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Rhiannon Neilsen
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How states join coalitions affects the extent to which they are perceived as blameworthy – or praiseworthy – for the outcome of that coalition. By extension, states’ moral reputations can be a contributing factor that dissuades those states from volunteering to join humanitarian interventions, despite the ethical imperative to do so. To highlight this argument, this article considers the Australian and the United Kingdom (UK) governments’ initial reluctance to join yet another United States-led intervention in Iraq to combat the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

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How states join coalitions affects the extent to which they are perceived as blameworthy – or praiseworthy – for the outcome of that coalition.

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Herbert Lin
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On Feb. 12, White House National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien announced that the U.S. government has “evidence that Huawei has the capability secretly to access sensitive and personal information in systems it maintains and sells around the world.” This represents the latest attempt by the Trump administration to support an argument that allied governments—and the businesses they oversee—should purge certain telecommunications networks of Huawei equipment. The position reflects the preferred approach in the United States, which is to issue outright bans against select companies (including Huawei) that meet an as-yet-unknown threshold of risk to national security.

 

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Max Smeets
Robert Chesney
Monica Kaminska
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In Aug. 2019, Bobby Chesney (from Strauss Center at the University of Texas at Austin) and Max Smeets (from ETH Zurich and also Stanford University’s Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC)) convened a workshop in Amsterdam focusing on military operations in the cyber domain, from a transatlantic perspective. The “Transatlantic Dialogue on Military Cyber Operations—Amsterdam” gathered experts from military, civilian, and academic institutions hailing from a range of countries, including the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark, Estonia, and France.

 

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Seminar recording: https://youtu.be/fYUK-ALGqAE

 

Abstract:  Russian influence operations during the 2016 US elections, and the investigations that followed, revealed the broad scope of Russian political warfare against Western democracies. Since then, Russian operations have targeted the UK, France, Germany, Ukraine, and others. Other state and non-state actors, motivated by politics or profit, have also learned and adapted the Kremlin’s tool-kit. With the 2020 elections a year away, what have we learned about foreign information operations? How has the transatlantic community responded and what are the threats we are likely to face?  Drawing on extensive research on transatlantic relations, disinformation, and Russian foreign policy, Dr. Polyakova will discuss the state of policy options to address disinformation, analyze Russian intentions, and highlight emerging threats.

 

Speaker’s Biography:

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alina polyakova
Alina Polyakova is the founding director of the Project on Global Democracy and Emerging Technology and a fellow in the Center on the United States and Europe at the Brookings Institution, where she leads the Foreign Policy program’s Democracy Working Group. She is also adjunct professor of European studies at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) at Johns Hopkins University. Her work examines Russian political warfare, European populism, digital authoritarianism, and the implications of emerging technologies to democracies. Polyakova's book, "The Dark Side of European Integration" (Ibidem-Verlag and Columbia University Press, 2015) analyzed the rise of far-right political parties in Europe.  She holds a master’s and doctorate from the University of California, Berkeley, and a bachelor's in economics and sociology with highest honors from Emory University. 

Alina Polyakova Director, Project on Global Democracy and Emerging Technology The Brookings Institution
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France and the UK have had different approaches to the possibility of nuclear disarmament; these derive from the different post- Second World War national narratives in which the development of nuclear weapons has been embedded. This started from two different attitudes toward the NATO Alliance and its nuclear component, two different sets of lessons learned from the 1956 Suez crisis, and it culminated in two different reactions to the increase in nuclear disarmament advocacy worldwide, which is the focus of this chapter.

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Nik Hynek and Michal Smetana, (eds.), Global Nuclear Disarmament. Strategic, Political and Regional Perspectives. London: Routledge: 225-250
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Benoît Pelopidas
Nick Ritchie
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Abstract: On 13 February 2016, in a widely-reported interview for the BBC, Ashton Carter, the US Secretary of Defense, made clear that the US Government supported the maintenance and renewal of Britain’s strategic nuclear deterrent force of Trident submarines.  According to Carter, Trident enabled Britain to ‘continue to play that outsized role on the world stage that it does because of its moral standing and its historical standing.’  However, during the early 1960s, attitudes in Washington to the UK’s independent nuclear capabilities were altogether different.  This paper will begin with a re-examination of Robert McNamara’s famous address at Ann Arbor in June 1962 when he openly criticised the existence of independent allied nuclear forces.  Using new evidence, it will chart the background to the speech, the reception it was accorded, and how it helped to intensify tensions in Anglo-American relations when the Skybolt missile system was cancelled by the US at the end of the same year.  The paper will also show how by the end of the Johnson administration, and the tenure of McNamara’s period as Secretary of Defense, the US had become reconciled to the continued existence of the UK’s independent nuclear deterrent and even begun to take steps to assist with its improvement.  

