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  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Creating an effective transition for the ANSF is only one of the major challenges that Afghanistan, the US, and Afghanistan's other allies face during 2014 2015 and beyond. The five other key challenges include: Going from an uncertain election to effective leadership and political cohesion and unity. Creating an effective and popular structure governance, with suitable reforms, from the local to central government, reducing corruption to acceptable levels, and making suitable progress in planning, budgeting, and budget execution. Coping with the coming major cuts in outside aid and military spending in Afghanistan, adapting to a largely self-financed economy, developing renewal world economic development plans, carrying out the reforms pledged at the Tokyo Conference, and reducing the many barriers to doing business. Establishing relations with Pakistan and other neighbors that will limit outside pressures and threats, and insurgent sanctuaries on Afghanistan's border. Persuading the US, other donors, NGCO, and nations will to provide advisors to furnish the needed aid effort through at least 2018, and probably well beyond.
  • Topic: Government, Politics, Governance
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Middle East
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • 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: Security, Defense Policy, Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Middle East
  • Author: Anthony H Cordesman
  • Publication Date: 04-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: It may well be early 2011 before we know the actual results of the Iraqi election, and not because there were problems in the way the election was held, or in the counting of votes. Prime Minister Maliki is playing power politics with a relatively honest election, not protesting one with serious abuses. Elections, however, are ultimately about two things: Who gains power and who can govern.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman, Elena Derby
  • Publication Date: 04-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Although Iraq has made political progress over the past few years it still falls far short of the level of political accommodation it needs to control its ethnic and sectarian divisions, ensure adequate representation for all ethno-religious groups, and create the conditions for effective governance. Despite the success of the national elections in March 2010, when over two thirds of the population defied threats of violence to cast their ballots—with a particularly strong turnout among Sunnis and Kurds—it is still unclear whether Iraq can form a stable ―national coalition government. If Iraq is successful, it will still take years for the new elected and appointed officials to develop the capacity they need to govern effectively.
  • Topic: Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East
  • Author: Armand Cucciniello, Pramit Mitra
  • Publication Date: 10-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's short visit to India in early September, the first by an Israeli prime minister, highlighted the dramatic expansion in a relationship that started only 12 years ago. Before Sharon's early departure because of two suicide bombings back home, ministers from both countries signed six agreements covering visa requirements, environmental protection, combating illicit drug trafficking, and an initiative to begin an educational exchange program. The accent, however, was on the rapidly growing military supply relationship. Balancing its relations with Israel and its still important ties with the Muslim Middle East, especially its major oil suppliers, will be a growing challenge for India's policymakers.
  • Topic: Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: South Asia, Middle East, India, Israel
  • Author: Teresita Schaffer, Paul A. Longo
  • Publication Date: 07-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Two months after Indian prime minister Atal Behari Vajpayee's offer to extend “the hand of friendship” to neighboring Pakistan, the two countries are exchanging ambassadors and have begun restoring transport links, but discussions on their underlying dispute have yet to take shape. The next few months provide a crucial opportunity to begin a serious peace effort. Should this window of time pass by without progress, however, internal politics in both countries may rule out another try for a year or two.
  • Topic: Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, South Asia, Middle East
  • Author: Kavita Sangani
  • Publication Date: 03-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Bilateral trade between India and Pakistan is extraordinarily low—less than 1 percent of their global trade. Their volatile political relationship has overwhelmed attempts to encourage trade between the two countries, and has also impacted economic integration in the South Asian region as a whole. There are both political and economic obstacles to expanding trade between the two countries. Greater economic co-operation could, however, provide mutual economic benefits, such as lower prices for consumers, much-needed revenue for the governments, and cost-effective gas import to India via Pakistan. Perhaps most importantly, it could generate new linkages between the two business communities, thereby nurturing constituencies for peace in the region.
  • Topic: Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: South Asia, Middle East, India
  • Author: Bulent Aliriza
  • Publication Date: 12-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The four massive truck bombs which targeted two synagogues on November 15, and just five days later, the British Consulate and a British-based bank in Istanbul, claimed fifty five Turkish and foreign victims – including the British Consul General - and wounded hundreds more, while causing millions of dollars of material damage. Beyond their immediate impact, the terrorist attacks caused incalculable collateral damage to the sense of security of the Turkish people by undermining the prevailing domestic tranquility. At an even wider level, the terrorists responsible for the outrages, who demonstrated once again that they would not draw the line at killing fellow Moslems in the misguided pursuit of their goals, also dragged Turkey into the frontline of their war.
  • Topic: Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Baris Omali
  • Publication Date: 11-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: On October 7, the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA), dominated by the ruling Justice and Development Party (JDP) approved a resolution authorizing the government to send Turkish troops to Iraq. After the 358 to 183 vote, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan commented that Turkey had “come to the decision that it can't totally fulfill its duty as a neighbor in this big transformation process of Iraq with only political, humanitarian and economic support, without military contributions.” Although over 60 percent of the Turkish public were opposed to deployment, Erdogan committed his personal prestige and unchallenged authority over JDP parliamentarians to ensure a positive vote in contrast to the parliamentary reverse on March 1.
  • Topic: Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Seda Ciftci
  • Publication Date: 08-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: As Ankara struggled through its typically hot summer, the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA) was hard at work. The Justice and Development Party (JDP) government, which has 366 seats in the 550-member TGNA, pushed through major legislative packages tied to European Union (EU) requirements for eventual Turkish membership just before its two-month legislative break on August 1. Parallel to its efforts related to its declared primary objective of EU membership, the government also managed to successfully conclude the fifth IMF review, leading to the release of a $500 million tranche and the easing of the debt repayment schedule by the IMF, while endeavoring to repair the crucial relationship with the US.
  • Topic: Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Turkey, Middle East