War on the Rocks

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The Psychological High Ground: The Surprising Key to Accelerating Change

In his book Work Rules!, Google’s former head of People Operations, Laszlo Bock, details an interaction he had with a fellow human resources leader about Google’s collaboration spaces. His friend was intrigued by the idea of “Zen” rooms furnished with lava lamps and comfy couches, and the ways in which these furnishings stimulated creativity and […]...

Cyber Competition and Nonstate Actors in a Data-Rich World

Editor’s Note: This is an excerpt from “Policy Roundtable: Cyber Conflict as an Intelligence Contest” from our sister publication, the Texas National Security Review. Be sure to check out the full roundtable.   Last year I got a parking ticket for lingering too long in a limited zone. Parking tickets are not sufficient reason to […] The post Cyber...

The Dangerous Myths About China’s Nuclear Weapons

Early this summer, as American and Russian diplomats gathered in Vienna to discuss extending the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, much of the focus was on a country that was not represented at the summit: China. In the lead up to the meeting, Marshall Billingslea, the U.S. special presidential envoy for arms control, tweeted that […] The post...

Offensive Strike in Asia: A New Era?

There has been both applause and anxiety in the wake of reports that Japan is considering the development of long-range missile systems. The move would be a significant shift in the country’s capabilities, and it has alarmed many Japanese who believe that the acquisition would transform their country’s military profile and could destabilize the nation...

The Revenge of Ideology

Melanie, Chris, and Zack debate the role of ideology in American foreign policy. Bridge Colby and Robert Kaplan have recently argued that the United States should avoid making the competition with China overly ideological, but Zack suggests that this will be easier said than done. Chris worries about the difficulty of emphasizing ideology when the […]...

On the Need for a Blue Theory of Victory

The United States could well lose the next big war — not because it lacks the right capabilities but because it has not done the hard intellectual work to know how to win. This is a central conclusion of the bipartisan National Defense Strategy Commission in its November 2018 report. It goes on to argue […] The post On the Need for a Blue Theory of...

High Speed, Low-Yield: A U.S. Dual-Use Hypersonic Weapon

Should the United States put nuclear warheads on hypersonic missiles? For 20 years, Washington has answered “no” by excluding nuclear weapons from its prompt strike and hypersonic weapons programs. In order to close gaps in U.S. theater deterrence and assurance capabilities, it is time to consider a change of course. Theater capabilities currently depend...

Forget the Political Calendar: It’s Time for Another Trump-Kim Meeting

On Aug. 7, U.S. President Donald Trump remarked that he will “make deals with North Korea very quickly” if he is reelected in November. Kyodo News, Japan’s largest news agency, reported that a U.S. government source revealed the following day that the United States is seeking to establish liaison offices in Pyongyang and Washington, which […] The...

A New Look at Iran’s Complicated Relationship with the Taliban

Eight years ago, I took part in a meeting among people from several different countries — Iran, various European countries, Afghanistan, Turkey, and the United States. I was a part-time consultant to the U.S. government at the time, and most of the group had been or — at least — were close to government officials. […] The post A New Look at Iran’s...

Space Has Not Been a Sanctuary for Decades

“We can no longer view space as a sanctuary.”             –Doug Loverro, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Space Policy (2015) “The ‘space sanctuary’ concept has been overtaken by events.”             –Final Report to the President on the U.S. Space Program (1993) “The last of these options, treating space as a sanctuary, is neither enforceable...

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