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  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman
  • Publication Date: 12-2007
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The war in Iraq has expanded from a struggle between Coalition forces and the remnants of former regime loyalists to a multifaceted conflict involving numerous Sunni groups, Shi'ite militias, Kurdish nationals, and foreign jihadists. Iraq's Insurgency and the Road to Civil Conflict is Anthony Cordesman's latest assessment of the Iraqi conflict and documents its entire evolution, from the history of ethnic tensions through the U.S. "surge." He identifies each actor in the arena, analyzes their motivations, and presents a detailed record of their actions, tactics, and capabilities. Cordesman's exhaustive study, based on meticulous research, is the most thorough account of the war to date.Beginning with the consequences of imperial colonialism and touching on the ethnic tensions throughout Saddam's regime, Cordesman examines and details the confluence of forces and events that have paved the way toward Iraq's current civil conflict. He analyzes major turning points, including elections, economic developments, and key incidents of violence that continue to shape the war. Finally, he outlines the lessons learned from this history and what can and cannot be done to stabilize the nation.
  • Topic: Economics, War
  • Political Geography: Iraq
  • Author: Wolfgang Danspeckgruber
  • Publication Date: 11-2007
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Liechtenstein Institute on Self Determination, Princeton University
  • Abstract: Afghanistan represents one of the most unique combinations a country and its society may offer. It is a country with a challenging and unforgiving but majestic geography which favors independence both to the central authorities in the capital but also to potential intruders from the outside. It holds a unique geopolitical location south and east of the Hindukush connecting Central Asia to South Asia, and the Middle East to each of them. It is home to a proud, independent people with a history of ages-old religions and diverse cultures, but also of conflict and war. The Afghans and their country stand out in terms of drama, disadvantages and sometimes even simple suffering, witnessing nearly three decades – an entire generation – of warfare and civil strife. Afghanistan too is home to one of the most archaic societies north of the Indian Ocean. It has very little transportation or energy infrastructure, one of the world's highest rates of poverty, and some of the lowest levels of literacy, health care and GDP per capita. However, Afghanistan is today the world's most important opium producer and is centrally located in a region marked by high population and poverty with tendencies toward fundamentalist religious expression. Afghanistan itself became a base of Islamic militancy.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Political Violence, Civil Society, War
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Central Asia, Middle East
  • Author: Joel E. Oestreich
  • Publication Date: 06-2007
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Georgetown University Press
  • Abstract: In 1979 the Polish delegation to the United Nations proposed that the international community consider a new charter on children's rights. The Polish proposal came during the International Year of the Child, and it was meant to build on the publicity being generated for children's welfare around the world. The then-communist Polish delegation's proposal for the charter also had overtones of Cold War propaganda; it emphasized the sort of “positive” rights that were favored by socialist states (e.g., the right to health care or adequate housing) and that were used to embarrass those Western states that tended to promote more “negative” rights (e.g., free speech and freedom of religion).
  • Topic: Human Rights, International Organization, Non-Governmental Organization
  • Author: Kent J. Kille
  • Publication Date: 10-2007
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Georgetown University Press
  • Abstract: The office of the UN secretary-general has been described as a needed voice in an international arena where moral principles are often seen as subservient to concerns over power and interest. In fact, because the secretary-generalship is a relatively constrained position lacking in traditional forms of power, those who analyze the position tend to see the moral authority of an officeholder as vital to the operation of the office. Such moral authority is often viewed as dependent on the personal qualities of individual officeholders. As one observer notes, “If it is a moral authority, one may ask, whence does this moral authority derive? It derives from the personality of the Secretary-General himself and not just from the office he holds.” It is therefore appropriate to inquire into the religious and moral values of those who hold the office. If a secretary-general's “own morality . . . must forbid him certain policies,” and presumably encourage other policies, then one should be able to trace the decision-making implications of these values across the activities of the officeholders.
