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  • Author: Robert Sutter
  • Publication Date: 02-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: As Sino-American competition for influence enters a new stage with the Obama administration's re-engagement with Asia, each power's legacies in the region add to economic, military and diplomatic factors determining which power will be more successful in the competition. How the United States and China deal with their respective histories in regional affairs and the role of their non-government relations with the Asia- Pacific represent important legacies that on balance favor the United States.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Arms Control and Proliferation, Diplomacy, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: United States, China, America, Asia
  • Author: Ashley J. Tellis
  • Publication Date: 05-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Although meaningful cooperation in the region surrounding Afghanistan is of vital importance, it has been elusive because Afghanistan\'s key neighbors have significantly divergent aims. Engineering a successful regional solution would require the United States to fundamentally transform either these actors\' objectives or their dominant strategies. Achieving the latter may prove more feasible, most crucially vis-à-vis Pakistan. The region\'s history of discord is mainly rooted in the troubled relationship between Afghanistan and Pakistan. Although Pakistan\'s involvement in Afghanistan is colored by its rivalry with India, its relations with Afghanistan are a geopolitical challenge independent of India because of its fears of disorder along its western borders, the unwelcome idea of “Pashtunistan,” and a related long-standing border dispute. Pakistan\'s reaction to these problems has only exacerbated them. As Islamabad, by supporting the Taliban insurgency, has sought to exercise preponderant, if not overweening, influence over Kabul\'s strategic choices, it has earned Kabul\'s distrust, deepened the Kabul–New Delhi partnership, and increased the risk to its relations with Washington—not to mention threatening the lives of U.S. and other coalition forces operating in Afghanistan. Despite widespread support in Afghanistan for ending the war through a negotiated settlement if possible, the Afghan Taliban leadership is unlikely to consider reconciliation unless it is faced with the prospect of continued losses of the kind sustained as a result of coalition military operations in 2010. A regional solution is similarly unlikely as long as Afghanistan and its neighbors, including India, perceive Islamabad as bent on holding Kabul in a choking embrace. Solving these problems lies beyond the capability of American diplomacy, and right now even of the promised diplomatic surge. The best hope for progress lies in continuing military action to alter the realities on the ground— thereby inducing the Taliban to consider reconciliation, while simultaneously neutralizing the Pakistani strategy that is currently preventing a regional solution. To increase the probability of military success, however, President Obama will need to forgo the politically calculated drawdown of combat troops this summer and instead accept the advice of his field commanders to maintain the largest possible contingent necessary for the coming campaign in eastern Afghanistan. Hard and unpalatable as it might be for the president, this course alone offers a solution that will protect the recent gains in Afghanistan and advance American interests over the long term.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Diplomacy, Peace Studies, Treaties and Agreements, War, Insurgency
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, America, Washington
  • Author: Marco Mezzera
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Norwegian Centre for Conflict Resolution
  • Abstract: The May 2nd 2011 Abbottabad raid that resulted in the death of Osama bin Laden heightened long-standing tensions between America and Pakistan. What little trust still existed between the establishments of the two countries almost completely disappeared. It is in this context that Pakistan made immediately clear that it was not dependent on Washington's benevolence and that it could turn at any time to its “all-weather friend” China for assistance that is free of criticism. Originating more than 60 years earlier, the Sino-Pakistani relationship until then had gone relatively unnoticed by most observers. After Abbottabad, while American policymakers were busy questioning the reliability of the Pakistani state and suspending some of the huge flows of military aid that had been poured into that country since 2001, Islamabad was swiftly taking countermeasures.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Terrorism, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, China, America
  • Author: John H. Makin
  • Publication Date: 12-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: A new truth of geopolitics has emerged during 2009. It is that the complex and rapidly evolving Sino-American relationship has become the most important bilateral relationship either country has. To this observation, made recently by William C. McCahill Jr. in the November 13 special issue of The China Report, must be added another claim: the course of the Sino-American relationship in both the economic and the political spheres will play a growing role in determining the levels of global economic and geopolitical stability. Trips like President Barack Obama's three-day visit to Shanghai and Beijing November 15–17 will probably be made with increasing frequency in coming years.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: United States, China, America, Shanghai, Beijing
  • Author: Nathan J. Brown
  • Publication Date: 05-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: The Bush administration is using its final months to try to gain agreement on a twostate solution to the Israeli–Palestinian conflict—but much of the framework supporting a two-state solution has collapsed. In January 2009, a new American administration will face a series of bleak choices. It may still be possible to revive a two-state solution, but it will require the emergence of a more viable and unified Palestinian leadership. Rather than pretending that an agreement is possible now, it would be far better if U.S. efforts in the remainder of this calendar year began to address the underlying problems.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Diplomacy, Foreign Exchange
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Middle East, Israel
  • Author: Simon Henderson
  • Publication Date: 04-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On April 22, two days after a reportedly unproductive meeting with President George W. Bush in Washington, President Hu Jintao of China will arrive in Saudi Arabia. Relations between the two countries are an increasingly important part of world diplomacy. In energy, China is the leading customer of Saudi Arabia, the world's largest oil exporter. On the military front, the kingdom bought now-obsolete ballistic missiles with a 1,500-mile range from China in the 1980s; the Saudis are reportedly interested in replacing them with more modern Chinese-designed missiles, perhaps with Pakistani nuclear warheads. Unlike his American visit, Hu's trip to the kingdom will unambiguously be given the status of a state visit. It is especially significant because King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia visited China as recently as January this year, the first visit by a Saudi monarch since diplomatic relations were established in 1990 and Abdullah's first trip outside the Middle East since becoming monarch last August. During the January meeting, five agreements covering economic cooperation trade and double taxation as well as an energy pact were signed. Energy is expected to be central to the latest talks, though a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman noted it was “not the only domain” of cooperation.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Weapons of Mass Destruction
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, China, America, Middle East, Saudi Arabia
  • Author: Thomas Donnelly
  • Publication Date: 06-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: In reelecting George W. Bush, Americans voted to continue foreign policies often caricatured at home and abroad as militaristic, expansionist, and unilateralist. The question is why a majority of voters backed Bush in the face of these charges. Does the Bush Doctrine, which urges the transformation of the political order in the greater Middle East and the broader international order in ways that defend and promote human freedom, constitute a radical break in the practice of American statecraft? Or is the Bush administration's approach—and the general public's acceptance of it—better explained by the “strategic culture” of the United States, the precepts of which can be traced through the history of U.S. foreign policy to the founding of the republic?
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Globalization
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Middle East
  • Author: Stephen Zunes
  • Publication Date: 10-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Foreign Policy In Focus
  • Abstract: It is doubtful that the Bush administration will be very successful advancing America's image in the Islamic world as long as its representatives have such trouble telling the truth. A case in point took place on October 21, when U.S. Undersecretary of State for Public Diplomacy Karen Hughes was talking before a group of university students in Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia, the world's largest Muslim country. As she has found elsewhere in her visits in the Islamic world, there is enormous popular opposition to the U.S. invasion of Iraq and the ongoing U.S. counter-insurgency war.
  • Topic: International Relations, Diplomacy
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, America, Indonesia, Middle East, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Daniel Brumberg
  • Publication Date: 03-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Following the September 11 atrocities, a senior U.S. administration official declared that Iran and the United States “see the situation pretty much the same way,” and thus would probably “cooperate” in the war against the Taliban and al Qaeda. This prediction soon became reality. Tehran not only contributed to the rout of the Taliban by supplying food and arms to the Northern Alliance, it also provided military advisers, some of whom probably passed their American counterparts along the road to Kabul.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Religion
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Iran, Middle East