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  • Author: Stephen Wicken
  • Publication Date: 05-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for the Study of War
  • Abstract: The political participation of the Sunni Arab minority in Iraq is critical to the security and stability of the state. At present, they are functionally excluded from government, with those that do participate coopted by the increasingly authoritarian Shi'a Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. Without effective political representation, the Sunni in Iraq are left with few alternatives to address their grievances against the Maliki government. The important decisions lie ahead on whether to pursue their goals via political compromise, federalism, or insurgency.
  • Topic: Security, Islam, Insurgency, Authoritarianism
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East
  • Author: Christopher Harmer
  • Publication Date: 06-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for the Study of War
  • Abstract: The Iranian regime has among its strategic objectives expanding its power in the Middle East and rolling back U.S. influence in the region. Iranian leadership considers the Persian Gulf and much of Central Asia to be a "near abroad" where Iranian culture and interests should have significant influence. Recent developments confirm that Iran is committed to this ambition, has a strategy to realize this outcome, and is making significant progress towards it. Iran also clearly has ambitions to be a significant and relevant actor on the global stage, whose capabilities and intentions must be taken into consideration by superpower nations.
  • Topic: Military Strategy, Hegemony
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran, Central Asia, Middle East
  • Author: Aaron Reese
  • Publication Date: 07-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for the Study of War
  • Abstract: The first half of 2013 has demonstrated clearly that sectarian conflict is spreading in the Middle East. This conflict is a product of developments over the course of 2012, including Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's consolidation of power and the development of an armed opposition movement in Syria. A turning point, however, came this year with the Syrian opposition's loss of the strategic town of al-Qusayr in early June to regime forces backed by Lebanese Hezbollah. The intervention of this prominent Shi'a militant group has heightened the "sectarianization" of the conflict. Sectarian narratives provide an emotional rallying point for popular mobilization, and are easily leveraged by actors involved in the conflict to achieve their goals. The rise in sectarian violence sponsored by external actors poses an existential threat to these already-fragile states.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Armed Struggle, Refugee Issues, Sectarianism
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Syria
  • Author: Lucyna Kornecki
  • Publication Date: 02-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: Inward foreign direct investment (IFDI) represents an integral part of the United States (U.S.) economy, with its stock growing from US$ 83 billion in 1980 to US$ 3.5 trillion in 2011. The United States, which had earlier been primarily a home for multinational enterprises (MNEs) rather than a host for affiliates of foreign MNEs, has become a preferred host country for FDI since the 1980s. Foreign MNEs have contributed robust flows of FDI into diverse industries of the U.S. economy, and total FDI inflows reached US$227 billion in 2011, equivalent to 15% of global inflows, the single largest share of any economy. Inflows of FDI, with a peak of US$ 314 billion in 2000 and another of US$ 306 billion in 2008, have been an important factor contributing to sustained economic growth in the United States. The recent financial and economic crises negatively impacted FDI flows to the United States and opened a period of major uncertainty. The effectiveness of government policy responses at both the national and international levels in addressing the financial crisis and its economic consequences will play a crucial role for creating favorable conditions for a rebound in FDI inflows.
  • Topic: Economics, Human Rights, International Trade and Finance, Foreign Direct Investment, Governance
  • Political Geography: United States, North America
  • Author: Rachel B. Vogelstein
  • Publication Date: 05-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: The practice of child marriage is a violation of human rights. Every day, girls around the world are forced to leave their families, marry against their will, endure sexual and physical abuse, and bear children while still in childhood themselves. This practice is driven by poverty, deeply embedded cultural traditions, and pervasive discrimination against girls. Yet in many parts of the world, this ancient practice still flourishes: estimates show that nearly five million girls are married under the age of fifteen every year, and some are as young as eight or nine years old.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Human Rights, Poverty
  • Political Geography: United States, North America
  • Author: Allison M. Garland
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University
  • Abstract: Within the last five years, the global population reached a critical turning point, making the demographic shift from rural to urban; for the first time in history, the majority of the world's people now live in cities. Over the next two decades the number of city dwellers will soar to nearly five billion, 60 percent of the world's population. Virtually all of this urban growth is occurring in cities of the developing world, overwhelming ecosystems and placing tremendous pressure on the capacity of local governments to provide necessary infrastructure and services.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Human Rights, Poverty, Governance, Reform
  • Political Geography: United Nations
  • Author: David E. Brown
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: The frenetic search for hydrocarbons in Africa has become so intense and wide ranging that there is planned or ongoing oil and gas exploration in at least 51 of the continent's 54 countries. Knowledge about Africa's geology is improving rapidly, generating great optimism about the continent's energy future. Onshore and offshore rifts and basins created when the African continent separated from the Americas and Eurasia 150 million years ago are now recognized as some of the most promising hydrocarbon provinces in the world. Offshore Angola and Brazil, Namibia and Brazil, Ghana and French Guyana, Morocco and Mexico, Somalia and Yemen, and Mozambique and Madagascar are just a few of the geological analogues where large oil fields have been discovered or are be-lieved to lie. One optimistic but quite credible scenario is that future discoveries in Africa will be around five timestheir current level based on what remains un-explored on the continent versus currently known sub-soil assets. If proven true, this could have a pro-foundly positive impact on Africa's future growth and strategic position in the global economy.
  • Topic: Economics, Human Rights, Natural Resources
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, China, America, Eurasia, Asia, Brazil, Yemen, Mozambique, Mexico, Morocco, Somalia, Angola, Ghana, Namibia, Guyana, Moldavia
  • Author: Seth G. Jones, Keith Crane
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Afghanistan will undergo three major transitions in 2014: from a Hamid Karzai-led government to one presumably headed by another president following the 2014 election; from a U.S.-led to an Afghan-led counterinsurgency; and from an economy driven by foreign expenditures on military support and assistance to one more reliant on domestic sources of growth, as the United States and other countries reduce their presence. The United States and its allies will need to shape each of these transitions in ways that safeguard their interests.
  • Topic: Terrorism, Military Strategy, Bilateral Relations, Border Control
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States
  • Author: Ashley J. Tellis
  • Publication Date: 01-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: The evolving U.S.-Indian strategic partnership holds great potential for both countries. India's economic growth and its ties to the United States can assist its global rise, which contributes to keeping the peace in Asia, provided New Delhi and Washington sustain concerted cooperation. And India's emerging markets promise to be the key instrument for enlarging India's power while remaining a rich opportunity for U.S. businesses.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, Military Strategy, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: United States, Washington, India, Asia, New Delhi
  • Author: Ashley J. Tellis, Sean Mirski
  • Publication Date: 01-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: The rise of China and India as major world powers promises to test the established global order in the coming decades. As the two powers grow, they are bound to change the current international system—with profound implications for themselves, the United States, and the world. And whether they agree on the changes to be made, especially when it comes to their relationship with the West, will influence the system's future character. A close examination of Chinese and Indian perspectives on the fundamentals of the emerging international order reveals that Sino-Indian differences on many issues of both bilateral and global significance are stark.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Military Strategy, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: Japan, China, India, Taiwan, Asia, South Korea, Singapore