LETTER FROM THE EDITOR
The phenomenon of strategic surprise—a category of unexpected events so consequential that they call into question the premises of existing strategy—has posed a recurring challenge to U.S. foreign policy. Although there is a voluminous literature on the subject, most scholars have focused on surprises unleashed as a deliberate strategy of states in their effort to seize the advantage against adversaries. In recent decades, however, the United States has increasingly confronted a different type of strategic surprise, namely non-state-led surprise. This paper draws on the existing literature about state-led strategic surprise to offer several initial hypotheses to explain this development. By doing so, the paper serves as a basis for further research as well as a backgrounder for policy makers who seek to prepare for the growing challenge of non-state-led surprise.
The spread of Islamic militancy amongst the Uighur of Kazakhstan is of particular importance to understanding Kazakhstan’s security and economic relations with China, Russia, and the United States, and, ultimately, to the advancement of U.S. strategic interests in the region. Significant scholarship has been developed in the last decade oriented toward the Uighur in neighboring Xinjiang, China, but relatively little has been devoted to an in-depth examination of the Uighur dynamic in Kazakhstan. This paper investigates this topic through original research that examines the extent to which Uighur extremists in Kazakhstan pose a realistic threat to Kazakhstan’s national security. It specifically asks whether the prevailing Islamic practice amongst the Uighur in Kazakhstan has been made fundamental, and, if an Uighur identity exists, whether it is bound by Islamic ambitions that may manifest in widespread terrorist activity. This study finds that militant Islam amongst the Uighur in Kazakhstan remains a fringe and localized presence, which will struggle to gain sufficient popular support for his- torical and contextual reasons. Even so, the United States can take specific steps to help Kazakhstan ensure that Islam remains a moderate—rather than extremist—force in the country.
Despite formidable challenges, Russia should remain a leading emerging market economy, along with Brazil, China, and India (BRICs). The BRIC grouping thus has a future as a symbol of the rise of the non-Western world. The future of the Russian-led effort to consolidate the BRICS (the BRICs plus South Africa) as an influential multilateral organization is less certain because of inherent contradictions in the mem- bers’ ambitions, prospects, and security challenges. The United States engages Russia for strategic, not economic reasons. It matters little to the United States that Russia is a BRIC, and it will not engage Russia through the BRICS.
The total absence of the European Union, as a bloc, during the Libyan crisis of spring 2011 has led analysts to pose tough questions about the future of Europe as a collective security actor. The progress made toward the EU’s Common Security and Defense Policy (CSDP) since 2003 was to some extent a reflection of the extraordinary nature of this relative pooling of sovereignty in the security field. But increasingly the major CDP players, the UK and France, appear to be acting alone, while Germany remains ambivalent as to whether it wishes to engage in a common security policy. As the economic crisis bites ever deeper into EU defense budgets, the prospects for Europe to emerge as a coherent autonomous security actor appear to be receding. This article examines the options for CSDP, particularly with respect to its complex, ongoing relationship with NATO.
Paul Rexton Kan
Little attention has been paid to non-state actors conducting cyberwars against each other and the disruptive effects these wars can have on nation-states. This article explores the online clash between the hacker group, Anonymous, and the Mexican drug cartel, Los Zetas. This type of cyberwar was unique: it was an incident where two clandestine non-state groups used the digital domain to attack each other and it was largely a private affair. Yet the incident had public consequences that left the Mexican government as a bystander. Such criminal activity beyond the reach of government intervention blurs the line between public safety and national security.
U.S. foreign aid has been crucial to the interna- tional AIDS response, especially to the rollout of antiretrovirals (ARVs) in Africa. The unprecedented scale of funding that has been raised to combat this disease evolved out of fears that AIDS was a both a humanitarian disaster and a threat to international security and economic development. U.S. commitment to fight- ing AIDS in Africa has traditionally been, and still is, buoyed by bi-partisan support. This support has remained strong post-2007. Even so, the view is widespread that African country governments ought to take greater ownership of combating the problem and reducing aid dependency in managing it. One of the most effective interventions the United States could make to this end would be to ensure that trade negotiations facilitate, rather than impede, the supply of affordable ARVs for devel- oping countries. Boosting U.S. development assistance to the international target of 0.7% of national income would also help.
Stephen S. Roach
The world’s two largest economies both face major rebalancing challenges. The United States needs to wean itself from excess consumption and subpar saving, while China needs to do the opposite—greater emphasis on private consumption and the absorption of surplus saving. These transformations are daunting but provide major opportunities for both nations. They also and entail risks—especially those of an “asymmetrical rebalancing” whereby China would move more quickly than the United States. By drawing down its surplus saving to promote internal private consumption, China would reduce its current account surplus and its related demand for dollar-denominated assets. Who would then fund the external deficits of America’s saving-short economy? And on what terms?
John Lewis Gaddis
John Gaddis is the Robert A. Lovett Professor of History at Yale University, where he teaches courses in Cold War history, grand strategy, and international security studies. He is also the director of the Brady-Johnson Program in Grand Strategy, and is author of the Pulitzer Price-winning biography, George F. Kennan: An American Life.
Brigadier General (ret.) Thomas Kolditz
Thomas Kolditz is a Professor in the Practice of Leadership in the Yale University School of Management. A retired Army brigadier general, Professor Kolditz headed the Department of Behavioral Science and Leadership at West Point for twelve years and held leadership positions on four continents over thirty-four years of military service. He is an internationally recognized expert on crisis leadership.
Professor Henry Rousso is a contemporary historian who specializes in Vichy France and World War II. He is also an expert on the role of memory in prosecuting war crimes and crimes against humanity. He serves as senior research fellow at the National Scientific Research Center (CNRS) in France, affiliated to the Institut d’histoire du temps présent. He has taught at universities in Europe and the United States and was a visiting professor within the Yale Program for the Study of Antisemitism. His recently published book, La Dernière Catastrophe. L’histoire, le Présent, le Contemporain (Paris: Gallimard, 2012) is about the history and practice of contemporary history in the Western world.
Emma Sky is a senior fellow with the Jackson Institute for Global Affairs at Yale University, where she lectures on the new Iraq and on the international politics of the Middle East. She previously worked at senior levels in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Jerusalem on behalf of the UK and U.S. governments.
Paul Solman is a renowned economics journalist and professor whose accomplishments include multiple Emmy awards, two Peabodys, and a Loeb award for journalism. He is a correspondent on PBS’s NewsHour, and has taught and lectured at a number of top universities, including the Harvard Business School, on whose faculty he served in the 1980s. He is currently the Brady-Johnson Distinguished Fellow in Political Economy at Yale University.
Jorrit Kamminga and Nazia Hussain
Ioana Maria Puscas
Ryan Kaminski and A. Edward Elmendorf