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  • Author: James Andrew Lewis
  • Publication Date: 01-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The Gulf has become a flashpoint for cyber conflict. Cyberspace has become an arena for covert struggle, with the United States, Israel and other nations on one side, and Iran and Russia on the other. Iran has far outpaced the GCC states in developing its cyber capabilities, both for monitoring internal dissent and deploying hackers to disrupt or attack foreign targets. Several such attacks over the past two years were likely either directed or permitted by Iranian state authorities. Even if Iran holds back from offensive actions as nuclear talks progress, the growth in Iranian capabilities remains a potential security threat for other Gulf states. The GCC countries have begun to develop their defensive capabilities, but they will need to expand their defenses and collaborate more effectively to deter future threats.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Defense Policy, Development, Science and Technology
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Iran, Middle East, Israel, Arabia
  • Author: Carolyn Barnett
  • Publication Date: 08-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: While rulers in the Maghreb and the Gulf have long engaged one an-other, until recently neither region held essential strategic importance for the other. Now, several GCC countries are seeking greater influence around the region, including in the Maghreb. Gulf countries have demonstrated their growing interest in the Maghreb through aid and investment, though aid disbursements have been slow to materialize. Tunisia, Libya, Morocco and Algeria all have delicate relationships with the Gulf that intersect with domestic politics, debates over Islam and authority, concerns about instability, the need for stronger economic growth, and aversion to foreign interference. Promoting constructive GCC-Maghreb relations will be most feasible on the economic front. Successful management of enduring tensions will not ensure political and economic stability, but it will make that stability much more likely.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, International Political Economy, Islam
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Libya, Arabia, Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia
  • Author: Stephanie Sanok Kostro, Scott F. Mann
  • Publication Date: 08-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Over the last 10 years, the United States placed great emphasis on securing its borders and improving its immigration process. Concerns about terrorism in the shadow of the September 11, 2001, attacks led to the creation of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) as a means for streamlining and improving the government's ability to protect the United States, its citizens, and its infrastructure inside the nation's borders. From intelligence gathering and sharing to interdiction and apprehension, the goal was to bring all of the essential homeland security agencies in to one federal department and reduce the characteristically disparate and disconnected nature of previous homeland security agencies and responsibilities. Despite attempts to improve efficiency and efficacy, regulating the U.S. border and enforcing U.S. immigration policies remain significant challenges. The complexity of operations required to achieve the stated policy goals of the U.S. government, combined with the sheer volume of border traffic (licit and illicit, human and trade), hampered past attempts at effective border control, and cloud the potential for success of future operational undertakings.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Migration, Terrorism, Immigration, Infrastructure
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Sharon Squassoni
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Nuclear energy seemed set for revitalization until the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in 2011. The accident that melted the cores of three light water reactors raised questions about the costs and risks of nuclear energy in many countries. Some countries have cancelled procurement, others have shut down reactors, and still others have declared a shift away from a nuclear future.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, Environment, Natural Disasters, Nuclear Power
  • Political Geography: China, South Asia, India, Asia, Korea
  • Author: Kiyoaki Aburaki
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: “Decide when it is time to decide, draw a conclusion, don't postpone; this is the type of politics I want to create.” Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda made this declaration in a press conference on June 26 immediately after the passage of the consumption tax-hike bill in the Lower House of the Diet. Noda's conviction to pass a tax increase had a political cost: 57 lawmakers of the ruling Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) voted against the bill, while 15 DPJ members abstained. Former DPJ president Ichiro Ozawa, who leads the anti-tax-hike movement, and his followers created a deep rift within the ruling party over the tax legislation and subsequently damaged Noda's political power base by defecting from the party on July 2.
  • Topic: Democratization, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Japan, Israel
  • Author: Sharon Squassoni, Talitha Dowds
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: In late 2011, Australia decided to allow uranium exports to India, creating an exception from its long-standing policy of exporting uranium only to countries with full-scope safeguards. Australia was one of a handful of countries that had not moved quickly to cash in on Indian nuclear trade. With its huge uranium resources (it is the third-largest producer of uranium ore and holds 40 percent of known uranium reserves), one would expect Australia to be seriously bullish on nuclear energy and active in export promotion. Yet for decades this significant nuclear supplier has struggled to balance domestic and foreign priorities in the nuclear area. This essay explores Australian nuclear trade policy and the decision to supply India.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, International Trade and Finance, Nuclear Weapons, Natural Resources
  • Political Geography: India, Australia/Pacific
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Formed in 2008, the Rural Development Initiative is a five-year, $10 million partnership between CARE, a prominent humanitarian organization, and Cargill, an international producer and marketer of food, agricultural, financial, and industrial products and services. CARE partners with Cargill employees in local communities and along the company's supply chains to improve crop yields, access to markets, and incomes for farmers; enhance the attendance and quality of education programs; and increase access to health care, nutritional programs, and safe drinking water in rural communities. With projects in Ghana, Côte d'Ivoire, Egypt, India, Honduras, Guatemala, and Brazil, the CARE-Cargill partnership seeks to help 100,000 people lift themselves out of poverty by 2013. Through the Rural Development Initiative, CARE and Cargill leverage their respective strengths to improve livelihoods, while at the same time improving Cargill's competitive advantage and fulfilling CARE's mandate.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Economics, Humanitarian Aid, Markets
  • Political Geography: India, Brazil, Egypt, Honduras, Guatemala, Ghana
  • Author: Condoleezza Rice, James L. Jones
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The terrorist attacks of 9/11 represent a watershed for the United States, redefining its national security priorities in the twenty- first century. Today, the greatest threat to the United States is no longer powerful rival states; rather, it is fragile and failing states that pose the greatest danger to U.S. borders. These “ungoverned spaces” with poor, ineffective, or absent governments lack basic services and fall behind on economic development. With today's interconnectivity, these unchecked pockets of the world that propagate corruption, terrorism, and the trafficking of drugs, arms, and humans create major security threats that can permeate across insecure borders
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, National Security, Terrorism, Fragile/Failed State
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Karl F. Inderfurth, Persis Khambatta
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Standard Poor's recently cut its outlook on India's investment rating from stable to negative. The decision was met with shock from India's Ministry of Finance, but it echoed a sentiment currently running through policy discussions about India—that investors and policymakers in and outside of India are looking at the central government with disbelief and disappointment over the stalling of further economic reforms.
  • Topic: Security, Development, Economics, Poverty, Food
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India
  • Author: Duncan Wood
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Although security is commonly seen as the defining issue in Mexico's upcoming presidential election, the country's economic development ranks a close second in voters' minds. On July 1, despite the pervasiveness of the drug war in the political and social discourse, voters will make their decision based largely on the perceived successes and failures of 12 years of rule by the National Action Party (PAN). This is partly because the three main parties have currently presented minor differences in tackling the security problem and partly because the Mexican economy continues to show such a dramatically uneven development pattern. Of particular importance are continuing high levels of inequality manifested in Mexico's society, a direct result of an economic system that, despite its current vitality, still offers little opportunity for upward mobility for most citizens.
  • Topic: Security, Democratization, Development, Economics, Narcotics Trafficking
  • Political Geography: Mexico