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  • Publication Date: 05-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: S.Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: Human activities, technology and climate change drive changes to our environmental landscape and societal order. Marine microplastics arising from woeful human use of plastics threaten marine ecology. Excessive consumption of fossil fuels disrupts weather systems and consequently undermines food security. Unequal access between the “haves and have nots” aggravates food insecurity. Without meaningful intervention, annual deaths from food-borne diseases (FBDs) caused by anti-microbial resistant (AMR) bacteria will reach 10 million in 2050. Human displacement continues unabated across state lines as humanitarian crises require fresh responses. Ubiquitous use of information and communications technologies (ICTs) has created a new landscape where cyber-threats target both hardware and software and where truth has become its latest victim. Moreover, social media has been weaponized to breed intolerance. The Annual Conference of the Consortium of Non-Traditional Security (NTS) in Asia held in Singapore recently examined responses to these uncertainties, if not threats to humanity, arising from key disruptions. This report captures the responses and hopes touted by experts at the Conference with the view of providing policy makers and invested scholars interested in such developments with some recommendations towards building resilience within and across states.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Asia
  • Author: Jyrki Kallio
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Although China's statements about the Ukrainian crisis have been weighed very carefully, there are concerns that China is drawing lessons such as 'might is right' and 'geopolitics is all that matters' from the crisis. The hawks in China have adopted a similar tone to that of the Kremlin, with both wishing to see a relatively diminished Western influence in the international arena. The Chinese Dream is all about national rejuvenation, which entails redressing past grievances. Nevertheless, the Dream need not turn into a nightmare for other powers. The increase in China's military budget does not indicate growing ambitions of a global power projection. China's primary concern remains stability both within and without its borders.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Security
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Ukraine, Asia
  • Author: John Lee, Charles Horner
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Hudson Institute
  • Abstract: U.S. administrations and officials are consistently caught flat-footed by the increasing assertiveness of the People's Republic of China (PRC) over disputed territories in the East China and South China Seas. This assertiveness is strident, yet controlled. Beijing's objectives in the region, with respect to maritime issues in particular, have been apparent for several decades. While the United States is well aware of the PRC's "talk and take" approach—speaking the language of negotiation while extending de facto control over disputed areas—U.S. policy has been tactical and responsive rather than strategic and preemptive, thus allowing China to control the pace and nature of escalation in executing talk and take.
  • Topic: International Relations, Diplomacy, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Asia
  • Author: Alain Guidetti
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Geneva Centre for Security Policy
  • Abstract: The visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to Seoul in July 2014 shows how the relations between China and South Korea have taken center stage in North- East Asia. Both countries are building up a growing strategic partnership, as a result of emerging cross-interests in the region and robust trade relations. This dynamic underlines the dilemma Seoul faces in maintaining a strong military alliance with the United States, while turning increasingly toward China as its core partner for both its economic development and its North Korea policy.
  • Topic: International Relations, Economics
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Asia, South Korea, North Korea, Northeast Asia
  • Author: Banning Garrett, Robert A. Manning
  • Publication Date: 03-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: As China's National Party Congress gathered in early March to anoint Xi Jinping and the next generation of Chinese leaders, Beijing's behavior at home and abroad strongly suggested that, while they have strategic goals, they have no strategy for how to achieve them. Beijing seems unable to change course from following a development model it has outgrown and pursuing assertive, zero-sum foreign policies that are counter to its long-term interests.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Corruption, Governance, Reform
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Tural Ahmadov
  • Publication Date: 12-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Global Political Trends Center
  • Abstract: Throughout the years the overwhelming preponderance of US global leadership is debated by scholars and politicians. In light of the 'rise of the rest', this preponderance is either diminishing or still standing. As of now, yet again, the US is a dominant player both economically and militarily. However, economic recession is likely to make the United States put more emphasis on domestic problems and less emphasis on foreign challenges. Since political and economic landscape is swiftly changing overseas, the United States should act accordingly and cooperate with regional powers on issues of mutual interest. Similarly, as current development is under way in the Middle East, the United States should staunchly back Turkey as the regional hub in dealing with Syrian crisis and foiling Iranian menace.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Arms Control and Proliferation, Economics, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Asia
  • Author: Stephen Blank
  • Publication Date: 02-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: Neither the current US administration nor US academics recognize Russia as a major Asian power. Although Russia faces many obstacles to becoming a credible Asian actor, Moscow is making resolute diplomatic overtures to secure its Asian standing. Stephen Blank argues that these activities merit US attention because they enhance understanding of Asian international relations and offset the pronounced ethnocentrism of so much American writing on the subject.
  • Topic: International Relations, Power Politics
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Asia, Moscow
  • Author: Todd Moss, Sarah Jane Staats, Julia Barmeier
  • Publication Date: 06-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: The international financial institutions dramatically increased their lending in 2008–09 to help developing countries cope with the global financial crisis and support economic recovery. Today, these organizations are seeking billions of dollars in new funding. The IMF, which only a few years ago was losing clients and shedding staff, expanded by $750 billion last year. The World Bank and the four regional development banks for Africa, Asia, Europe, and Latin America are asking to increase their capital base by 30 to 200 percent. A general capital increase (GCI) for these development banks is an unusual request. A simultaneous GCI request is a once-in-a-generation occurrence.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Monetary Fund, Financial Crisis, World Bank
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe, Asia, Latin America
  • Author: Thomas G. Mahnken
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation, University of California
  • Abstract: Given the high stakes involved in China's rise, both in Asia and globally, understanding the scope and pace of Chinese military modernization is an important undertaking. This brief applies insights from the theory and history of military innovation to the task of understanding China's development of anti-access and area denial capabilities and provides recommendations on how the United States can improve its ability to detect and recognize Chinese military innovation.
