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  • Author: Charles E. Cook, Jr.
  • Publication Date: 10-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: There is one thing about the upcoming November midterm congressional elections that we can be pretty certain of: if Democrats manage to hold onto their control in the U.S. House and/or Senate, those majorities will be considerably smaller than they are today. And if Republicans win a majority in one or both chambers, their majorities will be considerably smaller than the ones that Democrats have enjoyed—if that is the appropriate word—for the last two years. Congress will certainly be more evenly divided between the two parties, making even the most routine and lowest common denominator legislative initiatives from either party very difficult to pass.
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Yoichi Funabashi
  • Publication Date: 04-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: In this age of globalization, nations rise and fall in the world markets day and night. Europe, Germany in particular, may at first have indulged in a certain amount of schadenfreude to observe the abrupt fall from grace of the U.S. financial system. But not for long. As of November 2008, the euro zone is officially in a recession that continues to deepen. Germany's government was compelled to enact a 50 billion euro fiscal stimulus package. The Japanese economy, though perhaps among the least susceptible to the vagaries of the European and U.S. economies, followed soon after, with analysts fearing that the downturn could prove deeper and longer than originally anticipated. The U.S.—Europe—Japan triad, representing the world's three largest economies, is in simultaneous recession for the first time in the post-World War II era. China, meanwhile, is suddenly seeing its 30-year economic dynamism lose steam, with its mighty export machine not just stalling but actually slipping into reverse.
  • Topic: Economics, Globalization, Government
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, China, Europe, Germany
  • Author: Mathew J. Burrows, Jennifer Harris
  • Publication Date: 04-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Every four years, the National Intelligence Council (NIC) publishes an unclassified report projecting global trends over the next fifteen years. The intent is to help incoming decisionmakers lift their sights above the here-and-now, focusing on longer-term trends likely to shape the strategic future of the United States. Inevitably, the NIC's estimations find a far wider audience. The most recent edition, Global Trends 2025: A Transformed World (hereinafter the report), was published last November, and already has received substantial media attention both within the United States and overseas. Completing the report in the midst of the financial crisis required the NIC to make risky predictions on the world's most volatile issues, from youth bulges and climate change to odds on a nuclear Iran, from whether the International Monetary Fund (IMF) might soon be spelled SWF for sovereign wealth funds in the developing world, to a Russia (and a Gazprom) rising, even as the ground was shifting day to day beneath its feet.
  • Topic: Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States
  • Author: Mark Kramer
  • Publication Date: 04-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: In the latter half of the 1990s, as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) was preparing to expand its membership for the first time since the admission of Spain in 1982, Russian officials claimed that the entry of former Warsaw Pact countries into NATO would violate a solemn ''pledge'' made by the governments of West Germany and the United States in 1990 not to bring any former Communist states into the alliance. Anatolii Adamishin, who was Soviet deputy foreign minister in 1990, claimed in 1997 that ''we were told during the German reunification process that NATO would not expand.'' Other former Soviet officials, including Mikhail Gorbachev, made similar assertions in 1996—1997. Some Western analysts and former officials, including Jack F. Matlock, who was the U.S. ambassador to the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) in 1990, endorsed this view, arguing that Gorbachev received a ''clear commitment that if Germany united, and stayed in NATO, the borders of NATO would not move eastward.'' Pointing to comments recorded by the journalists Michael Beschloss and Strobe Talbott, former U.S. defense secretary Robert McNamara averred that ''the United States pledged never to expand NATO eastward if Moscow would agree to the unification of Germany.'' According to this view, ''the Clinton administration reneged on that commitment . . . when it decided to expand NATO to Eastern Europe.''
