The CSS Blog Network

A New Beginning for European Defence

Image courtesy of European Parliament/Flickr. (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

It is time to move past institutional integration and develop practical European security capabilities.

Europe is facing multiple security challenges. Russia aims to undermine the European security order and has shown its willingness to violate other countries’ sovereignty and increase its nuclear power. The Middle East and North Africa are on fire, homegrown terrorism threatens the streets of Europe, and cyber and information warfare are on the rise.

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A Growing Strategic Gap between America and Europe?

Image courtesy of Sgt. Justin Geiger/DVIDS.

This article was originally published by War on the Rocks on 8 February 2018.

After last year’s fears that President Donald Trump would undermine NATO unity, we now have a clearer understanding of the administration’s ambition for transatlantic security. An unclassified version of the new U.S National Defense Strategy was released on Jan. 19, and it was generally well-received. Critics have lauded the strategy for clearly hierarchizing among competing priorities while others focused on funding issues, but all recognized the important shift towards prioritizing strategic competition with Russia and China (although the specifics of this competition with Moscow and Beijing are unclear), which consequently degraded the relative importance of fighting terrorism.

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The 2018 Nuclear Posture Review: Signaling Restraint with Stipulations

Image courtesy of US Air Force.

This article was originally published by the Foreign Policy Research Institute (FPRI) on 1 February 2018.

The 2018 Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) is a thoughtful, deliberative report that captures the big strategic issues facing the United States in the area of nuclear force structure.[1] This is surprising and welcome in my view. The previous two NPRs, in 2002 and 2010 respectively, were ideological tracts with little policy analysis of the strategic issues facing the United States. This one is different.

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Has a Trumpian Grand Strategy Finally Stepped into the Light?

Image courtesy of ZIPNON/Pixaby.

This article was originally published by War on the Rocks on 29 January 2018.

Much ink has been spilled in the last 12 months over whether President Donald Trump can have a grand strategy and, if so, what form it takes — or should take. Before Trump had even assumed office, Micah Zenko and Rebecca Lissner accused the president of “strategic incoherence” and a transactional approach to international relations focusing on bilateral deals. Hal Brands differed from this view by characterizing Trump’s grand strategy as “resurgent nationalism,” while other scholars argued that the president is following a Jacksonian tradition of American foreign policy based on “national honor” and “reputation.” More boldly, Richard Burt, a Cold Warrior who served at the highest levels of the U.S. national security establishment, harkened back to Nixon and Kissinger in prescribing “a grand strategy of great-power balancing” or else “all bets are off.”

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China-Russia Security Cooperation: Geopolitical Signalling with Limits

Image courtesy of padrinan/pixabay.

This article was originally published by the Finnish Institute of International Affairs (FIIA) on 16 January 2018.

Summary

China-Russia enhanced security cooperation is a form of geopolitical signalling. Despite closer relations, the coming years will tell whether such cooperation is sustainable as the relationship is expected to turn increasingly asymmetrical due to China’s continuing rise. It is unlikely that China’s relationship with Russia would turn into an actual military alliance in the future, however. China’s strategic partnership with Russia is the most comprehensive among its strategic partnerships. The two countries have also enhanced coordination in internationally topical issues. In June 2017, China and Russia signed a general plan for bilateral military cooperation for the years 2017–2020.

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