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  • Author: Klaus Dodds
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Institution: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The Arctic Council (AC) is an inter-governmental organization that, since its creation in 1996, has been widely recognized as one of the most progressive regional bodies in the world. The membership includes the eight Arctic states (A8), six permanent participants, and observer states such as the UK and Germany. From May 2013 onwards, there are also new permanent observers including China, India, Japan, and South Korea. The European Union's candidature has been delayed and subject to further review and assessment. The Council is chaired by one of the eight Arctic states for a two year period. The current chair is Canada (2013- 2015) and it will be followed by the United States (2015- 2017). The permanent participants, including the Inuit Circumpolar Council, Saami Council, and Aleut International Association, enjoy full consultative status and may address the meetings of the Council. Administrative support is provided by the Indigenous Peoples Secretariat (IPS), which is based in Copenhagen. The AC lies at the heart of debates about Arctic futures. It faces two challenges – institutional evolution and membership. For its supporters, the AC occupies center position in promoting an orderly and cooperative vision for the Arctic, but there is no shortage of commentary and punditry analyzing and predicting a rather different vision for the Arctic. As Paul Berkman asserted in the New York Times, under the heading “Preventing an Arctic Cold War,” there is little room for complacency. Berkman's analysis warned of Arctic and non-Arctic states being increasingly forced to confront difficult issues relating to policing, resource management, accessibility and navigability, alongside environmental protection. His suggestion at the end of the piece appeared, seemed rather odd, “[a]s the head of an Arctic superpower and a Nobel laureate, Mr. Obama should convene an international meeting with President Putin and other leaders of Arctic nations to ensure that economic development at the top of the world is not only sustainable, but peaceful.” Bizarrely, there is little analysis of how, and to what extent, the AC and other bodies, including the United Nations Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), are actively providing “rules of the road” (Berkman's phrase) for the Arctic region and beyond. This piece focuses on some issues that require further attention (such as the protection of the Arctic marine environment) while acknowledging how the AC has changed in the last few years. As a regional body, it operates in a strategic environment where few specialist observers believe that military conflict or destabilizing resource speculation is likely to prevail. Nonetheless, it is a work in progress with pressing demands to address. I will discuss debates about membership status and the institutional evolution to respond to experts' concerns about disasters (which might involve a shipping or drilling accident) and ongoing climate change, including manifestations such as sea ice thinning in the Arctic Ocean
  • Topic: Cold War
  • Political Geography: Japan, China, United Kingdom, Canada, India, South Korea, Germany
  • Author: Dennis Ross, Moran Stern
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Institution: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Abstract: This article argues that, since the end of the Cold War, developments in or associated with Syria have proved instrumental in determining Israeli-Turkish relations, for better and worse. Syria borders both Israel and Turkey. Not surprisingly, its geographic location, regional strategic conduct, relations with Israel's and Turkey's regional rivals, military capabilities and, more recently, the implications of its civil war have affected both Israel and Turkey, and their relationship with each other. While strategic cooperation between Turkey and Israel reached a high point in the 1990s, and then soured and largely dissipated over the last several years, Syria's civil war has posed a new set of challenges and opportunities for renewed Israeli-Turkish ties. Indeed, shared interests on Syria may propel new possibilities for cooperation between Turkey and Israel on security, economic and humanitarian issues. Through the historical analysis presented in this article, the authors attempt to explain the evolution of Israeli- Turkish relations through the prism of Syria. Understanding the historical background provided herein is relevant for contemporary analyses aimed at finding new ways to renew Israeli-Turkish strategic cooperation and assist in securing a stable post-war Syria.
