Skip Global Navigation to Main Content
Skip Breadcrumb Navigation

FOCUS January-February 2016


Category - International Relations

  1. Carter, Ash.
    Statement on the U.S. Military Strategy in the Middle East and the Counter-ISIL Campaign before the House Armed Services Committee. Click to read the full-text
    U.S. Department of Defense, December 1, 2015, 5 pages.
    “That’s the right strategic approach for two principal reasons.  First, it emphasizes the necessity of capable, motivated local forces – as the only force that can assure a lasting victory.  Such forces are hard to find, but they do exist.  And we can enable them – and we are constantly looking for effective ways to expand doing so and I’ll describe some of them – but we cannot substitute for them.  And, second, this strategic approach sets the conditions for a political solution to the civil war in Syria and to crippling sectarianism in Iraq, which are the only durable ways to prevent a future ISIL-like organization from re-emerging.  And that’s why the diplomatic work, led by Secretary Kerry and the State Department, is the first and absolutely critical line of effort in our strategy.” (From U.S. Department of Defense)
  1.  Dobbins, James and others. 
    A Peace Plan for Syria. Click to read the full-text

    RAND Corporation, December 17, 2015, 11 pages.
    “This essay presents a peace plan for Syria that is focused less on defining the nature of the Syrian state that might emerge from the conflict and more on the steps necessary to secure and sustain a ceasefire for the extended period that is likely to be needed for the Syrian parties to actually agree on new governing arrangements. The proposal calls for deferring a comprehensive political solution and resolution of the Assad question and focusing instead on a ceasefire backed by international enforcement, regional devolution of power, humanitarian assistance, and a longer-term political process.” (From RAND Corporation)
  2. Habeck, Mary and others.
    A Global Strategy for Combating Al Qaeda and the Islamic State. Click to read the full-text
    American Enterprise Institute, December 2015, 21 pages.
    “The United States faces a fundamental challenge to its way of life. Al Qaeda and the Islamic State (ISIS), two groups that have already killed thousands of Americans and tens of thousands of Muslims, are waging war on the United States, our allies, and our friends as part of a general strategy to create a global caliphate. As evidenced by their gains in Syria, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, and South Asia, the extremists are no longer on the run and arguably are winning. Al Qaeda, in particular, has expanded its control and influence in the past few years, with affiliates and linked groups present in more than 20 countries.” (From American Enterprise Institute)
  1. Horta, Loro.
    Understanding PLA Reforms. Click to read the full-text
    Center for Strategic and International Studies, December 15, 2015, 2 pages.
    “Xi announced that major military reforms would soon be carried out, including the reduction of 300,000 personnel. In the following months reforms were announced, including consolidation of the current seven military regions into four strategic zones, which suggests that the PLA will abandon its Soviet structure in favor of one similar to that of the US. Last year, major reforms were announced concerning military discipline and China’s military industries. Chinese state media has been replete with articles reporting resistance from the military to the reforms. The fact that state-controlled media has reported this dissatisfaction suggests significant resistance from the PLA. Why is Xi so determined to carry out these reforms?”  (From the CSIS)
  1. Tellis, Ashley J. and others.
    Assessing National Power in Asia.Click to read the full-text
    Strategic Asia 2015–16: Foundations of National Power in the Asia-Pacific, November 2015, 21 pages.
    “By examining the resources of the major countries in the Asia-Pacific and their ability to convert these resources into national performance, this volume in the Strategic Asia series lays the foundation for a three-year study of each nation’s likelihood of achieving its desired outcomes in international relations.” (From The National Bureau of Asian Research)

 Category - Economics

    1. Morrison, Wayne M.
      China-U.S. Trade Issues. Click to read the full-text
      Washington, D.C. : Congressional Research Service, December 15, 2015, 61 pages.
      “U.S.-China economic ties have expanded substantially over the past three decades. Total U.S.-China trade rose from $2 billion in 1979 to $591 billion in 2014. China is currently the United States’ second-largest trading partner, its third-largest export market, and its biggest source of imports.” (From CRS Report)

    Category - Politics

    1. Boudreau, Vincent.
      2016 Election Update: The Impact of Immigrant Communities on U.S. Elections.
      Click to read the full-text
      The U.S. State Department, December 2, 2015, 6 pages.
      “First of all, about demographic shifts in the United States that will affect this issue – and these are, I think, interesting and substantial. I’d like to talk to you a little about where public opinion currently stands and how it operates in the current election. I’d like then to say something about where we are in the current political process and why it’s – it may be a little bit distinct. And then I want to leave a few minutes at the end to talk about how developments like the Paris tragedy has affected the way that immigration plays in the contemporary American election.”(From the U.S. State Department)
    1. Antos, Joseph and others.
      Improving Health and Health Care: An Agenda for Reform: Executive Summary.
      Click to read the full-text

