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  • Author: Lawrence Uzzell
  • Publication Date: 09-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Have Chechen separatist guerrillas been fighting against the United States and its allies in places such as Iraq or Afghanistan—and if so, how many have been captured or killed? The U.S. government has been strikingly passive in seeking to learn (or, at least, in publicly disclosing) the answer to that question. Chechnya Weekly began pressing for a precise, concrete answer months ago, but we have yet to get one from the White House, Pentagon, or State Department.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict, Government
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Russia, United States, Iraq, Europe, Asia, Chechnya
  • Author: Lawrence Uzzell
  • Publication Date: 09-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: In a surprising announcement, Khusein Dzhabrailov has with drawn his candidacy for the presidency of Chechnya. The Moscow businessman, who had managed to win such potent endorsements as those of Bislan Gantemirov and Ruslan Khasbulatov, failed to give any substantive explanation for his decision. As reported on September 2 by the Lenta.ru website, his office merely announced that he had “come to the conclusion that he can provide significantly greater service to society in his present role.”
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia, Chechnya, Moscow
  • Author: Lawrence Uzzell
  • Publication Date: 08-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Pressure against Chechen refugees in Ingushetia has intensified further in recent days, Aleksandr Podrabinek of the newspaper Russky kurier reported on August 18. Hooligans are throwing rocks at the tents during the night, he wrote, and the tents are also being besieged at night by cars that honk their horns so that the refugees cannot sleep. The Kadyrov administration's prime minister, Anatoly Popov, who is now serving formally as “acting president” while Kadyrov pursues his own candidacy, told the news agency Interfax on August 13 that all of the tent camps for Chechen refugees in Ingushetia must be closed by October 1. That is just four days before the election.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia, Chechnya, Ingushetia
  • Author: Lawrence Uzzell
  • Publication Date: 08-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Are the Russian authorities lying about the number of casualties caused by the August 1 bombing of the military hospital in Mozdok? According to the official figures, widely disseminated in the Russian and western media, fifty occupants of the hospital complex died and eighty-two were wounded. But the Moscow daily Kommersant has received conflicting versions regarding those figures from a source connected to the criminal-investigative team on the scene. According to this source, the hospital was filled to more than its planned capacity of 150 patients. Also, several tents had been deployed on its grounds, each containing an additional eight to sixteen people. The truck bomb that destroyed the hospital was so powerful that only one wall of the building was left standing and nearby buildings were also damaged.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia, Chechnya, Moscow
  • Author: Lawrence Uzzell
  • Publication Date: 07-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: About 20 percent of the Kadyrov administration's gunmen are secretly loyal to the secessionist government of President Aslan Maskhadov, a key Maskhadov representative claimed during a visit to Washington last week. Salambek Maigov, Maskhadov's emissary in Moscow, told Chechnya Weekly that former rebel guerrillas constitute the majority of Kadyrov's ostensibly “pro-Moscow” militia. Many of those not now in contact with the rebels, he insisted, “would fight for us if we were to attack Grozny again,” as in 1996.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Washington, Asia, Chechnya, Moscow
  • Author: Lawrence Uzzell
  • Publication Date: 05-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Russian President Vladimir Putin's amnesty proposal, which last week received preliminary approval from the federal Duma, is intended in large part to serve the same purpose as his March constitutional referendum. That is to create the impression that peace, reconciliation and the rule of law are returning to Chechnya, with the support of all but a few separatist fanatics. But compared to the referendum, the amnesty has a key disadvantage: Most (though not all) of the key issues involve the proposed legislation's formal text, not the largely hidden process by which that text will be put into practice. Ever since the president formally presented his proposal to the Russian parliament on May 12, skeptics have subjected it to withering criticism—most of the specific points of which Putin and his circle have not even seriously tried to address.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia, Chechnya
  • Author: Lawrence Uzzell
  • Publication Date: 05-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: In some few respects—indeed, fewer even than a year ago— Shamil Basaev remains a traditional Chechen rebel rather than a postmodern global terrorist. For one, he takes full, public and personal responsibility for his atrocities. That fact alone casts doubt on the Kremlin's attempts to create the impression that the Chechen separatist movement (of which Basaev in any case represents only a part) is simply an arm of al Qaeda. Another difference is that Basaev has not followed al Qaeda's recent switch to soft targets. A pair of mid-May attacks, which Basaev publicly claimed as his own on May 19, were directed against two of the most heavily defended entities in hyper-militarized Chechnya—a key regional headquarters of the Federal Security Service (FSB) secret police, and the person of the head of the republic's Moscow- appointed administration.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia, Moscow
  • Author: Lawrence Uzzell
  • Publication Date: 05-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Anna Politkovskaya has indicated to a friendly human rights journalist that her newspaper has additional information about the involvement of Russia's secret services in the terrorist raid on Moscow's Dubrovka theater last October—enough information to confirm that involvement even apart from her dramatic interview with an apparent double agent. “The next chunk of information on this topic will be published later,” she said, “depending on what actions our authorities take.”
