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  • Author: Joshua Kurlantzick
  • Publication Date: 11-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: In a region largely bereft of regional organizations and long divided by the Cold War, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has been the most significant multilateral group for the past forty-five years. Since the end of the Cold War, ASEAN has grown increasingly influential. While much of the West and most emerging markets continue to suffer because of the 2008 global recession, the leading ASEAN economies have recovered and are thriving. Perhaps most important, ASEAN has helped prevent interstate conflicts in Southeast Asia, despite several brewing territorial disputes in the region.
  • Topic: Cold War, Development, Economics, Emerging Markets, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, Asia
  • Author: Michael Levi
  • Publication Date: 09-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: The basis of nuclear doctrine during the Cold War was deterrence. Nuclear powers were deterred from attacking each other by the fear of retaliation. Today, much of the concern over possible nuclear attack comes in the context of rogue states and terrorism. And since only states are known to possess nuclear weapons, an important question is how to deter them from letting terrorists acquire a device, whether through an authorized transfer or a security breach. Michael A. Levi analyzes this aspect of deterrence in the post–Cold War world, as well as what to do if deterrence breaks down. He suggests how to discourage states from giving weapons or nuclear materials to terrorists and how to encourage states to bolster security against any accidental transfer. The report also discusses the role of nuclear attribution—the science of identifying the origin of nuclear materials—in deterring transfers, an essential link in assigning responsibility to governments for transfers of nuclear materials.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Security, Cold War, Nuclear Weapons, Nuclear Power
  • Political Geography: United States, Soviet Union
  • Author: John Hillen, Lawrence Korb
  • Publication Date: 09-2000
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Since the end of the Cold War, our defense policy has been formulated on an ad hoc basis without a clear underpinning. This piecemeal way of doing things has caused problems and frustrations both at home and abroad. Our Congress, military, allies, adversaries, and potential adversaries are confused about the lack of consistency. You and your opponents expressed similar concerns during the campaign.
  • Topic: Cold War
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Zbigniew Brzezinski, Council on Foreign Relations, F. Stephen Larrabee
  • Publication Date: 04-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: The Independent Task Force on U.S. Policy Toward Northeastern Europe sponsored by the Council on Foreign Relations was formed to examine the policy challenges confronting the United States in northeastern Europe and recommend measures to advance U.S. interests in the region. The Task Force felt that northeastern Europe deserves special attention for several reasons. First, during the Cold War, northeastern Europe was a strategic backwater and received relatively little attention in U.S. policy. However, since the end of the Cold War, the region has become an important focal point of U.S. policy. The Clinton administration has given northeastern Europe high priority and viewed the region as a laboratory for promoting closer regional cooperation and reknitting Europe—both eastern and western—into a more cohesive economic and political unit. As Secretary of State Madeleine Albright noted in her speech in Vilnius, Lithuania, in July 1997, “Our challenge is to build a fully integrated Europe that includes every European democracy willing to meet its responsibilities. That goal embraces the Baltic nations.” Thus, to some extent, northeastern Europe can be seen as a test case for the Clinton administration's general approach toward post-Cold War Europe. Second, northeastern Europe is also a test case for the administration's policy toward Russia. One of the key elements of the administration's policy has been its effort to reach out to Russia and to include Russia in regional cooperation arrangements in northeastern Europe. This effort has been designed to integrate Russia gradually into a broader European framework as well as to defuse Russian concerns about the integration of the Baltic states into Euro-Atlantic institutions, especially NATO. This policy is seen by the administration as a litmus test of its effort to overcome the old zero-sum Cold War paradigm and demonstrate that greater regional cooperation can bring benefits to all, including Russia. Thus, how well this policy succeeds will have broader implications for the administration's policy toward Russia as a whole. Third, three critical areas of U.S. policy interest—the Baltics, the Nordics, and Russia—intersect in northeastern Europe. Instability in the region would affect all three interests. Moreover, the Baltic region is the one region in Europe where a U.S.