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  • Author: David Makovsky, Dennis Ross, Moshe Yaalon
  • Publication Date: 07-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On July 10, 2006, Lt. Gen. (ret.) Moshe Yaalon, David Makovsky and Dennis Ross addressed The Washington Institute's Special Policy Forum. General Yaalon, a distinguished military fellow at the Institute, is the former Israel Defense Forces (IDF) chief of staff. Mr. Makovsky, senior fellow and director of The Washington Institute's Project on the Middle East Peace Process, is author of the Institute monograph Engagement through Disengagement: Gaza and the Potential for Israeli-Palestinian Peacemaking. Ambassador Ross, the Institute's counselor and Ziegler distinguished fellow, is a former U.S. Middle East peace envoy and author of The Missing Peace: The Inside Story of the Fight for Middle East Peace. The following is a rapporteur's summary of their remarks.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States, Washington, Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Gaza
  • Author: Mehdi Khalaji
  • Publication Date: 07-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Westerners believe Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinezhad to be popular in Iran, in no small part because of his strong support for Iran's nuclear program. However, there is much evidence to the contrary. There is limited information available with which to form a judgment about the popularity of any politician or political program in Iran. The government forbids any independent opinion polling on matters as ordinary as the raging problem of drug addiction, let alone sensitive issues like negotiations with the United States or the nuclear program. The main sources of information for Western media are the statements and photographs that come from Iranian state media, or other Western journalists who go to Iran but cannot work freely in the face of government controls. The Western newsmedia has taken the massive turnouts at demonstrations in support of Ahmadinezhad and his nuclear policy as evidence of popular support for both. But the size of such demonstrations has no meaning beyond illustrating the efficiency of the regime's propaganda machine. Unfortunately, Western media take this propaganda for the truth. The Iranian regime has nearly succeeded in fashioning its own image and imposing it on its critics. Official results show Ahmadinezhad was elected by only 35 percent of eligible voters—in an election that was not free and fair, according to many top Iranian officials. Most of Ahmadinezhad's support came from rural regions and the poorer classes of Iranian society; these voters hoped that Ahmadinezhad's election would reduce corruption and raise their standard of living. Today there are clear signs of dissatisfaction within these constituencies. The evidence comes from independent journalists, blogs, and independent Iranian news websites which have reported increasing discontent with Ahmadinezhad's domestic policies.
  • Topic: Government, Nuclear Weapons, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran
  • Author: Ben Fishman
  • Publication Date: 05-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On April 7, the State Department announced its plan for restructuring aid to the Palestinians in response to the formation of a government led by Hamas, which has refused Quartet demands to recognize Israel, cease violence and terror, and accept past diplomatic agreements. In order to target assistance toward the Palestinian people rather than the Hamas leadership, the United States will now provide the vast majority of its aid (some $203 million) for humanitarian needs, including food, health, and education programs primarily administered by United Nations agencies such as the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF), and the UN World Food Program. An additional $42 million is allocated for "securing and expanding democracy," in an effort that "protects and promotes moderation and democratic alternatives to Hamas." Assisting the development of such a peaceful and democratic alternative -- as distinct from an immediate overthrow of Hamas -- will require the United States to support programs driven internally by Palestinians that can foster a broad-based political movement. Bolstering a centralized Fatah-like organization run by elites will only lead to further corruption and the continued alienation of the Palestinian public.
  • Topic: International Relations, Corruption, Government, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Palestine
  • Author: Emily Hunt
  • Publication Date: 04-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Sami al-Arians plea agreement, unsealed last week in Tampa, Florida, has been almost universally billed as a domestic counterterrorism victory. Al-Arian pleaded guilty to providing financial and material support to Palestinian Islamic Jihad, a U.S. specially designated terrorist group, and agreed to be deported. He is one of a small but important number of U.S. deportees (out of approximately 200,000 annually) who have connections to international terrorism.Many in the United States will say good riddance to people like al-Arian, a sentiment shared by a substantial portion of Europeans whose governments are increasing their own efforts to send terrorist suspects back to their countries of origin. Since the July 7 London transit bombings, Britain has signed deportation agreements with Jordan, Libya, and Lebanon, and is negotiating a similar one with Algeria. Spain, Germany, Italy, and the Netherlands have all recently introduced or passed legislation that will facilitate deportation on national security grounds, while the French for their part wonder why other Western democracies have been so slow to catch on. France has been deporting terrorist suspects and other extremists for more than a decade, including more than a dozen radical imams in 2005 alone. American and European deportation policies differ in key areas. U.S. policy is aimed at lawbreakers generally, whereas Europe, because of its more ingrained challenge of domestic radicalism, targets extremist imams and other purveyors of jihadist ideology who can have a pervasive radicalizing effect on a community. Nevertheless, the same rationale underpins deportation on both sides of the Atlantic, and enthusiasm for the policy seems almost universal. Sending problem immigrants back to their native countries allows Western governments to deal with extremists outside the framework of domestic legal codes that remain woefully ill-equipped to address the threat of terrorism. Deportation minimizes the need to adopt draconian measures such as indefinite detention. It is counterterrorism on the cheap, and has become the policy of first choice for domestic law enforcement agencies that lack the personnel and resources to conduct adequate surveillance on all potential terrorists. But although deportation of terrorist suspects may be the most appealing of several bad policy options, it is by no means a perfect solution. Deportation is designed to displace the threat, but it may ultimately create a host of other challenges for the West in Muslim countries and ultimately on its own territory.
  • Topic: Government, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Britain, United States, America, Europe, Middle East, France, Libya, London, Palestine, Germany, Algeria, Spain, Lebanon, Italy, Jordan, Netherlands
  • Author: Emily Hunt
  • Publication Date: 02-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: As Israelis assess the implications of Hamas's victory in January elections to the Palestinian Legislative Council, a new threat may be developing in Lebanon. Al-Qaeda–linked terrorists have been present in Lebanon for a decade, but recent statements by Ayman al-Zawahiri and Abu Musab al-Zarqawi suggest that the dual objectives of destabilizing Arab regimes and targeting Israel proper are becoming top al-Qaeda priorities. Al-Zarqawi–linked terrorists in Lebanon have already engaged in low-level targeting of Israeli and Lebanese interests, yet several obstacles may hinder their ability to launch significant attacks in or from Lebanon. The Lebanese government, although weak, has a clear interest in preventing both internally and externally directed al-Qaeda activity. The dynamic among Hizballah, the Palestinians, and al-Qaeda remains more ambiguous, but early signs suggest potential antagonism among the groups. Together, Israel and the United States may be able to help Lebanon contain this emerging threat.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Israel, Lebanon
  • Author: Stephen Zunes
  • Publication Date: 12-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Foreign Policy In Focus
  • Abstract: The ongoing popular challenge to the pro-Western Lebanese government of Prime Minister Fouad Siniora marks yet another setback in the Bush administration's attempt to impose a new order on the Middle East more compatible with perceived U.S. strategic interests. The success of the nonviolent people power movement against Syria's overbearing role in Lebanese politics during the spring of 2005dubbed the Cedar Revolutionwas an impressive triumph of popular democratic forces, forcing the withdrawal of Syrian forces and enabling the country to proceed with parliamentary elections without Syrian interference. However, despite claims by the Bush administration to the contrary, the electionswhich, like all Lebanese elections, took place under the country's colonially-imposed confessional representation systemdid not constitute a victory for reformers. Instead, the victors were primarily a group of corrupt pro-Western elite politicians from the same traditional political families who have ruled the country since independence. Their credibility among the Lebanese people was reduced further this summer when the United States rejected their pleas to use its considerable influence to stop Israel's brutal 35-day military assault against their country which took the lives of more than 1,000 civilians and caused billions of dollars of damage to the country's civilian infrastructure.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Government
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran, Middle East, Syria
  • Author: Nancy Snow
  • Publication Date: 12-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Foreign Policy In Focus
  • Abstract: Anti-Americanism has emerged as a term that, like “fascism” and “communism” in George Orwell's lexicon, has little meaning beyond “something not desirable.” However it is defined, anti-Americanism has clearly mushroomed over the last six years, as charted in a number of polls. This phenomenon is, everyone agrees, intimately tied to the exercise of U.S. power and perceptions around the world of U.S. actions.
  • Topic: International Relations, Diplomacy, Government, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe
  • Author: Brian Concannon
  • Publication Date: 12-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Foreign Policy In Focus
  • Abstract: New Year's Day has a history of hope for former slaves in the hemisphere: Haiti freed its slaves and declared its independence on New Year's 1804; 59 years behind its southern neighbor, President Lincoln issued the U.S. Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863. But since then hope has been scarce in Haiti. This year the island nation rang in the New Year with a toll of alarm. A massacre in the urban settlement of Cité Soleil on Dec. 22 left over 20 dead and many wounded by gunfire from UN troops. In this article, human rights lawyer Brian Concannon discusses the need to clear up the past in order to move toward future peace. In particular, he urges the U.S. Congress to thoroughly investigate the role of the United States in the 2004 coup d' etat in Haiti. For more information on Haiti, see related articles (below). For more information on the Institute for Justice Democracy in Haiti, a member of the IRC Americas Program U.S.-Latin America Relations Network, see http://americas.irconline. org/am/3673.