      American Enterprise Institute, December 2015, 2 pages.
      “Despite, and in a sense because of, the enactment of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2010, US health care is still badly in need of reform and revitalization. Instead of more federal regulation and subsidies, what US health care needs is adoption of market principles, starting with broad empowerment of the patient-consumer. The proposals advanced in this volume would replace many counterproductive and outdated federal policies with practical, market-based reforms that aim to provide all Americans with access to high-quality health care at affordable prices.” (From American Enterprise Institute)
      Full Report.
    1. DeSilver, Drew.
      Supreme Court Could Reshape Voting districts, with Big Impact on Hispanics.
      Click to read the full-text
      Pew Research Center, December 10, 2015, 3 pages.
      “The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments recently in a Texas case that challenges the way nearly every U.S. voting district – from school boards to Congress – is drawn. The case asks the court to specify what the word “person” means in its “one person, one vote” rule. The outcome of the case could have major impacts on Hispanic voting strength and representation from coast to coast.” (Pew Research Center)

    Category - Global Issues

    1. O’Sullivan, Stephanie.
      “Innovation and Diversity in the Cyber Fight.” Click to read the full-text
      Vital Speeches of the Day, December 2015, pp. 383-385.
      "It’s clear that the threat is real. And yet, we don’t do all we could to prevent those attacks. There are four concrete and simple steps we can take today to improve our cyber posture and two far more complex steps that I think are absolutely necessary to affect real change."  (From Vital Speeches of the Day)
    1. Kruger, Lennard G.
      Internet Governance and the Domain Name System: Issues for Congress. 
      Click to read the full-text
      Washington, D.C. : Congressional Research Service, November 20, 2015, 33 pages.
      “The Internet is often described as a “network of networks” because it is not a single physical entity, but hundreds of thousands of interconnected networks linking hundreds of millions of computers around the world. As such, the Internet is international, decentralized, and comprised of networks and infrastructure largely owned and operated by private sector entities. As the Internet grows and becomes more pervasive in all aspects of modern society, the question of how it should be governed becomes more pressing.” (From CRS Report)
    1. Leggett, Jane A.
      CRS INSIGHT: Climate Change Pact Agreed in Paris. Click to read the full-text
      Washington, D.C. : Congressional Research Service, December 15, 2015, 2 pages.
      “Delegations of 195 nations adopted, on December 12, 2015, a Paris Agreement that creates a structure for nations to pledge to abate their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, to adapt to climate change, and to cooperate to these ends, including financial and other support. A single framework to promote transparency and track progress of Parties' efforts applies, for the first time, to all Parties. The Parties also adopted a Decision to give effect to the Paris Agreement.” (From CRS Report)
    1. Lipka, Michael.
      Muslims and Islam: Key Findings in the U.S. and Around the World.
      Click to read the full-text

      Pew Research Center, December 7, 2015, 6 pages.
      “Muslims are the fastest-growing religious group in the world. The growth and regional migration of Muslims, combined with the ongoing impact of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and other extremist groups that commit acts of violence in the name of Islam, have brought Muslims and the Islamic faith to the forefront of the political debate in many countries. Yet many facts about Muslims are not well known in some of these places, and most Americans – who live in a country with a relatively small Muslim population – say they know little or nothing about Islam.” (From Pew Research Center)
    1. Perry, Mark J.
      Innovation can cut Global Carbon Emissions. Click to read the full-text
      American Enterprise Institute, December 1, 2015, 2 pages.
      “Climate action has a powerful force on its side — American creativity and ingenuity. When fully unleashed, U.S. innovations in advanced energy technologies could radically cut carbon emissions and become a huge market for global economic growth.” (From American Enterprise Institute)


    Category - Innovation

    1. World Intellectual Property Report 2015: Executive Summary. Click to read the full-text
      World Intellectual Property Organization, December 2015, 5 pages.
      “WIPO's latest World Intellectual Property Report (WIPR) explores the role of IP at the nexus of innovation and economic growth, focusing on the impact of breakthrough innovations. The 2015 report shows how three historical breakthrough innovations – airplanes, antibiotics and semiconductors – fueled new business activity. It examines three current technologies with breakthrough potential: 3D printing, nanotechnology and robotics. And it considers the future outlook for innovation-driven growth.” (From World Intellectual Property Organization)
      Full Report 
      1. Wu, John.
        Fueling Innovation: The Role of R&D in Economic Growth. Click to read the full-text

        Information Technology & Innovation Foundation, December 7, 2015. 2 pages.
        “Innovation drives economic growth. But what fuels innovation? At the heart of it, research and development (R&D) activities allow scientists and researchers to develop new knowledge, techniques, and technologies. As technology changes, people can produce more with either the same amount or fewer resources, thereby increasing productivity. As productivity grows, so does the economy.” (From the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation)


      This site is managed by the Information Resource Center. It represents many different views reflecting the broad diversity of contemporary intellectual opinion in the United States. Neither the content of these articles nor the external links to other Internet sites should be construed as an endorsement of the views contained therein, nor do they necessarily represent the positions of the U.S. Government.


      Research Info. Services

      • 如果您對下列項目有興趣,請與美國資料中心聯絡。電話:2723-3959轉 202。

        To receive or reserve any of these items, please contact the Information Resource Center at 02-2723-3959, ext. 202 or

      • 美國中心活動   American Center Events and Programs

        美國中心活動   American Center Events and Programs

        For the Full schedule, please click here.