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Cornell Studies in Security Affairs

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Armed State Building

Confronting State Failure, 1898-2012

by Paul D. Miller

Since 1898, the United States and the United Nations have deployed military force more than three dozen times in attempts to rebuild failed states. Currently there are more state-building campaigns in progress than at any time in the past century—including Afghanistan, Bosnia, Kosovo, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Haiti, Sudan, Liberia, Cote d’Ivoire, and Lebanon—and the number of candidate nations for such campaigns in the future is substantial. Even with a broad definition of success, earlier campaigns failed more than half the time. In this book, Paul D. Miller brings his decade in the U.S. military, intelligence community, and policy worlds to bear on the question of what causes armed, international state-building campaigns by liberal powers to succeed or fail.

The United States successfully rebuilt the West German and Japanese states after World War II but failed to build a functioning state in South Vietnam. After the Cold War the United Nations oversaw relatively successful campaigns to restore order, hold elections, and organize post-conflict reconstruction in Mozambique, Namibia, Nicaragua, and elsewhere, but those successes were overshadowed by catastrophes in Angola, Liberia, and Somalia. The recent effort in Iraq and the ongoing one in Afghanistan—where Miller had firsthand military, intelligence, and policymaking experience—are yielding mixed results, despite the high levels of resources dedicated and the long duration of the missions there. Miller outlines different types of state failure, analyzes various levels of intervention that liberal states have tried in the state-building process, and distinguishes among the various failures and successes those efforts have provoked.

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Atomic Assistance

How “Atoms for Peace” Programs Cause Nuclear Insecurity

by Matthew Fuhrmann

Nuclear technology is dual use in nature, meaning that it can be used to produce nuclear energy or to build nuclear weapons. Despite security concerns about proliferation, the United States and other nuclear nations have regularly shared with other countries nuclear technology, materials, and knowledge for peaceful purposes. In Atomic Assistance, Matthew Fuhrmann argues that governments use peaceful nuclear assistance as a tool of economic statecraft. Nuclear suppliers hope that they can reap the benefits of foreign aid-improving relationships with their allies, limiting the influence of their adversaries, enhancing their energy security by gaining favorable access to oil supplies-without undermining their security. By providing peaceful nuclear assistance, however, countries inadvertently help spread nuclear weapons.

Fuhrmann draws on several cases of "Atoms for Peace," including U.S. civilian nuclear assistance to Iran from 1957 to 1979; Soviet aid to Libya from 1975 to 1986; French, Italian, and Brazilian nuclear exports to Iraq from 1975 to 1981; and U.S. nuclear cooperation with India from 2001 to 2008. He also explores decision making in countries such as Japan, North Korea, Pakistan, South Africa, and Syria to determine why states began (or did not begin) nuclear weapons programs and why some programs succeeded while others failed. Fuhrmann concludes that, on average, countries receiving higher levels of peaceful nuclear assistance are more likely to pursue and acquire the bomb-especially if they experience an international crisis after receiving aid.

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Barriers to Bioweapons

The Challenges of Expertise and Organization for Weapons Development

by Sonia Ben Ouagrham-Gormley

In both the popular imagination and among lawmakers and national security experts, there exists the belief that with sufficient motivation and material resources, states or terrorist groups can produce bioweapons easily, cheaply, and successfully. In Barriers to Bioweapons, Sonia Ben Ouagrham-Gormley challenges this perception by showing that bioweapons development is a difficult, protracted, and expensive endeavor, rarely achieving the expected results whatever the magnitude of investment. Her findings are based on extensive interviews she conducted with former U.S. and Soviet-era bioweapons scientists and on careful analysis of archival data and other historical documents related to various state and terrorist bioweapons programs.

Bioweapons development relies on living organisms that are sensitive to their environment and handling conditions, and therefore behave unpredictably. These features place a greater premium on specialized knowledge. Ben Ouagrham-Gormley posits that lack of access to such intellectual capital constitutes the greatest barrier to the making of bioweapons. She integrates theories drawn from economics, the sociology of science, organization, and management with her empirical research. The resulting theoretical framework rests on the idea that the pace and success of a bioweapons development program can be measured by its ability to ensure the creation and transfer of scientific and technical knowledge. The specific organizational, managerial, social, political, and economic conditions necessary for success are difficult to achieve, particularly in covert programs where the need to prevent detection imposes managerial and organizational conditions that conflict with knowledge production.

