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  • Author: Marina Henke
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Many countries serving in multilateral military coalitions are “paid” to do so, either in cash or in concessions relating to other international issues. An examination of hundreds of declassified archival sources as well as elite interviews relating to the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Gulf War, the Iraq War, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization operation in Afghanistan, the United Nations–African Union operation in Darfur, and the African Union operation in Somalia reveals that these payment practices follow a systematic pattern: pivotal states provide the means to cover such payments. These states reason that rewarding third parties to serve in multilateral coalitions holds important political benefits. Moreover, two distinct types of payment schemes exist: deployment subsidies and political side deals. Three types of states are most likely to receive such payments: (1) states that are inadequately resourced to deploy; (2) states that are perceived by the pivotal states as critical contributors to the coalition endeavor; and (3) opportunistic states that perceive a coalition deployment as an opportunity to negotiate a quid pro quo. These findings provide a novel perspective on what international burden sharing looks like in practice. Moreover, they raise important questions about the efficiency and effectiveness of such payment practices in multilateral military deployments.
  • Topic: Security, National Security, Regional Cooperation, International Security, Military Strategy, Military Affairs, Alliance
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Kuwait, Vietnam, Korea, Somalia
  • Author: J.C. Sharman
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: The making of the international system from c. 1500 reflected distinctively maritime dynamics, especially “gunboat diplomacy,” or the use of naval force for commercial gain. Comparisons between civilizations and across time show, first, that gunboat diplomacy was peculiarly European and, second, that it evolved through stages. For the majority of the modern era, violence was central to the commercial strategies of European state, private, and hybrid actors alike in the wider world. In contrast, large and small non-Western polities almost never sought to advance mercantile aims through naval coercion. European exceptionalism reflected a structural trade deficit, regional systemic dynamics favoring armed trade, and mercantilist beliefs. Changes in international norms later restricted the practice of gunboat diplomacy to states, as private navies became illegitimate. More generally, a maritime perspective suggests the need for a reappraisal of fundamental conceptual divisions and shows how the capital- and technology-intensive nature of naval war allowed relatively small European powers to be global players. It also explains how European expansion and the creation of the first global international system was built on dominance at sea centuries before Europeans’ general military superiority on land.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, International Security, Military Strategy, Military Affairs, Navy, Law of the Sea, Maritime
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe
  • Author: Steven Pifer
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Ambassador's Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: For nearly five decades, Washington and Moscow have engaged in negotiations to manage their nuclear competition. Those negotiations produced a string of acronyms—SALT, INF, START—for arms control agreements that strengthened strategic stability, reduced bloated nuclear arsenals and had a positive impact on the broader bilateral relationship. That is changing. The Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty is headed for demise. The New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) has less than two years to run, and the administration of Donald Trump has yet to engage on Russian suggestions to extend it. Bilateral strategic stability talks have not been held in 18 months. On its current path, the U.S.-Russia nuclear arms control regime likely will come to an end in 2021. That will make for a strategic relationship that is less stable, less secure and less predictable and will further complicate an already troubled bilateral relationship.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Military Strategy, Nuclear Power, Deterrence, Denuclearization
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, North America
  • Author: Victor D. Cha
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Ambassador's Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: There were high expectations at the second meeting of American and North Korean leaders in Vietnam last month after the absence of progress on denuclearization commitments made at the first summit in Singapore last summer. Yet at Hanoi, not only were the two leaders unable to deliver an agreement with tangible steps on denuclearization, but they also dispensed with the joint statement signing, cancelled the ceremonial lunch and skipped the joint press conference. In a solo presser, President Donald Trump said that sometimes you “have to walk, and this was just one of those times.”