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Policy White Papers


Read the 2010-2011 PIPS Policy Briefs (pdf).

Multicultural Diplomacy: A New Approach to Embassy Outreach
By Bridget Carr
White Paper (pdf)

Since 2001, U.S. public diplomacy to the Arab world has largely focused on expanding access to U.S.friendly news stories and increasing exposure to American youth culture through traditional media. These efforts have largely failed and are viewed by many as propagandistic and culturally insensitive.

This brief proposes an alternative model for public diplomacy that promotes multiculturalism to help Arab immigrants in Europe integrate into their host societies. Building on current U.S. Embassy efforts in Paris, multicultural public diplomacy would involve cultural and educational initiatives that: (1) highlight and celebrate immigrant culture on its own merits and as it contributes to the host nation; (2) promote dialogue and mutual respect among communities; and (3) promote the benefits of democratic multiculturalism by highlighting the successes of minorities and immigrants in the United States. The goal of multicultural diplomacy is to engender positive feelings toward the United States among Arab immigrants – and, through those immigrants, their relatives in their home countries – by supporting much needed outreach initiatives that aid integration.

Energy Security through Wild Diatomic Microalgae Cultivation in Latin America
By Eleanor Hansen
White Paper (pdf)

Hansen BriefDependence on petroleum imports from a small clique of potentially unfriendly and unstable countries jeopardizes U.S. security by granting these nations unprecedented political leverage, draining resources, and funding international terrorism. U.S. alternative fuel policy has centered on the use of corn ethanol, a highly inefficient and costly biofuel. This brief proposes that the United States instead encourage the development of wild diatomic microalgae cultivation in Latin American through a pilot program in Panama. Wild algae have high oil content, are an easily cultivated, and place little strain on fresh water resources and arable land, while also cleansing water of pollutants. By developing a wide algae supplier base in the Americas, the United States can contribute to regional economic development and environmental quality, while also moving in the direction of energy security.

Building the Indian Counterweight: A U.S. – India Division of Labor in the Indian Ocean
By Lindsay Hundley
White Paper (pdf)

China’s rapid development of a blue water navy threatens U.S. access to the Indian Ocean, a region vital to commerce and energy security. To counter this threat, the United States has sought an alliance with India based on joint training and the sale of advanced weapons technology, facilitating India’s quest for sea control capability.

This brief argues that an Indian naval doctrine premised on sea control is shortsighted and undermines its ability to balance against China by accelerating a costly arms race. Instead, the United States and India should agree to an interim division of labor. The United States would provide the bulk of “bluewater – SLOC” maritime public goods in the Indian Ocean in the short-to-medium term. India, in turn, would focus on economic growth, leading regional efforts to secure the littorals, and develop the ability to impose cost effective sea denial at strategic chokepoints to deter any potential aggression. This proposed partnership is a proactive intermediate step for achieving long-term stability in the Indian Ocean by fostering the emergence of India as an economically and militarily robust counter to China through focusing and curtailing Indian naval expenditures in the near term.

Aerostats and Maritime Piracy: Providing Cost Effective Situational Awareness Off the Horn of Africa
By Robert Snyder
White Paper (pdf)

Snyder BriefWidespread maritime piracy off the Horn of Africa constitutes a threat to international shipping and perpetuates instability in Somalia. The international community has judged this threat severe enough to deploy a multilateral naval coalition to the region. Current efforts, however, rely on inadequate and costly aerial surveillance to monitor a vast area, resulting in a relatively ineffective naval response to pirate attacks.

This brief proposes that the United States augment maritime situational awareness through the use of existing aerostat technology to deploy a low cost persistent radar surveillance network off the coast of Somalia. This maritime awareness network would provide real time tracking of shipping off the Somali coast and facilitate the identification of suspicious vessels or activity. Using low cost aerostats will allow the international community to employ its scarce naval resources in a more effective manner and will help commercial shipping avoid potential threats. The use of aerostats also will allow the United States to cost effectively deploy its limited and expensive manned and unmanned winged surveillance platforms to areas of greater strategic importance.

Clean-Tech Mineral Security: A Three-Pronged Strategy for Supply Diversification in Latin America
By Julia Zamecnik
White Paper (pdf)

In order to decrease dependence on fossil fuels, the U.S. military and private sector are increasing investment in clean-technology energy sources, such as solar, wind, and electric power. Clean energy development, however, is promoting dependency on a small set of states who currently supply the majority of clean-technology minerals. Competition for these minerals will grow as global energy demands increase and more countries adopt clean energy policies.

To prevent mineral shortages, costly price increases, and political costs associated with this dependence,the United States should adopt a three-pronged clean-technology mineral policy in Latin America. To diversify and stabilize the supply of these crucial minerals, this policy combines repayable contributions for American mineral exploration, conditional export-based development aid, and foreign fellowships in geology and mining technology.