Sept. 1, 2010
Nuclear Politics in Iran
This collection of analyses on the unintended consequences of Iran’s nuclear policy for its domestic and international relations is the first in a series of papers that will examine the impact of critical issues and developments on key countries in the Greater Middle East and on U.S. security interests. Succeeding papers will identify similar emerging issues in Turkey, Iraq, Yemen, and the Persian Gulf region. For the most part, the papers will represent the independent research and opinions of academic scholars and regional experts prepared for and presented at the National Defense University.
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.
Oct. 1, 2009
Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction: Looking Back, Looking Ahead
This Occasional Paper traces the general evolution of the countering WMD enterprise in the Clinton and Bush administrations and anticipates some of the major WMD challenges that lie ahead.
May 1, 2008
International Partnerships to Combat Weapons of Mass Destruction
This Occasional Paper examines the role, manifestations, and challenges of international cooperation to combat the weapons of mass destruction threat and poses important questions for future leaders to address in moving international cooperation forward in this area.
April 1, 2007
The Future Nuclear Landscape
This Occasional Paper examines aspects of the contemporary and emerging international security environment that the authors believe will define the future nuclear landscape and identifies some associated priorities for policymakers.
July 1, 2005
Can al Qaeda Be Deterred from Using Nuclear Weapons?
This occasional paper pursues four different but complementary approaches to dissect the issue of whether acquisition of NBC/R weapons will mean employment for Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda.
May 1, 2005
Iraq and After: Taking the Right Lessons for Combating Weapons of Mass Destruction
This paper primarily focuses on Iraq; however, it also seeks to draw lessons from experiences in libya and Iran to understand better how proliferators think about WMD; the challenges in assessing the status and sophistication of developing world WMD programs; the contours of the emerging international proliferation landscape; and the efficacy of various policy instruments available to the United States for dealing with these so-called ultimate weapons.
Dec. 1, 2004
Eliminating Adversary WMD: What's at Stake?
This Occasional Paper discusses the challenges and the lessons learned during Operation Iraqi Freedom concerning WMD elimination.