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  • Author: Doug Bandow
  • Publication Date: 03-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: As the world becomes a less dangerous place for America, U.S. officials work more desperately to preserve America's pervasive international military presence. This policy is evident in the Philippines, with which Washington recently concluded a Visiting Forces Agreement.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Washington, Asia, Philippines, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Leon Aron
  • Publication Date: 09-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: For almost two centuries—since Alexander Pushkin's masterpieces laid the foundation—Russian literature has persisted in addressing the core issues and dilemmas of human existence, taking humanity's measure, and explaining Russia and Russians to themselves and the world. Even during the Soviet era, when virtually all of Russia's finest writers and poets were exiled, killed, imprisoned, savagely censored, or forbidden to publish, the tradition lived in underground samizdat, manuscripts smuggled abroad, and in the state-run literary magazines of the “liberal” persuasion, especially during political thaws.
  • Topic: Democratization, Economics, Emerging Markets
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia, Soviet Union
  • Author: Leon Aron
  • Publication Date: 01-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: The Berlin Wall fell eleven years ago, and nine years have passed since Boris Yeltsin launched the Russian economic revolution by abolishing state control over prices. Although minuscule in historic terms, the time elapsed still furnishes a wealth of data for a provisional analysis of the key factors that shaped the political, economic, and social character of post-Communist nations. The same structural variables may help gauge the future—at least in the short to medium term.
  • Topic: Democratization, Economics, Emerging Markets
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia, Berlin
  • Author: Sheila Heslin
  • Publication Date: 09-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: In the aftermath of the attacks of September 11, Central Asia has emerged as a key frontline region in the war against Osama bin Laden's terrorism network and his state-sponsor in Afghanistan.
  • Topic: Security, NATO, Arms Control and Proliferation, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Central Asia, Asia
  • Author: Brenda Shaffer
  • Publication Date: 03-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Iranian president Mohammed Khatami will conduct an official visit to Russia on March 11 through March 15. This constitutes the highest-level visit of an Iranian official to Russia since 1989. There could be an intensification of cooperation between Russia and Iran during Khatami's visit — including on arms sales. In addition to military issues, the delineation of borders along the Caspian Sea will be a focus of discussion. Following talks in Moscow, Khatami will visit St. Petersburg and Kazan, the capital of the autonomous Russian republic of Tatarstan.
  • Topic: International Relations, Sovereignty
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Iran, Middle East, Asia, Moscow
  • Author: Mandavi Mehta, Teresita C. Schaffer
  • Publication Date: 12-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The South Asia program has recently concluded a year-long study entitled “Rising India and U.S. Policy Options in Asia” with a final conference that was held on October 15, 2001. The “Rising India” project seeks to analyze aspects of the U.S.-Indian relationship, examine the effectiveness of U.S. diplomatic tools in the context of different growth trends in India, and put U.S. policy toward India within a broader Asian context. This summary reflects the project study, amplified by presentations made at the conference.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, China, South Asia, Asia
  • Author: Mike Smith, Nicholas Khoo
  • Publication Date: 06-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: Since the end of the Second World War, US foreign policy towards the Asia-Pacific has been characterized by the assertion of American dominance. To this end, policy-makers in Washington have adopted a varied policy towards China. From 1950 to 1972, the US pursued a containment policy designed to thwart the revolutionary goals of Maoist foreign policy. Beginning with Nixon's rapprochement with Beijing in 1972, US policy was dramatically altered to meet the overriding goal of deterring the Soviet threat. The US and China actively cooperated to contain Soviet and Vietnamese influence in Northeast and Southeast Asia. The end of the Cold War, preceded shortly before by the Tiananmen massacre, saw another shift in the US position, whereby China was no longer looked upon with favour in Washington. Acting on his presidential campaign promises not to repeat George Bush Senior's policy of 'coddling dictators'in Beijing, President Clinton initially enacted a policy that explicitly linked China's human rights record to the renewal of most favoured- nation trade status with the US. When this linkage failed, a striking policy reversal occurred as the Clinton administration adopted an unrestrained engagement policy in which it eventually underplayed Sino-US differences in the spheres of trade, human rights, and strategic-military ties.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, China, America, Washington, Beijing, Asia
  • Author: Stuart Horsman
  • Publication Date: 01-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: The summer of 2000 witnessed a drought that decimated crops throughout Central Asia. Previously, Kazakhstan's President Nursultan Nazarbayev raised the spectre of water-inspired insecurity in Central Asia, and in March an OSCE delegation visited the Central Asian republics to discuss water management issues.
  • Topic: Security, Environment, Science and Technology
  • Political Geography: Kazakhstan, Asia
  • Author: Terutomo Ozawa
  • Publication Date: 12-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: Just over a decade ago, the phenomenal economic growth of Japan was admired and even feared. It had pursued a successful strategy of industry upgrading to catch up with the West, maximizing bank-based, state-directed financing. Ironically, the very institutional setup that was required for success eventually resulted in a devastating economic downturn. Japan remains languishing in a state of economic stagnation, but that may change: market forces are now driving Japan to carry out major reforms. A market-oriented business environment is crucial, and thus Japan is being propelled toward deregulation and institutional reform. In particular, its traditionally protected, inner-dependent sector must be opened to competition in order to improve efficiency, and obstacles to direct foreign investment must be eliminated. Although the process is a gradual one that has been further hampered by the slump in the U.S. economy, dramatic changes are in motion, creating promising roles and opportunities for foreign investors as well as potential for Japan to realize a new economic vitality.
  • Topic: Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Japan, Asia
  • Author: Arun R. Swamy
  • Publication Date: 10-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: The intensification of a long-standing dispute between India and Pakistan over the state of Kashmir has become the cause of international concern. The stakes for these nuclear-armed rivals are high. Each views Kashmir as the validation of its national ideology; each fears that giving it up will result in serious domestic turmoil. Moreover, each country has plausible legal arguments for its claims along with a long history of grievances. The deep differences over Kashmir that divide the two countries have so far proven intractable, and following September 11 the movement toward confrontation accelerated. There has never been a more urgent need for international attention to Kashmir. While diplomatic engagement seems necessary for a resolution of this dispute, past results indicate that simply pressuring the two sides to talk may be disastrous. In order to avoid such results, any effort to intervene in this dispute must be undertaken with an awareness of how it evolved, why it has been so difficult to resolve, and what kinds of solutions to it might realistically be pursued.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security
  • Political Geography: South Asia, Asia, Kashmir
  • Author: Harry Bhaskara, Gautam Chikermane, Unaloto Ofa Kaukimoce, Amantha R. Perera, Takeshi Yamashina
  • Publication Date: 10-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: Three weeks after the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, D.C., five journalists—from India, Fiji, Japan, Indonesia, and Sri Lanka—visiting the East-West Center on an exchange program accepted an invitation to write about the attacks and "America's War on Terrorism" from the perspective of their own country. Their responses are frank and sometimes anguished. "As global terrorism evolved into a beast out of control, America enjoyed the good life," writes a Sri Lankan. The United States has declared a war on terrorism but, an Indian asks, is it only because now "the grief pours out of American eyes"? In Japan, resentment over America's increasing "unilateralism" coexists with an unprecedented willingness to send troops overseas, says a writer for The Mainichi Newspapers. A Fijian broadcaster notes that calls for international action are accompanied by "unease over violent retaliation." The mixed emotions described by many are dramatically evident in predominantly Muslim Indonesia where, says a newspaper editor, anti-American demonstrations defied President Megawati's assurances of support for the United States.
  • Topic: Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Japan, America, Indonesia, India, Asia, Sri Lanka
  • Author: Sheila A. Smith
  • Publication Date: 09-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: Since the end of the Cold War, U.S. and Japanese policy-makers have successfully reaffirmed the U.S.-Japan security alliance. Yet, even as they have done so, a series of events has revealed a deeper ambivalence in Japan about the terms of the alliance. These events began with the 1995 rape of a school girl in Okinawa by U.S. servicemen, focusing attention on the social costs to residents of hosting U.S. forces. In 1999 came North Korea's launch of a missile over Japan, raising doubts among many Japanese about their alliance partner's ability to protect them. Most recently, the outcome of the 2001 sinking of the Ehime Maru training ship by a U.S. nuclear sub seemed to many to sacrifice Japanese citizens' interests to those of the U.S. military. Taken independently, these developments may seem temporary set-backs to policymakers, but together they suggest that there is increasing impatience among Japan's citizens with the way the alliance is managed. This disconnect between the public and policymakers could, if untended, have serious implications for the U.S.-Japan alliance.
  • Topic: Security, Cold War, Government
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, Asia, North Korea
  • Author: Cynthia Mahmood
  • Publication Date: 10-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Joan B. Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, University of Notre Dame
  • Abstract: Kashmir is one of the conflicts implicated in the current "war" of the U.S. and its allies against certain forms of radical Islam. A long-term solution to the conflict in Kashmir cannot be found without consideration of the wishes of the Kashmiri people. The three-option plebiscite, giving Kashmiris a choice among accession to India, accession to Pakistan, or full sovereignty, is an avenue that must be explored. The United Nations should serve as the organizer of such a plebiscite and should be the ultimate guarantor of its results. Convincing Pakistan and India of the ultimate wisdom of such a course can be part of current negotiations around the events in Afghanistan that now demand our attention.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, United States, Middle East, Asia, Kashmir
  • Publication Date: 10-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxford Analytica
  • Abstract: Pacific Rim leaders on October 21 signed an accord to re-invigorate progress towards free trade and investment in the region. The Shanghai Accord marks the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum's effort to stimulate a flagging liberalisation agenda and to show leadership in promoting regional recovery. However, the accord may exacerbate the risk of further fracturing the diverse grouping. It will be difficult for APEC to move forward on trade liberalisation given that the organisation's own formulation of consensual, unbound liberalisation has proved unsuccessful in periods of economic crisis. The pathfinder initiative may re-energise the process but at the risk of APEC's fragmentation and without addressing the problems of some members' hesitation and lack of political will for domestic structural reform.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Politics
  • Political Geography: Shanghai, Asia
  • Publication Date: 07-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxford Analytica
  • Abstract: India and Iran have proposed the construction of a natural gas pipeline connection. While the project would be a major engineering achievement, the principal challenge will be gaining Islamabad's consent for it to traverse Pakistani territory. Pakistan's parlous relations with Tehran and Delhi, the latter little improved by last weekend's summit, will make this difficult.
  • Topic: Economics, Energy Policy, Politics
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, South Asia, India, Asia
  • Author: Caspar Fithin
  • Publication Date: 05-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxford Analytica
  • Abstract: UN High Commissioner for Refugees Ruud Lubbers yesterday began a visit to western Afghanistan to assess the country's deepening humanitarian crisis. Extreme drought and an intensification of the country's chronic war following a winter lull in fighting are likely to exacerbate famine and displacement of population. However, despite the emergence of a disaster which the international community will find difficult to ignore, UN sanctions against the Taliban, which controls 90% of the country, have done nothing either to curtail the movement's depredations against the population under its control or dampen its enthusiasm for a spring offensive. Peace for Afghanistan remains unrealistic as it enters its ninth year of civil war. Indeed, in the short term the total collapse of the country's agricultural system is likely to produce an influx of new recruits for this cycle of violence. However, evidence of a growing fractiousness within the Taliban could result in an emergence of a more moderate faction amenable both to dialogue with the international community and an accommodation with opposition forces.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Migration, Politics, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Asia
  • Author: Nicholas R. Lardy
  • Publication Date: 05-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: In what has been described as its most important vote this year, the U.S. Congress will soon decide whether to provide permanent normal trade relations to China. A vote is required because, after 14 years of negotiations, China is poised to enter the World Trade Organization (WTO). Assuming China concludes its bilateral negotiations with the European Union by June or July, entry is likely before the end of the year. The cornerstone principle of the World Trade Organization is that members provide each other unconditional Most Favored Nation trade status, now called Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) in U.S. trade law. Current U.S. law precludes granting PNTR to China; as a result President Clinton has asked Congress to amend the law. A negative vote would have no bearing on China's entry into the World Trade Organization, but it would mean that U.S. companies would not benefit from the most important commitments China has made to become a member. Gaining the full range of benefits is particularly important in light of the large and growing deficit the United States faces in its trade with China (Figure 1). A positive vote would give U.S. companies the same advantages that would accrue to companies from Europe, Japan, and all other WTO member states when China enters the World Trade Organization. It would also provide an important boost to China's leadership, that is taking significant economic and political risks in order to meet the demands of the international community for substantial additional economic reforms as a condition for its WTO membership. A positive vote would strengthen bilateral economic relations more generally. That may help place a floor on the broader bilateral relationship, which continues to face critical challenges on security issues, stemming largely from tensions between China and Taiwan, and on human rights issues.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Jon Wolfsthal, Joseph Cirincione
  • Publication Date: 04-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Seven years after President's George Bush and Boris Yelstin signed it, the Russian Duma is on the verge of ratifying the START II arms reduction treaty. The agreement, ratified by the United States Senate on January 26, 1996, would cut the number of U.S. and Russian deployed strategic nuclear weapons to 3,000-3,500.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, Nuclear Weapons
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Doug Bandow
  • Publication Date: 08-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: The recent summit meeting between South Korean president Kim Dae Jung and North Korean leader Kim Jong Il raises the prospect that the Cold War on the Korean Peninsula may at last be coming to an end. Although the latest effort at détente could ultimately abort as did similar initiatives in the 1970s and early 1990s, North Korea's dire economic straits probably leave the Stalinist state little choice this time but to open itself to the outside world and seek trade and investment from its prosperous, democratic South Korean rival.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, Washington, Israel, Asia, South Korea, Latin America, Korean Peninsula
  • Author: Jonathan G. Clarke
  • Publication Date: 10-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: The foreign policy record of the Clinton-Gore administration deserves a less than stellar grade. At the end of the Cold War, there was an extraordinary opportunity to build a new relationship with a democratic Russia; restructure U.S. security policy in both Europe and East Asia to reduce America's burdens and risk exposure; and revisit intractable Cold War–era problems, such as the frosty relations with Cuba, Vietnam, and North Korea. The administration's performance must be judged within the context of such an unprecedented opportunity for constructive change.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, China, Europe, Israel, East Asia, Asia, North Korea, Vietnam