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  • Author: Robert M. Gates, Zbigniew Brzezinski, Susan Maloney
  • Publication Date: 07-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Twenty-five years after its Islamic revolution, Iran represents a challenge and an opportunity for the United States. The issues at stake reflect the urgent and multifaceted dilemmas of U.S. security in the post–9/11 era: nuclear proliferation, state support of terrorism, the relationship between religion and politics, and the imperative of political and economic reform in the Middle East. At this time, as Iraq—Iran's neighbor and historic adversary—embarks on a difficult transition to post-conflict sovereignty, and as the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) extends its scrutiny of Iranian nuclear activities, Iran looms large on the U.S. policy agenda. Recognizing this relevance to vital U.S. interests, the Task Force advocates selectively engaging with Iran to address critical U.S. concerns.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Iran, Middle East
  • Publication Date: 07-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: A consensus is emerging, made far more urgent by the war on terrorism, that U.S. public diplomacy requires new thinking and decision-making structures that do not now exist. We must make clear why we are fighting this war and why supporting it is in the interest of other nations as well as our own. Because terrorism is considered the transcendent threat to our national security, it is overwhelmingly in the national interest that the United States formulate and manage its foreign policies in such a way that the war on terrorism receives the indispensable cooperation of foreign nations.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, International Cooperation
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: James J. Shinn, Peter Gourevitch
  • Publication Date: 06-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Corporate governance—the rules that govern the relationship between managers and shareholders—belongs on the foreign policy agenda of American decision-makers. The vigorous debates underway about corporate governance, both at home and abroad, present an opportunity for the United States to advance its foreign policy goals of enhancing free trade and financial stability.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Economics, Government, Industrial Policy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Robert A. Manning, Ronald Montaperto, Brad Roberts
  • Publication Date: 04-2000
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Historically, U.S. nuclear strategists and arms control experts have paid little attention to the People's Republic of China (PRC). China has not been a major factor in the U.S. nuclear calculus, which has remained centered on U.S.-Russian nuclear arsenals as the principal framework for arms control and arms reductions. Yet today China is the only one of the five de jure nuclear weapons states qualitatively and quantitatively expanding its nuclear arsenal.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, Arms Control and Proliferation, Nuclear Weapons
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, China, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Ruth Wedgwood, Kenneth Roth, John Bolton, Annie-Marie Slaughter, Leslie H. Gelb
  • Publication Date: 07-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: In July 1998, after years of preparatory work and five weeks of negotiations in Rome, 120 states voted to approve a “statute,” or treaty, establishing an International Criminal Court (ICC), with jurisdiction over genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and the still-undefined crime of aggression. Despite our strong interest in creating a court, the United States voted against the Rome Statute, concluding that it could pose an unacceptable risk to U.S. military personnel and to your ability as commander in chief to deploy forces worldwide to protect the United States and global interests. A year later, as our principal allies prepare to ratify the statute and bring the court into being, it is time to take a clear position supporting it, opposing it, or specifying the changes needed for our support.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, International Cooperation, International Law
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Bob Graham, Brent Scowcroft
  • Publication Date: 07-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: In November 1999, the Council on Foreign Relations and Inter-American Dialogue established an independent task force to review and offer recommendations on U.S. policy toward Colombia. The co-chairs of the task force have decided to issue this interim report to make an impact on deliberations in Congress, as well as respond to an immediate opportunity to shape the current debate about U.S. policy. We plan to publish a final report in June 2000 that will provide a more comprehensive and systematic examination of U.S. policy toward Colombia. That report will, for example, discuss the wider challenge of addressing a serious drug problem in which many countries—the United States includedare involved, and which calls for shared responsibility and joint action. On January 11, the Clinton administration put forward a bill that seeks an "emergency supplemental appropriation" to provide some $950 million in assistance to Colombia this