CFR Senior Fellow Sheila Smith says the Six Party Talks have built cooperation among Northeast Asian countries, which need to work together, particulary on North Korea, but also on growing tension between the United States and China over planned U.S. arms sales to Taiwan.
Richard C. Holbrooke interviewed by Lionel Beehner
Former U.S. Ambassador to the UN Richard C. Holbrooke says a Bosnia-like regional conference on Iraq is a “very good idea” but that “none of the major factors that occurred in Bosnia would apply here.”
"The path towards 2014 demands greater reconciliation among ethnic groups so as not to derail either the development process or the physical and moral resources of the government in chairing ASEAN and hosting other related summits in 2014."
"China is eager to re-establish dominance over the region. Bitterness at the memory of the barbaric Japanese occupation in the second world war sharpens this desire. It is this possibility of a clash between a rising and an established power that lies behind the oft-used parallel between contemporary East Asia and early 20th-century Europe, in which the Senkakus play the role of Sarajevo."
"When asked if Karzai was concerned that the US might lose faith and withdraw altogether, the president's spokesman said: 'We don't believe there is a zero option.' This rock solid belief that the U.S. will not walk away from Afghanistan gives Karzai the confidence to hold out when the Americans, as well as everyone at the jirga...are pressing him to sign."
"[Locals and security experts] say that while the drone attacks are a legal issue for Pakistan and the global community, those residing in the tribal belt do not consider them as unpopular as Pakistani officials portray them to be."
"A strengthened security relationship between these unlikely partners would be mutually beneficial and allow the sides to combine their assets to counter shared threats while minimizing the risks of international blowback."
"[R]ecently a new political openness within China itself has allowed a different picture of the war years to emerge. Chiang and Mao are long dead, and the Chinese government has been trying to claim a greater international role by reminding the world of the benefits of its past cooperation with the West."
"For the United States, Asia is both important and potentially dangerous. It represents 56 percent of global economic output and an equal percentage of total U.S. trade. Five of the world's most powerful militaries are involved there. Four of them have nuclear weapons. The six largest armies belong to Asia-Pacific powers. Three of the five deadliest wars in American history took place in part or wholly in that region."
"When one of the 21's leaders, Barack Obama, fails to show up for their annual summit, it is taken as an important symbol of his administration's failure to live up to the promise implied in its much-touted "pivot" or "rebalancing" to Asia. It certainly is such a symbol; and the damage it has done to America's standing and credibility in the region may last rather longer than the memory of any concrete agreement that comes out of the summit itself."
"2013 is most significant for marking a return of Japan to the region. Although in the foreign policy context, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has been most notable for his historical comments, military ambitions and dispute with China over the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands, his reassertion of Japanese influence in ASEAN will perhaps have the longest-lasting consequences of all."
"Azerbaijan is arming to the teeth. Armenia is growing increasingly disillusioned with Russia, its main protector. And the potential for armed conflict in the breakaway Nagorno-Karabakh region appears higher than it has been in years."
In a Times of India op-ed, U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates discusses opportunities for closer cooperation between India and the U.S. and emphasizes the mutual interests of regional stability and security in South Asia.
John Tirman of the MIT Center for International Studies argues that a new engagement with the regional players in an effort end the Iraq war is inevitable. The idea of bringing in the neighbors to help stabilize and reduce the violence in Iraq is very attractive, and could contribute to a plausible exit strategy for the United States. The article discusses the merits of different versions of “regionalization”.
Authors: Christopher M. Blanchard, Kenneth Katzman, Carol Migdalovitz, Alfred B. Prados, and Jeremy M. Sharp
Congressional Research Service report that provides information about the current perspectives and policies of Iraq’s neighbors; analyzes potential regional responses to continued insurgency, wider sectarian or ethnic violence, and long-term stabilization; discusses shared concerns and U.S. long-term regional interests; and reviews U.S. policy options for responding to various contingencies.
Learn more about CFR’s mission and its work over the past year in the 2015 Annual Report. The Annual Report spotlights new initiatives, high-profile events, and authoritative scholarship from CFR experts, and includes a message from CFR President Richard N. Haass. Read and download »