[2] The President indeed may have avoided getting entrapped into a bad deal at Hanoi. What North Korea put on the table in terms of the Yongbyon nuclear complex addresses a fraction of its growing nuclear program that does not even break the surface of its underlying arsenal and stockpiles of fissile materials, not to mention missile bases and delivery systems. And what North Korea sought in return, in terms of major sanctions relief on five UN Security Council resolutions that target 90 percent of North Korea’s trade, would have removed one of the primary sources of leverage, albeit imperfect, on the regime. In this instance, no deal was better than a bad deal for the United States. Nevertheless, the Hanoi summit has left the United States with no clear diplomatic road ahead on this challenging security problem, a trail of puzzled allies in Asia and the promise of no more made-for-television summit meetings for the foreseeable future. The question remains, where do we go from here? When leaders’ summits fail to reach agreement, diplomacy by definition has reached the end of its rope. President Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo put on the best face they could in Hanoi, talking about closer understanding and continued good relations between the two sides as a result of the meetings, but the failed summit leaves a great deal of uncertainty going forward. South Koreans will frantically seek meetings with Washington and Pyongyang to pick up the pieces. The North Koreans already have sent an envoy to China to chart next steps. While I do not think this will mean a return to the “Fire and Fury” days of 2017 when armed conflict was possible, we have learned numerous lessons from Hanoi for going forward.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Nuclear Weapons, Military Strategy, Deterrence, Denuclearization
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Asia, South Korea, North Korea
  • Author: Alex Vatanka
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Ambassador's Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, a cleric who will turn 80 in July 2019 and has ruled over Iran since 1989, has made a political career out of demonizing the United States. And yet, he knows full well that at some point—whether in his lifetime or after—Tehran has to turn the page and look for ways to end the bad blood that started with the birth of the Islamic Republic in 1979. But Khamenei’s efforts to make the United States a strawman are not easily undone in present-day Tehran, where anti-Americanism is the top political football, as the two main factions inside the regime—the hardliners versus the so-called reformists—battle it out for the future of Iran. Meanwhile, President Donald Trump’s “maximum pressure” on Iran has made it all but impossible for Khamenei to meet Washington half-way. Accordingly, the best Khamenei can do for now is to wait out the Trump White House. There will be no Khamenei-Trump summits. That much is abundantly clear if one listens to the chatter from Tehran. But the issue of possible relations with post-Trump America is still hotly contested in the Islamic Republic. In the meantime, with Trump’s re-imposition of sanctions from November 2018, Tehran’s hope in the short term is that Europe, together with Iran’s more traditional supporters in Moscow and Beijing, can give Iran enough incentive so that it can ride out the next few years as its economy comes under unprecedented pressure.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Nuclear Weapons, Military Strategy, Sanctions, Domestic politics
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran, Middle East, Israel
  • Author: Nicole Jackson
  • Publication Date: 08-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Military and Strategic Studies
  • Institution: Centre for Military, Security and Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: This paper examines controversies over responses to hybrid warfare ranging from defensive societal and institutional resilience to more aggressive measures, and considers some of the strengths and limits of classic deterrence theory. How Canada and NATO interpret major transformations, and the language of ‘hybrid war’ that they adopt, matter because they influence responses. Reflecting NATO’s rhetoric and policies, Canada has become more internally focused, adopting a ‘whole of government’ and increasingly ‘whole of society’ approach, while at the same time taking more offensive actions and developing new partnerships and capabilities. Canada and NATO are taking significant steps towards ‘comprehensive deterrence’, yet more clarity is needed in how responses are combined to avoid the dangers of hybrid wars with no end.
  • Topic: NATO, Diplomacy, Nuclear Weapons, Regional Cooperation, Military Strategy, Deterrence
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Canada, North America
  • Author: Ina Kraft
  • Publication Date: 05-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Military and Strategic Studies
  • Institution: Centre for Military, Security and Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: This article sets out to catalogue narration strategies used in the professional discourse about Effects-Based Operations (EBO). EBO was at the heart of the US military transformation (2001-2008) and is one of few concepts officially discontinued instead of being simply replaced by a successor concept making it a crucial case for analysing its rise and fall. An analytical framework for classifying the rhetoric of military innovations is presented in this article. Based on this framework the debate about EBO in the U.S. military journal Joint Force Quarterly between 1996 and 2015 is assessed with a view to three questions: How was EBO framed by military experts? Was the shift of institutional support for EBO reflected in the discourse? And, is there evidence to suggest that the EBO discourse had an influence on the adoption and later discontinuation of EBO? The analysis shows that in the case of EBO a particularly homogenous discourse pattern existed, which might have contributed to the concept’s quick and ultimate demise.
