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  • Author: Christophe Jaffrelot
  • Publication Date: 09-2012
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Centre d'Etudes et de Recherches Internationales
  • Abstract: During the Cold War the US-Pakistan relationship was one in which the US considered Pakistan as a necessary part of its effort to contain communism in Asia while Pakistan considered its relationship with the US as strengthening its position vis a vis India. The high point in this relationship was during the Soviet-Afghan war. The US tried to renew this relationship after 9/11, although when Obama replaced GW Bush he stated his intention to move US-Pakistani relations off the security agenda which the Pentagone and the Pakistani army considered a priority. However, Obama rain into resistance from the Pakistani army and from the national security establishment in Washington- as can be seen from the security-oriented distribution of US aid. But not even in the area of security have the two nations been able truly to collaborate. To begin with, the strengthening of US-India relations angered Pakistan. Then Islamabad protected the Taliban in its fight with NATO. Finally, Obama violated Pakistani sovereignty (the Drone strikes in the tribal belt and the Ben Laden raid). These conflicting interest, however, do not necessary means the end of the relationship.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Foreign Policy, Terrorism, War, Peacekeeping, State
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, South Asia, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Evelyne Ritaine
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Centre d'Etudes et de Recherches Internationales
  • Abstract: The political determination of the Mediterranean border of the European Union seen from the perspective of the Southern European countries (Spain, Italy, Greece, Malta) illustrates the symbolic and political importance for these nations of maintaining control of the border. It has a significant impact on the types of controls that are enacted and the interplay between national and European decisions. Placing this question on the agenda brings to light a Mediterranean perspective regarding the exterior borders of the European Union that is largely determined by the conditions of integration of the different countries into the Schengen area. This new border regime is the result of complex political games and is seen as a security issue. The actual set of controls seems to be less planned and legal-rational than simply erratic and the result of tensions between internal tactics, nation state strategies and attempts at bringing within the ring of EU.
  • Topic: Security, Migration, European Union, Regulation, Borders, State
  • Political Geography: Greece, Balkans, Spain, North Africa, Italy, Western Europe, Mediterranean, European Union, Malta
  • Author: Laurence Louer
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Centre d'Etudes et de Recherches Internationales
  • Abstract: During the first decade of the 21st century the Gulf States undertook reforms of their social policies based on the generous redistribution of hydrocarbon profits. One of the elements of the redistribution was to guarantee of employment. Beginning in the 1990s rising unemployment indicated that the traditional employment policies were ineffective, generating social tensions as evidenced in the "Arab spring". The goal of the reforms is to move nationals into salaried jobs in the private sector, currently held largely by foreign workers. The change is strongly opposed by business executives and local entrepreneurs. Having become accustomed to inexpensive foreign workers they object to the increased costs entailed by the reforms. The royal families are thus obliged to negotiate between the interests of the private sector, often aligned with their own, and the dissatisfaction of the young, the group most impacted by unemployment and the key players in the protests that erupted in 2011 in Bahrain, Saudi-Arabia and Oman.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Political Economy, Labor Issues, Arab Spring, Social Policy, Identities, State, Multinational Corporations
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman, United Arab Emirates
  • Author: Ariel Colonomos
  • Publication Date: 02-2012
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Centre d'Etudes et de Recherches Internationales
  • Abstract: What kind of future worlds do experts of international security envision? This paper studies the role of experts in DC's think tanks, a relatively small world socially and culturally highly homogeneous. It underlines the characteristics of this epistemic community that influence the way its analysts make claims about the future for security. The DC's marketplace of the future lacks diversity. The paradigms analysts use when they study international politics are very similar. Moreover, the range of issues they focus on is also relatively narrow. The paper highlights three main features of the relation between those who make claims about the future of security and those to whom these claims are addressed (mainly policymakers). First, it shows that, for epistemic but also for political reasons, the future imagined in think tanks is relatively stable and linear. This future also contributes to the continuity of political decisions. Second, the paper shows that think tanks are also "victims of groupthink", especially when they make claims about the future. Third, it underlines a paradox: scenarios and predictions create surprises. Claims about the future have a strong tunneling effect. They reinforce preexisting beliefs, create focal points, and operate as blinders when, inevitably, the future breaks away from its linear path.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Terrorism, War, International Security, State
  • Political Geography: North America, United States of America, Washington, D.C.
