Archive for the ‘NSFR Special Reports’ Category

Evaluation of the 2012 Chicago NATO Summit

June 25, 2012

New Publication Now Online: Evaluation of the 2012 Chicago NATO Summit

The 2012 Chicago NATO Summit was a significant event for the City of Chicago, the U.S., and for the Transatlantic Alliance.  On the agenda were a number of important issues affecting global security and the future of the transatlantic relationship.  Some of these were addressed substantively, others were glossed over.  In both cases, the implications of the Summit have profound effects on international relations and U.S. national security.

This special issue of the National Strategy Forum Review (NSFR) evaluates the 2012 Chicago NATO Summit on the basis of what was on the agenda, what agreements and policies were produced during the Summit, and what the consequences of these policies will be in the future.  NATO affiliates and NSFR Editorial Board Members have evaluated these criteria in the first section, titled “Evaluation of the 2012 Chicago NATO Summit.”  For the past several years, the National Strategy Forum has developed a close working relationship with the Northwestern Medill School of Journalism National Security Journalism Initiative that is funded, in part, by generous assistance from the McCormick Foundation.  In the second section, titled “Key Issues for NATO,” advanced graduate school journalism students from Medill were assigned to do first-hand interviews with NATO participants and stakeholders, and have provided reports on many of the complex issues facing NATO after the Summit.

Looking back on the May summit, much was accomplished, but there were opportunities that were missed and there are several negative implications for the future.  The articles herein provide the reader with the playbook for analyzing these issues and arriving at their own conclusions.

 To access this new NSFR Special Edition, please visit the link here.

The 2012 G8 and NATO Summits

March 22, 2012







In May 2012, leaders of the Group of 8 (G8) and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) countries are descending on Camp David and Chicago respectively to discuss pressing issues of global governance and international security. These meetings will have broad policy effects on their respective fields. To prepare for the following summit meetings, the National Strategy Forum Review is providing a background briefing  on these two organizations to discuss their institutional histories and contemporary relevance to global governance.

What are the institutional histories of these institutions?  Why are they relevant and important to global affairs?  What issues will be discussed during these summits?  To read the article, click on the link below.

Briefing: The 2012 G8 and NATO Summits

By Eric S. Morse 

US-Cambodia Policy

November 9, 2011

Most of the time most nations are insignificant to the interests of the United States.  However, from time to time one such insignificant nation seems to step into the limelight of American interests and the crossfire of history.  Cambodia once occupied the latter and now enjoys the tranquility of the former.  Nevertheless, it remains a part of the complex international system and will play an important role in American policy objectives in Southeast Asia.

What are the critical issues facing the United States?  How does Cambodia play a role in those issues?  What policies does that role call for?  What developments are likely or possible within Cambodia and the international system that will affect U.S. policy with Cambodia?

To read this NSFR Special Report, click below:

U.S.-Cambodia Policy: Probabilities and Possibilities

By Ed Bacharach

A Maritime Model for Cyberspace Governance

September 15, 2011

Cyberspace is a unique realm where traditional concepts of law, governance, and international relations are difficult to define and more difficult to put into practice.  Meanwhile, cyber threats and cyber crime are on the rise and governments are scrambling to find legal ways to detect, apprehend, and prosecute perpetrators.  How can governments agree on acceptable legal norms?  What is the incentive to cooperate in apprehending cyber criminals? How can states form multilateral legal institutions and practices that address this challenges of cyberspace?

Mark Frazzetto’s article, A Maritime Model for Cyberspace Legal Governance, offers one view on this issue.  He argues that cyberspace be defined as an international common area and that legal arguments for governing such a space could gain insight from traditional laws of the sea.

A Maritime Model for Cyberspace Legal Governance

By Mark Frazzetto

Why Taiwan Matters

August 30, 2011

U.S.-PRC-ROC relations are heating up, with rumors of a proposed F-16 fighter jet sale to Taiwan being debated in Washington.  Taiwan, also called the Republic of China (ROC), punches above its weight class in many respects.  For example, it is the world’s 19th largest economy, and one of the largest trading partners of the U.S. and PRC, despite being roughly the size of Maryland and Delaware combined.  However, Cross-Strait relations between the PRC and ROC have wide ranging implication for global politics, and particularly U.S. national security strategy.

Professor Shelley Rigger’s new book, Why Taiwan Matters: Small Island, Global Powerhouse, is an insightful look at this disproportionate impact this tiny island has on world politics.

For a book review and summary on this topic, by Eric S. Morse, please click here.

The New Princes: An Update to Niccolò Machiavelli’s Classic

July 18, 2011

The New Princes

Niccolò Machiavelli was born in Florence, Italy in 1469 and held important posts until his death in 1527.  He was a keen observer of the errors and personal character of the rulers he served.  He synthesized his vast experience and observation of rulers, nobles, political systems and statecraft in his magnum opus, The Prince.

Machiavellian in modern times has acquired a pejorative meaning – a sinister connotation that was unknown to his peers.  However, a careful reading of this book leads to more reasonable and affirmative interpretation.

