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  • Author: Chad Michael Briggs
  • Publication Date: 07-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: Paid parental leave can provide important health and educational benefits to children while enabling mothers to remain attached to their prior jobs, which can increase earnings substantially once the mother returns to work
  • Topic: Finance, Domestic politics
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Roger F. Noriega, José Javier Lanza
  • Publication Date: 09-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: As stepped-up counternarcotics policies in Colombia and Mexico have increased pressure on regional drug trafficking networks, organized crime syndicates have relocated operations to Central America, where law enforcement agencies and institutions are ill-equipped to withstand the onslaught. These multibillion-dollar gangs are making common cause with some local politicians who are following a playbook honed by Hugo Chávez in Venezuela. The result in Venezuela was the birth of a narcostate, and similar dramas are playing out in Central America. Like Chávez, caudillos are using the democratic process to seek power, weaken institutions, and undermine the rule of law—generating turmoil that accommodates narcotrafficking. Making matters worse for Honduras is that left-wing activists abroad, in support of ousted president and Chávez acolyte Manuel Zelaya, are waging a very public campaign of outlandish claims seeking to block any US assistance to help the Honduran government resist the drug cartels. It is imperative that US policymakers vigorously support democracy, the rule of law, and antidrug programs in Honduras.
  • Topic: Corruption, Crime, Democratization, War on Drugs, Narcotics Trafficking, Fragile/Failed State
  • Political Geography: America, Latin America, Mexico
  • Author: Gary J. Schmitt, Thomas Donnelly
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: National security is neither a "sacred cow" nor just another federal budget line item. Providing for the common defense of the American people and our homeland is the primary responsibility of policymakers in Washington. However, in an effort to protect social entitlements like Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and the health care reform law from serious deficit and debt reduction efforts, President Obama has proposed not only to raise taxes, but also to cut another $400 billion more from future national security spending. As Obama said on June 29, 2011, "[Outgoing Secretary of Defense] Bob Gates has already done a good job identifying $400 billion in cuts, but we're going to do more."
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Arms Control and Proliferation, Debt, War
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Washington
  • Author: Gary J. Schmitt, Thomas Donnelly
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: Over the past year, actions by the People‘s Republic of China (PRC) have called into question its previous assertions that its rise to great-power status would be peaceful. Whether it was scolding countries around the world about the Nobel Peace Prize awarded to Chinese dissident Liu Xiabo, declaring that its ?core interests? now included some 1.3 million square miles of the South China Sea, dismissing complaints of neighbors as failing to recognize that "China is a big country," ignoring North Korean acts of terror, challenging U.S. naval ships on the high seas, creating new confrontations with Japan over disputed islands, slashing its export of rare earth elements, continuing cyber attacks on American defense and commercial entities, or testing a new stealth fighter during the visit of the American secretary of defense, the picture that emerges is of a China that believes it can now throw its considerable economic and military weight around. It‘s a challenge that the U.S. has been slow to meet and, as a result, led to considerable uncertainty among friends and allies about whether the U.S. is up to that challenge—uncertainty fed in no small measure by prospects of a declining American defense budget.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Arms Control and Proliferation
  • Political Geography: China, America
  • Publication Date: 11-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: The future of America's national security hangs in the balance. Facing a looming Thanksgiving deadline, a select bipartisan panel of 12 lawmakers is struggling to hammer out legislation that would reduce the federal deficit by more than $1.2 trillion over the next 10 years. However, it remains unclear if they will succeed.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Debt
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Kenneth P. Green, Steven F. Hayward
  • Publication Date: 12-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: AEI's environmental team has been especially busy lately responding to numerous press inquiries about the “Climategate” scandal. We reprint below two pieces, one by Steven F. Hayward that appeared in The Weekly Standard, and another by Kenneth P. Green, which appeared on The American. Hayward's piece was mentioned prominently on Fox News Sunday. Green also testified on the science of global warming recently before the Senate Committee on Finance. In addition, Samuel Thernstrom and Lee Lane, who are codirecting AEI's Geo engineering Project, have been following the developments and commenting on them. AEI released an updated version of its Public Opinion Study “Polls on the Environment and Global Warming,” which shows that, even before the latest controversy, opinion about the seriousness of global warming had declined sharply in several recent polls.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Environment, Science and Technology
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: John H. Makin
