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  • 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
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Perhaps the worst part of the debate that has led to the shut down of the federal government is its almost total irrelevance. It threaten both the US economy and US national security, but it does even begin to touch upon the forces that shape the rise in entitlements spending or their underlying causes.The Congressional debate does not address the forces that have led to a form of sequestration that focuses on defense as if it were the key cause of the deficit and pressures on the debt ceiling. It does not address the irony that much of defense spending has direct benefits to the US economy and that the spending on foreign wars–the so-called OCO account–dropped from $158.8 billion in FY2011 to some $88.5 billion in FY2013, and is projected to drop to around $37 billion in FY2015. Much of the debate focuses on the Affordable Care Act or "Obama Care"–a program whose balance between federal expenditures and revenues is sufficiently uncertain so the Congressional Budget office can only make limited forecasts, but whose net impact cannot come close to the cost pressures that an aging America and rising national medical costs have put on Federal entitlements in the worst case NDS May actually have a positive impact in the best case.The following briefing provides a range of estimates that addresses the real issues that are shaping the overall pressures that poverty, an aging America, and rising medical costs are putting on the US economy and federal spending. It draws on a range of sources to show how different estimates affect key trends, but focuses on data provide by a neutral arm of the same Congress that has paralyzed the US government and whose action threaten the funding on a viable national security strategy.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Arms Control and Proliferation, Economics, Governance
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Murray Hiebert, Gregory B. Poling, Ted Osius
  • Publication Date: 09-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The U.S.- Indonesia relationship is critical to the national interests of both nations, and will only grow more so in the years to come. The catch words are now well- known. Indonesia is the world's fourth largest country and third largest democracy. It is the largest Muslim- majority nation, one of the most pluralistic societies on the planet. Its political system provides proof that democratic norms and values are not dependent on culture, history, or religion.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Development, Diplomacy, Economics, Science and Technology, Bilateral Relations, Foreign Aid
  • Political Geography: United States, Indonesia, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Jeri Jensen
  • Publication Date: 09-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The Obama administration has the opportunity to achieve more sustainable development solutions with a new model of development relevant in a world where private investment is the primary driver of economic growth.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Markets, Foreign Aid, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: David J. Berteau, Gregory Sanders, Jesse Ellman
  • Publication Date: 09-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The U.S. government has a permanent reliance on contracts with the private sector for a wide range of services, though the share of federal services contracts has declined slightly in recent years. For the past eight years, the Defense - Industrial Initiatives Group (DIIG) at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) has tracked the trends driving the services industry. Overall, this report analyzes the trends for all federal services contract obligations from FY 2000 through FY 2012, the most recent full fiscal year for which reliable data are available from the Federal Procurement Data System (FPDS). This Executive Summary provides an overall view of the data and trends, including projections for federal services contract spending over the next 3 years (FY 2013 – 2015).
  • Topic: Economics, Industrial Policy, Labor Issues, Governance
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: James Michel
  • Publication Date: 08-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Good governance and the rule of law have long been associated with stable, just, and prosperous societies where people enjoy freedom, security, and rising standards of living. Adam Smith suggested in the eighteenth century that “little else is requisite to carry a state to the highest degree of opulence . . . but peace, easy taxes and a tolerable administration of justice.” Over the centuries, peace and security, sound economic policy and fiscal management, the fair and timely administration of justice, and the delivery of essential services— core elements of good governance— have continued to enjoy broad recognition as important factors for sustainable human progress.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Development, Economics, International Cooperation, Foreign Aid, Governance
  • Author: Stephanie Sanok Kostro, Ashley Nichols, Abigail Temoshchuk
  • Publication Date: 08-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: In recent years , the United States has faced a growing number of severe natural disasters , presenting a variety of challenges for the nation – spanning the spectrum from federal to state to municipal and community levels – and its disaster response , relief, and recovery architecture . On average, the United States experiences ten severe weather events per year exceeding one billion dollars in damage , compared to an annual average of only two such events throughout the 1980s
  • Topic: Climate Change, Economics, Humanitarian Aid, Natural Disasters, Governance
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman, Nicholas S. Yarosh, Chloe Coughlin-Schulte
  • Publication Date: 08-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The political dynamics and violence that shape the current series of crises in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) – and daily events in Bahrain Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Tunisia, Syria, and Yemen – dominate the current course of virtually every aspect of these states including much of the current course of violence and instability in the region. Political dynamics and the current levels of, however, are only part of the story.
