Israeli Lobby and US diplomatic policy in the Middle East under Obama-Trump administrations

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Israeli Lobby and US diplomatic policy in the Middle East under Obama-Trump administrations - this is the topic of my Master Thesis, and I need to write an essay-prospectus. I will attach 3 documents, where are topic essay and literature review which should be in this essay-prospectus, and third is example how this essay-prospectus should look like. U just has to add two sections - which first one is Methodology Section ( the aim of master project, and 2 or 3 research questions); and second is Expected results.

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OBAMA-TRUMP DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS BETWEEN ISRAEL AND THE UNITED STATES AND THEIR INFLUENCE ON THE MIDDLE EAST By: Iryna Bilous Student number: 39089 Course: Research Methods of IR Course coordinator: Michal Kuz, Ph.D. Date of Submission: 15.11.2017 The purpose of the paper is to review the diplomatic relations between Israel and the United States under Barack Obama and Donald Trump and how these relations impacted the rest of the Middle East. It is argued that the relations between the U.S. and Israel plays a fundamental role in maintaining a relative stability in the Middle East and a compromise of this relationship could significantly challenge the geopolitical climate of the region. I choose this topic because the relationship between the two countries is so important for stability in the Middle East and beyond, it is highly relevant to international relations studies. Due to these considerations, the main objectives of the master project are to analyze the relationship between the U.S. and Israel through the most recent history, namely during the Obama and Trump administration. By reviewing specific events that took place in the last years, it is possible to establish potential causal relationships between specific actions taken by the United States and events occurring in the Middle East. The United States is arguably Israel’s most important ally and few politicians in the United States questions the role of U.S. as a key ally of Israel. Unlike most topics in the United States, supporting Israel is not a question of favoring a left, right, or moderate political approach. The fact that politicians of all colors favor strong U.S.-Israel relationships is explained by the fact that bilateral cooperation between the two countries plays an important role in handling several challenges in the Middle East, both military and non-military. On the other hand, the strong relationship between U.S. and Israel also affected U.S. image in Arab countries and sometimes in other parts of the world as well, as Israel handling of the Palestinian issue is often highly questionable. However, because a significant weakness in the relationship between the two countries could threaten stability, U.S. rarely questions some of Israel’s most questionable interventions the way other countries do. In other words, the U.S.-Israel relations have a strong strategic importance and a weakness of this relationship might affect stability in the Middle East, and maybe even in the world as a whole. Because the relationship between the two countries is so important for stability in the Middle East and beyond, it is highly relevant to international relations studies. Due to these considerations, the main objectives of the master project are to analyze the relationship between the U.S. and Israel through the most recent history, namely during the Obama and Trump administration. By reviewing specific events that took place in the last years, it is possible to establish potential causal relationships between specific actions taken by the United States and events occurring in the Middle East. The relationship between U.S. and Israel has entered a new era when Barack Obama took charge. One of the most important events during this administration was Obama’s decision to achieve a peace deal between Israel and Palestine. In order to achieve this goal, the Obama administration pressured Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu into accepting a Palestinian state. The Israel Prime Minister eventually agree to negotiate and imposed a ten-month freeze on settlement construction in the West Bank. However, the Palestinians rejected the freeze for nine months because it did not include East Jerusalem (Zanotti, 2016). Barack Obama seemed to have tried to find an equilibrium between taking a stance against what many perceive as human rights violation and maintaining a positive relationship with Israel. For instance, while he pressured Israel to recognize a Palestinian state, he also authorized the sale of bunker buster bombs to the country, being the first president to ever do so. He also vetoed a UN resolution that was meant to declare Israeli settlements in the West Bank illegal (Simon & Stevenson, 2015). Obama took a firm stance against Israel when it declared that it would continue to build 1,600 homes in eastern Jerusalem, a territory that most in the international community regard as occupied. He tried to persuade Netanyahu to freeze all construction in East Jerusalem and give Palestinians a reason to believe that he wants peace, such as by releasing Palestinian prisoners and engage in negotiation over a partition of Jerusalem (Zanotti, 2016). Obama suggested a return to the pre-1967 Israeli borders that would be characterized a mutually agreed land swaps. The speech was rejected by the Israel Prime Minister and was also criticized by the Republicans. Later Obama clarified that he believes that Israel and Palestine should negotiate a border that would not necessarily be the same as the one in 1967 but will take in consideration all the developments that took place since then in order to reach a border agreement. In reply, the Israeli Prime Minister agreed that a border negotiation between Israel and Palestine would take place but that Israel will not be willing to return to the borders that it had before 1967, as this did not allow proper defense (Risse-Kappen, 2016). There are several other actions took by Obama during his administration that once again reflect his attempts at maintaining an equilibrium between defending the principles of selfdetermination while also maintaining a positive relationship with a historical ally. For instance, Obama guaranteed that he will not support a