  • Publication Date: 12-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: A new truth of geopolitics has emerged during 2009. It is that the complex and rapidly evolving Sino-American relationship has become the most important bilateral relationship either country has. To this observation, made recently by William C. McCahill Jr. in the November 13 special issue of The China Report, must be added another claim: the course of the Sino-American relationship in both the economic and the political spheres will play a growing role in determining the levels of global economic and geopolitical stability. Trips like President Barack Obama's three-day visit to Shanghai and Beijing November 15–17 will probably be made with increasing frequency in coming years.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: United States, China, America, Shanghai, Beijing
  • Author: John H. Makin
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: Japan experienced a disastrous decade of economic stagnation and deflation from 1991 to 2001 after bubbles in its stock market and land market collapsed. While some economic pain was unavoidable—given a 60 percent plunge in equity prices between late 1989 and August 1992, accompanied by the onset of what ultimately became a 70 percent drop in land values by 2001—the "lost decade" was not an inevitable outcome. It required a series of persistently wrong economic policy decisions that ignored the lessons learned in America's Great Depression of the 1930s and the subsequent research on the causes of that painful period.
  • Topic: Economics, Human Rights, Human Welfare, Humanitarian Aid, Markets
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, America, Asia
  • Author: John H. Makin
  • Publication Date: 12-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: President-elect Barack Obama faces the most difficult economic challenge confronting an incoming American president since the election of Franklin Delano Roosevelt seventy-six years ago in 1932. When he assumes office on January 20, Obama will need to act decisively with heretofore unprecedented fiscal policy steps, in conjunction with measures by the Federal Reserve to increase the money supply and lower long-term interest rates. All of this must be done to help contain and reverse the accelerating global slowdown by halting the rapidly deepening American recession. We can only hope that other national leaders and central banks will follow suit.
  • Topic: Economics, Markets, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Roger Noriega
  • Publication Date: 08-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: U.S. policy in Latin America and the Caribbean always seems to inspire criticism: Too much, too little, too late. Back off. Get in the game. Don't just stand there, do something. Don't do something, just stand there. Our geographic closeness has meant a rich, natural partnership, but this proximity easily stirs concerns over sovereignty. When the United States is preoccupied with events in other parts of the world, regional pundits accuse Washington of indifference. If we speak clearly on the issues in Latin America, we are excoriated for poking our nose “where it doesn't belong.” So where does this leave U.S. foreign policy in the region? It could be that what we do may not be as important as how we do it. The first step in developing a new paradigm for engaging the Americas is using the 2008 election cycle here at home to develop a serious domestic constituency for our policy. Then we should shape that policy through a conscientious dialogue with stakeholders in the region.
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance, Political Economy, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Washington, Moscow, Latin America
  • Author: Roger Noriega
  • Publication Date: 06-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: Not long ago, the governments of the Americas recognized the value of working together to consolidate the historic, promising trend toward democracy. Now, with democracy being dismantled in several nations and being assailed by authoritarian Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez Frías, Latin American countries seem to have abandoned the fraternal ideal of inter-American solidarity. The United States and the Organization of American States (OAS) can both do more to salvage the regional commitment to democracy, but unless Latin American and Caribbean governments are willing to stand together to defend their principles, the end of democratic solidarity is in sight.
  • Topic: Democratization, Political Economy, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Latin America, Caribbean, Venezuela
  • Author: John H. Makin
  • Publication Date: 06-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: The American consumer is a very persistent spending machine. It is American consumption growth running at higher than 4 percent annualized— well above its long-term average—that has kept the economy comfortably out of recession for the past six months as the housing slowdown has subtracted more than a percentage point from growth. Even with a substantial additional drag on the U.S. economy from other areas—inventory liquidation, weakening net exports, and rapidly rising gasoline prices—the American consumer's spending surge has still been enough to keep GDP growth in positive territory.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Markets
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Charles Murray
  • Publication Date: 02-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: In January, W. H. Brady Scholar Charles Murray stepped back from current education debates about reauthorization of the 2002 No Child Left Behind Act and education funding in the president's budget to ask more fundamental questions about the goals that should shape American education in the future. This On the Issues is adapted from essays published in the Wall Street Journal on January 16, 17, and 18, 2007.
