Articles

67 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.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry addresses the international press corps during a news conference that followed a NATO Ministerial meeting in Brussels, Belgium, on December 3, 2013.

State Department photo

Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

The Myth of Entangling Alliances: Reassessing the Security Risks of U.S. Defense Pacts

| Spring 2015

How often do alliance commitments draw the United States into military conflicts that it might otherwise avoid? An analysis of U.S. conflicts over the past several decades reveals that the number is significantly smaller than many observers assume.

Chinese soldiers salute during a ceremony in Hangzhou city, east Chinas Zhejiang province, November 15, 2013.

Guo Guangjie/ Imaginechina

Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

Contested Primacy in the Western Pacific: China's Rise and the Future of U.S. Power Projection

    Author:
  • Evan Braden Montgomery
| Spring 2014

Despite their disagreements, proponents of deep engagement and offshore balancing share an optimistic but unrealistic assessment regarding the durability of U.S. military dominance. China’s antiaccess/area denial strategy and conventional precision-strike capabilities are already undermining the United States’ military dominance in East Asia. The United States will need to adapt its military to meet this challenge.

The newly renovated United Nations Security Council Chambers, also known as the Norwegian Room, is seen before the reopening ceremony, Tuesday, April 16, 2013 at U.N. headquarters.

AP Photo/Mary Altaffer

Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

The Permanence of Inconsistency: Libya, the Security Council, and the Responsibility to Protect

    Author:
  • Aidan Hehir
| Summer 2013

Many observers heralded the Security Council–sanctioned intervention in Libya in March 2011 as evidence of the efficacy of the responsibility to protect (R2P). Although there is no doubt that the intervention was significant, the implications of Resolution 1973 are not as profound as some have claimed. The intervention certainly coheres with the spirit of R2P, but it is possible to situate it in the context of a trajectory of Security Council responses to large-scale intrastate crises that predate the emergence of R2P. This trajectory is a function of the decisionmaking of the five permanent members of the Security Council (P5), a group guided by politics and pragmatism rather than principles. As a consequence, the Security Council’s record in dealing with intrastate crises is characterized by a preponderance of inertia punctuated by aberrant flashes of resolve and timely action impelled by the occasional coincidence of interests and humanitarian need, rather than an adherence to either law or norms. The underlying factors that contributed to this record of inconsistency—primarily the P5’s veto power—remain post-Libya, and thus the international response to intrastate crises likely will continue to be inconsistent.

Tuareg militants, seen driving near Timbuktu, Mali, on May 7, 2012, share control of northern Mali with Islamist groups and al-Qaeda fighters. The Tuaregs militants fled to Mali after Qaddafi's defeat and launched a rebellion there.

Magharebia Photo CC

Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

A Model Humanitarian Intervention? Reassessing NATO's Libya Campaign

| Summer 2013

NATO's 2011 humanitarian military intervention in Libya has been hailed as a model for implementing the emerging norm of the responsibility to protect (R2P), on grounds that it prevented an impending bloodbath in Benghazi and facilitated the ouster of Libya's oppressive ruler, Muammar al-Qaddafi, who had targeted peaceful civil protesters. Before the international community embraces such conclusions, however, a more rigorous assessment of the net humanitarian impact of NATO intervention in Libya is warranted.