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  • Author: Ömer Taşpınar
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: For most of the 20th century, Turkey chose not to get involved in Middle Eastern affairs. During the past decade, however, in a remarkable departure from this Kemalist tradition (based on the ideology of the republic's founder, Mustafa Kemal Atatu¨rk), Ankara has become a very active and important player in the region. Under the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government since 2002, Turkey has established closer ties with Syria, Iran, and Iraq, assumed a leadership position in the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), attended Arab League conferences, and contributed to UN forces in Lebanon. It has also mediated in the Syrian—Israeli conflict as well as the nuclear standoff with Iran. Ankara's diplomatic engagements with Iran and Hamas have led to differences with the United States and Israel, leaving many wondering if Turkey has been turning away from itsWestern orientation or if it was just a long overdue shift East to complete Turkey's full circle of relations.
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Iran, Turkey, Middle East, Israel, United Nations, Lebanon, Syria
  • Author: Aylin Gürzel
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: In May 2010, while the United States and other Western powers in the UN Security Council were drafting a resolution on further sanctions to pressure Iran over its controversial nuclear program, Turkey and Brazil — then non-permanent members of the Security Council — announced a fuel-swap deal with Iran. The Tehran Declaration, as it was called, stipulated that 20-percent-enriched nuclear fuel was to be provided to Iran for its use in the Tehran Research Reactor, which produces medical isotopes, in exchange for the removal of 1,200 kilograms of 3.5-percent-low-enriched uranium (LEU) to Turkey. Initial reactions to the deal varied, but there was fear that the 20-percent-enriched fuel would enable Iran to further enrich uranium and attain the level necessary to construct a nuclear weapon more rapidly.
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran, Turkey, Brazil, United Nations
  • Author: David Shambaugh
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: 2009—2010 will be remembered as the years in which China became difficult for the world to deal with, as Beijing exhibited increasingly tough and truculent behavior toward many of its neighbors in Asia, as well as the United States and the European Union. Even its ties in Africa and Latin America became somewhat strained, adding to its declining global image since 2007.1 Beijing's disturbing behavior has many observers wondering how long its new toughness will last. Is it a temporary or secular trend? If it is a longer-term and qualitative shift toward greater assertiveness and arrogance, how should other nations respond?
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, China, Europe, Latin America
  • Author: Ely Ratner
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Asteady stream of research and analysis over the last two decades has flowed from the near consensus in the U.S. foreign policy community that, in the words of the U.S. National Intelligence Council, ''few countries are poised to have more impact on the world over the next 15-20 years than China.'' Yet many of these efforts to foretell China's future behavior have paid disproportionate attention to divining Beijing's ''strategic intentions.'' This approach offers only limited insight into the factors that will ultimately determine how China pursues its interests and exerts global influence. It profoundly overestimates the importance of present intentions as a guide to future behavior, and severely underestimates the constraints that China's security environment will place upon Beijing's decisionmakers.
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Beijing
  • Author: John W. Garver
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: One aspect of China's Iran policy suggests a sincere effort to uphold the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) regime in cooperation with the United States. Another suggests that Beijing believes a nuclear-armed or nuclear-armed-capable Iran would serve China's geopolitical interests in the Persian Gulf region.1 Is China playing a dual game toward Iran? This question cannot be answered with certainty, but given its importance, a tentative and necessarily somewhat speculative effort to think through the matter is in order.
