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  • Author: Michelle Nicholasen
  • Publication Date: 03-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Centerpiece
  • Institution: Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: From civil strife in Syria to the war in Yemen to US-Iran tensions, Shi'a groups are emerging as major players on the geopolitical landscape. The 200 million Shi'as around the world comprise 15–20 percent of all Muslims, yet little is understood about their culture, historical legacy, and political dynamics. Shi’as are the majority sect in Iran, Iraq, Azerbaijan, and Bahrain, and comprise substantial minority groups in Africa, South and Central Asia, and countries throughout the Middle East. Last fall, the Weatherhead Center launched the Project on Shi’ism and Global Affairs to support advanced research on the diverse manifestations of Shi’ism, and to encourage rigorous scholarship on the political dynamics of its role in the Middle East. The project supports scholarship that increases understanding of the intersection between religion and politics in Islam by engaging political scientists, historians, policy makers, religious leaders, and other specializations at the WCFIA. It was a busy first year, replete with talks on important events in Islamic history, the geopolitics of Iraq, the US-Iran confrontation, and more. The project launched the online platform Visions, which offers advanced commentary on all aspects of Shi’a thought, politics, and society. Additionally, project members have travelled to Baghdad and Erbil in Iraq for field work and academic conferences, as well as to the United Kingdom to present research and conduct outreach. Team members have also travelled to various cities across the United States to give presentations and interactive workshops—including to Muslim-American communities in Dearborn, Michigan (home to the largest Arab-American population in North America) and Orlando, Florida—on the topic of religious pluralism, youth activism, Islamic thought, and civil society. Directed by Payam Mohseni, lecturer at Harvard University, the project is funded in part by a grant from the Henry Luce Foundation. We asked Payam Mohseni and project chairs Melani Cammett and Ali Asani about the motivations behind the Project on Shi’ism and Global Affairs.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Civil War, Religion, Military Strategy, Political Activism, Domestic politics, Pluralism
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Ketian Zhang
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Since 1990, China has used coercion in its maritime territorial disputes in the South China Sea, despite adverse implications for its image. China is curiously selective in its timing, targets, and tools of coercion: China rarely employs military coercion, and it does not coerce all countries that pose similar threats. An examination of newly available primary documents and hundreds of hours of interviews with Chinese officials to trace the decisionmaking processes behind China's use and nonuse of coercion reveals a new theory of when, why, and how China employs coercion against other states, especially in the South China Sea. Contrary to conventional wisdom, the findings show that China is a cautious bully that does not use coercion frequently. In addition, when China becomes stronger, it tends to use military coercion less often, choosing instead nonmilitary tools. Moreover, concerns with its reputation for resolve and with economic cost are critical elements of Chinese decisionmaking regarding the costs and benefits of coercing its neighbors. China often coerces one target to deter others—“killing the chicken to scare the monkey.” These findings have important implications for how scholars understand states' coercive strategies and the future of Chinese behavior in the region and beyond.
  • Topic: Military Strategy, Territorial Disputes, Military Affairs, Maritime
  • Political Geography: China, Beijing, South China
  • Author: Marina Henke
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Many countries serving in multilateral military coalitions are “paid” to do so, either in cash or in concessions relating to other international issues. An examination of hundreds of declassified archival sources as well as elite interviews relating to the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Gulf War, the Iraq War, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization operation in Afghanistan, the United Nations–African Union operation in Darfur, and the African Union operation in Somalia reveals that these payment practices follow a systematic pattern: pivotal states provide the means to cover such payments. These states reason that rewarding third parties to serve in multilateral coalitions holds important political benefits. Moreover, two distinct types of payment schemes exist: deployment subsidies and political side deals. Three types of states are most likely to receive such payments: (1) states that are inadequately resourced to deploy; (2) states that are perceived by the pivotal states as critical contributors to the coalition endeavor; and (3) opportunistic states that perceive a coalition deployment as an opportunity to negotiate a quid pro quo. These findings provide a novel perspective on what international burden sharing looks like in practice. Moreover, they raise important questions about the efficiency and effectiveness of such payment practices in multilateral military deployments.
  • Topic: Security, National Security, Regional Cooperation, International Security, Military Strategy, Military Affairs, Alliance
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Kuwait, Vietnam, Korea, Somalia
  • Author: J.C. Sharman
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: The making of the international system from c. 1500 reflected distinctively maritime dynamics, especially “gunboat diplomacy,” or the use of naval force for commercial gain. Comparisons between civilizations and across time show, first, that gunboat diplomacy was peculiarly European and, second, that it evolved through stages. For the majority of the modern era, violence was central to the commercial strategies of European state, private, and hybrid actors alike in the wider world. In contrast, large and small non-Western polities almost never sought to advance mercantile aims through naval coercion. European exceptionalism reflected a structural trade deficit, regional systemic dynamics favoring armed trade, and mercantilist beliefs. Changes in international norms later restricted the practice of gunboat diplomacy to states, as private navies became illegitimate. More generally, a maritime perspective suggests the need for a reappraisal of fundamental conceptual divisions and shows how the capital- and technology-intensive nature of naval war allowed relatively small European powers to be global players. It also explains how European expansion and the creation of the first global international system was built on dominance at sea centuries before Europeans’ general military superiority on land.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, International Security, Military Strategy, Military Affairs, Navy, Law of the Sea, Maritime
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe
  • Author: Christopher Clary, Vipin Narang
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Is India shifting to a nuclear counterforce strategy? Continued aggression by Pakistan against India, enabled by Islamabad's nuclear strategy and India's inability to counter it, has prompted the leadership in Delhi to explore more flexible preemptive counterforce options in an attempt to reestablish deterrence. Increasingly, Indian officials are advancing the logic of counterforce targeting, and they have begun to lay out exceptions to India's long-standing no-first-use policy to potentially allow for the preemptive use of nuclear weapons. Simultaneously, India has been acquiring the components that its military would need to launch counterforce strikes. These include a growing number of accurate and responsive nuclear delivery systems, an array of surveillance platforms, and sophisticated missile defenses. Executing a counterforce strike against Pakistan, however, would be exceptionally difficult. Moreover, Pakistan's response to the mere fear that India might be pursuing a counterforce option could generate a dangerous regional arms race and crisis instability. A cycle of escalation would have significant implications not only for South Asia, but also for the broader nuclear landscape if other regional powers were similarly seduced by the temptations of nuclear counterforce.
