THE SAD STORY OF TWO DEFENSE/FOREIGN AFFAIRS BUDGETS AND OUR DYSFUNCTIONAL POLITICS

Screen Shot 2014-08-06 at 2.29.10 PMBy Julia Jacovides and Harry C. Blaney, III

Over the past two months, congressional appropriations subcommittees for Defense and Foreign Operations have been reviewing, marking up and approving their recommendations for the FY2015 budget. A simple comparison between the four appropriations bills – Senate Defense, House Defense, Senate Foreign Operations, and House Foreign Operations – reveals a stark contrast in both size and focus. Though Congress is now in the first week of its summer recess, it is important to take a look at where it has allocated our nation’s money for the fiscal year beginning October 1. Continue reading

An Unhappy Anniversary for Cyprus

By: Julia Jacovides

The town of Varosha (located near Famagusta in the north of Cyprus) has been abandoned since 1974. It used to be a major tourist attraction but is now a ghost town.
The town of Varosha (located near Famagusta in the north of Cyprus) has been abandoned since 1974. It used to be a major tourist attraction but is now a ghost town.

In a tiny corner of the eastern Mediterranean lies the island of Cyprus. Beautiful, welcoming, and gloriously sunny at this time of year, it commemorates an unfortunate anniversary this week. Forty years ago, a military coup temporarily replaced the Greek Cypriot president with a man who wanted Cyprus to join Greece. In response, Turkish forces invaded the island (nominally) to protect their Turkish Cypriot brothers. They established a new region in the north that, to this day, only Turkey recognizes. Four decades and several failed peace processes later, the island remains starkly divided between a Turkish Cypriot north and a Greek Cypriot south. For many,the division has become exhausting and the lack of a solution disheartening. In the words of Alexis Galanos – mayor-in-exile of Famagusta, a town which lies partly in the demilitarized zone – the time to find a resolution is running out. Continue reading

European Security and American Restraint

Foreign Minister Radoslaw Skorski and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in 2009.
Foreign Minister Radoslaw Skorski and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in 2009.

This summer the Center for International Policy is fortunate to have some very talented and thoughtful interns working on key issues America faces in national security and foreign policy. We therefore welcome two of these with their post below on European Security and American Restraint, their analysis of our future defense and security relations with Europe, and commend it to your attention. They are the cutting edge of a new generation of engaged professionals whose voices will grow over the years. Julia Jacovides is a recent graduate of the University of Michigan and is interested in refugee issues, ethnic conflict, and international law. Jacob Marx is a 2013 graduate of Colby College who is interested in security policy and international development. We will see more of their voices in the coming years. (Harry C. Blaney, III)

By: Julia Jacovides and Jacob Marx

There is growing bipartisan consensus in the United States that we should not, and cannot afford to, continue in our role as the world’s policeman. The U.S. has reached an untenable juncture where defense spending dictates defense strategy at the expense of domestic programs Americans need most. Continue reading

Peace in Conflict: Norway and South Sudan

South_Sudan_022

By: Julia Jacovides

In a talk at the Brookings Institute earlier this week, Norway’s Foreign Minister Børge Brende said that his country is “not a day-trader in peacebuilding.” And he was right: for years Norway has led long-term, thoughtful, and productive reconciliation efforts around the globe. From Myanmar to Syria to Somalia, Norway has operated under a belief that solving conflicts is the most cost-efficient method of development. Continue reading

What We Don’t Talk About When We Talk About Syria

Image

Young Syrian refugees in Jordan’s Zaatari camp. Dusty and cramped camps like these worsen psychological trauma from the war, although it’s not always obvious.

By: Julia Jacovides

The problem with most media these days is that it favors the physical over the mental, the visible over the hidden. For the past three years, American news outlets have been saturated with images and videos of bodies and broken communities in Syria. These casualties of war are certainly relevant and poignant, but they do not tell the entire story. Continue reading