CIGI Papers, April, 2010
Afghanistan’s problems are well known: rampant insecurity, endemic corruption, deep-seated poverty and weak governance. Unfortunately most of the strategies advanced to address these issues have lacked clear, effective and culturally-adapted implementation frameworks, making them more like wish lists than concrete roadmaps. Based on wide experience and engagement in Afghanistan’s state-building project since 2001 – in the United Nations, Afghan government, and civil society – the author provides a broad outline for a new strategy to stabilize Afghanistan. This new approach will not require massive new infusions of resources, but rather robust political will and resolve among both Afghans and international actors, something that is increasingly in short supply.
Productivity growth is a significant contributor to GDP growth, particularly to increases in per capita income. However, there is considerable ambiguity regarding how to measure the concept of technical progress, and consequently on policies that would foster productivity growth. Brazil, China and India, three important emerging economies, are seeking to foster productivity growth through encouraging innovation and technology transfers from the more developed economies. But given the ambiguities about how to encourage innovation and technology transfers, governments in these countries adopted a plethora of policies in the hope that the combination will be effective.
The second edition of the Security Sector Reform Monitor: Southern Sudan outlines the challenges that non-state armed groups and the proliferation of small arms and light weapons pose to the nascent security sector of Southern Sudan. The Monitor analyzes efforts at civilian disarmament to date, and suggests that a new approach to the problem, based on community engagement rather than coercion, should be encouraged.
The fourth edition of the Security Sector Reform Monitor: Haiti highlights some of the medium and long-term challenges that will face the Haitian security sector once the state of emergency from the January 12 earthquake passes, including the renewal of MINUSTAH’s mandate, the growing calls for another security force to support the police in addressing insecurity and natural disasters, the coming Presidential elections, and the evolving security environment.
This second edition of the Security Sector Reform Monitor: Burundi outlines the extent of corruption in Burundian society, particularly in the defence and security establishment, and discusses Burundi’s current anti-corruption initiatives.
The presidency of Barack Obama ushered in a welcome honeymoon period in US-Latin American relations following eight years of the Bush administration’s polarizing policies towards the region. Early optimism has been tempered by the reappearance of tensions in hemispheric relations. They include the rise of Brazil as a regional power, the role of Venezuela and the continued strain in US-Cuban relations. Regional relations are further complicated by China’s growing economic presence in Latin America, increased ties with Iran and Russia, different US and Latin reactions to the June 2009 coup in Honduras, and the crisis response to the January 2010 earthquake in Haiti. Still, the US has potential to advance a strategy of substantive, issue oriented engagement designed to rekindle the early goodwill that resulted from Obama’s election to the White House.