  • Topic: International Relations, Military Strategy
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Asia, North America
  • Author: Katrine Barnekow Rasmussen
  • Publication Date: 03-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: This is a brief English version of a Danish DIIS Report on the foreign policy of Iran. In the Report, Iran's foreign policy is investigated both ideologically and in respect of its pragmatic motivations.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Foreign Policy, Islam, Oil, Weapons of Mass Destruction
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran, Asia
  • Author: Christine Lynch, Devon Tucker, Michael Harvey, Jacqueline McLaren Miller
  • Publication Date: 02-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: EastWest Institute
  • Abstract: Drawing on a diverse array of opinions from Africa, Asia, Europe, and North America, the EastWest Institute's Fifth Worldwide Security Conference brought together specialists from the spheres of policy, academia, and civil society. Participants addressed a variety of issues on the contemporary global security landscape. These ranged from specific security threats (whether illicit trade, the targeting of critical infrastructure or cyber crime) to the role of interested actors (such as business, NGOs, and media), as well as a focus on potential strategies to counter terrorism and extremism (either in terms of constructing global cooperative architectures or, more controversially, the possibility of opening dialogue with the terrorists). A variety of policy recommendations emerged from each session—detailed in the main body of the report—but there were several recurring themes binding the debate together and animating the core arguments of proceedings as a whole. These policy recommendations were not necessarily consensus recommendations but reflected a wide range of debated policy prescriptions.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Economics, Education, Globalization, Human Rights, International Security, Political Theory
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe, Asia, North America
  • Author: Bülent Aras
  • Publication Date: 05-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Ahmet Davutoğlu was appointed Foreign Minister of Turkey on May 1, 2009. Chief advisor to the Prime Minister since 2002, Davutoğlu is known as the intellectual architect of Turkish foreign policy under the AK Party. He articulated a novel foreign policy vision and succeeded, to a considerable extent, in changing the rhetoric and practice of Turkish foreign policy. Turkey's new dynamic and multidimensional foreign policy line is visible on the ground, most notably to date in the country's numerous and significant efforts to address chronic problems in the neighboring regions. Davutoğlu's duty will now shift from the intellectual design of policies to greater actual involvement in foreign policy, as he undertakes his new responsibilities as Minister of Foreign Affairs. The Davutoğlu era in Turkish foreign policy will deepen Turkey's involvement in regional politics, international organizations, and world politics.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Power Politics
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Asia
  • Author: C. Fred Bergsten
  • Publication Date: 07-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: The Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum comprises 21 developed and developing economies that surround the Pacific Rim. The organization was created in 1989 and holds annual Leaders' Meetings that bring together its heads of government. In this policy brief, I assess the record of the APEC over the 20 years of its existence and discuss the world environment in which APEC is likely to be operating in the next 20 years, with a particular focus on the major change in global institutional arrangements implied by the replacement of the Group of Seven/Eight (G-7/8) by the Group of Twenty (G-20) as the chief steering committee for the world economy and, within that group and other international economic organizations, the increasingly central role of an informal and de facto Group of Two (G-2) between China and the United States.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Trade and Finance, Regional Cooperation, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Asia, Australia/Pacific
  • Author: Daniel H. Rosen, Thilo Hanemann
  • Publication Date: 06-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: In 1967 Jean-Jacques Servan-Schreiber published Le defi americain, a call to beware of American multinationals buying up the world. In the 1980s and 1990s it was Japan's turn, spawning books like Clyde Prestowitz's 1993 Trading Places: How We Are Giving Our Future to Japan. Today it is China's outbound foreign direct investment (OFDI) that elicits the most anxiety China's OFDI has reached commercially and geoeconomically significant levels and begun to challenge international investment norms and affect international relations.
  • Topic: International Relations, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Political Geography: China, America, Asia
  • Author: Enika Abazi
  • Publication Date: 04-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Kosovo's independence has revealed shifting strategic landscapes, security concerns and domestic developments in regional and international politics with significant implications for all actors in the region. Russia calculated to restore its lost 'superpower' status and control Serbia's strategic oil industries. Turkey's prompt recognition of independence increased its impact and prevented a stronger Greek-Serb- Russian axis in the region, while strengthening its Western identity. Kosovo's independence will be a test case for keeping peace and stability in the Balkans within the new dynamics of regional and international politics.
  • Topic: International Relations, Diplomacy
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Turkey, Middle East, Asia, Kosovo, Balkans, Albania
  • Author: Pavel K. Baev
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The self-assertive rhetoric of the Russian leadership, in which President Putin's Munich speech marked a shift towards a more aggressive style, has been translated into such demonstrative actions as the resumption of regular patrols by Long Range Aviation and the unilateral suspension of the CFE Treaty. Despite new funding and against confident self-assessments, Russia's strategic arsenal continues to shrink, and many key modernization projects, such as the Bulava missile for strategic submarines, have encountered setbacks. The need for brandishing the diminishing capabilities is driven by the desire to deter the perceived threat of a 'coloured revolution' sponsored by the West, the urge to assert a more solid status than just that of an 'energy super-power', and the complicated intrigues surrounding the on-going reconfiguration of the political leadership. Expanding demonstrations of the dilapidated strategic arsenal increase the risks of technical failures but fall far short of initiating a new confrontation of the Cold War type. The most worrisome point in Russia's ambivalent power policy is Georgia, which has been the target of choice for multiple propaganda attacks, but which now faces the challenge of an external intervention in its domestic crises since Moscow has built up usable military instruments in the North Caucasus. Russia's desire to secure higher international status does not amount to malicious revisionism; so over-reaction to its experiments with muscle-flexing could constitute a greater risk to the Western strategy of engagement than underestimating its ambitions.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Vadim Kononenko
  • Publication Date: 03-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Russia's current foreign policy should be understood as an element of the political regime that was built under Vladimir Putin's leadership. The major domestic impact on foreign policy seems to stem from the inclination among the elites and the power groups to maintain the power status quo in the country whilst profiting from the economic ties with the West. In this context the West becomes perceived as an unwanted external political factor on the one hand, and as a source of profits and financial stability for the Russian elites on the other. The current political system has given rise to a specific kind of foreign policy and diplomacy that both actively criticizes and challenges the West in rhetoric, while furthering economic ties between Europe and Russia's major business players. This contradiction is not self-evident as it is often couched in the assertive discourse of “strong state” and “national interest”. In reality, it is the “special interests” of Russia's state-private power groups and networks that lie behind the country's international standing. As long as the internal order in the country remains as it is, it is not feasible to expect any critical rethinking on foreign policy. The scope for public and expert debate has shrunk tremendously as foreign policy-making becomes increasingly bureaucratic and profit-driven. The prevailing climate of tense relations and diplomatic bickering in Russia-Western relations may linger despite the change of president. This does not mean that stabilization of relations or even engagement with Russia should be ruled out, however. Western actors should pay close attention to the domestic development in Russia, particularly the economic side. Further growth in the economy will push Russia towards a more intense (both in terms of cooperation and competition) interaction with the West. It is in the interests of the West to respond to this development in a consistent and constructive way by anchoring Russia in the rule-based economic environment.
  • Topic: International Relations, Diplomacy, International Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Hiski Haukkala
  • Publication Date: 04-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The post-Cold War EU–Russia relationship has been based on erroneous premises: Russia has not been willing to live up to its original aims of pursuing a western democratic and liberal path; nor have the European Union and its member states been able to develop a coherent policy line that would have consistently nudged Russia in that direction. The lack of a genuinely shared understanding concerning the relationship has resulted in chronic and growing political problems and crises between the parties. The increasingly fraught nature of the EU–Russia relationship has also played to Russia's strengths. It has enabled Russia to re-assert its sovereignty and walk away from the commonly agreed principles and objectives already codified in the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement of 1994. The erosion of the original central aims of the partnership has not resulted in an atmosphere of working relations. Although Russia has been able to get its own way in most of the issues, a relationship worthy of the name “strategic partnership” is currently more elusive than ever. Instead of toning down its relations with Russia, the EU should seek to re-invigorate its approach to the country. It should also acknowledge that despite the current problems the EU's policy on Russia has, by and large, been based on sound principles. Democracy, the rule of law, good governance, respect for human and minority rights, and liberal market principles are all factors that are badly needed in order to ensure a stable and prosperous future for Russia. The EU should, through its own actions, also make it clear to Russia that it deserves respect and needs to be taken seriously. It would be prudent to proceed from the sector that seems to be the key to the current relationship: energy. By pursuing a unified internal energy market and subsequent common external energy policy, the EU might be able to make Russia take the Union level more seriously again. It would also deprive some of the main culprits – Russia and certain key member states alike – of the chance of exploiting the economic and political deals cut at the bilateral level to the detriment of the common EU approach to Russia.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
19. Putin-3
  • Author: Leon Aron
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: In the past nine years, Russian foreign policy has been examined several times in these pages. At no other time, however, has its direction been as troubling as it is today. To understand the causes of this disturbing evolution and to gauge its future course, the changes have to be examined in the context of the regime's ideological and political transformation since 2000, when Vladimir Putin was elected president.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, International Relations, Security, Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Anthony Bubalo
  • Publication Date: 07-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Lowy Institute for International Policy
  • Abstract: Before 2001, Australian policy in the region defined here as West Asia – that stretching from India's western borders across to the eastern shores of the Mediterranean, encompassing Southwest Asia, the Persian Gulf and the Levant – focused on two broad objectives: supporting American-led efforts to promote regional stability, and securing opportunities for Australian exports.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Asia, Australia
  • Author: Justin Liang
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: On September 28, 2007, more than 60 leading experts on China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) convened at Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania, for a 2-day discussion on “The 'People' in the PLA: Re¬cruitment, Training, and Education in China's 80-Year-Old Military.” The 2007 PLA Conference, conducted by The National Bureau of Asian Research and the Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College, sought to investigate the 80-year-old military's human infrastructure, identifying trends in PLA recruitment, education and training, demographics, and historical perspectives.
