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  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman
  • Publication Date: 09-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Far too much of the analysis of Iran's search for nuclear weapons treats it in terms of arms control or focuses on the potential threat to Israel. In reality, Iran's mix of asymmetric warfare, conventional warfare, and conventionally armed missile forces have critical weaknesses that make Iran anything but the hegemon of the Gulf. Iran's public focus on Israel also disguises the reality that its primary strategic focus is to deter and intimidate its Gulf neighbors and the United States – not Israel. It has made major progress in creating naval forces for asymmetric warfare and developing naval missiles, but it has very limited air-sea and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (IS) capabilities. It lacks modern conventional land, air, air defense and sea power, has fallen far behind the Arab Gulf states in modern aircraft and ships, and its land forces are filled with obsolete and mediocre weapons that lack maneuver capability and sustainability outside Iran. Iran needs nuclear weapons to offset these facts.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, Arms Control and Proliferation, Nuclear Weapons, Treaties and Agreements, Weapons of Mass Destruction
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran, Middle East, Israel, Arabia
  • Author: Phillip C. Saunders
  • Publication Date: 08-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for National Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: Upon taking office in January 2009, Obama administration officials proclaimed a U.S. “return to Asia.” This pronouncement was backed with more frequent travel to the region by senior officials (Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's first trip was to Asia) and increased U.S. participation in regional multilateral meetings, culminating in the decision to sign the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Treaty of Amity and Cooperation and to participate in the East Asia Summit (EAS) at the head-of-state level. The strategic “rebalance to Asia” announced in November 2011 builds on these earlier actions to deepen and institutionalize U.S. commitment to the Asia-Pacific region.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Arms Control and Proliferation, Diplomacy, Economics, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: United States, Israel, Asia
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: China tolerates the nuclear ambitions of North Korea (the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, DPRK) for now because its interests in the neighbourhood are much wider and more complex than this single issue. Beijing and the West often work toward their shared goal of a nuclear-free Korean peninsula with contradictory approaches that reflect their different priorities. The West uses diplomatic isolation, economic sanctions and extended deterrence to pressure Pyongyang to give up its nuclear program. Many Western policymakers believe the DPRK will denuclearise if sufficient costs are imposed and that Beijing holds the keys because the North is economically dependent on it. But China is reluctant to take any coercive action that might destabilise the regime and change a delicate geopolitical balance. It instead continues with diplomatic engagement and economic cooperation as the instruments it hopes will cause the leadership to denuclearise in the indeterminate future.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Arms Control and Proliferation, Nuclear Weapons, Weapons of Mass Destruction
  • Political Geography: China, Israel, North Korea
  • Author: Ian E. Rinehart
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: If Japan decides to exercise its right of collective self-defense (CSD), it would have complex effects on US-Japan security cooperation. The tangible short-term outcomes would likely be rather modest, and mid-term outcomes are dependent on changes in complementary policies, laws, and attitudes. American observers who expect that a revised interpretation of Japan's Constitution will provide an immediate boost to the alliance are likely to be disappointed. There are institutional and legal limitations on the Japanese Self-Defense Forces (SDF) that will constrain its activities in the near-term, no matter what policy course leaders choose. Japanese public opinion is also highly circumspect about the use of force to resolve international problems and will likely not support missions that do not directly address the security of Japan. However, due to the powerful symbolism of CSD, the long-term effects could be quite significant.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, America, Israel
  • Author: Desmond Ball
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: S.Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: This paper recounts the East Asian experience with the construction of Defence-related architecture to date. It recalls some earlier history of the ARF, viz: the adoption of a Concept Paper, containing a large menu of possible confidence building measures and other proposals for security cooperation, including numerous Defence-related measures, in 1995. It also describes in some detail the recent history of the ASEAN-led forums for Defence dialogue and cooperation which contributes to the identification and elucidation of at least some of the principal elements of a 'Southeast Asian Defence Model' which frames the agenda for prospective cooperation. The paper discusses recent developments in the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) and European Union (EU), and argues that the purposes, structures, operational modalities and achievements of these organisations are not central to any consideration of East Asian security architecture. On the other hand, their recent experiences in important areas such as peace-keeping, missile defence and cyber security warrant serious reflection. The paper offers some proposals concerning half a dozen areas for substantive future consultation and cooperation by the constituent mechanisms of the Defence component of the East Asian security architecture. They involve a composition of the unremitting security challenges requiring regional resolution and the principal elements of a Southeast Asian Defence Model, as manifested in the record of achievements to date. Construction of the Defence part of the architecture sufficiently robust to effectively address the regional security challenges will require both reform of the Defence pieces into a more integrated, coherent and efficient structure and also disposal of some of the more! dysfunctional aspects of the Southeast Asian Defence Model.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, NATO
  • Political Geography: Europe, Israel, East Asia, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Aries A. Arugay
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Non-Traditional Security (NTS) Studies
  • Abstract: The militaries of developing countries have often gone beyond the mission of external defence, to perform unconventional roles ranging from disaster relief and economic management to law enforcement and internal security. This paper focuses on development missions carried out by the armed forces of the Philippines and Thailand in and out of conflict zones, and provides an analysis of the causes behind the re-emergence of such missions in recent years. Based on a comparison of the two countries' experience, this paper argues that the military's renewed involvement in development work stems from two factors: their significant role in political succession; and the increasing salience of concepts linking security and development, in particular, the notion of non-traditional security. The effectiveness of such projects could, however, be hampered by the lack of a clear, well-implemented national development framework and by systemic weaknesses in security sector governance. This paper thus argues that, in order to address the various non-traditional security threats in the two countries, security sector reform would have to be implemented and civilian oversight over security institutions improved.
