An Overview of U.S.-Mexico Border Relations

Nov 25, 2015
This essay provides an analysis of the evolution of U.S.-Mexico border relations, with a broad overview that divides the history of the relationship into five distinct periods corresponding to different modes of interaction seen in borderlands throughout the world.

Learning from Sykes-Picot

Nov 19, 2015
The collapse of central authority in both Syria and Iraq, coupled with the rise of a growing number of non-state actors, has given rise to much speculation about the future of the Levant and the end of at least some of the states formed after World War I. The first of a long series of agreements that defined the post-Ottoman Levant was one reached by a British and a French diplomat, Mark Sykes and Francois Georges-Picot, in 1916. The “end of Sykes-Picot” has become the short hand for speculation about a possible reconfiguration of the states of the Levant.

Kennan Cable No.12: A Long Road to Asylum: Syrian Refugees in Russia

Nov 18, 2015
Russia recently intensified its military activity in Syria, but it was not to ameliorate the refugee crisis, despite rhetoric to the contrary. In President Putin’s address to the United Nations on September 28, 2015, he talked about “a new great and tragic migration of peoples” and the need to strengthen the governments from where the refugees are coming. Russia is certainly strengthening its support for the Syrian government by bombing anti-Assad groups, but in doing so it supports the regime causing much of the migration in the first place. In the same speech, Putin also stressed that the refugees “need our compassion and support.” It was a nice sentiment, but a fairly empty one, given that Syrians receive very little of either from the Russian state.

Chapter 22 Update: National Security and Climate Change

Nov 13, 2015
This is an update to Chapter 22 of the book "Energy and Security: Strategies for a World in Transition."

Chapter 21 Update: Energy, Environment and Climate: Framework and Tradeoffs

Nov 13, 2015
This is an update to Chapter 21 of the book "Energy and Security: Strategies for a World in Transition."

The White Sun of Angola

Nov 12, 2015
As Former USSR Deputy Foreign Minister with responsibility for Africa, Ambassador Anatoly Adamishin’s memoirs offer unique insights into Soviet policy during Gorbachev’s perestroika. Its principal focus is Soviet involvement in the long-running conflict in Southern Africa: the Angolan theater. This account highlights the role of personal diplomacy and the relative autonomy of the Soviet Ministry of Foreign Affairs vs the Party. This is a detailed account of the USSR’s overall contribution to the fraught negotiations between South Africa, Cuba, and Angola; relations with the ANC; the resolution of conflict in southern Africa and Namibia’s independence.

Roots of Russia's War in Ukraine

Nov 11, 2015
Roots of Russia’s War in Ukraine presents four perspectives on the origins of the ongoing war in Ukraine that began in February 2014, concentrating on Russian motivations and intentions.

Safety and Security in Yemen: Main Challenges and Stakeholders

Nov 10, 2015
Ensuring safety and security is one of the most pressing challenges for Yemeni society. A number of different formal and informal stakeholders play significant roles in determining Yemen’s security situation. This paper provides an overview of the main reasons for and consequences of such persistent insecurity as well as analysis of how these stakeholders affect security conditions in Yemen.

Arms Control in Cyberspace?

Nov 02, 2015
U.S. policymakers have compared the challenge of managing threats in the cyber domain to that of controlling nuclear weapons during the Cold War. The United States and China are currently negotiating what would be the first cyber arms control agreement to ban attacks on each other’s critical infrastructure in peacetime. The Obama administration believes such an agreement could lead to a broader “international framework” of norms, treaties, and institutions to govern cyberspace. Arms control and deterrence are longstanding U.S. policy instruments that are being revived and retooled to meet contemporary cyber challenges. But the utility of these Cold War strategies, which constitute necessary but not sufficient measures, will be inherently limited owing to fundamental differences between the nuclear and cyber domains.