  • Topic: Development, Education, Government
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Thomas Donnelly, Colin Monaghan
  • Publication Date: 03-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: The White House has recently taken important steps to ensure that the tenets of the Bush Doctrine endure beyond the end of President George W. Bush's administration, including a new strategy in Iraq and an increase in the size of U.S. land forces. But as time grows short, the president needs to attend closely to three matters. The first of these—a surge in U.S. efforts in Afghanistan—was discussed in the February 2007 edition of National Security Outlook, is a need as obvious and pressing as Iraq and an important factor in the urgency of rebuilding land forces, especially the Army. The second and third factors are less frequently discussed but essential for the long-term viability of the Bush Doctrine and the continuation of the Pax Americana: articulating a strategy for the “Long War” in the greater Middle East and devising a genuinely global response to the rise of China. This issue of National Security Outlook is devoted to the second factor, the strategy for winning the Long War in the Middle East.
  • Topic: Government, National Security, War
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, China, Iraq, America, Middle East, Asia
  • Author: Thomas Donnelly
  • Publication Date: 02-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: With the recent announcements of a new strategy for Iraq and a commitment to begin increasing the size of U.S. land forces, the White House has taken two important steps to ensure that the tenets of the Bush Doctrine endure beyond the end of President George W. Bush's administration. Since 9/11 and indeed since the beginning of this administration, strategy has been made by an odd combination of ad hoc improvisation and expansive rhetoric. The day-to-day business of fitting means to ends and filling in the policy blanks has either been delegated to subordinates, left to the bureaucracy, or put in the “too hard” box. As time grows short, Bush needs to attend closely to three further matters. The first is as obvious and pressing as Iraq and an important factor in the need to rebuild land forces, especially the Army: a surge in U.S. efforts in Afghanistan. The second and third factors are less frequently discussed but essential for the long-term viability of the Bush Doctrine and the continuity of the Pax Americana: articulate a strategy for the “long war” in the greater Middle East and devise a genuinely global response to the rise of China. This issue of National Security Outlook begins a series devoted to these three measures of the enduring meaning of the Bush Doctrine.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, National Security
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, China, Iraq, America, Asia
  • Author: Roger F. Noriega
  • Publication Date: 02-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: "America is addicted to oil," President George W. Bush told the nation in his January 31 State of the Union address, "which is often imported from unstable parts of the world." Spelling out a plan for using technology "to develop cleaner, cheaper, more reliable alternative energy sources," the president set a worthy goal to "make our dependence on Middle Eastern oil a thing of the past." Although the president's long-term vision is of a country less dependent on petroleum, a near-term solution for being less reliant on "unstable" sources of energy can be found in encouraging resource-rich nations in the Western Hemisphere to adopt sound policies for developing their oil and gas industries. Without a concerted effort right now engaging government and industry, however, we may witness some countries with vast potential embrace statist models that squander their natural resources and make them less reliable and less stable partners.
  • Topic: Economics, Energy Policy, Environment
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: John H. Makin
  • Publication Date: 12-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: A weak housing sector has accompanied every American recession since 1965, but not every episode of housing weakness has accompanied a recession. An annual drop in the growth rate of residential investment (a good measure of homebuilding activity) of more than 10 percent has coincided with a recession five of the seven times it has occurred since 1965. (In 1967 and in 1995, declines in residential investment occurred without a recession.) A significant drop in residential investment therefore appears to be a necessary condition, but not a sufficient condition, for a U.S. recession.