  • Topic: Security, Development, Governance
  • Political Geography: Israel, Asia, Philippines, Thailand
  • Author: Erik Beukel
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: The divided Korean peninsula is a flashpoint in the regional security complex in East Asia. The central issue is the threat posed by North Korea and how to meet it. After a review of North Korea as an international actor and of two important incidents in 2010 (the sinking of the South Korean naval ship Cheonan and North Korea's shelling of the South Korean coastal island of Yeonpyeong), the rationality underlying the country's military efforts is considered. South Korea's Nordpolitik is reviewed and the rise and decline of its sunshine policy and the role of its alliance with the United States is described. Two non-Korean great powers, China and the United States, are important actors in the region, and their relations with North Korea, goals and priorities, and implementation strategies are outlined. The report concludes with reflections on the potential for changing the present security complex, which is marked by a fear of war, into a restrained security regime, based on agreed and observed rules of conduct.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Foreign Policy, Cold War, Communism, Weapons of Mass Destruction, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Israel, East Asia, Korea, Island
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Transitions often present risks to authoritarian regimes, but the succession in North Korea has apparently passed with few problems. With no opposition from the military and China's clear support, there are no signs to suggest that Kim Jŏng-ŭn, the young leader who replaced his father, Kim Jong-il, following his death in December 2011, is anything but in charge in his own right. Far from creating a regency of older family members or generals, the North Korean system has maintained its focus on a single leader and projected an image of stability and unity as it celebrates the centenary of the birth of its founder, Kim Il-sung. While that image appears to be accurate, there is nothing to suggest that the new leader is or will become inclined to take measures that would either improve the lot of the country's citizens or reduce the regional frictions that Pyongyang is at the centre of.
  • Topic: Security, Cold War, Nuclear Weapons, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: China, Israel, North Korea
  • Author: KUIK Cheng-Chwee
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Malaysia's China policy in the post-Cold War era – as an instance of a smaller state's strategy toward a proximate and rising great power – has been characterized by three patterns. First, there was a shift from hostility and guarded rapprochement during the Cold War to cordiality and maturing partnership in the post-Cold War era. Second, despite the overall positive development, Malaysia's China policy has remained, in essence, a hedging approach that is driven by both a pragmatic desire to maximize benefits from a closer relationship with the neighboring giant and a contingent calculation to guard against any long-term strategic risks in the uncertain regional environment. Third, such a two-pronged approach, which took shape since the 1990s under Mahathir Mohamad, has endured beyond the Mahathir era. Indeed, under his successors Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and Najib Tun Razak, Malaysia has continued to pursue a policy of dualism vis-à-vis China. What explains the enduring continuity of the hedging approach in Malaysia's China policy? This paper adopts a neoclassical realist perspective, arguing that the continuity is attributed to both structural and domestic factors. Domestically, the changing bases of political legitimation in the multi-ethnic country, which highlight the increasing salience of economic performance and political inclusiveness as key sources of moral authority to the UMNO-led coalition government, have necessitated the succeeding leaders to continue pursuing a pragmatic policy aimed at ensuring a stable and productive relationship with China, not least to gain from the steadily growing bilateral trade and the giant's growing outward investment. Structurally, Malaysia's position as a smaller state has compelled it to be constantly vigilant about the uncertainty of state intentions and inter-great power relations, which in turn demands it adopts contingent measures to hedge against longer-term risks. It is such structural and domestic determinants that have fundamentally shaped the country's policy towards China in general and the South China Sea issue in particular, which characteristically bears the mark of a delicate dualism, i.e. an explicit preference for engaging China through bilateral and multilateral diplomacy, but one that is backed by a low-key practice of maintaining and strengthening its traditional military links with its Western security partners.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Cold War, Diplomacy, International Trade and Finance, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: China, Malaysia, Israel
  • Author: Christopher Freise
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: S.Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: Much attention has been devoted to the Obama Administration's “Pacific Pivot” and the vocal reassertion of an upgraded security, economic, and diplomatic presence in East Asia by the United States. Commentators have ascribed various rationales to these efforts, including speculation that this is part of a “containment” strategy towards China, a reaction to the US presidential election cycle, or, more benignly, an effort to forestall concerns of American withdrawal from the region. These explanations have some elements of truth, but also fall short of fully describing or understanding the strategic rationale behind these moves.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Economics
