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Defense & Security

Oil and Stability: Good Enough to Keep the US in the Gulf?

For decades, the safe transportation of oil from the Persian Gulf has been a major security concern for the United States. But there are reasons for the U.S. to reevaluate whether it truly needs to invest military resources in protecting it.

The Iran Cables and Beyond: A conversation with Murtaza Hussain

Managing Editor Mike Sexton spoke with The Intercept's Murtaza Hussain about the recently released Iran Cables investigative piece -- and what they tell us about the region's future.

Did Russia Achieve its Goals in the Sochi Summit?

President Putin’s Sochi Summit brought an unprecedented number of African leaders to Moscow, developing Russia’s prestige as a supplier of arms to the continent and rattling the U.S. foreign policy establishment.

Is U.S. Credibility Really in Danger?

Last month, the US moved its troops out on the Syrian-Turkish border out of the way of an impending Turkish incursion against Kurdish forces. Did the US lose its credibility as a result of this decision?

Beyond Migration: Humanitarian Assistance to the Northern Triangle

President Trump has tied humanitarian aid to migration outcomes in the Northern Triangle, yet foreign assistance affects underlying causes of migration to the United States. More importantly, predicating future aid on migration outcomes goes against fundamental humanitarian principles and US values.

Phones and Force: The Geostrategy of Smartphones in an Era of US-Chinese Competition

Smartphones will gain geostrategic significance. The Gulf States, through Apple and Huawei, have aligned with the United States and China, respectively. Their strategic importance makes them noteworthy test cases in the rising geostrategic significance of supply chains.

Conflicting Values in the Arctic: Examining Russian-Canadian Tensions through Election Interference

A forthcoming study from the University of Calgary predicts that Russian intelligence services may be interfering in the Canadian federal elections scheduled to take place at the end of October over concerns in the Arctic region.

Hurricane Season…Here We Go Again

The annual hurricane season is here and once again devastating the Caribbean. Regional enforcements and integration can help save lives in both the short and long-term.

Ethiopia’s Abiy One Year On

A year after his election Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy is being challenged to continue his role as a regional mediator while resolving ethnic tensions at home. How he responds to this popular ultimatum may well shape his legacy.

Maritime Security on the Korean Peninsula: The Story of the Northern Limit Line

North Korea denuclearization may provide a path to ending violent clashes along the Northern Limit line, a long disputed maritime demarcation between North and South Korea.

The Case for U.S. Disengagement in Yemen

In light of the changing nature of the US-Saudi alliance, the US should withdraw support for the Saudi-led military campaign in Yemen, to alter incentive structures for further violence and help facilitate humanitarian relief.

When the Carriers Depart, What Will Happen To US Soft Power?

Political and military debates over the retirement of the US carrier fleet raises questions over what platform will fill the carrier's role in projecting US soft power.
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When Pawns Remain Pawns…

In the final part of a four part series looking at what factors allow states to punch above their weight in international affairs, Brazil’s failure to leverage key factors highlights that states can push to far in leveraging their position.
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We Must Not Allow a Satellite Gap!

Satellites have become indispensable to modern life. What would happen if this satellite system was attacked and disabled?
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From Pawns to Bishops: Ideational Forces and the Pursuit of Power

Part three of a four-part series looking at what factors allow states to punch above their weight in international affairs. This segment examines three ideational factors: identity, moral authority, and strategic positioning.
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Knights and Rooks: The Role of Geography, Resources, and Asymmetric Capabilities in Attaining Status

Editor’s Note: This article is Part II of “When Pawns Become Queens,” a four-part series that seeks to explain how less powerful states are able to rise to prominence in international politics. To start from the beginning of the series, please read When Pawns Become Queens: Becoming a Global Power. In December of 1968, North…

Description and the Anatomy of War

America in Afghanistan: Foreign Policy and Decision Making from Bush to Obama to Trump By Sharifullah DoraniI.B. Tauris, 328 pp, January 2019 In the winter of 1940, the philosopher Simone Weil published her essay “The Iliad, or the Poem of Force.” In it, she argues that from the violence of war “springs the idea of…

When Pawns Become Queens: Becoming a Global Power

Part 1 of a 4-part series on how less powerful states create outsize geopolitical impacts. This piece explores why less powerful states are under-analyzed in foreign policy theory, why this is problematic, and how it can be addressed.

The New Cold War

Russia is expanding its influence in the Arctic Circle as ice recedes and natural resources become accessible. This represents a potential threat which the US must recognize.

A New Start for Multilateral Arms Control?

The dissolution of the INF threatens a new era of nuclear instability. New START must be protected and strengthened in order to avoid a potentially bleak future.