As a victim of terrorism and the strongest supporter of U.S. counterterrorism policy among the members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, the Philippines already plays a vital role in preserving American security. With anti-Americanism on the rise in South Korea and Japan, the United States may need to depend more on the Philippines to fulfill its objectives in Asia. This report assesses the political, economic, and strategic situation in the Philippines following the 2004 elections and recommends steps that the United States and the Philippines should take to strengthen their economic and military ties.
Investing in girls’ education globally delivers huge returns for economic growth, political participation, women’s health, smaller and more sustainable families, and disease prevention, concludes a new report from the Council’s Center for Universal Education.
In the year that has passed since the war in Iraq, the United States and its European allies have done much to repair their relations. Nonetheless, the end of the Cold War, Europe’s continuing integration, and the new array of threats confronting the West continue to test the strength of the Atlantic partnership. To revitalize the Atlantic alliance, Europe and America must forge new “rules of the road” governing the use of force, adapt the North Atlantic Treaty Organizaton (NATO) to meet today’s threats coming from outside Europe, and launch a major initiative to bring about political and economic reform in the greater Middle East. These are the conclusions of an independent Task Force chaired by former Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger and former Secretary of the Treasury Lawrence H. Summers.
Written a year after U.S. and coalition forces went to war with Iraq, a time when American officials faced questions about U.S. staying power, this timely report strongly urges President Bush and senior members of Congress to reaffirm the U.S. commitment to Iraq.
Integrating nonlethal weapons (NLW) more widely into the U.S. Army and Marine Corps could have reduced damage, saved lives, and helped limit the widespread looting and sabotage that occurred after the cessation of major conflict in Iraq. So argues this report of a Council-sponsored independent Task Force led by Dr. Graham T. Allison, director of the Belfer Center for science and international affairs at Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government, General Paul X. Kelley, USMC (ret.), former commandant of the Marine Corps, and former military officers, business executives, academics, diplomats, and congressional staff. Incorporating NLW capabilities into the equipment, training, and doctrine of the armed services could substantially improve U.S. effectiveness in conflict, postconflict, and homeland defense. The Task Force report concludes that equipping U.S.-trained and -supported local forces in Afghanistan and Iraq with NLW would help reinforce authority and be more acceptable to local populations than conventionally armed troops.
Georgia is strategically important to the United States in the war on terror and an indispensable transit point for energy supplies between Asia and Europe. Though the country’s November 2003 “revolution of roses” is the most positive event to have occurred in the countries of the former Soviet Union in more than a decade, Georgia is entering an unstable period of transition as its new government tries to promote national coherence among the country’s ethnic groups and takes steps to dismantle the corrupt power structure that thrived under former president Eduard Shevardnadze. This timely report, written by an expert on conflict prevention in the Caucasus, recommends steps the United States and the international community can to take to bolster President Mikhail Saakashvili as well as moves his government should make in the short and long term.
The United States spends approximately $700 million per year in the Andean region, but this Commission report concludes that current U.S. policy--focused narrowly on "drugs and thugs" in the Andes--cannot achieve U.S. regional goals of democracy, prosperity, and security. Andes 2020 offers bold new recommendations to recalibrate U.S. policy to better meet its objectives.
South Asia may be halfway around the globe from the United States, but what happens there—as the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks by al-Qaeda tragically underscored—can affect all Americans. After the terrorist attacks and the massing of one million troops on the borders of nuclear-armed India and Pakistan in 2001, the critical importance of South Asia to global and U.S. national security is clear. Securing a moderate Muslim state in Pakistan, consolidating and deepening increasingly important U.S.-India ties, actively encouraging peaceful relations between India and Pakistan, and ensuring an Afghanistan in which terrorists can never again find shelter must be foreign policy priorities for the United States.
The world’s opinion of the United States and of U.S. policy has plummeted in the wake of the war in Iraq. The resulting widespread anger, fear, and mistrust, warns this timely report of the independent Task Force on Public Diplomacy, are creating immediate and long-term problems for the United States that must be addressed.