fiscal year, and a total of $1.6 billion through fiscal year 2001. The administration's bill was formulated in the context of Plan Colombia, a mutually agreed framework between the Colombian and U.S. governments. The plan identifies the country's critical needs and makes clear that the Andean nation's interrelated problems—powerful insurgent and paramilitary forces, massive narcotrafficking, widespread human rights abuses, and deep economic recession—have reached crisis levels. It further indicates that the Colombian government is prepared to tackle these problems, and is committed to addressing all of them together. While the Colombian government is prepared to contribute $4 billion of the $7.5 billion the plan will cost, Colombia has also asked for immediate help from the international community. In response, the Clinton administration has put together a two-year aid package that emphasizes equipment and training for the military and police to carry out counter-narcotics operations. Other elements of Plan Colombia are supported to a much lesser degree. In focusing the aid package in this way, the administration recognizes the close linkages that have developed between Colombia's illegal narcotics industry and the country's insurgent and paramilitary forces. As such, it deals with key concerns for both the United States and Colombia. Security assistance aimed at reducing drug production and trafficking is but a piece of a broader effort that seeks to extend legitimate authority in the country. For this reason—coupled with the fact that such support would signal strong US commitment to help a troubled country at a critical moment—we urge Congress to move quickly and approve the administration's aid package. We also suggest that Congress make two adjustments in the proposed package: strengthen a regional approach to the drug problem, and improve Colombia's economic situation by enhancing its trade benefits. Although it will make a contribution, the administration's aid proposal responds only partially to the formidable policy challenge posed by Colombia. An effective package must get beyond the current emphasis on fighting drugs. The main emphasis should, rather, be on helping the Colombian government strengthen its capacity to protect its citizens and effectively exercise control and authority over its territory. But a lack of consensus within the U.S. government has made it difficult to focus on that overall objective in U.S. policy toward Colombia. As currently formulated, the bill is an essential first step, but more is required, both from Washington and Bogotá. With its proposal, the administration has affirmed that the stakes for the United States are high. We agree. We therefore urge the White House to develop an integrated, long-term plan that has a broader focus than merely the drug problem. The administration and Congress must recognize that a serious policy response to the challenges posed by Colombia implies a U.S. commitment to the country beyond the two-year period of the proposed bill. A successful approach will require high-level, sustained engagement, supported by a bipartisan majority in Congress, during at least a half dozen years. As part of a longer-term policy, the main focus in the security area should be on reforming Colombia's armed forces and making them more professional, thereby establishing the conditions under which the United States could provide effective military assistance. Training is particularly crucial to upgrade the military capability of the armed forces and improve their human rights performance. Professionalization would also enhance the Colombian government's moves toward a political solution to the conflict, and reinforce efforts to deal more successfully with both insurgent and paramilitary forces. Under no circumstances should U.S. combat troops be deployed in Colombia for military intervention. Levels of support above those reflected in the current bill should be considered for other critical areas in addition to security. Extension of current preferential trade arrangements for Colombia should benefit its economy. Special efforts are needed to improve the country's judicial system and help Colombia strengthen its ability to undertake alternative development strategies. The United States should encourage a multilateral approach, working in concert with Colombia's hemispheric partners, European friends, and relevant multilateral institutions. A more balanced U.S. policy (that is, one less narrowly focused on drugs) would make other governments and institutions more inclined to join in a common effort. Finally, Colombia's problems demand strong, focused leadership from Bogotá that reflects a Colombian commitment and national consensus behind a set of realistic policies. The United States can and should respond to Colombian initiatives in accordance with its own national interests. It cannot, however, solve Colombia's problems.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Colombia, South America, Latin America, North America
  • Author: Michael J. Green, James T. Laney, Morton I. Abramowitz
