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  • Author: Catherine Bertini, Dan Glickman
  • Publication Date: 05-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Hunger remains one of world's gravest humanitarian problems, but the United States has failed to prioritize food aid and agricultural development. Washington must put agriculture at the center of development aid -- and make it a key part of a new U.S. foreign policy.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, Washington, Asia
  • Author: Adrian Karatnycky, Alexander J. Motyl
  • Publication Date: 05-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: The recent deterioration in relations between Russia and Ukraine should be of great concern to the West, because Ukraine's security is critical to Europe's stability. Ukraine must be placed back on the policy agenda as a player in its own right.
  • Topic: Security, Economics
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Ukraine
  • Author: David Ottaway
  • Publication Date: 05-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: The exchange of oil for security no longer defines the relationship between Saudi Arabia and the United States. Still, the two countries can restore healthy ties by addressing common concerns such as Pakistan and the Palestinian territories.
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, United States, Palestine, Saudi Arabia
  • Author: Jennifer Lind
  • Publication Date: 05-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Japan should not apologize for its past aggression by emulating the contrition that Germany has displayed since the mid-1960s because it would risk a nationalist backlash. A more promising model is the one set by West Germany in the 1950s, which focuses on the future.
  • Topic: NATO
  • Political Geography: Japan, Germany
  • Author: Roger C. Altman
  • Publication Date: 07-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: It is now clear that the global economic crisis will be deep and prolonged and that it will have far-reaching geopolitical consequences. The long movement toward market liberalization has stopped, and a new period of state intervention, reregulation, and creeping protectionism has begun.
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, America, France, Germany
  • Author: Brian P. Klein, Kenneth Neil Cukier
  • Publication Date: 07-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: For decades, Asian economies used exports to the West as a means of growth. Now, if they hope to weather the global recession, they will have to enact deep structural changes such as higher wages and increased domestic consumption.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: Asia
  • Author: Andrew F. Krepinevich Jr.
  • Publication Date: 07-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Summary -- The military foundations of U.S. dominance are eroding. In response, Washington should pursue new sources of military advantage and a more modest grand strategy.
  • Topic: Military Strategy
  • Political Geography: United States, Washington
  • Author: Fotini Christia, Michael Semple
  • Publication Date: 07-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Summary -- The deployment of more U.S. troops to Afghanistan is necessary to tip the balance of power against the Taliban. But this military "surge" must be accompanied with a political one designed to persuade insurgents to give up their fight.
  • Topic: Military Strategy
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Mohsen M. Milani
  • Publication Date: 07-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Summary -- Iran's foreign policy is often portrayed in sensationalistic terms, but in reality it is a rational strategy meant to ensure the survival of the Islamic Republic against what Tehran thinks is an existential threat posed by the United States.
  • Topic: Security
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran, Tehran
  • Author: Shannon O'Neil
  • Publication Date: 07-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Summary -- Hysteria over bloodshed in Mexico clouds the real challenge: the rising violence is a product of democratization -- and the only real solution is to continue strengthening Mexican democracy.
  • Topic: Security, Government
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Mexico
  • Author: Robert Legvold
  • Publication Date: 07-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Reversing the collapse of U.S.-Russian relations is one of the great tests facing the Obama administration. Among the major powers, Russia is the hard case. And the stakes involved in getting U.S.-Russian relations right are high -- much higher than the leadership of either country has acknowledged or perhaps even realized so far. If the Obama administration can guide the relationship onto a more productive path, as it is trying to do, it will not only open the way for progress on the day's critical issues -- from nuclear security and energy security to climate change and peaceful change in the post-Soviet area -- but also be taking on a truly historic task. One of the blessings of the post-Cold War era has been the absence of strategic rivalry among great powers, a core dynamic of the previous 300 years in the history of international relations. Should it return, some combination of tensions between the United States, Russia, and China would likely be at its core. Ensuring that this does not happen constitutes the less noticed but more fateful foreign policy challenge facing this U.S. president and the next.
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, China, Soviet Union
  • Author: Max Boot
  • Publication Date: 07-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Summary -- To defeat piracy in centuries past, governments pursued a more active defense at sea and a political solution on land. The current piracy epidemic off the coast of East Africa requires many of the same tactics.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: United States, Ukraine, East Africa
  • Author: Bertil Lintner
  • Publication Date: 07-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Over the past three years, Thailand has lived through a military coup, six prime ministers, and widespread civil unrest. The ongoing crisis grabbed headlines last year when protesters occupied two international airports, and it culminated this April in violent clashes in Bangkok. Observers have wondered how what was once such a promising democracy could devolve so quickly.
