a new and more effective phase in its communication with the international community, particularly with the Arab and Islamic world. Hughes' close working relationship with President Bush, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, and other advisers in the administration's inner circle qualifies her as a communication heavyweight. If she uses this asset, she can transform the old model of public diplomacy used during the Cold War into a more strategic approach.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Government
  • Political Geography: United States
  • 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: Michelle Ciarrocca
  • Publication Date: 10-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Foreign Policy In Focus
  • Abstract: Under President Clinton, it became U.S. policy to deploy a National Missile Defense (NMD) system "as soon as technologically feasible." However, Clinton's commitment to missile defense was tempered by his pledge to base a deployment decision on four criteria: the overall cost of the program, its technical feasibility, an assessment of the ballistic missile threat facing the United States, and the impact that NMD might have on arms control and arms reduction efforts. In contrast, President Bush has set no criteria to constrain deployment.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Government
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: John Lindsay-Poland
  • Publication Date: 08-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Foreign Policy In Focus
  • Abstract: The United States maintains a complex web of military facilities and functions in Latin America and the Caribbean, what the U.S. Southern Command (known as SouthCom) calls its "theater architecture." U.S. military facilities represent tangible commitments to an ineffective supply-side drug war and to underlying policy priorities, including ensuring access to strategic resources, especially oil.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Government
  • Political Geography: United States, Latin America, Caribbean
  • Author: John Lindsay-Poland
  • Publication Date: 10-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Foreign Policy In Focus
  • Abstract: The United States maintains a complex web of military facilities and functions in Latin America and the Caribbean, what the U.S. Southern Command (known as SouthCom) calls its "theater architecture." U.S. military facilities represent tangible commitments to an ineffective supply-side drug war and to underlying policy priorities, including ensuring access to strategic resources, especially oil. Much of this web is being woven through Plan Colombia, a massive, primarily military program to eradicate coca plants and to combat armed groups (mostly leftist guerrillas of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia). In the last five years, new U.S. bases and military access agreements have proliferated in Latin America, constituting a decentralization of the U.S. military presence in the region. This decentralization is Washington's way of maintaining a broad military foothold while accommodating regional leaders' reluctance to host large U.S. military bases or complexes.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Robert D. Greenberg
  • Publication Date: 04-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Foreign Policy In Focus
  • Abstract: In the first months after the NATO-led Kosovo Force (KFOR) entered Kosovo in June 1999 and the Kosovar Albanian refugees returned to their homes, the minority Serbs and Gypsies became the victims of Albanian revenge attacks. The few Serbs who have remained in Kosovo live in scattered enclaves under the protection of KFOR troops. Nevertheless, sporadic violence has continued to erupt, including the bus bombing in February 2001 killing Serbs heading to a religious event. KFOR has been unable to stop the violence from spilling over Kosovo's borders to Macedonia and to Serbia's Presevo Valley region, which has a sizable ethnic Albanian minority. Meanwhile, Macedonia has closed its border with Kosovo, raising the likelihood of a serious economic crisis in Kosovo that could induce further instability there.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Foreign Policy, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: United States, Eastern Europe, Kosovo, Balkans, Albania
  • Author: Stephen Zunes
  • Publication Date: 02-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Foreign Policy In Focus
  • Abstract: There is a widespread assumption that resolution of the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians is extremely complex and that the U.S. has been and still is the best hope for peace. The reality, however, is just the opposite.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Foreign Policy, International Law, Peace Studies, United Nations
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Israel, Palestine
  • Author: Stephen Zunes
  • Publication Date: 01-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Foreign Policy In Focus
  • Abstract: Ten years after the Gulf War, U.S. policy toward Iraq continues to suffer from an overreliance on military solutions, an abuse of the United Nations and international law, and a disregard for the human suffering resulting from sanctions. Furthermore, Washington's actions have failed to dislodge Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein from power.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Arms Control and Proliferation
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Middle East
  • Author: Lynn Fredriksson
  • Publication Date: 12-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Foreign Policy In Focus
  • Abstract: The half-island nation of East Timor was a colony of Portugal for some 450 years. After the Portuguese dictatorship fell in April 1974, the Indonesian government began to intervene in the decolonization process. When it became clear that it had little political support in East Timor, the Indonesian regime launched a military offensive from West Timor and fomented a civil war in the summer of 1975.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, Human Rights, Sovereignty
  • Political Geography: United States, Southeast Asia
  • Author: John Feffer
  • Publication Date: 12-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Foreign Policy In Focus
  • Abstract: It was a striking juxtaposition, U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and North Korean leader Kim Jong Il sitting side by side at a display of mass gymnastics in Pyongyang this last October. “Spectacular and amazing,” Albright called the coordinated movements of the 100,000 performers. When a picture of the August 1998 Taepodong rocket launch was displayed, Kim Jong Il confided that it would be his country's first and last such launch. The North Korean leader was a man with whom she could do business, Albright concluded at the end of her visit. The U.S. and North Korea, technically at war for over fifty years, had never before been on quite such cordial speaking terms.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Arms Control and Proliferation, Peace Studies
  • Political Geography: United States, Israel, North Korea, Korean Peninsula, Pyongyang
  • Author: Dan Connell
  • Publication Date: 11-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Foreign Policy In Focus
  • Abstract: Some two million Sudanese—nearly 8% of the country's population—have lost their lives to war or famine-related causes since 1983, when fighting resumed in Africa's longest running civil war. Millions more have been displaced, many fleeing to neighboring states. Despite competing peace initiatives on the table today, there is no end in sight to the conflict. Instead, the prospects are for intensified combat as the war spreads to new areas of the country.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Foreign Policy, Ethnic Conflict, Migration
