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  • Author: Michael O'Hanlon
  • Publication Date: 04-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: How can we make sense of where the United States is in Afghanistan today? A poor country, wracked by 30 years of civil war, finds itself at the mercy of insurgents, terrorists, and narco-traffickers. NATO's economy-of-force operation there has attempted to help build a nation with very few resources. Yet, overall levels of violence remain relatively modest by comparison with other violent lands such as the Congo, Iraq, and even Mexico. Economic growth is significant and certain quality of life indicators are improving, though from a very low base. The United States is committed to Afghanistan and over the course of 2009 will roughly double its troop strength there. The international community is also seriously committed, with a number of key countries such as Canada, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom fighting hard and applying solid principles of counterinsurgency.
  • Topic: NATO, Economics
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Iraq, United Kingdom, Canada, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mexico, Netherlands
  • Author: C. Raja Mohan
  • Publication Date: 04-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: One of the major contributions of Barack Obama's presidential campaign during 2007—08 was his political success in shifting the focus of the U.S. foreign policy debate away from Iraq and toward Afghanistan. The reversal of fortunes in the two major wars that President George W. Bush had embarked upon during his tenure (a steady improvement in the military situation in Iraq during the last two years of the Bush administration and the rapidly deteriorating one in Afghanistan) helped Obama to effectively navigate the foreign policy doldrums that normally sink the campaigns of Democratic candidates in U.S. presidential elections. Throughout his campaign, Obama insisted that the war on terror that began in Afghanistan must also end there. He attacked Bush for taking his eyes off the United States' ''war of necessity,'' embarking on a disastrous ''war of choice'' in Iraq, and promised to devote the U.S. military and diplomatic energies to a region that now threatened U.S. interests and lives: the borderlands between Afghanistan and Pakistan.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, War
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Afghanistan, United States, Iraq, South Asia
  • Author: Dalia Dassa Kaye, Frederic M. Wehrey
  • Publication Date: 07-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: One of the most significant effects of the Iraq war is Iran's seemingly unprecedented influence and freedom of action in regional affairs, presenting new strategic challenges for the United States and its regional allies. Although Middle Eastern governments and the United States are in general agreement about diagnosing Tehran's activism as the war's most alarming consequence, they disagree on how to respond. The conventional U.S. view suggests that a new Arab consensus has been prompted to neutralize and counter Tehran's rising influence across the region in Gaza, the Gulf, Iraq, and Lebanon. Parallels to Cold War containment are clear. Indeed, whether consciously or unwittingly, U.S. policy has been replicating features of the Cold War model by trying to build a ''moderate'' Sunni Arab front to bolster U.S. efforts to counter Iranian influence. Despite signals that the Obama administration intends to expand U.S. engagement with Iran, the foundations of containment are deeply rooted and engender bipartisan backing from Congress. Even if the Obama administration desires to shift U.S. policy toward Iran, containment policies will be difficult to overturn quickly; if engagement with Iran fails, reliance on containment will only increase.
  • Topic: Cold War
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Iran, Middle East, Tehran, Arabia, Gaza, Lebanon
  • Author: Victor D. Cha
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The last four months of U.S.-ROK relations under the Bush administration saw the completion of a mission that helped to define the broadening global scope of the alliance as well as the final resolution of the troublesome “beef issue.” Tough negotiations were completed on a new defense cost-sharing agreement and the ruling party in the ROK began the process of passing the implementing legislation for the free trade agreement. All of this amounts to President Obama's inheritance of an alliance relationship that is in fairly strong shape, but a North Korean nuclear negotiation that remains unfinished. Despite the best efforts of the U.S., Pyongyang remained unwilling to accept standard verification procedures as part of the six-party denuclearization agreement. This was despite the fact that on Oct. 11, the U.S. removed the country from the terrorism blacklist. Obama's team will need to adhere to seven key principles as it continues to navigate the labyrinth of these difficult negotiations and bolster the strength of the alliance.