  • Topic: International Relations, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: United States, Asia
  • Author: Sinikukka Saari
  • Publication Date: 12-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The Duma election and its results reinforce the prevailing undemocratic trends in Russia. The changes in electoral laws, the election campaign and its biased coverage in the Russian media, the Russian authorities' hostile attitude towards international election observation and the so-called Putin's Plan leave very little hope of democratic pluralism developing in Russia anytime soon. Russia's political system has been built gradually over the years. The system aims at controlling the competition for power and securing the political elite's interests. The system is characterised by non-transparent and manipulated political processes, misleading doublespeak on democratic norms, and the misuse of soft and hard administrative resources. Putin's overwhelming popularity does not compensate for the lack of democratic accountability. Likewise, his possible premiership would not strengthen parliamentarism in Russia because the decision is driven by instrumentalism towards political institutions. Instead, it would create a dangerous precedent for an ad hoc separation of power. Western actors should be more aware that the stability that Putin is often praised for bringing about is not build on solid ground, and they should change their policies accordingly. Promoting democracy – and thus longterm stability – in Russia is in western actors' interests.
  • Topic: International Relations, Democratization, Politics
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Dmitri V. Trenin
  • Publication Date: 06-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Russia's recent foreign policy has taken on a combative tone and adopted a revisionist content. Moscow today speaks its mind publicly and freely, and makes clear it no longer wants to be bound by accords concluded when Russia was weak. However, while the Kremlin is clear about what it does not like or want, it has yet to articulate a positive international agenda. In fact, Russia faces a number of fundamental foreign policy choices that cannot be explained by a reference to sheer pragmatism or the show of newly regained power. In dealing with Russia at this stage, the West needs to reach beyond the binary formula of integration or isolation and focus instead on the national interests.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Diplomacy
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia, Moscow
  • Author: Ron Walker
  • Publication Date: 05-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Lowy Institute for International Policy
  • Abstract: The prospect of Australia's selling uranium to India offers major potential benefits both for our exports and our foreign policy. There is however a conundrum as to how this could be done in a way that advances rather than damages Australia's interest in the global enterprise to resist the spread of nuclear weapons and in a rules-based international order.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Nuclear Weapons
  • Political Geography: India, Asia
  • Author: Anthony Bubalo
  • Publication Date: 02-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Lowy Institute for International Policy
  • Abstract: Australia's economic, political and strategic interests in the Middle East and South Asia are growing and policymakers are gradually reassessing the place of these regions in Australia's overall strategic calculus. There is a risk, however, that in this reassessment, the two regions will continue to be viewed distinctly - a distinction that is increasingly artificial in strategic terms.
  • Topic: International Relations
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Asia, Australia/Pacific
  • Author: John H. Makin
  • Publication Date: 01-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: Top economic policymakers from China and the United States met in Beijing in mid-December 2006 for the first round of what has been called the U.S.-China Strategic Economic Dialogue (SED). There is a lot more at stake than the level of China's currency when the world's premier economic sprinter—China—meets with the world's premier economic long-distance runner—America. The fundamental issue at hand is the creation and preservation of wealth of two nations, each of which has much to teach the other. The right outcome from the dialogue would provide a substantial boost to the global economy in coming years, while the wrong outcome would threaten the continuation of global prosperity.
  • Topic: International Relations, Economics
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Beijing, 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: Sahiba Trivedi
  • Publication Date: 01-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: EastWest Institute
  • Abstract: Ambassador Ortwin Hennig is the Vice President and the Head of Conflict Prevention Program of the East West Institute at Brussels. His previous assignments include the Commissioner for Civilian Crisis Prevention, Conflict Resolution and Post-Conflict Peace Building in the German Government; diplomatic postings in Afghanistan, Russia, German Representation at the European Commission and the OSCE in Vienna. He has also served the Office of the German Federal President as a Foreign Policy Advisor. Ambassador Hennig is an alumnus of the NATO Defense College in Rome having specialized in arms control and security policy matters.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Relations, Development
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Russia, India, Asia, Germany, Vienna
  • Author: Jeff Procak
  • Publication Date: 04-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: EastWest Institute
  • Abstract: On April 25, 2007, the EastWest Institute, together with the Kennan Institute, organized in Washington DC a two-hour roundtable discussion on the current state and outlook for US-Russia relations. The roundtable used President Putin's speech presented to the 43rd Conference on Security Policy in Munich on February 10, 2007 as a point of reference. The purpose of this gathering was to examine strategies and approaches to reverse the significant decline in Russian-American relations over the last several years. The seminar was attended by 20 prominent experts from the US and Russia, including foreign policy advisors, representatives of the academic, business, and NGO communities, and mass media. Topics discussed included the most important issues on the US-Russia geostrategic agenda: arms control and nuclear non- proliferation, international energy, Russia's WTO accession, trade and economic cooperation, mutual perceptions and role of the media.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, Washington, Asia
  • Author: Bonnie Glaser, Chietigj Bajpaee
  • Publication Date: 01-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: To better understand perspectives in the United States and China on internal developments in North Korea, the U.S. Institute of Peace and the Center for Strategic and International Studies, in partnership with the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, convened a daylong conference on December 5, 2006. The conference took place on the eve of the resumption of the Six-Party Talks in Beijing, which subsequently ended without tangible progress. The participants discussed North Korea's economy, the role of external actors on North Korea's decision-making, and Chinese and U.S. visions for the future of the Korean Peninsula. The seminar also included a simulation based on a scenario of an explosion at Yongbyon that creates a radioactive plume that moves across the Sea of Japan.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Relations
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, China, Asia, North Korea
  • Author: Beth Cole, Catherine Morris
  • Publication Date: 07-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: Afghanistan supplies more than 90 percent of the world's opium. Despite concerted efforts to tackle the drug problem in Afghanistan, the industry continues to grow at an alarming rate, particularly in the south, where reconstruction efforts lag amidst poor security. Afghanistan's opium crop grew 59 percent from 2005 to 2006, according to UN reports, and officials expect a crop equal to if not greater than the 2006 crop in 2007. Overall, the industry accounts for nearly one-third of the country's economy and remains one of the chief threats to Afghanistan's security and development, as it becomes increasingly linked to corrupt Afghan officials and the Taliban.
  • Topic: International Relations, War
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Asia, Taliban
  • Author: Scott Worden, Christina Caan
  • Publication Date: 07-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: Nearly six years after the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan, efforts to develop civil society are showing tentative signs of progress. Advances are especially evident in the increasing capacity of Afghan non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in Kabul. But the effectiveness of civil society in influencing development in the provinces remains low, and rising insecurity in many regions threatens the future prospects of the nascent Afghan civil society.
