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Horns of a Dilemma
38 minutes | Sep 30, 2022
When You Wish Upon a Tsar
In this week's episode of Horns of a Dilemma, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for European and NATO Policy Daniel Fata discusses the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine. Fata explains how decades of U.S. policy under administrations of both parties was based on what he describes as wishful thinking. He argues that this may have emboldened Vladimir Putin to believe that he could invade his neighbor without serious consequences. Fata analyzes the conduct of the war, as well how it may shape the international system for years to come. This event was recorded at the University of Texas, Austin.
39 minutes | Sep 23, 2022
An Overview of Strategy Down Under
In this week's episode of Horns of a Dilemma, Charles Edel, the inaugural Australia chair at CSIS in Washington, DC, discusses Australia's "strategic revolution," which focuses on building diplomatic, economic, and military capacity to resist coercion by China. The recent AUKUS nuclear submarine deal is one manifestation of this effort, but as Edel explains, the deal is just one part of a larger strategic realignment, which is likely to become increasingly important to U.S. strategy in the Indo-Pacific region.
49 minutes | Sep 16, 2022
Ideology and America's View of the World
Ideologies help people understand the world around them. They provide a lens through which we arrange events and images into patterns, and they offer a menu of actions that seem appropriate in response to that pattern. Although leaders and states often subscribe consciously to certain ideologies, some ideas--such as religion or a belief in the goodness of an ideal like "freedom" or "democracy"--operate at such a fundamental level that we may not recognize them as ideologies at all. This week's episode of Horns of a Dilemma features a panel of contributors to a new book on the influence of ideology in American foreign relations. Christopher McKnight Nichols of Ohio State University, Raymond Haberski, Jr, of Indiana University, and Emily Conroy-Krutz of Michigan State University join host Jeremi Suri of the University of Texas, Austin to discuss what ideology is, and explore the ways in which it has shaped, and continues to shape, America's role in the world. This discussion was hosted at the University of Texas, Austin on September 7, 2022.
39 minutes | Sep 9, 2022
Phrases such as, "history is written by the victors," while often cycnical, hint at a fundamental truth: Historical events assume different significance depending on the perspective from which they are viewed. In this week's episode of Horns of a Dilemma, Professor Elisabeth Leake of Leeds University discusses her book, Afghan Crucible, which examines the war in Afghanistan from a variety of different historical, political, and geographic perspectives. Her analysis gives a rich and nuanced view of the role that this small, impoverished nation has played in shaping the foreign policy destiny of great powers, and of shaping the lives of those who have been touched by the conflict there.
45 minutes | Sep 2, 2022
Compassion, Control, and Complications: 19th Century British Anti-Slavery Efforts
The British empire embarked on a successful and far-reaching anti-slavery campaign in the first half of the 19th century, one of the first global humanitarian efforts of its kind. Professor Maeve Ryan of Kings College London joins Texas National Security Review editor in chief and Clements Center executive director Will Inboden for a fascinating discusion of Ryan's book, Humanitarian Governance and the British Antislavery World System, published in April by Yale University Press. Ryan discusses the complicated motives of the British anti-slavery campaign, which capitalized on wounded British national pride after the loss of the American colonies, economic motives, and sincere moral outrage. She also details the morally complicated efforts at "disposal" of the human cargoes embarked in slave ships captured by the Royal Navy. These efforts included resettlement and other projects in which narratives of both compassion and control figure prominently.
51 minutes | Aug 26, 2022
Protecting Civilians in War: Law, Politics, Strategy, and Morality
A cynic might argue that a Venn diagram of good legal compliance, good politics, good strategy, and, morally good behavior has no space where all four elements intersect. This week's guests on Horns of a Dilemma argue that these virtues coincide in the protection of civilians from harm during war. Sahr Muhammedally and Dan Mahanty, both of the Center for Civilians in Conflict, are the authors of The Human Factor: The Enduring Relevance of Protecting Civilians in Future Wars, which appears in Vol 5/Iss 3 of the Texas National Security Review. The authors join TNSR executive editor Doyle Hodges to discuss their article, the law and policy of civilian harm mitigation, and best practices that can help to protect civilians without sacrificing military effectiveness. This discussion is especially relevant the news is filled with stories and images of attacks against civilians by Russian forces in Ukraine.
32 minutes | Aug 19, 2022
Storm Center? The Future of U.S.-Chinese Relations
In this week's episode of Horns of a Dilemma, Charles Edel discusses the big questions in U.S.-Chinese relations. He examines efforts under the Biden administration to deal with these questions, and projects what questions may define the relationship going forward. As Edel makes clear, the relationship between America and China is long, and has often been fraught with uncertainty. As the world's two largest economic and military powers, this relationship will be critical to the state of world affairs and global prosperity in the future. This talk was recorded at the Clements Center Summer Seminar in History and Statecraft held in Beaver Creek, Colorado.
