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  • Author: Dr. Mary Manjikian
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: An analysis of weapons-based confidence-building measures shows how academics can work together to self-police their research for national security implications, socialize new members of the academic community into the importance of considering security issues, and develop and disseminate norms regarding what is and is not a moral and ethical use of these technologies. It may be possible for academics and policymakers to come together to work for a ban or build-down on cyber weapons patterned on international efforts to ban chemical and biological weapons and implement export regimes to control the export of code which may form the components of cyber weapons. If we conceptualize cyberspace as territory, we can also learn from the example of territorially-based confidence-building measures such as those implemented along the Indo-Pakistan border. This approach stresses the importance of developing notification procedures to prevent misperceptions and the escalation spiral, as well as communicating regularly to establish trust between all parties. The case studies presented here illustrate the promises and pitfalls of each approach and offer valuable warnings to policymakers seeking to implement such measures in cyberspace. They show what happens when not everyone in a regime is equally committed to a specific outcome by illustrating the difficulties of monitoring compliance in confidence-building regimes, and show the ways in which doctrines and confidence-building measures may not be perfectly aligned.
  • Topic: Security, National Security, Science and Technology, War, Weapons of Mass Destruction, Cybersecurity
  • Political Geography: United States, Global Focus
  • Author: Dr. Larry D. Miller
  • Publication Date: 03-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: The Army War College Review, a refereed publication of student work, is produced under the purview of the Strategic Studies Institute and the United States Army War College. An electronic quarterly, The AWC Review connects student intellectual work with professionals invested in U.S. national security, Landpower, strategic leadership, global security studies, and the advancement of the profession of arms.
  • Topic: Security, National Security, War, Global Security
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Jeffery L. Caton
  • Publication Date: 10-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: The monograph is comprised of four main sections: Characterization. This section provides the notional foundation necessary to avoid any devolution of the analysis to mere semantic arguments. It presents how cyberspace is defined and characterized for this discussion, as well as how this compares to existing concepts of the traditional domains of land, sea, air, and space. Also, it identifies some of the unique technical challenges that the cyberspace domain may introduce into the process of distinguishing acts of war. Assessment Criteria. This section explores the de jure and the de facto issues involved with assaying cyber incidents to determine if they represent aggression and possible use of force; and, if so, to what degree? It reviews the traditional legal frameworks surrounding military action to include the United Nations (UN) Charter and the Law of Armed Conflict. It also examines how these compare to the recently published Tallinn Manual on the International Law Applicable to Cyber Warfare. From these sources, it proposes a cyberspace incident assessment methodology. Policy Considerations. Having identified viable criteria to aid with the assessment of cyber-space incidents, this section looks at the policy considerations associated with applying such principles. First, it examines the relevant U.S. strategies; next, it investigates the strategies of other key countries and international organizations and how they compare to U.S. tenets; and finally, it evaluates how nonstate actors may affect U.S. deliberations. Courses of Action. This section examines the influences that course of action development and implementation may have on the assessment of cyberspace incidents. It first looks at the President's role as the primary decisionmaker in U.S. national matters regarding cyber-space. It then surveys key influences affecting subordinate decisionmakers and their staffs that may be advising the Commander-in-Chief: reliable situational awareness, global and domestic environment considerations, and options and their related risks and potential consequences.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Intelligence, Science and Technology, War
  • Political Geography: United States, United Nations
  • Author: Heidi Reisinger, Aleksandr Golts
  • Publication Date: 11-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: NATO Defense College
  • Abstract: Ukraine is not even a state!” Putin reportedly advised former US President George W. Bush during the 2008 NATO Summit in Bucharest. In 2014 this perception became reality. Russian behaviour during the current Ukraine crisis was based on the traditional Russian idea of a “sphere of influence” and a special responsibility or, stated more bluntly, the “right to interfere” with countries in its “near abroad”. This perspective is also implied by the equally misleading term “post-Soviet space.” The successor states of the Soviet Union are sovereign countries that have developed differently and therefore no longer have much in common. Some of them are members of the European Union and NATO, while others are desperately trying to achieve this goal. Contrary to what Professor John Mearsheimer may suggest. In his article “Why the Ukraine crisis is the West's fault” he argues that NATO has expanded too far to the East, “into Russia's backyard”, against Moscow's declared will, and therefore carries responsibility for recent events; however, this seems to ignore that NATO was not hunting for new members, but found them knocking at its door.
