Foreign Policy Blogs

Game Theory

Audacity and Lunacy in Iran

Audacity and Lunacy in Iran

It’s not a good sign when you can no longer differentiate between lunacy or rationality in Iranian foreign policy. The real question, though, is who is to blame. Thus is the case when we examine two foreign policy developments in Iran, both dealing with purported espionage.
In the …

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Libya – Necessary Milestones

Libya – Necessary Milestones

The advance of Libyan rebels into Tripoli, as arduous as it was, is only the beginning. The real test for Libyan independence will be in the steps it takes to secure the state. Foremost will be steps to incorporate all Libyans into not only a political …

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In Search of Nasser

In Search of Nasser

Amidst the protests, loss of life, and apparent lack of progress in the uncoordinated Arab Spring, a glaring issue has arisen in each state affected by the wave of tumult: there is an absence of charismatic leadership in support of the revolution. Use of violence to …

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Dystopia to Myopia – Norway in the Aftermath of 22 July

22 July’s heinous, neo-fascist killings in Norway fill us with sorrow for many reasons. Not to detract from the deaths or suffering that occurs on a daily basis elsewhere, but the events that unfolded struck us differently because of their context – Norway seems so peaceful – and the evident, …

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Sticky Politics

Sticky Politics

Guns, sex, and cartoons. If you’re a 13 year old boy – scratch that – if you are a male, those words probably gain your attention a bit. And since US foreign policy circles are predominately male, I’m hoping my readership levels will go …

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Spring or Bog – The New Shape of Arab Politics?

Is the Arab Spring going to lead to polarized, issue-specific politics, similar to those that currently afflict America? If so, what are the implications for the wave of revolution and can, or even should, the US do anything to ensure that the democratic revolution is cemented? Moreover, what would the …

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Fear and Loathing in the South.

Fear and Loathing in the South.

Evolution of violence against the state will occur in environments that do not allow for coping mechanisms, perceived political inclusion, and sufficient state propaganda. Iran and Turkey, for example, are states that can shift if the former were to experience erosion of coping mechanisms, pushing it further towards violence, and the latter could see improvement in political inclusion, pushing it further towards peace.

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America’s Big Gun Show: Arming Afghanistan

Two reports – one from CSIS, and another from RI – take up the contentious issue of the ALP. Regardless of delusions and hope, arming Afghanistan will only further hinder counter-terrorism efforts, stability, and humanitarian access.

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Rape.

When I last mentioned the idea of utilizing rape as a weapon amongst what I admitted, privately, were generally naive people during a recent wargame I participated on ‘irregular threats’, people became uneasy. Our group’s moderator had asked us to think of divergent ways that we would foment unrest in …

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A New Era for Organized Violence

By chance, I recently participated in the “Evolved Irregular Threat Project”, a series of wargames led by David Kilcullen and sponsored by the Rapid Reaction Technology Office within the Office of the Secretary of Defense. The process was interesting, bringing together experience from a multitude of areas: Department of Defense …

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A New Leviathan – AI and the Radical State

AI is the future, and the leviathan is the past. AI and modeling can be of enormous benefit to the state in issues that involve the complex interplay between states, interests, and human dynamics. Although the state works because of human dynamics and the negotiations that occur between those who feed it, the problem lies in that one beast can often misunderstand the other. AI offers a radical promise for situations involving state interests because it would allow for speed and efficiency in matters that can be lengthy, drudging, contentious, and lead to abhorrent waste and loss of life.

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Dear Ali: Advice for the everyday despot, PM, Congressman, etc.

Dear Ali: Advice for the everyday despot, PM, Congressman, etc.

I know I don’t need to point out how hectic our lives can be. Teaching our kids how to be ruthless; beating the presidential cook after s/he prepared a lackluster chocolate soufflé for our dinner party with the President of FIFA; or getting our son into an overrated, elitist Western university and (cross our fingers) getting him to graduate – these are all things that can take up an inordinate amount of time in our schedules, which of course lead us to take shortcuts that often backfire on us.

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American Militancy

American Militancy

The idea that American leadership is civilian and accountable is a fallacy. Why is this important? The US war effort in Afghanistan is lacking true civilian leadership, and the existing leadership (military) is avoiding accountability through obfuscation, self-aggrandizement, and attempts to overly intellectualize the conflict. We need to examine why this has been allowed to happen, as well as what we can do about it.

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Divergence: The US-Pakistan Dichotomy & Radical Alternatives (Part II)

If we are able to recognize that US foreign policy in respect to instability in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India is irrational due to the absence of a ‘necessary but not sufficient’ condition – bolstering of Pakistan’s strategic advantages over India – then the easy part is done.  Crafting a foreign …

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Divergence: The US-Pakistan Dichotomy & Radical Alternatives (Part I)

Nicholas Kristof’s recent op-ed in the New York Times highlighted Richard Holbrooke’s concern for the declining relationship between the US and Pakistan and, essentially, pronounced the need for America not to forsake Pakistan, as tumultuous as relations may be. Pakistan, without question, is grappling with a litany of issues: …

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