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Israel, Asia
  • Author: Khalil Shikaki
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Norwegian Peacebuilding Resource Centre
  • Abstract: With no agreement on a two-state solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict in sight, one-state dynamics are gaining momentum – a development that will be difficult to reverse or even contain. In the medium and long term, no one benefits from such a development. Indeed, all might lose: an ugly one-state dynamic has no happy ending, and such a solution is rejected by Palestinians and Israelis alike. Instead, the emerging one-state reality increases the potential for various kinds of conflicts and contradictory impulses. The international community too finds itself unprepared and perhaps unwilling to confront this emerging reality, but in doing so it imperils the prospects for peace in the region – the exact thing it seeks to promote.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Treaties and Agreements, Territorial Disputes
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Arabia
  • Author: Terence Roehrig
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: In March 2009, the South Korean National Assembly approved the first foreign deployment of South Korea's naval forces to join the U.S.-led Combined Task Force (CTF-151). The purpose of CTF-151 is to conduct antipiracy operations in the Gulf of Aden and off Somalia's east coast by the Horn of Africa. South Korea joined the navies of twentyfour other countries that participate in the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) through one of three combined task forces, CTF-150, CTF-151, and CTF-152, to help ensure maritime security in this region. The CMF is an international effort to conduct maritime security operations in the Gulf of Aden, the Arabian Sea, and the Indian Ocean.
  • Topic: Security, Maritime Commerce, Counterinsurgency
  • Political Geography: Africa, Israel, South Korea
  • Author: Joseph S. Nye, Richard L. Armitage
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: This report on the U.S.-Japan alliance comes at a time of drift in the relationship. As leaders in both the United States and Japan face a myriad of other challenges, the health and welfare of one of the world's most important alliances is endangered. Although the arduous efforts of Assistant Secretary of State Kurt Campbell and his colleagues in both governments have largely kept the alliance stable, today's challenges and opportunities in the region and beyond demand more. Together, we face the re-rise of China and its attendant uncertainties, North Korea with its nuclear capabilities and hostile intentions, and the promise of Asia's dynamism. Elsewhere, there are the many challenges of a globalized world and an increasingly complex security environment. A stronger and more equal alliance is required to adequately address these and other great issues of the day.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, International Trade and Finance, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, China, Israel, Asia, North Korea
  • Author: Anna Magnusson, Morten B. Pedersen
  • Publication Date: 11-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: The UN Secretary-General's good offices on Myanmar, now in their twentieth year, have been one of the longest such diplomatic efforts in the history of the world organization. The mandate derives from the General Assembly, which since 1993 has been requesting “the assistance of the Secretary-General” in implementing its annual resolutions on the situation of human rights in Myanmar. Since a special rapporteur was already in place at that time, Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali defined his role as one of “good offices” rather than fact-finding, a decision that has remained unchallenged.1 An informal 1994 framework agreement with the Myanmar government listed three broad categories of subjects for dialogue: (1) return to democracy, including the 1990 election, the National Convention, and the situation of Aung San Suu Kyi and other political leaders; (2) reintegration of the ethnic minorities into the political life of Myanmar; and (3) human rights and humanitarian issues.Yet, in practice, three successive secretaries-general and their special envoys have focused on the first of these, a return to democracy—and in particular, on mediating between the military government and Aung San Suu Kyi, the leader of the democratic opposition.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Human Rights, International Trade and Finance, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Israel, Southeast Asia, Myanmar
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Non-Traditional Security (NTS) Studies
  • Abstract: On 30–31 July 2012, a Policy Roundtable on Asian Non-Traditional Security was held at the Hotel Novotel Beijing Peace, China, with the aim of sharing the research findings of participating institutions. The Roundtable was organised by the Center for Regional Security Studies (CRSS), Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS); the Centre for Non-Traditional Security (NTS) Studies, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS); the National Institute of International Strategy (NIIS), CASS; and the Center for Non-Traditional Security and Peaceful Development Studies (NTS-PD), Zhejiang University.
