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  • 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: Patrick Clawson
  • Publication Date: 02-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On February 26, U.S. secretary of state Colin Powell begins his tour of Iraq's Arab neighbors just as UN secretary-general Kofi Annan is scheduled to hold discussions with Iraqi foreign minister Mohammad Said al-Sahhaf in New York. Key themes in these meetings will be the return of UN weapons inspectors to Iraq; the future of UN sanctions; the need to prevent Iraqi adventurism, especially into the Arab–Israeli arena; and the larger U.S. goal of "regime change" in Iraq.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, United Nations
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, New York, Middle East, Israel, Arabia
  • Author: Mohamed Abdel-Dayem
  • Publication Date: 02-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Arab reactions to Ariel Sharon's overwhelming victory in the recent Israeli national election were mixed. Some condemned him with a confrontational tone, while some suggested that the election made no difference — that is, that all Israeli leaders have basically the same stance. Several Arab leaders opted to take a "wait and see" approach. An optimistic minority of Arab commentators viewed Sharon's leadership in a positive light. The following is a representative sampling of Arab reactions to Sharon's victory.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Arabia
  • Author: Michael Eisenstadt
  • Publication Date: 02-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Palestinian officials have threatened an intensification of violence, should — as is expected — Ariel Sharon be elected prime minister of Israel tomorrow. The Palestinian leadership that "rewarded" Prime Minister Ehud Barak's diplomatic flexibility with the "al-Aqsa Intifada" thus seems poised to "punish" the Israeli public for electing Sharon with an escalation of the bloodletting. Its goal would be to force Israel to soften its negotiating position, and perhaps provoke a harsh response that would place world opinion — largely unsympathetic to Sharon to begin with — squarely on the Palestinian side.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Ethnic Conflict, Terrorism, War
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Palestine
  • Author: Alan Makovsky
  • Publication Date: 01-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: This is the second of two PolicyWatch articles about Syria, marking the six months since Bashar al-Asad became president on July 17. This article examines the implications of Syria's foreign policy; the previous article (PolicyWatch #512, January 17) looked at the domestic political scene and economic reforms in Syria. For a region used to the late Hafiz al-Asad's stodgy predictability, his son Bashar's six-month-old presidency has displayed a surprisingly active foreign policy, including a willingness to break with the past. However, on issues of greatest importance to the United States — peace with Israel, control over Lebanon, and support for Palestinian terrorist groups — Bashar's regime is mainly a carbon copy of his father's.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Syria
  • Author: Ray Takeyh
  • Publication Date: 01-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: After much experimentation, the Clinton administration settled on a policy of incremental normalization with Iran, whereby the United States and Iran would gradually improve their relations through mutual concessions and confidence-building measures. As the Bush team assesses policy options towards Iran, it is important to note the meager results of the Clinton team's creative efforts.
  • Topic: International Relations, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran, Middle East
  • Author: Patrick Clawson
  • Publication Date: 01-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: While President Bill Clinton is laying out his plans for peace in the Middle East, others are talking about their readiness for war. Iraqi dictator Saddam Husayn's defiant January 6 Army Day speech supporting the Palestinian revolt followed on the December 31 four-hour "Al Aqsa Call" military parade in Baghdad dedicated to the Palestinian cause. By some reports, this parade included hundreds of tanks, dozens of helicopters, new troop-transport trucks, and new short-range missiles — impressive, given that the Iraqi army was assumed to be having problems maintaining its equipment, much less acquiring new systems. One unconfirmed report suggests that elements of the Hamurabi Republican Guard Division would be permanently stationed west of Baghdad on the road to either Syria and Jordan.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, Israel, Syria, Jordan