  • Topic: National Security, Terrorism, International Security, Military Strategy, Military Affairs, Counter-terrorism
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, India, Asia
  • Author: Steven Pifer
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Ambassador's Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: For nearly five decades, Washington and Moscow have engaged in negotiations to manage their nuclear competition. Those negotiations produced a string of acronyms—SALT, INF, START—for arms control agreements that strengthened strategic stability, reduced bloated nuclear arsenals and had a positive impact on the broader bilateral relationship. That is changing. The Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty is headed for demise. The New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) has less than two years to run, and the administration of Donald Trump has yet to engage on Russian suggestions to extend it. Bilateral strategic stability talks have not been held in 18 months. On its current path, the U.S.-Russia nuclear arms control regime likely will come to an end in 2021. That will make for a strategic relationship that is less stable, less secure and less predictable and will further complicate an already troubled bilateral relationship.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Military Strategy, Nuclear Power, Deterrence, Denuclearization
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, North America
  • Author: Victor D. Cha
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Ambassador's Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: There were high expectations at the second meeting of American and North Korean leaders in Vietnam last month after the absence of progress on denuclearization commitments made at the first summit in Singapore last summer. Yet at Hanoi, not only were the two leaders unable to deliver an agreement with tangible steps on denuclearization, but they also dispensed with the joint statement signing, cancelled the ceremonial lunch and skipped the joint press conference. In a solo presser, President Donald Trump said that sometimes you “have to walk, and this was just one of those times.”[2] The President indeed may have avoided getting entrapped into a bad deal at Hanoi. What North Korea put on the table in terms of the Yongbyon nuclear complex addresses a fraction of its growing nuclear program that does not even break the surface of its underlying arsenal and stockpiles of fissile materials, not to mention missile bases and delivery systems. And what North Korea sought in return, in terms of major sanctions relief on five UN Security Council resolutions that target 90 percent of North Korea’s trade, would have removed one of the primary sources of leverage, albeit imperfect, on the regime. In this instance, no deal was better than a bad deal for the United States. Nevertheless, the Hanoi summit has left the United States with no clear diplomatic road ahead on this challenging security problem, a trail of puzzled allies in Asia and the promise of no more made-for-television summit meetings for the foreseeable future. The question remains, where do we go from here? When leaders’ summits fail to reach agreement, diplomacy by definition has reached the end of its rope. President Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo put on the best face they could in Hanoi, talking about closer understanding and continued good relations between the two sides as a result of the meetings, but the failed summit leaves a great deal of uncertainty going forward. South Koreans will frantically seek meetings with Washington and Pyongyang to pick up the pieces. The North Koreans already have sent an envoy to China to chart next steps. While I do not think this will mean a return to the “Fire and Fury” days of 2017 when armed conflict was possible, we have learned numerous lessons from Hanoi for going forward.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Nuclear Weapons, Military Strategy, Deterrence, Denuclearization
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Asia, South Korea, North Korea
  • Author: Alex Vatanka
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Ambassador's Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, a cleric who will turn 80 in July 2019 and has ruled over Iran since 1989, has made a political career out of demonizing the United States. And yet, he knows full well that at some point—whether in his lifetime or after—Tehran has to turn the page and look for ways to end the bad blood that started with the birth of the Islamic Republic in 1979. But Khamenei’s efforts to make the United States a strawman are not easily undone in present-day Tehran, where anti-Americanism is the top political football, as the two main factions inside the regime—the hardliners versus the so-called reformists—battle it out for the future of Iran. Meanwhile, President Donald Trump’s “maximum pressure” on Iran has made it all but impossible for Khamenei to meet Washington half-way. Accordingly, the best Khamenei can do for now is to wait out the Trump White House. There will be no Khamenei-Trump summits. That much is abundantly clear if one listens to the chatter from Tehran. But the issue of possible relations with post-Trump America is still hotly contested in the Islamic Republic. In the meantime, with Trump’s re-imposition of sanctions from November 2018, Tehran’s hope in the short term is that Europe, together with Iran’s more traditional supporters in Moscow and Beijing, can give Iran enough incentive so that it can ride out the next few years as its economy comes under unprecedented pressure.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Nuclear Weapons, Military Strategy, Sanctions, Domestic politics
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran, Middle East, Israel
  • Author: Elsa Kania, Wilson VornDick
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: China Brief
  • Institution: The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: China’s national strategy of military-civil fusion (军民融合, junmin ronghe) has highlighted biology as a priority. [1] It is hardly surprising that the People’s Republic of China (PRC) is looking to leverage synergies among defense, scientific, and commercial developments in biological interdisciplinary (生物交叉, shengwu jiaocha) technologies. Chinese military scientists and strategists have consistently emphasized that biotechnology could become a “new strategic commanding heights of the future Revolution in Military Affairs” (军事革命, junshi geming) (PLA Daily, October 2015). Certainly, the PRC is not alone in recognizing the potential of biotechnology on the future battlefield, but the ways in which Chinese research is seeking to integrate developments among industry, academic institutions, and military-oriented programs—including through research collaborations and the procurement of dual-purpose commercial technologies—may prove striking. In particular, China is at the forefront of today’s breakthroughs in CRISPR-Cas, a new technique for gene editing that has demonstrated unique potential and precision despite its current limitations.
  • Topic: Science and Technology, Military Strategy, Military Affairs, Weapons
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: John Foulkes, Howard Wang
  • Publication Date: 08-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: China Brief
  • Institution: The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Recent media reports have indicated that Cambodia signed a “secret agreement” giving the PRC use of Ream, where it may station military servicemen and warships, for 30 years (WSJ, July 22). Although Cambodian and Chinese officials vehemently deny the existence of this agreement, gaining access to Ream is broadly consistent with Chinese foreign policy. The PRC appears to be employing Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) funding to further strategic cooperation with Cambodia through the construction of potential dual-use infrastructure. Ream naval base is the latest in a network of regional security projects—including Cambodia’s Dara Sakor investment zone and Thailand’s Kra Canal—which, taken together, significantly improve Chinese power projection into the Indian Ocean Region (IOR). News of the Ream agreement raises the specter of increasing Chinese maritime militarization at a time of intense unease in Southeast Asia. Conspicuously silent in this latest controversy is India, which has significant economic and military interests in Southeast Asia. This article will discuss the security infrastructure China is building in Cambodia and its implications for Indian interests in the region.
  • Topic: Security, Military Strategy, Military Affairs, Navy
  • Political Geography: China, Indonesia, India, Asia, Cambodia, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Tim Clarke
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Military and Strategic Studies
  • Institution: Centre for Military, Security and Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: During the First World War Indigenous peoples in Canada contributed to the war effort through enlistment in the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF), the Patriotic Fund, and agricultural and industrial production. Their contributions, however, were not universally accepted in Indigenous communities. For many aging, non-military eligible, individuals, enlistment and off-reserve work deprived families of care-givers, bread-winners, and youth, essential to household and community well-being. Their petitions to the Canadian government, filtered through the Department of Indian Affairs (DIA), reveal the breadth of opinion and sources of frustration from across Indigenous communities in Canada. For the DIA, however, the years from 1914-1918 provided a crucial opportunity to solidify its power over Indigenous communities. Through a three-pillared archetype of communication control, the DIA increased its unilateral dominion over Indigenous affairs, largely at the expense of the eldest members of Indigenous communities, remaining traditional governance structures, and especially women. While the DIA rightly lauded Indigenous contributions to Canada’s war effort in post-war declarations, it conveniently ignored the costs associated with such contributions, thus denying a crucial aspect of Indigenous First World War history; an omission historians have too often indulged.
  • Topic: Communications, Military Strategy, World War I, Indigenous, Indian Affairs
  • Political Geography: Canada, North America
  • Author: Ioannis Salavrakos
  • Publication Date: 08-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Military and Strategic Studies
  • Institution: Centre for Military, Security and Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: he paper challenges the view that the fall of France in June 1940 is attributed to military errors of the French High Command and with the brilliant German offense in the Ardennes. The paper highlights that the French security strategy after the end of World War I failed because the country lacked the economic basis to implement its strategy. Thus the paper argues that the French endorsed an internal and external balancing strategy against Germany. The internal balancing strategy was associated with the ability of France to sustain powerful armed forces and obviously this was associated with high defense spending and a strong economy. The second part was associated with external balancing which was associated with the creation of alliances in Eastern Europe in order to block any German expansion. Again this was associated with strong economic relations between France and these states. This strategy was implemented during the 1919-1929 period however after the global economic crisis erupted the deterioration of the French economy made the continuation of this strategy impossible. Thus France was forced to follow a defensive strategy at the military level and the privileged bilateral economic relations with Eastern European countries were abolished and Germany replaced France as the major economic and trading partner of these states.