Palestinian application for statehood at the United Nations on the belief that peace must be attained through all the legal procedures before such an application can be accepted. He also signed a bill that allowed a three years extension of a program that the United States had for Israeli government debt. More so, the Obama administration expressed direct opposition to a Palestinian unilateral independence, insisting that such an independence must occur on mutual agreement. On the other hand, when the United Nations Security Council passed a resolution meant to put an end to Israeli settlements in areas considering to belong to the Palestinian, the U.S. abstain as opposed to vetoing it as it had done in the past (Risse-Kappen, 2016). It is worth noticing that while the U.S. relationship with Israel has important strategic implications, Obama administration has not had a significant impact upon stability in the Middle East. This likely happened because Obama refrained from making dangerous moves by expressing, even more, support for the Palestinian cause and the threat that U.S. would not military support Israel in case of necessity never existed. On the other hand, Obama also failed to persuade Israel in negotiating an independence with Palestine, for which the administration had little or none contribution in improving the political situation in a region characterized by instability and conflict. That being said, it is still possible to examine these event in details and speculate whether specific actions took place due to them or whether other outcomes could have derived if the Obama administration had behaved differently. Donald Trump only took charge in January 2017, for which the impact of his administration upon the relationship between U.S. and Israel and, consequently, stability in the Middle East, is yet to be determined. However, there are several aspects of Trump’s behaviors that suggests during his administration U.S. will take a firmer stance in favor of Israel. For instance, the Trump administration announced it will open the first permanent U.S. military base in Israel. President Trump claimed that he is a very good friend of Israel, which gave the Israeli government that the administration will be, as Republican administrations have usually been, more supportive of the measures taken by the Israeli governments. On the other hand, what the Israeli government may have failed to predict are the inconsistencies of the U.S. policies. For instance, the Israeli government was disappointed by the U.S. negotiation with Russia for a plan of a ceasefire in Syria that did not take into account the concerns of the Israeli government. More specifically, Israel was concerned about Iran’s closeness to Israel’s doorstep. President Trump claims closing the “ultimate deal” has also left the international scene confused, as nobody knows that that may mean (Kiely, 2017). At the present time, neither the Israeli government or the U.S. administration have provided a clear solution for closing the conflict with Israel, and Netanyahu is clearly reluctant in accepting a two-state solution. Because both parties are vague about the issue and might be actually avoiding it, there are no signs that a negotiation between Israel and Palestine will happen anytime soon. Instead, the American government seems to distract the audience with other elements that might contribute to peace between the two states, including a water infrastructure agreement. Finally, the U.S. government continues to behave inconsistently, as not only the President makes claims that are difficult to be interpreted. For instance, while the U.S. Ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, claimed that all the settlements are part of Israel, the spokeswomen for the U.S. State Department make sure to clarify that the words of the ambassador do not reflect a change in the U.S. position toward these settlements (Kiely, 2017). Without a doubt, the new U.S. administration is not fully willing to support Israel in any of its demands. On the other hand, the administration does seem less willing to take a “moderate” position on the issue and instead prefers leaving others to interpret what its position is. It is yet to be seen whether the next months or years will be enough in order to gain a clearer picture of the Trump’s administration impact on the Middle East. Even though Trump era is still under development, it is possible to analyze in detail how specific actions taken by Trump’s administration has influenced Israel’s responses and other events in the Middle East. In conclusion, the relations between the U.S. and Israel plays a fundamental role in maintaining a relative stability in the Middle East and a compromise of this relationship could significantly challenge the geopolitical climate of the region. Because this relationship is very important, neither the Obama or the Trump administration has taken a clear position regarding a peace negotiation between Israel and Palestine that will end with a Palestinian state. On the other hand, while Barack Obama clearly tried to maintain an equilibrium between defending Palestine’s right of self-determination and not losing Israel support, Donald’s Trump administration has so far taken an unclear position, though one that might be more favorable to the interests of the Israeli government. Considering that neither the current Israeli government or the American one seems focused on finding a solution to end the conflict, it seems unlikely that a peace treaty will occur anytime soon. If peace is reached, the United States will likely play a major role in it and the effects of any peace treaty between Israel and Palestine will significantly impact the Middle East and the rest of the world. The proposed master project will discuss both the potential role that the United States could have in such a peace treaty as well as the influence that past actions had on key events that has taken the situation in Middle East in the place it is today. References 1. Zanotti, J. (2016). Israel: Background and US relations (No. CRS-RL33476). Congressional Research Service Washington United States. 2. Kiely, K. P. (2017). Introduction. In US Foreign Policy Discourse and the Israel Lobby (pp. 1-8). Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. 3. Risse Kappen, T. (2016). Collective identity in a democratic community. Domestic Politics and Norm Diffusion in International Relations: Ideas Do Not Float Freely, 34, 78. 