Protecting Children in Armed Conflict
In her role as the Under-Secretary-General, Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict, Radhika Coomaraswamy discusses the ongoing challenges of keeping children from being victims or perpetrators of violence. Reflecting on the previous successes and current focus of her efforts, Coomaraswamy discusses the way ahead in making child protection more robust and respected. She ultimately emphasizes the role of the international community in ensuring that impunity is not tolerated for those who use or target children in conflict.
The Global Need for a Revitalized United States
Dr. Zbigniew Brzezinski
Dr. Zbigniew Brzezinski emphasizes the need for a broader American strategic vision that entails short-term economic sacrifice for long-term revitalization, and embraces collective, global self-interest. He illustrates a vision of an economically revitalized United States, leading and uniting a broader “West” that includes Turkey and Russia, and mitigating inter-Asian conflicts as a necessary power. Ultimately, he calls for the United States to fulfill the expectations of Alexis de Tocqueville, who wrote that the United States uniquely embodies the principle of “self-interest properly understood.”
How Mass Atrocities End: An Evidence-Based Counter-Narrative
Alex de Waal, Jens Meierhenrich, & Bridget Conley-Zilkic
By returning to the historical record of how mass atrocities end, this essay examines three crucial narrative frameworks that inform today’s agenda of “protection of civilians” in conflict. The evidentiary record of actual cases of mass atrocity demonstrates a broad range of forces—local, national, and regional—that contribute to ending atrocities. Based on comparative evidence, the authors provide a counter narrative to how mass atrocities end and the dominant civilian protection agenda.
Terrorism, Counterterrorism, and the ‘New Darwinism’ of American National Security Policy
Eric Schmitt & Thom Shanker
Veteran security correspondents Eric Schmitt and Thom Shanker argue that although the United States continues to strengthen and refine its counterterrorism capabilities, terrorist organizations morph and evolve in response. This mutual and competitive evolution pits the two against each other in a race that has no guarantee of ending in success. Schmitt and Shanker take a look at national security history and the strategy of “new deterrence” to question whether any counterterrorism strategy can end this evolutionary race to destruction.
Migrants, Remittances, and Politics: Loyalty and Voice after Exit
In the past 35 years, many developing countries have experienced rising out-migration and democratization. Katrina Burgess explores how the restructuring of the global political economy has affected these trends and how their convergence has increased the incentives and opportunities for migrants to influence politics and governance in their countries of origin. Examining the nature and mechanisms of migrants’ political involvement back home, Burgess concludes that their engagement is likely to make a difference, given their vast numbers and billions of dollars in remittances. However, Burgess also shows that migrants’ influence can have varied consequences for the quality of democracy.
National Security on a Budget
As national debt skyrockets and government budgets shrink, the defining feature of American foreign policy over the next decade will be the tightening fiscal environment. Craig Cohen examines how dwindling resources may affect the policy and efficacy of the Department of Defense, Department of State, intelligence community, and USAID, questioning the likelihood of American decline. Because traditional supports during tight times (such as strengthening ties with allies and falling back on international institutions) are of little value in today’s geopolitical and economic climate, Cohen argues that the United States’ challenges are great but workable. The key will ultimately lie in mapping and managing risks.
The American Embargo Against Cuba: The Challenge of Extraterritoriality
Joy Gordon examines the legality of the embargo and the broad international condemnation of the US embargo on Cuba, in the UN General Assembly and elsewhere. However, despite the issue of its legality, the US embargo significantly compromises not only Cuba’s trade with US companies, but also its trade with companies and banks located in third countries, as well as undermining the work of the United Nations and other international organizations in Cuba.
Ensuring Security in the Eurasian Balkans: Kazakhstan and Central Asian Security
After two major terrorist attacks in 2011, Kazakhstan can no longer maintain the myth of stability that long-time president Nursultan Nazarbayev had so carefully curated. Instead, this one-time “island of regional security” is now struggling to quell the same extremist violence and ethnic tensions that have weakened its neighbors, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan. Georgiy Voloshin investigates the implications of conflict in Kazakhstan: Will Nazarbayev’s new laws limiting Muslim religious rights hinder or help? Could China and Russia step in? What are the United States’ interests? Voloshin recommends a balanced, democratic approach to terrorist threats and exhorts American aid and diplomatic action.