  • Topic: Government, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: United States, Caribbean, Haiti
  • Author: Chet Richards
  • Publication Date: 10-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Defense Information
  • Abstract: There is a principle of engineering that says that when what you're doing isn't working, and trying harder makes the situation worse, you may be solving the wrong problem. With the attacks on London proving that occupying Iraq is not making the world safer, it is time for a radically new approach.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Government, Terrorism, War
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Europe, Middle East, London
  • Publication Date: 11-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Defense Information
  • Abstract: Many of you are aware of CDI's 30-year history of research and commentary on U.S. defense topics. You may also have noticed the expanding breadth of our international projects and activities, such as our ground-breaking China Security Bulletin featuring contributions from a retired Chinese general, and a forthcoming report on Russia's defense spending by a Russian scholar who heads our Moscow office. To better reflect our global scope and project diversity, we have created the World Security Institute — which can be thought of as our “holding company.” We felt that this title better describes all of our activities that now encompass a wider definition of “security.”
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Disaster Relief, Government, Nuclear Weapons
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, China, Europe, Iran, Middle East, Asia, Moscow
  • Author: Mark C. Christie
  • Publication Date: 05-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: While integration in Europe is, in several important aspects, already more advanced than it was in America during the decades prior to the American Civil War, there are important differences that make deeper political integration comprising all members of the European Union unlikely in the near term. A smaller group of EU members, however, is likely to continue towards deeper integration, although questions of constitutional legitimacy must be confronted and resolved. European integrationists may find the federalist principles of James Madison, regarded as the father of the American Constitution, valuable both for deeper integration and wider expansion. A Madisonian federal model for Europe could prove acceptable both to many euro-federalists and euro-sceptics and thus advance the cause of European integration. Ironically, a European federal union based on Madisonian principles would be much closer to the vision of many of America's founders than the federal structure of present-day America.
  • Topic: Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe
  • Author: Pietro S. Nivola
  • Publication Date: 10-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: What do we want from federalism?” asked the late Martin Diamond in a famous essay written thirty years ago. His answer was that federalism—a political system permitting a large measure of regional selfrule—presumably gives the rulers and the ruled a “school of their citizenship,” “a preserver of their liberties,” and “a vehicle for flexible response to their problems.” These features, broadly construed, are said to reduce conflict between diverse communities, even as a federated polity affords inter-jurisdictional competition that encourages innovations and constrains the overall growth of government.
  • Topic: Development, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Robert E. Litan, Nicholas Warren, Lael Brainard
  • Publication Date: 07-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: With a new wave of white-collar offshoring coming fast on the heels of accelerated job losses in manufacturing, an ever-broader pool of American workers is finding that the nation's safety net has more holes than netting. The nation can and must do more to help insure the livelihoods of American workers in the face of structural shifts of whatever form, while preserving the benefits of an open and innovative economy. With technological change and offshoring accelerating job turnover and the pace at which workers' job-specific skills lose value, the time has come for the federal government to strengthen the existing safety net.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, Human Welfare
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Allen Schick
  • Publication Date: 06-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: When George W. Bush leaves office in 2009, the federal government will owe at least $15,000 more for every American than it did when he became president eight years earlier. This unprecedented build-up of public debt will result from budget deficits projected to average more than $250 billion a year during the Bush presidency, plus more than one trillion dollars borrowed from social security trust funds. Although this budget projection may be high, there is far greater risk that actual deficits will exceed current estimates than that they will be lower.
  • Topic: International Relations, Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Marina S. Ottaway
  • Publication Date: 11-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: The approval of the Iraqi constitution in the October 15 referendum does not put Iraq on the path to stability and democracy but pushes it toward division into largely autonomous regions. And this new momentum is probably irreversible. Whether it will lead to a catastrophic descent into greater violence or even ethnic cleansing, or to a managed transformation into a loose federation of regions enjoying extreme autonomy, depends on whether it becomes possible for Sunni Arabs to form their own region, as Kurds already have and Shias are bound to do once the constitution is in effect. The central thrust of U.S. policy in Iraq must now be to help Sunnis organize an autonomous region and to convince Shias and Kurds that it is in their interest to make this possible. Paradoxically, announcing now a timetable for the inevitable withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq could give Washington additional leverage in influencing all sides to accept the necessary compromises.
  • Topic: International Relations, Democratization, Government
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Washington, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Anders Åslund
  • Publication Date: 08-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Russia's regime has gone through a major aggravation during the first year of President Vladimir Putin's second term. The regime suffers from serious overcentralization of power, which has led to a paralysis of policy making. Putin's power base has been shrunk to secret policemen from St. Petersburg. Although his popularity remains high, it is falling. Neither unbiased information nor negative feedback is accepted. As a result, the Putin regime is much more fragile than generally understood. Russia's current abandonment of democracy is an anomaly for such a developed and relatively wealthy country, and it has made Russia's interests part from those of the United States. The United States should not hesitate to promote democracy in Russia, while pragmatically pursuing common interests in nonproliferation and energy.
  • Topic: International Relations, Democratization, Government
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, America, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Albert Keidel
  • Publication Date: 06-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: In Washington, politicians and pundits have settled on a single magical solution for the country's economic ills: getting China to revalue its currency, the RMB. By any reasonable economic measure, however, the RMB is not undervalued. China does have a trade surplus with the United States, but it has a trade deficit with the rest of the world. And China's accumulation of dollar reserves is not the result of trade surpluses, but of large investment inflows caused in part by speculators' betting that China will yield to U.S. pressure. Focusing on China's currency is a distraction. If the United States wants to improve its economy for the long haul, it had best look elsewhere beginning with raising the productivity of American workers.
  • Topic: Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: United States, China, America, Washington, Asia
  • Author: Marina Ottaway
  • Publication Date: 03-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: The elections were a success, but they do not ensure that Iraqis can now agree on a constitutional formula that accommodates the demands of all groups and keeps the country together. Democracy as separation of powers, checks and balances, and protection of individual rights has not proven enough to avoid conflict in other deeply divided societies. Iraqis will have to confront their differences and negotiate a solution. If they fail, the United States will be faced with a choice of whether to keep the country together by force or get out—and it is better to find out sooner rather than later.
  • Topic: Democratization, Government, Peace Studies
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Middle East
  • Author: John H. Makin
  • Publication Date: 08-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: Among the more remarkable features of the U.S. economy over the past five years—through a tech-stock collapse (from which we have still not recovered), the 9/11 disaster, and numerous chastening corporate scandals —has been the extraordinary resilience of American consumers. To paraphrase H. L. Mencken, no one has ever gone broke (at least not recently) by overestimating the willingness of Americans to spend money.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: John H. Makin
  • Publication Date: 08-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: The persistence of annualized economic growth of about 3.5 percent—despite crude oil prices between $50 and $60 per barrel—has led many analysts to claim that the U.S. economy has already "absorbed" the shock of $2.35-plus-pergallon prices for self-serve regular gasoline along with a rise in heating oil costs of more than 30 percent over the last year. As if to underscore their insouciance over energy costs, American consumers accelerated the volume of vehicle purchases in June, especially those of light trucks that get only twelve or thirteen miles per gallon.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: John H. Makin
  • Publication Date: 06-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: Paul Samuelson once quipped elegantly that (falling) stock prices had predicted seven out of the last three recessions. There is indeed wisdom in the suggestion to ignore wiggles in the financial markets as indicators of the behavior of the real economy that produces goods and services.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: John H. Makin
  • Publication Date: 05-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: The Federal Reserve's measured move toward a "neutral" federal funds rate, the short-term rate that keeps the economy growing at about 3.5 percent, is a tricky process. No one knows with certainty what the neutral fed funds rate is, and it changes over time. As long as the Fed keeps raising rates and the economy keeps growing at or above trend, it is reasonable to infer that the neutral fed funds rate is higher than the current rate. The corollary to that proposition is that rates have to be boosted above the neutral rate, inducing an asset market collapse, a real economy slowdown, or both to infer that the neutral rate has been exceeded. It is beginning to appear as though the current rate of 2.75 percent is at or above neutral. If so, that would be about a full percentage point below what many were guessing.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: James Q. Wilson
  • Publication Date: 12-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: My fellow Americans, we are winning, and winning decisively, in Iraq and the Middle East. We defeated Saddam Hussein's army in just a few weeks. None of the disasters that many feared would follow our invasion occurred. Our troops did not have to fight door to door to take Baghdad. The Iraqi oil fields were not set on fire. There was no civil war between the Sunnis and the Shiites. There was no grave humanitarian crisis. Saddam Hussein was captured and is awaiting trial. His two murderous sons are dead. Most of the leading members of Saddam's regime have been captured or killed. After our easy military victory, we found ourselves inadequately prepared to defeat the terrorist insurgents, but now we are prevailing.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Government
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Baghdad
  • Author: Michael S. Greve
  • Publication Date: 10-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: Berlin is far from Baghdad, and the Germans at least want to keep it that way. But for all the obvious differences, Germany's inconclusive election results and the impending constitutional referendum in Iraq point to some identical obstacles to effective and constitutional government. These obstacles are proportional representation and “cooperative federalism.” As it happens, well-meaning UN officials, NGOs, and U.S. advisers have been urging these constitutional arrangements upon numerous fledgling democracies, including Iraq. That may not be good advice.
  • Topic: Government, United Nations
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Europe, Middle East, Baghdad, Germany, Berlin
  • Author: Richard Vedder
  • Publication Date: 09-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: As college students begin a new academic year, many parents are reeling from tuition charges. This fall's estimated 8 percent average increase at public universities, added onto double-digit hikes in the two previous years, means tuition at a typical state university is up 36 percent over 2002—at a time when consumer prices in general have risen less than 9 percent. In inflation-adjusted terms, tuition today is roughly triple what it was when parents of today's college students attended school in the 1970s. Tuition charges are rising faster than family incomes, an unsustainable trend in the long run. This holds true even when scholarships and financial aid are considered. One consequence of rising costs is that college enrollments are no longer increasing as much as before. Price-sensitive groups such as low-income students and minorities are missing out. A smaller proportion of Hispanics between eighteen and twenty-four attends college today than in 1976. The United States is beginning to fall below some other industrial nations in population-adjusted college attendance.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Education, Government
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: John R. Lott Jr.
  • Publication Date: 06-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: Statistical evidence indicates that qualifications, experience, and potential influence are far greater factors in delaying or rejecting judicial nominees than perceptions of extremism.
  • Topic: Development, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Roger Bate
  • Publication Date: 02-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: Without pressure from outside nations, upcoming elections in Zimbabwe are almost certain to hasten the country's slide into dictatorship under longtime leader Robert Mugabe. Pressure must be brought to bear on Zimbabwe's Southern African neighbors to enforce the agreed election protocols or they, and not just Zimbabwe, should face the withdrawal of aid, trade deals, and other U.S. largesse.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States
  • Author: John H. Makin
  • Publication Date: 02-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: Alarmists who call for American households to save more point to a steady drop in the conventionally measured U.S. saving rate to about 1 per- cent at the end of last year and to a rise in household debt to a level well over 100 percent of personal disposable income. The current account deficit, our external deficit, measures national dis-saving at close to 6 percent of GDP. The federal government's budget deficit contributes about 4 percentage points to national dis-saving and it, too, is the subject of considerable hand-wringing by those who point to a need for higher U.S. saving at both the household and national levels.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Steven F. Hayward
  • Publication Date: 02-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is currently working on its fourth assessment report. Despite the IPCC's noble intent to generate a scientific consensus, a number of factors have compromised the research and drafting process, assuring that its next assessment report will be just as controversial as previous reports in 1995 and 2001. Efforts to reform this large bureaucratic effort are unlikely to succeed. Perhaps the time has come to consider competition as the means of checking the IPCC's monopoly and generating more reliable climate science.
  • Topic: Environment, Government, Science and Technology
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Vance Serchuk
  • Publication Date: 10-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: On September 18, 2005, Afghanistan held its first democratic parliamentary and provincial elections in more than thirty-five years. The vote marks the successful completion of the transitional political process outlined by the 2001 Bonn Accords, the internationally brokered framework that has guided Afghanistan since the ouster of the Taliban. The United States and its allies in Kabul can rightly celebrate the passage of this milestone and the remarkable progress that has been achieved over the past four years. At the same time, the end of Bonn is also a natural time to raise questions about the Bush administration's long-term road map for Afghanistan. Two problems with the current American strategy—too much faith in NATO and too little investment in indigenous Afghan institutions—deserve particular attention.
  • Topic: NATO, Democratization, Government
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, America, Middle East, Taliban, Kabul
  • Author: Frederick W. Kagan
  • Publication Date: 08-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: U.S. defense policy today rests heavily on two basic assumptions: that the American armed forces will make perfect decisions and take perfect actions, and that the enemy will never surprise us or offer us unexpected opportunities to exploit. These assumptions can be seen in the elimination of reserve forces from all echelons of the military structure and the heavy burden that the current war has placed on the Army Reserves and National Guard. The result of these decisions has been to leave the United States with little ability to react to unforeseen difficulties, either in Iraq or Afghanistan or elsewhere. If this policy continues, it will place American national security in grave jeopardy for years to come.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Government, War
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Iraq, America
  • Publication Date: 03-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Carter Center
  • Abstract: Imagine a nation almost half the size of the United States where large portions of the population are sick—not with just one disease but several at once. Such is the daily reality for those living in Nigeria, a nation with one of the highest burdens of disease in Africa.
  • Topic: Government, Human Rights, Human Welfare, Peace Studies
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, Nigeria
  • Author: Simon Henderson, Khairi Abaza
  • Publication Date: 11-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: The November 10 meeting at the White House between U.S. president George W. Bush and Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh will be the third time the two men have met since the September 11 terror attacks on the United States. Yemen is an oft-forgotten close U.S. ally, arguably as crucial to the success of the war on terror as Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, or Egypt. The south Arabian country, with its rugged, desert landscape, remains a sanctuary for al-Qaeda operatives. With seacoasts along the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden, Yemen dominates the Bab el-Mandab shipping chokepoint, the route by which oil from the Persian Gulf reaches the Suez Canal and hence the European market. (A French supertanker was badly damaged in an al-Qaeda attack off the Yemeni coast in 2002.)
  • Topic: International Relations, Government
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, United States, Washington, Middle East, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Egypt
  • Author: Simon Henderson
  • Publication Date: 10-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: During the last several months, the question of whether women in Saudi Arabia should be allowed to drive has become a lively topic of debate within the kingdom. Support for the issue has come from the newly enthroned King Abdullah; the most prominent opponent is the long-serving interior minister, Prince Nayef. The men are viewed as political rivals frequently at odds over a range of policies. Increasingly, women driving seems a metaphor for the series of security, economic, and educational challenges facing the kingdom—and therefore a tempting policy opportunity for the United States.
  • Topic: International Relations, Gender Issues, Government, Islam, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States, Arabia, Saudi Arabia
  • Author: Michael Knights
  • Publication Date: 07-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: The July 16–18 visit to Tehran by Iraqi prime minister Ibrahim Jafari and ten other members of his council of ministers has been hailed by some as the beginning of a new era in Iran-Iraq relations. In fact, the pattern of near-term relations was set during Iraqi defense minister Saadoun al-Dulaimi's preparatory visit to Iran on July 5–7. At a joint press conference on July 7 with his Iranian counterpart, Rear Admiral Ali Shamkhani, the Iraqi official fell victim to the oldest trick in the Iranian diplomatic playbook. Speaking well beyond what had been agreed by the two sides, Shamkhani announced “wide defense cooperation” and alluded to the imminent conclusion of a defense pact between the two countries (as Iran has done in the past with Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, and Saudi Arabia). Al-Dulaimi was likewise forced to clarify the limited nature of the discussions while also taking pains to state, “Iraq will not be a source of insecurity and instability for any of its neighbors. Nobody can use [Iraqi territory] to attack its neighbors.” The message to both Tehran and Washington was clear: the three-way game between the governments of Iran, Iraq, and the United States has begun again. With Iraq caught in the middle, Baghdad intends to play an increasingly autonomous role as the game unfolds.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, Oil
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Iran, Washington, Middle East
  • Author: Simon Henderson
  • Publication Date: 07-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Although the U.S. and British governments have offered gestures of mutual diplomatic support and apparent political agreement in the aftermath of the July 7 terrorist bombings in London, such efforts mask the wide differences between their approaches to the increasing threat of al-Qaeda terrorism. On July 15, President George W. Bush, speaking in North Carolina about the bombings, stated, “The killers . . . did not care about their religion. . . . These people will not be stopped by negotiations. . . . There is only one course of action. We will take the fight to the enemy, and we will stay in this fight until this enemy is defeated.” The next day, Prime Minister Tony Blair, stated, “The greatest danger is that we fail to face up to the nature of the threat we are dealing with. . . . [N]o sane person would negotiate. . . . It cannot be beaten except by confronting it, symptoms and causes, head-on. Without compromise and without delusion.” The similarity in language was probably intentional. Yet, Washington's apparent preference for military force contrasts with Blair's categorization of Britain's strategy: “In the end, it is the power of argument, debate, true religious faith, and true legitimate politics that will defeat this threat.”
