47358 (Author at Cato Institute) https://www.cato.org/rss/people/47358 en It Is Time to Relinquish America’s Global Interventionist Foreign Policy https://www.cato.org/blog/it-time-relinquish-americas-global-interventionist-foreign-policy?utm_source=rss_author&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=rss John Glaser, Christopher A. Preble, A. Trevor Thrall <p>We have <a href="https://www.iiss.org/publications/survival/2019/survival-global-politics-and-strategy-octobernovember-2019/615-03-glaser-preble-and-thrall">an article</a> published in the latest edition of <em><a href="https://www.iiss.org/publications/survival/2019/survival-global-politics-and-strategy-octobernovember-2019">Survival</a></em> critiquing America’s foreign policy of global interventionism and making the case for a grand strategy of restraint. Here are some excerpts:</p> <blockquote><p>The United States should reject the myths of primacy and the hyperactive foreign policy it has promoted. The United States is not the indispensable nation. Nor is it insecure. Nor is it capable of micromanaging the world’s affairs efficiently and effectively from Washington. In this light, the United States should pursue a more modest foreign-policy agenda that facilitates global trade and focuses more narrowly on the physical security of the homeland, while worrying less about trying to police the world.</p> <p>…[A]lthough the American foreign-policy establishment sees US power as the linchpin of the global order and the United States as an indispensable nation, the truth is that many of the trends contributing to stability and economic growth are emergent phenomena, occasionally helped and occasionally hurt by US foreign policy, but driven by factors largely exogenous to US designs. Fortunately, many countries benefit from the relative peace and prosperity that prevails today and are therefore motivated to help preserve it. At this pivotal moment in history, America’s leaders should seek to lock in those attitudes and build a more resilient global order that is not overly dependent on a single dominant state.</p> <p>…One thing Trump’s presidency proves is that even a commander-in-chief averse to the imperial responsibilities of primacy will not readily shirk them. Power does not check itself, either in the international domain or the domestic…Donald Trump’s ascendance to the highest office in the nation nearly three years ago was perhaps the most compelling illustration of the hazards of vesting the presidency with so much unbridled power. We share many of the concerns voiced by the foreign-policy establishment about what Trump has done, and might yet do, to US foreign policy, and how detrimental it could be to the stability of the international system. But any world order that depends for its survival on the whims of a single person in a single branch of government in a single country is simply untenable. Trump seems to have come along at the tail end of America’s ‘unipolar moment’, and the relative decline in US power is yet another reason to revise American grand strategy to accommodate changing conditions in an increasingly multipolar world.</p> </blockquote> <p>We also lay out some guidelines for how to implement a more modest set of foreign policy objectives and for how to reconceptualize what qualifies as vital national interests under restraint. Do read <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00396338.2019.1662131?tokenDomain=eprints&amp;tokenAccess=U9KEJT7VW79WTDNGIHZZ&amp;forwardService=showFullText&amp;target=10.1080%2F00396338.2019.1662131&amp;doi=10.1080%2F00396338.2019.1662131&amp;doi=10.1080%2F00396338.2019.1662131&amp;doi=10.1080%2F00396338.2019.1662131&amp;journalCode=tsur20">the whole thing</a>.</p> <p>The piece is adapted from the conclusion of our forthcoming book, <em><a href="https://www.amazon.com/dp/194864746X/?coliid=I1D4LGDCUUIH8C&amp;colid=2T9HAZJ1YMWBD&amp;psc=1&amp;ref_=lv_ov_lig_dp_it">Fuel to the Fire: How Trump Made America’s Broken Foreign Policy Even Worse (And How We Can Recover)</a></em>, to be published next month.</p> Thu, 19 Sep 2019 11:12:35 -0400 John Glaser, Christopher A. Preble, A. Trevor Thrall https://www.cato.org/blog/it-time-relinquish-americas-global-interventionist-foreign-policy Towards a More Prudent American Grand Strategy https://www.cato.org/publications/outside-articles/towards-more-prudent-american-grand-strategy?utm_source=rss_author&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=rss Wed, 18 Sep 2019 11:11:16 -0400 John Glaser, Christopher A. Preble, A. Trevor Thrall https://www.cato.org/publications/outside-articles/towards-more-prudent-american-grand-strategy Selling F-16s to Taiwan Is Bad Business https://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/selling-f-16s-taiwan-bad-business?utm_source=rss_author&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=rss A. Trevor Thrall, Jordan Cohen <div class="text-default"> <p><strong>On the surface</strong>, the Trump administration&rsquo;s proposal to sell F-16 fighter jets to Taiwan seems to make sense. It makes money for American companies, helps an ally provide for its own defense, and provides a check on a rising China. But a closer look reveals that it will prolong the trade war, do little to help Taiwan defend itself, and raise the risk of war. And that is a deal the United States can do without.</p> </div> , <div class="text-default"> <p>News of the deal <a href="https://beta.washingtonpost.com/national-security/trump-administration-plans-8-billion-fighter-jet-sale-to-taiwa" target="_blank">surfaced </a>in mid-August, when the State Department notified Congress of its intention to sell 66 of the jets for roughly $8 billion. That followed close on the heels of <a href="https://www.militarytimes.com/flashpoints/2019/08/15/" target="_blank">agreements</a> made in recent months to ship Taiwan 108 M1A2 Abrams tanks and 250 Stinger missiles worth $2.2 billion. The primary justification for these deals is the defense of Taiwan from China, to which the United States committed itself in the <a href="https://www.ait.org.tw/our-relationship/policy-history/key-u-s-foreign-policy-documents-region/taiwan-relations-act/" target="_blank">1979 Taiwan Relations Act</a>.</p> <p>Let&rsquo;s start with the trade war. Trump started slapping tariffs on Chinese imports to the United States in <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2018/03/22/politics/donald-trump-china-tariffs-trade-war/index.html" target="_blank">March 2018</a>, based on his assumption that trade wars were <a href="https://www.cnbc.com/2018/0" target="_blank">&ldquo;easy to win</a>.&rdquo; Unfortunately, Trump has found his counterpart, Xi Jinping, to be a much tougher customer than he expected. Rather than sitting down at the negotiating table, China has responded with its own tariffs.</p> </div> , <aside class="aside--right aside pb-lg-0 pt-lg-2"> <div class="pullquote pullquote--default"> <div class="pullquote__content h2"> <p>Instead of providing for Taiwan’s defense from China, what the F-16 deal will do is give Taiwan the confidence to act in ways that aggravate China and encourage China to act more aggressively in turn.</p> </div> </div> </aside> , <div class="text-default"> <p>The trade war has already cost both countries and the global economy dearly. In the U.S., the bond market has <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2019/09/04/perspectives/china-trade-war-weather/index.html" target="_blank">hit its lowest level</a> since 2007 and economic confidence among small U.S. companies fell to the <a href="https://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2019/09/03/newsletter-how-the-u-s-china-trade-war-is-rippling-through-the-global-economy/?guid=BL-REB-39586&amp;dsk=y%5C" target="_blank">lowest level</a> since November 2012. U.S. factory activity, dependent on Chinese suppliers, also fell for the <a href="https://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2019/09/03/newsletter-how-the-u-s-china-trade-war-is-rippling-through-the-global-economy/?guid=BL-REB-39586&amp;dsk=y%5C" target="_blank">first time in three years</a>. Things are not better in China, where the yuan has hit an 11-year low and economic growth has fallen to <a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-09-03/china-s-economy-will-grow-at-5-7-in-2020-oxford-economics-says" target="_blank">its lowest level in 27 years</a>.</p> <p>In short, the timing of the arms sales to Taiwan could not be worse. At best the deal will serve to prolong the trade war by aggravating Chinese leaders, who virulently oppose all U.S. arms sales to the nation they consider part of China. At worst, such actions (along with American moves China sees as aggressive, like the sanctions against telecom giant Huawei) may cause China to escalate the dispute and perhaps make it impossible to resolve. <a href="https://www.wsj.com/articles/china-threaten" target="_blank">China&rsquo;s announcement</a> that it would sanction any company involved with the sale is evidence of how seriously it takes it. Despite opposing previous sales, China has never taken such a step before.</p> <p>A smarter move would have been to use the arms sales as leverage to broker a deal. Both the Bush and Obama administrations denied Taiwan&rsquo;s request for new F-16&rsquo;s out of concern for Chinese reactions. The Trump administration could have used China&rsquo;s unhappiness about a potential F-16 deal to encourage Chinese concessions on another issue.</p> <p>Even if the trade war were not an issue, however, the strategic benefits of selling F-16s to Taiwan are dubious at best. It is true that the F-16s will help <a href="https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/taiwan-just-said-no-f-35-stealth-fighter-what-now-37602" target="_blank">Taiwan respond</a> to potential Chinese violations of its airspace or sovereign waters. But the truth is that the most important thing Taiwan is buying isn&rsquo;t tanks, missiles, or fighters. The most important thing <a href="http://csps.gmu.edu/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/A-Question-of-Time.pdf" target="_blank">Taiwan is buying</a> is the confidence that the United States remains committed to intervening on Taiwan&rsquo;s behalf if China ever does invade. As one Taiwanese defense official <a href="http://csps.gmu.edu/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/A-Question-of-Time.pdf" target="_blank">recently told</a> a group of American scholars, &ldquo;...when you sell us the latest fighters, it lets China know America would intervene on our behalf in a conflict.&rdquo;</p> <p>The reality is that a few more F-16s won&rsquo;t change the balance of power between Taiwan and China. So instead of providing for Taiwan&rsquo;s defense from China, what the F-16 deal will do is give Taiwan the confidence to act in ways that aggravate China and encourage China to act more aggressively in turn. Worse, by raising tensions between the two nations, the F-16 deal also increases the possibility of a conflict breaking out, one that could drag the United States into a costly and dangerous war on the other side of the world with a nuclear-armed superpower.</p> </div> Tue, 17 Sep 2019 09:54:34 -0400 A. Trevor Thrall, Jordan Cohen https://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/selling-f-16s-taiwan-bad-business The 2019 Arms Sales Risk Index https://www.cato.org/blog/2019-arms-sales-risk-index?utm_source=rss_author&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=rss Caroline Dorminey, A. Trevor Thrall <p>The 2019 Arms Sales Risk Index, designed to help policy makers assess the potential negative consequences of international arms sales, is now online at Cato <a href="https://www.cato.org/publications/policy-analysis/the-2019-arms-sales-risk-index">here</a>. It represents an expanded and improved version of the original risk index published in <span><span><span><span><a href="https://www.cato.org/publications/policy-analysis/risky-business-role-arms-sales-us-foreign-policy" target="_blank">Risky Business: The Role of Arms Sales in U.S. Foreign Policy</a>, </span></span></span></span><span><span><span>published in 2018 by A. Trevor Thrall and Caroline Dorminey.</span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span>The United States has long been the world’s leading arms exporter. In 2018 the Trump administration notified Congress of $78 billion in major conventional weapons sales, giving the United States 31% of the global arms market. Between 2002 and 2018 the United States notified Congress of over $560 billion in sales of major conventional weapons to 167 different nations.</span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span>Though arms sales can play an important role in American foreign policy, the risks involved with sending billions of dollars of deadly weapons to all sorts of places are significant. The Arms Export Control Act of 1976 requires the executive branch to produce a risk assessment to ensure that the risks do not outweigh the potential benefits of selling major conventional weapons. Unfortunately, however, recent history strongly suggests that the risk assessment process is broken.</span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span>Over the past decade American weapons have wound up in the hands of the Islamic State and other terrorist groups, on the black market in Yemen and elsewhere, have been used by oppressive governments to kill their own people, and have enabled nations to engage in bloody military conflicts. More broadly American arm sales have helped prop up authoritarian regimes, have encouraged military adventurism, spurred arms races, and amplified existing conflicts. The reality is that the United States will sell weapons to almost any nation seeking them regardless of the potential risks involved.