Strategic Studies Quarterly

Volume 15 Issue 4 - Winter 2021

  • Published
  • Graham Allison and the Thucydides Trap Myth

    Richard Hanania

    Unquestionably, China is rising, but a common theory developed by Graham Allison his 2017 book Destined for War known as the “Thucydides Trap” suffers from three major shortcomings: unclear definitions, omitted variable bias, and selection effect. This analysis of power transitions should not be used as a guide for understanding the US-China relationship.

  • More Is Not Always Better: Oversight of the Military

    Marie T. Harnly

    An analysis of three case studies reveals the Air Force does not necessarily gain autonomy when government principals are divided over policy, contradicting current scholarship on the issue. Varying levels of service autonomy under divided principals requires tailored approaches to policy development and implementation.

  • North America’s Imperative: Strengthening Deterrence by Denial

    Andrea Charron and James Fergusson

    In today’s threat environment, adversaries can hold the continent hostage unless leaders can bolster its deterrence posture. Rather than deterrence by punishment, however, the focus of NORAD, USNORTHCOM, and the CJOC must be on deterrence by denial and increasing the costs of actions by adversaries should they pursue an attack on North America.

  • Will Emerging Technology Cause Nuclear War?: Bringing Geopolitics Back In

    Matthew Kroenig

    In order to fully understand the link between nuclear stability and emerging technology, the current geopolitical situation must be accounted for. Incorporating emerging technologies into US, Ally and partner militaries will likely reinforce the prevailing global strategic stability.

  • Sophons, Wallfacers, Swordholders, and the Cosmic Safety Notice: Strategic Thought in Chinese Science Fiction

    Wendy N. Whitman Cobb

    Science fiction, due to its ability to encourage creative thinking in environments estranged from our own, can be employed in strategy development and inspiration. Liu Cixin’s Three-Body Problem trilogy focuses on galactic relations and defense in a rich and nuanced way and provides insight into Chinese thought. An analysis of four strategies—sophons, wallfacers, swordholders, and the cosmic safety notice—highlights the ways in which Chinese strategic thinking systematically differs from Western modes of thinking.

  • Cultivating Future Airpower Strategists: On "Developing Twenty-First-Century Airpower Strategists"

    John G. Terino Jr.

    In 2008, Major General R. Michael Worden forecast specific challenges for airpower strategists including emerging technology, transnational terrorist organizations, an explosion of information power, budgets, and resourcing. His predictions have borne out in what the Air Force faces today, and Air University is responding, providing the next generation of airpower strategists.

  • A Case for Strategic Design: On "A Diplomatic Surge in Afghanistan"

    Brian R. Price

    Daryl Morini’s 2010 article argued that a diplomatic surge was the only way to achieve a lasting peace and stability in Afghanistan. A decade later it is unknown whether Morini’s surge would have worked. What is clear is that a lack of strategic design contributed to US and Coalition failures in Afghanistan.

  • Outline of Strategic Aerial Culture

    Mickaël Aubout, translated by 1st Lt Casey Evans, Capt Marie Gaudreault, and Capt Cody Anderson

    In contemporary conflicts, it is unlikely countries with substantial aerial assets will intervene in a theater without controlling the airspace, even temporarily. With its relatively small footprint on the ground, airpower is a tool of choice for political engagement, fueling the notion of an aerial strategic culture.




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