4. Simon, S., Stevenson, J. (2015). The End of Pax Americana. Foreign Aff., 94, 2. 1 OBAMA-TRUMP DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS BETWEEN ISRAEL AND UNITED STATES AND THEIR INFLUENCE ON THE MIDDLE EAST. By: Iryna Bilous Student Number: 39089 Course: Research Methods of International Relations Course Coordinator: Dr. Michal Kuz Date of Submission: 13/12/2017 2 Israel and the United States have had long-standing mutual relations. ‘The Israel Lobby’ or the ‘Zionist Lobby,” as it is sometimes known, describes the diverse group of interest groups or individuals whose aim is to influence U.S foreign policy to foster the interests and policies of Israel. The Israeli Lobby is made up of Jewish-American, secular, and Christian groups and individuals, the biggest of which is AIPAC, the American Israel Public Affair Committee. Historically, the Israeli Lobby and US-Israel relations are based on the 19th-century Christian notion of the recapture of Jews of the Holy Land, a notion that predates the creation of the state of Israel and the Zionist movement. The efforts of William Eugene Blackstone, George Bush, and Louis Brandeis as well as the 1917 Balfour Declaration propelled the Zionist movement to official legitimacy and helped in the creation of the state of Israel in 1948. Since then, Israel has enjoyed the support of the US and received the biggest foreign assistance. This relationship has had a significant influence on the Middle East. This literature review examines some of the knowledge on this subject and argues that the Israel Lobby’s influence on the Obama and Trump administration has had a significant impact on the Middle East. One of the central issues in the Israel lobby is the extent to which it has influenced US foreign policy. The strategic rationale for the U.S.-Israel relationship has been debated by many scholars. Stephen J. Walt and John Mearsheimer primarily address this question in their book The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy. The authors define the lobby as a coalition of groups and people who work to shape U.S. foreign policy in a manner that favors Israel. They state that the lobby—whose scope cannot be delineated precisely—aims at convincing the American government and its public to give material assistance to Israel and aid Israeli policies (Mearsheimer, J. & Walt, S. 2008, 16). The authors argue that the lobby does not necessarily include every American who has a favorable stance on Israel. The majority of the 3 lobby is comprised of Jewish-Americans but there are Christian Zionists and neoconservatives as well. The authors further decry the negative impact of the lobby to U.S. interests such as military and financial costs. They also argue that the lobby has been unintentionally adverse to Israel as well. Mearsheimer and Walt make the point that Israel would have been a strategic partner were it to develop a cost-effective to address those entities hostile to the U.S. and if this partnership made the United States more secure and resulted in more benefits than political costs. These results are, however, not there in the present period and have never been there even during the Cold War. The authors base their arguments based on three reasons. For one, the Israel involvement in the Middle East when the Soviets occupied the region drove rivals closer to Russia and away from the U.S. (Mearsheimer, J. & Walt, S. 2008, 87). Second, the tendency to see Middle East problems from the perspective of the Cold War has only hindered the prospects of a lasting peace in the Israeli-Arab conflict. The third reason is that American assistance to Israel only fosters Arab hostility toward the U.S. and this is harmful to both U.S. and Israeli security. There are others, however, who argue that the Israel lobby is not as strong, though still significant. The article ‘The Israel Lobby and US Policy in the Middle East: The Iraq War, The Egyptian Arab Spring, and Iran’s Nuclear Program’ by Nina Mast uses primary and secondary historical sources as well as international relations theory to gauge the U.S.-Israel relationship. The paper also departs the prevailing methodology by researchers on this subject of by examining the Israel Lobby through U.S. politics alone. Instead, Mast examines the issue by analyzing Israel’s domestic politics and the political atmospheres of other nations in the Middle East as well the interests of American policymakers in the region. Mast found that even though the Israel Lobby was still an important factor in U.S. foreign policy, its influence 4 is changing and, in some instances, limiting U.S. efforts towards a more pragmatic approach to the Middle East. Mast argues that even though the Israel Lobby is influential in getting Congress to support AIPAC’s interest, it has not been able to exert its influence on the Executive Branch, which has the last say on foreign policy decisions. In Egypt, the Obama administration took a more dynamic, inclusive foreign policy strategy that shifted from the ideology and status quo, which Israel has traditionally advocated (Mast, N. 2014, 10). This has implications for the U.S.-Israel relationship and leads to the question whether Israel will change its policies or move away from the U.S. In Egypt, during the Arab Spring, Obama sought to balance U.S. political goals in the region with a subtle support for democratic principles in the Arab world. Obama did not insist on ensuring Hosni Mubarak remained in power. Obama’s balancing act was in spite of Israeli efforts to ensure that the Arab Spring would lead to instability and antiIsrael sentiments. President Barrack Obama entered office in 2008 with more sympathy for the Middle East cause and the Palestinian plight in particular than any of his predecessors. Obama had friendships and acquaintances who were American-Arabs and because he is a black man with links to Kenya. The article ‘On Palestine, Obama and Trump Are All the Same’ by Ramzy Baroud, however, argues that Obama was no different from Trump when it comes to Palestine and the Middle East. While Obama’s initial days in office were hopeful. His first telephone call to an international leader was to President Mahmoud Abbas of Palestine and Obama’s first trip to the Middle East skipped Israel. However, the Obama Administration soon went back on its efforts to find a just solution to the Palestinian conflict and realized that supporting pro-Israel polices was the