Critical Issues for U.S. Foreign Policy: Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan
Ambassador R. Nicholas Burns
The Fletcher Forum sat down with former Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Nicholas Burns to discuss the foreign policy challenges currently facing the United States. Arguing that diplomacy is “the first line of offense for the U.S. government,” Ambassador Burns expresses support for both President Obamas decision to pursue negotiations with Iran as well as to send an additional 30,000 troops to Afghanistan.
Ending Sexual Violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Gaelle Breton-Le Goff
While local and international NGOs seek to address the crisis facing the Democratic Republic of the Congo, perpetrators of human rights crimes are still largely able to avoid being brought to justice. Gaelle Breton-Le Goff, Lecturer in International Human Rights Law at the University of Quebec, outlines the driving forces behind the massive sexual violence and proposes key social, legal, and diplomatic approaches for international policymakers.
Traversing the Persian Gauntlet: U.S. Naval Projection and the Strait of Hormuz
Geoffrey F. Gresh
Geoffrey Gresh, a PhD candidate at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, explores the geopolitical significance of the Straits of Hormuz- the narrow waterway connecting the Persian Gulf with the Arabian Sea-and its implications for U.S. naval policy in the region. Despite potential threats from Iran and al-Qaeda, he argues that a robust U.S. naval presence is not necessary to protect the Straits and that U.S. national security interests in the Gulf can be met with a much smaller naval deployment and increased cooperation with regional allies.
The Northern Mind in American Diplomacy
Twenty years ago, Professor Alan K. Henrikson, Director of Diplomatic Studies at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, published an article in The Fletcher Forum examining the impact of the “Southern Mind” on Secretary of State’s Dean Rusk’s foreign policy. In this follow-up, Henrikson turns his attention to another American statesman, George Kennan, and a competing “Northern” influence on U.S. foreign relations.
The Kurdish Issue in Iraq: A View from Baghdad at the Close of the Maliki Premiership
As violence in Iraq has subsided since 2007, the “Kurdish issue” has reemerged as one of the greatest threats to future stability in Iraq. Reidar Visser, Research Fellow at the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs, traces the history of Kurdish claims for autonomy and Iraqi federalism and argues that the greatest potential for solving the conflict requires returning to the more limited Kurdish aims from before the 2003 invasion.
Reflections on U.S. Policy in Africa, 2001-2009
Jendayi E. Frazier
Jendayi Frazer was the U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs from 2005 to 2009. In this retrospective of U.S.-African relations during the Bush Administration, she notes that more wars were ended, more successful elections were held, more sustained growth was achieved, and more lives were saved from pandemic diseases than during any previous U.S. presidency. She points to a combination of greater engagement by the United States and a commitment to supporting uniquely African ideas solutions as having helped produce these remarkable outcomes.
The Failure of Justice Reform in Afghanistan: Implications for Peace and Stability
Even with the attention of much of the world turned toward Afghanistan, the overall situation has taken a dramatic turn for the worse over the past year. Norah Niland, Director of Human Rights at the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan and Representative of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in Afghanistan, argues that the international community has focused primarily on restoring security, whereas greater attention needs to be paid to seeking justice for human rights violations.
Tracking Narco-Terrorist Networks: The Money Trail
Michael Jacobson and Matthew Levitt
Terrorist organizations are increasingly engaging in a wide variety of criminal activities to fund their attacks and operations. In this article, Michael Jacobson and Matthew Levitt of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy argue that the growing nexus between terrorism and organized crime may actually be a positive development, since there is more of an international consensus on the need to fight crime than the need for counterterrorism efforts. This could lead to more international support for efforts to mitigate these converging transnational threats.
A New Himalayan Game
Political differences, regional rivalries, and resource scarcity have all contributed to rising tensions between Asia’s emerging superpowers, China and India. Kunda Dixit, Editor of the Nepali Times, examines these underlying factors and the consequences of major power rivalry for the region’s smaller states.
Leadership in Counterinsurgency
Counterinsurgency analysts are largely divided between the “hearts and minds” and “enemy-centric” schools of thought. Both trends neglect a core determinant of any counterinsurgency campaign’s effectiveness: leadership traits. Mark Moyar, Professor of National Security Affairs at the U.S. Marine Corps University, argues that policymakers should focus on ten core leadership attributes, ranging from initiative to organization, in evaluating counterinsurgency cases. This leader-centric approach may unveil critical insight on how to maximize success against insurgencies in such complex situations as the Afghanistan war.
After the War: Nation-building from FDR to George W. Bush
James Dobbins, Michele A. Poole, Austin Long, Benjamin Runkle