Provocations

The World of Webcraft: Using Networks Against Shadow Finance

by Anne-Marie Slaughter and Gordon LaForge
The rules-based international order must adapt to tackle networked, transnational problems or else countervailing forces will ultimately undo that order. Here’s one adaptation: use a networked coalition of government officials, investors, businesses, and watchdog groups to tackle the massive shadow financial industry fueling global inequality, organized crime, state failure, and terrorism.

Preserving the Post-War Order

by Michael J. Mazarr
The more important role of the post-1945 international order has not been to create treaties, norms, or even institutions, but to consolidate a group of over 40 states, and an accompanying web of non-state actors, that are a stabilizing gravitational core of the international system. Six fundamental elements of a U.S. grand strategy for the coming decade can help shore up that guiding coalition.

“On The Brink”—Really? Revisiting Nuclear Close Calls Since 1945

by Bruno Tertrais
Why have nuclear weapons not been used since 1945? Have we just been “lucky”? Analyzing 37 known episodes, including 25 alleged nuclear crises and 12 technical incidents, reveals that the explanation is actually that the system—human prudence and the efficiency of mechanisms devoted to the guardianship of nuclear weapons—has worked.

Fight or Flight: How to Avoid a Forever War against Jihadists

by Daniel Byman and Will McCants
U.S. aggression against jihadists on all fronts risks making terrorists more likely to attack. Addressing it requires clear guidelines about when to act: the United States should establish these three red lines for militant groups and the direct use of U.S. military force.

The Brutal Politics of China’s Economic Overhaul: What Xi Can Learn from FDR

by Timothy R. Heath
The judgment that China’s reform era is now “over” under Xi Jinping seems premature. Observers often greatly underestimate the intensity of political conflict that attends any economic reform of the scale sought by Beijing. In fact, intriguing parallels can be found in a similar drastic economic transformation—the United States in the 1930s.

The Cyclical Politics of Counterterrorism

by Adam I. Klein
Counterterrorism policy is uniquely shaped by crisis lawmaking—an unexpected attack, a hasty reaction, and a gradual reconsideration and dialing back of the strong measures initially taken—impeding counterterrorism and harming civil liberties. But there may be ways to anticipate and to some degree mitigate the effects of this inevitable cycle.

The Israeli Odyssey toward its National Cyber Security Strategy

by Dmitry (Dima) Adamsky
Israel has never had an official strategy driving its security policy, yet the conceptual aspects of its unique strategy for the cyber domain are just recently publicly available, including its historical context, main strategic components, and intellectual subtext outlined here.

INDIA'S STRATEGIC FUTURE

SUMMER 2017  |  Volume 40  |  Number 2

Has Modi Truly Changed India’s Foreign Policy?

by Sumit Ganguly
Prime Minister Modi has now completed more than half his term. While he has brought renewed energy to foreign policy and made important departures in some areas, particularly his deafening silence on nonalignment, he has mostly deepened and broadened existing ties.

Beyond India’s Quest for a Neoliberal Order

by Abhijnan Rej
The Indian neoliberal grand strategy that has guided much of its foreign and defense policy for a generation has had limited success in meeting fundamental national security objectives as demonstrated by its relationships with Pakistan, China, and the United States. What could be the alternative?

India’s Slow Emergence as a Regional Security Actor

by Arzan Tarapore
Washington’s strategic policy rests on the assumption that an increasingly powerful India will also be increasingly active in regional if not global security. Unfortunately, even India’s regional posture will remain limited and its partnership with the United States misaligned because of India’s military threat perceptions, its other relationships, and domestic constituencies that favor policy continuity.

Behind the Headlines

U.S. Strategy in an Age of Nationalism: Fortress America and its Alternatives

Hal Brands
American grand strategy will clearly have a more nationalistic flavor in years to come, but what might that entail? One model is "Fortress America," which represents a path to superpower suicide and a disordered world, but there is a more benign and constructive version, asserting U.S. interests without dismantling the post-war order. It looks like this...

The Global Rise of Personalized Politics: It’s Not Just Dictators Anymore

by Andrea Kendall-Taylor, Erica Frantz and Joseph Wright
While it may not be surprising that power in Russia rests with Vladimir Putin or in China with Xi Jinping, the personalization of politics is alarmingly accelerating to Bangladesh, Hungary, the Philippines, Poland, Turkey, and elsewhere, potentially including the United States itself.

Will China Test Trump? Lessons from Past Campaigns and Elections

by Kacie Miura and Jessica Chen Weiss
Although some might expect China to try to exploit an inexperienced President Trump, our research, emphasizing two key factors in recent behavior, suggests that Beijing is unlikely to gamble on such a risky strategy, or even probe the new administration, and is more likely to adopt a wait-and-see approach and extend an early “grace period” toward the new president.

Belligerent Minimalism: the Trump Administration and the Middle East

by Marc Lynch
As has been true for decades, the structural realities of the Middle East are likely to defeat any efforts by the Trump administration to transform the U.S. role in the region. But the greatest question of all will not be about strategy, but whether Trump rethinks any of the five U.S. interests that have remained stable for 60 years.

Inside the Iran Deal: a French Perspective

by Laurent Fabius
The then-French Foreign Minister (2012–2016) provides a fascinating insider’s account of the monumental effort from experts, diplomats, scientists, and other leaders to successfully negotiate the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) with Iran—including France’s reaction upon discovering the existence and substance of the secret U.S.–Iran talks in Oman—and draws his lessons learned, including the vigilance still required to ensure implementation.

Six Bad Options for Syria

by Daniel Byman
Syria is at a crossroads; so is U.S. policy. The range of choices is wide, but all of them are bad. A more realistic discussion of policy options should reflect their many potential advantages, limits, and costs, outlined here...

Who Lost Russia (This Time)? Vladimir Putin

by Kathryn Stoner and Michael McFaul
Neither a ‘‘too soft’’ nor ‘‘too hard’’ U.S. approach to Russia explains the recent return to a bilateral Cold War confrontation, nor was it an inevitable Russian policy. Instead, it is Vladimir Putin’s unique response to Russian domestic political and economic upheaval.