  • Topic: NATO, War
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Ukraine, Soviet Union, Moscow
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman, Bryan Gold
  • Publication Date: 05-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The report shows that Iran's current missile and rocket forces help compensate for its lack of effective air power and allow it to pose a threat to its neighbors and US forces that could affect their willingness to strike on Iran if Iran uses its capabilities for asymmetric warfare in the Gulf or against any of its neighbors. At another level, Iran's steady increase in the number, range, and capability of its rocket and missile forces has increased the level of tension in the Gulf, and in other regional states like Turkey, Jordan, and Israel. Iran has also shown that it will transfer long-range rockets to “friendly” or “proxy” forces like the Hezbollah and Hamas. At a far more threatening level, Iran has acquired virtually every element of a nuclear breakout capability except the fissile material needed to make a weapon. This threat has already led to a growing “war of sanctions,” and Israeli and US threats of preventive strikes. At the same time, the threat posed by Iran's nuclear programs cannot be separated from the threat posed by Iran's growing capabilities for asymmetric warfare in the Gulf and along all of its borders. It is far from clear that negotiations and sanctions can succeed in limiting Iran's ability to acquire nuclear weapons and deploy nuclear-armed missiles. At the same time, the report shows that military options offer uncertain alternatives. Both Israel and the US have repeatedly stated that they are planning and ready for military options that could include preventive strikes on at least Iran's nuclear facilities and, and that US strikes might cover a much wider range of missile facilities and other targets. A preventive war might trigger a direct military confrontation or conflict in the Gulf with little warning. It might also lead to at least symbolic Iranian missile strikes on US basing facilities, GCC targets or Israel. At the same time, it could lead to much more serious covert and proxy operations in Lebanon, Iraq, Afghanistan, the rest of the Gulf, and other areas.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Arms Control and Proliferation, Nuclear Weapons, War
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran, Middle East
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman, Robert M. Shelala II
  • Publication Date: 04-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Concepts are not a strategy. Broad outlines do not set real priorities. A strategy requires a plan with concrete goals numbers schedules and costs for procurement, allocation, manpower, force structure, and detailed operational capabilities. For all the talk of 10 years of planned spending levels and cuts, the President and Congress can only shape the actual budget and defense program one year at a time. Unpredicted events and realities will intervene. There is a near zero real world probability that the coming plan and budget will shape the future in spite of changes in the economy, politics, entitlements, and threats to the US.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, Arms Control and Proliferation, International Cooperation, War, Counterinsurgency
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: James M. Acton
  • Publication Date: 09-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: The development of non-nuclear weapons that can strike distant targets in a short period of time has been a U.S. goal for more than a decade. Advocates argue that such Conventional Prompt Global Strike (CPGS) weapons could be used to counter antisatellite weapons or sophisticated defensive capabilities; deny a new proliferator the ability to employ its nuclear arsenal; and kill high-value terrorists. Critics worry that CPGS weapons could create serious strategic risks, most notably of escalation—including to the nuclear level—in a conflict.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Arms Control and Proliferation, Terrorism, War
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman
  • Publication Date: 08-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The US is already at least six months behind in shaping an effective Transition in Afghanistan. It has not laid credible plans for the security, governance, and economic aspects of Transition. It has not made its level of future commitment clear to its allies or the Afghans, and it has failed dismally to convince the Congress and the American people that there is a credible reason to support Transition beyond the end of 2014.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Foreign Policy, Development, Economics, Islam, War, Fragile/Failed State
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: As the presidential election approaches in 2014, with the security transition at the year's end, Afghan women, including parliamentarians and rights activists, are concerned that the hard-won political, economic and social gains achieved since the U.S.-led intervention in 2001 may be rolled back or conceded in negotiations with the insurgents. Afghanistan's stabilisation ultimately rests on the state's accountability to all its citizens, and respect for constitutional, legal and international commitments, including to human rights and gender equality. There will be no sustainable peace unless there is justice, and justice demands that the state respect and protect the rights of women, half its population.
  • Topic: NATO, Democratization, Development, Gender Issues, Peace Studies, War, Counterinsurgency
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Central Asia
  • Author: Seth G. Jones, Keith Crane
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Afghanistan will undergo three major transitions in 2014: from a Hamid Karzai–led government to one presumably headed by another president following the 2014 election; from a U.S.-led to an Afghan-led counterinsurgency; and from an economy driven by foreign expenditures on military support and assistance to one more reliant on domestic sources of growth, as the United States and other countries reduce their presence. The United States and its allies will need to shape each of these transitions in ways that safeguard their interests.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, Arms Control and Proliferation, Islam, Terrorism, War, Counterinsurgency
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States
  • Author: Peter Andreas
  • Publication Date: 09-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Watson Institute for International Studies, Brown University
  • Abstract: A great deal of scholarly and policy attention has been given in recent years to the relationship between illicit trade and armed conflict. Much of the focus has been on how violent non-state actors have exploited illicit commerce to fund and sustain rebellion. It is commonly asserted that this is a distinctly post-Cold War phenomenon—even a defining characteristic of so-called "new wars."1 A frequent argument, for example, is that in the absence of formal external sponsorship from the United States or the former Soviet Union, insurgents have increasingly turned to alternative forms of material support. This includes illicit exports dubbed "conflict commodities," such as drugs, timber, ivory, diamonds, and so on. Thus, partly thanks to the campaigns of international NGOs such as Global Witness, diamonds from conflict zones in West Africa have been labeled "blood diamonds" (inspiring a James Bond movie and other major Hollywood productions).