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Moscow
  • Author: Lawrence Uzzell
  • Publication Date: 05-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Was last October's attack by Chechen terrorists on a Moscow theater actually a provocation organized by elements of the Russian security services—or at least known to them in advance, so that they could easily have prevented it? In the opinion of Novaya gazeta correspondent Anna Politkovskaya, the answer is yes, and the key figure in this shadowy operation was a Chechen serving as an agent for Russia's special services—one Khanpash Terkibaev. This mysterious figure unaccountably agreed to let Politkovskaya interview him. And although he has since denied the most sensational parts of her April 28 account of their conversation, he and the administration of Russian President Vladimir Putin have failed to provide any convincing alternative explanation.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Author: Lawrence Uzzell
  • Publication Date: 04-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: An overconfident and overbearing Russian delegation lost the first major international test of Moscow's Chechnya policy to occur since the March 23 constitutional referendum. The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) voted unexpectedly on April 2 to recommend creation of an international tribunal to try both Russians and Chechens accused of war crimes. The lopsided vote (97-27) stood in dramatic contrast to the victory celebrated by the Russians in January, when they succeeded in blocking a challenge to the referendum led by the Parliamentary Assembly's own rapporteur on Chechnya. Their action, in effect, forced his resignation (see Chechnya Weekly, February 6).
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Author: Lawrence Uzzell
  • Publication Date: 04-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Add one more to the list of independent eyewitnesses who flatly deny Russian claims of a huge turnout for Chechnya's March 23 constitutional referendum. Nathalie Nougayrede of Le Monde told Radio Radicale on March 25 that she saw no long lines at polling stations in Grozny, where she spent referendum day. She said that Grozny was “practically deserted” that day: “At one or two polling stations I saw a few people, maybe four or five. Twenty or twenty-five during the whole day....Everyone I spoke to in the days leading up to the referendum said they had no intention of voting.” She added that at one particular polling station she knew that only several dozen people turned out, but “at the end of the day the chief electoral officer declared that around 3,000 people had voted there.”
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Author: Lawrence Uzzell
  • Publication Date: 03-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Moscow journalist Anna Politkovskaya has made a stunning discovery in the suburbs of Chechnya, one comparable to the 1999 scandal in which secret police of Russia's Federal Security Service (the FSB, which is the renamed. but not reformed. KGB) were caught planting explosives in a Ryazan apartment building. As she wrote in the March 24 issue of Novaya gazeta, “during the entire war in Chechnya rumors have circulated about how the federals are planting mines and organizing provocations which they then attribute to the guerrillas. But only now has it become possible to confirm these rumors with documentary evidence.”
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Moscow
  • Author: Lawrence Uzzell
  • Publication Date: 03-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: The administration of Russian President Vladimir Putin and its allies in Grozny are clearly counting on a big win in Saturday's (March 22) referendum. Putin aide Sergei Yastrzhembsky said that “the appearance of voters in Chechnya is traditionally high,” and the Russian media have been circulating forecasts that at least two-thirds of the republic's population will cast votes.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Author: Lawrence Uzzell
  • Publication Date: 03-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: The Russian authorities and their allies in Chechnya are actively trying to create the impression that the March 23 constitutional referendum enjoys massive popular support. Buvaisar Arsakhanov, head of the election commission for Chechnya, told the news agency Itar-Tass on March 11 that almost 10,000 refugees have already expressed their desire to vote in the referendum. Vladimir Zorin, federal minister for nationalities, told a March 10 press conference that “the residents of the Chechen Republic themselves are placing great hopes on the referendum.” For the first time in ten years, he said, they will have the possibility “to express their will for peace and normal life.” (Zorin chose to ignore the 1997 vote, recognized as free and fair by international human rights observers, in which Aslan Maskhadov was elected president of Chechnya.) The pro-Kremlin website Strana.ru quoted Akhmad Kadyrov on March 5 as estimating that 96 percent of the residents of Chechnya are ready to take part in the referendum. That figure is reminiscent of the near-unanimous “elections” of the Soviet years.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Author: Lawrence Uzzell
  • Publication Date: 03-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Russia's highest military award, the order of “Hero of Russia,” has been bestowed on five people for their roles in the Dubrovka Theater hostage crisis of October 2002. But a member of the federal Duma learned that only two of these medals went to soldiers who actually took part in the storming of the theater. Another two went to top leaders of the secret police, and the fifth went to the chemist responsible for releasing the gas that killed about 200 of the hostages (see Chechnya Weekly, December 17, 2002).
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Author: Lawrence Uzzell
  • Publication Date: 02-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Reversal on voting rights for Chechen refugees? In an apparent reversal, the head of the Moscow-appointed Chechen government told a Grozny press conference on February 25 that only voters physically present in Chechnya will be allowed to cast ballots in next month's constitutional referendum. Akhmad Kadyrov said that no polling stations would be open outside Chechnya's boundaries. He thus seemed to be indicating that tens of thousands of Chechen refugees in neighboring Ingushetia will be able to vote only if they return to war torn Chechnya. A report by the Russian news agency Novosti said that “according to Mr. Kadyrov, all wishing to vote can come to Chechnya and vote there.” If the Novosti report is accurate, it means that Kadyrov has broken his recent pledge to the visiting human rights commissioner of the Council of Europe. He had announced his support of the March referendum after Kadyrov assured him that the refugees in Ingushetia would be allowed to take part.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe
  • Author: Lawrence Uzzell
  • Publication Date: 02-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Kremlin admits constitution flawed. The Putin administration's in-house human rights advisers admit that its proposed constitution for Chechnya has serious flaws. Human-rights ombudsman Oleg Mironov told Radio Liberty on February 4 that the proposed text gives the president of the Chechen republic too much power at the expense of the legislature. Ella Pamfilova, head of the president's human rights commission, expressed concern about the power granted to the president of the Russian Federation to dismiss the president of Chechnya. Nevertheless, the two have chosen not to challenge Putin on what has become the centerpiece of his Chechnya strategy: going ahead with the constitutional referendum on March 23.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Author: Simon Serfaty
  • Publication Date: 04-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the European Union (EU) have been significant institutional casualties of the war in Iraq. European heads of state and government who joined the coalition of the willing organized by President George W. Bush (with a decisive assist from Prime Minister Tony Blair) often did so in spite of significant opposition from their general public. States that gathered, vocally or passively, in the coalition of the unwilling (and even resentful) organized by President Jacques Chirac (with a decisive assist from Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder) did so at the expense of a Euro-Atlantic structure within which the states of Europe have gained unprecedented security, stability, and prosperity. As the first phase of the coalition's military action in Iraq comes to an end, the prevailing view in the United States is that the EU is a troubled and troubling union: troubled in terms of its internal divisions, and troubling in terms of the motivation that seems to underline the actions of its older members. As for NATO, the prevailing view is that it is a fading organization with a blocking minority of members who are not only unwilling but also broadly incapable and frankly irrelevant.
