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  • Author: Ashley J. Tellis
  • Publication Date: 01-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: China is poised to become a major strategic rival to the United States. Whether or not Beijing intends to challenge Washington's primacy, its economic boom and growing national ambitions make competition inevitable. And as China rises, American power will diminish in relative terms, threatening the foundations of the U.S.-backed global order that has engendered unprecedented prosperity worldwide. To avoid this costly outcome, Washington needs a novel strategy to balance China without containing it.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, Development, Emerging Markets
  • Political Geography: United States, China, America, Washington, Beijing, Asia
  • Author: Ashley J. Tellis
  • Publication Date: 05-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Although meaningful cooperation in the region surrounding Afghanistan is of vital importance, it has been elusive because Afghanistan\'s key neighbors have significantly divergent aims. Engineering a successful regional solution would require the United States to fundamentally transform either these actors\' objectives or their dominant strategies. Achieving the latter may prove more feasible, most crucially vis-à-vis Pakistan. The region\'s history of discord is mainly rooted in the troubled relationship between Afghanistan and Pakistan. Although Pakistan\'s involvement in Afghanistan is colored by its rivalry with India, its relations with Afghanistan are a geopolitical challenge independent of India because of its fears of disorder along its western borders, the unwelcome idea of “Pashtunistan,” and a related long-standing border dispute. Pakistan\'s reaction to these problems has only exacerbated them. As Islamabad, by supporting the Taliban insurgency, has sought to exercise preponderant, if not overweening, influence over Kabul\'s strategic choices, it has earned Kabul\'s distrust, deepened the Kabul–New Delhi partnership, and increased the risk to its relations with Washington—not to mention threatening the lives of U.S. and other coalition forces operating in Afghanistan. Despite widespread support in Afghanistan for ending the war through a negotiated settlement if possible, the Afghan Taliban leadership is unlikely to consider reconciliation unless it is faced with the prospect of continued losses of the kind sustained as a result of coalition military operations in 2010. A regional solution is similarly unlikely as long as Afghanistan and its neighbors, including India, perceive Islamabad as bent on holding Kabul in a choking embrace. Solving these problems lies beyond the capability of American diplomacy, and right now even of the promised diplomatic surge. The best hope for progress lies in continuing military action to alter the realities on the ground— thereby inducing the Taliban to consider reconciliation, while simultaneously neutralizing the Pakistani strategy that is currently preventing a regional solution. To increase the probability of military success, however, President Obama will need to forgo the politically calculated drawdown of combat troops this summer and instead accept the advice of his field commanders to maintain the largest possible contingent necessary for the coming campaign in eastern Afghanistan. Hard and unpalatable as it might be for the president, this course alone offers a solution that will protect the recent gains in Afghanistan and advance American interests over the long term.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Diplomacy, Peace Studies, Treaties and Agreements, War, Insurgency
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, America, Washington
  • Author: Martha Brill Olcott
  • Publication Date: 02-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: With Washington's influence on the Caspian region at its lowest ebb in many years, the Obama administration could reverse this trend with a new approach that accepts Russia's presence and China's interest as historical and geographical givens and emphasizes short- and medium-term problem solving in multilateral and bilateral settings instead of long-term political and economic transformations. The United States can accomplish more in the Caspian region by focusing on military reform and building security capacity than on forming military alliances. The United States should switch from a multiple pipeline strategy to a policy that advances competition by promoting market pricing for energy producers, consumers, and transit states. The United States could facilitate the introduction of renewable sources of energy as a stimulus to economic recovery and a source of enhanced social security. The United States should develop a nuanced strategy that encourages political development through social and educational programs and local capacity building. The Obama administration should name a high-level official as a presidential envoy to this region.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Development, Economics, Nuclear Weapons
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, China, Washington, Central Asia
  • Author: Ashley J. Tellis
  • Publication Date: 11-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: India's Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, will come to Washington on November 24, 2009, for the first state visit hosted by President Barack Obama. This event will be widely viewed as evidence of the importance attached to maintaining the upward trajectory in U.S.–Indian relations. By all accounts, the two leaders have already established a good working relationship—something skeptics feared was impossible given the prime minister's warm regard for President George W. Bush and the differences between Bush and Obama on many issues involving India. The global economic crisis, however, appears to have enhanced the personal collaboration between the two leaders, as many of Singh's ideas for stimulating the global revival have been backed by Obama in various forums, including most recently at the Group of Twenty's summit in Pittsburgh.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, Climate Change, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: United States, Washington, India