  • Topic: Security, Climate Change, Environment, Human Rights, Human Welfare, Political Economy, Natural Disasters, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Israel, Asia, Australia/Pacific
  • Author: Frank Lin
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Global Political Trends Center
  • Abstract: The 2012 American presidential election features two candidates, incumbent President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney, with contrasting foreign policy visions for the United States, particularly with regards to the Middle East. How could these differences between the two candidates affect bilateral relations between the United States and Turkey, which—aside from Israel—is generally seen by the United States as its most stalwart ally in the Middle East? This paper will examine the recent history of bilateral relations between Turkey and the United States, from the George W. Bush administration to the Obama administration, as well as current issues surrounding relations between the two countries. It will also explore how the predicted policies of each candidate could impact the future course of bilateral relations between Turkey and the United States.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, Arms Control and Proliferation, Islam, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, Turkey, Middle East, Israel, Arabia
  • Author: Dirk Nabers, David Shim
  • Publication Date: 04-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: Within international discourses on security, North Korea is often associated with risk and danger, emanating paradoxically from what can be called its strengths—particularly military strength, as embodied by its missile and nuclear programs—and its weaknesses—such as its ever-present political, economic, and food crises—which are considered to be imminent threats to international peace and stability. We argue that images play an important role in these representations, and suggest that one should take into account the role of visual imagery in the way particular issues, actions, and events related to North Korea are approached and understood. Reflecting on the politics of visual representation means to examine the functions and effects of images, that is what they do and how they are put to work by allowing only particular kinds of seeing. After addressing theoretical and methodological questions, we discuss individual (and serial) photographs depicting what we think are typical examples of how North Korea is portrayed in the Western media and imagined in international politics.
  • Topic: Security, Nuclear Weapons, Politics, Weapons of Mass Destruction, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Israel, North Korea
  • Author: Ben Shepherd
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Non-Traditional Security (NTS) Studies
  • Abstract: The Philippines is a country targeted by foreign investors seeking agricultural land. It is promoting itself to them in the hope of securing their business. These investors frequently use food security language to justify their competitive pursuit of scarce agricultural resources in poorer countries on the basis of shoring up their own domestic food supplies. The usual understanding of food security in economic terms of supply, demand and competition largely validates these strategies. Instead, this paper proposes to redefine food security in terms of protecting vulnerable populations from the structural violence of involuntary hunger. By viewing food security in terms of hunger, it becomes clear that the land deals are more likely to worsen than improve the situation for the Filipino rural poor. Rethinking food security this way also offers the opportunity to re-examine the challenges facing Philippine agriculture. This new framing is particularly instructive for thinking about alternative approaches to applying foreign agricultural investment in ways that not only benefit the rural poor and alleviate involuntary hunger but also increase overall food availability, including surpluses for export.
  • Topic: Security, Agriculture, Poverty, Food
  • Political Geography: Israel, Philippines
  • Author: Phillip C. Saunders, Ross Rustici
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for National Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: The People's Republic of China (PRC) State Council Information Office released the seventh edition of its biennial defense white paper, "China's National Defense in 2010," on March 31, 2011. This document aims to communicate the latest information on China's military development, strategy, capabilities, and intentions. China began publishing defense white papers in 1998, partly as a means of increasing transparency in response to regional concerns about the growing capabilities and actions of the People's Liberation Army (PLA). Despite the systematic release of these documents, many of China's neighbors and other regional powers continue to express concerns about China's lack of military transparency. The Chinese maintain that they are becoming more open over time and highlight the importance of transparency about strategic intentions rather than capabilities.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy
  • Political Geography: China, Israel
  • Author: Haim Malka
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Profound demographic, social, and political transformations are reshaping the U.S.-Israeli relationship. Changes under way in both the United States and Israel have eroded traditional pillars of the relationship, brought new elements to the fore, and contributed to debates in each country about how to defend that country's interests in a rapidly changing strategic environment. Uncertainty is growing about how the United States and Israel can and should cooperate to secure their interests and confront common challenges in a region undergoing dramatic shifts. Even more profoundly, Americans and Israelis increasingly see each other's policy choices as undermining their interests. The trend deepens U.S. doubts of Israel's strategic value and reinforces Israeli fears about U.S. commitments and guarantees to its security.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Bilateral Relations, Peacekeeping
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Israel