</span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span>Concerns about these negative consequences have risen of late. In April 2019, the Senate joined the House in passing a war powers resolution requiring the United States to stop supporting Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen. Though the United States has no troops in Yemen, it has enabled and fueled the war through billions of dollars in arms sales to the Saudis over decades. In the wake of Trump’s predictable veto of that resolution,a bipartisan group of senators introduced the Enhancing Human Rights in Arms Sales Act, designed to ensure that “U.S. manufactured weapons are not used in the commission of heinous war crimes, the repression of human rights, or by terrorists who seek to do harm to Americans and innocent civilians abroad.”</span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span>To help improve decision making around arms sales we created the Arms Sales Risk Index. In 2018 Cato published our policy analysis, </span></span></span><a href="https://www.cato.org/publications/policy-analysis/risky-business-role-arms-sales-us-foreign-policy" target="_blank"><span><span><span><span>Risky Business: The Role of Arms Sales in U.S. Foreign Policy</span></span></span></span></a><span><span><span>, in which we introduced the first version of the index. By identifying the factors linked to negative outcomes like dispersion, diversion, and the misuse of weapons by recipients, the index provides a way to measure the risk involved with arms sales to every nation. Though by no means an exact science, the index can help policy makers incorporate the potential risks of arms sales and make better decisions about which nations should receive American weapons.</span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span>We invite scholars and policy makers to read the report and to download the data for further analysis.</span></span></span></span></p> Wed, 11 Sep 2019 17:12:58 -0400 Caroline Dorminey, A. Trevor Thrall https://www.cato.org/blog/2019-arms-sales-risk-index The 2019 Arms Sales Risk Index https://www.cato.org/publications/policy-analysis/the-2019-arms-sales-risk-index?utm_source=rss_author&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=rss A. Trevor Thrall, Caroline Dorminey, Jordan Cohen <h2 class="heading"> Executive Summary </h2> , <div class="lead text-default"> <p>The United States has long been the world’s leading arms exporter. In 2018 the Trump administration notified Congress of $78 billion in major conventional weapons sales, giving the United States 31 percent of the global arms market. Between 2002 and 2018 Congress was notified of more than $560 billion in sales of major conventional weapons to 167 different nations.<sup><a href="#_ednref1" id="_edn1">1</a></sup></p> </div> , <div class="text-default"> <p>Although arms sales can play an important role in American foreign policy, the risks involved with sending billions of dollars of deadly weapons to all sorts of places are significant. The Arms Export Control Act of 1976 requires the executive branch to produce a risk assessment to ensure that the risks do not outweigh the potential benefits of selling major conventional weapons. Unfortunately, however, recent history strongly suggests that the risk-assessment process is broken.</p> <p>Over the past decade American weapons have wound up in the hands of the Islamic State and other terrorist groups, sold on the black market in Yemen and elsewhere, have been used by oppressive governments to kill their own people, and have enabled nations to engage in bloody military conflicts. More broadly American arm sales have helped prop up authoritarian regimes, encouraged military adventurism, spurred arms races, and amplified existing conflicts. The reality is that the United States will sell weapons to almost any nation seeking them regardless of the potential risks involved.</p> <p>Concerns about these negative consequences have risen of late. In April 2019, the Senate joined the House in passing a war-powers resolution requiring the United States to stop supporting Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen. Although the United States has no troops in Yemen, it has enabled and fueled the war through billions of dollars in arms sales to the Saudis over decades. In the wake of Trump’s predictable veto of that resolution, a bipartisan group of senators introduced the Enhancing Human Rights in Arms Sales Act, designed to ensure that “U.S. manufactured weapons are not used in the commission of heinous war crimes, the repression of human rights, or by terrorists who seek to do harm to Americans and innocent civilians abroad.”<sup><a href="#_ednref2" id="_edn2">2</a></sup></p> <p>To help improve decisionmaking about arms sales we have created the Arms Transfer Risk Index. By identifying the factors linked to negative outcomes, such as dispersion, diversion, and the misuse of weapons by recipients, the index provides a way to measure the risk involved with arms sales to every nation. Although it is by no means an exact science, the index can help policy makers incorporate the potential risks of arms sales and make better decisions about which nations should receive American weapons.</p> <p>We invite scholars and policy makers to read the report below, and <a href="https://www.cato.org/sites/cato.org/files/pubs/Cato-ASRI-2019-Final-Data.xlsx">download the data for further analysis.</a></p> </div> , <h2 class="heading"> Data </h2> , <figure class="figure overflow-hidden figure--default figure--no-caption"> <div class="figure__media"> <div class="embed embed--infogram js-embed js-embed--infogram"> <div class="infogram-embed" data-id="988ddd42-d891-4243-b755-d0625c729c43" data-type="interactive" data-title="2019 Arms Transfer Risk Index Scores"></div>!function(e,t,s,i){var n="InfogramEmbeds",o=e.getElementsByTagName("script")[0],d=/^http:/.test(e.location)?"http:":"https:";if(/^\/{2}/.test(i)&amp;&amp;(i=d+i),window[n]&amp;&amp;window[n].initialized)window[n].process&amp;&amp;window[n].process();else if(!e.getElementById(s)){var r=e.createElement("script");r.async=1,r.id=s,r.src=i,o.parentNode.insertBefore(r,o)}}(document,0,"infogram-async","https://e.infogram.com/js/dist/embed-loader-min.js"); </div> </div> </figure> , <figure class="figure overflow-hidden figure--default figure--no-caption"> <div class="figure__media"> <div class="embed embed--infogram js-embed js-embed--infogram"> <div class="infogram-embed" data-id="1ca7744c-3040-4cc4-8881-e04135dea911" data-type="interactive" data-title="ATRI Scores for the Top 15 Customers of American Weapons, 2018"></div>!function(e,t,s,i){var n="InfogramEmbeds",o=e.getElementsByTagName("script")[0],d=/^http:/.test(e.location)?"http:":"https:";if(/^\/{2}/.test(i)&amp;&amp;(i=d+i),window[n]&amp;&amp;window[n].initialized)window[n].process&amp;&amp;window[n].process();else if(!e.getElementById(s)){var r=e.createElement("script");r.async=1,r.id=s,r.src=i,o.parentNode.insertBefore(r,o)}}(document,0,"infogram-async","https://e.infogram.com/js/dist/embed-loader-min.js"); </div> </div> </figure> , <figure class="figure overflow-hidden figure--default figure--no-caption"> <div class="figure__media"> <div class="embed embed--infogram js-embed js-embed--infogram"> <div class="infogram-embed" data-id="3594f906-3f93-482e-b857-0147d03c7980" data-type="interactive" data-title="ATRI Scores for the Top 15 Customers of American Weapons, 2002–2018"></div>!function(e,t,s,i){var n="InfogramEmbeds",o=e.getElementsByTagName("script")[0],d=/^http:/.test(e.location)?"http:":"https:";if(/^\/{2}/.test(i)&amp;&amp;(i=d+i),window[n]&amp;&amp;window[n].initialized)window[n].process&amp;&amp;window[n].process();else if(!e.getElementById(s)){var r=e.createElement("script");r.async=1,r.id=s,r.src=i,o.parentNode.insertBefore(r,o)}}(document,0,"infogram-async","https://e.infogram.com/js/dist/embed-loader-min.js"); </div> </div> </figure> , <figure class="figure overflow-hidden figure--default figure--no-caption"> <div class="figure__media"> <div class="embed embed--infogram js-embed js-embed--infogram"> <div class="infogram-embed" data-id="228717ec-2ced-4531-a0ec-fd7718c0f89f" data-type="interactive" data-title="Fifteen Riskiest Major Customers of U.S. Weapons, 2002-2018"></div>!function(e,t,s,i){var n="InfogramEmbeds",o=e.getElementsByTagName("script")[0],d=/^http:/.test(e.location)?"http:":"https:";if(/^\/{2}/.test(i)&amp;&amp;(i=d+i),window[n]&amp;&amp;window[n].initialized)window[n].process&amp;&amp;window[n].process();else if(!e.getElementById(s)){var r=e.createElement("script");r.async=1,r.id=s,r.src=i,o.parentNode.insertBefore(r,o)}}(document,0,"infogram-async","https://e.infogram.com/js/dist/embed-loader-min.js"); </div> </div> </figure> , <figure class="figure overflow-hidden figure--default figure--no-caption"> <div class="figure__media"> <div class="embed embed--infogram js-embed js-embed--infogram"> <div class="infogram-embed" data-id="6b73ac30-7bd6-4846-b94f-a31489b8beb7" data-type="interactive" data-title="Arms and Allies"></div>!function(e,t,s,i){var n="InfogramEmbeds",o=e.getElementsByTagName("script")[0],d=/^http:/.test(e.location)?"http:":"https:";if(/^\/{2}/.test(i)&amp;&amp;(i=d+i),window[n]&amp;&amp;window[n].initialized)window[n].process&amp;&amp;window[n].process();else if(!e.getElementById(s)){var r=e.createElement("script");r.async=1,r.id=s,r.src=i,o.parentNode.insertBefore(r,o)}}(document,0,"infogram-async","https://e.infogram.com/js/dist/embed-loader-min.js"); </div> </div> </figure> , <figure class="figure overflow-hidden figure--default figure--no-caption"> <div class="figure__media"> <div class="embed embed--infogram js-embed js-embed--infogram"> <div class="infogram-embed" data-id="07f0b8a9-264a-4a7d-8d14-e73353bdf859" data-type="interactive" data-title="Red Flag Risks and U.S. Arms Sales"></div>!function(e,t,s,i){var n="InfogramEmbeds",o=e.getElementsByTagName("script")[0],d=/^http:/.test(e.location)?"http:":"https:";if(/^\/{2}/.test(i)&amp;&amp;(i=d+i),window[n]&amp;&amp;window[n].initialized)window[n].process&amp;&amp;window[n].process();else if(!e.getElementById(s)){var r=e.createElement("script");r.async=1,r.id=s,r.src=i,o.parentNode.insertBefore(r,o)}}(document,0,"infogram-async","https://e.infogram.com/js/dist/embed-loader-min.js"); </div> </div> </figure> , <figure class="figure overflow-hidden figure--default figure--no-caption"> <div class="figure__media"> <div class="embed embed--infogram js-embed js-embed--infogram"> <div class="infogram-embed" data-id="6b23b9ef-ba50-485f-999f-3cd5d4d4a035" data-type="interactive" data-title="Who&amp;#39;s Doing the Riskiest Business? Average Customer Risk Scores of the Top 10 Arms Exporters, 2018"></div>!function(e,t,s,i){var n="InfogramEmbeds",o=e.getElementsByTagName("script")[0],d=/^http:/.test(e.location)?"http:":"https:";if(/^\/{2}/.test(i)&amp;&amp;(i=d+i),window[n]&amp;&amp;window[n].initialized)window[n].process&amp;&amp;window[n].process();else if(!e.getElementById(s)){var r=e.createElement("script");r.async=1,r.id=s,r.src=i,o.parentNode.insertBefore(r,o)}}(document,0,"infogram-async","https://e.infogram.com/js/dist/embed-loader-min.js"); </div> </div> </figure> , <h2 class="heading"> Arms Sales Risk Index Methodology </h2> , <div class="text-default"> <p><em>What are the risks of arms sales?</em></p> <p>The potential negative side effects of arms sales take many forms. One extreme example is blowback — when American weapons end up being used against American interests. After the Iranian Revolution in 1979, the revolutionary government took possession of billions of dollars’ worth of <a href="http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/irans-air-force-flies-american-made-f-14-tomcats-24750" rel="noreferrer" target="_blank">American fighter jets</a> and other weapons, an arsenal that Iran uses to this day. A more common example is when American troops end up fighting other forces armed with American-made weapons that the United States had willingly provided, as happened in <a href="https://www.csmonitor.com/1992/1014/14012.html" rel="noreferrer" target="_blank">Somalia in 1991</a> with weapons that were provided to that country during the Cold War.</p> <p>Arms sales can also harm the regions into which weapons flow.One such example is dispersion — when weapons sold to a foreign government end up in the hands of criminal groups or adversaries. This risk is highest with sales to fragile states that are unprepared, unwilling, or too corrupt to protect their stockpiles adequately. For instance, despite America’s efforts to train and equip the Iraqi army, in 2014 ISIL fighters captured <a href="https://www.amnesty.org/en/documents/mde14/2812/2015/en/" rel="noreferrer" target="_blank">three Iraqi army divisions’</a> worth of American equipment, including tanks, armored vehicles, and infantry weapons.</p> <p>American arms sales can also prolong and intensify interstate conflicts. Although the goal might be to alter the military balance of a conflict to facilitate a speedy end, sending weapons can also encourage the recipients to continue fighting even with no chance of success, leading to more casualties.</p> <p>Finally, U.S. weapons sold to battle terrorism and insurgency undermine U.S. national security, especially when the purchaser is a corrupt regime or a nation with a history of human-rights violations. American firepower can enhance regime security and enable oppressive governments to mistreat minority groups and engage in inhumane acts against insurgents or terrorist groups. Currently, Saudi Arabia is waging war in Yemen, primarily using <a href="https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2018/03/yemen-us-weapons-saudi-arabia-uae.html" rel="noreferrer" target="_blank">American weapons</a> that the United States has continued to provide even though the Saudis have been <a href="https://www.hrw.org/news/2017/09/12/yemen-coalition-airstrikes-deadly-children" rel="noreferrer" target="_blank">cited repeatedly</a> for human-rights violations and for targeting civilian populations.</p> <p>In countries where serious corruption is endemic, American weapons can be diverted from their intended recipients and wind up in the wrong hands. For example, as a result of military and police corruption, the small arms and light weapons that the United States sends to Mexico and to several other Latin American countries to support the war on drugs often <a href="https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/politics/border-issues/2018/02/06/u-s-guns-used-majority-crimes-mexico-center-american-progress-report-says/301238002/" rel="noreferrer" target="_blank">facilitate</a> the very crimes they were meant to stop.</p> <p>Unfortunately, no historical data exists that would allow analysts to measure how often these various outcomes occur or under what circumstances they are more or less likely. Such data should be collected. For the present, however, we must assess risk by relying on historical and analytical work on arms sales and their impacts to identify factors that are likely to increase the probability of negative consequences.</p> <p>Given the limits of our current knowledge, we take what we believe to be a conservative approach based on straight-forward assumptions about the correlations between risk factors and negative outcomes on data that are available. We do not claim to make precise predictions about the probability of specific outcomes based on the Arms Sales Risk Index. The index’s immediate usefulness lies in helping policymakers incorporate the consideration of risks in decisions about selling American weapons abroad. In the long run the index is an important step in developing a more empirically-grounded assessment of the consequences – both positive and negative – of arms sales.</p> <p><em>Constructing the Index</em></p> <p>The Arms Sales Risk Index contains four risk vectors. Each vector, in essence, represents a causal mechanism or an explanation of how arms sales can lead to negative consequences. We measure the strength of each of these vectors by assessing six components. The risk vectors include a state’s level of corruption; its stability; its treatment of its own people; and the level of conflict, both internal and external, in which it is engaged.</p> <p>To be included in the Arms Sales Risk Index a risk factor had to meet the following criteria:</p> <ol><li>It had to be mentioned in the literature or logic had to strongly suggest its inclusion;</li> <li>It had to be something people can measure in a reliable fashion;</li> <li>The data source had to be one that is regularly updated;</li> <li>The data source had to be a credible one that used a transparent methodology;</li> <li>The component had to complement and not overlap too much with other components already in the index.</li> </ol><p>The first risk vector we consider is the corruption of the recipient nation’s regime. We assume that states that prevent its citizens from earning income, have fraudulent elections, or engage in questionable business practices pose a greater risk of misusing weapons, being involved with weapon dispersion, and having human-rights abuses. To assess this factor, we rely on Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index, which ranks 180 countries and territories by their perceived levels of corruption. It includes 16 different surveys from a dozen different institutions to create a composite “corruption perception score.”</p> <p>The second risk vector we consider is the stability of the recipient nation. We assume that fragile states with tenuous legitimacy, that lack ability to deliver services and cannot manage conflict within their borders, to pose a greater risk for weapon dispersion and misuse of weapons. The Fragile States Index produced by the Fund for Peace examines international conditions that lead to state fragility. It works by examining when these pressures outweigh a state’s capability to maintain stability. It uses 12 indicators (security apparatus, factionalized elites, group grievance, economic decline and poverty, uneven development, human flight, state legitimacy, public services, human rights, demographic pressures, refugees, and external intervention) to create a composite score for “state fragility.”</p> <p>The third risk vector we examine is a state’s behavior toward its citizens. States that have a poor record of human rights and/or regularly use violence against its citizens pose a greater risk of misusing weapons. We rely on two indices to measure these factors: the Freedom House's Freedom in the World index and the U.S. Department of State’s Political Terror Scale.</p> <p>The Freedom House's index includes measurements for electoral process, political pluralism and participation, functioning of government, freedom of expression, associational rights, rule of law, and personal autonomy.</p> <p>The State Department’s scale is an annual report measuring physical integrity and rights violations worldwide. It looks at political violence and terror that a country experiences in a particular year based on a five-level terror scale.</p> <p>Finally, we consider conflict as a critical vector for negative consequences. States currently engaged in conflict are inherently riskier when it comes to factors such as weapon dispersion, blowback, entanglement, and human-rights abuses. To assess these risks, we rely on two sources. The Global Terrorism Index is published annually by the Institute for Economics and Peace. It provides a comprehensive summary of global trends and patterns in terrorism since 2000. For any given year, it looks at the total number of terrorist incidents, the total number of fatalities caused by terrorism, the total number of injuries caused by terrorism, and the approximate level of total property damage caused by terrorism. It combines these factors to create a composite score that ranks the amount of terrorism facing 163 countries. The second source is the Uppsala Conflict Data Program (UCDP)at the department of Peace and Conflict Research, Uppsala University, and the Centre for the Study of Civil War at the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO). The UCDP/PRIO “Armed Conflict Dataset” is used to track the severity of armed conflict. It uses three measures (high-level, low-level, and no conflict) to assess the strength of a conflict in a given location. Larger conflicts are inherently riskier because of their longer duration and greater damage.</p> <p>One methodological consideration worth noting is that there is certainly some overlap across indices. For example, the Fragile State Index includes variables that measure the presence of conflict, as do the Global Terrorism Index and the UDCDP/PRIO Armed Conflict Dataset. But, as the correlation matrix below indicates, even though all the variables are positively correlated, each appears to bring something different to the index.</p> </div> , <figure class="figure overflow-hidden figure--default figure--no-caption"> <div class="figure__media"> <div class="embed embed--infogram js-embed js-embed--infogram"> <div class="infogram-embed" data-id="22c155a5-690d-487a-82ec-1fb2c686df30" data-type="interactive" data-title="Risk Index Factors Correlation Matrix"></div>!function(e,t,s,i){var n="InfogramEmbeds",o=e.getElementsByTagName("script")[0],d=/^http:/.test(e.location)?"http:":"https:";if(/^\/{2}/.test(i)&amp;&amp;(i=d+i),window[n]&amp;&amp;window[n].initialized)window[n].process&amp;&amp;window[n].process();else if(!e.getElementById(s)){var r=e.createElement("script");r.async=1,r.id=s,r.src=i,o.parentNode.insertBefore(r,o)}}(document,0,"infogram-async","https://e.infogram.com/js/dist/embed-loader-min.js"); </div> </div> </figure> , <div class="text-default"> <p>In order to combine each of the risk factors, which are constructed using a variety of different scales, we began by normalizing the scores for each risk factor. We normalized the variables using min-max methods. Unless otherwise noted, normalization follows the following formula:</p> </div> , <figure class="figure overflow-hidden figure--default figure--no-caption"> <div class="figure__media"> <img width="700" height="155" alt="The Arms Risk Equation" class="lozad component-image" data-srcset="/sites/cato.org/files/styles/pubs/public/2019-09/arms_risk_equation.png?itok=d8LRd-Qw 1x, /sites/cato.org/files/styles/pubs_2x/public/2019-09/arms_risk_equation.png?itok=BCb2_SNE 1.5x" data-src="/sites/cato.org/files/styles/pubs/public/2019-09/arms_risk_equation.png?itok=d8LRd-Qw" typeof="Image" /> </div> </figure> , <div class="text-default"> <p>where <em>sk<sup>′</sup></em>represents the normalized score of the measurement variable <em>s</em> for observation <em>k</em>.</p> <p>After normalization, every country has a scorebetween 1 (the lowest risk) to 100 (the highest risk) for each measure. We then weighted each of the six components equally,averaging them to find the composite risk score for each country. We choose to weigh the six components equally rather than the four vectors because we do not yet have any empirical reason to consider different weighting systems and because, although they are similar, the pairs of factors that measure state behavior and conflicts measure very different types of specific data. It is worth noting thattwo countries may have the same overall score, but they may be risky for different reasons. Thus, it is important to pay attention to the individual components as well as their risk index score.</p> <p>The result of this process is a common-sense index that provides a starting point for policymakers to rethink the risk-assessment process, although it unavoidably sacrifices the nuance of the individual components. But because our approach measures only significant differences in state freedom, stability, and so forth, rather than attempting to claim undue precision, there is good reason to believe that nations scoring higher on this index are indeed riskier customers even though we cannot be certain about the precise weighting of different components (an area for future research).</p> </div> Tue, 10 Sep 2019 09:35:13 -0400 A. Trevor Thrall, Caroline Dorminey, Jordan Cohen https://www.cato.org/publications/policy-analysis/the-2019-arms-sales-risk-index Dunking on Huntington: Nationalism in U.S. Foreign Policy https://www.cato.org/multimedia/power-problems/dunking-huntington-nationalism-us-foreign-policy?utm_source=rss_author&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=rss Hilde Restad, A. Trevor Thrall, Emma Ashford <p>Hilde Restad, a professor of International Relations at Bjorknes College in Oslo, Norway, joins us to discuss Trump’s foreign policy, nationalism, and the view from Europe.</p> <ul> <li><a href="https://bjorkneshoyskole.no/hilde-restad-associate-professor/" target="_blank">Hilde Restad bio</a></li> <li>Hilde Restad, <a href="https://www.routledge.com/American-Exceptionalism-An-Idea-that-Made-a-Nation-and-Remade-the-World/Restad/p/book/9780415817516" target="_blank"><em>American Exceptionalism: An Idea that Made a Nation and Remade the World</em></a></li> <li><em>Cato Unbound</em>, “<a href="https://www.cato-unbound.org/issues/february-2017/clash-civilizations" target="_blank">The Clash of Civilizations?</a>,” February 2017</li> </ul> Tue, 10 Sep 2019 03:00:00 -0400 Hilde Restad, A. Trevor Thrall, Emma Ashford https://www.cato.org/multimedia/power-problems/dunking-huntington-nationalism-us-foreign-policy The Trade War to End All Trade Wars? https://www.cato.org/multimedia/power-problems/trade-war-end-all-trade-wars?utm_source=rss_author&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=rss Emma Ashford, A. Trevor Thrall, Matthew P. Goodman <p>Matthew Goodman of the Center for Strategic and International Studies joins Emma Ashford and Trevor Thrall to discuss Trump’s trade war with China.</p> <ul> <li><a href="https://www.csis.org/people/matthew-p-goodman" target="_blank">Matthew P. Goodman bio</a></li> <li>Matthew P. Goodman and Ely Ratner, "<a href="https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/china/2018-03-22/better-way-challenge-china-trade" target="_blank">A Better Way to Challenge China on Trade: Trump’s Harmful Tariffs Aren’t the Answer</a>," <em>Foreign Affairs</em>, March 22, 2018</li> <li>Eswar Prasad, "<a href="https://sites.tufts.edu/css/the-intervention-project-gets-into-gear/" target="_blank">Which country is better equipped to win a U.S.-China trade war?</a>" <em>Washington Post</em>, August 9, 2019.</li> </ul> Tue, 27 Aug 2019 03:00:00 -0400 Emma Ashford, A. Trevor Thrall, Matthew P. Goodman https://www.cato.org/multimedia/power-problems/trade-war-end-all-trade-wars If I Had a Hammer https://www.cato.org/multimedia/power-problems/i-had-hammer?utm_source=rss_author&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=rss Monica Toft, Emma Ashford, A. Trevor Thrall <p>Monica Toft, Professor at The Fletcher School at Tufts University, joins us to discuss the growth in U.S. military interventions and the decline of diplomacy.