5129 Items

In this Dec. 1, 2011, file photo, a U.S. soldier with Apache Company of Task Force 3-66 Armor, out of Grafenwoehr, Germany, stands guard at a police checkpoint at Gulruddin pass in Sar Hawza district of Paktika province, south of Kabul, Afghanistan.

AP Photo/Heidi Vogt

Audio - Modern War Institute

Dealers and Brokers in Proxy Wars: Exploring All Means Available

| Nov. 19, 2023

Episode 92 examines conflict delegations and the roles of intermediary actors within proxy conflict. Our guests introduce the idea of intermediaries and pull from academic and practical experience to set the stage.  Along with other historical examples, they examine the role Pakistan played as a key go-between from the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan through the American withdrawal in 2021. They offer lessons for working through intermediaries in ongoing conflicts and highlight pitfalls found within these complex geopolitical relationships. 

A postcard showing a night attack on Japanese destroyer at Port Arthur, Russo-Japanese War. Postcard dated September 10, 1904.

Wikimedia Commons

Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

Racism, Stereotypes, and War

  • Jonathan Mercer
| Fall 2023

Racism systematically distorts policymakers’ analyses of their allies’ and adversaries’ capabilities, interests, and resolve, potentially leading to costly choices regarding war and peace. International security scholars have largely overlooked the role of racism, assuming rational choices on the part of policymakers. Research on the Russo-Japanese War (1904–1905) demonstrates that this assumption is wrong. 

Burning of a district of Manila, Philippine-American War, 1899.

Library of Congress

Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

The Meddler’s Trap: McKinley, the Philippines, and the Difficulty of Letting Go

| Fall 2023

Why do U.S. leaders struggle to end military interventions? William McKinley’s 1898 decision to annex the Philippines reveals why, through a phenomenon called the “meddler’s trap.” This concept denotes a situation of self-entanglement, whereby a leader inadvertently creates a problem through military intervention, feels they can solve it, and values solving the new problem more because of the initial intervention. 

President Joe Biden greets China's President President Xi Jinping

Doug Mills/The New York Times via AP, Pool, File

Analysis & Opinions - Financial Times (London)

America Should Aim for Competitive Coexistence with China

| Nov. 16, 2023

Joseph Nye writes that Washington's strategy towards Beijing should be to avoid either a hot or cold war, co-operate when possible and marshal its assets to shape China's external behaviour. This can be done through deterrence and a strengthening of both alliances and international institutions.

 Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei

Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader via AP

Analysis & Opinions - The National Interest

Iran and Gaza Escalation

| Nov. 16, 2023

Assaf Zoran argues for all regional nations and international players to engage in continuous dialogue with the involved and fighting parties in order to mitigate the risk of escalation. Such talks should establish political, economic, and military disincentives for further escalation while fostering opportunities for de-escalation.

The first Universal Races Congress, August 24, 1911.

W. E. B. Du Bois Papers (MS 312). Special Collections and University Archives, University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries

Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

Racialization and International Security

  • Richard W. Maass
| Fall 2023

Racialization—the processes that infuse social and political phenomena with racial identities and implications—is an assertion of power, a claim of purportedly inherent differences that has saturated modern diplomacy, order, and violence. U.S. international security studies has largely omitted racial dynamics from decades of debates. A new framework considers how overt and embedded racialization shape the study and practice of international security. 

 Protesters on demonstration bus interacting with police and pedestrians during 918 Shenyang Anti-Japan Demonstration, September 18, 2012.

Wikimedia Commons

Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

To Punish or Protect? Local Leaders and Economic Coercion in China

| Fall 2023

During foreign policy disputes involving China and some of its most important commercial partners, why do local leaders punish or protect foreign commercial actors? The decision comes down to the political incentives facing each local leader. Understanding this variation is important because how local leaders treat foreign businesses can influence the overall effectiveness of the Chinese government’s economic coercion against foreign states. 

"Speaking of Leaks," cartoon, Independent, January 29, 1917.

Wikimedia Commons

Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

"Wars without Gun Smoke": Global Supply Chains, Power Transitions, and Economic Statecraft

  • Ling S. Chen
  • Miles M. Evers
| Fall 2023

Power transitions affect a state’s ability to exercise economic statecraft. As a dominating and a rising power approach parity, they face structural incentives to decouple their economies. This decoupling affects business-state relations: high-value businesses within the dominant power tend to oppose their state’s economic statecraft because of its costs to them, whereas low-value businesses within the rising power tend to cooperate because they gain from it. 

Visitors tour past military vehicles carrying the Dong Feng 41 and DF-17 ballistic missiles at an exhibition highlighting President Xi Jining and his China's achievements under his leadership, at the Beijing Exhibition Hall in Beijing on Oct. 12, 2022.

AP Photo/Andy Wong

Analysis & Opinions - Foreign Affairs

China’s Misunderstood Nuclear Expansion: How U.S. Strategy Is Fueling Beijing’s Growing Arsenal

  • M. Taylor Fravel
  • Henrik Stålhane Hiim
  • Magnus Langset Trøan
| Nov. 10, 2023

Among the many issues surrounding China’s ongoing military modernization, perhaps none has been more dramatic than its nuclear weapons program. For decades, the Chinese government was content to maintain a comparatively small nuclear force. As recently as 2020, China’s arsenal was little changed from previous decades and amounted to some 220 weapons, around five to six percent of either the U.S. or Russian stockpiles of deployed and reserve warheads.