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  • Author: Khaled Elgindy
  • Publication Date: 03-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: With the convening of the country's first post-revolutionary parliament in late January 2012, Egypt's troubled transition has entered a new phase. As the battle over Egypt's future shifts from Tahrir Square to the newly elected People's Assembly, Egyptians may be facing their most difficult challenges yet. The country's interim rulers, the Supreme Council for the Armed Forces (SCAF)_a 20-member body representing all four branches of the Egyptian military (similar to an expanded U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff)_have laid out an ambiguous and problematic roadmap. With presidential elections and the drafting of a new constitution scheduled to take place by July 1, the transition is imperiled by an ever-present threat of popular unrest as well as an economy teetering dangerously close to collapse. Yet, it is increasingly clear that the most formidable threat to Egyptian democracy comes from the ruling military council itself, through its manipulation of the political process, growing repression, and desire to remain above the law.
  • Political Geography: United States, Egypt
  • Author: Charles Cook Jr.
  • Publication Date: 03-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Have the 2012 elections reached an inflection point? It's far too soon to say that the trajectory of this election has changed directions, but we are beginning to see enough indicators to suggest that the presidential race may have shifted from uphill for President Obama to something more likely to be a very close fight and a more evenly-balanced contest. Simply put, the political environment for Republicans is not quite as favorable as it appeared three or four months ago.
  • Author: Bruno Tertrais
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: In 1990, U.S. political scientist John Mearsheimer predicted that we would soon ''miss the Cold War.'' In the months and years that followed, the eruption of bloody conflicts in the Balkans and in Africa gave birth to fears of a new era of global chaos and anarchy. Authors such as Robert Kaplan and Benjamin Barber spread a pessimistic vision of the world in which new barbarians, liberated from the disciplines of the East—West conflict, would give a free rein to their ancestral hatreds and religious passions. Journalists James Dale Davidson and William Rees-Mogg chimed in that violence would reassert itself as the common condition of life. Former U.S. Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan warned that the planet was about to become a ''pandemonium.''
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States
  • Author: Thomas Wright
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The European Union is engaged in a ferocious political, diplomatic, and economic struggle to preserve the future of the single currency, the Euro, and the viability of what has become known simply as ''the project,'' namely the process of integration that has been the bedrock of Western European politics for over half a century. It is distinctly possible that its members' efforts may fail, either in the short or long term, and give way to an era of disintegration. Some have sounded the alarm: German Chancellor Angela Merkel famously remarked, ''If the Euro fails, Europe fails.'' Former president Nicolas Sarkozy of France predicted, ''If the euro explodes, Europe would explode. It's the guarantee of peace in a continent where there were terrible wars.'' Polish Foreign Minister Radek Sikorski warned the Euro's collapse could cause an ''apocalyptic'' crisis. Harvard economist Dani Rodrik cautioned ''the nightmare scenario would . . . be a 1930's-style victory for political extremism.'' After all, ''fascism, Nazism, and communism were children of a backlash against globalization.'' The erosion of democracy in Hungary and the rise in support for populist parties in Greece, the Netherlands, Finland, and France appears to some to be the beginning of the end.
  • Political Geography: Europe, Finland, Greece, France, Germany, Netherlands
  • Author: Daniel Byman, Charles King
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: In almost every region of the globe, there is a phantom state hovering like an apparition among the more corporeal members of the international system. Some of their names sound like the warring kingdoms of a fantasy novel: Abkhazia and South Ossetia, Nagorno—Karabakh and the Dniester Moldovan Republic. Others, such as Gaza/Palestine, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, or Taiwan, dominate the headlines. These polities look like real countries to their inhabitants, who salute their flags and vote in their elections. Some even field armies, issue visas, and collect taxes. But they are largely invisible to international legal institutions, multilateral organizations, and global trade regimes. The reason is that they lack formal recognition, or what a political scientist would call ''external sovereignty.''