  • Topic: Economics, Human Welfare, Markets
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: John H. Makin
  • Publication Date: 11-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: The U.S. economy has slowed to a level below its trend growth rate during the second half of 2006. Trend growth, the rate that can be sustained over time without rising inflation, is probably about 3 percent, having been reduced by a quarter of a percentage point by weaker productivity data. As has often been the case over the past five years, the slowdown itself has set into motion market adjustments that may mitigate or even reverse it. Since August, interest rates on benchmark tenyear treasuries have dropped by about 60 basis points. That reduction, coupled with a stock market that is rising in part because of lower interest rates, has caused an easing of financial conditions equal to nearly 100 basis points since late June on the Goldman Sachs Financial Conditions Index. Meanwhile, since August, the price of oil has dropped by about $18 per barrel—which, if sustained, would be enough to add about 0.7 percentage points to U.S. growth over the next year.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Markets
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Newt Gingrich
  • Publication Date: 10-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: We meet five years after the initial attack on American soil. However we should note we come together twenty-seven years after what Mark Bowden in Guests of the Ayatollah called “the first battle in America's war with militant Islam”—the seizure of the American embassy and the 444-day hostage taking of fifty-two Americans in total violation of international law.
  • Topic: International Relations, Politics, Terrorism, War
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: John Yoo
  • Publication Date: 09-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: Accusations of imperial ambitions have flooded the political landscape as President George W. Bush has used his executive powers to improve counterterror strategies, but is Congressional anxiety warranted? Or is a stronger executive branch characteristic of an America at war and symbolic of how the Constitution intended presidential power to be employed?
  • Topic: International Relations, Politics, Terrorism, War
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Michael A. Ledeen
  • Publication Date: 07-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: September 11 happened when Osama bin Laden looked at us and thought we were ready to be had. We were politically divided and squabbling over everything. We clearly were not prepared to take casualties in direct combat. The newly elected president seemed unable to make a tough decision. And so bin Laden attacked, expecting to deliver a decisive blow to our national will, expecting that we would turn tail and run as we had in Somalia and that he would then be free to concentrate his energies on the defeat of local apostates, the creation of his caliphate, and the organization of Muslim revenge for the catastrophes of past centuries. Within a few months he was driven out of Afghanistan, his organization was shattered, the Arab street he had hoped to mobilize was silenced by the shock and awe of the total victory of the Americans, and he became an instrument of forces greater than himself. If he still lives, he is the servant of the Shiite mullahs, making propaganda movies and audiotapes to bolster the morale of the constantly shrinking number of his admirers, while the mullahs order his followers to martyr themselves against Iraqi civilians.
  • Topic: International Relations, Terrorism, War
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Iraq, America, Middle East
  • Author: Charles Murray
  • Publication Date: 04-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: This much is certain: the welfare state as we know it cannot survive. No serious student of entitlements thinks that we can let federal spending on Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid rise from its current 9 percent of GDP to the 28 percent of GDP that it will consume in 2050 if past growth rates continue. The problems facing transfer programs for the poor are less dramatic but, in the long term, no less daunting; the falling value of a strong back and the rising value of brains will eventually create a class society making a mockery of America's ideals unless we come up with some- thing more creative than anything that the cur- rent welfare system has to offer. So major change is inevitable—and Congress seems utterly unwilling to face up to it. Witness the Social Security debate of last year, a case study in political timidity. Like it or not, we have several years to think before Congress can no longer postpone action. Let's use this time to start thinking outside the narrow proposals for benefit cuts and tax increases that will be Congress's path of least resistance.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Economics, Health, Human Welfare
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Frederick W. Kagan
  • Publication Date: 03-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: The debate about American policy and strategy in Iraq has veered off course. A number of myths have crept into the discussion over the past two years that distort understanding and confuse discussion. It is possible and appropriate to question the wisdom of any particular strategy proposed for Iraq, including the Bush administration's strategy, and there is reason to be both concerned and encouraged by recent events there. But constructive dialogue about how to choose the best way forward is hampered by the distortions caused by certain myths. Until these myths recede from discussions about Iraq strategy, progress in those discussions is extremely unlikely.
