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  • Author: Alexander Velez-Green
  • Publication Date: 08-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for a New American Security
  • Abstract: The United States has long looked to Egypt as a key partner in the Middle East. Egypt’s adherence to the Camp David Accords is fundamental to Israeli security. Cairo has also been a key player in the Israeli–Palestinian peace process for many years. In addition, the Egyptian state has played an essential role in supporting the U.S. fight against global jihadism. Its provision of reliable access to the Suez Canal, Egyptian airspace, and intelligence sharing directly enables U.S. operations against al Qaeda and the Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) across the Middle East. That is not to mention the blood and treasure that Egypt itself has spent to defeat terrorist groups operating in the Sinai Peninsula and elsewhere.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Security, Political stability
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Author: Adam Klein, Madeline Christian, Matt Olsen, Tristan Campos
  • Publication Date: 08-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for a New American Security
  • Abstract: Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act is an important intelligence tool that will expire on December 31, 2017, unless Congress re-authorizes it. Here’s what it is, and how it works. First, a bit of background: The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 requires the government to get a court order to intercept the electronic messages of a suspected spy or terrorist on U.S. soil. By contrast, overseas spying took place with no court oversight. That made sense for 20th century technology, because international communications rarely transited the United States. The internet made things far more complicated: now, foreigners’ communications often travel through the United States, or are stored on servers here. That produced an anomaly: FISA was forcing the government to apply Fourth Amendment safeguards when a foreign terrorist or spy’s internet messages passed through the U.S.—even though non-Americans overseas do not have Fourth Amendment rights. This overtaxed the Justice Department and made counterterrorism more difficult. To remedy this, Congress passed the FISA Amendments Act of 2008, which included Section 702. Section 702 creates a middle ground between U.S.-based surveillance under FISA and overseas surveillance by the NSA.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Security
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Elizabeth Rosenberg, ​Neil Bhatiya, Edorado Saravalle
  • Publication Date: 08-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for a New American Security
  • Abstract: Congress adopted new sanctions in late July to codify and significantly expand U.S. financial restrictions on Russia and tightly constrain the president’s exercise of policy in this domain. The sanctions bill was driven by concerns over Russia’s interference in U.S. elections and destabilizing aggression abroad, as well as a broadly held belief by legislators that the president is mishandling critical national security issues. With these new sanctions authorities, Congress is taking an unprecedented step to assume greater control over a domain of foreign policy
  • Topic: International Relations, International Trade and Finance, International Security, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Russia, America
  • Author: Edward Fishman, Peter Harrell, Elizabeth Rosenberg
  • Publication Date: 07-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for a New American Security
  • Abstract: North Korea has emerged as one of the most significant national security threats facing the United States and its allies today. Since leader Kim Jong Un came to power in 2011, North Korea has accelerated the pace of its nuclear tests, and appears to have made substantial progress in developing operational medium-, long-range, and intercontinental ballistic missiles. Many experts assess that if left unchecked, Pyongyang could develop the capability to strike the contiguous United States with a nuclear warhead within 5–10 years. Because of that, in June 2017 U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis characterized North Korea as “the most urgent and dangerous threat” to U.S. peace and security.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Security, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: North Korea, Global Focus
  • Author: Gregory Allen, Taniel Chan
  • Publication Date: 07-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for a New American Security
  • Abstract: Partially autonomous and intelligent systems have been used in military technology since at least the Second World War, but advances in machine learning and Artificial Intelligence (AI) represent a turning point in the use of automation in warfare. Though the United States military and intelligence communities are planning for expanded use of AI across their portfolios, many of the most transformative applications of AI have not yet been addressed. In this piece, we propose three goals for developing future policy on AI and national security: preserving U.S. technological leadership, supporting peaceful and commercial use, and mitigating catastrophic risk. By looking at four prior cases of transformative military technology—nuclear, aerospace, cyber, and biotech—we develop lessons learned and recommendations for national security policy toward AI.