  • Topic: Science and Technology, Military Strategy, Military Affairs
  • Political Geography: United States, North America
  • Author: Terry Branstad
  • Publication Date: 03-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Ambassador's Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: When I welcome visitors to the U.S. Ambassador’s Residence in Beijing, they often comment on a black-and-white photo of my first meeting with Xi Jinping. In the picture, the members of the 1985 Chinese agriculture delegation to Iowa stand calmly behind my desk, peering into the camera, as Xi Jinping stands unobtru­sively to my right. Some visitors ask, “Ambassador Branstad, did you know this young man would become President of China?” Indeed, I did not—I treated him with the same Iowa hospitality with which I welcome all my guests. His importance as a rising leader of China, though, became increasingly apparent over the course of six gubernatorial visits I made to China during the subsequent 30 years. The same is true of U.S.-China relations. Today, I have the honor of representing the United States in the most consequential bilateral relationship in the world, one that we absolutely have to get right. During President Donald Trump’s November 2017 state visit to China, the President identified three priority tasks for the two nations’ relationship. First, work with the Chinese govern­ment to address the North Korean nuclear and missile threat. Second, seek a more balanced and reciprocal trade and investment relationship. And third, partner with Chinese authorities to reduce the flow of illicit opioids from China to the United States. Each task presents its own unique challenges and opportunities.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Military Strategy, Nuclear Power, Global Political Economy
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Asia, North Korea
  • Author: Richard N. Holwill
  • Publication Date: 03-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Ambassador's Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: A meeting between President Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un (KJU), the Supreme Leader of the People’s Democratic Republic of Korea (DPRK), can be a success even if it fails to achieve President Trump’s announced goal: an end to the DPRK nuclear weapons program. This meeting starts by giving KJU one of his long-sought goals. It will, in effect, be more than a meeting. It will be a “summit” and will confer on KJU the status of the leader of a legitimate government. President Trump would be wise to redefine success. He should not fall into the trap of saying that success will be defined by a “denuclearization agreement.” While that should be a long-term goal, it will not happen at this meeting. Still, the summit will be successful if it produces a process that can lead to a substantial reduction of tension on the Korean Peninsula. This is not to say that an agreement on denuclearization is off the table. Rather, it is to rec­ognize that these talks could present a framework for negotiation that would be very valuable, even if they will fall short of a nuclear disarmament accord. To understand the difficulty of reaching a nuclear arms agreement, we need only look at the way the two leaders speak about denuclearization. Each appears to define it differently. President Trump applies the term to nuclear weapons in the DPRK. KJU speaks of it as applying to the entire Korean Peninsula. He will argue that, if he must allow a mean­ingful verification regime, so must U.S. forces in South Korea.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Nuclear Weapons, Military Strategy, Deterrence, Denuclearization
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, China, Asia, South Korea, North Korea
  • Author: Michael A. Hammer
  • Publication Date: 03-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Ambassador's Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: America’s ability to lead in the world depends on a strong economy at home, unparalleled military might and a skilled diplomatic corps. And for the United States to remain the preeminent global power, it is essential that we educate and prepare the next generation of national security leaders: —leaders who are strategic in every sense: creative, innovative, technologically savvy, flexible, inclusive, ethical and resilient; —leaders who commit to life-long learning to stay current and who venture to look beyond the horizon; —leaders who are voracious consumers of information and effective communicators; —humble leaders who always seek to do better than the status quo. The new National Security Strategy recognizes the critical role of the State Department’s proclaiming that “across the competitive landscape, America’s diplomats are our forward-deployed political capability, advancing and defending America’s interests abroad.” Therefore, to remain relevant and in order to continue to succeed, State’s finest need professional development. Whether to lead peace negotiations or trade talks, combat terrorism or cyberattacks, promote democratic values or defend human rights, engage media or youth, we must ensure that rising officers are knowledgeable of history, well-versed on theory, fluent in current practice and in-tune with future trends. But as they are caught in high-stress jobs with little time to reflect, where should our best talent go to grow their skills and enhance their ability to think critically and lead effectively? The answer is right here in Washington D.C., the National Defense University (NDU) at Fort McNair.
  • Topic: National Security, Science and Technology, Military Strategy, Cybersecurity
  • Political Geography: United States, North America
  • Author: Eric B. Setzekorn
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Military and Strategic Studies
  • Institution: Centre for Military, Security and Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: In the decade between U.S. diplomatic recognition of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in 1979 and the Tiananmen Massacre in 1989, the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) pursued a military engagement policy with the People’s Liberation Army (PLA). The 1979-1989 U.S.-PRC defense relationship was driven by a mutually shared fear of the USSR, but U.S. policymakers also sought to encourage the PRC to become a more deeply involved in the world community as a responsible power. Beginning in the late 1970s, the U.S. defense department conducted high level exchanges, allowed for the transfer of defense technology, promoted military to military cooperation and brokered foreign military sales (FMS). On the U.S. side, this program was strongly supported by National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski and Secretary of State Alexander Haig, who worked to push skeptical elements in the U.S. defense bureaucracy. By the mid-1980s, this hesitancy had been overcome and the defense relationship reached a high point in the 1984-1986 period, but structural problems arising from the division of authority within the PRC’s party-state-military structure ultimately proved insurmountable to long-term cooperation. The 1979-1989 U.S.-PRC defense relationship highlights the long-term challenges of pursuing military engagement with fundamentally dissimilar structures of political authority.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Cold War, Diplomacy, Military Strategy