  • Topic: Security, War
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, America, 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: 03-2005
  • 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 percent 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: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Roger F. Noriega
  • Publication Date: 10-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: The fourth regional Summit of the Americas in Mar del Plata, Argentina, on November 4–5, will be a test of courage for the region's leaders. Pressured by genuine popular dissatisfaction, they will either commit unequivocally to finish the hard work of creating economic opportunity for the region's 128 million poor, or they will let warmed-over populism undermine the consensus behind free-market reforms and democracy itself. The stakes are high, and the leaders must use the summit process to advance the reform agenda for their peoples' sake. At the summit, President George W. Bush will, no doubt, press his colleagues to reemphasize their commitments to defend democracy and the rule of law, deepen economic reforms, and expand trade as a recipe for sustained, equitable growth. But there is a significant number of Latin leaders who may try to scuttle this work plan and serve up sympathetic rhetoric to cynically court the poor.
  • Topic: International Relations, Democratization, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: America, Argentina, South America
  • Author: James Q. Wilson
  • Publication Date: 12-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: National Review, at its founding in 1955, had as its mission stating and defending a conservative view in a nation that many believed had known only a liberal tradition. It was a difficult task, not only because of liberalism's apparent supremacy, but because it was not easy to define a conservative alternative. Conservatism could mean free-market economics, the reassertion of a traditional morality, or the endorsement of a religious or classical basis for moral thought. In the spirited discussions that took place in this magazine and elsewhere, each of these views had its proponents, and—as they made quite clear—their views were often in conflict. Individualism and free-market economics could leave morality to personal and even aberrant judgments, but a revival of moral thought and a reassertion of its religious basis could easily suppress individual choice and impose regulatory restraints on the market.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Ethnic Conflict, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: John E. Calfee
  • Publication Date: 09-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: If we know anything about the American tort liability system, we know that it works badly when it gets infected by junk science. The recent Vioxx verdict in Angleton, Texas, is a case in point. The jury awarded $253 million to the widow of a man who died after taking the now-infamous pain reliever. The award will almost certainly be reduced to something like $5 million or $10 million because it ignored statutory limits on punitive damages, and it may eventually get thrown out because of mistakes by the judge. But even at “only” $10 million a case, a string of adverse Vioxx decisions would prove an expensive example of the triumph of the junk lawsuit over science. Most press accounts portray the jury's decision as simply a reflection of medical science, which supposedly has indicted and convicted Vioxx of causing excess heart attacks. This view prevailed in the four months after September 30, 2004, when Merck voluntarily pulled Vioxx from the market. Those months saw vituperous debate and criticism of both Merck and the Food and Drug Administration in leading medical journals. A renegade FDA staffer testified at congressional hearings along with other critics.
  • Topic: Development, Government, Human Welfare, Science and Technology
  • Political Geography: America
  • 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: Thomas Donnelly
  • Publication Date: 12-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: Over the past six months, the Bush administration has upgraded its budding “strategic partnerships” with Japan and India. Along with the steady “special relationship” with Great Britain, what is beginning to emerge is a global coalition system—it is too soon to call it a true alliance—for the post–Cold War world. Much work remains to be done to translate the expressions of similar political interests and values into usable military strength. Still, the prospects for expanding the number of genuine “stakeholders” in the Pax Americana are quite bright.