  • Political Geography: Thailand
  • Author: Ethan B. Kapstein
  • Publication Date: 07-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: In one of the great ironies of history, Africa may well emerge from the current global recession as the only region in the world that remains committed to global capitalism. While the tired industrialized nations of the West are nationalizing their banks and engaging in various forms of protectionism, Africa remains open for business -- promoting trade, foreign direct investment, and domestic entrepreneurship. Analysts in the industrialized countries are concerned that foreign aid flows to Africa might drop because of the recession, but Africans themselves are much more worried about rising barriers to their exports and diminishing private investment from abroad, which could impede the continuation of the impressive economic progress the continent has made over the past decade. It is still a well-kept secret that the African continent has been in the midst of a profound economic transformation. Since 2004, economic growth has boomed at an average level of six percent annually, on par with Latin America. This rate will undoubtedly decline as a result of the global financial crisis, but the International Monetary Fund still projects growth of around 1.5 percent for this year and four percent for 2010 throughout Africa -- a relatively healthy figure by today's depressing standards. International trade now accounts for nearly 60 percent of Africa's GDP (far above the level for Latin America), and foreign direct investment in Africa has more than doubled since 1998, to over $15 billion per year. Overall, private-sector investment constitutes more than 20 percent of GDP. Furthermore, since 1990, the number of countries with stock markets in sub-Saharan Africa has tripled and the capitalization of those exchanges has risen from virtually nothing to $245 billion (that is, outside of South Africa, which has long had an active stock exchange). These "frontier" markets have, until recently, given investors huge returns compared to those found in other emerging economies.
  • Topic: International Relations
  • Political Geography: Africa, Latin America
  • Author: Steven Simon
  • Publication Date: 07-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Two new books offer insightful analyses of how to succeed in Afghanistan. But the sheer difficulty of the task points to the need for an alternative strategy -- one that defends U.S. interests without trying to rebuild a shattered country.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States
  • Author: Walter Russell Mead
  • Publication Date: 07-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: George Herring's well-written and lively book may turn out to be one of the last attempts by a leading scholar to compress a comprehensive and comprehensible account of the United States' foreign relations into a single volume.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Edward Luce
  • Publication Date: 07-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Nandan Nilekani has produced one of the best and most thought-provoking books on India in years.
  • Topic: Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: United States, India
  • Author: G. John Ikenberry, Daniel Deudney, Ronald Inglehart, zar Gat, Christian Welzel
  • Publication Date: 07-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Two recent articles in these pages -- "The Myth of the Autocratic Revival [1]" (January/February 2009) and "How Development Leads to Democracy [2]" (March/April 2009) -- have taken issue with my July/August 2007 essay, "The Return of Authoritarian Great Powers [3]." In the first, Daniel Deudney and G. John Ikenberry dispute my argument that the authoritarian capitalist great powers Germany and Japan were defeated in both world wars largely because of contingent factors rather than structural inefficiencies. As I have argued, these countries were too small in comparison to the United States. With respect to the challenge posed by China and Russia, Deudney and Ikenberry insist that developed nondemocratic capitalist societies will not be viable in the long run.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, Germany
319. Get Smart
  • Author: Joseph S. Nye Jr.
  • Publication Date: 07-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Summary -- Leslie Gelb's skepticism of "smart power" is misguided; it is only by combining the strategies of both hard and soft power that the United States can achieve its ends.
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Thomas Culora, Andrew Erickson
  • Publication Date: 07-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Robert Kaplan ("Center Stage for the Twenty-first Century," March/April 2009) correctly underscores the Indian Ocean's strategic importance. But in envisioning "dynamic great-power rivalry" between Beijing and New Delhi there, he is too pessimistic about the United States' ability to maintain influence, too optimistic about China's ability to exert influence rapidly, and too dismissive of India's inherent regional advantages.
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Beijing, New Delhi
  • Author: Robert B. Oakley, Edward Marks
  • Publication Date: 07-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: J. Anthony Holmes ("Where Are the Civilians?" January/February 2009) makes a number of persuasive points concerning the military's domination of U.S. foreign policy. Indeed, fixing U.S. foreign policy requires a comprehensive, long-term approach. An excellent beginning would be to implement fully the proposals contained in a recent joint report by the American Academy of Diplomacy and the Henry L. Stimson Center. They are ambitious enough to make rapid implementation hard work, but they are probably only the minimum necessary to meet today's requirements.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Ronald D. Asmus, Jeremy D. Rosner
  • Publication Date: 07-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: We are troubled by the assertions made by John Newhouse ("Diplomacy, Inc.," May/June 2009) about NATO enlargement -- an initiative in which we both played direct roles -- as well as by his broader thesis about the role of ethnic population groups in shaping U.S. foreign policy.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, NATO
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Richard N. Haass
  • Publication Date: 07-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: I want to express my appreciation to Zbigniew Brzezinski for his generous review of my book War of Necessity, War of Choice: A Memoir of Two Iraq Wars ("A Tale of Two Wars," May/June 2009). Praise from someone of Brzezinski's stature is praise indeed.
