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  • Author: Victor Esin
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland (CISSM)
  • Abstract: The stabilizing role of the INF Treaty is still relevant. Its importance has even increased against the background of the sharp deterioration of relations between Russia and the West in recent years due to the well-known events in Ukraine, aggravated by mutual sanctions and NATO’s military build-up near Russian borders. Preserving the INF Treaty, which has now become the subject of controversy and mutual non-compliance accusations between Russia and the United States, is therefore doubly important.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Nuclear Weapons, Military Strategy, Nonproliferation, Deterrence
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe
  • Author: Naoko Aoki
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland (CISSM)
  • Abstract: After conducting a record number of missile and nuclear tests in 2016 and 2017, North Korea dramatically changed its policy approach and embarked on a diplomatic initiative in 2018. It announced a self-imposed halt on missile and nuclear tests and held summit meetings with the United States, China, and South Korea from spring of that year. Why did North Korea shift its policy approach? This paper evaluates four alternative explanations. The first is that the change was driven by North Korea’s security calculus. In other words, North Korea planned to achieve its security goals first before turning to diplomacy and successfully followed through with this plan. The second is that U.S. military threats forced North Korea to change its course. The third is that U.S.-led sanctions caused North Korea to shift its policy by increasing economic pain on the country. The fourth is that diplomatic initiatives by South Korea and others prompted North Korea to change its position. This paper examines the actions and statements of the United States, North Korea, China, South Korea, and Russia leading up to and during this period to assess these four explanations. It concludes that military threats and economic pain did not dissuade North Korea from obtaining what it considered an adequate level of nuclear deterrence against the United States and that North Korea turned to diplomacy only after achieving its security goals. External pressure may have encouraged North Korea to speed up its efforts to develop the capacity to strike the United States with a nuclear-armed missile, the opposite of its intended effect. Diplomatic and economic pressure may have compelled Kim Jong Un to declare that North Korea had achieved its “state nuclear force” before conducting all the nuclear and ballistic missile tests needed to be fully confident that it could hit targets in the continental United States. These findings suggest that if a pressure campaign against North Korea is to achieve its intended impact, the United States has to more carefully consider how pressure would interact with North Korean policy priorities. Pressure should be applied only to pursue specific achievable goals and should be frequently assessed for its impact.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Nuclear Weapons, Military Strategy, Nonproliferation, Deterrence
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, China, Asia, South Korea, North Korea
  • Author: Nancy Gallagher
  • Publication Date: 08-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland (CISSM)
  • Abstract: China and the United States view each other as potential adversaries with mixed motives and divergent value systems, yet both can benefit from cooperation to reduce the risk of war, avert arms races, and prevent proliferation or terrorist access to weapons of mass destruction. The two countries have more common interests, fewer ideological differences, and greater economic interdependence than the United States and the Soviet Union had during the Cold War. In principle, arms control broadly defined, i.e., cooperation to reduce the likelihood of war, the level of destruction should war occur, the cost of military preparations, and the role of threats and use of force in international relations, could be at least as important in this century as it was in the last. In practice, though, China’s rise as a strategic power has not been matched by a corresponding increase in the kinds of cooperative agreements that helped keep the costs and risks of superpower competition from spiraling out of control. Why not? This paper argues that because China’s strategy rests on different assumptions about security and nuclear deterrence than U.S. strategy does, its ideas about arms control are different, too. China has historically put more value on broad declarations of intent, behavioral rules, and self-control, while the United States has prioritized specific quantitative limits on capabilities, detailed verification and compliance mechanisms, and operational transparency. When progress has occurred, it has not been because China finally matched the United States in some military capability, or because Chinese officials and experts “learned” to think about arms control like their American counterparts do. Rather, it has happened when Chinese leaders believed that the United States and other countries with nuclear weapons were moving toward its ideas about security cooperation--hopes that have repeatedly been disappointed. Understanding Chinese attitudes toward security cooperation has gained added importance under the Trump administration for two reasons. Trump’s national security strategy depicts China and Russia as equally capable antagonists facing the United States in a “new era of great power competition,” so the feasibility and desirability of mutually beneficial cooperation with China have become more urgent questions. The costs and risks of coercive competition will keep growing until both sides accept that they outweigh whatever benefits might accrue from trying to maximize power and freedom of action in a tightly interconnected world.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Nuclear Weapons, Military Strategy, Nonproliferation
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Taiwan, Asia
  • Author: Sara Z. Kutchesfahani
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland (CISSM)
  • Abstract: This paper analyzes China’s words and actions regarding the Nuclear Security Summits to better understand what Chinese leadership on nuclear security could look like in the future. It finds that China accomplished the many things it said it would do during the summit process. The paper also explores how China’s policy and actions in other nuclear arenas could be paired with Chinese nuclear security policy to form a coherent agenda for nuclear risk reduction writ large. Consequently, the paper addresses how China doing as it says and does – per nuclear security – may be used as a way in which to inform its future nuclear security roles and responsibilities. In particular, it assesses China’s opportunities to assume a leadership role within this crucial international security issue area, especially at a time where U.S. leadership has waned.
