Articles

21 Items

Great Decisions Cover

Foreign Policy Association

Journal Article - Foreign Policy Association

The State of the State Department and American Diplomacy

| Jan. 03, 2019

During the Trump administration, the usual ways of conducting diplomacy have been upended. Many positions in the State Department have never been filled, and meetings with foreign leaders such as Kim Jong-un and Vladimir Putin have been undertaken with little advance planning. What effect are these changes having now, and how will they affect ongoing relationships between the United States and its allies and adversaries?

Gazprom sign in Moscow.

Martin Griffiths

Journal Article - E-International Relations (E-IR)

Getting Russian Gas to Europe: Old Relationships Sprout New Wings

| Sep. 20, 2017

In November, 2015, a crisis had erupted between Russia and Turkey after NATO-member Turkey shot down a Russian fighter jet over the Syrian–Turkish border after it had ostensibly crossed into Turkish airspace (Financial Times, 2015). Although the sides managed to avoid further escalation of tensions, relations consequently suffered a major breakdown. Immediately after the Russian-Turkish fallout, many commentators were quick to argue that the Turkish stream pipeline was shelved for the foreseeable future (BBC News, 2015; Johnson, 2015). That seemed logical and in line with the theory, almost de rigueur, that equates authoritarianism at home and an adversarial foreign policy.

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.

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.

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.

U.S. President George W. Bush answers questions at a final news conference in London for the NATO Summit, Friday, July 6, 1990. President Bush and the other 16 NATO leaders met for a two-day meeting discussing the changing nature of the NATO organization.

AP Photo

Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

Perpetuating U.S. Preeminence: The 1990 Deals to “Bribe the Soviets Out” and Move NATO In

| Summer 2010

Washington and Bonn pursued a shared strategy of perpetuating U.S. preeminence in European security after the end of the Cold War. As multilingual evidence shows, they did so primarily by shielding the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) from potential competitors during an era of dramatic change in Europe. In particular, the United States and West Germany made skillful use in 1990 of Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev's political weakness and his willingness to prioritize his country's financial woes over security concerns. Washington and Bonn decided "to bribe the Soviets out," as then Deputy National Security Adviser Robert Gates phrased it, and to move NATO eastward.