  • Topic: NATO, Government
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, North Atlantic, Moscow, Germany, Spain
  • Author: Abbas Milani
  • Publication Date: 04-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Two countries, ''both alike in dignity,'' have for too long been the Capulets and Montagues of our days. Grudges like the 1979 hostage crisis and the U.S. role in the overthrow of the popular Mossadeq government in 1953, ill feelings stemming from the clerical regime's nuclear program and help for organizations like Hezbollah, and the Bush administration's ham-fisted policy of ''regime change'' have combined to make the Islamic Republic of Iran one of the most intractable challenges facing the United States.
  • Topic: Government, Islam, Regime Change
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran
  • Author: John A. Nagl, Brian M Burton
  • Publication Date: 04-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: After a slow start, the U.S. military has made remarkable strides in adapting to irregular warfare in Afghanistan and Iraq, and is beginning to institutionalize those adaptations. Recent Department of Defense (DOD) directives and field manuals have elevated stability operations and counterinsurgency to the same level of importance as conventional military offensive and defensive operations. These changes are the outcome of deep reflection about the nature of current and likely future threats to U.S. national security and the military's role in addressing them. They represent important steps toward transforming a sclerotic organizational culture that long encouraged a ''we don't do windows'' posture on so-called ''military operations other than war,'' even as the nation's leaders called upon the armed forces to perform those types of missions with increasing frequency.
  • Topic: National Security, War
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Iraq
  • Author: Sarah E. Mendelson
  • Publication Date: 04-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: About a month before the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), the United States elected its first African-American president, Barack Obama. This historic event, a fitting milestone, brings to life that declaration, which human rights activists and legal scholars regard as the sacred text. Obama's election fulfills a dream of the U.S. civil rights movement, a struggle that relied as much on the UDHR as on the courage of the men and women who for decades fought to make the United States a ''more perfect union.'' For human rights defenders around the world, its significance cannot be overstated.
  • Topic: Human Rights
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, America
  • Author: Daniel Byman
  • Publication Date: 04-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Talking with insurgents is often a necessary first step toward defeating them or reaching an acceptable compromise. These talks must often be done even as insurgents shoot at U.S. soldiers, and they in turn, shoot at them. Iraq represents perhaps the most recent and notable case where diplomacy triumphed: U.S. efforts to reach out to Iraqi Sunni tribal groups, many of which were linked to various insurgent organizations, eventually paid vast dividends as these tribes ''flipped'' and began to work with the coalition against al Qaeda in Iraq. In Shi'a areas, both direct and indirect talks helped facilitate a ceasefire that has done much to keep Iraq's fragile peace intact.
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq
  • Author: Michael O'Hanlon
  • Publication Date: 04-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: How can we make sense of where the United States is in Afghanistan today? A poor country, wracked by 30 years of civil war, finds itself at the mercy of insurgents, terrorists, and narco-traffickers. NATO's economy-of-force operation there has attempted to help build a nation with very few resources. Yet, overall levels of violence remain relatively modest by comparison with other violent lands such as the Congo, Iraq, and even Mexico. Economic growth is significant and certain quality of life indicators are improving, though from a very low base. The United States is committed to Afghanistan and over the course of 2009 will roughly double its troop strength there. The international community is also seriously committed, with a number of key countries such as Canada, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom fighting hard and applying solid principles of counterinsurgency.
  • Topic: NATO, Economics
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Iraq, United Kingdom, Canada, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mexico, Netherlands
  • Author: C. Christine Fair
  • Publication Date: 04-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Since the September 11, 2001 attacks, the United States has sought to help Pakistan transform itself into a stable, prosperous, and democratic state that supports U.S. interests in the region, is capable of undermining Islamist militancy inside and outside its borders, commits to a secure Afghanistan, and actively works to mitigate prospects for further nuclear proliferation. Washington has also hoped that Pakistan, along with India, would continue to sustain the beleaguered peace process to minimize the odds of a future military crisis between them. Between fiscal years 2002 and 2008, the United States has spent more than $11.2 billion, presumably to further these goals. The FY 2009 budget request includes another $1.2 billion.
  • Topic: Islam
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Afghanistan, United States, Washington, India