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  • Author: Adam Garfinkle
  • Publication Date: 04-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Foreign Policy Research Institute
  • Abstract: By now the world knows that U.S. military forces for the first time since the onset of the Syrian civil war in 2011 have attacked regime targets. Plenty of the basic facts are known about what transpired about 18 hours ago, but a few important ones are not—at least not in the public domain. For example, we have only a very general Bomb Damage Assessment (BDA) report. This matters because Tomahawk cruise missiles are very accurate if “lite” weapons. Knowing what the four dozen or so missiles hit and missed, deliberately and otherwise, could tell us a lot about why the President, presumably with Secretary of Defense James Mattis’ guidance and concurrence, chose the lesser of three options presented at what has been described as a meeting of considerable length. That, in turn, could tell us if the intention ultimately is to coerce the Russians into coercing the Syrians to stop doing monstrous things to their own people, and possibly coercing them to support a compromise political settlement to the war; or if it’s just an Eff-You gesture designed only to relieve the sudden pressure of moral unction that unexpectedly came upon our new Commander-in Chief—who seemed to lurch from coldblooded Randian to “Godtalk” invoker of the American Civil Religion in the wink of an eye. In other words, knowing more about the target set would tell us whether there is any political strategy attached to the use of force, or not. Probably not.
  • Topic: International Security, Military Affairs
  • Political Geography: America, Middle East, Syria
  • Author: Eugene Rumer
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Arnold A. Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies
  • Abstract: Eugene Rumer’s paper focuses on American foreign policy choices, notably the complexity of pursuing objectives, some of which cannot easily be reconciled: helping to consolidate democracy and promote economic reform in Ukraine, contributing to Ukraine’s stability, reassuring nervous NATO allies, and avoiding a confrontation with Russia. Given these goals, Rumer asks, what would constitute a sensible strategy, and how should it be pursued?
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, International Security, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: America, Ukraine
  • Author: Grigoriy Shamborovskyi
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Arnold A. Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies
  • Abstract: This paper explores topics related to Ukraine’s Relations with Russia, the EU, and the US. These relationships are explored in terms of international trade, security issues and institution building. Finally, the existence of internal political and socioeconomic divisions is discussed.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance, International Security, Political and institutional effectiveness
  • Political Geography: Russia, America, Ukraine, European Union
  • Author: Jeppe Teglskov Jacobsen
  • Publication Date: 05-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Cyberwar is everywhere - in the media, in the military, among politicians and in academia. It is the new weapon of mass discussion. But there is no such thing as cyberwar. This observation, however, does not render cyberattacks unimportant. The article revisits the debate on Carl von Clausewitz's On War (1832), and examines the utility of cyberattacks as a tool in future war. In doing so, the article not only targets the misunderstandings and exaggerations prevalent in the literature, but demonstrates that Clausewitz's On War, albeit being two centuries old, is a valuable analytical lens in making sense of the relationship between cyber attacks and war. Drawing on the Clauzewitzian trinity, the article finds that cyber attacks can be useful tools in warfare, particularly in the initial stages of war. They are easily deployable and have already proven capable of causing physical damage. However, the article argues that cyber attacks remain inferior to conventional military weaponry, ultimately rendering cyberwar — understood as a war fought primarily through cyberspace — unlikely.
  • Topic: International Law, Science and Technology, International Security
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Michael Singh
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: If Washington is to secure an Iranian nuclear deal that is sustainable and advances American interests, it must make several adjustments to its diplomatic strategy. The Iran nuclear talks are set to resume in Vienna today, with the aim of reaching a long-term agreement to succeed the first-step "Joint Plan of Action" (JPOA). Negotiating an agreement that advances U.S. interests will require the Obama administration to deemphasize political battles in Washington and focus on the larger issues at stake, such as Iran's regional activities and the ultimate fate of the nuclear program. It should also endeavor to transform its fractious array of domestic and international allies from a weakness into a strength. Despite their tactical differences, these allies share an interest in preventing Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons, as well as avoiding a military conflict and promoting regional stability and global nonproliferation.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, International Cooperation, Nuclear Weapons, Treaties and Agreements, International Security, Nuclear Power
  • Political Geography: America, Iran, Washington