  • Topic: Political Violence, Democratization, Development, Economics, Islam
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Iran, Middle East, Libya, Yemen, Arabia, North Africa, Lebanon, Syria, Egypt, Bahrain, Tunisia
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman
  • Publication Date: 08-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The US is already at least six months behind in shaping an effective Transition in Afghanistan. It has not laid credible plans for the security, governance, and economic aspects of Transition. It has not made its level of future commitment clear to its allies or the Afghans, and it has failed dismally to convince the Congress and the American people that there is a credible reason to support Transition beyond the end of 2014.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Foreign Policy, Development, Economics, Islam, War, Fragile/Failed State
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman, Bryan Gold, Chloe Coughlin-Schulte
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: US and Iranian strategic competition is heavily drive by four key factors–the success or failure of sanctions, the im0pact of that competition on the flow of Gulf energy exports, the success or failure of efforts to limit Iran's nuclear options and the broader prospect for arms control, and the prospects for accommodation of regime change. In recent years, the key variable has been ways in which sanctions on Iran have changed US and Iranian competition since the fall of 2011, and helped lead to a tentative set of Iranian agreements with the UN's P5+1--the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, namely United States, Russia, China, United Kingdom, and France, plus Germany--in November 2013.
  • Topic: Security, Arms Control and Proliferation, Economics, Oil, Regime Change, Sanctions
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, China, United Kingdom, Iran, Middle East, France, Germany
  • Author: Jake Cusack, Matt Tilleard
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: This paper outlines a new tool for policymakers to deploy to encourage private-sector development in developing nations. Specifically it argues that in fragile states there are systemic failures that cause an intermediation gap between sources of capital and entrepreneurs seeking investment. This gap prevents investment by raising transaction costs and exacerbating information asymmetry. We present a case study of this gap as observed in our work in South Sudan. Then we propose a model of investment facilitation that bridges the intermediation gap. The model is based on donor funding of a neutral nongovernment facilitator to identify attractive investment opportunities, link them to capital, and facilitate transactions.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Foreign Aid, Fragile/Failed State, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Political Geography: Africa, South Sudan
  • Author: Carl Meacham, Robert Funk
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: In the first round of Chile's presidential elections on November 17, Michelle Bachelet, of the progressive New Majority (Nueva Mayoría) coalition, commanded a resounding lead. Garnering 46.7 percent of the popular vote—and putting her 20 points ahead of Alliance for Chile (Alianza por Chile) candidate Evelyn Matthei, her nearest rival—the former president is the likely victor in the runoff elections scheduled for December 15.
  • Topic: Democratization, Development, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Author: Douglas Farah, Robert D. Lamb, Carl Meacham
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • 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: Conflict Resolution, Security, Development, Economics
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Author: Matthew P. Goodman, Scott Miller
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Economic integration has been a focus of Asia-Pacific affairs for the last quarter century. To support and strengthen economic ties, governments in the region have pursued an array of integration initiatives, from the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum launched in 1989 to bilateral and regional trade negotiations currently underway. APEC has been the most successful tool of regional trade and investment integration thus far and has the potential to continue bridging differences between various integration efforts in the region. This report, with input from a wide variety of regional and topical experts, posits that developing a common, high-standard policy approach to value chains could pull together the various integration efforts to the substantial economic benefit of the entire region. The report offers eight recommendations for a broad-based APEC initiative building on existing work in the region on supply chains and connectivity.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Regional Cooperation, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: East Asia, Asia
  • Author: Brandon Fite
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Iran pursues cooperation with states on the geographic and strategic periphery of the competition between the US and Iran in order to create a network of diplomatic and economic relationships or “partners” that can lessen the blow of international sanctions and generally oppose Western attempts to constrict its ambitions. These peripheral “partners” located mainly in Africa and Latin America, also serve as alternative markets for Iranian oil, provide diplomatic cover for Iran's nuclear efforts, and aid Iran's acquisition of goods proscribed by international sanctions.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Economics, Sanctions
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, Iran, Latin America
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman
  • Publication Date: 03-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Any estimate of energy risk is highly uncertain. The reality can vary sharply according to national and global economic conditions, politics, war, natural disasters, discoveries of new reserves, advances in technology, unanticipated new regulations and environmental issues, and a host of other factors.