About the Speaker: Matthew Jones is Professor of International History, London School of Economics and Political Science. After receiving his DPhil from St Antony's College, Oxford, he was appointed to a Lectureship in the History Department at Royal Holloway, University of London in 1994, and subsequently promoted to Reader in International History before moving to the University of Nottingham in 2004, and then to the LSE in 2013.  His interests span post-war British and US foreign policy, nuclear history, and the histories of empire and decolonization in South East Asia.  His books include Britain, the United States and the Mediterranean War, 1942-44 (Macmillan, 1996), Conflict and Confrontation in South East Asia, 1961-1965: Britain, the United States, Indonesia, and the Creation of Malaysia (Cambridge University Press, 2002), and After Hiroshima: The United States, Race, and Nuclear Weapons in Asia, 1945-1965, (CUP, 2010).   In 2008, Jones was commissioned by the Cabinet Office to write a two-volume official history of the UK strategic nuclear deterrent, covering the period between 1945 and 1982, the first volume of which has now been completed.   

Matthew Jones Professor of International History Speaker London School of Economics and Political Science
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Abstract: This paper seeks to understand the varying degrees to which security agencies perpetrate or collude in torture in the context of state responses to terrorism. The empirical focus is on two key British counterterrorist campaigns: against Irish republican terrorism in the 1970s, and against Al Qaeda-inspired terrorism since 2001. In the former case, British security agencies carried out coercive interrogations on a wide scale; in the latter, they have generally refrained from such practices, although they have allegedly colluded in torture by foreign intelligence services. Why does the extent of British security agency involvement in torture vary between the two periods? Drawing on IR constructivist theory, the paper stresses how the justification and interpretation of the international anti-torture norm in the UK changed between the 1970s and 2000s, with significant implications for the behavior of security officials. It also assesses that institutions, the law and the likelihood of legal sanction play an important role, but finds less support for explanations based around the magnitude of the terrorist threat. The paper seeks to contribute to our understanding of the conditions under which security agencies may be induced to respect human rights.

 

About the Speaker: Dr. Frank Foley is Lecturer in International Relations at the Department of War Studies, King’s College London. Dr Foley’s research focuses on counterterrorism, human rights, intelligence and police agencies, particularly in Britain, France and the United States. He is the author of Countering Terrorism in Britain and France: Institutions, Norms and the Shadow of the Past (Cambridge University Press, 2013). He has published articles in Security Studies, the Review of International Studies, and the European Journal of Criminal Research and Policy. Dr Foley holds a PhD in Political Science from the European University Institute in Florence. He has been the Zukerman post-doctoral fellow at Stanford University’s Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC), and recipient of a “Terrorism Research Award” from the US National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START). Dr Foley has briefed governments and security practitioners on his research findings, including British and French counterterrorist officials and Department of Defense staff at the Pentagon in Washington DC. He comments for a variety of national and international media, including BBC News, France 24 and Voice of America.

Frank Foley Lecturer in International Relations, Department of War Studies King's College London
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In 1961, at the height of the Berlin crisis, the United States and Great Britain simultaneously struggled to adopt effective policies toward the first meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement in Belgrade. While the John F. Kennedy administration initially adopted a policy of standoffishness toward the conference, the government of Harold Macmillan engaged in a campaign of quietly encouraging moderate attendance. Moderate British expectations led to sound policy, whereas the Kennedy administration's inability to develop a coherent outlook and response cost it a priceless opportunity to understand the emerging phenomenon of nonalignment.

