Defense & Security

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.

Shrimp vs. Whale: South Korea’s Response to Japan’s Trade Restrictions

Japan and South Korea are locked in a tit-for-tat trade dispute after Japan levied trade restrictions on Korea’s biggest industry. The new restrictions have galvanized the Korean people, fraying high-Level ties between the two nations and sparking the grassroots Boycott Japan Movement in South Korea.

Embracing Multilateralism in the DRC Ebola Crisis

The Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo is a humanitarian crisis that could spread, made worse by DRC’s instability. The UN – supported by Member States – is best positioned to address this crisis.

Iran in the Time of Maximal Compellence

The United States' strategy of maximal compellence against Iran is frustrating, but not yet compelling. To reduce the risk of war, the Trump administration needs to soften and broaden its approach.

Book Review: Why America Loses Wars

YPFP Fellow Stephan Delaney reviews "Why America Loses Wars," by noted military historian Dr. Donald Stoker.
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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.

Sanctions are Driving Market Reforms in North Korea

The United States faces pressure from South Korea to ease sanctions on North Korea in hopes it will speed liberalizing reforms. This would be a mistake.

On Huawei, Canada Risks Far More Than Hypocrisy

Last month Canada was thrown into the international spotlight when Meng Wanzhou, Chief Financial Officer of the Chinese telecom giant Huawei, was arrested in Vancouver at the request of US authorities. She is suspected of committing fraud by violating US sanctions against Iran. China responded in turn, detaining two Canadian citizens and sentencing a third,…

Pivot from the Middle East

Near the end of 2018, President Trump announced, via Twitter, that the United States would withdraw the roughly 2,000 troops it had deployed to Syria. It is believed that this apparent surprise announcement was a contributing factor in Secretary of Defense Mattis’s decision to resign. In addition to losing a Secretary of Defense, the decision…

On Removing Presidential First Use

The United States’ president can, without congressional permission or expert consultation, order the firing of nuclear weapons at any time and – so long as the nuclear football (a briefcase containing the nuclear codes and firing command) is present – from anywhere. The entire process, from the president opening the football to nuclear tipped missiles…