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  • Author: Homi Kharas
  • Publication Date: 07-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: The multilateral development system, led by the United States, has guided development cooperation by Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries, evolving gradually through new institutions and new norms since World War II. Organized by a small group of like-minded countries, multilateralism has been a way of managing burden-sharing among donors and of delivering public goods. These functions are now under stress. According to a poll conducted in December 2016 by the Program for Public Consultation at the University of Maryland, most Americans (59.3 percent) support the statement that “when giving foreign aid, it is best for the U.S. to participate in international efforts, such as through the United Nations. This way it is more likely that other countries will do their fair share and that these ef- forts will be better coordinated.” However, a majority of Republican voters disagree, believing that it is better for the U.S. to provide aid on its own, to ensure control over how money is spent and to gain recognition for its generosity.
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance, Global Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Stephen Kull
  • Publication Date: 07-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: Is President Donald Trump’s “America First” policy a reflection of a larger isolationist trend in public attitudes? And what do Americans think about foreign aid in particular? The answer is complex. On the one hand, recent polls suggest a robust majority support an engaged U.S. role in the world, a moral dimension to U.S. foreign policy, and giving foreign aid, especially humanitarian aid. On the other, many are dissatisfied with America’s role in the post-Cold War era, and Trump has effectively played on that disillusionment. The U.S. is seen as having overextended itself in playing a hegemonic role in the world, a role that has served corporate interests and the wealthy, but that has not effectively served the middle class, which is largely footing the bill for it. This overextension is seen as being reflected in the U.S. budget deficit, which troubles the public more than the elites.
  • Topic: International Affairs, Foreign Aid
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Iva Tasheva
  • Publication Date: 06-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: European Policy Centre
  • Abstract: Increased digitalisation has brought both economic benefits and cybersecurity challenges. According to Europol, an expanding cybercriminal economy is exploiting our increasingly Internet-enabled lives and low levels of digital skills. This became publicly evident in May 2017 with the biggest ransomware attack so far; the WannaCry cryptoworm exploited a security gap in widely used, and often not updated versions of the Windows operational system. The cyber weapon, which enabled hackers to lock (encrypt) the victims' computer files until they paid a ransom, was stolen from the US National Security Agency. It spread within a few hours, affecting 200,000 computers, compromising the security and preventing the work of critical infrastructures, such as hospitals (NHS), public transport (Deutsche Bahn), banks (Deutsche Bank), service providers (Telefónica), delivery services (FedEx), and businesses across the globe.
  • Topic: International Security
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 08-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Future for Advanced Research and Studies (FARAS)
  • Abstract: Three European states and Russia were hit by a flurry of six terrorist attacks over five consecutive days during this month of August. A primary driver of the attacks appears to be a desire to deal a series of strong blows to these states in response to the human and material losses suffered by ISIS in Iraq and Syria after it withdrew from Mosul City and retreated in Raqqa City. Similar attack patterns and targets as well as similar identities of the perpetrators of some attacks are what recent attacks appear to have in common. This indicates that the group is trying to adapt and de- velop its tactics, as revealed by investiga- tions into the August 17 Barcelona attack.
