The CSS Blog Network

Extended (Nuclear?) Deterrence: What’s in a Word?

Image courtesy of DVIDS/Ronald Gutridge

This article was originally published by the ASPI’s The Strategist on 22 January 2019.

Over recent years, a somewhat geeky debate has emerged among the exponents of deterrence and assurance. Although the discussion typically occurs between Americans and nationals of an allied country, it’s overly simplistic to describe it as one between the US and its allies—the divisions aren’t that clear-cut.

The debate is part philosophical and part phraseological. At its core sits a single adjective. Some Americans (including policymakers) say that what the US offers its allies is ‘extended deterrence’. But a number of allied nationals (again, including policymakers) find the phrase underwhelming; they’d prefer that it read ‘extended nuclear deterrence’. And so we come directly to the crux of the argument: the presence or absence of the word ‘nuclear’ in the assurance that the US provides to its allies.

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America’s Strategic Options in the Middle East

Image courtesy of DVIDS/Arjenis Nunez

This article was originally published by the Small Wars Journal on 15 January 2019.

Before he resigned, former Defense Secretary James Mattis was reportedly working in conjunction with the Department of State to revise US policy in the Middle East.  Whatever vision Mr. Mattis had will have likely died when he left office – but he had the right idea in undertaking a review. Our strategic situation in the region has changed since the turn of the century, but our basic strategy has remained largely intact. That is not necessarily a good or bad thing, but it does suggest that a review of political-military strategy in the region is prudent.

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Prior focus: CSS Graphics

The Nexus Between Political Culture and Islamophobia

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This graphic highlights the connection between political sentiment and Islamophobia in Switzerland. To find out more about views on Islam in times of terrorism, see Darius Farman and Enzo Nussio’s addition to the CSS’ Analyses in Security Policy series here. For more CSS charts and graphics, click here.

When the China Dream and the European Dream Collide

Image courtesy of European Council President/Flickr. (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

This article was originally published by War on the Rocks on 7 January 2019.

In January 2018, the elegant Bozar theatre in Brussels was the backdrop to a People’s Republic of China video montage of key historic events on the occasion of the Chinese New Year Gala. While a Chinese singer on stage belted out a patriotic song, a large screen behind her displayed an enormous Chinese flag flying in the wind followed by film footage of key milestones including China’s first nuclear detonation, admission into the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the launching of its first aircraft carrier. Members of the audience, which included diplomats, European officials, and military representatives, collectively caught their breath while watching. It’s not that they were impressed, although they might have been. They were aghast. China’s military might, growing economic power and technological advances, have served as a wake-up call to many policymakers in Europe. Brussels’ rather outdated “missionary” narrative of helping to shape and influence China according to their policy preferences was clearly not how the future was going to unfold.

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The CSS at the 2019 World Economic Forum

Image courtesy of Myriam Dunn Cavelty

The World Economic Forum’s (WEF) annual meeting brings together global leaders from governments, companies, science and international organizations as well as societal actors. Three members of the CSS attended this year’s WEF in Davos. While Myriam Dunn Cavelty and Matteo Bonfanti joined discussions on different aspects of cybersecurity, Sophie Fischer presented on the role of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in international politics.

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