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Cooperation under Fire

Anglo-German Restraint during World War II

by Jeffrey W. Legro

Why do nations cooperate even as they try to destroy each other? Jeffrey Legro explores this question in the context of World War II, the "total" war that in fact wasn't. During the war, combatant states attempted to sustain agreements limiting the use of three forms of combat considered barbarous—submarine attacks against civilian ships, strategic bombing of civilian targets, and chemical warfare. Looking at how these restraints worked or failed to work between such fierce enemies as Hitler's Third Reich and Churchill's Britain, Legro offers a new understanding of the dynamics of World War II and the sources of international cooperation.

While traditional explanations of cooperation focus on the relations between actors, Cooperation under Fire examines what warring nations seek and why they seek it—the "preference formation" that undergirds international interaction. Scholars and statesmen debate whether it is the balance of power or the influence of international norms that most directly shapes foreign policy goals. Critically assessing both explanations, Legro argues that it was, rather, the organizational cultures of military bureaucracies—their beliefs and customs in waging war—that decided national priorities for limiting the use of force in World War II.

Drawing on documents from Germany, Britain, the United States, and the former Soviet Union, Legro provides a compelling account of how military cultures molded state preferences and affected the success of cooperation. In its clear and cogent analysis, this book has significant implications for the theory and practice of international relations.

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Diplomacy's Value

Creating Security in 1920s Europe and the Contemporary Middle East

by Brian C. Rathbun

What is the value of diplomacy? How does it affect the course of foreign affairs independent of the distribution of power and foreign policy interests? Theories of international relations too often implicitly reduce the dynamics and outcomes of diplomacy to structural factors rather than the subtle qualities of negotiation. If diplomacy is an independent effect on the conduct of world politics, it has to add value, and we have to be able to show what that value is. In Diplomacy's Value, Brian C. Rathbun sets forth a comprehensive theory of diplomacy, based on his understanding that political leaders have distinct diplomatic styles—coercive bargaining, reasoned dialogue, and pragmatic statecraft.

Drawing on work in the psychology of negotiation, Rathbun explains how diplomatic styles are a function of the psychological attributes of leaders and the party coalitions they represent. The combination of these styles creates a certain spirit of negotiation that facilitates or obstructs agreement. Rathbun applies the argument to relations among France, Germany, and Great Britain during the 1920s as well as Palestinian-Israeli negotiations since the 1990s. His analysis, based on an intensive analysis of primary documents, shows how different diplomatic styles can successfully resolve apparently intractable dilemmas and equally, how they can thwart agreements that were seemingly within reach.

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Europe United

Power Politics and the Making of the European Community

by Sebastian Rosato

The construction of the European Community (EC) has widely been understood as the product of either economic self-interest or dissatisfaction with the nation-state system. In Europe United, Sebastian Rosato challenges these conventional explanations, arguing that the Community came into being because of balance of power concerns. France and the Federal Republic of Germany-the two key protagonists in the story-established the EC at the height of the cold war as a means to balance against the Soviet Union and one another.

More generally, Rosato argues that international institutions, whether military or economic, largely reflect the balance of power. In his view, states establish institutions in order to maintain or increase their share of world power, and the shape of those institutions reflects the wishes of their most powerful members. Rosato applies this balance of power theory of cooperation to several other cooperative ventures since 1789, including various alliances and trade pacts, the unifications of Italy and Germany, and the founding of the United States. Rosato concludes by arguing that the demise of the Soviet Union has deprived the EC of its fundamental purpose. As a result, further moves toward political and military integration are improbable, and the economic community is likely to unravel to the point where it becomes a shadow of its former self.

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Exporting the Bomb

Technology Transfer and the Spread of Nuclear Weapons

by Matthew Kroenig

In a vitally important book for anyone interested in nuclear proliferation, defense strategy, or international security, Matthew Kroenig points out that nearly every country with a nuclear weapons arsenal received substantial help at some point from a more advanced nuclear state. Why do some countries help others to develop nuclear weapons? Many analysts assume that nuclear transfers are driven by economic considerations. States in dire economic need, they suggest, export sensitive nuclear materials and technology-and ignore the security risk-in a desperate search for hard currency.

Kroenig challenges this conventional wisdom. He finds that state decisions to provide sensitive nuclear assistance are the result of a coherent, strategic logic. The spread of nuclear weapons threatens powerful states more than it threatens weak states, and these differential effects of nuclear proliferation encourage countries to provide sensitive nuclear assistance under certain strategic conditions. Countries are more likely to export sensitive nuclear materials and technology when it would have the effect of constraining an enemy and less likely to do so when it would threaten themselves.

In Exporting the Bomb, Kroenig examines the most important historical cases, including France's nuclear assistance to Israel in the 1950s and 1960s; the Soviet Union's sensitive transfers to China from 1958 to 1960; China's nuclear aid to Pakistan in the 1980s; and Pakistan's recent technology transfers, with the help of "rogue" scientist A. Q. Khan, from 1987 to 2002. Understanding why states provide sensitive nuclear assistance not only adds to our knowledge of international politics but also aids in international efforts to control the spread of nuclear weapons.

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Fighting for Rights

Military Service and the Politcs of Citizenship

Leaders around the globe have long turned to the armed forces as a "school for the nation." Debates over who serves continue to arouse passion today because the military's participation policies are seen as shaping politics beyond the military, specifically the politics of identity and citizenship. Yet how and when do these policies transform patterns of citizenship? Military service, Ronald R. Krebs argues, can play a critical role in bolstering minorities' efforts to grasp full and unfettered rights. Minority groups have at times effectively contrasted their people's battlefield sacrifices to the reality of inequity, compelling state leaders to concede to their claims. At the same time, military service can shape when, for what, and how minorities have engaged in political activism in the quest for meaningful citizenship.

Employing a range of rich primary materials, Krebs shows how the military's participation policies shaped Arab citizens' struggles for first-class citizenship in Israel from independence to the mid-1980s and African Americans' quest for civil rights, from World War I to the Korean War. Fighting for Rights helps us make sense of contemporary debates over gays in the military and over the virtues and dangers of liberal and communitarian visions for society. It suggests that rhetoric is more than just a weapon of the weak, that it is essential to political exchange, and that politics rests on a dual foundation of rationality and culture.

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A Grand Strategy for America

by Robert J. Art

The United States today is the most powerful nation in the world, perhaps even stronger than Rome was during its heyday. It is likely to remain the world's preeminent power for at least several decades to come. What behavior is appropriate for such a powerful state? To answer this question, Robert J. Art concentrates on "grand strategy"-the deployment of military power in both peace and war to support foreign policy goals.

He first defines America's contemporary national interests and the specific threats they face, then identifies seven grand strategies that the United States might contemplate, examining each in relation to America's interests. The seven are:

•dominion-forcibly trying to remake the world in America's own image;

• global collective security-attempting to keep the peace everywhere; 

•regional collective security-confining peacekeeping efforts to Europe;

• cooperative security-seeking to reduce the occurrence of war by limiting other states' offensive capabilities; 

• isolationism-withdrawing from all military involvement beyond U.S. borders;

•containment-holding the line against aggressor states; and

•selective engagement-choosing to prevent or to become involved only in those conflicts that pose a threat to the country's long-term interests.

Art makes a strong case for selective engagement as the most desirable strategy for contemporary America. It is the one that seeks to forestall dangers, not simply react to them; that is politically viable, at home and abroad; and that protects all U.S. interests, both essential and desirable. Art concludes that "selective engagement is not a strategy for all times, but it is the best grand strategy for these times."

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Just Politics

Human Rights and the Foreign Policy of Great Powers

by C. William Walldorf Jr

Many foreign policy analysts assume that elite policymakers in liberal democracies consistently ignore humanitarian norms when these norms interfere with commercial and strategic interests. Today's endorsement by Western governments of repressive regimes in countries from Kazakhstan to Pakistan and Saudi Arabia in the name of fighting terror only reinforces this opinion. In Just Politics, C. William Walldorf Jr. challenges this conventional wisdom, arguing that human rights concerns have often led democratic great powers to sever vital strategic partnerships even when it has not been in their interest to do so.

Walldorf sets out his case in detailed studies of British alliance relationships with the Ottoman Empire and Portugal in the nineteenth century and of U.S. partnerships with numerous countries-ranging from South Africa, Turkey, Greece and El Salvador to Nicaragua, Chile, and Argentina-during the Cold War. He finds that illiberal behavior by partner states, varying degrees of pressure by nonstate actors, and legislative activism account for the decisions by democracies to terminate strategic partnerships for human rights reasons.

To demonstrate the central influence of humanitarian considerations and domestic politics in the most vital of strategic moments of great-power foreign policy, Walldorf argues that Western governments can and must integrate human rights into their foreign policies. Failure to take humanitarian concerns into account, he contends, will only damage their long-term strategic objectives.

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