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  • Author: Lawrence J. Haas
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Journal of International Security Affairs
  • Institution: Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs
  • Abstract: The growing turmoil of the “Arab Spring”—the populist awakening that spread like a brushfire across the Middle East and North Africa after a desperate fruit peddler in Tunisia set himself afire in December of 2010—can shake the optimism of even the most enthusiastic human rights promoter. As of this writing, populist uprisings have toppled dictators in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, and Yemen. But Egypt's government remains in a leadership tug-of-war between its military and Islamist parties, while in Libya rebel militias control the streets and the government's interim leaders still must establish their legitimacy, write a new constitution, and hold elections. Autocrats in Syria and Bahrain continue the brutal crackdowns on their respective populations, with the slaughter in Syria in particular reaching unspeakable levels. That experts wonder whether the “Arab Spring” is more accurately an “Arab Winter” or “Islamist Spring” reflects the uncertainty surrounding the region's future. For the United States, the Greater Middle East has long presented a host of tricky challenges. It is home to most of the world's oil, on which the U.S. and global economies are so dependent; a dangerous theocracy in Iran that seeks nuclear weapons, is expanding the range of its ballistic missiles, and has killed U.S. troops directly and indirectly in Afghanistan and Iraq; the world's most active state sponsors of terrorism in Iran and Syria; and a vital U.S. ally in Israel that is surrounded by states and terrorist groups seeking its destruction and is facing cooler relations with post-Mubarak Egypt and increasingly Islamist Turkey. In the short term, the United States must protect its vital interests by navigating the economic, military, and diplomatic landmines that these challenges present. Longer term, the challenge is quite different: to promote freedom and democracy across the region (just as the United States has promoted freedom and democracy in every other region in recent decades). That's because a freer, more democratic Greater Middle East would benefit America in myriad ways. Liberal democracies do not tend to sponsor terrorism, so a freer, more democratic region would lessen the threats to the United States and its allies. Meanwhile, new free-market economies would provide new trade and investment opportunities for U.S. businesses, generating more prosperity back home. For Washington, the question is how to get from here to there—how to support democratic forces over the long term without compromising U.S. interests in the short term. That is no easy task. The answer, however, lies not in reducing our efforts to promote freedom and democracy as a result of regional turmoil and retreating to the relative safety of “stability.” Instead, it hinges on understanding that change is coming to this volatile region whether we like it or not—and that a deft combination of savvy diplomacy, targeted economic and technical assistance, and (when necessary) military power can nudge it in the right direction.
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, North Africa, Tunisia
  • Author: Gordon G. Chang
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Journal of International Security Affairs
  • Institution: Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs
  • Abstract: We hope we can convey a positive message that China and the U.S. will stick to the principle of showing mutual support to people in the same boat and strengthen cooperation,” said Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping to his American counterpart, Joe Biden, during a phone conversation on the eve of his February get-to-know-you tour of the United States. Xi, expected to become China's next leader at the end of this year, undoubtedly used the boat analogy because he saw that Washington was reassessing the assumptions that have underpinned America's relations with Beijing for the last forty years. The policies of today are the same as the ones President Nixon envisioned four decades ago, but only in broad outline. Chinese leaders, for good reason, are worried about recent American moves in their region. When he made his groundbreaking trip to Beijing in 1972, Nixon knew that both China and the United States shared the same principal adversary, so he traveled halfway around the world to enlist Mao Zedong as an informal partner in the Cold War against the Soviets. The successful conclusion of that global struggle, which meant America no longer needed China, did not break the ties between two countries that then had little in common. And the horrible slaughter of Chinese citizens by their own government in their capital in June 1989 only interrupted close cooperation between Washington and Beijing; it did not end it. Since Nixon's visit to Beijing, the U.S. has sought to “engage” the Chinese and bring them into the liberal international system. This policy proved durable, despite tumultuous change over the course of decades, precisely because it was consistent