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  • Author: Randal O'Toole
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: Streetcars are the latest urban planning fad, stimulated partly by the Obama administration's preference for funding transportation projects that promote "livability" (meaning living without automobiles) rather than mobility or cost-effective transportation. Toward that end, the administration wants to eliminate cost-effectiveness requirements for federal transportation grants, instead allowing non-cost-effective grants for projects promoting so-called livability. In anticipation of this change, numerous cities are preparing to apply for federal funds to build streetcar lines.
  • Topic: Economics, Environment, Government, Political Economy, Infrastructure
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Thomas L. Hogan
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: Privately issued money can benefit consumers in many ways, particularly in the areas of value stability and product variety. Decentralized currency production can benefit consumers by reducing inflation and increasing economic stability. Unlike a central bank, competing private banks must attract customers by providing innovative products, restricting the quantity of notes issued, and limiting the riskiness of their investing activities. Although the Federal Reserve currently has a de facto monopoly on the provision of currency in the United States, this was not always the case. Throughout most of U.S. history, private banks issued their own banknotes as currency. This practice continues today in a few countries and could be reinstituted in the United States with minimal changes to the banking system.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, Markets, Monetary Policy
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Trevor Burrus
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: Public broadcasting has been in critics' crosshairs since its creation in 1967. Assailed from all sides with allegations of bias, charges of political influence, and threats to defund their operations, public broadcasters have responded with everything from outright denial to personnel changes, but never have they squarely faced the fundamental problem: government-funded media companies are inherently problematic and impossible to reconcile with either the First Amendment or a government of constitutionally limited powers.
  • Topic: Government, Communications, Mass Media, Law
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Morris A. Davis
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: For decades U.S. housing policy has focused on promoting homeownership. In this study, I show that the set of policies designed to further homeownership has been ineffective and expensive and that homeownership as a public policy goal is not well supported.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, Markets, Urbanization
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Randal O'Toole
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: Although gasoline taxes have long been the main source of funding for building, maintaining, and operating America's network of highways, roads, and streets, the tax is at best an imperfect user fee. As such, Congress and the states should take action to transition from gas taxes to more efficient vehicle-mile fees.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, Communications, Infrastructure
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Michael Tanner
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: News that the poverty rate has risen to 15.1 percent of Americans, the highest level in nearly a decade, has set off a predictable round of calls for increased government spending on social welfare programs. Yet this year the federal government will spend more than $668 billion on at least 126 different programs to fight poverty. And that does not even begin to count welfare spending by state and local governments, which adds $284 billion to that figure. In total, the United States spends nearly $1 trillion every year to fight poverty. That amounts to $20,610 for every poor person in America, or $61,830 per poor family of three.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, Poverty
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Patric H. Hendershott, Kevin Villani
  • Publication Date: 03-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: The current narrative regarding the 2008 systemic financial system collapse is that numerous seemingly unrelated events occurred in unregulated or underregulated markets, requiring widespread bailouts of actors across the financial spectrum, from mortgage borrowers to investors in money market funds. The Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, created by the U.S. Congress to investigate the causes of the crisis, promotes this politically convenient narrative, and the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act operationalizes it by completing the progressive extension of federal protection and regulation of banking and finance that began in the 1930s so that it now covers virtually all financial activities, including hedge funds and proprietary trading. The Dodd-Frank Act further charges the newly created Financial Stability Oversight Council, made up of politicians, bureaucrats, and university professors, with preventing a subsequent systemic crisis.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, Markets, Global Recession, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Hilde Eliassen Restad
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Norwegian Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: James Madison famously stated in 1793: “War is in fact the true nurse of executive aggrandizement.” By this, Madison meant that, when confronted with a grave threat to national security, the instinct of a state is to concentrate power at the very top. This can lead – and has led – to abuse of power. For instance, President Franklin D. Roosevelt's signing of Executive Order 9066 on February 19, 1942 resulted in the forcible internment of Japanese Americans (two thirds of whom were U.S. citizens), an episode widely seen as regrettable later, after history had removed Americans from the anxiety of war. But by no means do we have to look as far back as to World War II. We can note Cold War incidents such as the Iran-Contra scandal (1985–87), when the Reagan administration took it upon itself to bypass Congress – and specific laws – in order to support the controversial Nicaraguan Contras with money acquired by selling arms to Iran.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, Government, Terrorism, Counterinsurgency
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran
  • Author: Amanda Glassman, Thomas J. Bollyky
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Fewer people are smoking in the United States, Europe, and most of the developing world. Excise taxes, bans on smoking in public places, and graphic health warnings are achieving such dramatic reductions in tobacco use in developed countries that a recent Citigroup Bank investment analysis speculated that smoking could virtually disappear in wealthy countries over the next thirty to fifty years.