  • Topic: Economics, Regional Cooperation, Military Strategy, World War II
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Europe, France, Germany
  • Author: David Scott
  • Publication Date: 08-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Military and Strategic Studies
  • Institution: Centre for Military, Security and Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: President Macron talks of France’s ‘Indo-Pacific strategy’ (une stratégie indo-pacifique). This article analyzes French strategic discourse and strategy adopted for the Indo-Pacific by France. It finds that French strategy has three main elements. Firstly it has seeks legitimacy, politically seeking to move from a colonial possessions position to democratic integration with France, and has sought to achieve regional integration and legitimacy of this. Secondly, geographically France has moved up northwards from its possessions in the Southern Indian Ocean and Southern Pacific to active maritime involvement in the northern Indian Ocean, South China Sea and Western Pacific. Thirdly, French strategy is to actively secure security partnerships with other countries in the region. Naval projection is a prominent feature of French strategy, which is a strategy which is significantly driven by China’s maritime expansion across the Indo-Pacific. The article thus seeks to analyze, explain and evaluate the effectiveness of France’s Indo-Pacific strategy.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Regional Cooperation, Military Strategy, Democracy, Maritime
  • Political Geography: Europe, Indonesia, India, France, Indo-Pacific, South China Sea
  • Author: Nicole Jackson
  • Publication Date: 08-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Military and Strategic Studies
  • Institution: Centre for Military, Security and Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: This paper examines controversies over responses to hybrid warfare ranging from defensive societal and institutional resilience to more aggressive measures, and considers some of the strengths and limits of classic deterrence theory. How Canada and NATO interpret major transformations, and the language of ‘hybrid war’ that they adopt, matter because they influence responses. Reflecting NATO’s rhetoric and policies, Canada has become more internally focused, adopting a ‘whole of government’ and increasingly ‘whole of society’ approach, while at the same time taking more offensive actions and developing new partnerships and capabilities. Canada and NATO are taking significant steps towards ‘comprehensive deterrence’, yet more clarity is needed in how responses are combined to avoid the dangers of hybrid wars with no end.
  • Topic: NATO, Diplomacy, Nuclear Weapons, Regional Cooperation, Military Strategy, Deterrence
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Canada, North America
  • Author: Ina Kraft
  • Publication Date: 05-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Military and Strategic Studies
  • Institution: Centre for Military, Security and Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: This article sets out to catalogue narration strategies used in the professional discourse about Effects-Based Operations (EBO). EBO was at the heart of the US military transformation (2001-2008) and is one of few concepts officially discontinued instead of being simply replaced by a successor concept making it a crucial case for analysing its rise and fall. An analytical framework for classifying the rhetoric of military innovations is presented in this article. Based on this framework the debate about EBO in the U.S. military journal Joint Force Quarterly between 1996 and 2015 is assessed with a view to three questions: How was EBO framed by military experts? Was the shift of institutional support for EBO reflected in the discourse? And, is there evidence to suggest that the EBO discourse had an influence on the adoption and later discontinuation of EBO? The analysis shows that in the case of EBO a particularly homogenous discourse pattern existed, which might have contributed to the concept’s quick and ultimate demise.
  • Topic: Science and Technology, Military Strategy, Military Affairs
  • Political Geography: United States, North America
  • Author: Ash Rossiter
  • Publication Date: 05-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Military and Strategic Studies
  • Institution: Centre for Military, Security and Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: Conflict today is defying traditional conceptions about the conduct of war and, more specifically, who makes up its identifiable contestants. This article examines how the established practice of warfare is undergoing radical change partly as a consequence of a tremendous shift in participation. Better understanding who might participate in war and, as a corollary, the particular tools and methods used to carry out violence (in pursuit of political goals), is of acute importance for those charged with figuring out how best to employ destructive and/or disruptive force. The aim of this article is to therefore make a contribution to this broad debate. It advances the argument that a major shift in warfare’s participation is happening; and, that it is both a consequence of wider changes in warfare as well as a cause of change itself.
  • Topic: Military Strategy, Conflict, Violence
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Hadi Gamshadzehifar
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Turkish Journal of Middle Eastern Studies
  • Institution: Turkish Journal of Middle Eastern Studies
  • Abstract: This study investigates the response of the Baloch Sunni ethno-religious minorty towards the assimilationist approach of the Islamic Republic of Iran. It argues that the Iranian theocratic political system uses an assimilationist approach and tries to assimilate the Baloch-Sunni into Shia Persain dominated ethno-religious group; but, this policy has been resisted by different strata of the society. The study finds that although there is a general consensus among the Baloch Sunnis to uphold their ethno-religious values, each segment of the Baloch Sunni society is combatting the central government’s ethno-religious policy on its own way depending on the means available, ranging from cultural efforts to political and military activities.
  • Topic: Religion, Military Strategy, Sunni, Shia, assimilation
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East
  • Author: Dayyab Gillani
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: South Asian Studies
  • Institution: Department of Political Science, University of the Punjab
  • Abstract: The following paper attempts to analyze the ongoing insurgency in Afghanistan by critically evaluating the insurgent ideology, its past, current and future relevance. The paper draws on lessons from the recent Afghanistan history and discusses the irrelevance for the future of Afghanistan. It traces the success of Taliban insurgency by highlighting the role of „mullahs‟ and „madrasas‟ in the Afghan society. It argues that the US policy in Afghanistan thus far has failed to isolate the public from the insurgents, which poses serious present and future challenges. By drawing parallels between the sudden Soviet withdrawal in the early 1990s and a potential US withdrawal in the near future. It also points out that an untimely US withdrawal from Afghanistan may entail an end of US engagement but it will not be an end of war for Afghanistan itself. The essay stresses the importance of a consistent long-term US policy aimed at addressing the very root causes of insurgency in the region.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, War, Military Strategy, Insurgency, Taliban, Islamism
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, South Asia, Central Asia, Punjab, United States of America
  • Author: Ahmad Ejaz
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: South Asian Studies
  • Institution: Department of Political Science, University of the Punjab
  • Abstract: South Asia has always been regarded as a significant area for the security interests of the United States. In view of the U.S. threat perceptions in Asia, the American policy makers were constantly motivated to construct a stable security system in the region. The U.S. security programme in South Asia actually is predominantly exerted on United States-Pakistan –India triangular relationship. Given its strategic perspective in the area, the U.S. policy is found transferred. During the Cold War days, the U.S. interests were attached with Pakistan. Thus Pakistan was regarded as the „America‟s most allied ally in Asia.‟ With the end of Cold War, the U.S. policy underwent a tremendous change that subsequently picked India as a potential counterweight to China and called it a „natural partner.‟ Eventually, the U.S.-Pakistan relations had been in a depressing setting. However, in the post 9/11 period, the two countries came closer and collaborated in war against terrorism. But this single-issue alliance could not engulf the differences between the partners. This paper attempts to trace the US security policy and its maneuvering in South Asia during and after the Cold War periods.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Cold War, International Cooperation, International Security, History, Military Strategy, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Afghanistan, China, South Asia, North America, Punjab, United States of America
  • Author: Emine Akçadağ Alagöz
  • Publication Date: 08-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Uluslararasi Iliskiler
  • Institution: International Relations Council of Turkey (UİK-IRCT)
  • Abstract: This paper presents an application of the concept of strategic culture as a possible way to analyze North Korea’s nuclear program. The goal is to illustrate that the strategic culture approach is a useful method to understand North Korea’s determination to develop nuclear capability, demonstrating the link between culture and behavior through Alastair Johnston’s methodology. The question of the formation of a North Korean strategic culture will be scrutinized through scoring the speeches and written messages of three North Korean leaders in terms of the presence of key cultural assumptions. Then, it will accordingly suggest that North Korea’s strategic culture, affecting the practices of its security policy, leads this country toward an active defense strategy, which implies a credible nuclear deterrence.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Nuclear Weapons, Military Strategy, Nuclear Power, Kim Jong-un, Strategic Stability
  • Political Geography: Asia, North Korea
  • Author: Terry Branstad
  • Publication Date: 03-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Ambassador's Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: When I welcome visitors to the U.S. Ambassador’s Residence in Beijing, they often comment on a black-and-white photo of my first meeting with Xi Jinping. In the picture, the members of the 1985 Chinese agriculture delegation to Iowa stand calmly behind my desk, peering into the camera, as Xi Jinping stands unobtru­sively to my right. Some visitors ask, “Ambassador Branstad, did you know this young man would become President of China?” Indeed, I did not—I treated him with the same Iowa hospitality with which I welcome all my guests. His importance as a rising leader of China, though, became increasingly apparent over the course of six gubernatorial visits I made to China during the subsequent 30 years. The same is true of U.S.-China relations. Today, I have the honor of representing the United States in the most consequential bilateral relationship in the world, one that we absolutely have to get right. During President Donald Trump’s November 2017 state visit to China, the President identified three priority tasks for the two nations’ relationship. First, work with the Chinese govern­ment to address the North Korean nuclear and missile threat. Second, seek a more balanced and reciprocal trade and investment relationship. And third, partner with Chinese authorities to reduce the flow of illicit opioids from China to the United States. Each task presents its own unique challenges and opportunities.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Military Strategy, Nuclear Power, Global Political Economy
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Asia, North Korea
  • Author: Richard N. Holwill
  • Publication Date: 03-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Ambassador's Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: A meeting between President Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un (KJU), the Supreme Leader of the People’s Democratic Republic of Korea (DPRK), can be a success even if it fails to achieve President Trump’s announced goal: an end to the DPRK nuclear weapons program. This meeting starts by giving KJU one of his long-sought goals. It will, in effect, be more than a meeting. It will be a “summit” and will confer on KJU the status of the leader of a legitimate government. President Trump would be wise to redefine success. He should not fall into the trap of saying that success will be defined by a “denuclearization agreement.” While that should be a long-term goal, it will not happen at this meeting. Still, the summit will be successful if it produces a process that can lead to a substantial reduction of tension on the Korean Peninsula. This is not to say that an agreement on denuclearization is off the table. Rather, it is to rec­ognize that these talks could present a framework for negotiation that would be very valuable, even if they will fall short of a nuclear disarmament accord. To understand the difficulty of reaching a nuclear arms agreement, we need only look at the way the two leaders speak about denuclearization. Each appears to define it differently. President Trump applies the term to nuclear weapons in the DPRK. KJU speaks of it as applying to the entire Korean Peninsula. He will argue that, if he must allow a mean­ingful verification regime, so must U.S. forces in South Korea.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Nuclear Weapons, Military Strategy, Deterrence, Denuclearization
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, China, Asia, South Korea, North Korea
  • Author: Michael A. Hammer
  • Publication Date: 03-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Ambassador's Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: America’s ability to lead in the world depends on a strong economy at home, unparalleled military might and a skilled diplomatic corps. And for the United States to remain the preeminent global power, it is essential that we educate and prepare the next generation of national security leaders: —leaders who are strategic in every sense: creative, innovative, technologically savvy, flexible, inclusive, ethical and resilient; —leaders who commit to life-long learning to stay current and who venture to look beyond the horizon; —leaders who are voracious consumers of information and effective communicators; —humble leaders who always seek to do better than the status quo. The new National Security Strategy recognizes the critical role of the State Department’s proclaiming that “across the competitive landscape, America’s diplomats are our forward-deployed political capability, advancing and defending America’s interests abroad.” Therefore, to remain relevant and in order to continue to succeed, State’s finest need professional development. Whether to lead peace negotiations or trade talks, combat terrorism or cyberattacks, promote democratic values or defend human rights, engage media or youth, we must ensure that rising officers are knowledgeable of history, well-versed on theory, fluent in current practice and in-tune with future trends. But as they are caught in high-stress jobs with little time to reflect, where should our best talent go to grow their skills and enhance their ability to think critically and lead effectively? The answer is right here in Washington D.C., the National Defense University (NDU) at Fort McNair.
  • Topic: National Security, Science and Technology, Military Strategy, Cybersecurity
  • Political Geography: United States, North America
  • Author: Robert Hutchings
  • Publication Date: 07-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Fletcher Security Review
  • Institution: The Fletcher School, Tufts University
  • Abstract: We begin with a puzzle: the need for strategic analysis is more important than ever in this period of great flux and uncertainty, but the disdain for analysis of any kind has never been greater than under the administration of President Donald J. Trump. The very premise that leaders need reasonably objective intelligence analysis to inform their policy decisions – a premise that has guided every U.S. administration since World War II – is under assault. If we are to rebuild our capacity for strategic thinking, we need to go back to the beginning. When President Harry Truman created the strategic intelligence function at the end of World War II, he understood that the United States had been thrust into a global role for which it was not prepared. The world was simply too complex, and American interests too extensive, to operate on the basis of impulse or ad hoc decision making. Moreover, when Truman issued National Intelligence Authority No. 5 on July 8, 1946, instructing the Director of Central Intelligence to “accomplish the evaluation and dissemination of strategic intelligence,” he deliberately set up this function outside of the White House, the Department of State, and the military, so that strategic analysis would be kept at a critical distance from policy making. Yet Truman, like every president since, was ambivalent about the role of strategic intelligence and the degree of autonomy it ought to have. ​ The story actually begins earlier, when President Franklin Roosevelt, in a military order of June 13, 1942, formally established the Office of Strategic Services with William J. “Wild Bill” Donovan at its head, and directed it to “collect and analyze... strategic information” and to “plan and operate special services.” The cloak- and-dagger wartime operations of the OSS are the stuff of legend, as are the notable figures recruited to serve, including the poets Archibald MacLeish and Stephen Vincent Benét, the banker Paul Mellon, the psychologist Carl Jung, the philosopher Herbert Marcuse, the anthropologist Margaret Mead, and the movie director John Ford. Less well known is its role in strategic intelligence analysis through its Research and Analysis (R&A) Branch, led initially by James Phinney Baxter III, president of Williams College, and after 1943 by Harvard historian William Langer, identified in war correspondence as “OSS 117.”
  • Topic: Security, Intelligence, History, Military Strategy
  • Political Geography: North America, United States of America
  • Author: Taehee Whang, Michael Lammbrau, Hyung-min Joo
  • Publication Date: 05-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Relations of the Asia-Pacific
  • Institution: Japan Association of International Relations
  • Abstract: For the past two decades, North Korea has made a series of military provocations, destabilizing the regional security of East Asia. In particular, Pyongyang has launched several conventional attacks on South Korea. Although these attacks seem unpredictable and random, we attempt in this article to find some patterns in North Korean provocations. To this end, we employ a machine-learning technique to analyze news articles of the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) from 1997 to 2013. Based on five key words (‘years,’ ‘signed,’ ‘assembly,’ ‘June,’ and ‘Japanese’), our model identifies North Korean provocations with 82% accuracy. Further investigation into these attack words and the contexts in which they appear produces significant insights into the ways in which we can detect North Korean provocations.
  • Topic: Security, Military Strategy, Military Affairs
  • Political Geography: Asia, South Korea, North Korea, Asia-Pacific
  • Author: Montana Hunter
  • Publication Date: 04-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Military and Strategic Studies
  • Institution: Centre for Military, Security and Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: This article explores the use of crowdsourced volunteer battalions by the Ukrainian government in response to Russian aggression in the Donbas region. It examines the weakness of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, contributions of civil-society, and the creation, development, and combat operations of volunteer battalions. The use of crowdsourcing provided the emergency military force that the Ukrainian Government needed to stabilise the Donbas region in the face of the 2014 Russian-backed separatist offensive. The article concludes by raising concerns that the negative consequences of crowdsourcing war, while mitigated by actions taken by the Ukrainian Government, have the potential to return if the situation in Ukraine deteriorates.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Military Strategy, Military Affairs, Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Ukraine, Eastern Europe
  • Author: Elinor Sloan
  • Publication Date: 04-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Military and Strategic Studies
  • Institution: Centre for Military, Security and Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: This article looks at key strategic trends, the sorts of missions in which the Canadian army is likely to take part over the next few years, and the implications for the army at the tactical/operational level.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Military Strategy, Military Affairs, Conflict
  • Political Geography: Canada, North America
  • Author: Eric B. Setzekorn
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Military and Strategic Studies
  • Institution: Centre for Military, Security and Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: In the decade between U.S. diplomatic recognition of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in 1979 and the Tiananmen Massacre in 1989, the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) pursued a military engagement policy with the People’s Liberation Army (PLA). The 1979-1989 U.S.-PRC defense relationship was driven by a mutually shared fear of the USSR, but U.S. policymakers also sought to encourage the PRC to become a more deeply involved in the world community as a responsible power. Beginning in the late 1970s, the U.S. defense department conducted high level exchanges, allowed for the transfer of defense technology, promoted military to military cooperation and brokered foreign military sales (FMS). On the U.S. side, this program was strongly supported by National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski and Secretary of State Alexander Haig, who worked to push skeptical elements in the U.S. defense bureaucracy. By the mid-1980s, this hesitancy had been overcome and the defense relationship reached a high point in the 1984-1986 period, but structural problems arising from the division of authority within the PRC’s party-state-military structure ultimately proved insurmountable to long-term cooperation. The 1979-1989 U.S.-PRC defense relationship highlights the long-term challenges of pursuing military engagement with fundamentally dissimilar structures of political authority.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Cold War, Diplomacy, Military Strategy
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Europe, Asia, Soviet Union, North America
  • Author: Andrew Rickter
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Military and Strategic Studies
  • Institution: Centre for Military, Security and Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: The Liberal government of Justin Trudeau has been in office for almost three years, and thus enough time has passed to reach some early observations on its defence record. This paper looks at 3 critical issues – the government’s approach to defence spending, its recent defence White Paper, and its actions regarding the CF-18 replacement project – and concludes that while there have been some positive developments, defence is clearly not a priority of the government. Moreover, its tendency to politicize the defence file and to issue misleading policy pronouncements on matters related to it do not inspire much confidence. Thus, barring an unexpected increase in spending, Canada’s defence prognosis is poor and the Canadian Armed Forces will likely see their capabilities erode further over the near-to-medium term.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Military Strategy, Budget, Liberalism
  • Political Geography: Canada, North America
  • Author: Elizabeth Ann Mendenhall
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Military and Strategic Studies
  • Institution: Centre for Military, Security and Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: The primary value of submarines as a nuclear platform is their ability to hide undetected beneath the sea. The persistence of a ‘secure’ second strike, and therefore nuclear strategic stability, rests on fluid foundations: ocean transparency is a continuous and dynamic variable. Technological advancement in marine sensing – increasingly driven by non-military imperatives like climate change – currently risks the achievement of an unprecedented degree of transparency. After tracing the Cold War competition between hiding and seeking, this paper evaluates progress in ocean sensing, to identify where and how incremental improvements and radical innovations may make SSBNs more detectable and targetable than ever before. Emerging ocean transparency has implications for nuclear policy, force structure, and strategy.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Nuclear Weapons, Military Strategy, Maritime
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Alexander Libman, Anastassia V. Obydenkova
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Democracy
  • Institution: National Endowment for Democracy
  • Abstract: This article examines the goals, methods, and implications of regional organizations founded and dominated by autocracies—including the Commonwealth of Independent States (spearheaded by Russia), Shanghai Cooperation Organization (China), Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (Venezuela), and Gulf Cooperation Council (Saudi Arabia). It shows the role that these organizations play in preserving and promoting autocracy and the different tools they use for this purpose: rhetorical endorsement; the redistribution of resources to support weaker authoritarian states; and even military interventions to suppress revolution. The existence of authoritarian regionalism poses an important challenge for Western states and institutions in democracy promotion around the world.
  • Topic: Regional Cooperation, Military Strategy, Authoritarianism, Democracy
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Europe, Middle East, Asia, South America, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela
  • Author: Anshuman Rahul
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: AUSTRAL: Brazilian Journal of Strategy International Relations
  • Institution: Postgraduate Program in International Strategic Studies, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul
  • Abstract: The OBOR initiative of China often termed as ‘Modern-day Silk Road’ is based on President Xi Jinping’s epic vision to make ‘China Great Again’ by reviving the Silk Route of ancient times. This initiative aims to engage Eurasia economically by creating a network of infrastructure. In this regard, the article attempts to understand the geo-politics behind India’s refusal to join OBOR and strategic response to counter the most appealing economic engagement of the present era but considered to be a debt-trap by India.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Military Strategy, Silk Road
  • Political Geography: China, India, Asia
  • Author: Fabio Luis Barbosa dos Santos
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: AUSTRAL: Brazilian Journal of Strategy International Relations
  • Institution: Postgraduate Program in International Strategic Studies, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul
  • Abstract: This article analyses the trends of India’s foreign policy in recent years under the light of political and economic dynamics, with a focus in its regional surrounding. The text locates an inflection towards economic liberalization undertaken in the beginning of the 1990´s, and then moves on to the context of economic expansion in the 21st century. The achievements and limits of those processes are taken into consideration. In the political realm, as the legitimacy of the Indian National Congress (INC) was brought to check, so was its hegemony, in a process that has favored the rise of political agencies identified with hindu nationalism and communalism, such as the BJP. Overall, the hallmarks of Indian politics that prevailed since independence under leadership of the Congress Party are left behind: economic nationalism, secular politics, and international non-alignment. In this context, the broad orientation of Indian foreign policy also has changed. The text analyses the consequences of this inflection in the regional context, focusing the Neighbors first policy and the priority given to infrastructural connectivity with Southeast Asia (Look East and Act East policies), as well as the recent intensification of business in the African continent. Altogether, the expectations of an alternative civilizatory horizon in the context of the Cold War which has nurtured Nehruvian politics, has given place to a pragmatic rationality that accepts the United States leadership and as such, draws strategies adapting to the mercantile trends that typify globalisation.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, Military Strategy, Hegemony
  • Political Geography: United States, India, Asia, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Francisco Eduardo Alves de Almeida, Ricardo Pereira Cabral
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: AUSTRAL: Brazilian Journal of Strategy International Relations
  • Institution: Postgraduate Program in International Strategic Studies, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul
  • Abstract: Classification of navies according to their relative power has been a challenge for the academic area that works with issues in the field of Security and Defense. Qualitative ratings have been presented by renowned researchers such as Colin Gray, Hervé Coutau-Begarie and Michael Morris, however these attempts have stumbled in its simplicity and little scope. From studies based on open access sources, this paper tries to develop a comparative methodology that would not only take into account qualitative but also quantitative factors. This innovative method was used to classify the navy of the different states in a ranking of power taking into account parameters such as the number of means, shipbuilding capacity, number of bases and arsenals, naval assets and availability of resources, among others, in order to rank naval powers. This methodology aims to reduce uncertainties in the classification of navies and serve as a reference for future works in the academic area that are dedicated to the fields of Security and Defense.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Military Strategy, Maritime, Classification
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Graciela De Conti Pagliari
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: AUSTRAL: Brazilian Journal of Strategy International Relations
  • Institution: Postgraduate Program in International Strategic Studies, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul
  • Abstract: It is investigated the approximation in defense and security in South America. The hypothesis tested considers that these countries just tend an approximation whereby the costs are less linked to a changing in their individual policies. In this way, they propose just a superficial consensus rather than incorporate joint policies. Therefore, the analysis focuses on the confidence measures in relation to the military expenditures adopted since the SADC foundation, as well as the military forces functions to verify if – in that instance – the measures served to empower the convergences in defense, and – in the case of these – if, in the face of the highlighted common defense problems, the attributions have converged.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Regional Cooperation, Military Strategy, Military Spending
  • Political Geography: South America
  • Author: Rafael Duarte Villa
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: AUSTRAL: Brazilian Journal of Strategy International Relations
  • Institution: Postgraduate Program in International Strategic Studies, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul
  • Abstract: Research that focuses on security systems in South America usually identifies the existence of two regional security subsystems: one in the Andean countries of the North, with more traditional characteristics such as militarized tensions at the borders and intense drug trafficking problems; and a second one located in the Southern Cone, with security and integration regimes, which could qualify as a security community. This is what we call a dualistic view of security. This paper challenges this thesis to show that contemporary developments and concerns about the purchase of sophisticated weaponry by some South American countries, especially Chile, Venezuela, and Brazil in the first two decades of this century are critical points for the idea of a permanent (democratic) peace zone located only in the Southern Cone. In fact, arms purchases transform the South American region into a single regional security complex with tensions and militarized representations in both the Andean system and the Southern Cone.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Regional Cooperation, Military Strategy, Drugs
  • Political Geography: Brazil, South America, Venezuela, Chile
  • Author: Adriana A. Marques
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: AUSTRAL: Brazilian Journal of Strategy International Relations
  • Institution: Postgraduate Program in International Strategic Studies, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul
  • Abstract: The article discusses the interconnections between the participation of the Brazilian military in peace missions and civil-military relations in the country. For its elaboration a bibliographical revision and the collection of primary sources, like governmental documents, articles published in newspapers and magazines and interviews were realized. It is concluded that, instead of contributing to the improvement of the articulation between foreign policy and defense policy, the Brazilian participation in peace operations has been instrumentalised by the political class and indirectly contributing to the militarization of public security and the policialization of the armed forces.
  • Topic: Security, Military Strategy, Peace, Civilians, Civil-Military Relations
  • Political Geography: Brazil, South America
  • Author: Jacqueline Maria Hagan, Ricardo Martinez-Schuldt, Alyssa Peavey, Deborah Weissman
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal on Migration and Human Security
  • Institution: Center for Migration Studies of New York
  • Abstract: The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 (INA) created an immigration system favoring the immigration of spouses, children, and parents of US citizens, thereby establishing family unity as the cornerstone of US immigration policy. Despite this historical emphasis on family unity, backlogs and limited visas for non-immediate relatives of US citizens and legal permanent residents, the militarization of the US-Mexico border, punitive measures for those who enter without inspection, such as the forced separation of children from their parents at the US border, and an aggressive policy of deportation have made it more difficult for members of Mexican binational families to unify. How do members of Mexican binational families manage the hardships that result from US immigration policies that prolong and force family separation? Immigrants and return migrants alike may not be aware of their rights and the legal remedies that exist to enforce them. Structural barriers such as poverty, legal status, fear of deportation, lack of proficiency in English, and lack of familiarity with government bureaucracies no doubt prevent many migrants in the United States and return migrants in Mexico from coming forward to request legal assistance and relief in the courts. Despite these barriers, when it comes to family matters, members of some Mexican binational families can and do assert their rights. In this article, we analyze an administrative database of the Department of Legal Protection of the Mexican consular network that documents migrant legal claims resulting from family separation, along with findings from 21 interviews with consular staff and community organizations in three consular jurisdictions — El Paso, Raleigh, and San Francisco — to investigate the sociolegal processes of claims. Our investigation centers on the mediating role the Mexican state — via its consular network — has developed to assist binational families as they attempt to assert their rights and resolve child support and child custody problems resulting from prolonged and forced family separation. We find that the resolution of binational family claims in part depends on the institutional infrastructure that has developed at local, state, and federal levels, along with the commitment and capacity of the receiving and sending states and the binational structures they establish. These binational structures transcend the limitations of national legal systems to achieve and implement family rights and obligations across borders.
  • Topic: Military Strategy, Immigration, Border Control, Family
  • Political Geography: United States, North America, Mexico
  • Author: Esra Cavusoglu
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Turkish Journal of Middle Eastern Studies
  • Institution: Turkish Journal of Middle Eastern Studies
  • Abstract: British withdrawal from the Persian Gulf in 1971, started a new era in the region with new political order and new security map. Iran and Saudi Arabia emerged as the guardians of the status quo to be filling the power vacuum left by the British in behalf of the West. Britain adopted a new post-imperial role in the region along with new post-colonial foreign policy in the post-withdrawal context. British policy towards the regional security is analysed in this article with central focus on the shift emerged in the aftermath of the Iranian Revolution in the British policy. After 1979, Iran, no longer a Western ally, has been defined as the major internal threat for the regional security following the major external threat of the Soviet expansion in the British foreign policy. This paper argues that the shift in the British policy came along with a sectarianist approach towards the region. The sectarianization emerged with the securitization of the Gulf based on “Iran threat” within the determinants of the Anglo-American alliance on the regional security. The sectarianist discourse adopted by the British foreign policy was employed as an effective tool of the securitization of the Gulf that was deepened during the regional conflicts, the Iran-Iraq War and the Gulf War.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Military Strategy, Sectarianism
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Europe, Iran, Middle East, Persian Gulf
  • Author: Murat Ulgul
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Turkish Journal of Middle Eastern Studies
  • Institution: Turkish Journal of Middle Eastern Studies
  • Abstract: During the period between his election as the Turkish president in August 2014 and the constitutional referendum that introduced a presidential system in Turkey in April 2017, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan tried to demonstrate that he would not be a symbolic political figure in Turkish politics as many former Turkish presidents had been. Instead, he would keep shaping the domestic and foreign agenda of the country, as it would happen in a presidential system. One of the main ways he did this was through a series of mukhtars’ meetings, which began in January 2015. From that point, until the desired changes to the constitution were approved through public referendum, Erdoğan held thirty-seven mukhtars’ meetings. In these meetings he gave speeches about Turkish domestic and foreign policy directly to a group of mukhtars but, more importantly, indirectly to the Turkish public and foreign actors. This article will analyze Erdoğan’s foreign policy messages through his discourse in the mukhtars’ meetings and try to answer two controversial questions regarding his foreign policy ideology: Whether he is an Islamist and whether he is shifting the foreign policy axis of Turkey.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Military Strategy, Leadership, Ideology
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, Asia
  • Author: Ahmed Minhas, Farhat Konain Shujahi, Ghulam Qumber
  • Publication Date: 07-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: South Asian Studies
  • Institution: Department of Political Science, University of the Punjab
  • Abstract: Nuclear security has always been a sensitive area for international cooperation and even for sharing the best practices. States have been guarding the information about their nuclear security measures. With the introduction of terrorism phenomenon after 9/11 incident, the international community has been conscious about possibility of an act of nuclear or radiological terrorism. The US President Barack Obama undertook the task of securing the world from this new kind of terrorism and initiated process of Nuclear Security Summits (NSS)from 2010-2016 in which 53 heads of states were invited. It was the highest forum at which nuclear security was discussed; although, cautiously. NSS entrusted IAEA with the lead role in nuclear security at parallel with the nuclear safety. How the IAEA stands up to its added responsibilities in the post NSS process has to be seen in times to come. Pakistan has also come a long way in perfecting its nuclear security measures especially under the challenging scenario of Global War on Terror (GWOT) being contested within and around Pakistan’s geographical borders. Despite the challenging security environments, Pakistan’s nuclear security measures remained steadfast and not a single terrorist act happened. An appraisal of Pakistani nuclear security approach would be useful for nuclear technology aspirant states as a model of nuclear security best practices.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Nuclear Weapons, Military Strategy, Nuclear Power
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, South Asia, Punjab
  • Author: Erzhan Kazykhanov
  • Publication Date: 09-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Ambassador's Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: As the 72nd session of the United Nations General Assembly convened on September 19, 2017, in New York to address issues with worldwide implications, significant attention was paid to nuclear nonproliferation and the threat that possession of nuclear weapons presents to the security of the entire interna­tional community. Addressing the Security Council, U.S. Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson con­veyed a comprehensive vision of reducing the threats emanating from weapons of mass destruction. First and foremost, Secretary Tillerson outlined the importance of highlighting the positive trajectories of nations that have voluntarily renounced their nuclear weapons. In this context, he said, “Kazakhstan is a particularly illustrative example of the wisdom of relinquishing nuclear weapons. In partnership with the United States, and aided by the Cooperative Threat Reduction Act spearheaded by U.S. Senators Sam Nunn and Richard Lugar, Kazakhstan opted to remove from its territory former Soviet weapons and related nuclear technologies, and [it] joined the Non-Proliferation Treaty as a non-weapons state.” This courageous decision by the leaders of Kazakhstan greatly reduced the prospect of nuclear weapons, components of nuclear weapons or nuclear materials and dual-use technologies from falling into the wrong hands. Nuclear weapons introduced complexity into relations with other countries, and they introduced the risk of miscalculation, accident or escalation. Kazakhstan’s actions represented a key step in that country’s becoming part of the community of nations. As a result of Kazakhstan’s letting go of nuclear weapons, the world does not look on Kazakhstan as a potential nuclear aggressor or a rogue state. It did not make enemies of its nuclear neighbors, Russia or China. Today Kazakhstan has overwhelmingly been at peace with its neighbors, and its trade relations are robust. This year, it hosted World Expo 2017, an event in Astana that showcased the sources of future energy and investment opportunities in Kazakhstan to attendees from around the world. This demonstrates that Kazakhstan is a modern nation making a substantial contribution to regional and international peace and prosperity. Kazakhstan has only benefitted from its early decision. In my previous career, I met President Nursultan Nazarbayev, the founding president of Kazakhstan, on many occasions and had the opportunity to ask him about this decision. He is more at peace with his choice than ever. He once remarked to me, “It was the best thing I ever did for our young country.” Indeed, the international community is well aware of the fact that one of the legacies of the former Soviet Union’s policy strategy in the aftermath of World War II and as a result of the Cold War arms race was building the new nuclear-weapons complex on Kazakhstan soil. The USSR leadership sought to use the country’s central geographical location to deploy Soviet nuclear missiles in a way that would reach even the most remote parts of the world and lead to the most devastating outcomes in affected areas.
  • Topic: Military Strategy, Nuclear Power, Deterrence, Denuclearization
  • Political Geography: Russia, Kazakhstan, Eastern Europe
  • Author: Hans Kiemm
  • Publication Date: 09-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Ambassador's Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: When Bill Clinton came to Bucharest in 1997, he made history as the first U.S. President to visit Romania since the fall of communism. Speaking to the Romanian public, he announced, “Your President and I have agreed to establish a strategic partnership between our nations, a partnership important to America because Romania is important to America—important in your own right and important as a model in this difficult part of the world. Romania can show the people of this region and, indeed, people throughout the world that there is a better way than fighting and division and repression. It is cooperation and freedom and peace. Our friendship will en­dure the test of time. As long as you proceed down democracy’s road, America will walk by your side.” This year marks the 20th anniversary of that U.S.-Romania Strategic Partnership, which President Donald Trump, during a meeting with President Klaus Iohannis this past June in Washington, said is now “stronger than ever.” The Partnership is unique because it is not based upon any written agreement, treaty, or compact, but by mutual respect and un­der­stand­ing, strengthened continuously over time. It is a friendship based on shared values and aspirations, including democracy, freedom, respect for human rights, and the rule of law. While usually invoked when speaking of government-to-government bilateral re­lations, the Partnership extends to people-to-people ties as well. More than 90 percent of the Romanian public rates relations with the United States as good or very good, and overall, associations between the two countries expand far beyond diplomatic obligation.
  • Topic: NATO, Diplomacy, Military Strategy, Diaspora
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Eastern Europe, Romania, North America
  • Author: Richard W Murphy
  • Publication Date: 09-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Ambassador's Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: Accusing Qatar of supporting Islamic militants and Iran, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain abruptly announced in June a travel blockade on Qatar. They tabled 13 demands for their fellow member state in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) to fulfill before the blockade would be lifted. Egypt, which is particularly sensitive to Qatar’s hosting of Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood personalities critical of the Sisi regime, joined in this action. Qatar has protested that the demands constitute an unacceptable infringement on its sovereignty. It has offered to discuss the demands but has been told that the demands are non-negotiable. The blockade adds a further complication for American policymakers dealing with current Middle Eastern power struggles. The initiative for blockading Qatar appears to have been led by Saudi Arabia and the UAE. Bahrain joined, but Oman has steered clear of the controversy, perhaps partly because of its appreciation of Iranian support in earlier decades for the Sultan’s leadership against rebel Omani forces. Kuwait has sought to mediate the dispute but lacks the weight to alter Saudi and Emirati policies.
  • Topic: Regional Cooperation, Terrorism, Military Strategy, Violent Extremism, Conflict
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Persian Gulf, UAE
  • Author: Basem Aly, William Nester
  • Publication Date: 07-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Fletcher Security Review
  • Institution: The Fletcher School, Tufts University
  • Abstract: Decision makers and academics have debated for decades the most effective strategies to defeat militant groups. The absence of a clear center of gravity for conventional militaries to target creates hardships in achieving strategic objectives against non-state actors. In a conventional war, the force with a higher capability to destroy these centers of gravity — such as weapons depots and troop deployment locations — will likely win. Yet, when conventional militaries encounter non-state groups, whose centers of gravity may be well hidden or highly dispersed, the results are quite different. The Israeli wars against Hezbollah and the U.S. war in Vietnam exemplify the difficulties related to this traditional dilemma. One counterinsurgency program, suggested by classical theorists such as David Galula, says that success requires focusing on winning the support of local populations by “capturing hearts and minds.” The logic is obvious: locals living in warzones know where militants are hiding their weapons, money, and personnel. Thus, militaries need local support. In his book, Hearts, Minds, and Hydras: Fighting Terrorism in Afghanistan, Pakistan, America, and Beyond — Dilemmas and Lessons, William Nester argues that capturing hearts and minds is not enough. Rather, Nester develops two primary arguments to show that militaries need a multidimensional strategy in order to succeed.
  • Topic: Military Strategy, Counterinsurgency, Non State Actors, Book Review
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Afghanistan, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Stacie L. Pettyjohn, Jennifer Kavanagh, Robert Pulwer
  • Publication Date: 07-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Fletcher Security Review
  • Institution: The Fletcher School, Tufts University
  • Abstract: Stacie L. Pettyjohn is a senior political scientist at the RAND Corporation and co-director of the Center for Gaming. She is also an adjunct professor and Johns Hopkins University’s School for Advanced International Studies (SAIS). Her primary research areas include wargaming, military posture, Internet freedom, and American foreign policy in the Middle East. She is the author of the RAND monograph U.S. Global Defense Posture, 1783-2011 and the coauthor of several other reports, including Access Granted: Political Challenges to the U.S. Overseas Military Presence, 1945-2011, The Posture Triangle: A New Framework for U.S. Air Force Global Presence, Overseas Basing of U.S. Military Forces: An Assessment of the Relative Costs and Strategic Benefits, and Deradicalizing Islamist Extremists. Her work has also been published in academic journals such as Security Studies and International Negotiation, and her commentary has appeared in Foreign Affairs, War on the Rocks, Defense News, The National Interest, Asia Times, and The Daily Star. Previously, she was a research fellow at the Brookings Institution, a Peace Scholar at the United States Institute of Peace, and a TAPIR fellow at the RAND Corporation. She has a Ph.D. and M.A. in foreign affairs from the University of Virginia and a B.A. in history and political science from the Ohio State University. Jennifer Kavanagh is a political scientist at the RAND Corporation. Her research focuses on defense strategy and planning; trends in international conflict and military interventions; domestic and international terrorism; military personnel policy; and U.S. public opinion. She has also recently studied the resurgence of populism in the United States and its implications for U.S. foreign and domestic policy. Jennifer is also a faculty member at the Pardee RAND Graduate School and has taught research methods courses as an adjunct professor at Georgetown and American University. While completing her Ph.D., she was a Department of Homeland Security Fellow and completed a research internship at Lawrence Livermore National Lab. She was a research assistant at RAND from 2003-2006. Dr. Kavanagh graduated from Harvard University with a BA in Government and a minor in the Russian language. She completed her Ph.D. in Political Science and Public Policy at University of Michigan. Her dissertation, "The Dynamics of Protracted Terror Campaigns: Domestic Politics, Terrorist Violence, Counterterror Responses" was named the best dissertation in the Public Policy subfield in 2010 by the American Political Science Association.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Military Strategy, Interview
  • Political Geography: Global Focus, United States of America
  • Author: Kevin McCauley
  • Publication Date: 09-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: China Brief
  • Institution: The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: At the end of August, Chinese and Indian troops both pulled back from the Doklam region in Bhutan after weeks of tense posturing. The face off began in June when Chinese construction crews accompanied by soldiers began building a road. The area is sensitive to Indian national interests not only because of its ally Bhutan, but also due to area’s proximity to a narrow corridor connecting eastern India with the rest of the country. Beijing repeatedly ratcheted up the messaging to India, including the release of a Ministry of Foreign Affairs legal justification of China’s territorial claims against India (China Daily, August 3, 2017). If the two sides decide to face off again, forces on both sides will need to contend with the difficult mountain terrain and complex weather conditions. To prepare for such a contingency, both India and China have invested significantly in units capable of mountain and high-altitude warfare. An examination of the Chinese Military’s doctrine and training of such units provides important insights into how such a conflict would be conducted.
  • Topic: Environment, Military Strategy, Territorial Disputes, Military Affairs
  • Political Geography: China, India, Asia, Himalayas
  • Author: John Fei
  • Publication Date: 12-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: China Brief
  • Institution: The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: China’s first overseas military base in Djibouti is near the U.S.’ sole military base in Africa—Camp Lemonnier—and signals China’s interest in protecting its growing economic and security interests in Africa and the Indian Ocean. While the base reflects China’s growing economic and security ambitions, it is unclear at present whether the facility represents just an effort for China to enhance its peacekeeping and humanitarian and disaster relief capabilities, or suggests greater ambitions. If, as some reports suggest, China does open more military bases in African and the Indian Ocean region, then the Djibouti base would mark the beginning of a sea-change in Chinese naval ambitions in the Indian Ocean region (Sina, December 19).
  • Topic: Development, Military Strategy, Military Affairs, Economic growth, Maritime, Soft Power
  • Political Geography: Africa, China, Asia, Djibouti, United States of America
  • Author: Anton Minkov, Peter Tikuisis
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Military and Strategic Studies
  • Institution: Centre for Military, Security and Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: The 2007 surge in Iraq is considered one of the most significant military events in recent history given that it coincided with a marked decrease in violent attacks. However, revisiting “significant activity” (SIGACT) data reveals that violence had generally peaked before the surge. This study presents also an examination of other factors that might explain the earlier decline in violence, before the surge was even announced. It is difficult to pinpoint the trends that were most prominent, but they all likely contributed to a shift in the momentum of the security situation in the fall of 2006, before the surge was even announced. Thus, our analysis suggests that the surge was an unnecessary gambit. This paper aims to caution strategic policy decision-makers against misinterpreting the efficacy of surge capability in a complex and dynamically changing security situation.
  • Topic: Regional Cooperation, Terrorism, Military Strategy, Violence
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Middle East, North America
  • Author: Ina Wiesner
  • Publication Date: 09-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Military and Strategic Studies
  • Institution: Centre for Military, Security and Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: Current discourses in science and public about combat drones usually employ arguments from the spheres of technology, strategy, international law and ethics. So far, sociologists have remained silent on this topic. But sociological analyses about the influencing factors of development and employment of combat drones could enrich the debate as well as studies about the effects of combat drone missions on individuals, organisations and societies. This article offers a comprehensive discussion of the sociological aspects of combat drones. A sociological view is not only indicated against the background of the present practice of targeted killings but also because drones appear as an intermediate step towards autonomous offensive combat systems which will change the type of warfare in the future.
  • Topic: War, Military Strategy, Sociology, Drones
  • Political Geography: Global Focus