</p> <ul> <li><a href="https://fletcher.tufts.edu/people/monica-duffy-toft" target="_blank">Monica Toft bio</a></li> <li>Monica Toft, "<a href="https://warontherocks.com/2018/05/the-dangerous-rise-of-kinetic-diplomacy/" target="_blank">The Dangerous Rise of Kinetic Diplomacy</a>," <em>War on the Rocks</em>, May 14, 2018</li> <li><a href="https://sites.tufts.edu/css/the-intervention-project-gets-into-gear/" target="_blank">The Military Intervention Project</a></li> </ul> Tue, 13 Aug 2019 03:00:00 -0400 Monica Toft, Emma Ashford, A. Trevor Thrall https://www.cato.org/multimedia/power-problems/i-had-hammer Power Problems Live! The Kennan Sweepstakes https://www.cato.org/multimedia/power-problems/power-problems-live-kennan-sweepstakes?utm_source=rss_author&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=rss Heather Hurlburt, Emma Ashford, A. Trevor Thrall <p>In our special live episode of Power Problems, Emma Ashford chats with Heather Hurlburt of New America about ongoing debates on the future of U.S. grand strategy.</p> <ul> <li><a href="https://www.newamerica.org/our-people/heather-hurlburt/" target="_blank">Heather Hurlburt bio</a></li> <li>Heather Hurlburt, "<a href="https://www.lawfareblog.com/more-diplomacy-less-intervention-what-making-sense-grand-strategy-debate" target="_blank">Making Sense of the Grand Strategy Debate</a>," <em>Lawfare</em>, June 7, 2019</li> <li>Emma Ashford, Hal Brands, Jasen Castillo, Kate Kizer, Rebecca Lissner, Jeremy Shapiro, and Joshua Shifrinson, "<a href="https://s3.amazonaws.com/files.cnas.org/documents/Grand-Strategy-Report-Final-online-1.pdf?mtime=20190408141828" target="_blank">New Voices in Grand</a>"</li> <li>Daniel Drezner, Mira Rapp-Hooper, Rebecca Lissner, Stephen Walt and Kori Schake, "<a href="https://www.foreignaffairs.com/issues/2019/98/3" target="_blank">Searching for a Strategy</a>," <em>Foreign Affairs</em>, May/June 2019</li> <li>Ben Sasse, "<a href="https://tnsr.org/2019/02/the-end-of-the-end-of-history-reimagining-u-s-foreign-policy-for-the-21st-century/" target="_blank">The End of the End of History</a>," Texas National Security Review, February 2019</li> <li>Emma Ashford, "<a href="https://warontherocks.com/2019/05/the-gentleman-from-nebraska-misfires-on-americas-foreign-policy-debate/" target="_blank">The Gentleman from Nebraska Misfires on Foreign Policy</a>," <em>War on the Rocks</em>, May 6, 2019</li> <li>Ganesh Sitaraman, "<a href="https://warontherocks.com/2019/04/the-emergence-of-progressive-foreign-policy/" target="_blank">The Emergence of Progressive Foreign Policy</a>," <em>War on the Rocks</em>, April 15, 2019</li> <li>Colin Dueck, Elliot Abrams, Emma Ashford, John Fonte, Henry R. Nau, Nadia Schadlow, Kelley Vlahos, Dov Zakheim, "<a href="https://tnsr.org/roundtable/policy-roundtable-the-future-of-conservative-foreign-policy/" target="_blank">The Future of Conservative Foreign Policy</a>," <em>Texas National Security Review</em>, November 30, 2018</li> <li>Van Jackson, Heather Hurlburt, Adam Mount, Loren Schulman, Thomas Wright, "<a href="https://tnsr.org/roundtable/policy-roundtable-the-future-of-progressive-foreign-policy/" target="_blank">The Future of Progressive Foreign Policy</a>," <em>Texas National Security Review</em>, December 4, 2018</li> <li><a href="https://jqas.org/about-us/" target="_blank">The John Quincy Adams Society</a></li> </ul> Tue, 30 Jul 2019 03:00:00 -0400 Heather Hurlburt, Emma Ashford, A. Trevor Thrall https://www.cato.org/multimedia/power-problems/power-problems-live-kennan-sweepstakes Next Generation Foreign Policy: Time for the Democrats to Embrace Restraint https://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/next-generation-foreign-policy-time-democrats-embrace-restraint?utm_source=rss_author&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=rss A. Trevor Thrall <div class="lead text-default"> <p>As Donald Trump ricochets from crisis to crisis, the Democratic Party has yet to present a compelling alternative to his incoherent ‘America First’ vision of foreign policy. Though a few of the more progressive 2020 candidates, including Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii), are arguing for significant changes to U.S. foreign policy, many of the candidates appear to support the same tired version of liberal internationalism Hillary Clinton expounded in 2016.</p> </div> , <div class="text-default"> <p>To defeat Trump and put American foreign policy back on track, the Democrats should embrace a foreign policy of restraint, one that relies more on international cooperation and less on military intervention.</p> <p>In a major foreign policy speech earlier this month, South Bend mayor and Democratic candidate Pete Buttigieg <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pE-r_4x9DFQ" target="_blank">argued that</a> “…we face not just another presidential election, but a transition between one era and another…I believe that the next three or four years will determine the next 30 or 40 for our country and our world.”</p> <p>Not only has America’s traditional foreign policy outlived its utility, the American public is undergoing a slow-moving changing of the guard. At 37, Buttigieg is a member of the Millennial Generation and as such he represents the future, not just of the Democratic Party, but of an American public that is ready for a very different form of global engagement. <a href="https://nationalinterest.org/blog/skeptics/polls-show-millennials-are-more-skeptical-foreign-wars-28752" target="_blank">Poll after poll shows that Millennials</a> (born between 1981 and 1996, and their younger siblings in Generation Z born 1997 and onward) are ready to ditch the frequent military intervention that has dominated American foreign policy during their lifetimes and instead embrace a foreign policy of restraint.</p> <p>In the time-honored tradition, older Americans have decried the Millennial Generation’s bizarre penchant for avocado toast and for “killing” industry after industry as they come of age. Inside-the-Beltway observers in particular worry about whether younger Americans are going to do the same to foreign policy. Among the trends that worry older Americans is the fact younger Americans report lower levels of belief in American exceptionalism and typically express less support for “tak[ing] an active part” in world affairs.</p> <p>Just half of Millennials in a <a href="https://www.thechicagocouncil.org/publication/clash-generations-intergenerational-change-and-american-foreign-policy-views" target="_blank">2017 Chicago Council on Global Affairs study,</a> for example, agreed that the United States is the “greatest country in the world,” compared to 75 percent of the Baby Boomers (born between 1946 and 1964) and the Silent Generation (born between 1928 and 1945). Millennials and Generation Z are also less worried about foreign threats than their elders, including terrorism, Islamic fundamentalism, and the rise of China. And as a <a href="https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/security/reports/2019/05/05/469218/america-adrift/" target="_blank">recent study</a> by the Center for American Progress found, just 45 percent of Millennials and Generation Z agreed that the United States is stronger when it “takes a leading role in the world” compared to 59 percent of Baby Boomers and the Silent Generation.</p> <p>These data points have <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/23/opinion/trump-foreign-policy-america-first.html" target="_blank">led some to conclude</a> that America is headed into a new era of isolationism and that there is growing support for Trump’s America First vision, or at least something like it.</p> <p>A deeper investigation, however, reveals that younger Americans don’t want to retreat from the world, they just want to engage it differently. Most obviously, Millennials and Generation Z are far less supportive of using military force than their elders. <a href="https://www.thechicagocouncil.org/publication/clash-generations-intergenerational-change-and-american-foreign-policy-views" target="_blank">In a recent poll</a>, for example, just 44 percent of Millennials felt that maintaining superior military power should be a critical U.S. foreign policy goal, compared to 64 percent of Baby Boomers and 70 percent of the Silent Generation.</p> <p>But this reluctance to reach for the sword does not reflect a more general desire to retreat from the world. In fact, younger Americans remain committed to cooperative forms of international engagement. Millennials support international agreements such as the Iran nuclear deal at the same rate as older Americans and they are the most supportive of free trade agreements like NAFTA and the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Millennials and Generation Z are also just as supportive of NATO and other alliances as older Americans and are actually the most likely to view globalization in a positive light.</p> <p>It doesn’t take rocket science to figure out why this shift away from militarism is happening. Younger Americans have spent their formative years and early adulthood witnessing lengthy, unsuccessful wars and military intervention in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere. Unlike their grandparents, they did not experience the heady aftermath of World War II when the United States enjoyed incredible economic and political dominance. Coming of age after the end of the Cold War, neither Millennials nor members of Generation Z have a real awareness of the role military strength played in the successful containment strategy of the Cold War. If they were aware, they’d have also noticed that the United States rarely used military force after the Vietnam debacle and still won the Cold War in 1991. Simply put, to young Americans, war has looked like a poor strategy. As a result, they do not share their elders’ confidence in America’s ability to use military force to pursue national interests effectively.</p> <p>Today the Democratic Party is groping its way toward restraint in large part as a response to Trump and the widespread disenchantment with American operations in the Middle East. For the 2020 Democrats criticizing Trump’s pandering to autocrats, his withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal and other arms control treaties, while calling for U.S. withdrawal from “endless wars” are all low-hanging fruit. Most of the 2020 Democrats can also agree on spending less money on defense to enable greater investment on domestic priorities. But while these are important correctives, they do not themselves provide a new, unifying theme to guide American foreign policy into the future.</p> <p>So far, only a few of the 2020 hopefuls have talked much about foreign policy. And among the high-profile candidates only Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren have provided more fully-fleshed out visions for foreign policy. But while both of them imagine reining in costly and counterproductive military intervention in the Middle East, a cardinal component of a restrained foreign policy, there are also clear signs to suggest that both of them continue to embrace the notion that the United States is the world’s indispensable nation. As Sanders said in a <a href="https://www.vox.com/world/2017/9/21/16345600/bernie-sanders-full-text-transcript-foreign-policy-speech-westminster">speech</a> in 2017, “As the wealthiest and most powerful nation on earth, we have got to help lead the struggle to defend and expand a rules-based international order in which law, not might, makes right.”</p> <p>Another red flag is that both of them have recast foreign policy as an extension of domestic debates over economic and social policy. Their goal, it seems, is to beat Trump at his own game by clarifying why foreign policy matters to the average American. To win middle-class votes, both Sanders and Warren have decried unfair trade deals, kleptocracy, global inequality and the influence of multinational corporations.</p> <p>Though these are important issues, they are also all potential justifications for yet more fruitless and expensive efforts to reshape the world. Just as American military power has failed – dramatically and at staggering cost — to reshape the Middle East over the past 18 years, so too would American economic and diplomatic power fail to reorganize the world to the tastes of the progressives in the Democratic Party.</p> <p>In their search for a motivating principle for the future of U.S. foreign policy that dispenses with the old and rejects Trump’s ad hoc approach, some candidates propose big ideas that sound nice but will likely promote more misguided U.S. activism under a new heading. Instead, they should be identifying what current U.S. responsibilities — from the ongoing forever wars in at least eight countries to longstanding treaty commitments to militarily defend more than 60 nations abroad – should be abandoned and which must be maintained for the 21st Century.</p> <p>As we have seen during the Cold War and the War on Terror, an expansive definition of U.S. national security interests tempts policymakers to fall into tragic excesses. Rather than search for a new excuse for global hegemony, what we need is restraint in the face of the ever-present temptation to use force.</p> <p>Warren and Sanders have taken the lead on foreign policy, while Tulsi Gabbard has focused her campaign message on staying out of unnecessary wars. But the question remains: How much momentum do their views have among the other 2020 Democratic candidates, most of whom haven’t given any major speeches about foreign policy and hardly mention it on their websites.</p> <p>If they’re paying attention, the 2020 Democrats, will understand that their best bet is to listen to the next generation. Embracing restraint is not only a key for beating Trump in 2020, it’s the formula for building a better foreign policy that will generate support from future generations.