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Taiwan, Cyprus
  • Author: Ephraim Inbar
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Despite all the optimism accompanying the uprisings of 2011, the Arab Middle East remains a stagnant region in deep socio—political crisis with little chance for positive change anytime soon. The current regimes may stay in power or get replaced by new dictatorships, moderate or radical. Either way, in the near future, weak states will continue to grapple with domestic problems and the direction of their foreign policies. For good reason, this situation has Israeli leaders worried about the implications for their country's national security. The changing regional balance of power favors Turkey and Iran, both of whom encourage radical elements in the region, not Israel, while the seeming decline in U.S. clout has negatively affected both the Arab—Israeli peace process and Israel's deterrent power.
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran, Turkey, Middle East, Israel, Arabia
  • Author: John Lee
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: In 2000, Asia analyst Robert A. Manning presciently argued that the likelihood of future conflict over energy resources would increase as rising Asian giants such as China shifted away from an economic toward a strategic approach to energy security.Since then, as China's energy consumption has expanded and its rise has become the dominant geopolitical issue of our time, Beijing's energy security policy has become one of the major discussion topics.
  • Political Geography: China, Beijing, Asia
  • Author: Haider Ali Hussein Mullick
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Afghanistan is America's longest war. Thousands of U.S. troops and those from nearly 50 other countries have fought in Afghanistan against Taliban and al-Qaeda forces, but it was in nuclear-armed Pakistan where Osama bin Laden was killed, Khalid Sheikh Mohammad (the mastermind of 9/11) was captured, and Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Omar as well as the heads of the virulent Haqqani network reside. Pakistan's duplicity is a fact, yet it is often excessively characterized as a function of the India—Pakistan rivalry. Pakistani generals do fear India, but they have also recognized the threat from domestic insurgents. The height of this concern was reached in 2009, when the Pakistani Taliban were 60 miles from the country's capital and jeopardized U.S. as well as Pakistani goals in the region: interdicting al-Qaeda, protecting Pakistani nuclear weapons, and stabilizing (and in Pakistan's case, an anti-India) Afghanistan. At that point, Pakistani troops, unlike past attempts, fought back and prevailed against the insurgents. It can be done.
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Afghanistan, America, India
  • Author: Jon B. Alterman, Haim Malka
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The security architecture that the United States helped establish after the Cold War in the Eastern Mediterranean is crumbling. That architecture emphasized two triangular partnerships: U.S.—Turkey—Israel and U.S.—Egypt— Israel. Each had its origin in the Cold War and gained new emphasis afterwards as a cornerstone of U.S. efforts to promote Middle Eastern stability. Yet the evolution of internal politics in Turkey over the last decade, combined with more recent shifts in Egypt, have brought to the fore civilian politicians who are openly critical of such partnerships and who have sidelined the partnerships' military proponents. The demise of these two triangles has profound implications for Israeli security, as well as for the U.S. military and diplomatic role in the Eastern Mediterranean. The changing geometry of U.S. relationships in the Eastern Mediterranean is part of a set of broader trends that make it more difficult for the United States to shape outcomes and set agendas in the region. This change in particular is likely to force the United States to emphasize bilateral relationships and ad hoc direct action in the future, placing a greater demand on ongoing U.S. management than has been the case in the past.
  • Political Geography: United States, Turkey, Middle East, Israel, Egypt
  • Author: Ömer Taşpınar
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: For most of the 20th century, Turkey chose not to get involved in Middle Eastern affairs. During the past decade, however, in a remarkable departure from this Kemalist tradition (based on the ideology of the republic's founder, Mustafa Kemal Atatu¨rk), Ankara has become a very active and important player in the region. Under the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government since 2002, Turkey has established closer ties with Syria, Iran, and Iraq, assumed a leadership position in the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), attended Arab League conferences, and contributed to UN forces in Lebanon. It has also mediated in the Syrian—Israeli conflict as well as the nuclear standoff with Iran. Ankara's diplomatic engagements with Iran and Hamas have led to differences with the United States and Israel, leaving many wondering if Turkey has been turning away from itsWestern orientation or if it was just a long overdue shift East to complete Turkey's full circle of relations.