-Russian confrontation is still conceivable. Thus, the United States has a strong stake in defusing the potential for conflict in the region and promoting its stable economic and political development. Fourth, the United States faces a number of critical challenges in the region. One of the most important is managing the security aspirations of the Baltic states. The Baltic states are tied to Europe historically and culturally. They share Western values and aspirations. Having thrown off the shackles of communism and Soviet domination, the Baltic states, like their counterparts in Central Europe, want to join Europe and Euro-Atlantic institutions. How the United States seeks to accommodate their security aspirations will be a major test of the U.S. commitment to creating a “Europe whole and free” and its ability to overcome the zero-sum logic of the Cold War. Fifth, the policy challenges in northeastern Europe—particularly those in the Baltic subregion—directly touch on Russia's security interests and have important implications for U.S.-Russian relations. Top Russian officials have reiterated on numerous occasions that Baltic membership in NATO could have serious repercussions for Russia's relations with NATO and the newly established Russia-NATO Council in particular. Although such statements should not necessarily be taken at face value, they highlight the sensitivity of the Baltic issue among the Russian policy elite and ensure that it will remain a highly contentious issue in U.S. relations with Russia. Sixth, the issue of security in northeastern Europe directly affects U.S. relations with the Nordic states, especially Sweden and Finland: the Baltic states are in the Nordic states' strategic backyard. Thus, how the Baltic issue is handled has direct implications for Nordic security—and especially for relations of the Nordic states with Russia. Neither Sweden nor Finland wants to see the Baltic or Nordic region become a gray zone or flash point. At the same time, neither wants to assume the primary responsibility for the security of the Baltic states, which would overburden the capability of either nation. Finally, security issues in northeastern Europe pose important dilemmas for U.S. policy toward NATO. The Baltic issue is the trickiest and most sensitive part of the enlargement puzzle. The Clinton administration has committed itself to helping the Baltic states gain membership in NATO. But many senators have reservations about further enlargement, especially to the Baltic states. So do many of America's NATO allies. Thus, gaining support for Baltic membership could be difficult and will require the administration to build a consensus for its policy both in the U.S. Senate and within the alliance.
  • Topic: Cold War, Communism
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, Eastern Europe
  • Author: Ted Galen Carpenter, Mark Falcoff, Adrian Karatnycky, Gary C. Hufbauer, Robert D. Blackwill, Leslie H. Gelb, Allen R. Adler, Mario L. Baeza, Philip Peters, Bernard W. Aronson, Jeffrey L. Bewkes, Rodolfo O. De La Garza, Daniel W. Fisk, Craig Fuller, M. Farooq Kathwari, Franklin W. Knight, Susan Kaufman Purcell, Peter W. Rodman, Riordan Roett, William D. Rogers, Alexander F. Watson
  • Publication Date: 01-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: This report addresses the current state and the future prospects for the transatlantic relationship. The broad challenge the U.S.-European partnership faces in the period ahead is threefold: to persuade others around the world in post-Cold War conditions to abide by internationally accepted norms and patterns of behavior and the rules of the international institutions that embody them; to deal skillfully with the emerging new power centers, of which China and India are the most prominent; and to meet the current serious threats to Western interests, especially in the Middle East, when these threats often seem to ordinary citizens more remote, abstract, and complex than during the Cold War. This daunting effort will clearly require transatlantic policies that involve a delicate and flexible combination of incentives and disincentives applied to these other countries in a highly discriminating manner in widely differing circumstances. Designing and sustaining such policies will be no easy task for Western governments with compelling domestic preoccupations in the full glare of the media spotlight.