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Conflict Prevention, Political Violence, Crime, International Trade and Finance, War, Counterinsurgency
  • Political Geography: United States, Soviet Union, West Africa
  • Author: Jon Kyl, Jim Talent
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: When President Obama took office, the armed services of the United States had already reached a fragile state. The Navy had shrunk to its smallest size since before World War I; the Air Force was smaller, and its aircraft older, than at any time since the inception of the service. The Army was stressed by years of war; according to Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, it had been underfunded before the invasion of Iraq and was desperately in need of resources to replace its capital inventory.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Economics, Politics, War
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq
  • Author: Douglas J. Feith
  • Publication Date: 02-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Hudson Institute
  • Abstract: Though not the beginning of the war between Islamist extremists and the United States, 9/11 was the moment when most Americans realized that such a war was underway. Understandably, the challenge often is thought of as a problem of terrorism, but it is broader.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Terrorism, War
  • Political Geography: United States, Australia
  • Author: Harsh Pant
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Peace and Security Studies
  • Abstract: Indian diplomacy faced a major setback at the Afghanistan Conference in London in January 2010, where Indian concerns were summarily ignored. In one stroke, Pakistan rendered New Delhi irrelevant in the evolving security dynamic in Afghanistan. When Indian External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna underscored the folly of making a distinction “between good Taliban and bad Taliban,” he was completely out of sync with the larger mood at the conference. Days before this much-hyped conference, senior U.S. military commanders were suggesting that peace talks with the Taliban may be imminent and that Taliban members might even be invited to join the government in Kabul. The West had made up its mind that it was not a question of if, but when and how to exit from Afghanistan, which seemed to be becoming a quagmire for the leaders in Washington and London.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Terrorism, War, Power Politics, Counterinsurgency
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Afghanistan, United States, Washington, India, Taliban, London, New Delhi
  • Author: Timo Behr, Charly Salonius-Pasternak
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: States which contribute to various international efforts in Afghanistan will find it increasingly difficult to balance a need to show long-term commitment with an unpredictable political and quickly changing operating environment. Recent events in Afghanistan are threatening to undermine the plans for an orderly transition of security responsibilities to Afghan authorities by the end of 2014. Countries must be ready to adjust contributions in both size and task during both 2012 and 2013. Germany has pledged to only gradually withdraw its forces and maintain its focus on partnering and training, despite an increasingly unstable environment. Current planning also foresees a German commitment in the post-2014 period. Finland will increasingly focus on civilian crisis management efforts and development assistance, and will stay engaged and committed as long as its closest partners also do so. Sweden is set to continue leading a Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT), but post-2014 commitments are unclear. The United States is set to return to 'pre-surge' force levels (though with a different force structure) of around 68,000 soldiers by autumn 2012. Further withdrawals of up to 30,000 soldiers are being discussed.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Defense Policy, Peace Studies, War
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Finland, Germany, Sweden
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: It is surprisingly difficult to get a meaningful estimate of the total cost of the Afghan conflict, total spending on Afghan forces and total spending on various forms of aid. More data are available on US efforts – which have dominated military and aid spending, but even these data present serious problems in reliability, consistency, and definition. Moreover, it is only since FY2012 that the US provided an integrated request for funding for the war as part of its annual budget request. The data for the period before FY2009 are accurate pictures of the Department of Defense request, but there is only a CRS estimate of total spending the previous years.
  • Topic: Economics, War
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States
  • Author: Gilles Dorronsoro
  • Publication Date: 09-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: The withdrawal of international forces from Afghanistan will leave the country worse than it was before 2001 in some respects. There is no clear plan for the future. Washington will progressively lose its influence over Kabul, and drone operations in Pakistan are not a credible way to fight jihadist groups on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. The situation will only worsen after 2014, when most U.S. troops are out of the country and aid going to the Afghan government steeply declines.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Islam, Terrorism, War, Insurgency
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Afghanistan, United States, Washington, Asia
  • Author: Raymond Gilpin, John Forrer, Timothy L. Fort
  • Publication Date: 09-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: The business sector can promote prosperity and stability in conflict-prone and conflict affected regions through good corporate citizenship, but operating in these high-risk, high-reward environments is fraught with great difficulty. Many firms develop risk mitigation strategies designed to minimize exposure and cost without accounting for costs to the country, its population, and the environment. Poor risk management strategies combine with endemic corruption and myriad market failures and distortions resulting from weak economic governance to reinforce aspects of the political economy that could trigger and sustain violent conflict. Effectively addressing these failings could reduce business costs, increase efficiency, and improve governance and livelihoods in fragile regions. U.S. government policy documents, such as the Quadrennial Defense Review, Quadrennial Diplomacy and Defense Review, and National Security Strategy, allude to a potential role for firms in furthering stability and promoting peace but do not clearly analyze the complexities such endeavors entail or identify workable solutions. Strategies to capitalize on the immense potential of the business sector to foster peace must account for the size of firms, whether they are state or privately owned, which industries they are involved in, and their interconnectedness within supply chains. Key components of effective strategies include crafting incentives to reward investing firms that espouse good corporate citizenship, strengthening international initiatives that promote transparency and contain corruption, developing initiatives to more fully incorporate the local economy into global value chains, and introducing mechanisms to forge global consensus on appropriate conflict-sensitive business practices.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Political Violence, Development, Poverty, War, Fragile/Failed State
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Matthieu Aikins
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: As Afghanistan approaches the 2014 deadline for assuming responsibility for its own security, and the international community becomes preoccupied with the challenge of reducing its vast entanglement with the country's politics, economy, and society, the critical question is whether NATO's transition will succeed in stabilizing Afghanistan—or whether it will result in further destabilization, as seen following the Soviet withdrawal in 1989, which eventually led to the collapse of the central government, large-scale civil war, and the country's development into a haven for international terrorism.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Political Violence, Crime, Islam, War, Counterinsurgency
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Central Asia
  • Author: Scott Helfstein, Dominick Wright
  • Publication Date: 05-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Combating Terrorism Center at West Point
  • Abstract: The death of Osama bin Laden on May 1, 2011 represents the culmination of a decade long fight to bring the perpetrators of the September 11 attacks to justice. Sustaining the effort needed to arrive at this point is a testament to the resilience of the counterterrorism community and nation, but it subsequently raises a series of questions regarding the future of al‐Qa'ida and the violent social movement spawned by bin Laden and fellow entrepreneurial jihadis. It is tempting to view his death as the end of a long struggle, but the violent extremists radicalized and mobilized by al‐Qa'ida's global jihadi narrative regard this as the end of the opening act. The terrorist threat that the United States and its allies face today has evolved in the years since September 11. Over that time, experts have engaged in heated debates over al‐Qa'ida's strategic center of gravity, with some stressing the importance of central leadership while others emphasize the threat from radicalized individuals unconnected with any formal organization. This seemingly academic debate about the nature of al‐Qa'ida is crucial to understanding the possible manifestations of the threat following bin Laden's death, as well as guiding the way forward for policymakers, practitioners, and the general public. The attached article tries to assess the threat al‐Qa'ida poses by looking across the different operational levels: the core, periphery, and movement. The core represents those in a hierarchical organization, marked by a leadership cadre tied to their followers. Those connected to the al‐Qa'ida network, but outside the control of core leadership, are the peripheral actors. For al‐Qa'ida, this is often best represented by affiliated or associated groups such as al‐Qa'ida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) or al‐ Qa'ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM). The final level is made up of those who are unconnected from the larger network, but motivated to action through the principles espoused by the ideological leaders. These individuals are part of a broader social movement that adheres to the narrative and perpetrates violent action, but remains distinct from the core or connected affiliates.
