"U.S. Interagency Regional Foreign Policy Implementation: A Survey of Current Practice and an Analysis of Options for Improvement"
By Robert S. Pope, Former Research Fellow, International Security Program, 2009–2010
The United States has a complex, multi-agency structure to plan, synchronize, and execute foreign policy and national security. By statute, the State Department is the lead agency for foreign policy. However, in practice, the much larger and better-funded Department of Defense conducts much of America's foreign policy activity, often with little coordination with the State Department or other relevant agencies. Over the past two decades, the military's Geographic Combatant Commands have taken an increasing lead in planning and executing foreign policy activities around the world. This has often effectively put a military face and voice on America's foreign policy, sometimes to the detriment of broader U.S. goals and relationships. More effective U.S. foreign policy requires greater interagency coordination at all levels and a greater role for the State Department as America's lead agency for foreign policy.
June 2, 2010
"Proliferation of nuclear technologies and the increasing threat that these technologies could be used by dictatorial regimes and forces of international terrorism add urgency to the goal of protecting the international community from the pending nuclear catastrophe," according to senior IMEMO researcher Stanislav Ivanov.
By Joseph S. Nye, Harvard University Distinguished Service Professor
Power depends upon context, and the rapid growth of cyber space is an important new context in world politics. The low price of entry, anonymity, and asymmetries in vulnerability means that smaller actors have more capacity to exercise hard and soft power in cyberspace than in many more traditional domains of world politics. The largest powers are unlikely to be able to dominate this domain as much as they have others like sea or air. But cyberspace also illustrates the point that diffusion of power does not mean equality of power or the replacement of governments as the most powerful actors in world politics.
April 19, 2010
By Hassan Abbas, Former Senior Advisor, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs
Despite comparatively progressive forces taking control of Pakistan's North-West Frontier Province (NWFP) after success in the February 2008 provincial elections, stability remains elusive and the law and order situation has gradually deteriorated, raising important questions about the correlation between politics in the province and the nature and extent of militancy there. This essay investigates how different political and religious forces have influenced the state of affairs in the province in recent years.
April 8, 2010
By Chuck Freilich, Senior Fellow, International Security Program
"...[G]lobal American efforts to minimize the threat of nuclear terrorism might be of significant indirect benefit for Israel. These efforts include, inter alia: heightened diplomacy to make better international use of existing diplomatic tools and to adopt new ones; intensified pressure on states to deny terrorists assistance and sanctuary; improvements in control over nuclear facilities, stockpiles and personnel; strengthening the NPT; heightened international cooperation regarding border security, export controls, intelligence sharing, and interdiction; and a variety of covert operations."
The following study is an analysis of in what ways, and to what extent, there are lessons to be learned from the relatively successful Northern Ireland peace process of the late 1990s that can be applied to the currently stagnant Israeli-Palestinian peace process. Our findings, based on more than one year of primary research and interviews with dozens of government officials and participants in the Northern Irish peace process, indicate that there are indeed a number of general lessons in peacemaking and conflict resolution from the Northern Ireland experience that should inform future approaches to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Chief among them are the importance of political leadership, an inclusive negotiation framework, a strong public desire for peace, active U.S. involvement, the internationalization of the peace process, economic gains, and good timing. In addition to exploring how many of these lessons could –and should—be applied in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and in recognition of the importance of Irish-American support for the peace process in Northern Ireland, this study also explores the normative role of the Palestinian and Israeli diasporas, as well as the Irish-American community, in helping Israelis and Palestinians achieve a lasting peace of their own.
This report was commissioned by the OECD MENA Investment Programme. It considers the current supply of human capital in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and identifies key challenges to maximizing the quality of, and returns to, human capital in the region. It finds three areas critical to improving the quality of human capital in MENA including: spending more efficiently on education, strengthening transition systems between levels and types of schooling and emphasizing the development of soft skills development among students. The report also examines international best practices in human capital development including developing national qualification systems, monitoring schools, training and evaluating teachers, curriculum design, vocational training, and other aspects of the national education system.
This study, undertaken for the European Commissioner for Energy and the European Commissioner for Climate Action, assesses the concept of renewable energy imports from North Africa to Europe. Often referred to as "Desertec", this concept involves great amounts of renewable energy capacity - mainly solar - to be rolled out in the Sahara desert to generate clean electricty both for domestic markets as well as for export to Europe through high-voltage transmission across the Mediterranean Sea. Regarded by some as a great leap towards the European goals of energy security and climate change mitigation, others view the concept as a pipe dream or even a wrong turn of European energy policy. Rather than answering this question, the authors find that Europe is not yet even in the position to decide on the concept: a host of barriers are prohibitively high at this point. This paper disaggregates these barriers into three categories: directly related barriers that must be addressed as much as is needed to reach feasibilty of the concept, indirectly related barriers that are being worked at already for other reasons and therefore should not figure in the debate about the concept of trans-Mediterranean trade in renewable energy, and lastly a set of barriers that are overestimated and should not hold up progress. This paper concludes by matching each barrier with concrete policy recommendations to the European Union for the coming years.
This project aims to analyze the accessibility and equity of higher education in Egypt, assess the extent of its underlying problems, and provide sustainable policy recommendations for their rectification. The higher education system now fails to meet its goals: learning outcomes are very low, the system fails to produce sufficiently skilled workers for the labor market, and Egyptian academia is not a sustainable, robust establishment. Policy recommendations focus on addressing the dual goals of increasing access and increasing quality while stemming off any large tradeoffs. Given the scale of the proposed reforms, gradual and deliberate implementation of these policies will be important in ensuring that reforms are properly paced, expectations are realistic, and outcomes optimized. In Egypt's context, it will be of utmost importance to garner political and social will in order to effectively implement these policies.
March 11, 2010
All Stocks of Weapons-Usable Nuclear Materials Worldwide Must be Protected Against Global Terrorist Threats
The possibility that terrorists could get and detonate a nuclear bomb poses a real and urgent risk to international security. No one knows the real probability of such an attack. But the evidence of terrorist efforts to get the nuclear materials and expertise needed to make a crude nuclear explosive is sufficiently troubling, and the consequences of such an event sufficiently grave, to justify urgent action to reduce the risk.