In a recent article for The Hill, Strauss Distinguished Scholar Dr. William Inboden presents the case for a robust defense budget. In 2013, General Mattis testified to the Senate Armed Services Committee, saying “if you don’t fund the State Department fully, then I need to buy more ammunition ultimately.” Inboden notes that while the State Department and diplomacy are integral in preventing armed conflict and protecting U.S. national security, the relationship flows both ways. Inboden argues, “to strengthen the State Department, along with U.S. diplomatic and economic influence, we need a large defense budget…A powerful military can strengthen diplomacy and make peaceful settlements more likely, precisely because the possibility of force looms in the diplomatic background.”

In her op-ed, Good Move by Trump to Establish Space Command, but is Organization Change the Answer?, Strauss Distinguished Scholar Celeste Ward Gventer argues that Trump’s attention to the possibility of an attack on US space systems is good, but his solutions may not be the best way to deal with the issue.

Strauss Distinguished Scholar Joshua Eisenman’s book, Red China’s Green Revolution: Technological Innovation, Institutional Change and Economic Development Under the Commune, was recently reviewed in Foreign Affairs and the Wall Street Journal. Columbia Professor Andrew Nathan captures Eisenman’s argument in this month’s Foreign Affairs, noting that “after the famine, and especially in the early 1970s, the reorganized communes fostered a green revolution that laid the basis for the rapid economic growth of the post-Mao era.” In the Wall Street Journal, Gerard Gayou called the book “a bold second look at one of history’s most infamous institutions.” Nathan highlights that Eisenman marshals previously inaccessible data to show how Mao’s communes modernized agriculture, increased productivity, and spurred and agricultural green revolution that laid the foundation for China’s future raid growth. Households’ meager surpluses were extracted, pooled, and reinvested in productive seeds, fertilizers and tractors via an agricultural research and extension system nested into each rural commune. Gayou also highlights Eisenman’s argument that “far from being doomed to low productivity and poor accountability, the Mao-era communes…paralleled a period of great productivity in China,” and were abandoned by Deng Xiaoping’s reform faction for primarily political reasons.  

In a recent article for Lawfare, Strauss Senior Fellow and Mexico Security Initiative Postdoctoral Fellow Jake Dizard analyzes the future of Mexican national security under new president Andrés Manuel López Obrador, or, as he is known by the public and in the media, AMLO. Dizard suggests that although AMLO was elected by a “public that yearns for a dramatic change of direction,” AMLO’s plan for addressing ongoing violence in Mexico only deepens the state’s commitment to the militarized strategy that has proved unsuccessful since 2006.

In a recent article for The Global Post, the Intelligence Studies Project's Research Fellow Dr. Kiril Avramov analyzes Iranian influence operations and “stealth presence” in the Balkans. “Under the Radar: Iran’s ‘Stealth’ Presence on the Balkans” suggests that Iran’s quiet presence on the Balkans is not simply about strengthening political ties, expanding business interests, and facilitating trade. Rather, Tehran’s operations take advantage of the region’s lax security, weak institutions, corruption, and the absence of global intelligence or security agencies, successfully turning the Balkans into a logistical hub and geopolitical bridge to Central and Western Europe.