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  • Author: Thomas Wright
  • Publication Date: 03-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Foreign policy experts have struggled to describe the unusual character of contemporary world politics. Much of the debate revolves around the concept of polarity, which deals with how power is distributed among nations, as experts ask if the United States is still a unipolar power or in decline as new powers emerge. The polarity debate, however, obscures more than it clarifies because the distribution of power does not determine the fate of nations by itself. It leaves out strategic choice and does not predict how the United States would exercise its power or how others would respond to U.S. primacy. World politics can take many paths, not just one, under any particular distribution of power. The most remarkable feature of post-Cold War world politics has not been the much-discussed power accumulation of the United States—although that is indeed noteworthy—but rather the absence of counter- balancing and revisionist behavior by other major powers.
  • Topic: Cold War
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Maren Leed
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: For those in the amphibious operations business, these are tough times. Amphibious ships—the "work horse of the fleet" — are in short supply, and demand for the capabilities they bring to the table shows no sign of abating. Navy and Marine leaders, the Department of Defense, and the Congress are actively engaged in managing the risks that result from this gap in capability, though they are by no means unique to amphibious ships, the Navy, or the joint force more broadly.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Cold War, Science and Technology
  • Author: Thomas Wright
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: If there is one idea that has consistently influenced western foreign policy since the Cold War, it is the notion that extending interdependence and tightening economic integration among nations is a positive development that advances peace, stability, and prosperity. As a post-Cold War idea guiding U.S. and European foreign policy, there is much to be said for it. The absorption of Eastern Europe in both the European Union and NATO helped consolidate market democracy. Globalization led to unprecedented growth in western economies, and facilitated the ascent of China and India, among others, taking billions of people out of poverty. Access to the international financial institutions also offered emerging powers the strategic option of exerting influence through existing institutions rather than trying to overturn them. Some policymakers and experts believe that this process holds the key to continuing great power peace and stability.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Cold War
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Europe, India
  • Author: Michael O'Hanlon
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: During the Cold War, the United States varied between a "1 ½ war" and a "2 ½ war" framework for sizing its main combat forces. This framework prepared forces for one or two large wars, and then a smaller "half-war." Capacity for a major conflict in Europe, against the Soviet Union and its Warsaw Pact allies, represented the enduring big war potential. This period saw simultaneous conflict against China as a second possible big war, until Nixon's Guam doctrine placed a greater burden on regional allies rather than U.S. forces to address such a specter, and until his subsequent opening to the PRC made such a war seem less likely in any event. The half-wars were seen as relatively more modest but still quite significant operations such as in Korea or Vietnam.
  • Topic: Cold War
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Europe, Vietnam, Korea
  • Author: Ji-Young Lee, David C. Kang
  • Publication Date: 01-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The year ended with heightened tensions resulting from Pyongyang"s shelling of South Korea"s Yeonpyeong Island on Nov, 23 and the subsequent show of force by South Korea, the US, and Japan. Yet, despite dueling artillery barrages and the sinking of a warship, pledges of “enormous retaliation,” in-your-face joint military exercises and urgent calls for talks, the risk of all-out war on the Korean Peninsula is less than it has been at any time in the past four decades. North Korea didn"t blink because it had no intention of actually starting a major war. Rather than signifying a new round of escalating tension between North and South Korea, the events of the past year point to something else – a potential new cold war. The most notable response to the attack on Yeonpyeong was that a Seoul-Washington-Tokyo coalition came to the fore, standing united to condemn North Korea”s military provocations, while Beijing called for restraint and shrugged away calls to put pressure on North Korea. Within this loose but clear division, Japan-North Korea relations moved backward with Prime Minister Kan Naoto blaming the North for an “impermissible, atrocious act.” On the other hand, Japan-South Korea relations have grown closer through security cooperation in their reaction to North Korea. Tokyo"s new defense strategy places a great emphasis on defense cooperation and perhaps even a military alliance with South Korea and Australia in addition to the US to deal with China"s rising military power and the threat from Pyongyang.
  • Topic: Cold War
  • Political Geography: Japan, Washington, Asia, Tokyo, Korea
  • Author: Simon Serfaty
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The ''unipolar moment'' that followed the Cold War was expected to start an era.1 Not only was the preponderance of U.S. power beyond question, the facts of that preponderance appeared to exceed the reach of any competitor. America's superior capabilities (military, but also economic and institutional) that no other country could match or approximate in toto, its global interests which no other power could share in full, and its universal saliency confirmed that the United States was the only country with all the assets needed to act decisively wherever it chose to be involved.2 What was missing, however, was a purposea national will to enforce a strategy of preponderance that would satisfy U.S. interests and values without offending those of its allies and friends. That purpose was unleashed after the horrific events of September 11, 2001. Now, however, the moment is over, long before any era had the time to get started.
  • Topic: Cold War
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Heather Conley, Jamie Kraut
  • Publication Date: 04-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: During the height of the Cold War, the Arctic region was considered a geostrategic and geopolitical playground for the United States and the Soviet Union, as strategic bombers and nuclear submarines crossed over and raced below the polar cap. Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the Arctic region significantly diminished in strategic importance to the United States. Twenty years later, senior U.S. military and diplomatic officials have turned their attention once again to the Arctic region but in a far different way than during the Cold War.
  • Topic: Cold War
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, Asia, Soviet Union
  • Author: Keith C. Smith
  • Publication Date: 12-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Following the breakup of the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact, the leaders of Russia, including then-President Boris Yeltsin, searched for new methods of continuing to exert influence over the former Soviet-controlled region. The Kremlin at first used an energy blockade to the Baltic States in 1990 in an attempt to prevent their breakaway from the Soviet Union. After that failed, it then focused on the growing opposition in the former republics of the Soviet Union and in East Central Europe to its foreign and economic policies, and in particular on demands that Russian military forces withdraw from the newly independent states. The Kremlin leadership quickly recognized that short of military action, its major foreign policy tool was the denial or threat of denial of access to Russia's vast oil and gas resources. The economies of East European and Central Asian countries, and especially their rail and pipeline infrastructures, had been hardwired by Soviet leaders to assure total dependency on Moscow for their raw materials, including oil, gas, coal, and nuclear fuel.
  • Topic: Cold War, Economics, Emerging Markets, Energy Policy, Oil
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Central Asia, Soviet Union
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Cold War, War
  • Political Geography: Russia, North Korea
  • Author: Meghan L. O'Sullivan
  • Publication Date: 10-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The sanctions debate is, once again, in full bloom. Thanks to Iran's budding nuclear program and the intransigence of Tehran thus far, policymakers and pundits are again pondering the utility of sanctions. Amid a flurry of sanctions activity at the U.S. Department of Treasury, in Congress, at the UN, and overseas, the question persists: ''Do sanctions work?''
  • Topic: Cold War
  • Political Geography: United States