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Europe, Asia, Soviet Union, North America
  • Author: Fabio Luis Barbosa dos Santos
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: AUSTRAL: Brazilian Journal of Strategy International Relations
  • Institution: Postgraduate Program in International Strategic Studies, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul
  • Abstract: This article analyses the trends of India’s foreign policy in recent years under the light of political and economic dynamics, with a focus in its regional surrounding. The text locates an inflection towards economic liberalization undertaken in the beginning of the 1990´s, and then moves on to the context of economic expansion in the 21st century. The achievements and limits of those processes are taken into consideration. In the political realm, as the legitimacy of the Indian National Congress (INC) was brought to check, so was its hegemony, in a process that has favored the rise of political agencies identified with hindu nationalism and communalism, such as the BJP. Overall, the hallmarks of Indian politics that prevailed since independence under leadership of the Congress Party are left behind: economic nationalism, secular politics, and international non-alignment. In this context, the broad orientation of Indian foreign policy also has changed. The text analyses the consequences of this inflection in the regional context, focusing the Neighbors first policy and the priority given to infrastructural connectivity with Southeast Asia (Look East and Act East policies), as well as the recent intensification of business in the African continent. Altogether, the expectations of an alternative civilizatory horizon in the context of the Cold War which has nurtured Nehruvian politics, has given place to a pragmatic rationality that accepts the United States leadership and as such, draws strategies adapting to the mercantile trends that typify globalisation.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, Military Strategy, Hegemony
  • Political Geography: United States, India, Asia, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Jacqueline Maria Hagan, Ricardo Martinez-Schuldt, Alyssa Peavey, Deborah Weissman
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal on Migration and Human Security
  • Institution: Center for Migration Studies of New York
  • Abstract: The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 (INA) created an immigration system favoring the immigration of spouses, children, and parents of US citizens, thereby establishing family unity as the cornerstone of US immigration policy. Despite this historical emphasis on family unity, backlogs and limited visas for non-immediate relatives of US citizens and legal permanent residents, the militarization of the US-Mexico border, punitive measures for those who enter without inspection, such as the forced separation of children from their parents at the US border, and an aggressive policy of deportation have made it more difficult for members of Mexican binational families to unify. How do members of Mexican binational families manage the hardships that result from US immigration policies that prolong and force family separation? Immigrants and return migrants alike may not be aware of their rights and the legal remedies that exist to enforce them. Structural barriers such as poverty, legal status, fear of deportation, lack of proficiency in English, and lack of familiarity with government bureaucracies no doubt prevent many migrants in the United States and return migrants in Mexico from coming forward to request legal assistance and relief in the courts. Despite these barriers, when it comes to family matters, members of some Mexican binational families can and do assert their rights. In this article, we analyze an administrative database of the Department of Legal Protection of the Mexican consular network that documents migrant legal claims resulting from family separation, along with findings from 21 interviews with consular staff and community organizations in three consular jurisdictions — El Paso, Raleigh, and San Francisco — to investigate the sociolegal processes of claims. Our investigation centers on the mediating role the Mexican state — via its consular network — has developed to assist binational families as they attempt to assert their rights and resolve child support and child custody problems resulting from prolonged and forced family separation. We find that the resolution of binational family claims in part depends on the institutional infrastructure that has developed at local, state, and federal levels, along with the commitment and capacity of the receiving and sending states and the binational structures they establish. These binational structures transcend the limitations of national legal systems to achieve and implement family rights and obligations across borders.
  • Topic: Military Strategy, Immigration, Border Control, Family
  • Political Geography: United States, North America, Mexico
  • Author: Hans Kiemm
  • Publication Date: 09-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Ambassador's Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: When Bill Clinton came to Bucharest in 1997, he made history as the first U.S. President to visit Romania since the fall of communism. Speaking to the Romanian public, he announced, “Your President and I have agreed to establish a strategic partnership between our nations, a partnership important to America because Romania is important to America—important in your own right and important as a model in this difficult part of the world. Romania can show the people of this region and, indeed, people throughout the world that there is a better way than fighting and division and repression. It is cooperation and freedom and peace. Our friendship will en­dure the test of time. As long as you proceed down democracy’s road, America will walk by your side.” This year marks the 20th anniversary of that U.S.-Romania Strategic Partnership, which President Donald Trump, during a meeting with President Klaus Iohannis this past June in Washington, said is now “stronger than ever.” The Partnership is unique because it is not based upon any written agreement, treaty, or compact, but by mutual respect and un­der­stand­ing, strengthened continuously over time. It is a friendship based on shared values and aspirations, including democracy, freedom, respect for human rights, and the rule of law. While usually invoked when speaking of government-to-government bilateral re­lations, the Partnership extends to people-to-people ties as well. More than 90 percent of the Romanian public rates relations with the United States as good or very good, and overall, associations between the two countries expand far beyond diplomatic obligation.
  • Topic: NATO, Diplomacy, Military Strategy, Diaspora
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Eastern Europe, Romania, North America
  • Author: Sorin Ducaru
  • Publication Date: 07-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of International Affairs
  • Institution: School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University
  • Abstract: Cyber issues are rapidly growing in importance to defense alliances. The Journal of International Affairs talked to Ambassador Sorin Ducaru, NATO’s assistant secretary general for emerging security challenges, about NATO’s efforts to improve its cyber defenses against emerging threats.
