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  • Author: Marina Ottaway, Judith Yaphe
  • Publication Date: 03-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: The Bush administration's plans for post-Saddam Iraq beyond the initial occupation remain uncertain. In developing those plans, the administration needs to take a hard look at the reality of the country. Iraq is not a political blank slate, to be transformed at American will into a democratic, secular, pluralist, and federal state. Instead, it is a difficult country with multiple social groups and power centers with conflicting agendas. Some of these, such as the intelligence and security services, will be replaced with new versions acceptable to the United States and the future government. The top echelons of the military, government ministries, and the Ba'th Party will be eliminated. Other power centers, however, will remain, adding to the problems of reconciling rival ethnic and religious factions as well as internally and externally based opposition elements.
  • Topic: Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, America, Middle East
  • Author: Rose Gottemoeller
  • Publication Date: 02-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Nuclear arms control is often considered not worth the effort now that the Cold War is over. But the nuclear threat is anything but over. Several thousand strategic nuclear weapons remain on hair-trigger alert in U.S. and Russian arsenals. Many more are insecurely stored. Though the arms control problem needs to be faced by both countries, neither one has the stomach for another Cold War–style, 500-page treaty like START I. The new model is the 2002 Moscow Treaty—a simple, three-page commitment to reduction. Such short treaties now make sense because both countries have many ways to know what is going on inside each other's nuclear arsenal. START I is still very important, but it is no longer the only tool in the box. Today, Washington and Moscow can relegate negotiated treaties to a few essential fronts and pursue exciting, innovative arms control efforts involving threat reduction and technical cooperation.
  • Topic: Security, Nuclear Weapons, Treaties and Agreements, Weapons of Mass Destruction
  • Political Geography: Russia, Washington, Mexico
  • Author: Michael Swaine
  • Publication Date: 02-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: A remarkable improvement has taken place in U.S.–China relations during the past fourteen months, largely as a result of the 2001 terrorist attacks. Both sides have developed strong incentives to downplay their differences and seek common ground in a variety of areas, particularly the struggle against terrorism. If properly managed, this situation could lead to a more stable, mutually beneficial relationship during the next several years. However, the major obstacle to reaching this objective remains the Taiwan issue, which continues to exhibit highly destabilizing trends. In particular, political and social dynamics on Taiwan, Beijing's steady accumulation of military power, and the rapidly deepening U.S.–Taiwan security relationship could combine to increase the likelihood of conflict within the next five to seven years. To avoid this, and to establish a more sustainable basis for improved U.S.–China relations, the U.S. government must undertake policy changes, beginning with a serious effort to negotiate mutual arms reductions across the Taiwan Strait.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Taiwan, Asia
  • Author: Subodh Atal
  • Publication Date: 09-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: Despite progress in the return of refugees and the prevention of humanitarian disasters, stability in Afghanistan is threatened by ethnic tension, feuding warlords, and violence perpetrated by regrouping elements of the Taliban and their allies. The United States is being asked to increase its level of commitment to rebuilding Afghanistan as a means of stabilizing the country, even as American troops battle the resurgent Islamic extremists who operate along the Afghan-Pakistan border.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Development, Politics
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, America, Middle East, Taliban, Arabia
  • Author: Steve H. Hanke, Matt Sekerke
  • Publication Date: 09-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: Following a swift military campaign to remove the Saddam Hussein government in Iraq, it has become clear that preparations for the postwar period have been inadequate and that the occupying forces lack a workable exit strategy. Specifically, the Coalition Provisional Authority has failed to anticipate the challenges that face the postwar Iraqi economy, including the introduction of sound money to facilitate exchange.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Ian Vásquez
  • Publication Date: 09-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: The failure of past foreign aid programs has given rise to a new consensus on how to make foreign aid effective. According to the new approach, aid that goes into poor countries that have good policies and institutions is highly effective at promoting growth and reducing poverty. Disbursing aid to countries that have good policies contrasts with the traditional practice of providing aid to countries irrespective of the quality of their policies or providing aid to promote policy reforms. President George Bush's proposed foreign aid initiative, the Millennium Challenge Account, is based on the selective approach to foreign assistance, as are, in large part, the World Bank's calls to double foreign aid flows worldwide.