  • Topic: Health, Human Welfare
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe
  • 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
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: International, particularly U.S., military and civilian aid has failed to improve Pakistan's performance against jihadi groups operating on its soil or to help stabilise its nascent democracy. Lopsided focus on security aid after the 11 September 2001 attacks has not delivered counterterrorism dividends, but entrenched the military's control over state institutions and policy, delaying reforms and aggravating Pakistani public perceptions that the U.S. is only interested in investing in a security client. Almost two-thirds of U.S. funding since 2002 ($15.8 billion) has been security-related, double the $7.8 billion of economic aid. Under an elected government, and with civilian aid levels at their highest in decades, the U.S. and other donors can still play a major part in improving service delivery, supporting key reforms and strengthening a fragile political transition vital to internal and regional stability. Re-orientation of funding from military security purposes to long-term democracy and capacity building support is the best way to guarantee the West's and Pakistan's longterm interests in a dangerous region. But aid policies must be better targeted, designed and executed.
  • Topic: Democratization, Terrorism, Foreign Aid, Counterinsurgency
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, United States, South Asia
  • Author: Lars Erslev Andersen
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: The global balance of power is changing, and the role of the US as the only superpower is being challenged by emerging new powers and a still more powerful China. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the Persian Gulf. This Working Paper by DIIS researcher Lars Erslev Andersen argues that if we are fully to understand the developments in the Persian Gulf we need to analyze the Persian Gulf as a regional security complex in its own right. The argument is developed empirically with reference to the case of Bahrain.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, International Trade and Finance, International Affairs, Power Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Middle East, Arabia, Bahrain
  • 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: The 25,000 members of the National Civil Police (PNC) are on the front lines of Guatemala's battle against crime. But all too often citizens distrust and fear the police – widely dismissed as inefficient, corrupt and abusive – as much as the criminals. Underfunded, poorly trained and often out-gunned, they are frequently incapable or unwilling to con-front criminals and gain the public trust needed to build a state based on rule of law. Drug traffickers, including Mex-ican cartels, move at will across porous borders, while criminal gangs dominate many urban areas. The government of President Otto Pérez Molina must reboot and revitalise police reform, as part of an overall effort to strengthen justice and law enforcement, with financial support from the U.S. and other countries interested in preventing Guatemala from becoming a haven for organised crime. Progress has been made, but achievements are fragile and easily reversed.
  • Topic: Security, Corruption, Crime, Law Enforcement
  • Political Geography: United States, Latin America
  • Author: David J. Berteau, Guy Ben-Ari, Gregory Sanders, Priscilla Hermann, David Morrow
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: This report examines the budgetary trends and trends in contract spending in the Department of State (DoS) and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). The report is divided into six sections, including the introduction and an appendix. Unless Otherwise noted, all dollar figures are in constant 2010 dollars and all years are fiscal years.
  • Topic: Development, Government, Foreign Aid
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Robert D. Lamb, Liora Danan, Joy Aoun, Sadika Hameed, Kathryn Mixon, Denise St. Peter
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The top headlines of the past year have made increasingly clear to U.S. government officials the central—but complicated—roles that religion plays in many of the most strategically important engagements of the United States.