safest alternative for an American president (Baroud, R. n.d. 1). The author argues that despite the tense relationship between Obama and Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the former had been very generous to Israel as Israel fought 5 Palestinian efforts in international bodies. Obama gave Israel $38 billion in military aid, the biggest military assistance in U.S. history (Baroud, R. n.d. 1). Obama could not bring a lasting solution to the conflict. The love of Americans for Israel will likely prevail, the author argues. President Donald Trump had long been a staunch supporter of the Israel lobby and his position on Israel and the Middle East were well articulated during his campaign. The article “Trump’s Jerusalem moves spark a fire in the Middle East’ by Isahaan Tharoor that Trump’s recent announcement to move the capital of Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem will make the Israel Lobby and the conservative government of Netanyahu happy but will “start new fires in the Middle East” (Tharoor, I. 2017, 1). The author states that the President’s move would create a situation where the two-state goal is not advanced and neither side benefits. The Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas rejected Trump’s proposal and Arab states that were allied to Trump gave warnings. King Abdullah reiterated that implementing such a resolution would lead to serious repercussions for stability in the Middle East (Tharoor, I. 2017, 1) The Saudi leader King Salman opposed the proposal and stated that it would provoke Muslims from across the world. The Organization of Islamic Cooperation, which is a body for 57 Muslim countries called on the U.S. not to be involved in the Israeli occupation. The author argues that the Trump resolution to move Israel’s capital to Jerusalem calls into question the fate of U.S. efforts to bring peace to the Middle East as it seems to be taking Israel’s side instead of being a neutral arbiter to the peace process. The author suggests that the move, though pleasing to Israel and the Israel Lobby, it would undermine U.S. efforts to fight extremism in the region and taming Iranian influence. Sigurd Neubauer in his article “The U.S. Presidential Election and its Implications on Middle East Policy” outlines the legacy of President Obama with regards to the Middle East and seeks to determine the impact of his successor will have on the region. The author argues 6 that Obama’s approach to the Middle East had been regarded as “soft touch approach” by Republicans and neoconservatives due to his reluctance to involve the U.S. in the Syrian war, the rise of ISIS in Iraq in 2014 as well as Russia’s foray into Syria (Neubauer, S. 2016, 4). The author states that Obama’s successor would face such challenges as ending the Syrian conflict, cutting back Iran’s pursuit of regional hegemony, AND eliminating ISIS. Neubauer recognizes the influence of the Israel lobby in the U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. He states that Trump got a standing ovation when he addressed the annual AIPAC conference in 2016. He also argues that Trump’s anti-Muslim rhetoric would present a challenge to U.S. interests in the Middle East as this would prevent any Arab country from joining any coalition to defeat ISIS. The United States has had long had long-standing cordial relations that are rooted in Zionist efforts that began in the 19th century, efforts to restore the honor and regard of the Jewish people. Since then, the U.S. has supported Israel’s interests through foreign policies that favored the latter. Scholars have in the last few decades debated the extent to which the Israel Lobby has influenced U.S. foreign policy and the effect this has had on the United States and the Middle East. Stephen J. Walt and John Mearsheimer argue that the Israel Lobby has greatly influenced U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East and has had negative effects both on the U.S. and, ironically, Israel. Nina Mast argues that though significant, the Lobby’s influence seems to be shifting. Both Barrack Obama and Donald Trump have bowed to Israel in their foreign policy decisions regarding the Middle East. 7 References Baroud, R. (n.d.). On Palestine, Obama and Trump are all the same [Online] Available at [Accessed 19 Dec. 2017]. Mast, N., 2014. The Israel Lobby and US Policy in the Middle East: The Iraq War, The Egyptian Arab Spring, and Iran’s Nuclear Program. Mearsheimer, J., & Walt, S. (2008). The Israel lobby and U.S. foreign policy, London, Penguin. Neubauer, S. 2016. The U.S. presidential election and its implications on Middle East policy. Norwegian Institute of International Affairs. Tharoor, I. 2017. Trump’s Jerusalem moves spark a fire in the Middle East [Online] Available at [Accessed 19 Dec. 2017]. Lazarski University The Impact of the Great Silk Road Revival on the Republic of Kazakhstan By: XXXXXX Student ID: XXXX Course title: xxxxxxxxxxxxxx Course Coordinator: Michal Kuz Date of Submission: 11 January 2016 1 Introduction The Great Silk Road is a name given to a trade caravan network which connected Eastern and Western civilization (Eliseeff, 2001). The Road takes its roots from II century BC and functioned till XVI century. During all these years, countries and civilization were able to share its culture. Indeed, silk became spread with a help of the Road. This is where the name of the trade network derived from. Furthermore, the Great Silk Road had a significant impact on the development of Chinese, Indian, Central Asian countries. It was a mean of religions transmission: Christianity and Buddhism (Bentley, 1993; Bowman, 2000). So, the role of the Great Silk Road for various aspects is priceless for the ancient civilizations, which still exist. The Silk Road declined in XVI century because of some historical facts which hindered the development of trade relations along the route (e.g. the fall of the Mongol Empire, European mercantilism) (Liu, 2010). Four centuries later, supporting China the USSR started its intention to revive the route. Building the new railways which connected West and East incentivized development of trade relationships again (Heywood, 1999). And the ideas of the Great Silk Road revival are still being considered and gradually executed. Mostly, China is the initiator of this process (Fairbank, 2006), but the current thesis is concerned with Kazakhstani position in the New Silk Road. Kazakhstan is the case