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Iran, Persia
  • Author: Bruce Riedel, Michael O'Hanlon
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The strategy in Afghanistan, as outlined by President Obama in his December 2009 West Point speech and earlier March 2009 policy review, still has a good chance to succeed. Described here as ''Plan A,'' it is a relatively comprehensive counterinsurgency strategy, albeit one with a geographic focus on about one-third of Afghanistan's districts. Directed at defeating the insurgency or at least substantially weakening it, while building up Afghan institutions, it has reasonable prospects of achieving these goals well enough to hold together the Afghan state and prevent the establishment of major al Qaeda or other extremist sanctuaries on Afghan soil. Nevertheless, the strategy is not guaranteed to succeed, for reasons having little to do with its own flaws and more to do with the inherent challenge of the problem. Critics of the current strategy are right to begin a discussion of what a backup strategy, or a ''Plan B,'' might be. The most popular alternative to date emphasizes targeted counterterrorism operations, rather than comprehensive counterinsurgency—especially in the country's Pashtun south and east where the insurgencies are strongest. The United States should have a debate over Plan B, but the above version is highly problematic. Its proponents are serious people motivated by serious considerations—they worry that the current war is not winnable, or at least that it is not winnable at costs commensurate with the strategic stakes they perceive in Afghanistan. Yet, it would be troubling if the U.S. debate in 2011 was forced to choose effectively between this kind of backup plan and the current robust counterinsurgency approach. There is a better way if a fallback option is needed. Rather than conceding at least one-third of the country to extremists and reducing NATO forces quickly, the United States should tie its force drawdown to the growth and maturation of Afghan security forces. Under this plan, described here as ''Plan A-,'' U.S. and other foreign forces would have to keep fighting hard in Afghanistan for 2-4 more years, even as they gradually passed the baton to Afghan forces, but the United States would not need to stay in Afghanistan indefinitely, and would not tie its downsizing to the stabilization of all key terrain.
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States
  • Author: Ayesha Siddiqa
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: On October 1, 2010, the government of Pakistan shut down the supply route for the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) after an incursion into Pakistan's territory by NATO forces, killing 16 Pakistanis in collateral damage. Two days later, militants torched 28 NATO supply trucks near Shikarpur in the southern province of Sindh. These events reflect the inherent tension both in Pakistan's counterterrorism strategy and in its relationship with the United States and its allies in fighting the war in Afghanistan. The future of U.S. military operations in South Asia depends on the convergence of policies between the United States and Pakistan, but since the war began in 2001, interpreting Islamabad's counterterrorism policy has been difficult.
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, United States
  • Author: Simon Serfaty
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The ''unipolar moment'' that followed the Cold War was expected to start an era.1 Not only was the preponderance of U.S. power beyond question, the facts of that preponderance appeared to exceed the reach of any competitor. America's superior capabilities (military, but also economic and institutional) that no other country could match or approximate in toto, its global interests which no other power could share in full, and its universal saliency confirmed that the United States was the only country with all the assets needed to act decisively wherever it chose to be involved.2 What was missing, however, was a purposea national will to enforce a strategy of preponderance that would satisfy U.S. interests and values without offending those of its allies and friends. That purpose was unleashed after the horrific events of September 11, 2001. Now, however, the moment is over, long before any era had the time to get started.
  • Topic: Cold War
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Toshi Yoshihara, James R. Holmes
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Déjà vu surrounds reports that Beijing has claimed a ''core interest'' in the South China Sea. High-ranking Chinese officials reportedly asserted such an interest during a private March 2010 meeting with two visiting U.S. dignitaries, Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg and the senior director for Asian affairs at the National Security Council, Jeffrey Bader. Subsequently, in an interview with The Australian, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton disclosed that Chinese delegates reaffirmed Beijing's claim at the Second U.S.—China Strategic and Economic Dialogue, a gathering held in Beijing in May 2010. Conflicting accounts have since emerged about the precise context and what was actually said at these meetings. Since then, furthermore, Chinese officials have refrained from describing the South China Sea in such formal, stark terms in a public setting.
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Asia, Australia
  • Author: Andrew C. Kuchins
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Two events in the past year have shifted the focus of efforts to stabilize Afghanistan as President Obama's July 2011 deadline for beginning a drawdown of U.S. forces approaches. The first was the Kabul Conference, held July 20, 2010, where Afghan President Hamid Karzai announced that Afghanistan would take full responsibility for its sovereignty and security by the end of 2014. The November 2010 NATO conference in Lisbonthe second eventconfirmed this benchmark for full transition to Afghan sovereignty as well as a longer-term commitment to a ''strong partnership'' beyond 2014. While there are certain caveats about ''conditions-based'' decisions regarding these benchmarks, this timeframe should guide the strategic planning of the Afghan government, the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), and regional partners.
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States