Wars and Warfare

Article

The Power to Threaten War

Author: Matthew C. Waxman
Yale Law Journal Online

Matt Waxman shows that congressional influence operates more robustly—and in different ways—than usually supposed in legal debates about war powers to shape strategic decision-making. In turn, these mechanisms of congressional influence can enhance the potency of threatened force.

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Op-Ed

How to Avoid a Naval War With China

Authors: William J. Parker III and Micah Zenko
ForeignPolicy.com

Though tensions between the United States and China are high, a war between the two countries is not preordained, write Micah Zenko and William Parker III. There are numerous tools available to avert possible escalation, which, if applied properly, could lead to positive near and long term implications.

See more in China; United States; Sovereignty; Wars and Warfare

Must Read

New Yorker: Putin Goes to War

Author: David Remnick

"Putin's reaction exceeded our worst expectations. These next days and weeks in Ukraine are bound to be frightening, and worse. There is not only the threat of widening Russian military force. The new Ukrainian leadership is worse than weak. It is unstable. It faces the burden of legitimacy."

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Must Read

New Yorker: The Syrian War's Private Donors Lose Faith

Author: Elizabeth Dickinson

"Since the Syrian revolution began, in 2011, private Kuwaiti donors like Herbash have been among its most generous patrons, providing what likely amounts to hundreds of millions of dollars to the armed opponents of Assad…. As the war took a more sectarian and extremist turn, so, too, did its private funders."

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Primary Sources

UN Invitation to Geneva II

The National Coalition of Syrian Revolution and Opposition Forces leaked this United Nations invitation sent to opposition President Ahmad Jarba requesting his attendence at the Geneva II meetings on January 22 to 24, 2014. The letter explains the priniciples and rules of the conference for officials addressing the conflict in Syria.

See more in Syria; Treaties and Agreements; Wars and Warfare

Video

The Decline and Fall of Colonial Vietnam

Speaker: Fredrik Logevall
Presider: Gideon Rose

Fredrik Logevall, winner of the 2013 Arthur Ross Book Award, discusses his prize-winning book, Embers of War: The Fall of an Empire and the Making of America's Vietnam. Logevall traces the long decline of French colonial power in Indochina and links it to the increasing involvement of the United States in the region.

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Transcript

The Decline and Fall of Colonial Vietnam

Speaker: Fredrik Logevall
Presider: Gideon Rose

Fredrik Logevall, winner of the 2013 Arthur Ross Book Award, discusses his prize-winning book, Embers of War: The Fall of an Empire and the Making of America's Vietnam. Logevall traces the long decline of French colonial power in Indochina and links it to the increasing involvement of the United States in the region.

See more in Global; Wars and Warfare

Audio

The Decline and Fall of Colonial Vietnam

Speaker: Fredrik Logevall

Fredrik Logevall, winner of the 2013 Arthur Ross Book Award, discusses his prize-winning book, Embers of War: The Fall of an Empire and the Making of America's Vietnam. Logevall traces the long decline of French colonial power in Indochina and links it to the increasing involvement of the United States in the region.

See more in Global; Wars and Warfare

Article

Political Parties at War: A Study of American War Finance, 1789–2010

Authors: Sarah E. Kreps and Gustavo A. Flores-Macias
The American Political Science Review

Sarah Kreps and Gustavo Flores-Macias study the history of war finance in the United States and show that politics does not stop at the water's edge and that instead, partisan politics is a key determinant for whether the United States has financed wars through taxes or alternatives such as borrowing.

See more in United States; Wars and Warfare; Economics

Must Read

Guardian: 'Syria Is Not a Revolution Any More – This Is Civil War'

Author: Ghaith Abdul-Ahad

"Ancient Russian tanks – rebel and loyalist – were lobbing shells at each other across a pistachio grove like street children throwing stones in an alleyway. The explosions sent orange columns of dust into the haze of the setting sun. Near the outpost, a government tank was smouldering, and a young girl lay dead, hit by shrapnel. A group of rebels crawled through the fields for a mile until they reached the edge of the outpost."

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Ask CFR Experts

How have Iraqi Kurdish authorities responded to the Syrian civil war?

Asked by Martin Lafon, from Sciences-Po Bordeaux

The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has approached the civil war in Syria with caution. The authorities governing the Iraqi autonomous region, based in Erbil, have quietly played an important role in the humanitarian response to the crisis with 197,000 (according to the UN refugee agency) Syrian refugees on KRG territory, spread across three refugee camps in the main cities of Dohuk, Erbil, and Sulaimaniyah.

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See more in Syria; Wars and Warfare; Politics and Strategy

Op-Ed

Robot Wars

Author: Micah Zenko
Politico Magazine

In the debut issue of Politico Magazine, Micah Zenko discusses the current drone market and implications of inevitable proliferation of armed drones. Citing the White House's lack of reform and transparency, Micah writes, "When Chinese officials authorize their first drone strike against a drug kingpin in Myanmar or against Japanese citizens occupying a disputed East China Sea island, what will the White House say then?"

See more in Global; Drones; Wars and Warfare

Must Read

Carnegie Europe: All Not Quiet on the Western Front

Author: Jan Techau

"On November 11, it is worth remembering that the investments involved in preserving peace in Europe are peanuts compared to the price of war. In terms of value for money, the EU is a bargain. So too is NATO. Even the largely dysfunctional UN is, on balance, a cheap asset. Today's anniversary can still offer quite a few political lessons. Unfortunately, they are all about hard work."

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Must Read

The Economist: How to Stop the Fighting, Sometimes

"[T]he number of medium-to-large civil wars under way—there are six in which more than 1,000 people died last year—is low by the standards of the period. This is because they are coming to an end a little sooner. The average length of civil wars dropped from 4.6 to 3.7 years after 1991, according to Kristian Skrede Gleditsch, a professor at the University of Essex.

Mr. Gleditsch is one of a growing number of political scientists studying civil wars. The field, long overshadowed by studies of superpower conflict, is coming into its own. Its participants do not claim that all civil wars are the same—the range of causes and types of conflict is obvious. But the sheer number of civil wars allows scholars to attempt, at least, a quantitative approach to the factors that affect the wars' outcomes."

See more in Lebanon; Wars and Warfare