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  • Author: Daniel S. Markey
  • Publication Date: 01-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: After 9/11, the global fight against al-Qaeda and the related war in Afghanistan forced the United States to reassess its strategy in Pakistan. The exigencies of counterterrorism and counterinsurgency established Washington's primary goals and many of its specific policies. Now, however, the impending drawdown of U.S. troops from Afghanistan, along with significant U.S. successes in operations against al-Qaeda, require the United States to take a fresh look at its Pakistan strategy and to move beyond the "Af-Pak" era.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, Development, Diplomacy, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, South Asia, India
  • Author: Shannon K. O'Neil
  • Publication Date: 10-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: North America was once called the New World. The people, their ideas, and the resources of the continent shaped the histories of the Old World—East and West. Today, North America is home to almost five hundred million people living in three vibrant democracies. If the three North American countries deepen their integration and cooperation, they have the potential to again shape world affairs for gen-erations to come.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Energy Policy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Adam Segal, John D. Negroponte, Samuel J. Palmisano
  • Publication Date: 06-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Since the idea of a worldwide network was introduced in the early 1980s, the Internet has grown into a massive global system that connects over a third of the world's population, roughly 2.5 billion people. The Internet facilitates communication, commerce, trade, culture, research, and social and family connections and is now an integral part of modern life. Another 2.5 billion individuals are expected to get online by the end of this decade, mainly in the developing world, and further billions of devices and machines will be used. This enlargement to the rest of the globe could bring enormous economic, social, and political benefits to the United States and the world. New technologies could reshape approaches to disaster relief, diplomacy, conflict prevention, education, science, and cultural production.
  • Topic: Security, Crime, Industrial Policy, Intelligence, Science and Technology, Communications
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: Gayle Tzemach Lemmon
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Economic development is a critical component of promoting stability and U.S. security interests, particularly in conflict and postconflict zones. Reviving institutions and rebuilding an economic base are among the first priorities after fighting ends and reconstruction begins. According to the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), negative economic shocks of just 5 percent can increase the risk of a civil war by as much as 50 percent in fragile environments. Additionally, donor assistance, which can account for 20 percent to as much as 97 percent of a country's GDP, is unsustainable in the long term. Building local business capacity and supporting homegrown entrepreneurs can help curb this risk. Research from Iraq has found that labor-generating reconstruction programs can reduce violence during insurgencies, with a 10 percent increase in labor-related spending associated with a 10 percent decrease in violence. And as Shari Berenbach, director of the Office of Microenterprise Development at USAID, argues, the development of “private enterprise is an important stabilizing force,” particularly for countries suffering from the political uncertainty and civil unrest that often characterizes the postconflict period.
  • Topic: Security, Development, Economics, Emerging Markets, Foreign Aid, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Suzanne Nossel
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: The 2011–2012 crisis in Syria offers a painful reminder of the international community's limited ability to prevent and halt large-scale human rights violations. As the number of casualties in the country continued to rise, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), the main international body responsible for maintaining peace and security, struggled to appropriately react. For over a year and despite more than nine thousand documented deaths, the UNSC remained deadlocked, and it eventually managed to issue only weak presidential statements and, in April 2012, dispatch a small team of monitors to bolster a faltering ceasefire. During the same period, however, the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) showed significant signs of revival and effectiveness. Intended to be the centerpiece of the UN's human rights machinery, the UNHRC had—since its founding in 2006—been dubbed by diplomats a “leper of the UN system.” It was known for passivity in the face of human rights crises and for the polarized dynamic between countries of the global North and South.
  • Topic: Security, Political Violence, Diplomacy, Human Rights, Human Welfare, United Nations, Peacekeeping
  • Political Geography: Syria
  • Author: Bruce K. Rutherford
  • Publication Date: 02-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: As protests continued in Cairo, questions intensified about when and how President Hosni Mubarak would step aside and what kind of transitional government might replace him. The "key actor" at this time is Egypt's military leadership, which is concerned about growing violence, economic damage, and continued instability, says Bruce K. Rutherford, author of Egypt After Mubarak: Liberalism, Islam, and Democracy in the Arab World. "If they want these demonstrations to end, they can either intervene and use force to disperse the demonstrators or they can ask President Mubarak to leave," he says, which would indicate the army's belief that Mubarak's continued presence is destabilizing. Rutherford says the opposition has organized a ten-person leadership group headed by Mohamed ElBaradei, but that Egyptians are skeptical about the government's offer to open discussions with the opposition because in the past, such dialogues haven't led to any change. He says a possible successor to Mubarak may be former foreign minister Amr Moussa, currently head of the Arab League.
  • Topic: Security, Civil Society, Democratization, Insurgency
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arabia, Egypt
  • Author: David A. Shirk
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Mexico is in the midst of a worsening security crisis. Explosive clashes and territorial disputes among powerful drug trafficking organizations (DTOs) have killed more than thirty-five thousand people since President Felipe Calderón took office in December 2006. The geography of that violence is limited but continues to spread, and its targets include a growing number of government officials, police officers, journalists, and individuals unrelated to the drug trade. The Mexican government has made the war on drugs its top priority and has even called in the military to support the country's weak police and judicial institutions. Even so, few Mexican citizens feel safer today than they did ten years ago, and most believe that their government is losing the fight.
  • Topic: Security, War on Drugs, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: United States, Latin America, Mexico
  • Author: Isobel Coleman, Gayle Tzemach Lemmon
  • Publication Date: 04-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Global demographic and health trends affect a wide range of vital U.S. foreign policy interests. These interests include the desire to promote healthy, productive families and communities, more prosperous and stable societies, resource and food security, and environmental sustainability. International family planning is one intervention that can advance all these interests in a cost-effective manner. Investments in international family planning can significantly improve maternal, infant, and child health and avert unintended pregnancies and abortions. Studies have shown that meeting the unmet need for family planning could reduce maternal deaths by approximately 35 percent, reduce abortion in developing countries by 70 percent, and reduce infant mortality by 10 to 20 percent.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Development, Economics, Environment, Health
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: F. Gregory Gause III
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: There is arguably no more unlikely U.S. ally than Saudi Arabia: monarchical, deeply conservative socially, promoter of an austere and intolerant version of Islam, birthplace of Osama bin Laden and fifteen of the nineteen 9/11 hijackers. Consequently, there is no U.S. ally less well understood. Many U.S. policymakers assume that the Saudi regime is fragile, despite its remarkable record of domestic stability in the turbulent Middle East. “It is an unstable country in an unstable region,” one congressional staffer said in July 2011. Yet it is the Arab country least affected in its domestic politics by the Arab upheavals of 2011. Many who think it is unstable domestically also paradoxically attribute enormous power to it, to the extent that they depict it as leading a “counterrevolution” against those upheavals throughout the region. 2 One wonders just how “counterrevolutionary” the Saudis are when they have supported the NATO campaign against Muammar al-Qaddafi, successfully negotiated the transfer of power from Ali Abdullah Saleh in Yemen, and condemned the crackdown on protestors by Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, and how powerful they are when they could do little to help their ally Hosni Mubarak in Egypt.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Islam, Oil, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Arabia, Saudi Arabia
  • Author: Whitney Shepardson
  • Publication Date: 02-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: If the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) did not exist today, the United States would not seek to create it. In 1949, it made sense in the face of a potential Soviet invasion to forge a bond in the North Atlantic area among the United States, Canada, and the west European states. Today, if the United States were starting from scratch in a world of transnational threats, the debate would be over whether to follow liberal and neoconservative calls for an alliance of democracies without regard to geography or to develop a great power concert envisioned by the realists to uphold the current order.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, NATO, International Cooperation, International Organization, International Security
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Canada, Soviet Union
  • Author: Jack Boureston, Tanya Ogilvie-White
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: In September 2008, Mohamed ElBaradei, former director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), described nuclear terrorism as the number one threat to world security. Before then, El-Baradei had repeatedly pointed out that terrorist organizations are seeking nuclear materials. “If they get it, they will use it,” he warned in 2006. Since then, the IAEA has released data from its Illicit Trafficking Database, which confirmed at least fifteen cases of nuclear trafficking in 2008 alone—a statistic that might represent only the tip of the iceberg. The release of this information coincided with the official launch of nuclear energy programs in countries where governance is patchy, regulation is weak, and terrorists are known to operate.