  • Author: Isabelle Rousseau
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Centre d'Etudes et de Recherches Internationales
  • Abstract: Latin America's national oil companies, created at various times during the twentieth century, have each evolved in a different way. The two main companies – Petroleos de Mexico (Pemex) and Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) – provide excellent illustrations of the rich diversity of organizational and industrial development. Many factors – such as the importance of earth quakes – explain the diversity. Nevertheless, the role of governments during the period of nationalizations is key. It was then that the relationships between the owners of natural resources, public operators, regulators, the finance ministries, and international operators were defined. This process shaped the companies' institutional structures (path dependency) and set the parameters for future entrepreneurial dynamism. The path by which each of these enterprises developed continues to affect their culture as evidenced by the recent reforms which attempted to restructure Pemex and PDVSA.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, Oil, Political Economy, Multinational Corporations
  • Political Geography: South America, Latin America, Venezuela, Mexico
  • Author: Geoffrey Kemp
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for the National Interest
  • Abstract: At the height of America’s postwar power, in the 1960s and 1970s, the U.S. Seventh Fleet was able to sustain an unchallenged presence “East of Suez” to embrace the Persian Gulf, the Indian Ocean, the Indonesian Straits, and the South and East China Seas as well as the Western Pacific. Today the U.S. remains the dominant maritime power in this vast area, especially in the region to the west of the Straits of Malacca. However, in the region closer to China, the growing power projection and sea denial capabilities of China’s military raises questions about the future ability of the United States to operate with immunity in an area China increasingly believes is part of its own patrimony. Although the United States has many allies in the region, especially Singapore, Australia, Japan, South Korea, the Philippines, and increasingly Vietnam, the trends in military spending and force deployments suggest the U.S. will have to increasingly rely on cooperation with allies if there is to be a balance against China’s maritime aspirations. The downside of this is that the U.S. must avoid being drawn into the many bilateral disputes between China and its neighbors and must try to play a conciliatory role rather than taking sides. This will inevitably mean that the U.S. will have to play a different role from the one it became accustomed to during its days as the undisputed hegemon. The U.S. will still remain the key policeman in the Indian Ocean and Gulf regions, but will have to adapt to a different role in parts of the Western Pacific and southeast Asian waters.
  • Topic: International Security, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Paul Saunders
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for the National Interest
  • Abstract: Following the North Korean sinking of the South Korean frigate Cheonan, and North Korea’s subsequent shelling of Yeonpyeong Island, the Center for the National Interest proposed a U.S.-Japan-South Korea dialogue on extended deterrence in East Asia to assess whether and how the three countries could work together to strengthen stability in a region of vital importance to America’s security and prosperity—and, of course, to the security and prosperity of its close allies. Shortly before the project began, the collision of a Chinese fishing vessel with a Japanese coast guard ship near the Senkaku Islands led to a significant political confrontation between Tokyo and Beijing
  • Topic: International Security, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Ali Balcı, Tuncay Kardaş
  • Publication Date: 12-2012
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Sakarya University (SAU)
  • Abstract: Bu çalışmanın amacı şu sorulara cevap aramaktır: Ortadoğu’da düşük profilli bir politika izleyen Türkiye’nin 1990’larda İsrail devleti ile güçlü bir stratejik ittifak ilişkisi kurması nasıl mümkün olmuştur? Sonrasında bunun tersine iki ülke arasında 1990’lardaki benzersiz ve pozitif ilişkilerin yerini 2000’lerde neden düşmanca bir ortam almıştır? 1990’lar ile 2000’lerdeki ilişkilerin arasındaki bu fark nasıl açıklanabilir? Bu soruları cevaplamak için makale Kopenhag Okulu’nun “güvenlikleştirme” kavramını kullanmaktadır. Bu yaklaşım sadece Türkiye-İsrail ilişkilerindeki farklı dönemlerin özelliklerini resmetmeye yardımcı olmamakta, aynı zamanda politik anlamda sivil-asker ilişkilerinin dış politika yapımındaki etkisini vurgulamaya da imkân sağlamaktadır. | The present study seeks to answer the following questions: How was it possible that a state such as Turkey, which had until then pursued a low-profile policy in the Middle East, has able to forge a bold strategic alliance with the state of Israel in the 1990s? Conversely then, why was the unparalleled and positive nature of relations in the 1990s replaced by a hostile and toxic nature in the first decade of the 2000s? How can this difference in the relations between the 1990s and 2000s be explained? To answer such questions, this article uses the Copenhagen School’s theory of securitization. This approach not only helps to illustrate the characteristics of different periods in Turkish-Israeli relations, it also helps to highlight the specificity of the politics of civilmilitary relations in foreign policy making.
  • Topic: Security, Government, Military Strategy, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East, Israel
  • Author: Atilla Sandikli, Bilgehan Emeklier
  • Publication Date: 02-2012
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: BILGESAM (Wise Men Center for Strategic Studies)
  • Abstract: The Middle East region has undergone a rapid transformation period in recent years. Iran’s nuclear program may bring the US-Iranian relations to the verge of close combat. Any Israeli attack against Iran’s nuclear facilities may trigger a series of conflicts. Due to the sanctions imposed upon Iran because of its nuclear program, the country is getting more and more isolated and feels under threat. What could be the possible reactions of an Iran that sees itself as threatened? The US withdrew from Iraq and as a result of the popular movements, the Middle East administrations are changing hands one by one. The region has started to teem with uncertainties and risks. On one hand, there is a wish for freedom, democracy, human rights, rule of law, free market, and fair income distribution. On the other hand, an abundance of conflicts and blood is being seen. What will these developments bring about? Could Iran, as an important player in the area, transform this uncertainty into an opportunity for itself? This report named “Iran at the Center of Chaos Scenarios” focuses on paradigms which direct Iran’s geopolitical features and foreign policy, paying particular attention to elements of continuity, drastic differences and ruptures in Iran. There are certain scenarios on how Iran, which feels under threat, will evaluate and make use of sensitivities and opportunities appearing with the US withdrawal from Iraq and the Arab Spring. The report also pays special emphasis to the fact that Iran stands at the center of all these scenarios, potentially leading to chaos in the region.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Social Movement, Geopolitics, Arab Spring
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East, United States of America
  • Author: Salih Akyürek, Mehmet Ali Yilmaz
  • Publication Date: 09-2012
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: BILGESAM (Wise Men Center for Strategic Studies)
  • Abstract: During 2008-2009, BILGESAM conducted a thorough research in which 8,607 were polled from 17 different eastern and south-eastern provinces, along with a relatively high number of migrants of these regions in Istanbul and Mersin, and this research was presented under the title, “A Sociological Analysis of the South-eastern Question”. Later, results from this inquiry were incorporated into the, “What are the Kurds and Zazas thinking about? Perceptions on Common Values and Symbols” report and this report was presented to the public. Concerning the democratic opening process was BILGESAM’s publication of (Ret.) Ambassador Özdem Sanberk’s analysis, “Democratization, Political and Social Solidarity Opening for the Solution of the Kurdish Question” and the Wise Men Board report, “The Democratic Opening and Social Perceptions”. During the 2009-2010 period and within the eastern and south-eastern parts of Anatolia where a majority of Kurds resides, BILGESAM conducted a survey in 19 provinces and migrant-heavy Mersin, along with 5 provinces in the western part of Turkey, where 192 people in total were interviewed as to establish a comprehensive sampling as possible. Consequently, these interview results were published within the book, “Kurds in Turkey and Social Perceptions”. In order to ascertain the ethnic/religious composition of regional neighborhoods where Kurdish majorities reside, BILGESAM published the 2010 report, “The Ethnic and Religious Identity Composition of 19 Turkish Provinces in the Eastern and South-eastern parts of Anatolia”. BILGESAM, trying to partake in the resolution of the Kurdish Question has developed a comprehensive strategy that takes into consideration four different dimensions of the issue. This strategy was encapsulated in a Wise Men Board report and its contents made available for the public and decision-makers’ benefit in 2011 with the title, “Turkey’s Counter-Terrorism Strategy against the PKK”. Following up this report, and to complement its religious/ethnic lines of argument, was the “Conflict Resolution Approaches and the Kurdish Question in Turkey” report. With this new survey report, BILGESAM is continuing to follow the developments around the Kurdish Question. To understand and quantify the societal perception of the Turkish state’s counter terror operations and the democratic opening process, BILGESAM surveyed 2922 people via an online poll and is presenting its findings now in the “Turkish Societal Perceptions Concerning Combat against PKK Terrorism” report. This report tried to be as thorough as possible and many sub-layers of analysis were entertained for achieving a holistic analysis as possible. Among some of the sub-sections were: the desire for Turks and Kurds to live together in Turkey, the KCK arrests, the democratic opening process, counter terrorism and state policies, military operations against terrorism, foreign support for the PKK, the effects of terror acts in the regions and societal perceptions on solution proposals of Kurdish Question. The report “Turkish Societal Perceptions Concerning Combat against PKK Terrorism” was originally published in Turkish and presented to the public through a press conference that took place at BILGESAM headquarters in September 2012.
  • Topic: Democratization, Terrorism, Minorities, PKK
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East