  • Topic: Government, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Britain, United States, United Kingdom, Washington, London
  • Author: Simon Henderson
  • Publication Date: 07-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Beginning on July 6, British prime minister Tony Blair will host the G8 summit in Gleneagles, a hotel and golf course in Scotland. Africa and climate change are the two main topics on the agenda, but counterterrorism, proliferation, and political reform in the Middle East are scheduled to be discussed as well. The annual G8 summit has become the sole forum in which the leaders of the seven top industrialized countries (Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States) and Russia meet to discuss and decide on courses of action. Diplomatic grandstanding and expected antiglobalization demonstrations aside, the summit is an opportunity to set the international political and bureaucratic agenda for months ahead.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, Oil, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Britain, Africa, Russia, United States, Japan, United Kingdom, Middle East, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Scotland
  • Author: David Makovsky
  • Publication Date: 10-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas returned to Ramallah from Washington last week having missed a key opportunity to spur President George W. Bush to reengage in the Roadmap. Instead, the October 20 joint press conference at the White House concluded with Bush acknowledging that his presidency may not witness the creation of a Palestinian state by 2008. His administration, Bush said, might merely “lay that foundation so that the process becomes irreversible.” The same administration that two years ago endorsed the Quartet's Roadmap to Israeli-Palestinian peace based upon a detailed schedule of commitments now expresses hesitancy on committing to any “timetable” for the creation of a Palestinian state. Bush administration policy has always had a performance-based rather than a time-based approach, but now it is not putting down any time markers.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government
  • Political Geography: United States, Washington, Middle East, Israel, Palestine
  • Author: Conn Hallinan
  • Publication Date: 11-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Foreign Policy In Focus
  • Abstract: It would be easy to make fun of President Bush's recent fiasco at the 4th Summit of the Americas in Mar del Plata, Argentina. His grand plan for a free trade zone reaching from the Artic Circle to Tierra del Fuego was soundly rejected by nations fed up with the economic and social chaos wrought by neoliberalism. At a press conference, South American journalists asked him rude questions about Karl Rove. And the President ended the whole debacle by uttering what may be the most trenchant observation the man has ever made on Latin America: "Wow! Brazil is big!"
  • Topic: Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: United States, Argentina, South America, Latin America
  • Author: John Gershman
  • Publication Date: 08-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Foreign Policy In Focus
  • Abstract: President Bush's recess appointment of John Bolton as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations — the first time ever for the post — represents a sad irony in this year, the 60th anniversary of the signing of the San Francisco charter on June, 26 1945 and the ratification of the charter by the 5 permanent members of the Security Council and the majority of the signatories to the San Francisco Charter, on October 24, 1945.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, United Nations
  • Political Geography: United States, San Francisco
  • Author: Stephen Zunes
  • Publication Date: 07-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Foreign Policy In Focus
  • Abstract: The election of the hard-line Teheran mayor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, over former President Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani as the new head of Iran is undeniably a setback for those hoping to advance greater social and political freedom in that country. It should not necessarily be seen as a turn to the right by the Iranian electorate, however. The 70-year old Rafsanjani — a cleric and penultimate wheeler-dealer from the political establishment — was portrayed as the more moderate conservative. The fact that he had become a millionaire while in government was apparently seen as less important than his modest reform agenda. By contrast, the young Teheran mayor focused on the plight of the poor and cleaning up corruption.
  • Topic: International Relations, Democratization, Government
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran, Middle East
  • Author: Roger Howard
  • Publication Date: 06-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Foreign Policy In Focus
  • Abstract: Imagine your reaction if, during last November's presidential contest, the mullahs of Iran had suddenly launched a tirade of criticism against the American system of democracy and beamed their message onto our television sets and radios for all of us to hear: democracy in the United States, the mullahs might perhaps have claimed, is a corrupt process that is determined largely by the influence of the wealthiest donors, and a process that wholly fails to address the religious needs of a secular, materialist culture.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Iran, Middle East
  • Author: Nadia Martinez
  • Publication Date: 06-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Foreign Policy In Focus
  • Abstract: After 17 years at the helm of Latin America's largest source of development financing, the President of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) is stepping down. Enrique Iglesias is slated to pass the reins to his successor in September. Like the recent fight over the leadership position at the Organization of American States, this contest promises to be a long and arduous process of political negotiation. As the United States attempts to maintain its traditionally hegemonic role in Latin America, Brazil is more boldly gaining some of that ground. And with annual lending to Latin American countries surpassing $8 billion annually, the IDB has significant influence over the region's economies.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Brazil, South America, Latin America
  • Author: R. S. Zaharna
  • Publication Date: 04-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Foreign Policy In Focus
  • Abstract: With the nomination of Karen Hughes as the new undersecretary of state for public diplomacy, the United States has the potential to embark on a new and more effective phase in its communication with the international community, particularly with the Arab and Islamic world. Hughes' close working relationship with President Bush, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, and other advisers in the administration's inner circle qualifies her as a communication heavyweight. If she uses this asset, she can transform the old model of public diplomacy used during the Cold War into a more strategic approach.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Government
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 03-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: China Brief, The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Next month is the 50th anniversary of the Bandung Conference, where Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai and Indonesian President Sukarno set out to carve a space for Asian and African countries based on principles of mutual interest, respect for national sovereignty and non-alignment with either the United States or the Soviet Union. In 1955, an economically and politically isolated China aspired to economic self-sufficiency through a closed, planned economy that was not dependent on imported food or other raw materials.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: United States, China, East Asia
  • Author: Charles L. Schultze
  • Publication Date: 08-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: Until the end of 2003, the United States had been experiencing a “jobless” recovery, with employment stagnating at levels well below those in 2000. A widespread perception has arisen that a major culprit behind the dearth of jobs was the growing practice of U.S. firms to relocate part of their domestic operations to lower-wage countries abroad. “Offshoring” presumably caused a reduction in U.S. output and a corresponding loss of jobs.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, Human Welfare
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: William G. Gale, Peter R. Orszag
  • Publication Date: 07-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: For decades, the U.S. private pension system has provided preferential tax treatment to employer-provided pensions, 401(k) plans, and individual retirement accounts relative to other forms of saving. The effectiveness of this system of subsidies is controversial. Despite the accumulation of vast amounts of wealth in pension accounts, concerns persist about the ability of the pension system to raise private and national saving, and in particular to improve saving outcomes among those households most in danger of inadequately preparing for retirement.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, Human Welfare
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Harry J. Holzer
  • Publication Date: 05-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: While their employment rates have risen considerably, most former welfare recipients continue to earn very low wages. Similarly, the earnings of less-educated U.S. workers more broadly have also stagnated or fallen in recent years. Using a new dataset from the Census Bureau, some recent research suggests that low earners' advancement prospects are closely tied to the characteristics of the employers for whom they work. Employment in certain high-wage sectors and especially at firms that pay wage premiums and offer career ladders is strongly correlated with earnings gains over time for initially low earners. Job mobility often results in higher earnings gains than does staying in the same job. "Work first" approaches—such as immediate job placement for those on welfare—produce modest gains over time, while early work at a higher-wage employer or with a temp agency generates larger gains. Policymakers should therefore encourage better job placements for low earners as well as targeted training that is integrated with these placements. Policies to support the creation of more higher-wage jobs for the unskilled should be considered as well. Private labor market intermediaries can play important roles in both processes.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Government, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Johannes F. Linn, Colin I. Jr. Bradford
  • Publication Date: 04-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: Finance ministers representing the Group of 7 (G-7) industrialized countries met in Boca Raton, Florida, in early February amid concerns about the weakening of the U.S. dollar. One factor in the dollar's decline is the U.S. trade deficit, which is partly due to the undervalued Chinese yuan. The involvement of China, which is not a G-7 member, illustrates both the glaring gap in global governance and the increasing economic and policy interdependence between industrial countries and major emerging market economies (EMEs). As one observer, referring to the Boca Raton meeting, put it, "China is the 800-pound gorilla and it isn't even part of the negotiations."
