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  • Author: Brent L. Sterling
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Georgetown University Press
  • Abstract: While The Above Biblical Quote reflects a prodefense sentiment oft en evident since man established boundaries, by the second half of the twentieth century a general disdain emerged for the continuing utility of walls, fortresses, and other barriers. The improved precision and destructiveness of weapons as well as the enhanced mobility of militaries appeared to render physical works obsolete. In the late 1950s, Yigal Allon, one of Israel's early military heroes and strategic thinkers, captured the prevailing view by observing that “no modern country can surround itself with a wall.” Fifty years later, however, a range of nations including Afghanistan, Botswana, India, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, and the United States have increasingly been attracted to such barriers, none more than Allon's Israel. Walls stand guard along its frontiers with Lebanon, the Gaza Strip, increasingly the West Bank, and possibly soon Egypt. The relative effectiveness of these ground- based works at controlling cross- border traffic has encouraged adversary attack from the sky. Whether it be the frequent homemade Qassam rockets shot from the Gaza Strip (about three thousand through January 2008), the mixture of rockets and missiles launched by Hezbollah during the 2006 Lebanon War (more than four thousand total), or the longer- range, potentially nuclear- armed ballistic missiles potentially possessed by hostile Middle East states, a high threat perception has arisen. In response, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) has pursued multiple missile defense systems, some with colorful names such as Iron Dome and David's Sling, to be part of a multilayer network. Although the West Bank “separation barrier” has controversially deviated from the Green Line (the 1967 Israel–West Bank border) in some areas, defense efforts overall have been met with approval across the political spectrum.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, War
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Charles Villa-Vicencio
  • Publication Date: 09-2009
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Georgetown University Press
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Political Economy, Politics, Post Colonialism
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Joel H. Rosenthal (ed), Christian Barry (ed)
  • Publication Date: 02-2009
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Georgetown University Press
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Democratization, International Law, War, International Affairs, Political Theory
  • Author: Steven R. Ward
  • Publication Date: 03-2009
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Georgetown University Press
  • Abstract: In 1978 Iran And Its Armed Forces seemed to stand at the peak of their power and prestige in the modern era. Bountiful oil revenues and a strategic position overlooking the vital Persian Gulf oil export routes boosted Iran's standing in the world. Cold War competition made Iran a recipient of Western and Soviet arms and attention. Iran had just passed Egypt, a far more populous country, in having the largest armed forces in the Middle East. In fact, the Iranian military was outpacing some large European countries in the quantity and sophistication of its equipment. Iran was the only country other than the United States to possess the state- of- the- art F- 14 Tomcat fighter. Iran's military also was funding the development of the advanced British Challenger tank with its then revolutionary Chobham composite armor. These programs rep- resented only the middle stages of an extravagant rearmament process, with numerous sophisticated ground, air, and naval systems on order. In addition, the Iranian armed forces, the Artesh, had polished their reputation by gaining combat experience battling rebels in neighboring Oman and by participating in a UN peacekeeping mission in Lebanon.
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East
  • Author: David C. Kang
  • Publication Date: 12-2009
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Columbia University Press
  • Abstract: Throughout the past three decades East Asia has seen more peace and stability than at any time since the Opium Wars of 1839-1841. During this period China has rapidly emerged as a major regional power, averaging over nine percent economic growth per year since the introduction of its market reforms in 1978. Foreign businesses have flocked to invest in China, and Chinese exports have begun to flood the world. China is modernizing its military, has joined numerous regional and international institutions, and plays an increasingly visible role in international politics. In response to this growth, other states in East Asia have moved to strengthen their military, economic, and diplomatic relations with China. But why have these countries accommodated rather than balanced China's rise? David C. Kang believes certain preferences and beliefs are responsible for maintaining stability in East Asia. Kang's research shows how East Asian states have grown closer to China, with little evidence that the region is rupturing. Rising powers present opportunities as well as threats, and the economic benefits and military threat China poses for its regional neighbors are both potentially huge; however, East Asian states see substantially more advantage than danger in China's rise, making the region more stable, not less. Furthermore, although East Asian states do not unequivocally welcome China in all areas, they are willing to defer judgment regarding what China wants and what its role in East Asia will become. They believe that a strong China stabilizes East Asia, while a weak China tempts other states to try to control the region. Many scholars downplay the role of ideas and suggest that a rising China will be a destabilizing force in the region, but Kang's provocative argument reveals the flaws in contemporary views of China and the international relations of East Asia and offers a new understanding of the importance of sound U.S. policy in the region.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Arms Control and Proliferation, International Trade and Finance, Political Economy, Power Politics
  • Political Geography: China, East Asia
  • Publication Identifier: 9780231141888
  • Publication Identifier Type: ISBN
  • Author: Mackubin Thomas Owens
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Foreign Policy Research Institute
