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  • Author: Victor D. Cha, Michael J. Green, Nicholas Szechenyi
  • Publication Date: 01-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Opinion surveys demonstrate that a majority of Americans consider Asia the most important region to U.S. interests and a majority of Asian experts support the Obama administration's goal of a “pivot” or “rebalance” to the Asia-Pacific region.1 Yet doubts have also grown about whether the pivot can be sustained by a president politically weakened by the 2014 midterm results, constrained by budget sequestration, and pulled into crises from Ukraine to Iraq and Iran. On issues from immigration to Cuba policy, the Obama administration and the incoming Republican Congress appear set for confrontation. Yet Asia policy remains largely bipartisan—perhaps the most bipartisan foreign policy issue in Washington. It is therefore critical—and practical— to ask that the White House and the Republican leadership in the Congress chart a common course on policy toward Asia for the next two years. This report outlines concrete areas for action on trade, China, defense, Korea, India, and Southeast Asia.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Politics
  • Political Geography: Asia
  • Publication Date: 07-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Elites in Tunisia and Jordan stress their need to invest in their human resources, because people are the only resources they have. An array of programs has arisen in both countries to help young people learn life and job skills, find appropriate careers, and launch new businesses. Yet a look at recent and ongoing workforce development efforts in each country reveals that these schemes are intended to produce something fundamentally different in each country. Tunisians are working to overcome the legacies of dictatorship and build a new, more democratic system while simultaneously carrying out economic reforms that aim to alter the state’s role in the economy. Jordanians are trying to alter society and economic incentives within a political status quo where too much change too quickly could threaten the political order, and the government therefore faces compelling reasons both to reform and to keep things as they are. This report examines how similar efforts have evolved in these contrasting contexts
  • Topic: Democratization, Economics, Human Welfare, Politics
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Author: Jose J. Villamil
  • Publication Date: 01-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Puerto Rico's economic situation circa 1950 was vastly different than today's. In the 1940s through the first half of the 60s, the island experienced a sustained boom, with annual growth rates on the order of 7 percent; the island was hailed as a model for developing countries. It instituted major reforms in government, economic and social programs, and the health sector. Puerto Rico, in coordination with the U.S. federal government, hosted thousands of observers from around the world who came to Puerto Rico to learn about its successful development model.
  • Topic: Crime, Economics, Narcotics Trafficking, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Sergey Markedonov
  • Publication Date: 01-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: On February 7, 2014, the 22nd Winter Olympic Games will open in the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi. Because these games will be the first Olympics hosted by Russia since the dissolution of the Soviet Union, they will be more than a mere athletic competition—they possess a singular symbolic character, important to Russia and particularly to Russian president Vladimir Putin. On the eve of the 119th session of the International Olympic Committee in Guatemala on July 4, 2007, at which the decision on the host city for the 2014 games would be made, Putin was the main Russian lobbyist for the Sochi project.
  • Topic: Economics, Globalization, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Author: Nellie Bristol
  • Publication Date: 01-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: As national incomes have risen across diverse countries—along with the burden of noncommunicable diseases—demand has intensified for quality, affordable health services. Many countries today are actively seeking to bring about universal health coverage—ensuring quality health services for all at a price that does not create undue financial pressure for individuals seeking care. The effort has stirred expanded interest and guidance from international organizations such as the World Health Organization and the World Bank, and led to new platforms for developing countries to learn from each other. While universal health coverage will provide new funding and opportunities, including for the private sector, there is a need for dynamic, transparent negotiations among all health constituents, to forge enduring, feasible arrangements that ensure quality services reach all populations and make the best use of scarce health resources. Universal health coverage will remain a work in progress for many countries for many years. It will require grappling with considerable uncertainties and risks. It also has the potential to attract greater attention to health spending, health systems, and improved equity, advances that will benefit human development more broadly.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Health, International Organization
  • Political Geography: Brazil
  • Author: Richard Downie, Jennifer G. Cooke
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Africa's changing economic landscape is prompting a shift in how U.S. policymakers view the continent. High growth rates, new technologies, and a rapidly expanding consumer class are driving greater global competition for investment and access to potential export markets, and the United States is recognizing that it will need to step up its game to remain relevant and influential in an increasingly crowded and competitive environment. This will mean placing a stronger emphasis on strengthening trade and investment ties and encouraging U.S. companies to take fuller advantage of expanding opportunities. Playing up these opportunities will not only serve long-term U.S. commercial interests in Africa but will serve U.S. development and diplomatic objectives as well. U.S. investments, done right, can have long-term development impacts in Africa, through technology and knowledge transfer, training, systems development, and partnerships. And a new, more optimistic engagement with Africa's citizens and entrepreneurs will have strong resonance with the continent's up-and-coming generation, creating links based on enduring mutual interest.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Markets, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States
  • Author: Daniel F. Runde, Scott Miller