  • Topic: Security, Diplomacy, Military Strategy, Nuclear Power
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Beijing, Asia
  • Author: Nilsu Gören
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland (CISSM)
  • Abstract: Turkey and NATO are experiencing a mutual crisis of confidence. Turkish policy makers lack confidence in NATO guarantees and fear abandonment—both prominent historical concerns. At the same time, policy makers within the alliance have begun to question Turkey’s intentions and future strategic orientation, and how well they align with NATO’s. One important factor contributing to this mistrust is Turkey’s recent dealings with Russia. Turkey is trying to contain Russian military expansion in the Black Sea and Syria by calling for a stronger NATO presence at the same time that is seeking to diversify its security strategy by improving ties with Russia and reducing its dependence on the United States and NATO. Turkey’s contradictory stance is no more apparent than in its evolving policy regarding the Syrian civil war. The threat topography of NATO’s southern flank reflects a complex web of state and non-state actors involved in asymmetric warfare. The Turkish shoot down of a Russian jet in 2015 highlighted the complexity and helped to precipitate military dialogue between NATO and Russia in Syria. Since then, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan seem to have overcome their strategic differences in their preferred outcome for Syria and have de-escalated the tensions following several rounds of peace talks headed by Russia, Turkey, and Iran and involving some, but not all, factions involved in the Syrian conflict. Yet several important questions about Turkish security policy and its impact on Turkish-U.S./NATO relations remain. What are the security implications of Turkey’s military actions on the southern flank? How is the continued fight against extremism in the region, including ISIS, likely to affect relations? And how should the West respond to Turkey’s security ties with Russia, including the Russian sale of advance military equipment to Ankara? The answers to all of these questions depend in part on whether Turkey’s behavior with Russia in Syria is a tactical move or a strategic shift away from NATO. Understanding these dynamics is key to devising policies and actions to minimize security risks between the U.S., NATO, and Russia. This paper argues that Turkey has economic and political interests in developing closer relations with Russia, but that these interests are not as strong as Turkey’s strategic alliance with the West, and NATO in particular. Turkish policymakers, who lack confidence in NATO, are pursuing short-term security interests in Syria as a way to leverage Western acquiescence to their interests regarding the Kurdish populations in Syria and Iraq. These objectives, however, are not aligned with Russia’s security objectives and do not add up to a sustainable long-term regional security strategy. In the short term, Turkey’s contradictory approaches to relations with NATO and Russia are likely to lead to ambiguity and confusion in the regional security architecture, with Syria being the most visible example of this disarray. To combat this approach, U.S. leadership and NATO should work to convince Turkey that the alliance takes Turkish security concerns in Syria seriously and to minimize the risks of Turkey’s acts as a spoiler in the region. For instance, addressing Turkish concerns over Washington’s arming of the Kurdish rebel group, the YPG, in northern Syria, will go a long way to resolving the key issue motivating Turkey’s decision to partner with Russia.
  • Topic: NATO, National Security, Regional Cooperation, Military Strategy
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, Turkey, Syria
  • Author: Charles Harry, Nancy Gallagher
  • Publication Date: 02-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland (CISSM)
  • Abstract: Publicity surrounding the threat of cyber-attacks continues to grow, yet immature classification methods for these events prevent technical staff, organizational leaders, and policy makers from engaging in meaningful and nuanced conversations about the risk to their organizations or critical infrastructure. This paper provides a taxonomy of cyber events that is used to analyze over 2,431 publicized cyber events from 2014-2016 by industrial sector. Industrial sectors vary in the scale of events they are subjected to, the distribution between exploitive and disruptive event types, and the method by which data is stolen or organizational operations are disrupted. The number, distribution, and mix of cyber event types highlight significant differences by sector, demonstrating that strategies may vary based on deeper understandings of the threat environment faced across industries. EXPLORE:
  • Topic: Security, Science and Technology, Cybersecurity
  • Political Geography: United States, Washington, D.C.
