Nuclear Negotiations with North Korea

Since the late 1980s, when U.S. officials became aware that North Korea was actively pursuing nuclear weapons capabilities, U.S. administrations have used a combination of pressure, deterrence, and diplomacy to try to reduce the threat posed by a nuclear-armed North Korea. The need for an effective North Korea strategy has become more pressing over the… Continue Reading Nuclear Negotiations with North Korea

Hypersonic Weapons

The United States has actively pursued the development of hypersonic weapons—maneuvering weapons that fly at speeds of at least Mach 5—as a part of its conventional prompt global strike program since the early 2000s. In recent years, the United States has focused such efforts on developing hypersonic glide vehicles, which are launched from a rocket… Continue Reading Hypersonic Weapons


Seeking to avoid sectarian conflict, Lebanese leaders created a confessional system that allocated power among the country’s religious sects according to their percentage of the population. Since then, Lebanon’s demographics and political dynamics have shifted, exacerbating tension among groups, at times stoking sectarian violence, and creating political gridlock on issues that require dividing power, such… Continue Reading Lebanon

Bahrain: Unrest, Security, and U.S. Policy

Bahrain is a small island nation, ruled by a hereditary monarchy, that is in a partnership with other Arab monarchies of the Persian Gulf called the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC: Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Qatar, and Oman). Bahrain is led by King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, who succeeded his father, Shaykh… Continue Reading Bahrain: Unrest, Security, and U.S. Policy

Russia: Foreign Policy and U.S. Relations

Since Russian President Vladimir Putin’s rise to leadership more than 20 years ago, tensions have increased steadily between Russia and the United States. Most observers agree Russia’s natural resources and military modernization program, launched in 2008, provide Russia’s leadership the means to conduct a flexible and often aggressive foreign policy, as well as to project… Continue Reading Russia: Foreign Policy and U.S. Relations

United Arab Emirates (UAE)

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a federation of seven principalities or “emirates.” Its population is assessed at nearly 10 million, but about 90% of the population are expatriates from within and outside the region who work in its open economy. The UAE is a significant U.S. security partner that hosts about 3,500 U.S. military… Continue Reading United Arab Emirates (UAE)

Why Do States Build Nuclear Weapons?: Proliferation Models as Concurrent Pressures on a State

Major Curtice applies three theoretical models of nuclear proliferation and argues that they are more accurate when used in conjunction with each other than separately. Nuclear proliferation, Curtice states, occurs when Domestic Politics-Positive and Normative-Positive pressures are greater than their negative counterparts when a state is facing a security threat. By using India as a… Continue Reading Why Do States Build Nuclear Weapons?: Proliferation Models as Concurrent Pressures on a State

Iran Sanctions

    Successive Administrations and Congresses have used economic sanctions to try to change Iran’s behavior. U.S. sanctions on Iran—primarily “secondary sanctions” on firms that conduct certain transactions with Iran—have adversely affected Iran’s economy but have arguably not, to date, altered Iran’s pursuit of core strategic objectives including its support for regional armed factions and… Continue Reading Iran Sanctions

Japan-U.S. Relations

  Japan is a significant partner of the United States in a number of foreign policy areas, including addressing regional security concerns, which range from hedging against Chinese military modernization to countering threats from North Korea. The U.S.-Japan military alliance, formed in 1952, grants the U.S. military the right to base U.S. troops—currently around 54,000… Continue Reading Japan-U.S. Relations