  • Topic: Political Violence, Peace Studies, Religion
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Afghanistan, United States, South Asia, India
  • Author: S. Amer Latif
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Over the past decade, the United States and India have built the foundations of a partnership that has the potential to be one of the more consequential relationships of the twenty-first century. Since President Bill Clinton's visit to India in 2000, the two countries have forged a relationship that is now defined by five pillars of cooperation that include strategic issues, energy and climate change, education and development, economics and trade, and science and technology. It is a wide-ranging partnership that holds the promise of collaboration on issues that are not only important to these two countries, but to many other countries as well.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Arms Control and Proliferation, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, South Asia, India
  • Author: Janet Fleischman
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The dual global epidemics of HIV/AIDS and gender - based violence (GBV) exert a destructive and disproportionate impact on women and girls, especially in high HIV - prevalence countries in Africa. Yet despite bipartisan political consensus on the intersection between HIV and GBV, efforts to address this area have not attracted the attention or resources necessary to drive the program innovation that could demonstrate progress. However, new momentum is now being brought to this agenda with the U.S. President ' s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief ' s (PEPFAR) GBV initiative. Although still early in implementation and facing many challenges, the GBV initiative has the potential to yield important lessons about synergies and cost - effectiveness in reducing GBV and HIV, with clear implications for U.S. global health investments.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, Globalization, Health
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Daniel F. Runde, Amasia Zargarian
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Justifying traditional U.S. assistance to middle-income countries is an increasingly difficult proposition, and refocusing limited U.S. government development resources away from middle-income countries offers an efficient way to identify savings in the foreign assistance budget. This is not the first time that the U.S. government has faced such questions, and it can draw upon past transitions—not all successful—for a variety of valuable lessons for repurposing the United States' relationship with middle-income countries.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development, International Trade and Finance, Foreign Aid
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman, Alexander Wilner
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The most threatening form of US and Iranian competition takes place in the military and security arena. The areas where this competition now gets primary attention are the nuclear and missile arena, and Iranian threats to “close the Gulf.” US and Iranian tensions over Iran's nuclear program have grown steadily over the years. They now threaten to reach the crisis point as Iran produces highly enriched uranium and develops all of the technology necessary to produce nuclear weapons, and as US, European, and UN sanctions become steadily stronger.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Security, Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, Arms Control and Proliferation, Nuclear Weapons, Oil, Weapons of Mass Destruction
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Iran, Middle East, United Nations
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman, Nicholas S. Yarosh
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The US and China face a critical need to improve their understanding of how each nation is developing its military power and how to avoid forms of military competition that could lead to rising tension or conflict between the two states.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Arms Control and Proliferation, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Israel
  • Author: Janet Fleischman
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Each day, nearly 800 women die around the world from complications in pregnancy or childbirth. That's one woman losing her life, every 100 seconds, every day. And while, from 1990 to 2010, global maternal mortality rates declined by roughly 47%, from about 546,000 to 287,000, the regional disparities are enormous: 85% of all maternal deaths occur in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia—and more than half of these occur in sub-Saharan Africa. These deaths are largely preventable with interventions and training to address complications such as hemorrhage, infection, and obstructed labor, and more broadly with increased access to reproductive health services.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Health, International Affairs, Foreign Aid, Health Care Policy
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, South Asia
  • Author: Pieter Fourie
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: When the Group of Eight (G-8) industrialized countries decided at their 2001 meeting in Genoa to establish the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria to increase international funding for interventions against the three diseases, the United States was a leading supporter. The fund was a public-private partnership set up in 2002 with formal status as a foundation under Swiss law. In the fund's first two years, the United States accounted for nearly half the total amount pledged and challenged other donors to increase their contributions. By 2008 the Global Fund had committed $15.6 billion to AIDS activities in 140 country.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Government, Health, Health Care Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, South Africa
  • Author: Robert D. Lamb, Sadika Hameed
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: This report presents the results of a study on the link between the rise of militants and the quality of subnational governance in Pakistan: whether a link exists and, if so, what the United States can do about it, if anything. Its basic finding is that Pakistan's governance problems are not caused by militancy, and its problems with militancy are not directly caused by its governance problems, but improving governance will be necessary (though not sufficient) to counter militancy. Pakistan's governance problems are extensive and will take a long time to overcome. But they are not insurmountable, and recent trends offer reason for hope: the military's prestige has declined, the civilian government is likely to complete its full term, the judiciary is increasingly independent, civil society is increasingly confident even in the face of militant intimidation, and recent reforms—the Local Governance Ordinance of 2001 and the Eighteenth Amendment to the constitution—have put in place a set of institutions and incentives that are likely to contribute to improvements in the future.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Corruption, Democratization, Development, Armed Struggle, Bilateral Relations, Counterinsurgency