  • Topic: Security, Cold War, International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Middle East
  • Author: Mickey Kantor
  • Publication Date: 11-1997
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: The challenges of the era of interdependence will constitute the greatest foreign policy test of the 21st century. The war over globalization and interdependence is at an end. Only the battles are yet to be fought. Those who cower behind walls of fear and fail to accept responsibility do so at their own peril, and will not turn containment into engagement, or mutual assured destruction into mutual assured prosperity. The approach of the new millennium finds us at the intersection of three epochal events: in politics, the end of the Cold War; in economics, the emergence of a global economy; and in technology, the rise of the Information Age. The intersection of economics, strategic issues, and political concerns is creating the glue which will bind together an updated U.S. foreign policy. Vast opportunities lie before us, and more than a few pitfalls. We face fewer serious military threats but an increasing number of competitors. The rise of competition, the need to create new opportunities, and the confluence of major economic and political changes create a need to intensely focus on U.S. priorities and goals. Despite this urgency, we have yet to fully articulate a foreign policy that matches the era in which we now live, especially the appropriate role of international economics. We need to direct our focus toward the lessons we have learned over the past five years. Seekers of universal truths or simple catch phrases should prepare in advance for disappointment. U.S. leadership in both the public and private sectors must accept the challenges represented by these enormous changes. Our willingness to take responsibility, clearly define our goals, and recognize our limitations but pursue U.S. leadership at every opportunity will dictate the success or failure of promoting a stronger United States and a less dangerous world. The goals and objectives are clear: U.S. leadership must pursue peace, stability, economic progress, basic human rights, and sustainable development. In order to address these goals we need to create foreign-policy tools and institutions that are pragmatic, practical, and resilient reflecting the speed with which events, opportunities, and challenges now confront us as a nation. There is no question that global economics has fundamentally changed the nature of foreign policy. Today, economics and foreign policy are no longer separable, and economic security and national security have become synonymous. We live in an interdependent, globalized world. No longer are we self-contained, nor is it in our interest to be so. We can no longer take for granted our global economic dominance and turn our back on foreign markets. It is self-defeating in the short run and impossible in the long run to ignore the problems which occur across the border or across the world, and we cannot overlook our responsibility as the world's remaining superpower. Driven by technological change, freed of Cold War conflicts and connected by economic and strategic interests, the era of interdependence demands negotiation, engagement, and leadership. Interdependence dictates that our foreign policy and economic future are increasingly connected to international trade. Interdependence dictates that terrorism, weapons proliferation, environmental concerns, the drug trade, and economic opportunity are now cross-border issues. These issues profoundly affect the everyday lives of people around the globe. Cross-border issues directly influence policies, laws, and regulations of the countries in question, raising issues such as the rule of and respect for law, regulation and deregulation, privatization, and other concerns heretofore thought to be strictly internal. This new era requires a redefinition of global leadership. Being the only remaining superpower does not simply mean that we are the strongest military power, nor does it mean only that we are the most economically competitive nation on earth. Both of those statements are true, of course. But holding the position of the world's only remaining superpower in the era of interdependence means that we have the opportunity to take advantage of the vast economic potential which is being created around the globe to the benefit of all Americans, and we have a corresponding obligation to rally other nations to pursue common long-term interests, such as strategic and political stability, economic progress, and sustainable development. There are other examples which support the notion of new multidimensional international relations. Brazil has dramatically increased its international standing and influence using its potential economic strategic position. During the Cold War and prior to the dramatic growth of economic power and industrialization, Brazil's strategic position would have been defined and dictated by its ability or inability to have an influence over strategic and political issues especially those concerning East-West relations. But today, and in the foreseeable future, not only do countries increase their influence based on economic potential and achievement, but economic considerations and relationships tend to bring entities together which in other circumstances could not or would not cooperate. The recent Middle East Economic Conferences and the participation of China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) are obvious examples.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Cold War, Diplomacy, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: United States, China, America, Taiwan, Asia, Brazil, Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Author: David J. Vidal
  • Publication Date: 05-1996
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: In the architecture of postwar American foreign policy, the twin themes of the Cold War and the national interest emerge as unshakable pillars. In the design of the conference, one session was set aside to explore the practical and political meanings of these themes for minorities. Conferees were asked to consider how Cold War foreign policy priorities intersected with minority concerns. They were also asked to assess whether the declaration made by Hans J. Morgenthau --that "we should have one guiding standard for thought and action, the national interest"--was a useful benchmark. These two points of departure struck the organizers as indispensable to any rethinking of the future.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Cold War, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, America