  • Topic: Science and Technology, International Security, Military Strategy, Cybersecurity
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Thomas Shugart
  • Publication Date: 06-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for a New American Security
  • Abstract: You may have heard that China’s military has developed a “carrier-killer” ballistic missile to threaten one of America’s premier power-projection tools, its unmatched fleet of aircraft carriers.1 Or perhaps you have read about China’s deployment of its own aircraft carrier to the Taiwan Strait and South China Sea. But heavily defended moving targets like aircraft carriers would be a challenge to hit in open ocean, and were China’s own aircraft carrier (or even two or three like it) to venture into open water in anger, the U.S. submarine force likely would make short work of it.2 In reality, the greatest military threat to U.S. vital interests in Asia may be one that has received somewhat less attention: the growing capability of China’s missile forces to threaten U.S. bases in the region.
  • Topic: International Security, Military Strategy
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: Nicholas Heras
  • Publication Date: 09-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for a New American Security
  • Abstract: The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and trans-Sahara regions are undergoing a period of instability and state collapse, with active civil wars raging in four of the most important countries in the region: Syria, Iraq, Yemen, and Libya. As witnessed during the Arab uprisings of 2010–2011, the MENA region has begun to grapple with the once and future challenges of instability as the regional population grows and skews younger, economies stagnate and start to collapse, and resources become scarcer. U.S. national security policy toward the MENA and trans-Sahara regions is at a point of high uncertainty, with a new administration developing strategies to address the security threats to the United States and its partner nations being caused by the region’s civil wars.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Security
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Author: Jerry Hendrix, Lt Col James Price
  • Publication Date: 06-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for a New American Security
  • Abstract: On Christmas Day in 1914, three former cross-channel packet ships, the Engadine, Empress, and Riviera, stood off the island of Heligoland in the North Sea. Under the watchful eye of the Royal Navy cruisers Arethusa and Undaunted, the three ships pulled back the tarps erected on their sterns and forecastles to reveal nine seaplanes. The aircraft – three Short Folders (Short was the company name; Folder was the model and denoted the aircraft’s ability to fold its wings for storage), four Short 74s, and two Short 135s – were assembled and carefully lowered into the water. The Folders had a 67-foot wingspan, were powered by a 160-horsepower engine, and weighed 3,040 pounds fully loaded. The other two models were derivatives of the original Folder and had similar, if not exact, characteristics. Seven of the nine aircraft were able to get airborne (the other two were unable to break the dynamic tension of the water) and headed eastward carrying three 20-pound Hale bombs apiece, each of which contained 4.5 pounds of explosives within 13 pounds of steel guided by aluminum tail fins. Combined, the 21 bombs had less destructive power than one 13-inch shell fired from a British battleship, but these weapons could be taken directly to their targets and dropped precisely on top of them.
  • Topic: International Security, Military Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Stephen Tankel
  • Publication Date: 06-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for a New American Security
  • Abstract: Pakistan is not a front-burner issue for the administration of President Donald Trump, but it remains a major contributor to the security challenges facing the United States in South Asia. This is most immediately felt in Afghanistan, where President Trump is considering sending 3,000 to 5,000 more troops on top of the almost 10,000 already there.1 There is considerable frustration with Pakistan on Capitol Hill and among career officials in the executive branch over the country’s ongoing support for various militant groups, including the Taliban-led insurgency in Afghanistan, and production of tactical nuclear weapons.2 Members of Congress and committee staff are thinking through how to reform the U.S.-Pakistan defense relationship. Several prescriptive reports and articles, including one by the author, have argued the United States should consider a tougher line with Pakistan.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, International Security, Military Affairs
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, America
  • Author: Richard Fontaine, Patrick M. Cronin, Mira Rapp-Hooper, Harry Krejsa
  • Publication Date: 06-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for a New American Security
  • Abstract: merican security strategy in the Asia-Pacific has for decades been built on a “hub and spokes” model of bilateral, exclusive alliance relationships. Japan, Australia, South Korea, the Philippines, and Thailand each share mutual defense treaties with the United States—but not with any other countries, and not with one another. In recent years, this atomized approach to regional security has begun to change. Political and economic integration has provided the foundation upon which deeper intra-Asian defense and security ties have organically emerged. Hedging against critical uncertainties surrounding China’s rise and America’s enduring presence in the region, U.S. allies and other countries are strengthening their security ties with one another.
