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  • Author: Victor Esin
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland (CISSM)
  • Abstract: The stabilizing role of the INF Treaty is still relevant. Its importance has even increased against the background of the sharp deterioration of relations between Russia and the West in recent years due to the well-known events in Ukraine, aggravated by mutual sanctions and NATO’s military build-up near Russian borders. Preserving the INF Treaty, which has now become the subject of controversy and mutual non-compliance accusations between Russia and the United States, is therefore doubly important.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Nuclear Weapons, Military Strategy, Nonproliferation, Deterrence
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe
  • Author: Naoko Aoki
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland (CISSM)
  • Abstract: After conducting a record number of missile and nuclear tests in 2016 and 2017, North Korea dramatically changed its policy approach and embarked on a diplomatic initiative in 2018. It announced a self-imposed halt on missile and nuclear tests and held summit meetings with the United States, China, and South Korea from spring of that year. Why did North Korea shift its policy approach? This paper evaluates four alternative explanations. The first is that the change was driven by North Korea’s security calculus. In other words, North Korea planned to achieve its security goals first before turning to diplomacy and successfully followed through with this plan. The second is that U.S. military threats forced North Korea to change its course. The third is that U.S.-led sanctions caused North Korea to shift its policy by increasing economic pain on the country. The fourth is that diplomatic initiatives by South Korea and others prompted North Korea to change its position. This paper examines the actions and statements of the United States, North Korea, China, South Korea, and Russia leading up to and during this period to assess these four explanations. It concludes that military threats and economic pain did not dissuade North Korea from obtaining what it considered an adequate level of nuclear deterrence against the United States and that North Korea turned to diplomacy only after achieving its security goals. External pressure may have encouraged North Korea to speed up its efforts to develop the capacity to strike the United States with a nuclear-armed missile, the opposite of its intended effect. Diplomatic and economic pressure may have compelled Kim Jong Un to declare that North Korea had achieved its “state nuclear force” before conducting all the nuclear and ballistic missile tests needed to be fully confident that it could hit targets in the continental United States. These findings suggest that if a pressure campaign against North Korea is to achieve its intended impact, the United States has to more carefully consider how pressure would interact with North Korean policy priorities. Pressure should be applied only to pursue specific achievable goals and should be frequently assessed for its impact.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Nuclear Weapons, Military Strategy, Nonproliferation, Deterrence
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, China, Asia, South Korea, North Korea
  • Author: Nancy Gallagher
  • Publication Date: 08-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland (CISSM)
  • Abstract: China and the United States view each other as potential adversaries with mixed motives and divergent value systems, yet both can benefit from cooperation to reduce the risk of war, avert arms races, and prevent proliferation or terrorist access to weapons of mass destruction. The two countries have more common interests, fewer ideological differences, and greater economic interdependence than the United States and the Soviet Union had during the Cold War. In principle, arms control broadly defined, i.e., cooperation to reduce the likelihood of war, the level of destruction should war occur, the cost of military preparations, and the role of threats and use of force in international relations, could be at least as important in this century as it was in the last. In practice, though, China’s rise as a strategic power has not been matched by a corresponding increase in the kinds of cooperative agreements that helped keep the costs and risks of superpower competition from spiraling out of control. Why not? This paper argues that because China’s strategy rests on different assumptions about security and nuclear deterrence than U.S. strategy does, its ideas about arms control are different, too. China has historically put more value on broad declarations of intent, behavioral rules, and self-control, while the United States has prioritized specific quantitative limits on capabilities, detailed verification and compliance mechanisms, and operational transparency. When progress has occurred, it has not been because China finally matched the United States in some military capability, or because Chinese officials and experts “learned” to think about arms control like their American counterparts do. Rather, it has happened when Chinese leaders believed that the United States and other countries with nuclear weapons were moving toward its ideas about security cooperation--hopes that have repeatedly been disappointed. Understanding Chinese attitudes toward security cooperation has gained added importance under the Trump administration for two reasons. Trump’s national security strategy depicts China and Russia as equally capable antagonists facing the United States in a “new era of great power competition,” so the feasibility and desirability of mutually beneficial cooperation with China have become more urgent questions. The costs and risks of coercive competition will keep growing until both sides accept that they outweigh whatever benefits might accrue from trying to maximize power and freedom of action in a tightly interconnected world.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Nuclear Weapons, Military Strategy, Nonproliferation
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Taiwan, Asia
  • Author: Sara Z. Kutchesfahani
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland (CISSM)
  • Abstract: This paper analyzes China’s words and actions regarding the Nuclear Security Summits to better understand what Chinese leadership on nuclear security could look like in the future. It finds that China accomplished the many things it said it would do during the summit process. The paper also explores how China’s policy and actions in other nuclear arenas could be paired with Chinese nuclear security policy to form a coherent agenda for nuclear risk reduction writ large. Consequently, the paper addresses how China doing as it says and does – per nuclear security – may be used as a way in which to inform its future nuclear security roles and responsibilities. In particular, it assesses China’s opportunities to assume a leadership role within this crucial international security issue area, especially at a time where U.S. leadership has waned.
  • Topic: Security, Diplomacy, Military Strategy, Nuclear Power
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Beijing, Asia
  • Author: Nilsu Gören
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland (CISSM)
  • Abstract: Turkey and NATO are experiencing a mutual crisis of confidence. Turkish policy makers lack confidence in NATO guarantees and fear abandonment—both prominent historical concerns. At the same time, policy makers within the alliance have begun to question Turkey’s intentions and future strategic orientation, and how well they align with NATO’s. One important factor contributing to this mistrust is Turkey’s recent dealings with Russia. Turkey is trying to contain Russian military expansion in the Black Sea and Syria by calling for a stronger NATO presence at the same time that is seeking to diversify its security strategy by improving ties with Russia and reducing its dependence on the United States and NATO. Turkey’s contradictory stance is no more apparent than in its evolving policy regarding the Syrian civil war. The threat topography of NATO’s southern flank reflects a complex web of state and non-state actors involved in asymmetric warfare. The Turkish shoot down of a Russian jet in 2015 highlighted the complexity and helped to precipitate military dialogue between NATO and Russia in Syria. Since then, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan seem to have overcome their strategic differences in their preferred outcome for Syria and have de-escalated the tensions following several rounds of peace talks headed by Russia, Turkey, and Iran and involving some, but not all, factions involved in the Syrian conflict. Yet several important questions about Turkish security policy and its impact on Turkish-U.S./NATO relations remain. What are the security implications of Turkey’s military actions on the southern flank? How is the continued fight against extremism in the region, including ISIS, likely to affect relations? And how should the West respond to Turkey’s security ties with Russia, including the Russian sale of advance military equipment to Ankara? The answers to all of these questions depend in part on whether Turkey’s behavior with Russia in Syria is a tactical move or a strategic shift away from NATO. Understanding these dynamics is key to devising policies and actions to minimize security risks between the U.S., NATO, and Russia. This paper argues that Turkey has economic and political interests in developing closer relations with Russia, but that these interests are not as strong as Turkey’s strategic alliance with the West, and NATO in particular. Turkish policymakers, who lack confidence in NATO, are pursuing short-term security interests in Syria as a way to leverage Western acquiescence to their interests regarding the Kurdish populations in Syria and Iraq. These objectives, however, are not aligned with Russia’s security objectives and do not add up to a sustainable long-term regional security strategy. In the short term, Turkey’s contradictory approaches to relations with NATO and Russia are likely to lead to ambiguity and confusion in the regional security architecture, with Syria being the most visible example of this disarray. To combat this approach, U.S. leadership and NATO should work to convince Turkey that the alliance takes Turkish security concerns in Syria seriously and to minimize the risks of Turkey’s acts as a spoiler in the region. For instance, addressing Turkish concerns over Washington’s arming of the Kurdish rebel group, the YPG, in northern Syria, will go a long way to resolving the key issue motivating Turkey’s decision to partner with Russia.
