Comparative Strategy (Comp Strat)

Publisher: Taylor & Francis (Routledge)

Journal description

The collapse of the Soviet Union and the rise of new, potentially hostile regional powers have totally transformed the strategic landscape, forcing a rethinking of the basic assumptions behind Western foreign and defense policy. Drawing on historical perspectives and insights from leading international analysts, Comparative Strategy provides a contextual framework for considering the critical security issues of today and tomorrow. Regular features of the journal include: timely commentary by leading U.S. and foreign policymakers comprehensive coverage of Russian and German perspectives on international security issues special issues on key topics such as "Ballistic Missile Defense: New Requirements for a New Century," "Nuclear Weapons in South Asia," The Future of Russia," and "Intelligence Reform" texts of the latest U.S. government, foreign, and NATO documentation on major defense issues, particularly with regard to proliferation and counter-proliferation policies.

Current impact factor: 0.00

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Additional details

5-year impact 0.00
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Immediacy index 0.00
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Article influence 0.00
Website Comparative Strategy website
Other titles Comparative strategy (Online), Comparative strategy
ISSN 0149-5933
OCLC 47297400
Material type Document, Periodical, Internet resource
Document type Internet Resource, Computer File, Journal / Magazine / Newspaper

Publisher details

Taylor & Francis (Routledge)

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    • SSH: Social Science and Humanities
    • Publisher last contacted on 25/03/2014
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  • Classification
    green

Publications in this journal

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The Chinese government has made great strides to creating an improved and increasingly capable nuclear arsenal. Despite these developments and deployments, the U.S. government continues to rely on dialogue and strategic stability to deter U.S.-Chinese war. This sole reliance on offensive strategic forces fails to adequately protect the American people from Chinese ballistic missile threats, especially ones armed with nuclear weapons. Preventing a Chinese nuclear weapon from annihilating U.S. cities will do more for deterring nuclear war than emphasizing dialogue and strategic stability while the Chinese government continues to modernize and expand its nuclear arsenal. There are no absolutes in the world of international relations and politics. It is, therefore, prudent to ask whether the United States will be prepared to counter given weapon systems. Defense planners cannot sit on the sidelines and wait for the resolution of a debate over a potential adversary's intentions. – Christopher McConnaughy1
    No preview · Article · Oct 2015 · Comparative Strategy
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    ABSTRACT: Neither further nuclear reductions nor total nuclear disarmament are necessarily smart ideas, but proponents of these goals insist that we should move toward a second conventional age, in which nuclear weapons are either marginalized or completely removed from international politics. But in this world, deterrence and extended deterrence might not endure without boosting aspects of conventional arsenals. How might the U.S. deter adversaries and assure allies? The answer ultimately rests on conventional forces, especially long-range ballistic and cruise missiles. But these would have to be deployed in greater numbers to compensate for a “nuclear gap.” This might lead to a destabilizing arms race.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2015 · Comparative Strategy
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    ABSTRACT: The United States and Russia have options for resuming their strategic nuclear arms reductions, should more favorable political circumstances present themselves. Both share a responsibility for leadership in the global nonproliferation regime, and both the U.S. and Russia will face future trade-offs between domestic economic priorities and nuclear force modernization. Analysis suggests that reductions to a maximum number of 1,000 deployed nuclear weapons on intercontinental launchers for each state should allow for sufficient numbers of second-strike-survivable weapons for stable deterrence. Below that number, either the U.S. or Russia might feel a sense of insufficient flexibility and resilience in its strategic nuclear forces, and in addition, reductions significantly below 1,000 deployed weapons would require the participation of other nuclear weapons states.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2015 · Comparative Strategy
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    ABSTRACT: The United States Air Force has returned from its nuclear modernization and intellectual holidays. The B61 Life Extension Program and nuclear capability for the F-35 fighter are at the leading edge of a flight plan that vectors the institution to rebuild the nation's extended deterrent; its two legs of our strategic triad; and nearly all nuclear command, control, and communications infrastructure, to deter emerging nuclear threats and assure allies new and old. This flight plan is framed by new efforts across the cognitive domain of war so that all airmen understand how vastly different twenty-first century deterrence is from the Cold War.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2015 · Comparative Strategy
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    ABSTRACT: China's nuclear weapons modernization during the last 25 years has spawned analyses regarding the strategic intent behind these technological developments, to include the possibility of a Chinese challenge to U.S. military superiority in the Asia–Pacific region. Yet analysis of the historical development trajectory of China's nuclear weapons program suggests it was never intended to support a direct military challenge. Indeed, after developing a nuclear-weapons capability in the 1960s, China produced only a small number of vulnerable nuclear weapons against the expectation of nuclear deterrence theory and despite confrontational relations with both nuclear superpowers. To explain China's nuclear choices, I utilize newly available information to argue that China's Mao-era strategic culture—with its emphasis on conventional weaponry utilized according to People's War principles—limited the initial scope of its nuclear weapons program.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2015 · Comparative Strategy
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    ABSTRACT: The increase in nuclear clients appears to be forthcoming, and with it a possible increase for nuclear use. Deterrence must focus on targeting nuclear decision makers and tailoring a strategy toward all levels of nuclear command and control, including tactical levels of decision making. What can be learned from historical examples of WMD dilemmas and the consequential role of a WMD operator in nuclear decision-making? Namely, that operators are in fact decision makers and not simply executers. The article analyzes the role of WMD operators as such decision makers by reflecting on three case studies that demonstrate operator dilemmas in light of standard operating procedures at critical moments of WMD engagement, and their results. It concludes by laying out an effective base on which to include operators in tailored deterrence efforts, as well as filling a need for creative and practical nuclear strategy efforts.
    No preview · Article · Aug 2015 · Comparative Strategy

  • No preview · Article · Jul 2015 · Comparative Strategy
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    ABSTRACT: This article explores an under-investigated policy tool for bringing about the transformation of foreign regimes. This policy—which we dub coercion demanding regime change (CDRC)—uses coercive threats to persuade autocratic rulers to relinquish power and step down. We provide an initial guide for how to optimally design CDRC policies and when to use it. Our recommendations are based on an analysis of autocratic rulers’ expected response in the face of CDRC threats. This analysis integrates a rational calculus with dictators’ common psychological traits. Finally, we identify several tactics dictators commonly use to counter coercive pressures and possible risks coercing powers should be aware of when pursuing CDRC.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2015 · Comparative Strategy
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    ABSTRACT: U.S. strategists have generated a torrent of diverse ideas for how America should respond to the ascent of China. Consideration of the full range of strategic options available to future presidents broadly offers a means of forecasting whether Sino-American relations will evolve in an amicable or antagonistic direction. This article identifies six prospective choices of U.S. strategy toward China, each advancing unique assumptions of Chinese ambitions and capabilities, and appropriate means for checking them. While diverse in tactics, all are nevertheless united in a deeply embedded suspicion of China's long-term intentions and a commitment to thwarting any challenge to American preeminence in Asia. As tensions with China escalate, the United States will likely opt for provocative strategies that emphasize a strengthened military footprint and seek assurances of Beijing's peaceful intentions by pushing for democratization in China and pressing for its further integration in the liberal world order.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2015 · Comparative Strategy
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    ABSTRACT: India's national interest has been propelling the country toward becoming a valuable, cooperative partner with the United States. The growing power of China is pushing India to look for partners, especially the United States. The new Indian government, elected in May 2014, is committed to advancing India's national interests and growing India's power as a result of the changing balance of power in Asia. The government has brought a return of nationalism and closer relations with the United States. Therefore, U.S.–India relations are on track to develop more in line with the U.S. vision of an enhanced strategic partnership and an Indian role in the rebalance to Asia. India appears to be more willing and able to be a partner with the United States in the rebalance to Asia, including maintaining security and stability in the Indian Ocean region. To some extent, U.S. activity focused in Southeast Asia will be complemented by India's Look East policy and the U.S.–India Joint Strategic Vision for the Asia–Pacific and Indian Ocean region. There is the prospect of Indo-U.S. cooperation with Myanmar, Vietnam, and other states.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2015 · Comparative Strategy
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    ABSTRACT: An examination of President Clinton's decision to launch military actions against Iraq in June 1993 is largely absent in professional defense literature. This article represents an attempt to test the descriptive accuracy and further develop the diversionary theory of war. The analysis employs a qualitative framework for diversionary use of force developed by another researcher, Ryan C. Hendrickson. This article finds that empirical support for the diversionary argument in this case is mixed. Two proposals to further develop qualitative tests for diversionary use of force are advanced.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2015 · Comparative Strategy
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    ABSTRACT: This monograph, Nuclear Force Adaptability for Deterrence and Assurance: A Prudent Alternative to Minimum Deterrence, is the second in a series examining the U.S. goals of deterrence, extended deterrence and the assurance of allies, and how to think about the corresponding U.S. standards of adequacy for measuring “how much is enough?” It begins by examining the manifest character of the contemporary threat environment in which the United States must pursue its strategic goals of deterring foes and assuring allies. Fortunately, there is considerable available evidence regarding the character of the contemporary threat environment and its general directions. Noted historians have compared this threat environment not to the bipolar Cold War, but to the highly dynamic threat environments leading to World War I and World War II. The uncertainties involved are daunting given the great diversity of hostile and potentially hostile states and non-state actors, leaderships, goals, perceptions, and forces that could be involved.
    No preview · Article · May 2015 · Comparative Strategy
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    ABSTRACT: Since September 11, 2001, the United States has been relying heavily on drone strikes for counterterrorism. This policy remains controversial. I argue that assertive statecraft is needed to prevent drone strikes from undermining U.S. foreign and security policy over the long term. The article argues legally, comparatively, and historically, using President's Eisenhower restrictions on U.S. aerial espionage programs during the earlier Cold War, as a benchmark for President Obama's policy on missions by armed drones. A more limited drone program offers a better balance between what is necessary for security and what is politically sustainable.
    No preview · Article · Mar 2015 · Comparative Strategy
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    ABSTRACT: The question of how to measure a state's rationality and compatibility with deterrence must be confronted in order to address the broader theoretical discussion concerning the credibility and effectiveness of deterrence. This article broadens Janice Stein's three-condition model of potential constraints of deterrence as a theory and a strategy. It then applies this revised model as a means of identifying potential obstacles to a future nonconventional deterrence regime with Iran, concluding with an assessment as to whether this analysis can support the argument that such a future deterrence regime would be stable.
    No preview · Article · Mar 2015 · Comparative Strategy
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    ABSTRACT: This article reviews national security decision-making in the Iranian context by focusing on institutions, formal process and individuals. It specifically examines the Supreme National Security Council, which formalizes and embodies the decision-making process, as well as the Revolutionary Guards, which epitomize both the influence of institutions as well as the centrality of the agent-individual. Despite the plurality of formal institutions and the existence of process, decision-making remains heavily centered on a small group of largely unelected individuals driven as much by ‘regime expediency’ as by mutual give-and-take along informal, microfactional lines. While he may have the last word, even Iran's current Supreme Leader is constrained by these ideological, negotiational and structural factors. These key figures are closely affiliated either with the politico-clerical founding kernel of the 1979 Revolution, or the powerful Revolutionary Guards—mainly the hardliners in any case—and are instrumental in determining the discursive boundaries of national security, the scope of which this article confines to defense and foreign policy. Finally, how all this coheres in the realm of strategy has as much to do with regime survival as with the art of reconciling ends and means.
    No preview · Article · Mar 2015 · Comparative Strategy

  • No preview · Article · Mar 2015 · Comparative Strategy

  • No preview · Article · Mar 2015 · Comparative Strategy
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    ABSTRACT: Geography helps to explain why violent extremist organizations are difficult to counter; vast ungoverned spaces combined with weak states make it nearly impossible to decisively defeat them. However, partial success has been achieved by the United States in the Horn of Africa with a strategy of training, equipping, and supporting African intervention forces and attacking extremist leaders. In contrast, a strategy of containment in the Sahara, focusing on counterterrorism training for regional security forces and countering extremist ideology, did not succeed in preventing militant groups from taking over northern Mali and expanding their activities to other parts of the region.
    No preview · Article · Mar 2015 · Comparative Strategy