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Cold War History
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Robert Rakove
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Nuclear weapons are so central to the history of the Cold War that it can be difficult to disentangle the two. Did nuclear weapons cause the Cold War? Did they contribute to its escalation? Did they help to keep the Cold War “cold”? We should also ask how the Cold War shaped the development of atomic energy. Was the nuclear-arms race a product of Cold War tension rather than its cause?

The atomic bomb and the origins of the Cold War:

The nuclear age began before the Cold War. During World War II, three countries decided to build the atomic bomb: Britain, the United States, and the Soviet Union. Britain put its own work aside and joined the Manhattan Project as a junior partner in 1943. The Soviet effort was small before August 1945. The British and American projects were driven by the fear of a German atomic bomb, but Germany decided in 1942 not to make a serious effort to build the bomb. In an extraordinary display of scientific and industrial might, the United States made two bombs ready for use by August 1945. Germany was defeated by then, but President Harry S. Truman decided to use the bomb against Japan.

The decision to use the atomic bomb has been a matter of intense controversy. Did Truman decide to bomb Hiroshima and Nagasaki in order, as he claimed, to end the war with Japan without further loss of American lives? Or did he drop the bombs in order to intimidate the Soviet Union, without really needing them to bring the war to an end? His primary purpose was surely to force Japan to surrender, but he also believed that the bomb would help him in his dealings with Iosif V. Stalin. That latter consideration was secondary, but it confirmed his decision. Whatever Truman’s motives, Stalin regarded the use of the bomb as an anti-Soviet move, designed to deprive the Soviet Union of strategic gains in the Far East and more generally to give the United States the upper hand in defining the postwar settlement. On August 20, 1945, two weeks to the day after Hiroshima, Stalin signed a decree setting up a Special Committee on the Atomic Bomb, under the chairmanship of Lavrentii P. Beriia. The Soviet project was now a crash program.

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Cambridge University Press
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David Holloway
David Holloway
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Abstract: Chevaline was the codename given to a highly-secret program begun in 1970 to improve the performance of the UK's force of Polaris submarine-launched ballistic missiles in order to give them the capability to overcome Soviet ABM defenses deployed around Moscow. After much technical difficulty, delays in project timescale and cost escalation the new system was finally introduced in 1982, but it had already attracted major criticism for the expenditure involved, claims of project mismanagement, the rationale that underpinned its development, and its concealment from proper parliamentary scrutiny. This lecture will explore the background to the program, why it ran into so many problems, and how it became one of the most controversial episodes in post-war British defense policy. An understanding of the problems confronted by the attempt to improve Polaris illuminates a number of key themes and issues that are of relevance to policymakers concerned with strategic weapons programs and project management.

About the Speaker: Matthew Jones’ current research focuses on British nuclear history during the Cold War. He has also written on many different aspects of US and British foreign and defense policy in the 20th century, and has a long-standing interest in empire and decolonization in South East Asia. Jones’ first book, Britain, the United States and the Mediterranean War, 1942-44 (Macmillan, 1996), examined strains in the Anglo-American relationship by strategic issues and command problems in the Mediterranean theater. His book, Conflict and Confrontation in South East Asia, 1961-1965: Britain, the United States, Indonesia, and the Creation of Malaysia (Cambridge University Press, 2002), looks at the federation of Malaysia during British decolonization in the early 1960s. After Hiroshima: The United States, Race, and Nuclear Weapons in Asia, 1945-1965 (Cambridge University Press, 2010) addresses US nuclear policies in Asia in the period of the Korean War, confrontation with China, and early engagement in Vietnam. His current project on UK nuclear policy encompasses the development of nuclear strategy within NATO, the Anglo-American nuclear relationship, and European responses to strategic arms control. In 2008, Jones was appointed by the Prime Minister to become the Cabinet Office official historian of the UK strategic nuclear deterrent and the Chevaline program, a commission that will lead to the publication of a two-volume official history exploring British nuclear policy between 1945 and 1982. Jones’s journal articles have appeared in Diplomatic History, Historical Journal, Journal of Cold War Studies, and English Historical Review. He gained his DPhil in Modern History at St. Antony’s College, Oxford, in 1992.

Encina Hall (2nd floor)

Matthew Jones Professor of International History Speaker London School of Economics and Political Science
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