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: Iraq
  • Author: Russell Seitz
  • Publication Date: 07-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: David Victor, M. Granger Morgan, Jay Apt, John Steinbruner, and Katharine Ricke ("The Geoengineering Option," March/April 2009) date geoengineering to the twentieth century, but it has been an integral part of the landscape of history. Although Benjamin Franklin wrote in 1751, "We are, as I may call it, scouring our planet, by clearing America of woods, and so making this side of our globe reflect a brighter light," little credit is due to young George Washington's hatchet work. Fire in the hands of Neolithic man had already transformed the ecology -- and the albedo -- of Australia and the Americas eons before.
  • Political Geography: America, Australia
  • Author: Zbigniew Brzezinski
  • Publication Date: 09-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: NATO's 60th anniversary, celebrated in April with pomp and circumstance by the leaders of nearly 30 allied states, generated little public interest. NATO's historical role was treated as a bore. In the opinion-shaping media, there were frequent derisive dismissals and even calls for the termination of the alliance as a dysfunctional geostrategic irrelevance. Russian spokespeople mocked it as a Cold War relic. Even France's decision to return to full participation in NATO's integrated military structures -- after more than 40 years of abstention -- aroused relatively little positive commentary. Yet France's actions spoke louder than words. A state with a proud sense of its universal vocation sensed something about NATO -- not the NATO of the Cold War but the NATO of the twenty-first century -- that made it rejoin the world's most important military alliance at a time of far-reaching changes in the world's security dynamics. France's action underlined NATO's vital political role as a regional alliance with growing global potential. In assessing NATO's evolving role, one has to take into account the historical fact that in the course of its 60 years the alliance has institutionalized three truly monumental transformations in world affairs: first, the end of the centuries-long "civil war" within the West for transoceanic and European supremacy; second, the United States' post-World War II commitment to the defense of Europe against Soviet domination (resulting from either a political upheaval or even World War III); and third, the peaceful termination of the Cold War, which ended the geopolitical division of Europe and created the preconditions for a larger democratic European Union. Even France's decision to return to full participation in NATO's integrated military structures -- after more than 40 years of abstention -- aroused relatively little positive commentary. Yet France's actions spoke louder than words. A state with a proud sense of its universal vocation sensed something about NATO -- not the NATO of the Cold War but the NATO of the twenty-first century -- that made it rejoin the world's most important military alliance at a time of far-reaching changes in the world's security dynamics. France's action underlined NATO's vital political role as a regional alliance with growing global potential. In assessing NATO's evolving role, one has to take into account the historical fact that in the course of its 60 years the alliance has institutionalized three truly monumental transformations in world affairs: first, the end of the centuries-long "civil war" within the West for transoceanic and European supremacy; second, the United States' post-World War II commitment to the defense of Europe against Soviet domination (resulting from either a political upheaval or even World War III); and third, the peaceful termination of the Cold War, which ended the geopolitical division of Europe and created the preconditions for a larger democratic European Union.
  • Topic: NATO, Cold War
  • Political Geography: Russia, France
  • Author: Josef Joffe
  • Publication Date: 09-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Every ten years, it is decline time in the United States. In the late 1950s, it was the Sputnik shock, followed by the "missile gap" trumpeted by John F. Kennedy in the 1960 presidential campaign. A decade later, Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger sounded the dirge over bipolarity, predicting a world of five, rather than two, global powers. At the end of the 1970s, Jimmy Carter's "malaise" speech invoked "a crisis of confidence" that struck "at the very heart and soul and spirit of our national will." A decade later, academics such as the Yale historian Paul Kennedy predicted the ruin of the United States, driven by overextension abroad and profligacy at home. The United States was at risk of "imperial overstretch," Kennedy wrote in 1987, arguing that "the sum total of the United States' global interests and obligations is nowadays far larger than the country's power to defend them all simultaneously." But three years later, Washington dispatched 600,000 soldiers to fight the first Iraq war -- without reinstating the draft or raising taxes. The only price of "overstretch" turned out to be the mild recession of 1991. Declinism took a break in the 1990s. The United States was enjoying a nice run after the suicide of the Soviet Union, and Japan, the economic powerhouse of the 1980s, was stuck in its "lost decade" of stagnation and so no longer stirred U.S. paranoia with its takeover of national treasures such as Pebble Beach and Rockefeller Center. The United States had moved into the longest economic expansion in history, which, apart from eight down months in 2001, continued until 2008. "Gloom is the dominant mood in Japan these days," one Asian commentator reported in 1997, whereas "American capitalism is resurgent, confident and brash." That year, the New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman wrote that "the defining feature of world affairs" was "globalization" and that if "you had to design a country best suited to compete in such a world, [it would be] today's America." He concluded on a triumphant note: "Globalization is us."