  • Topic: Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Middle East
  • Author: Felix G. Rohatyn, Jean-Paul Béchat
  • Publication Date: 02-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: On January 24, 2003, the CSIS Commission on Transatlantic Security and Industrial Cooperation in the Twenty-First Century, under the leadership of CSIS president and CEO John J. Hamre, released its final report, The Future of the Transatlantic Defense Community. Cochaired by Jean-Paul Béchat, chairman and CEO of SNECMA and president (in 2001-2002) of the European Association of Aerospace Industries (AECMA), and former U. S. ambassador to France Felix G. Rohatyn, this Commission consisted of 22 senior business leaders and former policymakers from both sides of the Atlantic. An Experts Group, directed by CSIS Europe Program director Simon Serfaty and composed of several representatives from the private and public sectors and academia, assisted the Commission in its work.
  • Topic: Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Middle East
  • Author: George W. Grayson
  • Publication Date: 12-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Mexico's southern flank constitutes a porous, crime-ridden third border of the United States. The problem is that both President Vicente Fox and Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge concentrate on the U.S.-Mexican frontier, while neglecting the Mexican-Guatemalan interface that provides an open sesame for narcotraffickers, illegal aliens, prostitutes, smugglers, and terrorists.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, Latin America, North America
  • Author: Andre Belelieu
  • Publication Date: 11-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: On December 12, 2001, Canada and the United States signed the Smart Border Declaration, which gave birth to the 30-point Smart Border Action Plan. This bilateral agreement instantly became the de facto framework for ensuring the world's longest undefended border remained secure, while facilitating the flow of people, goods, and services, and was a key component in the larger homeland security goal of creating a zone of confidence against terrorist activity, while causing minimal damage to the world's largest trading relationship. Two years later, the Canadian and U.S. governments can point to progress on all 30 points contained in the Action Plan. Through cooperation and an understanding that a smart border works in the interest of both countries, Canada and the United States can claim to be closer than ever to ensuring that the Canada-U.S. border remains “open to trade and closed to terrorists.”
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, Latin America, North America
  • Author: Sidney Weintraub
  • Publication Date: 11-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Some significant outcomes in Mexico during the past quarter century are worth reviewing. There has been practically no growth in real per capita income since 1980. Until the presidential transition from Ernesto Zedillo to Vicente Fox, there were financial collapses either ending, starting, or during every other sexenio (six-year term) over this period. Perhaps these monotonic curses are a thing of the past, but no Mexican would “bet the farm” on this. These financial collapses were generally accompanied by economic downturns, spectacularly so in 1982 and 1994. Mexicans who came of age over the past 25 years—those now about 40 to 50—have known nothing other than repetitive currency depreciations and lack of sustained growth, and these expectations surely have been programmed indelibly into their psyches. A Mexican would have to be unthinking not to be pessimistic about the future based on recent economic management of the country, its currency, and its financial solidity.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: Latin America, North America
  • Publication Date: 10-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The Struggle over the Referendum On September 25, the new National Electoral Commission (CNE) issued the regulations that will govern referenda for the recall of elected officials. These long-awaited norms will make it possible for a popular vote to be held on President Chávez's stewardship in office by early March (157 days from the time the opposition submits a request to the commission, as it now has done). The commission's decision—not really welcomed by the president—changes Venezuela's political landscape. Although the outcome of the campaign for a referendum remains in doubt, this action gives encouragement to the alliance of the opposition parties seeking the president's removal. Chávez will now have to consider how to adjust his own strategy to deal with this new situation.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: South America, Latin America
  • Author: Miguel Diaz