  • Topic: Terrorism, International Security
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: David F. Gordon, Divya P. Reddy, Elizabeth Rosenberg
  • Publication Date: 09-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for a New American Security
  • Abstract: The dust is now settling on President Donald Trump’s controversial decision to withdraw the United States from the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change. This decision was a foreign policy mistake. It will make sustaining American credibility more difficult in other multilateral institutions and settings. It will exacerbate anti-American sentiment in Europe, making trans-Atlantic leadership collaboration more difficult well beyond climate policy. On climate, it threatens to undermine the balance achieved in Paris between the centralized and top-down approach favored by the Europeans and the more decentralized and market-friendly approach of the United States, which was supported by China. As a result, it also could lead to the creation of an uneven playing field for U.S. businesses.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Environment, Global Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Julia M. Santucci
  • Publication Date: 09-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for a New American Security
  • Abstract: The Obama administration made efforts to advance gender equality around the world one of its core national security and foreign policy priorities, based on the premise that countries are more stable, secure, and prosperous when women enjoy the same rights as men, participate fully in their countries’ political systems and economies, and live free from violence. A growing body of research makes a compelling case about these links. Former Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues Cathy Russell and former National Security Advisor Tom Donilon sum up much of the evidence in this Medium piece, noting that advancing gender equality around the world helps grow global gross domestic product, decreases hunger, strengthens the prospects for peace agreements to succeed, and counters violent extremism.1
  • Topic: International Relations, Gender Issues, International Security
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Adam Klein, Madeline Christian, Matt Olsen, Tristan Campos
  • Publication Date: 08-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for a New American Security
  • Abstract: Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act is an important intelligence tool that will expire on December 31, 2017, unless Congress re-authorizes it. Here’s what it is, and how it works. First, a bit of background: The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 requires the government to get a court order to intercept the electronic messages of a suspected spy or terrorist on U.S. soil. By contrast, overseas spying took place with no court oversight. That made sense for 20th century technology, because international communications rarely transited the United States. The internet made things far more complicated: now, foreigners’ communications often travel through the United States, or are stored on servers here. That produced an anomaly: FISA was forcing the government to apply Fourth Amendment safeguards when a foreign terrorist or spy’s internet messages passed through the U.S.—even though non-Americans overseas do not have Fourth Amendment rights. This overtaxed the Justice Department and made counterterrorism more difficult. To remedy this, Congress passed the FISA Amendments Act of 2008, which included Section 702. Section 702 creates a middle ground between U.S.-based surveillance under FISA and overseas surveillance by the NSA.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Security
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Edward Fishman, Peter Harrell, Elizabeth Rosenberg
  • Publication Date: 07-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for a New American Security
  • Abstract: North Korea has emerged as one of the most significant national security threats facing the United States and its allies today. Since leader Kim Jong Un came to power in 2011, North Korea has accelerated the pace of its nuclear tests, and appears to have made substantial progress in developing operational medium-, long-range, and intercontinental ballistic missiles. Many experts assess that if left unchecked, Pyongyang could develop the capability to strike the contiguous United States with a nuclear warhead within 5–10 years. Because of that, in June 2017 U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis characterized North Korea as “the most urgent and dangerous threat” to U.S. peace and security.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Security, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: North Korea, Global Focus
  • Author: Gregory Allen, Taniel Chan
  • Publication Date: 07-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for a New American Security
  • Abstract: Partially autonomous and intelligent systems have been used in military technology since at least the Second World War, but advances in machine learning and Artificial Intelligence (AI) represent a turning point in the use of automation in warfare. Though the United States military and intelligence communities are planning for expanded use of AI across their portfolios, many of the most transformative applications of AI have not yet been addressed. In this piece, we propose three goals for developing future policy on AI and national security: preserving U.S. technological leadership, supporting peaceful and commercial use, and mitigating catastrophic risk. By looking at four prior cases of transformative military technology—nuclear, aerospace, cyber, and biotech—we develop lessons learned and recommendations for national security policy toward AI.
  • Topic: Science and Technology, International Security, Military Strategy, Cybersecurity
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Jerry Hendrix, Lt Col James Price
  • Publication Date: 06-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for a New American Security
  • Abstract: On Christmas Day in 1914, three former cross-channel packet ships, the Engadine, Empress, and Riviera, stood off the island of Heligoland in the North Sea. Under the watchful eye of the Royal Navy cruisers Arethusa and Undaunted, the three ships pulled back the tarps erected on their sterns and forecastles to reveal nine seaplanes. The aircraft – three Short Folders (Short was the company name; Folder was the model and denoted the aircraft’s ability to fold its wings for storage), four Short 74s, and two Short 135s – were assembled and carefully lowered into the water. The Folders had a 67-foot wingspan, were powered by a 160-horsepower engine, and weighed 3,040 pounds fully loaded. The other two models were derivatives of the original Folder and had similar, if not exact, characteristics. Seven of the nine aircraft were able to get airborne (the other two were unable to break the dynamic tension of the water) and headed eastward carrying three 20-pound Hale bombs apiece, each of which contained 4.5 pounds of explosives within 13 pounds of steel guided by aluminum tail fins. Combined, the 21 bombs had less destructive power than one 13-inch shell fired from a British battleship, but these weapons could be taken directly to their targets and dropped precisely on top of them.
  • Topic: International Security, Military Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus