Tag Archives: Latest Issue

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Paved with Good Intentions?: Civil-Military Norms, Breaches, and Why Mindset Matters

This essay argues that a complete scrutiny of norm-breaking and “crises” within strategic-level American civil-military relationships ought to consider more than the impact of the breach or the value of the actor’s apparent justification for transgression.

Rather, considering how an actor understood the norm, and whether he or she accepted it before breaching it, uncovers two important factors that have been left under-examined in civil-military norms and relations literature: whether that norm ought to be considered the norm any longer, and whether there is a more nuanced way to determine an actor’s culpability or blameworthiness for the violation.

Exploring the willfulness and mindset of the individual parties, who seem to breach norms or fail to establish a baseline of workable mutual expectations, is a step in the direction of understanding the peculiar character of that choice beyond its effect and the actor’s reasoning.

This essay proposes that we borrow the scalable legal concept of “intent” from criminal law—described as “the degree of informed intentionality” of a civil-military relationship actor. Informing this proposal is a look at some recent norm-busting events “ripped from the headlines.”

Nuclear Arms Control: Coming Back from Oblivion, Again

Tensions between the United States and Russian Federation have spiraled in recent years and the outlook for the bilateral nuclear arms control regime has become ever more grim. Comparisons to the early 1980s Cold War are common.

Now, as then, Washington and Moscow are geopolitical adversaries. A key arms control agreement has been abandoned. Nuclear modernization accelerates. Old nuclear hands warn that the risk of nuclear war is rising. Amid growing unease, practitioners and commenters debate nuclear policy priorities, how the arms control process might resume, and how best to reduce nuclear risks.

Dakota Rudsill’s essay analyzes the comparison of our present moment of nuclear destabilization with the Cold War’s frigid and perilous depths in the early 1980s. It argues that the analogy is not perfect but it is instructive. The Cold War teaches that arms control can come back from oblivion. By focusing on the right priorities—strategic stability in particular—and generating ideas now, a pragmatic slate of actionable stability-enhancing proposals can be ready when the geopolitical currents change and prospects for nuclear arms control recover.

Countering the Cyber Enforcement Gap: Strengthening Global Capacity on Cybercrime

While the barrage of cyberattacks around the world continues to increase, the lack of effective global cybercrime enforcement has allowed cybercriminals to operate with near impunity.

Although there have been a number of efforts to increase international cooperation on cybercrime enforcement, many of these efforts have been hindered due to the lack of capacity building among countries to provide criminal justice actors with the ability to implement and enforce these instruments.

Through an in-depth examination of the global developments in cybercrime and the major challenges to international cooperation among countries, Amy Jordan and Allison Peters provide a variety of recommendations aimed at overcoming the barriers in capacity building among nation states in order to close the global cyber enforcement gap.