  • Publication Date: 07-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: At the invitation of the White House, Argentina's newly elected president, Nestor Kirchner, will be paying a visit to President George W. Bush this Wednesday, July 23. This is the latest and most notable signal from Washington of an interest in engaging and working with the new government in Buenos Aires. The hope in Foggy Bottom is that this outreach can translate into the kind of constructive and comprehensive relationship that President Bush has established with Brazil's new president, Luis Inácio Lula da Silva, Kirchner's regional partner. Whether Kirchner has the savvy to exploit the gesture to set a tone for the bilateral relationship and establish the general parameters of a mutually rewarding policy agenda will be evident soon enough.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: South America, Latin America
  • Publication Date: 07-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Twenty-two years after the Brazilian Workers' Party (PT) was established, Luiz Inácio “Lula” da Silva—one of the PT's founders—became Brazil's president. His election on October 27, 2002, marked the first time a candidate with a limited formal education, a background of poverty and disadvantage, and a fully elaborated leftist agenda had been elected to Brazil's highest office.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Author: Armand Peschard-Sverdrup
  • Publication Date: 07-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: On July 6, 2003, as many as 64.7 million registered voters will be heading to the polls to cast their votes for all 500 seats in the lower house of the Mexican Congress—the Chamber of Deputies. Of all 500 seats in the Chamber of Deputies, 300 are elected via direct representation (mayoria relativa) and 200 via proportional representation (representacion proporcional).
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: Latin America, North America
  • Publication Date: 06-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: In a solemn ceremony in Caracas, presided over by César Gavíria, secretary general of the Organization of American States (OAS), the Chávez administration and the Coordinadora Democrática signed a pre-referendum accord. In his remarks, Gavíria characterized the document as an important political step. The result of several weeks of quiet diplomacy, the agreement bridges the differences that had developed over an earlier April 21 draft. The most important provision of the document is paragraph 12, which envisages the possible invocation of article 72 of the constitution—a recall referendum—if the National Electoral Commission (CNE) decides that the conditions for such a referendum have been met.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: South America, Latin America
  • Author: Dwight N. Mason
  • Publication Date: 06-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: That the government was about to decide to seek negotiations on participation in the U.S. missile defense system was signaled by Bill Graham, Canadian foreign minister, in his May 15, 2003, statement in Parliament on missile defense policy.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: Canada, Latin America, North America
  • Author: William Barr
  • Publication Date: 05-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The New York Times was by no means the lone voice in criticizing Brazil's abstentions on the Cuba-related motions before the UN Human Rights Commission. Much tougher criticism has come from a wide range of Brazilians, including a substantial segment of academics, journalists, and even politicians who have long praised Cuba's independence from the U.S. orbit and criticized the United States' economic blockade.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, New York, Brazil, Cuba, United Nations, Latin America
  • Author: Miguel Diaz, Carlos M. Regúnaga
  • Publication Date: 05-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Argentina's national mania to experiment with new rules, procedures, and institutions never ceases to produce surprising, and sometimes stunning results. This time, the electoral process has been managed in such a bizarre way that as a result, the primary election of the Peronist Party will take place after the general election rather than before, as one would expect in a normal, more boring country.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: Argentina, South America, Latin America
  • Author: Carlos M. Regúnaga
  • Publication Date: 05-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Voter turnout for the April 27 elections was among the highest in record: about 80 percent of the total population eighteen years old and older. The number of empty ballot envelopes was less than 1 percent, and votes annulled were within the normal margins in any election. All of this indicates that the protest vote (“voto bronca”), which was so high in the 2001 congressional elections, was not a factor in this election. The large number of candidates—and the exceptionally high number of candidates with the possibility of reaching the second round presidency on May 18 in particular—may have convinced electors to cast positive votes.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: Argentina, South America, Latin America
  • Author: Brian Latell