  • Topic: International Relations, Religion, United Nations, International Affairs
  • Author: Louise Riis Andersen
  • Publication Date: 10-2005
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Failed states have made it to the top of the international agenda following 11 September 2001. This paper gives an overview of the debate on 'what to do'. Firstly, it suggests an explanation of where these so-called failed states are coming from: Why do some states self-destruct? Secondly, four different approaches to failed states are presented and discussed - with special emphasis on the dilemmas and predicaments they each hold. The paper concludes that the question of what to do with failed states requires a political answer. Not a technical one.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Government, Terrorism
  • Author: Gene Sharp
  • Publication Date: 01-2005
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Columbia International Affairs Online
  • Abstract: We live in a world of many conflicts, and we have a responsibility to face many of them. Not all conflicts are equal. Some are much more important than others, and in some conflicts the issues at stake are more difficult to resolve in acceptable ways than are those in other conflicts.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Conflict Prevention, Peace Studies
  • Author: John S. Nurser
  • Publication Date: 02-2005
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Georgetown University Press
  • Abstract: In this new century, born in hope but soon thereafter cloaked in terror, many see religion and politics as a volatile, if not deadly, mixture. For All Peoples and All Nations uncovers a remarkable time when that was not so; when together, those two entities gave rise to a new ideal: universal human rights. John Nurser has given life to a history almost sadly forgotten, and introduces the reader to the brilliant and heroic people of many faiths who, out of the aftermath of World War II and in the face of cynicism, dismissive animosity, and even ridicule, forged one of the world's most important secular documents, the United Nations's Universal Declaration of Human Rights. These courageous, persistent, visionary individuals—notable among them an American Lutheran Seminary professor from Philadelphia, O. Frederick Nolde—created the Commission on Human Rights. Eventually headed by one of the world's greatest humanitarians, Eleanor Roosevelt, the Universal Declaration has become the touchstone for political legitimacy. As David Little says in the foreword to this remarkable chronicle, "Both because of the large gap it fills in the story of the founding of the United Nations and the events surrounding the adoption of human rights, and because of the wider message it conveys about religion and peacebuilding, For All Peoples and All Nations is an immensely important contribution. We are all mightily in John Nurser's debt." If religion and politics could once find common ground in the interest of our shared humanity, there is hope that it may yet be found again. - See more at: http://press.georgetown.edu/book/georgetown/all-peoples-and-all-nations#sthash.GJp0Kv8T.dpuf
  • Topic: Human Rights, Religion
  • Author: George Kent
  • Publication Date: 06-2005
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Georgetown University Press
  • Abstract: Each year, more than 10 million children die before their fifth birthdays, about half of them from causes associated with malnutrition. This is a silent holocaust, repeated year after year. Malnutrition leads to death, illness, and a significantly reduced quality of life for hundreds of millions of people. This book's central concern is that very many people do not get adequate food, in terms of quantity or in terms of quality.
  • Topic: Human Rights, International Law, Food
  • Author: Todd Landman
  • Publication Date: 09-2005
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Georgetown University Press
  • Abstract: The data analysis employed two measures of “organizational” inter- dependence. The first is the number of international governmental organizations (IGOs) of which each country is a member. The second is the number of international nongovernmental organizations (INGOs) with a registered office in each country. Both sets of numbers come from the Union of International Associations (UIA), which publishes statistical yearbooks with membership figures. In both cases, the analysis uses the total number of organizations across the different categories. Although the IGO data come from the UIA, Bruce Russet at Yale University kindly provided the tabulated figures by country. The INGO numbers were obtained from the UIA year- books and input into the data set by Gemma Mackman, a researcher at the University of Essex who worked on this study in 2003.
  • Topic: Human Rights, International Law, Non-Governmental Organization, United Nations
  • Author: Jennifer E. Sims, Burton Gerber
  • Publication Date: 09-2005
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Georgetown University Press
  • Abstract: Intelligence failures prior to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and the “missing” weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in Iraq have reminded Americans that good intelligence is crucial for national security. Indeed, the report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States led quickly to the enactment of legislation restructuring the intelligence community, underscoring both the capacity of American citizens to change their most secretive governmental institutions and their appreciation of the importance of the intelligence mission. The families of the victims of September 11 recognized their opportunity to reform the U.S. government's intelligence service and, remarkably, they did so. At the end of 2004 President George W. Bush signed into law the first strategically significant changes in the American intelligence system since it was created at the end of World War II.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Defense Policy, Terrorism, Insurgency, Counterinsurgency
  • Political Geography: United States