  • Topic: Terrorism, United Nations
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Korea
  • Author: Joseph Ferguson
  • Publication Date: 07-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: At the conclusion of the final summit meeting between Presidents George Bush and Vladimir Putin at the Russian resort of Sochi in early April, relations between Moscow and Washington appeared to have righted themselves. The cordial meeting between the outgoing presidents left a sense of optimism in both Moscow and in the West that U.S.-Russia relations would improve until at least the fall presidential elections in the United States. Things have quieted down between the two nations over the last quarter, as the leadership of both countries has gone about business at home and has lessened (though not ceased) the often-negative rhetoric. But when the summer concludes, Russia will again loom large in U.S. political debates, and the big questions of U.S. foreign policy – whether they revolve around Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Northeast Asia, or even Venezuela – will necessarily include Russia policy. And as President Dmitry Medvedev unveils his own version of “sovereign democracy,” U.S. foreign policymakers will be forced to address the fundamental question of whether U.S. policy toward Moscow is centered on its strategic interests, or on democratic values.
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Russia, United States, Iraq, Washington, Moscow, Venezuela, Northeast Asia
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman
  • Publication Date: 12-2007
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The war in Iraq has expanded from a struggle between Coalition forces and the remnants of former regime loyalists to a multifaceted conflict involving numerous Sunni groups, Shi'ite militias, Kurdish nationals, and foreign jihadists. Iraq's Insurgency and the Road to Civil Conflict is Anthony Cordesman's latest assessment of the Iraqi conflict and documents its entire evolution, from the history of ethnic tensions through the U.S. "surge." He identifies each actor in the arena, analyzes their motivations, and presents a detailed record of their actions, tactics, and capabilities. Cordesman's exhaustive study, based on meticulous research, is the most thorough account of the war to date.Beginning with the consequences of imperial colonialism and touching on the ethnic tensions throughout Saddam's regime, Cordesman examines and details the confluence of forces and events that have paved the way toward Iraq's current civil conflict. He analyzes major turning points, including elections, economic developments, and key incidents of violence that continue to shape the war. Finally, he outlines the lessons learned from this history and what can and cannot be done to stabilize the nation.
  • Topic: Economics, War
  • Political Geography: Iraq
  • Author: Bill Elliot, Anna R. Wittman
  • Publication Date: 01-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: In early 2005, Kurt M. Campbell, Director of CSIS' International Security Program, accompanied Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld on a trip to Asia. Enroute, the Secretary and several of his close aides expressed an interest in learning more about the future of missile defenses in East Asia and the Subcontinent. Although familiar with the missile defense policies of countries in the region, they were concerned about how those policies were being implemented, whether the various national efforts were complementary or counterproductive, and how those efforts might affect the US approach to missile defense architecture.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Civil Society, Human Welfare
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Middle East, Asia
  • Author: Sara B. Moller, Eric M. Brewer
  • Publication Date: 03-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: May 1, 2003 President George W. Bush declares an end to major combat operations in Iraq. The U.S. lost 138 soldiers during the war. Seven U.S. soldiers are wounded when grenades are thrown at an American base in Fallujah, a stronghold for Saddam Hussein loyalists. Earlier, U.S. troops killed 15 civilians at a protest in the city.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Relations, Development
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Middle East, Maryland
  • Author: Nawaf Obaid
  • Publication Date: 04-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: During an official visit to Washington DC on September 20th, 2005, Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal proclaimed: “US policy in Iraq is widening sectarian divisions to the point of effectively handing the country to Iran…. We fought a war together to keep Iran out of Iraq, now we are handing the whole country over to Iran without reason…. Iraq is disintegrating.”
  • Topic: International Relations
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Iran, Washington, Middle East, Arabia, Maryland
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman
  • Publication Date: 04-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Wartime is scarcely the easiest time for demanding self criticism, but the recent exchanges between the Secretary of State and Secretary of Defense over the mistakes the US did or did not make in Iraq have highlighted the fact that the US must both admit its mistakes and learn from them to win in Iraq and successfully engage in the “long war.” The full chronology of what happened in US planning and operations before, during, and immediately after the fight to drive Saddam Hussein from power is still far from clear. It is now much easier to accuse given US leaders than it is to understand what really happened or assign responsibility with credibility.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Development
  • Political Geography: Iraq, America, Middle East