  • Publication Date: 04-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The campaign against internal opposition launched last month by Fidel Castro's regime is among the most inhumane of the numerous crackdowns conducted during the more than 44 years he has ruled Cuba. Beginning in mid March, Cuban security personnel, often acting violently, rounded up more than 100 men and women associated with groups committed to peaceful democratic change on the island.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: Cuba, Latin America, Caribbean
  • Author: Luis Pinto
  • Publication Date: 04-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Since Augusto Pinochet stepped down as president in 1989, Chile has been one of the most politically, socially, and economically successful countries in the region. The country has been able to move forward because of its aggressive promotion of exports, strength of its institutions, and the trust it has built with the international community. Recently however, Chile has found itself opposing the United States, a long time champion and supporter; it was also embroiled in several domestic corruption scandals. Chile has turned to the strength of its institutions and its international credibility to get back on track.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, South America, Latin America, Chile
  • Publication Date: 04-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: During the period under review, public discussion in Venezuela was dominated by: the prospective referendum to recall the president; the release of the defendants that fired weapons at the demostration last April 11 by an appeals court; a growing debate in the country over the lack of accomplishments (growth, infrastructure, crime and poverty) by the Chavez administration; and the festivities observing the anniversary of Chávez ́s return to office last April, which brought to Caracas prominent international figures of the radical left. The opposition now recognizes that there may be indeed a referendum -- or a general election -- and thus it will be difficult to try to defeat the president. The government, increasingly confident that it can beat the opposition, appears to be moving ahead with preparations for a recall referendum for all elected officials.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: South America, Latin America, Venezuela
  • Author: Andre Belelieu
  • Publication Date: 04-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: On April 14, Quebeckers voted for change while keeping with half a century of tradition. With 70 percent of Quebec's 5.5 million registered voters casting their ballots, the Liberal Party (PLQ) under Jean Charest ended nine years of Parti Quebecois (PQ) rule, winning 45.9 percent of the popular vote and 76 out of 125 seats in Quebec's National Assembly. The governing PQ, which won 33.2 percent of the vote and picked up 45 seats in the National Assembly, was therefore swept from power despite a fairly positive record in government, proving that no matter how competently a government rules in Quebec, it is not immune to the political reality that no party has been able to win a third consecutive term in office since the Union Nationale in 1952.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: Canada, Latin America, North America
  • Author: Carlos M. Regúnaga
  • Publication Date: 04-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Observers unfamiliar with Argentine history may see in the present campaign a lack of real confrontation and choice of ideas. And they may be misled in that direction by the fact that candidates have devoted great time and effort to expose flaws in their opponents' character and background and very little to explain platforms and proposals. One should not be deceived, however, by appearances. The ideological spectrum represented by the five candidates is much wider than has been seen in any U.S. election in recent history. That statement needs, however, some historical perspective.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: Argentina, South America, Latin America
  • Author: William Perry
  • Publication Date: 04-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: 100 days have now passed since Luiz Inácio “Lula” da Silva donned Brazil's presidential sash on January 1, 2003. Perhaps use of this traditional U.S. benchmark, even for preliminary judgments, is a bit unfair, as the Brazilian political calendar with Carnival holidays off, precludes Congress from really beginning to function until early March. Nevertheless, the past three months have been instructive in terms of gauging the problems and prospects of the new Workers' Party (PT) government.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: Brazil, South America, Latin America
  • Author: Mariano Ruiz-Funes
  • Publication Date: 04-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: A country's economic competitiveness can be analyzed on two closely interrelated levels: microeconomic com-petitiveness and competitiveness in attracting investment. The first level (microeconomic competitiveness) relates to goods and services offered in the country and refers to competition arising from goods and services that are produced in another country. That competition takes place in international markets (export competitiveness) as well as in the domestic market (with imports).