  • Topic: Islam, Terrorism, War, Armed Struggle, Counterinsurgency
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Minna Jarvenpaa
  • Publication Date: 02-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: The proposition that a political settlement is needed to end the war in Afghanistan has gained increasing attention in recent months. Channels for preliminary talks with Taliban leaders have been sought and a High Peace Council created. However, despite upbeat military assessments, the insurgency has expanded its reach across the country and continues to enjoy sanctuary in Pakistan. Afghans increasingly resent the presence of foreign troops, and the Taliban draw strength from grievances by ordinary Afghans against their government. External money to supply military bases and pay for development projects often ends up fueling conflict rather than creating stability. For their part, President Karzai and many Afghan political elites lack genuine commitment to reform, calling into question the viability of a state-building international strategy and transition by 2014. Missing is a political strategy to end the conflict that goes beyond dealing with the Taliban; it must define the kind of state that Afghans are willing to live in and that regional neighbors can endorse. Knowing that such a settlement could take years to conclude does not diminish the urgency of initiating the process. Given doubts about Karzai's ability to manage the situation effectively, the international community needs to facilitate a peace process more pro-actively than it has. To be sustainable, the process will need to be inclusive; women's rights, human rights, and media freedoms cannot become casualties of negotiations. Afghanistan's international partners should commit to a peace process and lay the groundwork to appoint a mediator. This includes gauging the interests of parties, identifying actual participants in talks, and structuring an agenda. In the meantime, international military efforts must be realigned to avoid action that contradicts the ultimate aim of a peace settlement.
  • Topic: NATO, Treaties and Agreements, War, Armed Struggle, Counterinsurgency
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Afghanistan, United States, Taliban
  • Publication Date: 08-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: After a decade of major security, development and humanitarian assistance, the international community has failed to achieve a politically stable and economically viable Afghanistan. Despite billions of dollars in aid, state institutions remain fragile and unable to provide good governance, deliver basic services to the majority of the population or guarantee human security. As the insurgency spreads to areas regarded as relatively safe till now, and policymakers in Washington and other Western capitals seek a way out of an unpopular war, the international community still lacks a coherent policy to strengthen the state ahead of the withdrawal of most foreign forces by December 2014. The impact of international assistance will remain limited unless donors, particularly the largest, the U.S., stop subordinating programming to counter-insurgency objectives, devise better mechanisms to monitor implementation, adequately address corruption and wastage of aid funds, and ensure that recipient communities identify needs and shape assistance policies.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, War, Foreign Aid, Counterinsurgency
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States
  • Author: Sean Kane
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: The two rising powers in the Middle East—Turkey and Iran—are neighbors to Iraq, its leading trading partners, and rapidly becoming the most influential external actors inside the country as the U.S. troop withdrawal proceeds. Although there is concern in Washington about bilateral cooperation between Turkey and Iran, their differing visions for the broader Middle East region are particularly evident in Iraq, where a renewal of the historical Ottoman-Persian rivalry in Mesopotamia is likely as the dominant American presence fades. Turkey aims for a robust Iraqi political process in which no single group dominates, sees a strong Iraq as contributing to both its own security and regional stability, and is actively investing in efforts to expand Iraqi oil and gas production to help meet its own energy needs and fulfill its goal of becoming the energy conduit from the Middle East to Europe. Iran prefers a passive neighbor with an explicitly sectarian political architecture that ensures friendly Shiite-led governments; sees a strong Iraq as an inherent obstacle to its own broader influence in the region and, in the nightmare scenario, once again possibly a direct conventional military threat; and looks askance at increased Iraqi hydrocarbon production as possible competition for its own oil exports. Baghdad meanwhile believes that it can become a leader in the Middle East but is still struggling to define an inclusive national identity and develop a foreign policy based on consensus. In its current fractured state, Iraq tends to invites external interference and is subsumed into the wider regional confrontation between the Sunni Arab defenders of the status quo and the “resistance axis” led by Shiite Iran. Turkey has an opening in Iraq because it is somewhat removed from this toxic Arab-Persian divide, welcomes a strong Iraq, and offers the Iraqi economy integration with international markets. Ankara could now allay Iraqi Shiite suspicions that it intends to act as a Sunni power in the country and not allow issues on which Turkish and Iraqi interests deviate to set the tone for their relationship. The U.S. conceptualization of an increased Turkish influence in Iraq as a balance to Iran's is limited and could undermine Turkey's core advantages by steering it towards a counterproductive sectarian approach. A more productive U.S. understanding is of Turkey as a regional power with the greatest alignment of interests in a strong, stable, and selfsufficient country that the Iraqis want and that the Obama administration has articulated as the goal of its Iraq policy. On the regional level, a strong and stable Iraq is a possible pivot for Turkish and Iranian ambitions, enabling Ankara and hindering Tehran. Washington may well have its differences with Turkey's new foreign policy of zero problems with its neighbors, but the Turkish blend of Islam, democracy, and soft power is a far more attractive regional template than the Iranian narrative of Islamic theocracy and hard power resistance. The United States should therefore continue to welcome increased Turkish-Iraqi economic, trade, and energy ties and where possible support their development as a key part of its post-2011 strategy for Iraq and the region.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Economics, Imperialism, War
