Despite an increase in trade, foreign investment, and productivity since NAFTA took effect in 1994, Mexico has been disappointed by slow economic growth and weak job creation. Mexico’s experience with NAFTA underscores the need to reform trade agreements between the United States and developing countries.
Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM)—an Algerian jihadi group that pledged allegiance to Osama bin Laden in 2006—garnered worldwide media exposure after simultaneous attacks in December 2007 on the UN building and the Constitutional Court in Algiers. AQIM, however, has not been able to sustain this level of violence and failed to transform itself into a North Africa-wide organization.
In the wake of the global economic downturn, Americans are spending less and saving more, a trend that threatens dangerous economic repercussions around the world. Without greater global investment or a rise in Chinese domestic consumption, the increasing U.S. savings rate will cause U.S. GDP to contract or Chinese GDP growth to drop sharply, creating aftershocks in dozens of major economies.
To continue to lead the Middle East and enhance regional security, Egypt should work to strengthen the nonproliferation regime. The 2010 Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference is Egypt’s next best chance to advance its disarmament goals.
To have a chance at impacting political reform in the Middle East, the Obama administration should open a dialogue with governments in the region, modeled on the Helsinki process that was used to improve relations with the Soviet bloc.
The Obama administration should announce its support for a permanent seat for India on the UN Security Council during Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s visit to the White House. It would produce no immediate results, but the bold declaration would signal New Delhi’s growing importance to Washington, and the recognition of the changing global center of gravity.
As the debate on future U.S. strategy continues, the war in Afghanistan is spreading to the North, the balance of power has shifted in the Taliban’s favor, and the Afghan government continues to lose legitimacy. In order to correct a failing strategy, the United States and its allies need to protect cities and reallocate more resources to the North.
With growing fears about Iran and North Korea’s nuclear programs, conventional wisdom holds that the nonproliferation regime is on the verge of collapse. The upcoming 2010 Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference is an opportunity to strengthen the regime, but it is in danger of being overloaded by expectations.
Any effective U.S. diplomatic approach to Iran must involve other countries in the Gulf, but Washington will not succeed if it continues to strive for an anti-Iranian alliance. A normalization of relations between Iran and its neighbors is an important and attainable step for reintegrating Iran into the international community.
A volatile mix of competing factions within Yemen’s major Islamist party is preventing the group from developing a clear platform. Tribal, Muslim Brotherhood, and Salafi elements within the Yemeni Congregation for Reform (Islah) has led to a lack of unity and hampered the party’s performance.
The global financial crisis was a result of failures in both the market and state—markets created financial turmoil and regulatory agencies failed to detect risks and correct imbalances. As Latin American countries emerge from the crisis, both the market and state are needed to ensure sustainable growth.
The implementation of a likely agreement of the Doha Round would improve Kenya’s competitive position in processed food and agriculture, but would harm manufacturing and mining. Depending on the content of negotiations, the liberalization of trade in goods would boost the country’s GDP by 0.2 percent annually, placing Kenya on the winning side of Doha. However, the benefits would be small.
U.S. offshore oil reserves are too small to significantly impact world oil prices or America’s reliance on foreign oil. However, five alternatives to offshore drilling could effectively maximize long-term environmental, economic, and security gains.
Although important, development assistance aimed at reforming the security sectors in Palestine, Lebanon, and Yemen has achieved only limited results. The bulk of such aid has consisted of military training and equipment, which does nothing to ensure that security forces answer to legitimate civilian leaders.
On the eve of Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s first state visit to Washington since Barack Obama took office, the United States and India must agree on three vital security issues to ensure that their relations continue to deepen: terrorism, Kashmir, and the balance of power in Asia.
Tackling longstanding problems with the basic structures of U.S. democracy aid would boost President Obama’s effort to formulate an approach to democracy promotion. As the largest source of such assistance, USAID is an obvious starting point for deep-reaching reforms.
Talks last week between Iran and world powers in Geneva—and the first public, bilateral negotiations between the United States and Iran in 30 years—yielded unexpected progress. Iran has been forced onto the defensive by its loss of legitimacy, exacerbated by the gains President Obama made by demonstrating resolve to negotiate a peaceful accommodation with the Islamic Republic.
Representing 40 non-government organizations at today’s UN conference, Jessica Mathews, president of the Carnegie Endowment, urged key governments to ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.
Afghanistan’s weak central government and limited resources make the informal networks employed by local warlords a viable option for governance. The country’s former warlords, made powerful governors by President Hamid Karzai, use both formal and informal powers to achieve security objectives and deliver development in their provinces.
Critics of President Obama’s move to reconfigure the proposed missile shield in Europe have accused the administration of kowtowing to Russia in the naïve hope of increased pressure from Moscow on Iran. Kimberly Misher contends that the president’s decision was the right one based on technical, financial, political, and security considerations.