  • Author: Nancy Gallagher, Theresa Hitchens
  • Publication Date: 03-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland (CISSM)
  • Abstract: As use of the Internet has become critical to global economic development and international security, there is near-unanimous agreement on the need for more international cooperation to increase stability and security in cyberspace. Several multilateral initiatives over the last five years have begun to spell out cooperative measures, norms of behavior, and transparency and confidence-building measures (TCBMs) that could help improve mutual cybersecurity. These efforts have been painstakingly slow, and some have stalled due to competing interests. Nonetheless, a United Nations (UN) Group of Governmental Experts (GGE) and the Organization for Cooperation and Security in Europe (OSCE) have achieved some high-level agreement on principles, norms, and “rules of the road” for national Internet activities and transnational cyber interactions. Their agreements include commitments to share more information, improve national protective capacities, cooperate on incident response, and restrain certain destabilizing state practices. Voluntary international agreements are worth little, unless states implement their commitments. So far, implementation has been crippled by vague language, national security considerations, complex relations between public and private actors in cyberspace, and privacy concerns. This is particularly true regarding the upfront sharing of information on threats and the willingness of participants to cooperate on incident investigations, including identifying perpetrators. With multilateral forums struggling to find a way forward with norm-setting and implementation, alternate pathways are needed to protect and build on what has been accomplished so far. Different strategies can help advance implementation of measures in the UN and OSCE agreements. Some commitments, such as establishing and sharing information about national points of contact, are best handled unilaterally or through bilateral or regional inter-governmental cooperation. Other objectives, such as protecting the core architecture and functions of the Internet that support trans-border critical infrastructure and underpin the global financial system, require a multi-stakeholder approach that includes not only governments but also private sector service providers, academic experts, and nongovernmental organizations. This paper compares what the GGE and OSCE norm-building processes have achieved so far and what disagreements have impeded these efforts. It identifies several priorities for cooperation identified by participants in both forums. It also proposes three practical projects related to these priorities that members of regional or global organizations might be able to work on together despite political tensions and philosophical disputes. The first would help state and non-state actors share information and communicate about various types of cybersecurity threats using a flexible and intuitive effects-based taxonomy to categorize cyber activity. The second would develop a more sophisticated way for state and non-state actors to assess the risks of different types of cyber incidents and the potential benefits of cooperation. The third would identify aspects of the Internet that might be considered the core of a public utility, worthy of special protection in their own right and for their support of trans-border critical infrastructure.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, United Nations, Infrastructure, Cybersecurity
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe
  • Author: Naoko Aoki
  • Publication Date: 07-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland (CISSM)
  • Abstract: Policy-makers, scholars, and analysts disagree about whether North Korea will take any meaningful denuclearization steps after its leader Kim Jong Un met with U.S. President Donald Trump in Singapore in June 2018. Many believe that the breakdowns of the 1994 Agreed Framework and the Six Party Talks process in the 2000s show that North Korea’s nuclear weapons program cannot be constrained through cooperation. According to this view, Pyongyang violated its previous commitments once it received economic and political benefits, and it will do so again. The underlying assumption is that Washington was fully implementing its own commitments until Pyongyang broke the deal. But is this true? This paper discusses three key findings drawn from an analysis of U.S. implementation of past denuclearization agreements with North Korea. The first is that the United Stated did not always follow through with its cooperative commitments because of domestic political constraints, even when North Korea was fulfilling its commitments. This makes it difficult to determine whether North Korea ultimately did not honor its obligations because it never intended to or because it was responding to U.S. actions. The second is that some parts of past deals were more susceptible than others to being undercut by domestic opposition because they received insufficient political attention. The third is that such domestic interference could be minimized by obtaining the widest possible coalition of domestic support from the negotiation stage. The roadmap for North Korea’s denuclearization is unclear, as the Singapore summit did not determine concrete steps toward that goal. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s visit to Pyongyang in early July also did not yield specifics such as the scope and timeline of denuclearization. But based on the findings from past agreements, this paper argues that the only way for the United States to find out if engagement will work this time is to test North Korea’s intentions by carrying out Washington’s own cooperative commitments more consistently than in the past.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Nuclear Weapons, Military Strategy, Nonproliferation, Deterrence
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, China, Asia, South Korea, North Korea, Korea
  • Author: Theresa Hitchens
  • Publication Date: 08-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland (CISSM)
  • Abstract: Over the past decade, concerns about ensuring sustainability and security in outer space have led the international community to pursue a range of governance initiatives. Governance issues regarding the use of space are complicated because of the physical realities of the space environment and because of the legal status of space as a global resource. As the number of space users grows and the types of activities in space expand, competition for access to space will only continue to grow. Different space actors have different priorities and perceptions regarding space challenges. As more and more militaries around the world turn to space assets, the potential development of counterspace weapons also increases tensions. Ongoing multilateral work on space governance has concentrated primarily on voluntary measures. There have been three major multilateral governance initiatives in the field. The three—the EU Code of Conduct, the COPUOS Working Group on the Long-term Sustainability of Outer Space Activities, and the UN Group of Governmental Experts (GGE) on transparency and confidence-building measures—were related to each other, but each aimed to address slightly different aspects of the governance problem. This paper reviews these initiatives and elucidates ways to forward their progress, for instance, by fully implementing the GGE recommendations, the establishment of national focal points for data exchange, and by fully implementing the UN Registry of Outer Space Objects. It also looks to identify additional steps beyond current activities at the multilateral level for establishing a foundational space governance framework, including institutionalizing the UN Space Debris Mitigation Guidelines; establishing a public space situational awareness database; and examining ways to move forward discussion on active debris removal, national legal obligations regarding military activities, and space traffic management.
  • Topic: United Nations, Military Strategy, European Union, Space
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe
  • Author: Rachael Gosnell
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland (CISSM)
  • Abstract: While concern about renewed international competition in the Arctic has attracted significant attention, the continuation of cooperation and adherence to international rules and norms of behavior is a far more likely outcome. The magnitude of activity in the region remains below historic Cold War levels and accounts for a very small percentage of overall global military activity. Further, stakeholders have thus far exhibited adherence to international law, and venues for dialogue offer an alternative to an Arctic security dilemma. Sound adherence to the principles of deterrence, international norms, and continued cooperation in forums such as the Arctic Council will ensure the region remains stable into the future.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, Military Strategy
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, Arctic