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Andrew Blum
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: The effective evaluation of peacebuilding programs is essential if the field is to learn what constitutes effective and ineffective practice and to hold organizations accountable for using good practice and avoiding bad practice. In the field of peacebuilding evaluation, good progress has been made on the intellectual front. There are now clear guidelines, frameworks, and tool kits to guide practitioners who wish to initiate an evaluation process within the peacebuilding field. Despite this, progress in improving peacebuilding evaluation itself has slowed over the past several years. The cause of this is a set of interlocking problems in the way the peacebuilding field is organized. These in turn create systemic problems that hinder effective evaluation and the utilization of evaluation results. The Peacebuilding Evaluation Project, organized by USIP and the Alliance for Peacebuilding, brought funders and implementers together to work on solutions to the systemic problems in peacebuilding work. This report discusses these solutions, which are grouped into three categories: building consensus, strengthening norms, and disrupting practice and creating alternatives. Several initiatives in each of these categories are already under way.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Conflict Prevention, Political Violence, Civil War, Peace Studies, War, Armed Struggle, Insurgency, Peacekeeping
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Gilles Dorronsoro
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: A combination of two critical problems threatens to undermine the mission of the United States-led coalition in Afghanistan: the failure of the counterinsurgency strategy and a disconnect between political objectives and military operations. If anything, the current strategy is making a political solution less likely, notably because it is antagonizing Pakistan without containing the rise of the armed opposition. That has put the coalition in a paradoxical situation, in which it is being weakened militarily by a non-negotiated and inevitable withdrawal while at the same time alienating potential negotiating partners.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Foreign Policy, War, Counterinsurgency
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States
  • Author: Robert Jervis
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Arnold A. Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies
  • Abstract: Recent world politics displays two seemingly contradictory trends: on one hand, the incidence of international and even civil war shows a very great decline, but on the other hand the US, and to a lesser extent Britain and France, have been involved in many military adventures since the end of the Cold War. The causes are numerous, but among them are the unipolar structure of world politics, which presents the US with different kinds of threats and new opportunities. Central also is the existence of a Security Community among the leading states. A number of forces and events could undermine it, but they seem unlikely to occur. Even in this better world, however, recessed violence will still play a significant role, and force, like other forms of power, is most potent and useful when it remains far in the background.
  • Topic: Civil War, Cold War, War, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: United States, France
  • Author: Vijaya Ramachandran, Gregory Johnson, Julie Walz
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: The U.S. military has become substantially engaged in economic development and stabilization and will likely continue to carry out these activities in in-conflict zones for some time to come. Since FY2002, nearly $62 billion has been appropriated for relief and reconstruction in Afghanistan. The Commander's Emergency Response Program (CERP), which provides funds for projects to address urgent reconstruction and relief efforts, is one component of the military's development operations. In this analysis, we take U.S. military involvement in development as a given and concentrate on providing recommendations for it to operate more efficiently and effectively. By doing so, we are not advocating that the U.S. military become involved in all types of development activities or that CERP be used more broadly; rather, our recommendations address the military's capacity to carry out what it is already doing in Afghanistan and other in-conflict situations.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Development, Economics, War, Foreign Aid
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The US confronts a wide range of challenges if it is to win the Afghan conflict in any meaningful sense, and leave a stable Afghanistan and Pakistan: Decide on US strategic objectives in conducting and terminating the war. These objectives not only include the defeat of Al Qaeda, but deciding on what kind of transition the US wishes to make in Afghanistan, what goals the US can achieve in creating a stable Afghanistan, US goals in Pakistan, and the broader strategic goals the US will seek in Central and South Asia. Defeat the insurgency not only in tactical terms, but also by eliminating its control and influence over the population and ability exploit sanctuaries in Pakistan and win a war of political transition. Create a more effective and integrated, operational civil and civil-military transition effort by NATO/ISAF, UN, member countries, NGO, and international community efforts through 2014 and for 5-10 years after the withdrawal of combat forces. Build up a much larger, and more effective, mix of Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF). Give the Afghan government the necessary capacity and legitimacy (and lasting stability) at the national, regional/provincial, district, and local levels by 2014. Dealing with Pakistan in reducing the Taliban-Haqqani network in the NWFP and Baluchistan, and dealing with the broader risk Pakistan will become a failed nuclear weapons state. Shape a balance of post-transition relations with India, Iran, "Stans," Russia, and China that will help sustain posttransition stability. Make effective trade-offs in terms of resources relative to the priorities set by other US domestic and security interests.
