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  • Author: Vanda Felbab-Brown
  • Publication Date: 09-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: Nearly eight years after a U.S.-led invasion toppled the Taliban regime, Afghanistan remains far from stable. As President Barack Obama considers alternatives to increasing the number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan, his administration's new counternarcotics strategy meshes well with counterinsurgency and state-building efforts in the country. It is a welcome break from previous ineffective and counterproductive policies. The effectiveness of the policy with respect to counternarcotics, counterinsurgency and state-building, however, will depend on the operationalization of the strategy. The details are not yet clear, but the strategy potentially faces many pitfalls.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, War, Counterinsurgency
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States
  • Publication Date: 02-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: The beginning of 2007 offers a conflicting picture of the global economy for those trying to discern trends, challenges and opportunities. Concerns about energy security and climate sustainability are converging — finally bringing consensus in sight on the need for action in the United States. But prospects for breaking the global stalemate are still years away. Though some developing countries are succeeding in bringing hundreds of millions out of poverty, too many are still mired in a doom spiral of conflict, poverty and disease— despite the entry of new philanthropists, advocates and global corporations into the field of development. China's projected 9.6 percent growth rate is sending ripples to the farthest reaches of the planet—creating opportunities but also significant risks. The United States remains in the “goldilocks” zone, but this is premised on continued borrowing from abroad at historically unprecedented rates while many Americans fret about widening inequality and narrowing opportunity. While the United States concentrates on civil war in the Middle East, most leaders in the region are preoccupied with putting an outsized cohort of young people to work and on the road to becoming productive citizens.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Economics, Energy Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Middle East
  • Author: Erica Downs, Peter C. Evans
  • Publication Date: 05-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: The efforts of China's national oil companies to secure upstream oil assets abroad have attracted attention from U.S. officials and policymakers. Congress has taken notice, as indicated by the request of the Chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives Resources Committee Richard W. Pombo—triggered by the bid made by China National Offshore Oil Corporation Ltd. for Unocal in 2005—for a study by the Department of Energy of the economic and national security implications of China's energy demand. The report, released in February 2006, concludes that the foreign investments of China's national oil companies do not pose an economic challenge to the U.S. However, one issue the report mentions only in passing that merits further attention is how the Chinese government's financial support for some of these investments can undermine an open and competitive world oil market.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Energy Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Asia
  • Author: James C. Capretta
  • Publication Date: 07-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: President Bush's top first-term objectives—in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks—were waging and winning the global war on terror, significantly enhancing our homeland security systems, and strengthening economic growth.1 With sluggish economic growth following the 2001 recession persisting in 2002 and 2003—due, in part, to the revelation of several corporate governance scandals and the aftermath of technology stock "bubble burst"—the President placed a high premium on tax relief proposals aimed at accelerating the pace of short and long-term economic growth. In this context, it is not at all surprising that large federal budget deficits emerged.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 03-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: Since the attacks of September 11, 2001, a good deal has been done to improve the safety of Americans, not only in the offensive war on terror abroad but in protecting the homeland as well. Now aware of the harm terrorists can inflict, Americans are on alert, providing a first, crucial line of defense. Air travel is much safer. Intelligence sharing has improved, especially information about specific individuals suspected of ties to terrorism. Measures have been taken to ensure that suspicious ships entering U.S. waters are screened more frequently. Some early steps, with more to follow, have been taken to reduce the country's exposure to biological attacks, and oversight has been tightened on labs working with biological materials. Terrorism insurance is now backstopped by a new federal program. Certain types of major infrastructure, such as well-known bridges and tunnels and nuclear reactors, are protected by police and National Guard forces when terrorism alerts suggest that such measures are necessary.
  • Topic: Security, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Arabia
  • Author: Ivo H. Daaldar
  • Publication Date: 10-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: President Bush's first National Security Strategy presents his vision of “a distinctly American internationalism.” Media reports focused on the Strategy's support for preempting emerging threats militarily, but the 31-page document covers a far broader set of important issues. At its core, the Strategy calls for the United States to use its “unparalleled military strength and great economic and political influence” to establish “a balance of power that favors human freedom” and to defeat the threat posed by “terrorists and tyrants.” These are themes that will likely resonate with the American people, who believe that the United States should play a leading role in making the world a safer and better place.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Government, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Sarah Binder, Bill Frenzel
  • Publication Date: 02-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: The terrorist attacks on September 11, which caused plane crashes in New York, Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C., resulted in thousands of deaths, billions of dollars in damage, and an American public that was stunned by the events it had watched unfold on television. In addition to the heavy emotional toll, federal, state, and local governments scrambled to address new policy problems, including massive clean-up efforts, compensation for victims, and homeland security.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States, China, New York, America, Washington, Pennsylvania
  • Author: Navnita Chadha Behera
  • Publication Date: 10-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: India and Pakistan have fought three wars against each other since 1947, the first two of which were over Kashmir. In the past fifteen years, the two countries have been embroiled in four military crises, which the United States has played an increasingly assertive role in managing and resolving. A chief component of recent American administrations' foreign policy goals in South Asia, including the current Bush administration, has been to avert the fourth war in the subcontinent. However, attitudes in India and Pakistan are changing, and the internal situation in Kashmir is more fluid than it has been for years. After September 11, America has been able to maintain close ties to both countries. Washington should move beyond managing the crisis and help develop a road to peace in the region.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, United States, America, South Asia, Washington, India, Kashmir
  • Author: Polly Nayak
  • Publication Date: 09-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: One of the major challenges facing Washington is how to limit unintended consequences of the war on terrorism in South Asia that could otherwise imperil both the U.S. counterterrorism strategy and the goal of preventing further conflict between India and Pakistan. Senior U.S. officials understandably hoped last fall that the war on terrorism would provide a new opportunity to draw in both India and Pakistan, to strengthen U.S. ties to each, and to nudge them to resolve their differences. Washington expected to expand cooperation with a rising India on a host of issues, while succoring a fragile Pakistan as a reward for abandoning an Afghan policy inimical to the war on terrorism.
  • Topic: Security, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Afghanistan, United States, South Asia, Washington, India
  • Author: Ivo H Daalder, James M Lindsay
  • Publication Date: 02-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: George W. Bush promised on the campaign trail “to leave the cold war behind” and “rethink the requirements for nuclear deterrence.” Last November, he unveiled an arms reduction proposal that purports to do just that. It would have the United States reduce its strategic nuclear arsenal over the next ten years from its current level of 7,200 warheads to between 1,700 and 2,200 warheads. Equally important, the United States would achieve that goal not by negotiating a new Strategic Arms Reduction Talks (START) agreement, but through unilateral action.
  • Topic: Security, Nuclear Weapons, Weapons of Mass Destruction
  • Political Geography: United States