  • Abstract: No president in American history has faced a greater crisis than Abraham Lincoln confronted in 1861. Although sections of the country had threatened disunion many times in the past, the emergency had always passed as some compromise was found. But in 1861, Lincoln, who had won the election of 1860 because of a split in the Democratic Party, faced a rebellion “too powerful to be suppressed by the ordinary course of judicial proceedings.” By the time of his inauguration on March 4, 1861, seven states had declared their separation from the Union and had set up a separate provisional government called the Confederate States of America. A little over five weeks later, at 4:30 am on April 12, 1861, rebel gunners opened fire on Fort Sumter in Charleston harbor. In response, Lincoln issued a call for 75,000 volunteers to serve ninety days. Denouncing the president’s policy of “coercion,” four more states left the Union. The ensuing war, the most costly in American history, would last for four agonizing years. When it was over, some 600,000 Americans had died and the states of the South had suffered economic losses in the billions of dollars when measured in terms of today’s currency
  • Topic: Civil War, Politics, History, Elections
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Ami Pedahsur
  • Publication Date: 02-2009
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Columbia University Press
  • Abstract: While Mossad is known as one of the world's most successful terrorist-fighting organizations, the state of Israel has, more than once and on many levels, risked the lives of its agents and soldiers through unwise intelligence-based intervention. An expert on terror and political extremism, Ami Pedahzur argues that Israel's strict reliance on the elite units of its intelligence community is fundamentally flawed. A unique synthesis of memoir, academic research, and information gathered from print and online sources, Pedahzur's complex study explores this issue through Israel's past encounters with terrorists, specifically, hostage rescue missions, the first and second wars in Lebanon, the challenges of the West Bank and Gaza, Palestinian terrorist groups, and Hezbollah. He brings a rare transparency to Israel's counterterrorist activities, highlighting their successes and failures and the factors that have contributed to these results. From the foundations of this analysis, Pedahzur ultimately builds a strategy for future confrontation that has relevance not only for Israel but also for other countries that have adopted Israel's intelligence-based model.
  • Topic: Intelligence, Military Affairs, Counter-terrorism
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel
  • Publication Identifier: 9780231511612
  • Publication Identifier Type: ISBN
  • Author: Ami Pedahsur, Arie Perlinger
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Columbia University Press
  • Abstract: Two world experts on the study of terror and security propose a theory of violence that contextualizes not only recent acts of terror but also instances of terrorism that stretch back centuries. Beginning with ancient Palestine and its encounters with Jewish terrorism, the authors analyze the social, political, and cultural factors sponsoring extreme violence, proving that religious terrorism is not the fault of one faith, but flourishes within any counterculture adhering to a totalistic ideology. Conducting interviews with former Jewish terrorists, political and spiritual leaders, and law-enforcement officials, and culling information from rare documents and surveys of terrorist networks, Pedahzur and Perliger construct an extensive portrait of terrorist aggression while also describing the conditions behind the modern rise of zealotry.
  • Topic: Terrorism, Military Affairs, Counter-terrorism
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel
  • Publication Identifier: 9780231520751
  • Publication Identifier Type: ISBN
  • Author: George Last
  • Publication Date: 03-2009
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Berghahn Books
  • Abstract: Historical analysis of the German Democratic Republic has tended to adopt a top-down model of the transmission of authority. However, developments were more complicated than the standard state/society dichotomy that has dominated the debate among GDR historians. Drawing on a broad range of archival material from state and SED party sources as well as Stasi files and individual farm records along with some oral history interviews, this book provides a thorough investigation of the transformation of the rural sector from a range of perspectives. Focusing on the region of Bezirk Erfurt, the author examines on the one hand how East Germans responded to the end of private farming by resisting, manipulating but also participating in the new system of rural organization. However, he also shows how the regime sought via its representatives to implement its aims with a combination of compromise and material incentive as well as administrative pressure and other more draconian measures. The reader thus gains valuable insight into the processes by which the SED regime attained stability in the 1970s and yet was increasingly vulnerable to growing popular dissatisfaction and economic stagnation and decline in the 1980s, leading to its eventual collapse.
  • Topic: Cold War, Economics, Socialism/Marxism, Authoritarianism, Rural
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Soviet Union, West Germany, East Germany
  • Author: Atilla Sandikli
  • Publication Date: 12-2009
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: BILGESAM (Wise Men Center for Strategic Studies)
  • Abstract: At the last quarter of 20th century, Cold War ended and technological advances in general with significant progresses in communication in particular have generated the phenomenon of globalization. The developments in financial markets and in real economy not only spread through geographical boundaries of nation states but also influence economic, technologic, and socio-cultural spheres decisively. National and international spaces as well as local and global domains are increasingly intertwined. Further beyond the interdependencies among states there are emerging new fields of cooperation and of common interests between societies. Democratic values and awareness on human rights are becoming universally shared norms as their applications expand conspicuously. Pluralist democratic regimes that respect human rights and that achieve a just income distribution provide better welfare systems for their publics. These regimes, in the long term, contribute stability and peace at domestic, regional and international levels. Accordingly, geopolitical weight of the states maintaining such regimes increases.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Regional Cooperation, Science and Technology, European Union, Democracy, Strategic Planning
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Turkey, Middle East, United States of America