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Government, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: United States, China
  • Author: Robert E. Litan, Roger G. Noll
  • Publication Date: 01-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: The U.S. telecommunications industry is riding a roller coaster. For most of the 1990s, the industry's future looked promising. The growth of Internet use, the promise of a broadband network, and a less restrictive regulatory environment that was expected following passage of the 1996 Telecommunications Act led industry experts to forecast rapidly growing demand for core network services along with high-margin business opportunities in an expanding array of new information services. The industry backed these expectations with massive investments to expand the capacity of both wireless and wire line networks as well as to facilitate the expected boom in high-speed data transmission.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Government, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Michael Fullilove
  • Publication Date: 10-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Lowy Institute for International Policy
  • Abstract: According to polling commissioned by the Lowy Institute, twice as many Australians think that US foreign policy is on the wrong track as think it is on the right track. Many observers argue that the direction of American policy will vary greatly depending on the outcome of the presidential election. Certainly, there are significant differences in style and substance between the two candidates, George W. Bush and John F. Kerry. However the similarities are as striking as the differences. External challenges, in particular the Iraq war and the war against terrorism, and internal pressures have combined to produce something of a convergence between the outlooks of foreign policy makers in both parties. In the event of a Bush victory, the failure of its foreign policy adventurism in the first term would probably make for a more centrist policy in the second term. In the event of a Kerry victory, the realities of the international system and the probable Republican control of the Senate would do the same. Whomever is elected, America is likely to pursue an assertive foreign policy involving the use of military force; there will less gleeful unilateralism and steroid-fuelled pre-emption than we have seen in the past four years, but it will still be a world away from the kind of strategy many observers are anticipating. From Australia's perspective, the fundamentals of our alliance with the US will ensure that it endures regardless of the result on 0 November. However the temperature of the relationship would probably be affected by a Kerry win. Given the task the senator has set himself of strengthening links with allied capitals, the relationship with Canberra would likely be less of a priority for him than for President Bush. On the other hand, the election of a new face in Washington would make other aspects of Australia's diplomatic life easier.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Australia
  • Author: Reuel Marc Gerecht
  • Publication Date: 08-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: The 9/11 Commission report fails to offer effective solutions to problems in American intelligence, concentrating on new bureaucratic structures rather than on revitalizing the clandestine service to infiltrate and destroy terrorist organizations.
  • Topic: Government, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Eliot A. Cohen
  • Publication Date: 08-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: The Kerry campaign has announced its list of retired generals and admirals endorsing their candidate; the Bush campaign will soon produce its list, and no doubt both will mobilize more retired stars for the coming fight. One need not be paranoid about civil-military relations to think this a bad business, reckless on the part of the politicians and destructive on the part of the former flags. By serving as props for presidential candidates, the retired generals put at risk the confidence that citizens and officials alike place in the political neutrality of the armed forces. They have every legal and constitutional right to behave this way, of course, as they have every right to make second careers as pole dancers in Vegas. But in so doing they diminish American politics and damage the national defense.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Government, War
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Thomas Donnelly
  • Publication Date: 09-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: One of the emerging ironies of the presidential campaign is that both parties seem to want to regard the events of the past three years—the post-September 11 era—as an anomaly. The Democratic convention was an exercise in nostalgia for the good old days of the 1990s. Even the Bush campaign has lately succumbed to a kind of Iraq fatigue, seeking in particular to divert attention from the president's rhetoric of a year ago calling for the democratization and liberalization of the Middle East. Alas, the United States cannot simply resign as the “sole superpower” and guarantor of the current global order. No matter the outcome of the election, the United States still will face two inescapable strategic tasks: changing the Middle East and containing the rise of China. At the same time, the new president must rebuild and restructure the U.S. armed forces to respond to the needs of these very different theaters.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Middle East
  • Author: Jeffrey White, Ryan Phillips
  • Publication Date: 06-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Muqtada al-Sadr represents a serious long-term political and military challenge to the coalition and the new Iraqi government. Open warfare between Sadr and the coalition first emerged on April 4, 2004, with "uprisings" by his militia, the so-called Mahdi Army, in Baghdad and across southern Iraq. Although Sadr has not achieved his objective of a broad-based Shi'i rebellion, coalition forces have not been able to bring him to justice or dissolve his militia. Both sides are now playing a high-stakes game. The coalition is betting that it can eliminate or reduce Sadr as a political force without causing a serious breach with the larger Shi'i community. Sadr is gambling that he can persist, even prosper, in the face of the coalition. Indeed, he has long-term political goals and is positioning himself for the upcoming elections. The prospects that the coalition can bring him under control at acceptable cost and risk remain uncertain.
  • Topic: Security, Government, Religion
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Michelle Ciarrocca
  • Publication Date: 10-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Foreign Policy In Focus
  • Abstract: Under President Clinton, it became U.S. policy to deploy a National Missile Defense (NMD) system "as soon as technologically feasible." However, Clinton's commitment to missile defense was tempered by his pledge to base a deployment decision on four criteria: the overall cost of the program, its technical feasibility, an assessment of the ballistic missile threat facing the United States, and the impact that NMD might have on arms control and arms reduction efforts. In contrast, President Bush has set no criteria to constrain deployment.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Government
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: John Lindsay-Poland
  • Publication Date: 08-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Foreign Policy In Focus
  • Abstract: The United States maintains a complex web of military facilities and functions in Latin America and the Caribbean, what the U.S. Southern Command (known as SouthCom) calls its "theater architecture." U.S. military facilities represent tangible commitments to an ineffective supply-side drug war and to underlying policy priorities, including ensuring access to strategic resources, especially oil.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Government
  • Political Geography: United States, Latin America, Caribbean
  • Author: Senja Post, Markus Rettich, Roland Schatz
  • Publication Date: 10-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Media Tenor International
  • Abstract: In tonight's TV debate, neither of the candidates managed to gain an upper hand in the overall discussion. There were no significant surprises on how each candidate views the issues that were addressed. Based on Bob Schieffer's excellent moderation, the debate was able to create a very clear image (almost 80% of the content was issue–focused) on the different approaches Kerry and Bush will use in tackling challenges in healthcare, economics, social issues and domestic security.
  • Topic: Government, Human Welfare, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 10-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Media Tenor International
  • Abstract: Compared to last week's commentary, ABC increased its positive coverage of Bush, NBC was more balanced and CBS reduced the level of positive commentary on Kerry. CNN again rated both candidates positively (but Kerry much more so than Bush) while PBS broadcast a more negative evaluation of Bush and Kerry. On the whole, Kerry came across in a more positive light, but is very interesting to look at the difference between the major networks vs. cable networks and the public broadcasters. On NBC and CBS, Kerry was seen as the clear 'winner.' In the other news outlets, both candidates were rated either positively or negatively.
  • Topic: Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 09-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Media Tenor International
  • Abstract: And the winner is . . . Kerry needed a clear victory in the first TV debate to gain momentum. This was not apparent. The burden on proof was clearly on Kerry to attack Bush's reputation and turn the line of argument to his favor. But the incumbent was equally vigorous in pointing out his achievements – in Iraq, in his support for the troops and in the fight against terrorism. Bush successfully cornered Kerry on flip–flopping issue. Kerry's explanations of his policy standpoints and voting records ultimately proved ineffective in countering Bush's charges of inconsistency. It was Kerry's goal to present himself as a viable alternative – this could not be seen. Therefore: a draw. Which in the end helps Bush, not Kerry.
