Articles

241 Items

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.

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?

Iranian conservative lawmaker Bijan Nobaveh Vatan holds up a paper with writing in Persian reading, "Opponent of the JCPOA"

AP

Journal Article - Nonproliferation Review

Negotiating the "Iran Talks" in Tehran: The Iranian Drivers that Shaped the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action

| Forthcoming

When Iran and the world powers resumed negotiations over Tehran's controversial nuclear program after a seven-year lull, Iran's hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was approaching the end of his second and last term. During that time, little progress was made. After the election of the moderate Hassan Rouhani to the presidency, the talks resumed decisively. Rouhani and his team were in an ideal position to strike a deal, as they were afforded cross-party support supplying them with political will and political capital.

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."