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Defense and Security Spending Under Barack Obama
These are extraordinary times in U.S. national security policy. America remains engaged in both Iraq and Afghanistan while facing a global economic downturn. Homeland security concerns still abound in the wake of the September 11 attacks. Even as the financial crisis places considerable pressure on the U.S. budget, President Obama will have to spend a great deal of time and money on national security, hard power, and war. How should these competing demands be prioritized? How much money will be needed? How much will be available, and how should it be spent?
Budgeting for Hard Power continues the long and proud tradition of Brookings analysis on defense spending. As with previous volumes, this book examines the budgets of the Pentagon and the Department of Energy's nuclear weapons programs. But Michael O'Hanlon takes his analysis further, addressing the wide range of activities crucial for American security as a result of 9/11 and the ongoing wars. He considers homeland security resources and selected parts of the State Department and foreign operations budgets offering a more complete overall look at the elements that make up America's "hard power" budget, a concept that he and Kurt Campbell wrote about in Hard Power: The New Politics of National Security (2006).
With future federal deficits projected to top $1 trillion, O'Hanlon calls for Defense, State, and Homeland Security budgets to be as frugal as possible. At the same time, he recognizes that resources should be selectively increased in certain areas to compensate for years of systematic underfunding, especially in certain areas of homeland security, diplomacy, and foreign assistance. In his typically clear and concise manner, O'Hanlon shows policymakers how to wrestle with the resource allocation decisions affecting the national security of the United States.
In the wake of the Taliban nightmare, Afghanistan must tackle serious problems before it can emerge as a confident, independent nation. Security in this battered state continues to deteriorate; suicide bombings, convoy ambushes, and insurgent attacks are all too common. Effective state building will depend upon eliminating the national security crisis and enhancing the rule of law. This book offers a blueprint for moving the embattled nation toward greater democracy and prosperity. Robert Rotberg and his colleagues argue that the future success of state building in Afghanistan depends on lessening its dependence on opium and enhancing its economic status. Many of Afghanistan's security problems are related to poppy growing, opium and heroin production, and drug trafficking. Building a New Afghanistan suggests controversial new alternatives to immediate eradication, which is foolish and counter-productive. These options include monetary incentives for growing wheat, a viable local crop. Greater wheat production would feed hungry Afghans while reducing narco-trafficking and the terror that comes with it. Integrating this land-locked country into the Central Asia or greater Eurasia economy would open up trading partnerships with its northern and western neighbors as well as with Pakistan, India, and possibly China. Developing a sense of common purpose among citizens would benefit the economy and could help to unite the nation. Perhaps most important, bolstering better governance in Afghanistan is necessary in order to eliminate chaos and corruption and enact nationwide reforms. Fresh and insightful, Building a New Afghanistan shows what the country's leadership and the international community should do to resolve dangerous issues and bolster a still fragile state. Contributors include Cindy Fazey (University of Liverpool), Ali Jalali (former minister of the interior, Afghanistan, and National Defense University), Hekmat Karzai (Centre for Conflict and Peace Studies, Afghanistan, and Institute of Defense and Strategic Studies, Singapore), Alistair J. McKechnie (World Bank Country Director for Afghanistan), Paula Newburg (Skidmore College), and S. Frederick Starr (Central Asia-Caucasus Institute and School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University).
Creating Wealth in Low-Income Communities
Poor people spend their money living day to day. How can they accumulate wealth? In the United States, homeownership is often the answer. Homes not only provide shelter but also are assets, and thus a means to create equity. Mortgage credit becomes a crucial factor. More Americans than ever now have some access to credit. However. thanks in large part to the growth of global capital markets and greater use of "credit scores," not all homeowners have benefited equally from the opened spigots. Different terms and conditions mean that some applicants are overpaying for mortgage credit, while some are getting in over their heads. And the door is left wide open for predatory lenders. In this important new volume, accomplished analysts examine the situation, illustrate its ramifications, and recommend steps to improve it. Today, low-income Americans have more access to credit than ever before. The challenge is to increase the chances that homeownership becomes the new pathway to asset-building that everyone hopes it will be.
A Framework for Financial Access
Broad-based and inclusive financial systems significantly raise growth, alleviate poverty, and expand economic opportunity. Households, small enterprises, and the rural poor often have difficulty obtaining financial services for a multitude of reasons, including transaction costs, perceived risk, inadequate infrastructure, and information barriers. Yet many financial institutions are now making profitable inroads into underserved markets through formal banking, investment in equities, venture capital, postal banks, and microfinance. Access to Finance addresses the challenges of making financial systems more inclusive, emulating successful ventures in new markets, and utilizing technologies and government policies to support the expansion of financial access. The contributors examine many dimensions of financial access, including: Measuring financial access Understanding the impact of expanded access Examining alternative institutional models Exploring new technologies and information infrastructure Evaluating government policies toward outreach.
The first edition of Bureaucratic Politics and Foreign Policy is one of the most successful Brookings titles of all time. This thoroughly revised version updates that classic analysis of the role played by the federal bureaucracy civilian career officials, political appointees, and military officers and Congress in formulating U.S. national security policy, illustrating how policy decisions are actually made. Government agencies, departments, and individuals all have certain interests to preserve and promote. Those priorities, and the conflicts they sometimes spark, heavily influence the formulation and implementation of foreign policy. A decision that looks like an orchestrated attempt to influence another country may in fact represent a shaky compromise between rival elements within the U.S. government. The authors provide numerous examples of bureaucratic maneuvering and reveal how they have influenced our international relations. The revised edition includes new examples of bureaucratic politics from the past three decades, from Jimmy Carter's view of the State Department to conflicts between George W. Bush and the bureaucracy regarding Iraq. The second edition also includes a new analysis of Congress's role in the politics of foreign policymaking.