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Iran, Turkey, Middle East, Israel, United Nations, Lebanon, Syria
  • Author: Aylin Gürzel
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: In May 2010, while the United States and other Western powers in the UN Security Council were drafting a resolution on further sanctions to pressure Iran over its controversial nuclear program, Turkey and Brazil — then non-permanent members of the Security Council — announced a fuel-swap deal with Iran. The Tehran Declaration, as it was called, stipulated that 20-percent-enriched nuclear fuel was to be provided to Iran for its use in the Tehran Research Reactor, which produces medical isotopes, in exchange for the removal of 1,200 kilograms of 3.5-percent-low-enriched uranium (LEU) to Turkey. Initial reactions to the deal varied, but there was fear that the 20-percent-enriched fuel would enable Iran to further enrich uranium and attain the level necessary to construct a nuclear weapon more rapidly.
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran, Turkey, Brazil, United Nations
  • Author: Tarık Oğuzlu
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Turkey's view concerning its commitment to NATO is changing. NATO has always been the most prestigious institution binding Turkey to the West, but Turks are beginning to question whether NATO is still indispensable to Turkey's foreign and security policies. During the Cold War, Turkey's commitment to NATO was largely identity-driven. Membership in NATO suited Turkey's goal of pursuing a Western/European identity, and was justified by the Westernization goals of the founders of the Republic. Even though NATO's primary purpose at its inception was to help secure the territorial integrity of its members against the Soviet Union, the Alliance also symbolized the unity of nations which embrace liberal—democratic norms at home and abroad; it offered a security blanket under which European allies could intensify their supranational integration process and turn Europe into a Kantian security community. Joining NATO in 1952 was therefore a logical follow-up step to Turkey's membership in the Council of Europe (1949), and helped Turkey legitimize the claim that it was a Western/European country, representing the Western international community in the Eastern Mediterranean.
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey
  • Author: David Shambaugh
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: 2009—2010 will be remembered as the years in which China became difficult for the world to deal with, as Beijing exhibited increasingly tough and truculent behavior toward many of its neighbors in Asia, as well as the United States and the European Union. Even its ties in Africa and Latin America became somewhat strained, adding to its declining global image since 2007.1 Beijing's disturbing behavior has many observers wondering how long its new toughness will last. Is it a temporary or secular trend? If it is a longer-term and qualitative shift toward greater assertiveness and arrogance, how should other nations respond?
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, China, Europe, Latin America
  • Author: Ely Ratner
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Asteady stream of research and analysis over the last two decades has flowed from the near consensus in the U.S. foreign policy community that, in the words of the U.S. National Intelligence Council, ''few countries are poised to have more impact on the world over the next 15-20 years than China.'' Yet many of these efforts to foretell China's future behavior have paid disproportionate attention to divining Beijing's ''strategic intentions.'' This approach offers only limited insight into the factors that will ultimately determine how China pursues its interests and exerts global influence. It profoundly overestimates the importance of present intentions as a guide to future behavior, and severely underestimates the constraints that China's security environment will place upon Beijing's decisionmakers.
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Beijing
  • Author: Elliot Hen-Tov, Nathan Gonzalez
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: On June 4th of every year since 1989, the Islamic Republic of Iran holds a grand memorial to honor the passing of its founder, Ayatollah Khomeini. In 2010, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) organized and managed the memorial for the first time. As Khomeini's grandson Hassan Khomeini, himself a cleric, stepped up to deliver a sermon, government supporters chanted in protest and booed him off the stage. The humiliation of Khomeini's family vividly illustrates how Iran's power structure has fundamentally changed, away from its unique clerical model toward a type of military dictatorship.1 In other words, the Islamic Republic is no longer a semiautocratic, clergy-led state which allows some form of citizen participation. The mass protests following the hotly contested June 12, 2009 election were indeed proof that the Islamic Republic has a vibrant civil society and that many Iranians still expect some level of electoral fairness. But Iran is now a military-led system or, in political-science terms, a ''praetorian'' state. From this perspective, one may interpret the June 12 election fiasco not as a struggle for power between reformist and hard-liner camps, but rather as an assertion of influence and a de facto coup by the emerging militant class and its preferred candidate, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, against the clerical oligarchy that came to power through the 1978—79 Iranian Revolution.