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, United States, South Asia
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman, Robert M. Shelala II
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The US may not face peer threats in the near to mid term, but it faces a wide variety of lesser threats that make maintaining effective military forces, foreign aid, and other national security programs a vital national security interest. The US does need to reshape its national security planning and strategy to do a far better job of allocating resources to meet these threats. It needs to abandon theoretical and conceptual exercises in strategy that do not focus on detailed force plans, manpower plans, procurement plans, and budgets; and use its resources more wisely. The US still dominates world military spending, but it must recognize that maintaining the US economy is a vital national security interest in a world where the growth and development of other nations and regions means that the relative share the US has in the global economy will decline steadily over time, even under the best circumstances. At the same time, US dependence on the security and stability of the global economy will continue to grow indefinitely in the future. Talk of any form of "independence," including freedom from energy imports, is a dangerous myth. The US cannot maintain and grow its economy without strong military forces and effective diplomatic and aid efforts. US military and national security spending already places a far lower burden on the US economy than during the peaceful periods of the Cold War, and existing spending plans will lower that burden in the future. National security spending is now averaging between 4% and 5% of the GDP -- in spite of the fact the US has been fighting two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan -- versus 6-7% during the Cold War.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Economics, Government, Monetary Policy
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Iraq
  • Author: Sarah Weiner
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Twenty years after the fall of the Soviet Union, Russia is experiencing the most significant level of public dissatisfaction with Vladimir Putin since he assumed power a decade ago. While the sizeable street protests in Russia may well signal a political and social watershed moment for the country, a more minor political event a few months ago provided a telling sign regarding one of the regime's most important projects—a massive program for military modernization.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Arms Control and Proliferation, Nuclear Weapons, Weapons of Mass Destruction
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe
  • Author: J. Stephen Morrison, Suzanne C. Brundage
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Over the last decade, the United States' health partnership with Ethiopia has contributed to significant health gains in a country long known for having some of the poorest health and development indicators in the world.
  • Political Geography: United States, Ethiopia
  • Author: Clark A. Murdock
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: As the defense budget is reduced in the coming years, the Department of Defense (DoD) will be confronted with not one but two budgetary threats: it will face not only fewer defense dollars but also a weakening defense dollar in terms of purchasing power. This weaker defense dollar, driven by the internal cost inflation of personnel, operations and maintenance (O), and acquisition accounts in particular, threatens to hollow out the defense budget from within. -
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Economics, Monetary Policy
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: David J. Berteau, Guy Ben-Ari, Gregory Sanders, Jesse Ellman, David Morrow
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Spending by the Department of Defense (DoD) on services contracts, which range from clerical and administrative work to vehicle maintenance to research and development (R), has been largely neglected by past studies of DoD spending trends. Yet DoD spending on services contract actions amounted to just under $200 billion in 2011, more than 50 percent of total DoD contract spending and nearly a third of the entire DoD budget. Both the executive branch and Congress have implemented policies to improve acquisitions of services, but the impacts of their efforts remain uncertain without a clear, concise analysis of past spending. And the then Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics, Dr. Ashton Carter, has stated that: “Most of our services acquires, unlike weapons-system acquires, are amateurs… I intend to help them get better at it” (Speech at the Heritage Foundation, April 20, 2011).
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Economics, Government, Monetary Policy
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Jon B. Alterman
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: If there is to be a war in the Middle East in the months or years ahead, it will likely involve Iran in some way. Enduring U.S.-Iranian hostility has been one of the few constants in a region that has been turned upside down in the last year by revolts and revolutions. Iran's widely presumed efforts to develop a nuclear weapons capability persuade many in the United States that Iran is an enduring menace to the Middle East and to U.S. interests in the region. Meanwhile, Iran continues to see the United States as a hegemonic power that seeks to expand its own influence at the expense of Iran assuming its natural leadership role in the Middle East. Each side is arming its allies and playing for advantage while seeking to avoid triggering a strong military response from the other side. There is no issue higher on the U.S. security agenda, nor on the Iranian one.
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran, Middle East
  • Author: Murray Hiebert, Ernest Z. Bower, Elina Noor, Mahani Zainal Abidin, Gregory Poling, Tham Siew Yean
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Relations between the United States and Malaysia are at an all-time high. Since President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Najib Razak entered office in 2009, both countries' governments have committed to a new beginning and moved to establish closer ties through increased political, economic, and people-to-people cooperation.
  • Topic: Economics, International Cooperation, International Trade and Finance, Treaties and Agreements, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: United States, Malaysia
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: It is surprisingly difficult to get a meaningful estimate of the total cost of the Afghan conflict, total spending on Afghan forces and total spending on various forms of aid. More data are available on US efforts – which have dominated military and aid spending, but even these data present serious problems in reliability, consistency, and definition. Moreover, it is only since FY2012 that the US provided an integrated request for funding for the war as part of its annual budget request. The data for the period before FY2009 are accurate pictures of the Department of Defense request, but there is only a CRS estimate of total spending the previous years.
