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Print ISSN: 0030-4387
Grand strategy is about making sense of complexity; it is the wisdom to make power serve useful purposes. After the end of the Cold War, American policymakers sought to create a new grand strategy for the United States, but they failed in this endeavor. They failed because of difficult domestic and international circumstances. They also failed because of conceptual limitations. This article traces the efforts at strategy formulation in the administrations of George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton, and it analyzes their shortcomings. Bush had process without purpose; Clinton had purpose without process. The article encourages readers to think about how future strategists might improve upon this legacy with clearer and more disciplined attention to priorities, capabilities, and trade-offs. Making grand strategy in a democracy is not easy, but it is necessary. The absence of effective grand strategy in the 1990s contributed to the crises of the early twenty-first century.
America's current security threats—the insurgency in Iraq, Islamic terrorism, and Iran's efforts to obtain nuclear weapons—seem strange and unprecedented. Parallels can be drawn, however, between the security threats of 2005 and those of fifty years ago. The U.S. foreign policy developed to confront the communist threat offers lessons as we develop strategies to combat today's threat. Two contemporary perspectives on strategic issues—one conservative/realist, one neoconservative/idealist—apply lessons of the Cold War to today's U.S. foreign policy, but each has serious flaws. A third, neorealist perspective, suggests that by leveraging the divisions already present in the Muslim world, the United States can win the global contest against Islamic terrorism. However, this would require a transformation in American strategy that will not be easily achieved.
This article provides a review of the history of jihadi foreign fighters in Afghanistan over the last 30 years. It details the post-9/11 period and the invasion of Afghanistan by U.S. forces, focusing on the ethnic origin of the foreign fighters and how different groups engaged in different aspects of the conflict. Additionally, the piece explains that while the foreign fighters who came to fight alongside the Taliban in Afghanistan included, among others, Uzbekistanis (not Afghan Uzbeks), Turks, and Arabs, there was also a significant force of Pakistanis—of both Pashtun and Punjabi origins—that joined, bolstering the Taliban army.
Years of strategic missteps in oceans policy, naval strategy and a force structure in decline set the stage for U.S. defeat at sea in 2015. After decades of double-digit budget increases, the People's Liberation Army (Navy) was operating some of the most impressive systems in the world, including a medium-range ballistic missile that could hit a moving aircraft carrier and a super-quiet diesel electric submarine that was stealthier than U.S. nuclear submarines. Coupling this new asymmetric naval force to visionary maritime strategy and oceans policy, China ensured that all elements of national power promoted its goal of dominating the East China Sea. The United States, in contrast, had a declining naval force structured around 10 aircraft carriers spread thinly throughout the globe. With a maritime strategy focused on lower-order partnerships, and a national oceans policy that devalued strategic interests in freedom of navigation, the stage was set for defeat at sea. This article recounts how China destroyed the USS George Washington in the East China Sea in 2015. The political fallout from the disaster ended 75 years of U.S. dominance in the Pacific Ocean and cemented China's position as the Asian hegemon.
In addition to preexisting threats such as the rise of China, the United States now faces a protracted struggle against Islamist terrorists. The military component of the nation's security strategy requires a balanced force that can be employed across the spectrum of conflict. The Iraq War has shown the “1-4-2-1” force-sizing construct—maintaining a force able to defend the homeland, operate in and from four forward regions, simultaneously defeat two regional adversaries, and achieve a result such as regime change in one of them—to be unattainable. But by spending 4.5 percent of GDP on defense and with the right force mix, America will be able to lead coalitions against terrorists, restore order to unstable regions, do peacekeeping in regions of vital interest, deter aggression, and win a war if deterrence fails. The benefits of the resulting world order far outweigh the costs.
In contrast to the Clinton administration, which tried to isolate Sudan, George W. Bush initiated a dialogue with Khartoum and followed a “constructive engagement” policy. Three factors explain this radical change in U.S foreign policy: the influence of American evangelicals, the significance of the war on terror, and economic interests, particularly the oil lobby. However, each of these factors led Washington to opposite directions.
