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  • Author: David Blagden
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: The international system is returning to multipolarity—a situation of multiple Great Powers—drawing the post-Cold War 'unipolar moment' of comprehensive US political, economic and military dominance to an end. The rise of new Great Powers, namely the 'BRICs'—Brazil, Russia, India, and most importantly, China—and the return of multipolarity at the global level in turn carries security implications for western Europe. While peaceful political relations within the European Union have attained a remarkable level of strategic, institutional and normative embeddedness, there are five factors associated with a return of Great Power competition in the wider world that may negatively impact on the western European strategic environment: the resurgence of an increasingly belligerent Russia; the erosion of the US military commitment to Europe; the risk of international military crises with the potential to embroil European states; the elevated incentive for states to acquire nuclear weapons; and the vulnerability of economically vital European sea lines and supply chains. These five factors must, in turn, be reflected in European states' strategic behaviour. In particular, for the United Kingdom—one of western Europe's two principal military powers, and its only insular (offshore) power—the return of Great Power competition at the global level suggests that a return to offshore balancing would be a more appropriate choice than an ongoing commitment to direct military interventions of the kind that have characterized post-2001 British strategy.
  • Topic: Security, Cold War
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Europe, Brazil
  • Author: Mark Webber, Ellen Hallams, Martin A. Smith
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: When NATO heads of state and government convene in Newport, Wales, in September 2014, it will be their first meeting in the UK since the London summit of July 1990. A quarter of a century ago, NATO was reborn. The London Declaration on a Transformed Alliance was NATO's keynote statement of renewed purpose, issued in 1990 as the Cold War was drawing to a close. In it we find the beginnings of the tasks which would come to define the alliance in the post- Cold War period, along with an appreciation of a fundamentally altered strategic landscape. Europe had 'entered a new, promising era', one in which it was thought the continent's tragic cycle of war and peace might well be over. The 2014 summit communiqué is unlikely to reflect such optimism, but what it surely needs to do is to recapture the spirit of enterprise that NATO has on occasion been able to articulate in demanding times.
  • Topic: NATO, Cold War
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Europe, London
  • Author: Thomas G. Weiss, Martin Welz
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: After the initial post-Cold War euphoria about the potential for the United Nations (UN) to maintain international peace and security, as imagined in its Charter, from the 1990s onwards subcontracting from the world organization to regional organizations has become essentially the standard operating procedure for major military peace operations. While UN Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali was bullish in his 1992 An agenda for peace, the UN has by and large withdrawn from the peace enforcement business following debacles in Somalia and Rwanda—as Boutros-Ghali's 1995 Supplement to 'An agenda for peace' and the 2000 Brahimi Report recommended.
  • Topic: Security, Cold War
  • Political Geography: United Nations, Rwanda, Somalia
  • Author: Trevor Taylor
  • Publication Date: 03-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: In terms of press coverage and political debate, the story of British defence since the end of the Cold War has been marked by three themes: policy (direction and review), management (shortcomings and initiatives), and military operations, although academic studies and courses tend to neglect the management domain. In principle, these three elements should be closely linked, with policy defining the evolving state of the world and constraining the direction of the country's military response, management delivering the leadership, organization and coordination to build the forces to enable the policy to be implemented, and military operations being undertaken in line with the policy guidance and management preparations made. In practice, however, there have been significant disjunctions between the operations mounted and the policy and management. Military operations launched since 1990 have all been something of a surprise, most of them requiring significant extra funding to be obtained through Urgent Operational Requirements (UORs) to enhance and modify British capabilities before the operations could begin. The concept of Force Elements at Readiness (FE@R), the key output of the mainstream defence budget, came to be recognized in the MoD as of only limited utility unless consideration of the specific attributes of a particular adversary, the physical environment of the envisaged operation and the contribution of allies were also included in the equation.