</p> </div> Thu, 11 Jul 2019 08:56:00 -0400 A. Trevor Thrall https://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/next-generation-foreign-policy-time-democrats-embrace-restraint Nuclear Crossroads I: America Ad Astra https://www.cato.org/multimedia/power-problems/nuclear-crossroads-i-america-ad-astra?utm_source=rss_author&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=rss Todd Harrison, Emma Ashford, A. Trevor Thrall <p>Todd Harrison from the Center for Strategic and International Studies joins Emma Ashford and Trevor Thrall to discuss the proposed Space Force, war in space, and his chapter in the forthcoming Cato report <em>America’s Nuclear Crossroads</em>.</p> <ul> <li><a href="https://www.csis.org/people/todd-harrison" target="_blank">Todd Harrison bio</a></li> <li><a href="https://object.cato.org/sites/cato.org/files/pdfs/americasnuclearcrossroads_advancereading.pdf" target="_blank">America's Nuclear Crossroads</a></li> <li>Aerospace Security Project at CSIS, “<a href="https://aerospace.csis.org/commanding-space/">Commanding Space: The Story Behind the Space Force</a></li> <li>Todd Harrison, "<a href="https://aerospace.csis.org/a-space-force-is-worth-the-price/">A Space Force is Worth the Price</a>"</li> </ul> Tue, 02 Jul 2019 03:00:00 -0400 Todd Harrison, Emma Ashford, A. Trevor Thrall https://www.cato.org/multimedia/power-problems/nuclear-crossroads-i-america-ad-astra The Arab Winter https://www.cato.org/multimedia/power-problems/arab-winter?utm_source=rss_author&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=rss Peter Mandaville, Emma Ashford, A. Trevor Thrall <p>With new protests in Sudan, ongoing conflict in Syria, and continued regional tensions, the legacies of the Arab Spring are everywhere in the Middle East. Peter Mandaville joins us to discuss.</p> <ul> <li><a href="https://schar.gmu.edu/about/faculty-directory/peter-mandaville" target="_blank">Peter Mandaville bio</a></li> <li>Kamron Bohkari and Peter Mandaville, <a href="https://www.cgpolicy.org/multimedia/the-muslim-brotherhood-and-american-muslims/" target="_blank">The Muslim Brotherhood and American Muslims</a>, Center for Global Policy, August 11, 2018</li> <li>Peter Mandaville and Shadi Hamid, "<a href="https://www.brookings.edu/research/islam-as-statecraft-how-governments-use-religion-in-foreign-policy/" target="_blank">Islam as Statecraft: How Governments Use Religion in Foreign Policy</a>," Brookings Institute, November 2018</li> </ul> Tue, 18 Jun 2019 03:00:00 -0400 Peter Mandaville, Emma Ashford, A. Trevor Thrall https://www.cato.org/multimedia/power-problems/arab-winter America Adrift: Public Opinion and U.S. Foreign Policy https://www.cato.org/multimedia/power-problems/america-adrift-public-opinion-us-foreign-policy?utm_source=rss_author&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=rss Emma Ashford, A. Trevor Thrall, Peter Juul <p>What kind of foreign policy do Americans want? Not the one they have, apparently. To learn more Emma and Trevor chat with Peter Juul from the Center for American Progress about a new report from the Center for American Progress, "America Adrift: How the U.S. Foreign Policy Debate Misses What Voters Really Want." </p> <ul> <li><a href="https://www.americanprogress.org/about/staff/juul-peter/bio/" target="_blank">Peter Juul bio</a></li> <li>Center for American Progress, "<a href="https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/security/reports/2019/05/05/469218/america-adrift/" target="_blank">America Adrift: How the U.S. Foreign Policy Debate Misses What Voters Really Want</a>"</li> <li>Eurasia Group Foundation, "<a href="https://egfound.org/stories/independent-america/worlds-apart" target="_blank">Worlds Apart: U.S. Foreign Policy and American Public Opinion</a>"</li> <li>Chicago Council on Foreign Affairs, "<a href="https://www.thechicagocouncil.org/sites/default/files/report_ccs18_america-engaged_181002.pdf" target="_blank">America Engaged: American Public Opinion and US Foreign Policy</a>"</li> </ul> Tue, 04 Jun 2019 03:00:00 -0400 Emma Ashford, A. Trevor Thrall, Peter Juul https://www.cato.org/multimedia/power-problems/america-adrift-public-opinion-us-foreign-policy Peace, War and Liberty https://www.cato.org/multimedia/power-problems/peace-war-liberty?utm_source=rss_author&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=rss Emma Ashford, A. Trevor Thrall, Christopher A. Preble <p>American presidents often praise U.S. foreign policy as a force for global freedom and liberty. We chat with Chris Preble about his new book, <em>Peace, War, and Liberty</em>. </p> <ul> <li><a href="https://www.cato.org/people/Christopher-preble">Christopher Preble bio</a></li> <li>Christopher Preble, <a href="https://www.libertarianism.org/books/peace-war-liberty-understanding-us-foreign-policy"><em>Peace, War, and Liberty: Understanding U.S. Foreign Policy</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://www.cato.org/multimedia/power-problems/free-thoughtspower-problems-crossover-what-do-libertarians-believe-about">Free Thoughts/Power Problems Crossover: "What do Libertarians Believe About Foreign Policy?"</a></li> </ul> Tue, 21 May 2019 09:49:00 -0400 Emma Ashford, A. Trevor Thrall, Christopher A. Preble https://www.cato.org/multimedia/power-problems/peace-war-liberty The United States (Probably) Won't Go to War with Iran https://www.cato.org/blog/united-states-probably-wont-go-war-iran?utm_source=rss_author&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=rss A. Trevor Thrall <p>For weeks the Trump administration has been <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/10/us/politics/us-iran-patriot-missile-battery.html?module=inline">issuing warnings</a> about increased attacks on US forces in Iraq and Syria by Iranian proxies. Recently the administration revealed that it has satellite imagery of <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/15/world/middleeast/iran-war-usa.html?action=click&amp;module=Top%20Stories&amp;pgtype=Homepage">what it says</a> are Iranian paramilitary forces loading missiles onto a small boat. In response, the Pentagon <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/13/world/middleeast/us-military-plans-iran.html">recently presented</a> national security adviser John Bolton and Trump’s national security team with an updated plan that would send 120,000 troops to the Middle East if Iran attacks American forces or ramps up its development of nuclear weapons. Though the plans apparently do not include a ground invasion of Iran, what scenarios they might encompass has not yet been revealed. Nor is it entirely clear what sort of Iranian action might trigger a response.&#13;<br /> &#13;<br /> Considering John Bolton’s <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/26/opinion/to-stop-irans-bomb-bomb-iran.html">longstanding calls</a> for a more confrontational approach to Iran and Trump’s desire to squeeze greater concessions from Iran through <a href="https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/president-donald-j-trump-cutting-off-funds-iranian-regime-uses-support-destructive-activities-around-world/">tougher sanctions</a> and “<a href="https://www.forbes.com/sites/dominicdudley/2019/05/07/one-year-on-trumps-campaign-of-maximum-pressure-on-iran-looks-like-a-failure/">maximum pressure</a>,” tensions between the United State and Iran are certainly rising. As my colleague John Glaser <a href="https://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/how-donald-trump-may-push-america-war-iran">has pointed out</a>, it would be difficult to design a strategy more likely to lead to “accidental” conflict than the path the Trump administration is pursuing today. Thus, the question on everyone’s mind is: Will there be war? Though the risk is not zero, the smart bet – <em>for now</em> – is that there will not be war.&#13;<br /> &#13;<br /> Though making predictions about complex political outcomes like war is <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Expert-Political-Judgment-Good-Know-ebook/dp/B072F4X6QY/ref=sr_1_4?crid=TYTR6E1DRJTX&amp;keywords=tetlock+philip&amp;qid=1557950520&amp;s=gateway&amp;sprefix=tetlock%2Caps%2C1597&amp;sr=8-4">fraught with peril</a>, a reasonable approach is to start by asking two questions. First, how determined is the United States to start, or avoid, a war with Iran? Second, how determined is Iran to start, or avoid, a war with the United States? Though many other factors might be at work, such as what’s at stake for each country, the relative military capabilities of each, and so forth, most of those factors eventually get captured in those two questions. If either country desires war, war is coming. But even if neither seeks war, rising tensions, accidents, and the psychological dispositions of individual leaders could lead to war if both countries don’t take enough steps to avoid it.&#13;<br /> &#13;<br /> So far news reporting suggests that the Trump administration has not yet decided on war, but the signals are certainly mixed. Trump himself <a href="https://www.politico.com/story/2019/05/09/trump-to-iran-call-me-maybe-1315747">has said</a> that “we’re not looking to hurt anybody” and that “I’d like to see them call me” to continue talks. Even Iranian officials don’t think Trump wants war. Speaking on Face the Nation, Iranian foreign minister Javad Zarif <a href="https://nationalinterest.org/feature/bolton%E2%80%99s-war-iran-becoming-reality-57507">said</a> “We don’t believe that President Trump wants confrontation.” More generally, given Trump’s historical opposition to military intervention and nation building, it is hard to imagine Trump’s instincts guiding him to launch a war with Iran. After all, during the 2016 campaign Trump called the war in Iraq a <a href="https://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2016/02/17/trump_on_iraq_how_could_we_have_been_so_stupid_one_of_the_worst_decisions_in_the_history_of_the_country.html">horrible mistake</a>, and a regime-change invasion of Iran would be a <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2019/05/14/conflict-with-iran-would-not-be-like-iraq-war-itd-be-worse/?utm_term=.f0a16791afd4">far bigger challenge</a>.&#13;<br /> &#13;</p> <p>On the other hand, there are signs that some in the administration clearly prefer a more hawkish approach, especially national security adviser John Bolton, who has been <a href="https://nationalinterest.org/feature/bolton%E2%80%99s-war-iran-becoming-reality-57507">lobbying Pompeo</a> and other officials trying to build support for his views. The administration has also taken several steps to lay the groundwork for war. First, the administration has also made quite a show of sharing intelligence to hype the threat from Iran and its proxies. Second, the administration has <a href="https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/politics-news/state-department-orders-non-emergency-personnel-leave-iraq-posts-n1005806">called back</a> nonemergency government employees from Iraq, certainly an ominous sign that the country will be too dangerous for Americans in the near future. Finally, the administration has sent some additional firepower to the Middle East while revealing its plans for a massive force deployment. On top of all of this, given Trump’s tendency to change directions without warning, it would be foolish to assume there is no way that Bolton – or other events – couldn’t change Trump’s mind. When asked by reporters if the administration was considering regime change, Trump <a href="http://fortune.com/2019/05/14/trump-troops-to-iran/">answered</a>, “We’ll see what happens with Iran. If they do anything, it would be a very bad mistake.” He also told reporters that if the United States did sent troops to the Middle East, “<a href="http://fortune.com/2019/05/14/trump-troops-to-iran/">it would be a hell of a lot more</a>” than 120,000.&#13;<br /> &#13;<br /> For Iran’s part, things are also somewhat uncertain but for different reasons. On a purely logical level, Iran cannot possibly seek war with the United States. Regardless of how Iran interprets Trump’s withdrawal from the JCPOA, despite the pain caused by the reimposition of economic sanctions, and in spite of recent American rhetoric, the worst possible outcome for Iran is war. A sustained campaign of American air strikes would be terribly painful; a full-scale invasion would be catastrophic. What remains to be seen, however, is how far Iran will go to avoid war. If the United States is considering war, Iran needs to figure out what to say and do – and what not to say and do – to avoid tipping the American decision toward war.&#13;<br /> &#13;<br /> This is where Iran’s behavior is hard to gauge. The words of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khameini, on the one hand, lead us to worry less about war. In March he <a href="https://www.jpost.com/Middle-East/Irans-showdown-accelerates-589971">gave a speech</a> in which he called for patience, with a plan to continue complying with the JCPOA and hanging on until 2020 when Trump might lose the election and Iran could restart its relations with the United States.