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  • Author: Charles Glaser
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Scholars and policy-makers in the United States commonly worry that a lack of "energy security" is hurting U.S. national security, yet little of their analysis actually links energy requirements with the probability of military conflict. Energy security is usually defined as "the reliable and affordable supply of energy," and most analyses focus on the physical security of oil supplies, the increasing price of oil, and the economic costs of oil disruptions. Their key recommendations call for the United States to reduce oil imports, decrease its vulnerability to oil supply disruptions, and prepare strategies for managing available supplies when disruptions occur. Not linking these energy issues directly to possibilities for international conflict leaves an important gap in our analysis. International conflict lies at the heart of standard conceptions of U.S. national security. Issues that are judged to engage U.S. national security are typically granted top priority on the national agenda, are given entitlement to U.S. resources, and are frequently thought to warrant the use of military force. Thus, without exploring the links between energy requirements and military conflict, we risk conflating U.S. national security with U.S. prosperity, and misjudging the nature of the challenges facing the United States.
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Jeff D. Colgan
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: What roles do oil and energy play in international conflict? In public debates, the issue often provokes significant controversy. Critics of the two U.S.-led wars against Iraq (in 1991 and 2003) charged that they traded "blood for oil," and that they formed a part of an American neo-imperialist agenda to control oil in the Middle East. The U.S. government, on the other hand, explicitly denied that the wars were about oil, especially in 2003. U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld argued that the war "has nothing to do with oil, literally nothing to do with oil," a theme echoed by White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer.
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Middle East
  • Author: Benjamin H. Friedman, Justin Logan, Campbell Craig, Brendan Rittenhouse Greenspan, Stephen Brooks, G. John Inkenberry, William Wohlforth
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: In making their case for maintaining the United States' policy of "deep engagement," Stephen Brooks, John Ikenberry, and William Wohlforth stress that the U.S. security commitment to states in Europe, the Middle East, and East Asia, together with the formidable specter of American preponderance, stifles regional rivalries and hinders the resurgence of a dangerous era of multipolar power politics. The authors contend that a policy of U.S. retrenchment could spark the "return of insecurity and conflict among Eurasian powers," whereas a continuing policy of deep engagement, by "supplying re- assurance, deterrence, and active management . lowers security competition in the world's key regions, thereby preventing the emergence of a hothouse atmosphere for growing new military capabilities." In short, they suggest, deep engagement reduces the chances of a major Eurasian war; a new strategy of retrenchment would increase them.
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Alex Bellamy, Robert Pape
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: In a recently published piece, Robert Pape makes some misleading and erroneous comments on my published work. First, Pape writes, "Alex Bellamy, a staunch advocate of R2P [the responsibility to protect initiative], catalogues episodes of mass atrocities to clarify 'R2P's preventive agenda,' with a total of twenty-one qualifying for intervention from 1990 to 2010". Pape provides no reference to support this statement. In truth, I have never produced a list of "cases" that "qualified" for intervention. The datasets that I have produced relate to cases where the lowest casualty estimates suggest that at least 5,000 noncombatants were intentionally killed. Nowhere have I suggested that this "qualifies" these cases for intervention. Actually, I have been generally critical of abstract talk about criteria and thresholds for armed intervention, as well as the pervasive and erroneous tendency to treat R2P as synonymous with humanitarian intervention, both of which I believe to be disconnected from political realities. Since I began working on R2P a decade ago, I have repeatedly expressed caution about the use of force for protection purposes for reasons similar to those aired by Pape last year. In my first book on R2P, I concluded that "non-consensual force is a highly unreliable form of protection."
  • Author: Nuno P. Monteiro
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Since the collapse of the Soviet Union more than two decades ago, the United States has been the world's sole great power. It maintains a military that is one order of magnitude more powerful than any other; defense spending close to half of global military expenditures; a blue-water navy superior to all others combined; a chance at a splendid nuclear first strike over its erstwhile foe, Russia; a defense research and development budget that is 80 percent of the total defense expenditures of its most obvious future competitor, China; and unmatched global power-projection capabilities. The post-Cold War international system is thus unipolar.
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, China
  • Author: Michael Beckley
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: According to the Global Language Monitor, which tracks the top 50,000 media sources throughout the world, the "rise of China" has been the most read-about news story of the twenty-first century, surpassing the September 11 terrorist attacks, the Iraq War, the election of Barack Obama, and the British royal wedding. One reason for the story's popularity, presumably, is that the rise of China entails the decline of the United States. While China's economy grows at 9 percent annually, the United States reels from economic recession, costly wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and massive budget deficits. This divergence in fortunes has produced two pieces of conventional wisdom in U.S. and Chinese foreign policy debates. First, the United States is in decline relative to China. Second, much of this decline is the result of globalization-the integration of national economies and resultant diffusion of technology from developed to developing countries-and the hegemonic burdens the United States bears to sustain globalization.
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, China, Iraq, America
  • Author: Ole Theisen, Helge Holtermann, Halvard Buhaug
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Climate change will most likely impose great hardships on Africa's agrarian societies in the coming years, but new research suggests that, despite current thought, it will not increase the likelihood of civil war. The concern that scarcity will breed conflict is understandable, but the data show that civil war is more highly correlated with other factors, such as high infant mortality, proximity to international borders, and high local population density. Climate shocks are certain to increase the suffering of marginalized societies in other ways, which makes it all the more important that we do not militarize the issue lest fear limit immigration and relief efforts.
  • Topic: Climate Change, International Organization
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: David Ekbladh
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Security studies is commonly thought to have emerged as a response to the Cold War, but its roots reach much further back. Historian Edward Mead Earle and his colleagues first addressed the problem of security to cope with the unraveling of the international order in the 1930s. Earle was instrumental in paving the way for security studies as it exists today, laying the foundations for an important discipline that seeks to combine history, economics, and political science to build bridges between the government and academia and use scientific inquiry to inform policy and guide grand strategy.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Cold War
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: David C. Kang
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: The motivations of North Korea's leaders and people have long been a mystery, frustrating policymakers who must decide whether to pursue a relationship with the government or attempt to isolate the rogue state, but new literature reveals that the North Korean people and their government operate more normally than most people think. This literature also suggests that policies designed to minimize North Korea's military threat may hurt efforts to improve the lives of its citizens and vice versa. Given this difficulty and the recent regime change, efforts to understand North Korea before making and implementing policy decisions are more important than ever.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: North Korea
  • Author: Bryan Rice
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Late in the evening of May 1, 2011, President Barack Obama announced to the nation that Osama bin Laden was dead. Earlier that day, the president had ordered a team of elite military forces deep into Pakistan to kill the mastermind behind the September 11 terrorist attacks, which had shocked the country and the world nearly ten years before. During his speech, President Obama said that he had told his new director of central intelligence, Leon Panetta, that getting bin Laden was the number one priority in the United States' counterterrorism strategy against al-Qaida. Upon hearing of bin Laden's death, Americans broke out in spontaneous celebration, and pundits immediately began speculating about its symbolic and operational importance. But what does bin Laden's death mean, if anything, for the future of al-Qaida? More broadly, what does it mean when terrorist groups experience leadership decapitation.
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, United States