  • Topic: Globalization
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, Washington
  • Author: Edward L. Morse
  • Publication Date: 09-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: After dropping from close to $150 in the summer of 2008 to under $34 last winter, the price of oil had more than doubled by the spring and was hovering around $60 in July. It is unlikely to rise to last summer's peak anytime soon. To the contrary, there are good reasons to believe that lower prices are here to stay for a while. Last year's high prices and the recession have severely damped demand, and the growth of new production capacity, especially in Saudi Arabia, is buoying supplies. The rapid fall and then rebound in oil prices over the past year surprised many people. But it was not unusual: commodities markets are cyclical by nature and have a history punctuated by sudden turning points. Although this generally makes it difficult to forecast prices, it is safe to say that commodities markets will remain lower over the next few years than they have been over the past five. In the oil industry, the most important new factor that accounts for low prices is the return of surplus production capacity among the members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) for the first time since 2002-3. Most oil industry analysts expect high prices to return soon, along with economic recovery. This is probably a mistaken view; more likely, the prices for oil and other commodities will be range-bound again. This would be a happy development, as it would provide unusual opportunities to tame the volatility in prices. An extended period of low prices could reverse the trend toward resource nationalism, the tendency of producing countries to concentrate control over their resources in the hands of state-run entities, that has characterized energy politics for most of the last decade. It would also translate into new chances for constructive diplomacy with oil producers and set the stage for more balanced relationships between energy producers and their buyers.
  • Topic: Diplomacy
  • Political Geography: Saudi Arabia
  • Author: Barry Eichengreen
  • Publication Date: 09-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Legions of pundits have argued that the dollar's status as an international currency has been damaged by the great credit crisis of 2007-9 -- and not a few have argued that the injury may prove fatal. The crisis certainly has not made the United States more attractive as a supplier of high-quality financial assets. It would be no surprise if the dysfunctionality of U.S. financial markets diminished the appetite of central banks for U.S. debt securities. A process of financial deglobalization has already begun, and it will mean less foreign financing for the United States' budget and balance-of-payments deficits. Meanwhile, the U.S. government will emit vast quantities of public debt for the foreseeable future. Together, these trends in supply and demand are a recipe for a significantly weaker dollar. And as central banks suffer capital losses on their outstanding dollar reserves, they will start considering alternatives. This is especially likely because these trends are superimposed on an ongoing shift toward a more multipolar world. The growing importance of emerging markets has sharply reduced the United States' economic dominance, weakening the logic for why the dollar should constitute the largest part of central-bank reserves and be used to settle trade and financial transactions. As emerging markets grow, they naturally accumulate foreign reserves as a form of self-insurance. Central banks need the funds to intervene in the foreign exchange market so that they can prevent shocks to trade and financial flows from causing uncomfortable currency fluctuations. This capacity becomes more important as previously closed economies open up and when international markets are volatile, as has been the case recently. It is only logical, in other words, for emerging markets to accumulate reserves.
  • Topic: Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Patrice C. McMahon, Jon Western
  • Publication Date: 09-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: After 14 years of intense international efforts to stabilize and rebuild Bosnia, the country now stands on the brink of collapse. For the first time since November 1995 -- when the Dayton accord ended three and a half years of bloody ethnic strife -- Bosnians are once again talking about the potential for war. Bosnia was once the poster child for international reconstruction efforts. It was routinely touted by U.S. and European leaders as proof that under the right conditions the international community could successfully rebuild conflict-ridden countries. The 1995 Dayton peace agreement divided Bosnia into two semi-independent entities: the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, inhabited mainly by Bosnian Muslims and Bosnian Croats, and the Serb-dominated Republika Srpska (Serb Republic, or RS), each with its own government, controlling taxation, educational policy, and even foreign policy. Soon after the war's end, the country was flooded with attention and over $14 billion in international aid, making it a laboratory for what was arguably the most extensive and innovative democratization experiment in history. By the end of 1996, 17 different foreign governments, 18 UN agencies, 27 intergovernmental organizations, and about 200 nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) -- not to mention tens of thousands of troops from across the globe -- were involved in reconstruction efforts. On a per capita basis, the reconstruction of Bosnia -- with less than four million citizens -- made the post-World War II rebuilding of Germany and Japan look modest. As successful as Dayton was at ending the violence, it also sowed the seeds of instability by creating a decentralized political system that undermined the state's authority. In the past three years, ethnic nationalist rhetoric from leaders of the country's three constituent ethnic groups -- Muslims, Croats, and Serbs -- has intensified, bringing reform to a standstill. The economy has stalled, unemployment is over 27 percent, about 25 percent of the population lives in poverty, and Bosnia remains near the bottom of World Bank rankings for business development.