  • Topic: Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Eugene Kogan, Willy Lam, Drew Thompson, Dennis J. Blasko, Zhu Feng
  • Publication Date: 09-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: China Brief, The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: President and Central Military Commission (CMC) Chairman Hu Jintao has moved swiftly to tighten his grip over the People's Liberation Army (PLA). The emphasis that the new commander-in-chief has put on flexing the nation's fast-growing military muscle has fed speculation that he will be taking a more hard-line stance on relations with the U.S. and with Taiwan. However, it is unlikely that the predominant Hu-Wen Faction – a reference to the leadership team under Hu and Premier Wen Jiabao – will unveil too many major initiatives until it has consolidated its control over the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), the government and the army.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Israel, Taiwan
  • Author: Ronald N. Montaperto, Willy Lam, Cynthia Watson, Jean-Pierre Cabestan
  • Publication Date: 05-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: China Brief, The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: In the view of many observers, the normalization of Sino-American relations signaled the end of a strategic relationship with the Republic of China (Taiwan) that had endured with but one brief interruption for forty years. The rapid growth of economic ties between the U.S. and mainland China in the 1980s seemed to confirm this assessment. Although political connections through the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA) remain strong, the major benefit to the United States of its unofficial relationship to the island lies in the economic realm.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Israel, Taiwan
  • Author: Mohan Malik, Matthew Oresman, Willy Lam, Paul H.B Godwin
  • Publication Date: 04-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: China Brief, The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: The unusually effusive reception that the Chinese leadership accorded Dear Leader Kim Jong-Il last week has buttressed speculation that Beijing and Pyongyang probably reached some form of a deal even prior to the long awaited visit. According to diplomatic sources in Beijing, Kim agreed during discussions with his Chinese hosts to take a “more serious and proactive stance” toward the ongoing six-nation talks on dismantling his country's weapons of mass destruction (WMD). Moreover, the sources said the reclusive leader pledged that unless there was further “provocation” from the United States, Pyongyang would not engage in tension raising gimmicks such as testing bombs or missiles. And, at least for the time being, a freeze would be put on the development of new WMD.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Israel, Beijing, Pyongyang
  • Author: Frank Ching, You Ji, Willy Lam, Eric Teo
  • Publication Date: 03-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: China Brief, The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: The two rounds of six-party talks in Beijing on the Korean nuclear standoff have demonstrated China.s unusual support for a multilateral solution to the conflict. This is symbolic of the country.s new diplomacy under Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabo. As is typical, Beijing is seeking to maximize its diplomatic gains for reasons related to national prestige and regional stability. What is new, however, is that the two leaders are trying to achieve these goals by having China act as a status quo power rather than through revisionist behavior. This change is vividly reflected in the fact that China has proven more willing to cooperate with the United States and is more determined to pressure North Korea. This brief article attempts to evaluate some of the domestic and international factors that are driving China to sponsor the six-party talks. conflicts on the Peninsula.with severe security implications for China. In the last few years two schools of thought have emerged in Beijing with respect to Chinese policy toward the DPRK. The first of these is the .buffer zone. school. It argues that, Pyongyang.s ill intentions and unpredictable adventurism notwithstanding, North Korea.s very existence remains of great strategic value to a China whose worst security nightmare is that of another Korean war. Moreover, any regime change that might occur in the DPRK as a result of war could bring the deployment of U.S. troops to positions close to the Sino-Korean borders. And taking into consideration a possible showdown between China and the United States in the Taiwan Strait, this could result in a hostile military presence right on China.s doorstep. Indeed, it was precisely this worst case scenario that China fought a war fifty-four years ago to prevent.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Israel, Taiwan, Beijing, North Korea, Korea, Pyongyang
  • Author: James B. Steinberg, Mary Graham, Andrew Eggers
  • Publication Date: 09-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: The Bush administration has begun to revise cold war rules governing national security information in order to counter terrorist threats to the United States. The president's homeland security plan calls for new intelligence efforts to protect the nation's borders, defend against threats within the United States, minimize infrastructure vulnerabilities, and improve emergency responses. Congress has given the new Department of Homeland Security responsibility for coordinating these strategies and assuring that accurate and complete information gets to those who need it.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Government
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Robert Litan, Richard Herring
  • Publication Date: 04-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: In 1999, after nearly twenty years of debate, the U.S. Congress finally passed legislation permitting bank affiliations with all sorts of other financial enterprises, and vice versa. In this step, the United States joined many other countries — especially in Europe and, more recently, Japan — in allowing the operation of financial conglomerates. But are financial conglomerates the wave of the future in finance? And if so, how are they to be regulated? These were the two central questions addressed in the fifth annual conference of the Brookings-Wharton Papers on Financial Services, an annual volume published by the Brookings Institution Press. The conference, held in October 2002 in Washington, D.C., convened financial services experts from around the world. The papers presented at the conference suggest, generally, that while the future may see more financial conglomerate activity than it has in the past, there still will be a role for specialist, or "monoline" financial companies. As for regulation, there is no settled model: some nations will pursue consolidated supervision, with authority over entire conglomerates vested in a single authority (often the central bank), while others will still regulate the pieces of diversified financial enterprises along structural lines.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, Industrial Policy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Washington
  • Author: Gary Clyde Hufbauer, Ben Goodrich
  • Publication Date: 10-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: In May 2003, the World Trade Organization (WTO) dispute panel ruled that US steel safeguards imposed in March 2002 are illegal. The WTO Appellate Body is all but certain to confirm the panel's judgment, probably by December 2003. Then the Bush administration will face an important choice. It can keep the safeguards in place, pleasing steel producers and important constituencies in West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Ohio. However, doing so would further anger steel users, who have probably lost more business and jobs as a direct consequence of the safeguards than steel producers have gained. Maintaining the safeguards would also send a signal to the world's trading nations that the United States is not prepared to endure the political cost of eliminating steel protection. Furthermore, the administration would run the risk that, in the middle of a presidential election season, foreign countries will exercise their rights under the WTO to retaliate.
  • Topic: Government, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia
  • Author: Gary Hufbauer, Ariel Assa
  • Publication Date: 05-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: The tax-driven expatriation of US corporations is a troubling phenomenon. In a “corporate inversion,” a new foreign corporation, typically located in a low-tax or no-tax country, replaces the existing US parent corporation of a multinational enterprise (MNE). The US corporation then becomes a subsidiary of the new foreign parent. Since the US tax treatment of an MNE operating in the United States is significantly less favorable when the top-tier parent corporation is a domestic rather than a foreign corporation, the inversion transaction averts a substantial amount of US tax. Inversions have attracted adverse attention from tax specialists, media, the US Treasury Department, and Congress. In the wake of September 11, it seemed downright unpatriotic for US firms to invert as a way of skimping on their tax payments.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Gary C. Hufbauer, Ben Goodrich
  • Publication Date: 01-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: While the US steel industry has been in distress for decades, the “steel crisis” of 1999-2001 was particularly acute. More than 30 steel producing and steel processing firms fell into bankruptcy between 1997 and 2001, and most of the failures occurred after President Bush took office. During his presidential campaign, Bush promised steelworkers that he would not neglect them. As the crisis worsened, the steel industry and the United Steel Workers of America (USWA) pressed the Bush administration to make good on its campaign promise.
  • Topic: Government, Industrial Policy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Philip E. Coyle, Rachel Stohl, Winslow Wheeler, Theresa Hitchens, Victoria Garcia, Colin Robinson, Krista Nelson, Jeffrey Lewis
  • Publication Date: 10-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Defense Information
  • Abstract: Few things are more routinely abused than facts when people in government — any party, any branch — set out to make a decision. I've been reminded of this truth watching the current administration parry revelations that it manipulated “facts” about weapons of mass destruction as a pretext for the war against Iraq that Congress authorized a year ago this past week. But I'd learned it the hard way much earlier. During a 31-year career as an evaluator for the General Accounting Office and a staffer for four different U.S. senators from both parties, I spent a lot of time trying to use facts to influence decisions made by the U.S. government. The facts took a beating all too often.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Government
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq
  • Author: Michael Knights
  • Publication Date: 03-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: With Saudi Arabian, Turkish, and Jordanian host-nation restrictions limiting coalition ground and air operations, the United States has begun to develop a range of Iraqi airfields as forward operating bases for combat aircraft. This is ironic considering that successive U.S. governments spent billions of dollars to develop an unparalleled basing environment to support U.S. power projection in the Gulf. Recent decisions by Saudi Arabia and Turkey -- key U.S. allies -- have arguably prevented Washington from waging a shorter and less costly war in terms of both blood and treasure. Yet, the United States has benefited greatly from its policy of diversifying basing assets in the smaller Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states, recognizing that Kuwait, Qatar, and Oman are dependable allies and that Iraq may one day replace Saudi Arabia as a key airbase provider.
  • Topic: Security, Government, Religion
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Washington, Turkey, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Soner Cagaptay
  • Publication Date: 03-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: In a dramatic session yesterday, the Turkish parliament convened to consider a motion sent by the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government, which had requested that a large U.S. force be permitted to use Turkish soil as a staging ground for a possible campaign in Iraq. The legislature refused to authorize the motion, however, blocking the creation of a northern front in the looming war. Of the 533 deputies in session, 264 voted for the motion, 250 voted against it, and 19 abstained, bringing the motion only three votes shy of the majority required by the constitution. AKP assurances that only 30 to 40 of its delegates would object to the motion crashed to a halt over the course of the session, with 99 of the party's deputies voting nay. Although the democratic will of the Turkish parliament should be respected, the fact remains that the AKP government failed to pass its agenda through the legislature. Some analysts argue that this spells trouble for both Turkey and AKP, with others speculating that U.S.-Turkish relations are now at a historical threshold.
  • Topic: Security, Government, Religion
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Turkey, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Robert Satloff, Dennis Ross, E.J. Dionne, Fred Barnes
  • Publication Date: 01-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Dilemmas for U.S. Middle East policy will arise in the immediate post-Saddam aftermath. Foremost will be America's preoccupation with stabilizing Iraq and transforming its new government into a democracy. Vague at present is whether U.S.-led forces will focus on existing institutions (e.g., the Iraqi military) or build new ones to achieve these goals. Such decisions will affect the degree and nature of Iraq's transformation, and the new regime's composition could be significantly different if the United States were to depend on a reformed Iraqi military to promote stability. Moreover, Iraqi transformation corresponds directly to a region-wide transformation, because increased efforts to transform Iraq with a broad-based, representative government will send signals of political reform to Iraq's neighbors. U.S. policy must stand ready to assist other Middle Eastern regimes in their transition to more responsible governments that offer their people hope and the prospect for change.
