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Defense & Security

Peace through the Space Force: How Washington Must Assert Itself Today and Tomorrow

The United States must prepare for a future in which outer space is a theater for great power competition.

Searching for Diplomacy in Libya

Even as actors in Libya’s civil war push for an end to hostilities, the entrenched economic and geo-political interests of international actors seem to preclude lasting peace. Unless the international community rethinks its priorities, a diplomatic solution may not be possible.

Pressuring Friends: Recent Developments in the ROK-US Alliance

Since October several key issues—defense cost sharing and GSOMIA in particular—have caused contention in the United States-South Korea alliance. Rising pressure provides room for adversaries to exploit the alliance for their own gain and draws into question the many benefits of a strong alliance.

An Ecosystem Approach to Child Dignity and Safety Online

In this interview, Dr. Joanna Rubinstein, CEO of Childhood USA, discusses the sexual abuse of children online. She advocates for a global system approach when combatting such violence.

North Korea and the United States: No Exit?

Arms talks between the United States and North Korea have been stalled since February 2019, and now that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has declared an end to his self-imposed nuclear weapons and missile testing moratorium there’s little immediate hope for talks to continue.

Book Review: Everything You Have Told Me is True

Everything You Have Told Me is True brings an updated in-country perspective to the shadowy role of Islamist militant group, al-Shabaab, in Somalia. From Mogadishu to London, and through interviews with refugees and terrorists alike, she explores al-Shabaab’s immense resilience, begging the question: is al-Shabaab here to stay?

A Failed Multilateral Consensus on Women, Peace, and Security

NATO is now five years out from the institution of its women, peace, and security action plan. How has the trans-Atlantic treaty organization pursued the WPS agenda, and what shortcomings still remain?

A Return to Militarism: The Symbolism of Recent North Korean Missile Tests

As the year comes to a close, North Korea's new nuclear missile tests should heighten security concerns for the United States and place pressure on the Trump Administration to change strategies.

Why Would Turkey Need Nuclear Weapons?

Recent comments made by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan have stoked fears that Turkey might pursue nuclear weapons. So why would Turkey need nuclear weapons, and how serious was Erdogan?

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.

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.

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.