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  • Author: Monty G. Marshall
  • Publication Date: 10-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: A public debate over the threat posed by weak, fragile, failing, and failed states and what can or should be done about them has become increasing visible and vocal since the attacks of September 11, 2001. As President George W. Bush declared in his 2002 National Security Strategy report: “America is now threatened less by conquering states than ... by failing ones.” This debate has grown particularly acute as the United States' prolonged military response to the war on global terrorism in Afghanistan and Iraq has revealed the difficulties of controlling militancy and extremism by direct military intervention and enforced democratic change. The challenges associated with weak or failing states have garnered increase d attention by the policy community, but major differences about how to assess the level of risk in any given case remain.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Relations, Foreign Policy, Political Violence, Development, Diplomacy, Government, International Security
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, America
  • Author: Joshua W. Busby
  • Publication Date: 11-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: When Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans in 2005, Americans witnessed on their own soil what looked like an overseas humanitarian-relief operation. The storm destroyed much of the city, causing more than $80 billion in damages, killing more than 1,800 people, and displacing in excess of 270,000. More than 70,000 soldiers were mobilized, including 22,000 active duty troops and 50,000-plus members of the National Guard (about 10 percent of the total Guard strength). Katrina also had severe effects on critical infrastructure, taking crude oil production and refinery capacity off-line for an unprecedented length of time. At a time when the United States was conducting military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, the country suddenly had to divert its attention and military resources to respond to a domestic emergency.
  • Topic: International Relations, Climate Change, Development
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, America
  • Author: Robert Z. Lawrence
  • Publication Date: 03-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: The United States likes to think of itself as a nation that abides by its treaties and commitments. Successive U.S. administrations have taken the obligations implied by international agreements seriously: They have opted out of parts of many agreements for fear that compliance would be contrary to U.S. interests, and have refused outright to sign some treaties on the grounds of potential legal exposure. But U.S. behavior toward the World Trade Organization is different; in this case, the United States has been quite willing to accept binding multilateral rules. Yet, the United States has also been repeatedly judged to be in violation of its WTO commitments by the organization's dispute settlement panels, and although some violations could be ascribed to uncertainties about the meaning of the rules, the United States is also guilty of disregarding the rules deliberately. Opinion in Congress sometimes encourages this behavior; legislators are less likely to question the legitimacy of U.S. conduct than to question the WTO's authority to pass judgment over the United States. Moreover, these tensions are likely to escalate if the Doha Round of global trade negotiations breaks down. If the diplomatic route to market access is blocked, trading partners will seek access to U.S. consumers by bringing more cases before the WTO's tribunals. A surge in such cases could increase resentment of the WTO in the United States, weakening America's commitment to its traditional postwar role as the bulwark of the international trading system. This would be unfortunate, because even without changes in the behavior of its trading partners, the rules of the WTO improve the performance of the U.S. economy.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Trade and Finance, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall, Stephen Cook
  • Publication Date: 06-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: The growing schism between the West and the Islamic world is one of the primary challenges confronting American foreign and defense policymakers. As a consequence, the relationship between the United States and Turkey—a Western-oriented, democratizing Muslim country—is strategically more important than ever. Turkey has the potential to be an invaluable partner as Washington endeavors to chart an effective course in its relations with the Muslim world. However, to achieve this level of cooperation, U.S.-Turkey relations must be repaired and modernized.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Diplomacy
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Washington, Turkey, North America
  • Author: Peter G. Peterson, Kathy Bloomgarden, Henry Grunwald, David E. Morey, Shibley Telhami, Jennifer Sieg, Sharon Herbstman
  • Publication Date: 09-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: The United States has a growing problem. Public opinion polls echo what is seen in foreign editorials and headlines, legislative debate, and reports of personal and professional meetings. Anti- Americanism is a regular feature of both mass and elite opinion around the world. A poll by the Times of London, taken just before the Iraq war, found respondents split evenly over who posed a greater threat to world peace, U.S. President George W. Bush or then Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein. At the same time, European antiwar protests drew millions, and several national leaders ran successfully on anti- American platforms. Americans at home and abroad face an increased risk of direct attack from individuals and small groups that now wield more destructive power. The amount of discontent in the world bears a direct relationship to the amount of danger Americans face.
  • Topic: International Relations, Diplomacy
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, America, Europe
  • Author: Kofi Annan
  • Publication Date: 01-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Thank you, Pete, for those generous words of introduction. I am delighted to join you tonight to inaugurate the Peter G. Peterson Center for International Studies here at the Council on Foreign Relations. Allow me to begin by paying tribute to everything Pete has done to strengthen your mission. The Council's work is vital not only to this audience and to your many members. It has far greater implications. The Council has over time become an indispensable source of reflection and renewal in foreign affairs. It has helped us all to understand better the global challenges that lie ahead; it has advocated the engagement of the United States in international affairs, and always stood fast against the dangers of American isolationism.
  • Topic: International Relations, United Nations
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • 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