  • Topic: Security, International Cooperation, Nuclear Weapons, Weapons of Mass Destruction
  • Author: Michael A. Levi
  • Publication Date: 06-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: U.S. policymakers talk more today about energy security than they have at any time since the energy crises of the 1970s. Yet scholarly understanding of the challenges at the intersection of energy and national security, and of the various policy tools available to address them, is surprisingly weak. On April 12–13, 2010, the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) convened a group of thirty-six scholars and practitioners to assess the current state of knowledge about oil, gas, and national security, and to identify those areas where research was most needed. Participants included experts from academia, industry, government, and international institutions, and brought backgrounds in economics, political science, international relations, science, engineering, and law to the discussion.
  • Topic: Security, Climate Change, Energy Policy
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Robert K. Knake
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: The United States is being outmaneuvered in the international forums that will determine the future of the Internet. Led by Russia and China, nondemocratic regimes are organizing into a united front to promote a vision of the Internet that is tightly controlled by states. That vision is increasingly attractive to many Western nations wrestling with interrelated threats of cybercrime, industrial espionage, and cyber warfare. The United States must actively combat these threats while it works to protect U.S. national interests in the preservation and extension of the Internet as a platform for increased efficiency and economic exchange. Protecting this interest requires far more extensive engagement within Internet governance forums to shape the future of the network in a way that addresses security concerns without resulting in a cure that is worse than the disease.
  • Topic: Security, Crime, Science and Technology, Governance
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, China
  • Author: Jeffrey Mankoff
  • Publication Date: 02-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: For two weeks in the freezing January of 2009, homes and businesses across Europe were left without heat, the result of a murky dispute over gas prices between Russia and Ukraine. When Moscow and Kiev failed to agree on a formula for calculating price and transit fees for the coming year, the gas simply stopped flowing. Europe, which gets a significant proportion of its gas through pipelines that transit both Russia and Ukraine, bore the brunt of this confrontation between the two feuding post-Soviet neighbors.
  • Topic: Security, Energy Policy, Markets, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Ukraine, Asia
  • Author: Michael A. Levi
  • Publication Date: 05-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Half a decade of high and volatile oil prices alongside increasingly dire warnings of climatic disaster have pushed energy security and climate change steadily up the U.S. policy agenda. Rhetoric in Washington has emphasized opportunities to deal with both challenges at once. But energy security and climate change do not always align: many important decisions in areas including unconventional oil, biofuels, natural gas, coal, and nuclear power will involve complex trade-offs and force policymakers to carefully navigate the two goals. Ongoing and heated debates in the United States and Canada over the future of the Canadian oil sands—touted at once as an energy security godsend and a climate change disaster—highlight that tension and emphasize the need to intelligently address it.
  • Topic: Security, Climate Change, Energy Policy, Oil
  • Political Geography: United States, Washington, Canada
  • Author: Jeb Bush, Thomas McLarty
  • Publication Date: 07-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: The United States, a country shaped by generations of immigrants and their descendants, is badly mishandling its immigration policy, with serious consequences for its standing in the world. The urgency of this issue has led the Council on Foreign Relations to convene an Independent Task Force to deal with what is ordinarily regarded as a domestic policy matter. America's openness to and respect for immigrants has long been a foundation of its economic and military strength, and a vital tool in its diplomatic arsenal. With trade, technology, and travel continuing to shrink the world, the manner in which the United States handles immigration will be increasingly important to American foreign policy in the future. The Task Force believes that the continued failure to devise and implement a sound and sustainable immigration policy threatens to weaken America's economy, to jeopardize its diplomacy, and to imperil its national security.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Immigration
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Michael A. Levi
  • Publication Date: 09-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Policymakers consistently identify nuclear terrorism as one of the greatest threats facing the United States and the world. Indeed, the diffusion of technology, the rise of extremist ideology, and the steady spread of nuclear materials conspire to make nuclear terrorism an increasingly worrying prospect.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Nuclear Weapons, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States, New York, Washington
  • Author: Michael Levi
  • Publication Date: 09-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: The basis of nuclear doctrine during the Cold War was deterrence. Nuclear powers were deterred from attacking each other by the fear of retaliation. Today, much of the concern over possible nuclear attack comes in the context of rogue states and terrorism. And since only states are known to possess nuclear weapons, an important question is how to deter them from letting terrorists acquire a device, whether through an authorized transfer or a security breach. Michael A. Levi analyzes this aspect of deterrence in the post–Cold War world, as well as what to do if deterrence breaks down. He suggests how to discourage states from giving weapons or nuclear materials to terrorists and how to encourage states to bolster security against any accidental transfer. The report also discusses the role of nuclear attribution—the science of identifying the origin of nuclear materials—in deterring transfers, an essential link in assigning responsibility to governments for transfers of nuclear materials.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Security, Cold War, Nuclear Weapons, Nuclear Power
  • Political Geography: United States, Soviet Union
  • Author: Charles D. Ferguson
  • Publication Date: 04-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: According to a prevailing belief, humanity confronts two stark risks: catastrophes caused by climate change and annihilation by nuclear war. The conventional wisdom also believes that the former danger appears far more certain than the latter. This assessment has recently led an increasing number of policymakers, pundits, businesspeople, and environmentalists to advocate a major expansion of nuclear energy, which emits very few greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. While acknowledging the connection between nuclear fuel making and nuclear bomb building, nuclear power proponents suggest that nuclear proliferation and terrorism risks are readily manageable. Consequently, some of these advocates favor the use of subsidies to stimulate substantial growth of nuclear power.