  • Topic: Development
  • Political Geography: Bosnia, Herzegovina
  • Author: Deepak Malhotra
  • Publication Date: 09-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Diplomacy appears ready to make a comeback. The United States, after years of reluctance, is reconsidering the role of negotiation in confronting extremism and managing international conflict. India has resisted an aggressive response to the 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai and is open to diplomatic engagement with Pakistan over Kashmir. Participants in the six-party talks have been scrambling to decide whether, when, and how to engage North Korea since its nuclear test of May 2009. The generals in Afghanistan are busier today than they have been in recent years, but so are the diplomats. Certainly, not everyone has rushed to the bargaining table -- witness, for example, the military defeat of the Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka. But governments around the world are asking themselves the same important question: When should they negotiate with their enemies? Determining the precise conditions for such talks is never easy. In the shadow of terrorism, the calculus is all the more complex. Not only can acts of belligerence or extremist violence strain or derail ongoing negotiations, but the persistence of violence is often the primary reason governments refuse to negotiate in the first place. This has long been the case in Israel, for example, where successive governments, especially those led by the conservative Likud Party, have refused to negotiate with Palestinian leaders until they bring the violence to a halt. The same dynamics influenced the peace process in Northern Ireland in the years leading up to the 1998 Good Friday Agreement. North Korea's recent provocations have elicited a similar response from hard-liners in Japan, South Korea, and the United States. The ability of extremists to derail negotiations through violence and belligerence presents policymakers with a high-stakes dilemma: Should the muzzling of extremism be set as a precondition to negotiations, or should negotiations be initiated in order to reduce support for extremism? Similar considerations have plagued peace efforts around the world, from Colombia, where the government has struggled for decades to determine when it should demand a cease-fire from FARC (the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia), to Kashmir, where using violence to derail prospective talks has become a predictable tactic. In Afghanistan, Iraq, and Pakistan, surges in extremist violence are threatening to further destabilize already-weak governments.
  • Topic: Diplomacy
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, United States, Kashmir, Mumbai
  • Author: Michael Levi
  • Publication Date: 09-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: This December, diplomats from nearly 200 countries will gather in Copenhagen to negotiate a successor to the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, which for the first time bound wealthy countries to specific cuts in greenhouse gas emissions. Most of these emissions come from burning fossil fuels -- coal, oil, and natural gas -- for energy, from deforestation, and from the agricultural sector. They must be cut deeply in the coming decades if the world is to control the risks of dangerous climate change. Most of those devoted to slashing the world's greenhouse gas emissions have placed enormous weight on the Copenhagen conference. Speaking earlier this year about the conference, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon was emphatic: "We must harness the necessary political will to seal the deal on an ambitious new climate agreement in December here in Copenhagen. . . . If we get it wrong we face catastrophic damage to people, to the planet." Hopes are higher than ever for a breakthrough climate deal. For the past eight years, many argued that developing nations reluctant to commit to a new global climate-change deal -- particularly China and India -- were simply hiding behind the United States, whose enthusiastic engagement was all that was needed for a breakthrough. Now the long-awaited shift in U.S. policy has arrived. The Obama administration is taking ambitious steps to limit carbon dioxide emissions at home, and Congress is considering important cap-and-trade and clean-energy legislation. The road to a global treaty that contains the climate problem now appears to be clear. But it is not so simple. The odds of signing a comprehensive treaty in December are vanishingly small. And even reaching such a deal the following year would be an extraordinary challenge, given the domestic political constraints in Washington and in other capitals that make such an agreement difficult to negotiate and ratify. The many government officials and activists seeking to solve the climate problem therefore need to fundamentally rethink their strategy and expectations for the Copenhagen conference.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: United States, Washington
  • Author: Jessica Seddon Wallack, Veerabhadran Ramanathan