At the time of the 9/11 attacks, Washington was embarking on a defense transformation emphasizing missile defense, space assets, precision weaponry, and information technology. This transformation proved irrelevant to the national security threats we now face, with the emergence of nontraditional adversaries pursuing “complex irregular warfare.” U.S. forces will have to assume a much more expeditionary character to successfully deal with Islamists’ complex irregular warfare. The March 2005 U.S. National Defense Strategy provides a balance to the longstanding American military emphasis on major-theater war, but it remains to be seen whether the military's new interest in operations other than conventional, major-combat operations will last or if it will diminish as soon as a new peer competitor rises, allowing the Pentagon to return to its more familiar paradigm.
Strategy is matching means and ends. If the ends desired in Afghanistan are about al Qaeda, the counterterrorism option is the best fit in terms of means. It is sustainable, always crucial in prolonged conflict, as it limits the expenditure of U.S. blood and treasure. This article fills a gap in the existing strategy debate by detailing what a counterterrorism option would be in terms of force structure and operations.
The United States has to contend with rising powers ranging from the prc, which is already an economic and political great power and potentially a military threat, to Al Qaeda and the network of Islamist terror organizations, whose means to power remain limited but whose will to power and aggression are great. In the middle are states that already or may soon possess nuclear weapons. Each of these powers has its own “strategic culture” that affects its decision-making, and attention needs to be paid to how the strategic habits of today's rising and aggressive powers might intersect with U.S. strategy.
Since the Russian-supplied Afghan army overthrew progressive President Daud in 1978, the nation has endured the long Soviet-Afghan war, the Taliban, and the arrival of U.S troops. These military actions have only heightened the historical alienation of the Pashtun tribes who overspread the long-contested border between Afghanistan and Pakistan. These are the people who are almost certainly sheltering Osama bin Laden. The Alienated Frontier is a centuries-old problem that must be solved if we are to win the war on terror, and solving it will require rebuilding the infrastructure, developing alternatives to poppy cultivation, and solving the “Pashtunistan” question. The capture or elimination of given individuals will achieve little if the conditions that allow radicals to thrive are not addressed
In December 2009, Egypt began construction of an underground steel wall on its border with Gaza in a move designed to halt the smuggling of illegal weapons and other contraband via the Hamas-run underground tunnel network. Egypt's initiative, which is being carried out in the name of its own strategic-national interests, has been the subject of intense criticism throughout the region. This article examines the emergence of a new alignment in the Middle East, based upon a new fault line between moderates and radicals. This alignment is manifested in Egypt's construction of its underground steel wall. By exploring the motivations, responses, and implications of building such a wall, it will become apparent that two camps have emerged in the region on this issue and that their stances are but an illustration of the aforementioned shift.
The Bush administration's designation of its national strategy as a war on terror highlights the importance of combating terrorism on an international level. Fundamental to this effort is bilateral intelligence-sharing. Intelligence reform efforts to date have focused on improving intelligence-sharing within the U.S. intelligence community. However, critical intelligence can be gained through America's international partners. This paper assesses the state of bilateral intelligence-sharing relationships and the challenges that need to be overcome.
One consequence of using labels such as the “global war on terrorism,” “the long war,” “the global struggle against violent extremism” or any name that dissociates the conflict from the Wahhabi/neo-Salafi movement is that Americans lack the necessary framework for assessing U.S. policies. Misconceptions concerning the war proliferate on both the Left and the Right because of the absence of an analytical framework to provide precise vocabulary identifying the origins and objectives of the enemy. The current war and the sources of Al Qaeda's conduct can only be understood by examining the complex history of Arabia, the U.S.-Saudi alliance, and a particular historical cycle of corruption, decadence, violent purification, and moral restoration that characterizes the Wahhabi/neo-Salafi narrative.
This article argues that U.S. leaders navigated their way through World War II challenges in several important ways. These included: sustaining a functional civil-military relationship; mobilizing inside a democratic, capitalist paradigm; leveraging the moral high ground ceded to them by their enemies; cultivating their ongoing relationship with the British, and embracing a kind of adaptability and resiliency that facilitated their ability to learn from mistakes and take advantage of their enemies’ mistakes.
