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  • Publication Date: 12-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: EastWest Institute
  • Abstract: From 2006 to 2008, the EastWest Institute (EWI) and the China Institute of International Studies (CIIS) coorganized the first three annual discussions of the Trialogue21 initiative – an off-the-record process involving public and private sector leaders from China, the United States and Europe. The meetings, which were held in Berlin (December 2006), Beijing (November 2007), and Washington, D.C. (December 2008), served as an annual review of relations among the three powers and addressed a wide range of common domestic and foreign policy concerns.
  • Topic: Political Violence, Climate Change, Environment, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Europe, Washington, Berlin
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: EastWest Institute
  • Abstract: Nearly twenty years after the end of the Cold War, Russia and the United States continue to maintain hundreds of nuclear weapons capable of striking the other side, and to have at least some of these nuclear forces at Cold War levels of alert, that is, ready to fire within a few minutes of receiving an order to do so. Even during the Cold War, alert levels were not static and moved up or down in step with changes in the strategic and tactical environments. While the operational readiness of some weapon systems has been reduced, there has been no major change in the readiness levels of most of the nuclear weapon systems in the post–Cold War era. This is in considerable part because Russia and the United States believe that despite fundamental changes in their overall relationship, vital interest requires maintaining a high level of nuclear deterrence. The post–Cold War experience also demonstrates that alert levels can be reduced and measures can be taken to reduce the risk of accidents or unauthorized takeover of nuclear weapons. Further measures could be taken to reduce operational readiness of nuclear arsenals. U.S. and Russian experts alike stressed survivability as a key element in the acceptance of these measures because of its importance to maintaining deterrence.
  • Topic: Cold War, Nuclear Weapons, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, United Nations
  • Author: Jonathan R. Mroz
  • Publication Date: 07-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: EastWest Institute
  • Abstract: In his inaugural address, U.S. President Barack Obama told the Muslim world they would be judged by what they build, not what they destroy. But even if those who build far outnumber those who destroy, many governments and societies will continue to be confronted by the specter of violent extremism. The challenge they face is how to devise effective strategies to counter the extremists and encourage long-term solutions that go beyond merely containing the problem to addressing its root causes. This is the challenge we posed to a wide variety of participants in the EastWest Institute's Countering Violent Extremism Initiative.
  • Topic: Political Violence, Islam, Terrorism, Insurgency
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Jeffrey D. McCausland
  • Publication Date: 07-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: EastWest Institute
  • Abstract: The future of the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe, widely considered to be the cornerstone of European security, was thrown into stark question when the Russian Federation announced in December 2007 that it would suspend its participation in the treaty. The 1990 treaty, considered the most ambitious and far ranging conventional arms control treaty in history, established limits on the numbers of conventional military hardware deployed in Europe, required substantial reductions in conventional arsenals, and created an intrusive regime of inspections and verification. In many ways, the treaty changed the face of European security by establishing new, cooperative political-military relationships.
  • Topic: Peace Studies, Treaties and Agreements, Weapons of Mass Destruction
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe
  • Author: Piin-Fen Kok
  • Publication Date: 06-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: EastWest Institute
  • Abstract: The Euro-Atlantic security scene is characterized by a loss of mutual confidence, renewed tensions, and serious disagreements regarding not only practices but principles. Those trends, if not corrected, will produce negative strategic consequences for the security of Europe. New opportunities have emerged today for rethinking the security situation in the Euro-Atlantic region, for strengthening confidence, changing mutual relations, and, if need be, institutions. A basis for this can be found in the hopes for improved U.S.- Russian relations expressed by U.S. President Barack Obama, in the initiative by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on reforming the European security architecture, as well as in the process of elaboration of the new NATO strategic concept.