  • Topic: International Security
  • Political Geography: Asia
  • Author: Phillip Carter, Amy Schafer, Katherine Kidder, Moira Fagan
  • Publication Date: 06-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for a New American Security
  • Abstract: Both employers and veterans benefit from the recent spotlight on the business case for hiring veterans. There is a great opportunity for business to leverage the training and talent found among veterans for an improved bottom line. However, progress in veteran hiring and retention has, at times, been stymied by the civil-military divide, characterized by a growing gap between the public and those who serve (or have served) in the military.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Military Affairs
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Peter Harrell, Tom Keatinge, Sarah Lain, Elizabeth Rosenberg
  • Publication Date: 06-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for a New American Security
  • Abstract: Sanctions on Russia are part of a broad and coordinated U.S. and European policy to counter Russian aggression. The majority of these transatlantic coercive economic measures target Russia’s involvement in Eastern Ukraine and date from 2014. The strategic foreign policy concerns that underlie the use of sanctions as a tactic, however, are far broader and much more longstanding. Contemporary financial sanctions are fundamentally a new and innovative tactic among a broader array of military, diplomatic, media, and cyber options, to coordinate transatlantic policy on Russia and craft political and economic leverage for the West.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, International Security
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Author: Nicholas C. Prime
  • Publication Date: 06-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for a New American Security
  • Abstract: The U.S. Navy’s updated Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Seapower outlines several key themes and areas of development for the sea services as they continue the transition from the focus on the land wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.1 Some are new, a few are traditional, and several provide an interesting perspective on previously gestating concepts. One item of particular interest, and the focus herein, is the call to “expand the practice of employing adaptive force packages, which tailor naval capabilities to specific regional environments.”2 This seems like something that should be fairly intuitive, something that should evolve naturally as the sea services adapt to new and challenging circumstances. However, the argument here is meant to suggest something broader, a more conceptual rethink of how the maritime services, collectively, develop and deploy force structure packages. In short, all three maritime services should work toward the creation of an integrated, open framework for force development and deployment. A framework which replaces the practice of haphazard or incoherent deployment of assets, deployments with little or no connection between platforms deployed and overarching strategic aims. Abandoning a practice that indelicately pushes standardized—one size fits most—force packages into meeting unique operational requirements, and instead develop a system that identifies operational requirements and allows the relevant services (even when acting in concert with partner nations) to more precisely match particular capabilities to unique operational requirements.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, International Security
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Ellie Maruyama, Kelsey Hallahan
  • Publication Date: 06-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for a New American Security
  • Abstract: Terrorist financing entails the raising and moving of funds intended for terrorist causes.1 The number and type of terrorist groups and the threats associated with them have changed over time, but the fundamental need for terrorists to raise, move, and use funds has remained constant.2 Terrorists have displayed adaptability and opportunism in meeting their financing needs, which vary but can be substantial.3 For example, al Qaeda relied on many sources of funding and its pre-9/11 annual budget was an estimated $30 million.4 The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), one of the best-funded terrorist organizations in modern history, approved a $2 billion budget for 2015
  • Topic: Terrorism, International Security
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Chafic Choucair
  • Publication Date: 08-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Al Jazeera
  • Abstract: The battle of Arsal occurred in the context of a gradual easing of the Syrian conflict after its unprecedented exacerbation, and the party’s efforts to confront regional and international developments that target it. However, it also revealed the party’s multiple hegemonies over Lebanese authority.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Security
  • Political Geography: Lebanon, Syria
  • Author: Basheer Al Zoghbi
  • Publication Date: 08-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Al Jazeera
  • Abstract: This paper addresses the phenomenon of settlers’ acts of violence and attacks directed against Palestinian civilian population, civilian property and livelihood in the occupied territory of the de jure State of Palestine in the context of international humanitarian law and human rights law.
  • Topic: Ethnic Conflict, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Israel, Palestine
  • Author: Richard Javad Heydarian
  • Publication Date: 08-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Al Jazeera
  • Abstract: Shortly after Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte embarked on a high-profile state visit to Russia, a legion of Islamic State-affiliated groups launched a daring siege on Marawi, the Philippines’ largest Muslim-majority city.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Security
  • Political Geography: Asia
  • Author: Thembisa Fakude
  • Publication Date: 08-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Al Jazeera
  • Abstract: The haphazard nature of the political campaign by the anti-Qatar forces demonstrated serious political immaturity and the over-estimation of the power of money in politics and shaping world opinion.
  • Topic: International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Author: Dr. Mohammed Cherkaoui
  • Publication Date: 09-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Al Jazeera
  • Abstract: The new approach of the U.S. foreign policy toward the Middle East has increasingly pivoted around possible ways of fighting radical groups with various denominations.
  • Topic: International Relations, Counter-terrorism
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Author: Mehari Taddele Maru
  • Publication Date: 09-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Al Jazeera
  • Abstract: After winning 98.6 percent of the votes , President Paul Kagame was inaugurated for his third term in office on 18 August 2017.
  • Topic: International Security, Democracy
  • Political Geography: Rwanda
  • Author: Stasa Salacanin
  • Publication Date: 09-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Al Jazeera
  • Abstract: The GCC crisis has put all international actors, including Europe, in a complicated position, and as ever louder calls for the greater engagement in the mediation process comes at challenging times as Europe is facing countless problems at home.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Europe, Middle East
  • Author: Thembisa Fakude
  • Publication Date: 08-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Al Jazeera
  • Abstract: The recent developments in Saudi Arabia’s foreign policy towards Syria, Iraq and Yemen have created great confusion. A “bastion of Sunni Islam”, Saudi Arabia has made controversial political decisions that have resulted in immense criticism from across the world.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Saudi Arabia
  • Author: Naser al-Tamimi
  • Publication Date: 07-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Al Jazeera
  • Abstract: The Saudi government has begun an ambitious process of economic reforms, but internal resistance and external disturbances – worsened by the Gulf crisis – are increasing costs and may lead to its failure.
  • Topic: International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Author: Madawi al-Rasheed
  • Publication Date: 07-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Al Jazeera
  • Abstract: Riyadh is keen to impose guardianship on its Gulf neighbours, but most of them resist, which mires the Gulf system in recurring conflicts. This will not be settled definitively unless their relations are based on the principles of equality and mutual respect.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Security
  • Political Geography: Saudi Arabia
  • Author: Dr. Mohamed Erraji
  • Publication Date: 07-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Al Jazeera
  • Abstract: This paper reviews the role of media fabrication and propaganda in the current political crisis in the Gulf. Propagandists have deliberately created a new political reality to demonise Qatari politics and political leaders with a detailed political approach to create a prefabricated reality.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Security
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Author: Murat Yeşiltaş
  • Publication Date: 06-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Al Jazeera
  • Abstract: Turkey's current strategic move is it is a continuation of Turkey’s new vision for regional politics within the context of the new regional geopolitical realities.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Author: Stasa Salacanin
  • Publication Date: 06-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Al Jazeera
  • Abstract: In 2005, Qatar imposed a self-moratorium on future gas developments in the North Field, but has recently lifted it in defence of the country’s leading LNG market share as new global players rapidly expand their production.
  • Topic: International Security, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Author: Wang Dong, Sun Bingyan
  • Publication Date: 08-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Korean Economic Institute (KEI)
  • Abstract: What will it take to jump start trilateral talks among Beijing, Seoul, and Washington over the situation on the Korean Peninsula, including the denuclearization of North Korea? If this subject has been on the minds of South Koreans in 2016-17 with some approaching their counterparts in Beijing and Washington, DC in the hope that such triangular talks can be launched—the more official, the better—not many Chinese have addressed what would be necessary to enlist their country in this endeavor. This chapter argues that, at present, China is unprepared to take this route. A major factor is the sense that there are imbalances that complicate the triangle. Beyond the substance of what would be on the agenda, Chinese are concerned by South Korea’s alignment and how it would affect the course of the discussions.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: China, America, Korea
  • Author: Gilbert Rozman
  • Publication Date: 08-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Korean Economic Institute (KEI)
  • Abstract: Of five alternative approaches to addressing the North Korean threat to stability in East Asia and beyond, this section is concerned with the possibility of just one—a diplomatic approach via Three-Way Talks among China, South Korea, and the United States. We single out this approach as the golden mean for reconciling the conflicting interests among the parties best positioned to reshape the calculus of Pyongyang. It represents the path to compromise. Among the alternatives, there is the Chinese appeal for a dual-track approach through Six-Party Talks, aimed at a peace treaty on terms attractive to North Korea and greatly transformative to the security architecture in Northeast Asia. This could hardly be called a compromise, since Seoul and Washington regard this as a win for Pyongyang and evidence that Beijing actually has been siding with Pyongyang. Another alternative is Strategic Patience, which is a misnomer for the policy of the Obama administration, but, in any case, refers mainly to reliance on increased deterrence as pressure is ratcheted up. In fact, Obama was seeking a pathway to three-way talks, giving China time to shift in that direction bolstered by new sanctions, while in 2016 also moving closer to a fourth approach: Unilateral Sanctions targeted at the Chinese firms assisting North Korea. A fifth option is Alliance Triangularity to force change in Pyongyang.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, International Cooperation, International Security
  • Political Geography: Asia
  • Author: Kim Heung-kyu
  • Publication Date: 08-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Korean Economic Institute (KEI)
  • Abstract: Although we are only into the first months of the Trump administration, many Koreans recognize that the U.S.-led, market-oriented, liberal international order has been severely shaken. In the background, the rapid rise of China and rather successful economic reforms under Xi Jinping have dramatically reduced its vulnerability and sensitivity to the United States. As one power’s grip is shaken and another’s is energized, two different orders are emerging in East Asia. We accordingly witness a “Clash of Titans,” the fallout from which could be fatal to the security and economy of the Republic of Korea.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Asia
  • Author: Joel Wuthnow
  • Publication Date: 08-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Korean Economic Institute (KEI)
  • Abstract: During the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign, the candidates reached a bipartisan consensus on one issue: how to deal with North Korea. Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump both called for China to do more to convince Pyongyang to abandon its nuclear program once and for all. Candidate Trump said that China has “absolute control” over North Korea and promised to do whatever it takes to convince Beijing to use that leverage, including imposing penalties on Chinese firms. As president, however, Trump will have to navigate the reality of China’s extreme hesitance to use the only type of pressure likely to divert North Korea’s nuclear ambitions—the threat of regime-endangering punishment. If and how China should continue to fit into U.S. strategy for dealing with North Korea will thus be a key issue facing Trump and his advisors
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Korea
  • Author: Mark Tokola
  • Publication Date: 08-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Korean Economic Institute (KEI)
  • Abstract: For the proverbial visitor from Mars, the political situation in Northeast Asia is inexplicable. Sitting amidst a group of relatively stable, wealthy, and powerful countries, is a small, poor, belligerent nation that all agree is a threat to regional stability. Furthermore, the rogue state has been sanctioned and its behavior condemned by the United Nations for its weapons programs and its human rights abuses. Why can the Republic of Korea (ROK), Japan, the United States, Russia, and China not combine their considerable leverage to do something about North Korea?