&#13;<br /> &#13;<br /> On the other hand, more recent Iranian actions look more foolish than patient. If Iranian proxies have been planning or carrying out attacks on Americans in Iraq and Syria, and if Iran was in fact <a href="https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-iran-oil-tankers-exclusive/exclusive-insurer-says-irans-guards-likely-to-have-organized-tanker-attacks-idUSKCN1SN1P7">responsible</a> for carrying out the attacks on oil tankers in the Strait of Hormuz, then it appears that Iran is willing to run the risk of giving the Trump administration the necessary excuse to escalate. Likewise, Iranian officials have repeatedly said they do not seek war with the United States, but at times the same officials say things that suggest they might not be trying very hard to prevent war, such as when Iran’s foreign minister Zarif <a href="https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/05/fm-javad-zarif-don-war-confront-iran-190518105344169.html">said</a>, "There will be no war because neither we want a war, nor has anyone the idea or illusion that it can confront Iran in the region." Unless Iran believes that the United States has already decided to strike, or believes that the United States has no intention to attacking Iran, this approach is playing with fire and definitely raises the prospects of war.&#13;<br /> &#13;<br /> Based on this analysis, I would spit ball that the current probability that the United States will attack Iran is above zero but well below 50%, let’s call it 25%. On Iran’s side, I rate the current probability that Iran decides to attack the United States directly at 0%, unless Iran determines that an attack by the United States is imminent, at which point Iran might well launch some sort of preemptive strikes at American or allied targets.&#13;<br /> &#13;<br /> Before we decide where to put our money, however, our estimate also needs to take in to account the high level of uncertainty in the analysis and the fact that events have been moving quickly. News reports are often not very reliable guides to the inner workings of the U.S. government, much less what is really going in Iran or elsewhere. As a result, we cannot know just how determined Trump is to avoid war, nor what the Iranians might consider their red lines. And with tensions running high, the risk of accidents and misinterpretation is also high. Just months ago, remember, few people imagined war might be imminent as this point.&#13;<br /> &#13;<br /> Thus, if I were betting today, I would put my money on war not occurring, but I wouldn’t bet too much…</p> Sat, 18 May 2019 16:35:00 -0400 A. Trevor Thrall https://www.cato.org/blog/united-states-probably-wont-go-war-iran Will John Bolton Finally Get His Iran War? https://www.cato.org/multimedia/power-problems/will-john-bolton-finally-get-iran-war?utm_source=rss_author&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=rss Colonel Lawrence B. Wilkerson (Ret.), Emma Ashford, A. Trevor Thrall <p>Arguments about the Iraq War loom large over pretty much every foreign policy debate in Washington. Does the Trump administration have similar intentions towards Iran? Lawrence Wilkerson joins us to discuss.</p> <ul> <li><a href="https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lawrence_Wilkerson" target="_blank">Lawrence Wilkerson bio</a></li> <li>Lawrence Wilkerson, "<a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/05/opinion/trump-iran-war.html">I Helped Sell the False Choice of War Once. It’s Happening Again/a&gt;," <em>New York Times</em>, February 5, 2018</li> <li>Dexter Filkins, <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2019/05/06/john-bolton-on-the-warpath" target="_blank">John Bolton on the Warpath</a>, <em>New Yorker</em>, May 6, 2019</li> </ul> Tue, 07 May 2019 03:00:00 -0400 Colonel Lawrence B. Wilkerson (Ret.), Emma Ashford, A. Trevor Thrall https://www.cato.org/multimedia/power-problems/will-john-bolton-finally-get-iran-war Trump's Misguided Assault on the ARMS Trade Treaty https://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/trumps-misguided-assault-arms-trade-treaty?utm_source=rss_author&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=rss A. Trevor Thrall <div class="lead text-default"> <p>During a speech to the National Rifle Association in April, <span data-behavior="rolloverpeople" target="_blank"><a data-nid="261287" href="https://thehill.com/people/donald-trump" target="_blank">Donald Trump</a></span> <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/trump-administration-expected-to-distance-itself-from-global-arms-treaty/2019/04/26/82e19736-f0ee-4cfe-b086-a6b5d89c1ec8_story.html?utm_term=.fe496e7ef877" target="_blank">announced</a> that he will “unsign” the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty and ask the Senate to halt the ratification process. Though Trump and other critics argue that the treaty threatens Second Amendment freedoms and poses undue limits on American sovereignty, these claims are misguided at best.</p> </div> , <div class="text-default"> <p>In fact, not only doesn’t the Arms Trade Treaty threaten gun rights in America, it strengthens global efforts to reduce the damage done by the illicit flow of conventional weapons. Instead of rejecting the treaty, the United States should be promoting it.</p> <p></p> </div> , <aside class="aside--right aside pb-lg-0 pt-lg-2"> <div class="pullquote pullquote--default"> <div class="pullquote__content h2"> <p>Far from being a threat to the United States, the ATT is a potentially useful tool of American foreign policy.</p> </div> </div> </aside> , <div class="text-default"> <p>In force internationally since 2014 but not yet ratified by the United States, The <a href="https://www.un.org/disarmament/convarms/arms-trade-treaty-2/" target="_blank">Arms Trade Treaty</a> (ATT) attempts to regulate trade of conventional weapons (everything from small arms to battle tanks and warships) by raising the standards for arms exports to ensure weapons are sold only to responsible state parties. The goal is to encourage states to assess the risks before making any sales and to keep weapons off the black market, out of the hands of criminals and terrorists, and to make sure that transferred weapons don’t wind up contributing to genocide, war crimes, or other serious violations of humanitarian law.</p> <p>The most misleading argument from the treaty’s critics regards the Second Amendment. Critics <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2019/04/29/trumps-decision-leave-global-arms-treaty-was-built-an-nra-lie/?utm_term=.bc4b02000313" target="_blank">like the NRA</a> have falsely argued that the treaty will require governments to collect information on individuals who purchase weapons from abroad and to report that information to the exporting country on demand. Beyond that, critics also worry that even if the treaty doesn’t do so now, proponents of stricter regulations could eventually amend the treaty so that it does, thereby restricting American sovereignty. This concern, too, is unfounded.</p> <p>On the contrary, the treaty does not require states to track purchases by individual citizens, which make up a tiny fraction of the international arms market. Further, the treaty <a href="https://unoda-web.s3-accelerate.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/English7.pdf" target="_blank">explicitly states</a> that all signatories reserve the sovereign right to regulate arms according to its own constitutional system and that each country will maintain records “pursuant to national laws.” Moreover, the United States would have far more influence over the evolution of the ATT as a signatory than it would as an outsider. And of course, the United States could always withdraw from the ATT if the treaty someday did in fact take a turn for the worse.</p> <p>The real goal of end use monitoring under the ATT — already a longstanding component of U.S. <a href="https://www.pmddtc.state.gov/?id=ddtc_kb_article_page&amp;sys_id=b9a933addb7c930044f9ff621f961932" target="_blank">arms export policy</a> – is to ensure that exported weapons end up and remain in the possession of the intended recipients and that the companies and governments that purchase the weapons are in fact responsible customers. Far from requiring the United States to change its policies, the treaty in fact did not require any change to U.S. policies. In many respects the ATT is simply an effort to encourage other nations to upgrade their arms exports policies to match existing U.S. standards. The treaty poses no threat to the right to bear arms.</p> <p>Another overblown argument Trump likes to make is about the economic benefits of arms sales. Trump once claimed that the 2017 deal with Saudi Arabia could mean as many as a <a href="https://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2018/oct/23/donald-trump/donald-trump-touts-nonexistent-450-billion-saudi-o/" target="_blank">million American jobs</a>, and the administration’s updated <a href="https://www.state.gov/t/pm/rsat/c14023.htm" target="_blank">Conventional Arms Transfer policy</a> puts a heavy emphasis on increasing arms exports. The problem, <a href="https://securityassistance.org/publication/trends-major-us-arms-sales-2018-trump-record-rhetoric-versus-reality" target="_blank">as a recent report from the Security Assistance Monitor</a> discusses, is that arms sales do not create nearly as many jobs as Trump claims, for at least two reasons. First, more than 25 percent of U.S. arms deals permit manufacturing of weapons in countries <em>outside</em> of the United States. Second, American defense contractors offer offsets — essentially huge discounts — to purchasing nations which dramatically lowers both the profits and the number of American jobs generated.</p> <p>Finally, several major arms exporters like Russia, China, and India are not currently signatories to the ATT, leading some to argue that the ATT only constrains responsible countries like the United States, while leaving irresponsible states free to continue selling weapons to whomever they choose. Though superficially persuasive, this argument has things backwards. International agreements are more influential and more likely to be successful when the United States supports them. If the United States wants other nations to abide by the treaty, it needs to take the lead by ratifying and living up to the treaty’s principles regardless of what other nations do. This approach maximizes American moral leadership and soft power — allowing the United States to call out irresponsible nations without fear of hypocrisy and amplifying its persuasiveness about the importance of regulating the international arms trade.</p> <p>None of this is to argue that the ATT is a perfect treaty, or that American support is sufficient to ensure its success, but the arguments made by critics of the ATT just don’t hold water. Far from being a threat to the United States, the ATT is a potentially useful tool of American foreign policy. Millions of weapons circulate the globe today on the black market, and illegally obtained weapons are responsible for killing <a href="https://www.americanprogress.org/wp-content/uploads/kf/TerrorinShadows-Stohl.pdf" target="_blank">hundreds of thousands</a> of people every year. The ATT won’t eradicate illicit arms trafficking, but it represents a step in the right direction.</p> </div> Mon, 06 May 2019 09:00:00 -0400 A. Trevor Thrall https://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/trumps-misguided-assault-arms-trade-treaty Insurgent Women https://www.cato.org/multimedia/power-problems/insurgent-women?utm_source=rss_author&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=rss Jessica Trisko Darden, Emma Ashford, A. Trevor Thrall <p>Women play an increasingly important role as insurgents and rebels in civil conflicts all over the world. But most often their story goes untold and their impact has been poorly understood. Jessica Trisko Darden, co-author of <em>Insurgent Women</em>, joins Emma Ashford and Trevor Thrall to discuss her new book to discuss.</p> <ul> <li><a href="https://www.american.edu/sis/faculty/trisko.cfm">Jessica Trisko Darden bio</a></li> <li>Jessica Trisko Darden, Alexis Henshaw, and Ora Szekely, <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Insurgent-Women-Female-Combatants-Civil/dp/1626166668/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=insurgent+women&amp;qid=1555347930&amp;s=gateway&amp;sr=8-1" target="_blank"><em>Insurgent Women: Female Combatants in Civil Wars</em></a><em> </em>(Georgetown University Press 2019).</li> <li>Jessica Trisko Darden, "<a href="https://theconversation.com/how-women-wage-war-a-short-history-of-is-brides-nazi-guards-and-farc-insurgents-113011" target="_blank">https://theconversation.com/how-women-wage-war-a-short-history-of-is-brides-nazi-guards-and-farc-insurgents-113011</a> <em>The Conversation, </em>March 8, 2019.</li> <li>Jessica Trisko Darden, "<a href="https://www.wbur.org/onpoint/2019/02/21/isis-american-women-marriages-syria-extremism">Return from ISIS: American Women Want Out of Extremism</a>," NPR On Point podcast.</li> <li>Mia Bloom, <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Bombshell-Women-Terrorism-Mia-Bloom/dp/0812243900" target="_blank"><em>Bombshell: Women and Terrorism</em></a><em> </em>(University of Pennsylvania, 2011).</li> <li>Jessica Davis, <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Women-Modern-Terrorism-Liberation-Islamic/dp/1442274980/ref=pd_lpo_sbs_14_img_1?_encoding=UTF8&amp;psc=1&amp;refRID=KP852Y4NH3KCRBT5322A" target="_blank"><em>Women in Modern Terrorism: From Liberation Wars to Global Jihad and the Islamic State</em></a> (Rowman &amp; Littlefield, 2017).</li> </ul> Mon, 22 Apr 2019 16:46:00 -0400 Jessica Trisko Darden, Emma Ashford, A. Trevor Thrall https://www.cato.org/multimedia/power-problems/insurgent-women The False Promises of Trump's Arms Sales https://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/false-promises-trumps-arms-sales?utm_source=rss_author&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=rss A. Trevor Thrall, Jordan Cohen <div class="lead text-default"> <p><strong>President Trump's love of arms sales is</strong> clear for all to see. On his first trip abroad as a public servant, the new president proudly announced a <a href="https://www.defenseone.com/business/2017/05/what-really-matters-trumps-110b-saudi-arms-package/138069/" target="_blank">mammoth arms deal</a> with Saudi Arabia, later crowing that the deal would lead to <a href="https://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2018/oct/23/donald-trump/donald-trump-touts-nonexistent-450-billion-saudi-o/" target="_blank">one million</a> new American jobs. Last July, his administration released a new <a href="https://www.state.gov/t/pm/rsat/c14023.htm" target="_blank">Conventional Arms Transfer</a> policy that aims to streamline and supercharge arms exports through a whole-of-government strategy. The results so far, according to figures from a <a href="https://securityassistance.org/publication/trends-major-us-arms-sales-2018-trump-record-rhetoric-versus-reality" target="_blank">new report</a> from the <a href="http://securityassistance.org/" target="_blank">Security Assistance Monitor</a>, have been $82.2 billion in arms sales in 2017 and another $78 billion in 2018.</p> </div> , <div class="text-default"> <p>Unfortunately, Trump's promises about the benefits of arms sales are mostly empty, while the dangers are all too real.</p> <p>Advocates of arms exports have long argued that such sales are critical for promoting regional stability in trouble spots around the world. But American arms exports to the Middle East are doing the exact opposite. Arms export data from the <a href="https://www.sipri.org/media/press-release/2019/global" target="_blank">Stockholm International Peace Research Institute</a> show that the U.S. share of arms sales to the Middle East has steadily increased over the past 15 years, yet with conflicts in Syria, Yemen, and throughout North Africa, the region is as unstable as ever. American arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have already <a href="https://nationalinterest.org/blog/skeptics/arms-sales-us-allies-yemen-are-endangering-american-lives-47977" target="_blank">enabled those nations</a> to carry out a bloody and catastrophic war in Yemen, which has killed thousands of civilians, displaced most of the population, and put millions more at risk of starvation and disease. By continuing to sell weapons to Saudi Arabia even after attempts in the U.S. Senate to halt them, the Trump administration will encourage more Saudi intervention, further destabilizing the region.</p> <p>And though presidents tout export of arms as a good way to strengthen allies, the truth is that the United States doesn't just sell weapons to responsible nations such as Italy, the United Kingdom, and Belgium. Vast amounts of U.S. weapons are shipped to <a href="https://www.cato.org/publications/policy-analysis/risky-business-role-arms-sales-us-foreign-policy" target="_blank">risky customers</a>: fragile states like Turkey, nations embroiled in conflicts like Saudi Arabia, and oppressive governments with horrendous human rights records like Egypt, Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates. Since 2001, the U.S.government has notified the public of arms sales totaling over <a href="http://securityassistance.org/data/country/arms/country/2001/2018/Global/Government-to-Government" target="_blank">$560 billion to 167 countries</a>. Each of these sales adds a varying degree of risk to the United States regarding potential blowback, entanglement, dispersion, and increasing instability throughout the world.</p> <p>Finally, Trump’s claims about the economic benefits of arms sales ring the <a href="https://www.thenation.com/article/pentagon-spending-is-a-poor-job-creator/" target="_blank">hollowest of all</a>. For starters, not only won’t arms sales create a million new American jobs, but a great number of the jobs created by arms sales will go to citizens of the purchasing nations. As the Security Assistance Monitor <a href="https://securityassistance.org/publication/trends-major-us-arms-sales-2018-trump-record-rhetoric-versus-reality" target="_blank">report</a> notes, the number of licenses granted to weapons manufacturers outside the United States doubled from 2017 to 2018. As a result, more than one-quarter of all U.S. arms “sales” last year were deals to permit the manufacturing of U.S.-designed weapons under license — that is, they created jobs in other nations instead of the United States. The report also finds that the Trump administration has sharply increased the number of deals in which foreign countries produce U.S.-developed weaponry under coproduction agreements, further reducing the number of U.S. jobs tied to arms sales.</p> <p>Weakening the economic rationale even further is the fact that in order to seal major deals, American defense contractors have to <a href="https://i/" target="_blank">offer massive discounts</a>, or offsets, to the purchasing nations in the form of coproduction arrangements or technology transfer. In 2014, for example, these offsets equaled roughly one-third of the value of total U.S. arms sales. These offsets mean not only that American arms sales are less profitable than they appear on paper, but also that they lead to fewer jobs created in the United States than many, including the president, would like to think. Trump’s big Saudi arms deal, for example, would likely lead to somewhere between 20,000 and 40,000 jobs, or less than two-tenths of one percent of the American labor market.</p> <p>The unpleasant truth is that the underwhelming economic benefits cannot justify Washington’s love of arms sales. Arms sales simply do not benefit the U.S. economy nearly as much as Trump likes to claim. Meanwhile, a large percentage of American arms sales goes to countries with horrible human rights records, to nations where arms are at risk of finding their way into the wrong hands, and to nations embroiled in dangerous and destabilizing conflicts. Given this, it is long past time to rethink American arms sales policy.</p> </div> Fri, 05 Apr 2019 11:54:00 -0400 A. Trevor Thrall, Jordan Cohen https://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/false-promises-trumps-arms-sales Enter the Cyber Mercenaries https://www.cato.org/multimedia/power-problems/enter-cyber-mercenaries?utm_source=rss_author&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=rss Tim Maurer, A. Trevor Thrall, John Glaser <p>The cyber era has amplified the impact of non-state actors on international relations. From election meddling to sabotage to espionage, states are using non-state actors as proxies to do their dirty work. Tim Maurer from the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace joins Trevor Thrall and John Glaser to talk about the rise, reach, and implications of these cyber mercenaries.</p> <ul> <li><a href="https://carnegieendowment.org/experts/1086" target="_blank">Tim Maurer bio</a></li> <li>Tim Maurer, <a href="https://carnegieendowment.org/2018/01/18/cyber-mercenaries-state-hackers-and-power-pub-75280" target="_blank"><em>Cyber Mercenaries: The State, Hackers, and Power</em></a></li> <li>Brandon Valentino and Benjamin Jensen, "<a href="https://www.cato.org/publications/policy-analysis/myth-cyber-offense-case-restraint">The Myth of the Cyber Offense: The Case for Restraint</a>," Policy Analysis 862, January 15, 2019.</li> </ul> Tue, 26 Mar 2019 09:30:00 -0400 Tim Maurer, A. Trevor Thrall, John Glaser https://www.cato.org/multimedia/power-problems/enter-cyber-mercenaries Mind the Gap: The Foreign Policy Disconnect between Washington and America https://www.cato.org/blog/mind-gap-foreign-policy-disconnect-between-washington-america?utm_source=rss_author&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=rss A. Trevor Thrall <p>During the Cold War, Washington’s foreign policy establishment operated comfortable in the knowledge that sizeable majorities supported vigorous American global leadership in the struggle with the Soviet Union. More recently, however, many observers have started worrying about the growing disconnect between the Washington’s elites and the public. The scholar Walter Russell Mead argued in a recent Wall Street Journal opinion <a href="https://www.wsj.com/articles/allies-worry-over-u-s-public-opinion-11551741006?mod=hp_opin_pos3">piece</a> that the most important question in world politics today is “Will U.S. public opinion continue to support an active and strategically focused foreign policy? &#13;<br /> &#13;<br /> The answer is a qualified yes. Americans on balance remain committed to international engagement but advocates of the status quo are right to worry because Americans increasingly disagree with Washington about <em>how</em> to engage the world.&#13;<br /> &#13;<br /> Americans are not isolationists. As the 2018 Chicago Council on Global Affairs <a href="https://digital.thechicagocouncil.org/america-engaged?_ga=2.135607985.147808787.1551792878-348309153.1551792878">revealed</a>, 70% of Americans want the United States to take an “active part” in world affairs. But the more important question is what does an “active part” really mean? A <a href="http://egfound.org/stories/independent-america/worlds-apart">recent study</a> by the Eurasia Group Foundation, for example, found that 47% of elites subscribe to the “indispensable nation” vision for foreign policy, which calls on the United States to maintain overwhelming military superiority and continue intensive efforts to manage world order, while just 9% supported a more restrained vision of foreign policy. The same study, however, found public preferences to be the reverse of elites: 44% supported a more restrained approach to foreign policy and just 10% supported the indispensable nation approach.&#13;<br /> &#13;<br /> Looking deeper, despite all the nostalgia for the Cold War consensus, there have always been important differences between the public and elites when it comes to foreign affairs. <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Foreign-Policy-Disconnect-Americans-Political/dp/0226644626/ref=sr_1_fkmrnull_1?keywords=the+foreign+policy+disconnect&amp;qid=1551803428&amp;s=gateway&amp;sr=8-1-fkmrnull">Academic analysis</a> of decades of survey data has identified a stable set of attitude gaps between the public and their leaders. Moreover, while many of the gaps are quite large – often in the range of 30 percentage points or more – the gaps between Republican and Democratic leaders on the key issues are quite small – typically just a few percentage points.&#13;<br /> &#13;<br /> Elites are far more likely to view globalization and international trade positively, for example, while the public is are more likely to express support for focusing on domestic affairs over foreign affairs. A 2017 Chicago Council on Global Affairs <a href="https://www.thechicagocouncil.org/sites/default/files/elite-report-foreign-policy-establishment-trump_170421_v2.pdf">study</a> found that 90% of Republican leaders and 94% of Democratic leaders believe globalization and trade are “mostly good” for the United States, while the figures hover around 60% for the public.&#13;<br /> &#13;<br /> The same study shows that the public, on the other hand, is more sensitive than elites to perceived threats to the economy and to the homeland. Seventy-eight percent of Republicans and 74% of Democrats think protecting American jobs should be a “very important” foreign policy goal, compared to just 25% of Republican leaders and 37% of Democratic leaders. Meanwhile 27% of Democrats, 40% of Independents, and 67% of Republicans view “large numbers of immigrants and refugees coming into the U.S.” as a critical threat in the next 10 years, compared to just 5% of Democratic leaders and 19% of Republican leaders.&#13;<br /> &#13;<br /> Finally, though it depends on the scenario, the public has always been more hesitant about the use of military force abroad than elites. In the Eurasia Group Foundation <a href="http://egfound.org/stories/independent-america/worlds-apart">study</a>, for example, 95% of foreign policy experts would support using military force if Russia invaded Estonia, a NATO ally, compared to just 54.2% of the public. The 2017 Chicago Council on Global Affairs survey similarly found that 64% of Democratic leaders and 71% of Republican leaders think that defending allies’ security should be a very important foreign policy goal for the United States compared to 36% of Republicans and 37% of Democrats generally.&#13;<br /> &#13;<br /> But despite the size and stability of the gaps between elites and the public, Washington has not budged. Defenders of the status quo tend to view the public as too inattentive and too ignorant to form meaningful opinions about foreign policy. From this view, public support might be important from a political perspective, but the content of people’s actual opinions is not. The task for Washington today, according to this camp, is to reframe existing foreign policy in a manner that shores up public support for the elite consensus.&#13;<br /> &#13;<br /> This obstinance might be defensible were the United States not a democracy or if the American track record on foreign policy were more glorious. As it happens, the track record of American foreign policy is far from glorious and recent surveys thus reveal entirely sensible reactions to our failures. Instead of <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/23/opinion/trump-foreign-policy-america-first.html">wringing its collective hands</a> about the fragility of public support, Washington needs to wake up and start taking public opinion seriously. No one will confuse the average American with a foreign policy expert, but given America’s history and current situation, public preferences are stable, clear, and prudent. The American public wants a less ambitious and less aggressive foreign policy than the United States has pursued since the end of the Cold War, and especially over the past 18 years. The task for Washington today is to embrace these attitudes and create a new foreign policy worthy of public support.