U.S. Role in the World

The U.S. role in the world refers to the overall character, purpose, or direction of U.S. participation in international affairs and the country’s overall relationship to the rest of the world. The U.S. role in the world can be viewed as establishing the overall context or framework for U.S. policymakers for developing, implementing, and measuring… Continue Reading U.S. Role in the World

Nonstrategic Nuclear Weapons

Recent debates about U.S. nuclear weapons have questioned what role weapons with shorter ranges and lower yields can play in addressing emerging threats in Europe and Asia. These weapons, often referred to as nonstrategic nuclear weapons, have not been limited by past U.S.-Russian arms control agreements, although some analysts argue such limits would be of… Continue Reading Nonstrategic Nuclear Weapons

Renewed Great Power Competition: Implications for Defense

World events in recent years have led observers, particularly since late 2013, to conclude that the international security environment in recent years has undergone a shift from the post-Cold War era that began in the late 1980s and early 1990s, also sometimes known as the unipolar moment (with the United States as the unipolar power),… Continue Reading Renewed Great Power Competition: Implications for Defense

Instances of Use of United States Armed Forces Abroad, 1798-2019

This report lists hundreds of instances in which the United States has used its Armed Forces abroad in situations of military conflict or potential conflict or for other than normal peacetime purposes. It was compiled in part from various older lists and is intended primarily to provide a rough survey of past U.S. military ventures… Continue Reading Instances of Use of United States Armed Forces Abroad, 1798-2019

U.S.-Iran Tensions and Implications for U.S. Policy

  Since May 2019, U.S.-Iran tensions have escalated. The Trump Administration, following its 2018 withdrawal from the 2015 multilateral nuclear agreement with Iran (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, JCPOA), has taken several steps in its campaign of applying “maximum pressure” on Iran. Iran and Iran-linked forces have targeted commercial ships and infrastructure in U.S. partner… Continue Reading U.S.-Iran Tensions and Implications for U.S. Policy

Five Conundrums: The United States and the Conflict in Syria

For the past 8 years, two U.S. administrations, the United Nations (UN), and numerous foreign governments have sought to end the catastrophic war in Syria and reach a negotiated political settlement to the conflict. Their efforts have repeatedly been complicated, even thwarted, by the highly contested and violent politics underlying the conflict, the sheer number… Continue Reading Five Conundrums: The United States and the Conflict in Syria

U.S.-Japan Alliance

The U.S.-Japan alliance has long been an anchor of the U.S. security role in Asia and arguably a contributor to peace and prosperity in the region. Forged during the U.S. occupation of Japan after its defeat in World War II, the alliance provides a platform for U.S. military readiness in the Pacific. About 54,000 U.S.… Continue Reading U.S.-Japan Alliance

Thucydides’ Other “Traps”: The United States, China, and the Prospect of “Inevitable” War

The notion of a “Thucydides Trap” that will ensnare China and the United States in a 21st century conflict—much as the rising power of Athens alarmed Sparta and made war “inevitable” between the Aegean superpowers of the 5th century BCE—has received global attention since entering the international relations lexicon 6 years ago. Scholars, journalists, bloggers,… Continue Reading Thucydides’ Other “Traps”: The United States, China, and the Prospect of “Inevitable” War

Transatlantic Relations: U.S. Interests and Key Issues

  For the past 70 years, the United States has been instrumental in leading and promoting a strong U.S.-European partnership. Often termed the transatlantic relationship, this partnership has been grounded in the U.S.-led post-World War II order based on alliances with like-minded democratic countries and a shared U.S.-European commitment to free markets and an open… Continue Reading Transatlantic Relations: U.S. Interests and Key Issues

United States Foreign Intelligence Relationships: Background, Policy and Legal Authorities, Risks, Benefits

    U.S. intelligence relations with foreign counterparts offer a number of benefits: indications and warning of an attack, expanded geographic coverage, corroboration of national sources, accelerated access to a contingency area, and a diplomatic backchannel. They also present risks of compromise due to poor security, espionage, geopolitical turmoil, manipulation to influence policy, incomplete vetting… Continue Reading United States Foreign Intelligence Relationships: Background, Policy and Legal Authorities, Risks, Benefits