  • Topic: Economics, War
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States
  • Author: Ally Pregulman, Emily Burke
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Incidents of “homegrown terrorism”—extremist violence perpetrated by U.S. citizens or legal U.S. residents, and linked to or inspired by al Qaeda's brand of radical Sunni Islamism—have increased in the aggregate since 9/11. Homegrown extremists, as defined in the CSIS report A Threat Transformed: Al Qaeda and Associated Movements in 2011, are “radicalized groups and individuals that are not regularly affiliated with, but draw clear inspiration and occasional guidance from, al Qaeda core or affiliated movements.” A growing number of Muslims—both naturalized citizens and American-born—have communicated with extremists who are linked to al Qaeda and Associated Movements (AQAM), have sought terrorist training, or have attempted to carry out attacks either inside the United States or abroad. While not official members of al Qaeda or its affiliates, these individuals and small groups have been influenced by and have sought to involve themselves in AQAM's global war against the West.
  • Topic: Islam, Terrorism, Insurgency, Counterinsurgency
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Susan Hayward
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: The field of religious peacebuilding has begun to move closer to the mainstream of conflict resolution practice and theory. The 2011 unrest in the Middle East and North Africa—the Arab Spring—reflects ongoing challenges and opportunities for the field. American and European nongovernmental organizations, agencies in the U.S. government, academia, and international organizations—sectors that once held religious issues at a distance or understood religion mainly as a driver of violence—increasingly engage religious communities and institutions as partners in creating peace. Meanwhile, religious organizations that have been involved in creating peace for decades, if not longer, increasingly have institutionalized and professionalized their work, suggesting ways that religious and secular organizations could coordinate their efforts more closely. The U.S. Institute of Peace's own programs on religion reflect the development of the wider field, having moved from research and analysis to on-the-ground programming to foster interfaith dialogue in the Balkans, Nigeria, Israel-Palestine, and Sudan. In addition, it has trained religious actors in conflict management in Sri Lanka, Iraq, and Colombia and developed peace curricula based on Islamic principles for religious and secular schools in Pakistan, Indonesia, the Philippines, and elsewhere. As the U.S. field of religious peacebuilding continues to develop, challenges include integrating further with secular peacebuilding efforts, engaging women and youth and addressing their priorities, working more effectively with non-Abrahamic religious traditions, and improving evaluation, both to show how religious peacebuilding can reduce and resolve conflict and to strengthen the field's ability to do so.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Islam, Peace Studies, Religion, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, Europe, Arabia
  • Author: Timothy A. Wise
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Global Development and Environment Institute at Tufts University
  • Abstract: More than 40% of U.S. corn is now consumed in the production of ethanol. With the United States by far the world's largest producer and exporter of corn, this represents an estimated 15% of global corn production. A recent survey by the National Academy of Sciences estimated that globally biofuels expansion accounted for 20 - 40% of the price increases seen in 2007 - 8, when prices of many food crops doubled. This had a dramatic impact on poor consumers and on net - food - importing developing countries. Expanding U.S. production and consumption of corn - based ethanol, which has been encouraged by a range of U.S. government subsidies and incentives, is considered one of the most important biofuel programs in putting upward pressure on food prices. Mexico now imports about one - third of its corn from the United States. Using conservative estimates from a study on U.S. ethanol expansion and corn prices, we estimate the direct impacts of U.S. ethanol expansion on Mexican corn import costs. We find that from 2006 - 2011, U.S. ethanol expansion cost Mexico about $1.5 billion due to ethanol - related corn price increases. Other methodologies suggest the costs could be more than twice as high, surpassing $3 billion over the period.
  • Topic: Security, Agriculture, Development, International Cooperation, International Trade and Finance, Food
  • Political Geography: United States, Latin America, Mexico
  • Author: David Kirby, Emily McClintock Ekins
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: Many people on the left still dismiss the tea party as the same old religious right, but the evidence says they are wrong. The tea party has strong libertarian roots and is a functionally libertarian influence on the Republican Party.