Industry's Role in Safeguarding a Nuclear Renaissance
Rapidly increasing global demand for electricity, heightened worries over energy and water security, and climate-change anxieties have brought the potential merits of nuclear energy squarely back into the spotlight. Yet worries remain, especially after the failure of Japan's Fukushima Daiichi power plant to withstand the twin blows of an earthquake and a tsunami. And the idea of increasing the availability of nuclear power in a destabilized world rife with revolution and terrorism seems to many a dangerous proposition.
Business and Nonproliferation examines what a dramatic increase in global nuclear power capacity means for the nuclear nonproliferation regime and how the commercial nuclear industry can strengthen it.
The scope of a nuclear "renaissance" could be broad and wide: some countries seek to enhance their existing nuclear capacity; others will build their first reactors; and many more will seek to develop a nuclear energy capability in the foreseeable future. This expansion will result in wider diffusion and transport of nuclear materials, technologies, and knowledge, placing additional pressures on an already fragile nonproliferation regime. With the private sector at the center of this increased commercial activity, business should have an increased role in preventing proliferation, in part by helping shape future civilian use of nuclear energy in a way that mitigates proliferation.
John Banks, Charles Ebinger, and their colleagues explore the specific emerging challenges to the nonproliferation regime, market trends in the commercial nuclear fuel cycle, and the geopolitical and commercial implications of new nuclear energy states in developing countries. Business and Nonproliferation presents and assesses the concerns and suggestions of key stakeholders in the nuclear community
Peacemaking and Politics
In September 1978 William Quandt, a member of the White House National Security Council staff, spent thirteen momentous days at Camp David, the presidential retreat in Maryland, where three world leaders were holding secret negotiations. When U.S. President Jimmy Carter, Egyptian President Anwar Sadat, and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin emerged from their talks, they announced a signal accomplishment: the first peace agreement between Israel and one of its Arab neighbors, Sadat's Egypt.
Quandt, drawing on what he saw and heard during the talks and on official documents, wrote Camp David in order to show how presidents negotiate difficult issues. His book has become, with time, a scholarly classic and, as Martin Indyk notes in his foreword, "a model of critical, in-depth, fact-based, policy-relevant research."
Quandt's book is not only an eyewitness account but also a scholar's reconstruction of a milestone event in Middle East diplomacy, with insights into the people, politics, and policies. His Camp David has provided a comprehensive and lasting guide to the difficult negotiations surrounding the talks, including the fraught scenario leading up to the meetings at the presidential retreat and the talks and accord that would lead to Sadat and Begin jointly receiving the 1978 Nobel Peace Prize.
Praise for Camp David: Peacemaking and Politics "The most authoritative account of a major historic event, written with scrupulous scholarship by a key behind-the-scenes participant." —Zbigniew Brzezinski, Adviser to the President for National Security Affairs, 1977–81
"An excellent piece of work... will represent a major contribution to the academic literature on American Middle East policy during the Carter administration. No one but Bill Quandt could, in my view, write so knowledgeable, yet so judiciously balanced, an account." —Hermann Frederick Eilts, Director, Boston University Center for International Relations, and ambassador to Egypt, 1973–79
"Quandt writes as a participant in the process and as a thoughtful, proven scholar, an expert on international diplomacy and on the Middle East." — Foreign Affairs
Twelve Independent Ideas for Improving American Public Policy
Campaign 2012: Twelve Independent Ideas for Improving American Public Policy is an indispensable guide to the questions facing White House hopefuls in 2012, as well as the challenges awaiting the winner. It presents authoritative analyses of a dozen key policy issues currently testing the nation:
-domestic economic growth
-America's role in the world
-the budget deficit
-Afghanistan and Pakistan
-reforming government institutions
-the Middle East
This is truly Brookings at its best independent expert analysis, presented in an accessible manner and offering viable solutions.
Enhancing Productivity and Innovation in a Globalizing World
In recent years the Russian government, concerned about sustaining its economic performance, has sought to promote more diversified and broader economic growth beyond the profitable natural-resource sector. Economic officials would like to see something closer to a "knowledge-based economy." One of the areas in clear need of upgrading is the manufacturing sector. This book quantifies and benchmarks the relative strengths of that sector, identifying opportunities to increase Russian productivity and competitiveness. Drawing on original survey data from Russian firms of all sizes, the authors formulate proposals that aim to enhance the innovative potential of Russian firms, upgrade the skills of their workforce, and develop a business-friendly climate of lower administrative costs and greater policy certainty. This book examines the underlying firm-level determinants of knowledge absorption, competitiveness, and productivity, with an eye to improving workers' skill levels and improving the investment climate, which should in turn enhance the innovation needed to keep up in a globalized economy. The original research and analysis of Desai, Goldberg, and their colleagues will be of use to anyone interested in the problems of building manufacturing competitiveness, especially in Russia and the post-Soviet transition economies. It will also be of interest to organizations planning to do business with Russia or to invest in it.
The Challenge of Rationing Health Care
Over the past four decades, the share of income devoted to health care nearly tripled. If policy is unchanged, this trend is likely to continue. Should Americans decide to rein in the growth of health care spending, they will be forced to consider whether to ration care for the well-insured, a prospect that is odious and unthinkable to many. This book argues that sensible health care rationing can not only save money but improve general welfare and public health. It reviews the experience with health care rationing in Great Britain. The choices the British have made point up the nature of the options Americans will face if they wish to keep public health care budgets from driving taxes ever higher and private health care spending from crowding out increases in other forms of worker compensation and consumption. This book explains why serious consideration of health care rationing is inescapable. It also provides the information policymakers and concerned citizens need to think clearly about these difficult issues and engage in an informed debate.