study of the paper due to its convenient geographical position (it lies between Russian Federation and China). Moreover, its logistics and transportation (including roads, services, costs) still have many issues to be considered and developed; meanwhile, Chinese level of logistics services can be a very good example how to do it properly. The subject of the paper is important and deals with topical issues. The primary value of the research is that the process of the revival is still being proceeded and its results can be predicted but there is also a possibility of unpredictable outcomes. It is crucial to decide whether the investments and efforts are worth the future development of trade relationships. The paper attempt to analyze the role of the Silk Road in the modern economy of countries basing on actual databases, 2 interviews of the industry’s representatives, the level and prices for new services provided by logistics companies. More detailed description of the research’s approaches is available in the ‘Methodology’ section. The thesis aims to prove the importance of the Great Silk Road for the Republic of Kazakhstan. Therefore, in order to structure the paper and the achievement of the aim, the paper examines particular questions: why the idea of the Silk Road revival occurred, what is the ideal layout of the route, and how the Road will change the international position of Kazakhstan. Finding the answers for all of these questions will help to achieve the primary aim of the thesis and know whether the revival of the Great Silk Road will have a positive impact on logistics in the Republic of Kazakhstan. The paper suggests that the revival of the Great Silk Road will improve Kazakhstan’s position among the world by virtue of the raising of logistics, transport, and trade performance. It is the hypothesis of the thesis. 3 Literature review The current thesis studies the influence of the Great Silk Road on the level of logistics in Kazakhstan. There is not a great amount of literature on the topic of the research due to a relatively young term of the word ‘logistics’. Additionally to that, the current thesis requires background on historical review. That is why the literature selection was classified into two main categories. The first one includes the history of the Great Silk Road. The second set which is much bigger is dedicated to logistics in the present times. Starting the thesis, it is important to know the history of the Great Silk Road. The reasons of its basing, the aims, the routes, and its legacy from the past are crucial for the coming future. Moreover, the history of the Kazakh part of the Silk Road and other Central Asian countries, including Chinese, can differ; that is why both of them should be learnt in order not to miss some important issues. Making a historical review, the biggest part of literature is books. There are many of them that reveal the history of the Great Silk Road from different aspects, such as the infrastructure along the route or the development of culture and languages. However, there are some books that consist of all aspects mentioned before. Foremost, Treasures of the Great Silk Road by Edgar Knobloch (2013) should be pointed out since the author included the various aspects of the Road. Moreover, Edgar Knobloch studies the Great Silk Road from different countries’ sides such as China, Afghanistan, Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Khorezm). In the book the author describes the route of the Great Silk Road, provides a map, shows the way it connected nomad tribes and Chinese, and stresses the consequences which came with the usage of the Road (Knobloch, 2013, p.146). The next book which deserves attention is The Silk Road: two thousand years in the heart of Asia written by Frances Wood (2002). The Silk Road is seen as a method of balance in the book (Wood, 2002, p.50). The author perceives the Road as a mean to avoid frontier wars by trading and sharing cultures. Despite the conventional concept of the Silk Road collapse in XVI century, 4 Frances Wood stresses the existence of trade relationships between Russia and China in 16611722 years (Wood, 2002, p.147). This assertion explains the fact the concept of the Great Silk Road was being used even after the official failure. When it comes to the history of the Great Silk Road on the territory of modern Kazakhstan and its value for the state, the article written by Marvin Nowicki ‘Kazakhstan’s nonprofit sector at a crossroad on the Great Silk Road’ (2000) seems to be a good source which explains the consequences of the Road in the Middle ages for today’s economy of the country. As well as Frances Wood (Wood, 2002, p.147), Nowicki do not consider the XVI century to be the year of the Great Silk Road’s ending. The author of the article concentrates its attention on the development of political and economic relationships between Kazakhstan and other countries which were situated along the Road, specially Russia, even after the official collapse (XVI century) (Nowicki, 2000, pp. 218-219). The second and more important set of literature is dedicated to logistics and trade relationships. This set includes books and journal articles as well. Moreover, the interviews of politicians and economists of the countries will be used as a source. Due to the fact the revival of the Silk Road concerns several countries, such as China, Azerbaijan, Russian Federation, Kazakhstan, etc.; it is crucial to study the level of transportation and logistics in general not only in one country, but in others as well. But mostly the current thesis pays its attention to ChineseKazakhstan relationships because the initiative to revive the Road comes significantly from Chinese party. The first source is a journal article ‘China’s two roads initiative: what it means for Southeast Asia’ by David Arase (2015). The main significance of his work is its relevance due to a recent time of publishing; moreover, all the information given is collected not a long time ago. In the article David Arase describes the present initiatives of China to revive the Great Silk Road in the 21st century. He writes about China’s economic potential and its aims to become the most 5 powerful state in the whole world. He characterizes China’s relationships with other Asian countries, as well as European and even African and Indian. Indian-Chinese cooperation is described more detailed in the book written by Gupta, Pande, and Wang – ‘Silk