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A spreading Islamic insurgency engulfs the amorphous and ungoverned border between Afghanistan and Pakistan. After initial victories by the United States and the Northern Alliance in autumn 2001, hundreds of Taliban and al Qaeda fighters fled Afghanistan to seek refuge across the border in Pakistan's rugged northwest. Since 2007, the number of ambushes, militant offensives, and targeted assassinations has risen sharply across Afghanistan, while suicide bombers and pro-Taliban insurgents sweep through settled areas of Pakistan at an alarming pace. For better and for worse, Pakistan will remain the fulcrum of U.S. policy in the region -- its leaders continue to provide vital counterterrorism cooperation and have received close to $20 billion in assistance from the United States, yet elements associated with its national intelligence agency, Inter-Services Intelligence, covertly assist militant proxy groups destabilizing the region.
Instead of "surging" into this volatile region, the United States must focus on limiting cross-border movement along the Afghanistan-Pakistan frontier and supporting local Pakistani security forces with a small number of U.S. Special Forces personnel. To improve fighting capabilities and enhance cooperation, Washington and Islamabad must increase the number of Pakistani officers trained through the U.S. Department of Defense International Military Education and Training program. In addition, U.S. aid to Pakistan must be monitored more closely to ensure Pakistan's military does not divert U.S. assistance to the purchase of weapons systems that can be used against its chief rival, India. Most important, U.S. policymakers must stop embracing a single Pakistani leader or backing a single political party, as they unwisely did with Pervez Musharraf and the late Benazir Bhutto.
America's actions are not passively accepted by the majority of Pakistan's population, and officials in Islamabad cannot afford to be perceived as putting America's interests above those of their own people. Because the long-term success of this nuclear-armed Muslim-majority country depends on the public's repudiation of extremism, and our continued presence in Afghanistan is adding more fuel to violent religious radicalism, our mission in the region, as well as our tactics, our objectives, and our interests, must all be reexamined.
Search For Common Ground;
Presents fundamental principles and core recommendations for improving U.S. relations with Muslim countries and communities based on discussions among members of the Leadership Group on U.S.-Muslim Engagement and their U.S. and foreign counterparts.
Open Society Institute;
Based on interviews with former detainees, documents abuses, including sensory/sleep deprivation, forced nudity, and exposure to excessive cold, at a Special Operations facility in 2007-10. Lists minimum steps needed to meet U.S. and international standar
Carsey Institute, The;
In time of war, all Americans are expected to sacrifice and rural Americans have always stepped forward to do their part in past wars and national emergencies. However, as the data presented here attests, today rural Americans are paying the ultimate sacrifice in disproportionately high numbers. Examination of deaths based on hometown in the Department of Defense records shows soldiers from rural America are dying at a higher rate than soldiers from big cities and suburbs. In all but eight states, soldiers from rural areas1 make up a disproportionately high share of casualties. The high death rate for soldiers from rural areas is linked to the higher rate of enlistment of young adults from rural America. The higher rates of enlistment in the Armed Forces among rural youth are possibly linked to diminished opportunities there. Transitioning from youth to adulthood is more problematic in rural U.S. because there are fewer job opportunities. Young adults in rural areas are less able to secure a foothold in the economy. Among employed young adults (age 18 to 24) only 24 percent of those in rural areas are working full-time year-round, compared to 29 percent of those in cities and suburbs.
Carsey Institute, The;
When the country goes to war, all Americans are expected to make sacrifices and rural Americans have always stepped forward to do their part in past wars and national emergencies. However, as the data presented here attests, today's rural Americans are making the ultimate sacrifice in disproportionately high numbers. Examination of deaths based on hometown in the Department of Defense records shows soldiers from rural America are dying at a higher rate than soldiers from big cities and suburbs. In most states, soldiers from rural areas make up a disproportionately high share of casualties.
Examines domestic and international factors affecting the bilateral relationship, especially in the context of economic normalization between the two countries and a changing international environment in the Asia-Pacific region.