  • Topic: Cold War
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Israel, Syria
  • Author: John McNeil
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Institution: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Stephen Rabe is an academic historian with an ax to grind, and he grinds it well. He begins this book by explaining that he is under no illusions about the character of the Soviet Union during the Cold War. He visited former KGB prisons in Latvia, befriended Czechs persecuted for showing insufficient enthusiasm for the Red Army invasion of Prague in 1968, and educated himself about the many nefarious aspects of the Soviet empire in Eastern Europe. But his point here is to draw attention to the nasty Cold War conduct of the United States in its own backyard, Latin America. Rabe finds American Cold War triumphalism objectionable in general and specifically because it overlooks the election-rigging, coups d'état, and massacres to which the U.S. government contributed in Latin America. He does not claim that these deeds were equally as evil as those perpetrated by the Kremlin. But he vigorously argues that they were unnecessary in every sense and did nothing to advance the American cause in the Cold War. He maintains that U.S. Cold War policy in Latin America “helped perpetuate and spread violence, poverty, and despair within the region.” The many U.S. interventions – to use a gentle term – in Cold War Latin America were first presented [within the bureaucratic and political organs of the U.S. government] as helpful or even necessary measures to secure the American hemisphere from communist or Soviet power. When they were not kept secret, the interventions were then marketed to the American public with the same Cold War raison d'état. Rabe argues that these efforts at justification were at best based on ignorance and at worst on calculated dishonesty. U.S. officials consistently overestimated, and sometimes deliberately exaggerated, Soviet activities in Latin America, which were modest indeed compared to Soviet engagements in other world regions. Moreover, the ill-advised U.S. interventions alienated Latin American populations and contributed to anti-American popular and political sentiment throughout the region. To borrow a phrase from Talleyrand, the interventions were worse than crimes, they were blunders
  • Topic: Cold War
  • Political Geography: United States, Latin America
  • Author: John D. Ciorciari, Jessica Chen Weiss
  • Publication Date: 03-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Institution: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The past summer was a tempestuous one for Sino-Vietnamese relations. In May and June 2011, Vietnam accused China of deliberately cutting the cables of oil exploration vessels in the western Spratly Islands, calling the second incident a “premeditated and carefully calculated” attack. China responded by accusing Vietnam of “gravely violating” its sovereignty by conducting “invasive activities.” Both sides flexed their muscles by holding naval exercises in the disputed area, and Chinese state-owned media warned Vietnam of possible military “counterstrikes.” In July, Vietnam reported that Chinese forces beat a Vietnamese fishing captain and drove his ship out of disputed waters. In Hanoi and Ho Chih Minh City, protesters vented anger at China in a series of rare public demonstrations. Tensions arguably reached their most dangerous level since the two former Cold War adversaries normalized relations in 1991. Both China and Vietnam have sought to mobilize diplomatic support abroad and manage rising nationalism at home. Vietnam has been more successful at courting international support, but in broadcasting its grievances it has aroused nationalist forces at home and abroad that could jeopardize a negotiated solution. China is also constrained, criticized for its “assertive” behavior abroad while facing domestic demands to take a harder line. Both states recently agreed to return to the negotiating table, but they remain far apart on questions of territorial sovereignty, and the dispute continues to feed into powerful currents of nationalism and popular frustration in both countries. These domestic forces exacerbate the difficult task of forging a peaceful resolution to the complex multi-party dispute in the South China Sea.
  • Topic: Cold War
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: Michael McKeon, Imani Tate
  • Publication Date: 02-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Institution: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Espionage and intelligence-gathering activities have evolved significantly since the end of the Cold War. State governments are no longer the only actors to make use of these practices, and information collection methods range from covert surveillance activities to monitoring financial transactions. Espionage plays an ever-greater role in the operations of states, non-state actors, and corporations, and has, as a result, created a host of new challenges to U.S. interests. The authors in this issue's Forum provide a glimpse into the ubiquity and complexity of espionage and intelligence-gathering, and offer insight into the implications of their use in finance, industry, and national security. Other contributions to this issue include articles about the end of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in Sudan, constitutional reform in Burma, anti-human trafficking policies, and power politics in Kenya's Mau Forest Complex. We are proud to remain a source of information on a wide range of topics, and to give voice to leading academics, policy experts, and practitioners in the field of international affairs. We thank our staff, advisers, supporters, and the School of Foreign Service for their tireless work and dedication to this publication.
  • Topic: Cold War, Government
  • Political Geography: Kenya, United States, Burma
  • Author: Catherine Lotrionte
  • Publication Date: 02-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Institution: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Espionage and intelligence-gathering activities have evolved significantly since the end of the Cold War. State governments are no longer the only actors to make use of these practices, and information collection methods range from covert surveillance activities to monitoring financial transactions. Espionage plays an ever-greater role in the operations of states, non-state actors, and corporations, and has, as a result, created a host of new challenges to U.S. interests. The Forum of this issue addresses the changing threat of espionage after the Cold War, some of the new consumers of intelligence, and the unique and effective ways that actors have begun to use these practices.
  • Topic: Cold War, Government, Intelligence
  • Political Geography: United States