This book outlines a new strategy that applies the organizing principles of progressive internationalism--national strength, free enterprise, liberal democracy, U.S. leadership for collective security--to the new challenge of defeating Islamist extremism. Published in cooperation with the Progressive Policy Institute.
What role did external actors and the United States in particular, play in fostering the factors that led to the Orange Revolution? An answer to this question is not only important as a factual response to the critics of the Orange Revolution. The case is also an important one to be studied by those interested in understanding how external actors can influence democratization. Tracing the causal impact of democracy assistance programs on the consolidation of liberal democracy is very difficult, since the process of liberal democratic consolidation is incremental, complex, and long-term.
The "first" transitions from communist rule in Europe and Eurasia at the end of the 1980s and the beginning of the 1990s did not resemble many of the transitions from authoritarian rule in the previous two decades. Why? Some have suggested that countries in the communist world shared distinguishing historical legacies or particular institutional configurations that made them different from the countries in Latin American and Southern Europe, which in turn had path-dependent consequences for the kind of transition they experienced.
Several years ago, Kremlin public relations specialists coined the term "managed democracy" to describe the unique features of Russia's evolving political system. As the label faded in appeal and explanatory power, this same team of communication specialists floated a new term, "sovereign democracy," as a new way to describe Russian President Vladimir Putin's regime. The new moniker cleverly fused a nationalist notion with an ideal regime type. To date, the adjective does more to capture the essence of the Russian regime than does the noun.
The defeat of the Aug 1991 coup attempt in Moscow marked one of the most euphoric moments in Russian history. Emboldened by liberalization under Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, Russian society organized to resist this use of force by Kremlin dictators. The end of the Soviet dictatorship, however, did not lead immediately or smoothly to the creation of democracy in either Russia or in most of the other newly independent states that emerged after the USSR'S collapse.
The democracy-promotion toolbox has been filled for more than two decades with various standard assistance programs, including technical support for reforming government agencies; training for lawyers, journalists, political party leaders, and trade unionists; direct financial aid for civil society organizations; and exchanges and scholarships for students. Today, the U.S. government, particularly the U.S.
Now, the Russian government's s retreat from democracy, as well as its actions to undermine human rights protections have become regular topics in Washington, therefore our topic could not be more timely. What we would like to discuss today is how the U.S. government should respond to those challenges in Russia.
Since the fall of the Shah's regime in 1979, the United States has lacked a viable and coherent policy toward the Islamic Republic of Iran. Now more than ever, the United States must develop a new grand strategy that addresses all three principal U.S. national interests in the country. U.S. policy must seek to halt the development of an Iranian nuclear bomb, to end the regime's support of terrorist groups, and to foster democratic change in Tehran.
Two political scientists comment on Thomas Ambrosio's The Geopolitics
of Demographic Decay: HIV/AIDS and Russia's Great-Power Status (Post-Soviet
Affairs, 22, 1, January-March 2006).
Ambrosio's three indicators of great-power capacity, Russia's society, military, and economy, are reviewed in terms of his argument about how the projected effects of HIV/AIDS weakens each factor.
he mid-2005 election of Mahmoud Ahmedinejad as Iran's new president left those committed to democratic change in the country feeling shocked and disappointed. At first glance, his victory seemed to signal not only the consolidation of Iran's ruling Islamist autocracy, but also the rejection in principle of democracy and the revival of the ideas and goals of the revolutionary Islamic Republic.
In this decade, fostering democratic regime change in Iraq is the great challenge (or folly) before American foreign policymakers. In the previous decade, fostering democratic regime change in Russia was the great challenge (or folly) before American foreign policymakers. For much longer and with much greater capacity than Saddam Hussein's regime, the Soviet regime threatened the United States. The destruction of the Soviet regime and the construction of a pro-Western, democratic regime in its place, therefore, was a major objective of America foreign policy.