  • Topic: Democratization, Economics, Politics, Insurgency, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Mark A. Calabria, Emily McClintock Ekins
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: During the financial crisis of 2008, the financial markets would have been better served if the credit rating agency industry had been more competitive. We present evidence that suggests the Securities and Exchange Commission's designation of Nationally Recognized Statistical Rating Organizations (NRSROs) inadvertently created a de facto oligopoly, which primarily propped up three firms: Moody's, S, and Fitch. We also explain the rationale behind the NRSRO designation given to credit rating agencies (CRAs) and demonstrate that it was not intended to be an oligopolistic mechanism or to reduce investor due diligence, but rather was intended to protect consumers. Although CRAs were indirectly constrained by their reputation among investors, the lack of competition allowed for greater market complacency. Government regulatory use of credit ratings inflated the market demand for NRSRO ratings, despite the decreasing informational value of credit ratings. It is unlikely that this sort of regulatory framework could result in anything except misaligned incentives among economic actors and distorted market information that provides inaccurate signals to investors and other financial actors. Given the importance of our capital infrastructure and the power of credit rating agencies in our financial markets, and despite the good intentions of the uses of the NRSRO designation, it is not worth the cost and should be abolished. Regulators should work to eliminate regulatory reliance on credit ratings for financial safety and soundness. These regulatory reforms will, in turn, reduce CRA oligopolistic power and the artificial demand for their ratings.
  • Topic: Economics, Markets, Financial Crisis, Governance
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Tad DeHaven
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: Rising federal spending and huge deficits are pushing the nation toward a financial and economic crisis. Policymakers should find and eliminate wasteful, damaging, and unneeded programs in the federal budget. One good way to save money would be to cut subsidies to businesses. Corporate welfare in the federal budget costs taxpayers almost $100 billion a year.
  • Topic: Economics, Markets, Monetary Policy, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Sarah Teo
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: S.Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: This paper suggests that an examination of the discourse and rhetoric of the George W. Bush administration offers a more comprehensive understanding of the developments that occurred during the years of South Korea's Sunshine policy (1998-2008). Such an approach supplements the traditional neorealist perspective and helps to account for the direction of certain policies. The paper argues that in its inter-Korean discourse, the Bush administration framed South Korea as an ally and partner against North Korea, while imagining the North as part of the “axis of evil” and a threat to international security. Since the US occupies an essential role in inter-Korean affairs, its framing of North and South Korea as unalterable opposites impeded inter-Korean reconciliation under the Sunshine policy. Rhetoric from two events will illustrate this point –the 2001 US-South Korea summit and the 2004 US Presidential Elections campaign.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Foreign Policy, Nuclear Weapons, Terrorism, Weapons of Mass Destruction
  • Political Geography: United States, Korea
  • Author: Siemon T. Wezeman
  • Publication Date: 03-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Stockholm International Peace Research Institute
  • Abstract: In recent years the forecast of far-reaching climate change in the Arctic has led to fears of future conflict in the region. Such fears have been expressed in official documents, including defence policy documents, of the five Arctic littoral states—Canada, Denmark, Norway, Russia and the United States. Three of them—Canada, Denmark and Russia—have recently adopted foreign and defence policies that have put a special emphasis on the Arctic. They have strengthened their military presence in the Arctic or increased military capabilities for Arctic use and have presented plans for additional military strengthening. Meanwhile, Norway has moved a substantial part of its operational forces to the north of the country. Of the five littoral states, only the USA has placed less focus on Arctic security.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Defense Policy, Arms Control and Proliferation, Climate Change, Natural Resources, Territorial Disputes
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Canada, Norway, Denmark
  • 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: Jane Sasseen
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: National Endowment for Democracy
  • Abstract: The Center for International Media Assistance (CIMA), at the National Endowment for Democracy, works to strengthen the support, raise the visibility, and improve the effectiveness of independent media development throughout the world. The Center provides information, builds networks, conducts research, and highlights the indispensable role independent media play in the creation and development of sustainable democracies. An important aspect of CIMA's work is to research ways to attract additional U.S. private sector interest in and support for international media development. The Center was one of the of the main nongovernmental organizers of World Press Freedom Day 2011 in Washington, DC.