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Korea
  • Author: Gilbert Rozman
  • Publication Date: 08-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Korean Economic Institute (KEI)
  • Abstract: The construct “Chinese national identity” refers to narratives from China’s leadership, media, and academic spokespersons about what makes their country distinctive and how those ideas matter in relations with other nations. This is a relational concept that serves to distinguish the “self” and “other,” whose interpretation is shaped by interactions with other states. Seen from the vertical dimension of identity, these interactions are filtered through rhetoric aimed at promoting unity at home. Demonizing other nations while conveying an image of enemies or states seeking to contain China is a means to boost solidarity behind Communist Party control over a society with little means to dissent. The horizontal dimension of identity depicts bilateral relations as the result not of different national interests, but of clashing and often irreconcilable identities. Examining the way national identity on the Chinese side impacts five external relationships is the objective of this set of articles, which concentrate on Chinese rhetoric during the period of Xi Jinping.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: Yinan He
  • Publication Date: 08-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Korean Economic Institute (KEI)
  • Abstract: Sino-Japanese relations have been in another volatility cycle since the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands disputes flared up again in summer 2012. The downward trend seems to have bottomed out in November 2014 when the two leaders Xi Jinping and Abe Shinzo finally held their first meeting since entering office. However, the anticipated recovery has proved tenuous; the momentum toward further improvement has halted since early 2016 when confrontation escalated in both the South China Sea and East China Sea. While acknowledging the role of realist power shift and geostrategic rivalry in causing Sino-Japanese tension, this paper argues that a widening gap between their national identities is also highly relevant. The current Xi government has promoted a national reinvigoration campaign emphasizing Chinese history and culture, the socialist model, and defense of core interests, which runs counter to that of Abe’s Japan, a democratic and historically revisionist country. This national identity conflict has exacerbated mutual distrust, denied chances of reassurance, and generated domestic popular objections to diplomatic compromise between the two countries.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Japan, China, Korea
  • Author: See-Won Byun
  • Publication Date: 08-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Korean Economic Institute (KEI)
  • Abstract: How do Chinese national identity narratives affect Sino-South Korean relations? The Koguryo history war more than a decade ago was a turning point in bilateral relations since diplomatic normalization in 1992, generating enduring competition over representations of history. In 2010, China’s commemoration of its entry into the Korean War raised early warnings in South Korea over Beijing’s hostile foreign policy orientation under Xi Jinping. Contrary to such expectations, however, the earliest summit agreements between presidents Xi Jinping and Park Geun-hye after both took office in 2013 were on history cooperation as common victims of Japanese colonialism. Most notably in 2015, Park’s participation in Beijing’s 70th anniversary celebrations of the end of World War II consolidated joint claims of what was called the best period in bilateral relations. This chapter assesses the impact of Chinese national identity on China-Republic of Korea (ROK) relations under the Xi and Park administrations since 2013. It examines Chinese constructions of national identity and their implications for the security, economic, and cultural dimensions of the Sino-South Korean relationship. Rather than promoting partnership, competing identities across these dimensions reinforce enduring differences over the region’s political, economic, and cultural order. These differences surfaced most saliently in 2016, following an initial period of engagement that corresponds with the downward trend in China-Japan relations since 2012. Managing them requires the very trust-building that both Beijing and Seoul have prioritized since 2013.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Korea
  • Author: Gilbert Rozman
  • Publication Date: 08-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Korean Economic Institute (KEI)
  • Abstract: While the other parts of this book bring China fully into the coverage—diplomacy, national identities, and sanctions—here we narrow the focus on U.S.-ROK relations with an eye to the current uncertainty about the future of the KORUS FTA, the five-year old bilateral trade agreement. Donald Trump has assumed the presidency critical of trade imbalances in goods, including assertions about the negative impact of the FTA with South Korea. It appears that the U.S. side will insist on renegotiating the agreement. In order to assess what this could mean, we take a close look at what the impact of KORUS has been and at how the debate in Washington has been unfolding under Trump’s watch. The three chapters were written in the early spring of 2017; so they could capture only the initial impact of Trump at a time when South Korean leadership was paralyzed between impeachment and the election of a new president without any serious bilateral engagement over economic issues. Yet, as tensions over economics are expected to rise, our objective is to inform the discussion with relevant economic background and with awareness of what Trump has been saying and how it may shape the political debate.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: America, Korea
