Articles

90 Items

President Ronald Reagan addresses the Center for Strategic International Studies

AP/Charles Tasnadi

Journal Article - Texas National Security Review

When Do Leaders Change Course? Theories of Success and the American Withdrawal from Beirut, 1983–1984

Why did the United States withdraw from Lebanon in February 1984? How did new information shape policymakers' proposals to expand, maintain, or terminate the intervention? Drawing upon declassified records, the authors challenge the conventional narrative that the October 1983 barracks bombing precipitated the American withdrawal from Beirut.

Iran Syria missiles

Associated Press

Journal Article - International Affairs

Iran's Syria Strategy: The Evolution of Deterrence

| Feb. 04, 2019

Iran has been a critical player in the Syrian war since 2011, crafting a complex foreign policy and military strategy to preserve its Syrian ally. What have been the drivers of Iranian decision-making in this conflict? And how has Iranian strategy evolved over the course of the war? This article argues that the logic of deterrence has been fundamental not just for shaping the contours of Iran–Syria relations since the Islamic Revolution of 1979, but also for determining the overall trajectory of Iranian strategy in the Syrian war. The authors outline Iran's decision-making calculus and divide the country's strategy on Syria after the Arab Spring into four primary phases: 1) a ‘Basij’ strategy to establish local militias in Syria; 2) a regionalization strategy to incorporate transnational fighters and militias in the war effort; 3) an internationalization strategy to incorporate Russia and balance the United States; and 4) a post-ISIS deterrence strategy to balance against the United States, Turkey and Israel. Iran's Syria strategy progressively escalated in response to the possible defeat of its ally and the deterioration of its forward deterrence capacities against the United States and Israel. Today, the potential for direct inter-state conflict is rising as proxy warfare declines and Iran attempts to maintain the credibility of its forward deterrence.

Visitors walk across the Yalu River Broken Bridge, right, next to the Friendship Bridge connecting China and North Korea in Dandong in northeastern China's Liaoning province.

(AP Photo/Emily Wang)

Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

Conflict and Chaos on the Korean Peninsula: Can China’s Military Help Secure North Korea’s Nuclear Weapons?

    Author:
  • Oriana Skylar Mastro
| Fall 2018

China’s military could play a vital role in securing or destroying Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons if the North Korean regime collapsed.

teaser image

Magazine Article - Vanity Fair

"Trial By Fire”: Will John Bolton Push Trump Toward War in Syria?

| Apr. 09, 2018

According to Nicholas Burns, a former U.S. ambassador who served Bill Clinton and in both Bush administrations, Trump’s approach in Syria has more in common with Obama’s than either would likely admit. “I think that the president’s tweet yesterday was specific enough that he has effectively drawn a red line as well. I think that the president needs to respond to this.”

A TV screen shows North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, right, and U.S. President Donald Trump during a news program

AP/Ahn Young-joon

Journal Article - Political Science Quarterly

The Power and Limits of Compellence: A Research Note

| Spring 2018

The authors offer a comprehensive review of the scholarly literature on compellence. They highlight the findings that could be of use to contemporary policymakers and identify gaps that inhibit a comprehensive understanding of the dynamics of compellence.

Journal Article - Journal of Conflict Resolution

International Peacekeeping and Positive Peace: Evidence from Kosovo

| November 2017

To what extent can international peacekeeping promote micro-foundations for positive peace after violence? Drawing on macro-level peacekeeping theory, the authors' approach uses novel experimental methods to illustrate how monitoring and enforcement by a neutral third party could conceivably enhance prosocial behavior between rival groups in a tense, postconflict peacekeeping environment.

Presidents Trump and Xi shake hands.

(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Magazine Article - The National Interest

How America and China Could Stumble to War

| Apr. 12, 2017

WAR BETWEEN the United States and China is not inevitable, writes Graham Allison, "but it is certainly possible. Indeed, as these scenarios illustrate, the underlying stress created by China’s disruptive rise creates conditions in which accidental, otherwise inconsequential events could trigger a large-scale conflict. That outcome is not preordained: out of the sixteen cases of Thucydides’s Trap over the last five hundred years, war was averted four times. But avoiding war will require statecraft as subtle as that of the British in dealing with a rising America a century ago, or the wise men that crafted a Cold War strategy to meet the Soviet Union’s surge without bombs or bullets. Whether Chinese and American leaders can rise to this challenge is an open question. What is certain is that the fate of the world rests upon the answer."

Laurent Kabila, President of the Democratic Republic of Congo, with Rwandan President Pasteur Bizimungu, center, shakes hands with Rwandan Military Chief of Staff Sam Kaka in Kigali, Monday, September 8, 1997.

AP

Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

You Can't Always Get What You Want: Why Foreign-Imposed Regime Change Seldom Improves Interstate Relations

| Fall 2016

In recent decades, the United States has attempted to overthrow the regimes of several other countries in the hopes that the new regimes will be friendly toward Washington. Does foreign-imposed regime change (FIRC) succeed in making target states more accommodating to interveners’ interests? A new dataset and an analysis of foreign interventions in the Congo Wars show that FIRC damages relations between intervener and target state more often than it improves them.