Road rediscovered: How Indian and Chinese companies are becoming globally stronger by winning in each others’ market’ (2014). David Arase in his article claims that India did not sign the Great Silk Road cooperation endorsements with China (Arase, 2015, p.31); meanwhile, in Gupta, Pande, Wang’s book India is remarked as one of the main companions of China along the Silk Road (Gupta, Pande & Wang, 2014, p.3). For the current thesis it is more important to study the relationships between Kazakhstan and other countries. One of the articles which based the theoretical part of the thesis is ‘Chinese Economic Presence in Kazakhstan’ written by Peyrousse (2008). This article describes the relationships between Kazakhstan and China mostly from economical point of view. The article includes information on history of the development of the two countries’ mutual relations and the situation between countries in 2008. Also, the article provides with numbers of sellings in last years: 95% of Kazakh aluminum was sold to China in 2004, which proves the importance of China as a trade partner for Kazakhstan. In the article, trade between Kazakhstan and Xinjiang is called to be one of the best going trade zones (Pyrousse, 2008, p.39). Consequently, the two countries try to make the transport connection between these two zones better with a help of new railways. Continuing the subject of rail and other ways in Kazakhstan and China as well, the book ‘Contemporary Logistics in China: An introduction’ (Lee, Jiao & Wang, 2011) is a good theoretical base for understanding the logistics in China, its importance and value. According to the authors, the crisis of 2009 affected Chinese economy, but the government reacted to it immediately and now they look for new opportunities to grow (Lee, Jiao & Wang, 2011, p. 213). The government tries to increase international logistics demand building long-term relationships with neighboring countries. 6 The problem was faced during making a literature review on the logistics in Kazakhstan – the data is not easy to find, since officials of the country are not welcome to share it publicly. For this reason, all the information available was used as a theoretical source, including interviews of such individuals as Ashimbayeva A.T., who was a director of the Institute of the World Market in Almaty. She made a public assertion regarding problems of Kazkahstan’s economy. In her articles ‘Dostizheniya i problemy ekonomicheskih otnoshenii mezhdu Kitaem I Kazahstanom’ [Achievements and problems of economic relationships between China and Kazakhstan] (2006) and ‘Starye problemy novoi ekonomiki Kazahstana’, [Old problems of Kazakhstan’s new economy] (2007) Asimbayeva Aliya affirmed that Kazkahstan had developed a strategy on the industrial development, which’s aim was to build a better economic system in the country with different means. And one of them was building new roads, connections with potential trade partners (Ashimbayeva, 2006, 2007). The most important literature source, which included theoretical issues as well as practical, is the book published not a long time ago – ‘The Eurasian connection: supply-chain efficiency along the Modern Silk Route through Central Asia.’ (Rastogi & Arvis, 2014). The book forms the basis for the current thesis since it provides a big set of data regarding the new Silk Road on the territory of the Central Asian countries. The book provides the analysis of costs for transport by rail and road (Rastogi & Arvis, 2014, p.107). One of the key statement of the book, which can base the thesis, is that Kazakhstan plays an important role as an intermediator of trade for China and Russia (Rastogi & Arvis, 2014, p. 98). Moreover, the provides a proof for the statement of the importance of the country in the form of tables, diagrams, etc. This theoretical information should be used in practice, so the country could unlock its potential. As it was mentioned above, it is not easy to find the literature basement for the topic, since the representatives of the country are not willing to share information publicly. For that reason, many books and articles studied concern Chinese economy and transportation, because it also includes data about Kazakhstan and other Central Asian countries. 7 Methodology Section The aim of the paper is to prove the importance of the Silk Road revival for Kazakhstan by providing in-depth analysis of Kazakhstan’s logistics and trade relationships. There are several reasons why Kazakhstan was chosen as a case study of the thesis. Firstly, it is a country which connects on a map two economical giants – China and Russian Federation. The country plays an important role of a mediator. Secondly, due to the latest Kazakh tenge devaluation (it dropped 70% in 2015), there is an extreme need to make a recovery for the country’s economy (Kuandykova, 2015). So, now the relationships between China and Kazakhstan became stronger and China makes investments into the partnering country’s roads, railways, etc.; since Kazakhstan has a potential but is not able to unlock it in the current situation. Thirdly, referring to the history, Kazakhstani part of Asia was an essential member of the Great Silk Road from its very establishment in 114 BC and till the end of its functioning in approximately 1450 (Forêt & Kaplony, 2008). Almost all of the trade routes from Asia to Europe went through the present-day Kazakhstan’s territory (Demir, 2010). The first research question concerns the reasons why the idea of the Silk Road revival occurred and why China is thought to be the most active initiator. Thus, the first part of the paper analyses the importance of the historical importance of the Great Silk Road and describes the process of the Silk Road revival in XXI century. Moreover, in order to find the reasons for Chinese and other countries’ willingness to the revive the Road, it is crucial to observe current situation in countries (political, economic), especially in Kazakhstan and China. In order to find an answer for the first research question, mostly secondary academic sources are used, such as statements of official people, interviews, conventions, meetings, agreements, international organizations regarding the Silk Road revival in the present times. The second research question concentrates on the geographical layout of the new Silk Road. There is no existent map of actual roads and railways as it was in the ancient times. Due to 8 this, it can be