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  • Author: Rajesh Basrur
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: S.Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: The Cold War debate between Albert Wohlstetter and Patrick Blackett over the requirements of effective deterrence is of profound relevance half a century later. The two thinkers offered systematic arguments for their maximalist (Wohlstetter) and minimalist (Blackett) positions. How we conceive of these requirements shapes the kinds of nuclear weapons doctrines, forces and postures we adopt. Whereas the Wohlstetter-Blackett debate was based largely on deductive logic, the opposing arguments can today be assessed on the basis of evidence drawing from nearly seven decades of strategic behaviour between nuclear rivals. An analysis of major confrontations in five nuclear dyads – United States-Soviet Union, United States-China, Soviet Union-China, India-Pakistan, and United States-North Korea – clearly offers much stronger support for Blackett?s minimalist case than for Wohlstetter?s maximalist one. Effective deterrence does not require second-strike capability as defined by Wohlstetter and the nuclear balance has no effect on a state?s capacity to deter. Consequently, the central tenets of orthodox nuclear deterrence theory and doctrine are shown to be without foundation. For policymakers, the optimal forces and postures required for effective deterrence are therefore less demanding and the hurdles in the path of arms control and at least partial disarmament less difficult to cross.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Cold War, Nuclear Weapons, Weapons of Mass Destruction, Power Politics
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, United States, China, India, North Korea
  • Author: Dmitri V. Trenin
  • Publication Date: 12-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: In 2014, Russia broke out of the post-Cold War order and openly challenged the U.S.-led international system. This was essentially the result of the failure of attempts to integrate Russia into the Euro-Atlantic community. The new period of rivalry between the Kremlin and the West is likely to endure for years. Moscow's new course is laid down first and foremost by President Vladimir Putin, but it also reflects the rising power of Russian nationalism.
  • Topic: Cold War, Nationalism, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States
  • Author: James Blight, Janet M. Lang
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: On November 22, 2013, the world observes the fiftieth anniversary of JFK's assassination. As Peter Baker (2013) writes, a “quick Amazon browse” yields a staggering 140 new JFK-related book titles published in English this year alone. JFK is regularly ranked by the American public as the most popular president of the post-World War II period. But even this does not seem to adequately explain the Kennedy media blitz in 2013. The media coverage of the anniversary will surely prove in spades that, alas, people still find the circumstances of JFK's death far more interesting than the achievements of his presidency. Dallas is Graceland; JFK might as well have been Elvis. For the first quarter century or so after JFK's murder, insensitive cynics sometimes remarked that having been assassinated was a great posthumous career move. They were wrong. The bizarre and still incompletely solved assassination has focussed succeeding generations on the JFK “fluff” factor — all the hearsay and gossip involved in establishing the Kennedys as America's unofficial “royal family.” To most, Dallas was tragic because JFK and his wife and children were so beautiful, young and cool. Vanity Fair, perhaps the paradigmatic Kennedy-worshipping outlet, has recently issued a commemorative volume of nearly 200 pages, with remarkably few advertisements, of nothing but Kennedy stories. The cover delivers on its promises of “dynasty, On November 22, 2013, the world observes the fiftieth anniversary of JFK's assassination. As Peter Baker (2013) writes, a “quick Amazon browse” yields a staggering 140 new JFK-related book titles published in English this year alone. JFK is regularly ranked by the American public as the most popular president of the post-World War II period. But even this does not seem to adequately explain the Kennedy media blitz in 2013. The media coverage of the anniversary will surely prove in spades that, alas, people still find the circumstances of JFK's death far more interesting than the achievements of his presidency. Dallas is Graceland; JFK might as well have been Elvis. For the first quarter century or so after JFK's murder, insensitive cynics sometimes remarked that having been assassinated was a great posthumous career move. They were wrong. The bizarre and still incompletely solved assassination has focussed succeeding generations on the JFK “fluff” factor — all the hearsay and gossip involved in establishing the Kennedys as America's unofficial “royal family.” To most, Dallas was tragic because JFK and his wife and children were so beautiful, young and cool. Vanity Fair, perhaps the paradigmatic Kennedy-worshipping outlet, has recently issued a commemorative volume of nearly 200 pages, with remarkably few advertisements, of nothing but Kennedy stories. The cover delivers on its promises of “dynasty, glamour, power and tragedy,” cementing JFK's role as America's martyred monarch.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Cold War, Diplomacy, Nuclear Weapons
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Stefano Santamato, Marie-Theres Beumler
  • Publication Date: 02-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for National Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: The history of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) will say that the first, and so far only, time NATO has called upon its Article 5 collective defense clause was on September 12, 2001, following a terrorist attack on one of its members. Yet, until the agreement by NATO Heads of State and Government on the new policy guidelines on counterterrorism on May 20, 2012, NATO did not have an agreed policy to define its role and mandate in countering terrorism.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, NATO, Cold War, International Cooperation, Treaties and Agreements, Counterinsurgency
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Erik Beukel
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: The divided Korean peninsula is a flashpoint in the regional security complex in East Asia. The central issue is the threat posed by North Korea and how to meet it. After a review of North Korea as an international actor and of two important incidents in 2010 (the sinking of the South Korean naval ship Cheonan and North Korea's shelling of the South Korean coastal island of Yeonpyeong), the rationality underlying the country's military efforts is considered. South Korea's Nordpolitik is reviewed and the rise and decline of its sunshine policy and the role of its alliance with the United States is described. Two non-Korean great powers, China and the United States, are important actors in the region, and their relations with North Korea, goals and priorities, and implementation strategies are outlined. The report concludes with reflections on the potential for changing the present security complex, which is marked by a fear of war, into a restrained security regime, based on agreed and observed rules of conduct.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Foreign Policy, Cold War, Communism, Weapons of Mass Destruction, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Israel, East Asia, Korea, Island
  • Author: Joshua Kurlantzick
  • Publication Date: 11-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: In a region largely bereft of regional organizations and long divided by the Cold War, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has been the most significant multilateral group for the past forty-five years. Since the end of the Cold War, ASEAN has grown increasingly influential. While much of the West and most emerging markets continue to suffer because of the 2008 global recession, the leading ASEAN economies have recovered and are thriving. Perhaps most important, ASEAN has helped prevent interstate conflicts in Southeast Asia, despite several brewing territorial disputes in the region.
  • Topic: Cold War, Development, Economics, Emerging Markets, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, Asia
  • Author: John W. Parker
  • Publication Date: 01-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for National Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: Independent Russia is approaching the start of its third decade of post-Soviet existence. After the economic chaos of the Boris Yeltsin decade and the recovery and stabilization of the Vladimir Putin decade, Russia's leaders have high ambitions for a return to great power status in the years ahead. Their aspirations are tempered, however, by the realities of Russia's social, economic, and military shortcomings and vulnerabilities, laid painfully bare by the stress test of the recent global financial crisis. Looking ahead, some also calculate that Russia will be increasingly challenged in the Far East by a rising China and in the Middle East by an Iran that aspires to regional hegemony.
  • Topic: Cold War, Nuclear Weapons, International Affairs, Power Politics
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States
  • Author: Robert Jervis
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Arnold A. Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies
  • Abstract: Recent world politics displays two seemingly contradictory trends: on one hand, the incidence of international and even civil war shows a very great decline, but on the other hand the US, and to a lesser extent Britain and France, have been involved in many military adventures since the end of the Cold War. The causes are numerous, but among them are the unipolar structure of world politics, which presents the US with different kinds of threats and new opportunities. Central also is the existence of a Security Community among the leading states. A number of forces and events could undermine it, but they seem unlikely to occur. Even in this better world, however, recessed violence will still play a significant role, and force, like other forms of power, is most potent and useful when it remains far in the background.
  • Topic: Civil War, Cold War, War, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: United States, France
  • Author: Richard J. Krickus
  • Publication Date: 10-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: U.S. Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates has said that the ability of the United States and Russia to cooperate in Afghanistan will be a solid test of their reset in relations. That proposition is the thesis of this monograph. Many analysts in both countries would agree with this assessment, but a significant number of them believe a fruitful reset is implausible.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Foreign Policy, Cold War, Diplomacy, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Russia, United States
  • Author: Stephen J. Collier
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The New School Graduate Program in International Affairs
  • Abstract: This paper explores “system vulnerability thinking” as a specific response to the exigencies of thermonuclear war in the 1950s. It is one part of a collaborative project with Andrew Lakoff on the government of catastrophe in the post - World War II United States. The project focuses on the forms of expertise, the knowledge practices, and the governmental institutions that have been invented to anticipate and manage potential catastrophes, from natural disasters, to pandemic disease, to terrorism, to energy crises. In this project we have identified the reconfiguration of US government in the early years of the Cold War as a crucial moment in which the government of catastrophe in the post - World War II US took shape.
  • Topic: Cold War, Nuclear Weapons, War, History
  • Political Geography: United States