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Provocations

On Creating the Conditions for Nuclear Disarmament: Past Lessons, Future Prospects 

by Brad Roberts 

Some basic questions about nuclear disarmament are back. The co-director of the Obama administration’s Nuclear Posture Review pulls no punches, probing deeply into that experience, coming to terms with the complexities that confront any serious effort to create the conditions for further disarmament progress, and drawing key lessons while recommending next steps.

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State of (Deterrence by) Denial 

by Representative (R-WI) Mike Gallagher 

A member of the U.S. House Armed Services Committee contends that because the era of U.S. military dominance is over, the National Defense Strategy calls for an underappreciated shift in defense planning from deterrence by punishment to denial. Unfortunately, the Pentagon is moving slowly to implement this revolutionary change.

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Will Europe Get Its Own Bomb? 

by Bruno Tertrais 

The context for the idea of a “European nuclear deterrent” is both changing and clouded by intellectual and political confusion, which this paper seeks to dispel, about the vague expression that includes some unrealistic options. Will the current NATO nuclear arrangement continue to exist? Now would be a good time for all Europeans to re-engage in this nuclear policy debate.

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Presidential Alliance Powers

by Mira Rapp-Hooper and Matthew C. Waxman 

The U.S. president wields vast powers that can weaken alliances from within, undermining American treaty guarantees through action or inaction. Congress, however, has three main ways it can influence U.S. alliance management and protect them from eroding.

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Three Visions of International Order

by Jeff D. Colgan 

Three broad visions have emerged about what to do with the international order, but each fails to be politically sustainable on at least one of three criteria. Instead, we should pursue a hybrid, or differentiated, form of international order and avoid monolithic visions.

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The Failures of the ‘Failure of Engagement’ with China

by Alastair Iain Johnston

Today’s dominant narrative about the failure of engagement with China is ahistorical and simplistic. The existing caricature of engagement policies risks narrowing the imaginable range of U.S.-China cooperation and intensifying the future U.S.-China security dilemma.

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A People-Oriented Peace Formula for the Donbass 

by Emmanuel Dreyfus and Jean-Baptiste Jeangéne Vilmer

A unique 2019-20 Ukrainian electoral sequence may well be the last chance for conflict resolution before the Donbass becomes yet another post-Soviet frozen conflict. This six-point people-oriented approach could help the future of Ukraine, Europe and the West’s relationship with Russia.

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KARGIL: 20 YEARS LATER 

SUMMER 2019  |  Volume 42  |  Number 2

How Dangerous Was Kargil? Nuclear Crises in Comparative Perspective

by Mark S. Bell and Julia Macdonald 

Treating nuclear crises as a single category of events is potentially misleading. Kargil exhibited incentives for first nuclear use, but the level of escalation was relatively controllable, meaning Kargil may have been “safer” than many have argued. Future crises, however, may be considerably more dangerous.

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From Kargil to Pulwama: How Nuclear Crises Have Changed Over 20 Years 

by T. Negeen Pegahi 

The February 2019 Pulwama crisis and the 1999 Kargil conflict between nuclear-armed India and Pakistan have important differences in how the two conflicts began, the escalation risks based on how they unfolded, and how they ended, with lessons for future crises.

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S(c)helling in Kashmir: Bargaining under the Nuclear Shadow 

by Abhijnan Rej 

“Focal points” are special features that help keep wars limited due to tacit bargaining between adversaries. Although the Line of Control was a focal point prior to the 1999 Kargil War, subsequent actions have eroded its significance. The international border, however, remains a focal point today. Should it be breached in the future, general war is all but a certainty.

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Behind the Headlines: Insights from Previous Issues 

A Eulogy for the Two-War Construct

by Jim Mitre

The Executive Director of the 2018 U.S. National Defense Strategy contends that the concept that has guided the U.S. military for a generation–the two-war construct, or the ability to fight two simultaneous wars against regional powers–is no longer the central basis to evaluate the potential performance of the U.S. military.

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The Lost Art of Long-Term Competition

by Hal Brands

Deeply versed in the challenges of long-term competition during the Cold War, the United States has had the luxury of neglecting this competency for more than a generation. Washington must reacquaint itself with 12 bedrock principles of long-term competition if it hopes to succeed in the geopolitical rivalries playing out today.

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Beijing’s Bismarckian Ghosts: How Great Powers Compete Economically

by Markus Brunnermeier, Rush Doshi and Harold James

Much focus on great power competition is military, but the central battlefield may now be economics. Yet, the twenty-first century United States-China rivalry holds an uncanny resemblance to the nineteenth century Anglo-German one, yielding a useful guide for policymakers to understand four areas of subtle and sophisticated economic competition likely to be employed, beyond the blunt levying of tariffs, and the risks likely to be incurred.

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The Day After Trump: American Strategy for a New International Order

by Rebecca Friedman Lissner and Mira Rapp-Hooper

Defending the liberal international order as an end unto itself today is a mistake. Instead, foreign policy strategists must begin to craft a new U.S. grand strategy now. Thoughtful plans for rebuilding new and needed forms of order will require advanced preparation, beginning with reassessing three fundamental assumptions of the extant international order, diagnosing threats from without and within, and designing and defining the limits of a new system.

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How Strong Is the Nuclear Taboo Today?

by Nina Tannenwald

The author who wrote the classic book revisits the state of the nuclear taboo over ten years later. In a new nuclear era and with the global normative order at risk of unraveling, she asks and answers: How strong is the taboo against the use of nuclear weapons today? How can it be strengthened?

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Perils of Polarization for U.S. Foreign Policy

by Kenneth A. Schultz 

A source of the decline of U.S. standing in the world comes from within: a long-term trend of partisan polarization in American politics which has made it harder for the United States to conduct foreign policy and to wield its diplomatic and military power in the world in four ways. Recognizing these problems may help mitigate their worst effects.

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