challenging to have a visual representation of new trade connections. But relying on pieces of news that concern new railways’ opening, it is possible to make a map of the Silk Road. Moreover, studying actual trade relationships of Kazakhstan with other countries in annual reports, it is possible to find out the most appropriate route. Moreover, in order to study this question properly, the paper can refer to Logistics Performance Index (LPI). There is a thing that should be taken into account: the new Silk Road can skip Kazakhstan and connect some other regions of the world. Due to this fact, it is crucial to study other countries’ official sources, such as academic journals, speeches of political representatives. Thirdly, the paper should help to reveal how the revival of the Silk Road will help the country to improve its performance in the logistic sphere and to widen its trade relationships with other Asian countries as well as some European states. In order to answer this question, both theoretical, such as books on logistics, economy, and even history; and practical sources will be studied. Moreover, in order to answer this question, interviews will be prepared which include questions about opinion on the importance of Silk Road for Kazakhstan. These questions will be addressed to workers of logistic companies in Kazakhstan. Their opinions are not the basement for the research question’s answering, but it will help to form the overall view on it. Furthermore, this research question also includes sub-question: how the revival of the Great Silk Road will affect the prices for logistics services, such as cargo transportation and other. The answer for this is also expected to be gained from the interviews. This research question is crucial for the whole paper. Not answering this question will make the achievement of the aim impossible. Finally, the current thesis measures and highlights the requirements for the country to become the crucial member of the Silk Road union. The paper takes into consideration whether the country is well prepared for such a responsibility. It assesses the level of transportation and roads in the country. The book ‘The Eurasian connection: supply-chain efficiency along the Modern Silk Route through Central Asia.’ written by duet of authors Rastogi & Arvis (2014) makes a basement to address this question. It provides the data about the current situation in the 9 country. Additionally to that book, some media sources are analyzed since they react immediately to new roads, railways, international connections that appear in the countries. These research questions lead to the formation of the hypothesis of the current thesis. The hypothesis of the paper is that the revival of the Great Silk Road will improve Kazakhstan’s position among the world by virtue of the raise of logistics, transport, and trade performance. 10 Expected results This thesis aims at proving the importance of the Silk Road revival for Kazakhstan by providing in-depth analysis of Kazakhstan’s logistics and trade relationships. The essential expected result of the paper is to show that all the efforts and investments regarding the Great Silk Road revival are not in vain. It is a long and costly process, but in the future the new Road is supposed to bring more outputs than inputs. The paper attempts to reflect actual outputs and predict future ones, and on a basis of these predictions the thesis assumes whether Kazakhstan’s trade relationships with other countries will become stronger and how the Road can help logistics companies to serve in the future. In other words, the thesis sets to discover that well-established transport routes and roads are one of the key factors of settled international trade relationships, no matter what country is a case study. Secondly, it is expected that the thesis attempts to reflect the level of logistics in Kazakhstan before the implementation of the Great Silk Road and during the first steps of its revival. For now, it is only an assumption that Kazakhstan should improve its transportation service, roads, performance. But the thesis will provide an accurate analysis of the level of logistics in the country. On the basis of the analysis, it will become possible to find out the quality of which segment of logistics (e.g. whether it is transport modes, roads, or human resources) should be improved so the country could become a valuable member of the Silk Road. Thirdly, it is expected that this paper attempts to explain the whole concept of international cooperation with a help of developing transportation and trade zones. The paper makes a link between the revival of the Great Silk Road and the growth of countries’ economy. It provides an explanation of the willingness of countries to revive it despite high costs and efforts. However, there is a possibility that all of these expected results are not achieved. The primary reason for such an occasion is that the idea of the Silk Road’s revival is relatively young and fresh and the idea of its implementation and development is still are being discussed by 11 member countries. Due to this, some information provided in the most of the literature sources are subjects to change. Even though the expected results are not achieved, the current thesis still has a value for the subject of logistics in Kazakhstan and in the world in general since it provides a detailed analysis of transportation problems in the country. Moreover, the paper can be a good literature source and a basement for other theses with new hypotheses. 12 Bibliography Arase, D., 2015. ‘China’s two Silk Roads initiative: What it means for Southeast Asia’. Southeast Asian affairs, pp: 25-45. Ashimbaeva, A.T., 2007. ‘Starye problemy novoi ekonomiki Kazahstana’, [Old problems of Kazakhstan’s new economy]. Capital.kz, vol. 21, no. 108, viewed 14 November 2015, . Ashimbaeva, A.T., 2006. ‘Dostizheniya i problemy ekonomicheskih otnoshenii mezhdu Kitaem I Kazahstanom’, [Achievements and problems of economic relationships between China and Kazakhstan]. Panorama, 15 September, p.7. Bentley, J.H., 1993. Old World Encounters: cross-cultural contacts and exchanges in pre-modern times. New York: Oxford University Press. Bowman, J.S., 2000. Columbia chronologies of Asian history and culture. New York: Columbia University Press. Eliseef, V., 2001. The Silk Roads: highways of culture and commerce. New York: Berghahn Books. Fairbank, J., 2006. China: a new history, 2nd ed. Massachusetts: The Belknap press of Harvard University press. Forêt, P. & Kaplony, A. (eds), 2008. The journey of maps and images on the Silk Road. Boston: Leiden. Gupta, A.K., Pande, G. & Wang, H., 2014. Silk Road rediscovered: How Indian and Chinese companies are becoming globally stronger by winning in each others’ market. San-Francisco: Wiley. 