By Stephen J. Flanagan, James A. Schear

Considering 2001, the USA has persevered a tumultuous interval, one ruled through the Sept. 11 assaults and all that has undefined: the battle on terrorism, the Afghan and Iraqi campaigns, looming confrontations with identified or suspected proliferators of guns of mass destruction, and episodic explosions of mass violence in chronically risky areas. during this moment half the last decade, those and comparable strategic demanding situations will attempt the ability, tenacity, and mind's eye of the present and the following U.S. management and the yankee public. How good those demanding situations are controlled then, or mastered, will significantly impact no matter if destiny historians glance again upon this decade as a perilous passage towards a extra peaceable, globally hooked up order or as a descending direction into an ever extra fragmented, violent world.This quantity explores seven looming, as but unmastered strategic demanding situations dealing with the us. each one bankruptcy tackles one of many following demanding situations: tackling worldwide terrorism, preventing WMD proliferation, project protection transformation, retaining the native land, strengthening kinfolk with allies and companions, attractive different significant powers, and defusing conflicts in volatile areas. each one bankruptcy takes the same method: defining the matter handy (i.e., a quick dialogue of suitable trends); explicating present U.S. efforts to grasp the problem (i.e., U.S. ambitions, equipment, measure of luck or setbacks); and interpreting looming offerings that U.S. policymakers will face within the subsequent decade and, as applicable, the implications of different classes of motion. Strategic demanding situations capitalizes at the nice nearby and topical services of the INSS specialist learn employees to give an authoritative assessment of the worldwide strategic setting dealing with the us.

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For example, a unified Korean Peninsula with nuclear weapons would likely spark new tensions with Japan and possibly China and trigger a regional arms race. S. forces in the region. A peaceful solution to the Taiwan issue would strengthen China’s power in Asia and alter regional security dynamics. Further easing of India-Pakistan tensions is a distinct possibility, although it would likely have the least strategic impact for the United States. One other scenario worth considering in this context is a significant breakthrough in Israel’s disputes with its Arab neighbors and the Palestinians, perhaps along the lines of the historic “land for peace” concept revived by Saudi King Abdullah that would trade full recognition of Israel by the Arab world in exchange for Israel’s withdrawal from West Bank lands it occupied after the 1967 war and pave the way for a Israeli-Palestinian settlement.

The radical Islamist ideology can remain an elegant, self-contained construct, like Marxism before the Bolshevik Revolution. Seen in this light, al Qaeda’s and the Taliban’s loss of control over Afghanistan may not have been an unmitigated failure for the Islamists; they can once again project an image that is untainted by practical failures of governance. Of course, the fact that the jihadists are not in power also makes them more difficult to deter; compared to the government of a conventional territorial state, they have little to lose that a power seeking to deter them can hold at risk.

Countering Global Terrorism 35 Building capacity for governance. The jihad at the center of this globalized insurgency challenges the validity of the entire international state system. The very ideology of jihad focuses on overcoming that system, whether explicitly or implicitly, in its quest to restore a rightly guided caliphate. A fundamental requirement of combating jihadism, then, is to bolster the international order, a task most readily fulfilled by reinforcing the institutions—the states—comprising that order.

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