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  • Author: Patrick Johnston
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Targeting of militant leaders is central to many states' national security strategies, but does it work? What should policymakers expect when armed forces capture or kill militant leaders? Is leadership decapitation more likely to succeed or fail under certain conditions? These questions have never been more pressing than after the May 2011 killing of al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden. As relevant as these questions are to current U.S. policy and strategy, they are also fundamental questions of asymmetric warfare. They matter because almost all policies of "high-value" targeting require difficult judgments concerning both the potential consequences and the opportunity costs of targeting militant leaders. The decision to target enemy leaders requires that policymakers adjudicate among numerous difficult, and potentially contradictory, choices. Leadership targeting strategies affect how states allocate scarce military, intelligence, and economic resources; how they construct their counterinsurgency or counterterrorism postures; and how interested foreign and domestic audiences react to their behavior.
  • Topic: Economics, Intelligence
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Robert A. Pape
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: On March 18, 2011, President Barack Obama announced the U.S. government's commitment to an international military intervention in Libya, declaring, "We're protecting innocent civilians within Libya" from Muammar Qaddafi's forces to prevent "a humanitarian crisis." Within days, an international coalition of Western and Arab states launched air strikes that halted the Libyan government forces' offensive against the rebel stronghold of Benghazi and the roughly 2 million people living in the eastern region of the country. Within weeks, major international economic resources began ºowing to rebel-controlled areas to help strengthen their ability to remain independent from Qaddafi's control. Within months, Qaddafi's grip on the western portions of the country crumbled. Now, many policymakers and scholars recognize the Libyan mission as a significant success for international humanitarian intervention according to the main yardstick of saving many lives with no loss of life among the interveners.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: United States, Libya
  • Author: Vipin Narang
  • Publication Date: 01-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: On November 26, 2008, terrorists from Lashkar-e-Taiba—a group historically supported by the Pakistani state—launched a daring sea assault from Karachi, Pakistan, and laid siege to India's economic hub, Mumbai, crippling the city for three days and taking at least 163 lives. The world sat on edge as yet another crisis between South Asia's two nuclear-armed states erupted with the looming risk of armed conºict. But India's response was restrained; it did not mobilize its military forces to retaliate against either Pakistan or Lashkar camps operating there. A former Indian chief of Army Staff, Gen. Shankar Roychowdhury, bluntly stated that Pakistan's threat of nuclear use deterred India from seriously considering conventional military strikes. 1 Yet, India's nuclear weapons capability failed to deter subconventional attacks in Mumbai and Delhi, as well as Pakistan's conventional aggression in the 1999 Kargil War. Why are these two neighbors able to achieve such different levels of deterrence with their nuclear weapons capabilities? Do differences in how these states operationalize their nuclear capabilities—their nuclear postures—have differential effects on dispute dynamics?
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, United States, South Asia, India, Mumbai
  • Author: Daniel Byman, Jennifer Lind
  • Publication Date: 08-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: In the early 1990s, many observers predicted that Kim Il-sung's regime would not survive the cessation of Russian aid and the resulting downward spiral of North Korea's economy. Speculation about regime collapse intensified when the less charismatic Kim Jong-il succeeded his father in 1994, and again after the 1996–97 famine that killed upwards of a million North Koreans. Gen. Gary Luck, commander of U.S. forces in Korea, declared in 1997 that North Korea would “dis - integrate.” That same year, a U.S. government and outside team of experts predicted regime collapse within five years. Another decade brought more prognostications: in 2000 Director of Central Intelligence George Tenet warned that “sudden, radical, and possibly dangerous change remains a real possibility in North Korea, and that change could come at any time.” Three years later, U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz said that North Korea was “teetering on the edge of economic collapse.” Contemporary accounts warn that the regime is threatened by the growing flow of information into the country or by popular outcry touched off by the government's 2009 bungling of currency reform.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: United States, North Korea
  • Author: Miroslav Nincic
  • Publication Date: 08-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Positive inducements as a strategy for dealing with regimes that challenge core norms of international behavior and the national interests of the United States ("renegade regimes") contain both promises and pitfalls. Such inducements, which include policy concessions and economic favors, can serve two main purposes: (1) arranging a beneficial quid pro quo with the other side, and (2) catalyzing, via positive engagement, a restructuring of interests and preferences within the other side's politico-economic system (such that quid pro quos become less and less necessary). The conditions for progress toward either purpose can vary, as can the requirements for sufficient and credible concessions on both sides and the obstacles in the way of such concessions. For renegade regimes, a primary consideration involves the domestic purposes that internationally objectionable behavior can serve. An examination of the cases of North Korea, Iran, and Libya finds that negative pressures have been relatively ineffective, suggesting that more attention should be given to the potential for positive inducements to produce better outcomes.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran, North Korea, Libya
  • Author: Christina L. Davis
  • Publication Date: 03-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: How do states use economic-security linkages in international bargaining? Governments can provide economic benefits as a side payment to reinforce security cooperation and use close security ties as a source of bargaining leverage in economic negotiations. Domestic political pressures, however, may constrain the form of linkage. First, economic side payments are more likely to be chosen in areas that will not harm the key interests of the ruling party. Second, involvement by the legislature pushes governments toward using security ties as bargaining leverage for economic gains. Evidence from negotiations between Britain and Japan during the Anglo-Japanese alliance of 1902 to 1923 supports the constraining role of domestic politics. Economic-security linkages occurred as Britain gave favorable economic treatment to Japan in order to strengthen the alliance. Economic competition between the allies, however, made it difficult for Britain to grant asymmetrical economic benefits. In tariff negotiations where business interests had more influence in the domestic policy process, the alliance was used as leverage to force reciprocity.
  • Topic: Security, Diplomacy, Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: Britain, Japan
  • Author: Christopher Layne
  • Publication Date: 07-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Over the next two decades, international politics will be shaped by whether the international system remains unipolar or is transformed into a multipolar system. Can the United States sustain its primacy? Or will the emergence of new great powers reorder the distribution of power in the international system? If U.S. power is waning, will power transition dynamics result in security competitions and an increased possibility of war? In particular, what are the implications of China's rapid ascent to great power status? If the United States is unable to preserve its hegemonic role, what will happen to the security and economic frameworks that it took the lead in creating after the end of World War II and that have provided the foundation for the international order ever since? In a world no longer defined by U.S. hegemony, what would become of globalization and the open international economic system that the United established after World War II and expanded after the Cold War ended? This essay reviews five publications that grapple with these questions: Stephen G. Brooks and William C. Wohlforth, World Out of Balance: International Relations and the Challenge of American Primacy; Parag Khanna, The Second World: Empires and Influence in the New Global Order; Kishore Mahbubani, The New Asian Hemisphere: The Irresistible Shift of Global Power to the East; National Intelligence Council, Global Trends 2025: A Transformed World; and Fareed Zakaria, The Post-American World.
  • Topic: Economics, War
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Asia