Articles

16 Items

U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower and Secretary of State John Foster Dulles (from left) greet South Vietnamese President Ngo Dinh Diem at Washington National Airport

DoD/Department of the Air Force

Journal Article - Small Wars Journal

Bernard Fall as an Andrew Marshall Avant la Lettre (Part II)

| Dec. 09, 2019

SWJ interview with Nathaniel L. Moir, Ph.D., an Ernest May Postdoctoral Fellow in History and Policy at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School. Dr. Moir is completing a book manuscript on Bernard Fall for publication.

Xi Jingping and other world leaders attend an APEC-ASEAN dialogue.

(Jorge Silva/Pool Photo via AP)

Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

China in a World of Orders: Rethinking Compliance and Challenge in Beijing’s International Relations

    Author:
  • Alastair Iain Johnston
| Fall 2019

Rather than debating whether China is challenging a single, U.S.-dominated liberal order, scholars and analysts should consider China’s actions in relation to multiple orders in different domains, where China is supportive of some, unsupportive of others, and partially supportive of still others.

(R-L) Soviet Commissar for Foreign Affairs Vyacheslav Molotov, General Secretary of the Communist Party Josef Stalin, & German Reich Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop signing the German-Soviet non-aggression pact in Moscow, Aug 23, 1939.

AP Photo

Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

Preventing Enemy Coalitions: How Wedge Strategies Shape Power Politics

| Spring 2011

States use wedge strategies to prevent hostile alliances from forming or to dis­perse those that have formed. These strategies can cause power alignments that are otherwise unlikely to occur, and thus have significant consequences for international politics. How do such strategies work and what conditions promote their success? The wedge strategies that are likely to have significant effects use selective accommodation—concessions, compensations, and other inducements—to detach and neutralize potential adversaries. These kinds of strategies play important roles in the statecraft of both defensive and offensive powers. Defenders use selective accommodation to balance against a primary threat by neutralizing lesser ones that might ally with it. Expansionists use se­lective accommodation to prevent or break up blocking coalitions, isolating opposing states by inducing potential balancers to buck-pass, bandwagon, or hide. Two cases—Great Britain’s defensive attempts to accommodate Italy in the late 1930s and Germany’s offensive efforts to accommodate the Soviet Union in 1939—help to demonstrate these arguments. By paying attention to these dynamics, international relations scholars can better understand how balancing works in specific cases, how it manifests more broadly in interna­tional politics, and why it sometimes fails in situations where it ought to work well.

Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

The Security Curve and the Structure of International Politics: A Neorealist Synthesis

    Author:
  • Davide Fiammenghi
| Spring 2011

Realist scholars have long debated the question of how much power states need to feel secure. Offensive realists claim that states should constantly seek to increase their power. Defensive realists argue that accumulating too much power can be self-defeating. Proponents of hegemonic stability theory contend that the accumulation of capabilities in one state can exert a stabilizing effect on the system. The three schools describe different points along the power con­tinuum. When a state is weak, accumulating power increases its security. This is approximately the situation described by offensive realists. A state that con­tinues to accumulate capabilities will eventually triggers a balancing reaction that puts its security at risk. This scenario accords with defensive realist as­sumptions. Finally, when the state becomes too powerful to balance, its oppo­nents bandwagon with it, and the state’s security begins to increase again. This is the situation described by hegemonic stability theory. These three stages delineate a modified parabolic relationship between power and secu­rity. As a state moves along the power continuum, its security increases up to a point, then decreases, and finally increases again. This modified parabolic re­lationship allows scholars to synthesize previous realist theories into a single framework.

In this Sept. 21, 2007 file picture the Euro sign is photographed in front of the European Central Bank in Frankfurt, Germany.

AP Photo

Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

Europe's Troubles: Power Politics and the State of the European Project

| Spring 2011

The 1990s were years of great optimism in Europe. As the Europeans were putting the finishing touches on their economic community, observers pre­dicted that political and military integration would soon follow. Optimism has turned to pessimism since the turn of the century, however. Most analysts believe that the economic community is in crisis, and hardly anyone predicts the creation of a political or military counterpart to it. Why has the European project run into trouble and what does the future hold? The answers to these questions are largely to be found in the distribution of power. It was the over­whelming power of the Soviet Union that drove the Western Europeans to consider a variety of integration initiatives and to build and maintain the European Community (EC) during the Cold War. In 1991 the collapse of the Soviet Union deprived them of a compelling geostrategic reason to pursue further integration or even to preserve their economic community. As a result, the Europeans have made no real effort to establish a political or military com­munity over the past two decades, and the EC has slowly started to fray. As long as there are no significant changes in the balance of power going forward, worse times lie ahead.

Chinese and U.S. flags flutter on a lamppost in front of the portrait of Mao Zedong on the Tiananmen Square to welcome the visit of U.S. President Barack Obama in Beijing, China, 17 November 2009.

AP Photo

Journal Article - Washington Quarterly

American and Chinese Power after the Financial Crisis

| October 2010

"...Asia has its own internal balance of powers, and in that context, many states continue to welcome an American presence in the region. Chinese leaders have to contend with the reactions of other countries, as well as the constraints created by their own objectives of economic growth and the need for external markets and resources. Too aggressive a Chinese military posture could produce a countervailing coalition among its neighbors that would weaken both its hard and soft power. A poll of 16 countries around the world found a positive attitude toward China’s economic rise, but not its military rise."

Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

The Social Market Roots of Democratic Peace

| Spring 2009

Democracy does not cause peace among nations. An analysis of conflicts from 1961 to 2001 shows that the absence of war between democratic countries depends on domestic economic factors-such as a contract-intensive economy-rather than on democracy. Because China and Russia lack this type of economy, an economic divide will define great power politics in the coming decade. Democratic leaders of nations with contract-intensive economies would do better to support global economic opportunity than to promote democracy abroad.

Indian special police officers exit the landmark Taj Hotel in Mumbai, India, Nov. 29, 2008. Indian commandos killed the last remaining gunmen holed up at the hotel, ending a 60-hour rampage through the city by suspected Islamic militants.

AP Photo

Journal Article - CTC Sentinel

Improving India's Counterterrorism Policy after Mumbai

| April 2009

"All of these pathologies were evident in the failure to prevent or appropriately respond to the Mumbai attacks. There was in fact significant intelligence suggesting a seaborne terrorist attack was likely, and even that prominent sites such as the Taj Hotel would be targeted. This information, however, was ignored by several key bureaucratic actors—including the Coast Guard and the Maharashtra state director-general of police—because it was deemed unactionable. Others, such as the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad, at least attempted some kind of preparation. The differences in readiness highlight the extent of fragmentation among the security apparatus. Even when Mumbai police tried to take preventive action, they lacked the manpower to sustain increased security at the hotels. Once the attack occurred, the security forces did not have sufficient night-vision equipment, heavy weaponry, or information about the attack sites, leading to a long response time and the emergence of a disastrous siege...."