Putting Sovereignty Back in Global Order: An Indian View
by C. Raja Mohan
Over three decades, India—like many nations decolonized in the mid-20th century—has resisted the pressure to cede sovereignty in global economic and security orders even while adapting to resurgent globalism. Going forward, it is also well-placed to contribute significantly to a more sustainable order which finds a better balance between state sovereignty and the pressing imperatives of international cooperation on global issues, potentially through a new coalition of democracies.
The China Challenge: Competitor or Order Transformer?
by Wu Xinbo
The rise of China may challenge US hegemony, but not necessarily the rules-based international system. The key question is whether the US will continue to resist inevitably sharing power, or will it help manage the transition to compete with China (and other major powers) in some areas, while cooperating in other, particularly transnational, challenges in a multipolar, rules-based international order?
“Pax Americana” Is a Myth: Aversion to War Drives Peace and Order
by John Mueller
Neither US leadership nor world order itself but rather an aversion to international war is primarily responsible for the decline of international war since 1945. Thus, fears of a rising China or assertive Russia are overdrawn, there is scarcely any need for maintaining large military forces, and international anarchy, or an “unregulated” world, may prove to be entirely tolerable.
Refocusing US Grand Strategy on Pandemic and Environmental Mass Destruction
by Bruce W. Jentleson
Pandemic and environmental mass destruction prevention should be at the center of US grand strategy going forward. They constitute even more severe and imminent threats than great power competition; policies for dealing with them have greater viability with the interests of allies and partners; and they are conducive to more sustainable domestic support bases.
The Predictable Hazards of Unpredictability: Why Madman Behavior Doesn’t Work
by Samuel Seitz and Caitlin Talmadge
Do “madman” tactics yield foreign policy success? The historical record, both before Trump’s presidency and during it, demonstrates that madman tactics fail to strengthen deterrence or generate bargaining leverage with either peer competitors or “rogue states” for three reasons.
Reexamining Homeland Missile Defense against North Korea
by Jaganath Sankaran and Steve Fetter
Existing homeland missile defense against North Korea—ground-based mid-course defense—has many weaknesses, has been insufficiently tested, and is being rushed. An airborne boost-phase intercept defense may be more effective, less vulnerable to countermeasures, less likely to stimulate buildups in China and Russia, and should be explored.
Switching Umbrellas in Berlin? The Implications of Franco-German Nuclear Cooperation
by Barbara Kunz
Vagueness about the German nuclear debate—including switching to French nuclear protection—reflects widespread uncertainty about wavering American security commitments. But the debate on nuclear issues, particularly in Germany, stands in the way of the real debate on European security.
The Future of Arms Control
Rethinking Nuclear Arms Control
by Rose Gottemoeller
The former NATO Deputy Secretary General argues that arms control is not “dead,” as it seems fashionable to proclaim these days, but has three futures when in the national interest: immediate successes, such as extending New START, to regain momentum; medium-term, to confront new and complex issues; and distant, to embrace new technologies.
Stability amid Strategic Deregulation: Managing the End of Nuclear Arms Control
by Dmitri Trenin
Bilateral nuclear arms control is being succeeded in a polycentric nuclear world by deregulation. Rather than mourn arms control, we should focus on complimenting deterrence—which has been and will remain the bedrock of strategic stability—with reliable communication, contacts, transparency, and restraint among relevant parties.
Managing Nuclear Multipolarity: A Multilateral Missile Test Pre-Notification Agreement
by Frank O’Donnell
Because of asymmetries among five Asian nuclear states, structural arms control is desirable but less likely than functional arms control—addressing the practice of nuclear forces—to encourage global strategic stability. One possibility, discussed here, is a unified multilateral agreement based on three existing missile test pre-notification protocols.
Behind the Headlines
Insights from previous issues
Asia’s COVID-19 Lessons for the West: Public Goods, Privacy, and Social Tagging
by Victor Cha
Among the successful lessons, Asian cases have commonly adopted high-tech means of contact tracing, but Western political leaders are struggling over the tradeoff between using these technologies and privacy rights. Safeguards can be implemented, however, and using “social tagging” technology may be the best way forward. From our Summer 2020 issue.
Rethinking Restraint: Why It Fails in Practice
by Michael J. Mazarr
Although advocates of restraint deliver important warnings, the concept is limited by an overly binary conception of US policy, producing two essential flaws—one in diagnosis and one in prescription—that overlook the more complex, untidy realities of US policy where a potential solution lies. From our Summer 2020 issue.
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 US grand strategy, beginning with reassessing fundamental assumptions of the extant international order, diagnosing threats from without and within, and defining the limits of a new system. From our Spring 2018 issue.
The Changing Fundamentals of US-China Relations
by Evan S. Medeiros
US-China competition has become more of a condition than a strategy, leading the former NSC senior director for Asia to argue that calling for competition with China is not enough; the key debates are how the United States competes—with what tools, on what issues, and at what costs. From our Fall 2019 issue.
How Democracies Can Win the Information Contest
by Laura Rosenberger and Lindsay Gorman
Rosenberger wrote previously about the importance of democracies engaging in the information contest. Here, the coauthors address how to do so without playing autocrats’ game—the values and principles to guide a democratic approach, the steps to compete, and the ways democracies should structure themselves. How the contest is fought is vital to who wins. From our Summer 2020 issue.
Perils of Polarization for US Foreign Policy
by Kenneth A. Schultz
The long-term trend of partisan polarization in US politics has made it more difficult for the United States to conduct foreign policy and wield its diplomatic and military power in the world. How can we mitigate the worst effects? From our Winter 2017 issue.