  • Topic: Security, Energy Policy, Nuclear Weapons, Science and Technology
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Daniel Prieto, Stephen Flynn
  • Publication Date: 03-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: In policy and strategy documents since September 11, 2001, the Bush administration and Congress have repeatedly stressed the critical importance of “public-private partnerships” to make the country safer. Yet the capabilities, assets, and goodwill of the private sector to bolster our homeland security remain largely untapped. That is the primary conclusion reached by the Council on Foreign Relations working group on homeland security and the private sector over the course of one year.
  • Topic: Security, Government, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: North America
  • Author: Charles Ferguson
  • Publication Date: 03-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: The threat of a nuclear attack by terrorists has never been greater. Over the past two decades, terrorist violence and destructiveness have grown. As the September 11, 2001, attacks demonstrated, al-Qaeda and al-Qaeda–inspired terrorists desire to inflict mass casualties. Al-Qaeda and other terrorist organizations have expressed interest in and searched for unconventional means of attack, such as chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear weapons. Of these weapons, only a nuclear detonation will guarantee immediate massive destruction.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Nuclear Weapons, Terrorism
  • Author: David M. Marchick, Alan P. Larson
  • Publication Date: 07-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Despite the significant benefits that foreign investment brings to the U.S. economy, a recent poll by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press found that 53 percent of Americans believe foreign ownership of U.S. companies is “bad for America,” a sentiment that reached a boiling point with the proposed acquisition of the U.S. port operations of P Steam Navigation Company by Dubai Ports World (DPW). The DPW case brought to the public's attention the little-known executive committee charged with reviewing the security risks of foreign investment—the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS)—and ignited a flurry of congressional activity to change its mandate and operations under the Exon-Florio Amendment to the Defense Production Act of 1950.
  • Topic: Security, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Dubai
  • Author: Peter FitzGerald
  • Publication Date: 03-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: On 14 February 2005, an explosion in downtown Beirut killed twenty persons, among them the former Prime Minister, Rafik Hariri. The United Nations' Secretary-General dispatched a Fact-Finding Mission to Beirut to inquire into the causes, the circumstances and the consequences of this assassination. Since it arrived in Beirut on 25 February, the Mission met with a large number of Lebanese officials and representatives of different political groups, performed a thorough review of the Lebanese investigation and legal proceedings, examined the crime scene and the evidence collected by the local police, collected and analyzed samples from the crime scene, and interviewed some witnesses in relation to the crime. The specific 'causes' for the assassination of Mr. Hariri cannot be reliably asserted until after the perpetrators of this crime are brought to justice. However, it is clear that the assassination took place in a political and security context marked by an acute polarization around the Syrian influence in Lebanon and a failure of the Lebanese State to provide adequate protection for its citizens. Regarding the circumstances, the Mission is of the view that the explosion was caused by a TNT charge of about 1000 KG placed most likely above the ground. The review of the investigation indicates that there was a distinct lack of commitment on the part of the Lebanese authorities to investigate the crime effectively, and that this investigation was not carried out in accordance with acceptable international standards. The Mission is also of the view that the Lebanese investigation lacks the confidence of the population necessary for its results to be accepted. The consequences of the assassination could be far-reaching. It seems to have unlocked the gates of political upheavals that were simmering throughout the last year. Accusations and counter-accusations are rife and aggravate the ongoing political polarization. Some accuse the Syrian security services and leadership of assassinating Mr. Hariri because he became an insurmountable obstacle to their influence in Lebanon. Syrian supporters maintain that he was assassinated by "the enemies of Syria"; those who wanted to create international pressure on the Syrian leadership in order to accelerate the demise of its influence in Lebanon and/or start a chain of reactions that would eventually force a 'regime change' inside Syria itself. Lebanese politicians from different backgrounds expressed to the Mission their fear that Lebanon could be caught in a possible showdown between Syria and the international community, with devastating consequences for Lebanese peace and security. After gathering the available facts, the Mission concluded that the Lebanese security services and the Syrian Military Intelligence bear the primary responsibility for the lack of security, protection, law and order in Lebanon. The Lebanese security services have demonstrated serious and systematic negligence in carrying out the duties usually performed by a professional national security apparatus. In doing so, they have severely failed to provide the citizens of Lebanon with an acceptable level of security and, therefore, have contributed to the propagation of a culture of intimidation and impunity. The Syrian Military Intelligence shares this responsibility to the extent of its involvement in running the security services in Lebanon. It is also the Mission's conclusion that the Government of Syria bears primary responsibility for the political tension that preceded the assassination of former Prime Minister Mr. Hariri. The Government of Syria clearly exerted influence that goes beyond the reasonable exercise of cooperative or neighborly relations. It interfered with the details of governance in Lebanon in a heavy-handed and inflexible manner that was the primary reason for the political polarization that ensued. Without prejudice to the results of the investigation, it is obvious that this atmosphere provided the backdrop for the assassination of Mr. Hariri. It became clear to the Mission that the Lebanese investigation process suffers from serious flaws and has neither the capacity nor the commitment to reach a satisfactory and credible conclusion. To find the truth, it would be necessary to entrust the investigation to an international independent commission, comprising the different fields of expertise that are usually involved in carrying out similarly large investigations in national systems, with the necessary executive authority to carry out interrogations, searches, and other relevant tasks. Furthermore, it is more than doubtful that such an international commission could carry out its tasks satisfactorily - and receives the necessary active cooperation from local authorities - while the current leadership of the Lebanese security services remains in office. It is the Mission's conclusion that the restoration of the integrity and credibility of the Lebanese security apparatus is of vital importance to the security and stability of the country. A sustained effort to restructure, reform and retrain the Lebanese security services will be necessary to achieve this end, and will certainly require assistance and active engagement on the part of the international community. Finally, it is the Mission's view that international and regional political support will be necessary to safeguard Lebanon's national unity and to shield its fragile polity from unwarranted pressure. Improving the prospects of peace and security in the region would offer a more solid ground for restoring normalcy in Lebanon.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Government
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Author: Cheryl Igiri, Princeton M. Lyman
  • Publication Date: 09-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: April 2004 marked ten years since genocide ravaged Rwanda. The anniversary recalls the horrific way in which some 800,000 Rwandans lost their lives and serves as an unforgettable reminder of the international community's failure to prevent that genocide. This failure pervades the current consciousness as the tenor rises over how to react to credible reports of ethnic cleansing in Sudan.
