International Security

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Online ISSN: 1531-4804


Print ISSN: 0162-2889


Chemical Weapons and Deterrence: The World War II Experience
  • Article

February 1984


43 Reads

John Ellis van Courtland Moon
John Ellis van Courtland Moon, for many years a Professor of History at Boston State College, is currently Professor of History at Fitchburg State College. The following archivists were extremely helpful in identifying and locating material of importance: Mr. James Hastings, Federal Records Center, Suitland, Maryland; and Mr. William Cunliffe, Modern Military Branch of the National Archives, Washington, D.C. Other archivists associated with the National Archives, the FDR Library, and the Public Record Office helped in innumerable ways. I am also greatly indebted to my colleagues who read this article in various stages and provided useful suggestions on content and style. Space precludes listing them all. Four readers were especially helpful: Professor Ernest R. May, Harvard University; Dr. William Emerson, Director of the FDR Library; my wife, Professor Joan van Courtland Moon, University of Massachusetts at Boston; Professor Ann R. Howe, Southeastern Massachusetts University. 1. This article is based primarily upon the records of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, RG [Record Group] 218, located in the National Archives of the United States, Washington, D.C. Especially useful were the following files: CCS 385.2 and CCS 441.5. Other documentary sources were useful in supplementing the record: a) RG 160: records of the Army Service Forces; b) RG 165: ABC Strategy Section Papers, OPD; c) RG 165: ABC 385.2 Germany; d) RG 165: OPD 385 CWP; 3) RG 165: OPD 385 TS; f) RG 175: records of the Chemical Warfare Service; g) RG 175: Chief Chemical Officer Army; h) RG 319: ACSI: Doc. Library Board, ID Files; i) RG 319: ACSI: Publications Files; j) RG 319: ABC 381: Strategy Section Papers, OPD; k) RG 331: Cossac 63Bx/Int: Gas Intelligence, Shaef Records; l) RG 331: 300.6.15 Chemical Warfare, Shaef Files; m) RG 331: 385.2 Chemical Warfare, Shaef Records; n) RG 370.47.6 Chemical Warfare, Shaef Records; o) RG 407: AG 381; p) RG 457: the records of the National Security Agency. (This last source contains the texts of intercepted Japanese cables—MAGIC—which record rumors and alerts regarding possible initiation of CW by either the Germans or the Allies.) In the Roosevelt Library, Hyde Park, I found MR 302 Map Room Papers useful. The debates on British policy and preparedness for CW can be followed in the Churchill papers, located at the Public Record Office: Premier 3/65; Premier 3/88/1-3; Premier 3/89. I have also consulted a number of unpublished manuscript histories located in the Office of the Chief of Military History, Washington, D.C. The columns of The New York Times and the Congressional Record were used to trace the public debate over gas warfare during the interwar period. Three useful studies dealing with CW preparedness in World War II are: Frederick Joseph Brown, United States Chemical Warfare Policy, 1979-1945: A Study of Restraints (Geneve: Imprimerie Offset Blanc, 1967) (hereafter U.S. Chemical Warfare Policy); The Problem of Chemical and Biological Warfare: A Study of the historical, technical, military, legal and political aspects of CBW and possible disarmament measures (Stockholm: Stockholm International Peace Research Institute and Almquist and Wiskell; New York: Humanities Press, 1971-1975), 6 vols. (hereafter SIPRI); Robert Harris and Jeremy Paxman, A Higher Form of Killing: The Secret Story of Chemical and Biological Warfare (New York: Hill and Wang, 1982). Only Harris and Paxman could work from declassified files. However, their work is largely centered on British sources. Highly colorful, it overdramatizes its thesis. The SIPRI volumes are useful in giving the researcher an overall view of the complexities of CW. Especially useful for my research were Volume 1: The Rise of CBW Weapons (1971); Volume 3: CBW and the Law of War (1973); Volume 4: CB Disarmament Negotiations: 1920-1970 (1971). As some of the above citations show, the question of biological warfare was closely linked throughout the war with the question of chemical warfare. However, it remained a purely secondary issue. Implicitly covered by the same prohibition that ruled out the initiation of CW, BW preparations lagged even more seriously than CW preparations. Despite rumors and speculations, especially the alert that the Germans would use BW munitions...