  • Topic: Cold War
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom
  • Author: Amnon Aran
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: Containment is the term generally used to characterize American policy towards the USSR after the Second World War, when it consisted of a series of attempts to deal with the power and position won by the USSR in order to reshape postwar international order. Containment, as originally articulated by its chief architect, George F. Kennan, was always contested, for example because it did not clarify whether Soviet behaviour had strictly national or ideological roots, and would result in the USSR's having the initiative about where and when to act. Nonetheless, throughout the Cold War it remained US policy, partly because of the failure in 1953-4 of the alternative, 'liberation' and 'rollback'. Although containment changed and sometimes seemed to have broken down, for example in the Vietnam War, the imprint of Kennan's ideas—perhaps more than anyone else's—endured. After 1989 it seemed that containment had no place in the peaceful multilateral environment which seemed to be emerging; however, it proved adaptable to a range of post-Cold War situations, including some which appear to have little in common with the context and goals of containment's original formulation: among these are the challenges posed to US national security by the so-called rogue states.
  • Topic: Cold War
  • Political Geography: United States, Israel, Soviet Union
  • Author: James Sherr
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The World Today
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Cold War
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Europe
  • Author: Evelyn Goh
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: This article argues that Japan matters crucially in the evolving East Asian security order because it is embedded both in the structural transition and the ongoing regional strategies to manage it. The post-Cold War East Asian order transition centres on the disintegration of the post-Second World War Great Power bargain that saw Japan subjecting itself to extraordinary strategic constraint under the US alliance, leaving the conundrum of how to negotiate a new bargain that would keep the peace between Japan and China. To manage the uncertainties of this transition, East Asian states have adopted a three-pronged strategy of: maintaining US military preponderance; socializing China as a responsible regional great power; and cultivating regionalism as the basis for a long-term East Asian security community. Japan provides essential public goods for each of these three elements: it keeps the US anchored in East Asia with its security treaty; it is the one major regional power that can and has helped to constrain the potential excesses of growing Chinese power while at the same time crucially engaging with and helping to socialize China; and its economic and political participation is critical for meaningful regionalism and regional integration. It does not need to be a fully fledged, 'normal' Great Power in order to carry out these roles. As the region tries to mediate the growing security dilemma among the three great powers, Japan's importance to regional security will only grow.
  • Topic: Security, Cold War
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, China, East Asia
  • Author: Geoffrey Warner
  • Publication Date: 01-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: The Cambridge history of the Cold War is a three-volume work by 75 contributors, mostly from the United States and the United Kingdom, and is intended as 'a substantial work of reference' on the subject. The bulk of the text deals, in frequently overlapping chapters, with the main protagonists of the conflict—viz. the United States, the Soviet Union and the People's Republic of China—and the areas in which they clashed. At the same time, it aims to go 'far beyond the narrow boundaries of diplomatic affairs', although it is not always successful in doing so. In analysing the origins of the Cold War, the contributors pay perhaps too much attention to ideology as opposed to geopolitics, a flaw which is made easier by the absence of sufficient historical background. On the other hand, the duration of the conflict and the failure of various attempts at détente is more successfully explained in terms of the zero-sum game nature of the conflict and its progressive extension from Europe across the rest of the world. When it comes to the end of the Cold War, the overall conclusion is that this came about through both a shift in the international balance of power following the Sino-Soviet split and the political and economic problems of the Soviet bloc. It is generally agreed that Mikhail Gorbachev's willingness to abandon old shibboleths both at home and abroad was a major factor in bringing about the end of the conflict. The three volumes, while not always an easy read, are the outcome of considerable research and expertise in both primary and secondary sources and will repay careful study.
  • Topic: Cold War
  • Political Geography: United States, China, United Kingdom, Europe, Soviet Union
  • Author: Timo Noetzel
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: This article analyses the way in which Germany's participation in the international intervention in Afghanistan has shaped and transformed the country's politics of defence and deriving policies. It argues that in the wake of operational challenges posed by the insurgency in northern Afghanistan since 2007, and in particular the increasing rate of German combat fatalities, established post-Cold War dogmas of German politics are becoming subject to erosion. Developments in the Kunduz region of northern Afghanistan, with the tanker bombing of 4 September 2009 as its apex, have had a catalyst function in this process. In particular, strategic, operational and tactical requirements for counterinsurgency operations have had significant politico-strategic repercussions for the country's defence and security policy more generally. As a result, in recent years the Bundeswehr has begun to undergo a far-reaching structural process of military adaptation and innovation. The article explains and analyses this phenomenon of political change and military learning in the context of political paralysis.
  • Topic: Cold War, Politics
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Germany