Generally, Western leaders have reacted favorably to the integrationist push for a "common European home" from first the Soviet Union and then Russia over the past two decades. Yet never in two decades has this strategic agenda of integration been so threatened as it is today. McFaul discusses three factors that have combined to make Russian integration into the West a foreign policy project with very little momentum.
In his first term in office, President George W. Bush established and nurtured a close personal relationship with Russian President Vladimir V. Putin. Early on, Bushs overtures toward his counterpart in the Kremlin produced beneficial results for the presidents policies. President Bush succeeded in persuading Putin to acquiesce in the abrogation of the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, a revision of the Cold War arms-control regime that Bush deemed necessary for his security agenda.
The collapse of communism did not lead smoothly or quickly to the
consolidation of liberal democracy in Europe and the former Soviet
Union. At the time of regime change, from 1989 into the first few years
of the 1990s, popular democratic movements in the three Baltic states,
Hungary, Poland, Slovenia, Eastern Germany, and western Czechoslovakia
translated initial electoral victories into consolidated liberal
democracy. These quick and successful democratic breakthroughs were
the exception, however. Bulgaria, Croatia, Romania, and eastern
This report on the United Nations is a call for action. It is a call for concrete action now. In December 2004, the U.S. Congress, at the behest of Representative Frank Wolf, chairman of the House Subcommittee on Appropriations for Commerce, Justice, and the State, mandated the establishment of a bipartisan Task Force on the United Nations.
In the coming years, few if any countries will more preoccupy the foreign policy attention of the United States than Iran. The United States has long lacked a viable and coherent policy toward Iran. Perhaps for the first time since the fall of the Shah's regime in 1979, the United States seems determined to try to forge one. The United States must move swiftly to chart a bold, new course that addresses all three of America's principal national interests with Iran. Our policy should seek to halt the development of an Iranian nuclear bomb, to end the regime's support of
Since the September 11 attacks, a number of U.S. and European strategists have stepped forward to call for a fundamental paradigm shift in how the United States and Europe engage the broader Middle East - that wide swath of the globe, predominantly Muslim and overwhelmingly authoritarian, stretching from Morocco to Afghanistan. The West, they have argued, must abandon the chimera of stability offered by an autocratic status quo and instead put the weight of Western influence on the side of positive democratic
Events in Ukraine have inspired most people living in the free world. Ukrainian democrats stood together in the freezing cold to demand from their government what we citizens of democracies take for granted: the right to elect their leaders in free and fair elections. But not all observers of Ukraine's "Orange Revolution" are so elated. Instead of democracy's advance, some see a U.S.-funded, White House-orchestrated conspiracy to undermine Ukrainian sovereignty, weaken Russia's sphere of influence, and expand Washington's imperial reach.
Since the September 11 attacks, President George W. Bush has rhetorically pledged to make the promotion of democracy abroad a primary objective of U.S. foreign policy, emphasizing the moral and strategic imperatives for advancing freedom around the world. At the same time, the United States has become both less liked and less admired by governments and societies around the world.
The report presented here is the result of several months of meetings and debate. It represents an effort to lay out the broad contours of a transatlantic strategy to promote democracy and human development in the Broader Middle East could and should look like. The authors challenge us to go beyond current conventional wisdom and propose the building blocks of a grand strategy to help the broader Middle East transform itself. Their ideas they present are intended to spur further debate and discussion, including with democrats and reformers in the region itself.
U.S.-Russian relations are adrift. After a promising start, George W. Bush has failed to capitalize on his personal relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin to develop a comprehensive and meaningful relationship between the United States and Russia. Although neither country has adopted an openly hostile position toward the other, the level of engagement between Russia and the United States could be and should be much broader than it is today.
"If Russia eventually reverts to a full-blown autocratic regime, it is not inconceivable that tension and competition once again will define Russian-American relations. At this critical moment in Russia's internal development, American foreign policy makers cannot afford to be disengaged."