  • Topic: Economics, Energy Policy, Globalization, International Trade and Finance, Markets, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arabia, North Africa
  • Author: Huasheng Zhao
  • Publication Date: 03-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: China holds clear, coherent, but relatively low-profile positions on Afghanistan. While staying largely with the mainstream of the international community on the issue of Afghanistan, China maintains an independent policy that reflects the peculiarities of Chinese interests, concerns, and priorities in Afghanistan. China has multiple interests in Afghanistan; however, domestic concerns about the security and stability of the largely Muslim region of Xinjiang overwhelm all others. China maintains normal and good relations with the Afghan government, takes active part in the country's economic rebuilding, and provides Afghanistan financial aid and other assistance. China supports the international community in its efforts in Afghanistan, but stays away from direct military involvement. China refrains from criticizing America's involvement in the war in Afghan- istan, but it doubts the war's efficacy, and China refuses to join the American Northern Distribu- tion Network (NDN) to Afghanistan. China dislikes the Taliban because of its close relations with the “East Turkistan” organization—a Uyghur separatist group—but China deals with the Taliban cautiously, trying to avoid direct conflict. China favors an Afghanistan governed by Afghans and hopes that the “Kabul process”—the transition to greater Afghan responsibility and ownership in both security and civilian areas—will have a successful end. At the same time, China also prepares for unexpected outcomes.
  • Topic: Development, Economics
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, China, Asia
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The US may not face peer threats in the near to mid term, but it faces a wide variety of lesser threats that make maintaining effective military forces, foreign aid, and other national security programs a vital national security interest. The US does need to reshape its national security planning and strategy to do a far better job of allocating resources to meet these threats. It needs to abandon theoretical and conceptual exercises in strategy that do not focus on detailed force plans, manpower plans, procurement plans, and budgets; and use its resources more wisely. The US still dominates world military spending, but it must recognize that maintaining the US economy is a vital national security interest in a world where the growth and development of other nations and regions means that the relative share the US has in the global economy will decline steadily over time, even under the best circumstances. At the same time, US dependence on the security and stability of the global economy will continue to grow indefinitely in the future. Talk of any form of “independence,” including freedom from energy imports, is a dangerous myth. The US cannot maintain and grow its economy without strong military forces and effective diplomatic and aid efforts. US military and national security spending already places a far lower burden on the US economy than during the peaceful periods of the Cold War, and existing spending plans will lower that burden in the future. National security spending is now averaging between 4% and 5% of the GDP -- in spite of the fact the US has been fighting two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan -- versus 6 - 7% during the Cold War.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Middle East
  • Author: Richard Jackson, Neil Howe, Tobias Peter
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: As the world's societies age, governments and businesses are trying to look ahead and anticipate the needs of tomorrow's growing elderly populations. Nowhere is this more difficult to do than in emerging East Asia.
  • Topic: Demographics, Economics, Health
  • Political Geography: Israel, East Asia
  • Author: Michael Johnson
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Corruption in the Philippines diverts, delays, and distorts economic development, undermines the quality and credibility of democracy, and reduces the quality of life. That is so not just because of its extent but also because it comes in particularly disruptive and intractable forms. Philippine corruption is an example of the Oligarch-and-Clan syndrome—one found in countries offering significant and expanding political and economic opportunities in a setting of very weak institutions, but a pattern shaped by historical, cultural, and geographical influences specific to the country. Oligarch-and-Clan corruption is particularly disruptive, in development terms. Because of institutional weaknesses and the power of corrupt oligarchs and their followings, it often faces ineffective opposition. More than other syndromes it is closely linked to violence, and sharply limits the state's ability to perform such basic functions as revenue collection, maintenance of institutional foundations for the economy, law enforcement, conflict resolution, and dealing with security threats.
  • Topic: Political Violence, Corruption, Democratization, Development, Economics
  • Political Geography: Israel, Philippines