  • Topic: Security, Terrorism, War, Counterinsurgency
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Afghanistan, United States
  • Author: Graciana del Castillo
  • Publication Date: 10-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: The longest war and one of the largest relief efforts in U.S. history- in Afghanistan and Haiti, respectively-are testing the cost-effectiveness of U.S. foreign assistance in conflictravaged or disaster-torn countries. U.S.-led economic reconstruction in both countries is clearly off track and becoming increasingly costly and unpopular-both at home and in the respective countries. Reconstruction zones (RZs), consisting of two distinct but linked areas to ensure synergies between them-a local-production reconstruction zone (LRZ) producing for local consumption and an export-oriented reconstruction zone (ERZ) producing exclusively for export- could be used to replace the fragmented way aid is provided to these countries with an integrated strategy for economic reconstruction. With an appropriate legal and regulatory framework, ERZs-operating as free-trade zones- could create appropriate links to the national economy as well as positive externalities or spillovers. Such a framework would avoid the problems created by these zones operating as enclaves in Haiti in the past. By targeting aid to provide adequate infrastructure and services within the RZs at a manageable scale, countries could jump-start their productive sectors and create jobs and entrepreneurship in agriculture, light manufacturing, and services, both for domestic consumption and for exports. By creating dynamic and inclusive growth, RZs could help countries stand on their own feet, consolidate peace, and overcome the unsustainable aid dependency to which they have grown accustomed.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Humanitarian Aid, War, Natural Disasters, Foreign Aid
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Caribbean
  • Author: John K. Naland
  • Publication Date: 10-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: Embedded provincial reconstruction teams (ePRTs) were small State Department- led units inserted into U.S. combat brigades in Iraq from 2007 to 2010 to support military counterinsurgency efforts at the local level. During major combat operations in 2007 and into 2008, ePRTs provided important support to military counterinsurgency efforts. As U.S. combat units wound down these efforts and withdrew from towns and cities, ePRTs did useful-but harder to quantify-work in mentoring local officials. Combat brigades and ePRTs generally worked well together. However, some units were unsure of how best to employ civilians. The military and civilians also sometimes had differing views on issues of short-term versus long-term goals. Despite problems, ePRT veterans believe that they had a positive effect in both supporting military counterinsurgency efforts and helping local Iraqi officials prepare for self-reliance. Interviewees identified a variety of operational problems that detracted from ePRT mission accomplishment. The Iraq ePRTs are now history, but as the United States continues to use civil-military teams in Afghanistan, these observed lessons need to be learned and acted upon.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, War, Counterinsurgency
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Iraq, Arabia
  • Author: Graciana del Castillo
  • Publication Date: 08-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: The United States' longest war, in Afghanistan, and one of the largest relief efforts in U.S. history, in Haiti, are testing U.S. leadership in the world, as well as its determination to deal with fiscal imbalances, the debt burden, and economic malaise at home. U.S.-led reconstruction in both countries is lagging and becoming increasingly expensive, and it will not succeed without a major change in strategy. U.S. goals in both countries will be elusive unless the misguided policies and misplaced priorities under which reconstruction has been taking place change in fundamental ways. Each country is different and will need to develop its own strategy. Nevertheless, we have identified basic rules, lessons, and best practices that national policymakers and the international community should keep in mind to improve the provision of aid and technical assistance. During the immediate transition from war or chaos, reconstruction is not development as usual: The peace (or political) objective should prevail at all times over the development (or economic) objective. Without peace there cannot be development. Policymaking should be tailored to four major differences from development as usual. Emergency policies should be adopted without delay, aid to groups most affected by crises should be prioritized, corruption should be checked, and national ownership of reconstruction policies must be assured. For both Afghanistan and Haiti, a broad-based debate-including national leaders, U.S. government officials, members of Congress, military leaders, academics, think tanks, and aid practitioners in these countries-is urgently needed and should take place without delay, as it did at the time of the Marshall Plan.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Peace Studies, War
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Haiti
  • Author: Mark Fields, Ramsha Ahmed
  • Publication Date: 11-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for National Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: Ten years ago in Bonn, Germany, the United Nations Envoy to Afghanistan, Ambassador Lakhdar Brahimi, and U.S. Envoy to the Afghan Opposition, Ambassador James Dobbins, led a diverse group of international diplomats and warriors to consensus and charted the political course for Afghanistan well into the decade. The process that led to the Bonn Agreement (Bonn 2001, or Bonn I) reflects the best of U.S. and United Nations statesmanship and was the result of the effective application of military and diplomatic power.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, NATO, United Nations, War, Peacekeeping
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Germany
  • Author: Stephen J. Collier
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The New School Graduate Program in International Affairs
  • Abstract: This paper explores “system vulnerability thinking” as a specific response to the exigencies of thermonuclear war in the 1950s. It is one part of a collaborative project with Andrew Lakoff on the government of catastrophe in the post - World War II United States. The project focuses on the forms of expertise, the knowledge practices, and the governmental institutions that have been invented to anticipate and manage potential catastrophes, from natural disasters, to pandemic disease, to terrorism, to energy crises. In this project we have identified the reconfiguration of US government in the early years of the Cold War as a crucial moment in which the government of catastrophe in the post - World War II US took shape.
  • Topic: Cold War, Nuclear Weapons, War, History
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Vincent Manzo
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for National Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: Warfare has become even more complicated since Richard Smoke wrote this description of escalation in 1977. The National Security Space Strategy describes space as “congested, contested, and competitive,” yet satellites underpin U.S. military and economic power. Activity in cyberspace has permeated every facet of human activity, including U.S. military operations, yet the prospects for effective cyber defenses are bleak. Many other actors depend on continued access to these domains, but not nearly as much as the United States.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Defense Policy, Nuclear Weapons, Science and Technology, War, Weapons of Mass Destruction
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Hayat Alvi
  • Publication Date: 11-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Human Rights Human Welfare (University of Denver)
  • Abstract: Ten years after the September 11th attacks in the United States and the military campaign in Afghanistan, there is some good news, but unfortunately still much bad news pertaining to women in Afghanistan. The patterns of politics, security/military operations, religious fanaticism, heavily patriarchal structures and practices, and ongoing insurgent violence continue to threaten girls and women in the most insidious ways. Although women's rights and freedoms in Afghanistan have finally entered the radar screen of the international community's consciousness, they still linger in the margins in many respects.