  • Topic: International Relations, Civil Society
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Asia
  • Author: Emily Wann
  • Publication Date: 08-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: Nepal is in a period of transition to peace and democracy, progressing on many fronts but encountering some challenges and threats to sustainable peace along the way. King Gyanendra relinquished absolute control and reinstated the House of Representatives on April 24, 2006, underscoring the movement toward democracy. The Maoists and the government of Nepal signed a peace agreement on November 21, 2006, and then a ceasefire agreement on December 8, 2006, ending the ten-year insurgency. An Interim Constitution was adopted on January 15, 2007, and the Maoists joined the government. Despite these positive steps, the Terai region, located in the southern lowlands of Nepal near the border of India, has experienced a surge in violence from the last six months.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Relations, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Asia, Nepal
  • Author: Rachel Steele
  • Publication Date: 08-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: Since the election of new leaders and the establishment of a new constitution, the government of Afghanistan has been trying to prove its legitimacy and ability to foster stability, security, and the rule of law. The Taliban resurgence is playing a major role in public perception of the government's competence and the role of the international forces. Understanding current trends in public opinion can aid in tailoring the international intervention to ensure that prior progress is not lost and that elements corroding the strength of the state are diminished.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Relations, War
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Asia, Taliban
  • Author: Karon Cochran-Budhathoki
  • Publication Date: 08-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: This USIPeace Briefing highlights the findings regarding the security situation in Nepal in the run up to constituent assembly elections scheduled for November 22, 2007. Since February 2007 the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) has held individual meetings and group dialogue sessions on strengthening security and the rule of law in Nepal. These events have taken place in Washington, D.C., Kathmandu, Banke, Siraha, Kailali, Jhapa, Chitwan and Rupandehi Districts. During the sessions and meetings, including with members of the security sector, challenges and solutions to strengthening security and the rule of law were identified and discussed. While election security for the upcoming Constituent Assembly Election was not the primary subject of the discussions, various participants offered a number of recommendations and raised several concerns. Additionally, general security issues, many of which are related to election security, were discussed and can be included in a broader long-term security strategy.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, Washington, Asia, Nepal
  • Author: Linda Jakobson
  • Publication Date: 05-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: China has in a very short time span embraced multilateral mechanisms to address a broad range of issues and avoided confrontation with the United States. Both stances have shaped Asian and European views of a rising China. At present, Asian and European leaders take China's word regarding its peaceful intentions as a rising power. However, Asian and European policy-makers tend to refrain from confronting China too strongly on issues sensitive to Beijing (poor implementation of intellectual property rights, disregard for human rights, etc). The more prosperous China grows, the less influence any other country will have over Beijing's policies. A rising China is a challenge to others because of its sheer size, its great need for imported energy, and the environmental degradation it causes due to its ongoing industrialization. The troubled relationship between China and Japan is one of increasing concern and could lead to aggravated tensions in East Asia.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development, International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Frédéric Grare
  • Publication Date: 02-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: The risk of an Islamist takeover in Pakistan is a myth invented by the Pakistani military to consolidate its hold on power. In fact, religious political parties and militant organizations are manipulated by the Pakistani Army to achieve its own objectives, domestically and abroad. The army, not the Islamists, is the real source of insecurity on the subcontinent.
  • Topic: International Relations, Ethnic Conflict, Religion
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Asia
  • Author: Nicholas R. Lardy
  • Publication Date: 10-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: In December 2004 China's top political leadership agreed to fundamentally alter the country's growth strategy. In place of investment and export-led development, they endorsed transitioning to a growth path that relied more on expanding domestic consumption. Since 2004, China's top leadership, most notably Premier Wen Jiaobao in his speech to the National People's Congress in the spring of 2006, has reiterated the goal of strengthening domestic consumption as a major source of economic growth. This policy brief examines the reasons underlying the leadership decision, the implications of this transition for the United States and the global economy, and the steps that have been taken to embark on the new growth path.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development, Economics
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Asia
  • Author: Anders Åslund
  • Publication Date: 03-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: On January 1, Russia became the chair of the Group of Eight (G-8), the exclusive group of the biggest industrial democracies. This chairmanship raises many eyebrows. Russia was originally included in the G-8 to help lock in its democratic reforms, 1 but Russia is no longer even semidemocratic. Last year, US senators John McCain and Joseph Lieberman sponsored a resolution urging President Bush to work for the suspension of Russia's membership until the Russian government accepted and adhered to “the norms and standards of free, democratic societies as generally practiced by every other member nation of the Group of 8 nations.” Jeffrey Garten ( Financial Times , June 28, 2005) has called Russia's chairmanship “farcical,” saying, “Two trends are changing the world for the better—freer markets and democratization. . . . But, alone among the summit member Russia is moving in the opposite direction. . . . Moscow's leader - ship of the G-8 reduces the credibility and the relevance of the group to zero.”
  • Topic: International Relations, Democratization, Industrial Policy
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Albert Kiedel
  • Publication Date: 01-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: What are the implications if China sustains nine-percent growth through 2010? This is the basic question posed by conference organizers. The relevant time frame is what matters most. If China merely maintains nine-percent growth until the year 2010, the implications are not great. Too much is left unknown about what comes after 2010. Even with nine-percent growth over the next five years, China in 2010 will still be at a relatively low level of performance, both overall and in per-capita terms. But if sustaining nine-percent growth to 2010 means that China has launched on-going reforms that will continue to engineer institutional changes needed for a market economy's successful commercial and political management, then the resulting successful development trajectory in the rest of the century will generate profound and, from today's perspective, unexpected consequences.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development, Economics
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: F. Stephen Larrabee, Jeffrey Simon, Jan Neutze, Steven Pifer
  • Publication Date: 02-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: Since his inauguration in January 2005, Ukrainian President Viktor Yush-chenko has repeatedly stated that his foremost foreign policy goal is his country's integration into European and Euro-Atlantic institutions. “Joining Europe” today, be it preparing a country for a bid to enter the European Union or NATO, is an extraordinarily complex business. It will require the development of a consensus on a Euro-Atlantic policy course among the country's political leadership. It will also require an effective and coherent policy coordination structure. As the experience of other Eastern European countries has demonstrated, integration into the European Union or NATO is not just the responsibility of the foreign and defense ministries. It also requires coordination with the ministries of economy, justice, agrarian policy, transportation and communications, internal affairs – indeed, virtually every ministry in the Ukrainian Cabinet.
  • Topic: International Relations, NATO
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Ukraine, Asia
  • Author: Scott Snyder, Ralph Cossa, Brad Glosserman
  • Publication Date: 05-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: It has been nine months since the fourth round of Six-Party Talks concluded with a joint statement of principles. Unfortunately that statement now appears to be the high-water mark of the six-party process rather than a baseline for future negotiations. Even if the prospects for near-term movement on the negotiating front appear slim, the process may still prove useful as a crisis management tool until negotiations are once again possible.