Fig. 1: 
Fig 2: E-Payroll 
Fig. 3: Critical Conditions 
Fig. 4 : schematic of the basic infrastructure for Educational Technology Services. 
Fig. 5. Audio/ video streaming with slides in flash
E-Government: An Arena Of Mobile Applications.
  • Article
  • Full-text available

January 2007


561 Reads


Spreading Temptation: Proliferation and Peaceful Nuclear Cooperation Agreements

March 2009


179 Reads

This article argues that peaceful nuclear cooperation - the transfer of nuclear technology, materials, or know-how from one state to another for peaceful purposes - helps explain why some countries pursue and acquire nuclear weapons while others do not. In particular, countries receiving peaceful nuclear assistance are more likely to initiate nuclear weapon programs and successfully develop the bomb - especially when they are also faced with security threats. To test this argument, this article uses a new dataset of more than 2,000 bilateral civilian nuclear cooperation agreements (NCAs) signed between 1950 and 2000. A series of quantitative and qualitative tests provide strong empirical support. This article challenges the conventional wisdom by showing that supplier countries raise the risks of further nuclear proliferation when they assist others in developing civil nuclear programs. Further, the relationship between civilian nuclear cooperation and proliferation is surprisingly broad. Even ostensibly "innocuous" assistance such as training nuclear scientists or providing research or power reactors increases the likelihood that states will pursue nuclear weapons and ultimately acquire them. With a renaissance in nuclear power on the horizon, major suppliers like the United States should reconsider their willingness to assist other countries in developing peaceful nuclear programs.

Figure 1 of 1
Making Process, Not Progress: ASEAN and the Evolving East Asian Regional Order

July 2007


841 Reads

Since the Asian financial crisis of 1998, regional scholars and diplomats have maintained that the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) represents an evolving economic and security community. In addition, many contend that what is known as the ASEAN process not only has transformed Southeast Asia's international relations, but has started to build a shared East Asian regional identity. ASEAN's deeper integration into a security, economic, and political community, as well as its extension into the ASEAN Plus Three processes that were begun after the 1997 financial crisis, offers a test case of the dominant assumptions in both ASEAN scholarship and liberal and idealist accounts of international relations theory. Three case studies of ASEAN operating as an economic and security community demonstrate, however, that the norms and practices that ASEAN promotes, rather than creating an integrated community, can only sustain a pattern of limited intergovernmental and bureaucratically rigid interaction.

Figure 1: Reassessment of Nine "Confirming" Areas of Operation 
Figure 2: Perceived Security in Iraq 
Winning Battles, Losing Wars, and the Synergy Thesis in Iraq

April 2013


162 Reads

Stephen Biddle, Jeffrey Friedman, and Jacob Shapiro caution that “[t]he decline of violence in Iraq in 2007 does not mean that the war was necessarily a success”. Their implication, however, is that the war was not necessarily a failure either. Biddle et al. write that the 2007 drop in violence from 2006 was a “remarkable reversal”. They ask, “What caused this turnaround?” Their answer is that the United States devised a strategy that stopped the violence in Iraq with a “synergistic” combination of the U.S. troop surge and the U.S. subsidized Sunni Awakening that “stood up” the Sons of Iraq (SOI). We argue first that the Biddle et al. synergy thesis and the evidence the authors present in its support overestimate the SOI role in violence reduction. Secondly, we argue that they underestimate the significance of the decision by Shiite leader Muqtada al-Sadr to limit the Mahdi Army's criminality by declaring a unilateral cease-fire. Furthermore, al-Sadr’s political calculations of the increasing costs to his Sadrist movement of the Mahdi Army’s spiraling violence in 2007 may have motivated this unanticipated cease-fire. Thus, our third argument is that the cease-fire played a major role alongside the surge in reducing the violence and increasing al-Sadr’s political influence in the governance of Iraq.

Pathogens as Weapons: The International Security Implications of Biological Warfare

December 2003


576 Reads

This dissertation assesses the international security implications of biological weapons and the strategic consequences of their proliferation. It examines the impact of biological weapons on four key areas of concern for international security: proliferation, deterrence, civil-military relations, and threat assessment. The dissertation draws upon a range of theories from the field of security studies and a wealth of newly available information regarding the biological weapons programs of Iraq, the former Soviet Union, the United States, United Kingdom, and South Africa. My analysis yields four major findings. First, it is extremely difficult to prevent the spread of biological warfare capabilities to actors that want them and these actors tend to be motivated by a desire to challenge the status quo. Contrary to conventional wisdom, biological weapons have utility across the spectrum of conflict and are well suited to supporting asymmetric strategies against stronger opponents. Second, biological weapons do not confer the deterrent benefits associated with nuclear weapons and will undermine reliance on deterrence as a security strategy. Biological weapons are not suitable as strategic deterrents due to the uncertainty regarding their effects, the availability of defenses and the reliance of these weapons on secrecy and surprise for their effectiveness. The accessibility of these weapons to a diverse range of actors, including terrorists, and the ease of clandestine attacks undermines the effectiveness of deterrence as a security strategy. Third, civilian oversight of biological warfare programs is hindered by the intense secrecy that shrouds these programs. This lack of supervision leads to abuse and corruption by

