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  • Author: Ted Galen Carpenter
  • Publication Date: 10-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: In the decades since the founding of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in 1949, wild swings have occurred in the way that American media outlets view that country. At most times, a herd mentality is evident, as a large percentage of news stories portray China in one particular fashion, although there always are some dissenters from the dominant narrative. The nature of that narrative sometimes shifts rapidly and dramatically, however. During some periods, the prevailing perspective has been extremely hostile, with nearly all accounts seeing the PRC as a monstrous oppressor domestically and an existential security threat to the United States. That was the case for more than two decades following the communist revolution, until Richard Nixon’s administration suddenly altered U.S. policy in 1971–1972, and Washington no longer treated the PRC as a rogue state.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Public Opinion, Media, Economy
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Eunsun Cho
  • Publication Date: 05-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Public and International Affairs (JPIA)
  • Institution: School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University
  • Abstract: As the unparalleled ability of big data to capture and process real-time information signals a revolution in public administration, countries around the world have begun to explore the application of the technology to government functions. At the forefront of these efforts is China, which is planning to launch the social credit system (SCS), a data-powered project to monitor, assess, and shape the behavior of all citizens and enterprises. This new frontier of digital surveillance raises questions about how the United States will incorporate data technology into its own politics and economy. This article argues that the U.S. needs a comprehensive nationwide data protection framework that places limits on surveillance by both private business and the government. Without drawing its own baseline for personal data protection, the United States risks missing the already narrowing opportunity to define its balance between democracy, security, and growth.
  • Topic: Security, Science and Technology, Democracy, Surveillance
  • Political Geography: China, Asia-Pacific, United States of America
  • Author: Sheena Chestnut Greitens, Myunghee Lee, Emir Yazici
  • Publication Date: 02-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: In early 2017, the Chinese Communist Party changed its internal security strategy in Xinjiang, escalating collective detention, ideological re-education, and pressure on Uyghur diaspora networks. This strategy shift was likely catalyzed by changing perceptions of Uyghur involvement in transnational Islamic militancy in Southeast Asia and the Middle East, heightening perceived domestic vulnerability to terrorism.
  • Topic: Security, Human Rights, Minorities, Counter-terrorism, Repression
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, Xinjiang
  • Author: Ong Keng Yong, Noorita Mohd Noor, Iftekharul Bashar, Muhammad Saiful Alam Shah Bin Sudiman, Nodirbek Soliev, Remy Mahzam, Amalina Abdul Nasir
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Counter Terrorist Trends and Analysis
  • Institution: Centre for Non-Traditional Security Studies, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: The January issue provides an overview of terrorist and violent extremist threats in key countries and conflict zones in the Asia-Pacific throughout 2019. Regional specific threats and responses covering Southeast Asia, South Asia, Central Asia, China and the Middle East are assessed. In addition, themes such as the online narratives propagated by global threat groups and counter-ideological dimensions of terrorism and violent extremism are analysed. Globally, despite suffering severe territorial, leadership and organisational losses in 2019, Islamist terror groups Islamic State (IS) and Al Qaeda (AQ) continued to pose the most potent terrorist threat. Early in the year, IS’ territorial reign was ended by American-backed coalition forces, following which its networks became scattered and, in a bid to overcome its physical decimation, more decentralised across the globe. The death of IS’ “Caliph”, Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, in October 2019, raised further questions about the group’s continued resiliency. Yet, IS has proved persistent and adaptive. The group’s violent ideology continues to bind its myriad followers across regions. In the aftermath of its territorial and leadership losses, IS’ terror attacks and online offensives have been sustained. The global security landscape was further complicated by the emergence of Right Wing Extremist groups as violent actors on the world stage in 2019. Mass political protests around the world further underscored growing dissatisfaction with the present status quo, amid perceptions that some states are unable to articulate masses’ aspirations and meet their demands. The threat of Islamist terrorism will persist into 2020, especially with escalating geo-political tensions in the Middle East. Overcoming the physical and ideological threat by global militant groups, including far-right extremist groups, will remain very much a work in progress in the year ahead.
