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  • Author: Arne Duncan
  • Publication Date: 11-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: U.S. students now compete throughout their careers with their peers in other countries. But thinking of the future as a contest among countries vying to get larger pieces of a finite economic pie is a recipe for protectionism and global strife. Instead, Americans must realize that expanding educational attainment everywhere is the best way to grow the pie for all.
  • Topic: Cold War, Economics
  • Political Geography: America, South Korea
  • Author: Richard K. Betts
  • Publication Date: 11-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: After the Cold War, Francis Fukuyama, Samuel Huntington, and John Mearsheimer each presented a bold vision of what the driving forces of world politics would be. The world in 2010 hardly seems on a more promising track -- a reminder that simple visions, however powerful, do not hold up as reliable predictors of particular developments.
  • Topic: Cold War
  • Political Geography: China, America
  • Author: Mitchel B. Wallerstein
  • Publication Date: 11-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Since the early days of the Cold War, the United States has restricted the export of certain advanced technologies and the sharing of sensitive scientific and technical information with foreign nationals. Initially, these restrictions were justified on the grounds that the Soviet Union and its Warsaw Pact allies were engaged -- through fronts, third parties, and outright espionage -- in a systematic effort to buy or steal information, technology, and equipment developed in the West that they could then use in their own military systems. Because Soviet industry could not design or produce certain high-tech products, such as personal computers or sophisticated machine tools, the Soviets were forced to obtain them by other means. By successfully denying technology to the Soviet Union, the United States enabled NATO to maintain a strategic and tactical advantage without having to match the Warsaw Pact nations' troop strength in the field. Yet 20 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall and long after the Soviet Union ceased to exist, the same system of export controls remains in place. It has only become more arcane and ineffective with time. U.S. export controls have survived largely because of outdated "fortress America" thinking -- the view that the United States is the primary source of most militarily useful scientific ideas and products and that it can continue to deny technology to potential adversaries without seriously damaging the global competitiveness of U.S. companies or, in the end, jeopardizing national security. In an earlier era, when the United States was far more economically and technologically dominant, the costs associated with a technology-denial strategy were easier to absorb. But in today's highly competitive world, the business lost due to export controls poses a threat to the well-being of key U.S. industries; estimated losses range as high as $9 billion per year.
  • Topic: NATO, Cold War
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Soviet Union
  • Author: Mickey Kantor
  • Publication Date: 11-1997
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: The challenges of the era of interdependence will constitute the greatest foreign policy test of the 21st century. The war over globalization and interdependence is at an end. Only the battles are yet to be fought. Those who cower behind walls of fear and fail to accept responsibility do so at their own peril, and will not turn containment into engagement, or mutual assured destruction into mutual assured prosperity. The approach of the new millennium finds us at the intersection of three epochal events: in politics, the end of the Cold War; in economics, the emergence of a global economy; and in technology, the rise of the Information Age. The intersection of economics, strategic issues, and political concerns is creating the glue which will bind together an updated U.S. foreign policy. Vast opportunities lie before us, and more than a few pitfalls. We face fewer serious military threats but an increasing number of competitors. The rise of competition, the need to create new opportunities, and the confluence of major economic and political changes create a need to intensely focus on U.S. priorities and goals. Despite this urgency, we have yet to fully articulate a foreign policy that matches the era in which we now live, especially the appropriate role of international economics. We need to direct our focus toward the lessons we have learned over the past five years. Seekers of universal truths or simple catch phrases should prepare in advance for disappointment. U.S. leadership in both the public and private sectors must accept the challenges represented by these enormous changes. Our willingness to take responsibility, clearly define our goals, and recognize our limitations but pursue U.S. leadership at every opportunity will dictate the success or failure of promoting a stronger United States and a less dangerous world. The goals and objectives are clear: U.S. leadership must pursue peace, stability, economic progress, basic human rights, and sustainable development. In order to address these goals we need to create foreign-policy tools and institutions that are pragmatic, practical, and resilient reflecting the speed with which events, opportunities, and challenges now confront us as a nation. There is no question that global economics has fundamentally changed the nature of foreign policy. Today, economics and foreign policy are no longer separable, and economic security and national security have become synonymous. We live in an interdependent, globalized world. No longer are we self-contained, nor is it in our interest to be so. We can no longer take for granted our global economic dominance and turn our back on foreign markets. It is self-defeating in the short run and impossible in the long run to ignore the problems which occur across the border or across the world, and we cannot overlook our responsibility as the world's remaining superpower. Driven by technological change, freed of Cold War conflicts and connected by economic and strategic interests, the era of interdependence demands negotiation, engagement, and leadership. Interdependence dictates that our foreign policy and economic future are increasingly connected to international trade. Interdependence dictates that terrorism, weapons proliferation, environmental concerns, the drug trade, and economic opportunity are now cross-border issues. These issues profoundly affect the everyday lives of people around the globe. Cross-border issues directly influence policies, laws, and regulations of the countries in question, raising issues such as the rule of and respect for law, regulation and deregulation, privatization, and other concerns heretofore thought to be strictly internal. This new era requires a redefinition of global leadership. Being the only remaining superpower does not simply mean that we are the strongest military power, nor does it mean only that we are the most economically competitive nation on earth. Both of those statements are true, of course. But holding the position of the world's only remaining superpower in the era of interdependence means that we have the opportunity to take advantage of the vast economic potential which is being created around the globe to the benefit of all Americans, and we have a corresponding obligation to rally other nations to pursue common long-term interests, such as strategic and political stability, economic progress, and sustainable development. There are other examples which support the notion of new multidimensional international relations. Brazil has dramatically increased its international standing and influence using its potential economic strategic position. During the Cold War and prior to the dramatic growth of economic power and industrialization, Brazil's strategic position would have been defined and dictated by its ability or inability to have an influence over strategic and political issues especially those concerning East-West relations. But today, and in the foreseeable future, not only do countries increase their influence based on economic potential and achievement, but economic considerations and relationships tend to bring entities together which in other circumstances could not or would not cooperate. The recent Middle East Economic Conferences and the participation of China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) are obvious examples.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Cold War, Diplomacy, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: United States, China, America, Taiwan, Asia, Brazil, Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Author: David J. Vidal
  • Publication Date: 05-1996
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: In the architecture of postwar American foreign policy, the twin themes of the Cold War and the national interest emerge as unshakable pillars. In the design of the conference, one session was set aside to explore the practical and political meanings of these themes for minorities. Conferees were asked to consider how Cold War foreign policy priorities intersected with minority concerns. They were also asked to assess whether the declaration made by Hans J. Morgenthau --that "we should have one guiding standard for thought and action, the national interest"--was a useful benchmark. These two points of departure struck the organizers as indispensable to any rethinking of the future.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Cold War, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, America