In the February–March 2017 issue, Olga Oliker considers the relationship between Putinism and the rise of illiberal regimes around the world; Samuel Charap, John Drennan and Pierre Noël analyse the bilateral relationship between China and Russia; Nelly Lahoud asks whether the Islamic State is preparing to recruit female soldiers; Aaron Brantly discusses the ways in which jihadists approach digital security and technological innovation; Michael Fischerkeller proposes a framework for incorporating offensive cyber operations into conventional deterrence; Paul Angelo highlights lessons of the ongoing peace process in Colombia; Beatrice Fihn outlines the logic of banning nuclear weapons; Michael Pocalyko looks at...

In the February–March 2017 issue, Olga Oliker considers the relationship between Putinism and the rise of illiberal regimes around the world; Samuel Charap, John Drennan and Pierre Noël analyse the bilateral relationship between China and Russia; Nelly Lahoud asks whether the Islamic State is preparing to recruit female soldiers; Aaron Brantly discusses the ways in which jihadists approach digital security and technological innovation; Michael Fischerkeller proposes a framework for incorporating offensive cyber operations into conventional deterrence; Paul Angelo highlights lessons of the ongoing peace process in Colombia; Beatrice Fihn outlines the logic of banning nuclear weapons; Michael Pocalyko looks at how Donald Trump’s business experience could shape his presidency; Russell Crandall contributes a review essay; Jeffrey Lewis, Angela Stent and Lanxin Xiang review new books; and William Choong explores the contradictions in Donald Trump’s approach to the Asia-Pacific region.

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  • Putinism, Populism and the Defence of Liberal Democracy

    To the casual follower of mainstream Western media coverage, Vladimir Putin’s Russia has, in recent years, become the platonic ideal of modern autocracy. Putin has continued the centralisation of power in the presidency begun by his predecessor, Boris Yeltsin. He has governed Russia for almost two decades, having returned to the job of president after a four-year stint as prime minister by interpreting Russia’s constitutional term limitation as prohibiting more...
  • Russia and China: A New Model of Great-Power Relations

    The Ukraine crisis and the downturn in Russia–West relations that came in its wake have compelled Russia to turn decisively towards China. Deprived of other options, Moscow has found itself in the position of demandeur vis-à-vis Beijing, creating an increasingly imbalanced bilateral relationship. Nonetheless, Russia and China have avoided any turbulence that might have resulted from this asymmetry through mutual accommodation and compromise. Both sides devote significant effort and political...
  • The Logic of Banning Nuclear Weapons

    On 27 October 2016, member states of the United Nations adopted a decision in the General Assembly to convene in 2017 negotiations for a new legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons – or, as it is widely known, a ban treaty.  This is a genuine opportunity for the international community, at long last, to break the logjam in multilateral nuclear-disarmament efforts and to make real progress towards a world free...
  • The Businessman President

    Western elite opinion – especially but not exclusively liberal opinion – greeted the election of Donald Trump to the presidency of the United States with an odd political and commercial mixture of awe, consternation, resistance, grudging respect and, above all, positioning. There has never been a US president or a presidential administration quite like this one. He confronts what has been called in these pages a ‘disordered world’; at home...
  • Noteworthy

    In the February–March 2017 issue, Olga Oliker considers the relationship between Putinism and the rise of illiberal regimes around the world; Samuel Charap, John Drennan and Pierre Noël analyse the bilateral relationship between China and Russia; Nelly Lahoud asks whether the Islamic State is preparing to recruit female soldiers; Aaron Brantly discusses the ways in which jihadists approach digital security and technological innovation; Michael Fischerkeller proposes a framework for incorporating...
  • Can Women Be Soldiers of the Islamic State?

    On 13 September 2016, three women carried out an attack against a police station in Mombasa, Kenya, in the name of the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL.1 A‘maq, one of ISIS’s official media outlets, reported the attack approvingly, and ISIS’s Arabic magazine, al-Naba’ (Issue 47), featured the attack as the lead headline on its front page. Of all the reported attacks carried out in the name of...
  • Innovation and Adaptation in Jihadist Digital Security

    The importance of the internet to contemporary jihadists as a tool for recruitment, propaganda and operational planning is well established.1 Less thoroughly studied are the ways in which jihadists work to keep this activity secure from monitoring and disruption, and in particular the ways in which they innovate and adapt to changes in the technological environment.2 Online forums, training manuals, tweets, blogs, Facebook posts and other forms of communication point...
  • Incorporating Offensive Cyber Operations into Conventional Deterrence Strategies

    The White House recently declared that the United States is creating cyber weapons to defend itself.1 An operational declaration soon followed, with the secretary of defense stating that the department’s ‘mission is to provide offensive cyber options that can be used in a conflict – as we’re doing now against [the Islamic State]’.2 The development of such weapons poses a host of questions for the defence and policy communities, not...
  • The Colombian Peace Process: Trial and Error

    The announcement in October 2016 that the government of Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos would begin peace talks with the National Liberation Army (ELN) guerrilla group came at an unlikely juncture in Colombian history. The failure of a referendum that same month on the peace accord with Colombia’s other, larger guerrilla organisation, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), would suggest that the climate for peace has soured after more...
  • America’s Path from Malaise to Primacy

    The United States emerged from the wanton destruction of the Second World War to stand, in Dean Acheson’s immodest but not inaccurate estimation, ‘present at the creation’ of the emerging liberal order.1 America succeeded beyond even its wildest expectations. A Washington-centric security commitment helped galvanise the emerging Pax Americana. Free-market capitalism delivered prosperity that gave the order legitimacy. Given their nation’s dramatic rise since its founding in the late eighteenth...
  • Book Reviews

    Deterrence and Arms Control Jeffrey Lewis Unclear Physics: Why Iraq and Libya Failed to Build Nuclear Weapons Målfrid Braut-Hegghammer. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2016. £27.95/$39.95. 276 pp. Some years ago, I attended a talk by a scholar on Iraq’s pre-1991 nuclear-weapons programme. I asked the author why he neglected to cite Oppdraget, a Norwegian-language memoir by Jafar Dhia Jafar, the head of Iraq’s nuclear-weapons programme during the 1980s. He shrugged and said, ‘Who...
  • Brief Notices

    Deterrence and Arms Control Almighty: Courage, Resistance, and Existential Peril in the Nuclear Age Dan Zak. New York: Blue Rider Press, 2016. $27.00. 416 pp. In 2012, three peace activists, including an elderly nun, broke into the Y-12 National Security Complex in Tennessee, which houses warheads and large quantities of highly enriched uranium. Dan Zak examines the ensuing debate about the security of US nuclear stockpiles and the logic of possessing so much...
  • Trump and the Asia-Pacific: Managing Contradictions

    For years after the end of the Cold War, the United States was the hegemon in the Asia-Pacific, its presence in the region undergirded by a triptych of support for regional security, a dense web of trade and economic ties, and Washington’s backing for principles such as democracy and human rights. The election of Donald Trump as US president in November 2016 leads the region into uncharted territory. On the...
  • Corrigendum

    In the February–March 2017 issue, Olga Oliker considers the relationship between Putinism and the rise of illiberal regimes around the world; Samuel Charap, John Drennan and Pierre Noël analyse the bilateral relationship between China and Russia; Nelly Lahoud asks whether the Islamic State is preparing to recruit female soldiers; Aaron Brantly discusses the ways in which jihadists approach digital security and technological innovation; Michael Fischerkeller proposes a framework for incorporating...
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Survival: Global Politics and Strategy

February-March 2017

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