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The link between economic development and state security has been well established but is still too often overlooked. Former secretary of defense Robert Gates argued in support of development efforts as a form of “preventative diplomacy,” preventing the conditions where violent crises occur that may require more aggressive intervention. For example, rising food prices in Egypt have been cited as a major instigator for the protests that overthrew Hosni Mubarak. That does not mean that Mubarak could have stayed in power if only food were more affordable, but higher levels of economic development and the concurrent factors that encourage it could have made the transition more stable and less violent.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Cooperation, International Trade and Finance, Markets, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Douglas Farah, Robert D. Lamb, Carl Meacham
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The project that culminated in this report was conceived just over a year ago as an initiative to assess the major accomplishments in strengthening the Colombian government's efforts to bring peace and stability to its countryside.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Terrorism, International Security, Governance
  • Political Geography: South America
  • Author: James Andrew Lewis
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Everyone knows that the Internet has changed how we interact, do business, and share information. The Internet can be an "innovation engine," but the same engine of innovation drives cyber threats to change faster than cyber defenses can react. Cyber threats are complex, dynamic, and network defenses have trouble keeping up with them.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Economics, Science and Technology, International Security
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Richard Jackson
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: FROM THE CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE AND THE GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABILITY OFFICE TO THE BOWLES-SIMPSON AND DOMENICI-RIVLIN COMMISSIONS, everyone who has looked seriously at the fiscal arithmetic agrees that there is no solution to America's long-term budget problem that does not include fundamental entitlement reform. After all, federal entitlement programs make up well over half of federal spending today and account for all projected growth in noninterest outlays as a share of GDP over the next three decades.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Cooperation, Reform
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Judyth L. Twigg
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Over the last few years, Russia's relationship with the United States has traveled a swift and seemingly deliberate arc from partner to pariah. The current turmoil in Ukraine and near-certain resulting isolation of Russia culminate several years' worth of deteriorating ties. The Edward Snowden mess, disagreements over Syria and Iran, dismay over the eroding human rights environment in Russia, and now Russian annexation of Crimea have led the previously heralded "reset" to an unceremonious end. What are the implications of these and related developments for U.S.-Russia collaboration in medicine and public health? Should avenues of partnership remain open, even in such a frosty political context? Should the international community support Russia's health sector when ample resources exist within Russia itself? Is it even possible anymore?
  • Topic: Development, Diplomacy, Economics, Health, Human Rights, Human Welfare, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, North America
  • Author: Rasika Gynedi
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Asset quality in India's banks has deteriorated sharply and if not tackled promptly poses a systemic risk to the banking system—and by extension the Indian economy. A high proportion of nonperforming assets (NPAs) steadily erodes the capital base of a bank, impinging on the ability of banks to raise fresh capital and continue lending for investment activities. Indeed, the spillover impact from banking crises to the real economy is all too familiar, evinced by the subprime mortgage crisis in the United States. However, despite this risk, the issue is not garnering sufficient attention outside the banking industry.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, South Asia, India
  • Author: Nicole Goldin
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Youth comprise a quarter of the world's population, but remain an underutilized source of innovation, energy, and enthusiasm in global efforts to achieve and promote the increased wellbeing of all. As children grow and mature into adults, they make choices that affect not only their own wellbeing, but that of their families, communities, and countries. Youth-inclusive societies are more likely to grow and prosper, while the risks of exclusion include stinted growth, crime, and unrest. Therefore, it is imperative that education and health systems, labor markets, and governments serve their interests and provide the policies, investments, tools, technology, and avenues for participation they need to thrive and succeed. Yet, at a time when policy and investment decisions are increasingly data driven, data on youth development and wellbeing is often fragmented, inconsistent, or nonexistent. Thus, our understanding of how young people are doing in their own right and vis-à-vis their peers elsewhere is limited. As a result, the needs of young people often remain unexposed and marginalized by their complexity.
  • Topic: Security, Development, Economics, Education, Health, Human Rights, Youth Culture
  • Author: Gerald F. Hyman
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: In his 2013 State of the Union speech, President Barack Obama announced that by the end of 2014 "our war in Afghanistan will be over" and, a month earlier, that "by the end of next year, 2014, the transition will be complete—Afghans will have full responsibility for their security, and this war will come to a responsible end." The military transition, successful or not, is in full swing. Of course the war will not come to an end in 2014, responsible or otherwise. Even if the military drawdown goes as planned, "America's commitment to a unified and sovereign Afghanistan will endure, but the nature of our commitment will change," the president said. On the military side, our enduring commitment will focus on training, equipping, and funding the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) and "some counterterrorism efforts that allow us to pursue remnants of al Qaeda and their affiliates," presumably the Taliban. As the United States draws down, so too will the remaining coalition countries of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) under North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) command.
  • Topic: Security, Development, Economics, Governance
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, South Asia
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman, Abdullah Toukan
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: This study examines the key strategic risks that shape the stability and security of the Indian Ocean Region or IOR. This means examining risks that cut across a vast span of territory that directly affects both the global economy and some 32 nations–some within the limits of the Indian Ocean, but others that play a critical role in shaping the security of the nations in the IOR region and the security of its sea lanes and petroleum exports.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Governance
  • Political Geography: India, Asia
  • Author: Robert A. Pollard, Gregory N. Hicks
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: At a time when economics has become a more central feature of international relations, the United States needs to raise its game in international economic policy to sustain global leadership. Yet the U.S. government is not well organized at present to meet this challenge.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Reform
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman
  • Publication Date: 08-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: It is unclear that the United States has any current assessments and strategy to deal with either these governance or economic issues. If it does, it has provided no transparency as to what these plans are, and has failed to develop any effective public measures of the effectiveness of its civil aid programs after more than 10 years of effort, and in spite of the fact that the civil dimension of counterinsurgency efforts is at least as important as the military efforts. It is also important to note that World Bank and UN reporting show the same lack of progress in governance, economics, and human development in Pakistan as in Afghanistan.
  • Topic: Economics, Politics, World Bank
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Afghanistan, United States, India
  • Author: Sadika Hameed
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Relations between the United States and Pakistan have begun to improve after several years of heightened tensions. Yet many challenges remain. Among them is how to improve Pakistan's economy. Its economic crisis is one of the main sources of its internal tensions, but multiple opportunities exist to improve its economic performance. The policy debate in the United States, however, is still dominated by a focus on terrorism and extremism. While Pakistan's stability is a natural concern for the United States, focusing primarily on security issues limits the options for improving stability.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Economics
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, United States
  • Author: Victor D. Cha
  • Publication Date: 12-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: As a result of a speech delivered by Republic of Korea (ROK) president Park Geun- hye in Dresden, Germany, on March 28, 2014, the topic of unification of the Korean peninsula has been on the minds of many. This is, of course, not the first time that unification has been in the news. During the Cold War era, unification was defined as the absolute military victory of one side over the other. In Korean, this was known as “songgong t'ongil” or “p'ukch'in t'ongil” (“march north” or “unification by force”). In political science literature influenced by the European experience, it was defined as the perfect integration of the two countries. After the reunification of Germany on October 3, 1990, unification was seen as the economic and political absorption of one side by the other. And yet at other times, it was defined, by both North and South Korea, as the imperfect operation of one country, two systems. For a decade during the period of “sunshine” policy, 1997–2007, unification was defined as something to be avoided for generations. It was framed as an outcome that was too difficult to contemplate, too dangerous to suggest, and too expensive to afford.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: South Korea, North Korea, Germany
  • Author: Phuong Nguyen
  • Publication Date: 11-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Expectations for this week's East Asia Summit and related meetings have been rather modest given the increasing complexity of issues facing countries in Asia and the limited capacity of Myanmar as host. To be clear, Myanmar has done a commendable job given this is its first time chairing ASEAN and hosting other regional meetings.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Diplomacy, Economics
  • Political Geography: Malaysia, East Asia, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman
  • Publication Date: 12-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Creating an effective transition for the ANSF is only one of the major challenges that Afghanistan, the US, and Afghanistan's other allies face during 2014-2015 and beyond. The five other key challenges include: Going from an uncertain election to effective leadership and political cohesion and unity. Creating an effective and popular structure governance, with suitable reforms, from the local to central government, reducing corruption to acceptable levels, and making suitable progress in planning, budgeting, and budget execution. Coping with the coming major cuts in outside aid and military spending in Afghanistan, adapting to a largely self-financed economy, developing renewal world economic development plans, carrying out the reforms pledged at the Tokyo Conference, and reducing the many barriers to doing business. Establishing relations with Pakistan and other neighbors that will limit outside pressures and threats, and insurgent sanctuaries on Afghanistan's border. Persuading the US, other donors, NGCO, and nations will to provide advisors to furnish the needed aid effort through at least 2018, and probably well beyond.
  • Topic: Corruption, Economics, Governance, Reform
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Asia