  • Political Geography: Iran
  • Author: Harsh V. Pant
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: In the last few years, India's policy toward the Middle East has often been viewed through the prism of Indian—Iranian relations. The international community, and the West in particular, has been obsessed with New Delhi's ties to Tehran, which are actually largely underdeveloped, while missing India's much more substantive simultaneous engagement with Arab Gulf states and Israel. India's relationship with the Middle East as a region is dramatically different than a generation ago. From 1947—1986, as at least one academic has argued, India was too ideological toward the region, paying insufficient attention to Indian national interests, particularly in its subdued ties with Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Israel.1 Today, however, India is developing its new Middle Eastern strategy around these three states, with New Delhi recently taking special care to nurture all these relationships and pursue its substantial regional interests.
  • Political Geography: Middle East, India, New Delhi, Arabia
  • Author: John W. Garver
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: One aspect of China's Iran policy suggests a sincere effort to uphold the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) regime in cooperation with the United States. Another suggests that Beijing believes a nuclear-armed or nuclear-armed-capable Iran would serve China's geopolitical interests in the Persian Gulf region.1 Is China playing a dual game toward Iran? This question cannot be answered with certainty, but given its importance, a tentative and necessarily somewhat speculative effort to think through the matter is in order.
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Iran, Persia
  • Author: Thomas Hale
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Intergovernmental efforts to limit the gases that cause climate change have all but failed. After the unsuccessful 2010 Copenhagen summit, and with little progress at the 2010 Cancun meeting, it is hard to see how major emitters will agree any time soon on mutual emissions reductions that are sufficiently ambitious to prevent a substantial (greater than two degree Celsius) increase in average global temperatures.
  • Author: F. Stephen Larrabee
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: In the last two decades, Eurasia has emerged as an area of growing strategic importance for Turkey. Much media attention has been driven by Turkish foreign policy in the Middle East, with Turkey's rapprochement with Iran and Syria, its close ties to Hamas, and the growing strains in Ankara's relations with Israel prompting concerns in various Western capitals, including Washington, that Turkey is reorienting its ties away from the West and toward the East. Yet, Turkey has also pursued important foreign policy initiatives toward Central Asia and the Caucasus.
  • Political Geography: Central Asia, Turkey, Syria
  • Author: Bruce Riedel, Michael O'Hanlon
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The strategy in Afghanistan, as outlined by President Obama in his December 2009 West Point speech and earlier March 2009 policy review, still has a good chance to succeed. Described here as ''Plan A,'' it is a relatively comprehensive counterinsurgency strategy, albeit one with a geographic focus on about one-third of Afghanistan's districts. Directed at defeating the insurgency or at least substantially weakening it, while building up Afghan institutions, it has reasonable prospects of achieving these goals well enough to hold together the Afghan state and prevent the establishment of major al Qaeda or other extremist sanctuaries on Afghan soil. Nevertheless, the strategy is not guaranteed to succeed, for reasons having little to do with its own flaws and more to do with the inherent challenge of the problem. Critics of the current strategy are right to begin a discussion of what a backup strategy, or a ''Plan B,'' might be. The most popular alternative to date emphasizes targeted counterterrorism operations, rather than comprehensive counterinsurgency—especially in the country's Pashtun south and east where the insurgencies are strongest. The United States should have a debate over Plan B, but the above version is highly problematic. Its proponents are serious people motivated by serious considerations—they worry that the current war is not winnable, or at least that it is not winnable at costs commensurate with the strategic stakes they perceive in Afghanistan. Yet, it would be troubling if the U.S. debate in 2011 was forced to choose effectively between this kind of backup plan and the current robust counterinsurgency approach. There is a better way if a fallback option is needed. Rather than conceding at least one-third of the country to extremists and reducing NATO forces quickly, the United States should tie its force drawdown to the growth and maturation of Afghan security forces. Under this plan, described here as ''Plan A-,'' U.S. and other foreign forces would have to keep fighting hard in Afghanistan for 2-4 more years, even as they gradually passed the baton to Afghan forces, but the United States would not need to stay in Afghanistan indefinitely, and would not tie its downsizing to the stabilization of all key terrain.
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States