To the extent that a grand strategy can be discerned in the first year of the Obama Administration, its defining features are not a break from the past but continuity. As the President himself has analogized since taking office, crafting grand strategy is like parallel parking. He has only been able to make changes to grand strategy around the margins since a number of existing commitments limit his freedom of action. This article first identifies the structural determinants of grand strategy, pointing to the international distribution of power, American bureaucracy, and public as the key sources of strategic constraint and opportunity. It then shows how shifts in these factors—comparatively less U.S. power, an overstretched military organized around counterinsurgency operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, and an American public weary from an aggressive grand strategy—produced a shift in grand strategy that predated the 2008 election and that remains consistent with the current strategic setting. It is for these reasons that the 2008 “change” election has produced considerable continuity in American grand strategy.
The next American president will face a daunting list of national security problems, including a serious defense budget crunch. The budget crisis will be deepened by the global financial crisis, a tapering of supplemental funding associated with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the steady growth of military healthcare and other personnel costs. After six years of rapid defense budget increases, the Pentagon has lost the practice of matching strategy and resources. The next president will need to manage risk among investments in irregular warfare, counterterrorism, balancing new super powers, countering weapons of mass destruction, and traditional warfare. He will also need to begin to build non-military “soft power” capabilities outside of the Pentagon.
If there is no single long-standing American grand strategy, one nonetheless sees through the course of U.S. history the tracks of a grand strategy. It started with the idea of a U.S. monopoly in the Western Hemisphere, along with balances of power in the chief theaters of the world; with belief in the primacy of sea and air power and the need for an economic system to support these; and the objective of transforming international politics. Since 9/11, even if the strategic hierarchy, intensity, and political basis have changed, the Bush administration has largely been continuing in this same project, with a sensible strategy but poorly considered tactics.
According to a recent RAND report, the United States will not be able to defend Taiwan from Chinese military aggression by 2020. However, this study, like many others, raises more questions than it answers about the People's Republic of China's (PRC's) current defense posture.1 Is there a Chinese plan to claim Taiwan by force after 2020? In contrast to the conclusions of the RAND report, this article argues that China's strategic approach is not designed primarily for fighting a war over Taiwan, or over any other matter of critical interest to China, but to create a disposition of forces so favorable to Beijing that China will not need to fight a war. Rather than thinking of China's strategy as a blueprint for using military power to secure territory or vital resources, such as oil, it may be more appropriate to consider the possibility that Beijing's actions are directed at obviating the need to fight. Beijing may calculate that it can render its interests unassailable by constructing a network of friendly or dependent states by means of arms transfers and the like. The basis of such a strategy is the assumption that China's prospective enemies, finding themselves encircled or obstructed by powers aligned with Beijing, will be unable to envision a military campaign to deny China oil at an acceptable level of costs. They will, therefore, be deterred from threatening China, e.g. by interrupting its oil supplies. It is a mark of the efficacy of this broader deterrence strategy that American security analysts are already ruling out a successful defense of Taiwan in 2020. Similarly, the early stages of an effort to insulate China from an energy-related challenge are already visible.
To analyze how Japan's competing objectives and specific policies have been evolving and how they trade off in today's regional security situation, this article argues that shifting Japanese foreign and security policies in Northeast Asia can be understood as ongoing responses to tensions along three key axes. First Japan confronts a tension between bilateralism and multilateralism; second Japan's economic and security interests are often at odds, and third, Japan still struggles with the competing pulls exerted by Asia on the one hand and the West (most particularly the United States) on the other.
Under the Pentagon's current Global Defense Posture Review (GDPR), the United States is reducing its forces in several major Cold War base hosts and establishing a global network of smaller, more flexible facilities in new areas such as Central Asia, the Black Sea and Africa. Drawing upon recent evidence from the Central Asian base hosts of Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan, this article cautions that these new U.S. overseas bases, despite their lighter footprint and regardless of the prevailing security situation, risk becoming enmeshed in the local struggles and political agendas of elites within these hosts. Periods of turbulent democratic transition and regime instability may encourage host country politicians to challenge the legitimacy and terms of the U.S. basing presence for their own political purposes. These are important lessons for U.S. planners who are simultaneously promoting democratization while they negotiate basing and military access agreements in these same politically volatile hosts.
