Источник
The National Interest online seeks to provide a space for vigorous debate and exchange not only among Americans but between U.S. and overseas interlocutors. This is the new home for informed analysis and frank but reasoned exchanges on foreign policy and international affairs.
Выбор редакции
16 августа, 14:00

In 1983, Russia and America Came to the Brink of a Nuclear World War III

  • 0

Paul Dibb Security, It was a scary time.  In May and August 1984, two top-secret U.S. intelligence post-mortems reviewed recent Soviet military activities and political statements, but—despite the evidence that the CIA had seen from Oleg Gordievsky the KGB chief in London—they declared that “the Soviet leaders do not perceive a genuine danger of imminent conflict or confrontation with the United States.” The U.S. government has just released one of the most worrying reports about the risk of nuclear war in the Cold War and the dangers of miscalculating Soviet intentions. The top-secret document was released in October 2015. It’s a damning report made by the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board (PFIAB) in February 1990 about the U.S. intelligence community’s poor knowledge and lack of understanding of the USSR during the 1983 nuclear war scare. Strategist readers will recall that in October 2013 I authored an ASPI Special Report The nuclear war scare of 1983: how serious was it? I had access to 57 U.S. intelligence documents—many of them National Intelligence Estimates on the USSR formerly highly classified—that had been obtained under the Freedom of Information Act (FOI) by the National Security Archive. Using those sources I painted a frightening picture of events in 1983 when the world stood on the edge of the nuclear abyss without America even realizing it. But there was one piece of critical evidence missing—the 1990 PFIAB report, which has only recently been released. Read full article

Выбор редакции
16 августа, 03:14

Death Match: Russia's PAK-FA Stealth Fighter vs. America's Killer F-22 Raptor

  • 0

Sebastien Roblin Security, Who would win?  So why has the PAK-FA order been so radically downsized? It’s because it’s proving extremely difficult to deliver on all the design specifications, particularly the engines. The development costs keep on mounting, while the Russian economy has been in a recession for the last few years, decreasing the appetite for such an expensive offering. This leads to another important caveat regarding the T-50: many of its capabilities are planned-for rather than extant. The AESA radar is still undergoing testing. The current crop of PAK FAs is equipped AL-41F1 turbofans which are fuel inefficient and produce insufficient thrust, so the plan is to replace them with superior Izdeliye 30 turbofans once they finish development—which may take as long as 2027. Step right up, ladies and gentlemen! Entering the ring today are the two ultimate stealth fighters of the day, the F-22 Raptor and the PAK FA T-50. The former has already completed its production run (or has it?), the latter will soon begin hatching from its industrial nest (or will it?) Today we’ll consider which would have the upper-hand at various engagement ranges—blows long and short, all are permitted! And just to keep the audiences on its toes, we’ll examine the battle in backwards order, like in that one Seinfeld episode. Within Visual Range—Bringing Invisible Swordsmen To a Gunfight? Missile technology has long promised to make air combat about slinging missiles over distances well over 100 or even 200 kilometers. But if both aircraft use stealth technology, the range at which they can accurately target each other with radar-guided weapons is drastically shortened. Which in theory could bring back more close-range dogfights. Read full article

Выбор редакции
16 августа, 03:05

The Path to U.S.-Russia Cooperation

  • 0

Zalmay Khalilzad Security, Americas For the United States, managing Russian decline requires pursuing a balance-of-power approach to minimize the risk of escalation. Note: this article is part of a symposium on U.S.-Russia relations included in the September/October 2017 issue of the National Interest. Despite the array of twists and turns since the start of the Trump administration, there is a chance that U.S.-Russia relations could improve over time. My cautious optimism depends on three assumptions. My first assumption: President Trump continues to remain interested in engagement and cooperation with Russia. He aims to contain and defeat the threat of terrorism, make progress in resolving the conflicts in Syria and Ukraine, and address the challenges of proliferation. The agreement on a limited cease-fire in Syria, reached by Presidents Trump and Putin during the G-20 summit, may keep alive the former’s intentions to improve relations with Russia—an aim he has expressed consistently since the campaign trail—in the face of domestic political costs. My second assumption: Putin becomes more serious about cooperation with the United States and begins to give clear indications of what he wants—in which areas and on what issues. The lack of specificity from Putin has so far been a key obstacle to progress. When approached by senior U.S. officials, he spent his time complaining about policies under Barack Obama, or about what he considers unjustified U.S. missile strikes in Syria: the Trump administration’s response to the regime’s use of chemical weapons. Putin did not seriously engage on any substantive issues. He even abruptly canceled a scheduled visit to Russia by Tom Shannon, the under secretary of state, which was meant to discuss a range of issues of mutual concern. Read full article

Выбор редакции
16 августа, 03:04

Brexit Britain and Trump America: A New ‘Special Relationship’?

