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Air Power as a Coercive Instrument

by Ian O. Lesser Keith Crane Seth G. Jones Rollie Lal John G. Mcginn Daniel Byman

Coercion--the use of threatened force to induce an adversary to change its behavior--is a critical function of the U.S. military. U.S. forces have recently fought in the Balkans, the Persian Gulf, and the Horn of Africa to compel recalcitrant regimes and warlords to stop repression, abandon weapons programs, permit humanitarian relief, and otherwise modify their actions. Yet despite its overwhelming military might, the United States often fails to coerce successfully. This report examines the phenomenon of coercion and how air power can contribute to its success. Three factors increase the likelihood of successful coercion: (1) the coercer's ability to raise the costs it imposes while denying the adversary the chance to respond (escalation dominance); (2) an ability to block an adversary's military strategy for victory; and (3) an ability to magnify third-party threats, such as internal instability or the danger posed by another enemy. Domestic political concerns (such as casualty sensitivity) and coalition dynamics often constrain coercive operations and impair the achievement of these conditions. Air power can deliver potent and credible threats that foster the above factors while neutralizing adversary counter-coercive moves. When the favorable factors are absent, however, air power--or any other military instrument--will probably fail to coerce. Policymakers' use of coercive air power under inauspicious conditions diminishes the chances of using it elsewhere when the prospects of success would be greater.

America's Role in Nation-Building: From Germany to Iraq

by James Dobbins Ian O. Lesser Peter Chalk

The post-World War II occupations of Germany and Japan set standards for post-conflict nation-building that have not since been matched. Only in recent years has the United States has felt the need to participate in similar transformations, but it is now facing one of the most challenging prospects since the 1940s: Iraq. The authors review seven case studies--Germany, Japan, Somalia, Haiti, Bosnia, Kosovo, and Afghanistan--and seek lessons about what worked well and what did not. Then, they examine the Iraq situation in light of these lessons. Success in Iraq will require an extensive commitment of financial, military, and political resources for a long time. The United States cannot afford to contemplate early exit strategies and cannot afford to leave the job half completed.

Greece's New Geopolitics

by Michele Zanini Ian O. Lesser F. Stephen Larrabee Katia Vlachos

Greece has been profoundly affected by recent changes in the international environment, on its borders, and within the country itself. Many long-standing assumptions about Greek interests and Greece's role have fallen away and have been supplanted by new approaches. The country has become progressively more modern and more European, and its international policy has become more sophisticated. At the same time, the geopolitical scene has evolved in ways that present new challenges and new opportunities for Athens in its relations with Europe, the United States, and neighboring countries. Many of these challenges cross traditional regional boundaries and underscore Greece's potential to play a transregional role, looking outward from Europe to the Mediterranean, Eurasia, and the Middle East. This report explores the new geopolitical environment Greece faces, paying special attention to the implications for southeastern Europe and transatlantic relations; explores options for Greek strategy; and offers some new directions for policy in Greece and on both sides of the Atlantic.

Turkish Foreign Policy in an Age of Uncertainty

by Ian O. Lesser F. Stephen Larrabee

The authors describe the challenges and opportunities facing Turkey in the international environment during a time of extraordinary flux. Special emphasis is given to the strategic and security issues facing Turkey, including a number of new issues posed by the terrorist attacks of September 2001 and the subsequent international response. They conclude by offering some prognostications regarding the country's future and their implications on Turkey's western partners.

Showing 1 through 4 of 4 results

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