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  • Author: Thomas Wright
  • Publication Date: 03-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Foreign policy experts have struggled to describe the unusual character of contemporary world politics. Much of the debate revolves around the concept of polarity, which deals with how power is distributed among nations, as experts ask if the United States is still a unipolar power or in decline as new powers emerge. The polarity debate, however, obscures more than it clarifies because the distribution of power does not determine the fate of nations by itself. It leaves out strategic choice and does not predict how the United States would exercise its power or how others would respond to U.S. primacy. World politics can take many paths, not just one, under any particular distribution of power. The most remarkable feature of post-Cold War world politics has not been the much-discussed power accumulation of the United States—although that is indeed noteworthy—but rather the absence of counter- balancing and revisionist behavior by other major powers.
  • Topic: Cold War
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Thomas Wright
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: If there is one idea that has consistently influenced western foreign policy since the Cold War, it is the notion that extending interdependence and tightening economic integration among nations is a positive development that advances peace, stability, and prosperity. As a post-Cold War idea guiding U.S. and European foreign policy, there is much to be said for it. The absorption of Eastern Europe in both the European Union and NATO helped consolidate market democracy. Globalization led to unprecedented growth in western economies, and facilitated the ascent of China and India, among others, taking billions of people out of poverty. Access to the international financial institutions also offered emerging powers the strategic option of exerting influence through existing institutions rather than trying to overturn them. Some policymakers and experts believe that this process holds the key to continuing great power peace and stability.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Cold War
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Europe, India
  • Author: Michael O'Hanlon
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: During the Cold War, the United States varied between a "1 ½ war" and a "2 ½ war" framework for sizing its main combat forces. This framework prepared forces for one or two large wars, and then a smaller "half-war." Capacity for a major conflict in Europe, against the Soviet Union and its Warsaw Pact allies, represented the enduring big war potential. This period saw simultaneous conflict against China as a second possible big war, until Nixon's Guam doctrine placed a greater burden on regional allies rather than U.S. forces to address such a specter, and until his subsequent opening to the PRC made such a war seem less likely in any event. The half-wars were seen as relatively more modest but still quite significant operations such as in Korea or Vietnam.
  • Topic: Cold War
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Europe, Vietnam, Korea
  • 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: Meghan L. O'Sullivan
  • Publication Date: 10-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The sanctions debate is, once again, in full bloom. Thanks to Iran's budding nuclear program and the intransigence of Tehran thus far, policymakers and pundits are again pondering the utility of sanctions. Amid a flurry of sanctions activity at the U.S. Department of Treasury, in Congress, at the UN, and overseas, the question persists: ''Do sanctions work?''
  • Topic: Cold War
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Christopher S. Chivvis, Harun Dogo
  • Publication Date: 10-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: ''The international officials who have run Bosnia as a virtual protectorate since the West forced a peace deal in 1995 are eager to scale back their presence here soon,'' reported the New York Times eight years ago. Sadly, not much has changed since. Bosnia was Europe's first major post—Cold war tragedy. Its bloody collapse attracted global attention and shaped our understanding of the security dilemmas posed by the post—Cold War world. Peace has held since the 1995 Dayton Accords, but in spite of over $15 billion in foreign aid as well as the sustained deployment of thousands of NATO and EU troops, the country still struggles to achieve the political consensus necessary to cement its stability and break free of international tutelage. To make matters worse, the situation has deteriorated, especially over the last four years. Circumstances on the ground are polarized and increasingly tense. Meanwhile, Bosnia's problems are contributing to rifts between the United States and Europe.
  • Topic: Cold War
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Bosnia
  • Author: Wu Xinbo
  • Publication Date: 10-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Although the global financial crisis breaking out in the fall of 2008 seems to be drawing to an end, it is still too early to tell exactly how big a loss it has caused to the world economy. Viewed through a macro politico-economic lens, the global financial turmoil formally put an end to the unipolar post—Cold War era, in which the U.S. power preponderance, its alleged universal politicoeconomic model of development (often referred to as the Washington Consensus), and its overwhelming international influence had been a defining feature. The looming new era is characterized by the emergence of a multipolar power structure, plural politico-economic models, and multiple players on the international stage.
  • Topic: Cold War, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: United States, Washington
  • Author: Dalia Dassa Kaye, Frederic M. Wehrey
  • Publication Date: 07-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: One of the most significant effects of the Iraq war is Iran's seemingly unprecedented influence and freedom of action in regional affairs, presenting new strategic challenges for the United States and its regional allies. Although Middle Eastern governments and the United States are in general agreement about diagnosing Tehran's activism as the war's most alarming consequence, they disagree on how to respond. The conventional U.S. view suggests that a new Arab consensus has been prompted to neutralize and counter Tehran's rising influence across the region in Gaza, the Gulf, Iraq, and Lebanon. Parallels to Cold War containment are clear. Indeed, whether consciously or unwittingly, U.S. policy has been replicating features of the Cold War model by trying to build a ''moderate'' Sunni Arab front to bolster U.S. efforts to counter Iranian influence. Despite signals that the Obama administration intends to expand U.S. engagement with Iran, the foundations of containment are deeply rooted and engender bipartisan backing from Congress. Even if the Obama administration desires to shift U.S. policy toward Iran, containment policies will be difficult to overturn quickly; if engagement with Iran fails, reliance on containment will only increase.
  • Topic: Cold War
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Iran, Middle East, Tehran, Arabia, Gaza, Lebanon
  • Author: Teresita C. Schaffer
  • Publication Date: 07-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Two snapshots convey the flavor of India's pursuit of a larger role in global governing councils. The first dates from India's most recent accession for a two-year term to the United Nations Security Council in January 1991, just as the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) was coming apart and the end of the Cold War was in sight. The first major issue to come before the council was the package of resolutions that would end the first Iraq war. Harried Indian diplomats, faced with draft resolutions being pressed on them with great insistence by their U.S. counterparts, spoke of their need to ''find the non-aligned consensus.'' Whatever decision India made was bound to alienate an international constituency it cared about. For Indian officials, this moment captured both the advantages and drawbacks of participating in the world's decisionmaking. The then—Indian ambassador to the United States, Abid Hussein, expressed considerable frustration in a private conversation with me at the time: ''Do you realize that we will have to do this for two years?''
  • Topic: Cold War
  • Political Geography: United States, India, Soviet Union
  • Author: Javier Corrales
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: President Hugo Cha´vez of Venezuela has achieved what no other Latin American leader has since the end of the Cold War: bringing security concerns in the Western Hemisphere back to U.S. foreign policy. Might Venezuela provoke a war against neighboring Colombia, spread weapons among insurgents abroad, disrupt oil sales to the United States, provide financial support to Hezbollah, al Qaeda or other fundamentalist movements, offer safe havens for drug dealers, invite Russia to open a military base on its territory, or even acquire nuclear weapons? These security concerns did not exist less than a decade ago, but today they occupy the attention of U.S. officials. Attention to these conventional security issues, however, carries the risk of ignoring what thus far has been Venezuela's most effective foreign policy tool in challenging the United States: the use of generous handouts abroad, peppered with a pro-poor, distribution-prone discourse. While the U.S. debate revolves around ''hard power'' and ''soft power,'' this other form can be called ''social power diplomacy.''
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Cold War
  • Political Geography: United States, Colombia, Latin America