with America's conception of its global role. Chris Nelson of the daily Washington report bearing his name maintains that today's China policies resemble those that produced the Marshall Plan because in both cases the United States was engineering, for the sake of the world, its own “altruistic decline.” Whether the two policies can in fact be linked, America's policy of engagement of China has been enlightened, farsighted, and generous. And it has had an effect. Beijing, after Mao's death in 1976, reciprocated overtures from Washington and the West by dismantling the controls of a command economy, opening doors to foreign investment, and participating in international commerce. This economic restructuring caused, or at least accompanied, a transformation of the country's external policies. Beijing dropped its shrill and antagonistic talk about spreading Marxist revolution. In fact, the Chinese began to speak in pleasing tones as they opened their country to the world. “We are trying to make as many friends as possible,” said Li Zhaoxing, when he was foreign minister in 2004. “The more friends China has, the better.” And this was not just happy talk. Beijing did all it could to increase its friendships—and its clout. Once an outlander maintaining only one ambassador abroad, China is now close to the heart of world affairs, networked into almost every multilateral organization and virtually every other country. From its perches at the United Nations, World Bank, and International Monetary Fund, Beijing is considered an indispensable player on every continent. In fact, the Chinese have been so successful that the time we live in is considered to be their century. Consequently, Beijing's diplomats see themselves as representatives of history's next great power. In a sense, this is the logical conclusion to America's engagement. It was always more probable that this century, marked by accelerating globalization that is spreading wealth around the planet, would be named after the country with more than 19 percent of world population—China—than one with less than five—the U.S. The hope of the engagers was that enmeshment of China into global institutions would lead, if not to a democratic nation, then at least to a benign one. So there was a bet that China would become a true partner rather than another Soviet Union. It was the grandest wager of our time, if not of all time.
  • Political Geography: United States, China, America, Beijing
  • Author: Peter Huessy, General Michael Dunn (ret.)
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Journal of International Security Affairs
  • Institution: Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs
  • Abstract: Today, the overwhelming focus of the United States and its allies is aimed at stopping Iran from securing a nuclear weapon. The ongoing nuclear weapons program of North Korea appears to be, at best, a serious but somewhat secondary consideration. Yet the two programs are inexorably intertwined, and are part of an identical strategy adopted by these two rogue states and their allies to harm U.S. security interests. Policymakers in Washington still appear to believe in both cases that a “deal” of some kind monitoring their respective nuclear programs—as opposed to ending them—is possible. Such a view is naïve at best, and deeply dangerous at worst. This is true for two key reasons. The first is North Korea's “Ten Step” negotiating strategy—an approach that the DPRK has successfully adopted over the past two decades to shake the U.S. and its allies down for oil, food and economic assistance and to “buy time.” The second is that North Korea's true strategic objective—ignored all too often by experts and the media alike—is one of reunifying the Korean peninsula under Communist rule and this requires a nuclear weapons program as a shield. When viewed through these two prisms, Pyongyang's policies in recent years make sound strategic sense. Washington's, by contrast, too often do not.
  • Political Geography: United States, North Korea, Pyongyang
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Journal of International Security Affairs
  • Institution: Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs
  • Abstract: A Robert C. “Bud” McFarlane is Founder and Chief Executive Officer of McFarlane Associates, an international consultancy focused on energy and political risk. In a public policy career spanning more than half a century, he served as a Marine lieutenant colonel, a State Department diplomat, and—most prominently—as National Security Advisor to President Ronald Reagan from 1983 to 1985. In February 2012, he spoke with Journal editor Ilan Berman about the ongoing international stand-off with Iran, the state of our struggle against radical Islam, and the challenges facing the U.S. in the Greater Middle East.
  • Topic: Security
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran, Middle East
  • Author: Frank J. Cilluffo, J. Richard Knop
  • Publication Date: 12-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Journal of International Security Affairs
  • Institution: Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs
  • Abstract: When it comes to cybersecurity, the United States is still at the starting line. It shouldn't be.