  • Topic: NATO, National Security, Regional Cooperation, Military Strategy
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, Turkey, Syria
  • Author: Charles Harry, Nancy Gallagher
  • Publication Date: 02-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland (CISSM)
  • Abstract: Publicity surrounding the threat of cyber-attacks continues to grow, yet immature classification methods for these events prevent technical staff, organizational leaders, and policy makers from engaging in meaningful and nuanced conversations about the risk to their organizations or critical infrastructure. This paper provides a taxonomy of cyber events that is used to analyze over 2,431 publicized cyber events from 2014-2016 by industrial sector. Industrial sectors vary in the scale of events they are subjected to, the distribution between exploitive and disruptive event types, and the method by which data is stolen or organizational operations are disrupted. The number, distribution, and mix of cyber event types highlight significant differences by sector, demonstrating that strategies may vary based on deeper understandings of the threat environment faced across industries. EXPLORE:
  • Topic: Security, Science and Technology, Cybersecurity
  • Political Geography: United States, Washington, D.C.
  • Author: Nancy Gallagher, Theresa Hitchens
  • Publication Date: 03-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland (CISSM)
  • Abstract: As use of the Internet has become critical to global economic development and international security, there is near-unanimous agreement on the need for more international cooperation to increase stability and security in cyberspace. Several multilateral initiatives over the last five years have begun to spell out cooperative measures, norms of behavior, and transparency and confidence-building measures (TCBMs) that could help improve mutual cybersecurity. These efforts have been painstakingly slow, and some have stalled due to competing interests. Nonetheless, a United Nations (UN) Group of Governmental Experts (GGE) and the Organization for Cooperation and Security in Europe (OSCE) have achieved some high-level agreement on principles, norms, and “rules of the road” for national Internet activities and transnational cyber interactions. Their agreements include commitments to share more information, improve national protective capacities, cooperate on incident response, and restrain certain destabilizing state practices. Voluntary international agreements are worth little, unless states implement their commitments. So far, implementation has been crippled by vague language, national security considerations, complex relations between public and private actors in cyberspace, and privacy concerns. This is particularly true regarding the upfront sharing of information on threats and the willingness of participants to cooperate on incident investigations, including identifying perpetrators. With multilateral forums struggling to find a way forward with norm-setting and implementation, alternate pathways are needed to protect and build on what has been accomplished so far. Different strategies can help advance implementation of measures in the UN and OSCE agreements. Some commitments, such as establishing and sharing information about national points of contact, are best handled unilaterally or through bilateral or regional inter-governmental cooperation. Other objectives, such as protecting the core architecture and functions of the Internet that support trans-border critical infrastructure and underpin the global financial system, require a multi-stakeholder approach that includes not only governments but also private sector service providers, academic experts, and nongovernmental organizations. This paper compares what the GGE and OSCE norm-building processes have achieved so far and what disagreements have impeded these efforts. It identifies several priorities for cooperation identified by participants in both forums. It also proposes three practical projects related to these priorities that members of regional or global organizations might be able to work on together despite political tensions and philosophical disputes. The first would help state and non-state actors share information and communicate about various types of cybersecurity threats using a flexible and intuitive effects-based taxonomy to categorize cyber activity. The second would develop a more sophisticated way for state and non-state actors to assess the risks of different types of cyber incidents and the potential benefits of cooperation. The third would identify aspects of the Internet that might be considered the core of a public utility, worthy of special protection in their own right and for their support of trans-border critical infrastructure.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, United Nations, Infrastructure, Cybersecurity
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe
  • Author: Naoko Aoki
  • Publication Date: 07-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland (CISSM)
  • Abstract: Policy-makers, scholars, and analysts disagree about whether North Korea will take any meaningful denuclearization steps after its leader Kim Jong Un met with U.S. President Donald Trump in Singapore in June 2018. Many believe that the breakdowns of the 1994 Agreed Framework and the Six Party Talks process in the 2000s show that North Korea’s nuclear weapons program cannot be constrained through cooperation. According to this view, Pyongyang violated its previous commitments once it received economic and political benefits, and it will do so again. The underlying assumption is that Washington was fully implementing its own commitments until Pyongyang broke the deal. But is this true? This paper discusses three key findings drawn from an analysis of U.S. implementation of past denuclearization agreements with North Korea. The first is that the United Stated did not always follow through with its cooperative commitments because of domestic political constraints, even when North Korea was fulfilling its commitments. This makes it difficult to determine whether North Korea ultimately did not honor its obligations because it never intended to or because it was responding to U.S. actions. The second is that some parts of past deals were more susceptible than others to being undercut by domestic opposition because they received insufficient political attention. The third is that such domestic interference could be minimized by obtaining the widest possible coalition of domestic support from the negotiation stage. The roadmap for North Korea’s denuclearization is unclear, as the Singapore summit did not determine concrete steps toward that goal. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s visit to Pyongyang in early July also did not yield specifics such as the scope and timeline of denuclearization. But based on the findings from past agreements, this paper argues that the only way for the United States to find out if engagement will work this time is to test North Korea’s intentions by carrying out Washington’s own cooperative commitments more consistently than in the past.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Nuclear Weapons, Military Strategy, Nonproliferation, Deterrence
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, China, Asia, South Korea, North Korea, Korea
  • Author: Theresa Hitchens
  • Publication Date: 08-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland (CISSM)
  • Abstract: Over the past decade, concerns about ensuring sustainability and security in outer space have led the international community to pursue a range of governance initiatives. Governance issues regarding the use of space are complicated because of the physical realities of the space environment and because of the legal status of space as a global resource. As the number of space users grows and the types of activities in space expand, competition for access to space will only continue to grow. Different space actors have different priorities and perceptions regarding space challenges. As more and more militaries around the world turn to space assets, the potential development of counterspace weapons also increases tensions. Ongoing multilateral work on space governance has concentrated primarily on voluntary measures. There have been three major multilateral governance initiatives in the field. The three—the EU Code of Conduct, the COPUOS Working Group on the Long-term Sustainability of Outer Space Activities, and the UN Group of Governmental Experts (GGE) on transparency and confidence-building measures—were related to each other, but each aimed to address slightly different aspects of the governance problem. This paper reviews these initiatives and elucidates ways to forward their progress, for instance, by fully implementing the GGE recommendations, the establishment of national focal points for data exchange, and by fully implementing the UN Registry of Outer Space Objects. It also looks to identify additional steps beyond current activities at the multilateral level for establishing a foundational space governance framework, including institutionalizing the UN Space Debris Mitigation Guidelines; establishing a public space situational awareness database; and examining ways to move forward discussion on active debris removal, national legal obligations regarding military activities, and space traffic management.
  • Topic: United Nations, Military Strategy, European Union, Space
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe
  • Author: Rachael Gosnell
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland (CISSM)
  • Abstract: While concern about renewed international competition in the Arctic has attracted significant attention, the continuation of cooperation and adherence to international rules and norms of behavior is a far more likely outcome. The magnitude of activity in the region remains below historic Cold War levels and accounts for a very small percentage of overall global military activity. Further, stakeholders have thus far exhibited adherence to international law, and venues for dialogue offer an alternative to an Arctic security dilemma. Sound adherence to the principles of deterrence, international norms, and continued cooperation in forums such as the Arctic Council will ensure the region remains stable into the future.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, Military Strategy
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, Arctic
  • Author: Jaganath Sankaran
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland (CISSM)
  • Abstract: The United States and Japan are jointly developing and deploying an integrated advanced regional missile defense system meant to counter threats from North Korea. North Korea possesses a large and diversified arsenal of short- and medium-range missiles that could strike Japanese cities and military bases in the event of a crisis and cause measurable damage. The missile defense system currently in place provides strong kinematic defensive coverage over Japanese territory. However, in general, the offense enjoys a strong cost advantage. It is impractical to deploy as many defensive interceptors as there are offensive missiles, which, in turn, limits the efficiency of missile defenses. It should be understood that regional missile defenses in the Asia-Pacific are neither capable nor expected to provide 100% defense. Rather, their goal is to provide sufficient capability to bolster deterrence and, should deterrence fail, to provide enough defense in the initial stages of a crisis to protect vital military assets. Additionally, U.S. and Japanese forces apparently also need to develop a better command and control architecture to operate the Asia-Pacific regional missile defense system. Finally, while the system is meant to defend only against regional threats, China has argued that the system might in the future be able to intercept Chinese ICBMs, thereby diluting its strategic deterrent against the United States. Maintaining effective defenses against North Korea while reassuring China will be one of the major challenges the U.S. and Japan face in their missile defense endeavor.
  • Topic: Security, Diplomacy, International Cooperation, Military Strategy
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, China, Asia, South Korea, North Korea
  • Author: Nilsu Gören
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland (CISSM)
  • Abstract: This paper provides an overview of the European Phased Adaptive Approach (EPAA) missile defense debate from a Turkish perspective. While Turkey participates in the EPAA by hosting a U.S. early-warning radar in Kurecik, Malatya, its political and military concerns with NATO guarantees have led to the AKP government's quest for a national long-range air and missile defense system. However, Turkish decision makers' insistence on technology transfer shows that the Turkish debate is not adequately informed by the lessons learned from the EPAA, particularly the technical and financial challenges of missile defense.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Military Strategy, Missile Defense
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Turkey, Asia
  • Author: Catherine Kelleher
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland (CISSM)
  • Abstract: The following papers were commissioned as part of the Missile Defense, Extended Deterrence, and Nonproliferation in the 21st Century project supported by the Project on Advanced Systems and Concepts for Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction (PASCC). The papers have two general purposes: 1) to create a body of work that provides an overview of the missile defense developments in major regions of the world; and 2) to provide emerging scholars the opportunity to conduct research, publish, and connect with each other. We believe we have succeeded on both counts. The papers written for this project will be valuable for academics and policymakers alike, and will be published and disseminated by the Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland. This element of the project has also been successful in further bringing together a new cadre of experts in the field and developing the next generation of academics and public servants who will benefit from their participation in this project.
  • Topic: Security, Nuclear Weapons, Missile Defense
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Global Focus
  • Author: Ari Kattan
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland (CISSM)
  • Abstract: The U.S.-led effort to establish a missile defense architecture for the Persian Gulf has been slower and less successful than the United States had hoped, mainly due to an unwillingness and inability to cooperate among the Gulf Security Council nations whose nations the system is designed to defend. Given, inter alia, Iran’s growing ballistic missile arsenal and unease with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action in Gulf Arab capitals, security reassurances to the Gulf monarchies will become simultaneously more important and more difficult to make credible. In this environment, missile defense will be an important, but by no means sufficient, mechanism for assuring the Arab Gulf states. Cooperation on missile defense with the Gulf monarchies should continue, but with a realistic understanding of what is possible given the current chaos and political dynamics of the region.
  • Topic: Regional Cooperation, Military Strategy, Missile Defense
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Persian Gulf
  • Author: Naoko Aoki
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland (CISSM)
  • Abstract: North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs have spurred Japan and South Korea to develop their own ballistic missile defense (BMD) systems and to regenerate their interest in regional missile defense cooperation with the United States. Has North Korea reacted to such developments, and if so, how? This paper looks at North Korea’s missile capacity development as well as its official proclamations and concludes that while Pyongyang likely does not believe that it is the region’s sole target for U.S. and allied BMD, it feels deeply threatened by its deployment. Existing and potential BMD systems have not discouraged Pyongyang from building its own missiles. Rather, North Korea is accelerating its efforts to improve and expand its missile arsenal to develop a survivable force, likely perceiving BMD systems as part of an overall U.S. strategy that is hostile to Pyongyang.
  • Topic: Security, Diplomacy, Nuclear Weapons, Regional Cooperation, Nonproliferation
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, China, Asia, South Korea, North Korea
  • Author: Joshua Pollack
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland (CISSM)
  • Abstract: Some of the most enduring disagreements in the alliance between the United States and the Republic of Korea (ROK) concern ballistic missile defenses (BMD). At the same time that South Korea has expanded its conventional offensive missile program, it has declined American proposals for a regionally integrated BMD architecture, insisting on developing its own national system in parallel to the defenses operated by U.S. Forces Korea (USFK). American appeals for interoperability between U.S. and ROK systems have been received cautiously, as were proposals to enhance its own BMD in Korea by introducing the Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) to the Peninsula for several years. A desire for expanded autonomy in national security appears to underpin Seoul’s attitudes on BMD. Rather than rely passively on American protection against North Korea’s nuclear and missile threats, South Korea’s military leaders have focused on developing precision-strike capabilities to intimidate Pyongyang, and resisted simply accepting an American BMD umbrella. Even more than they desire greater independence from their American patron-ally, South Koreans are suspicious of entanglements with Japan, their former colonial master, whose own defensive systems are already integrated with the American regional BMD architecture. This outlook encourages the pursuit of independent defense capabilities and discourages institutionalizing trilateral security arrangements.
  • Topic: Security, Nuclear Weapons, Regional Cooperation, Nonproliferation, Deterrence
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, China, Asia, South Korea, North Korea
  • Author: Nancy Gallagher, Charles Harry
  • Publication Date: 04-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland (CISSM)
  • Abstract: Faced with a rapidly growing volume and range of cyber attacks, policymakers and organizational leaders have had difficulty setting priorities, allocating resources, and responding effectively without a standard way to categorize cyber events and estimate their consequences. Presidential Policy Directive 41 laid out the Obama administration’s principles for executive branch responses to significant cyber incidents in the public or private sector. But it neither drew important distinctions between different types of cyber incidents, nor gave a standard way to determine where a particular incident falls on its 0-5 point severity scale. This policy brief demonstrates how an analytical framework developed at the Center for International and Security Studies at the University of Maryland (CISSM) can help address these problems. It first differentiates between low-level incidents and more significant cyber events that result in either exploitation of information and/or disruption of operations. It categorizes five types of disruptive events and analyzes 2,030 cyber events in a dataset developed from media sources, showing that cyber exploitation remains more common than disruption, and that most disruptive activity fits into two categories: message manipulation and external denial of service attacks. Finally, the brief offers a standard method to assess the severity of different categories of disruptive attacks against different kinds of organizations based on the scope, magnitude, and duration of the event. This Cyber Disruption Index (CDI) is then applied to survey data on Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks in the private sector to assess severity within a common category of disruptive events. Of 3,900 cases reported, only 5 events (less than 1% of the DDoS cases) had a combined scope, magnitude, and duration severe enough to be a priority for prevention and potentially warrant government involvement.
  • Topic: Government, Cybersecurity, Media
  • Political Geography: United States, Washington, D.C.
  • Author: Catherine Kelleher
  • Publication Date: 05-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland (CISSM)
  • Abstract: What conditions are needed for a stable transition to a new nuclear order, one in which the total number of nuclear weapons would be reduced to very low numbers, perhaps even zero? We have addressed the myriad issues raised by this question with funding from a grant on “Creating Conditions for a Stable Transition to a New Nuclear Order,” co-directed by Catherine Kelleher and Judith Reppy, from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation to the Judith Reppy Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies at Cornell University. Our project had three goals: to take a fresh look at the theoretical underpinnings of the arguments about strategic security and nuclear doctrines; to encourage members of the younger generation (NextGen) scholars working on nuclear security issues to see themselves as part of a network that stretches from scholars in the field to active participants in the policy process; and to disseminate the products of the project to the policy community, in Washington and elsewhere. We convened five workshops—in Berlin (December 2014); Ithaca, NY (November 2015 and November 2016); Monterey, CA (February 2016); and Washington, DC (May 2016)—and held five discussion (“reach-in”) meetings with Washington insiders at the Cosmos Club in Washington, DC. This essay concentrates on our project’s first goal: a re-assessment of the deterrence literature and the conditions for stability during a transition period to low nuclear numbers, perhaps nuclear zero. It is based on the work of the participants in the workshops and on our own reading of the literature, both from the early days of the nuclear age and more recent contributions following the end of the Cold War.
  • Topic: Nuclear Weapons, Nonproliferation, Missile Defense, Deterrence
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, China, South Korea, North Korea
  • Author: Nancy Gallagher, Ebrahim Mohseni, Clay Ramsay
  • Publication Date: 07-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland (CISSM)
  • Abstract: Summary of Findings 1. Rouhani’s Re-election Seen as Endorsement of His Foreign Policy and JCPOA, Not Revolutionary Change There is no consensus among Iranians about what type of mandate Rouhani was given by the 57 percent of Iranians who voted to give him a second term. Fewer than 12 percent offered the same answer when asked an open-ended question. When presented with alternative interpretations, large majorities agree that Rouhani's re-election means that most Iranian people approve of his foreign policy and the nuclear deal he negotiated with the P5+1 countries. They disagree with the assertion that his re-election means most people disapprove of the ideals of the Islamic Revolution, or that they want religion to play a lesser role in policy making. 2. Approval of Nuclear Deal Increased during Presidential Campaign, Despite Disappointment with its Economic Benefit After steady declines in enthusiasm for the JCPOA prior to the May 2017 presidential election, approval of the agreement rose during the election process. Two in three Iranians approve of the agreement, while about a third oppose it. The agreement divides those who voted for Rouhani from those who did not. While eight in ten Rouhani voters approve of the deal, only four in ten of those who voted for Raisi approve of the agreement. Two years since the signing of the agreement, majorities believe that Iran has not received most of the promised benefits and that there have been no improvements in people’s living conditions as a result of the nuclear deal. A plurality thinks that the agreement for Iran to purchase passenger airplanes from the United States will likely have little impact on Iran’s economy. Still, there is some optimism that the deal will eventually improve people’s living conditions. 3. U.S. Seen as Actively Obstructive, Contrary to Commitment under JCPOA Most Iranians lack confidence that the United States will live up to its obligations under the JCPOA. They believe either that the United States is finding other ways to keep the negative effects of sanctions that were lifted under the deal, or that the United States has not even lifted the sanctions it was supposed to lift. A growing majority also believes that contrary to the terms of the agreement, the United States is trying to prevent other countries from normalizing their trade and economic relations with Iran. While a majority still express some confidence that other P5+1 countries will abide by the agreement, most say Europeans are slow in investing and trading with Iran primarily due to fear of punishment by the United States. 4. Majority Support Retaliation if U.S. Abrogates JCPOA Iranians expect President Donald Trump to be more hostile toward Iran than was former President Barack Obama. Seven in ten Iranians believe it likely that Trump may decide not to abide by the terms of the nuclear agreement. Attitudes about how Iran should respond if the United States violates the JCPOA have hardened: A clear majority now thinks that instead of taking the matter to the UN, Iran should retaliate by restarting the aspects of its nuclear program it has agreed to suspend under the JCPOA, if the United States abrogates the deal. A large majority see the new sanctions that Congress is likely to impose on Iran as being against the spirit of the JCPOA, with half saying it would violate the letter of the agreement as well. 5. No Appetite for Renegotiating the Nuclear Deal with Trump Large majorities say that Iran should refuse to increase the duration of the special nuclear limits it accepted under the JCPOA, or to terminate its nuclear enrichment program, even if offered more sanctions relief in return. 6. Majority Opposes a Halt to Missile Testing, Even in Return for More Sanctions Relief Over three in five say that Iran should continue testing ballistic missiles despite U.S. demands for Iran to halt such tests and find the proposition that Iran reduce testing missiles in return for the lifting of more sanctions unacceptable. Two thirds reject the notion that Rouhani’s re-election means most Iranians oppose testing of missiles by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). 7. Greater Support for Self-Sufficiency An increasing majority think Iran should strive to achieve economic self-sufficiency rather than focusing on increasing its trade with other countries. Six in ten say current changes in the world make it necessary for Iran to have a president who will stand up for Iran’s rights and refuse to compromise. Majorities reject offering various steps in exchange for more sanctions relief—steps such as Iran reducing its missile testing, or recognizing Israel, or ceasing its aid to the Syrian government and Hezbollah. Rejection of these steps is significantly lower, though, among those who think the nuclear deal has improved the living condition of ordinary Iranians. 8. Economy is Seen as Bad, and Reducing Unemployment is Given the Highest Priority Large majorities say Iran’s economic situation is bad, and less than a quarter think the economic condition of their family has improved over the last four years. Half think that the country’s economic situation is getting worse. Eight in ten say reducing unemployment should be a top priority for Rouhani in the next four years. 9. Rouhani Seen as Successful in Foreign Policy, not in Reducing Unemployment Majorities see Rouhani as being successful in improving Iran’s relations with other countries and getting international sanctions on Iran lifted. Majorities also see his re-election to mean that most Iranians approve of his foreign policy and the JCPOA. In fact, the nuclear agreement is regarded as Rouhani’s most important accomplishment during his first four years in office. Rouhani, however, gets low marks on the unemployment situation in Iran. Six in ten say he has been unsuccessful in reducing unemployment and half say he has thus far failed to improve the economy. 10. Rouhani's Reelection was Not Certain until Ghalibaf Left the Race Election polls were quite accurate in predicting the outcome of the election. Pre-election polls suggested that if Tehran mayor Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf had been Rouhani’s main opponent rather than Raisi, the election results would have been much closer. After the second presidential debate, Rouhani was ahead of Ghalibaf by less than 6 percentage points, while his lead over Raisi was more than 20 points. While an overwhelming majority of Raisi supporters said that if Raisi pulled out they would vote for Ghalibaf, less than half of Ghalibaf supporters said they would vote for Raisi if their candidate pulled out. Indeed, when Ghalibaf pulled out of the race nearly half of his supporters switched to Rouhani and helped him pass the 50 percent threshold. 11. Turnout Helps Rouhani About a quarter of those who said they rarely vote in Iranian presidential elections reported that they voted in the May 2017 election, and seven in ten said they voted for Rouhani. Large majorities believe that both the Guardian Council and the Interior Ministry were fair and impartial as they fulfilled their election-related responsibilities. About five percent, however, say that they went to their voting stations but for one reason or another were not ultimately able to cast their ballots. 12. Rouhani and Zarif's Popularity Increase after Re-Election, but General Soleymani is Most Popular Political Figure The Iranian Foreign Minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, is the most popular politician in Iran, with President Rouhani coming in second. Although Rouhani’s popularity increased somewhat during the recent election, it is still substantially lower than the first time he ran for office and after he signed the JCPOA. 13. Post-election Terrorist Attacks: ISIS Seen as Primary Culprit, but Saudi Arabia, Israel, and the United States Likely Helped A large majority of Iranians thinks that ISIS conducted the June 7 attacks in Tehran. Most Iranians also think that Saudi Arabia, Israel, and the United States probably provided guidance or support to the perpetrators. 14. Strong Support for Fighting ISIS, but Not for Collaboration with U.S. The June 7 attacks seem to have increased support for Iran playing a more active role in the Middle East. More than eight in ten call increasing Iran’s security a top priority; seven in ten say this about fighting ISIS and increasing Iran’s influence in the region. A growing majority of Iranians support their government helping groups that are fighting ISIS, although the number that favors sending troops has remained roughly constant. Two in three support Iran sending military personnel to Syria to help the Assad government against armed Syrian rebels, including ISIS. Support for Iran and the United States collaborating with one another to help Iraq’s government counter ISIS is at its lowest, with an increasing majority saying they would oppose such cooperation. 15. Views of P5+1 Countries Majorities regard Russia, China, and Germany—half of the P5+1—favorably, and the other half—the U.S., France and Britain—unfavorably. While six in ten believe that most P5+1 countries (but not the United States) will fulfill their obligations under the JCPOA, views toward all the Western powers that took part in the JCPOA negotiations are now less positive. Though a majority believes that Iran’s relations with European countries have improved as a result of the deal, only a quarter say that about the United States. Still, far from showing implacable hostility toward the West, a majority continues to think it is possible for the Islamic world and the West to find common ground.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Nuclear Weapons, Elections
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran, Middle East
  • Author: Naoko Aoki
  • Publication Date: 09-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland (CISSM)
  • Abstract: In 1994, the United States and North Korea signed the Agreed Framework, in which Pyongyang promised to abandon its nuclear program in exchange for energy aid and improvement of relations with Washington. An international consortium led by the United States was created to implement the key provisions of the deal, including the delivery of two light water reactor (LWR) units. While multi-national efforts are common in commercial nuclear projects, the case of the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization (KEDO) was unique. KEDO’s challenges ranged from the lack of diplomatic relations between its main members and North Korea, to the country’s poor infrastructure. This paper examines KEDO’s experience and concludes that cooperation among its member states—Japan, South Korea, the United States and others—helped ensure the project’s financial and political feasibility, even if work did not proceed smoothly. While the construction of the LWRs was never completed due to larger political changes, KEDO’s experience offers lessons for future nuclear projects that face similar hurdles. EXPLORE:
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Nuclear Weapons, Regional Cooperation, Nonproliferation, Deterrence
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, China, Asia, South Korea, North Korea
  • Author: anya Loukianova fink
  • Publication Date: 12-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland (CISSM)
  • Abstract: This discussion paper analyzes a sample of 2014-2016 Russian-language publications focused on Russia’s security relations with the United States. It characterizes the Russian expert debate at that time as dichotomous in nature, where security policy analysts proposed either coercive or restrained policy approaches in dealing with perceived threats. It assesses similarities and differences of these two perspectives with regard to the nature of Russia’s political-military relationship with the West, as well as past challenges and then-future opportunities in nuclear arms control and strategic stability.
