Hedging the Iran Nuclear Bet: Reinvigorate Supply-Side Nonproliferation

by David A. Cooper
Like it or not, it is not smart for the United States to walk away from the JCPOA now, but nonproliferation can be strengthened by reemphasizing supply-side efforts to impede Iran from improving its nuclear and missile capabilities from within the JCPOA framework.

Sanctions Reconsidered: the Path Forward with North Korea

by Mikael Weissmann and Linus Hagström
The authors demonstrate exactly how North Korea has managed to circumvent even smart sanctions, discussing the pros and cons of targeting particular additional areas today. While some are advisable, others can prove counterproductive.

India’s Nuclear-Armed Submarines: Deterrence or Danger?

by Diana Wueger
The INS Arihant is India’s first nuclear ballistic missile submarine, aiming to help provide a secure, assured second-strike capability. But contrary to prevailing wisdom, sea-based deterrence in South Asia is unlikely to contribute significantly to strategic stability, and may even increase crisis instability and fuel the regional conventional and nuclear arms races already underway.

Leveraging Security Cooperation as Military Strategy

by Tommy Ross
The deputy assistant secretary of defense argues that security cooperation is often viewed as an episodic luxury or, conversely, a magical deux ex machina to solve intractable problems. Instead, security cooperation should be reconceptualized to effectively advance U.S. strategic aims.


FALL 2016  |  Volume 39  |  Number 3

China: Challenger or Challenged?

by David M. Lampton
China under Xi Jinping appears headed toward one of two very different outcomes—strongman or disorder—each worrisome and enormously consequential. What are the roots of this uncertainty? How might the United States best respond?

Contemplating China’s Future

by David Shambaugh
As diminishing economic returns have set in, China is approaching a series of turning points on its transformative path. If China stays on its current road, atrophy and the protracted political decline of the CCP would result, although not its collapse. There are, however, three alternative paths for China.

The Beginning of the End

by Minxin Pei
The convergence of two trends—empowerment of society and regime decay—that could spell the end of one-party rule in China is just beginning. The end may not be imminent for the Party, but it has, in all probability, begun. A key indicator to watch will be the issue of designating Xi’s successor at the 19th National Congress in fall 2017.

To Forget or Remember? China’s Struggle with its Past

by Orville Schell
We are witnessing history’s revenge, or more accurately, the revenge of distorted history. The CCP’s interpretation (its perception of unending victimization at the hands of foreigners) has made it push unrepentantly into the South and East China Sea, and reject the Hague ruling, to defend a sovereign claim that it alone imagines as part of its historical legacy.

The Qing Dynasty’s Past and the Communist Party’s Future

by Jeffrey Wasserstrom
Historical analogies used for predictions are usually wrong, and two predictions from events in the Qing Dynasty—George Macartney’s attempt to establish full diplomatic relations between London and Beijing in 1793, and the Boxer Uprising in 1900—hold lessons for present possibilities.

Behind the Headlines

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.

After TPP: the Geopolitics of Asia and the Pacific

by Michael J. Green and Matthew P. Goodman
Trade has always defined order and power in the Asia-Pacific. The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), while not perfect, can help positively shape regional order, the balance of power, and a rising China, and ultimately help sustain the post-war US-led global order itself.

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...

The Price of Inattention: A Survivable North Korean Nuclear Threat?

by Mitchel B. Wallerstein
The former Clinton administration official unveils progress that North Korea has made on four parallel nuclear and missile initiatives that could soon amount to a survivable, strategic nuclear capability. As a result, it is time for the United States to state unambiguously that it will impose secondary sanctions and resort to pre-emptive military action if Pyongyang performs additional nuclear or missile tests or deploys certain new and threatening military systems.

Has U.S. China Policy Failed?

by Harry Harding
The United States is immersed in its most intense China policy debate in decades, which will almost certainly get more heated and public in 2016. For a variety of reasons, reviewed here, dissatisfaction with China’s domestic and international evolution has become widespread as has pessimism about the future of U.S.–China relations, leading to a growing debate over three broad ways to revise U.S. policy.

Great Expectations: Iran after the Deal

by Mehdi Khalaji
Iran’s policy toward nuclear talks changed not because of Rouhani’s election in 2013, but because of Supreme Leader Khamenei in 2011. Yet the future of that agreement, whose significance in Iran is comparable to the 1987 ceasefire with Iraq, depends on continuing political will, which could be disrupted by at least three factors inside Iran.

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.