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  • Author: Scott W. Harold
  • Publication Date: 03-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: U.S. foreign policy is beset by numerous simultaneous crises. In Syria, the Assad regime continues to commit massive human rights abuses, while Islamic State jihadis are seizing territory in Syria and neighboring Iraq. Russia has annexed Crimea and is threatening its neighbors from Ukraine to the Baltics. In Nigeria, Boko Haram is killing students while they sleep and abducting hundreds of young girls to sell into slavery, while the Ebola virus is killing thousands in neighboring West African states. And as if this wasn't enough, in Asia, China is on the march in the South China Sea, North Korea may test another nuclear device, and U.S. allies Japan and South Korea continue to feud over history issues. In light of these challenges, U.S. foreign policy analysts may understandably question the fate of President Obama's signature foreign policy initiative, the `pivot' or `rebalance' to the Asia–Pacific.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Japan, China, America, Asia, South Korea, Syria, Nigeria
  • Author: Eric Farnsworth
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: U.S. influence is waning in the Americas. Although Washington is currently engaged in a well-intentioned effort to reverse this trend, its agenda will have only limited impact over the longer term unless the United States changes the lens through which it views the region. Strategic thinking has essentially collapsed. After the fall of the Soviet Union, the international relations community in the United States moved on, leaving regional studies to development and social inclusion advocates. At the point in history when the United States should be reaping the reward of years of patient investment and hard work building democratic institutions and open markets in the region, we have either doubled down on, or pivoted to, other parts of the world. Now, instead, the United States must refocus its perspective within the region, or else its traditional leadership role will continue to erode. Countries in Latin America and the Caribbean are neither charity cases nor default partners in international affairs. It is time for a less romantic, more realistic approach to the Americas.
  • Topic: International Relations
  • Political Geography: America, Washington, Caribbean
  • Author: Stephen Biddle
  • Publication Date: 06-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: In an important sense, emerging debates on the war's lessons are premature. The war in Afghanistan is not over; nor is it ending anytime soon. Nevertheless, before conventional wisdom consolidates, two observations on counterinsurgency are worth considering now: whether it can work and how to approach governance reform.
  • Topic: Security, War, Governance, Reform
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, America
  • Author: Jiun Bang, David C. Kang
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: South Korea-Japan relations have been frozen for some time and despite the summer heat, no thaw appears likely anytime soon. Although economic interactions continue to deepen between the two countries, and although there is a clear desire – and even a need – to coordinate policies toward North Korea and China, the two countries appear more focused on other issues as their main foreign policy priorities in the short-term. The two recently elected leaders have yet to meet for a summit, a sign that even a symbolic attempt to repair relations is proving difficult. Japanese Prime Minister Abe has grown stronger with a rousing Liberal Democratic Party victory in Upper House elections, yet a number of rhetorical controversies kept attention focused on Abe's foreign policy, particularly toward Korea and China. To date not much has changed and there is little evidence that either Seoul or Tokyo desires improved relations.
  • Topic: Human Rights, War
  • Political Geography: Japan, America, South Korea
  • Author: Gabriel M. Scheinmann, Raphael S. Cohen
  • Publication Date: 12-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Not since President George W. Bush uttered the words “axis of evil” has a strategic phrase generated as much Beltway buzz as “securing the commons.” One of the few points of agreement between President Obama's 2010 National Security Strategy, the 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review Report, the neoconservative Project for the New America's Century's “Rebuilding American Defense” report, various NATO research papers, and numerous think tank publications is that they all emphasize the importance of “safeguarding the global commons.”
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Michael Singh
  • Publication Date: 03-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: While Iran's nuclear program has been on America's foreign policy agenda for the last twenty-plus years, one gets the unmistakable feeling that the issue is finally coming to a head. After several years of slowly ratcheting up sanctions while seeking to shield the Iranian people and their own economies from harm, the United States and the European Union have gone for the economic jugular by targeting Iranian oil exports. On December 31, 2011, President Obama signed into law sanctions, passed overwhelmingly by the U.S. Congress, that impose penalties on any foreign bank_including any central bank_that conducts petroleum transactions with Iran. The European Union took an even more dramatic step, imposing an embargo on the purchase of Iranian oil by its member states.
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Europe, Iran
  • Author: Haider Ali Hussein Mullick
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Afghanistan is America's longest war. Thousands of U.S. troops and those from nearly 50 other countries have fought in Afghanistan against Taliban and al-Qaeda forces, but it was in nuclear-armed Pakistan where Osama bin Laden was killed, Khalid Sheikh Mohammad (the mastermind of 9/11) was captured, and Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Omar as well as the heads of the virulent Haqqani network reside. Pakistan's duplicity is a fact, yet it is often excessively characterized as a function of the India—Pakistan rivalry. Pakistani generals do fear India, but they have also recognized the threat from domestic insurgents. The height of this concern was reached in 2009, when the Pakistani Taliban were 60 miles from the country's capital and jeopardized U.S. as well as Pakistani goals in the region: interdicting al-Qaeda, protecting Pakistani nuclear weapons, and stabilizing (and in Pakistan's case, an anti-India) Afghanistan. At that point, Pakistani troops, unlike past attempts, fought back and prevailed against the insurgents. It can be done.