  • Author: Luigi Bonatti
  • Publication Date: 09-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: In The Euro’s Difficult Future – Competitiveness Imbalances and the Eurozone’s North-South Divide author Luigi Bonatti, a professor of economics at the University of Trento in Italy, stresses that the existing North-South competitiveness divide creates growing tensions between member countries and fuels hostility towards European Union institutions. The paper illustrates why this competitiveness divide is structural, cannot be tackled by macroeconomic policies, and could threaten the euro’s survival.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Phillip Smyth, Tim Michetti, Owen Daniels
  • Publication Date: 09-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: Revolution Unveiled: A Closer Look at Iran’s Presence and Influence in the Middle East, by Phillip Smyth, Tim Michetti, and Owen Daniels, pieces together snapshots of Iran’s influence in the region using photographic analysis, geolocation, social media monitoring, and other methods. Through four case studies, this report systematically examines new or lesser-known methods Iran employs to project its influence beyond its borders. By using proxy Shia groups, ideology, arms provision, and transnational networks, Tehran destabilizes and strikes at regional adversaries to achieve its strategic and policy objectives.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Iran
  • Author: Robert Ichord
  • Publication Date: 09-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: Although often overshadowed by significantly larger energy systems in India and China, Indonesia is assuming an increasingly important role in international energy markets and global efforts to address climate change. In Transforming the Power Sector in Developing Countries: Indonesia’s Diversification Challenge,” Global Energy Center nonresident Senior Fellow Dr. Robert F. Ichord, Jr. identifies the challenges Indonesia faces in the energy sector and provides recommendations for policy makers and other stakeholders on strategic priorities. As Ichord points out, Indonesia is a critical country for international power sector transformation—the question is how to meet Indonesia’s growing electricity needs in a clean, efficient, and affordable manner.
  • Topic: International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Indonesia
  • Publication Date: 09-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: The Atlantic Council's State Department Reform Report—written by a group of ten foreign policy experts—explores the critical subject areas of structure and process, personnel, budget, congressional relations, and USAID. The report serves as a foundation for reform efforts that will lead to the empowerment of the State Department at a time when a rapidly evolving global environment consistently poses new challenges and threats. The department's role is indeed unique and vital in the US national security apparatus; diplomacy based in continued and robust support for US interests and values is critical to favorable long-term outcomes, including a more secure and stable global environment.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Elena Postnikova
  • Publication Date: 09-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: The US Congress enacted the Foreign Agents Registration Act of 1938 (FARA) to ensure that the American people were aware when foreign governments funded media sources; at the time, their concerns focused on the Nazi regime in Germany. Today, this issue has resurfaced with concerns about the Russian propaganda outlet RT (formerly Russia Today). RT broadcasts are reliably consistent with official statements of the Russian government, which is unsurprising, as it is 99 percent funded by the Kremlin. In Agent of Influence, author Elena Postnikova not only argues that RT should register with FARA but makes a legal case for it while laying out recommendations for policy makers. At a minimum, RT’s activities warrant a thorough investigation by the Department of Justice (DOJ). Strong evidence supports the conclusion that Russia’s RT is owned, controlled, and financed by the Russian state. RT advances Russia’s interests abroad and uses communication channels to influence US domestic and foreign policy. RT has not presented evidence to support that it is a bona fide media organization, which would be excluded from registration. If RT fails to respond to a DOJ inquiry or to present ample evidence that it should be exempt, an enforcement action should follow.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Mary Carlin Yates, Kelsey Lilley
  • Publication Date: 07-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: Despite Sudan’s checkered diplomatic history with the United States, the Trump administration has an opportunity to recalibrate what could be a constructive relationship in a critical part of the world. In determining what a successful US-Sudanese relationship could look like, the administration has an opportunity to both serve US interests in Sudan and beyond and encourage peace and security for Sudan’s citizens.