  • Topic: Security, Genocide, International Law
  • Political Geography: Sudan, North Africa, Rwanda
  • Author: Robert M. Gates, Zbigniew Brzezinski, Susan Maloney
  • Publication Date: 07-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Twenty-five years after its Islamic revolution, Iran represents a challenge and an opportunity for the United States. The issues at stake reflect the urgent and multifaceted dilemmas of U.S. security in the post–9/11 era: nuclear proliferation, state support of terrorism, the relationship between religion and politics, and the imperative of political and economic reform in the Middle East. At this time, as Iraq—Iran's neighbor and historic adversary—embarks on a difficult transition to post-conflict sovereignty, and as the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) extends its scrutiny of Iranian nuclear activities, Iran looms large on the U.S. policy agenda. Recognizing this relevance to vital U.S. interests, the Task Force advocates selectively engaging with Iran to address critical U.S. concerns.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Iran, Middle East
  • Author: J. Brian Atwood, Robert S. Browne, Princeton N. Lyman
  • Publication Date: 05-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: The United States will host the G8 Summit at Sea Island, Georgia, in June 2004. Many urgent and critical international issues need to be discussed at the summit, especially developments in the Middle East and in the worldwide war on terrorism. It will be important, however, that the summit also maintain the momentum of the past three years in the G8-Africa partnership. This will reinforce the work of African leaders who are championing democracy, human rights, and good governance. Africa, moreover, figures prominently in the three global issues the United States has selected for the summit: freedom, security, and prosperity.
  • Topic: Security, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, Middle East, Georgia, Island
  • Author: Lawrence H. Summers, Henry A. Kissinger, Charles A. Kupchan
  • Publication Date: 03-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: The accomplishments of the Atlantic alliance are remarkable. History records few, if any, alliances that have yielded so many benefits for their members or for the broader international community. After centuries of recurrent conflict, war among the European great powers has become inconceivable. The Cold War has been won; the threat of nuclear war has receded. Freedom has prevailed against totalitarian ideologies. Trade, investment, and travel are more open today than ever before. Progress in raising living standards—in rich and poor countries alike—is unprecedented.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe
  • Author: David L. Phillips
  • Publication Date: 01-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: The Republic of Georgia suffers from pervasive problems. Popular frustrations boiled over after the November 2, 2003, parliamentary elections, which international observers determined were fraudulent. Facing mass protests and civil disobedience, President Eduard Shevardnadze resigned. The so-called revolution of roses culminated in a peaceful transfer of power when Mikhail Saakashvili assumed the presidency after receiving 96 percent of the vote in a special ballot on January 4, 2004.
  • Topic: Security, Democratization, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Central Asia, Asia, Georgia
  • Author: Frank G. II Wisner, Nicholas Platt, Marshall M. Bouton
  • Publication Date: 10-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: South Asia may be halfway around the globe from the United States, but in the age of the Internet and globalization, what happens there—as the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks by al-Qaeda tragically underscored—can affect all Americans. The challenge to U.S. policy over the medium term (through 2010) is to design and implement a stable and sustained approach that will solidify bilateral ties with three of the key countries of the region—India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan—and give the United States an opportunity to influence major regional developments. This report assesses the strengths and weaknesses of India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan and recommends how U.S. policy can best take advantage of the opportunities while addressing the dangers that they present. Success in dealing with South Asia will require sustained and highlevel attention, sensitive diplomacy, a realistic view of what is possible, and, especially with Pakistan and Afghanistan, investment of substantial resources.
  • Topic: Security, Nuclear Weapons, Weapons of Mass Destruction
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Afghanistan, United States, South Asia, India
  • Author: Frank G. Wisner, Edward P. Djerejian
  • Publication Date: 12-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Today's Iraq debate is understandably focused on the run-up to possible military action. However, the question of how the United States and the international community should manage post-conflict Iraq is even more consequential, as it will determine the long-term condition of Iraq and the entire Middle East. If Washington does not clearly define its goals for Iraq and build support for them domestically and with its allies and partners, future difficulties are bound to quickly overshadow any initial military success. Put simply, the United States may lose the peace, even if it wins the war.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Middle East, Arabia, Arab Countries
  • Author: Stephen E. Flynn, Warren B. Rudman, Gary Hart
  • Publication Date: 10-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: A year after September 11, 2001, America remains dangerously unprepared to prevent and respond to a catastrophic terrorist attack on U.S. soil. In all likelihood, the next attack will result in even greater casualties and widespread disruption to American lives and the economy. The need for immediate action is made more urgent by the prospect of the United States's going to war with Iraq and the possibility that Saddam Hussein might threaten the use of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in America.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Maurice R. Greenberg, Lee S. Wolosky, William F. Wechsler
  • Publication Date: 10-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Unlike other terrorist leaders, Osama bin Laden is not a military hero, a religious authority, or an obvious representative of the downtrodden and disillusioned. He is a rich financier. He built al- Qaeda's financial network from the foundation of a system originally designed to channel resources to the mujahideen fighting the Soviets.
  • Topic: Security, Globalization, International Trade and Finance, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Soviet Union
  • Publication Date: 07-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: A consensus is emerging, made far more urgent by the war on terrorism, that U.S. public diplomacy requires new thinking and decision-making structures that do not now exist. We must make clear why we are fighting this war and why supporting it is in the interest of other nations as well as our own. Because terrorism is considered the transcendent threat to our national security, it is overwhelmingly in the national interest that the United States formulate and manage its foreign policies in such a way that the war on terrorism receives the indispensable cooperation of foreign nations.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, International Cooperation
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Robert A. Manning, Ronald Montaperto, Brad Roberts
  • Publication Date: 04-2000
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Historically, U.S. nuclear strategists and arms control experts have paid little attention to the People's Republic of China (PRC). China has not been a major factor in the U.S. nuclear calculus, which has remained centered on U.S.-Russian nuclear arsenals as the principal framework for arms control and arms reductions. Yet today China is the only one of the five de jure nuclear weapons states qualitatively and quantitatively expanding its nuclear arsenal.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, Arms Control and Proliferation, Nuclear Weapons
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, China, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Neil E. Silver
  • Publication Date: 04-2000
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: The political dynamics of China-Japan relations have changed in reaction to three events: the demise of bipolar world politics, China's ''rise,'' and Japan's unexpected economic stall. These changed political dynamics have brought important challenges and consequences for the United States.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, China, Israel, East Asia, Asia
  • Author: Bob Graham, Brent Scowcroft