The theme of Machiavelli’s The Prince and this updated essay, The New Princes by Richard E. Friedman, is the relationship of the rulers and the ruled.  Machiavelli’s observations and conclusions regarding mankind’s motivations and weaknesses tend to be negative, rather than what we would prefer them to be.  The Prince provides great principles for the guidance of rulers and their relationship with the people, nobles, parliaments, and with the rulers of other states.

Politics is the instrument to achieve government; politics is not the instrument to achieve more politics.  The objective of The New Princes is to counter the drift of politics that is leading the state into the commode.  The following text is derived, in large part, from the marvelous insights to be found in Machiavelli’s original, with liberties taken to assist contemporary readers, and organization for rhetorical flow.  The purpose of this essay is to make the nation a bit better by a thought-provoking handbook for common cause and positive political action.

If you are motivated more by pragmatism than idealism; if you seek to correct a major wrong; if you seek to communicate with other like-minded pragmatists through use of social network technology, and explore social action among your peers that was impossible only a few years ago, there is a useful intellectual basis for your involvement.  Please consider reading the full text of my essay, The New Princes.

-By Richard E. Friedman

The U.S.-Pakistan Relationship: Toward a Complementary Strategy

May 23, 2011

The U.S.-Pakistan relationship is vital to U.S. interests in the Middle East.  The relationship has been especially strained recently, putting into question the future of U.S. aid and commitments to Pakistan.

This issue of the NSFR, titled “The U.S.-Pakistan Relationship: Toward a Complementary Strategy”, is a report of a series of interviews with Pakistan VIPs conducted by the NSFR Editorial Board.  Our findings have been distilled and we have provided a number of policy options with the objective of reformulating U.S. relations with Pakistan.  Our suggestions are based on complementary strategy: the idea that the U.S. and Pakistan must understand each other’s objectives before hard negotiations can be effective.  Also in this issue are two articles by high level Pakistani political figures: General (Retired) Parvez Musharraf, former president of Pakistan, and Imran Khan, a prominent philanthropist and activist leader of a leading Pakistan political party.  Their thoughts add a unique Pakistani perspective to the analysis of this relationship.

Following the publication of the NSFR report, President Obama announced a new direction for America’s Middle East strategy.  Here are the key points of his speech:

  • Elevating trade and investment over financial aid handouts
  • Broadening and deepening regional trade initiatives between the U.S. and the region
  • Promoting the development of civil society
  • Demanding anti-corruption initiatives
  • Encouraging new forms of U.S. communication and outreach to the Middle East

These policy initiatives are consistent with our findings.  So far, President Obama has limited implementation to Tunisia and Egypt.  The NSFR report advocates that these principles be applied to Pakistan urgently.  A rupture of the U.S.-Pakistan relationship would be a serious set back to U.S. objectives in the region.

Click here to read the Spring 2011 issue of the National Strategy Forum Review:

“The U.S.-Pakistan Relationship: Toward a Complementary Strategy”

Fighter Gaps: Why the Chinese J-20 Matters for U.S. Air Power

January 27, 2011

Secretary of Defense Robert Gates laid out a comfortable air defense scenario in a July 16, 2009 speech to the Economic Club of Chicago:

“[B]by 2020, the United States is projected to have nearly 2,500 manned combat aircraft of all kinds. Of those, nearly 1,100 will be the most advanced fifth generation F-35s and F-22s.  China, by contrast, is projected to have no fifth generation aircraft by 2020. And by 2025, the gap only widens…”

Mr. Gates went back to China in January 2011.  U.S. and international news sources reported test flights during his trip for a “J-20” fighter, whose external appearance, at least, resembled the U.S. F-22 Raptor.  Old fighter program data and old relative power projections for 2015-2025 may need revision.

The past few weeks have seen a significant re-evaluation of U.S. air power strategy.  The J-20 appears to have caught the U.S. militay by surprise and it is questionable how they will adapt their strategy to meet this new challenge.

William A. Price evaluates the F-22 fighter program in an National Strategy Forum Review: Special Report titled Fighter Gaps.  Mr. Price’s detailed analysis of the F-22 and F-35 strike fighter programs, the U.S. Air Force procurement strategy, and comparisons of aircraft capabilities pose some striking questions.  Is the U.S. adequately preparing for the air superiority challenges of the future?

Fighter Gaps

By William A. Price

The Panama Canal Treaty-An Update

January 7, 2011

The signing of the Panama Treaty was the first major foreign affairs decision of Carter’s Presidency and it proved to be one of the most controversial.  Polls soon showed that approximately 70% of the American public opposed the transfer of control and ownership of the canal.  The opposition included a rising star in the Republican Party, California Governor Ronald Reagan, who would eventually make this an issue in the 1980 presidential campaign.  Carter encountered considerable opposition in the Senate in 1978 before he finally succeeded in getting the treaty approved by a single vote.

Was the treaty a success?  Has Panama flourished since the treaty was signed in 1977?  What of U.S.-Panama and U.S.-Latin America relations?

Major General Neal Creighton describes the history of the Panama Canal Treaty in this National Strategy Forum Review Special Report.  From 1971-72, MG Creighton served as the Coordinator for the Department of Defense Committee for the Panama Canal Treaty Negotiations.  Click the link below to read the full report.

The Panama Canal Treaty-An Update

By Major General Neal Creighton