  • Topic: International Relations, NATO
  • Political Geography: Britain, United States, America
  • Author: Frederick W. Kagan
  • Publication Date: 11-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: Victory in war, and particularly in counterinsurgency wars, requires knowing one's enemy. This simple truth, first stated by Sun Tsu more than two millennia ago, is no less important in the war on terrorism today. It has become almost common wisdom, however, that America today faces an enemy of a new kind, using unprecedented techniques and pursuing incomprehensible goals. But this enemy is not novel. Once the peculiar rhetoric is stripped away, the enemy America faces is a familiar one indeed. The revolutionary vision that undergirds al Qaeda's ideology, the strategy it is pursuing, and the strategic debates occurring within that organization are similar to those of Marxism-Leninism-Stalinism at various periods. What's more, the methods that led to the defeat of that ideology can be adapted and successfully used against this religious revival of it.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Terrorism, War
  • Political Geography: America
  • 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
  • Author: Thomas Donnelly
  • Publication Date: 07-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: To those who follow the politics of national security and defense, it came as no surprise recently when Senator Hillary Clinton (N.Y.) put herself in the vanguard of Democrats calling for a substantial increase in the size of the active-duty army. Hillary—the one-named superstar of Democratic politics— actually has been working hard over the past few years to burnish her credentials on these issues, particularly in regard to Iraq. She seems to grasp what many in her party still cannot: in the post-9/11 world, the job of an American president is to be a wartime commander in chief.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Iraq, America
  • Author: Thomas Donnelly
  • Publication Date: 06-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: In reelecting George W. Bush, Americans voted to continue foreign policies often caricatured at home and abroad as militaristic, expansionist, and unilateralist. The question is why a majority of voters backed Bush in the face of these charges. Does the Bush Doctrine, which urges the transformation of the political order in the greater Middle East and the broader international order in ways that defend and promote human freedom, constitute a radical break in the practice of American statecraft? Or is the Bush administration's approach—and the general public's acceptance of it—better explained by the “strategic culture” of the United States, the precepts of which can be traced through the history of U.S. foreign policy to the founding of the republic?
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Globalization
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Middle East
  • Author: Vance Serchuk, Thomas Donnelly
  • Publication Date: 04-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: With China's declaration of an anti-secession law, Washington has received a timely if unwelcome reminder of the depth of Beijing's determination to retake Taiwan and the reality of geopolitical rivalry in East Asia. Contrary to the crisis-management mentality that too often has governed U.S. China policy, however, the anti-secession law represents an important strategic blunder by Beijing and an important opportunity for the United States—one that, if properly managed, could actually advance American interests in the region more than anything U.S. policy planners would otherwise hatch on their own. After four years in which the White House was preoccupied with more pressing problems in the greater Middle East, the Bush administration should now take advantage of its second term to align U.S. strategy for the Asia-Pacific region with the fundamental tenets of the Bush Doctrine and develop a new framework for its relations with Beijing and Taipei.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, China, America, Washington, Middle East, Taiwan, Beijing, East Asia, Taipei
  • Author: Thomas Donnelly
  • Publication Date: 03-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: More than any of the other armed services, the U.S. Air Force approaches the 2005 Quadrennial Defense Review with a sense of foreboding. Touted just a few years ago as the shining exemplar of the revolution in military affairs and the new American way of war, the Air Force is today under increasing scrutiny from Congress and the Pentagon to justify its procurement priorities in the context of the global war on terror. Neither the Air Force's most fervent detractors nor its most devoted acolytes, however, offer an accurate assessment of the role of air power in the post-9/11 strategic environment. The time is ripe for a more realistic, balanced reappraisal of what air power can—and cannot—be expected to accomplish against present and future threats to U.S. national security.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Vance Serchuk, Thomas Donnelly
  • Publication Date: 01-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: Despite ingrained perceptions of unilateralism, the Bush administration has overseen the most sweeping expansion of American security commitments around the world since the dawn of the Cold War. Even as recriminations over Iraq dominate headlines, the contours of a new alliance system are quietly emerging out of America's partnerships with dozens of countries, from Mali to the Philippines, under attack by al Qaeda and its ideological affiliates. The challenge now is to ensure that this coalition of the willing is also a coalition of the committed—an enduring network of relationships for fighting the war on terror that the Bush administration can bequeath to its successors, be they Democrat or Republican.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, America, Philippines
  • Author: John H. Makin
  • Publication Date: 04-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: Say's Law, named after French economist Jean- Baptiste Say (1767–1832), was promulgated at the time of the Industrial Revolution when some feared that purchasing power would be insufficient to absorb the ever-growing output of the newly mechanized economy. It states simply and reassuringly that supply creates its own demand. More specifically, the production of output tends to generate purchasing power equal to the value of that output.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: China, America, Asia
  • Author: James Q. Wilson
  • Publication Date: 12-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: Contemporary concerns about the influence of religion in U.S. politics tend to ignore the significant contributions made by religion in shaping American democracy. Pluralism of sects explains why religion has been so important in U.S. history and continues to thrive in America.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Democratization, Economics
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • 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: 08-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: The report of the 9/11 Commission should help strengthen American resolve in the war on terror. The report brings greater clarity to the enemy and threats we face, as well as to the methods by which the United States can strengthen national security through a “forward strategy of freedom” in the greater Middle East.
  • Topic: Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Middle East
  • Author: Irving Kristol
  • Publication Date: 06-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: President Ronald Reagan led the West to victory in the Cold War by defying establishment critics. Ignoring those who advocated détente with the Soviet Union, he rebuilt America's military. In spite of those who scoffed at his economic program, his policies reinvigorated the U.S. economy. Together, these restorations of American strength hastened the Soviet collapse.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Democratization, Economics
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Soviet Union
  • Author: Peter J. Wallison
  • Publication Date: 03-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: Some financial analysts worry that high price-earnings ratios reflect unfounded optimism in corporate earnings potential and signal a return to the "bubble" market; however, conventional accounting methods used to determine the value of companies have not kept pace with changes in the U.S. economy and are therefore understating the value of America's most dynamic companies. High price-earnings ratios seem to indicate that investors are wise to that.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Democratization, Economics
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Jagdish Bhagwati
  • Publication Date: 02-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: Recent criticism of overseas outsourcing as costing American jobs is misguided. American job losses are generally due to technical change, whereas outsourcing actually improves the competitiveness of American companies and increases the overall economic pie.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Democratization, Economics
  • Political Geography: America, Bangalore
  • Author: Radek Sikorski
  • Publication Date: 02-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: Although the American media seems to focus exclusively on American--and occasionally British--troops in Iraq, the coalition does include soldiers from Central and Eastern European nations, among others. The difficulties of forming ad hoc international coalitions for military operations, however, may lead the United States to rely in the future upon associations like NATO, which are already experienced in coordinating military operations.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Democratization, Economics
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, America, Europe, Middle East
  • Author: Douglas A. Irwin
  • Publication Date: 02-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: Some critics argue that "outsourcing" of service sector employment to foreign countries will lead to a serious decline in U.S. white-collar jobs. In reality, outsourcing will reshape but not undermine U.S. service sector employment, making companies more efficient. It will also benefit consumers and export businesses.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Democratization, Economics
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Thomas Donnelly
  • Publication Date: 11-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: The defense of the American homeland has always been the core mission of the U.S. military, but the meaning of that responsibility is undergoing a transformation and demands careful rethinking. Specifically, the September 11 attacks and the global war on terror are forcing American strategists to reevaluate conventional assumptions about how missile defense and neighboring nations fit into U.S. national security.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, National Security
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Vance Serchuk, Thomas Donnelly
  • Publication Date: 07-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: With his July 4, 2004, op-ed in the Washington Post, presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Senator John Kerry has attempted to lay claim to the mantle of conservative "realism" in this fall's foreign policy debate. Certainly, there is a heavy dose of campaign strategy in this—the idea of "attacking Bush from the right" is just the sort of man-bites-dog angle that appeals equally to Beltway political professionals and the journalists who cover them. But the irony is that Kerry's "realist" policy prescriptions are themselves profoundly unrealistic, taking little account of the post-9/11 world and reflecting a dogmatic, inflexible, even reactionary ideology. They likewise stand opposed to the great liberal tradition of American strategic culture—a history that links the Founders to the presidencies of Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Thomas Donnelly
  • Publication Date: 06-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: The distance between the strategic objectives of America's national security policy and the institutional capabilities of its military is large—and growing. Around the world, the U.S. Armed Forces—and particularly, the U.S. Army—are increasingly tasked with low-level, long-term counterinsurgency operations against al Qaeda and its allies. But rather than transforming the force for the operational realities of the global war on terror, the new National Military Strategy seems to treat these missions as an afterthought or, in Pentagonese, "a lesser included case." If the United States is to prevail, it is vital that next year's Quadrennial Defense Review address the ends-means gap between an ambitious strategy and a force ill-designed to accomplish it.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Thomas Donnelly
  • Publication Date: 05-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: Despite the best efforts to resurrect the transatlantic bonhomie of the Cold War era, the limitations of any strategic partnership between the United States and Europe are growing increasingly clear. This is not merely a function of fallout over Operation Iraqi Freedom or animosity toward the Bush administration per se. Rather, the split between Europe and the United States reflects a more fundamental clash of strategic cultures. While Americans have historically emphasized preemption, unilateralism, and hegemony in formulating their national security policies, Europeans have preferred balance of power realism. It is time for Washington to recognize that any "partnership" with Europe is as likely to retard as advance U.S. interests in the democratization and liberalization of the Greater Middle East.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Europe, Middle East
  • Author: Thomas Donnelly
  • Publication Date: 02-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: What used to be called the "post–Cold War world" has gone through three distinct periods. First, the "Long 1990s"—beginning with the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and ending with the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001—marked a time of drift and, at least in international politics, American confusion and indecision. The second, from 9/11 until the March 19, 2003, invasion of Iraq, was a period of transition, during which the Bush administration struggled to fashion a response to events that destroyed its illusions that the world's problems could be "managed" by a small knot of confident and competent pragmatists, acting in the spirit of humble realpolitik. The invasion of Iraq marked the start of the third period—a new era of Pax Americana, distinguished by the energetic exercise of U.S. power not simply to protect the status quo of American global preeminence but to extend the current liberal international order, beginning in the Middle East.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, America, Middle East
  • Author: John H. Makin
  • Publication Date: 11-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: The outlook for the global economy has become clouded since the September annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank in Dubai. Going into the meetings, views were broadly optimistic, tied to the familiar, reassuring sense of a recovering U.S. economy, the prospect of rising exports, and a firm dollar. America, an oasis of firmer demand growth in a desert of global excess capacity, was back— again, for the second time since the bubble economy burst in March 2000. Only this time, it was for real, not like the false, post-9/11 recovery that fizzled out in the spring of 2002. Or, so it seemed.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Dubai
  • Author: Karl Zinsmeister
  • Publication Date: 09-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: Until recently, U.S. policy toward Iraq has been handicapped by a lack of acknowledged support for the United States from the Iraqi people themselves. According to most news and media outlets, Iraqi public opinion toward the United States is negative, but a recent study commissioned by The American Enterprise and conducted by Zogby International, a well-known polling agency, indicates Iraqi support for a continued U.S. presence in the region.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Democratization, Economics
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, America, Middle East
  • Author: Kevin A. Hassett, James K. Glassman
  • Publication Date: 08-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: Critics of globalization and America's dominant economic position fail to recognize that the primary beneficiaries of globalization are developing countries, many of which run substantial trade surpluses with the United States. Far from being a predator in the world economy, America offers an invaluable market to the developing world.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Democratization, Economics
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: John E. Calfee
  • Publication Date: 07-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: Congress is considering whether to allow pharmaceuticals exported by American manufacturers to be reimported into the United States. Reimportation would mean importing foreign price controls, which would destroy the pricing structure of the U.S. drug market and have disastrous consequences for future drug research and development.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Democratization, Economics
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Thomas Donnelly
  • Publication Date: 12-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: More than two years after the September 11 attacks, the American military finds itself entrenched in a host of open-ended, low-level counterinsurgency campaigns across the Muslim world. These guerrilla conflicts have become, to no small extent, the operational reality that defines the global war on terror. But our current experience in Iraq—the central front of that broader conflict—suggests that the Pentagon still has a long way to go before it can prosecute these "small wars" with the same primacy it displayed during the "big war" this spring. Thus, if the United States is to succeed in creating a different kind of Middle East, it must create a different kind of military, redefining defense transformation to meet the strategic challenge now before us.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Middle East