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  • Author: Carl Meacham
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Is democracy in danger in the Dominican Republic? Is the country headed toward sustained one-party rule? In an effort to understand the state of Dominican democracy and rule of law, CSIS Americas Program director Carl Meacham led a six-month initiative to answer these questions. This report, which details the project's findings, pays particular attention to alleged growing levels of corruption within the government and the independence—and effectiveness—of the country's judiciary, as well as implications for the Dominican Republic's relations with the United States.
  • Topic: Corruption, Democratization
  • Political Geography: United States, Caribbean
  • 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, Vivek Kocharlakota, Adam Seitz
  • Publication Date: 08-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: US competition with Iran has become the equivalent of a game of three-dimensional chess, in which other states are outside players that can constantly intervene, and one where each side can modify at least some of the rules with each move. It is a game that has been going on for some three decades. It is clearly unlikely to be ended by better dialog and mutual understanding, and that Iran's version of “democracy” is unlikely to change the way it is played in the foreseeable future. This does not make dialogue and negotiation pointless. Dialogue and negotiation do reduce the risk of escalation and misunderstanding. They offer a peaceful means of placing limits on Iran's behavior, of helping to convince Iran's regime that such limits are really in its interest, and establishing “rules of the game” which limit the risks involved to both sides.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Democratization, Nuclear Weapons, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran
  • Author: Michael M. May, Roger Speed
  • Publication Date: 01-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: In September 2002, President George W. Bush announced his new National Security Strategy. Although this doctrine retains some elements from the past, in some respects it is a bold departure from previous U.S. policy. It declares that the United States finds itself in a unique position of military and political dominance and that it has a moral duty to use this strength to establish a new liberal democratic world order. The National Security Strategy and Bush's supporting speeches argue that the United States must in effect establish and maintain a global military hegemony to secure its envisioned democratic, peaceful world. According to the strategy, carrying out this mission requires that any challenge to U.S. military dominance must be blocked, by force if necessary. A significant challenge to world stability comes from terrorists and certain states that are seeking weapons of mass destruction (WMD). Concerned that the Cold War doctrines of deterrence and containment may no longer work, and that "if we wait for threats to fully materialize, we will have waited too long," Bush announced in the National Security Strategy a new "preemption doctrine" against such threats. Earlier, in 2001, the Bush administration's Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) addressed the nuclear aspect of the issue. The review recognized the new cooperative relationship with Russia and the rising threat from the potential proliferation of WMD. The latter point was seen as particularly important, since future conflict with a number of regional powers was thought possible--North Korea, Iraq, Iran, Syria, and Libya all were thought to sponsor or harbor terrorists and to have active WMD and missile programs. The NPR presented a new U.S. strategic military doctrine intended to transform the defense establishment with the creation of a new triad, consisting of offensive strike systems (both nuclear and conventional), defenses (both active and passive), and a revitalized defense infrastructure that will provide new capabilities to meet emerging threats. According to the NPR, the new triad will have four primary missions: to assure, dissuade, deter, and defeat. Bush later added a fifth mission, to preempt, which he characterized as proactive counterproliferation--the use of military force to prevent or reverse proliferation. The "Bush doctrine" called for new nuclear weapons to meet the requirements of these missions. It was argued that smaller nuclear weapons could reduce collateral civilian damage and make U.S. use of nuclear weapons more "credible," therefore deterring hostile nations or even dissuading opponents from acquiring WMD. However, our analysis indicates that low-yield nuclear weapons would likely be militarily effective in only a few cases, and even then the collateral damage could be significant unless the targets were located in isolated areas. Moreover, even if they were militarily effective, they would likely add little or nothing to U.S. deterrent capability, nor be effective at dissuading WMD acquisition. Indeed, the new weapons concepts advanced to date seem to have little to do with deterrence of a nuclear (or other WMD) attack on the United States or its allies. Instead, they appear to be geared toward a warfighting role, which could ultimately undermine rather than enhance U.S. security.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Democratization
  • Political Geography: United States