  • Topic: Security, Government, Religion
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Lawrence Uzzell
  • Publication Date: 11-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Did the U.S. and Russian governments both know that, when Russian commandos stormed Moscow's Dubrovka theater in October of 2002, the Chechen terrorists inside it had already agreed to release several of their hostages, including U.S. citizen Sandy Booker? Booker's fiance, Svetlana Gubareva, says that the answer is Yes. Booker and Gubareva's 13-year-old daughter, Sasha, both died in the tragedy; Gubareva was also taken hostage but survived.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict, Government
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, Asia, Moscow
  • Author: Lawrence Uzzell
  • Publication Date: 09-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: In a remarkably under reported statement, Russian President Vladimir Putin has apparently accused lower echelon U.S. government officials of meeting with known Chechen terrorists. On September 20, a few days before flying to the United States for his summit meeting with President George W. Bush, Putin met with several U.S. television journalists. Asked about Chechnya, the Russian president gave a long answer that mostly repeated points that he and his spokesmen have made before. But toward the end of his response he said the following (as translated by Chechnya Weekly from the text placed on the official website Kremlin.ru): “The United States has now voted in the Security Council in favor of recognizing several individuals as international terrorists. The State Department has announced that it has included several figures in its list of international terrorists. But unfortunately we know that on the executive level there are continuing attempts at contacts with some people under the pretense that what's happening is only work with the opposition. Even with people who are included on the United Nations list. These people come, say that they are 'political activists' and present them- selves in all sorts of guises. But I assure you, I know about this precisely—they are maintaining connections with their allies in Afghanistan, including those who have gone there from the Northern Caucasus of Russia and who are fighting with arms in their hands against American soldiers. Such absurdities on the working level must be stopped, the sooner the better.”
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict, Government
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Russia, United States, Europe, Asia, Chechnya, North Caucasus
  • Author: Lawrence Uzzell
  • Publication Date: 09-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Have Chechen separatist guerrillas been fighting against the United States and its allies in places such as Iraq or Afghanistan—and if so, how many have been captured or killed? The U.S. government has been strikingly passive in seeking to learn (or, at least, in publicly disclosing) the answer to that question. Chechnya Weekly began pressing for a precise, concrete answer months ago, but we have yet to get one from the White House, Pentagon, or State Department.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict, Government
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Russia, United States, Iraq, Europe, Asia, Chechnya
  • Author: Baris Omali
  • Publication Date: 11-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: On October 7, the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA), dominated by the ruling Justice and Development Party (JDP) approved a resolution authorizing the government to send Turkish troops to Iraq. After the 358 to 183 vote, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan commented that Turkey had “come to the decision that it can't totally fulfill its duty as a neighbor in this big transformation process of Iraq with only political, humanitarian and economic support, without military contributions.” Although over 60 percent of the Turkish public were opposed to deployment, Erdogan committed his personal prestige and unchallenged authority over JDP parliamentarians to ensure a positive vote in contrast to the parliamentary reverse on March 1.
  • Topic: Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Seda Ciftci
  • Publication Date: 08-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: As Ankara struggled through its typically hot summer, the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA) was hard at work. The Justice and Development Party (JDP) government, which has 366 seats in the 550-member TGNA, pushed through major legislative packages tied to European Union (EU) requirements for eventual Turkish membership just before its two-month legislative break on August 1. Parallel to its efforts related to its declared primary objective of EU membership, the government also managed to successfully conclude the fifth IMF review, leading to the release of a $500 million tranche and the easing of the debt repayment schedule by the IMF, while endeavoring to repair the crucial relationship with the US.
  • Topic: Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Bulent Aliriza
  • Publication Date: 06-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: It has been three months since the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA) failed to muster the appropriate number of votes to allow the United States to open a northern front through Turkey against Iraq. In retrospect it is clear that the March 1 vote reflected the public opposition to the imminent conflict, the perceptible ambivalence of the powerful military establishment and its reluctance to provide an unambiguous recommendation - in particular at the National Security Council (NSC) meeting one day before the vote - and the attitude of President Ahmet Necdet Sezer. It also reflected the inability of the governing Justice and Development Party (JDP) to overcome its deep misgivings about the war to give a sufficiently clear lead.
  • Topic: Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Veronique de Rugy, Charles V. Peña
  • Publication Date: 04-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: The threat of direct terrorist attack against the United States proved to be real. And the subsequent anthrax cases point to the possibility of a future bioterrorist attack, including use of the deadly smallpox virus. The nature of terrorism is such that it is impossible to accurately predict the probability of such an attack, but the potential consequences are catastrophic. Therefore, it is a serious threat that deserves serious attention.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Government
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe
  • Author: Doug Bandow
  • Publication Date: 04-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: The United States possesses the most powerful military on earth, one that has proved its potency in ousting the Taliban from power in Afghanistan. Yet, even as the military was gearing up to perform so well, some people were calling for a return to conscription or, more dramatically, for institution of mandatory national service for all young people.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Government
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Europe, Taliban
  • Author: Gary T. Dempsey
  • Publication Date: 03-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: Since September 11, 2001, there have been calls from various quarters to embrace nation building as a tool for combating terrorism. The logic behind the idea is that “good” states do not do “bad” things, so Washington should build more “good” states. That idea, however, relies on several dubious assumptions—for example, that embarking on multiple nation-building missions will reduce the potential for anti-American terrorism. If anything, nation building is likely to create more incentives, targets, and opportunities for terrorism, not fewer. The nation-building idea also draws on false analogies with the past. For example, some people assert that Europe's experience under the Marshall Plan can be readily duplicated in a whole host of countries and that, with enough economic aid, trained bureaucrats, and military force of arms, “bad” states anywhere can be transformed into open, self-sustaining, peaceful states.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Government, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Europe, Washington
  • Author: Gary Clyde Hufbauer, Ben Goodrich
  • Publication Date: 05-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: The US Export-Import (Ex-Im) Bank is again at the center of controversy, as Congress debates the terms for its charter renewal. This policy brief critiques provisions of the House and Senate versions of the reauthorization bill and summarizes three justifications for Congress giving adequate support to the Ex-Im Bank. Box 1 provides a capsule description of the Ex-Im Bank's operations.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Matthew Levitt, Ehud Waldoks
  • Publication Date: 05-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: The State Department's annual Patterns of Global Terrorism report, which is scheduled for release in late May, is set to be a much longer and detailed document than before. Among the many issues the report will have to address is the resurrection of secular Palestinian terrorist groups, some of which have not been listed on U.S. government terrorist lists in the past. The steady escalation of terrorist tactics and operations over the past year and a half is due as much to these groups as it is to Palestinian Islamist groups such as Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad that have dominated the Palestinian terrorism scene over the last decade. Palestinian nationalist terrorism currently has two components: 1) dormant secular groups such as the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) — referred to collectively as "the fronts" — that have been revitalized after several years of inactivity; and 2) newly active nationalist, non-Islamist militias connected to the Palestinian Authority (PA), such as the Fatah Tanzim.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Government
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Palestine, Arab Countries
  • Publication Date: 04-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxford Analytica
  • Abstract: First-quarter GDP grew by 5.8%, the US government announced on Friday, 26 April 2002. The high growth figure will provide sustenance for optimists and help support high stock market valuations. However, the contrast with high-profile corporate earnings disappointments, together with a closer look at sources of demand, suggests a far weaker performance in the rest of 2002 and in 2003.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 02-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxford Analytica
  • Abstract: The largest US-based pension fund last week listed 13 emerging markets that its fund managers will be allowed to invest in. Investment firms appointed by the California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS) will actively manage up to one billion dollars in equity investments in 13 countries and unwind CalPERS' equity positions in markets outside them. As a large institutional investor, CalPERS' decisions have an important signalling role for a variety of institutional funds.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, International Trade and Finance, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: John Samples
  • Publication Date: 03-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Russell Feingold (D-Wis.), joined by Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), have introduced legislation adding new regulations on campaign finance. Their proposed law bans “soft money” going to political parties, restricts advertising by for-profit corporations and labor unions, and greatly increases the ambit of federal election law.
  • Topic: Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Stephen Moore, Stephen Slivinski
  • Publication Date: 02-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: This report presents the findings of the Cato Institute's fifth biennial fiscal policy report card on the nation's governors. The grading mechanism is based on purely objective measures of each governor's fiscal performance. Those governors with the most fiscally conservative records— the tax and budget cutters—receive the highest grades. Those who have increased spending and taxes the most receive the lowest grades.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Ronald J. Sutherland
  • Publication Date: 02-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: Critics of the oil industry allege that the industry receives large and unwarranted government subsidies and that rival technologies, such as those for ethanol, renewable energy, and energy efficiency, deserve compensating government preferences. The evidence indicates that, on balance, the oil industry is not a net beneficiary of government subsidies. The facts point in the opposite direction. The oil industry is more harmed than helped by government intervention in energy markets.