  • Topic: Security, Gender Issues, Human Rights, Human Welfare, War, Counterinsurgency
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States
  • Author: Barack Obama
  • Publication Date: 01-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: THE PRESIDENT: Madam Speaker, Vice President Biden, members of Congress, distinguished guests, and fellow Americans: Our Constitution declares that from time to time, the President shall give to Congress information about the state of our union. For 220 years, our leaders have fulfilled this duty. They've done so during periods of prosperity and tranquility. And they've done so in the midst of war and depression; at moments of great strife and great struggle.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Government, War, Labor Issues, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Carl Conetta
  • Publication Date: 01-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Project on Defense Alternatives
  • Abstract: The rise in US defense spending since 1998 has no precedent in all the years since the Korean war. It most readily compares with two earlier, but lesser spending surges: the 1958-1968 surge of 43% and the 1975-1985 surge of 57%. The post-Cold War retrenchment of the US military reached its limit in 1998 with DoD's budget settling at an ebb point of $361.5 billion (2010 USD). If we treat the 1998 budget level as a “baseline” and project it forward to 2010 (adjusting for inflation), we find that the total amount of funds that have been given to DoD above this level during the years 1999-2010 is $2.15 trillion (in 2010 dollars). This figure constitutes what we call the post-1998 spending surge. (All told, DoD budget authority for the period was $6.5 trillion in 2010 dollars).
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Arms Control and Proliferation, War
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Robert Matthews
  • Publication Date: 01-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Norwegian Peacebuilding Resource Centre
  • Abstract: Pakistan's cooperation is crucial to the success of the current US and Nato strategy in Afghanistan. Yet the Pakistani military not only has misgivings about the Nato surge but also its own agenda. Central to the discord is the military's view of the Afghan Taliban as assets to counter rival India's spreading Afghan footprint. The military views the US surge and the 18-month timeframe as acts of desperation by the Obama administration – as well as a vindication of Pakistan's strategy of keeping its options open through a “selective counter-insurgency approach”. Thus, there is little indication that Pakistan is willing to undertake campaigns against militants in the tribal areas. Or play the role of anvil to the US hammer along the Afghan-Pakistani border.
  • Topic: NATO, Arms Control and Proliferation, War
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Afghanistan, United States, South Asia
  • Author: Thomas Donnelly, Tim Sullivan
  • Publication Date: 02-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: The 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review Report (QDR) and the Fiscal Year 2011 defense budget proposal reveal a critical contradiction at the heart of the Obama Administration's national security policy. As the second sentence of the QDR states, "first and foremost, the United States is a nation at war." But the remainder of the report and, more importantly, the long-term budget, reflect an administration more interested in ending wars than winning them, and prepared to defer the modernization of the military resources necessary to maintain American leadership in the face of emerging threats. AEI's Center for Defense Studies (CDS) has developed a presentation, narrated by CDS director Tom Donnelly, assessing the key shortfalls of the QDR and the administration's defense budget proposal.
  • Topic: Political Economy, Politics, War
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman, Adam Mausner
  • Publication Date: 05-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The security arena will face the most drastic changes in U.S.-Iraqi strategic relations over the next two years. Iraq must assume all responsibility for its internal and external security once the United States withdraws by December 31, 2011, unless it invokes the terms of the Strategic Agreement to seek additional US aid. Iraq must both deal with its own insurgents and with problems in its relations with neighboring countries like Iran, Syria, and the Gulf states. This makes the continued improvement of all elements of the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) vital both to Iraq and to the stability of the region, during the period of US withdrawal in 2010-2011 and in the years that follow.
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Middle East, Syria
  • Author: Robert B. Oakley, T.X. Hammes
  • Publication Date: 06-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for National Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: The focus on the war in Afghanistan has prevented the United States from developing a South Asia strategy rooted in the relative strategic importance of the nations in the region. India, a stable democracy enjoying rapid growth, clearly has the most potential as a strategic partner. Pakistan, as the home of al Qaeda leadership and over 60 nuclear weapons, is the greatest threat to regional stability and growth. Yet Afghanistan absorbs the vast majority of U.S. effort in the region. The United States needs to develop a genuine regional strategy. This paper argues that making the economic growth and social reform essential to the stability of Pakistan a higher priority than the conflict in Afghanistan is a core requirement of such a strategy.
  • Topic: Political Violence, Economics, Terrorism, War, Insurgency
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Afghanistan, United States, South Asia, India
  • Author: T.X. Hammes
  • Publication Date: 10-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for National Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: In Iraq and Afghanistan, the use of contractors reached a level unprecedented in U.S. military operations. As of March 31, 2010, the United States deployed 175,000 troops and 207,000 contractors in the war zones. Contractors represented 50 percent of the Department of Defense (DOD) workforce in Iraq and 59 percent in Afghanistan. These numbers include both armed and unarmed contractors. Thus, for the purposes of this paper, the term contractor includes both armed and unarmed personnel unless otherwise specified. The presence of contractors on the battlefield is obviously not a new phenomenon but has dramatically increased from the ratio of 1 contractor to 55 military personnel in Vietnam to 1:1 in the Iraq and 1.43:1 in Afghanistan.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Privatization, War, Counterinsurgency
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Iraq
  • Publication Date: 10-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Much is at stake in the never-ending negotiations to form Iraq's government, but perhaps nothing more important than the future of its security forces. In the seven years since the U.S.-led invasion, these have become more effective and professional and appear capable of taming what remains of the insurgency. But what they seem to possess in capacity they lack in cohesion. A symptom of Iraq's fractured polity and deep ethno-sectarian divides, the army and police remain overly fragmented, their loyalties uncertain, their capacity to withstand a prolonged and more intensive power struggle at the top unclear. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has taken worrying steps to assert authority over the security apparatus, notably by creating new bodies accountable to none but himself. A vital task confronting the nation's political leaders is to reach agreement on an accountable, non-political security apparatus subject to effective oversight. A priority for the new cabinet and parliament will be to implement the decision. And a core responsibility facing the international community is to use all its tools to encourage this to happen.
