In the December 2015–January 2016 issue of Survival, François Heisbourg examines the strategic implications of the Syrian refugee crisis; Elbridge Colby and Jonathan Solomon draw up a plan to deter Russia with conventional military forces; Sam Charap warns against exaggerating the hybrid-warfare threat; Elizabeth Pond explains the risks of Ukrainian corruption; Massimo Franco discusses the Pope’s visit to the United States; Theo Farrell and Michael Semple urge peace talks with the Taliban; Nina Kollars describes challenges of technological adaptation in war; Tim Huxley and Benjamin Schreer urge the US and states in the Asia-Pacific to stand up to China; Nien-chung Chang Liao and Dalton Kuen-da Lin propose a rebalancing of US–Taiwanese relations; John Gans contributes a review essay on David Rothkopf’s National Insecurity; David C. Unger, Chris Alden, Hanns W. Maull and Jonathan Stevenson review books on the United States, Africa, Europe and counter-terrorism and intelligence; and Bill Emmott argues that the right questions about China concern politics, and not economics.

Volume 57, Numbers 1-6

From £10.00
Product variations
Online Access, Digital Download & Print £30.00 + shipping (Inc VAT if applicable)
Online Access & Digital Download £20.00 (Inc VAT if applicable)
Print edition £10.00 + shipping (Inc VAT if applicable)
  • The Strategic Implications of the Syrian Refugee Crisis

    In the spring of 2015, a sudden change occurred in population flows between the southern and northern banks of the Mediterranean. Overall numbers of new asylum seekers climbed from fewer than 58,000 in April to close to 89,000 in June. The number of new applicants hailing from Syria nearly doubled, from slightly under 11,000 to close to 21,000. This was just the beginning; the wave of refugees picked up during...
  • Facing Russia: Conventional Defence and Deterrence in Europe

    Unlike its Soviet predecessor, the contemporary Russian military is neither sized nor structured for conquest to the shores of the Atlantic and Mediterranean. But this does not mean it deserves the disdain it often receives in the Western commentariat. Indeed, the Russian military is increasingly capable of helping to achieve what seem to be the Kremlin’s actual strategic objectives in Europe. Many observers, including some in NATO and Western governments...
  • The Ghost of Hybrid War

    Following Moscow’s invasion of Crimea and support for the insurgency in eastern Ukraine, the concept of ‘hybrid war’ has emerged as a catch-all description for the new Russian threat to European security. The concept itself – a blending of conventional and non-traditional tactics to achieve political–military objectives – is not novel. But its prominence in Western analysis of Russia’s actions over the past two years surpasses all previous usage. In...
  • Will Ukraine Snatch Defeat from the Jaws of Victory?

    In holding Russia’s military behemoth to a stalemate in President Vladimir Putin’s undeclared war on Ukraine, Kiev has won an improbable victory. After a year of intensive shelling during a poorly observed truce in the Donbas, the big guns went silent there on 1 September 2015 and have stayed silent ever since. Yet as the immediate existential threat recedes, the oligarchs who once personally financed the country’s defence seem to be...
  • A Latin American Pope in the United States

    This was perhaps Pope Francis’s most difficult foreign tour. For a 78-year-old Argentinian touching US soil for the first time, it meant arriving at his own Far North, his cultural frontier. Here was ‘the land of the free and the home of the brave’, as he recognised at the very beginning of his speech in front of the US Congress, on 24 September 2015 – a captivating start, as to...
  • Noteworthy

    ‘We would be less than forthcoming if we said we predicted in June that a reality television star supporting Canadian-style single-payer health care and partial-birth abortion would be leading the G.O.P. primary.’ Campaign managers for US Republican presidential hopeful Jeb Bush reflect on the unexpected rise of fellow candidate Donald Trump, in an internal memo.1 Percentage of Arab families in Jerusalem that fall below the poverty line, as measured by...
  • Making Peace with the Taliban

    On 28 September 2015, the northern Afghan city of Kunduz fell to the Taliban. Some 5,000 Afghan soldiers, police and militia retreated as hundreds of Taliban swept in, joining insurgents who had infiltrated the city beforehand. This was a hard-won victory. Massing fighters in the north of the country, the Taliban had by degrees taken control of districts around Kunduz – Afghanistan’s fifth-largest city – over the preceding two years...
  • Organising Adaptation in War

    On a rainy summer day in Afghanistan, Staff Sergeant Craig Cooper was returning to his operating base with his marine teammates. They were riding in the very best vehicles industry innovators have to offer: RG31 and RG33 mine-resistant armoured personnel carriers, or MRAPs. The roads surrounding their remote combat outpost were primitive, and the rain had produced treacherous conditions. As Cooper and his teammates discussed their deployment, the lead truck...
  • Standing up to China

    During the course of 2015, China used land-reclamation techniques to expand many of the features that it occupies in the South China Sea, most of which were then militarised. This development – alongside many other important signs of assertiveness, including China’s large-scale naval modernisation; its expanding deployment of maritime paramilitary forces to coerce other Asian states, including Japan, in the East China Sea; its efforts to undermine the unity of...
  • Rebalancing Taiwan–US Relations

    The Taiwan–US relationship is a tacit alliance, one that has always been contentious.1 Although the US severed its diplomatic ties with the Republic of China when it recognised the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in 1979, the Taiwan Relations Act of the same year enshrined an unofficial relationship with Taipei that has remained close over the past four decades. Under the provisions of that act, the US continues to sell...
  • Achieving Universality of the Chemical Weapons Convention in the Middle East

    A century ago, at Ypres, in Belgium, the use of chemical weapons in the First World War began. Ninety years ago, in Geneva, a protocol to ban the use of chemical weapons was signed. Two years ago, the attack on Ghouta, on the outskirts of Damascus, forced Syria’s accession to the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC). A promise to eliminate Syria’s chemical-weapons stocks followed. Yet today, in Syria and Iraq, these...
  • Connecting the Dots

    On 11 September 2001, David Rothkopf, author of National Insecurity, was not fleeing the dust and terror of Lower Manhattan, nor was he in any official bunker overseeing America’s response to the terrorist attacks. No, he was dining at a tony Italian eatery in Washington’s Georgetown neighbourhood with three of his consulting colleagues, trying to ‘sort out what had just happened and what might come next’ (pp. 5–6). As Rothkopf admits...
  • Book Reviews

    United States David C. Unger Divided: The Perils of Our Growing Inequality David Cay Johnston, ed. New York: The New Press, 2014. $25.95. 324 pp. Addressing America’s world-class inequalities promises to be a major theme of the 2016 presidential elections, with the various candidates from both parties proposing radically different, and generally sketchy, solutions. Although Divided provides badly needed factual grounding, its chapters suffer from some unevenness in quality. Moreover, despite the volume’s 2014...
  • Brief Notices

    United States 41: Inside the Presidency of George H.W. Bush Michael Nelson and Barbara Perry, eds. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2014. $19.95. 280 pp. Applying their political and foreign-policy expertise to the analysis of primary documents and extensive interview material, 11 contributors aim to provide comprehensive and objective insights into the administration of former US president George H.W. Bush.
  • Letters to the Editor

    New Cold War? Sir, In an article in the December 2014 issue (‘Consequences of a New Cold War’, Survival, vol. 57, no. 2, pp. 37–46), Samuel Charap and Jeremy Shapiro argue that the failure of Russia and the United States to formulate new ‘rules of the road’ – an acceptable and comprehensive security framework for Europe that includes Russia – is inevitably pushing both sides to a new Cold War, leaving both...
  • China: It’s the Politics, Stupid

    I For two decades, China’s economy has inspired awe, admiration and commercial lip-smacking, interspersed with the occasional swatting away of predictions of imminent collapse by Western analysts eager for a headline. This was true even in the aftermath of the demise of the Lehman Brothers investment bank in September 2008, when a dramatic Chinese domestic reflation programme invited still more awe, envy and a certain amount of gratitude for the beneficial...
Back to content list

Survival: Global Politics and Strategy

December 2015–January 2016

Read online, or in the following formats:

Print >  Kindle UK >  Kindle US > 

iPad >  iBookstore UK >  iBookstore US >

Table of Contents

Available to download as a PDF >