CSS Research and Policy Seminar with Aroop Mukharji

The CSS team held a virtual meeting on November 10 to discuss a new paper by Aroop Mukharji, who joined the center this year as a post-doctoral fellow after completing his PhD at the Harvard Kennedy School. The paper, “A Menace to our Peace,” offers a unique perspective on the causes of the 1898 Spanish–American War. While acknowledging humanitarian and other motivations, Mukharji highlights an overlooked reason for President William McKinley’s declaration of war on Spain: the fear that a violent stalemate in the Cuban War of Independence could create regional instability, thereby threatening American security.

Read more

Uncertainty and Possibility in UN Peacekeeping

By Stephen Moncrief

The American retreat from multilateralism, growing skepticism of the UN’s general efficacy, and the widespread harms generated by Covid-19 are all frustrating the UN’s efforts to achieve its organizational goals. Against this gloomy backdrop, the future of peacekeeping is a major topic among researchers and practitioners. With the United States responsible for a substantial portion of the UN’s peacekeeping budget, now is an excellent time to think systematically about the successes, limitations, and potential contributions of UN peacekeeping to the goal of world peace.

Read more

CSS Research and Policy Seminar with Stephen Moncrief

The CSS team met virtually as part of the Research and Policy Seminar series to discuss a stand-alone article by Post-doctoral Fellow Stephen Moncrief, based on his dissertation research completed at Yale University. The article, “Statebuilding in Haiti,” discusses the evolving nature of UN missions from peacekeeping operations to statebuilding projects.

Read more

Germany, U.S. Hegemony, and Huawei’s Waning European 5G Infrastructure Prospects

By Thomas Cavanna

In late September, Germany’s leaders reached an agreement in principle on a new bill that will severely restrict access to the country’s 5G network infrastructure market. Although forthcoming legislation is unlikely to take the form of a ban, the Chinese company Huawei is expected to see its prospects dramatically curtailed by new technical verification requirements, a political evaluation of suppliers’ “trustworthiness,” and the involvement of national cybersecurity and intelligence services in the decision-making process. The news is a severe blow to Beijing and a major victory for the United States.

Read more

CSS Research and Policy Seminar with Zoltan Feher

Zoltan Feher, a PhD candidate at The Fletcher School, presented his paper, “From Tiananmen to the World Trade Organization: Why Did the United States Help China’s Rise in the Early Post-Cold War Period?” at a September 29 session of the CSS Research and Policy Seminar series. In the paper, Feher asks the question: Why did the United States get China policy wrong in the George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton presidencies, and what does International Relations theory say about it? The United States invested precious time and money aiding China’s rise, and yet it created a competitor instead of a friend.

Read more

Engaging the Middle East Still Necessary in the Post-Pax Americana

By Karim Elkady

As the Trump–Biden competition heats up in the final stretch of the 2020 presidential race, both contenders emphasize policies that seek full or partial disengagement from the Middle East. While the current administration has recently secured a diplomatic breakthrough with the signing of the Abraham Accords among Israel, the United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain, this achievement could be understood as part of an emerging trend of decreasing American security commitments toward the region.

Read more

Reliable Allies, Brutal Violence Behind Russian Success in Syria

By Nils Hagerdal

Russia’s military intervention in the Syrian civil war qualifies as a stunning foreign policy success for President Vladimir Putin. Why was the Russian intervention in Syria so successful when the U.S. effort in Afghanistan is gradually being wound down after almost 20 years without achieving its objectives? Four factors stand out: compared to the United States in Afghanistan, the Russian intervention in Syria had a reliable local ally, a clear mission, relatively high-quality allied ground forces, and a willingness to use remarkably brutal levels of violence to secure its desired outcome.

Read more