South Asia

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Analysis & Opinions - The Oregonian

The Islamic State has made a big mistake

| July 7, 2016

In the global revulsion at the recent terror attacks in four Muslim countries, the United States and its allies have a new opportunity to build a unified command against the Islamic State and other extremists. FDP Senior Fellow David Ignatius examines the diplomatic relationships needed to create an effective counterterrorism strategy.

Prince Mohammed Bin Salman of Saudi Arabia

Wikimedia Commons

Analysis & Opinions - The Washington Post

A 30-Year-Old Saudi Prince Could Jump-Start The Kingdom - Or Drive It Off A Cliff

| June 28, 2016

The tensions unsettling the Saudi royal family became clear in September, when Joseph Westphal, the U.S. ambassador to Riyadh, flew to Jiddah to meet Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, nominally the heir to the throne. But when he arrived, he was told that the deputy crown prince, a brash 30-year-old named Mohammed bin Salman, wanted to see him urgently. Senior Fellow, David Ignatius, discusses Mohammed bin Salman opportunity to transform Saudi Arabia.

President Barack Obama delivers his Middle East speech at the State Department in Washington,  May 19, 2011.

AP Photo

Analysis & Opinions - The National Interest

The End of the American Era

| November-December 2011

"...[T]he biggest challenge the United States faces today is not a looming great-power rival; it is the triple whammy of accumulated debt, eroding infrastructure and a sluggish economy. The only way to have the world's most capable military forces both now and into the future is to have the world's most advanced economy, and that means having better schools, the best universities, a scientific establishment that is second to none, and a national infrastructure that enhances productivity and dazzles those who visit from abroad. These things all cost money, of course, but they would do far more to safeguard our long-term security than spending a lot of blood and treasure determining who should run Afghanistan, Kosovo, South Sudan, Libya, Yemen or any number of other strategic backwaters."

South Africa's Minister of International Relations & Cooperation Maite Nkoana-Mashabaneat at the Petersberg Climate Dialogue in Berlin, July 3, 2011. International delegations met for 2 days to prepare the upcoming UN climate conference in Durban.

AP Photo

Policy Brief - Harvard Project on Climate Agreements, Belfer Center

Whither the Kyoto Protocol? Durban and Beyond

    Author:
  • Daniel Bodansky
| August 2011

The Kyoto Protocol establishes a very complex and ambitious regime, in architecture if not stringency. The problem is that relatively few states, representing only about a quarter of the world's emissions, have been willing to assume emission targets under Kyoto....The future of the Protocol thus seems doubtful at best. Even in the most optimistic scenario, a new round of emissions targets couldn't be agreed in time to prevent a legal gap between the first and second commitment periods. A possible middle ground would be to establish a transitional regime that would be political in nature, but that could evolve over time into a legally-binding regime.

Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

The Security Curve and the Structure of International Politics: A Neorealist Synthesis

    Author:
  • Davide Fiammenghi
| Spring 2011

Realist scholars have long debated the question of how much power states need to feel secure. Offensive realists claim that states should constantly seek to increase their power. Defensive realists argue that accumulating too much power can be self-defeating. Proponents of hegemonic stability theory contend that the accumulation of capabilities in one state can exert a stabilizing effect on the system. The three schools describe different points along the power con­tinuum. When a state is weak, accumulating power increases its security. This is approximately the situation described by offensive realists. A state that con­tinues to accumulate capabilities will eventually triggers a balancing reaction that puts its security at risk. This scenario accords with defensive realist as­sumptions. Finally, when the state becomes too powerful to balance, its oppo­nents bandwagon with it, and the state’s security begins to increase again. This is the situation described by hegemonic stability theory. These three stages delineate a modified parabolic relationship between power and secu­rity. As a state moves along the power continuum, its security increases up to a point, then decreases, and finally increases again. This modified parabolic re­lationship allows scholars to synthesize previous realist theories into a single framework.

UN climate chief Christiana Figueres places a building block in a miniature Mayan pyramid at the site of climate negotiations in Cancun, Mexico, Nov. 28, 2010. The "Pyramid of Hope" symbolizes the many building blocks needed for a new climate agreement.

AP Photo

Magazine Article - The National Journal

Will We Know Success When We See It?

| December 6, 2010

"It might be relatively easy, but actually quite unfortunate, for countries to achieve what some people might define as 'success' in Cancun:  a signed international agreement, followed by glowing press releases.  I say it would unfortunate, because such an agreement could only be the Kyoto Protocol on steroids: more stringent targets for the original list of industrialized countries (Annex I) and no meaningful commitments by the key rapidly-growing emerging economies, such as China, India, Brazil, Korea, Mexico, and South Africa."

President Barack Obama calls for a world free of nuclear weapons in Prague, Apr. 5, 2009. 5 months later, there is little indication that he will have the needed votes for Senate ratification of a nuclear test ban treaty.

AP Photo

Analysis & Opinions - The Providence Journal

Rooting for Arms Control

| December 15, 2009

"Dwight Eisenhower was the first Republican to recognize that the achievement of an international system to restrain the proliferation of nuclear weapons would be well worth a minor abrogation of national sovereignty. It is to be hoped that the necessary handful of Republican senators will endorse the collective wisdom of predecessors Root, Eisenhower, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush and join their Democratic colleagues in supporting START renewal and ratification of the CTBT."

President Barack Obama makes remarks in the Rose Garden of the White House, Oct. 9, 2009, about being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

AP Photo

Analysis & Opinions - Politico

U.S., Russia Must Lead on Arms Control

| October 13, 2009

"The Nobel Peace Prize Committee cited Obama's dedication to arms control and nonproliferation when announcing last Friday his selection as this year's laureate. If he creates a positive, mutually reinforcing dynamic in the way he presents and sequences the two treaties [NPT and CTBT], it will give momentum and coherence to follow-on negotiations and the agreements that they produce."