  • Topic: Environment, Government, Industrial Policy
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Alaine de Janvry, Elisabeth Sadoulet
  • Publication Date: 04-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Who should have access to land? What is the optimum definition of property rights and use rights in each particular context? Is government intervention justified to influence who has access to land and under what conditions? These questions remain, in most developing countries, highly contentious. It is indeed the case that land is all too often misallocated among potential users and worked under conditions of property or user rights that create perverse incentives. As a consequence, investments to enhance productivity are postponed, and responses to market incentives are weakened; many poor rural households are unable to gain sufficient (or any) access to land when this could be their best option out of poverty; land remains under-used and often idle side-by-side with unsatisfied demands for access to land; land is frequently abused by current users, jeopardizing sustainability; and violence over land rights and land use is all too frequent. With population growth and increasing market integration for the products of the land, these problems tend to become more acute rather than the reverse. As a result, rising pressures to correct these situations have led many countries to reopen the question of access to land and land policy reforms. While large scale expropriative and redistributive land reforms are generally no longer compatible with current political realities, there exist many alternative forms of property and use rights that offer policy instruments to alter the conditions of access to land and land use. A rich agenda of land policy interventions thus exists to alter who has access to land and under what conditions for the purposes of increasing efficiency, reducing poverty, enhancing sustainability, and achieving political stability.Historically, the most glamorous path of access to land has been through statemanaged coercive land reform. In most situations, however, this is not the dominant way land was accessed by current users and, in the future, this will increasingly be the case. Most of the land in use has been accessed through private transfers, community membership, direct appropriation, and market transactions. There are also new types of state-managed programmes of access to land that do not rely on coercion. For governments and development agents (NGOs, bi-lateral and international development agencies), the rapid decline in opportunities to access land through coercive land reform should thus not be seen as the end of the role of the state and development agents in promoting and altering access to land. The following paths of access to land in formal or informal, and in collective or individualized ownership can, in particular, be explored (Figure 1): (1) Intra-family transfers such as inheritances, inter-vivo transfers, and allocation of plots to specific family members; (2) access through community membership and informal land markets; (3) access through land sales markets; and (4) access through specific non-coercive policy interventions such colonization schemes, decollectivization and devolution, and land market-assisted land reform. Access to land in use can also be achieved through land rental markets (informal loans, land rental contracts) originating in any of these forms of land ownership. Each of these paths of access to land has, in turn, implications for the way land is used. Each can also be the object of policy interventions to alter these implications of land use. The focus of this policy brief is to explore each of these paths and analyse how to enhance their roles in helping increase efficiency, reduce poverty, increase equality, enhance sustainability, and achieve political stability.
  • Topic: Demographics, Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Amy Hawthorne
  • Publication Date: 10-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: October 12 marks the first anniversary of the terrorist attack on the American warship USS Cole, an attack that killed seventeen sailors while the ship was refueling in Aden harbor, Yemen. A year later, although United States and many Yemeni officials are certain that Osama bin Laden was behind the incident, the file remains open. Reflecting the continuing evolution of policy in the wake of September 11, the United States now describes Yemen as a "partner" in the fight against terror, whereas the State Department's 2000 "Patterns of Global Terrorism" report stated that the Yemeni government "did little to discourage the terrorist presence in Yemen."
  • Topic: Security, NATO, Arms Control and Proliferation, Government, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Simon Henderson
  • Publication Date: 02-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: As Secretary of State Colin Powell and former President George Bush celebrate the tenth anniversary of the liberation of Kuwait, for many Gulf Arabs the occasion marks a decade since Saddam Husayn's tanks put the lie to the promises of security that local leaders had made to their people. After popular trust in these Gulf leaders was tarnished by their need to rely on U.S. and allied forces to expel the Iraqis (despite the billions of dollars of oil wealth these rulers had spent on high-tech weaponry over the years), Gulf monarchs started to concede to their peoples a greater say in political life.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Government, Human Rights, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Middle East, Kuwait
  • Author: Liat Radcliffe
  • Publication Date: 06-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: The following report evaluates trends in Israeli-Palestinian violence during the past seven months using fatality statistics. This analysis covers the period from the outbreak of the "Al Aqsa Intifada" on September 28, 2000 through to April 30, 2001. The following statistics are based primarily on information provided by the Israeli human rights group B'tselem. This data has been cross-checked for accuracy with the Israeli government and U.S. and other Western media sources. For information about fatalities in earlier periods and about methodology, see Peacewatch #317: "Israeli-Palestinian Political Fatalities During The Barak Government: A Statistical Overvie" and Research Note #8: "Trends in Israeli-Palestinian Political Fatalities, 1987-1999."
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, Israel, Palestine, Arabia
  • Author: David Makovsky
  • Publication Date: 05-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: As the State Department Assistant Secretary of State for Near East Affairs-designate William Burns seeks to coax Israelis and Palestinians into accepting a sequence of steps to halt the current deterioration of violence that has engulfed the area in recent months, the question is whether there is sufficient political will among the parties to arrive at a mutually satisfactory arrangement.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Government
  • Political Geography: United States, Palestine, Arabia
  • Author: Robert Satloff
  • Publication Date: 02-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: The Israeli people spoke in the most dramatic and convincing fashion. Viewed in the U.S. context, Ariel Sharon won a larger share of the vote — 62.5 percent — than any presidential candidate in history. Essentially, Israel voted to express one word: "enough!" — enough violence, enough concessions, enough perception of weakness. They were particularly voting against Barak, both personally and against the policies that characterized his government (dating not only to Camp David but as far back as the earliest days of his cabinet). Certainly, much of yesterday's vote was against Barak more than it was a vote for Sharon; just as Barak's 1999 landslide was less a vote for him than it was a vote against Bibi Netanyahu; just as Netanyahu's 1996 squeaker was less a vote for him than it was a vote against Shimon Peres. Now it's Sharon's turn.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Foreign Policy, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Israel
  • Author: Sheila A. Smith
  • Publication Date: 09-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: Since the end of the Cold War, U.S. and Japanese policy-makers have successfully reaffirmed the U.S.-Japan security alliance. Yet, even as they have done so, a series of events has revealed a deeper ambivalence in Japan about the terms of the alliance. These events began with the 1995 rape of a school girl in Okinawa by U.S. servicemen, focusing attention on the social costs to residents of hosting U.S. forces. In 1999 came North Korea's launch of a missile over Japan, raising doubts among many Japanese about their alliance partner's ability to protect them. Most recently, the outcome of the 2001 sinking of the Ehime Maru training ship by a U.S. nuclear sub seemed to many to sacrifice Japanese citizens' interests to those of the U.S. military. Taken independently, these developments may seem temporary set-backs to policymakers, but together they suggest that there is increasing impatience among Japan's citizens with the way the alliance is managed. This disconnect between the public and policymakers could, if untended, have serious implications for the U.S.-Japan alliance.
  • Topic: Security, Cold War, Government
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, Asia, North Korea
  • Author: Dore Gold
  • Publication Date: 02-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: Since its independence in 1948, and indeed even in prior times, Israel's rights to sovereignty in Jerusalem have been firmly grounded in history and international law. The aftermath of the 1967 Six-Day War only reinforced the strength of Israel's claims. Seven years after the implementation of the 1993 Oslo Agreements, Prime Minister Ehud Barak became the first Israeli prime minister to consider re-dividing Jerusalem in response to an American proposal at the July 2000 Camp David Summit. The December 2000 Clinton Plan attempted to codify Barak's possible concessions on Jerusalem. Yet they proved to be insufficient for PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat, leading to a breakdown in the peace process and an outburst of Palestinian violence with regional implications. At least the failed Clinton Plan did not bind future Israeli governments or U.S. administrations, leaving open the possibility of new diplomatic alternatives. Only by avoiding premature negotiation over an unbridgeable issue such as Jerusalem can the U.S., Israel, and the Palestinians stabilize the volatile situation that has emerged and restore hope that a political process can be resumed in the future.
  • Topic: Security, Government, International Law, Religion, Sovereignty
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Middle East, Israel
  • Author: Robert C. Johansen
  • Publication Date: 06-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Joan B. Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, University of Notre Dame
  • Abstract: U.S. opposition to creating a permanent international criminal court arises from unwarranted fears that U.S. officials might be wrongly prosecuted. Opposition also rests on a mistaken belief that the United States can protect legitimate national sovereignty only by rejecting international legal constraints on criminal abuses of sovereignty. However, the proposed court would serve U.S. interests by investigating the world's worst international crimes and assigning individual responsibility for them, reducing collective blame for the criminal acts of individuals, discouraging atrocities, and upholding international law while protecting against politically motivated prosecutions.
  • Topic: Government, International Law, International Organization
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Caspar Fithin
  • Publication Date: 04-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxford Analytica
  • Abstract: The US Supreme Court heard oral argument last month on whether 'medical necessity' should override the federal government's blanket prohibition on the use of marijuana. If the Court were to accept this argument, it would provide a powerful boost to the medical marijuana movement and hamper the federal government's ability to pursue its current drugs policy. A ruling in favour of the federal government, however, would constrain the ability of states to formulate independent drug policies. The Supreme Court is likely to sidestep the substantive issue of whether 'medical necessity' allows the distribution of marijuana to seriously ill patients. Its inclination will be to decide the case on a narrow procedural ground which would leave the federal government to decide if it wishes to pursue criminal prosecutions.
  • Topic: Security, Government, Science and Technology
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Caspar Fithin
  • Publication Date: 02-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxford Analytica
  • Abstract: A combination of good fortune and some skilful planning have allowed the Bush administration to make a successful start in office. These factors will probably allow the president to pursue much of his agenda effectively this year. However, difficulties will be encountered once Washington politics becomes preoccupied by the 2002 congressional elections.
  • Topic: Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, Washington