  • Author: Rovert Satloff
  • Publication Date: 03-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: In the Middle East, this week witnessed a series of events occurring at such breakneck speed that it is important not to lose the significance of each: On Thursday, President Bush issued an unprecedented statement calling on Chairman Yasir Arafat to "stop the violence," a statement that could lay down a marker by which the administration judges the efforts of the Palestinian Authority (PA) and which could determine the direction of the U.S.–Palestinian relationship under the new administration. On Wednesday, Israel's national unity government launched retaliatory attacks against Arafat's personal guard, Force 17, underscoring Israel's intent to hold the chairman personally responsible for the terrorism emanating from within his close circle. On Monday and Tuesday, bombs went off inside the heart of Israel — responsibility for which was claimed by the Iranian-backed Palestinian Islamic Jihad, suggesting that Tehran is eager to tap pro-Hizballah sympathy and compete with the Tanzim and other Fatah elements for the pacesetter's role in the Palestinian uprising. Also on Tuesday, the PA chose an all-or-nothing option at the United Nations, demanding a Security Council vote on a resolution that the United States had no trouble vetoing — one calling for an international protection force for Palestinians — rather than pursuing diplomacy to bring to a vote a watered-down, but still problematic, resolution on which Washington was prepared to compromise. And on Sunday, Israel's Likud-led government issued a communique affirming its intent to seek the full implementation of signed agreements with the Palestinians, specifically citing its willingness to fulfill the requirement for a third "further redeployment" — territorial withdrawal in the West Bank — in the context of full compliance with the Wye River Memorandum. Each of these items alone has significant ramifications for the direction of Arab–Israeli relations, the Palestinian uprising, and U.S. policy toward the peace process. Taken together, they suggest a situation in great flux with emerging trends that are both ominous (e.g., Iran's deepening role) and positive (e.g., Bush's forthrightness on violence, Israel's balance of diplomacy and force).
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, International Organization
  • Political Geography: United States, Washington, Middle East, Israel, Tehran, Palestine, Arab Countries
  • Author: Reuven Paz
  • Publication Date: 03-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: As Arab leaders gather in Amman for the first regular Arab summit in a decade, non-Arab Iran is keenly watching to see whether Arab heads-of-state once again make grandiose promises to support the Palestinians. If Arab leaders fail to deliver on these promises, as has been the case with Arab financial commitments to the Palestinians, it would open the door for Tehran to build on Hizballah's success in Lebanon and to deepen its already worrisome role in the Israeli–Palestinian arena.
  • Topic: International Relations, Ethnic Conflict, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East, Israel, Tehran, Palestine, Arabia, Jerusalem, Lebanon, Beirut
  • Author: David Makovsky
  • Publication Date: 02-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: While the main purpose of Secretary of State Colin Powell's first foray into the Middle East was to discuss Iraq, he also visited Israel and the Palestinian Authority and injected a dose of what some would call "evenhandedness" — giving each both something to be pleased about and something to be unnerved about.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Relations, Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Middle East, Israel, Palestine
  • Author: David Makovsky
  • Publication Date: 02-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: The deadline has now passed for Ehud Barak to step aside in favor of rival Shimon Peres in Israel's prime ministerial face-off next Tuesday, February 6, against Likud leader MK Ariel Sharon. Analysts have already written off this election for Barak, as Sharon's lead in the polls has barely budged from a 16 to 20 point margin over the last two months. Given that Barak won a landslide victory by a 12.1 percent margin less than two years ago, the scope of his probable defeat is striking — perhaps the most lopsided electoral debacle since Menachem Begin's Herut lost to the Labor forerunner Mapai in 1959 by a margin of 24.7 percent. Barak's electoral free-fall is especially remarkable given that his opponent is someone long regarded as unelectable, due to his advanced age, right-wing political views, checkered past, and evident discomfort with the new media age. Nevertheless, Barak has pressed on, insisting that the real campaign has only just begun. His decision to stay in the race has heightened speculation that he may plan on joining a Sharon-led "national unity government," despite carefully worded protestations to the contrary.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel
  • Author: Dore Gold
  • Publication Date: 01-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: February marks ten years since the end of the Gulf War. The situation in the Middle East today is vastly more dangerous than in 1991. The favorable regional conditions in 1991 that allowed the current peace process to begin have been reversed. Three key trends are the following: After Iraq's defeat in the Gulf War, it was placed under UN monitoring and extensive sanctions, thereby removing a major threat from Israel's calculus. Today, the situation is drastically different, with the absence of UN inspections for more than two years and the deterioration of sanctions against Iraq. In 1991, Iran was still recovering from its exhaustive war with Iraq and could not fully participate in regional, specifically Arab–Israeli, affairs. By contrast, Iran is currently testing intermediate-range missiles and is expressing its strategic weight in places like Lebanon, where it has increased its support to Hizballah. In 1991, the USSR was crumbling before its eventual collapse and was no longer in a position to offer strategic and military support to the enemies of Israel, while its successor — the Russian Federation — has more or less acquiesced to U.S. positions on the Middle East. Since 1996, however, Russia has taken a contrary approach to many U.S. policies and leadership in the region, in particular with regard to Iraqi sanctions and weapons inspections and the transfer of missile technology to Iran.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Relations, Foreign Policy, Peace Studies, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Iraq, Middle East, Israel, Arabia, Lebanon
  • Publication Date: 10-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxford Analytica
  • Abstract: This piece focuses on The changing nature of US foreign assistance priorities in the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attacks. There will be broad support for a rapid expansion of foreign aid designed to counter the terrorism threat and to support key coalition partners. Whether that support is sustainable in the future depends, at least in part, on the programme's success in enhancing US 'homeland security'. If the anti-terrorism foreign aid programme is shown to serve US interests, help erode poverty, promote democracy and stabilise the political positions of coalition partners, public opinion may in future support more robust programmes. However, if a large portion of assistance is mismanaged or abused, and/or accountability and impact are marginal, enthusiasm for foreign aid is likely to be undermined still further.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Caspar Fithin
  • Publication Date: 04-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxford Analytica
  • Abstract: Israel last week launched an air raid against a Syrian radar station in Lebanon. The air raid has raised the stakes in the low-level military confrontation between Hizbollah and Israel. It has also exacerbated Lebanese internal divisions and exposed the lack of a national consensus on Hizbollah's cross-border operations. The Israeli raid has set a precedent and raised the stakes in Tel Aviv's confrontation with Hizbollah along the Lebanese border. Although neither Syria nor Israel is interested in a military confrontation, there are no guarantees that the situation will not spin out of control and lead to a limited regional conflict.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Lebanon
  • Author: Caspar Fithin
  • Publication Date: 04-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxford Analytica
  • Abstract: China said yesterday it would release the crew of the US EP-3 surveillance aircraft that was forced to land in Hainan Island on April 8, following a mid-air collision with a Chinese fighter. The Bush administration will welcome resolution of the dispute, especially as opinion polls released yesterday showed that a majority of US citizens regarded the crew as 'hostages'. Had the 24 crew members not been released before the Easter holiday, the crisis would have become far more significant for the White House, and inflamed anti-China sentiment in Congress. In the short term, resolution of the crisis will result in a scaling down of the criticism of some conservatives that the White House has been unduly accommodating towards China. However, in the longer-term, the episode will strengthen the conservative 'anti-China' lobby in Washington, which could hamper Bush's future attempts to improve relations with Beijing.
  • Topic: International Relations, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Washington, Beijing
  • Author: Brent Scowcroft, C. Richard Nelson, Lee H. Hamilton, James Shlesinger
  • Publication Date: 05-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: The current stalemate between the United States and Iran, while emotionally satisfying to many Americans, does not serve overall U.S. interests well. It hinders the achievement of several key U.S. geopolitical interests, especially over the longer term. These interests include, but are not limited to, regional stability, energy security, and the broader and evolving geopolitical relationships between the United States and China and Russia in the Persian Gulf and Caspian basin. Furthermore, the leading industrial countries are moving to improve relations with Iran.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, China, Middle East
  • 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
  • Author: Victor M. Gobarev
  • Publication Date: 09-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: American interest in and concerns about India rose sharply after that country carried out underground nuclear tests in May 1998. Clinton administration officials belatedly acknowledged that developing a good working relationship with India should be one of America's top foreign policy priorities. President Clinton's visit to South Asia in March 2000 was an important symbolic step.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, America, South Asia, Washington, India
  • Author: Mark A. Groombridge
  • Publication Date: 04-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: The U.S. Congress is in the historic position of being able to help pro-reform leaders in China move their country in a market-oriented direction. A vote to grant China permanent normal trade relations (PNTR) status will bolster the position of those leaders in Beijing who are attempting to deepen and broaden the scope of China's two-decade experiment with economic reform. Granting PNTR and China's subsequent accession to the World Trade Organization will benefit, not only the United States and the world trading community, but most directly the citizens of China, millions of whom are still mired in abject poverty.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Beijing, Asia
  • Author: Colonel Daniel Smith
  • Publication Date: 06-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Defense Information
  • Abstract: IN AN EARLIER DEFENSE MONITOR(Volume XXIX, Issue 1, 2000), we reported on the status of the National Missile Defense program (NMD). At that time the success rate of NMD was 50%, although even the October 2, 1999 success was qualified because the kill vehicle first homed on the single decoy until, at the last moment, it finally detected its true target nearby.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Defense Policy, Economics
  • Author: Rear Admiral Eugene Carroll
  • Publication Date: 03-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Defense Information
  • Abstract: Just five years ago the United States led a strong global effort to achieve indefinite extension of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) of 1970 which was due to expire on its 25th anniversary in April, 1995. U.S. leaders exerted substantial diplomatic pressure on nations less than enthusiastic about extending the NPT regime in order to ensure perpetuation of this critically important element of the global arms control structure, one very much in U.S. security interests.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Defense Policy, Economics
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 02-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Defense Information
  • Abstract: On March 1 the Center for Defense Information welcomed its new President, Mr. Bruce G. Blair. Mr. Blair takes the helm from retired U.S. Senator Dale Bumpers, whose steady hand guided the Center as it made the transition from the 20th to the 21st Century. Mr. Blair brings to the job first-hand knowledge of the U.S. military and how it works, having served in the U.S. Air Force for four years following his graduation from the University of Illinois. He, like his predecessor, adds another highly complementary and invaluable dimension to CDI's base of experience: more than a decade spent in intense study and research into what may be the two most important continuing national security questions of the 21st century – the future of nuclear weapons and the future of Russia.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Defense Policy, Economics
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Publication Date: 01-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Defense Information
  • Abstract: What moves faster than an intercontinental missile, leaps over rational scientific and diplomatic arguments, and defies the pull of fiscal constraints more surely than gravity governs the universe? With apologies to Superman for using his motto, the answer is the cost of the National Missile Defense (NMD) system that the Administration and Congress seem intent on developing and deploying by 2005 and maintaining for at least another 25 years.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Defense Policy, Economics
  • Political Geography: United States
  • 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: 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: David Cortright
  • Publication Date: 05-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Fourth Freedom Forum
  • Abstract: As many scholars have observed, economic sanctions are often ineffective as instruments of international statecraft. In his recent study of five major cases of U.S. sanctions, Ernest Preeg concluded that sanctions "have been almost entirely ineffective in achieving their intended foreign policy objectives while having a substantial adverse impact on other U.S. foreign policy and commercial interests." The eminent sanctions scholar Margaret Doxey has argued that sanctions can achieve modest gains of the "slap on the wrist" variety but that "a major change in policy is . . . harder to come by. The definitive empirical work in the field, conducted by Gary Hufbauer and his colleagues at the Institute for International Economics in Washington, concluded, "Sanctions are seldom effective in imparing the military potential of an important power, or in bringing about major changes in the policy of the targeted country."
