12 Items

Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, left, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, second from left, Chinese Politburo Member Yang Jiechi third from right, and Chinese State Councilor and Defense Minister General Wei Fenghe, second from right, meet at the State Department in Washington, November 9, 2018.

AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

Analysis & Opinions - The Washington Post

The Next Great War

| Nov. 09, 2018

On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918, the guns of World War I fell silent — and nearly 20 million people lay dead. Could such a conflict happen today? After more than seven decades without a shooting war between great powers, many Americans find the thought of the United States and a major adversary like China killing millions of one another’s citizens virtually inconceivable.

But when we say something is “inconceivable,” we should remember this: the realm of what is possible is not bound by what our limited minds can conceive. Today, the intensifying rivalry between a rising China and a ruling United States could lead to a war that neither side wants and that both know would be even more catastrophic than World War I.

China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) Gen. Li Zuocheng, left, and U.S. Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley, center, review an honor guard during a welcome ceremony at the Bayi Building in Beijing. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein, Pool)

AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein, Pool

Analysis & Opinions - The Washington Post

Is war between a rising China and a dominant America inevitable? A thought experiment.

| June 28, 2017

Chinese analysts, from President Xi Jinping on down, have nominally rejected Allison’s pessimistic analysis. “There is no Thucydides Trap,” Xi has argued, claiming that he had devised an alternative “new type of great-power relations” that would avoid war by recognizing that each Asian giant had its own legitimate interests. More recently, he has shifted to arguing that “China and the U.S. must do everything possible to avoid [the] Thucydides Trap.”

US Secretary of State John Kerry (right) and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif meet in Paris to discuss the Iranian nuclear deal.

United States Department of State

Analysis & Opinions - The National Interest

Assessing an Iran Deal: 5 Big Lessons from History

| July 7, 2015

As the policy community prepares to assess an agreement between the U.S. and its P5+1 partners and Iran, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker asked me to review the history of analogous agreements for lessons that illuminate the current challenge. In response to his assignment, I reviewed the seven decades of the nuclear era, during which the U.S. negotiated arms-control treaties, including the Non-Proliferation Treaty of 1968; strategic arms limitation talks and agreements from SALT to New Start; the North Korean accord of 1994; the agreements that helped eliminate nuclear weapons in Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and Belarus in the early 1990s; and the pact that eliminated the Libyan nuclear weapons program in 2003.

Among many lessons and clues from this instructive history, five stand out

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Discussion Paper - Caspian Studies Program

U.S. Policy on Russian and Caspian Oil Exports: Addressing America's Oil Addiction

| June 30, 2002

On April 8, 2002 - the same day that Iraq instituted an oil export embargo and only weeks after the U.S. Senate rejected new fuel efficiency standards for automobiles - students in my "Central Issues of American Foreign Policy" course at the Kennedy School of Government were in the middle of presenting policy recommendations to address America's "addiction to oil.