  • Publication Date: 09-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: At last, world leaders have recognized that climate change is a threat. And to slow or reverse it, they are launching initiatives to reduce greenhouse gases, especially carbon dioxide, the gas responsible for about half of global warming to date. Significantly reducing emissions of carbon dioxide is essential, as they will likely become an even greater cause of global warming by the end of this century. But it is a daunting task: carbon dioxide remains in the atmosphere for centuries, and it is difficult to get governments to agree on reducing emissions because whereas the benefits of doing so are shared globally, the costs are borne by individual countries. As a result, no government is moving fast enough to offset the impact of past and present emissions. Even if current emissions were cut in half by 2050 -- one of the targets discussed at the 2008 UN Climate Change Conference -- by then, humans' total contribution to the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere would still have increased by a third since the beginning of this century. Meanwhile, little attention has been given to a low-risk, cost-effective, and high-reward option: reducing emissions of light-absorbing carbon particles (known as "black carbon") and of the gases that form ozone. Together, these pollutants' warming effect is around 40-70 percent of that of carbon dioxide. Limiting their presence in the atmosphere is an easier, cheaper, and more politically feasible proposition than the most popular proposals for slowing climate change -- and it would have a more immediate effect. Time is running out. Humans have already warmed the planet by more than 0.5 degrees Celsius since the nineteenth century and produced enough greenhouse gases to make it a total of 2.4 degrees Celsius warmer by the end of this century. If the levels of carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide in the atmosphere continue to increase at current rates and if the climate proves more sensitive to greenhouse gases than predicted, the earth's temperature could rise by as much as five degrees b+efore the century ends.
  • Topic: Climate Change, United Nations
  • Author: Joel Kurtzman
  • Publication Date: 09-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: The global economic crisis has battered the free market's reputation, but the market nevertheless remains a powerful tool both for allocating capital and for effecting social change. Nowhere is this truer than with the challenge of confronting and reversing climate change. Of all the market-based tools available for addressing this problem, the most potent are cap-and-trade systems for greenhouse gas emissions. In their most basic form, cap-and-trade systems work by making it expensive to emit greenhouse gases. As a result, the owners of an emissions source are motivated to replace it with something less damaging to the environment. If they are unable to, the trading provisions allow them to purchase permits to continue emitting until they are ready to invest in new technology. Over time, as the amount of carbon allowed into the atmosphere is reduced, the price of a permit is expected to increase. In existing cap-and-trade mechanisms, such as the European Union's Greenhouse Gas Emission Trading Scheme, governments cap the total amount of emissions allowed, and the amount of emissions permitted declines over time. Organizations such as utilities, factories, cement plants, municipalities, steel mills, and waste sites are given or sold permits that allow them to emit a certain portion of the relevant region's total greenhouse gases. If an organization emits less than its allotment, it can sell the unused permits to entities that plan on exceeding their limits. Under cap-and-trade systems, companies can trade permits with one another through brokers or in organized local or global markets.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Markets
  • Author: Charles Tripp
  • Publication Date: 09-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: The notion of political Islam may be a more complicated bargain than many realize, and Muslims who seek to shape the world according to their religious values often confront an obdurate reality.
  • Topic: Islam, Politics
  • Author: Stephen Kotkin
  • Publication Date: 09-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: The Chinese-Russian relationship is more opportunistic than strategic, Bobo Lo argues. The United States is stuck watching from the sidelines and may be pushing Moscow further into Beijing's pocket.
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, China, Beijing, Moscow
  • Author: Timothy Samuel Shah
  • Publication Date: 09-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Religion and modernity were never expected to go hand in hand, and for centuries they coexisted uncomfortably. But thanks to the entrepreneurial model of American evangelicals, argue two journalists at The Economist, God is back.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Wesley K. Clark, Peter L. Levin
  • Publication Date: 11-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Cyberwarfare is not an abstract future threat. The United States' electronic defenses are vulnerable and Washington must act quickly to secure computer networks, software, and hardware before it is too late.
