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You searched for: Content Type Policy Brief Remove constraint Content Type: Policy Brief Publishing Institution MIT Center for International Studies Remove constraint Publishing Institution: MIT Center for International Studies Topic Politics Remove constraint Topic: Politics
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  • Author: John Tirman
  • Publication Date: 06-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: MIT Center for International Studies
  • Abstract: The attacks of September 11, 2001, transformed the landscape of global security, none more than borders and immigration. The topography of citizenship, belonging, and suspicion instantly changed for Arab and Muslim communities in the United States. They drew the sharp attention of U.S. law enforcement and intelligence services, and that continues. But the public's focus has swung south to scrutinize the U.S.-Mexican border as a source of insecurity. For the most part, the alarms about immigrants as threats are exaggerated. And the policy choices driven by these concerns—much larger border security measures in particular—are costly in a globalized economy and unnecessary for security in any case.
  • Topic: Security, Migration, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, Arab Countries, North America, Mexico
  • Author: Cindy Williams
  • Publication Date: 06-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: MIT Center for International Studies
  • Abstract: Since September 2001, federal budgets for national security have climbed more than 50 percent in real terms. Unfortunately, much of the added money reflects “business as usual” rather than programs aimed at making the nation safer from today's threats. Compared with past decades, national security spending makes up a relatively small share of the U.S. economy. Nevertheless, with the federal debt growing rapidly and as large numbers of baby boomers approach retirement age, many observers expect future federal budgets to be tight. Thus it is critically important to ensure that national security funds go to projects that make the nation more secure. This article examines broad changes in national security budgets since September 2001. It first reviews the three categories of federal spending for national security. It then examines how budgets in those categories have changed since September 2001. It ends with a look at alternatives that seem more relevant in an era of international mass-casualty terrorism.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: America, North America
  • Author: John Tirman
  • Publication Date: 04-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: MIT Center for International Studies
  • Abstract: Since the autumn of 2001, following the shocking attacks of September 11th, President Bush and his advisers have repeatedly likened the war against terrorism to the confrontation with Nazi Germany in the Second World War and the long struggle with Soviet communism in the Cold War. But the current anti-terrorist campaign and the related war in Iraq are significantly different from those earlier contests. Where resemblances occur, they are not comforting to our political values. And the comparative lessons that the U.S. Government is proffering are not the ones that are relevant to dealing with terrorism.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Politics, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Nichole Argo
  • Publication Date: 04-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: MIT Center for International Studies
  • Abstract: Suicide terror has become a daily news staple. Who are these human bombs, and why are they willing to die in order to kill? Many observers turn to Islam for an explanation. They cite the pre-ponderance of Muslim bombers today, indoctrination by extremist institutions, and the language used in jihadi statements.
  • Topic: Security, Politics, Religion, Terrorism
  • Author: Hugh Gusterson
  • Publication Date: 04-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: MIT Center for International Studies
  • Abstract: There has long been a widespread perception among U.S. defense intellectuals, politicians and pundits that, while we can live with the nuclear weapons of the five official nuclear nations for the indefinite future, the proliferation of nuclear weapons to nuclear-threshold states in the Third World, especially the Islamic world, would be enormously dangerous. This orthodoxy is so much a part of our collective common sense that, like all common sense, it can usually be stated as simple fact without fear of contradiction. It is widely found in the media and in learned journals, and it is shared by liberals as well as conservatives.