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, Latin America, North America, Mexico
  • Author: Phillip McLean
  • Publication Date: 04-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Once again events elsewhere have driven news of Canada, the Caribbean and Latin America off the front pages— even from newspapers in the region. Lack of attention may be the least of those countries' concerns about the war. The more serious consequence is likely to be that the war will accentuate the hemisphere's already evident problems. To the degree that the war slows the growth of world trade, the region's near-term economic prospects will suffer, and global uncertainties will dim the promise of more open and dynamic markets.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Canada, South America, Latin America, Central America, Caribbean, North America
  • Author: Armand Peschard-Sverdrup
  • Publication Date: 04-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: When looking at the ramifications of the war in Iraq on the Western Hemisphere, it is clear that the conflict will have the greatest impact on the two nations with which the United States shares borders—Mexico and Canada. From a national security standpoint, these nations' immediate proximity to the United States automatically heightens the threat to their own national security, particularly because we seem to have entered an era in which the use of weapons of mass destruction—be they nuclear, chemical, or biological—poses a viable threat. From a U.S. homeland security standpoint, the shared border transforms both of our friendly neighbors into possible platforms from which rogue elements could stage attacks or enter the United States to threaten our homeland.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Canada, Latin America, North America, Mexico
  • Author: Carlos M. Regúnaga
  • Publication Date: 04-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The race for the Argentine presidency is now in the next to last lap. The first ballot will be cast April 27, but for the first time in history it looks as if a second ballot will be required. If it is, it will take place on May 18. At this juncture, public opinion and pundits' predictions are poles apart. But before analyzing them, it might be useful to remember the electoral system now in effect.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: Argentina, South America, Latin America
  • Author: Luis Rubio
  • Publication Date: 03-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Mexico's President Vicente Fox chose a rather awkward time to take a stand supporting a multilateralist approach in foreign policy. Even though a multilateral approach matches neatly—almost naturally—with the country's history, taking such a visible stand after the events of September 11 entailed huge risks that nobody in Fox's cabinet could ignore, even if, in retrospect, few truly understood what the actual risks were. Yet, oblivious to that fact, the government pushed ahead. Even after President George W. Bush had decided not to pursue a vote in the UN Security Council on a follow-up resolution that would have de facto authorized the use of force in Iraq, the Mexican government found it necessary to state that it would have voted “no.” The critical question is less whether this constitutes an approach to foreign policy that is new for Mexico than whether the administration truly understands the implications of its newfound ways.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: Latin America, North America, Mexico
  • Author: Sergio Sarmiento
  • Publication Date: 03-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: For a long time, it seemed impossible for any issue to forge an alliance between the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI)—the party that ruled Mexico from 1929 to 2000—and the leftist Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD). This issue, however, has clearly emerged now with the attempt to force President Vicente Fox, a member of the conservative National Action Party (PAN), to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in order to offer special protection to Mexico's agriculture.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: Latin America, North America
  • Author: Armand Peschard-Sverdrup, George W. Grayson
  • Publication Date: 03-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: On March 9, 2003, the citizens of Mexico state (Edomex) will elect 124 municipal government officials and 75 members of the state legislature. Although local contests, these elections have attracted national attention for several reasons. First, with 13 million inhabitants Edomex is the most populous of Mexico 31 states–with approximately 4.5 million more citizens than Mexico City. Second, Mexico state also boasts more than 8 million voters, the most of any state and 12.55 percent of the nationwide total. Third, Mexico state is a microcosm of the country–with (1) a vibrant manufacturing sector, (2) one-third of its income arising from agriculture, (3) a small indigenous population, (4) a plethora of middle-class residents who work for the government, own small businesses, or practice professions such as medicine, dentistry, accounting, and teaching, and (5) poor people who eke out a living in Chalco, Texcoco, and other sprawling slums contiguous to Mexico City. Fourth, Edomex is an arena of intense political activism, involving the country's three major parties: the once-hegemonic Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), the center-right National Action Party (PAN), and the nationalist-left Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD). In addition, the Mexican Green Ecological Party (PVEM) boasts its largest support base in the state, while several new or small parties will also compete in the upcoming election. These include the centrist Convergencia, the leftist Workers' Party (PT), the right-wing Social Alliance (PAS), the conservative Party of the Nationalist Society (PSN), the reform-oriented México Posible (MP), the Mexican Liberal Party (PLM), Citizens' Force (FC), and the Citizens' Parliament (PC). Fifth, the importance of the state means that any major Edomex politician who distinguishes himself will wind up on the short list of contenders for the presidency in 2006. Finally, the outcome of the Mexico state balloting will provide an insight into the relative strength of contending parties as they prepare for the July 6 election of 500 members of the Chamber of Deputies and six governors (Campeche, Colima, Nuevo León, Querétaro, San Luis Potosí, and Sonora).