  • Topic: Development, Science and Technology, International Affairs, Communications, Mass Media
  • Political Geography: United States, Washington
  • Author: Ross Eventon
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Norwegian Peacebuilding Resource Centre
  • Abstract: At its core, the U.S.-led occupation of Afghanistan is an attempt to establish a client regime supported by a military operation to pacify resistance. In May 2012, the Obama administration took a major step towards consolidating its war aims and signed the Enduring Partnership Agreement with President Karzai, which ensures a U.S. military presence for at least a decade after 2014. It is clear from this agreement, the previous memorandums on detention and night raids, and the continuing development of U.S. mega-bases in the country that 2014 is far from a “withdrawal” date.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Democratization, Islam, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States
  • Author: Mariano Aguirre
  • Publication Date: 02-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Norwegian Peacebuilding Resource Centre
  • Abstract: The debate about the Iranian nuclear programme has heated up over recent months, with the danger that the situation could get out of control and violence may erupt. Currently, the main threatis an escalation of violence between Iran and the U.S. Strategically, an attack will further decrease U.S. legitimacy in a region already in turmoil and will isolate Israel even further. The consequencesof these processes are both serious and unpredictable.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Nuclear Weapons, Weapons of Mass Destruction, Sanctions
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran, Middle East, Israel
  • Author: Gilles Dorronsoro
  • Publication Date: 09-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: The withdrawal of international forces from Afghanistan will leave the country worse than it was before 2001 in some respects. There is no clear plan for the future. Washington will progressively lose its influence over Kabul, and drone operations in Pakistan are not a credible way to fight jihadist groups on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. The situation will only worsen after 2014, when most U.S. troops are out of the country and aid going to the Afghan government steeply declines.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Islam, Terrorism, War, Insurgency
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Afghanistan, United States, Washington, Asia
  • Author: Deborah Gordon, Daniel Sperling, David Livingston
  • Publication Date: 09-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: The U.S. electric-vehicle industry has posted impressive growth over the last decade, with hundreds of companies now advancing the plug-in electric vehicle (PEV) market. But there is still much to do to further the transition to electric-drive vehicles. It will take a sophisticated set of policy tools and local action to spur manufacturers, utilities, localities, and states to fully commercialize PEVs.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Energy Policy, Environment, Science and Technology
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Wolfram Lacher
  • Publication Date: 09-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: For the past decade, increasing instability in the Sahel and Sahara region has been a source of growing concern in Europe and the United States. Western governments have worried that the weakness of state control in the area would allow al-Qaeda in the Islamist Maghreb (AQIM) and other jihadist organizations to expand their influence and establish safe havens in areas outside government control. Such fears appear to have been vindicated by the recent takeover of northern Mali by AQIM and organizations closely associated with it.
  • Topic: Crime, Development, Islam, Terrorism, Armed Struggle, Insurgency, Fragile/Failed State
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, Europe
  • Publication Date: 09-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Climate change is making extreme weather – like droughts, floods and heat waves – much more likely. As the 2012 drought in the US shows, extreme weather means extreme food prices. Our failure to slash greenhouse gas emissions presents a future of greater food price volatility, with severe consequences for the precarious lives and livelihoods of people in poverty.
  • Topic: Security, Agriculture, Climate Change, Economics, Food
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Katherine E. Bliss, Paulo Buss, Felix Rosenberg
  • Publication Date: 09-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: On November 7, 2011, the Global Health Policy Center of the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington, D.C., in partnership with the Fiocruz Center for Global Health (CRIS) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, hosted a seminar entitled “New Approaches to Global Health Cooperation.” The event, which took place in Rio de Janeiro, assembled health policy researchers and practitioners from Brazil, Europe, the United States, and sub - Saharan Africa to examine emerging practices in global health co operation. Issues considered included the factors driving greater international engagement on public health challenges, the growing trend of trilateral cooperation, and the role of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) and South - South activities in expanding international cooperation on global health. Over the course of the day - long meeting, speakers and audience members examined the reasons for the overall expansion of funding and programming for overseas global health activities durin g the past decade; considered the factors that underpin Brazil's increasing focus on global health as an area of bilateral and multilateral outreach; reviewed the characteristics of successful trilateral cooperation efforts; and debated the future of multi country engagement on health.
  • Topic: Development, Emerging Markets, Health, Health Care Policy
  • Political Geography: Africa, Russia, United States, China, Europe, Washington, India, South Africa, Brazil, Latin America
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman, Sean T. Mann, Bryan Gold
  • Publication Date: 09-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: In a little over two years the US and its allies plan to hand over security and other responsibilities to the Afghan government as part of a process labeled “Transition.” Afghanistan is still at war and will probably be at war long after 2014. The political, governance, and economic dimensions of this Transition, however, will be as important as any developments in the fighting.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Economics
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Asia