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Journal

Destined to Lose: Xi’s Dangerous Diplomatic Game

“It was the rise of Athens and the fear that this instilled in Sparta that made war inevitable.” [1] Thucydides’ famous observation on great power conflict over two millennia ago remains true today. The spectacular rise of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) alarms the United States – and thereby Western society as whole –...

The New Missile Gap?

1957 was a year of panic. Upon hearing the news that the Soviet Union had successfully launched both Sputnik and the R-7 Intercontinental Ballistic Missile, American citizens, military planners, and policymakers looked to the sky with fear. Both launches were the first of their kind, the heavens had become a battleground, and Americans felt exposed...

A Letter from the Editors

The decades following the collapse of the Berlin Wall have been described as a “holiday from history,” in which the recurring perils of world war, social crisis, and ideological extremes were mastered by bonds of peaceful progress. [1] In recent years, however, history has returned with almost biblical vengeance in the form of wars, plagues,...

Nuclear Fission: The Political Polarization of Nuclear Weapons Issues

By virtually any measure, American domestic politics are at their most polarized point in decades. Members of Congress are increasingly unwilling to compromise, the national media landscape is fractured, and public opinion is fragmented. Recent scholarship suggests that foreign policy issues have taken on a similar polarized character.[1] However, a select few issues, such as...

Coming of Age as a Hamiltonian

Review of JFK: Volume 1: 1917-1956 by Fredrik Logevall (Random House, 2020). In February 1951, a thirty-three-year-old Congressman named Jack Kennedy appeared before the U.S. Senate’s Committee on Foreign Relations. Handsome, articulate, and reputed as an emerging authority on American foreign policy, he had just returned from a five-week tour of Europe, and by the...

Pursestrings as a Power Play

The real reward for a loan shark is what the victim will have to cough up once they realize they cannot pay up what they owe. China is a seasoned loan shark. One instance where the gravity of the nation’s Belt and Road Initiative: the infamous international lending program focused on cultivating political influence within...

Carrots Sans Sticks? No Bite

It has become fashionable to call for diplomacy separate from military action. During the 2020 Democratic primaries a number of candidates overwhelmingly endorsed “diplomacy” as an alternative to force. Candidate Donald Trump, too, called for restraint in use of force and expressed a preference for “negotiation,” bragging about his deal making skills and claiming that...

Compared to What? A New Strategic Rorschach

There is a reason that Alexander Hamilton was known for both economic and foreign policy; the two are connected by a common question: Compared to what? Thomas Sowell has popularized thinking of “compared to what?” as the fundamental economic Rorschach because it prompts people to think about trade-offs.  All too often in economic policy discussions,...

The New (Domestic) Voice of America

The prospect of returning to a prolonged period of successful American leadership in the world remains uncertain—regardless of the fact that America can correctly be considered “back” to playing its historical role. Long-overdue arguments are rightfully being debated within the foreign policy community about how to reframe what an active and engaged U.S. foreign policy...

The Nuclear Bubble: Rethinking Deterrence

Review of The Myth of the Nuclear Revolution: Power Politics in the Atomic Age by Keir Lieber and Daryl Press (Cornell University Press, 2020) The defining characteristics of the nuclear age are terror and peace.” [1] For Keir Lieber and Daryl Press, international relations scholars at Georgetown and Dartmouth, respectively, this is the defining paradox...
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