  • Topic: International Relations, Nuclear Weapons, Peace Studies
  • Political Geography: Asia
  • Author: Emily Hsu, Beth DeGrasse
  • Publication Date: 02-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: The Afghan government and international community have charted out a joint strategy to tackle the country's most pressing challenge: building state institutions. Approved earlier this month at a conference in London, the Afghanistan Compact maps out the country's way ahead and reaffirms the shared commitment of the international community. USIP held a Current Issues Briefing in early February 2006 to review the Afghanistan Compact. The speakers at the briefing were Barnett Rubin, director of studies at the Center on International Cooperation at New York University, and Alex Thier, senior advisor in USIP's Rule of Law program. Beth DeGrasse, coordinator of USIP's Afghanistan Working Group, moderated the discussion.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, New York, Asia
  • Author: Martin Rødbro
  • Publication Date: 07-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: A party to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) since 1985, North Korea in 2003 admitted that the country had nuclear weapons; a message that stunned the world. The announcement was made following a long conflict with the International Community (IC) where first the North Korean regime had limited International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspections in 1992 and since had been playing a dangerous tit-for-tat game with the IC over its nuclear program.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Nuclear Weapons
  • Political Geography: Asia, North Korea
  • Author: John Feffer
  • Publication Date: 12-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Foreign Policy In Focus
  • Abstract: The latest recruitment brochure from the Central Intelligence Agency, which beckons the uninitiated to be a part of a mission that's larger than all of us, opens to reveal an image of the red-roofed entrance to Beijing's Forbidden City. From an oversized portrait on the ancient wall, Chairman Mao and his Mona Lisa smile behold the vast granite expanse of Tiananmen Square. The Cold War is over, and the Soviet Union is gone. The cloak-and-dagger games of Berlin and Prague have been replaced by business and tourism. But Chinaland of ancient secrets, autocratic leaders, and memories of suppressed uprisingsstill holds out the promise of world-historical struggle that can help the CIA meet its recruitment goals.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Cold War
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Asia, Soviet Union
  • Author: John Feffer
  • Publication Date: 10-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Foreign Policy In Focus
  • Abstract: North Korea's decision to return to the negotiating table is a win-win-win situation, at least temporarily. The United States, China, and even North Korea gain from the announcement. However, the boost given to each country—a modest “October surprise” for the Bush administration, a diplomatic achievement for China, and a stronger negotiating position for North Korea—will not carry over into the negotiations themselves. A decision to talk, after all, does not translate automatically into a decision to compromise.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, Asia
  • Author: John Feffer
  • Publication Date: 10-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Foreign Policy In Focus
  • Abstract: Five years ago, when George W. Bush took office, North Korea didn't claim membership in the nuclear club. Its plutonium reprocessing facilities were frozen. It was even willing to negotiate away its missile program.
  • Topic: International Relations, Nuclear Weapons
  • Political Geography: United States, Asia, North Korea
  • Author: Jeff Feffer
  • Publication Date: 09-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Foreign Policy In Focus
  • Abstract: This paper was produced under the auspices of a research project sponsored by the Sejong Institute. It will be published in book form later this year. The author would like to thank the following people for their helpful suggestions on earlier drafts: Ruediger Frank, Sang-jin Han, Chuck Hosking, Karin Lee, Wonhyuk Lim, Marcus Noland, and Kie-duck Park. He would also like to thank Randy Ireson, Erica Kang, Rajiv Narayan, Richard Ragan, and Sun-song Park for agreeing to be interviewed.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: Asia, North Korea
  • Author: Marius Vahl
  • Publication Date: 05-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: To describe the Transnistrian conflict as 'frozen' is becoming less and less appropriate. Although the conflict remains unresolved, there have been a number of significant and at times dramatic developments in recent years, both in the diplomatic efforts to negotiate a settlement, and in the underlying geopolitical alignments and political and economic structures sustaining the conflict. It is argued here that these changes are primarily because of the European Union.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Relations
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Michael Emerson
  • Publication Date: 05-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: On the 10th of May the EU and Russia signed four 'roadmap' documents at summit level in Moscow, on the Common Economic Space, the Common Space of Freedom, Security and Justice, the Common Space of External Security and the Common Space on Research, Education and Culture. This was the culmination of two year's work since the May 2003 summit that decided in principle to create the four spaces as a long-term project. It was intended also to give new momentum to the relationship, after seeing that the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement of 1994 had not become a motor for anything very substantial, while the subsequent phase (in 1999) of swapping common strategy documents also led nowhere in particular.
  • Topic: International Relations, Arms Control and Proliferation
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Steve Jennings
  • Publication Date: 12-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: A year has passed since the tsunami, and it is time to remember the many who lost their lives. It is also time to assess the effectiveness of the relief and reconstruction operations so far. This report is intended to outline the work that has been undertaken to restore and improve the livelihoods of tsunami-affected people. It recognises the poverty in which many people were living before the tsunami. It describes how the tsunami destroyed what meagre livelihoods these people had, and how it threatened to plunge millions more into poverty.
  • Topic: International Relations, Disaster Relief, Humanitarian Aid
  • Political Geography: Asia
  • Author: Michael Swaine, Minxin Pei
  • Publication Date: 11-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: The rapid deterioration in Sino-Japanese relations in recent years has raised geopolitical tensions in East Asia and could embroil China and Japan in a dangerous strategic conflict that could be threatening to U.S. interests. China's rise, Japan's growing assertiveness in foreign policy, and new security threats and uncertainties in Asia are driving the two countries increasingly further apart. Political pandering to nationalist sentiments in each country has also contributed to the mismanagement of bilateral ties. But Japan and China are not destined to repeat the past. Their leaders must ease the tensions, restore stability, and pursue a new agenda of cooperation as equals. For its part, the United States must play a more positive and active role.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Relations
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, China, Israel, East Asia, Asia
  • Author: Anders Åslund
  • Publication Date: 08-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Russia's regime has gone through a major aggravation during the first year of President Vladimir Putin's second term. The regime suffers from serious overcentralization of power, which has led to a paralysis of policy making. Putin's power base has been shrunk to secret policemen from St. Petersburg. Although his popularity remains high, it is falling. Neither unbiased information nor negative feedback is accepted. As a result, the Putin regime is much more fragile than generally understood. Russia's current abandonment of democracy is an anomaly for such a developed and relatively wealthy country, and it has made Russia's interests part from those of the United States. The United States should not hesitate to promote democracy in Russia, while pragmatically pursuing common interests in nonproliferation and energy.
  • Topic: International Relations, Democratization, Government
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, America, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Veron Mei-Ying Hung
  • Publication Date: 04-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: The George W. Bush administration in September 2002 laid out in the “National Security Strategy of the United States” its strategy toward China: “We welcome the emergence of a strong, peaceful, and prosperous China.” During a trip to Asia in March 2005, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice adopted a similar phrase to welcome “the rise of a confident, peaceful, and prosperous China.”
  • Topic: International Relations, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Shanghai, Asia
  • Publication Date: 09-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Nepal is in turmoil and the monarchy is in question. King Gyanendra had calculated that his authoritarian moves since October 2002 would return order to a land wracked by Maoist insurgency and political instability but he has failed. The seven months since the royal coup have seen security degenerate under a royal government with no plans for peace and democracy. The Maoists seized the initiative by announcing a unilateral three month ceasefire on 3 September 2005. The international community needs to recognise that its calls for palace/political party reconciliation as the sole path toward stability are unrealistic. New lines need to be explored, beginning with support for the ceasefire and the tentative dialogue underway between the parties and the Maoists.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, Sovereignty
  • Political Geography: Asia, Nepal
  • Author: Michael Fullilove
  • Publication Date: 07-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Lowy Institute for International Policy
  • Abstract: The relationship between the UN and Asia can seem unfamiliar and distant. Most of New York's energy is consumed by the Middle East and Africa rather than Northeast, South and Southeast Asia; the international organisation can seem Atlanticist in orientation. On the other side of the Pacific Ocean the strict view of state sovereignty adopted by many Asian capitals leads them to keep the UN at arm's length. As always, however, the story is more complex: we need to differentiate between the UN's work in Asia on the one hand, and Asian behaviour at the UN on the other. Since 1945, the UN has contributed to the Asian security order but only at the margins, its security role circumscribed by power politics and Asian approaches to security. By contrast, Asian states have always been keen to exercise their prerogatives in New York, viewing their UN activities as a marker of sovereignty and a source of prestige. The Brief reviews this history and sets out the current stances of the three major regional powers — China, India, and Japan — towards the UN.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Organization, United Nations
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, China, India, Asia
  • Author: Nicholas Eberstadt
  • Publication Date: 10-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: Contrary to conventional wisdom, which holds the North Korean state to be an unremittingly hostile “negotiating partner,” history actually demonstrates that Pyongyang can be a highly obliging interlocutor under certain very specific conditions. All that is necessary to “get to yes” with the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) is to concede every important point demanded by the North Korean side while sacrificing vital interests of one's own. The mid-September “breakthrough” at the six-party talks in Beijing would appear to conform precisely to this long-established pattern. The vaunted outcome—a long-desired “consensus statement” inked by North Korea and the other five governments engaged in protracted discussions over North Korean denuclearization—is being celebrated by diplomatic sophisticates in Seoul, Beijing, Moscow, Tokyo, and Washington.
