Articles

14 Items

(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.

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...."

Pressure on U.S. to Rethink Pro-Pak Policies

The Insider Brief

Newspaper Article - India Tribune

Pressure on U.S. to Rethink Pro-Pak Policies

December 30, 2007

"He again has demonstrators on the streets. And, he has lost the one principal opposition leader with whom he appeared to be able to work," said Xenia Dormandy, director of the Project on India and the subcontinent at Harvard University's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. "It is unclear whether whoever replaces Benazir will hold the same accommodative views as she did."

Journal Article - Washington Quarterly

The Day After: Action Following a Nuclear Blast in a U.S. City

Failure to develop a comprehensive contingency plan, such as the one proposed here, and inform the American public, where appropriate, about its particulars will only serve to amplify the devastating impact of any nuclear attack on a U.S. city

teaser image

Magazine Article - Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

Traffick Jamming

| September / October 2006

"...[T]here are plenty of laws that require or authorize sanctions against governments that knowingly provide direct support to proliferators. But these laws offer little protection against those governments that—through neglect, corruption, or incompetence—fail to keep the materials and technology needed to make nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons from slipping out of their control and across their borders."