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Wilson Briefs

Wilson Briefs are concise analyses of current policy questions by Wilson Center experts. Written for non-experts, these 1,000-word publications use informed research to present clearly the essential points of a topic and move toward a set of actionable policy recommendations.

Issues in this Series

Weapons Are Not the Answer to Ukraine’s Military Woes

Michael Kofman
Ukraine’s military, recently defeated in its Anti-Terrorist Operation against separatists in the east, must address massive materiel, training, and leadership deficiencies. Having suffered years of budgetary and administrative neglect, its armed forces and defense industrial complex cannot hope to fight Russia in their current state. U.S. security assistance to Ukraine should focus in the short term on supplies to sustain its troops over the winter and in the medium term on support for comprehensive military reform, but providing American weapons would engender a proxy war with Russia without really improving Ukraine’s combat capability.

How to Address Child Migration from Central America

Eric L. Olson
The arrival at the U.S. border in 2013–14 of tens of thousands of unaccompanied migrant children from Central America is unprecedented. Factors driving them include both longstanding challenges—chronic violence, economic despair, official corruption, and the pull of family reunification—and the myth recently disseminated by greedy traffickers of lenient U.S. immigration policy. The United States, while taking steps to deter further migration, should also focus intensively on the long term factors.

How Cities Can Foster Tolerance and Acceptance

Blair A. Ruble
"Cities around the world have become agglomerations of ethnicities, religions, classes, and nationalities. Creating socially sustainable cities that can accommodate migrants and their diversity requires policies that nurture shared identity and maintain spaces whose use can be shared by everybody, promoting a pragmatic pluralism and a culture of tolerance," writes Blair Ruble.

The Other Deficit— the International One— and How to Shrink It

Kent Hughes
U.S. private and public debt to foreigners, including foreign governments, is enormous and still growing. The debt is damaging the US economy and the country’s stature as a world leader. Reducing this debt will require public action to restrain the fiscal deficit and bolster private savings and trade. Ultimately, adopting a national growth and innovation strategy would highlight key economic sectors for balancing international flows of goods, services, and capital.

Leveling the Playing Field for U.S. Trade with Asia

Kent Hughes
Current negotiations over trade deals—the TPP across the Pacific and the TTIP across the Atlantic—offer the United States its best chance in decades to create international standards limiting foreign governments’ support for their home industries writes Public Policy Scholar Kent Hughes in this policy brief.

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