  • Publication Date: 07-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: In May, former Secretary of Defense William Perry traveled to North Korea with a comprehensive proposal to increase outside assistance for its isolated and declining Stalinist regime in exchange for steps by the North to reduce its threatening military posture. The Perry proposal was designed to test North Korea's intentions not only to abide by the 1994 Agreed Framework, which aimed to cap Pyongyang's nuclear ambitions, but also to stop further missile tests and military provocations. It is unlikely that North Korea will respond positively. The regime has survived for five decades only by maintaining a belligerent stance. Pyongyang has rebuffed South Korean President Kim Dae Jung's unprecedented efforts to improve North-South relations and has continued to produce military tensions, even in the wake of the Perry visit. But it is too soon to give up on a comprehensive package to reduce tensions with North Korea. Despite the illusion of self-sufficiency, or juche, the North is increasingly dependent on outside help to sustain itself. It is possible that over time Pyongyang will find no alternative to greater interaction with the outside world. Barring an increase in threatening North Korean actions, the United States should keep the Perry proposal on the table and continue to support Kim Dae Jung's policy of engagement. A second Taepodong missile test by North Korea would not violate any existing North Korean commitments, but it would significantly change the situation in Northeast Asia. We should make every effort to deter a launch, but if one takes place, the United States, Japan, and South Korea will have to examine ways to enhance defense against a different North Korean threat. South Korea should suspend new investment in North Korea and Japan should impose new sanctions and consider restrictions on financial transfers to the North. The United States should lower its diplomatic activity toward Pyongyang, keeping channels open, but forcing North Korea to provide incentives for greater dialogue. A missile launch should not end our attempts at diplomacy or cause us to forget that North Korea's relative military capabilities are in decline, but if a test is conducted business cannot continue as usual. Although a North Korean missile launch would do great damage to political support for the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization (KEDO) in the United States, Japan, and South Korea, it should not be a reason for us to abandon our commitments under the Agreed Framework. The Agreed Framework stands as the major bulwark against a return to the kind of calamitous military steps the United States was forced to consider in 1994 to stop North Korea's nuclear program. Inspections of suspicious underground facilities at Kumchangri in May revealed no North Korean violation of the Agreed Framework. Although we cannot assume from this that Pyongyang has forsaken its nuclear ambitions, we do know that implementation of the Agreed Framework remains the best approach to preventing nuclear weapons development in the North. In the end, there is no easy solution to the intractable North Korean problem. Efforts to reduce tensions and build North-South reconciliation have yielded little. We are strong enough to test inducements for change in the North, but our policy must be based on robust deterrence and close defense cooperation with our allies.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Arms Control and Proliferation
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, East Asia, South Korea, North Korea, Korean Peninsula
  • Author: James Laney, Michael J. Green
  • Publication Date: 07-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Good morning. Thank you for coming. I'm Michael Green, senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations here in Washington, and the director of this independent task force on Korea policy, which is sponsored by the Council on Foreign Relations. We are here today to release and explain our recent study on policy towards North Korea. This is, in many ways, the culmination of a two-year effort by the Council.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Arms Control and Proliferation
  • Political Geography: United States, Washington, East Asia, North Korea, Korea
  • Author: Samuel R. Berger, Charles Hagel
  • Publication Date: 07-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: And I know we're all interested to hear from Sandy Berger, whom I will introduce in a moment. But I have been given some very specific instructions here, and I will make sure I fulfill my responsibilities. First, as many of you know, all of you who are members of this organization, most of these are off the record, but I think, as you can tell, this is not just the Sandy Berger Fan Club showing up with cameras. So this is very much on the record and wanted to remind you of that.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, NATO, Ethnic Conflict, Government
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe
  • Author: Arnold Kanter, Donald A. Baer, Donald P. Gregg, Bernard E. Trainor, Robert L. Gallucci
  • Publication Date: 04-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Ambassador Robert L. Gallucci (Dean, School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University; Former Ambassador-at-Large, Department of State): Looking at the situation with respect to domestic stability in the north, we judge their regime as stable, which is to say, that we do not see a near-term deterioration in the ability of Kim Jong Il to maintain power, notwithstanding this economic situation that he confronts.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Arms Control and Proliferation
  • Political Geography: United States, East Asia, North Korea