Existential Deterrence and ABC

You must watch this video: Research Essay

There’s an intriguing new show premiering on ABC tomorrow night called Last Resort. I can’t speak for anyone else, but I will still eagerly watch the premiere tomorrow night because, if for no other reason, Last Resort seems to make an interesting case study in the logic of existential deterrence.

As far as the show’s premise, Marcus Chaplin, played by Andre Braugher, is the captain of the USS Colorado—a fictional ballistic missile submarine (SSBN) that is supposedly the most powerful of its kind. According to the show’s synopsis at IMDB.com, Colorado is . . .
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Saddam, Iran, and the Stability-Instability Paradox: Can Israel's "Samson Option" Hold?

Following a post from a few months back, I was pointed in the direction of an intriguing study by Duke University’s Hal Brands and David Palkki of the National Defense University that is germane to the current debates over a potential Iranian nuclear weapons program and its implications for Israeli security (h/t Zach Novetsky).  “Saddam, Israel, and the Bomb: Nuclear Alarmism Justified?”, published last summer in International Security, is the result of countless hours pouring over documents captured after the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003.  The implications of Brands and Palkki’s findings for Israeli security are alarming but . . .
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Save Cato: Preserving a Voice in the Wilderness

[DISCLAIMER: The views expressed in this post are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions of any other contributor to this site]

I have been hesitant to use this space to weigh in on the ongoing dispute between Charles and David Koch and the Cato Institute.  My friend and co-blogger, Hans-Inge Lango, came up with the idea for this blog shortly after we met as interns in defense and foreign policy studies at Cato.  I have always wanted to maintain this space as a means to offer analysis and commentary on American foreign and . . .
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Ghostbusters and Grand Strategy

The blogging here at Hegemonic Obsessions has been a little slow with the holiday festivities and whatnot, so I thought I'd get us back on track by piggybacking off a fun post from Dan Drezner's blog at Foreign Policy.  The other day on Twitter (yes, I was shamed into joining Twitter and go by the handle @MattFay1) Prof. Drezner asked his loyal followers to submit to him YouTube clips that best represented American grand strategy, and he would post them on his blog with his thoughts on what each meant about U.S. foreign policy.  In honor of my submission . . .
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The Weekly Standard’s Weak Standards

Two items from this week’s edition of the Weekly Standard are striking—not so much for what they argue but for the weak cases they make.  The articles, by Max Boot and Thomas Donnelly and Gary Schmitt, respectively, argue for regime change in Libya and raising the defense budget because of the current operations taking place in Libya.

Boot is up first with a call for deposing Libyan leader Moammar Qaddafi.  He asserts that displays of American military power will most likely “shock and awe” Qaddafi’s supporters into submission and surrender.  Boot believes the regime change operation should be modeled . . .
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Self-Interested Intellectualism

Harvard international relations scholar Stephen Walt has a very good piece over at Foreign Policy discussing the origins of bad ideas in policy formulation.  Prof. Walt makes some very interesting points along the way, but his final reason for the persistence of bad ideas is somewhat problematic.  Walt claims, “Perhaps the most obvious reason why foolish ideas persist is that someone has an interest in defending or promoting them….Self-interested actors who are deeply committed to a particular agenda can distort the marketplace of ideas.”

Continue reading Self-Interested Intellectualism

Welcome to the world of tomorrow!

Hi there! Welcome to our humble new blog, and I promise, the above title will (probably) be the last Futurama reference you?ll ever see here. You might be asking yourself, ?What is this place?? In short, Hegemonic Obsessions is a blog. But I?m sure you already figured that out with the not-so-easily-disguised WordPress format. To be more specific, this is a blog about foreign policy, mostly dealing with security issues and U.S. foreign policy. We, the authors, are all madly fascinated by this subject and Hegemonic Obsessions is our output for ideas on the subject. It is very much . . .
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