  • Topic: NATO, Diplomacy, International Cooperation, Military Strategy, Cybersecurity
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, North Atlantic, North America
  • Author: David Bosco
  • Publication Date: 07-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of International Affairs
  • Institution: School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University
  • Abstract: Several of the Trump administration’s opening foreign policy salvoes have been aimed directly at the world’s multilateral structures. The president and his nominees lambasted the UN Security Council for its December resolution declaring Israeli settlements illegal. A draft executive order reportedly called for funding cuts of up to 40 percent to the United Nations and an end to new multilateral treaties. The administration withdrew funding from the UN Population Fund and hinted that it might spurn its Human Rights Council as well. “A wave of populism … is challenging institutions like the United Nations and shaking them to their foundations,” said UN Ambassador Nikki Haley. The United Nations is far from the only multilateral target. The president quickly pulled the United States out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations and demanded changes to the longstanding North American Free Trade Agreement. His team floated the idea of tariffs on Mexico that could violate World Trade Organization rules. He pledged to review U.S. participation in the Paris Agreement on climate change. Just days before taking office, Trump called NATO “obsolete” and predicted that more members would abandon the European Union. In a sign of displeasure at what he perceives as freeloading NATO members, Trump reportedly presented German Chancellor Angela Merkel with a “bill” for underinvestment in her country’s military. The president’s apparent aversion to key alliance structures and multilateralism has fed growing alarm that the administration plans to abandon the post-World War II international order. In this publication, scholar and former Obama administration official Anne-Marie Slaughter warned that “the next four to eight years may well see the end of the United Nations as a serious forum for global decisionmaking about peace and security.” Jack Goldsmith, a Harvard Law professor who worked in the Bush Justice Department, called Trump’s early moves “the beginnings of the greatest presidential onslaught on international law and international institutions in American history.” Others have argued that China may now be more committed to key global institutions than Washington. Major multilateral organizations like the UN, WTO, and EU and multilateral treaties are not, of course, the whole of the international order. Informal norms, habits of cooperation, and embedded power realities arguably play an even greater role in maintaining a modicum of order in the international system. But formal organizations and treaty regimes undoubtedly play an important role, which has become more prominent since the end of the Cold War. The prospect of an American administration actively undermining these instruments is unnerving. As with much else in the administration’s troubled first months, however, there’s confusion about what exactly lies beneath the smoke and steam. The draft order on UN funding has been delayed for further review. Senior U.S. officials have repeatedly toned down (or openly contradicted) several of the president’s most outlandish comments. Both Secretary of Defense James Mattis and Vice President Mike Pence sought to reassure European allies that Washington does in fact value NATO and the EU. So how serious and unprecedented is the Trump administration’s challenge to multilateralism?
  • Topic: International Cooperation, United Nations, Military Strategy, Multilateralism
  • Political Geography: United States, North America
  • Author: Anton Minkov, Peter Tikuisis
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Military and Strategic Studies
  • Institution: Centre for Military, Security and Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: The 2007 surge in Iraq is considered one of the most significant military events in recent history given that it coincided with a marked decrease in violent attacks. However, revisiting “significant activity” (SIGACT) data reveals that violence had generally peaked before the surge. This study presents also an examination of other factors that might explain the earlier decline in violence, before the surge was even announced. It is difficult to pinpoint the trends that were most prominent, but they all likely contributed to a shift in the momentum of the security situation in the fall of 2006, before the surge was even announced. Thus, our analysis suggests that the surge was an unnecessary gambit. This paper aims to caution strategic policy decision-makers against misinterpreting the efficacy of surge capability in a complex and dynamically changing security situation.
  • Topic: Regional Cooperation, Terrorism, Military Strategy, Violence
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Middle East, North America
  • Author: Adam MacDonald
  • Publication Date: 09-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Military and Strategic Studies
  • Institution: Centre for Military, Security and Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: China is embarking on a comprehensive modernization program to quantitatively and qualitatively improve their nuclear force. These efforts, however, do not reflect or indicate a distinct shift in Chinese views towards or policy governing the purpose and use of nuclear weapons, but to achieve and maintain a secured second strike capability in a changing strategic landscape. Specifically, military developments by the United States including Ballistic Missile Defence and Precision Global Strike are seen as threatening the credibility of their nuclear deterrent, motivating the construction and deployment of a more modern, diverse and capable force. These force reconfigurations, however, create the potential of causing confusing and misunderstandings with the United States, and other nuclear powers, of the rationales informing their improvement. Ensuring the nuclear force balance between Beijing and Washington remains a minor and largely benign matter separated from and not influencing other more divisive matters is critical in the maintenance of their relatively stable, but increasingly complicated and tense, great power relationship and the international system in general. In order to achieve this, both states must clearly signal an understanding of their nuclear relationship as one defined by mutual vulnerability and the necessity of providing guarantees and evidence that their respective military technological developments and force structure changes are not designed to alter this reality.