Authors: Frederick Barton, Bathsheba N. Crocker, John J. Hamre, Johanna Mendelson-Forman, and Robert C. Orr
To succeed in reconstructing Iraq, the United States and its allies will need to pursue a strategy over the next twelve months that: recognizes the unique challenges in different parts of the country; consolidates gains in those areas where things are going well; and wins hearts and minds even as it decisively confronts spoilers.
Written nearly two years after September 11, 2001, this report concludes that the United States is drastically underfunding local emergency responders and remains dangerously unprepared to handle a catastrophic attack on American soil, particularly one involving chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, or high-impact conventional weapons. If the nation does not take immediate steps to better identify and address the urgent needs of emergency responders, the next terrorist incident could be even more devastating than 9/11.
With mounting costs to American lives and treasure in Iraq, and success there so clearly tied to American staying power and the coherence of U.S. strategy, the Bush administration must sharpen and deepen its commitment to making Iraq a better and safer place. As a first step, the authors argue that the president should set the direction for his administration by making a major foreign policy address to the nation, explaining the importance of seeing the task through, as well as the costs and risks of U.S. engagement in postwar Iraq.
Burma is one of the most tightly controlled dictatorships in the world. For more than four decades, Burma’s 50 million people have been oppressed by military rulers who have systematically impoverished the country’s natural and human resources. The country is home to a genuine democracy movement, but it is brutally suppressed by the military government. Recognizing that democracy and the National League for Democracy (led by Aung San Suu Kyi) cannot survive in Burma without the help of the United States and the international community, this report sounds a clarion call for change.
The United States successfully toppled the Taliban in the Afghan war, but it is in danger of losing the peace following the conclusion of that war. Without greater international support for the transitional government of President Hamid Karzai, security in Afghanistan will deteriorate further, prospects for economic reconstruction will dim, and Afghanistan will revert to warlord-dominated anarchy. This failure could gravely erode America’s credibility around the globe and mark a major defeat in the U.S.-led war on terrorism, warns this informative chairmen’s report.
The North Korean nuclear program is headed in a dangerous direction. Yet the United States and its allies have not set forth a coherent or unified strategy to stop it. This Task Force report evaluates the challenges facing the United States in and around the Korean Peninsula and assesses American options for meeting them.
Almost exactly a year after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, President George W. Bush released to Congress and the American public his National Security Strategy, the most detailed and comprehensive statement of how his administration intends to protect the security of the United States in the post-September 11 world. While few have disagreed with the goals of the strategy, a great deal of controversy has arisen about how these goals should be implemented. This innovative paper, written by Senior Fellow Lawrence Korb, an expert with decades of experience on national security issues, lays out the best case for three different ways in which the administration could implement the president’s strategy.
The rise of China has long been a growing concern among U.S. foreign policymakers. Of particular concern is the strength of Chinese military power and its relation to U.S. military capability. This important report assesses the situation and concludes that China is at least two decades behind the United States in terms of military technology and capability. If the United States continues to dedicate significant resources to improving its own military forces, as expected, the balance between the United States and China, both globally and in Asia, is likely to remain decisively in America’s favor beyond the next twenty years.
Papua, a remote and impoverished yet resource-rich Indonesian province, is at risk of a descent into conflict that would likely destabilize the entire country. According to this report from commission Indonesia and Southeast Asia experts, Indonesia’s central government can avoid conflict in Papua by giving it greater self-governance and a stake in the development of its vast natural wealth.
Written before the U.S. invasion of Iraq, this report accurately predicted that winning the peace in Iraq would be a far greater challenge than winning the war. The report says that this challenge falls largely on President Bush, who must make clear to the world that the United States is prepared to stay the course for the multibillion-dollar, multiyear commitment of U.S. troops, civilian personnel, and other resources that will be needed to achieve a lasting peace.