52 minutes | Aug 12, 2022
Everything You Wanted to Know About History and Foreign Policy (But Were Afraid to Ask)
In this episode of Horns of a Dilemma, chair of the Texas National Security Review editorial board Frank Gavin speaks about the role of history in foreign policy, previewing his forthcoming book. Gavin's talk is both a personal and a disciplinary reflection, as well as a penetrating analysis of how history influences the choices of policymakers. This discussion was recorded during the Clements Center Summer Seminar on History and Statecraft held at Beaver Creek, Colorado.
36 minutes | Aug 5, 2022
Healthy Worry About Healthy Civil-Military Relations
”Civil-military relations” is a term that covers a multitude of sins. Scholars of civil-military relations write on topics ranging from recruiting and retention to military coups to norms of professional military behavior. This week’s Horns of a Dilemma speaker, Dr. Kori Schake, argues that civil-military relations in the United States have historically been strong and stable. So why are U.S. civil-military relations an important topic of study and debate? As Schake observes, Americans tend to put off addressing potential problems until they are worried about them. So, especially in light of challenges to the norms of strong and stable civil-military relations associated with a highly polarized partisan environment, worrying about healthy civil-military relations is ... healthy. This talk was delivered at the Clements Center Summer Seminar in History and Statecraft held in Beaver Creek, Colorado in July.
42 minutes | Jul 26, 2022
Remembering Robert Jervis, Part II
This episode is the second part of a conversation between four people who knew the late Robert Jervis well: Francis Gavin of the Kissinger Center and chair of the editorial board of the Texas National Security Review; Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Colin Kahl; Mira Rapp-Hooper, a member of the National Security Council staff, where she is responsible for an array of Indo-Pacific issues; and Derek Chollet, the counselor of the State Department. Do not miss the first episode! The views expressed here, of course, are personal and not those of the U.S. government.
45 minutes | Jul 12, 2022
Remembering Robert Jervis, Part I
Many of those who follow War on the Rocks and the Texas National Security Review mourned the passing of Robert Jervis, the towering scholar of international relations who defined a field and mentored generations of scholars and policymakers. Four of his close friends, colleagues, and protégés sat down to remember his legacy, his intellectual contributions, and his kindness. It is a fascinating discussion that touches on a variety of important issues related to international security. This episode, which is the first of two parts, is hosted by Francis Gavin of the Kissinger Center and chair of the editorial board of the Texas National Security Review. He is joined by Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Colin Kahl; Mira Rapp-Hooper, a member of the staff of the National Security Council, where she is responsible for an array of Indo-Pacific issues; and Derek Chollet, the counselor of the State Department. The views expressed here, of course, are personal and not those of the U.S. government.
45 minutes | Jun 24, 2022
History is What States Make of It
"Political scientist Alexander Wendt famously (well, in political science circles anyway) observed of the international system that "anarchy is what states make of it." In this week's episode of Horns of a Dilemma, we explore the degree to which this observation is true not only of the international system, but also of the mental constructs that states, leaders, and citizens use to think about the concept of an international system and their place in it. Andrew Ehrhardt, an Ernest May post-doctoral fellow in history and policy at Harvard's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, is the author of Everyman His Own Philosopher of History: Notions of Historical Process in the Study and Practice of Foreign Policy, which appears in Vol 5/Iss 3 of the Texas National Security Review. Ehrhardt joins TNSR Executive Editor Doyle Hodges to discuss the article and how this view of history affects questions of security in international and domestic politics today.”
47 minutes | Jun 17, 2022
We Have Met the Enemy and They are Us
Over two decades after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the American conception of terrorists and terrorism is slowly changing. While threats from foreign extremist organizations still exist, the most recent Department of Homeland Security advisory bulletin focused on the threat from domestic extremist groups. In Vol 5/Iss 2 of the Texas National Security Review, former federal prosecutor Barbara McQuade evaluates the Biden administration's strategy for countering domestic terrorism and offers some recommendations of her own. In this week's episode of Horns of a Dilemma, McQuade joins TNSR Executive Editor Doyle Hodges to discuss her article and evaluate the current legal and policy environment surrounding domestic terrorism.
44 minutes | Jun 7, 2022
Forty years ago this week, U.S. President Ronald Reagan spoke to the British Parliament in Westminster. The speech is an iconic encapsulation of Reagan’s view of the Cold War conflict between Western democracies and the totalitarian states of the Warsaw Pact. In addition to its powerful rhetorical impact, this speech motivated policy change: Less than a year after the speech was delivered, the U.S. Congress approved the formation of the National Endowment for Democracy to aid democracy movements abroad. In this week’s episode of Horns of a Dilemma, Clements Center Executive Director (and TNSR Editor in Chief) Will Inboden sits down with Rachel Hoff, policy director of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute, to discuss the speech and its legacy.