  • Topic: Security
  • Political Geography: United States, Washington
  • Author: Mitchel B. Wallerstein
  • Publication Date: 11-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Since the early days of the Cold War, the United States has restricted the export of certain advanced technologies and the sharing of sensitive scientific and technical information with foreign nationals. Initially, these restrictions were justified on the grounds that the Soviet Union and its Warsaw Pact allies were engaged -- through fronts, third parties, and outright espionage -- in a systematic effort to buy or steal information, technology, and equipment developed in the West that they could then use in their own military systems. Because Soviet industry could not design or produce certain high-tech products, such as personal computers or sophisticated machine tools, the Soviets were forced to obtain them by other means. By successfully denying technology to the Soviet Union, the United States enabled NATO to maintain a strategic and tactical advantage without having to match the Warsaw Pact nations' troop strength in the field. Yet 20 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall and long after the Soviet Union ceased to exist, the same system of export controls remains in place. It has only become more arcane and ineffective with time. U.S. export controls have survived largely because of outdated "fortress America" thinking -- the view that the United States is the primary source of most militarily useful scientific ideas and products and that it can continue to deny technology to potential adversaries without seriously damaging the global competitiveness of U.S. companies or, in the end, jeopardizing national security. In an earlier era, when the United States was far more economically and technologically dominant, the costs associated with a technology-denial strategy were easier to absorb. But in today's highly competitive world, the business lost due to export controls poses a threat to the well-being of key U.S. industries; estimated losses range as high as $9 billion per year.
  • Topic: NATO, Cold War
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Soviet Union
  • Author: C. Fred Bergsten
  • Publication Date: 11-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: The global economic crisis has revealed the folly of large U.S. budget and trade deficits, as well as of the strong dollar that makes them possible. If it is serious about recovery, the United States must balance the budget, stimulate private saving, and embrace a declining dollar.
  • Topic: Economics, Monetary Policy
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Keir A. Lieber, Daryl G. Press
  • Publication Date: 11-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: The Obama administration is right that the United States can safely cut some of its nuclear arsenal, but it must retain the right capabilities. Otherwise, the United States' adversaries might conclude -- perhaps correctly -- that Washington's nuclear strategy rests largely on a bluff.
  • Topic: Cold War
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe
  • Author: Christopher S. Bond, Lewis M. Simons
  • Publication Date: 11-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Barack Obama's planned visit to Indonesia this November is not only a sentimental journey to his childhood home. It also represents a long-overdue recognition that to recapture the admiration and respect of the world's Muslims, Washington should focus neither on the stalemated chessboard of the Middle East nor on the chaotic Afghan-Pakistani frontier. Rather, it should concentrate its efforts in Southeast Asia, an increasingly democratic and peaceful region that is also beginning to face the threat of Islamic fundamentalism. The last time Americans took a sober look at Southeast Asia, military helicopters were snatching the last U.S. officials off Saigon rooftops as Vietcong soldiers marched on the panicked capital. Soon after the fall of Saigon, in 1975, Cambodia and Laos were toppled by their own domestic communist movements. Thailand trembled with the fear of North Vietnamese tanks churning across the Mekong River, and the other so-called dominoes shook, too. But the dreaded threat failed to materialize. More than three decades later, Americans no longer concern themselves with this corner of the world. One day, the United States' future seemed inextricably bound to Southeast Asia's; the next, Southeast Asia was forgotten. This is an all-too-familiar pattern: Washington ignores a country or region until it blows up; then, it belatedly discovers such nations and obsesses clumsily over them; and finally, it relapses into a self-imposed torpor, allowing new threats to emerge. This was the case in Afghanistan during the 1990s after it ceased to be useful as a bulwark against Soviet expansion, and it may also prove true of Southeast Asia today if Washington does not awaken to the region's growing importance. Southeast Asia is home to 250 million Muslims, concentrated in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand -- the supposed dominoes of the Vietnam era. Indonesia has the world's single largest Muslim population: 220 million -- three times as large as that of Egypt, the most populous Arab nation. Yet Indonesia remains truly unknown to most Americans.
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Afghanistan, America, Middle East, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Dmitri V. Trenin
  • Publication Date: 11-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Two decades after the withdrawal of Soviet troops from Afghanistan and the fall of the Berlin Wall, and nearly 20 years after the breakup of the Soviet Union, Russia has shed communism and lost its historical empire. But it has not yet found a new role. Instead, it sits uncomfortably on the periphery of both Europe and Asia while apprehensively rubbing shoulders with the Muslim world. Throughout the 1990s, Moscow attempted to integrate into, and then with, the West. These efforts failed, both because the West lacked the will to adopt Russia as one of its own and because Russian elites chose to embrace a corporatist and conservative policy agenda at home and abroad. As a result, in the second presidential term of Vladimir Putin, Russia abandoned its goal of joining the West and returned to its default option of behaving as an independent great power. It redefined its objectives: soft dominance in its immediate neighborhood; equality with the world's principal power centers, China, the European Union, and the United States; and membership in a global multipolar order. Half a decade later, this policy course has revealed its failures and flaws. Most are rooted in the Russian government's inability and unwillingness to reform the country's energy-dependent economy, the noncompetitive nature of Russian politics, and a trend toward nationalism and isolationism. In terms of foreign policy, Russia's leaders have failed to close the book on the lost Soviet empire. It is as if they exited the twentieth century through two doors at the same time: one leading to the globalized market of the twenty-first century and the other opening onto the Great Game of the nineteenth century. As the current global economic crisis has demonstrated, the model that Russia's contemporary leaders have chosen -- growth without development, capitalism without democracy, and great-power policies without international appeal -- cannot hold forever. Not only will Russia fail to achieve its principal foreign policy objectives, it will fall further behind in a world increasingly defined by instant communication and open borders, leading to dangers not merely to its status but also to its existence. Russia's foreign policy needs more than a reset: it requires a new strategy and new policy instruments and mechanisms to implement it.