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: Latin America, North America, Mexico
  • Author: Yu Bin
  • Publication Date: 12-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: In the Chinese language, the character "wen" means moderation and modesty. This happens to capture the personality and policies of China's new premier, Wen Jiabao. In his first trip to the United States as premier, Wen will try to present the image of a rising China that is liberalizing at home, is confident abroad, and willing and able to work with the world's sole superpower. The U.S. side will also have a closeup look at the man who may well administer China for the next 10 years.
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Israel, Asia
  • Author: Ralph A. Cossa
  • Publication Date: 12-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: TAIPEI – Is President Chen Shui-bian trying to provoke a crisis with the PRC in the run up to the March 2004 presidential elections in Taiwan? Taiwan government spokesmen say no, but there is a growing perception among cross-Strait watchers that Taipei is purposefully baiting Beijing in hopes of provoking a hostile response (a la the 1996 missile “tests”) that will cause the island's public to rally around the flag (and the ruling Democratic Progressive Party) in the name of Taiwanese nationalism.
  • Political Geography: China, Israel, Asia
  • Author: Ralph A. Cossa
  • Publication Date: 11-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: President Bush's recent offer to provide Pyongyang with written assurances that the U.S. does not intend to attack North Korea and the North's willingness “to consider” this offer provide the basis, however tentative and contentious, for a negotiated solution to the current nuclear stand-off on the Korean Peninsula. But even if the North really does return to the bargaining table – and this is by no means assured – a long and difficult road lies ahead in the search for common ground between the two primary antagonists in this six-party drama. The key to a successful outcome remains the willingness of the other four actors – China, Japan, Russia, and especially South Korea – to stand firmly behind Washington's central demand: that Pyongyang “fully, verifiably, and irreversibly” abandon its nuclear weapons programs.
  • Political Geography: Russia, Japan, China, Israel, Asia
  • Author: Brad Glosserman
  • Publication Date: 11-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Tokyo – In the end, the weather just wasn't bad enough. Japan's Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), which has dominated politics since 1955, claimed victory in Sunday's national election as it and its coalition partners took a comfortable majority in the Diet. Prime Minister Koizumi Junichiro's celebrations have been muted, however: The LDP's failure to win an outright majority in the lower house will embolden obstructionists within his own party who oppose his reform agenda.
  • Political Geography: China, Israel, Asia
  • Author: James J. Przystup, William M. Drennan
  • Publication Date: 11-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Fifty years ago, the United States and South Korea signed a mutual defense treaty designed to meet the "common danger" posed by North Korea to the survival of the South and to vital U.S. interests. The golden anniversary should be cause for celebration, but hold the applause. The alliance is in serious trouble, and possibly terminal decline, unless urgent steps are taken to revitalize it.
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Israel, Asia, South Korea
  • Author: Takao Toshikawa, Richard Katz
  • Publication Date: 11-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: In a series of newspaper advertisements, a few of Japan's more cosmopolitan business leaders, including Kazuo Inamori, founder of Kyocera, pointed to what's really at stake in the November 9 elections for the Lower House of Japan's Diet. "We support a nation where a change of government is possible," they wrote.
  • Political Geography: Japan, China, Israel, Asia