  • Publication Date: 07-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: In November 1999, the Council on Foreign Relations and Inter-American Dialogue established an independent task force to review and offer recommendations on U.S. policy toward Colombia. The co-chairs of the task force have decided to issue this interim report to make an impact on deliberations in Congress, as well as respond to an immediate opportunity to shape the current debate about U.S. policy. We plan to publish a final report in June 2000 that will provide a more comprehensive and systematic examination of U.S. policy toward Colombia. That report will, for example, discuss the wider challenge of addressing a serious drug problem in which many countries—the United States includedare involved, and which calls for shared responsibility and joint action. On January 11, the Clinton administration put forward a bill that seeks an "emergency supplemental appropriation" to provide some $950 million in assistance to Colombia this fiscal year, and a total of $1.6 billion through fiscal year 2001. The administration's bill was formulated in the context of Plan Colombia, a mutually agreed framework between the Colombian and U.S. governments. The plan identifies the country's critical needs and makes clear that the Andean nation's interrelated problems—powerful insurgent and paramilitary forces, massive narcotrafficking, widespread human rights abuses, and deep economic recession—have reached crisis levels. It further indicates that the Colombian government is prepared to tackle these problems, and is committed to addressing all of them together. While the Colombian government is prepared to contribute $4 billion of the $7.5 billion the plan will cost, Colombia has also asked for immediate help from the international community. In response, the Clinton administration has put together a two-year aid package that emphasizes equipment and training for the military and police to carry out counter-narcotics operations. Other elements of Plan Colombia are supported to a much lesser degree. In focusing the aid package in this way, the administration recognizes the close linkages that have developed between Colombia's illegal narcotics industry and the country's insurgent and paramilitary forces. As such, it deals with key concerns for both the United States and Colombia. Security assistance aimed at reducing drug production and trafficking is but a piece of a broader effort that seeks to extend legitimate authority in the country. For this reason—coupled with the fact that such support would signal strong US commitment to help a troubled country at a critical moment—we urge Congress to move quickly and approve the administration's aid package. We also suggest that Congress make two adjustments in the proposed package: strengthen a regional approach to the drug problem, and improve Colombia's economic situation by enhancing its trade benefits. Although it will make a contribution, the administration's aid proposal responds only partially to the formidable policy challenge posed by Colombia. An effective package must get beyond the current emphasis on fighting drugs. The main emphasis should, rather, be on helping the Colombian government strengthen its capacity to protect its citizens and effectively exercise control and authority over its territory. But a lack of consensus within the U.S. government has made it difficult to focus on that overall objective in U.S. policy toward Colombia. As currently formulated, the bill is an essential first step, but more is required, both from Washington and Bogotá. With its proposal, the administration has affirmed that the stakes for the United States are high. We agree. We therefore urge the White House to develop an integrated, long-term plan that has a broader focus than merely the drug problem. The administration and Congress must recognize that a serious policy response to the challenges posed by Colombia implies a U.S. commitment to the country beyond the two-year period of the proposed bill. A successful approach will require high-level, sustained engagement, supported by a bipartisan majority in Congress, during at least a half dozen years. As part of a longer-term policy, the main focus in the security area should be on reforming Colombia's armed forces and making them more professional, thereby establishing the conditions under which the United States could provide effective military assistance. Training is particularly crucial to upgrade the military capability of the armed forces and improve their human rights performance. Professionalization would also enhance the Colombian government's moves toward a political solution to the conflict, and reinforce efforts to deal more successfully with both insurgent and paramilitary forces. Under no circumstances should U.S. combat troops be deployed in Colombia for military intervention. Levels of support above those reflected in the current bill should be considered for other critical areas in addition to security. Extension of current preferential trade arrangements for Colombia should benefit its economy. Special efforts are needed to improve the country's judicial system and help Colombia strengthen its ability to undertake alternative development strategies. The United States should encourage a multilateral approach, working in concert with Colombia's hemispheric partners, European friends, and relevant multilateral institutions. A more balanced U.S. policy (that is, one less narrowly focused on drugs) would make other governments and institutions more inclined to join in a common effort. Finally, Colombia's problems demand strong, focused leadership from Bogotá that reflects a Colombian commitment and national consensus behind a set of realistic policies. The United States can and should respond to Colombian initiatives in accordance with its own national interests. It cannot, however, solve Colombia's problems.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Colombia, South America, Latin America, North America
  • Author: Michael J. Green, James T. Laney, Morton I. Abramowitz
  • Publication Date: 07-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: In May, former Secretary of Defense William Perry traveled to North Korea with a comprehensive proposal to increase outside assistance for its isolated and declining Stalinist regime in exchange for steps by the North to reduce its threatening military posture. The Perry proposal was designed to test North Korea's intentions not only to abide by the 1994 Agreed Framework, which aimed to cap Pyongyang's nuclear ambitions, but also to stop further missile tests and military provocations. It is unlikely that North Korea will respond positively. The regime has survived for five decades only by maintaining a belligerent stance. Pyongyang has rebuffed South Korean President Kim Dae Jung's unprecedented efforts to improve North-South relations and has continued to produce military tensions, even in the wake of the Perry visit. But it is too soon to give up on a comprehensive package to reduce tensions with North Korea. Despite the illusion of self-sufficiency, or juche, the North is increasingly dependent on outside help to sustain itself. It is possible that over time Pyongyang will find no alternative to greater interaction with the outside world. Barring an increase in threatening North Korean actions, the United States should keep the Perry proposal on the table and continue to support Kim Dae Jung's policy of engagement. A second Taepodong missile test by North Korea would not violate any existing North Korean commitments, but it would significantly change the situation in Northeast Asia. We should make every effort to deter a launch, but if one takes place, the United States, Japan, and South Korea will have to examine ways to enhance defense against a different North Korean threat. South Korea should suspend new investment in North Korea and Japan should impose new sanctions and consider restrictions on financial transfers to the North. The United States should lower its diplomatic activity toward Pyongyang, keeping channels open, but forcing North Korea to provide incentives for greater dialogue. A missile launch should not end our attempts at diplomacy or cause us to forget that North Korea's relative military capabilities are in decline, but if a test is conducted business cannot continue as usual. Although a North Korean missile launch would do great damage to political support for the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization (KEDO) in the United States, Japan, and South Korea, it should not be a reason for us to abandon our commitments under the Agreed Framework. The Agreed Framework stands as the major bulwark against a return to the kind of calamitous military steps the United States was forced to consider in 1994 to stop North Korea's nuclear program. Inspections of suspicious underground facilities at Kumchangri in May revealed no North Korean violation of the Agreed Framework. Although we cannot assume from this that Pyongyang has forsaken its nuclear ambitions, we do know that implementation of the Agreed Framework remains the best approach to preventing nuclear weapons development in the North. In the end, there is no easy solution to the intractable North Korean problem. Efforts to reduce tensions and build North-South reconciliation have yielded little. We are strong enough to test inducements for change in the North, but our policy must be based on robust deterrence and close defense cooperation with our allies.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Arms Control and Proliferation
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, East Asia, South Korea, North Korea, Korean Peninsula
  • Author: Ted Galen Carpenter, Mark Falcoff, Adrian Karatnycky, Gary C. Hufbauer, Robert D. Blackwill, Leslie H. Gelb, Allen R. Adler, Mario L. Baeza, Philip Peters, Bernard W. Aronson, Jeffrey L. Bewkes, Rodolfo O. De La Garza, Daniel W. Fisk, Craig Fuller, M. Farooq Kathwari, Franklin W. Knight, Susan Kaufman Purcell, Peter W. Rodman, Riordan Roett, William D. Rogers, Alexander F. Watson
  • Publication Date: 01-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: This report addresses the current state and the future prospects for the transatlantic relationship. The broad challenge the U.S.-European partnership faces in the period ahead is threefold: to persuade others around the world in post-Cold War conditions to abide by internationally accepted norms and patterns of behavior and the rules of the international institutions that embody them; to deal skillfully with the emerging new power centers, of which China and India are the most prominent; and to meet the current serious threats to Western interests, especially in the Middle East, when these threats often seem to ordinary citizens more remote, abstract, and complex than during the Cold War. This daunting effort will clearly require transatlantic policies that involve a delicate and flexible combination of incentives and disincentives applied to these other countries in a highly discriminating manner in widely differing circumstances. Designing and sustaining such policies will be no easy task for Western governments with compelling domestic preoccupations in the full glare of the media spotlight.
  • Topic: Security, Cold War, International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Middle East
  • Author: Bill Richardson
  • Publication Date: 06-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: When I was U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, I was often inspired by one of the world's most-original humanitarians: Dag Hammarskjold.Each time I return to New York, I'm reminded of his beliefs—of all that we can do when we grasp the past, respect the present, and use the knowledge from both to clarify a vision for the future. When we do so, we often do our best work.
  • Topic: Security, International Political Economy, United Nations
  • Political Geography: United States, New York, Middle East
  • Author: K. Simitis
  • Publication Date: 04-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Thank you very much for the opportunity you have given me today to develop some thoughts as to the role of my country within our broader region, South-East Europe, and to do so before this distinguished body, the Council on Foreign Relations. Of course, I would never have imagined that my speech would be so timely, unfortunately, for reasons which have to do with the continuing crisis in Yugoslavia. The recent developments there, I fear, have confirmed in the minds of many observers of events around the world, those stereotypes which have prevailed for more than a century in the Balkans,—that it still the powder keg of Europe. Of course, no one can deny that the history of the Balkans is one of turbulence. It is appropriate to remind you, that the history of other European regions is also full of wars and other atrocities. Unfortunately, in some cases, far greater than those which took place and are taking place in the Balkans. I would also add, that the perturbed development of the Balkans has also been marked by long-term, economic and social under-development.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Politics
  • Political Geography: Europe, Greece, Yugoslavia, Balkans
  • Author: Marshall Bouton, Frank Wisner, Farida Burtis, Amit Sarkar, Shri Jaswant Singh, Corinne Shane, Trudy Rubin, Gligor Tashkovich, Robert Kleiman, Paul Heer
  • Publication Date: 09-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: I'd like to welcome you to this luncheon with the Honorable Jaswant Singh, Minister for External Affairs for the Government of India. Mr. Minister, I believe this is your third visit to the Asia Society. We and the Council on Foreign Relations are deeply honored, again, to provide a forum for exchange between the Government of India and interested Americans. As you can see from the attendance here today, there is much interest in hearing from you.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Politics
  • Political Geography: America, South Asia, India, Asia
  • Author: James Laney, Michael J. Green
  • Publication Date: 07-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Good morning. Thank you for coming. I'm Michael Green, senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations here in Washington, and the director of this independent task force on Korea policy, which is sponsored by the Council on Foreign Relations. We are here today to release and explain our recent study on policy towards North Korea. This is, in many ways, the culmination of a two-year effort by the Council.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Arms Control and Proliferation
  • Political Geography: United States, Washington, East Asia, North Korea, Korea
  • Author: Richard Butler
  • Publication Date: 07-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: After two years as the United Nations' chief arms inspector in Iraq, Ambassador Richard Butler resigned June 30 executive chairman of the UN Special Commission (UNSCOM). Butler's departure from UNSCOM, whose operations in Iraq have been suspended since the U.S.-British air and missile attacks in December 1998, coincides with the apparent demise of UNSCOM due to Baghdad's continuing refusal to fulfill its disarmament obligations and the widening rift within the UN Security Council as to how to deal with the government of Saddam Hussein.
  • Topic: Security, Arms Control and Proliferation, United Nations
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Middle East, Baghdad
  • Author: Martin Indyk, Leslie H. Gelb
  • Publication Date: 04-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Dr. Leslie H. Gelb (President, Council on Foreign Relations): Thank you very much, Martin, for that very well formed and important statement, and for giving it here. Let me ask you the first question on Iran-Iraq, and we'll do that for about 15 minutes or so. Do you have to break promptly at two? Why don't we agree that we'll go on to ten past or maybe a quarter past two? Those who have to leave at two, we will understand. Please do so, but we'll continue until about 2:15 p.m.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Nuclear Weapons
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Iran, Middle East
  • Author: Costas Simitis, Matthew Nimetz
  • Publication Date: 04-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Ambassador Matthew Nimetz: We'll have questions. Remember, they're on the record. Please stand when I call on you. State your name and affiliation. Make the questions real short.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Politics
  • Political Geography: Europe, Middle East
  • Author: Javier Solana
  • Publication Date: 03-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: I am very pleased to be here at the prestigious Council on Foreign Relations. Over the past 50 years, this Council has been at the forefront of America's support for NATO and of this nation's continued engagement in European security.
  • Topic: Security, NATO
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Europe
  • Author: Richard Butler, Charlie Rose
  • Publication Date: 03-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: The following is a transcript of the March 3, 1999, meeting, “A Conversation with Richard Butler,” sponsored by the New York Meetings Program. This event was on the record.
  • Topic: Security, Arms Control and Proliferation, United Nations
  • Political Geography: New York, Middle East
  • Author: Michael E. Mandelbaum, John J. Mearsheimer
  • Publication Date: 02-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: About 30 years ago when he was appointed titular professor of history at Oxford, Michael Howard, the military historian, wrote a book called War and the Liberal Conscience. And in that book he chronicled how, for most of modern history, through the dismal recurrence of war in every continent and every decade, virtually, people had held out the hope that war was going to be obsolete or was going to be somehow ended, or was going to be somehow transformed. And yet war persisted.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security
  • Author: Robert D. Blackwill, Kristin Archick
  • Publication Date: 06-1998
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Transnational challenges, which range from the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) to environmental problems to migration, have been receiving greater attention in foreign policymaking circles on both sides of the Atlantic since the end of the Cold War. Some strategists assert that many of these issues represent new threats to the security of the nation-state and to the stability of the international community. The globalization of financial markets, the spread of advanced technologies, and the rapid diffusion of information have combined to produce an increasingly interdependent world and call into question the significance of geopolitical boundaries. Cyberterrorism renders important information systems vulnerable. International organized crime and its attendant money laundering weakens the stability of global finances. Precisely because these new threats cross territorial borders, they also blur the dividing line between foreign and domestic policy. Civil strife within the territory of one state, for example, may become internationalized if it produces refugee flows into another.