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Afghanistan, America, India
  • Author: Paul Stanilan
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: President Obama has placed Pakistan at the center of his administration's foreign policy agenda. Islamabad is a pivotal player in Afghanistan and its decisions will have much to do with whether and how U.S. forces can leave that country. Al Qaeda and linked militant groups have used Pakistan as a sanctuary and recruiting ground, with the Afghanistan-Pakistan border areas becoming, in President Obama's words, ''the most dangerous place in the world.'' Recurrent tensions between India and Pakistan frustrate and complicate U.S. initiatives in the region, where nuclear proliferation, insurgency, terrorism, and grand strategic goals in Asia intersect.
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Afghanistan, America, Asia
  • Author: William J. Lynn, III
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: As disaster struck Japan and revolution swept the Middle East, Americans once again watched events unfold in real time, through a network of satellites in space that have revolutionized the dissemination of information and changed how we live. For decades, we have taken this network, and the operational environment of space which supports it, for granted. But quietly, almost imperceptibly, revolutions of a less visible kind have been unfolding above us in space itself. Over the Middle East, censorship imposed by autocratic states has for the first time extended into the upper reaches of the atmosphere. The satellite-based telecommunications services of Thuraya—a regional satellite phone provider—have been disrupted, and the satellite broadcasts of Al Jazeera, the Voice of America, and the BBC rendered unintelligible. Libya and Iran are the primary offenders, but even less technologically developed countries such as Ethiopia have employed jamming technologies for political purposes.
  • Political Geography: America, Middle East
  • Author: Daniel Byman
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Americans took heart as they watched Egyptian demonstrators rally in Tahrir Square and topple the regime of Hosni Mubarak in a peaceful revolution. Next door in Israel, however, the mood was somber: “When some people in the West see what's happening in Egypt, they see Europe 1989,” an Israeli official remarked. “We see it as Tehran 1979.” Political leaders vied to see who could be the most pessimistic, with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu publicly warning that it was even possible that “Egypt will go in the direction of Iran,” with the new Cairo government becoming even more dictatorial and lashing out abroad. As he pointed out in remarks to the Knesset, “They too had demonstrations; multitudes filled the town squares. But, of course it progressed in a different way.” As unrest spread from Egypt to Bahrain, Jordan, Syria, and Yemen, the gloom seemed to deepen.
  • Political Geography: America, Europe, Iran, Yemen, Arabia, Syria, Egypt, Jordan, Bahrain
  • Author: Michele Dunne, Uri Dadush
  • Publication Date: 10-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The Arab countries straddle the lifelines of world trade. They link Europe to Asia and, with Iran, surround the Persian Gulf home to some 54 percent of global oil reserves. The region's many international and domestic disputes, as well as restraints on political expression and human rights, have spawned extremism. In turn, the region's endemic instability or perceived risk of instability has provided cover for some of the world's most authoritarian and corrupt regimes. Until the turn of this year, the Arab countries had almost uniformly resisted the process of democratization that swept up other regions in recent decade.
  • Political Geography: America, Europe, Iran, Asia, Arabia
  • Author: Ralph A. Cossa, Brad Glosserman
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Last quarter we focused on remarks by US President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton proclaiming that “America is back in Asia,” an obvious dig at real and perceived neglect of Asia by the previous administration. This quarter, both were forced to postpone planned trips to Asia although, in Secretary Clinton's case, not before giving a major Asia policy address in Honolulu. This quarter also ended the same as last, amid hints that Pyongyang really would, at some not too distant point (but not this past quarter), return to six-party deliberations. On a more positive note, it looks like arms control agreements are on the way back, following the announcement that the US and Russia had finally come to terms on a new strategic arms agreement, to be signed by both presidents in April. Speculation about the “changing balance of power” in Asia also continues as a result of China's economic resilience and apparent newfound confidence, although it still seems premature to announce that the Middle Kingdom is back, given the challenges highlighted at this year's National Peoples' Congress. Political normalcy also appears to be a long way from returning to Bangkok where the “red shirts” have once again taken to the street, prompting the government to declare a state of emergency.
