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  • Author: Katherine C. Epstein
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: This article uses the centenary of the First World War as an opportunity to re-examine a major element of the existing literature on the war—the strategic implications of supposed British decline—as well as analogies to the contemporary United States based upon that interpretation of history. It argues that the standard declinist interpretation of British strategy rests to a surprising degree upon the work of the naval historian Arthur Marder, and that Marder's archival research and conceptual framework were weaker than is generally realized. It suggests that more recent work appearing since Marder is stronger and renders the declinist strategic interpretation difficult to maintain. It concludes by considering the implications of this new work for analogies between the United States today and First World War-era Britain, and for the use of history in contemporary policy debates.
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: Britain, United States, America
  • Author: Richard J. Aldrich
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: The 'Five Eyes' alliance, led by the United States, spends close to 100 billion dollars a year on intelligence. This review article argues that western countries are distinguished by their sophisticated approach to the making of intelligence-led national security policy. Political leaders and policy-makers who access this sensitive material are often involved in elaborate systems that constitute part of the core executive and which seek to task and improve the intelligence leviathan. Western intelligence therefore has a 'central brain' that devotes considerable energy to both analysis and management. By contrast, in the majority of other states around the world, the orientation of intelligence has often been inward facing, with a high priority given to regime security. Some would suggest that intelligence has been an important component of western power projection, while others would argue that this process has been over-expensive and has under-delivered, not least in the last decade. Either way, the debates about development of the central intelligence machinery that supports western security policies are of the first importance and fortunately this discussion has been advanced by the appearance of several valuable new studies: these are discussed in this review article.
  • Topic: Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, United Kingdom
  • Author: Barry Buzan, George Lawson
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: There is general agreement that the world is changing, but considerable disagreement about how it is changing. Commentators variously locate this change in a 'power shift' from West to East, a trade in superpower status between the United States and China, or a transition from an era of bipolarity to one of unipolarity, multipolarity or even non-polarity. These analyses are linked by attention to a smorgasbord of dynamics that are said to be disrupting the smooth functioning of international order: globalization, US militarism, dynamics of revolution and counter-revolution, finance capital, climate change, the rise of non-state actors, new security threats, the dislocating effects of information and communication technologies (ICTs), and more.
  • Topic: Communications, Military Strategy
  • Political Geography: United States, China
  • Author: Donald E. Abelson
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: Before the ink on the Treaty of Versailles was dry, the idea of creating an organization dedicated to educating, informing and advising future leaders about the causes and consequences of war was already gaining traction. At 'a series of unofficial meetings held in Paris in 1919',1 Lionel Curtis, an Oxford professor and visionary with a reputation for possessing an impressive array of entrepreneurial skills, was spearheading efforts to establish an Anglo-American research institution where scholars could explore international problems and advocate policy solutions.2 This kind of organization appealed to Curtis and to those with whom he discussed it for several reasons, not the least of which was that it could provide a valuable forum for both policy-makers and prominent policy experts in the leading western powers to talk to one another about international affairs. It was also a concept with which several of the delegates attending the Paris peace talks had some familiarity. In the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries a number of institutions had already taken root in Great Britain and in the United States with the aim of helping policy-makers navigate their way through complex policy problems. They included the Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies (1831), founded by the first Duke of Wellington; London's Fabian Society (1884), home to a number of prominent scholars, including Sidney and Beatrice Webb, co-founders of the London School of Economics; the Washington-based Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (1910), established by the Scottish-American steel tycoon Andrew Carnegie; and the Institute for Government Research (1916), which merged with two other institutions to form the Brookings Institution in 1927.3 Curtis and his colleagues in Great Britain and the United States were also aware of the ground-breaking research that had been conducted at hundreds of settlement houses in their respective countries. It was at places such as London's Toynbee Hall (1884) and Chicago's Hull House, co-founded by Jane Addams in 1889, that sociologists and other university faculty with expertise in social welfare policy could study the working conditions of the poor.4 In short, proponents of establishing a foreign affairs research institution recognized the importance of encouraging a dialogue between leading social scientists and high-level policy-makers.
  • Topic: Government, International Organization
  • Political Geography: Britain, United States, America, Washington, Paris, London, Wellington
  • Author: Geoffrey Warner
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: On 20 January 1972 an alarming message reached Washington from General Creighton Abrams, the US commander in Vietnam. He stated that 'the enemy is preparing and positioning his forces for a major offensive. There is no doubt that this is to be a major campaign . We foresee a hard battle involving sophisticated weaponry and as much ground combat power as the enemy can generate.' He therefore asked for a number of 'standby authorities' for military actions, notably air power. This was just the latest of a series of warnings from Abrams, but it was deemed important enough to be forwarded to the White House, where President Nixon's National Security Advisor, Henry Kissinger, raised the matter with his boss later the same day. It was agreed that any decision upon future action should be postponed until after the President's televised speech to the nation on Vietnam on 25 January (vol. VIII, no. 2).
  • Political Geography: United States, Washington, Vietnam
  • Author: Takashi Inoguchi
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: The world was different in 2002 when Henry Kissinger published a book entitled Does America need a foreign policy?, and Le Monde came out in support of the United States after the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001 by proclaiming: 'We are all American.' In many ways, this was the high point of the American global era—the era of unipolar American power. In 2014 the world has moved on. The United States is still the leading global power with unique capabilities and responsibilities for global leadership. But other states—particularly in Asia and the non-western developing world—are on the rise. The world is more fragmented and decentralized. States are rising and falling. The terms of global governance are more contested and uncertain. This article addresses the foreign policy of Japan and the choices that Japan faces in this shifting global context.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, America, Asia, North America
  • Author: Robert H. Wade
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: Why has Piketty's Capital become a publishing sensation? Not for revolutionary findings; its message that western societies have experienced increases in inequality of income and wealth over the long term is hardly new. Of the several reasons discussed in this article, attention is paid in particular to the book's timing and its claim to reveal the laws of income and wealth distribution in western societies. Had the book been published before 2008 it would have been much less successful. Piketty's revelation of the big trends and their underlying logic helps to objectify, legitimize and offer a kind of catharsis for surging middle-class anxieties during the Great Recession. These anxieties have been further intensified by evidence that over 90 per cent of the increase in disposable income in the United States has accrued to the top 1 per cent of the population in the past several years, and a not much lower percentage to the top 1 per cent in Britain. In the conclusion it is argued that if Piketty's forecasts are even remotely accurate, capitalism will lose its core claim to legitimacy.
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Alex Danchev
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: This review article considers the case of Donald Rumsfeld and his disastrous tenure as US Secretary of Defense (2001-2006), as recounted by Rumsfeld himself in his memoirs and other writings, and in interviews with the celebrated documentary filmmaker Errol Morris, for The unknown known (2014). In all of these works he appears completely unreconstructed; indeed, remarkably self-satisfied. The article reflects on Rumsfeld as operator and courtier, and Morris's pursuit of a man without qualities, with reference to Hannah Arendt's notion of 'the banality of evil'.
  • Political Geography: United States, Washington
  • Author: Geoffrey Warner
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: The final volume of the Foreign relations series of documents on Indochina during the Nixon and Ford presidencies is not as detailed as those which preceded it. However, the documents do not support the view that, once the January 1973 Agreement between the Democratic Republic of (North) Vietnam and the United States had been concluded, the US was prepared to accept DRV's hegemony over the rest of Indochina, provided only that there was a 'decent interval' before it occurred. In fact, both the Nixon and Ford administrations did seek to prevent this from happening, but found their hands tied by congressional opposition. In the case of Cambodia, the United States also found itself the victim of its own illusions about the willingness of the People's Republic of China to support an alternative government led by the former ruler, Prince Norodom Sihanouk. Following the more or less total collapse of American policy in April 1975, some interesting 'post-mortems' from various government departments on the history of US involvement in Indochina are also printed in the volume under review.
  • Topic: Government, History
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Vietnam, Cambodia
  • Author: Michael Keating
  • Publication Date: 10-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: This has been a roller-coaster year for Afghans. It has included vigorous presidential and provincial election campaigns, a protracted political crisis, the formation of a government of national unity, the inauguration of a president with big new ideas, a financial crunch, devastating natural disasters, widening Taliban attacks and a surge in the number of Afghans being killed. Meanwhile, the US-led International Security Assistance Force is winding down and will conclude in December.
  • Topic: Politics
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States
  • Author: Daniel W. Drezner
  • Publication Date: 06-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: Why the US still dominates the world of innovative ideas
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Europe
  • Author: Ronen Palan
  • Publication Date: 06-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: Tax havens have been around for decades but they were viewed as marginal if not esoteric phenomena. Attitudes are changing. As new data on international financial flows becomes available, it is difficult to avoid the conclusion that tax havens are at the very heart of 'neoliberal' globalization, aiding and facilitating tax avoidance on a vast scale.
  • Topic: Globalization
  • Political Geography: United States, Caribbean
  • Author: Paul Cornish, Andrew Doorman
  • Publication Date: 03-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: When the Conservative–Liberal Democrat coalition was formed in May 2010 it was confronted with a Ministry of Defence (MoD) in crisis, with armed forces committed to intensive combat operations in Afghanistan and with an unenviable financial situation. Yet within five months the coalition government had published a new National Security Strategy (NSS—the third in three years), a new Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR) and a spending review. Among the United Kingdom's allies, France and Australia had prepared their defence white papers of 2008 and 2009 respectively in the context of a more benign global economic environment, while the United States used its national security policy of 2010 to provide a strategic overview without setting out in much detail what it would require of the relevant departments. The UK was effectively, therefore, the first western state to undertake a complete defence and security review in the 'age of austerity'. To add to the challenge, the coalition recognized that there were also problems within its own machinery of government, and came up with some novel solutions. In a radical step, it decided that national security would henceforth be overseen by a new National Security Council (NSC) chaired by the Prime Minister. A National Security Advisor—a new appointment in UK government—would lead Cabinet Office support to the NSC and the review process. The novelty of these arrangements raised questions about whether a more established system might be required to manage such a major review of UK national security. Nevertheless, the strategy review proceeded apace.
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, United Kingdom, Australia
  • Author: Geoffrey Sloan
  • Publication Date: 03-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: It was the British maritime strategist Sir Julian Corbett who, on the eve of the First World War, described doctrine as 'the soul of warfare'. This assertion conceals as much as it reveals, leaving out any explanation of how doctrine is formulated, disseminated or used, and any account of the relationship between doctrine and command philosophy. It is only through a synthesis of these two factors that fighting power can be generated. Doctrine can be described as a force multiplier in that a fighting organization that applies it consistently will be able to take on a larger force in battle and win. It is often analysed and evaluated in isolation from command philosophy. How, then, do we define doctrine and what are the major variants of command philosophy? What is the nature of the relationship between doctrine and command philosophy? Is it possible to identify and assess the component parts of doctrine, and to understand how they manifest themselves at the tactical, operational and strategic levels of war?
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Timothy Edmunds
  • Publication Date: 03-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: The theme of risk pervades the western security discourse at the beginning of the 2010s. The United Kingdom's 2010 National Security Strategy (NSS) employs the term 'risk' no fewer than 545 times, while its 2010 Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR) mentions the word 96 times. The United States' 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) uses the words 'risk' or 'risks' 95 times over the course of its analysis. Risk is an explicit theme in the Australian Defence White Paper of 2009, Germany's Defence Policy Guidelines of 2011, The French White Paper on Defence and National Security of 2008 and the Spanish Security Strategy of 2011. It is also implicit in almost all other western security documentation since 2001 in one way or another.
  • Political Geography: United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Australia
  • Author: Andrew M. Dorman
  • Publication Date: 03-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: The NATO organization and its members are beginning to gear themselves up for the forthcoming summit in Chicago in May 2012. Such summits are always important, especially when they are held in the United States. For example, the 1999 Washington summit held to mark the alliance's 50th anniversary occurred against the background of an apparently failing war in Kosovo and a US President fearing impeachment as a result of the Monica Lewinsky scandal. Moreover, this summit is happening in a US presidential election year and in a location particularly symbolic for the current incumbent President Obama. It will also follow on from the French presidential elections, thus presenting the first opportunity for either the new French president or a re-elected Nicolas Sarkozy to make a mark on the international scene.
  • Political Geography: United States, Washington, Chicago
  • Author: Ellen Hallams, Benjamin Schreer
  • Publication Date: 03-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: On 31 October 2011 NATO successfully ended its seven-month military mission in Libya (Operation Unified Protector). Coalition air strikes were instrumental in protecting civilians and ousting the Qadhafi regime. In terms of alliance politics, the operation also seemed to reflect a new transatlantic burden-sharing model. The United States, the most powerful military actor within NATO, decided to play only a supporting role, forcing some European allies, predominantly France and Britain, to take the lead. Consequently, some commentators saw the Libya campaign as a 'historical milestone' for the Atlantic alliance and a potential model for future NATO burden-sharing. The US government seemed to share this view. In a speech in Brussels in October 2011, acting Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta described the Libya operation as an example of a more equal transatlantic burden-sharing arrangement. He also emphasized that the current level of US commitment to the alliance was unsustainable owing to the significant pressure on the US defence budget. In June that year his predecessor as Defense Secretary, Robert Gates, had also called for better burden-sharing across the Atlantic. Specifically, he criticized the lack of defence spending on the part of most European allies and predicted a 'dim, if not dismal, future' for the alliance if this trend is not reversed. NATO's Secretary General, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, has also called for members of the alliance to make renewed efforts to come to a better burden- sharing arrangement whereby European allies invest more in 'smart defense', with its emphasis on the pooling and sharing of military resources.
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, France, Libya
  • Author: Suzanne C. Nielsen
  • Publication Date: 03-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: Fifty-five years after it was first published, Samuel P. Huntington's The soldier and the state remains an essential starting point for serious discussions of American civil–military relations. This is remarkable for two reasons. First, the United States has seen enormous changes in its strategic environment in the past six decades. The country has gone from fearing for its survival during the Cold War to enjoying a concentration of military and economic power arguably unprecedented in human history. Second, the field of civil–military relations has been an active area of research in which political scientists, military sociologists and historians have made important and valuable contributions. However, even as these scholars have critiqued and built upon Huntington's work, they have not transcended it. To this day, a course in civil–military relations would be incomplete if The soldier and the state did not appear on the syllabus. It needs to be there not just to enable students to see how the field of civil–military relations has moved on, but also to expose them to concepts that remain foundational.
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Andrew Hurrell, Sandeep Sengupta
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: There is a widespread perception that power is shifting in global politics and that emerging powers are assuming a more prominent, active and important role. On this account the global system is increasingly characterized by a diffusion of power, to countries including emerging and regional powers; by a diffusion of preferences, with many more voices demanding to be heard both globally and within states as a result of globalization and democratization; and by a diffusion of ideas and values, with a reopening of the big questions of social, economic and political organization that were supposedly resolved with the end of the Cold War and the liberal ascendancy. There is a strong argument that we are witnessing the most powerful set of challenges yet to the global order that the United States sought to construct within its own camp during the Cold War and to globalize in the post-Cold War period. Many of these challenges also raise questions about the longer-term position of the Anglo-American and European global order that rose to dominance in the middle of the nineteenth century and around which so many conceptions and practices of power-political order, of the international legal system and of global economic governance have since been constructed.
  • Topic: Globalization
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Europe
  • Author: Maria Ivanova
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: Large-scale environmental problems captured the world's attention in the early 1970s, as countries recognized the close links between environmental integrity and economic prosperity. In response to these problems, states created a system of international environmental governance, with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), established at the 1972 Stockholm Conference, at its core. Since then, the institutional framework has grown in size and complexity, with a steady increase in the number of institutions, agreements, meetings, reports, and actors; yet global environmental concerns remain largely unresolved. In the absence of clear goals, a shared vision, and effective communication and coordination among international institutions, a gap between a growing body of policies and decreasing implementation has become ever more evident.
  • Political Geography: United States, China
  • Author: Alice Hills
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: The transfer of western norms and practices to police forces in West Africa is a substantial part of a billion-dollar business. Out of the US$452 million the Obama administration requested for law enforcement and narcotics control in Africa during the financial year 2010, US$8 million was allocated to United States officials and contractors for police training, infrastructure and equipment in Liberia alone, while between 2002 and 2009 the United Kingdom channelled some £37 million to reforming or improving the security and justice sector of Nigeria, a key anchor state for UK policies in sub-Saharan Africa (hereafter Africa).
  • Topic: Infrastructure
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, United Kingdom, Liberia, Nigeria
  • Author: Amnon Aran
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • 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: Chris Brown
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: For better or worse, since the publication of E. H. Carr's Twenty years' crisis in Britain in 1939 , and Hans J. Morgenthau's Politics among nations in the United States in 1948 , 'Realism' has been the default setting for International Relations (IR) theory. The core insight of Carr, Morgenthau and their successors—that the international order and the foreign policies of states are, at a fundamental level, shaped by considerations of power and interest—has been repeatedly challenged but remains at the heart of the discipline of International Relations; it also, not coincidentally, tends to be the way in which both practitioners and informed publics think about matters international. But the price of this dominance is that the clarity which Carr and Morgenthau sought two generations ago has been lost. There are now many varieties of Realism on offer, and many theories that once were thought of as antithetical to Realism have adopted Realist ideas; navigating the field has become a job for specialists. The direct descendants of Carr and Morgenthau think of themselves as 'classical Realists' (or, if Reinhold Niebuhr is acknowledged as a major influence, 'Augustinian Realists') as opposed to the 'Structural Realists' who take their lead from Kenneth Waltz's master work Theory of international politics . Structural Realists in turn divide into 'defensive Realists' and 'offensive Realists', and are also closely related to 'neo-classical Realists'; to make matters worse, 'liberal institutionalists', who, in principle, are the modern version of the traditional opponents of Realism, have adopted from Waltz the notion of the 'anarchy problematic' and from some perspectives have become part of the Realist big tent. So confusing is this spectrum of theories that, on the one hand, John Vasquez can claim that the 'power of power politics' is such that Realism still dominates the field, while, on the other, liberal institutionalists Jeffrey Legro and Andrew Moravcsik can ask 'Is anybody still a Realist?'—and John Mearsheimer, perhaps today's most prominent Realist, can regard himself as a lone figure in an academic field dominated by 'idealism'.
  • Topic: International Relations
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: David Milne
  • Publication Date: 09-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: The 2012 US presidential election inverts the relative strengths and weaknesses of the candidates in 2008: Barack Obama is now tough and experienced, Mitt Romney a diplomatic neophyte. One of John McCain's more memorable assertions in 2008 was that he would 'follow Osama Bin Laden to the gates of hell'. Obama's actions have spoken louder than McCain's hyperbole. On 2 May 2011, the President sanctioned a navy SEAL raid that killed Bin Laden in Pakistan. The boldness of this decision—in declining to inform Pakistan of US intentions and in using ground forces instead of launching an air strike—has largely armoured Obama against Republican attacks on his alleged lack of fortitude. So where can Romney land meaningful blows now?
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, United States
  • Author: Lee Marsden
  • Publication Date: 09-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: US foreign policy in the first decade of the twenty-first century has been dominated by religion in a way that would not have seemed possible for most of the second half of the twentieth. Al-Qaeda's attack on the United States in September 2001, the subsequent US invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, the upsurge in Islamist militancy and the populist overthrow of despotic US allies in the Middle East all focus attention on the importance of religious actors. For much of this period academic interest has centred on radical Islam and the attempts by western governments, and the United States in particular, to contain Islamism through embarking on the global 'war on terror' in its various manifestations, and supporting pro-western despots in the Middle East. While there has also been much interest in the emergence of elements of the Christian right as foreign policy actors, until recently insufficient attention has been paid to the increasing role played by religious organizations in the delivery of US foreign policy objectives. American faith-based International Relations (IR) scholars and political scientists have successfully agitated for an increased religious dimension to foreign policy, in particular in the areas of diplomacy and overseas assistance and development. While such an emphasis is designed to further US foreign policy interests, this article argues that such a policy can be counter productive where these religious actors pursue sectarian rather than secular objectives. Using faith-based initiatives supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) as a case-study, the article highlights the potential dangers of faith-based foreign policy approaches.
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Iraq, Middle East
  • Author: Travis Sharp
  • Publication Date: 09-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: The United States has entered a period of strategic change. After spending more than a decade fighting a global counterterrorism campaign and two ground wars, it now faces shifting security challenges. The United States has killed Osama bin Laden and decimated the core leadership of Al-Qaeda and like-minded groups in Pakistan, but regional Al-Qaeda affiliates in Yemen and the Horn of Africa have taken the lead in planning and attempting terrorist attacks. American troops have left Iraq and are leaving Afghanistan, but 15,000–30,000 may remain in Afghanistan after 2014 to train Afghan forces and strike terrorist cells. Iran continues to pursue the ability to produce nuclear weapons rapidly should its supreme leader decide to do so, further destabilizing a Middle East region shaken by the Arab Spring. China continues to invest heavily in military modernization, raising sharp concerns among its neighbours. North Korea may continue to lash out militarily as its new leader Kim Jong Un seeks to demonstrate control. Last but certainly not least, the global economy remains fragile, the American economic recovery has stagnated, and US policy-makers have responded to rapidly growing American debt by reducing government spending in numerous areas, including defence. The size of these budget cuts may increase substantially in the months ahead.
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Africa, United States, China, Iraq, Middle East, North Korea, Yemen
  • Author: Trevor Mccrisken
  • Publication Date: 09-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: Just a month after entering office, US President Barack Obama spoke at the US Marine Corps base at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina. His remarks focused on his plans to 'responsibly' end the war in Iraq and to deepen the commitment of the United States to the fight against Al-Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan. One of the key motifs that Obama used in his speech was that of 'sacrifice'—the need for all Americans to continue the age-old tradition of paying a price for the freedoms they enjoy. As he told the audience of US Marines: 'The consequences of war are dire, the sacrifices immeasurable. You know because you have seen those sacrifices. You have lived them. And we all honor them.' He then characterized this notion of sacrifice for one's country as being part of a long tradition that was responsible for the very existence of the United States and an essential guarantor of its domestic freedom:
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Iraq, Taliban, North Carolina
  • Author: Julie Smith
  • Publication Date: 11-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: Many people believed that Great Britain was not and did not wish to become European, and that Britain wanted to enter the Community only so as to destroy it or divert it from its objectives. Many people also thought that France was ready to use every pretext to place in the end a fresh veto on Britain's entry. Well, ladies and gentlemen, you see before you tonight two men who are convinced of the contrary.
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Germany
  • Author: Sven Biscop
  • Publication Date: 11-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: The problem of European defence is that it does not work with the United Kingdom, but would not work without it either. Unlike in other policy areas, in defence the issue is not British resistance to Brussels directives. Populist outcries against a mythical 'Euro-Army' notwith-standing, British sovereignty is not under threat. The real issue is that other European countries are not doing enough in spite of being urged from both sides of Brussels—by the European Union and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). 'Too many countries are failing to meet their financial responsibilities to NATO, and so failing to maintain appropriate and proportionate capabilities. Too many are opting out of operations or contributing but a fraction of what they should be capable of ', in the words of Defence Secretary Philip Hammond. Britain, on the contrary, is the leading European military power, accounting for 22.4 per cent of defence expenditure and 11.8 per cent of armed forces, and it is more willing than most to deploy those forces (providing 20.8 per cent of the average number of troops deployed), including for combat operations. Its military clout enables the UK to lead the others—any scheme for European defence without it would indeed be severely handicapped. But does Britain want to lead? The paradox is that while the EU's Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) would not have come into being without British leadership, it would be much more effective without British reluctance to make full use of it. In contrast to most European countries, the UK has never stopped seeing European defence and the continued assurance of transatlantic partnership (in the shape of its special relationship with the United States and the NATO alliance) as a zero-sum game.
  • Political Geography: United States, United Kingdom, Europe, North Atlantic
  • Author: Arthur I. Cyr
  • Publication Date: 11-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: There is no shortage of attention to disagreements and tensions between the United States and the nations of Europe, considered both individually and collectively. The 40th anniversary of Britain's entry into the European Economic Community (EEC), now the European Union (EU), is a good benchmark anniversary not only for reflection on what has transpired to date but also for evaluation of current trends and likely future developments. The nation's course, regarding both entry into membership and participation, has hardly been smooth, but the relationship with the institution has endured.
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: Britain, United States, Europe
  • Author: Alan Philps
  • Publication Date: 09-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: Mark Kleiman is Professor of Public Policy at the University of California, Los Angeles and has worked on drugs and crime since the 1980s. He tells Alan Philps that the real issue is not prohibition or legalization, but reducing the damage done by drugs.
  • Topic: Crime
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Mark Galeotti
  • Publication Date: 09-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: Moral hazard in the wild West
  • Topic: Corruption, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Anthony Seldon
  • Publication Date: 09-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: The world loves British independent schools but they may lose their moral purpose if they chase the global super-rich
  • Political Geography: Britain, United States
  • Author: Thomas Cargill
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: The next big thing: Once known only for hunger and war, Africa's moment has arrived
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, Europe, Middle East
  • Author: Martin Walker
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: Missiles and myths
  • Political Geography: United States, Cuba
  • Author: Xenia Dormandy
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Politics
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: The US presidential election in November promises to be closely fought - and exceptionally raucous. Unprecedented amounts of money will be spent during the campaign, much of it on 'attack ads'. Here are five statistics to help sort out the issues from the noise.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, America, Washington
  • Author: Alan Philps
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: The former prime minister of Sweden, mediator in the Balkans and current foreign minister talks to Alan Philps. He advocates a Nordic cold shower for southern Europe, sees alarming levels of debt in the US, and anticipates a Russian change of heart over Syria.
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, Balkans, Syria, Sweden
  • Author: Claire York
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: John Maynard Keynes once wrote: "when the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir?" The recent death of Osama bin Laden on May 1 in Abbottabad, Pakistan, has prompted a reassessment of the facts regarding the west's fight against international terrorism and its involvement in Afghanistan and the wider region.
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Afghanistan, United States, Abbottabad
  • Author: James M Lindsay
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: The foreign policy world views of George W. Bush and Barack Obama differ dramatically. Bush made terrorism the focal point of his foreign policy and dismissed the idea that either allies or international institutions should constrain America's freedom of action. Obama sees terrorism as one of many transnational problems that require the cooperation of other countries to combat and, as a result, the United States must invest more in diplomatic efforts to build partnerships. Despite these differences, both presidents share one common conviction: that other countries long for US leadership. Bush believed that friends and allies would eventually rally to the side of the United States, even if they bristled at its actions, because they shared America's goals and had faith in its motives. Obama believed that a United States that listened more to others, stressed common interests and favored multinational action would command followers. In practice, however, both visions of American global leadership faltered. Bush discovered that many countries rejected his style of leadership as well as his strategies. Obama discovered that in a globalized world, where power has been more widely dispersed, many countries are not looking to Washington for direction. The future success of US foreign policy depends on the ability of policy-makers to recognize and adapt to a changing geopolitical environment in which the US remains the most significant military, diplomatic and economic power but finds it, nonetheless, increasingly difficult to drive the global agenda.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Washington
  • Author: Trevor Mccrisken
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: It has been almost ten years since the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon led President George W. Bush to proclaim a 'war on terror'. This article focuses on the difficulties faced by his successor, Barack Obama, as he has attempted to move away from much of the Bush rhetoric and practice of counterterrorism. Obama came to office determined to 'reboot' US counter-terrorism policy so that it would not only be more effective but also more in keeping with what he perceived as the core moral values and principles at the heart of American political culture. For many observers, Obama has not lived up to expectations as he has not made wholesale changes to counter-terrorism policy. This article argues, however, that he always intended to not only maintain but, in fact, deepen Bush's war against terrorism, not because he was trapped by Bush's institutionalized construction of a global war on terror, but because he agrees fundamentally with the core assumptions and imperatives of that war on terror narrative. Nonetheless, Obama promised to continue combating terrorism in ways that were distinctive from his predecessor, not least because a higher moral standard would be applied to the conduct of counter-terrorism. By addressing his policies toward Afghanistan and Pakistan, Guantanamo Bay and torture, and the use of unmanned drone attacks, it is argued that Obama's 'war' against terrorism is not only in keeping with the assumptions and priorities of the last ten years but also that, despite some successes, it is just as problematic as that of his predecessor.
  • Topic: Terrorism, War
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Afghanistan, United States, America
  • Author: Adam Quinn
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: Predictions of 'American decline' have come and gone before, apparently in cycles, leading some to regard it as a cultural trope stemming from domestic insecurities rather than a serious prospect. There is reason to believe, however, that this time is different. Fundamental erosion of the United States' decades-long primacy may finally be at hand, and wise analysis should resist the temptations of contrarianism or denial. Critics of 'declinism' have offered important caveats with which we should qualify any overly simplistic or deterministic portrait of America's trajectory from hegemon to lesser status. This article gives such qualifications due weight while nevertheless seeking to steer our gaze back towards the core truth at the heart of the declinist thesis. That is: unless something very significant changes to jolt the course of events onto a different track, the relative power of the United States—measured in terms of its advantage over others in economic and military capacity—will be shrinking significantly over the decades to come. Happily, the nation's current president seems to have a disposition well fitted to leading the nation into the opening stages of an era of relative decline. President Obama has made headlines in recent months for his boldness in orchestrating the killing of Osama bin Laden. A fuller survey of his foreign policy, however, reveals that its most signal feature has been prudence and circumspection regarding American power and its exercise. Major divergence between the ends pursued and the capacities available for their pursuit is one of the cardinal sins giving rise to strategic failure. It is thus fortunate for the United States that it should have a president who, even if he may not be inclined to cast it in such words himself, seems disposed not to 'rage against the dying of the light' of American primacy, but to practice the admirable art of declining politely.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Brendan Taylor
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: Japan has long been regarded as a central component of America's grand strategyin Asia. Scholars and practitioners assume this situation will persist in the face of China's rise and, indeed, that a more 'normal' Japan can and should take on anincreasingly central role in US-led strategies to manage this power transition. Thisarticle challenges those assumptions by arguing that they are, paradoxically, beingmade at a time when Japan's economic and strategic weight in Asian security isgradually diminishing. The article documents Japan's economic and demographicchallenges and their strategic ramifications. It considers what role Japan mightplay in an evolving security order where China and the US emerge as Asia's twodominant powers by a significant margin. Whether the US-China relationshipis ultimately one of strategic competition or accommodation, it is argued thatJapan's continued centrality in America's Asian grand strategy threatens to becomeincreasingly problematic. It is posited that the best hope for circumventing thisproblem and its potentially destabilizing consequences lies in the nurturing of anascent 'shadow condominium' comprising the US and China, with Japan as a'marginal weight' on the US side of that arrangement.
  • Topic: Security, Economics
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, China, America
  • Author: Evelyn Goh
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • 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: Sam Raphael, Doug Stokes
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: This article examines the nature of US oil intervention in West Africa and in particular the ways in which US strategic policy is increasingly being wedded to energy security. It argues that academic debates of a 'new oil imperialism' overplays the geostrategic dimensions of US policy, which in turn underplays the forms of globalization promoted by Washington in the postwar world. Specifically, the US has long sought to 'transnationalize' economies in the developing world, rather than pursue a more mercantilist form of economic nationalism. This article argues that US oil intervention in Africa conforms to this broader picture, whereby processes of transnationalization and interstate competition are being played out against the backdrop of African oil. The recent turmoil in the Middle East and North Africa will add to these dynamics in interesting and unpredictable ways.
  • Topic: Security, Oil
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, Middle East, North Africa, West Africa
  • Author: Heather A Conley
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: Europe and the United States—the West—urgently need political leadership, economic fortitude and a clear vision of the future if they are to contend with the challenges posed by emerging regional powers and to resist the downward pressures of 'relative decline', the central focus of David Marquand's book, The end of the West: the once and future Europe. Central to this goal will be the West's ability to 'rebalance' between its institutions and democracy; its power and commitments; and its political and moral authority. Europe must 'rebalance' on issues related to ethnicity and identity, governance and authority, and civilization and territory. EU enlargement and its institutional reform processes have exacerbated this imbalance. American foreign policy objectives currently exceed its resources and are hampered by lack of strategic clarity and intellectual vision which keeps the United States from achieving an adaptive leadership model more capable of successfully operating in an increasingly complex and multipolar world. For Europe to become internally healthy and externally productive—both politically and economically—it needs to regain balance between its utopian, institutional objectives and democratic support for its future ambitions and policy course. Strong leadership and a powerful vision of prosperity from the West will be vital to return the transatlantic partnership to global economic and political advantage.
  • Topic: Reform
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Europe
  • Author: Ian Clark
  • Publication Date: 01-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: This article is written in the general spirit of contributing to the development of the English School (ES) approach to International Relations (IR), and from the specific perspective of the work of Martin Wight. The literature on international society has greatly enriched our understanding of international order. However, it falls short in what it offers to one important contemporary debate. This deficiency results from its evasion of a central dilemma: how is the role of the Great Powers in managing international order best sustained when their number approximates to one single Great Power? Given the English School's attachment to the role of the Great Powers, it cannot afford to ignore this question. This article adapts ES theory to reflect a world characterized by a concentration of power. The concept of hegemony is central, and will be applied to the arguments about a putative succession between the United States and China. The case is made that their respective power trajectories need to be plotted, not just against relative material capabilities, but taking into account also the appeal of the international orders they come to represent.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development
  • Political Geography: United States, China
  • Author: Michael Dunne
  • Publication Date: 01-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: The recent US mid-term elections have not only dented President Obama's image at home and abroad, they have seen the return to 'divided government' whereby one party controls the Executive and the other controls either the Senate or the House of Representatives or both. Such divided government has been quite frequent since the Second World War; but the situation is often portrayed by political scientists as dysfunctional, even as they acknowledge that the Founders of the Republic deliberately created a federal system which would minimize concentrations of political power. Yet divided government is only one complaint among many levelled by American commentators at their political system. This article examines such criticisms both theoretically and historically, and also develops a historical approach which discusses American attitudes to the past, particularly US foreign relations. Here the emphasis is upon the ideologies that have powered American expansion, first across the North American continent and then overseas. A peculiar, even 'exceptional' aspect of this expansion has been its rhetorical form, in particular the invocation of past presidents to justify contemporary actions and the creation of a doctrinal canon (classically expressed in the Monroe doctrine). While these two lines of enquiry (emphasizing history and political science) are the methodological double core of the article, they are not treated discretely; rather the focus is on the interplay between the two.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Geoffrey Warner
  • Publication Date: 01-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • 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: Robert Foley, Stuart Griffin, Helen McCartney
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: While the US and British armies have proved adept at fighting high-intensity conflict, their initial performance against asymmetric threats and diffuse insurgencies in Iraq and Afghanistan demonstrated how much each army had to learn about conducting counterinsurgency operations. This article examines one important means by which the US and British armies have transformed themselves into more flexible and responsive organizations that are able to harness innovation at the front effectively. It traces the development of the lessons-learned systems in both armies from the start of counterinsurgency operations in Iraq to today. Reform of US and British army learning capabilities offers an important insight into the drivers of military change.
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Iraq
  • Author: Stuart Griffin
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: The campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan have had profound effects on both the British and US militaries. Among the most important is the way in which they have challenged traditional assumptions about the character of unconventional conflict and the role of the military within comprehensive strategies for encouraging sustainable peace. In the UK, the most important doctrinal response has been JDP 3-40 Security and Stabilisation: the military contribution. Security and Stabilisation is an ambitious attempt to synthesize elements of counterinsurgency, counterterrorism, peace support and state-building within a single doctrine that reflects the lessons learned from recent British operational experience. This article examines the purpose, impact and potential value of this important innovation in British doctrine. To do so, the article explores the genesis of Stabilization; analyses its impact upon extant British doctrine for counterinsurgency and peace support; discusses its relationship with the most important related US doctrines, FM 3-24: the counterinsurgency field manual and FM 3-07: the stability operations field manual; and debates the function of doctrine more broadly. It concludes by summarizing the primary challenges Security and Stabilisation must overcome if it is to make a serious contribution to the theory and practice of such complex interventions.
  • Topic: Security, Counterinsurgency
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Iraq, United Kingdom
  • Author: Anthony King
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: On 11 September 2010, the United States commemorated the ninth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. In those nine years, British forces have been engaged in military operations of unexpected location, intensity, scale and duration. While the performance of British troops has been repeatedly praised on these operations, there has been growing disquiet among commentators and, indeed, among the military establishment itself about the conduct of these campaigns. Specifically, the issue of British military command has come under increasing scrutiny. This article examines command frictions at the strategic and operational levels and seeks to provide a sociological explanation of these difficulties. It claims that British commanders have failed to identify a coherent strategy over the past decade while in-theatre operational command has often been characterized by an ad hoc-ery, incoherence and inconsistency. The article suggests that a 'laissez faire' command culture has been evident at strategic and operational levels. While individual mistakes may not be irrelevant, the article explores the way in which this command culture may be a product of institutional pressures within defence and, above all, a product of inter-service rivalry. However, the laissez faire system of command in the armed forces may also be a reflection of much deeper cultural presumptions and preferences within British professional society itself which has always had a strong tendency towards pragmatism, decentralization and shorttermism. The article concludes by offering some suggestions as to how military command might be reformed in light of its potentially profound cultural origins.
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Alex Danchev
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: This article reviews the fruits of a sustained collaboration between the writer and reporter Sebastian Junger and the photographer and filmmaker Tim Hetherington, embedded with the US Army in Afghanistan: Junger's meditation, War; Hetherington's photographs, Infidel; and the documentary film they co-directed, Restrepo. Taken together, these works offer perhaps the most significant insight into the nature of combat, and combat effectiveness, yet to emerge in the era of the 'war on terror'. Remarkably enough, their fundamental theme is love.
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States
  • Author: Christian Barry
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: Troubled times often gives rise to great art that reflects those troubles. So too with political theory. The greatest work of twentieth century political theory, John Rawls's A theory of justice, was inspired in various respects by extreme social and economic inequality, racialized slavery and racial segregation in the United States. Arguably the most influential work of political theory since Rawls—Michael Walzer's Just and unjust wars—a sustained and historically informed reflection on the morality of interstate armed conflict—was written in the midst of the Vietnam War. It should be no surprise, then, that the bellicose period of the past 20 years should give rise to a robust new literature in political theory on the morality of armed conflict. It has been of uneven quality, and to some extent episodic, responding to particular challenges—the increased prevalence of asymmetric warfare and the permissibility of preventive or preemptive war—that have arisen as a result of specific events. In the past decade, however, a group of philosophers has begun to pose more fundamental questions about the reigning theory of the morality of armed conflict warfare—just war theory—as formulated by Walzer and others. Jeff McMahan's concise, inventive and tightly argued work Killing in war is without doubt the most important of these challenges to the reigning theory of the just war. This review article discusses McMahan's work, some of the critical attention it has received, and its potential implications for practice.
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: United States, Vietnam
  • Author: Harold James
  • Publication Date: 05-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: The geography of power is at present being dramatically transformed, notably by the rapid economic rise of China. What makes international order legitimate in a world in which political and economic foundations are rapidly shifting? This article examines analogies and lessons from a previous transition, from a world order centered on Britain, to a US dominated global order. The article looks at two interpretations of the transition, one by E. H. Carr, the other by Charles Kindleberger. China is beginning to behave in the way expected of a Kindleberger hegemon, but also sees the possibilities of asserting power in a world that in the aftermath of 2008 looks much more like the chaotic and crisis-ridden interwar period as interpreted by E. H. Carr. The challenge for the management of the new international order will lie in the ability of China to embrace the universalistic vision that underpinned previous eras of stability, in the nineteenth century and in the late twentieth century.
  • Topic: Economics, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Britain, United States, China
  • Author: Baohui Zhang
  • Publication Date: 05-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: This article examines the rising prominence of strategic nuclear deterrence in Sino-US relations. China is the only major nuclear power that has been actively expanding its offensive capabilities. Its nuclear modernization has inevitably caused concerns in the United States. The article suggests that China's nuclear programme is driven significantly by US missile defence, which has fundamentally altered the incentive structures for Chinese nuclear deterrence. The article also assesses the latest Chinese perception of US strategic adjustment under the Obama administration and its potential impact on arms control. It reveals that recent measures by the United States to restrain its missile defense could be conducive for achieving a strategic nuclear understanding between the two countries. The article then suggests a number of concrete actions for China and the United States to realize such an understanding.
  • Topic: Nuclear Power
  • Political Geography: United States, China
  • Author: John Heathershaw, Nick Megoran
  • Publication Date: 05-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: Western geopolitical discourse misrepresents and constructs Central Asia as an inherently and essentially dangerous place. This pervasive 'discourse of danger' obscures knowledge of the region, deforms scholarship and, because it has policy implications, actually endangers Central Asia. This article identifies how the region is made knowable to a US-UK audience through three mutually reinforcing dimensions of endangerment: Central Asia as obscure, oriental, and fractious. This is evidenced in the writings of conflict resolution and security analysts, the practices of governments, the activities of international aid agencies and numerous lurid films, documentaries and novels.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security
  • Political Geography: United States, United Kingdom, Central Asia
  • Author: David Fisher, Nigel Biggar
  • Publication Date: 05-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: This article is based on a debate held on 22 March 2011 at Chatham House on 'Was Iraq an unjust war?' David Fisher argues that the war fully failed to meet any of the just war criteria. By contrast, current coalition operations in Libya are, so far, just. This is a humanitarian operation undertaken to halt a humanitarian catastrophe that is taking place, with wide international support, including authorization by the UN Security Council. Nigel Biggar argues that the fact that the invasion and occupation of Iraq suffered from grave errors, some of them morally culpable, does not yet establish its overall injustice. All wars are morally flawed, even just ones. Further, even if the invasion were illegal, that need not make it immoral. Regarding Libya, Biggar notes the recurrence of conflict over the interpretation of international law. He wonders how those who distinguish sharply between protecting civilians and regime change imagine that dissident civilians are to be 'kept' safe while Qadhafi remains in power. Against those who clamour for a clear exitstrategy, he counsels agility, while urging sensitivity to the limits of our power. What was right to begin may become imprudent to continue.
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Libya
  • Author: Hew Strachan
  • Publication Date: 11-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: Strategy is oriented towards the future. It is a declaration of intent, and an indication of the possible means required to fulfil that intent. But once strategy moves beyond the near term, it struggles to define what exactly it intends to do. Part of the problem is generated by the conceptual shift from what current NATO jargon calls 'military strategy' to what the United States calls 'grand strategy' (and which other states, as the US once did, have come to call 'national strategy'). The operational plans of military strategy look to the near term, and work with specific situations. Grand strategy, on the other hand, can entertain ambitions and goals which are more visionary and aspirational than pragmatic and immediate. It is as much a way of thinking as a way of doing. By using the same word, strategy, in both sets of circumstances, we create an expectation, each of the other, which neither can properly fulfil. The shift from 'military strategy' to 'grand strategy' is particularly fraught: it suggests that the latter, like the former, is underpinned by an actionable plan. If strategy is a matter of combining means, ways and ends, what are the ends towards which a state, nation or group is aiming when it cannot be precise about the future context within which its means and ways are being applied? Answering that question is the central conundrum of grand strategy, and being able to do so sensibly is correspondingly more difficult the more extended the definition of the future which grand strategy uses.
  • Topic: Military Strategy
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Roland Dannreuther
  • Publication Date: 11-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: China has grown increasingly dependent on imports of oil and, as a consequence, has become a major and very visible player in the international energy markets. For a country which has traditionally been strongly committed to the principle of self-reliance, this dependence on foreign oil has been a source of vulnerability and anxiety. But it has also been a strategic opportunity for China to chart its own ambitions and objectives as a global economic and political actor. This article addresses the various ways in which China has incorporated its energy import needs within its foreign policy. There are, it is argued, three dimensions to this. There is, first, integration and cooperation with the West and other large oil-importing countries and a shift away from neo-mercantilism to a growing reliance on international markets. Second, there is a complementary strategy of balancing, which seeks to develop the energy resources close to its borders, in Russia and Central Abstracts Asia, which are not so vulnerable to western intervention. And third, there is the construction, though preliminary and nascent at the moment, of a hegemonic order which challenges the US and the West in the critical maritime routes from the Pacific to the Indian Ocean and through to the Persian Gulf region
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, China, India, Asia
  • Author: David S Yost
  • Publication Date: 11-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: NATO's nuclear deterrence posture has since the late 1950s involved risk- and responsibility-sharing arrangements based on the presence of US nuclear weapons in Europe. Since 1991 gravity bombs, deliverable by US and allied dualcapable aircraft, have been the only type of US nuclear weapons left in Europe. Although many other factors are involved in the alliance's deterrence posture and in US extended deterrence-including intercontinental forces, missile defences, non-nuclear capabilities and declaratory policy-recent discussions in the United States about NATO nuclear deterrence have focused on the future of the remaining Abstracts US nuclear weapons in Europe. The traditional view has supported long-standing US and NATO policy in holding that the risk- and responsibility-sharing arrangements based on US nuclear weapons in Europe contribute to deterrence and war prevention; provide assurance to the allies of the genuineness of US commitments; and make the extended deterrence responsibility more acceptable to the United States. From this perspective, no further cuts in the US nuclear weapons presence in Europe should be made without an agreement with Russia providing for reductions that address the US-Russian numerical disparity in non-strategic nuclear forces, with reciprocal transparency and verification measures. In contrast, four schools of thought call for withdrawing the remaining US nuclear weapons in Europe without any negotiated Russian reciprocity: some military officers who consider the weapons and associated arrangements unnecessary for deterrence; proponents of ambitious arms control measures who accept extended deterrence policies but view the US weapons in Europe as an obstacle to progress in disarmament; nuclear disarmament champions who reject extended nuclear deterrence policies and who wish to eliminate all nuclear arms promptly; and selective engagement campaigners who want the United States to abandon extended nuclear deterrence commitments to allies on the grounds that they could lead to US involvement in a nuclear war.
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe
  • Author: Andrew O'Neil
  • Publication Date: 11-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: A number of commentators have claimed that the strategic relevance of extended nuclear deterrence is declining in the twenty-first century. This claim is based on three key arguments. First, that the positive effects of extended nuclear deterrence have been exaggerated by its proponents; second, that the rational actor logic underpinning extended nuclear deterrence is increasingly redundant; and third, that extended deterrence using conventional weapons is equally, if not more, effective as extended nuclear deterrence. This article applies these arguments to East Asia, a region where nuclear weapons continue to loom large in states' security equations. In applying each of the above arguments to the East Asian context, the analysis finds that not only is extended nuclear deterrence alive and kicking in the region, but also that in the coming decades it is likely to become more central to the strategic policies of the United States and its key allies, Japan and South Korea. Despite predictions of its demise, US extended nuclear deterrence remains a critical element in East Asia's security order and will remain so for the foreseeable future
  • Political Geography: United States, East Asia, South Korea
  • Author: Geoffrey Warner
  • Publication Date: 11-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: Some have suggested that Richard Nixon's narrow victory in the US presidential election of November 1968 was due to his persuading the Government of South Vietnam (GVN) to boycott the Paris peace talks for the settlement of the Vietnam War between the US government, that of the Democratic Republic of North Vietnam (DRV) and the representatives of the communist guerrilla movement in South Vietnam. This seems doubtful. The new president had abandoned the hawkish stance he had adopted when vice-president in the Eisenhower administration and was anxious to bring the unpopular war to an end. The question was: how? The president, together with his influential National Security Advisor, Henry Kissinger, adopted a policy of 'Vietnamization', which involved the progressive scaling down of the US military presence and the handing over of responsibility for waging the war to the GVN. At the same time, the president recognized that too precipitate an American withdrawal and, above all, one which took place under the terms of an agreement which was too favourable to the communists, would have a deleterious effect upon its allies and its own position as a Great Power. In order to bring about a satisfactory agreement with the DRV, the US employed a twin strategy: secret talks between Kissinger and senior DRV representatives in Paris, coupled with veiled threats of an escalation of the war if the communists acted unreasonably and occasional displays of military strength, such as the incursion into Cambodia in 1970. Although it seemed, briefly, that there might be a breakthrough in Kissinger's secret negotiations with the DRV later in 1971, they broke down mainly as a result Abstracts of the communists' insistence that the US in effect dismantle the South Vietnamese government for them. An angry Nixon secretly considered retaliation against the DRV to force it to modify its demands and publicly revealed the existence of the negotiations and much of their content to the American people in a speech on 25 January 1972. At the same time, however, he insisted that Vietnamization would continue.
  • Political Geography: United States, Vietnam, Cambodia
  • Author: Simon Collinson, Bridgette Sullivan-Taylor
  • Publication Date: 12-2007
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: IN THE 1970S AND 1980S THERE WAS a widespread fear in the west of Japanese economic superiority. Unprecedented growth in its gross domestic product (GDP), exports and outward foreign direct investment suggested an alternative model of market capitalism that was out-performing the United States and European economies. High-profile articles and books fed this fear and research efforts tried to identify what was different about Japan and how such differences might convey sustained competitive advantages.
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, China