  • 0

Henrik Choy Security, Europe Can common enemies and threats keep Britain and the United States together for decades to come? British prime minister Theresa May’s narrow victory in the 2017 general election has earned her the reputation of a “dead woman walking,” given that her failure to win a Conservative majority in the House of Commons has drastically slimmed her chances of executing her party’s manifesto. Across the Atlantic, President Donald Trump is facing domestic and international problems of his own. Faced with polarization in both their parties and respective countries, Trump and May face uphill battles to achieve their political agendas. Appealing to the more nationalist and populist elements of society, Trump and May have entered uncharted territory by promising to tackle issues in ways that differ from their predecessors. For decades, Britain and the United States have been bound together in a unique relationship through their common vision of a world they wish to create, the external and internal threats they share, and the personal relationships their leaders have developed. Today, the changing mood in both Washington and London is forging an unusual new chapter in this long standing “special relationship.” Trump and May face an uncertain future, but they can still look back to see how their predecessors maintained the Anglo-American special relationship during the tumultuous and transformative years following World War II. 1941: A Grand Vision Read full article

Выбор редакции
16 августа, 03:02

Thucydides Trap or Tug-of-War?

  • 0

Parag Khanna Security, Americas Today’s major powers are keenly aware that in tug-of-war, if the rope snaps, both teams stumble and fall; nobody wins. AFTER STALIN, Churchill and Truman ratified what amounted to a spheres-of-influence deal at Potsdam in 1945, George Orwell was seized with a sense of inevitability about perpetual war between the world’s rival blocs—especially after the testing of atomic weapons. Orwell had already been influenced by James Burnham’s The Managerial Revolution, which appeared in 1941 and posited the development of a world in which three superstates carved up the globe between them. And so Orwell, a keen witness to the homogenizing rigidity of both European colonialism and Soviet communism, depicted all three of the megacontinental superstates in 1984—Oceania, Eastasia and Eurasia—as totalitarian regimes. There is a stunning prescience to the map corresponding to 1984. If we correct for continental Europe not having been conquered by the Soviet Union and cede it to Oceania (America), it accurately depicts the three-pillared Western constellation of North America, South America and the European Union (with London and New York as twin regional capitals). Meanwhile, Russia (Eurasia) retains sway over the “Mongolic” mass of northern Eurasia, while “death-worshipping” Eastasia (China) expands and subsumes Japan, Southeast Asia and Central Asia. Orwell’s tableau conforms comfortably to the world neorealists take for granted. It is a multipolar world of perpetual stalemate, with no single power—or even alliance of two against the third—able to dominate the planet. Read full article

Выбор редакции
16 августа, 03:01

What China Can Teach America about the North Korea Threat

  • 0

Lawrence J. Korb, Yashar Parsie Security, Asia Sanctions alone do not suffice the North Korean dilemma if those sanctions are independent of a broader strategy. North Korea successfully tested an intercontinental ballistic missile on July 4. Less than a month later, it successfully tested a second ICBM, one with an extended range. In the same month, the Defense Intelligence Agency concluded that the Hermit Kingdom may have as many as sixty nuclear weapons, and that it has succeeded in producing a compact nuclear warhead for ICBM-class missile delivery. These developments demonstrate that North Korea, a member of the nuclear club since 2006, has the potential capability to strike the continental United States, in addition to Guam, Alaska, Hawaii and U.S. allies in the Asia-Pacific region. In fact, after the president reacted to the latest development of missile-ready weapons with the language of “fire and fury,” the North Koreans threatened to strike Guam. Amid heightened tensions between North Korea and the United States, the possibility of military conflict has become increasingly likely. North Korea’s nuclear capability and repeated provocations rightly concern the United States and the global community, and the regime is a human-rights violator of an unimaginable magnitude. But our good options are few. To navigate the geopolitical terrain, we should apply lessons of history that may provide insight to our situation. One analogy is especially salient: China in the 1960s. Read full article