  • Topic: Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, China, America, Asia, Bangkok
  • Author: Jofi Joseph
  • Publication Date: 04-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: As the historic first 100 days of President Barack Obama's administration fly by, he faces a tsunami of advice on the key priorities he should pursue over the next four years. Ranging from energy independence and national health care reform to improving America's image with the Islamic world and revamping our foreign assistance structure, the president must decide where to focus his scarce time, resources, and political capital. One initiative he should strongly consider this year is calling upon the U.S. Senate to once again take up the ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) to outlaw nuclear testing around the world, even though the initiative failed in October 1999 by a 51—48 vote.
  • Topic: Islam
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Sarah E. Mendelson
  • Publication Date: 04-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: About a month before the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), the United States elected its first African-American president, Barack Obama. This historic event, a fitting milestone, brings to life that declaration, which human rights activists and legal scholars regard as the sacred text. Obama's election fulfills a dream of the U.S. civil rights movement, a struggle that relied as much on the UDHR as on the courage of the men and women who for decades fought to make the United States a ''more perfect union.'' For human rights defenders around the world, its significance cannot be overstated.
  • Topic: Human Rights
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, America
  • Author: Charles E. Cook
  • Publication Date: 04-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: It would seem to be impossible not to recognize the historical significance and symbolism that Barack Obama's election represents, regardless of whether someone supported Obama, John McCain, Hillary Clinton, or any of the other thirteen contenders for the presidency. Just 45 years after Dr. Martin Luther King's ''I Have a Dream'' speech and Birmingham Public Service Commissioner Bull Connor directed fire hoses to be aimed at civil rights demonstrators, an African-American was elected president of the United States. No matter how Obama fares as president, this is a remarkable milestone in U.S. history.
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, America
  • Author: Lewis Dunn, Dallas Boyd, James Scouras
  • Publication Date: 07-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Asked shortly before leaving office to identify his ''greatest accomplishment'' as president, George W. Bush expressed his pride in ''keeping America safe.'' Political commentator Peggy Noonan observed that the judgment ''newly re-emerging as the final argument'' for Bush's presidency is that he succeeded in preventing another attack on the scale of September 11, 2001. Noonan suggested, however, that ''It is unknown, and perhaps can't be known, whether this was fully due to the government's efforts, or the luck of the draw, or a combination of luck and effort.''
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Abraham F. Lowenthal
  • Publication Date: 07-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Because the new administration of President Barack Obama inherited the most demanding agenda, both at home and abroad, that any U.S. government has faced in many decades, few observers expected that it would devote much attention to U.S. relations with Latin America and the Caribbean. None of the countries of the Americas presents an imminent threat to U.S. national security. None is likely to be the source or target of significant international terrorism. With so much else to attend to, the Obama administration might well have relegated Latin America to the distant backburner.
  • Topic: Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Robert Sutter
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Asian commentators who asserted that China and its neighbors could ride out the economic crisis in U.S. and Western financial markets appeared in retreat during the quarter as the impact of the financial turmoil and recession in America and Europe began to have a major effect on China and the region's trade, manufacturing, currency values, and broader economic stability. The hope that China could sustain stable growth independent of the U.S. and Europe and thereby provide an engine of growth for export-oriented Southeast Asian countries was dented by Chinese trade figures that nosedived in November, especially Chinese imports, which fell by 18 percent. The financial crisis also dominated the discussion at the ASEM summit in October. Meanwhile, China continued to pursue infrastructure development projects with its neighbors to the south, resolved the land boundary dispute with Vietnam, and signed a free trade agreement with Singapore. Talk of a planned Chinese aircraft carrier caused some controversy, but on the whole assessments of China's rise were notably more balanced than in the past.
  • Topic: Economics, Financial Crisis, Reform
  • Political Geography: United States, China, America, Europe, Asia, Southeast Asia
  • Publication Date: 10-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: With the presidential elections in the U.S. scheduled for Nov. 4, the candidates' views of relations with Asia are of great interest to the foreign policy community in the U.S. and throughout Asia. In an effort to provide some insight into the policies of Sen. John McCain and Sen. Barack Obama, we have surveyed both campaigns' statements to answer a series of questions regarding their Asia policy stances as the basis of this quarter's Occasional Analysis. Overall priorities for East Asia Senator Obama America's future prosperity and security are closely tied to developments in Asia. Our relations with Asia's diverse countries and economies have been stable but stagnant these past few years. Our narrow focus on preventing the spread of weapons of mass destruction and prosecuting a war on terrorism have earned us some cooperation, but little admiration. The war in Iraq has lost us good will among both allies and adversaries and has distracted our attention and policy initiatives from Asia's issues. Our preoccupation with Iraq has given a strategic advantage to China in the region, with as yet uncertain consequences. Barack Obama believes that the U.S. needs to strengthen our alliances and partnerships and engage more broadly in the regional trend toward multilateralism in order to build confidence, maintain regional stability and security, restore our international prestige, and promote trade and good governance in this crucial region.
  • Topic: Security, Economics
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Asia