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Relations, Foreign Policy, Economics
  • Political Geography: United States, Washington
  • Publication Date: 02-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Fourth Freedom Forum
  • Abstract: Commissioned by the International Peace Academy, with support from the government of Canada, The Sanctions Decade: Assessing UN Strategies in the 1990s was released at the symposium "Toward Smarter, More Effective United Nations Sanctions" on 17 April at the UN Plaza Hotel in New York. More than 100 ambassadors, UN officials and sanctions practitioners and experts attended the symposium. All the participants received a copy of the book before the symposium. Many of the panelists at the symposium cited specific themes from the book in their remarks.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Peace Studies, United Nations
  • Political Geography: New York, Canada
  • Author: Zalman Shoval
  • Publication Date: 07-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: Prime Minister Ehud Barak's tenure started out with almost everything going his way. He had what was often, though misleadingly, described as a "landslide victory" in the 1999 elections (though, in truth, Jewish voters gave him only a slim 3.2 percent majority over Netanyahu - compared to the almost 12 percent margin by which Netanyahu had defeated Peres in the previous elections). Nonetheless, it is true that Barak achieved better electoral results than most other prime ministers in Israeli history. As a result, no Israeli prime minister in recent memory had begun his term with a greater degree of goodwill from different segments of the population - including many who had voted for the other candidate.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Relations, Diplomacy, Politics
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel
  • Author: Caspar Fithin
  • Publication Date: 11-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxford Analytica
  • Abstract: Israel this week launched missile attacks against Palestinian security targets in Gaza in retaliation for the bombing of a school bus carrying settlers. Tel Aviv and Washington have blamed Palestinian National Authority President Yasser Arafat for the current crisis, saying he could reduce the violence. In fact, the uprising is a spontaneous revolt against the terms of the Oslo peace process. Far from being undermined by the crisis, Arafat is using it to maximise his political and diplomatic position in the event that negotiations resume. The crisis marks a decisive shift in the Palestinians' conditions for peace with Israel.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Relations, Security, Diplomacy, Ethnic Conflict, Peace Studies, Politics
  • Political Geography: Washington, Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Gaza
  • Author: Caspar Fithin
  • Publication Date: 10-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxford Analytica
  • Abstract: US Trade Representative Charlene Barshefsky and China's Prime Minister Zhu Rongji this month held talks in Beijing to discuss China's accession to the WTO. Beyond opening up commercial opportunities to US firms, the award of permanent normal trade relations status to China, and its prospective accession to the WTO, should in theory add predictability to the bilateral trade relationship.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Organization, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Beijing
  • Author: Oxford Analytica
  • Publication Date: 06-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxford Analytica
  • Abstract: Attorney General Janet Reno yesterday ordered the Miami-based extended family of Elian Gonzalez to hand him over to his Cuban father. Reno's actions are expected to bring an end to the custody drama surrounding Elian, who was brought to the United States after coastguards found him floating in the Atlantic Ocean after a failed attempt to escape from Cuba with his mother. Although superficially a dispute between the United States and Cuba, argument about the case has centred upon the demands of the Cuban-American community in Florida, a section of the electorate of sufficient importance to oblige Vice-President Al Gore to make his most public break with the administration in which he serves.
  • Topic: International Relations, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, Washington, Cuba
  • Author: Christopher P. Hood
  • Publication Date: 11-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: Ishihara Shintaro, known for his strong views particularly on Japan's relationship with the United States, became Governor of Tokyo on 11 April 1999. This paper considers the significance of his election, and whether it symbolizes a rise in nationalism in Japan.
  • Topic: International Relations, Nationalism, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, Israel, Tokyo
  • Author: Daniel Gros
  • Publication Date: 04-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: In terms of meeting the fiscal Maastricht criteria, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland are better placed today than were some of the current euro area members from the “Club Med” (Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain) at a comparable point in time leading up to their joining EMU. The CEE-3 should thus be able to qualify for full membership by early 2006, following a decision by the EU as early as 2005.
  • Topic: International Relations
  • Political Geography: Europe, Greece, Poland, Hungary, Spain, Italy, Portugal
  • Author: Jeffrey A. Frankel
  • Publication Date: 06-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: Growth targets for emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) by developing countries should be part of the effort to mitigate global climate change. This policy brief advances an approach for determining appropriate targets. They should be neither so tight as to retard economic development nor so generous as to confer enormous windfall gains. But where in this range should these targets be set? A fair allocation for potential new participants would fit the present pattern of emissions reductions agreed among industrialized countries at Kyoto in December 1997. Richer countries, in effect, agreed to make bigger sacrifices (on average) than did poor ones. Given uncertainty about the future, however, fixing the precise quantitative emission target now would create great risks regarding the ultimate stringency of the target. It would raise concerns that a target could turn out either unexpectedly stringent—unintentionally constraining economic development—or unexpectedly lax—resulting in emissions greater than in the absence of an agreement. Indexing emission targets to a country's gross domestic product (GDP) growth would moderate the effects of uncertainty.
  • Topic: International Relations, Emerging Markets, Environment
  • Author: Alan Gilbert
  • Publication Date: 02-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Wilson Center
  • Abstract: This paper will argue that no consistent or meaningful relationship exists between urbanization and security. For a start, the words urbanisation and security do not mean a great deal because they embrace too many cross-cutting ideas and processes. Second, researchers have found few consistent correlations between the numerous dimensions of security and urbanisation. Third, insofar as one can find a close correlation, independent variables usually account for the statistical relationship. Fourth, even when a direct correlation between security and urbanisation exists, the direction of causation is by no means obvious. Finally, every country and every city contains so much internal variation that most generalisations across nations, let alone across regions, are rendered meaningless.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Civil Society, Development, Government
  • Author: Gerald M. Steinberg
  • Publication Date: 11-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: Europe, both in terms of the individual states and collectively through the 15-member European Union, seeks to play an active role in the Middle East peace process. There are many reasons for this - substantive, political, and symbolic.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Relations, Security, Peace Studies
  • Political Geography: Europe, Middle East
  • Author: Gerald M. Steinberg
  • Publication Date: 07-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: Prime Minister Ehud Barak will not get a period of grace or a post-election honeymoon. Immediately upon taking office, he faces a number of pressing issues. Many of these are domestic - including religious-secular relations and economic concerns.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Middle East, Asia
  • Author: Aharon Lopez
  • Publication Date: 03-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: During the ceremony of the presentation of my credentials as the Ambassador of Israel to the Holy See on April 10, 1997, I told His Holiness that, actually, this was not my first connection with the Vatican. In fact, when I served as Ambassador of Israel to the Republic of Cyprus, in one of the ceremonies there, I was approached by the non-resident Ambassador of Outer Mongolia, who asked me whether I represented the Holy See in Cyprus. Of course I answered that I represented the State of Israel. Then, looking at my head, he remarked: "Oh, you are right, sir; now I can see the difference in the color!" Of course, he was referring to my skullcap.
  • Topic: International Relations, Diplomacy, Religion
  • Political Geography: Europe, Middle East, Israel, Vatican city
  • Author: Robert O. Freedman
  • Publication Date: 03-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: During U.S. President Bill Clinton's second term in office, the U.S. "dual containment" policy toward Iran and Iraq, which he inherited from the Bush administration and then intensified during his first term, had come close to collapse.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Foreign Policy, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Iran, Middle East
  • Author: Oxford Analytica
  • Publication Date: 10-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxford Analytica
  • Abstract: Daily demonstrations calling for Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic to resign have, over recent weeks, been poorly attended. In part this reflects the opposition parties' failure to resolve their differences. This has led to growing scepticism in the West about the Serbian people's ability to bring about political change. In these circumstances, the international community may alter its policy towards the country. However, greater efforts to support the democratic opposition could prove counter-productive in the short-to-medium term due to anti-Western sentiment in the aftermath of the NATO air campaign. In the longer term the West will need to reconsider its policy towards the Balkans if it wants to play a constructive role in regional democratisation.
  • Topic: International Relations, NATO, Democratization, Politics
  • Political Geography: Mongolia, Eastern Europe, Serbia, Balkans
  • Author: Oxford Analytica
  • Publication Date: 08-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxford Analytica
  • Abstract: In the past nine months, the United States and the United Kingdom have pursued a low-intensity military campaign against Iraq. Such actions have been made easier by a lack of political scrutiny. However, the US administration in particular now faces mounting criticism from France, China and Russia, who favour a relaxation of policy, and domestic US interest groups favouring a more activist stance. Despite these pressures, US President Bill Clinton is unlikely to change policy significantly in his remaining 18 months of office.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Government
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, China, Iraq, United Kingdom, Middle East, France
  • Author: C. Richard Nelson, Jr. Gillespie, Brandon Grove Jr., David E. McGiffert
  • Publication Date: 07-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: The implications of the transfer of the Panama Canal go well beyond U.S. relations with Panama. This complex transition provides an important lesson for Latin America and the rest of the world on how countries of vastly different size and outlook can work together. The success of this 20 year process lies mainly in first identifying the primary common interest of the United States, Panama and the major canal users: access to an open, safe and efficient canal. Important but secondary concerns, including U.S. military access to facilities in Panama, were addressed during the process but never were allowed to displace the primary interest. By focusing on this clear, compelling key objective, both Panama and the United States were able to accommodate fundamental changes in the political, economic and security context, including several changes in administrations, tough negotiations and even a military confrontation.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, Latin America
  • Author: Haruko Satoh
  • Publication Date: 05-1998
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: Among the now G–8 countries, perhaps the most stable political relationship in the past decade or so has been between Britain and Japan. While the two countries do not necessarily rank high in each other's foreign policy priorities, their leaders have always made sure publicly to endorse the growing ties in strong and positive language. Prime Minister Tony Blair used the occasion of his official visit to Tokyo this January to echo Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto's own positive views of the relationship, expressed to Blair at the G–8 summit in Denver. To Hashimoto's 'Britain is a special partner to Japan', Blair confirmed that UK–Japan relations were 'as strong as ever', in line with the remarks of his predecessors, which had ranged from a 'dynamic, plain-speaking partnership', 'strategic partnership' in the post-Cold War era, to 'natural partnership'. Furthermore, compared with Japan's relations with other major European states, specifically France and Germany, the contours of UK–Japan relations seem to stand out more. There is a strong economic relationship between the two. The UK–Japan Action Agenda of September 1996 was the first of its kind to be agreed between Japan and a European state, reflecting Britain's resolve to be the 'outward looking' member in the EU, and to keep ahead in the primarily economic competition for Japanese interest in Europe. Cooperation between the two countries has been credited as the key to success in some post-Cold War multilateral agreements, such as the UN arms register or the recent Kyoto conference on global warming, here reflecting the scope of official cooperation between the two governments. This track record supports the leaders' claims that Britain and Japan are special partners. Nevertheless, there is a sense that the relationship is still bound in the realm of political rhetoric. Neither the positive language nor the track record of achievements can dispel the perception that Europe—Japan relations are the weakest in the trilateral world of Europe, Japan and the United States. The Hague Declaration of 1991 — a document outlining further commitment to cooperation between Japan and the EU — the UK–Japan Action agenda, and the subsequent similar documents between Japan and France or Germany, have only received cursory attention. 2 While UK–Japan relations may be the key to genuinely strengthening Europe—Japan ties, there are issues that need to be addressed to promote further progress.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Japan, United Kingdom, Malaysia, Netherlands
  • Author: Rebecca Spyke
  • Publication Date: 12-1998
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Fourth Freedom Forum
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Arms Control and Proliferation, International Cooperation
  • Author: Zalman Shoval
  • Publication Date: 03-1997
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: The Hebron agreement is now finally in place. During the months that it took to reach that point, some must have been reminded of what the nineteenth century British Prime Minister Lord Palmerstone once said about the Schleswig-Holstein question: there were only three people who understood it - one of whom was dead, one was in an asylum, and he himself had forgotten it.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Relations, Sovereignty
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Author: Mordechai Abir
  • Publication Date: 09-1997
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: The stability of Saudi Arabia (and the Persian Gulf as a whole) is crucially important to the world's industrial countries. According to the Gulf Center of Strategic Studies, "oil is expected to account for 38 percent of all the world consumption of energy until 2015, compared to 39 percent in 1993. Increasing world-wide demand for oil, now about 74 million barrels per day, is projected to rise by 2015 to about 110 million" (Gulf Report, London, July 1997). Over 60 percent of the world's proven oil reserves are located in the Persian Gulf, and Saudi Arabia alone controls 25 percent of the total.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Foreign Policy, Economics, Energy Policy, Politics, Religion
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Saudi Arabia