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  • Author: John F. Lehman (ed), Harvey Sicherman (ed)
  • Publication Date: 10-2014
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Foreign Policy Research Institute
  • Abstract: A decade has passed since the end of the Cold War. The demise of the Soviet Union concluded the most vulnerable period in American history, a time when the possibility of nuclear attack threatened the very existence of the United States. No wonder then that Americans heaved a mighty sigh of relief, having survived to watch the fall of their country's most powerful enemy.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, Arms Control and Proliferation, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Leonard Wong
  • Publication Date: 05-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Foreign Policy Research Institute
  • Abstract: In 1970, the President's Commission on an All-Volunteer Armed Force delivered its report to the President of the United States, Richard Nixon. In the report, better known as the Gates Commission due to the leadership of former Secretary of Defense Thomas Gates, the members of the Commission stated, "We unanimously believe that the nation's interests will be better served by an all-volunteer force, supported by an effective stand-by draft." They added, "We have satisfied ourselves that a volunteer force will not jeopardize national security, and we believe it will have a beneficial effect on the military as well as the rest of our society." In June of 1973, after years of debate, the statutory authority for the draft expired and the all-volunteer force became a reality.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Arms Control and Proliferation, Governance
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Clint Watts
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Foreign Policy Research Institute
  • Abstract: The attacks of September 11, 2001 spawned a decade of al Qaeda inspired radicalization of disaffected Middle Eastern and North African youth and a handful of young Western men. Ten years later, foreign fighters to Afghanistan, Iraq and other jihadi battlefields appear to be declining while in contrast analysts have pointed to an uptick in United States (U.S.) based “homegrown extremism” - terrorism advocated or committed by U.S. residents or citizens.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Islam, Terrorism, Counterinsurgency
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Iraq, Middle East, North Africa
  • Author: David J. Danelo
  • Publication Date: 02-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Foreign Policy Research Institute
  • Abstract: Since Mexican President Felipe Calderón took office in December 2006, Mexico’s drug war has taken over 30,000 lives, destabilized the U.S.-Mexico border, and become a security crisis for the North American continent. Two years ago, a December 2008 Pentagon report warned about the strategic consequences for the United States of a rapid collapse of two nations: Pakistan and Mexico. “The Mexican possibility might seem less likely,” said the report, “but the government, its politicians, police and judicial infrastructure are all under sustained assault by drug cartels.” Any sudden collapse would require a U.S. response “based on the serious implications for homeland security alone.” This scenario has not come to pass, and a full scale collapse of Mexico remains unlikely. That said, Mexico’s security situation has direct consequences in the United States. Along the U.S.-Mexico border, coalitions of sheriffs, agents, activists and concerned citizens have rallied to increase public awareness. According to the Drug Enforcement Agency, Mexican drug cartels maintain distribution networks in 295 U.S. cities through brutal gang activity. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has joined a chorus of policy analysts and terrorism experts by referring to Mexico’s drug war as a “criminal insurgency.” In recent visits to Mexico, both President Barack Obama and the Secretary of State have acknowledged U.S. responsibility to reduce drug demand and invest in “partnership.” As the joint response to the 2009 H1N1 flu virus by U.S. and Mexican health officials illustrated, United States and Mexico policy responses are inextricably linked.
  • Topic: Crime, National Security, War on Drugs, Immigration, Fragile/Failed State, Governance
  • Political Geography: United States, Mexico
  • Author: Walter A. McDougall
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Foreign Policy Research Institute
  • Abstract: In 1973, Congress passed the infamous War Powers Resolution (WPR), over Richard Nixon’s veto. It was perhaps the most ambitious Congressional effort to bridle the President since the battle with Andrew Johnson over Reconstruction. The WPR is worth reading—once—then forgetting, because its convoluted, contradictory, and doubtless unconstitutional mix of instructions, restrictions, and ticking clocks has never been honored by any administration or upheld by any court. Presidents Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush all dispatched U.S. forces into combat situations without paying more than lip service to the WPR. In 1990, following Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait, President Bush stationed 100,000 personnel in Saudi Arabia. He sought no authorization and, in fact, informed just one member of Congress: Senator Sam Nunn (D., Ga.). When he then prepared Operation Desert Storm to liberate Kuwait, 54 Congressmen led by the chairman of House Armed Services Committee, Berkeley radical Ron Dellums (D., Calif.), filed for an injunction to stop the war. U.S. District Judge Harold H. Greene ran for cover. Noting that 54 fell far short of a majority, he judged the case “not ripe for judicial determination.”
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, War, Governance, Law, Constitution
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Mackubin Thomas Owens
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Foreign Policy Research Institute
  • Abstract: No president in American history has faced a greater crisis than Abraham Lincoln confronted in 1861. Although sections of the country had threatened disunion many times in the past, the emergency had always passed as some compromise was found. But in 1861, Lincoln, who had won the election of 1860 because of a split in the Democratic Party, faced a rebellion “too powerful to be suppressed by the ordinary course of judicial proceedings.” By the time of his inauguration on March 4, 1861, seven states had declared their separation from the Union and had set up a separate provisional government called the Confederate States of America. A little over five weeks later, at 4:30 am on April 12, 1861, rebel gunners opened fire on Fort Sumter in Charleston harbor. In response, Lincoln issued a call for 75,000 volunteers to serve ninety days. Denouncing the president’s policy of “coercion,” four more states left the Union. The ensuing war, the most costly in American history, would last for four agonizing years. When it was over, some 600,000 Americans had died and the states of the South had suffered economic losses in the billions of dollars when measured in terms of today’s currency
  • Topic: Civil War, Politics, History, Elections
  • Political Geography: United States