  • Topic: Nuclear Weapons, Military Strategy, Deterrence, Modernization
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Asia, North America
  • Author: Mark Halchin
  • Publication Date: 09-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Military and Strategic Studies
  • Institution: Centre for Military, Security and Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: The reasoning behind North Korea’s continued efforts to develop a nuclear deterrent remains puzzling to many, with the heavy costs and behavior of the regime leading to the belief that it is irrational. This paper argues that North Korea’s nuclear weapons program is instead a rational strategy for the regime. The perceived threat from South Korean and American military forces, as well as its own ineffective conventional forces, make a North Korean nuclear program a viable and relatively cheap deterrent. Its limited foreign relations and near-total dependence on China largely insulate it from economic punishment. Finally, the nature of the regime allows it to disregard popular opinion while forcing it to accommodate military demands for a nuclear deterrent. The necessity of nuclear weapons for defence and the few downsides of possessing them means that Pyongyang is unlikely to give them up, thus dooming denuclearization efforts to failure.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Nuclear Weapons, Military Strategy, Deterrence, Denuclearization
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Asia, South Korea, North Korea, North America
  • Author: Gabriel Boulianne Gobeil
  • Publication Date: 09-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Military and Strategic Studies
  • Institution: Centre for Military, Security and Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: Leadership targeting, or decapitation, which involves the removal of an organization’s leader, has been utilized in various military conflicts. The use of drones has been particularly consequential in such schemes, earning themselves the reputation of being “Washington’s weapon of choice.” The existing literature on leadership targeting gravitates around the question of the practice’s strategic effectiveness, focusing on the targeted groups’ internal characteristics to explain their (in)ability to withstand decapitation. However, this literature overlooks a key feature of terrorist groups, namely their identity’s organizational dynamics. Highlighting the importance of group identities in determining the outcome of decapitations, this article fills this void. Looking at the cases of al Qaeda in Iraq and Ansar al-Sharia in Yemen, it argues that groups which have a global identity are likely to retain cohesion when their leaders are the victim of decapitation while groups whose identity stems from an ethnic or tribal lineage tend to fragment, therefore creating “veto players.”
  • Topic: Terrorism, Military Strategy, Drones, Leadership, Conflict
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Middle East, Yemen
  • Author: Nina Silove
  • Publication Date: 08-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Security Studies
  • Institution: Security Studies
  • Abstract: The questions of how to define grand strategy and whether it “exists” continue to vex the study of grand strategy, despite the ever-increasing popularity of the term. Scholars broadly agree that grand strategy refers to something that has the characteristics of being long-term in scope, related to the state's highest priorities, and concerned with all spheres of statecraft (military, diplomatic, and economic). The precise entity or phenomenon that manifests these characteristics is less clear, indicating deficiencies in the methods used by scholars—usually implicitly—to define and operationalize concepts. This article traces the intellectual history and contemporary usage of the concept of grand strategy to identify the phenomenon or object to which the concept refers. This analysis demonstrates that there is no single concept of grand strategy. Instead, there are three, which are labelled “grand plans,” “grand principles,” and “grand behavior,” respectively. Each concept provides a distinct, valuable framework for research and policy prescription.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Imperialism, Military Strategy, Military Intervention
  • Political Geography: United States, North America
  • Author: Steve A. Yetiv
  • Publication Date: 01-2016
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of International Affairs
  • Institution: School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University
  • Abstract: United States foreign policy in the Middle East over the last few decades has been controversial and checkered, and Washington has certainly flexed its muscles in the region. However, the question arises as to how aggressive America has been with regard to oil in the region. I distinguish between two perspectives in how America is viewed, which we can simply call the offensive and defensive perspectives, recognizing that there is a continuum of views. From the offensive perspective, America is viewed as having one or more of these goals: steal or own Middle East oil; control Middle East oil in order to undermine Muslims; dominate Middle East oil to advance global hegemony; or exercise “puppet” control over oil producers like Saudi Arabia to coerce them into charging far lower oil prices than markets would warrant.1 By contrast, from the defensive perspective, America chiefly aims to prevent others from threatening oil supplies in a manner that would spike global oil prices and possibly cause a recession or depression. Muslim opinion polls have revealed that oil issues are a broader source of tension in relations between elements of the Muslim world and the West. The U.S. role in oil-related issues feeds into historical, political, and religious perspectives of an imperialist and power-hungry America. In fact, a not uncommon view in the Middle East is that America seeks to exploit, even steal the region’s oil resources, a viewpoint much in line with the offensive perspective described above. I argue that the history of America’s role in the region suggests that this is largely a misconception, and that this misconception is not immaterial. It seriously raises the cost of the use of oil and of American regional intervention. This misconception not only stokes terrorism and anti-Americanism, but also complicates America’s relations with Middle Eastern countries, affects its image among Muslims, and hurts its global leverage insofar as such views become internationally prominent. Indeed, it is almost a maxim in many capitals in the Middle East that close cooperation with Washington carries a domestic political cost. Recall, for example, that the Saudis were initially reluctant to host American forces after Iraq invaded Kuwait on August 2, 1990, even though they felt seriously threatened by Saddam Hussein.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Energy Policy, Oil, Military Strategy
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, North America, Persian Gulf
  • Author: Amy Myers, Jaffe Jareer Elass
  • Publication Date: 01-2016
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of International Affairs
  • Institution: School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University
  • Abstract: Oil has shaped international conflict for decades. According to one estimate, twenty-five to fifty percent of interstate wars between 1973 and 2012 had oil-related linkages. 1 But the cyclical nature of oil’s contribution to global conflict is not well understood. Not only are oil prices cyclical, but the geopolitics of oil are linked inexorably to the same boom and bust price cycle. Military adventurism, proxy wars and regional pathologies in the Middle East expand and contract with the ebb and flow of massive petrodollar accumulations related to the oil price cycle. The massive inflow of petrodollar revenues when oil prices are high creates disposable incomes that can be easily dispensed on regional arms races, especially since oil consuming countries like the United States are incentivized to increase arms sales as a means of solving oil import related trade deficits. Besides transferring wealth from industrialized countries to oil producers in the Middle East and North African (MENA) region and Russia (and stimulating renewed drilling for oil and gas in North America), high global oil and natural gas prices also slow global economic growth and encourage energy conservation. This causes petroleum demand to slow globally, lowering oil prices. Social and political problems in the region reemerge as oil prices recede. Regional governments have fewer resources to spend on restive populations that have become accustomed to generous handouts enabled by high oil prices. Job creation and visible social programs slow, dissatisfaction rises, and the consequences of economic downturns incite support for militants. Ensuing instability forces governments to use newly purchased arms, which ironically begins the cycle yet again, as new conflicts disrupt oil supplies. In this manner, the world experiences perpetuating patterns of military conflict, followed by oil supply crises, and accompanying global financial instability. In effect, the Middle East resource curse has become globalized. The challenges this is presenting on humanitarian, security and economic fronts have become increasingly dangerous. The arms race that has accompanied the rise of oil prices over the 2000s has been no exception and is now all the more complicated due to the violent participation of sub-national radicalized groups that are less susceptible to diplomatic pressures or initiatives. In this emerging geopolitical context, the rise of violent subnational groups like ISIS and Al-Qaeda are increasingly putting oil infrastructure at risk, laying the groundwork for a future oil crisis that may prove harder to solve than in the past. As borders and ruling institutions have become contested, so has control of the region’s major oil and gas facilities. Initially an outgrowth of disunity inside Iraq, the conflict over oil and gas facilities is now accelerating across ungoverned territories, with important long-term consequences for global energy markets. Mideast oil and gas production capacity, along with surface facilities, are increasingly being damaged in ways that will make them hard to repair. Export disruptions, which were once sporadic, are becoming a more permanent feature of the civil war landscape. The level of destroyed capacity is currently estimated at about 2 million b/d and rising.2 The longer Mideast conflicts fester, the more that infrastructure could become at risk. There is an additional element to this oil and war story that links structurally with the oil boom and bust cycle. As oil prices recede, along with a decreased demand for oil and accelerating regional conflict, wealthy oil producers such as Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Kuwait, are often tempted to use large oil production capacity as a strategic asset. They flood the market with increased supplies in order to lower prices, thereby hurting geopolitical rivals. This price war strategy, which was notably present during the prolonged Soviet war in Afghanistan and the eight year Iran-Iraq War, temporarily ameliorates the short run effects of war on surface export facilities through excessive production rates. In addition, it lays the seeds for the future uptick in the oil market, by discouraging investment in future oil productive capacity outside the Middle East when prices are extremely low. In the case of the 2000s, the destruction caused by ISIS on the oil sector in many locations around the Middle East, combined with expected losses in investment in other parts of the world (like Canada’s oil sands and the Arctic due to current low oil prices), may be creating the conditions for a future oil supply crunch. This has major implications on U.S. policy. This article asserts that the United State would be, in light of these circumstances in the Middle East, unwise to dismantle its Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) as has been suggested on Capitol Hill. It would be similarly unwise for the United States to lose focus on the importance of conservation efforts in the transportation sector which has both national security and climate benefits. The United States would benefit strategically from a reevaluation of its ban on oil exports. Finally, the United States should place a greater emphasis on conflict resolution in troubled states. By resolving internal conflicts over the distribution of oil revenues, the United States can better pave the way for long-term solutions whereby those same revenues can be integrated into national budgets in ways that brings economic prosperity to populations instead of rising military expenditure.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, Oil, Military Strategy, Gas, Conflict
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, North America, Persian Gulf
  • Author: Yasir Kuoti
  • Publication Date: 05-2016
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of International Affairs
  • Institution: School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University
  • Abstract: This paper examines the origins of political violence in Iraq. It argues that, in the wake of the democratic transition process in from 2004 to 2005, Iraqi exiles, who were chiefly Shiite Muslims and Kurds appointed by Paul Bremer, Iraq’s U.S. civilian administrator, moved to write a constitution and set up a political system that deliberately marginalized minorities. Since then, the Sunni minority began and continues to engage in or support violence against the state. It suggests that violence and instability in Iraq are to be understood in terms of local contexts of meaning, notably the nature of struggle for political power.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Military Strategy, Political Power Sharing, Violence
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Middle East, North America
  • Author: Ben Wan, Beng Ho
  • Publication Date: 04-2016
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Military and Strategic Studies
  • Institution: Centre for Military, Security and Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: The fleet aircraft carrier possesses a number of unique advantages such as territorial independence and mobility that make it the United States National Command Authorities’ platform of choice to deal with a crisis or war. Nevertheless, it must be noted that the successful and unencumbered application of American carrier airpower in the post-war period has been significantly aided by the benign environments where the flat-tops have operated. In the modern combat environment, critics contend that anti-access/area-denial (A2/AD) capabilities would render the vessel obsolete. Uncertainty clouds this issue as American carriers have yet to be subjected to A2/AD threats. Nevertheless, it is possible to draw two conclusions based on related empirical evidence. They are namely, 1) the submarine poses a credible challenge to American flat-tops, provided the sub is able to find and track them; 2) the anti-ship missile constitutes less of a “mission-kill” threat compared to the torpedo.