  • Topic: Security, Nuclear Weapons, Politics, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Barry R. Posen
  • Publication Date: 03-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: MIT Center for International Studies
  • Abstract: The intense concern about Iran's nuclear energy program reflects the judgment that, should it turn to the production of weapons, an Iran with nuclear arms would gravely endanger the United States and the world. An Iranian nuclear arsenal, policymakers fear, could touch off a regional arms race while emboldening Tehran to undertake aggressive, even reckless, actions.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Nuclear Weapons, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran
  • Author: Vanda Felbab-Brown
  • Publication Date: 01-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: MIT Center for International Studies
  • Abstract: It is widely recognized that access by belligerent groups to the gains from drug production and trafficking contributes to the intensity and prolongation of military conflict. Also, that such groups—terrorists, insurgents, or warlords—grow stronger when they successfully exploit the drug trade. The United States' response—its antinarcotics policy—emphasizes crop eradication. This strategy is too simplistic and, ultimately, ineffective.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Politics, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Robert Vickers
  • Publication Date: 09-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: MIT Center for International Studies
  • Abstract: To most Americans, the prospect of a united Europe has long been viewed not only as a favorable development, but even as an increasingly inevitable one. Our common political, religious and cultural heritage, democratic governments, market economies, and Cold War experiences have all contributed to the perception of Europe as a friend and natural ally of the United States, occasional differences not withstanding. The formation of NATO in 1949 gave a military tone to the developing political alliance between the U.S. and Western Europe, and the beginnings of united Europe in the early 1950s was generally viewed in Washington as a favorable trend that would make Western Europe a stronger economic partner and a stronger ally in the struggle against Soviet Communism.
  • Topic: International Relations, Politics, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Europe, Washington, Soviet Union
  • Author: Gary G. Troeller
  • Publication Date: 09-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: MIT Center for International Studies
  • Abstract: There has long been a feeling in the corridors of power in Washington that the United Nations is irredeemably flawed and condemned to ineffectiveness. It is viewed as an irritating constraint on U.S. power, or worse—expensive, wasteful, slow to act, and irrelevant.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, Washington, North America
  • Author: Allison Macfarlane
  • Publication Date: 07-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: MIT Center for International Studies
  • Abstract: In the United States, weapons of mass destruction have become the bête noir of the 21st century. They are now the justification for pre-emptive war, for an expansion of the cold war nuclear arsenal, and for the spending of billions of dollars on offensive and defensive measures. Since significant portions of U.S. foreign and domestic policy are based on this categorization, it is high time to reflect on whether these weapons pose such a lethal threat.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Arms Control and Proliferation, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 04-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: MIT Center for International Studies
  • Abstract: Politics and public policy, like every walk of life, are fraught with “conventional wisdom”—the folk axioms, bromides, platitudes, and generally superficial explanations that, once entrenched, go unchallenged. Academics, journalists, activists, business leaders and just about everyone else in the chattering classes—right, left, and center—are guilty parties. All of us use conventional wisdom as a shortcut—as a handy way to “know” something about which we have not invested the time and trouble to study closely and understand fully.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Government, Politics
  • Author: M. Taylor Fravel, Richard J. Samuels
  • Publication Date: 04-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: MIT Center for International Studies
  • Abstract: The long history of U.S. foreign policy is punctuated by axiomatic truths that have bordered on conceit—e.g., the virtues of isolation, America's manifest destiny, and our benign, democratizing presence in world affairs. Strategists have lurched from truth to truth across the centuries, often without sufficient reflection and learning. Today the United States is operating with an axiomatic idea about its place in and of Asia. U.S. foreign policymakers—and U.S. foreign policy wonks—intone the mantra: “The United States is an Asian power.”
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Asia
  • Author: Barry R. Posen
  • Publication Date: 04-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: MIT Center for International Studies
  • Abstract: How strong is the U.S. militarily? Recent history would suggest very strong indeed—the U.S. armed forces are undefeated in two stand-up fights with Saddam Hussein, and one each with Slobodan Milosevic and the Taliban. The Grand Strategy of the Bush administration seeks to improve this already impressive position. “Our forces will be strong enough to dissuade potential adversaries from pursuing a military build-up in hopes of surpassing, or equaling, the power of the United States.”
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, Taliban
  • Author: Chappell Lawson
  • Publication Date: 04-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: MIT Center for International Studies
  • Abstract: Canada and Mexico rarely figure high on the list of American priorities. Policymakers focus on conflicts in the Middle East; specialists in international relations discuss China's growing influence; and newspapers cover the international crisis du jour. It is easy to forget about two countries that appear to pose no direct or immediate threat to U.S. interests.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Politics, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: China, America, Middle East, Canada, North America, Mexico