  • Topic: International Development
  • Political Geography: Sudan
  • Author: Dimiter Toshkov
  • Publication Date: 07-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: To many, the European Union (EU) is a complex entity overburdened by rules. In The European Union Could Be Simple, Inclusive, or Effective. Pick Two., author Dimiter Toshkov, an associate professor at the Institute of Public Administration at Leiden University, presents the structural dilemma facing the EU: accommodating the diverse interests of twenty-eight member states while delivering effective policies for over 510 million citizens in a simple way.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Arron Stein
  • Publication Date: 07-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: This report is based on a series of interviews with US officials and details two efforts to achieve US objectives to take back territory from ISIS in Syria—with elements trained in Turkey, as part of the Train and Equip program, and through the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), the dominant local force in northeastern Syria.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Syria
  • Publication Date: 06-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: We are living in a world awash in data. Accelerated interconnectivity, driven by the proliferation of internet-connected devices, has led to an explosion of data—big data. A race is now underway to develop new technologies and implement innovative methods that can handle the volume, variety, velocity, and veracity of big data and apply it smartly to provide decisive advantage and help solve major challenges facing companies and governments.
  • Topic: International Relations
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Angel Melguizo, Sean Miner, Rolando Avendano
  • Publication Date: 06-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: China's global influence is on the rise. In Latin America, Chinese firms are not only increasing their investment, but rapidly expanding to new areas of the economy. To explore the implications for all stakeholders in the region, the Atlantic Council, in partnership with the OECD, launched on June 26 a revealing study analyzing data not previously available to the public. New numbers show dramatic rises in FDI from China in Latin America—beyond oil and mining, China is today focusing on ICT, electricity, finance, and alternative energy.
  • Topic: International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: China, Latin America
  • Author: Jason Pack, Rhiannon Smith, Karim Mezran
  • Publication Date: 06-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: For the past three decades, Libya has been a rich recruiting ground for the global jihad. Investigating the precursors and then subsequent evolution of the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) and other extremist actors throughout this period presents actionable insights into how jihadist actors coalesce; how they interfere in post-conflict state building; the threats they pose to civilians, nascent economies, and external states; and finally, what complexities remain when their hold on territory has been eradicated, but their adherents have not been killed nor their ideology debunked. In The Origins and Evolution of ISIS in Libya, Jason Pack, Rhiannon Smith, Karim Mezran examine ISIS’s pre-history, birth, expansion, consolidation, and dispersal in Libya, as well as the broader political context of the country. They offer advice and recommendations for how Western governments and militaries should approach jihadist actors globally.
  • Topic: International Security
  • Political Geography: Libya
  • Author: Geneive Abdo
  • Publication Date: 06-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: Islam and Human Rights: Key Issues for Our Times is a collection of essays edited by Geneive Abdo and authored by Elie Abouaoun, Harith Hasan Al-Qarawee, Moataz El Fegiery, Mohammad Fadel, Omar Iharchane, Driss Maghraoui, Imad Salamey, and Asma T. Uddin. This publication is part of the Hariri Center’s Islamic Law and Human Rights in the Middle East initiative. By presenting the reader with a range of contemporary thinking on the most pressing issues facing Muslims today, including questions of democracy, free expression, human rights, gender and minority rights, and the notions of legitimate governance, this volume reflects new thinking on these issues.
  • Topic: International Relations, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Aaron Stein
  • Publication Date: 06-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: This report examines Turkish foreign and energy policy toward Russia, Iran, and Iraq. It is divided into three case studies in which the lessons learned from past Turkish decision making might help chart likely courses of actions vis-à-vis Ankara’s future energy relationship with all three countries. The case studies also consider potential impacts on American interests in these three countries along with bilateral US-Turkish relations.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: Daniel Fried
  • Publication Date: 06-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: Once again, authoritarians are challenging the world’s leading democracies, using twenty-first century versions of aggression, propaganda, and subversion. The very notion of a rules-based, democratic-leaning international order—the Free World—seems in doubt, questioned also by newly-emboldened nationalists on both sides of the Atlantic. In “The Free World,” Ambassador Dan Fried, who retired this year as the United States’ longest-serving diplomat, reminds us what the Free World achieved, where it has gone wrong, and what democratic forces can do to restore the momentum of ideas that still represent the best hope for American interests, democratic values, and the world.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus