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  • Author: Fiona S. Cunningham, M. Taylor Fravel
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Chinese views of nuclear escalation are key to assessing the potential for nuclear escalation in a crisis or armed conflict between the United States and China, but they have not been examined systematically. A review of original Chinese-language sources and interviews with members of China's strategic community suggest that China is skeptical that nuclear escalation could be controlled once nuclear weapons are used and, thus, leaders would be restrained from pursuing even limited use. These views are reflected in China's nuclear operational doctrine (which outlines plans for retaliatory strikes only and lacks any clear plans for limited nuclear use) and its force structure (which lacks tactical nuclear weapons). The long-standing decoupling of Chinese nuclear and conventional strategy, organizational biases within China's strategic community, and the availability of space, cyber, and conventional missile weapons as alternative sources of strategic leverage best explain Chinese views toward nuclear escalation. China's confidence that a U.S.-China conflict would not escalate to the use of nuclear weapons may hamper its ability to identify nuclear escalation risks in such a scenario. Meanwhile, U.S. scholars and policymakers emphasize the risk of inadvertent escalation in a conflict with China, but they are more confident than their Chinese counterparts that the use of nuclear weapons could remain limited. When combined, these contrasting views could create pressure for a U.S.-China conflict to escalate rapidly into an unlimited nuclear war.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, Nuclear Weapons, International Security, Nuclear Power, Nonproliferation
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Asia
  • Author: Elizabeth N. Saunders
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: When and how do domestic politics influence a state's nuclear choices? Recent scholarship on nuclear security develops many domestic-political explanations for different nuclear decisions. These explanations are partly the result of two welcome trends: first, scholars have expanded the nuclear timeline, examining state behavior before and after nuclear proliferation; and second, scholars have moved beyond blunt distinctions between democracies and autocracies to more fine-grained understandings of domestic constraints. But without linkages between them, new domestic-political findings could be dismissed as a laundry list of factors that do not explain significant variation in nuclear decisions. This review essay assesses recent research on domestic politics and nuclear security, and develops a framework that illuminates when and how domestic-political mechanisms are likely to affect nuclear choices. In contrast to most previous domestic arguments, many of the newer domestic-political mechanisms posited in the literature are in some way top-down; that is, they show leaders deliberately maintaining or loosening control over nuclear choices. Two dimensions govern the extent and nature of domestic-political influence on nuclear choices: the degree of threat uncertainty and the costs and benefits to leaders of expanding the circle of domestic actors involved in a nuclear decision. The framework developed in this review essay helps make sense of several cases explored in the recent nuclear security literature. It also has implications for understanding when and how domestic-political arguments might diverge from the predictions of security-based analyses.
  • Topic: Security, Arms Control and Proliferation, Nuclear Weapons, Treaties and Agreements, International Security, Domestic politics, Nonproliferation
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, China, Iran, North Korea
  • Author: M.E. Sarotte
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Newly available sources show how the 1993–95 debate over the best means of expanding the North Atlantic Treaty Organization unfolded inside the Clinton administration. This evidence comes from documents recently declassified by the Clinton Presidential Library, the Defense Department, and the State Department because of appeals by the author. As President Bill Clinton repeatedly remarked, the two key questions about enlargement were when and how. The sources make apparent that, during a critical decisionmaking period twenty-five years ago, supporters of a relatively swift conferral of full membership to a narrow range of countries outmaneuvered proponents of a slower, phased conferral of limited membership to a wide range of states. Pleas from Central and Eastern European leaders, missteps by Russian President Boris Yeltsin, and victory by the pro-expansion Republican Party in the 1994 U.S. congressional election all helped advocates of full-membership enlargement to win. The documents also reveal the surprising impact of Ukrainian politics on this debate and the complex roles played by both Strobe Talbott, a U.S. ambassador and later deputy secretary of state, and Andrei Kozyrev, the Russian foreign minister. Finally, the sources suggest ways in which the debate's outcome remains significant for transatlantic and U.S.-Russian relations today.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, NATO, International Security, Clinton Administration
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States
  • 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: Christopher Clary, Vipin Narang
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Is India shifting to a nuclear counterforce strategy? Continued aggression by Pakistan against India, enabled by Islamabad's nuclear strategy and India's inability to counter it, has prompted the leadership in Delhi to explore more flexible preemptive counterforce options in an attempt to reestablish deterrence. Increasingly, Indian officials are advancing the logic of counterforce targeting, and they have begun to lay out exceptions to India's long-standing no-first-use policy to potentially allow for the preemptive use of nuclear weapons. Simultaneously, India has been acquiring the components that its military would need to launch counterforce strikes. These include a growing number of accurate and responsive nuclear delivery systems, an array of surveillance platforms, and sophisticated missile defenses. Executing a counterforce strike against Pakistan, however, would be exceptionally difficult. Moreover, Pakistan's response to the mere fear that India might be pursuing a counterforce option could generate a dangerous regional arms race and crisis instability. A cycle of escalation would have significant implications not only for South Asia, but also for the broader nuclear landscape if other regional powers were similarly seduced by the temptations of nuclear counterforce.
  • Topic: National Security, Terrorism, International Security, Military Strategy, Military Affairs, Counter-terrorism
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, India, Asia
  • Author: Deborah Jordan Brooks, Stephen G. Brooks, Brian D. Greenhill, Mark L. Haas
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: The world is experiencing a period of unprecedented demographic change. For the first time in human history, marked disparities in age structures exist across the globe. Around 40 percent of the world's population lives in countries with significant numbers of elderly citizens. In contrast, the majority of the world's people live in developing countries with very large numbers of young people as a proportion of the total population. Yet, demographically, most of the world's states with young populations are aging, and many are doing so quickly. This first-of-its kind systematic theoretical and empirical examination of how these demographic transitions influence the likelihood of interstate conflict shows that countries with a large number of young people as a proportion of the total population are the most prone to international conflict, whereas states with the oldest populations are the most peaceful. Although societal aging is likely to serve as a force for enhanced stability in most, and perhaps all, regions of the world over the long term, the road to a “demographic peace” is likely to be bumpy in many parts of the world in the short to medium term.
  • Topic: Demographics, War, International Security, Democracy, International Relations Theory
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Japan, China, Germany, Global Focus
  • Author: Matthew Bunn, Nickolas Roth, William H. Tobey
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: The goal of global nuclear security efforts should be a world in which all countries with nuclear weapons, highly enriched uranium (HEU), separated plutonium, and nuclear facilities whose sabotage could cause a major radiation release have reduced the risk of nuclear theft and sabotage to the lowest possible level. This will require policymakers, regulators, and operators to commit to a continuous process of striving for excellence in nuclear security performance.
  • Topic: Security, Environment, Science and Technology, International Security, Natural Resources, Nuclear Power
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Matthew Bunn, Nickolas Roth, William H. Tobey
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Complacency about the threat of nuclear terrorism—the belief that nuclear and radiological terrorism threats are minimal and existing security measures are sufficient to address them—is the fundamental barrier to strengthening nuclear security. Many factors can lead to complacency, but the most significant contributors are lack of knowledge about: events related to nuclear terrorism; weaknesses of nuclear security systems; and the capabilities demonstrated by thieves around the world. People will be more likely to take action to strengthen nuclear security if they believe that nuclear terrorism poses a real threat to their own country’s interests and their actions can significantly reduce the threat. There have been many incidents in recent years that demonstrate the need for strong and sustainable security at both military and civilian nuclear facilities.
  • Topic: Security, Environment, Science and Technology, International Security, Natural Resources, Nuclear Power
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Matthew Bunn, Nickolas Roth, William H. Tobey
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: The Trump administration budget request for programs to reduce the dangers of nuclear theft and terrorism is too small to implement the ambitious approach that is needed. Congress should increase funding in this critical area; direct the administration to develop and implement a comprehensive plan for improving security for nuclear weapons and materials worldwide; and exert expanded oversight of this effort. This brief highlights the importance of ongoing nuclear security work; describes the evolving budget picture; and outlines recommendations for congressional action.
  • Topic: Security, Environment, Nuclear Weapons, Science and Technology, International Security, Natural Resources, Budget
  • Political Geography: United States of America
  • Author: Christopher Clary, Vipin Narang
  • Publication Date: 05-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Bottom Lines Counterforce incentives. Pakistan’s threats of nuclear first use have given India incentives to develop disarming capabilities that might neutralize Pakistan’s nuclear capabilities in a future conflict. The goal of such a shift would be to allow New Delhi to recapture the space it believed it had lost for conventional retaliation, without fear of nuclear use from Pakistan and without having to engage in tit-for-tat nuclear warfighting. Expanding options without doctrinal change. This risk of first-strike instability may force India to consider circumstances under which it could use nuclear weapons preemptively, posing a challenge to its long-standing “no first use” (NFU) declaration. Senior former officials have argued that preemption may be consistent with India’s NFU policy, meaning that Indian nuclear strategy may be changing even without any public revisions to its declaratory doctrine. Growing but still insufficient capabilities. India has dramatically expanded the number of precise nuclear-armed and conventional weapons that it possesses that can strike deep into Pakistan, along with the necessary systems and infrastructure to find and destroy Pakistani nuclear systems and intercept any forces it may miss with missile defenses. Nevertheless, it is far from achieving the ability to execute counterforce strikes against Pakistani nuclear targets, but even the mere pursuit of such options creates both an arms race on the Indian subcontinent as well as dangerous incentives to strike first in a crisis.
  • Topic: International Security, Military Affairs, Nuclear Power
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India
  • Author: Seth Johnston
  • Publication Date: 11-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Europe is pursuing significant new defense initiatives that span capability development, policy, and institutional cooperation. Many of these efforts occur under the auspices of the European Union and are part of the EU’s longstanding aim to grow itself as a security and foreign policy actor. But real security challenges in Europe—from Russian aggression to terrorism and regional instability—have contributed to the importance and potential of European efforts. The political dynamics of the transatlantic relationship may also favor Europe’s initiatives: although the Trump administration’s calls for greater European defense spending have rankled European leaders and U.S. officials have legitimate concerns about the details of EU initiatives, the larger issue of strengthening European defense is consistent with U.S. goals. The EU’s security and defense efforts have implications for the transatlantic economy and defense industry, the NATO alliance, and U.S.-European relations generally. While the United States should work to ensure continued transatlantic defense policy coordination, secure and competitive markets for the defense industry, and preservation of the longstanding principle of ‘no duplication’ with NATO, it should also broadly support European efforts to invest more and more wisely on defense. Both the United States and Europe stand to benefit from greater European defense investment and capability. The history of intra-European and transatlantic differences over European defense cooperation endures in the EU’s current efforts. But today’s environment favors change and represents a rare opportunity for bold action.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, NATO, Diplomacy, International Security, Europe , Transatlantic Relations
  • Political Geography: Europe, United States of America
  • Author: James M. Acton
  • Publication Date: 11-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: This policy brief is based on “Escalation through Entanglement: How the Vulnerability of Command-and- Control Systems Raises the Risks of Inadvertent Nuclear War,” which appears in the summer 2018 issue of International Security.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Security, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Hyun-Kyung Kim, Elizabeth Philipp, Hattie Chung
  • Publication Date: 10-2017
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Amidst the growing threat of North Korea’s nuclear program, the assassination of Kim Jong-Un’s half-brother via VX nerve agent in February 2017 brought renewed interest in North Korea’s other weapons of mass destruction (WMD) programs—chemical and biological weapons. If used on a large scale, these weapons can cause not only tens of thousands of deaths, but also create panic and paralyze societies. Nevertheless, the vividness of the nuclear threat has overshadowed other weapons programs, limiting the attention and policy input that they deserve. This paper focuses on North Korea’s biological weapons (BW).
  • Topic: International Security, Nuclear Power
  • Political Geography: North Korea
  • Author: Melissa Hathaway
  • Publication Date: 09-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Cyber Readiness at a Glance is the ninth study in a series of country reports assessing national-level preparedness for cyber risks based on the Cyber Readiness Index (CRI) 2.0 methodology. This report provides the most in-depth analysis to date of Saudi Arabia's current cyber security posture and its efforts to strengthen the country's security and resilience in the wake of significant cyber threats to the nation.
  • Topic: International Security, Cybersecurity
  • Political Geography: Saudi Arabia
  • Author: Rebecca Slayton
  • Publication Date: 02-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Bottom Lines: Creating unnecessary vulnerabilities. Making offensive cyber operations a national priority can increase instabilities in international relations and worsen national vulnerabilities to attack. But because the skills needed for offense and defense are similar, military offensive readiness can be maintained by focusing on defensive operations that make the world safer, rather than on offensive operations. Managing complexity. The ease of both offense and defense increases as organizational skills and capability in managing complex technology improve; it declines as the complexity of cyber operations rises. What appears to be offensive advantage is primarily a result of the offense’s relatively simple goals and the defense’s poor management. Assessing kinetic effects. It is often more expensive for the offense to achieve kinetic effects—for instance, sabotaging machinery—than for the defense to prevent them. An empirical analysis of the Stuxnet cyberattacks on Iran’s nuclear enrichment facilities shows that Stuxnet likely cost the offense more than the defense and was relatively ineffective.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, International Security, Nuclear Power, Cybersecurity
  • Political Geography: Middle East, North America
  • Author: Daniel Poneman
  • Publication Date: 08-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Today, as a species, we face two existential threats: nuclear annihilation and catastrophic climate change. Both stem from human origins. We need to fight both threats aggressively. There are many things we can and should do to tackle the climate threat, beginning with putting a price on carbon emissions, promoting market mechanisms that reward efficiency, leveling the playing field for all lower-carbon energy sources, and leveraging the Paris Climate Agreement into more effective international action. But even adding up all existing national commitments to curtail greenhouse gas emissions, and assuming perfect execution, the world falls far short of the cuts needed to avoid catastrophic climate change. The expanded use of nuclear energy can make a major contribution to closing that gap and meeting our climate goals. But inherent in the use of atomic fission is the risk that the technology and materials can be diverted to terrorists or hostile nations.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Energy Policy, Environment, Human Welfare, Markets, Nuclear Weapons, International Security, Global Markets
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Daniel Poneman
  • Publication Date: 08-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Today, as a species, we face two existential threats: nuclear annihilation and catastrophic climate change. Both stem from human origins. We need to fight both threats aggressively. There are many things we can and should do to tackle the climate threat, beginning with putting a price on carbon emissions, promoting market mechanisms that reward efficiency, leveling the playing field for all lower-carbon energy sources, and leveraging the Paris Climate Agreement into more effective international action. But even adding up all existing national commitments to curtail greenhouse gas emissions, and assuming perfect execution, the world falls far short of the cuts needed to avoid catastrophic climate change. The expanded use of nuclear energy can make a major contribution to closing that gap and meeting our climate goals. But inherent in the use of atomic fission is the risk that the technology and materials can be diverted to terrorists or hostile nations.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Energy Policy, Environment, Human Welfare, Markets, Nuclear Weapons, International Security, Global Markets
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Daniel Poneman
  • Publication Date: 08-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Today, as a species, we face two existential threats: nuclear annihilation and catastrophic climate change. Both stem from human origins. We need to fight both threats aggressively. There are many things we can and should do to tackle the climate threat, beginning with putting a price on carbon emissions, promoting market mechanisms that reward efficiency, leveling the playing field for all lower-carbon energy sources, and leveraging the Paris Climate Agreement into more effective international action. But even adding up all existing national commitments to curtail greenhouse gas emissions, and assuming perfect execution, the world falls far short of the cuts needed to avoid catastrophic climate change. The expanded use of nuclear energy can make a major contribution to closing that gap and meeting our climate goals. But inherent in the use of atomic fission is the risk that the technology and materials can be diverted to terrorists or hostile nations.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Energy Policy, Environment, Human Welfare, Markets, Nuclear Weapons, International Security, Global Markets
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Wendy Sherman
  • Publication Date: 06-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: This policy brief examines political forgiveness, when countries or groups are able to reconcile or set aside historic enmities. The inability to overcome longstanding grievances—however justified and deeply rooted—often undermine a group’s or nation’s current core interests. This lack of forgiveness manifests throughout the world: tribal warfare in South Sudan, hostility between Saudi Arabia and Iran, seemingly irreconcilable differences within the European neighborhood, and the failure to reach a two-state solution between Israelis and Palestinians. Deep animus often seems to take precedence over interests. What conditions are necessary for political forgiveness, and through what process is it achieved? How is it that some countries, like Germany, have been able to find their way through this thicket, while others, such as Japan, have not—or at least not to a comparable extent? And, in cases of genocide, such as Rwanda, where political forgiveness may well be impossible, should the international community more purposefully examine the social license extended to victims? Ambassador Wendy Sherman makes the case that insights from frameworks of personal forgiveness can help nations seize the moment when their interests align and, accordingly, move to achieve political forgiveness. First, the process of forgiveness requires a sense of justice—victims must feel that perpetrators have been held accountable and will no longer be able to hurt them. It must also be a deep, extended undertaking: when perpetrators offer only superficial acknowledgments of the victims’ pain and attempt to move on quickly, victims perceive those efforts as perfunctory, even disingenuous. Additionally, countries must reestablish genuine, ongoing contact to overcome narratives of “the other” that inhibit forgiveness. They should not assume, however, that political forgiveness will proceed as a linear, three-part process in which the perpetrator issues an apology, the victim accepts the apology, and the two subsequently cultivate their ties on the basis of aligned national interests. This examination finds that the process works best in the reverse order: only upon discerning that their strategic interests happen to align do conflicting countries begin to move toward reconciliation and forgiveness.
  • Topic: International Relations, Defense Policy, International Security, Forgiveness
  • Political Geography: Europe, Asia-Pacific
  • Author: Michael Beckley
  • Publication Date: 03-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: A large literature assumes that alliances entangle the United States in military conflicts that it might otherwise avoid. Since 1945, however, there have been only five cases of what might be characterized as U.S. entanglement—the 1954 and 1995–96 Taiwan Strait crises, the Vietnam War, and the interventions in Bosnia and Kosovo in the 1990s—and even these cases are far from clear-cut. U.S. entanglement is rare because the United States, as a superpower with many allies, is capable of exploiting loopholes in alliance agreements, sidestepping commitments that seriously imperil U.S. interests, playing the demands of various allies off of each other, and using alliances to deter adversaries and allies from initiating or escalating conflicts.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, International Cooperation, International Security
  • Political Geography: United States, Bosnia, Vietnam, Kosovo
  • Author: Charles L. Glaser
  • Publication Date: 03-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Despite the intense focus on China's rise, the United States has yet to confront the most challenging question posed by this power shift: Should it pursue a strategy of limited geopolitical accommodation to avoid conflict? U.S. policy continues to focus almost entirely on preserving the geopolitical status quo in Northeast Asia. Given the shifting power balance in Asia, however, there are strong theoretical rationales for considering whether significant changes to the status quo could increase U.S. security. A possibility designed to provide the benefits of accommodation while reducing its risks is a grand bargain in which the United States ends its commitment to defend Taiwan and, in turn, China peacefully resolves its maritime disputes in the South China and East China Seas and officially accepts the United States' long-term military security role in East Asia. In broad terms, the United States has three other options—unilateral accommodation, a concert of Asian powers, and the current U.S. rebalance to Asia. Unilateral accommodation and the rebalance have advantages that make the choice a close call, but all things considered, a grand bargain is currently the United States' best bet.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, International Cooperation, International Security, Military Affairs
  • Political Geography: United States, China
  • Author: Evan Braden Montgomery
  • Publication Date: 06-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: What are the potential consequences of China's military modernization? This question is at the heart of recent debates over the durability of U.S. primacy, whether or not the United States can sustain its grand strategy of global engagement, and how it should adapt its armed forces. During the past two decades, China has been increasing its defense spending, developing new war fighting strategies, and fielding advanced weapons systems. Yet many scholars and policymakers still believe that U.S. dominance will remain uncontested.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Economics, International Security, Military Strategy
  • Political Geography: North America
  • Author: Olli Heinonen
  • Publication Date: 08-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: The Resolution on the Middle East adopted without vote at the 1995 Nuclear Non- Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review and Extension Conference calling for the establishment of a zone in the Middle East free of nuclear weapons, and all other weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and their delivery vehicles (DVs), was reaffirmed by the 2000 and 2010 NPT Review Conferences. The 2010 Conference mandated the Secretary- General of the United Nations and the co-sponsors of the 1995 Resolution, in consultation with the states of the region, to convene a conference in 2012, to be attended by all states of the Middle East. The mandate was the establishment of a Middle East zone free of nuclear and all other weapons of mass destruction, on the basis of arrangements freely arrived at by the states of the region, and with the full support and engagement of the nuclear-weapon states. The anticipated 2012 Conference was mandated to take the 1995 Resolution as its terms of reference.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, Nuclear Weapons, Weapons of Mass Destruction, International Security
  • Political Geography: Middle East