Energy

35 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?

Chinese President Xi Jinping is displayed on a big screen in Beijing as Chinese battle tanks roll by during a Sept. 3, 2015 parade commemorating the 70th anniversary of Japan's surrender during World War II.

(AP Photo)

Magazine Article - The Atlantic

The Thucydides Trap: Are the U.S. and China Headed for War?

| September 24, 2015

The defining question about global order for this generation is whether China and the United States can escape Thucydides’s Trap. The Greek historian’s metaphor reminds us of the attendant dangers when a rising power rivals a ruling power—as Athens challenged Sparta in ancient Greece, or as Germany did Britain a century ago. Most such contests have ended badly, often for both nations, a team of mine at the Harvard Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs has concluded after analyzing the historical record. In 12 of 16 cases over the past 500 years, the result was war. When the parties avoided war, it required huge, painful adjustments in attitudes and actions on the part not just of the challenger but also the challenged.

U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz (left) and Secretary of State John Kerry (center) meeting in Vienna to discuss the Iran nuclear agreement.

Carlos Barria/Agence France-Presse

Newspaper Article - The New York Times

Crucial Questions Remain as Iran Nuclear Talks Approach Deadline

| June 28, 2015

Iran’s top nuclear negotiator was heading back to Tehran on Sunday to consult with his nation’s leadership, as negotiators remained divided over how to limit and monitor Tehran’s nuclear program and even on how to interpret the preliminary agreement they reached two months ago.

Journal Article - IEEE Security & Privacy

Regulating Cybersecurity: Institutional Learning or a Lesson in Futility?

| November-December 2014

On 22 November 2013, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved the latest version of mandatory cybersecurity regulations for the bulk electric system—known as Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP) Reliability Standards. The CIP standards are relatively unique: they are developed through an unusual model of industry-led regulation that places industry, and not federal regulators, at the center of regulatory design and enforcement. The CIP regulations have received a significant amount of criticism. Critics argue that the regulations are incomplete at best and irreparably flawed at worst. The author examines the lessons we can learn from the CIP standards and poses a provocative question: Are the regulations actually a secret success?

Refining crude oil in Al Mansura, east of Al Raqqah, northern Syria, May 8, 2013.

Rex Features via AP Images

Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

Fueling the Fire: Pathways from Oil to War

    Author:
  • Jeff D. Colgan
| Fall 2013

While the threat of "resource wars" over possession of oil reserves is often exaggerated, between one-quarter and one-half of interstate wars since 1973 have been connected to one or more of eight distinct oil-related causal mechanisms. Understanding these mechanisms can help policymakers design grand strategy and allocate military resources.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, left, and his Turkish counterpart Abdullah Gul at the Ciragan Palace in Istanbul, Aug. 14, 2008. Iran's President arrived in Turkey where he is expected to sign a new gas pipeline deal.

AP Photo

Journal Article - Viewpoints

Iran's Islamic Revolution and Its Future

| January 29, 2009

"Regime sustainability despite different internal crises and foreign threats underlines the fact that Iran enjoys a relatively rational decision-making process. The central slogan of the Iranian Revolution was "Independence, Freedom, and Islamic Republic." Today, Iran is an independent state, as it does not belong to an Eastern or a Western bloc. Although the country has not realized its ambition of economic independence, the revolution has provided economic welfare. Rural development has improved people's lives by providing villages with water, electricity, and infrastructure. The essence of independence also
referred to the specific relations between the Iranian monarchy and the United States. The US-sponsored 1953 coup against the popular Muhammad Mosaddeq government made Iran an American client state, leading to Iranian dependence in all aspects."

Magazine Article

Six Years After 9/11

| Sep. 11, 2007

BEIRUT -- This week’s sixth anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attack on the United States sees the top American military and diplomatic officials in Iraq speaking to the US Congress about American strategy in Iraq. The juxtaposition is noteworthy: Six years ago, a small band of Al-Qaeda militants attacked the United States and killed some 3000 people. Today, an army of over 160,000 American troops wages a war in Iraq that has seen tens of thousands of people killed since 2003. Neither policy makes much sense to anyone in the world, other than to those fanatics on both sides who decided to pursue these actions.