Выбор редакции
16 августа, 02:59

Winning 'Hearts and Minds' Won't Eliminate ISIS

  • 0

Mitchell Blatt, Sumantra Maitra Security, Middle East The liberation of Mosul is not something to be proud of just yet. Predictably, there have been incidents of alleged abuses in the aftermath of Iraqi forces defeating ISIS in Mosul. Victorious troops were recorded throwing ISIS fighters from rooftops and shooting at unarmed ISIS fighters in targeted-killing sprees. After retaking the last strongholds of the city that had been the de facto capital of ISIS’s Iraqi territory for the past three years, Iraqis were understandably happy and caught up in excesses. “In the final weeks of the battle for west Mosul, the pervasive attitude that I have observed among armed forces has been of momentum, the desire to get the battle wrapped up as quickly as possible, and a collapse of adherences to the laws of war,” Belkis Wille, Iraqi researcher for Human Rights Watch, was quoted telling the BBC. The veracity of footage of alleged extrajudicial executions is unconfirmed. Both Iraq and the U.S.-led coalition have promised to examine the footage and take actions. Human Rights Watch also complained that Iraqi forces are moving women and children with ties to ISIS to camps for rehabilitation. This is a paradox of Western counterinsurgency operations, and has been a topic of discussion and debate in the West. For the last twenty years, the standard process of Western counterinsurgency has been a hearts-and-minds strategy based in human rights. If anything has been proven, it is the failure of that approach. Recently, a female Arab journalist managed to speak to families of ISIS members, including those who fled to Syria from as far as China and Indonesia. The replies were startling. First of all, not a single family member showed any sign of remorse. Some male family members didn’t even look the journalist in the eye. One relative said that ISIS tricked them into joining. Another espoused the conspiracy theory that it was all a grand Western plan to gather Muslims from around the world in the Middle East where they could be exterminated—by other Muslims. Read full article

Выбор редакции
16 августа, 02:57

If Ukraine's Economy Is to Reform, Then Its Inefficient Health System Has to Go

  • 0

Luke Coffey Security, Eurasia And the stakes for reform are higher than in America. The United States is not the only country caught up in an emotional debate over health care. The Ukrainian Rada (parliament) has been struggling with the issue for months. And like their counterparts in the U.S. Senate, Ukrainian lawmakers scuttled plans to pass health-care reform just before breaking for summer recess on July 19. In Ukraine, however, the stakes for reform are higher. For starters, more than 90 percent of Ukrainians have no medical insurance. But the problems go far deeper than that. The country’s current health-care system is a legacy of the Soviet era—and a most sorry one. Government funding and resources for hospitals are allocated according to the number of medical workers, buildings and beds, rather than the number of patients treated. Physicians and administrators, saddled with a mind-set stuck in the Soviet way of doing things, shun more advanced Western practices and equipment. The carry-over egalitarianism of the Soviet era leaves doctors earning a paltry $200 a month. Naturally, this breeds corruption. For example, bribery is a commonplace precondition for receiving medical treatment. The situation is dire. So dire, in fact, that International Monetary Fund (IMF) has insisted that Ukraine reform its health system. The IMF’s program to keep the Ukrainian economy afloat is contingent on significant economic reforms, including fixing the corrupt and inefficient health system. The big stumbling blocks have been the entrenched corruption and Soviet mind-set of Ukraine’s older generation of political leaders. But leading the charge for reform is a relative newcomer, Dr. Ulana Suprun, Ukraine’s Acting Minister of Health. Born, raised and educated in the United States, Dr. Suprun had a successful radiology practice in New York City. When the Maidan revolution erupted in early 2014, the Ukrainian-American physician traveled to Ukraine to treat those wounded by the security forces of former President Viktor Yanukovych. Read full article

Выбор редакции
15 августа, 22:15

The U.S. Air Force's Greatest Enemy Is Not Russia or China (but a Threat from Within)

  • 0

David Max Korzen Security, North America An alarming manpower shortage is the culprit. The United States Air Force is bleeding manpower at a rate so alarming Air Force leaders have described it as a ‘quiet crisis.’ In an attempt to mollify frustrated personnel, former Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James and Air Force Chief of Staff, General David Goldfein, published directives last year ordering a reduction in additional duties. These burdens were a source of many complaints and reducing them was seen as a way to improve the work environment for airmen. Yet despite successful efforts to reduce some tasks, the service has created a patchwork of uneven standards across the Air Force, further sapping morale and confidence in the service. The Air Force faces personnel shortages in a number of career fields, but it is currently most pronounced in fighter pilots. It is projected that by October 1, 2017, the Air Force will lack 1,000 aviators, almost a third of the force, and the numbers are set to worsen. The Air Force believes that the primary cause of this exodus is the recent hiring boom by the airline industry which offers experienced military pilots lucrative civilian jobs. Accordingly, the service has offered pilots retention bonuses of up to $35,000 annually, though this has not stemmed the tide. As the Air Force already offers pilots a robust salary and good benefits in addition to the generous bonus packages, it is likely that financial considerations are not the sole causal factor of the shortage. This is backed by exit survey data from airmen separating in 2015 which revealed that 37% of the personnel found ‘additional duties’ to be a factor in their decision to leave the service. Additional duties in the Air Force extend beyond mere paperwork. Among the odd assortment of official responsibilities are instructing first-aid courses, assisting fellow personnel with filing returns and managing the squadron’s website. Read full article