13 Heywood, A., 1999. Modernising Lenin’s Russia: economic reconstruction, foreign trade and the railways, 1917-24. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Knobloch, E., 2013. Treasure of the Great Silk Road. Stroud: The history press. Kuandykova, Z., 2015. ‘Nazarbayev obyasnil prichinu devalvacii tenge’, [Nazarbayev explained the reasons of tenge’s devaluation]. RBC, vol.7, no.1, viewed 2 January 2016, . Lee, S., Jiao, Z. & Wang, L., 2011. ‘Development Prospects of the Logistics Industry in China’, in B.Liu (ed.), Contemporary Logistics in China: an introduction. Singapore: World Scientific Publishing. Liu, X., 2010. The Silk Road in world history. New York: Oxford University Press. Nowicki, M.E., 2000. ‘Kazakhstan’s Nonprofit Sector at a Crossroad on the Great Silk Road’. Voluntas: International journal of voluntary and nonprofit organizations, vol. 11, no. 3, pp. 217-235. Peyrouse, S., 2008. ‘Chinese Economic Presence in Kazakhstan’. Chinese perspectives, vol. 3, pp. 34-49. Rastogi, C., and, Arvis, J., 2014. The Eurasian connection: supply-chain efficiency along the Modern Silk Route through Central Asia. Washington, D.C.: The World Bank. Wood, F., 2002. The Silk Road: two thousand years in the heart of Asia. University of California press: Berkley and Los Angeles. Demir, I., 2010. ‘Revival of the Silk Road in Terms of Energy Trade’. Journal of Social Science, vol. 9, no. 3, pp. 513-532. 14
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OBAMA-TRUMP DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS BETWEEN ISRAEL AND THE UNITED
STATES AND THEIR INFLUENCE ON THE MIDDLE EAST

By:
Iryna Bilous

Student number: 39089

Course:
Research Methods of IR

Course coordinator:
Michal Kuz, Ph.D.

Date of Submission:
15.11.2017

The United States is arguably Israel’s most important ally and few politicians in the United
States question its role. Unlike most topics in the United States, supporting Israel is not a question
of favoring a left, right, or moderate political approach. The fact that politicians of all colors favor
strong U.S.-Israel relationships is best seen in the bilateral cooperation between the two countries.
These relations play an important role in handling several challenges in the Middle East, both
military and non-military. On the other hand, the strong relationship between U.S. and Israel also
affect U.S. image in Arab countries and sometimes in other parts of the world. However, any
significant weakness in the relationship between the two countries could threaten the stability of
the relations. Because the relationship between the two countries is so important for stability in the
Middle East and beyond, it is highly relevant to international relations studies. Due to these
considerations, the main objectives of the master project are to analyze the relationship between
the U.S. and Israel through the most recent history during the Obama and Trump administration.
By reviewing specific events that took place in the last years, it is possible to establish potential
causal relationships between specific actions taken by the United States and events occurring in
the Middle East.
The project purposes to review the diplomatic relations between Israel and the United
States under Barack Obama and Donald Trump and how these relations impacted the rest of the
Middle East. It is argued that the relations between the U.S. and Israel play a fundamental role in
maintaining a relative stability in the Middle East and a compromise of this relationship could
significantly challenge the geopolitical climate of the region. The topic is relevant in international
relations because it is possible to establish potential causal relationships between specific recent
actions taken by the United States and events occurring in the Middle East. The proposed master
project will discuss both the potential role that the United States could have in such a peace treaty

as well as the influence that past actions had on key events that has taken the situation in Middle
East in the place it is today.
President Barrack Obama is one of the people that constituted the era of change in the
relationship between the United States and Israel under the Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Obama tried to achieve a peace deal between Israel and its Palestinian counterpart. The two
countries have been warring for long which influences the economic performance of the two
countries. One of the policies that Obama pressured Israel to impose a ten-month freeze on
settlement construction in the West Bank. Nevertheless, the Palestinians rejected the move for it
failed to include East Jerusalem (Zanotti, 2016). Obama also authorized the sale of bunker bombs
to Israel to heighten security. According to the President of the United States, Netanyahu’s release
of Palestinian prisoners would further promote peace (Zanotti, 2016). The then President of the
United States stood for what he believed was right for Israel and Palestine and did not fear
criticism. However, most of his propositions were successful differing opinions. For instance,
Israel’s president opposed the construction of a common border that is similar to the one that
existed before 1967. Netanyahu later on agreed to the border though he specified that it would not
be similar to the previous one for safety reasons (Risse-Kappen, 2016). Generally, President
Obama played a significant role in restoring peace between the two countries.
It is worth noticing that while the U.S. relationship with Israel has important strategic
implications, Obama administration has not had a significant impact upon stability in the Middle
East. This likely happened because Obama refrained from making dangerous moves by expressing,
even more, support for the Palestinian cause. The threat that U.S. would not offer military support
to Israel in case of necessity never existed. On the other hand, Obama also failed to persuade Israel
in negotiating an independence with Palestine, for which the administration had little or no

contribution towards improving the ...


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