  • Topic: Security
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Harold Brown, Bruce Stokes, Richard L. Armitage, James J. Shinn
  • Publication Date: 04-1998
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: The U.S.-Japan security relationship is far too important to peace and stability in Asia to allow it to simply wither away or to be destroyed by a crisis. But the relationship is not sustainable in the form that served it so well during the Cold War. To weather both the "tests of war" and the "strains of peace," the alliance must be strengthened by adapting to the new realities and security challenges of the 21st century. The revision of the U.S.-Japan Guidelines for Defense Cooperation, announced September 23, 1997, was an important step in that direction. But the Japanese Diet must still pass laws implementing these changes. More broadly, Japan must: make the case directly and convincingly to the Japanese public that closer security ties with the United States are in Japan's self interest; agree to engage in explicit defense cooperation so that Japanese forces can be "planned in" rather than "planned out" of U.S. military operations in a range of Asian regional contingencies; engage in a serious dialogue with the United States on long term weapons acquisition plans, including some commitment by Japan to Theater Missile Defense. For its part, the United States must: convince the American public and the Congress that a continued security relationship with Japan is essential to the United States; increase the flexibility of the Pentagon regarding the basing of its troops in Asia, including its forces in Japan, and especially in Okinawa; clearly commit to keep the Japanese security alliance as America's premier security relationship in Asia. And both nations need to: cooperate more closely in gathering and sharing intelligence; coordinate more actively on nuclear nonproliferation and counterterrorism activities; enhance mutual political consultation so that in a crisis Japan shares more authority in as well as responsibility for the alliance. These changes should be implemented at a deliberate pace with a careful eye to the political climate and the art of the possible in Washington, Tokyo, and other Asian capitals. Only in this way can the U.S.-Japan security relationship be adapted to the challenges that lie ahead.
  • Topic: Security
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, East Asia
  • Publication Date: 01-1998
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: The Persian Gulf is one of the few regions whose importance to the United States is obvious. The flow of Gulf oil will continue to be crucial to the economic well–being of the industrialized world for the foreseeable future; developments in the Gulf will have a critical impact on issues ranging from Arab–Israeli relations and religious extremism to terrorism and nuclear nonproliferation. Every president since Richard Nixon has recognized that ensuring Persian Gulf security and stability is a vital U.S. interest.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Iran, Middle East
  • Author: Barnett Rubin
  • Publication Date: 10-1998
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: On August 8, 1998, the Taliban (Islamic student) movement of Afghanistan took control of Mazar-i Sharif, the last city remaining outside their control. 2 In their campaign in northern Afghanistan, the Taliban succeeded in gaining control of nearly all the parts of the country's territory that had remained outside their power since they marched into Kabul on September 26, 1996. Just as the Taliban prepared to campaign for international diplomatic recognition, however, the United States on August 20, 1998, launched a cruise missile attack against camps in Afghanistan that it charged contained the terrorist infrastructure of a movement led by Osama bin Laden, the wealthy Saudi exile. The United States claimed to have strong evidence implicating bin Laden and his network of exiled Islamists in the bombing of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania on August 7. The United States also raided a pharmaceutical factory in Khartoum, Sudan, said to be manufacturing precursors of chemical weapons substances. The Taliban's continued defense of bin Laden and their denunciation of the U.S. raid ruled out any dialogue between the Taliban and the United States that perhaps would lead to U.S. diplomatic recognition and construction of oil and gas pipelines from Central Asia through Afghanistan. The Taliban's behavior complicated their relations with regional states as well. Saudi Arabia, one of only three states that recognized the Taliban's government, expelled their diplomatic representative on September 22 in reprisal for the Taliban's continued harboring of Osama bin Laden. Most dramatically, the Taliban's killing of nine Iranian diplomats during their takeover of Mazar-i Sharif has led to an extended confrontation with Tehran. War, or at least military action, cannot be ruled out. During the more than 20 years since the “Sawr Revolution” of April 27, 1978, brought a communist party to power, Afghanistan had moved from one stage to another of civil war and political disintegration, without seeming to get any closer toward peace, political order, or sustainable development. The combination of an inimical regional environment, characterized by unstable strategic and economic competition, with the destruction of much of the country's elites, institutions, and infrastructure, has assured the continuation of war among forces based in different regions of the divided country. The victory of the Taliban may put an end to open warfare, but it is likely to result in continued guerrilla or commando activities. The emergence of an assertive Islamic traditionalism in the form of the Taliban has also placed new obstacles in the way of international humanitarian and peacemaking programs. 3 The division of control over the country had remained relatively stable since the summer of 1997. The Taliban movement, originally based in the southern city of Qandahar, the heartland of Pashtun traditionalism and the homeland of Afghanistan's old royal clan, had conquered the Persian-speaking city of Herat, near the Iranian border, in September 1995. A year later, in September 1996, the Taliban swept into the eastern Pashtun city of Jalalabad and Afghanistan's capital city, Kabul, driving out the Tajik-dominated government of the “Islamic State of Afghanistan” that was led by President Burhanuddin Rabbani and Defense Minister Ahmad Shah Massoud. At the end of May 1997, the Taliban took advantage of divisions within the mainly Uzbek National Islamic Movement of Afghanistan (NIMA) to take temporary control of Mazar-i Sharif. This northern city on the border of Uzbekistan was the only major urban center still not controlled by them. The Shia in the city, however, mostly from the Hazara ethnic group, resisted the Taliban attempt to disarm them and drove the conquerors out in bloody battles that killed thousands and may also have led to the subsequent massacre of prisoners. A Taliban attempt to recapture Mazar-i Sharif in September 1997 also failed, largely because of a major resupply effort mounted by Iran. While the Taliban failed in their first two attempts to control the entire North from this urban center, they managed to establish a long-term presence in the area. They gained the support of many of the ethnic Pashtuns who had been settled in the North by the Afghan monarchy and established a political and military base in Kunduz, which was supplied by air from Kabul and, according to some reports, Pakistan. Despite intermittent activity on several front lines (north of Kabul, around Kunduz, northeast of Herat, on the borders of Hazarajat), the lines of control remained relatively stable until the Taliban's new offensive in July 1998. 