Выбор редакции
15 августа, 20:25

America and Russia Will Square off over New Sanctions

  • 0

Dave Majumdar Security, Americas There is little Russia can do economically in retaliation to the U.S. sanctions, but Moscow can act against American interests geopolitically. The Kremlin will likely respond to new U.S. sanctions that were recently imposed on Russia by asymmetric means. From the Russian point of view, the new sanctions—which are codified by law—are essentially permanent, thus Moscow has little incentive to comply with American demands. Indeed, previous congressionally mandated sanctions, such as the Jackson-Vanik amendment of 1974, remained on the books long after their intended effects had come to pass. In fact, the Jackson-Vanik amendment remained in place long after the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union until 2012 when it was replaced by the Magnitsky Act sanctions. There is little Russia can do economically in retaliation to U.S. sanctions, but Moscow can act against American interests geopolitically. Moreover, if the United States starts to supply arms to Ukraine or launches a cyber attack against Russian infrastructure, Moscow, too, has means to make Washington’s life much more difficult. “In the economic area, we’ll probably see some limited counter sanctions,” George Beebe, director of the intelligence program at the Center for the National Interest—the foreign-policy think-tank that publishes the National Interest—told attendees during a panel discussion on August 14. “In the intelligence area, I think we’re going to see an escalation. We’ll see an escalation in the intelligence war that’s going on between our intelligence services.” Such an intelligence war could endanger American intelligence officers in Russia and around the world, said Beebe—a former senior intelligence analyst who served in the Central Intelligence Agency. “This won’t be just expelling intelligence officers,” Beebe said. “There is likely to be increased harassment . . . It can be a very serious thing, physically endangering our personnel.” Read full article

Выбор редакции
15 августа, 17:30

Are Russia and China Preparing for War?

  • 0

Eugene K. Chow Security, Asia Could this happen? The frozen tundra along Russia’s far-eastern border with China is becoming a hot zone as both nations deploy nuclear-capable missiles to the area. Are two of the world’s most advanced militaries preparing for war with one another? In June, Russia armed a fourth brigade in the far east with the deadly Iskander-M short-range ballistic missile system. There are now twice as many brigades equipped with these nuclear-capable missiles on the Chinese border than any other Russian military district. The Iskander-M has a range of 250–310 miles, which puts China squarely in its sights. South of the border, China has reportedly moved the Dongfeng-41, an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of carrying multiple nuclear warheads, to its northeastern-most province. Though the two nations appear to be close allies, conducting joint military exercises in recent years, this region has been a significant source of tension in the past. In 1969, the Soviet Union and China nearly went to war with one another following deadly military clashes in the area. By deploying Iskander-M missile brigades, some analysts suggest that Russia is seeking to check the increasing military and economic might of its southern neighbor. Perched along Russia’s eastern-most border are over 100 million Chinese to just 4 million Russians. Based on some estimates, as many as five million Chinese migrants have poured across the border, sparking fears that they could become the region’s dominant ethnic group. Vladimir Putin has even warned residents that their children could one day grow up speaking Chinese. Read full article

Выбор редакции
15 августа, 17:05

Here Is Why Trump Should Invite Kim Jong Un to Washington

  • 0

John Dale Grover Politics, Asia It may help to prevent war. Trump recently tweeted that North Korea would face “fire and fury” if it did not stop with its threats. North Korean media has responded by claiming their military is awaiting approval from Kim to launch Hwasong-14 rockets to hit the waters around the U.S. territory of Guam. These threats to the physical security of each other’s countries jolt the national sense of self-preservation. Not surprisingly, the resulting cycle where both parties up the ante in words is as predictable as it is unproductive. Trump should do what he does best – the unexpected and the unconventional. He once said that under the “right circumstances” he would be “honored” to meet Kim. Where did that Trump go – the one willing to talk things out with world leaders, instead of aimlessly threaten? It would raise the hackles of certain hawks and hardliners, but Trump should invite Kim to Washington and offer to visit Pyongyang in return. Read full article