43 minutes | Jun 3, 2022
Economic sanctions are often regarded as a relatively weak tool, especially in response to the use of military force. In part, this stems from scholarship, which suggests that economic sanctions alone rarely lead to war termination. In Vol 3/Iss 2 of Texas National Security Review, however, Erik Sand makes an interesting argument: The effect of sanctions and economic isolation may not be to lead directly to war termination, but rather to pressure a regime, such that they choose riskier strategies than they would without the sanctions in place. Sand joins us on this week’s episode of Horns of a Dilemma to discuss his article, and how this effect may apply to the ongoing Russian war in Ukraine.
43 minutes | May 27, 2022
The Chinese Fox Guarding the Human Rights Henhouse
The United Nations Human Rights Council has come under criticism for including as members many states whose human rights record is controversial, at best. In this week's episode of Horns of a Dilemma, Dr. Rana Inboden discusses her new book, China and the International Human Rights Regime, which details (among other things) how one of those states, China, used its position on the council during the institution building phase to try to undercut the strength and effectiveness of the council's tools. While Inboden shows that China was at least partly successful in doing so, the effort that China put in to trying not to appear to be opposed to human rights may be telling. Despite criticism that the U.N. human rights regime is toothless, it is still able to shape the behavior of a powerful state--even if only by shaping their desire not to be seen as human rights violators. Or, as the French author Francois de la Rochefoucauld said, "Hypocrisy is the tribute that vice pays to virtue."
39 minutes | May 20, 2022
War Crime and Punishment
James Gow observed in his book War and War Crimes that, while many war crimes are so obvious that most people "know them when we see them," the very existence of the concept of a war crime gives meaning to a critical, if somewhat paradoxical premise: Even in war, there are rules. In this week's episode of Horns of a Dilemma, University of Texas Law School Professor Derek Jinks discusses the legal landscape that developed after World War II, which defines the modern concept of war crimes. He also discusses options for investigation, jurisdiction, and accountability for the many apparent war crimes being committed by Russian forces in their invasion of Ukraine. This discussion was sponsored by the Strauss Center for International Security and Law at the University of Texas, Austin.
76 minutes | May 13, 2022
Solidarity with Ukraine
Few countries in Europe have experienced the vicissitudes of changing political order as directly as Poland. For centuries, Poland was caught between Russia and Germany, often serving as a highway through which one great power or another traveled en route to conquering other territories. This week's Horns of a Dilemma speaker knows this better than most: Lech Walesa was the leader of the Solidarity labor movement in Poland under Communist rule and later became the first freely elected president of Poland. Walesa spoke recently at the University of Texas, Austin, about the war in Ukraine, Putin's ambitions for Russia, a changing political order, and the need for the United States to assume a leading role in this new order. Though speaking through a translator, Walesa's wit, wisdom, and humanity shine through, giving a glimpse of just how he was able to inspire people to join him in transforming his country.
55 minutes | May 6, 2022
Foreword to Victory: Paul Kennedy Speaks on the Naval History of World War II
In this episode of Horns of a Dilemma, historian Paul Kennedy speaks about his new book, Victory at Sea: Naval Power and the Transformation of the Global Order in World War II. The book is unusual in that it is beautifully illustrated with numerous paintings by the late maritime artist Ian Marhsall. Kennedy discusses the origins of his collaboration with Marshall--how he had originally encouraged Marshall to publish a collection of his paintings with a foreword by Kennedy--and how this grew into a volume that builds from the paintings to a sweeping view of the military, technological, and social changes brought by World War II, which dramatically altered the global order. This talk was given at the University of Texas, Austin, and hosted by the Clements Center for National Security.
47 minutes | Apr 29, 2022
Can you spare a DIME? The full range of foreign policy tools in Latin America
Sovereignty is one of the most durable concepts in international relations. Since the Treaty of Westphalia in 1648, the concept of sovereignty has defined the political privileges of states. But when a state is doing things that run counter to another state's interest, the concept of sovereignty limits the tools available to change the offending behavior. In this week's episode of Horns of a Dilemma, we hear first-hand about how the tools that are available--often abbreviated as DIME for diplomacy, information, military, and economics--were used during the last administration to try to influence the authoritarian regimes in Venezuela and Cuba. Carrie Filipetti, a former State Department official responsible for American policy toward these regimes, analyzes what worked, what didn't, and why. This event was held at the University of Texas, Austin, and jointly hosted by the Clements Center and the Alexander Hamilton Society.
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