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Crisis Stability and Nuclear Exchange Risks on the Subcontinent: Major Trends and the Iran Factor November 1, 2013 — Crisis stability—the probability that political tensions and low-level conflict will not erupt into a major war between India and Pakistan—is less certain in 2013 than at any time since their sequential nuclear weapons tests of 1998. India’s vast and growing spending on large conventional military forces, at least in part as a means to dissuade Pakistan’s tolerance of (or support for) insurgent and terrorist activity against India, coupled with Pakistan’s post- 2006 accelerated pursuit of tactical nuclear weapons as a means to offset this Indian initiative, have greatly increased the risk of a future Indo-Pakistani military clash or terrorist incident escalating to nuclear exchange. America’s limited abilities to prevent the escalation of an Indo-Pakistani crisis toward major war are best served by continuing a significant military and political presence in Afghanistan and diplomatic and military-to-military dialogue with Pakistan well beyond 2014. MORE

China’s Forbearance Has Limits: Chinese Threat and Retaliation Signaling and Its Implications for a Sino-American Military Confrontation April 1, 2013 — Since its founding in 1949, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) has employed military force in defense of China’s security and territorial integrity. In many such instances, Beijing implemented a calculus of threat and retaliation signals intended first to deter an adversary from taking actions contrary to Chinese interests by threatening the use of military force and, if deterrence failed, to explain and justify Beijing’s resort to military force. MORE

The New NATO Policy Guidelines on Counterterrorism: Analysis, Assessments, and Actions February 1, 2013 — DOWNLOAD PDFExecutive Summary The history of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) will say that the first, and so far only, time NATO has called upon its Article 5 collective defense clause was on September 12, 2001, following a terrorist attack on one of its members. Yet, until the agreement by NATO Heads of State and Government on the MORE

Japan-China Relations 2005–2010: Managing Between a Rock and a Hard Place An Interpretative Essay October 1, 2012 — DOWNLOAD PDFExecutive Summary Between China and Japan, the past is ever-present. Notwithstanding shared cultural and historic ties, throughout the past century and going back to the Sino-Japanese war at the end of the 19th century, a bitter legacy of history—the Boxer Rebellion; the Mukden Incident and Japan’s occupation of South Manchuria (1931); MORE

Managing Sino-U.S. Air and Naval Interactions: Cold War Lessons and New Avenues of Approach September 1, 2012 — The United States and China have a complex, multifaceted, and ambiguous relationship where substantial areas of cooperation coexist with ongoing strategic tensions and suspicions. One manifestation involves disputes and incidents when U.S. and Chinese military forces interact within China’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). Three high-profile incidents over the last decade have involved aggressive maneuvers by Chinese military and/or paramilitary forces operating in close proximity to deter U.S. surveillance and military survey platforms from conducting their missions. Why do these incidents continue to occur despite mechanisms designed to prevent such dangerous encounters? Could new or different procedures or policies help avoid future incidents? MORE

Deception, Disinformation, and Strategic Communications: How One Interagency Group Made a Major Difference June 1, 2012 — This study explains how one part-time interagency committee established in the 1980s to counter Soviet disinformation effectively accomplished its mission. Interagency committees are commonly criticized as ineffective, but the Active Measures Working Group is a notable exception. The group successfully established and executed U.S. policy on responding to Soviet disinformation. It exposed some Soviet covert operations and raised the political cost of others by sensitizing foreign and domestic audiences to how they were being duped. The group’s work encouraged allies and made the Soviet Union pay a price for disinformation that reverberated all the way to the top of the Soviet political apparatus. It became the U.S. Government’s body of expertise on disinformation and was highly regarded in both Congress and the executive branch. MORE

Proliferation Security Initiative: Origins and Evolution June 1, 2012 — On December 9, 2002, the United States and Spanish navies cooperated to interdict a North Korean vessel, the So San, in the Arabian Sea.1 The operation initially appeared to be an unqualified success, a textbook example of interdiction to prevent proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), related materials, or delivery systems. According to press reports, the United States began tracking the vessel when it first left North Korea, believing that it was carrying a cargo related to Scud ballistic missiles. The So San flew no flag, making it a stateless vessel under international law, subject to interception and boarding by warships on the high seas.2 The United States asked the Spanish navy to stop and search the So San when the ship reached the patrol area of Combined Task Force (CTF) 150, then under Spanish command. The mission of CTF 150 was “to promote maritime security in order to counter terrorist acts and related illegal activities” in the Gulf of Aden, Gulf of Oman, Red Sea, and Indian Ocean.3 Thus, the United States proposed—and Spain agreed—to use a tool developed to combat global terrorism in a counterproliferation mission. MORE

Cross-currents in French Defense and U.S. Interests April 1, 2012 — France is the only European ally—except for the United Kingdom (UK)—that regards its military capabilities, operational performance, and defense industry as vital levers to exert global influence. While the French believe strongly in their need to preserve “strategic independence,” they see new challenges in the evolving international security environment that will oblige them to accept greater cooperation with others, even in areas once considered too sensitive to discuss. Although some French strategists remain uncomfortable with the notion of closer defense ties with the United States, others ask whether there might be a greater danger ahead: specifically, if Europe’s strength dissipates as America “rebalances” toward the Asia-Pacific region, where does France turn to find capable and willing partners to protect its security interests? MORE

Russia and the Iranian Nuclear Program: Replay or Breakthrough? March 1, 2012 — Despite protests across Russia sparked by last December’s fraud-filled Duma (parliament) elections, Vladimir Putin is preparing to return to the presidency this May. Will Putin replay his 2004–2008 approach to Iran, during which Russia negotiated the S–300 air defense system contract with Tehran? Or will he continue Russia’s breakthrough in finding common ground with the United States on Iran seen under President Dmitriy Medvedev, who tore up the S–300 contract? MORE

Defining "Weapons of Mass Destruction" (Revised) January 1, 2012 — This revised Occasional Paper explores the issue of defining weapons of mass destruction with a focus on summarizing how the term has been used in disarmament negotiations, U.S. national security policy, Soviet and Russian military doctrine, and American political discourse. The paper identifies alternative definitions for WMD, addresses some of the key policy issues associated with different definitions, and proposes a definition appropriate for the Department of Defense. MORE

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