  • Topic: Security, Diplomacy, Nuclear Weapons
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe
  • Author: Nancy Gallagher, Clay Ramsay, Ebrahim Mohseni
  • Publication Date: 02-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland (CISSM)
  • Abstract: Summary of Findings 1. Views of the Rouhani Administration President Hassan Rouhani and Foreign Minister Javad Zarif enjoy high levels of popular support in Iran. Nearly 8 in 10 Iranians say they have a favorable opinion of Rouhani and Zarif. Yet the intensity of their popularity has substantially eroded since August 2015. With Iran’s parliamentary elections only about a month away, 6 in 10 Iranians continue to want Rouhani supporters to win, while a growing minority favors his critics. Though Rouhani receives high marks for improving Iran’s security and deepening Iran’s relations with European countries, views of the economy are mixed. An increasing majority of Iranians think that Rouhani has not been successful in reducing unemployment. Iranians are also substantially less optimistic about Iran’s economy, with less than half now thinking that the economy is getting better. 2. Iran’s February 2016 Parliamentary Elections Four in ten Iranians voice confidence that the upcoming Majlis (Iran’s Parliament) elections will be very fair, and another four in ten assume it will be somewhat free and fair. Two thirds are highly confident they will vote in the upcoming elections for the Majlis and the Assembly of Experts. The most important issues Iranians want the new Majlis to tackle are unemployment and Iran’s low performing economy. 3. Civil Liberties in Iran Two in three Iranians believe that it is important for President Rouhani to seek to increase civil liberties in Iran. However, only a small minority complains that Iranians have too little freedom. While only about a third thinks that civil liberties in Iran have increased during Rouhani’s presidency, a plurality expects that civil liberties will increase at least somewhat over the next two years. 4. Approval for Nuclear Deal Seven in ten Iranians approve of the nuclear deal, though enthusiasm has waned somewhat. The deal garners support from majorities of those who favor Rouhani’s critics in the Majlis election, as well as those who favor his supporters. Two thirds still think the Iranian leadership negotiated a good deal for Iran, though the number of those disagreeing has risen to one in five. The number who believes it was a win for Iran has also declined, while the number who believes it was a victory for both sides has risen and is now a majority. 5. Perceptions of the Nuclear Deal Substantial numbers of Iranians now have a more accurate picture of the deal than they did in August 2015. About half (up from a third) now realizes that Iran has accepted limits on its nuclear research. Almost half (up from a quarter) now knows that many US sanctions are not covered by the agreement and will continue. However, growing majorities continue to believe incorrectly that Iranian military sites cannot be inspected under any conditions. A majority also believes that the US has agreed to not impose new sanctions to replace the ones that were removed as part of the nuclear deal. 6. Expectations of Economic Benefits Three in five Iranians expect that the nuclear deal will eventually result in improvements in their own economic well-being. This sentiment is shared by a majority of those who support Rouhani’s critics in the upcoming parliamentary elections. Majorities expect to see, within a year, better access to medical products from abroad, more foreign investment, and significant improvements in unemployment and the overall economy, though these majorities have declined from August 2015. 7. The Nuclear Deal’s Effect on Iran’s Foreign Relations A large majority of Iranians thinks that Iran’s relations with European countries have already improved as a result of the nuclear deal, but only one in three thinks Iran’s relations with the United States have improved. 8. Views of US Cooperation in the Nuclear Deal Six in ten Iranians are not confident that the US will live up to its obligations under the nuclear agreement and do not think the US will accept other countries cooperating with Iran’s civilian nuclear sector, as provided for under the deal. Half assume the US will use pressure and sanctions to extract more concessions from Iran—up from only a quarter in August 2015. 9. Views of the Nuclear Program Just as in past years, four in five Iranians see the development of an Iranian nuclear program as very important, and three in four see this program as being for purely peaceful purposes. Four in five continue to favor the idea of a Middle East nuclear-free zone that would require all countries in the Middle East, including Israel, not to have nuclear weapons. 10. Iran’s Involvement in Syria and Fighting ISIS Large majorities of Iranians approve of Iran being involved in Syria and strongly support countering ISIS, preserving Iran’s influence in the region, and countering Saudi, American, and Israeli influence. Overwhelming majorities approve of Iran fighting ISIS directly. Large majorities also approve of Iran supporting Shiite and Kurdish groups fighting ISIS and providing support to Iranian allies in the region. Strengthening the Assad government gets more modest support and is seen as a secondary goal for Iran. Two in three Iranians approve of sending Iranian military personnel to help Assad fight against armed Syrian rebels, including ISIS. 11. Views of US Involvement in Syria A large majority of Iranians disapproves of US involvement in Syria. US involvement in Syria is widely perceived as being primarily motivated by a desire to topple the Assad government, to increase US influence and power in the region, to protect Israeli and Saudi interests, and to decrease Iran’s influence and power in the region. Views are divided about whether the United States is seeking to protect Syrian civilians, to end the conflict, to prevent the conflict from spreading, or to fight ISIS. A modest majority says US efforts against ISIS are not at all sincere. A bare majority supports direct cooperation with the United States to counter ISIS in Iraq. 12. Views of Other Nations Involved in Syria Large majorities of Iranians approve of the involvement in Syria of Russia and Hezbollah, and seven in ten express confidence that Russia’s efforts against ISIS are sincerely motivated. However, large majorities disapprove of the involvement in Syria of Turkey, France, and, especially, Saudi Arabia. Large majorities say that the Saudis’ efforts against ISIS are insincere; views of the sincerity of the efforts by Turkey and France are less negative. A large majority has a negative view of Saudi efforts to create a coalition against terrorism, primarily because Saudi Arabia is seen as a supporter of ISIS. 13. International Collaboration on Syria and ISIS Despite their suspicions of other countries operating in the region, eight in ten Iranians approve of Iran participating in the international talks on the conflict in Syria. Of those who know about the Vienna agreement, seven in ten approve of it. 14. Views of Other Countries Iranians view their country’s allies, notably Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and Hezbollah, favorably, and view Saudi Arabia and Turkey increasingly unfavorably. Views of Russia and China are generally favorable and have improved considerably over time. Western countries, with the exception of Germany, are viewed unfavorably, with Britain and the US viewed negatively by large majorities in Iran. In contrast, a majority has a favorable opinion of the American people.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, Nuclear Weapons, Terrorism, Geopolitics, ISIS, Hezbollah
  • Political Geography: Britain, Russia, United States, China, Iraq, Iran, Turkey, Germany, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Syria
  • Author: anya Loukianova fink
  • Publication Date: 05-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland (CISSM)
  • Abstract: Policy makers in the Euro-Atlantic region are concerned that incidents involving military or civilian aircraft could result in dangerous escalation of conflict between Russia and the West. This brief introduces the policy problem and traces the evolution of three sets of cooperative airspace arrangements developed by Euro-Atlantic states since the end of the Cold War—(1) cooperative aerial surveillance of military activity, (2) exchange of air situational data, and (3) joint engagement of theater air and missile threats—in order to clarify the current regional airspace insecurity dynamics and identify opportunities to promote transparency and confidence in U.S./NATO-Russian relations.
  • Topic: NATO, International Cooperation, Military Strategy, Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, North Atlantic
  • Author: Nilsu Gören
  • Publication Date: 09-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland (CISSM)
  • Abstract: Beyond its history of military coups and incomplete civilian oversight of its armed forces, Turkey has struggled with defining an independent international security policy. Its perception of U.S./NATO security guarantees has historically shaped its decision to either prioritize collective defense or seek solutions in indigenous or regional security arrangements. As part its domestic political transformation during the past decade, Turkey has decreased its reliance on NATO, leading to questions among observers about Turkey’s future strategic orientation away from the West. This brief argues that Turkey’s strategic objectives have indeed evolved in the recent past and that this is apparent in the mismatch between the country’s general security policy objectives and the outcomes of its policies on nuclear issues. At present, nuclear weapons do not serve a compelling function in Turkish policymakers’ thinking, beyond the country’s commitment to the status quo in NATO nuclear policy. Since nuclear deterrence is secondary to conventional deterrence, Turkey’s policies on nuclear issues are predominantly shaped by non-nuclear considerations. These decisions, in the absence of careful consideration of nuclear weapons, increase nuclear risks. This brief explores how Turkey could formulate more effective and lower risk nuclear policies than it currently does by employing cooperative security measures and how such a reorientation could strengthen to its overall security policy in the process.
  • Topic: Security, NATO, Nuclear Weapons, Military Strategy
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Turkey, Asia
  • Author: Marianna M. Yamamoto
  • Publication Date: 01-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland (CISSM)
  • Abstract: This information paper presents a simplified explanation of terrorism. The paper uses three methods to convey a basic understanding of terrorism. The paper first explains “victim-target differentiation,” the primary method of operation used in terrorist attacks. Victim-target differentiation (the strategy of attacking people or property in order to get other people to take some kind of action) is a concept that is not always clearly understood, and is essential to the comprehension of terrorism. The use of victim-target differentiation makes terrorism more complex than most forms of political violence, and more difficult to counter. Second, the paper explains terrorism by following and analyzing the steps of the terrorist attack. Analyzing each step shows how terrorism operates, and establishes the basis for counterterrorism efforts. The paper uses the Turner-Yamamoto Terrorism Model to illustrate the steps of the terrorist attack and show how terrorism is intended to operate. The model can also serve as a guide to comprehending terrorism and how to combat it. The model can be used to identify ways to prevent terrorist attacks, respond effectively if they occur, and reduce the use of terrorism. The paper then uses the analysis of the terrorist attack as a way to evaluate specific incidents to determine whether or not they are acts of terrorism. Using specific examples can help put the characteristics of terrorism into perspective, and can help individuals be better prepared to combat terrorism more effectively. This info paper was developed from the CISSM monograph, Terrorism Against Democracy, 2015. The monograph is based in part on Admiral Stansfield Turner’s course, “Terrorism & Democracy,” which he taught from 2002–2006 in response to the 9/11 attacks on September 11, 2001.
  • Topic: Political Violence, Terrorism, Violent Extremism, War on Terror
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Jonas Siegel
  • Publication Date: 03-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland (CISSM)
  • Abstract: In the years since the 2000 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference, NPT nuclear weapons states have engaged in consequential transparency measures about their stockpiles of nuclear weapons and materials. The level of transparency thus far achieved, however, has proven uneven in terms of the types and amounts of information released and in terms of the frequency of those releases—and most importantly, has not contributed significantly to fulfillment of these states NPT commitments. Nuclear weapons states should reassess the scope of their transparency efforts to date and consider expanding the types of information that they reveal to provide international assurances and achieve gains in support of the nuclear nonproliferation regime. This paper identifies particular steps that these states could take to fulfill the desire for greater transparency that move beyond declarations of the number and status of nuclear weapons and nuclear materials. In particular, it focuses on how transparency can be expanded about the operational practices and protocols that govern the day-to-day management of their military nuclear materials—their warheads, weapons components, and material stockpiles—and how transparency in this area would contribute to fulfilling their disarmament and nonproliferation commitments.