  • Topic: International Relations, Diplomacy, Nuclear Weapons
  • Political Geography: Washington, Beijing, Asia, North Korea, Tokyo, Korea, Seoul
  • Author: Nicholas Eberstadt
  • Publication Date: 08-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: In the nearly six decades since the United Nations approved the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, more than one constitutional democracy presiding over an ethnically homogeneous populace—governing a nationality, if you will—has been faced with the prospect of a humanitarian crisis afflicting compatriots living beyond its borders. And on more than one occasion, such states have been moved by those same crises to affect the rescue of their countrymen—by welcoming them into the homeland, embracing them as fellow citizens, and permitting them to enjoy the opportunities and benefits of life under secure, constitutional, and democratic rule. The Federal Republic of Germany faced one such crisis in the very earliest days of its existence. That particular humanitarian emergency entailed the plight of the unlucky people who came to be called Vertriebene: ethnic Germans—most of them women and children—who, by no fault of their own, had to flee before the harsh and vindictive specter of Soviet expansion.
  • Topic: International Relations, United Nations, War
  • Political Geography: Asia, Soviet Union, Germany
  • Author: James R. Lilley
  • Publication Date: 04-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: Nationalistic competition between Japan and China could undermine progress on economic and security concerns in east Asia. U.S. diplomacy has an important role in preventing that.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Democratization, Economics
  • Political Geography: Japan, China, Asia
  • Author: Nicholas Eberststadt
  • Publication Date: 02-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: North Korea recently announced that it had “manufactured nukes,” that “these weapons” would be kept “for self-defense under any circumstances,” and that Pyongyang would immediately suspend its participation in further six-party denuclearization talks for an indefinite period. So much for probing North Korea's nuclear intentions. That game is now over. With the illusions of the international community's engagement theorists suddenly and nakedly exposed, the rest of us are obliged to face some unpleasant truths about the unfolding proliferation spectacle in the Korean peninsula.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Nuclear Weapons
  • Political Geography: Asia, North Korea
  • Author: Lt. Colonel Gordon B. Hendrickson
  • Publication Date: 12-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact, NATO has enlarged its membership twice with countries formerly under Soviet influence and control, and the Alliance is now preparing to begin the process for a third expansion effort. During this time, Russia has watched the borders of NATO creep ever closer to its own, but has generally been powerless to prevent it. Although NATO has taken pains to include and consult with Russia regarding its actions and future plans, the Kremlin cannot reasonably be expected to continue to watch NATO's expansion eastward without eventually pushing back hard. Without question, many significant issues and challenges must still be solved before enlarging the Alliance once again. In light of this, NATO must work rigorously to continue to keep Russia engaged in a productive and mutually beneficial relationship as both sides work through the future obstacles that inevitably will arise in the NATO -Russia relationship.
  • Topic: International Relations, NATO
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia, Soviet Union
  • Author: Frances G. Burwell
  • Publication Date: 02-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: For the past decade, both the United States and the governments of Europe — including the European Union — have sought to engage Russia with the goal of having a stable and democratic country increasingly integrated into the western political and economic system. Recently, however, many U.S. and European observers have become concerned that the Russian government seems to be moving in a more authoritarian direction, centralizing government decision-making, while backsliding on some reforms and neglecting others. Although economic growth has been robust, there is less confidence about the application of the rule of law. Instability persists in many of the states neighboring Russia, offering opportunities for regional conflict and for misunderstanding between Russia and the West.
  • Topic: International Relations
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Ralph A. Cossa, Scott Snyder, Brad Glosserman
  • Publication Date: 11-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: The forthcoming resumption of Six-Party Talks to eliminate nuclear weapons from the Korean peninsula is expected to build on the Joint Statement of principles released at the end of the last round on September 19, 2005. While some have criticized the vagueness of the Joint Statement, it represents the first tangible progress in identifying common principles and objectives in two years of sporadic meetings. If North Korea has indeed made a “strategic decision” to abandon its nuclear weapons programs – a thesis still to be tested – it may provide a basis for future progress. For this to occur, however, a more specific negotiating road map and implementing process must be developed. It is important to assess where the current guidelines might lead and to identify the "commitments for commitments" and "actions for actions" that might be envisioned as next steps.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Nuclear Weapons
  • Political Geography: Asia, North Korea
  • Author: John Gershman
  • Publication Date: 11-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Foreign Policy In Focus
  • Abstract: President Bush is in Asia this week for a series of meetings, including bilateral meetings in Japan, South Korea, China, and Mongolia and attending the economic leaders meeting of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum. This trip comes on the heels of a disastrous trip by President Bush to Latin America, but there is little sign this trip will do much to rescue the President's sinking foreign policy reputation.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, China, Asia, South Korea
  • Author: Wade Huntley
  • Publication Date: 10-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Foreign Policy In Focus
  • Abstract: Nuclear nonproliferation advocates worldwide welcomed the joint agreement issued September 19 by the participants in the "Six-Party Talks" process aimed at denuclearizing the Korean peninsula. The agreement evinces not only a commitment by North Korea to end all nuclear weapons development, but also a validation of a negotiated approach to the current Korean nuclear crisis which both North Korea and the United States have, at various times, resisted.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Relations, Nuclear Weapons
  • Political Geography: United States, Asia, North Korea
  • Author: John Feffer
  • Publication Date: 10-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Foreign Policy In Focus
  • Abstract: On September 19, North Korea agreed to give up its nuclear program. As part of the same agreement, which followed the latest round of the Six Party Talks, the United States pledged not to attack or invade North Korea, to coexist peacefully with the country, and to work toward normalized relations. The United States and other parties to the agreement — China, Japan, Russia, and South Korea — offered to put together an energy package for North Korea.
  • Topic: International Relations, Diplomacy, Nuclear Weapons
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Asia, South Korea, North Korea
  • Author: Zia Mian, M.V. Ramana
  • Publication Date: 09-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Foreign Policy In Focus
  • Abstract: The July 18 joint statement by U.S. President George Bush and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has attracted a great deal of comment. The focus has been on the possible consequences of U.S. promises to support India's nuclear energy program in exchange for India clearly separating its military and civilian nuclear facilities and programs and opening the latter to international inspection.