Environmental Scarcities and Violent Conflict: Evidence From Cases

July 1994


171 Reads

"In brief, our research showed that environmental scarcities are already contributing to violent conflicts in many parts of the developing world. These conflicts are probably the early signs of an upsurge of violence in the coming decades that will be induced or aggravated by scarcity. The violence will usually be sub-national, persistent, and diffuse. Poor societies will be particularly affected since they are less able to buffer themselves from environmental scarcities and the social crises they cause. These societies are, in fact, already suffering acute hardship from shortages of water, forests, and especially fertile land. "Social conflict is not always a bad thing: mass mobilization and civil strife can produce opportunities for beneficial change in the distribution of land and wealth and in processes of governance. But fast-moving, unpredictable, and complex environmental problems can overwhelm efforts at constructive social reform. Moreover, scarcity can sharply increase demands on key institutions, such as the state, while it simultaneously reduces their capacity to meet those demands. These pressures increase the chance that the state will either fragment or become more authoritarian. The negative effects of severe environmental scarcity are therefore likely to outweigh the positive."

Figure.1. (a) Routing tree among sensor nodes (b) Hello flood  
Hello Flood Counter Measure for Wireless Sensor Networks

September 2008


383 Reads

Wireless sensor nodes are generally deployed in a hostile and unattended enviorment. Sensor nodes are cheep resource intensive devices. The major resource constraint is energy. Unattended nodes are expected to live years not weeks. Limited battery power force sensor nodes to inform neighboring nodes about their existence by broadcasting hello packets periodically. It is very easy for an adversory to budge-in or take over few sensor nodes and use the vulnerable/slave nodes to broadcast hello packet flood. Considering hardware constraints we proposed a defense mechanism in which probabilistically chosen random set of nodes will correspond with base station to validate the legitimacy of request.

Who 'Won' Libya? The Force-Diplomacy Debate and Its Implications for Theory and Policy

June 2009


929 Reads

The debate over credit for Libya's shift away from "rogue state" policies, most especially by settling the Pan Am 103 Lockerbie terrorism case and abandoning its weapons of mass destruction (WMD) programs, is lively politically and challenging analytically. It has important implications for theories of force and diplomacy, particularly coercive diplomacy, and policy debates including such cases as Iran and North Korea. U.S. coercive diplomacy against Libya can be divided into three phases: the Reagan strategy of unilateral sanctions and military force, which largely failed; the mixed results from the more multilateral strategy of the George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton administrations; and the substantial success achieved through the secret direct negotiations initiated along with Britain in the latter Clinton years and furthered under George W. Bush, which culminated in Libya closing down its WMD programs. These differences in success and failure are principally explained by (1) the extent of "balance" in the coercer state's strategy combining credible force and deft diplomacy consistent with three criteria--proportionality, reciprocity, and coercive credibility--taking into account international and domestic constraints; and (2) target state vulnerability as shaped by its domestic politics and economy, particularly whether domestic elites play a "circuit breaker" or "transmission belt" role in blocking or carrying forward external coercive pressure.

Figure 1. Trade Levels in Western Europe 1870-1913 
Table 1 . Dyadic Trade Dependence in 1913
Figure 2. Trade Levels in Eastern Europe 1870-1913 
Trading on Preconceptions: Why World War I Was Not a Failure of Economic Interdependence

March 2012


782 Reads

The First World War is generally viewed by both advocates and critics of commercial liberal theory as the quintessential example of a failure of economic integration to maintain peace. Yet this consensus relies both on methodologically flawed inference and an incomplete accounting of the antecedents to the war. Crucially, the war began in a weakly integrated portion of Europe with which highly integrated powers were entangled through the alliance system. Crises among the highly interdependent European powers in the decades leading up to World War I were generally resolved without bloodshed. Among the less interdependent powers in Eastern Europe, however, crises regularly escalated to militarized violence. Moreover, the crises leading to the war created increased incentives for the integrated powers to strengthen commitments to their less-interdependent partners. In attempting to make these alliances more credible, western powers shifted foreign policy discretion to the very states that lacked strong economic disincentives to fight. Had globalization pervaded Eastern Europe, or the rest of Europe been less locked into events in the East, Europe might have avoided a “Great War.”

The Insignificance of Liberal Peace

May 2009


635 Reads

This article challenges "The Liberal Peace" described in work by Michael Doyle from three standpoints. First, it questions whether the statistical tests (which were performed and published by scholars other than Doyle) actually test any coherent theory of peace or conflict. Second, it questions whether the data sets used are valid proxies for the variables they are meant to represent. Third it questions the methods used and the results obtained. The article argues that there may a lower expectancy of conflict among Liberal republics, as Kant argued, modern literature focusing on statistics does not confirm it - it does not really test it. It also argues that there is probably a good reason we have observed a peace among Western democracies since WWII, and this reason may be found in shared values that led them to join the NATO alliance. The simple implementation of a democratic form of government does not prevent nations from making war on one another.

More Is Not Better

October 1987


6 Reads

Dr. Jack Ruina is Professor of Electrical Engineering at MIT and Director of the Defense and Arms Control Program at MIT's Center for International Studies. He has served as Director of the Defense Department's Advanced Research Projects Agency and on many government advisory committees, including the General Advisory Committee of the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency from 1969 to 1973. 1. For a complete discussion of the ICBM vulnerability problem, see Albert Carnesale and Charles L. Glaser, "ICBM Vulnerability: The Cures Are Worse Than the Disease," International Security, Vol. 7, No. 1 (Summer 1982).

The 9/11 Commission Report

January 2004


22 Reads

International Security 29.3 (2004) 170-190 Nine days after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Lt. Gen. Walter Short, the U.S. Army commander in Hawaii at the time, was relieved of duty. Adm. Husband E. Kimmel, the commander of the decimated Pacific Fleet, was relieved of command the next day. President Franklin D. Roosevelt then established by executive order a commission to investigate the attack, which was chaired by Supreme Court Justice Owen Roberts. The Roberts commission issued its report on January 23, 1942, less than two months after the attack. The commission found both Short and Kimmel guilty of dereliction of duty. The two officers were forced to retire with reduced rank, disgraced. Most subsequent official inquiries and scholarship have concluded that Short and Kimmel were scapegoats, the victims of an unfair rush to judgment, and that the real cause of America's surprise on December 7, 1941, was the absence of an effective national intelligence structure. Unlike Pearl Harbor, the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, produced no Husband Kimmel, no Walter Short. No one has taken the fall for the failure to prevent attacks that killed 2,819 innocent people. These attacks were the work of men, not fate. They could have been prevented but were not. The government failed in this responsibility, but who within the federal government is to blame for this failure? This open-ended question does not sit well with many segments of American society, especially those most skeptical of representations made by President George W. Bush and his principal officers. The Bush administration had little enthusiasm for an independent investigation into the events leading up to 9/11, seeing such an inquiry as a distraction from more pressing business at hand. The 9/11 attacks triggered extraordinary and simultaneous actions by the federal government on multiple fronts. It was understood that al-Qaida had a sanctuary in Afghanistan, so the United States assembled and led an international military coalition to invade the country, rout the terrorists, and depose the Taliban regime. It was understood that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) was insular and reactive, so President Bush ordered its newly installed director, Robert Mueller, to fundamentally reform his organization. It was understood that the nineteen hijackers had easily penetrated airport security checkpoints and the cockpits of the four aircraft used in the attacks, so Congress passed and the president signed the Aviation and Transportation Security Act and created a vast new federal agency, the Transportation Security Administration, with broad new regulatory powers. It was understood that the FBI and intelligence agencies did not share information particularly well, so Congress enacted the USA Patriot Act, and Attorney General John Ashcroft revised the guidelines that govern federal law enforcement investigations and information sharing. It was understood that all of the hijackers were foreigners who had acquired visas to enter the country legally, so the State Department tightened its visa requirements, and Congress passed the Enhanced Border Security and Visa Entry Reform Act. All this and much more was done in a few months after the attacks—in most cases, without the benefit of a precise understanding of the details of the problems that had been exposed by the 9/11 attacks. Preoccupied with the need for action in the weeks after 9/11, the federal government agencies devoted little effort to studying or reflecting on the events leading up to the attacks. Yet pressure for an official public inquiry into the terrorist attacks grew quickly, much of it emanating from the families of 9/11 victims. On February 14, 2004, Senator Bob Graham and Congressman Porter Goss, the chairmen of the Senate and House Select Intelligence Committees, announced that their committees would conduct a joint inquiry into the events leading to the attacks. The inquiry was to be conducted by thirty-eight politicians—twenty Republicans and eighteen Democrats—in the lead-up to the November 2002 midterm elections. In December 2002 the committees released a rambling 858-page report, which included eight "additional views...

Learning to Deter: Deterrence Failure and Success in the Israel-Hezbollah Conflict, 2006–16

January 2017


241 Reads

What are the sources of deterrence stability and under what conditions can weak actors deter stronger adversaries? To deter a superior adversary, the weak actor must convince it that if conoict breaks out, the weak actor would be capable of rendering its opponent’s strategic capabilities tactical and its own tactical capabilities strategic. The deterrence relationship that has evolved between Israel and the Lebanese Hezbollah in the decade since—and as a result of—the 2006 Lebanon War (a.k.a. the Second Lebanon War or the July War) conarms this observation. A comparison of these two actors’ deterrence behavior in the years preceding the war and in its aftermath shows that one of the leading explanations for the ongoing stability along the Israeli- Lebanese border is that Israel and Hezbollah have learned to apply deterrence in a manner that meets the prerequisites of rational deterrence theory.

Soft Balancing in the Americas: Latin American Opposition to U.S. Intervention, 1898–1936

July 2015


149 Reads

In the aftermath of the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, scholars of international relations debated how to best characterize the rising tide of global opposition. The concept of "soft balancing" emerged as an influential, though contested, explanation of a new phenomenon in a unipolar world: states seeking to constrain the ability of the United States to deploy military force by using multinational organizations, international law, and coalition building. Soft balancing can also be observed in regional unipolar systems. Multinational archival research reveals how Argentina, Mexico, and other Latin American countries responded to expanding U.S. power and military assertiveness in the early twentieth century through coordinated diplomatic maneuvering that provides a strong example of soft balancing. Examination of this earlier case makes an empirical contribution to the emerging soft-balancing literature and suggests that soft balancing need not lead to hard balancing or open conflict. © 2015 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Opportunistic Repression: Civilian Targeting by the State in Response to COVID-19

October 2021


5 Reads

Across the globe, states have attempted to contain COVID-19 by restricting movement, closing schools and businesses, and banning large gatherings. Such measures have expanded the degree of sanctioned state intervention into civilians' lives. But existing theories of preventive and responsive repression cannot explain why some countries experienced surges in repression after states in Africa initiated COVID-19-related lockdowns. While responsive repression occurs when states quell protests or riots, “opportunistic repression” arises when states use crises to suppress the political opposition. An examination of the relationship between COVID-19 shutdown policies and state violence against civilians in Africa tests this theory of opportunistic repression. Findings reveal a large and statistically significant relationship between shutdowns and repression, which holds after conditioning for the spread and lethality of the disease within-country and over time. A subnational case study of repression in Uganda provides evidence that the increase in repression appears to be concentrated in opposition areas that showed less support for Yoweri Museveni in the 2016 elections. Opportunistic repression provides a better explanation than theories of preventive or responsive repression for why Uganda experienced a surge in repression in 2020 and in what areas. The results have implications for theories of repression, authoritarian survival, the politics of emergency, and security.

Better Now Than Later: The Paradox of 1914 as Everyone's Favored Year for War

July 2014


128 Reads

One reason why Europe went to war in 1914 is that all of the continental great powers judged it a favorable moment for them to fight, and all were more pessimistic about postponing the fight until later. Not only is this historical paradox an interesting puzzle in its own right, but it sheds light on what is arguably the reigning theory of the causes of wars in general: James Fearon's rational bargaining theory. None of Fearon's three main mechanisms private information, commitment problems, or indivisibility of stakes can explain the paradox of the universal, simultaneous view of 1914 as a favorable year for war. Two mechanisms that play a marginal role in his analysis, however-bounded rationality in multidimensional power assessments and attempts to mitigate power shifts through coercive diplomacy help to explain how Europe's powers became trapped in a choice between war now and war later. These mechanisms were set in motion by background strategic assumptions rooted in the culture of militarism and nationalism that perversely structured the options facing Europe's political leaders in 1914. Whereas Fearon's theory assumes that states are paying equal attention to all relevant information, in 1914 each power's strategic calculations produced disproportionate levels of self-absorption in its own domestic concerns and alliance anxieties.

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