Security Studies

Naval War College, The University of Texas, Colorado School of Mines Selected by DoD as One of Six Teams for Social Science Research

March 13, 2023
The clean energy transition will be minerals and metals intensive. Currently, supply chains are overwhelmingly reliant on imports from China. The U.S. Department of Defense has selected the LBJ School's Dr. Joshua Busby to research critical minerals, battery technology, and reducing dependence on hostile suppliers in the clean energy supply chain.

Strauss and Clements announce the launch of the Asia Policy Program

Sept. 24, 2021
The Strauss Center for International Security and Law and the Clements Center for National Security are pl

LBJ Authors: Admiral William McRaven and 'The Hero Code'

May 5, 2021
Retired Navy admiral and LBJ School professor of national security William McRaven gives tribute to the real, everyday heroes he's met over the years, from battlefields to hospitals to college camp

The rise of strategic corruption: How states weaponize graft

Foreign Affairs
Cover of Foreign Affairs July/August 2020
Graft is nothing new; it may be the second-oldest profession. Powerful people and those with access to them have always used kickbacks, pay-to-play schemes, and other corrupt practices to feather their nests and gain unfair advantages. And such corruption has always posed a threat to the rule of law and stood in the way of protecting basic civil and economic rights. What is new, however, is the transformation of corruption into an instrument of national strategy. In recent years, a number of countries—China and Russia, in particular—have found ways to take the kind of corruption that was previously a mere feature of their own political systems and transform it into a weapon on the global stage. Countries have done this before, but never on the scale seen today.
Research Topic
Security Studies

Wisdom without tears: Statecraft and the uses of history

Article, Refereed Journal
Journal of Strategic Studies, volume 41, Issue 7, 2018
Brands, Hal
The world is mired in history again, as historical modes of competition return and historical grievances fuel the policies of multiple revisionist actors. If the end of history has ended, then it follows that the time is ripe for an engagement with history's wisdom. We argue that the making of American statecraft — the deliberate, coordinated use of national power to achieve important objectives — can be significantly enhanced by a better understanding of the past. This essay, which draws on the extensive literature on history and statecraft, U.S. foreign policy, and the author's own research and experiences, offers a defense of the use of history to improve statecraft, as well as a typology of 10 distinct ways in which an understanding of history can improve government policy.
Research Topic
Security Studies

Ronald Reagan, exemplar of conservative internationalism?

Article, Non-Refereed Journal
Orbis, volume 62, Issue 1
Cover of Orbis®, the Foreign Policy Research Institute‘s quarterly journal of world affairs
This article assesses the foreign policy of Ronald Reagan's presidency through the lens of conservative internationalism. It finds that the Reagan administration largely embodied the principles of conservative internationalism, particularly through its integration of force with statecraft, the priority it gave to cooperative relations with allies, and its support for the global expansion of political and economic liberty.
Research Topic
Security Studies

The Last Card Inside George W. Bush's Decision to Surge in Iraq

The Last Card Inside George W. Bush's Decision to Surge in Iraq, eds. Timothy Andrews Sayle, Jeffrey A. Engel, Hal Brands and William Inboden (Cornell University Press)
Engel, Jeffrey , Brands, Hal , Sayle, Timothy
Cover of the book "The Last Card," edited by Will Inboden
This is the real story of how George W. Bush came to double down on Iraq in the highest stakes gamble of his entire presidency. Drawing on extensive interviews with nearly 30 senior officials, including President Bush himself, The Last Card offers an unprecedented look into the process by which Bush overruled much of the military leadership and many of his trusted advisers, and authorized the deployment of roughly 30,000 additional troops to the warzone in a bid to save Iraq from collapse in 2007. The adoption of a new counterinsurgency strategy and surge of new troops into Iraq altered the American posture in the Middle East for a decade to come. In The Last Card we have access to the deliberations among the decision-makers on Bush's national security team as they embarked on that course. In their own words, President George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, White House Chief of Staff Joshua Bolten, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and others recount the debates and disputes that informed the process as President Bush weighed the historical lessons of Vietnam against the perceived strategic imperatives in the Middle East. For a president who had earlier vowed never to dictate military strategy to generals, the deliberations in the Oval Office and Situation Room in 2006 constituted a trying and fateful moment. Even a president at war is bound by rules of consensus and limited by the risk of constitutional crisis. What is to be achieved in the warzone must also be possible in Washington, DC. Bush risked losing public esteem and courted political ruin by refusing to disengage from the costly war in Iraq. The Last Card is a portrait of leadership — firm and daring if flawed — in the Bush White House. The personal perspectives from men and women who served at the White House, Foggy Bottom, the Pentagon and in Baghdad are complemented by critical assessments written by leading scholars in the field of international security. Taken together, the candid interviews and probing essays are a first draft of the history of the surge and new chapter in the history of the American presidency.
Research Topic
Security Studies

Truth to Power: A History of the U.S. National Intelligence Council

Oxford University Press
Cover of Truth to Power: A History of the U.S. National Intelligence Council, edited by Robert Hutchings
Truth to Power, the first-ever history of the U.S. National Intelligence Council (NIC), is told through the reflections of its eight chairs in the period from the end of the Cold War until 2017. Co-editors Robert Hutchings and Gregory Treverton add a substantial introduction placing the NIC in its historical context going all the way back to the Board of National Estimates in the 1940s, as well as a concluding chapter that highlights key themes and judgments. This historic mission of this remarkable but little-known organization, now 40 years old, is strategic intelligence assessment in service of senior American foreign policymakers. Its signature inside products, National Intelligence Estimates, are now accompanied by the NIC's every-four-years Global Trends. Unclassified, Global Trends has become a noted NIC brand, its release awaited by officials, academics and private sector managers around the world. Truth to Power tracks the NIC's role in providing strategic analysis on every major foreign policy issue confronting the United States during this consequential period. Chapters provide insider insights on the Balkan wars of the 1990s, the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the invasion and occupation of Iraq in 2003, the nuclear weapons programs in Iran and North Korea, upheaval in the Middle East including the rise and fall of the Islamic State, the rise of China and the Russia's turn toward aggression under Vladimir Putin. The book also assesses the NIC's newly expanded role in direct support to meetings of the National Security Council as well as its longstanding role in producing longer-range strategic intelligence.
Research Topic
Security Studies
Subscribe to Security Studies