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  • Author: Jack Mosbacher
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: On the eve of Uganda's 44th anniversary of independence in 2006, President Yoweri Museveni announced the discovery of oil in the Lake Albert rift on the western border between Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Touting an initial find of 300 million barrels of oil, Museveni called for a national day of prayer, thanking God "for having created for us a rift valley" and for giving Uganda's leaders "the wisdom.to discover this oil."
  • Political Geography: Uganda, Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Author: Eric Farnsworth
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: U.S. influence is waning in the Americas. Although Washington is currently engaged in a well-intentioned effort to reverse this trend, its agenda will have only limited impact over the longer term unless the United States changes the lens through which it views the region. Strategic thinking has essentially collapsed. After the fall of the Soviet Union, the international relations community in the United States moved on, leaving regional studies to development and social inclusion advocates. At the point in history when the United States should be reaping the reward of years of patient investment and hard work building democratic institutions and open markets in the region, we have either doubled down on, or pivoted to, other parts of the world. Now, instead, the United States must refocus its perspective within the region, or else its traditional leadership role will continue to erode. Countries in Latin America and the Caribbean are neither charity cases nor default partners in international affairs. It is time for a less romantic, more realistic approach to the Americas.
  • Topic: International Relations
  • Political Geography: America, Washington, Caribbean
  • Author: Charles E. Cook
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: It is inevitable that U.S. presidential elections get considerably more attention domestically and around the world than mid-term elections, but the latter are still extremely important; their results drive in large part the ability of a president to succeed. President Obama will be entering the 2014 midterm election with his party holding a 55-to 45-seat majority in the U.S. Senate and a 17-seat deficit in the U.S. House of Representatives.
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Bruce W. Jentleson
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The release of the Obama administration's 2014 National Security Strategy comes amidst increasing criticism of its strategic savvy. Some are rank partisan, some Monday-morning quarterbacking. Some, though, reflect the intensifying debate over the optimal U.S. foreign policy strategy for our contemporary era.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Michael J. Mazarr
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The United States does not need a new grand strategy, but a new concept for developing more innovative and economical ways to achieve its long-standing, and widely accepted, existing one. The best candidate for such a concept could be called ''discriminate power,'' outlined here.
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Michael O'Hanlon
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: During the Cold War, the United States varied between a "1 ½ war" and a "2 ½ war" framework for sizing its main combat forces. This framework prepared forces for one or two large wars, and then a smaller "half-war." Capacity for a major conflict in Europe, against the Soviet Union and its Warsaw Pact allies, represented the enduring big war potential. This period saw simultaneous conflict against China as a second possible big war, until Nixon's Guam doctrine placed a greater burden on regional allies rather than U.S. forces to address such a specter, and until his subsequent opening to the PRC made such a war seem less likely in any event. The half-wars were seen as relatively more modest but still quite significant operations such as in Korea or Vietnam.
  • Topic: Cold War
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Europe, Vietnam, Korea
  • Author: Thomas G. Weiss
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Pundits claim that the war in Syria has sounded the death knell for humanitarian intervention and the Responsibility to Protect (R2P)— resquiescat in pace , according to David Rieff. By failing to intercede in that country's brutal civil war, many believe the international community effectively turned its back on an important emerging international norm, one that over 150 heads of state endorsed at the UN's 2005 World Summit.
  • Political Geography: Paris, Libya, London, Syria
  • Author: Sarah A. Emerson, Andrew C. Winner
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: U.S. politicians often work the topic of oil import independence into their campaign rhetoric as an ideal that would help separate U.S. economic prosperity and military responsibility from the volatility of Middle Eastern politics. In theory, oil independence would mean that events such as the Iranian revolution or internal political unrest in key Arab oil producers would have much less direct impact on the flow of oil to the United States, and thus U.S. prosperity (even if, in a global market for oil, the price impact of any supply disruption is shared by all consuming countries). More importantly, intra-state conflicts such as the Iraq-Iran war or the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait would not necessarily require large-scale U.S. military involvement to ensure oil production and exports to the United States and its allies. This linkage between U.S. oil import dependence and military commitment to the Gulf region has given rise to a myth favored by policymakers, markets, and the public that if the United States could attain oil independence, we could also reduce our military responsibilities around the world. Recent and ongoing changes in both the oil sector and in political-military strategy are for the first time in forty years combining in a manner that is leading some to believe this story could come true.
  • Topic: Military Strategy
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Iran, Kuwait
  • Author: Erica Frantz, Andre Kendall-Taylor
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Because autocrats can rarely be voted out of power, most find themselves exiting office in far less conventional ways. Since the 1950s, the coup d'état—or the illegal seizure of power by the military—has been by far the most common. During the 1960s and '70s, for example, about half of all autocrats who lost power did so through a coup. But fast-forward to the 2010s, and a different picture is emerging. The chain of protests during the Arab Awakening, which toppled four of the world's longest-standing rulers—Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali of Tunisia, Hosni Mubarak of Egypt, Muammar Qaddafi of Libya, and Ali Abdullah Saleh of Yemen—led many political observers to rejoice in the masses' ability to unseat autocratic strongmen. But are these revolts evidence that autocrats are becoming increasingly vulnerable to the masses? Or are they short-term exceptions to a longer-standing rule of autocratic ouster?
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Libya, Yemen, Egypt
  • Author: Seth Kaplan
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: That the Arab Spring caught the world off guard is hardly surprising. Interpreting overt stability as a reflection of fundamental strength or resiliency has often set the international community up for surprise. Few forecast the dissolution of the Soviet Union, for example; far too few in Washington anticipated what would follow the invasion of Iraq. These are reminders that apparent stability can be little more than an illusion.
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Washington, Arabia