Book Review by Thomas Cavanna: Oil and the Great Powers: Britain and Germany, 1914–1945, by Anand Toprani. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2019

By Thomas Cavanna

This award-winning book written by Anand Toprani, Associate Professor at the Naval War College, examines the strategies that Britain and Germany developed during the years of 1918 to 1945 to restore their energy independence (as opposed to energy security, i.e., importing oil at reasonable prices), and how those efforts caused an “overextension” that accelerated London and Berlin’s “demise as great powers.”

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CSS Research and Policy Seminar with James D. Boys

By Zoltan Feher

On October 27, 2020, James D. Boys was the guest speaker at the Research & Policy Seminar of the Center for Strategic Studies. Boys presented his paper “The Madman Theory: Intellectual and Cultural Origins,” which constitutes the third chapter in his anticipated ten-chapter book detailing the development of The Madman Theory and its implementation by Presidents Nixon and Trump.

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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.

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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.

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Americans living overseas could tilt the 2020 election – if only they voted

By Monica Duffy Toft

Just under 5 million U.S. citizens live abroad, serving in the military and embassies or just living in another country. As a political scientist who studies demographics and politics, I have observed how different voting blocs, even small ones, can affect the outcome of elections. Three million people is more than enough people to decide a presidential or congressional race with narrow margins.

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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.

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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.

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