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, Sudan
  • Author: George Ann Potter, Linda Farthing
  • Publication Date: 10-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Foreign Policy In Focus
  • Abstract: In September 2000, Bolivia, South America's poorest country, was rocked by a series of civilian protests, including roadblocks throughout the country. Unionists, teachers, peasant coca farmers, and others have demanded that the Bolivian and U.S. governments stop trying to completely eradicate coca growing and cease construction of three new military bases in the Chapare region. Among the other demands, protesters also want the government to improve alternative development programs in the coca growing region. In mid-October, the two sides reached a 19-point “truce”, but protesters vowed to reinstate the roadblocks in 30 days if the government did not adhere to the the agreement.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Democratization, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: United States, South America, Latin America, Bolivia
  • Author: Abigail Abrash
  • Publication Date: 10-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Foreign Policy In Focus
  • Abstract: Papua is a leading example of a failed decolonization process. Indonesian integration-cum-colonization of Papua—implemented with U.S. complicity—has amounted to an undeclared war against the indigenous population. Indonesia's military buildup and East Timor-style militia activities threaten to destabilize Papua and the region.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Environment, Ethnic Conflict, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: United States, Southeast Asia, Papua
  • Author: Cynthia Enloe
  • Publication Date: 10-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Foreign Policy In Focus
  • Abstract: Feminist analysis reveals some of the chief causes and costs of militarizing U.S. foreign policies. Civilian policymakers' desire to appear “manly” is a chief reason for the Pentagon's remarkable influence over current U.S. foreign policy. U.S. military policies today marginalize women and entrench the masculinization of political life at home and abroad.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, Gender Issues
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Miriam Young
  • Publication Date: 10-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Foreign Policy In Focus
  • Abstract: Sri Lanka's troubles are rooted in the practices of its former colonial power and in unaddressed political and economic grievances following independence. This is a war that takes few prisoners; both parties practice blatant disregard for international humanitarian law, causing ongoing civilian suffering and massive internal displacement. The war has eroded Sri Lanka's social achievements in health and education.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Foreign Policy, Ethnic Conflict, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: United States, South Asia, Sri Lanka
  • Author: Coletta A. Youngers
  • Publication Date: 10-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Foreign Policy In Focus
  • Abstract: Since taking office in 1990, President Fujimori has concentrated power in his own hands, greatly strengthened the role of the armed forces and SIN, and thwarted political opposition through bribery and intimidation. The recent Peruvian elections failed to meet even the most minimal international standards for a free and fair process, and Fujimori embarked upon an unconstitutional third term, which left the country deeply polarized. Fujimori's decision to call for new elections and dismantle SIN is an important step toward putting Peru back on the path to democratization; however, the situation remains very tense and the position of the military and intelligence services uncertain.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Democratization, Government
  • Political Geography: United States, South America, Latin America, Peru
  • Author: Philip S. Robertson
  • Publication Date: 09-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Foreign Policy In Focus
  • Abstract: A world-class human rights abuser, Burma's military junta is condemned both by the UN Human Rights Commission—every year since 1989—and by the International Labor Organization for its systematic use of forced labor. The SPDC continues to refuse to recognize the results of the 1990 elections, won overwhelmingly by the National League for Democracy (NLD), and has imprisoned over 55 NLD parliamentarians. Economic sanctions by the U.S. and other nations continue to pressure the SPDC regime, despite a recent ruling by the Supreme Court overturning the Massachusetts Burma law.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Human Rights, Migration
  • Political Geography: United States, Burma, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Carlos Salinas
  • Publication Date: 03-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Foreign Policy In Focus
  • Abstract: Violence and warfare in Colombia are often blamed on the drug trade, but the roots run much deeper. The overwhelming majority of victims are noncombatant civilians. Since 1987, more than 35,000 noncombatant civilians have been murdered or have “disappeared.” Despite rich natural resources, Colombia's wealth is unevenly distributed, with some sectors of the population in deep misery.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Foreign Policy, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: United States, Colombia, South America, Latin America
  • Author: Stephen Zunes, Tom Barry, Martha Honey, As'ad Abukhalil
  • Publication Date: 02-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Foreign Policy In Focus
  • Abstract: U.S. involvement with Lebanon has extended over several decades. The Middle East was a key battleground during the cold war era, the legacy of which continues to this day. The U.S. sent combat troops into Lebanon in 1958 and again in 1982 to support unpopular right-wing presidents. The U.S. has largely supported Israeli attacks against Lebanon, furthering Lebanese resentment of the U.S. role in the region.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Lebanon
  • Author: Tom Barry, Robert Weissman, Martha Honey
  • Publication Date: 08-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Foreign Policy In Focus
  • Abstract: Africa and the developing world are facing an HIV/AIDS crisis equated by the U.S. surgeon general to the plague that decimated Europe in the fourteenth century. Combinations of available pharmaceuticals-too expensive for nearly all of the infected people in the developing world-could enable many afflicted with HIV/AIDS to live relatively normal lives. Compulsory licensing and parallel importing policies could help developing country governments make essential medicines more affordable to their citizens.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Science and Technology, Third World
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, Europe
  • Author: Tom Barry, Martha Honey
  • Publication Date: 05-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Foreign Policy In Focus
  • Abstract: The Foreign Policy In Focus project functions as a network of foreign policy experts. The following brief, written by one of the project's codirectors, benefits from the expert opinions about the Kosovo crisis from numerous experts and organizations that have contributed to the project's efforts to make the U.S. a more responsible global leader and partner. We see this policy brief as a living document that will be regularly updated and revised as this horrific manifestation of U.S. militarism and global irresponsibility evolves. The policy brief calls for the unconditional halt to this war of terror. Comments appreciated.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Foreign Policy, NATO, Ethnic Conflict, Migration
  • Political Geography: United States, Eastern Europe