  • Topic: Debt, Economics, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance, Third World
  • Author: Ian Vásquez, John Welborn
  • Publication Date: 09-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: The Overseas Private Investment Corporation is a government agency that provides loans and investment insurance to U.S. companies doing business around the world. Its four-year, renewable charter will expire in September 2003. Proponents of OPIC claim that the agency helps the U.S. economy and promotes economic development abroad.
  • Topic: Economics, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Charles V. Peña
  • Publication Date: 05-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: The rationale for missile defense put forward by its advocates is often a “doom and gloom” picture: America and its citizens are defenseless against the threat of ballistic missiles, and missile defense is supposed to protect the American people. The administration's vision of missile defense is not just a global system that protects the United States against long-range missiles but a global system capable of engaging all classes of ballistic missiles to protect U.S. forces deployed worldwide, U.S. allies, and other friendly countries. Thus, the purpose of missile defense is extended well beyond protecting America and Americans.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, Nuclear Weapons
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Doug Bandow
  • Publication Date: 05-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: Ever since North Korea's dramatic revelation that it was producing materials that could be used to make nuclear weapons, the Bush administration has considered a range of policy options—including a military strike on North Korean nuclear facilities. Although the administration officially dismisses such talk, President Bush has left the military option on the table, and influential advisers outside of the administration have openly called for military action along the lines of the Israeli attack on Iraqi nuclear facilities at Osirak in 1981.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Defense Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Israel, North Korea
  • Author: Anna J. Schwartz
  • Publication Date: 03-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: The International Monetary Fund has proposed a universal bankruptcy tribunal to deal with sovereign debt restructuring. But does the international financial system really need such a mechanism? There has been little demand by sovereign borrowers or their creditors for a universal bankruptcy law, and few countries have had to enter into debt restructuring procedures. The absence of such a law does not appear to have created chaotic conditions even in those cases.
  • Topic: Economics, International Organization, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance
  • Author: Ivan Eland
  • Publication Date: 02-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: China's economy is four times the size of Taiwan's and apparently growing at a faster rate; that economic disparity between China and Taiwan could eventually lead to a military disparity as well. Nonetheless, even an informal U.S. security guarantee for Taiwan against nuclear-armed China is ill-advised. Taiwan is not strategically essential to America's national security. Moreover, China has significant incentives to avoid attacking Taiwan. Perhaps the most crucial is that hostile behavior toward Taiwan would jeopardize China's increasing economic linkage with the United States and other key countries.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, China, America, Taiwan, Asia
  • Author: Eric R. Taylor
  • Publication Date: 02-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: As war with Iraq becomes imminent, U.S. military readiness takes center stage. Concerns about readiness focus not only on our ability to successfully attack Iraq but on our ability to defend U.S. forces against an enemy regime that, if its existence is threatened, could have every incentive to use weapons of mass destruction. In any war with Iraq, military experts worry most about attacks with chemical and biological weapons. They have reason to worry, given the U.S. military's lack of preparedness for such attacks.
  • Topic: Security, Weapons of Mass Destruction
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Middle East
  • Publication Date: 09-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: The Afghan people have been promised a lot in the last two years. New rules for a new world would be written in their country. Regime change would deliver Afghans, finally, from oppression and violence, while a Marshall Plan would give them a chance to rebuild their lives.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Asia
  • Author: Mark P Thirlwell
  • Publication Date: 11-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Lowy Institute for International Policy
  • Abstract: There are strong parallels between today's US-China tensions over trade and US-Japan economic relations in the 1980s.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, China, Israel, East Asia, Asia
  • Author: Catherine L. Mann
  • Publication Date: 12-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: Businesses throughout the US economy continue to transform even after the technology boom has faded. The key sources of this continuing transformation are investment in the information technology (IT) package (hardware, software, and business-service applications) and reorientation of business activities and processes to use both information and technology effectively.