  • Author: Douglas H. Paal
  • Publication Date: 06-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Washington has no proactive vision toward a “rising Asia”; “more of the same” will not advance U.S. interests. Decide early on clear U.S. strategic objectives in the region, and signal to China where constructive cooperation will lead. Appoint a high-level advocate for Asia befitting its status as the new global “center of gravity.” Prioritize the bewildering alphabet of organizations and venues to achieve those objectives. Consider inviting China and India to join the G8. Anticipate greater Chinese and Indian military and trade capabilities by developing new multilateral security and economic arrangements in the region. Avoid coalitions based on common values or democracy. Asia is too diverse and complicated for them to succeed. Ditch the “war on terror” rhetoric, which has proved divisive and counterproductive.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, Diplomacy, International Cooperation
  • Political Geography: China, Washington, India, Asia
  • Author: Dmitri V. Trenin
  • Publication Date: 12-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: U.S.–Russian relations matter again. To succeed where Bush has failed, Obama needs to approach Russia strategically: enhancing cooperation where possible, mitigating conflict where necessary. To prevent new conflict and receive Moscow's cooperation, Washington needs to deal seriously with Russian concerns. Leave Russia's domestic politics to the Russians. To keep Ukraine whole and free, the EU integration way is the way. NATO has reached the safe limits of eastward expansion. To protect against missile threats, a pan-European TMD system—which includes Russia—is the best option. On Iran and Afghanistan, Russia should be treated as an equal partner
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Russia, United States, Europe, Iran, Washington, Ukraine, Moscow
  • Author: Rose Gottemoeller
  • Publication Date: 10-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Washington and Moscow's failure to develop a working relationship could lead to a dangerous crisis—perhaps even a nuclear one. There is an immediate need to grab onto the superstructure of the relationship through the STA RT and CFE treaties, both of which require urgent action. A new architecture should follow that to broaden the relationship, including the creation of a new future for security in Europe. Both capitals need to devise a strategy as well as a mechanism to manage the relationship and prevent future crises. A commission of past presidents—U.S. and Russian—would have the authority to confront these monumental tasks.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, America, Europe, Washington, Eastern Europe, Moscow, Georgia
  • Author: Karim Sadjadpour
  • Publication Date: 10-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Although Tehran and Washington appear hopelessly divided, issues of broad mutual concern reveal important overlapping interests. The United States can more effectively support democracy and human rights in Iran with policies that facilitate, rather than impede, Iran's modernization and reintegration in the global economy. The next U.S. president should not immediately seek comprehensive engagement with Tehran, as this might enhance Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's chances of reelection in Iran's June 2009 presidential elections. The United States must deal with those who hold power in Tehran, namely Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Given the widespread mutual mistrust between Washington and Tehran, confidence should be built with negotiations on areas of common interest, such as Iraq and Afghanistan, rather than those of little or no common interest, such as the Palestinian–Israeli conflict or the nuclear issue. When it comes to U.S.–Iranian interaction, the record shows that “secret” or “private” discussions out of public earshot have a greater success rate. Building confidence in the public realm will be difficult, as politicians on both sides will likely feel the need to use harsh rhetoric to maintain appearances. It is imperative that Washington maintain a multilateral approach toward Iran, especially regarding the nuclear issue. Tehran is highly adept at exploiting rifts in the international community and diplomatic efforts to check Iran's nuclear ambitions will unravel if key countries approach Iran with divergent redlines. Powerful spoilers—both within Iran and among Iran's Arab allies—have entrenched economic and political interests in preventing U.S.–Iranian reconciliation.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Weapons of Mass Destruction
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Iran, Washington, Middle East, Israel, Tehran, Palestine
  • Author: Ashley Tellis
  • Publication Date: 12-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Many Americans have blamed the resurgence of al-Qaeda and the Taliban on Pakistan's lackluster performance in the war on terror. Islamabad has indeed been ambivalent, but the convulsive political deterioration in the North West Frontier Province in Pakistan, Islamabad's military ineptitude in counterterrorism operations, and the political failures of the Karzai government in Afghanistan have all exacerbated the problem. Making U.S. aid conditional on Pakistan's performance in the war or undertaking unilateral strikes against terrorist targets in Pakistan would inflate suspicion of Washington's motives, and risk casting Pakistan, a nuclear-armed state, as an American adversary. U.S. policy must instead convince Pakistani elites that defeating terrorist groups serves their own interest, while emphasizing that a terrorist attack emanating from Pakistan would push Washington to adopt more painful tactics.
  • Topic: Security, Nuclear Weapons, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Afghanistan, United States, America, Washington, Asia, Taliban
  • 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