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Jeffrey Gedmin
  • Publication Date: 12-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Journal of International Security Affairs
  • Institution: Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs
  • Abstract: Waging the battle of ideas requires an understanding of culture and an appreciation of values. Both are currently missing in U.S. outreach.
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Andrew K. Davenport
  • Publication Date: 12-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Journal of International Security Affairs
  • Institution: Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs
  • Abstract: Currently, America isn't seriously using economic warfare against our enemies. Here's how we can.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Ilan Berman
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Journal of International Security Affairs
  • Institution: Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs
  • Abstract: Ten years ago this Fall, al-Qaeda carried out the most devastating attacks on the U.S. homeland in our country's history. That brazen attack propelled the United States—and the world—into a qualitatively new kind of global conflict. Ten years on, the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks provides the opportunity to reflect upon where we are in this effort. To do so, The Journal convened a symposium of seventeen of the country's premier counterterrorism specialists. These experts—drawn from Congress, the U.S. military and the Beltway policy community—have shared their unique insights into how far we have come in the past decade in our struggle against terrorism, and how far the United States and its allies still need to go. From there, we turn to the other pressing topic of the day: the so-called “Arab Spring.” The past half-year has seen unprecedented change sweep over the Middle East and North Africa. Long-standing regimes in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya have fallen. Others (such as Syria) continue to struggle against widespread domestic discontent. Still others—Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Jordan and beyond—have felt their fair share of grassroots ferment. What does this geopolitical earthquake augur for the Middle East? What should America's role be in these changes? And how will the region change in the months ahead? We start to answer some of those questions with six cutting-edge articles. Barry Rubin, one of Israel's leading commentators on Mideast affairs, outlines in damning detail the misconceptions that animate the Obama administration's approach to the region—and explains how these flawed ideas have wreaked havoc on America's stature there. Indiana University's Jamsheed Choksy provides a tantalizing glimpse into the high-stakes political conflict now taking place between Iran's firebrand president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and the country's entrenched clerical elite. Brent Talbot of the U.S. Air Force Academy then examines Israel's strategic options for dealing with Iran's persistent nuclear program, and argues that the Israeli government is likely to take decisive action in the not-too-distant future. The Henry Jackson Society's Julia Pettengill and Houriya Ahmed sketch the motivations behind—and implications of—the attempted “unity” deal between the Hamas movement and the Fatah faction of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. Robert Freedman of Baltimore Hebrew University and Johns Hopkins University outlines how the Russian government of Dmitry Medvedev and Vladimir Putin has attempted to weather the changes taking place in the region so far. And Daniel Jackman and Daniel Wagner, two geopolitical risk experts with the consulting firm Country Risk Solutions, provide a masterful tour d'horizon of the economic and social ferment that has accompanied the region's revolutions. Also in this issue, we're delighted to have as our “Perspective” interviewee former Treasury Under Secretary Stuart Levey—who, as the U.S. government's long-standing point man on sanctions against Iran and al-Qaeda, spearheaded the “financial front” of the War on Terror for much of that conflict. We also have Dispatches from Russia, Belarus and Jordan, as well as book reviews covering U.S. and Israeli counterterrorism efforts, Pakistan's duplicitous relationship with radical Islam, and the high cost of terrorism on Israel and the Jews. Over the years, our readers have come to rely on The Journal as a leading source of cutting-edge analysis of the trends, developments and policies that shape our world. The contents of this issue are but the latest proof we live up to that promise.
