Articles

25 Items

Members of the 576th Flight Test Squadron monitor an operational test launch of an unarmed Minuteman III missile

USAF/Michael Peterson

Journal Article - Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

The Overwhelming Case for No First Use

| Jan. 13, 2020

The arguments in favor of the United States' declaring that the only purpose of its nuclear weapons is to deter others who possess them from using theirs — in other words, that in no circumstances will this country use nuclear weapons first — are far stronger than the arguments against this stance. It must be hoped that the next US administration will take this no-first-use step promptly.

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.

U.S. President George H. W. Bush and Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev hold a press conference at the Helsinki Summit, Finland on September 9, 1990.

George Bush Library

Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

Deal or No Deal? The End of the Cold War and the U.S. Offer to Limit NATO Expansion

| Spring 2016

During the 1990 German reunification negotiations, did the United States promise the Soviet Union that it would not expand NATO into Eastern Europe? Although no written agreement exists, archival materials reveal that U.S. officials did indeed offer the Soviets informal non-expansion assurances, while keeping open the possibility of expansion and seeking to maximize U.S. power in post–Cold War Europe.

Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS) in Europe (Czech Republic and Poland)

DoD Image

Journal Article - Arms Control Today

Missile Defense Against Iran Without Threatening Russia

| November 2013

"Although the cancellation of the planned deployment of the SM-3 IIB interceptors has removed the possibility that interceptors deployed under the phased adaptive approach would pose a threat to Russian missiles, it has not diminished the missile defense system's primary mission of intercepting an array of current and potential future Iranian missiles. The restructured missile defense system would still theoretically be able to handle these Iranian missile threats, even if one factors in a comfortable amount of time for detecting and tracking them."

Magazine Article - The European

'Iran is the Main Beneficiary of the Iraq War'

| March 20, 2013

"Iran has always been a major power in that region. Under Saddam however, Iran and Iraq were bitter enemies who fought a long war and were strongly opposed to one another. There was almost a rough balance of power between the two countries. By reducing Iraq's power and by allowing the Shia to become the dominant political force in Iraq, the US removed the main country balancing Iran, and helped bring to power a government that has at least some sympathies and links to Iran. So, Iran is by far the main strategic beneficiary of the Iraq War, which made it even more difficult for the US and its allies to deal with the country."

Admiral Samuel J. Locklear (C), U.S. Pacific Command, ushered by Shigeru Iwasaki (front L), Chief of Staff of the Joint Staff speaks to reporters after he inspected the launch vehicles for Patriot Advanced Capability-3 missiles in Tokyo, Apr. 11, 2012.

AP Photo

Magazine Article - American Interest

Rising Sun in the New West

| May-June 2012

In the 20th century, Japan was in many ways the weathervane of international politics. It will likely remain that in the 21st century. How so? As Europe and the United States cope with their difficulties, and as problems in China, India, Russia and elsewhere emerge more clearly, Japan is very likely to join a renascent West.

Journal Article - Journal of International Security Affairs

Preventing the Unthinkable

| Spring/Summer 2011

During the Cold War, the threat of a nuclear attack came mainly from the U.S.-Russian nuclear arsenals, writes Kevin Ryan. Today, however, the United States and Russia have been forced to adapt to a new nuclear threat—that of dedicated terrorists with money and technological access who seek to obtain and use a nuclear device.

(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.