  • Topic: International Relations, Nuclear Weapons, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: United States, India, Asia
  • Author: Sonali Kolhatkar, Jim Ingalls
  • Publication Date: 09-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Foreign Policy In Focus
  • Abstract: The United States has supposedly created new "democracies" in Afghanistan and Iraq, but these endeavors give democracy a bad name. Sure, the two countries have some ingredients of representative democracy, such as elected officials and a constitution. But both countries are still beset by grinding poverty, insurgencies, and entrenched militia forces that make the exercise of democracy either impractical or dangerous. Both countries have high numbers of foreign troops occupying their land and terrorizing the population while hunting "terrorists." And both countries' governments answer to their respective U.S. ambassador on most issues. In the midst of such a violent and coercive environment, Afghans are pressing ahead with the latest in a series of "democratic" exercises imposed by the United States: the first Afghan parliamentary elections in four decades will take place this Sunday, September 18. Even though many Afghans hope that the elections will empower them to end their troubles, the fear is that the elections will probably be as undemocratic in practice as every other U.S.-inflicted Afghan institution.
  • Topic: International Relations, Democratization, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Asia
  • Author: Ian Williams
  • Publication Date: 08-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Foreign Policy In Focus
  • Abstract: Within a day of arriving at the United Nations John Bolton, the former lobbyist for Taiwan and advocate for one permanent seat on the Security Council, the United States, had cut a deal with the Chinese representative. China wants to stop an additional permanent Security Council seat for Japan. The United States had promised Japan its support in return for its loyalty over Iraq, but hated Germany more than it loves Japan. So the two agreed to thwart the attempt by the G-4 (Brazil, Germany, India, and Japan), to secure permanent seats during the current reform proposals.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, United Nations
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, China, India, Taiwan, Asia, Brazil, Germany
  • Author: Conn Hallinan
  • Publication Date: 05-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Foreign Policy In Focus
  • Abstract: At first glance, the growing tension between China and Japan seems almost inexplicable. Massive anti-Japanese demonstrations in China over events that took place more than half a century ago? A heated exchange filled with mutual threats over an offshore petroleum field that western oil companies think is not worth exploiting? Has a Shinto shrine and slanted textbooks really driven the two great Asian powers to the edge of a Cold War or worse?
  • Topic: International Relations, War
  • Political Geography: Japan, China, Israel, Asia
  • Author: Mohan Malik, Frank Ching, Willy Lam, William R. Hawkins
  • Publication Date: 04-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: China Brief, The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: One of Beijing's worst nightmares seems to be coming true. Having apparently steadied the course in the Middle East, the Bush administration is turning to Asia to tame its long-standing “strategic competitor.” While this particular term has been shelved since 9/11 – and Sino-U.S. relations have improved thanks to China's cooperation with Washington's global anti-terrorist campaign – there are signs at least from Beijing's perspective that Washington is spearheading multi-pronged tactics to contain the fast-rising Asian giant.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: China, Israel, Asia
  • Publication Date: 04-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: On March 31 — April 1, 2004, the governments of Germany and Afghanistan will co-host a conference in Berlin entitled "Afghanistan and the International Community: A Partnership for the Future." At this conference, the Afghan government will present to donor governments and international financial institutions its plan for rebuilding the country, "Securing Afghanistan's Future."
  • Topic: International Relations, Development, International Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Asia
  • Author: John Bowan
  • Publication Date: 08-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Lowy Institute for International Policy
  • Abstract: Beijing's successful bid for the 2008 Olympic Games gives China a unique opportunity to signal its emergence as a leading player in the mainstream of international affairs. The Games will provide a unique opportunity to showcase to the international public, as well as to foreign governments and international business, China's technical and organisational capabilities, its cultural and social achievements, and its standing and potential as a global economic power and partner. The ongoing strong commitment to the Games by the national Government, and the rapid and efficient progress made to date by the Beijing Olympic organisers, are impressive; from a technical point of view, China's challenging Olympic project is on track. The Games will make some limited contribution to the extraordinary economic and technological development China is making, particularly in environmental protection. Similarly, the Games have the potential to make some incremental contribution to improving human rights in China. Their significance as a force for change in this area should not be overestimated, however, and the evidence is that the Olympic influence on China's human rights has so far been limited. Despite the good cooperation at the Olympic level that has developed between China and Taiwan in recent years, the hosting of the Games would not stand in the way of drastic action by China if Taiwan pursued independence beyond the limits of its tolerance. Australia's cooperative Olympic links with China, developed during Beijing's bid, add a valuable dimension to the strong and important relationship between the two countries.
  • Topic: International Relations, Civil Society, Development
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Claude Barfield
  • Publication Date: 10-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: Senator John Kerry and President George W. Bush offer distinct visions of how free trade would operate for the next four years. Senator Kerry has staked out a more unilateralist position with promises to review all trade agreements to strengthen labor and environmental sanctions, while President Bush reinstated trade promotion authority and expanded free trade agreements. The next president will face challenges regarding the WTO Doha Round and markets in Latin America and Asia.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Democratization, Economics
  • Political Geography: Asia, Latin America
  • Author: Scott Wallsten
  • Publication Date: 04-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: Although success stories do exist, most high-technology cluster-development projects do little to enhance regional economic growth. The taxpayer costs for a wide array of tax incentives offered by politicians to corporations and research institutes as inducements to move facilities into their districts are rarely recouped, and often only wealthy organizations and developers benefit from the projects.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Democratization, Economics
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Nicholas Eberstadt
  • Publication Date: 02-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: Russia, whose birth rates have declined and whose mortality rates have dramatically increased in the last several decades, faces a demographic crisis. Thus far, Russian political leaders have focused on trying to increase birth rates, but a greater sense of urgency must be applied to diminish mortality rates and to respond to health threats, including HIV/AIDS.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Democratization, Economics
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Piers Blaikie, Joshua Muldavin
  • Publication Date: 06-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: How we arrive at knowledge—and how we draw on knowledge to make policy—have been the subject of vigorous debate and analysis. Simple models of expertise and action are gradually yielding to a more complex vision of how truth speaks to power and power talks back. The Himalayan region—where scientists, statesmen, and citizens confront a unique set of environmental challenges and political legacies—provides a powerful case study. For more than a century, it was believed that over-use by local farmers and pastoralists threatened fragile mountain and river environments. Beginning in the colonial era and continuing into the present, governments have strictly curtailed traditional land-use practices. In the 1980s, scholars began to question the science on which those restrictive laws were based. But new science has not, in most cases, led to new policy. This disconnect inspires questions about the nature of both science and policy, their influence on each other, and whether each could benefit from greater openness to the insights of people who fall outside the narrow roles of expert and politician.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development
  • Political Geography: Asia, Australia/Pacific, Southeast Asia
  • Author: T.C. Chang
  • Publication Date: 05-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: The development of tourist destinations that transcend national borders, first envisioned in the 1950s, gained momentum in the 1990s. Whether facilitated by large regional organizations such as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) or bilateral agreements, countries—especially smaller ones— have worked to identify and leverage their neighbor's strengths. Singapore, for example, adopted a national tourism plan based on the concept of "borrowed attractiveness." It has compensated for its limited natural resources and high costs by collaborating with Indonesia and Malaysia, which contribute cheaper labor and land in exchange for infrastructure, financing, and expertise. The city-state also aggressively sells its tourism expertise overseas and aspires to be Asia's tourism hub. But Singapore's experience demonstrates that regional tourism, while diversifying tourism development opportunities, can also perpetuate inequities between wealthier and poorer collaborators and present serious challenges to businesses operating in unfamiliar settings.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development
  • Political Geography: Asia, Australia/Pacific, Singapore, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Matthew Oresman, Drew Thompson, John C.k. Daly, Harvey Stockwin
  • Publication Date: 12-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: China Brief, The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: While much of the world is fixated on China's booming economic growth and its ravenous appetite for energy, untidy diplomatic loose ends in the form of territorial disputes with neighbors have many of the countries bordering the Asian giant nervous. Though Beijing's claims over Taiwan remain the focus of world attention, China is embroiled in unresolved territorial maritime and land issues with no less than thirteen of its neighbors. Given that China's military capability is growing apace with its economy, the potential for military conflict over the disputed regions is similarly on the rise. While China up to now has attempted to address these issues diplomatically, the fact that many of the unresolved border disputes involve potential energy reserves might prompt China to use military force to resolve issues of strategic economic interest.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: China, Israel, Taiwan, Beijing, Asia
  • Author: Willy Lam, Lionel Martin, John Tkacik, Toby Lincoln
  • Publication Date: 10-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: China Brief, The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Beijing is flashing the North Korean (DPRK) card at a time when the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) leadership feels increasingly threatened by an anti-China “containment policy” that Washington is supposedly spearheading with the help of Japan, Taiwan and other Asian countries and regions.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Japan, China, Washington, Israel, Taiwan, Beijing, Asia, North Korea
  • Author: Christine Loh, Willy Lam, Eric Teo, Steven Sun
  • Publication Date: 07-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: China Brief, The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: If China had sufficient economic and military prowess, there seems little doubt the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) leadership would “go teach the U.S. a lesson” for the wrongs it had allegedly inflicted upon on the country. Previous CCP administrations had used similar clauses of indignation – and the assertion of a moral high ground based on self-defense and the preservation of sovereign rights – when they went to war with nations including India, Russia and Vietnam. And while the Chinese party and military leadership may for the time being be deterred by America's superpower status from trying out something rash, tension between China on the one hand, and the U.S. and many Asian countries on the other, is expected to rise in the foreseeable future.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, America, Asia, Vietnam
  • Author: Allan H. Meltzer
  • Publication Date: 11-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: While Alan Greenspan and most analysts continue to discuss the loss of millions of manufacturing jobs since the Bush administration took office, the Labor Department Household Survey shows such claims to be either wrong or greatly exaggerated.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Democratization, Economics
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Michael Swaine, Minxin Pei
  • Publication Date: 02-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: President George W. Bush's visit to China, Japan, and South Korea in February 2002 highlights the vital importance of the Asia-Pacific region to the United States. His stop in China will be especially significant. He will arrive in Beijing on precisely the 30th anniversary of Richard Nixon's historic journey to China, and at a time of notable—if limited—improvement in relations between China and the United States after one of periodic harsh rhetoric and tense confrontation.
  • Topic: International Relations, Diplomacy
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, China, Asia
  • Author: Gen. Jack N. Merritt
  • Publication Date: 09-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: The People's Republic of China (PRC). As of mid-2002, the PRC's policy is to emphasize the positive, stressing its desire for an improved – and hopefully more stable – relationship with the United States. This policy reflects China's recognition of the need for stability at a time of many challenges. In the next few years, the PRC leadership will be seeking to extend economic reform and build prosperity beyond the limited areas in big cities and the eastern provinces that have made great strides in recent years. China will need to adjust the economy to the market-opening demands that World Trade Organization (WTO) membership will bring and it will face the problem of moving successfully over the next decade through a transition in leadership without compromising the continued power of the Party leadership group.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Asia
  • Author: Zia Mia, R. Rajaraman, Frank von Hippel
  • Publication Date: 08-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Foreign Policy In Focus
  • Abstract: The current South Asian crisis seems to have ebbed, but the underlying dynamic remains. The next crisis will be even more dangerous if South Asia's nuclear confrontation develops in the same direction as the U.S.-Russian standoff, with nuclear missiles on alert, aimed at each other and ready to launch on warning. As Lee Butler, former head of the U.S. Strategic Command, has said, the U.S. and Soviet Union survived their crises, "no thanks to deterrence, but only by the grace of God." Will South Asia be so fortunate?
  • Topic: International Relations
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, South Asia, Asia
  • Author: Brenda Shaffer
  • Publication Date: 03-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Iranian president Mohammed Khatami will conduct an official visit to Russia on March 11 through March 15. This constitutes the highest-level visit of an Iranian official to Russia since 1989. There could be an intensification of cooperation between Russia and Iran during Khatami's visit — including on arms sales. In addition to military issues, the delineation of borders along the Caspian Sea will be a focus of discussion. Following talks in Moscow, Khatami will visit St. Petersburg and Kazan, the capital of the autonomous Russian republic of Tatarstan.
  • Topic: International Relations, Sovereignty
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Iran, Middle East, Asia, Moscow
  • Author: Nicholas R. Lardy
  • Publication Date: 05-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: In what has been described as its most important vote this year, the U.S. Congress will soon decide whether to provide permanent normal trade relations to China. A vote is required because, after 14 years of negotiations, China is poised to enter the World Trade Organization (WTO). Assuming China concludes its bilateral negotiations with the European Union by June or July, entry is likely before the end of the year. The cornerstone principle of the World Trade Organization is that members provide each other unconditional Most Favored Nation trade status, now called Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) in U.S. trade law. Current U.S. law precludes granting PNTR to China; as a result President Clinton has asked Congress to amend the law. A negative vote would have no bearing on China's entry into the World Trade Organization, but it would mean that U.S. companies would not benefit from the most important commitments China has made to become a member. Gaining the full range of benefits is particularly important in light of the large and growing deficit the United States faces in its trade with China (Figure 1). A positive vote would give U.S. companies the same advantages that would accrue to companies from Europe, Japan, and all other WTO member states when China enters the World Trade Organization. It would also provide an important boost to China's leadership, that is taking significant economic and political risks in order to meet the demands of the international community for substantial additional economic reforms as a condition for its WTO membership. A positive vote would strengthen bilateral economic relations more generally. That may help place a floor on the broader bilateral relationship, which continues to face critical challenges on security issues, stemming largely from tensions between China and Taiwan, and on human rights issues.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Jonathan G. Clarke
  • Publication Date: 10-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: The foreign policy record of the Clinton-Gore administration deserves a less than stellar grade. At the end of the Cold War, there was an extraordinary opportunity to build a new relationship with a democratic Russia; restructure U.S. security policy in both Europe and East Asia to reduce America's burdens and risk exposure; and revisit intractable Cold War–era problems, such as the frosty relations with Cuba, Vietnam, and North Korea. The administration's performance must be judged within the context of such an unprecedented opportunity for constructive change.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, China, Europe, Israel, East Asia, Asia, North Korea, Vietnam
  • Author: Mark A. Groombridge
  • Publication Date: 04-2000
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: The U.S. Congress is in the historic position of being able to help pro-reform leaders in China move their country in a market-oriented direction. A vote to grant China permanent normal trade relations (PNTR) status will bolster the position of those leaders in Beijing who are attempting to deepen and broaden the scope of China's two-decade experiment with economic reform. Granting PNTR and China's subsequent accession to the World Trade Organization will benefit, not only the United States and the world trading community, but most directly the citizens of China, millions of whom are still mired in abject poverty.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Beijing, Asia
  • Author: Gerald M. Steinberg
  • Publication Date: 07-1999
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: Prime Minister Ehud Barak will not get a period of grace or a post-election honeymoon. Immediately upon taking office, he faces a number of pressing issues. Many of these are domestic - including religious-secular relations and economic concerns.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Middle East, Asia