</p> Mon, 18 Mar 2019 16:35:00 -0400 A. Trevor Thrall https://www.cato.org/blog/mind-gap-foreign-policy-disconnect-between-washington-america Failure (to Launch?): Donald Trump in Hanoi https://www.cato.org/multimedia/power-problems/failure-launch-donald-trump-hanoi?utm_source=rss_author&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=rss Harry J. Kazianis, Emma Ashford, A. Trevor Thrall <p>Donald Trump’s second summit with Kim Jong Un has come and gone, this time in abject failure. Emma Ashford and Trevor Thrall are joined by Harry Kazianis of the Center for the National Interest to discuss where U.S.-North Korean relations go from here.</p> <ul> <li><a href="https://cftni.org/expert/harry-kazianis/" target="_blank">Harry Kazianis bio</a></li></li> <li>"<a href="https://www.vox.com/2019/3/8/18256179/north-korea-nuclear-trump-kim-step" target="_blank">A Top Trump Official May Have Just Doomed US-North Korea Talks</a>," <em>Vox</em>, March 8, 2019</li> <li>"<a href="https://www.cato.org/events/dealing-with-north-and-south-korea">Dealing with North and South Korea: Can Washington Square the Circle?</a>" Cato Institute Capitol Hill Briefing</li> </ul> Tue, 12 Mar 2019 09:42:00 -0400 Harry J. Kazianis, Emma Ashford, A. Trevor Thrall https://www.cato.org/multimedia/power-problems/failure-launch-donald-trump-hanoi Why the United States Should Not Send the Military to Venezuela https://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/why-united-states-should-not-send-military-venezuela?utm_source=rss_author&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=rss A. Trevor Thrall <div class="lead text-default"> <p>Venezuela today faces an existential crisis of its own making. Thanks to decades of cronyism, corruption, and mismanagement under Hugo Chavez and now Nicolas Maduro, Venezuela's economy is in <a href="https://nam02.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.washingtonpost.com%2Fbusiness%2F2019%2F02%2F01%2Fvenezuela-is-biggest-economic-disaster-modern-history%2F%3Fnoredirect%3Don&amp;data=02%7C01%7Cosc_mb_iainsight%40orlandosentinel.com%7C83d095562d45438d4fec08d6a63a167a%7Cf7da0482aed242fa80233b240fb6598d%7C0%7C0%7C636879165754484373&amp;sdata=DLO3K4pVVcIlmglG3SBJ%2BDDYFtoV7MybmTY%2B8eem96s%3D&amp;reserved=0" target="_blank">freefall</a> and the country is unable to feed itself. More than <a href="https://nam02.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.care.org%2Femergencies%2Fhumanitarian-crisis-in-venezuela&amp;data=02%7C01%7Cosc_mb_iainsight%40orlandosentinel.com%7C83d095562d45438d4fec08d6a63a167a%7Cf7da0482aed242fa80233b240fb6598d%7C0%7C0%7C636879165754494382&amp;sdata=26H6TqE5%2FH%2F350scXp05S%2B%2FpaOeyr6Jx8AnPvc0a95s%3D&amp;reserved=0" target="_blank">three million</a> Venezuelans have fled the country since 2015 while hundreds of thousands of those who remain, including as many as <a href="https://nam02.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.csis.org%2Fanalysis%2Fvenezuelas-crisis-now-regional-humanitarian-disaster&amp;data=02%7C01%7Cosc_mb_iainsight%40orlandosentinel.com%7C83d095562d45438d4fec08d6a63a167a%7Cf7da0482aed242fa80233b240fb6598d%7C0%7C0%7C636879165754494382&amp;sdata=9UKaBkSVnCeDEzipXmloZRHrkCRqfkTfT3FDxboczHA%3D&amp;reserved=0" target="_blank">300,000 children</a>, are at risk of dying from malnutrition. The health care system is in shambles. <a href="https://nam02.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.mercycorps.org%2Farticles%2Fvenezuela-crisis-quick-facts&amp;data=02%7C01%7Cosc_mb_iainsight%40orlandosentinel.com%7C83d095562d45438d4fec08d6a63a167a%7Cf7da0482aed242fa80233b240fb6598d%7C0%7C0%7C636879165754504387&amp;sdata=U%2BO1VHmGpbbYKMnrtPtqokuDjHbbNfILLvy3NUz9hGo%3D&amp;reserved=0" target="_blank">Newborns in Syria</a> have a better chance of survival than those born in Venezuela today. The United States and others have sent humanitarian aid but so far Maduro's military forces have blocked its delivery at the border.</p> </div> , <div class="text-default"> <p>The United States has thrown its support behind National Assembly leader Juan Guaido, recognizing him as the legitimate president of Venezuela and calling on Maduro to step down. It is not clear that the Trump administration will wait long for Maduro's response. Trump has repeatedly suggested that the United States is open to the possibility of military intervention to ensure Maduro's removal.</p> <p>Few illegitimate rulers, however, leave power without a push. If Maduro refuses to step down, should the United States intervene to rescue Venezuela? The short answer is no.</p> <p></p> </div> , <aside class="aside--right aside pb-lg-0 pt-lg-2"> <div class="pullquote pullquote--default"> <div class="pullquote__content h2"> <p>Though the diplomatic path will not be easy or quick, it is the path most likely to lead to enduring reforms viewed as legitimate by the Venezuelan people.</p> </div> </div> </aside> , <div class="text-default"> <p>An American military strike would surely succeed in crushing Venezuela's military and ousting Maduro. But even though Maduro, like Chavez before him, is an autocratic leader with little interest in the welfare of his own people, he is just the tip of the iceberg.</p> <p>As in many corrupt states, Maduro rules Venezuela with the help of a <a href="https://nam02.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.theguardian.com%2Fcommentisfree%2F2019%2Fjan%2F27%2Fno-pity-for-corrupt-maduro-who-has-broken-his-country-democracy-must-have-its-day&amp;data=02%7C01%7Cosc_mb_iainsight%40orlandosentinel.com%7C83d095562d45438d4fec08d6a63a167a%7Cf7da0482aed242fa80233b240fb6598d%7C0%7C0%7C636879165754504387&amp;sdata=6ZpW0xCuGU6yD9h7ji9RzfSgKEJgOYp4hBr4kmn0vAA%3D&amp;reserved=0" target="_blank">circle</a> of civilian and military elites that he rewards with plum government jobs, sweetheart business deals and other carrots. Thousands of competent government employees have been replaced with incompetent cronies, which has led to decreasing oil production over the past fifteen years, mismanagement of the economy, and to increasing levels of drug trafficking supported by elements of the Venezuelan government.</p> <p>A partial analogy here is the attempt to rebuild the Iraq government, which took not only getting rid of thousands of Baathists loyal to Saddam Hussein — itself a large job — but also many years of painful and costly American occupation while Iraqis attempted, with limited success, to rebuild their economy. And in fact, Iraq scores just as poorly on Transparency International’s <a href="https://nam02.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.transparency.org%2Fcpi2018&amp;data=02%7C01%7Cosc_mb_iainsight%40orlandosentinel.com%7C83d095562d45438d4fec08d6a63a167a%7Cf7da0482aed242fa80233b240fb6598d%7C0%7C0%7C636879165754514397&amp;sdata=EQoLeuGdOVcTctMipesjlHu4iIqFizHKBHSnFAYDVg8%3D&amp;reserved=0" target="_blank">corruption index</a> as it did under Saddam Hussein and the same as Venezuela does today, both near the bottom of the global rankings.</p> <p>A military strike that toppled the government could also unleash more trouble. If Maduro were to fall, there is a possibility of widespread violence thanks to the “<a href="https://nam02.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.bloomberg.com%2Fnews%2Farticles%2F2019-02-26%2Fmaduro-s-masked-thugs-unleash-terror-along-the-venezuelan-border&amp;data=02%7C01%7Cosc_mb_iainsight%40orlandosentinel.com%7C83d095562d45438d4fec08d6a63a167a%7Cf7da0482aed242fa80233b240fb6598d%7C0%7C0%7C636879165754524402&amp;sdata=rMTVdz43K2%2BtU%2FsA5WuGj%2BoD5J8tESSDbR%2FAqkReKEE%3D&amp;reserved=0" target="_blank">colectivos</a>,” pro-government collectives of civilians armed and trained by the government. These paramilitary groups, which operate across much of Venezuela, often act as a stand-in for the government, quashing domestic unrest and encouraging support for Maduro. As their power has grown, thanks to the central government’s inability to extend control over the whole country, they have become increasingly dangerous. <a href="https://nam02.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.nytimes.com%2F2017%2F04%2F22%2Fworld%2Famericas%2Farmed-civilian-bands-in-venezuela-prop-up-unpopular-president.html&amp;data=02%7C01%7Cosc_mb_iainsight%40orlandosentinel.com%7C83d095562d45438d4fec08d6a63a167a%7Cf7da0482aed242fa80233b240fb6598d%7C0%7C0%7C636879165754524402&amp;sdata=E1MQEiahavyYp8rIzaXhrLiBQOyRXBjaFKZ6o8O%2FIKY%3D&amp;reserved=0" target="_blank">Experts estimate</a> that these groups control as many as 10% of Venezuela’s towns and cities.</p> <p>The strength of the colectivos should raise serious red flags about the prospects of an American military intervention. As the United States found in both Afghanistan and Iraq, a successful regime change is not the end of the violence, but the beginning. There is no reason to expect that things will be easier in Venezuela.</p> <p>An American intervention could also create obstacles for the future of Venezuela politics, as well as inflame anti-American sentiment. Nicolas Maduro <a href="https://nam02.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fabcnews.go.com%2FInternational%2Fmaduro-accuses-us-government-fabricating-crisis-start-war%2Fstory%3Fid%3D61215212&amp;data=02%7C01%7Cosc_mb_iainsight%40orlandosentinel.com%7C83d095562d45438d4fec08d6a63a167a%7Cf7da0482aed242fa80233b240fb6598d%7C0%7C0%7C636879165754534411&amp;sdata=dq6E0RaPr5DQWMpigCaqw6QeXGB6NuOQYcPxhoGLi0U%3D&amp;reserved=0" target="_blank">told ABC News</a> that Trump is “willing to go to war for [Venezuela’s] oil.” Whatever the reality, any American intervention is likely to be seen by many Venezuelans to be an unwarranted violation of their sovereignty and incentive to oppose any politicians or policies associated with American support.</p> <p>As difficult as it is to watch Venezuela go through this crisis, the United States should resist military intervention. Though the diplomatic path will not be easy or quick, it is the path most likely to lead to enduring reforms viewed as legitimate by the Venezuelan people.</p> </div> Mon, 11 Mar 2019 11:21:00 -0400 A. Trevor Thrall https://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/why-united-states-should-not-send-military-venezuela How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maduro? https://www.cato.org/multimedia/power-problems/how-do-you-solve-problem-maduro?utm_source=rss_author&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=rss Emma Ashford, A. Trevor Thrall, Moises Rendon <p>Controversy is growing over the Trump administration’s approach to Venezuela, where the United States has backed opposition leader Juan Guaido in his attempt to remove President Nicolas Maduro from power. Trevor Thrall and Emma Ashford are joined by Venezuela expert Moises Rendon to discuss the situation.</p> <p><strong>Show Notes:</strong></p> <ul> <li>Guest Bio: <a href="https://www.csis.org/people/moises-rendon" target="_blank">Moises Rendond</a></li> <li>Moises Rendon, “<a href="https://www.csis.org/analysis/maduro-diet-food-v-freedom-venezuela" target="_blank">Food vs. Freedom in Venezuela</a>," July 9, 2018</li> <li>Amanda Sakuma, “<a href="https://www.vox.com/2019/2/24/18238579/venezuela-border-clashes-colombia-weekend-violence" target="_blank">The Last 48 hours in Venezuela News, Explained</a>," <em>Vox</em>, February 24, 2019</li> </ul> Tue, 26 Feb 2019 08:19:00 -0500 Emma Ashford, A. Trevor Thrall, Moises Rendon https://www.cato.org/multimedia/power-problems/how-do-you-solve-problem-maduro Great Power Competition, Part II https://www.cato.org/multimedia/power-problems/great-power-competition-part-ii?utm_source=rss_author&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=rss Stacie E. Goddard, A. Trevor Thrall, Emma Ashford <p>The Trump administration has emphasized the reemergence of great power competition as the organizing principle for U.S. foreign policy. How will international relations change in an era when new actors are challenging the status quo? In Part II of our great power special, Professor Stacie E. Goddard of Wellesley College joins Trevor Thrall and Emma Ashford to talk about her recent book, <em>When Might Makes Right</em>, about the relationship between rising powers and existing great powers.</p> <p><strong>Show Notes:</strong></p> <ul> <li>Guest Bio: <a href="https://www.wellesley.edu/politicalscience/faculty/goddard" target="_blank">Stacie Goddard</a></li> <li>Stacie Goddard, “<a href="https://www.amazon.com/When-Right-Makes-Might-Security/dp/1501730304/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1547144133&amp;sr=8-1&amp;keywords=when+might+makes+right" target="_blank"><em>When Right Makes Might: Rising Powers and World Order</em></a>"</li> <li>Stacie Goddard, “<a href="https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/international-organization/article/uncommon-ground-indivisible-territory-and-the-politics-of-legitimacy/B3C046CB74EFE70F130B12A95D4E2B5A">Uncommon Ground: Indivisible Territory and the Politics of Legitimacy</a>," <em>International Organizations</em>, vol. 60, no. 1, January 2006</li> <li>Cato Policy Forum, “<a href="//www.cato.org/events/return-great-power-competition">The Return of Great Power Competition</a>." January 15, 2019</li> </ul> Tue, 12 Feb 2019 05:00:00 -0500 Stacie E. Goddard, A. Trevor Thrall, Emma Ashford https://www.cato.org/multimedia/power-problems/great-power-competition-part-ii