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  • Author: Nuno P. Monteiro, Alexandre Debs
  • Publication Date: 01-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: What causes nuclear proliferation? What role do security threats play in driving states to acquire nuclear weapons? Intuitively, security is the most important factor driving nuclear acquisition. Yet existing security theories of proliferation, while accounting for why some states with grave security concerns have developed nuclear weapons, are unable to explain why others have not. Today only nine states have the bomb, a number much lower than the pessimistic predictions made by early security-based arguments on the causes of proliferation. Clearly, the view that "security is the only necessary and sufficient cause of nuclear proliferation" is not borne out by the history of the nuclear age. This limitation of existing security theories has exposed them to criticism on several fronts. Initially, a burgeoning scholarship emerged focusing on the nonsecurity "sources of the political demand for nuclear weapons." More recently, "supply-side" arguments on proliferation view states' demand for nuclear weapons (for security or other reasons) as largely irrelevant, claiming instead that the odds of nuclear acquisition depend on the availability of international nuclear assistance.
  • Topic: Security
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Sebastian Rosato
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Can great powers reach confident conclusions about the intentions of their peers? The answer to this question has important implications for U.S. national security policy. According to one popular view, the United States and China are destined to compete unless they can figure out each other's designs. A recent Brookings Institution report warns that although “Beijing and Washington seek to build a constructive partnership for the long run,” they may be headed for trouble given their “mutual distrust of [the other's] long-term intentions.” Similarly, foreign policy experts James Steinberg and Michael O'Hanlon argue that “trust in both capitals...remains scarce, and the possibility of an accidental or even intentional conflict between the United States and China seems to be growing.” Reversing this logic, many analysts believe that U.S.-China relations may improve if the two sides clarify their intentions. Thus the Pentagon's latest strategic guidance document declares that if China wants to “avoid causing friction” in East Asia, then its military growth must be “accompanied by greater clarity of its strategic intentions.” Meanwhile China scholars Andrew Nathan and Andrew Scobell recommend that even as the United States builds up its capabilities and alliances, it should “reassure Beijing that these moves are intended to create a balance of common interests rather than to threaten China.”
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Beijing
  • Author: Todd H. Hall, Jia Ian Chong
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: A century has passed since the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo set in motion a chain of events that would eventually convulse Europe in war. Possibly no conflict has been the focus of more scholarly attention. The questions of how and why European states came to abandon peaceful coexistence for four years of armed hostilities—ending tens of millions of lives and several imperial dynasties—have captivated historians and international relations scholars alike.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, War
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Middle East, East Asia
  • Author: Tanisha M. Fazel
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Several recent books argue that war is on the decline. In Winning the War on War, for example, Joshua Goldstein lauds the recent successes of the peacemaking community in countries such as Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Ivory Coast. In The Better Angels of Our Nature, Steven Pinker writes that not only war but violence in general has become much less common, as the civilizing forces of literacy and modern government have tempered our baser instincts and allowed our "better angels" to prevail.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, War
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, East Asia
  • Author: Jerry Mark Long, Alex S. WIlner
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Al-Qaida has established a metanarrative that enables it to recruit militants and supporters. The United States and its allies can challenge its ability to do so by delegitimizing the ideological motivations that inform that metanarrative.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, War
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, East Asia
  • Author: Liam Anderson
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Critics of ethnofederalism— a political system in which federal subunits reflect ethnic groups' territorial distribution—argue that it facilitates secession and state collapse. An examination of post-1945 ethnofederal states, however, shows that ethnofederalism has succeeded more often than not.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, War
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, East Asia
  • Author: Benjamin S. Lambeth
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Assessing major combat experiences to help rectify errors made in the planning and conduct of operations has enjoyed a long and well-established tradition in the fields of military history and security studies. In particular, since Operation Desert Storm against Saddam Hussein's Iraq by U.S. and coalition forces in 1991, the pursuit of "lessons learned" from major combat has been a virtual cottage industry within the defense establishments of the United States and its principal allies around the world.
  • Topic: Security, War
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Israel
  • Author: Victor D. Cha
  • Publication Date: 01-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: In East Asia the United States cultivated a "hub and spokes" system of discrete, exclusive alliances with the Republic of Korea, the Republic of China, and Japan, a system that was distinct from the multilateral security alliances it preferred in Europe. Bilateralism emerged in East Asia as the dominant security structure because of the "powerplay" rationale behind U.S. postwar planning in the region. "Powerplay" refers to the construction of an asymmetric alliance designed to exert maximum control over the smaller ally's actions. The United States created a series of bilateral alliances in East Asia to contain the Soviet threat, but a congruent rationale was to constrain "rogue allies"- that is, rabidly anticommunist dictators who might start wars for reasons of domestic legitimacy and entrap the United States in an unwanted larger war. Underscoring the U.S. desire to avoid such an outcome was a belief in the domino theory, which held that the fall of one small country in Asia could trigger a chain of countries falling to communism. The administrations of Harry Truman and Dwight Eisenhower calculated that they could best restrain East Asia's pro-West dictators through tight bilateral alliances rather than through a regionwide multilateral mechanism. East Asia's security bilateralism today is therefore a historical artifact of this choice.
  • Topic: Security
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, China, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Yasuhiro Izumikawa
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Since the late 1990s, Japan has sent increasing numbers of its military forces overseas. It has also assumed a more active military role in the U.S.-Japan alliance. Neither conventional constructivist nor realist approaches in international relations theory can adequately explain these changes or, more generally, changes in Japan's security policy since the end of World War II. Instead, Japan's postwar security policy has been driven by the country's powerful antimilitarism, which reflects the following normative and realist factors: pacifism, antitraditionalism, and fear of entrapment. An understanding of the influence of these three factors makes it possible to explain both Japan's past reluctance to play a military role overseas and its increasing activism over the last decade. Four case studies-the revision of the U.S.-Japan Security Treaty in 1960, the anti-Vietnam War period, increases in U.S.-Japan military cooperation during détente, and actions taken during the administration of Junichiro Koizumi to enhance Japan's security profile-illustrate the role of antimilitarism in Japan's security policy. Only through a theoretical approach based on analytical eclecticism-a research strategy that considers factors from different paradigms-can scholars explain specific puzzles in international politics.
  • Topic: Security, War
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, Vietnam
  • Author: Phillip C. Saunders, Michael A. Glosny
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Michael Glosny and Phillip Saunders respond to Robert Ross's Fall 2009 International Security article, "China's Naval Nationalism: Sources, Prospects, and the U.S. Response."
  • Topic: Security
  • Political Geography: United States, China
  • Author: Evan Resnick
  • Publication Date: 12-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Despite the ubiquity of the term "alliance of convenience," the dynamics of these especially tenuous alliances have not been systematically explored by scholars or policymakers. An alliance of convenience is the initiation of security cooperation between ideological and geopolitical adversaries in response to an overarching third-party threat; they are conceptually different from other types of alliances. Neorealist, two-level games, and neoclassical realist theories all seek to explain the outcome of intra-alliance bargaining between the United States and allies of convenience since 1945.
  • Topic: Security
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Jeremy Pressman
  • Publication Date: 04-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: The administration of President George W. Bush was deeply involved in the Middle East, but its efforts did not advance U.S. national security. In the realms of counterterrorism, democracy promotion, and nonconventional proliferation, the Bush administration failed to achieve its objectives. Although the United States did not suffer a second direct attack after September 11, 2001, the terrorism situation worsened as many other countries came under attack and a new generation of terrorists trained in Iraq. Large regional powers such as Egypt and Saudi Arabia did not become more democratic, with no new leaders subject to popular mandate. The model used in Iraq of democratization by military force is risky, costly, and not replicable. Bush's policy exacerbated the problem of nuclear proliferation, expending tremendous resources on a nonexistent program in Iraq while bolstering Iran's geopolitical position. The administration failed because it relied too heavily on military force and too little on diplomacy, disregarded empiricism, and did not address long-standing policy contradictions. The case of the Bush administration makes clear that material power does not automatically translate into international influence.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Iran, Middle East, Saudi Arabia, Egypt
  • Author: Daniel W. Drezner
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: China has challenged the United States on multiple policy fronts since the beginning of 2009. On the security dimension, Chinese ships have engaged in multiple skirmishes with U.S. surveillance vessels in an effort to hinder American efforts to collect naval intelligence. China has also pressed the United States on the economic policy front. Prime Minister Wen Jiabao told reporters that he was concerned about China's investments in the United States: “We have lent a huge amount of money to the U.S. Of course we are concerned about the safety of our assets. To be honest, I am definitely a little worried.” The head of the People's Bank of China, Zhou Xiaochuan, followed up with a white paper suggesting a shift away from the dollar as the world's reserve currency. China's government has issued repeated calls for a greater voice in the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank. To bolster this call, Beijing helped to organize a summit of the leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, and China (BRIC) to better articulate this message.
  • Topic: Security, Debt, Government, Intelligence
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, China, India, Brazil