Provocations

The Emerging Global Middle Class—So What?

by Mathew Burrows
Over the next few decades, a majority of the world’s population won’t be impoverished, and the middle class will become the most important social and economic sector in a majority of countries around the world, not just in the West. The principal author of the National Intelligence Council’s last three Global Trends publications argues that this represents a tectonic shift that we’re only beginning to come to grips with. Is a middle-class world sustainable?

Modi’s Strategic Choice: How to Respond to Terrorism from Pakistan

by George Perkovich and Toby Dalton
How will Indian decision makers deter and/or respond to the next terrorist attack emanating from Pakistan? The odds-on favorite among defense analysts in Delhi is air power. Unfortunately, the attraction of limited, precise air-borne strikes is offset significantly by inadequacies and risks that could even make them counterproductive.

Ukraine, Security Assurances, and Nonproliferation

by Robert Einhorn
The failure of 1994 security assurances to Ukraine has been widely viewed as a serious blow to global nuclear nonproliferation efforts. Yet, a closer look at the case and its real-world impact suggests that the damage may be much less than some observers have predicted or feared.

Nuclear Strategies of Emerging Nuclear Powers: North Korea and Iran

by Vipin Narang
Regional nuclear powers have made very different nuclear strategy choices than the Cold War superpowers did. Historically, these different strategies have been associated with distinct types of risk. Which nuclear strategies might North Korea and Iran adopt? The answer should affect the policy choices we make.

The Saudi Nuclear Genie Is Out

by Yoel Guzanky
For years, Saudi Arabia has had a nuclear hedging strategy, building up nuclear infrastructure to keep future options open. The nuclear agreement with Iran will not end the Saudi option; paradoxically, it may actually increase the probability of a nascent, slow-motion Middle Eastern nuclear arms race.

Determining U.S. Commitments in Afghanistan

by Stephen Watts and Sean Mann
Despite President Obama’s commitment to withdraw all but a minor residual force by the end of 2016, Afghanistan conditionally deserves continued U.S. support. A sustainable long-term commitment requires rethinking how the United States conducts military interventions to support fragile states.

R.A.D. (REASSURANCE, ASSURANCE, & DETERRENCE) IN ASIA

Spring 2015  |  Volume 38  |  Number 1

Uncharted Waters: Extended Deterrence and Maritime Disputes

by Mira Rapp Hooper
The U.S. nuclear umbrella is predominantly designed to deter attacks against treaty allies, but may not be finely tuned enough to engage either potential conflicts around island disputes or a potential challenger who is not a full-blown adversary. Here’s why and what can be done about it.

Assuring Japan and South Korea in the Second Nuclear Age

by David Santoro and John K. Warden
The contemporary multipolar nuclear order is more complex and unnerving to many U.S. allies. To fully assure its two Northeast Asian treaty allies, the United States must convince Japan and South Korea that extended deterrence works simultaneously for multiple nuclear-armed adversaries through a handful of key challenges and opportunities.

Japan’s Pushback of China

by Jeffrey Hornung
Despite its reputation as a reactive state, Japan since 2010 has proactively sought to politically, diplomatically, economically, and militarily expand its strategic space against an increasingly assertive China. Tokyo’s bipartisan efforts, which are different from anything Japan has ever done, have far-reaching implications.

Deterring without Dominance: Discouraging Chinese Adventurism under Austerity

by Eric Heginbotham and Jacob L. Heim
U.S. force posture in Asia does not address the primary challenges we face today. Neither would offshore balancing nor dominance, but a new strategy of active denial would do more to assure U.S. partners with a more resilient, cost-effective forward presence while reducing crisis pre-emption incentives.

 

Behind the Headlines

Afghanistan’s Legacy: Emerging Lessons of an Ongoing War

by Stephen Biddle
In an important sense, emerging debates on the war’s lessons are premature. The war in Afghanistan is not over; nor is it ending anytime soon. Nevertheless, before conventional wisdom consolidates, two observations on counterinsurgency are worth considering now: whether it can work and how to approach governance reform.

The Fool’s Errand for a Perfect Deal with Iran

by Sven-Eric Fikenscher and Robert J. Reardon
Washington is in danger of losing a good deal in the pursuit of a perfect but unachievable one. The P5+1 should set aside the effort to craft an all-at-once comprehensive bargain and instead adopt a strategy of negotiating incremental agreements with Iran.

China: The Post-Responsible Power

by Yong Deng
Something profound has occurred in Chinese foreign policy. For the last decade or so, Beijing has abandoned the global frame of reference of being a ‘‘responsible power.’’ And therein lies the challenge: if not as a responsible power, on what terms will China seek to engage the international community and redistribute global power and authority?

Prague as the Nonproliferation Pivot

by C. Raja Mohan
The Prague Agenda was the last gasp of arms control theology from another era. Washington must recognize that the rest of the world does not view WMD proliferation in as dire terms as it does, while nonproliferation will have to come to terms with the new constraints on the exercise of U.S. power.

The Rise and Fall of the Unipolar Concert

by Thomas Wright
For a generation, U.S. strategic thinking has been shaped by a Unipolar Concert—the accumulation of U.S. power and remarkable absence of major power counter-balancing or revisionism. Unfortunately, many U.S. strategists have failed to recognize that the Unipolar Concert has ended, along with the return of geopolitical competition and a significant U.S. strategic challenge.

U.S. Strategy after the Arab Uprisings: Toward Progressive Engagement

by Colin H. Kahl and Marc Lynch
The time has come to articulate a more coherent, overarching, and positive agenda for the new Middle East, focusing on encouraging political reform and broad-based engagement with emerging actors while "right-sizing" America’s military presence in the region.

Drawing Red Lines Right

by Bruno Tertrais
In the past two years, ‘‘red lines’’ have risked becoming punch lines, having been invoked so frequently in places like Iran, Syria, and Ukraine. Yet, they remain powerful policy instruments if used properly. Here’s how...