  • Topic: Security, Terrorism, Counter-terrorism, Al Qaeda, Islamic State, Protests, Violence
  • Political Geography: China, South Asia, Central Asia, Middle East, North Africa, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Donald M. Bishop, Valerie Jackson, Christopher Davis, Evan N. Polisar, Kerry K. Gershaneck, Troy E. Mitchell, James R. R. Van Eerden, Rosario M. Simonetti, Paolo Tripodi, David E. McCullin, Christopher Whyte, Jeannie L. Johnson
  • Publication Date: 03-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Advanced Military Studies
  • Institution: Marine Corps University Press, National Defense University
  • Abstract: In 2010, MCU Press published the first issue of this journal, formerly known as Marine Corps University Journal, to serve as the bridge between the military Services and the professional military educators, strategists, and historians within the greater Department of Defense community. During the ensuing years, the press and the journal have evolved to offer innovative and active content that continues to serve as a forum for interdisciplinary discussion of national security and international relations issues and how they impact the Department of Defense, the Department of the Navy, and the U.S. Marine Corps. Now, 10 years later, we see the need to evolve and offer a wider base for those conversations to take place. To celebrate this 10-year anniversary and to reflect the journal’s change in focus over time, the journal has been renamed the Journal of Advanced Military Studies (JAMS) to honor the constant innovation of our content, our authors, and the topics we present to our readers. JAMS will continue to offer readers thematic, biannual issues that encourage and continue the debates happening across Marine Corps University, the Services, and the Department of Defense. It is no coincidence then that this issue of JAMS focuses on innovation and the future of warfare. Each of the articles presented offers the readers a deep dive into a historical, current, or forward-looking perspective on innovation and the military Services. As with any discussion of the military and abstract concepts such as innovation, we must first set the parameters of our discussion. For many readers, the term innovation evokes thoughts of technology, shiny gadgets, and artificial intelligence. While innovation is not necessarily synonymous with technology, it is certainly a challenge to say what in fact it is—a thing, a concept, an action, the people involved, or all of the above. The experts may not agree on what innovation is, but they can agree that it requires change or transformation to be successful. Sun Tzu’s The Art of War compares the nature of warfare to that of water for “just as water retains no constant shape, so in warfare there are no constant conditions.” More contemporary agents of innovation include military theorists such as Earl H. Ellis, John R. Boyd, Michael D. Wyly, and John F. Schmitt. Lieutenant Colonel Earl Ellis’s work on Advanced Base Operations in Micronesia (Operation Plan 712) in 1921 clearly demonstrated his ability to forecast the future needs for amphibious warfare in the Pacific two decades prior to World War II. Though most readers will recognize former Air Force colonel John R. Boyd for his observe-orient-decide-act (OODA) decision-making loop, his more innovative work may well be seen in the energy maneuverability (E-M) theory, a mathematical study of fighter aviation. Then-major Wyly was tasked with reforming the Marine Corps concept of maneuver warfare in the wake of the Vietnam War. The work of Wyly, Boyd, and William S. Lind would serve as the foundation for Warfighting, Marine Corp Doctrinal Publication (MCDP) 1, that was later formally written by then-captain John Schmitt, along with several other doctrinal publications, including Ground Combat Operations, Campaigning, Command and Control, Planning, Expeditionary Operations, and a revision of Warfighting. The articles in this issue of JAMS continue the discussion fostered by these innovative pathfinders. Our introductory section from the Brute Krulak Center for Innovation and Creativity discusses the conception and creation of the center and some of its most innovative programs, including the award-winning Destination Unknown graphic novel and the center’s first essay contest, the U.S. Marine Corps Postmortem, and offers insight from Marine Corps leaders who consider both success and failure as critical measures for the strength of an organization. For example, Lieutenant General Loretta E. Reynolds contemplates how the Corps “must find a way to manage today’s risks while constantly readying ourselves for the emerging challenges of the future fight.”
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Military Strategy, Counterinsurgency, Culture, Armed Forces, Authoritarianism, Cybersecurity, Democracy, Geopolitics, History , Surveillance, Think Tanks, Propaganda, Innovation, Armed Conflict , Game Theory
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Haiti, North America, United States of America, Indo-Pacific
  • Author: Elizabeth N. Saunders
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: When and how do domestic politics influence a state's nuclear choices? Recent scholarship on nuclear security develops many domestic-political explanations for different nuclear decisions. These explanations are partly the result of two welcome trends: first, scholars have expanded the nuclear timeline, examining state behavior before and after nuclear proliferation; and second, scholars have moved beyond blunt distinctions between democracies and autocracies to more fine-grained understandings of domestic constraints. But without linkages between them, new domestic-political findings could be dismissed as a laundry list of factors that do not explain significant variation in nuclear decisions. This review essay assesses recent research on domestic politics and nuclear security, and develops a framework that illuminates when and how domestic-political mechanisms are likely to affect nuclear choices. In contrast to most previous domestic arguments, many of the newer domestic-political mechanisms posited in the literature are in some way top-down; that is, they show leaders deliberately maintaining or loosening control over nuclear choices. Two dimensions govern the extent and nature of domestic-political influence on nuclear choices: the degree of threat uncertainty and the costs and benefits to leaders of expanding the circle of domestic actors involved in a nuclear decision. The framework developed in this review essay helps make sense of several cases explored in the recent nuclear security literature. It also has implications for understanding when and how domestic-political arguments might diverge from the predictions of security-based analyses.
  • Topic: Security, Arms Control and Proliferation, Nuclear Weapons, Treaties and Agreements, International Security, Domestic politics, Nonproliferation
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, China, Iran, North Korea
  • Author: Prakash Menon
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Fletcher Security Review
  • Institution: The Fletcher School, Tufts University
  • Abstract: Technology often seduces potential adversaries through a promise of relief from security threats only to deceive through the inevitable action-reaction cycle. In the universe of security, technology is contestable both by technology itself and by doctrinal prescriptions and operational countermeasures. The advantage provided by new technology is mostly ephemeral in that provides the momentum for an endless cycle that is best described as chasing one’s own tail. Only political intervention through mutual understanding, doctrinal prudence, and regulating the search for operational supremacy holds potential to escape the stranglehold of the action-reaction cycle. The elusive search for Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) is a prime example. This paper seeks to interrogate the role of the technology-security dynamics in the context of the Sino-Indian nuclear weapon relationship. ​ The context of the Sino-Indian nuclear weapon relationship is clouded by the enhancing reach of India’s missiles[1], the evolving Chinese reaction to U.S. nuclear modernization accompanied by a shift in nuclear posture, and a shared belief in the role of nuclear weapons that is signified by No First Use (NFU) doctrine. The latter point represents political intervention while the two former signify the action-reaction cycle which is primarily a product of technology. However, both China and India must contend with nuclear powers that espouse First Use. China in dealing with the United States and Russia who are quantitatively superior nuclear powers, while India deals with Pakistan whose claims of quantitative superiority are contested. ​ In technological terms, the rise of China and the U.S. reaction resulting in contemporary geopolitical flux at the global level has impacted the evolution of China’s nuclear arsenal. The most prominent illustration of this is China’s reaction to the United States’ withdrawal from the Ballistic Missile Defense Treaty. Earlier China had eschewed development of BMD, but the United States’ quest to create BMD has caused China to attempt to develop its own BMD system as well as systems that can overcome BMD like multiple independently targetable reentry vehicles (MIRVs) and Hyper Glide Vehicles (HGVs). Similarly, India has reacted to developments in China and Pakistan by launching an indigenous BMD development program...
  • Topic: Security, Nuclear Weapons, Bilateral Relations, Weapons
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, China, South Asia, India, Asia
  • Author: Kristi Govella
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Fletcher Security Review
  • Institution: The Fletcher School, Tufts University
  • Abstract: For most of history, the domains of the global commons were unclaimed, largely because the technology to access and utilize them did not exist.[1] In areas such as the high seas and outer space, it was impossible for states to establish and maintain sovereign control. Even as the relevant technologies developed, costliness and controls kept them initially concentrated largely in the hands of just a few major powers such as the Unit- ed States and the Soviet Union. For the United States, “command of the commons” became the military foundation of its hegemony, granting it the ability to access much of the planet and to credibly threaten to deny the use of such spaces to others.[2] Bipolar competition between the United States and the Soviet Union strongly influenced developments in the maritime and outer space domains. In the case of cyberspace, a more recent addition to the traditional global commons, the United States was also initially dominant due to its role in pioneering associated technologies. However, over time and particularly since the end of the Cold War, continuing technological innovation and diffusion have made these domains accessible to a growing number of countries. ​ This technological progress was born of both cooperation and competition between states. While some states chose to develop certain technologies indigenously, many acquired knowledge and equipment from abroad. Globalization of industry has made it easier for states to obtain a variety of foreign technologies, even lowering the threshold for them to procure disruptive military capabilities. In addition, over the last two decades, American primacy has been increasingly challenged by the rise of China, which has impacted the dynamics of technological development and diffusion across multiple domains. As China has acquired the technology to become more active in the commons, it has prompted major regional powers, such as Japan and India, to accelerate their own technological advancement, and other mid-sized and smaller countries have also become increasingly engaged.[3] ​ The consequence of this multiplication of technologically sophisticated actors has been the erosion of American primacy in the global commons. Although the United States still remains the most dominant player, it is faced with a more densely populated field, and management of these spaces has become more difficult. This article examines this trend in the high seas, outer space, and cyberspace since the end of the Cold War, with attention to the ways in which the rise of China and the relative decline of the United States have catalyzed greater engagement with the commons, particularly among the countries in Asia that find themselves most affected by this power transition. I argue that advances in and diffusion of technology have transformed the global commons into increasingly crowded domains characterized by interstate competition and heightened tensions. Whether these tensions prevail depends on the creation and strengthening of regimes to manage interactions and promote shared rules and norms...
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Globalization, Science and Technology
  • Political Geography: China, Global Focus, United States of America
  • Author: S. Trush
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs: A Russian Journal of World Politics, Diplomacy and International Relations
  • Institution: East View Information Services
  • Abstract: FOr SeVeral MONThS, the world expert community has been actively discussing the obvious resurgence of the russia-the U.S.-China “triangle.” This happens every time when the key, or even “sacral,” prob- lem of international interaction – the problem of security – comes to the fore. The high level of confrontation inside two of the three sides of the “triangle” – the U.S. vs. russia and China vs. the U.S. – predetermined this resurgence against the background of donald Trump’s non-orthodox and unyielding foreign policy. he brought to the white house his “no-nonsense” approach to add more prominence to the traditional efforts of american pragmatists to keep russia and China apart. his obvious preference for Moscow and his clear intention to rely on it to oppose China were defused by an unprece- dented attack launched against him by the anti-Trump opposition inside the United States. due to the internal balance of power, russia was cho- sen as the potentially most promising target with the best foreign policy dividends perfectly suited to the task of either pushing the president out of the white house or at least, narrowing down his political leeway. This attack and the fairly painful Korean issue created a pause in the america-China relations obvious in the first year of the new administra- tion that ended late in 2017 by the “tough and realistic” description in the National Security Strategy of the United States of “revisionist powers of russia and China.... that challenge american power.” This launched an aggressive trade war with China; today, it has become abundantly clear that it is part of the exacerbated systemic confrontation with China over economic, technological and military leadership.
  • Topic: Security, Diplomacy, International Cooperation, Military Strategy
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Europe, Asia, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Leo Lin
  • Publication Date: 11-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: China Brief
  • Institution: The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Kazakhstan President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev’s recent visit to the People’s Republic of China (PRC) on September 10-12 was not merely a state visit, but also signaled a new era in bilateral relations between Kazakhstan and China. During his visit, Tokayev met top officials of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), including CCP General Secretary Xi Jinping, Premier Li Keqiang, and Li Zhanshu, the Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress. Tokayev also stopped in Hangzhou, where he visited the headquarters of the Alibaba Group and spoke with founder Jack Ma, as well as the new chairman and CEO Daniel Zhang (Sina Tech, September 12). The September visit has symbolic meaning for both Xi and Tokayev as they prepare for a new stage of their partnership—in the same year as the 70th anniversary of the founding of the PRC, and the 30th anniversary of Kazakhstan’s independence.
  • Topic: Security, International Trade and Finance, Science and Technology, Treaties and Agreements, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Central Asia, Kazakhstan