  • Topic: Security, War, Peacekeeping
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Publication Date: 06-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Human Rights First
  • Abstract: Habeas is working. The judges of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia have ably responded to the Supreme Court's call to review the detention of individuals at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. As former federal judges, many of us expressed our confidence as amici in Boumediene v. Bush that courts are competent to resolve these cases. We write now to affirm that our confidence has been vindicated. While we take no position on particular cases, a review of the District Court's treatment of the Guantánamo litigation convinces us that the court has effectively developed a consistent, coherent, and stable jurisprudence.
  • Topic: Human Rights, Terrorism, War, Law
  • Political Geography: United States, Cuba
  • Author: Antulio J. Echevarria II
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: Current trends in defense thinking show signs of being influenced by the notion that preparing for one form of war has brought about another. We find evidence of this notion in a number of official speeches, the 2008 National Defense Strategy, and the 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review Report. It is captured in the almost routine claim that America's superiority in conventional warfare is so great that it is driving our adversaries toward irregular methods. All of these examples share the basic assumption that we are now fighting (and will likely continue to fight) conflicts for which we have not prepared—precisely because we have not prepared for them. Thus, the modern complement—a preparation paradox—to the old Latin adage “If you want peace, prepare for war,” might well be “If you want one kind of war, prepare for another.”
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Terrorism, War, Weapons of Mass Destruction, Counterinsurgency
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Eric T. Olson
  • Publication Date: 10-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: If the U.S. Army's current experience in ongoing overseas operations like those in Iraq and Afghanistan are any indication, reconstruction has become an integral part of the American way of war. And judging from the disappointing results of reconstruction efforts in these operations, measured mostly in terms of the effect that such efforts have had on the course of these wars, there is much lacking in the Army's understanding of reconstruction itself and the role that it will likely play in all future operations, especially in counterinsurgencies (COIN).
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Arms Control and Proliferation, Terrorism, War, Counterinsurgency
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States
  • Author: Suzanne C. Nielsen
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: During the 2 decades preceding the Persian Gulf War in 1991, the U.S. Army went through tremendous reform and rejuvenation. It recovered from the Vietnam War, transitioned to an all-volunteer personnel model, and refocused on a potential future war against a very capable adversary in Europe. The Army's transformation was evident to external observers: from being seen as an organization in distress in the early 1970s, by 1991 the Army became an organization whose professionalism was the source of admiration. Drawing on the relevant literature, the author seeks to explain this important case of military change.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, War, Counterinsurgency
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Vietnam
  • Author: Kay King
  • Publication Date: 11-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Much has been written, blogged, and broadcast in the past several years about the dysfunction of the U.S. Congress. Filibusters, holds, and poison pill amendments have become hot topics, albeit intermittently, as lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have increasingly exploited these tactics in pursuit of partisan or personal ends. Meanwhile, such pressing national issues as deficit reduction, immigration reform, and climate change have gone unresolved. To be fair, the 111th Congress has addressed many significant issues, but those it has addressed, such as health-care reform and economic stimulus, exposed Americans to a flawed process of backroom deals that favors obstruction over deliberation, partisanship over statesmanship, and narrow interests over national concerns. Although partisan politics, deal making, and parliamentary maneuvering are nothing new to Congress, the extent to which they are being deployed today by lawmakers and the degree to which they obstruct the resolution of national problems are unprecedented. This may explain why Congress registered a confidence level of only 11 percent in July 2010, marking its lowest rating ever in the annual Gallup institutional confidence survey and ranking it last among sixteen major U.S. institutions.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, War
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Daniel C. Kurtzer
  • Publication Date: 07-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Lebanon has been a flashpoint for Arab-Israeli violence and military confrontations since the mid1970s. Its political system is weak and outside parties continue to vie for political advantage as part of a larger regional conflict. In particular, Syria and Iran provide support for the militant Islamist group Hezbollah as a strategic asset to pressure Israel. Hezbollah now controls most of southern Lebanon, while its political wing has developed a strong presence in the Lebanese parliament. In July and August 2006, Israel and Hezbollah fought what became known as the “Second Lebanon War,” which killed and displaced many thousand s of people and destroyed much of Lebanon's infrastructure. Since then Hezbollah has steadily rearmed in contravention of UN Security Council Resolution 1701, which requires, inter alia, “the disarmament of all armed groups in Lebanon, so that, pursuant to the Lebanese cabinet decision of July 27, 2006, there will be no weapons or authority in Lebanon other than that of the Lebanese state” and “no sales or supply of arms and related materiel to Lebanon except as authorized by its government.” Hezbollah's arsenal is more potent in quantity and quality today than it was in 2006. Although the border area between Israel and Lebanon is quieter than at any time in the previous decade, speculation that a third Lebanon war will occur in the next twelve to eighteen months has been steadily rising. Israel could decide the security threat posed by Hezbollah has reached intolerable levels and take preemptive military action. Hezbollah, while outwardly showing no interest in confronting Israel at this time, may for various reasons choose or be pressured by Iran to flex its new military capabilities. As happened in 2006, even small-scale military engagements with limited objectives can escalate into a major conflict. Whatever the precipitating reasons, a new conflict over Lebanon would have significant implications for U.S. policy and interests in the region.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, War, Armed Struggle, Counterinsurgency
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Israel, Arabia, United Nations, Lebanon, Syria
  • Author: Paul B. Stares
  • Publication Date: 11-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Tensions ran perilously high on the Korean peninsula in the months after the sinking of the South Korean warship Cheonan on March 26, 2010, which claimed the lives of forty-six sailors. An international investigation subsequently attributed the incident to a North Korean torpedo attack, prompting both South Korea and the United States to impose new punitive measures on the regime in Pyongyang and to conduct a series of high-profile naval exercises to deter further provocations. These actions elicited an especially vituperative response from North Korea, including the threat to unleash a “retaliatory sacred war.”
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, War
  • Political Geography: United States, Israel, Asia, South Korea, North Korea