Recent events have refocused attention on Pakistan's role as an epicenter of global Islamist terror and called into question Islamabad's reliability as an ally in the fight against a resurgent Taliban and the hunt for Osama bin Laden. Pakistan in fact suffers from abiding structural pathologies that make it a questionable Western ally at best. In its foreign policy toward Pakistan, the United States would do well to consider the ancient Indian geopolitical concept of the raja-mandala (“ruler circle”), which seeks to balance opposing spheres of influence and exploit the tensions between them. This concept provides the key to containing and eventually eliminating South-Central Asian terror.
In an era when democratization is stalled or in retreat in many parts of the world, it is important to highlight the successful democratic experience of East and Southeast Asia in recent decades. Five consolidated democracies have emerged since the mid-1980s; only Thailand has seen some backsliding with the 2006 coup. The Asian cases provide insights into several major debates in the democratization literature, including the relative importance of culture, history, economic structure, and the optimal sequencing of political and economic reform. This article reviews these issues, with particular attention to the role of outside powers in underpinning democratization. Ultimately, the Asian cases offer evidence for optimism about the prospects of a Fourth Wave of democratization.
This article argues that multilateral mechanisms for addressing security issues in East Asia are weak and that a key reason is the hollowness of China's ostensible and much-touted commitment to multilateralism. This is especially troubling when the region faces major security challenges and regional relations (and China's approach to them) appear to be moving from “economics in command” to “security in command.” The article concludes with a prediction that “A coordinated approach to combining alliances and quasi-alliances exclusive of China with multilateralism inclusive of it will best test China's intentions during this decade.”
India confronts the conflicting imperatives of Indian domestic politics and its strategic interests when dealing with Iran. As India's global profile has risen in recent years and its ties with the United States have strengthened, this conflict has come into sharper relief. India's traditionally close ties with Iran have become a major factor influencing how certain sections of U.S. policymakers evaluate a U.S.-India partnership. India has tried to balance carefully its relations with Iran and the United States; however, due to intense American pressure, especially after the signing of the U.S.-India civilian nuclear energy cooperation pact, India has moved closer to the United States concerning the Iranian nuclear program. But strong domestic constraints remain that will prevent India from completely abandoning its ties with Iran, even as a re-evaluation of India-Iran bilateral ties is long overdue.
Chinese shipping firms are aggressively expanding their oil tanker fleets. Although China's state energy firms support national energy security goals in their rhetoric, and China's state shipbuilders are striving to lead global production, commercial forces will almost certainly determine how these ships are employed. However, energy security considerations may have some influence in determining China's naval force structure. The majority of new tankers being built for Chinese shipping firms will fly China's flag, which helps set a legal basis for militarily protecting these vessels. As Chinese naval power and oil import dependency rise, security-minded factions in China's leadership may use the country's resource needs to justify further pursuit of blue water naval capabilities.
To form a more prudent foreign policy toward the Muslim Brotherhood, we must understand it not only as a domestic actor, but also as a major regional player. In fact, the Brotherhood has a complex relationship with Iran and the Shias, which blurs the lines of the so-called Shia Crescent. This article addresses the Muslim Brotherhood's foreign/regional policy by analyzing its attitude toward the Shias and Iran, thus placing it within the context of the emerging regional order. Addressing the complex relationship between the Muslim Brotherhood and the Shias/Iran will help to clarify the regional fallout were the Brotherhood to gain control of a major Sunni Arab state. This is a vital issue for policy makers who are considering the U.S. position vis-à-vis the Brotherhood.
The dominant narrative concerning the Bush Doctrine maintains that it is a dangerous innovation, an anomaly that violates the principles of sound policy as articulated by the Founders. According to the conventional wisdom, the Bush Doctrine represents the exploitation of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, by a small group of ideologues—the “neoconservatives”—to gain control of national policy and lead the United States into the war in Iraq, a war that should never have been fought. But far from a being a neoconservative innovation, the Bush Doctrine is, in fact, well within the mainstream of U.S. foreign policy and very much in keeping with the vision of America's founding generation and the practice of the statesmen in the Early Republic. The Bush Doctrine is only the latest manifestation of the fact that U.S. national interest has always been concerned with more than simple security.
Three historical forces having shaped Russia—the Land, the Church, and the West. Fifteen years after the fall of the Soviet Union, Russia remains the largest country on earth, with geopolitical interests in virtually every nation on the Eurasian continent and a fast-growing economy. The Russian Orthodox Church has resumed its place at the center of Russian culture, a culture that must be considered when assessing Russia's prospects for democratization. Likewise, Russians’ understanding of the West and democracy often suffers from misapprehensions that must be overcome in order for it to be attractive to Russia to move toward its own form of democracy. For U.S.-Russian differences today are primarily cultural, not ideological.
This article evaluates Russia's foreign policy after Vladimir Putin's reelection as president in March 2004. New challenges, such as the intensification of terrorist activities in the Northern Caucasus, the Orange Revolution in Ukraine, the destabilization of Central Asia, and the refusal by some European states to attend the celebration of the sixtieth anniversary of victory over fascism hosted in Moscow became important tests of Putin's strategy of great-power pragmatism. That strategy reflected a desire for Russia to be a normal great power and focused on cooperating with Western nations on a range of economic and security issues. This course had to be defended against criticisms at home in the context of intensified efforts by Western nations, particularly the United States, to influence developments in the former Soviet states. The article concludes by reflecting on some dilemmas that Putin's strategy is likely to encounter in the future.
Is it possible to export democracy? That question underlies current U.S. foreign policy, and answering it requires an operational definition of democracy that distinguishes its essential attributes from circumstantial ones. Liberal representative government under law, sustained by a political culture that accepts open disagreement and demands accountability, provides the only form of democracy that has sustained itself over time. Democracy typically emerges from within a society, and history demonstrates the difficulty of making democracy work. Imposing it externally presents further challenges while risking a backlash. The project of spreading democracy must therefore be separated from the objective of establishing a stable order favoring American interests so that the latter end can be achieved by more modest means.
The post-9/11 threats to American security require a complete revision of American national strategy. For too long, presidents have had to favor quick, cheap solutions to crises, unable to count on support from the “homebody” public for long, drawn-out conflicts. “Cheap hawks” among them have hoped that apocalyptic rhetoric will suffice when resources fall short; “cheap doves” hope that by ignoring the threat, it will go away. But with the war on terror, the revival of geopolitics, and ever-accelerating globalization, the U.S. tradition of bellicose rhetoric backed by underwhelming force is a recipe for failure. To effectively manage its threats, America needs a new catechism and to make sure its economic, energy, and military policies support this.
This article addresses property rights in China under four headings. I begin by placing the Chinese case within the larger context of property rights literature. The second section reviews the existing scholarship on property rights in China and identifies existing lacunae. The third section provides the broad contours of the contemporary Chinese intellectual and political discourse over property rights in China. And finally, I offer several cases of property rights that illustrate the variation in the scope of the concept of property rights in China and suggest possible avenues for future research.The right of property is the guardian of every other right, and to deprive the people of this is in fact to deprive them of their liberty.– Arthur Lee, Virginia, 1775You reproach us with planning to do away with your property. Precisely so; that is just what we intend.– Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels1The fact that a legal or economic model does not exist for an activity or a behavior is no reason to oppose it, because the laws can develop out of experience and practice.– Wu Guoping, Yangtze Water Resources Commission2
China's international behavior exhibits elements of both threat and peaceful intentions. Greatly increased defense budgets, the acquisition for more advance weapons systems, and certain pronouncements of the leadership argue for the threat scenario. Beijing's efforts to enhance the PRC's soft power, its more active participation in international problem-solving activities, and certain pronouncements of other leaders can be taken as evidence for more peaceful intentions. Even assuming that the leadership's motives are not benign, a combination of domestic weaknesses and foreign resistance could thwart them. The future is not predictable.
The CIA has recently been the subject of numerous presidential commissions and Congressional committees concerned either with the details of individual operations or with sweeping reforms in structure and organization. One of the repeated themes in these reports is that the Agency must change its “culture.” This article identifies and offers possible remedies for cultural problems in the two directorates (the Directorate of Intelligence and the Directorate of Operations) and Agency-wide, and argues for enhanced accountability.
There is no crisis in American civil-military relations if crisis means the kind of collision between civil and military authority that would breed a coup d'état or other manifestation of a breakdown of civilian control of the military, such as systematic and open disobedience of orders. But, to a remarkable degree, members of the Defense Task Force agreed that deep and pervasive difficulties plague American civil-military relations, that these problems merit attention and exploration, and that dramatic and possibly painful actions are required to resurrect the relationship between the armed forces and civil society that the Founders envisioned and that makes sense for a twenty-first-century democracy. The three core problems discussed at length were the politicization of the military, the growing divide between civil society and those who wear the uniform, and the centralization of military power in the Joint Staff and in the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS).
The displacement of thousands of U.S. Gulf Coast residents in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina is emblematic of a human migration challenge that will likely become more severe in the years and decades ahead. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) predicts that climate change will manifest in dramatic ways-extreme weather events, droughts, heat waves, increased cyclone (hurricane, typhoon) activity, sea level rise, etc.-and some of these effects may induce large scale human migration, both within and among countries. The increasing trend of environmental migrants is clashing with widespread anti-immigrant sentiment in both developed and developing countries around the world. Some countries are describing migration-and particularly unauthorized international migration-as a “security threat” and are turning to military forces to deter or manage the human flows, a trend that is likely to grow.
This article seeks to make sense of the policy debate on constitutional revision underway in Japan, to consider what international and domestic factors are driving the debate forward, to assess the range of proposals currently on the table, and to gauge the likelihood of actual constitutional change. Additionally, it considers how various forms of constitutional revision, if actually implemented, might affect Japan's military doctrines and capabilities; the extent of its alliance cooperation with the United States; its devotion of military capabilities to un operations; and the repercussions for Japan's regional relations in East Asia.
Although Orbis's mission is to publish articles dedicated to advancing the American national interest, the editors believe the following article, which provides an Indian perspective on US. policy, merits an exception. Provocatively, the author contends that U.S.-inspired export controls on technology are unfair and ineffective and are spurring India towards self-sufficiency in the development of missiles and space-launch vehicles.
Although differences between the Mexican and U.S. political systems have narrowed of late, a huge gulf continues to separate the two systems. At the heart of this disparity lies the phenomenon of corporatism, a social concept that is virtually absent in U.S. political discourse and traditions. This article considers the intellectual origins of corporatism, why it meshes so well with Ibero-Hispanic society, and how Mexico City's former mayor, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, fashioned his own brand of corporatism to confront the administration of Felipe Calderón Hinojosa, who defeated him in the July 2006 presidential race.
This is the text of a speech delivered to members of the Foreign Policy Research Institute on March 18, 1999, on the occasion of NATO's fiftieth anniversary.
The recent resurgence of interest in insurgency and counterinsurgency has revealed a deficit in material written by and for the diplomat, the actor ostensibly responsible for the political component of a counterinsurgency campaign. Classical theorists stress that progress along the political track is essential for ultimate success. Recent commentary, in shedding new light on the characteristics of modern insurgencies, reaffirms this principle. To make political headway the diplomat-counterinsurgent needs to develop a strategic narrative, build a political strategy around the narrative, acquire expertise, become a catalyst for political change, and maximize contact with the local population. In doing so, he will make important contributions to and help accelerate success in a counterinsurgency campaign.“War and diplomacy are different but intimately related aspects of national policy. Diplomats and warriors who recall this will therefore act as brothers in a potentially lethal common endeavor.…they will consider together when to fight and when to talk and when to press and when to stop.”View Within Article“If the government is strong enough, the Taliban cannot come here. If the government is weak, the people will not support it.”View Within Article
Following its encounter with insurgent violence in Iraq, the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) has sought to improve the U.S. military's ability to conduct counterinsurgency. This effort suggests a potential turning-point in the history of the U.S. military, which has traditionally devoted its attention and resources to “high-intensity” or “conventional” combat. Given this institutional culture, what are now the prospects of the U.S. military ‘learning counterinsurgency’? In many ways, the ongoing reorientation is promising and targeted, informed directly by the U.S. campaign in Iraq. At the same time, Pentagon priorities still reveal a remarkable resistance to change, and this in spite of the radically altered strategic environment of the War on Terror. Given this intransigence – and the eventual fall-out from the troubled Iraq campaign – the ongoing learning of counterinsurgency might very well fail to produce the type of deep-rooted change needed to truly transform the U.S. military.
Although Orbis's mission is to publish articles dedicated to furthering the American national interest, we believe that the following article by Konstantin Sorokin—which offers a Russian mew on the nuclear arsenals of former Soviet states—is sufficiently important to merit an exception. We invite comments.—The Editors
The global defense industrial sector is a remarkably accurate indicator of the distribution of power in the post–Cold War international system. However, the defense industrial sector as a policy tool has received relatively little scrutiny, even though it not only reflects the international order, but also provides the United States with the ability to influence the foreign policy behavior of other states. The defense industrial sector is a powerful, if undervalued, diplomatic tool in the United States’ political arsenal.
The conventional wisdom recommends the establishment of a Palestinian state to bring about an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict (the two-state paradigm). This article first reviews the confluence of domestic and international factors that led to the resurgence of the two-state paradigm. Next, it concludes that a peaceful outcome in accordance with this paradigm is unlikely to emerge in the near future: the two national movements, the Palestinian and the Zionist, are not close to a historic compromise, and the Palestinians are not able to build a state. Finally, the article analyzes the policy options available to policymakers. State-building is unlikely to succeed. Similarly, a binational state, where Arabs and Jews live peacefully together is not within reach. A regional approach that advocates a greater role for Arab states in Palestinian affairs has better chances of stabilizing the situation than the previous options. Finally, in the absence of a solution, the most realistic policy appears to be conflict management.
Success for Georgia's nascent democracy would be a major success for the democracy-promotion efforts of the United States, which has hailed the democratization there since the Rose Revolution as a success even as concerns have been voiced by some observers regarding the pace and direction of this effort. The U.S. policy of unconditional support for Georgia's government and its disinterest in drawing attention to the new government's democratization shortcomings call into question how serious the United States is about democracy-promotion, particularly in countries that have a semi-democratic but pro-American government. A U.S. approach to Georgia that recognizes the challenges there and seeks to help it solve these problems will demonstrate that America is sincere in its desire to promote democracy, not just to support friendly governments.
Immigration and changing demographic trends mean that Europe will in the very near future inevitably be transformed, culturally and politically. As in the Cold War, it again represents a critical theater for rivalry, but this time it is between Christianity, Islam, and secularism. European nations will either be the sites of religious conflict and violence that sets Muslim minorities against secular states and Muslim communities against Christian neighbors, or it could become the birthplace of a liberalized and modernized Islam that could in turn transform the religion worldwide. We urgently need to understand the developing contours of European religious beliefs and practices, and not just as they apply to Muslims, for the outcome of the rivalry there will have profound implications for the United States.
One of the central difficulties to a right understanding of American civil-military relations is the nature of the U.S. military. Are our armed forces just obedient bureaucracies like most of the Executive branch, or are they vocational professions granted significant autonomy and a unique role in these relationships because of their expert knowledge and their expertise to apply it in the defense of America? To a large measure, the answer to this question should determine the behavior of the strategic leaders of these professions, including the uncommon behavior of public dissent. Using the “Revolt of the Generals” in 2006 as stimulus, the author develops from the study of military professions the critical trust relationships that should have informed their individual decisions to dissent. After doing so, he makes recommendations for the restoration of the professions’ ethic in this critical area of behavior by the senior Officers who are the professions’ strategic leaders.
Top-cited authors
Mehran Kamrava
  • Georgetown University Qatar
Felix Chang
  • Foreign Policy Research Institute
Jacques deLisle
  • University of Pennsylvania
Thomas H. Johnson
  • Naval Postgraduate School
David Martin Jones
  • King's College London