Small Wars Journal

foreign policy

Venezuela: Could the Coronavirus Threat Be an Opportunity? SWJED Sat, 04/11/2020 - 11:04am
Helping Venezuela resolve its political crisis will be vital to containing the potentially catastrophic COVID-19 pandemic there. A truce in the country’s power struggle is urgent, and last week’s U.S. proposal for a transitional government offers useful ideas, even for a naturally skeptical governing regime.

Four Things to Know About President Trump’s Trip to India

Sun, 03/01/2020 - 8:11am
President Trump’s recent trip to India yielded no progress on a bilateral trade agreement, one of the main issues both leaders hoped to address. Despite the trade impasse, both President Trump and Indian Prime Minister Narenda Modi used the two-day trip to reinforce the positive relationship between the U.S. and India, as official discussions finalized several defense and energy deals. USIP’s Vikram Singh looks at the state of trade talks, the possibility of U.S. mediation in Kashmir, India’s regional stance on the Afghan peace process, and how China’s growing global influence impacts U.S.-India relations.

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Crushing Kim: Can the U.S. Halt North Korea's Nuclear Proliferation? SWJED Sun, 10/06/2019 - 3:48am
North Korea has always relied on provocation to preserve regime stability. The Kim regime refuses to recognize the 1953 armistice as an end of the Korean War and desires to reunite the peninsula under North Korean control. Even in the face of international pressure, North Korea has developed nuclear weapons to combat threats to the regime and maintain Kim’s survival.
The Prospects for Advancing US-Saudi Defense Alliance in the Shadow of the ARAMCO Attacks SWJED Wed, 09/25/2019 - 12:16am
Following the recent attacks on Saudi ARAMCO oil fields, which according to US and Saudi intelligence assessments, involved both drones and cruise missiles, and most likely originated in Southern Iran, the future of the US-Saudi alliance has come into question as President Trump has been taking time to assess the nature of the threat and to decide on reasonable next steps that would deter Iran from further aggression in the region.
Leveraging Incomplete Sovereignty: Building a Peaceful Empire on the Cheap SWJED Wed, 08/07/2019 - 5:09am
Why has the United States focused their grand strategy on influencing states and central governments rather than the ungoverned areas within them? Pursuing reluctant authoritarians rather than the accepted rulers who control the land outside the states control has been a failed and misguided strategy.
Could the United States Leave the Middle East by 2031? - A Reply to Anand Toprani on U.S. Strategy in the Persian Gulf SWJED Wed, 06/19/2019 - 2:06pm
Failed dreams of a U.S. withdrawal from the Middle East were very much on my mind while reading a pair of excellent – if flawed – articles in 'War on the Rocks' by Anand Toprani. In the first essay, published in January, Toprani provides one of the best explanations you’ll find on the vagaries of oil pricing and supply, as well as a cogent case for why oil is unlikely to be “just another commodity” anytime soon. In his second essay, published in May, he further underscores that the Persian Gulf remains an irreplaceable source of oil production and argues, to this end, that the United States needs to continue its Cold War role as the region’s strategic guarantor.
Small States Matter: An African Perspective SWJED Wed, 06/05/2019 - 6:20am
The lesson of Montenegro is one that goes beyond the particularities of Balkan high politics or the US president’s clear discomfort with treaty obligations that he perceives as unduly tying America to Europe. What it highlights is an often overlooked but hard to dispute axiom of foreign affairs: small states matter.
War With Iran? - Error, Manipulation and President Donald Trump's "Strategy" of Incoherence SWJED Mon, 05/20/2019 - 2:57am
To some extent, there is nothing new under the sun. Fabrication and folly are hardly unknown to US presidential policies on war and peace. Before President Donald Trump commits further to any new or expanding military operations against Iran, therefore, it would be prudent to look back at some of this country's previous war policy manipulations and errors.
President Erdogan is a Threat to U.S. and NATO Security SWJED Wed, 04/03/2019 - 1:43pm
The truth is, however - as ugly as it may sound - Turkey is not a major world power. President Erdogan is painfully aware that Turkish political and military power is as relevant as the superpower to whom he can hitch his wagon - whether it is the U.S. or Russia. Hence, he continues to play a dangerous game of Russian roulette (pun is definitely intended) to gain more leverage with both countries to get what he wants.
Don’t Cut Aid to Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala SWJED Sun, 03/31/2019 - 1:36pm
"To treat Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras as Westphalian states where the national government has real authority is to ignore reality. Those countries need “nation-building” in order to become Westphalian states capable of enforcing border control and providing sufficient public security and economic development so that their people are happy and content to live out their lives in their local communities under a viable and just national state political system."