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Self Determination is the process by which people, who are governed by a foreign power, gain self government. Often the people first form a sense of community - a sense of a shared identity, destiny, and core values - and then seek to invest those in a state, forming a nation. The term self determination is also used to refer to the normative principle that is evoked to justify breaking away from the old regime to form a new one.
Has the US military become a learning institution, one able to transition from relying on a conventional war model to fighting against irregular adversaries such as insurgents and terrorists? This article examines the United States' interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan in an effort to respond to this question.
In response to China’s military modernization and growing anti-access/area denial capabilities, the US military has adopted an ‘‘Air Sea Battle’’ (ASB) concept entailing extensive strikes on the Chinese mainland. Critics argue that ASB creates grave escalation risks and may incite an expensive arms race. Less discussed, but also of serious concern, is that ASB was adopted with little to no civilian oversight, in a case of ‘‘structural inattention.’’ It has also been facilitated by ‘‘subterranean factors’’ including the interests of influential military contractors and the military’s own inclination toward conventional warfare.
Full article here.
Amitai Etzioni’s communitarian perspective offers a comprehensive approach to international affairs in addition to offering guidance for domestic policy. His argument that a focus on traditional “realist” concerns for a nation’s security and interests (“security first”), combined with a dialogue over competing moral imperatives, is more likely to lead to the emergence of an idealist end state--a sustainable international community. His emphasis on gradualism--of breaking apart complex policy goals into small, discrete steps--comes from his assessment that this is a better way of promoting lasting change in the international system. His perspective does not fit neatly into any of the dominant U.S. foreign policy approaches, but his ideas have formed part of the foreign policy debate for the last fifty years.
Full article here.
This article asks which normative framework should be applied in determining whether privacy is unduly diminished in the American quest for enhanced protection against terrorist attacks; which specific criteria should be employed in determining whether the balance has tilted too far toward enhancing security or protecting privacy; and which measures can be taken to reduce the inevitable conflict between security and privacy. It also seeks to show that enhanced transparency is inferior to enhanced accountability, although there is some room for adding more of both kinds of scrutiny.
“Who Authorized Preparations for War With China,” Yale Journal of International Affairs, June, 2013.
“Learning the Lessons of Afghanistan,” The National Interest, August 30, 2012.
Little America should be required reading for all military personnel sent overseas, replacing the fake Three Cups of Tea, which was warmly embraced by naive generals who bet on nation building under the guise of the COIN (counterinsurgency) strategy. The book is a detailed report of our failed policies in Afghanistan by Rajiv Chandrasekaran, a leading Washington Post reporter. It uses an early episode in U.S.-Afghan relations as a revealing and emblematic tale of why the United States suffers from a severe case of what I previously called Multiple Realism Deficiency Disorder