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  • Author: Tamás Lattmann, Veronika Bílková
  • Publication Date: 11-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Institute of International Relations Prague
  • Abstract: The Islamic State (IS) must not be recognized as a State. It is an illegitimate non-state actor engaged in serious violations of international law. The use of force against the IS does not have a uniform legal basis. Some of the related actions can be justified on the grounds of the consent of the territorial State (this is the case with the US in Iraq, and Russia in Syria). The legality of other actions against the IS (those of Turkey in Iraq, and of the US in Syria) remains doubtful. The IS is likely to be defeated in the upcoming months. The situation does not require a more active engagement by the Czech Republic beyond what it is already doing (provision of weapons, training of armed and police personnel, etc.).
  • Topic: International Security, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Michal Šimečka, Benjamin Tallis
  • Publication Date: 09-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Institute of International Relations Prague
  • Abstract: The concept of a strategic partnership is gaining prominence in Czech diplomatic practice, but its meaning and implications remain inadequately understood. The policy paper seeks to redress the situation by unpacking the concept and building a framework for understanding strategic partnerships in the Czech context. It argues that while it is not necessary to construct a rigorous definition, more coherence and clarity is needed for strategic partnerships to serve as a meaningful instrument of Czech foreign policy.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Miroslav Tuma
  • Publication Date: 02-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Institute of International Relations Prague
  • Abstract: The 9th Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) was held from 27 April to 22 May 2015 at the UN Headquarters in New York, but it failed. The Czech Republic should engage in urging other countries to achieve progress in nuclear disarmament through a compromise approach known as “the building blocks”. In parallel, it should also actively support the process of emphasizing the humanitarian consequences of the use of nuclear weapons. Also, the Czech Republic’s good relations with Israel should focus on the support for holding a Middle East conference on the creation of a zone free of weapons of mass destruction, a project enjoying long-term EU support. It would also be desirable for the Czech Republic to continue with its strong support for the achievement of the NPT’s universality, the early entry of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty into force and the start of a substantive debate about the main points at the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva.
  • Topic: Nuclear Weapons, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Abdisaid Ali
  • Publication Date: 08-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Africa Center for Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: The growth of Salafist ideology in East Africa has challenged long established norms of tolerance and interfaith cooperation in the region. This is an outcome of a combination of external and internal factors. This includes a decades-long effort by religious foundations in Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states to promulgate ultraconservative interpretations of Islam throughout East Africa’s mosques, madrassas, and Muslim youth and cultural centers. Rooted within a particular Arab cultural identity, this ideology has fostered more exclusive and polarizing religious relations in the region, which has contributed to an increase in violent attacks. These tensions have been amplified by socioeconomic differences and often heavy-handed government responses that are perceived to punish entire communities for the actions of a few. Redressing these challenges will require sustained strategies to rebuild tolerance and solidarity domestically as well as curb the external influence of extremist ideology and actors.
  • Topic: Islam, Religion, Violent Extremism, Global Security
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Oluwakemi Okenyodo
  • Publication Date: 06-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Africa Center for Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: As in much of Africa, the vast majority of security threats facing Nigeria are internal, often involving irregular forces such as insurgents, criminal gangs, and violent religious extremists. Effectively combating such threats requires cooperation from local communities—cooperation limited by low levels of trust in security forces who often have reputations for corruption, heavy-handedness, and politicization. Tackling modern security threats, then, is directly tied with improving the governance and oversight of the security sector, especially the police. Key paths forward include clarifying the structure of command and oversight, strengthening merit-based hiring and promotion processes, and better regulating private and voluntary security providers.
  • Topic: International Relations, Corruption, International Affairs, Governance
  • Political Geography: Nigeria
  • Author: David C. Logan
  • Publication Date: 11-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Institute for National Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: China is developing its first credible sea-based nuclear forces. This emergent nuclear ballistic missile submarine (SSBN) force will pose unique challenges to a country that has favored tightly centralized control over its nuclear deterrent. The choices China makes about SSBN command and control will have important implications for strategic stability. Despite claims that the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Rocket Force will be responsible for all Chinese nuclear forces, Chinese SSBNs currently appear to be under the control of the PLA Navy. However, China may choose to revise its command and control structures as its SSBNs begin armed deterrent patrols. There are three broad command and control models, allocating varying degrees of authority to the PLA Navy or the Rocket Force. China’s decisions about SSBN command and control will be mediated by operational, bureaucratic, and political considerations. A hybrid approach to command and control, with authority divided between the navy and the Rocket Force, would be most conducive to supporting strategic stability.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: Christopher J. Lamb
  • Publication Date: 02-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Institute for National Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: There is strong bipartisan support for Section 941 of the Senate’s version of the National Defense Authorization Act for 2017, which requires the Pentagon to use cross-functional teams (CFTs). CFTs are a popular organizational construct with a reputation for delivering better and faster solutions for complex and rapidly evolving problems. The Department of Defense reaction to the bill has been strongly negative. Senior officials argue that Section 941 would “undermine the authority of the Secretary, add bureaucracy, and confuse lines of responsibility.” The Senate’s and Pentagon’s diametrically opposed positions on the value of CFTs can be partially reconciled with a better understanding of what CFTs are, how cross-functional groups have performed to date in the Pentagon, and their prerequisites for success. This paper argues there is strong evidence that CFTs could provide impressive benefits if the teams were conceived and employed correctly.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: T. X. Hammes
  • Publication Date: 07-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Institute for National Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: Numerous trends are slowing, and may even be reversing, globalization over the next decade or two. Manufacturing and services, driven by new technologies, are trending toward local production. For economic, technical, and environmental reasons, new energy production is now dominated by local sources—solar, wind, hydro, and fracked natural gas. To meet an increasing demand for fresh, organic foods, firms are establishing indoor farms in cities across the developed world to grow and sell food locally. Recent trade flow statistics indicate these factors have already slowed globalization. Technological and social developments will accelerate these inhibiting trends. Voters in the United States and Europe are increasingly angry over international trade. Prospects for passage of major trade agreements are dim.Authoritarian states, particularly China and Russia, are balkanizing the Internet to restrict access to information.Technological advances are raising the cost of overseas intervention while deglobalization is reducing its incentives. This paper argues that deglobalization would have momentous security implications. Accordingly, deglobalization must be monitored closely and if the trend continues,U.S. leaders will need to consider restructuring organizations, alliances,and national security strategy
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Hal Klepak
  • Publication Date: 07-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Institute for National Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: President Barack Obama’s visit to Cuba in March 2016 opened up the possibility of strategic benefits for both nations. Well after over 50 years of hostility, however, it will not be easy to keep this nascent relationship on track. Avoiding missteps requires a deep knowledge of Cuba and particularly its Revolutionary Armed Forces (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias, or FAR). The FAR are a complex and powerful institution that enjoys great public respect—more so than Cuba's Communist Party—and remain central to the functioning of the Cuban economy and state. Broadening rapprochement without the support of the FAR is inconceivable. To build on the historic opening in diplomatic relations, both sides need a better appreciation of the other’s institutional norms and some clear "rules of the road" to guide the relationship. This paper offers insights concerning the FAR. It argues that it will be important to expand cooperation in the right areas and that it will be important to start small, go slow, build trust, consult early and often, let Cuba take the lead, and avoid imposing or reflecting a U.S.-centric view of civil-military relations.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Richard H.M Outzen, Ryan Schwing
  • Publication Date: 05-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Institute for National Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: Fifteen years into the era of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, U.S. influence on his inner circle and support base, the new generation of Turkish strategic thinkers, and the Turkish public at large has diminished rather than improved. American Turkey watchers have grown frustrated with perceived divergence of interests, values, and agendas. A growing number consider Erdoğan and his inner circle autocratic, difficult, ideologically extreme, and dangerous.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Turkey