  • Topic: International Relations, NATO, International Security
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe
  • Publication Date: 05-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: EastWest Institute
  • Abstract: Does Europe face a military threat from Iran, and if so what is the nature of that threat? What is Iran's nuclear capability today and what might it be in the future? What ballistic missile capability does Iran have today and what might it have in the future? If Europe had a missile defense system, would that system protect Europe? These questions have been widely discussed in the popular media, often on the basis of misleading information. This report, which has been written by a group of U.S. and Russian specialists, provides an assessment of the Iranian nuclear and missile programs and an evaluation of the European Missile Defense system proposed by the Bush administration. It is not yet clear what the Obama administration's policy on missile defense will be.
  • Topic: Treaties and Agreements, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, Iran
  • Author: S. Azmat Hassan
  • Publication Date: 05-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: EastWest Institute
  • Abstract: Extremism in every form is a major concern for the global community. Though the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (also known as LTTE, or more commonly, as the Tamil Tigers) do not share the same religious motivations as the violent extremist groups that tend to garner the most interest today, they merit much greater attention from the international community. Their longevity, success, and tactics – their revival of suicide bombing in particular – render them a formidable foe. The protracted conflict between the Sri Lankan government and the LTTE offers several important lessons regarding effective strategies for combating violent extremism. These lessons hold – and indeed are all the more relevant – in the face of the recent military gains of government forces over the LTTE.
  • Topic: Political Violence, Ethnic Conflict, Terrorism, Armed Struggle
  • Political Geography: South Asia
  • Author: Liu Xuecheng, Robert Oxnam
  • Publication Date: 02-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: EastWest Institute
  • Abstract: Young and charismatic Barack Obama won a historic victory in the U.S. presidential election. This victory has sparked an international frenzy filled with hope and expectations. Obama, who ran on a platform of “change,” has vowed to rebuild U.S. national power, reshape its international image, and renew its global leadership. However, he will face daunting internal and external challenges—fighting the disastrous financial crisis and economic recession, bringing the war on terror to an end, and coping with emerging powers, including China. What relevance does his victory have for U.S. policy toward China? Will Obama's China policy be one of change or continuity? What would we expect from the Obama administration in cultivating the future course for a China-U.S. constructive and cooperative partnership? These questions are the real concerns of the Chinese people as political power changes hands in the United States.
  • Topic: Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: United States, China
  • Author: Stefan A. Schirm
  • Publication Date: 06-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Transatlantic Relations
  • Abstract: The last 20 years have witnessed the economic emergence of several countries, which are considered today to be “pivotal states”, “regional powers”, and “emerging powers” in world politics. These emerging powers encompass countries such as China, India, Brazil and Russia, (the BRICs), which have in common both that they have experienced rapid economic growth and that they seek to influence the global economy and world politics to a greater degree than they did before their rise. The BRICs have become leading exporters and lenders (especially China to the US) as well as holders of currency reserves, and they (plus Mexico) are expected to surpass the GNP of the G7 industrialized countries by the year 2040. The reasons for the assignment of a new role, and often of increased power, to these states are their demographic and geographic size, their economic and military capacities, and their political aspirations.
  • Topic: Economics, Emerging Markets, Globalization
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, China, Europe, India, Brazil, Latin America
  • Author: Sahr MuhammedAlly
  • Publication Date: 11-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Human Rights First
  • Abstract: Eight years after launching Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) in Afghanistan—with a mission to kill and capture “high-value” al Qaeda and Taliban members and destroy the safe havens from which al Qaeda planned and directed the 9/11 attacks—the United States government has announced several significant detention reforms in Afghanistan. Human Rights First has closely monitored U.S. detention policies and practices since September 11, 2001. In this paper, we analyze the new detention reforms announced in September 2009 and make recommendations for further improvement in U.S. detention practices in line with U.S. policy interests and legal obligations. We base our recommendations on an analysis of the applicable humanitarian and human rights law and field visits to Afghanistan.
  • Topic: Political Violence, Human Rights, Terrorism, War, Prisons/Penal Systems
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Taliban