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, United States, America, Middle East, Israel, North Africa, Syria, Jordan
  • Author: Ed Royce
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Journal of International Security Affairs
  • Institution: Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Political Geography: United States, Washington, Western Europe
  • Author: The Hon. Patrick Meehan
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Journal of International Security Affairs
  • Institution: Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, America, Middle East, Yemen, Latin America
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Journal of International Security Affairs
  • Institution: Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs
  • Abstract: An Interview with The Honorable Stuart Levey
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Ilan Berman
  • Publication Date: 04-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Journal of International Security Affairs
  • Institution: Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs
  • Abstract: On November 4, 1979, Iranian militants raided the U.S. Embassy in Tehran and took 53 Americans hostage. That siege lasted 444 days and changed history. Now, more than 30 years later, we see an Iran rotting from the inside out—a regime trying to silence a people crying out for freedom.
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Iran, Tehran
  • Author: Ilan Berman
  • Publication Date: 05-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Journal of International Security Affairs
  • Institution: Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs
  • Abstract: The most troubling aspect of international security for the United States is not the killing power of our immediate enemies, which remains modest in historical terms, but our increasingly effete view of warfare. The greatest advantage our opponents enjoy is an uncompromising strength of will, their readiness to “pay any price and bear any burden” to hurt and humble us. As our enemies' view of what is permissible in war expands apocalyptically, our self-limiting definitions of allowable targets and acceptable casualties—hostile, civilian and our own—continue to narrow fatefully. Our enemies cannot defeat us in direct confrontations, but we appear determined to defeat ourselves.
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Ilan Berman
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Journal of International Security Affairs
  • Institution: Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs
  • Abstract: Eight years after September 11th, the focus in the War on Terror is unmistakably shifting. Iraq remains important, and mounting instability in Afghanistan has emerged as a source of serious concern for the Obama Administration and its international partners. More and more, however, policymakers in Washington are beginning to think deeply about "smart power"-the various non-military tools the United States has at its disposal, and how to properly harness them.
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Iraq
  • Author: Robert R. Reilly
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Journal of International Security Affairs
  • Institution: Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Cold War, War
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Helle C. Dale
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Journal of International Security Affairs
  • Institution: Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Ilan Berman
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Journal of International Security Affairs
  • Institution: Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Islam
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Journal of International Security Affairs
  • Institution: Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs
  • Abstract: Meera Shankar is India's ambassador to the United States. She is the first serving Indian Foreign Service Officer to be ambassador to Washington in more than two decades. Prior to assuming her post in April 2009, she was India's ambassador to Germany.
  • Political Geography: United States, India, Germany
  • Author: Willy Lam
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Journal of International Security Affairs
  • Institution: Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs
  • Abstract: HONG KONG-Still remember "Pax Chinamerica"? As recently as this spring, China was supposed to be the de facto quasi-superpower that was closing in on the United States-and the two behemoths seemed destined to become the arbiters of a new global geopolitical and economic order. The PRC's fast-expanding status was amply demonstrated by the photo op at the London G20 Summit in April. President and Commander-in-Chief Hu Jintao, the supremo who has done more than anybody to catapult his nation to superstardom, was seated right next to Queen Elizabeth II, while U.S. President Barack Obama was somewhere in the back row.
  • Topic: United Nations
  • Political Geography: United States, China, London
  • Author: Thitinan Pongsudhirak
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Journal of International Security Affairs
  • Institution: Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs
  • Abstract: BANGKOK-When the U.S. Marines and Royal Thai Air Force bands played the Thai national anthem alongside the Star Spangled Banner during the Independence Day reception at the U.S. embassy in Bangkok this past July, they unwittingly waltzed into Thailand's protracted political crisis. A host of local dignitaries on the scene were aghast that the Thai royal anthem, the customary tune of national days hosted by the various embassies in Bangkok, had been replaced by its nation-state equivalent. Letters of objection and reprimand to the editor of The Bangkok Post ensued. The U.S. embassy issued no apology for its gaffe. The pro-royal anthem advocates continued to vent their dissatisfaction in posh social cocktails and dinners. It became a storm in a teacup that typified Thailand's ongoing divisions and polarization.
  • Political Geography: United States, Thailand, Bangkok