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Russia, United States, Soviet Union
  • Author: Bronwyn Bruton
  • Publication Date: 11-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Washington's repeated attempts to bring peace to Somalia with state-building initiatives have failed, even backfired. It should renounce political intervention and encourage local development without trying to improve governance.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: United States, Washington, Middle East, Somalia
  • Author: Andrei Lankov
  • Publication Date: 11-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: North Korea, a small country with no economic potential to speak of, has for two decades been a major irritant to the international community. Its nuclear weapons program puts the international nonproliferation regime at risk and threatens to provide assorted rogue states and terrorist groups with the nuclear technology they have long sought. In April, Pyongyang conducted a missile test, and a nuclear test followed in May. In July, however, Kim Jong Il signaled a readiness to talk by inviting former U.S. President Bill Clinton to visit Pyongyang and retrieve two American journalists detained in North Korea since March. Still, this dramatic event was no indication that North Korea is planning to give up its nuclear program. In considering the North Korean nuclear question, U.S. policymakers and experts typically fall into two camps. The optimists believe that negotiating with Pyongyang will set North Korea on the path of Chinese-style political and economic reforms, help it become a "normal state," and convince it to abandon its nuclear ambitions. The pessimists insist that only relentless pressure will cause Pyongyang to denuclearize. The optimists (such as Christopher Hill, who once led U.S. negotiations with North Korea and is now ambassador to Iraq) favor talks and compromise. The pessimists (such as John Bolton, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations) prefer coercive sanctions. Pyongyang's recent provocations seem to confirm the pessimists' view for now, but at other times the optimists have seemed vindicated, and the pendulum has swung back and forth frequently over the years. In any event, neither camp's approach is likely to work.
  • Political Geography: United States, North Korea, Pyongyang
  • Author: Yoichi Funabashi
  • Publication Date: 11-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: The rise to power of the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) after half a century of almost uninterrupted rule by the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) could bring profound changes to Japan. One change will surely be generational: the new leaders, including Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama, will be the first with little memory of World War II. Another could be substantive: the DPJ's stated objectives suggest significant shifts in both Japan's domestic policies and its external relations, especially with the United States and the rest of Asia. Since 2007, the DPJ had already been maintaining a majority coalition in the Diet's upper house, the House of Councilors, alongside the People's New Party and the Social Democratic Party; its August victory in the lower house, the House of Representatives, gave it full control over the government. Another win in the next House of Councilors election, which is scheduled for 2010, would further consolidate its power. Japan now stands a better chance of becoming a two-party system, with real political competition, than at any time since 1890, when it held its first election -- the first free contest anywhere in Asia. The economic crisis that has plagued Japan for two decades has allowed the DPJ to grow into a viable alternative to LDP rule; Barack Obama's campaign mantra "Yes, we can!" echoed across the Pacific. The DPJ has real potential to be different. And with its landslide victory, it enjoys the backing of a vast range of constituencies, including traditional supporters of the LDP.
  • Political Geography: Japan, Tokyo
  • Author: Morton I. Abramowitz, Henri J. Barkey
  • Publication Date: 11-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Turkey hopes to be a global power, but it has not yet become even the regional player that the ruling AKP declares it to be. Can the AKP do better, or will it be held back by its Islamist past and the conservative inclinations of its core constituents?
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey
  • Author: Philip D. Zelikow
  • Publication Date: 11-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: Europe, Soviet Union
  • Author: Jon B. Alterman
  • Publication Date: 11-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Markets
  • Political Geography: Dubai
  • Author: Thomas Donnelly, Philip Dur, Andrew F. Krepinevich Jr.
  • Publication Date: 11-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Political Geography: United States, China
  • Author: John L. Thornton
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Is China democratizing? The country's leaders do not think of democracy as people in the West generally do, but they are increasingly backing local elections, judicial independence, and oversight of Chinese Communist Party officials. How far China's liberalization will ultimately go and what Chinese politics will look like when it stops are open questions.
  • Political Geography: China