  • Topic: Military Strategy, Maritime, Missile Defense, Air Force
  • Political Geography: United States, North America
  • Author: Lee Lacy
  • Publication Date: 04-2016
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Military and Strategic Studies
  • Institution: Centre for Military, Security and Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: The history of strategic bombing in World War II is well-documented, but is also found in the unlikeliest of places, in a theatrical production performed in the New York theater—on Broadway— in 1947. The play, Command Decision, by William Wister Haines, is an examination of the decision making process involved with the strategic bombing campaign in the European Theater of Operations. This paper uses Command Decision to examine real events in 1943—notably the raids on industrial targets of Regensburg, Schweinfurt and Stuttgart, where the 8th USAAF sustained punishing losses. Out this terrible episode of the war, when thousands of airmen lost their lives, the lessons of the bombing campaign’s Combined Bomber Offensive are significant. The leaders, events and decisions that influenced this intense and deadly episode of World War II remain relevant. The powerful lessons of leadership and command— mixed with human failing and the suffering of mankind, make a compelling story.
  • Topic: Military Strategy, World War II, Air Force
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, North America
  • Author: Gloria Shkurti
  • Publication Date: 10-2016
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Turkish Journal of Middle Eastern Studies
  • Institution: Sakarya University (SAU)
  • Abstract: A concoction between the technology, entertainment and military has resulted in a ‘new’ kind of warfare, which has started to determine the American counterterrorism strategy, the dronified warfare. The U.S. for a long time now has been the leader in the production and usage of armed drones and has attracted a lot of criticism regarding the way how it conducts the drone strikes, which in many cases has resulted in civilians killed. The U.S. dronified warfare has become the main determinant when discussing the legality, morality and effectiveness of the drone as the weapon, as many critics fail in distinguishing drone as a weapon and dronified warfare as a process. This paper argues that if analyzed separately from the U.S. example, drone is a legal and moral weapon. Nevertheless, the paper emphasizes the fact that the U.S. must change its current way of conducting the strikes by being aware of the fact that the irresponsible way it is acting in the Middle East and regions around, sooner or later will backfire
  • Topic: Science and Technology, Military Strategy, Counter-terrorism, Drones
  • Political Geography: United States, North America
  • Author: Furkan Halit Yolcu
  • Publication Date: 10-2016
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Turkish Journal of Middle Eastern Studies
  • Institution: Sakarya University (SAU)
  • Abstract: The Persian Gulf War was one of the defining incidents that shaped the current situation of the Middle East. There has been a vast amount of studies about this conflict but on a specific case why Israel stayed out of the conflict even though she was attacked continues to be an intriguing question for researchers. Saddam’s decision on invading Kuwait and the war following this is going to be summarized in order to present the structure when this incident took place and also to build an environment in which Israel’s decision on refraining itself from the war is going to be analyzed. Israel is perceived as one of the most agg- ressive countries in the Middle East mostly because of the wars that it included so far and the grand projects that it wants to put in practice in the future. With these assumptions it is rather hard to understand Israel’s passive behaviour during the Persian Gulf War and possible reasons of this is going to be main focus of this study to understand the motivations behind such policy. Israel’s state in that period and its capacity will be analyzed in order to understand whether this decision was taken directly and solely by Israel or it was a result of long-going dependency to another country or any other possible situation. Possible reasons that resulted with Israel’s passive attitude will be under the scope to explain whether what Israel did was rather rational or not. In addition to that, the advantages that Israel enjoyed and disadvantages that it faced will be shown at the last part of the study.
  • Topic: Military Strategy, Military Affairs, Conflict, Gulf War
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Middle East, Israel, North America