  • Topic: Economics, Globalization, International Trade and Finance, Science and Technology
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Gary Clyde Hufbauer, Ben Goodrich
  • Publication Date: 10-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: In May 2003, the World Trade Organization (WTO) dispute panel ruled that US steel safeguards imposed in March 2002 are illegal. The WTO Appellate Body is all but certain to confirm the panel's judgment, probably by December 2003. Then the Bush administration will face an important choice. It can keep the safeguards in place, pleasing steel producers and important constituencies in West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Ohio. However, doing so would further anger steel users, who have probably lost more business and jobs as a direct consequence of the safeguards than steel producers have gained. Maintaining the safeguards would also send a signal to the world's trading nations that the United States is not prepared to endure the political cost of eliminating steel protection. Furthermore, the administration would run the risk that, in the middle of a presidential election season, foreign countries will exercise their rights under the WTO to retaliate.
  • Topic: Government, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia
  • Author: Peter B. Kenen, Ellen E. Meade
  • Publication Date: 10-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: In May 2004, ten countries are due to join the European Union. They are therefore obliged to join the European Monetary Union (EMU) and adopt the euro as their national currency. Most of them, moreover, have been eager to do that. None of them sought an opt-out of the sort that Britain and Denmark obtained in 1991, when the Maastricht Treaty was drafted. Membership in EMU is not automatic, however, because the accession countries must first satisfy the preconditions contained in the Maastricht Treaty. Although those preconditions are rigorous, and some of the accession countries are still far from meeting them, most of those countries have indicated that they want to enter EMU at the earliest possible date.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Britain, Europe, Denmark
  • Author: Gary Hufbauer, Ben Goodrich
  • Publication Date: 06-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: A good proposal to eliminate tariffs must take into account both the pain and gain that developing countries are likely to experience. The authors take the measure of these costs and benefits and urge rich countries to maximize the benefits to developing countries while giving them ample time to accept, and adjust to, the changes that trade liberalization will require. But trade liberalization should not stop with tariff proposals. The United States and other industrial countries should generously reduce subsidies to farmers and eliminate nontariff barriers on agricultural imports. The United States should offer more concessions on services trade, particularly in its allowances for temporary foreign workers. Unless rich countries put more on the table, a WTO agreement to eliminate tariff barriers may be postponed for years.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Political Economy, Third World
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Gary Hufbauer, Ariel Assa
  • Publication Date: 05-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: The tax-driven expatriation of US corporations is a troubling phenomenon. In a “corporate inversion,” a new foreign corporation, typically located in a low-tax or no-tax country, replaces the existing US parent corporation of a multinational enterprise (MNE). The US corporation then becomes a subsidiary of the new foreign parent. Since the US tax treatment of an MNE operating in the United States is significantly less favorable when the top-tier parent corporation is a domestic rather than a foreign corporation, the inversion transaction averts a substantial amount of US tax. Inversions have attracted adverse attention from tax specialists, media, the US Treasury Department, and Congress. In the wake of September 11, it seemed downright unpatriotic for US firms to invert as a way of skimping on their tax payments.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Marcus Noland
  • Publication Date: 05-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: Despite the passage of 50 years since an armistice ended military hostilities, the Korean peninsula remains divided, a Cold War vestige that seemingly has been unaffected by the evolution that has occurred elsewhere. If anything, US confrontation with North Korea—a charter member of its “axis of evil”—has intensified in recent years. Yet today, increasing numbers of South Koreans, accustomed to living for decades in the shadows of the North's forward-deployed artillery, do not regard the North as a serious threat. Growing prosperity and confidence in the South, in marked contrast to the North's isolation and penury, have transformed fear and loathing into pity and forbearance. Instead, it is the United States, an ocean away, that regards the North and its nuclear weapons program with alarm. As the United States has focused on the nuclear program, its ally, South Korea, has observed the North Koreans' nascent economic reforms and heard their talk of conventional forces reduction, and the gap in the two countries' respective assessments of the North Korean threat has widened dangerously, threatening to undermine their alliance.
  • Topic: Security, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, Israel, East Asia, Asia, South Korea, North Korea, Korea