4 The Taliban have constituted a governmental structure that they call the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (Da Afghanistano Islami Amarat). Before the summer 1998 offensive, they controlled the entire Pashtun belt, from Jalalabad in the East, through Qandahar in the South, and on through the Southwest. They also controlled the ethnically mixed, primarily Persian-speaking cities of Herat and Kabul, which border on the Pashtun areas. Finally, they controlled a pocket of territory in the North centered around Kunduz. They thus controlled the highways connecting Afghanistan to Pakistan, Iran, and Turkmenistan, nearly all the Pakistani border, the entire Iranian border, and about half of the border with Turkmenistan. They also appeared to control part of the border with Tajikistan, including the port of Sher Khan Bandar. These areas included all the country's major customs posts except for Hairatan, north of Mazar-i Sharif, which the Taliban briefly held in May 1997. They also controlled the areas estimated to produce 90 percent of Afghanistan's opium poppies, the country's most profitable crop. Taxes on this crop are an important source of revenue for the Taliban, though they strictly prohibit its consumption. The United Nations estimates that Afghanistan and the surrounding region produce slightly more than half the world's supply of this drug. 5 The opposition to the Taliban, known generically as the “United Front,” consisted of several groups controlling different portions of the remaining parts of the country, which are largely inhabited by Tajiks, Uzbeks, and Hazaras. After the main Taliban offensive, elements of these groups controlled only a few mountainous areas home to ethnic minorities: Badakhshan and the Panjsher Valley, inhabited by Tajiks, and the Hazarajat, home to the Shia Muslim Hazara ethnic group. Before the Taliban's July-August offensive, the opposition groups had controlled most of the northern tier of provinces from Faryab to Badakhshan (except for Kunduz) as well as the Hazarajat. They controlled the main highway leading to Uzbekistan and the railhead at Hairatan that connects to the former Soviet rail system with links to Asia and Europe. Hairatan is the only major customs post in their region. These territories included about half of Afghanistan's border with Turkmenistan, the short but logistically and economically important border with Uzbekistan, nearly the entire border with Tajikistan, and a remote, mountainous, and largely inaccessible part of the border with Pakistan (including Pakistan-controlled Kashmir). Even before the offensive, the Taliban appeared to control at least two-thirds of Afghanistan's territory; their own estimates ranged as high as 85 percent. Much of that territory, however, was uninhabited desert, especially in the Southwest. The areas under Taliban control at that time included probably slightly more than half the country's population, which is currently estimated at nearly 24 million. 6 The two largest population centers then under Taliban rule, Herat and Kabul, were largely hostile to them, and the requirements of controlling these areas probably make them more of a drain on Taliban personnel than a source of recruits. These market centers provided significant income, however. The Taliban's main advantage was that they controlled the territory and population in the regions they ruled through a unitary structure, while the opposition remained split and riven by feuds. The opposition was divided into several groups, and each group was further divided into feuding factions. Furthermore, both sides depended to a great extent (though precise data are lacking) on foreign military, technical, and financial assistance. The Taliban are supported and were to some extent organized by Pakistan, with financial support from both official and unofficial sources in Saudi Arabia and other Gulf Arab states, while the northern groups have received aid from Iran, Russia, and, to a lesser extent, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. The Taliban thus controlled the borders and highways leading not only to their own main supporter, Pakistan, but also to the opposition's main supporter, Iran. Supplying the Taliban was thus easier and less expensive than supplying the northern groups. By late August, the Taliban had control of virtually all the country's airfields except for two in Hazarajat. This effectively stopped aid to any other region. The regional competition results from the reconfiguration of the region after the break-up of the Soviet Union. Iran, Pakistan, and Russia are competing for control over the routes by which Central Asia's oil and gas resources will reach outside markets, which in turn will largely determine what power becomes predominant in the area. 7 The decision by India, followed by Pakistan, to test nuclear weapons has raised the stakes in the region and complicated peacemaking efforts. The independence of ethno-national states in Central Asia has given new prominence to ethnic identities, affecting co-ethnics across borders. And the increasing politicization of Islamic identity has increased the salience of Sunni/Shia sectarian differences. Perhaps the best-known fact about the Taliban is the restrictions they have imposed on women. These restrictions require that women be fully veiled, forbid them most education and employment, and impose strict limitations on their access to public services, including health care. The Taliban have also required men to grow full, untrimmed beards, cut their hair short, and attend mosque. They forbid any social mingling or communication among men and women outside the family. These rules (and others) have led to a series of confrontations with the representatives of the international community, largely the U.N. agencies and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) present in Afghanistan. 8 Despite these rules, until the summer of 1998 these international organizations continued to work in Taliban areas; they did not work in most areas controlled by the northern groups. All agencies withdrew from Mazar-i Sharif after their offices, property, and storehouses (including food intended for destitute or famine-stricken areas) were thoroughly looted for the second time in September 1997 (they had been looted previously in May). The United Nations continued to work in Hazarajat, however. Western NGOs left Kabul in July 1998 when the Taliban refused to withdraw a requirement that all the NGOs move to the Polytechnic, a ruined Soviet-built campus in northern Kabul. More Westerners left in response to U.S. warnings about dangers to non-Muslim foreigners during the preparation for the August 20 raids. The Taliban resent the fact that although they have provided security for U.N. and NGO staff and property, the opposition, which has failed to do so, continues to be recognized as the government of Afghanistan by most countries and to occupy Afghanistan's U.N. seat. Only Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates recognize the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. Opposition to the Taliban's gender policies accounts for much of the resistance to either recognizing them or vacating Afghanistan's U.N. seat. Indeed, a significant movement has developed in Europe and North America in opposition to the Taliban's gender policies, and this movement, as much as the interest in gas and oil pipelines, has placed Afghanistan back on the international radar screen. The Taliban's harboring of bin Laden and his network provides yet another even more prominent reason.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Afghanistan, Russia, United States, Iran, Middle East, Taliban, Saudi Arabia
  • Author: Barnett Rubin
  • Publication Date: 10-1998
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Mr. Chairman, thank you for this invitation, and thank you for your continuing work to focus attention on Afghanistan. I have brought a written submission for the record providing background information on recent events in Afghanistan. In my statement I will concentrate on policy challenges posed by Afghanistan to the United States and the international community.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Middle East
  • Publication Date: 06-1997
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Dr. LESLIE GELB (President, Council on Foreign Relations): Welcome to today's program on the United States and China: Strategic Partners or Adversaries? My name is Les Gelb. I'm President of the Council on Foreign Relations. And the Council, along with the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations, has put together this panel because we think it's dealing with one of the most important, if not the most important, foreign policy question facing the United States. These Policy Impact Panels, as we call them, are designed to do two things. One, try to establish facts in a very complicated situation, because often we spend a lot of time wondering what the facts are or if they can be established. The second purpose is to lay out the policy alternatives, to give us a sense of what we can do about the problems or the facts.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Asia
  • Publication Date: 03-1997
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Ms. ELLEN FUTTER (President, American Museum of Natural History): Welcome to a panel discussion on 21st Century Surprises and Threats at the Council on Foreign Relations. I'm Ellen Futter, president of the American Museum of Natural History and moderator for this panel.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Michael E. Mandelbaum, Richard C. Holbrooke
  • Publication Date: 12-1996
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Good evening. Welcome to the second or the third of our Great Debates, it depends on how you're counting. The first formal one was about six weeks ago when Madeleine Albright, our new Secretary of State designate, and Jeane Kirkpatrick debated about the United Nations. Before that we had a trial run with Bob Ellsworth, one of Senator Dole's closest friends and advisors, and Tom Donilon, the chief of staff of the State Department.
  • Topic: Security, NATO, United Nations
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe