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  • Author: Leo Michel, Matti Pesu
  • Publication Date: 09-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: One of the most notable consequences of the end of the Cold War was the diminished role of nuclear weapons in international relations. The world’s primary nuclear weapon powers, the United States and the Russian Federation, made considerable reductions in their nuclear forces. The climax of the process was the New START Treaty signed in 2010. Now, the optimism that characterized the first decades of the post-Cold War era is rapidly evaporating. Geopolitical competition again dominates global and regional security dynamics. Nuclear powers are modernizing their forces and introducing novel systems that may affect strategic stability. At the same time, existing arms control regimes are crumbling. This report takes stock of recent developments in deterrence in general, and nuclear deterrence in particular. Its main ambition is to understand how deterrence has changed in light of certain post-Cold War trends. To this end, the report introduces the basic principles of deterrence. It also explores the nuclear-related policies and capabilities of the four nuclear weapon states most directly involved in European security affairs – Russia, the United States, France, and the United Kingdom. Importantly, the report also analyses the implications of the recent trends in strategic deterrence for Northern Europe. This report is part of a research project conducted by the FIIA entitled ‘New Challenges for Strategic Deterrence in the 21st Century’. The project is part of the implementation of the Government Plan for Analysis, Assessment and Research 2018.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Arms Control and Proliferation, Diplomacy, Nuclear Weapons, Military Strategy, Deterrence
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, United Kingdom, Europe, France, North America
  • Author: Assaf Orion, Amos Yadlin
  • Publication Date: 04-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for National Security Studies (INSS)
  • Abstract: At the strategic level, the convergence in time and space of the events following the chemical weapons attack in Duma by the Syrian regime portend a dramatic development with substantial potential impact for Israel’s security environment. The attack on the T4 airbase, attributed to Israel, falls within the context of the last red line that Israel drew, whereby it cannot accept Iran’s military entrenchment in Syria. The attack in Duma reflects the Syrian regime’s considerable self-confidence at this time. As for Trump, the attack provides him with another opportunity to demonstrate his insistence on the red lines that he drew and take a determined stance opposite Putin. Thus, Israel’s enforcement of its red line and the United States’ enforcement of its red line have met, while Russia finds itself exerting efforts to deter both countries from taking further action that could undermine its achievements in Syria and its positioning as the dominant world power in the theater. However, the strategic convergence does not stop at Syria’s borders, and is unfolding against the backdrop of the crisis emerging around the Trump administration’s demands to improve the JCPOA, or run the risk of the re-imposition of sanctions and the US exiting the agreement. Indeed, the context is even wider, with preparations for Trump’s meeting with North Korean President Kim on the nuclear issue in the far background. Therefore, the clash between Israel and Iran in Syria on the eve of deliberations on the nuclear deal could potentially lead to a change from separate approaches to distinct issues to a broader and more comprehensive framework with interfaces and linkages between the issues.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, Diplomacy, Regional Cooperation, Military Strategy, Hezbollah
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, Iran, Middle East, Israel, Asia, North Korea, Syria, North America
  • Author: Ephraim Asculai, Emily Landau, Daniel Shapiro, Moshe Ya'alon
  • Publication Date: 04-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for National Security Studies (INSS)
  • Abstract: Against the backdrop of the visit to Washington by President Macron and the scheduled visit by Chancellor Merkel in an effort to persuade US President Trump not to leave the JCPOA, this article zeros in on the key issues that need to be addressed by the allies. Guided by what is not only necessary but feasible at this late stage, the topics addressed include missiles, inspections, lack of transparency, sanctions, and the sunset provisions. Everything turns on political will – if it exists, agreeing to the proposed steps should not entail a lengthy process, and implementation can realistically begin in relatively short order. Significant results will mean the international community emerges with reinforced solidarity and a strengthened JCPOA. If negotiations progress seriously on this basis, it would make sense for the Trump administration to allow additional time beyond May 12 to complete them.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, Diplomacy, International Cooperation, Military Strategy
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran, Middle East, Israel, North America
  • Author: Assaf Orion, Amos Yadlin
  • Publication Date: 05-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for National Security Studies (INSS)
  • Abstract: Despite the two blows Iran sustained last week, Israel cannot afford to be complacent or overly satisfied. It will need to follow meticulously the updated policies adopted by each of the theater’s involved actors. Thus far, Israel has held separate policies regarding Iran’s nuclear program and the Iranian proxy war and malevolent influence. Now, it must develop an integrative long term policy and strive for coordinated efforts and meaningful cooperation with the United States, European countries, and the countries of the region. Operational and strategic coordination with Russia remains essential. Contending with the Iranian nuclear challenge will require the establishment of a joint “strategic early warning enterprise,” with the United States and other allies, aimed at preventing critical surprises.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, International Cooperation, Military Strategy, JCPOA
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran, Middle East, Israel, Syria, North America
  • Author: Sharon Squassoni, Robert Kim, Stephanie Cooke, Jacob Greenberg
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The Proliferation Prevention Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) participated in a global project on uranium governance led by the Danish Institute for International Studies that looks at uranium accountability and control in 17 uranium- producing countries. The project seeks to identify governance gaps and provide policy recommendations for improving front- end transparency, security, and regulation. The impetus for the project is the concern that monitoring activities at the front end—uranium mining, milling, and conversion—could be strengthened.
  • Topic: Security, Arms Control and Proliferation, Nuclear Weapons, Science and Technology, International Security, Nuclear Power
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Micah Zenko, Sarah Kreps
  • Publication Date: 06-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: The use of unmanned aerial systems—commonly referred to as drones—over the past decade has revolutionized how the United States uses military force. As the technology has evolved from surveillance aircraft to an armed platform, drones have been used for a wide range of military missions: the United States has successfully and legitimately used armed drones to conduct hundreds of counterterrorism operations in battlefield zones, including Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya. It has also used armed drones in non-battlefield settings, specifically in Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, and the Philippines. Collectively, these strikes have eliminated a number of suspected terrorists and militants from Asia to Africa at no cost in terms of U.S. casualties, an advantage of drones over manned platforms that has made them attractive to many other states. However, non-battlefield strikes have drawn criticism, particularly those conducted under the assertion that they are acts of self-defense.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, Military Strategy
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Afghanistan, United States, Iraq, Asia
  • Author: Geoffrey Till
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: The relative rise of China is likely to lead a major shift in the world's strategic architecture, which the United States will need to accommodate. For the outcome to be generally beneficial, China needs to be dissuaded from hegemonic aspirations and retained as a cooperative partner in the world system. This will require a range of potentially conflicting thrusts in U.S. policy.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Arms Control and Proliferation, Emerging Markets, International Cooperation, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: United States, China, East Asia
  • Author: Andrew Monaghan, Keir Giles
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: When U.S. President Barack Obama cancelled a scheduled September 2013 summit meeting with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, “lack of progress on issues such as missile defense” was cited as the primary justification. Despite widespread and well founded assumption that the real trigger for the cancellation was the Russian decision to offer temporary asylum to Edward Snowden, the citing of missile defense was indicative. The comment marked one of the periodic plateaus of mutual frustration between the United States and Russia over U.S. attitudes to missile defense capability, stemming from a continued failure to achieve meaningful dialogue over U.S. plans and Russian fears.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, NATO, Arms Control and Proliferation
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe
  • Author: John R. Deni
  • Publication Date: 05-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: The time has come for a reappraisal of the U.S. Army's forward presence in East Asia, given the significantly changed strategic context and the extraordinarily high, recurring costs of deploying U.S. Army forces from the 50 states for increasingly important security cooperation activities across the Indo-Asia-Pacific theater. For economic, political, diplomatic, and military reasons, the Indo-Asia-Pacific theater continues to grow in importance to the United States. As part of a broad, interagency, multifaceted approach, the U.S. military plays a critical role in the rebalancing effort now underway. The U.S. Army in particular has a special role to play in bolstering the defense of allies and the deterrence of aggression, promoting regional security and stability, and ameliorating the growing U.S.-China security dilemma.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Arms Control and Proliferation
  • Political Geography: United States, East Asia, Asia, Australia
  • Author: David Schenker, Eric Trager
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Cairo's possible purchase of advanced weapons systems from Russia could become another irritant in U.S.-Egyptian relations.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, Economics, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: United States, Ukraine, Middle East, Egypt
  • Author: Jeffrey White
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: A close look at the group's military and ideological credentials seems to reveal a model candidate for greater U.S. and allied support, including lethal military assistance. In mid-April, web videos began to surface showing Syrian rebel unit Harakat Hazm (Steadfastness Movement) employing U.S.-designed antitank guided missiles in Idlib province. The use of these TOW (tube-launched, optically tracked, wire-guided) missiles indicates that the United States and/or one of its TOW-equipped allies have provided lethal aid to the group. Videos of two other groups with TOWs have appeared, but Harakat Hazm seems to have received the most, or at least posted the most videos of them in action. Harakat Hazm has many qualities that make it a good candidate for such assistance. It appears secular in orientation, is well organized from a military perspective, has a significant inventory of heavy weapons, operates across an important area of Syria, and has an established combat record in fighting Bashar al-Assad's regime. In short, the group seems to provide at least a partial answer to longstanding questions about which rebel groups Washington should arm.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, Armed Struggle
  • Political Geography: United States, Syria, North America
  • Author: Sean Kay
  • Publication Date: 01-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Peace and Security Studies
  • Abstract: This working paper demonstrates that the announced "pivot" to Asia by the United States represents a major break with twenty years of liberal and neoconservative priorities in American foreign policy. The pivot to Asia reflects a return to realist thinking in terms of America's international goals. The paper also shows that this shift is difficult to achieve due to existing priorities in other regions and domestic policy dynamics. The paper begins with a brief explanation of the traditions of idealism and realism in American foreign policy. The analysis then explains the various dynamics necessary to implement the "pivot" to Asia and shows the major constraints on implementing this new approach. The conclusion shows that emerging priorities suggest both a need and capacity for a realist alignment of American foreign policy. However, institutionalized constraints risk undermining America's ability to adjust to a new set of twenty-first century global economic and security interests.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Arms Control and Proliferation, Emerging Markets
  • Political Geography: United States, China, East Asia
  • Author: James M. Acton
  • Publication Date: 09-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: The development of non-nuclear weapons that can strike distant targets in a short period of time has been a U.S. goal for more than a decade. Advocates argue that such Conventional Prompt Global Strike (CPGS) weapons could be used to counter antisatellite weapons or sophisticated defensive capabilities; deny a new proliferator the ability to employ its nuclear arsenal; and kill high-value terrorists. Critics worry that CPGS weapons could create serious strategic risks, most notably of escalation—including to the nuclear level—in a conflict.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Arms Control and Proliferation, Terrorism, War
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman, Bryan Gold
  • Publication Date: 05-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The report shows that Iran's current missile and rocket forces help compensate for its lack of effective air power and allow it to pose a threat to its neighbors and US forces that could affect their willingness to strike on Iran if Iran uses its capabilities for asymmetric warfare in the Gulf or against any of its neighbors. At another level, Iran's steady increase in the number, range, and capability of its rocket and missile forces has increased the level of tension in the Gulf, and in other regional states like Turkey, Jordan, and Israel. Iran has also shown that it will transfer long-range rockets to “friendly” or “proxy” forces like the Hezbollah and Hamas. At a far more threatening level, Iran has acquired virtually every element of a nuclear breakout capability except the fissile material needed to make a weapon. This threat has already led to a growing “war of sanctions,” and Israeli and US threats of preventive strikes. At the same time, the threat posed by Iran's nuclear programs cannot be separated from the threat posed by Iran's growing capabilities for asymmetric warfare in the Gulf and along all of its borders. It is far from clear that negotiations and sanctions can succeed in limiting Iran's ability to acquire nuclear weapons and deploy nuclear-armed missiles. At the same time, the report shows that military options offer uncertain alternatives. Both Israel and the US have repeatedly stated that they are planning and ready for military options that could include preventive strikes on at least Iran's nuclear facilities and, and that US strikes might cover a much wider range of missile facilities and other targets. A preventive war might trigger a direct military confrontation or conflict in the Gulf with little warning. It might also lead to at least symbolic Iranian missile strikes on US basing facilities, GCC targets or Israel. At the same time, it could lead to much more serious covert and proxy operations in Lebanon, Iraq, Afghanistan, the rest of the Gulf, and other areas.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Arms Control and Proliferation, Nuclear Weapons, War
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran, Middle East
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman, Byran Gold
  • Publication Date: 05-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Iran almost certainly recognizes that US conventional superiority would give the US and its Gulf allies the upper hand in a serious conventional conflict where they could use the full spectrum of their abilities to attack a range of Iranian military targets. As a result, Iran is linking the steady expansion of its asymmetric forces to new uses of its conventional forces, and is building up its missile and nuclear capabilities, in part to deter retaliation against its use of asymmetric warfare, and in part to pose a major challenge to US and allied conventional superiority If the US is to successfully neutralize this complex mix of threats that can be used in so many different ways and at some many different levels of escalation, it must continuously adapt its forward deployed and power projection forces to deal Iranian efforts to improve its capability conduct a battle of attrition in the Gulf or near it, and deal with contingencies like Iran's use of free floating mines, unattributable attacks, and any other form of asymmetric warfare than threatens friendly Gulf states and the flow of world energy exports from the region. The US, must also work with its Gulf partners and other allies to deter and defend against very different types of conflict and be prepared to face sharp limits on the amount of force it can use. US success depends on building up the capabilities of its strategic partners in the Arab Gulf, as well as improving its cooperation with more traditional partners like Britain and France.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Arms Control and Proliferation, Nuclear Weapons
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman, Robert M. Shelala II
  • Publication Date: 04-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Concepts are not a strategy. Broad outlines do not set real priorities. A strategy requires a plan with concrete goals numbers schedules and costs for procurement, allocation, manpower, force structure, and detailed operational capabilities. For all the talk of 10 years of planned spending levels and cuts, the President and Congress can only shape the actual budget and defense program one year at a time. Unpredicted events and realities will intervene. There is a near zero real world probability that the coming plan and budget will shape the future in spite of changes in the economy, politics, entitlements, and threats to the US.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, Arms Control and Proliferation, International Cooperation, War, Counterinsurgency
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Perhaps the worst part of the debate that has led to the shut down of the federal government is its almost total irrelevance. It threaten both the US economy and US national security, but it does even begin to touch upon the forces that shape the rise in entitlements spending or their underlying causes.The Congressional debate does not address the forces that have led to a form of sequestration that focuses on defense as if it were the key cause of the deficit and pressures on the debt ceiling. It does not address the irony that much of defense spending has direct benefits to the US economy and that the spending on foreign wars–the so-called OCO account–dropped from $158.8 billion in FY2011 to some $88.5 billion in FY2013, and is projected to drop to around $37 billion in FY2015. Much of the debate focuses on the Affordable Care Act or "Obama Care"–a program whose balance between federal expenditures and revenues is sufficiently uncertain so the Congressional Budget office can only make limited forecasts, but whose net impact cannot come close to the cost pressures that an aging America and rising national medical costs have put on Federal entitlements in the worst case NDS May actually have a positive impact in the best case.The following briefing provides a range of estimates that addresses the real issues that are shaping the overall pressures that poverty, an aging America, and rising medical costs are putting on the US economy and federal spending. It draws on a range of sources to show how different estimates affect key trends, but focuses on data provide by a neutral arm of the same Congress that has paralyzed the US government and whose action threaten the funding on a viable national security strategy.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Arms Control and Proliferation, Economics, Governance
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman, Nicholas S. Yarosh, Ashley Hess
  • Publication Date: 09-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The United States and the People's Republic of China (PRC) face a critical need to improve their understanding of how each is developing its military power and how to avoid forms of military competition that could lead to rising tension or conflict between the two states. This report utilizes the unclassified data available in the West on the trends in Chinese military forces. It relies heavily on the data in the US Department of Defense (DoD) Report to Congress on Military and Security Developments Involving the People's Republic of China, particularly the 2013 edition.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Arms Control and Proliferation
  • Political Geography: United States, China
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman
  • Publication Date: 09-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Far too much of the analysis of Iran's search for nuclear weapons treats it in terms of arms control or focuses on the potential threat to Israel. In reality, Iran's mix of asymmetric warfare, conventional warfare, and conventionally armed missile forces have critical weaknesses that make Iran anything but the hegemon of the Gulf. Iran's public focus on Israel also disguises the reality that its primary strategic focus is to deter and intimidate its Gulf neighbors and the United States – not Israel. It has made major progress in creating naval forces for asymmetric warfare and developing naval missiles, but it has very limited air-sea and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (IS) capabilities. It lacks modern conventional land, air, air defense and sea power, has fallen far behind the Arab Gulf states in modern aircraft and ships, and its land forces are filled with obsolete and mediocre weapons that lack maneuver capability and sustainability outside Iran. Iran needs nuclear weapons to offset these facts.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, Arms Control and Proliferation, Nuclear Weapons, Treaties and Agreements, Weapons of Mass Destruction
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran, Middle East, Israel, Arabia
  • Author: Maren Leed
  • Publication Date: 09-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: At present, the defense policy landscape is replete with arguments, many of which are ultimately based in the lack of a common vision among both elites and within the broader population about the role of the U.S. military in the future. Cyber operations are one element of these debates, although much of the discussion has centered around how best to defend against a growing cyber threat, the role of the Defense Department in that defense, and tensions between civil liberties and security interests. Occasionally, greater attention is paid to questions about the U.S. use of cyber offensively, which brings with it questions of precedent, deterrence, international norms, and a host of other challenges. But it is also apparent that U.S. leaders have already approved the use of offensive cyber capabilities, though under tight restrictions. While not ignoring this larger context, the specific question this report examines is whether the Defense Department should make a more deliberate effort to explore the potential of offensive cyber tools at levels below that of a combatant command.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Arms Control and Proliferation, Intelligence, Science and Technology, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States