Sept. 1, 2010
Redefining Success: Applying Lessons in Nuclear Diplomacy from North Korea to Iran
The United States has no good options for resolving the North Korean and Iranian nuclear challenges. Incentives, pressures, and threats have not succeeded. A military strike would temporarily set back these programs, but at unacceptable human and diplomatic costs, and with a high risk of their reconstitution and acceleration. For some policymakers, therefore, the best option is to isolate these regimes until they collapse or pressures build to compel negotiations on U.S. terms. This option has the veneer of toughness sufficient to make it politically defensible in Washington. On closer scrutiny, however, it actually allows North Korea and Iran to continue their nuclear programs unrestrained. It also sacrifices more achievable short-term goals of improving transparency and securing vulnerable nuclear materials to the uncertain long-term goal of denuclearization. Yet these short-term goals are deemed critical to U.S. national security in the 2010 Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) and Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR).
Aug. 1, 2010
Civil-Military Relations in China: Assessing the PLA’s Role in Elite Politics
This study reviews the last 20 years of academic literature on the role of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) in Chinese elite politics. It examines the PLA’s willingness to support the continued rule of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and to obey directives from top party leaders, the PLA’s influence on the selection of China’s top civilian leaders, and the PLA’s ability to shape the domestic political environment. Over the last two decades the discussion of these three issues has largely been shaped by five trends identified in the literature: increasing PLA professionalism, bifurcation of civil and military elites, a reduced PLA role in political institutions, reduced emphasis on political work within the PLA, and increased military budgets. Together, these trends are largely responsible for the markedly reduced role of the PLA in Chinese elite politics.
June 1, 2010
Assessing Chinese Military Transparency
The United States and other countries in the Asia-Pacific region have expressed concerns about China’s expanding military capabilities and called on Beijing to increase transparency on military issues. Chinese officials and military officers argue that Chinese transparency has increased over time and that weaker countries should not be expected to meet U.S. standards of transparency. Lack of an objective method for assessing military transparency has made it difficult to assess these Chinese claims and has inhibited productive dialogues about transparency.
April 1, 2009
Cyberpower and National Security
Cyberpower and National Security frames the key issues concerned and identifies the important questions involved in building the human capacity to address cyber issues, balancing civil liberties with national security considerations, and developing the international partnerships needed to address cyber challenges. With more than two dozen contributors, Cyberpower and National Security covers it all.
May 1, 2008
The Role of Medical Diplomacy in Stabilizing Afghanistan
Comprehensive stabilization and reconstruction of Afghanistan are not possible given the current fragmentation of responsibilities, narrow lines of authorities, and archaic funding mechanisms. Afghans are supportive of U.S. and international efforts, and there are occasional signs of progress, but the insurgent threat grows as U.S. military and civilian agencies and the international community struggle to bring stability to this volatile region. Integrated security, stabilization, and reconstruction activities must be implemented quickly and efficiently if failure is to be averted. Much more than a course correction is needed to provide tangible benefits to the population, develop effective leadership capacity in the government, and invest wisely in reconstruction that leads to sustainable economic growth. A proactive, comprehensive reconstruction and stabilization plan for Afghanistan is crucial to counter the regional terrorist insurgency, much as the Marshall Plan was necessary to combat the communist threat from the Soviet Union.1 This paper examines the health sector as a microcosm of the larger problems facing the United States and its allies in efforts to stabilize Afghanistan.
March 1, 2008
DTP-047: China’s Science and Technology Emergence: A Proposal for U.S. DOD-China Collaboration in Fundamental Research
This report proposes the establishment of a constructive, phased strategy for engaging in collaborative fundamental research with Chinese academic institutions. Recent evaluations of top S&T universities and their specific capabilities suggest appropriate scientific areas where beneficial collaborations between DoD and China should be fostered.
July 1, 2003
Beyond the Mainland: Chinese Telecommunications Expansion
In most countries, expansion of the telecommunications network beyond national borders has followed diplomatic and business expansion. On this basis, an informed practitioner might be expecting the Chinese telecommunications system to spread beyond its borders sometime in the later part of this decade. However, Chinese authorities have been quick to act upon a series of unexpected opportunities for acquiring international telecommunications assets. This article discusses the international security implications of Chinese telecommunications expansion.