  • Topic: Nuclear Weapons, Military Strategy, Disarmament
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, China, United Kingdom, France
  • Author: Nancy Gallagher, Clay Ramsay, Ebrahim Mohseni
  • Publication Date: 06-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland (CISSM)
  • Abstract: View the survey questionnaire and trend tables.This survey is one in a series of surveys related to Iran that CISSM has conducted since 2013. View the complete list of surveys. Summary of Findings 1. Iran’s Nuclear Program Overwhelming majorities of Iranians continue to say that it is very important for Iran to have a nuclear program. The nuclear program is seen as one of Iran’s greatest achievements. A large majority continues to see the program as driven purely by peaceful goals, though one in five see it as being an effort to pursue nuclear weapons. This support for Iran’s nuclear program appears to be driven by a combination of symbolic and economic considerations. However, while a majority sees the program as being an important way for Iran to stand up to the West, serving Iran’s future energy and medical needs is seen as more important. 2. Views on Nuclear Weapons A large and growing majority of Iranians express opposition to nuclear weapons in various ways. Two thirds now say that producing nuclear weapons is contrary to Islam. Eight in ten approve of the NPT goal of eliminating nuclear weapons and establishing a nuclear weapons-free zone in the Middle East. Consistent with these views, Iranians express opposition to chemical weapons, with nine in ten approving of Iran’s decision, during the Iran-Iraq War in the 1980s, to not use chemical weapons in response to Iraq’s use of them. 3. Iran - P5+1 Nuclear Deal Given information about the nuclear deal being negotiated between Iran and the P5+1, a substantial majority favors it and only one in six oppose it. A quarter, though, are undecided or equivocal. Nearly three in four are optimistic that Iran and the P5+1 will arrive at a deal in regard to Iran’s nuclear program. Three in four think the Majlis (Iran’s Parliament) should have a say on a nuclear deal. 4. The Potential Removal of Sanctions The support for Iran pursuing a deal with the P5+1 appears to rest to some extent on the assumption—held by a large majority—that all sanctions on Iran would be lifted as part of the deal, and there is optimism that the sanctions would in fact be lifted. Approximately half of respondents say Iran should not agree to a deal unless the U.S. lifts all of its sanctions, while nearly as many say Iran should be ready to make a deal even if the U.S. retains some sanctions, provided all UN and EU sanctions are lifted. Among those who believe that all U.S. sanctions would be lifted, support for a deal is nearly two thirds, while among those who assume that the U.S. will retain some sanctions, support is a bare majority. The removal of UN sanctions is seen as more important than the removal of U.S. sanctions. 5. Expectations About Positive Effects of a Deal Iranians express high expectations that a nuclear deal would result in significant positive effects in the near term. Majorities say they would expect to see, within a year, better access to foreign medicines and medical equipment, significantly more foreign investment, and tangible improvement in living standards. 6. The Sanctions and Iran’s Economy The sanctions on Iran are overwhelmingly perceived as having a negative impact on the country’s economy and on the lives of ordinary people. However, views of the economy are fairly sanguine and have been improving. Also, the impact of the sanctions is seen as limited and a lesser factor affecting the economy as compared to domestic mismanagement and corruption. 7. Views of Rouhani As Iran’s parliamentary elections near, Iran’s President Rouhani is clearly one of the strongest political figures in Iran. Half would prefer to see Rouhani supporters win in the February 2016 parliamentary elections, while one quarter favors his critics. However, Rouhani supporters have high expectations that a deal removing all U.S. sanctions and bringing rapid economic change is going to take place. If a deal is reached that does not meet these expectations, Rouhani could be left politically vulnerable. In a hypothetical presidential match-up, Rouhani currently does better than former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad by two to one. Large majorities say Rouhani has been at least somewhat successful in improving the economic situation, improving Iran’s relations with European countries, and reducing sanctions. Three in four Iranians say that if the negotiations were to fail to produce a final agreement, they would only or mostly blame the P5+1 countries. 8. Relations with the U.S. Views of the United States, especially the U.S. government, continue to be quite negative. Only four in ten believe that U.S. leaders genuinely believe that Iran is trying to acquire nuclear weapons. Asked why the U.S. is imposing sanctions on Iran, the most common answers portray the U.S. as seeking to confront and dominate Iran; very few mention concerns about nuclear weapons. However, a slight majority has a positive view of the American people. If Iran and the P5+1 reach a deal, a large majority believes that the U.S. will still impede other countries from cooperating with Iran, and a slight majority believes that Iran making concessions on the nuclear issue will likely lead the U.S. to seek more concessions. Just one in six believe that concessions would be likely to lead to greater accommodation; however, this number is higher than a year ago. Large majorities favor various confidence-building measures between Iran and the U.S., including greater trade, which is more widely supported than a year ago. People-to-people confidence-building measures are especially popular. A majority thinks that it is possible for Islam and the West to find common ground. 9. Views of P5+1 Countries Two thirds say they do not trust the P5+1 countries—however, the minority expressing trust has increased since fall 2014. Views of specific countries vary: large majorities have negative views of the UK and the U.S.; modest majorities have unfavorable views of Russia and France, while views are divided on Germany and China. 10. Views of Regional Actors A very large majority has an unfavorable view of Saudi Arabia—even slightly more negative than views of the U.S. A slight majority now has an unfavorable view of Turkey, which was not the case a year ago. Large majorities continue to view Syria and Iraq favorably.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, International Cooperation, Nuclear Weapons, Regional Cooperation, Sanctions
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran, Middle East, Saudi Arabia
  • Author: Marianna M. Yamamoto
  • Publication Date: 08-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland (CISSM)
  • Abstract: The OSCE security concept is a theoretical and operational framework based on the idea that international and domestic security depend on principles guiding three areas: how States deal with each other and resolve problems; the protection and promotion of individual rights within States; and the processes to develop, implement, and advance agreements regarding the principles. The OSCE security concept is based on principles that OSCE States began to develop in 1975 with the Helsinki Final Act, and continued to develop over the next decades and into the 21st century. This brief identifies and articulates the OSCE security principles by analyzing a series of official documents adopted by the OSCE States from 1975 to 2001. The concept was described in greater length in the CISSM monograph, OSCE Principles in Practice, which also tested the practical application of the principles in three case studies. The monograph then extended the research on OSCE principles to express an OSCE security concept. As a concept based on principles developed by democratic States, the OSCE security concept has significant policy implications. One highlighted in this brief is that international security cannot be achieved without the protection and promotion of individual rights and freedoms.
  • Topic: Security, Human Rights, International Cooperation
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe
  • Author: Charles Harry
  • Publication Date: 08-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland (CISSM)
  • Abstract: While significant media attention has been given to the volume and range of cyber attacks, the inability to measure and categorize disruptive events has complicated efforts of policy makers to push comprehensive responses that address the range of cyber activity. While organizations and public officials have spent significant time and resources attempting to grapple with the complex nature of these threats, a systematic and comprehensive approach to categorize and measure disruptive attacks remains elusive. This paper addresses this issue by differentiating between exploitive and disruptive cyber events, proposes a formal method to categorize five types of disruptive events, and measures their impact along three dimensions of analysis. Scope, magnitude, and duration of disruptive cyber events are analyzed to locate each event on a Cyber Disruption Index (CDI) so organizations and policymakers can estimate the aggregated effect of a malicious act aimed at impacting their operations. Using the five different event classes and the CDI estimation method makes it easier for organizations and policy makers to disaggregate a complex topic, contextualize and process individual threats to their network, target where increased investment can reduce the risk of specific disruptive cyber events, and distinguish between events that represent a private-sector problem from those that merit a more serious public-sector concern.
  • Topic: Mass Media, Cybersecurity
  • Political Geography: United States, North America, Washington, D.C.