Pew Research Center;
Presents survey results from the Global Attitudes Project on Mexicans' views on immigration, the United States, Barack Obama, Mexico's war against drug traffickers, the economy, leaders and institutions, trade and globalization, and their personal lives.
Journal of Palestine Studies;
From the era of Woodrow Wilson, when the United States committed itself to support the Zionist program in Palestine, American public opinion on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict has been formed and policy has been made from a restricted, generally Israel-centered vantage point. This frame of reference has excluded the Palestinian perspective and, in the struggle for Palestine that culminated in the Palestinians' dispossession in 1948, has made it impossible for U.S. policymakers to take this seminal episode into account in shaping Middle East policy.
Journal of Palestine Studies;
Following Israel's creation in 1948, the Palestinians disappeared from United States policy considerations and did not reemerge until the late 1960s, when they forced themselves on the world's consciousness with a series of terrorist actions and a determined assertion of national aims. With the exception of the Carter administration, the history of the two decades of American policy-making that followed is one of a concerted effort to suppress the Palestinian question as a political issue and to undermine the Palestinian Liberation Organization. This article, the second in a three-part series, examines the frame of reference that molded policymaker thinking on Palestinian-Israeli issues--one centered on the Israeli perspective and basically ignorant of the Palestinian viewpoint--from the Eisenhower administration through the Reagan years.
Journal of Palestine Studies;
The policymakers most responsible for shaping policy on the Palestinian-Israeli question in both the Bush and the Clinton administrations, a team led by special mediator Dennis Ross, came of age politically at a time when the Palestinian perspective was virtually excluded from American political discourse. These policymakers, by their own testimony emotionally involved in Arab-Israeli issues because of their Jewish roots, are naturally inclined to view the issue from the traditional Israel-centered vantage point despite their occasionally harsh criticism of Israel's right-wing government and their vaunted understanding of Palestinian sensibilities. Part III of this series examines how the old frame of reference still determines policy even in an era when Palestinians are seen as legitimate participants in the peace process.
National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START) at University of Maryland;
Existing survey data do not provide comprehensive baseline information about U.S. beliefs and attitudes on terrorism and counterterrorism. Improved understanding of public attitudes can inform programs and tools related to managing public risk perception, increasing effectiveness of pre- and post-event communication by Federal, state, and local officials, and building and supporting more resilient social networks within and across communities.
In this project, systematic survey data was collected from a sample of Americans in response to a range of newly developed survey questions. The survey was developed by two leading survey methodologists, following consultations with a research team of experts who study the dynamics of terrorism, counterterrorism, and community resilience, as well as with practitioners and officials from throughout the homeland security community. The questions were administered to members of a web panel by the on-line survey firm Knowledge Networks, and a second wave of the survey will be issued approximately six months after the first wave to allow for analysis of attitudes over time.
The first wave of the questionnaire was completed, from September 28, 2012 to October 12, 2012, by 1,576 individuals 18 years of age and older. The first section of the questionnaire assessed the salience of terrorism by asking respondents whether they had thought about terrorism in the preceding week, how likely they thought a terrorist attack in the United States was in the next year, and whether they had done anything differently in the past year because of the possibility of such an attack.
The second section of the questionnaire posed questions about how likely respondents would be to call the police in response to various actions potentially related to terrorism and how concerned respondents felt the government should be about these actions. Respondents who said they had thought about a terrorist attack in the last week were more likely than other respondents to say they were likely to call the police in response to the various situations described to them.
The survey then assessed respondents' awareness and evaluation of government efforts related to terrorism in the United States. A large majority of the respondents said that the U.S. government has been very effective (33 percent) or somewhat effective (54 percent) at preventing terrorism; less than 13 percent characterized the government as not too effective or not effective at all.
In a final section of the survey, we asked respondents about two specific programs focused on increasing communication between members of the public and the government on topics related to terrorism.