Brought to you by the Texas National Security Review, this podcast features lectures, interviews, and panel discussions at the University of Texas.
A Faustian Bargain
Joseph Stalin said at the 1943 Tehran Conference that World War II would be won with "British brains, American steel, and Soviet blood." Indeed, the scale of Soviet losses in the war is nearly unimaginable: Some estimates place the number of military and civilian deaths at over 20 million. But the scale of Russian losses, and the bitter hatred and brutality that characterized combat on the Eastern front, tends to obscure that Germany and the Soviet Union had cooperated militarily for nearly two decades before the Nazi invasion in 1941. Ian Johnson, of Notre Dame University and a former Clements Center fellow, discusses this cooperation in this week's episode of Horns of a Dilemma, as detailed in his book, Faustian Bargain: The Soviet-German Partnership and the Origins of the Second World War. Johnson lays out the ways in which these two rogue states helped each other to develop the militaries that ultimately engaged in some of the most desperate and deadly combat of World War II. This talk was given at the University of Texas, Austin.
STARTing over on Arms Control?
In last week's episode of Horns of a Dilemma, we heard from Professor Jane Vaynman how emerging technologies may influence the future of arms control. In this week's episode, we hear from Tim Morrison, currently of the Hudson Institute and formerly a deputy advisor to the president for national security in the Trump administration, how arms control is influenced by different positions staked out by the major U.S. political parties. Morrison focuses particularly on negotiations surrounding the extension of the new START treaty between the United States and Russia, and also discusses the role of China, a growing nuclear power with whom the United States does not have any bilateral nuclear arms control agreements. This talk was held at the University of Texas, Austin, and was hosted by the Clements Center.
Note: Mr. Morrison is employed by Boeing, which competes for U.S. missile defense contracts. In this talk, he was speaking in his capacity as a Hudson Institute fellow, and not as a Boeing employee.
How Technology Changes Arms Control
In this episode of Horns of a Dilemma, we hear from Professor Jane Vaynman, author of "Better Monitoring and Better Spying: The Impact of Emerging Technology on Arms Control," which appears in Vol. 4/Iss. 4 of the Texas National Security Review, a special issue dedicated to the memory and legacy of Janne Nolan. Vaynman explores how advances in the technology of drones, small satellites, artificial intelligence, and additive manufacturing may impact the future of arms control agreements and verification. This article was the winner of the Janne Nolan prize competition, sponsored by the Henry A. Kissinger Center for Global Affairs at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies as part of the Future Strategy Forum.
The Malacca Dilemma: Growing Chinese Military Power
The People's Republic of China has risen over the past two decades to become the world's largest economy, when measured by purchasing power parity. As Chinese global economic interests and influence have expanded so, too, has the size and capability of the Chinese military. In this week's episode of Horns of a Dilemma, Thomas Shugart, adjunct senior fellow with the defense program at the Center for a New American Security, discusses the implications of growing Chinese military power. Shugart frames his discussion in terms of what he calls the "Malacca Dilemma": Since much of Chinese trade and almost all Chinese energy imports must flow through strategic chokepoints controlled by the U.S. Navy or its allies and partners, Chinese leaders want to be able to protect their interests in these vital regions. But the same capabilities that allow them to protect their trading interests also allow them to threaten, intimidate, and coerce other regional countries, and may give Chinese communist leaders the tools needed to challenge or change the global order that has defined the region for decades. This talk was given at the University of Texas, Austin, and jointly sponsored by the Strauss Center and the Clements Center at the University of Texas, Austin.
Guns, Guerillas, and the Great Leader
While most people think of North Korea today as an isolated pariah state, the "hermit kingdom" exercised significant influence among Third World nations during the Cold War. North Korean leader Kim Il Sung sent advisors to assist African liberation movements, trained anti-imperialist guerrilla fighters, and completed building projects in developing countries. State-run media coverage of events in the Third World shaped the worldview of many North Koreans and helped them imagine a unified global anti-imperialist front with North Korea at the vanguard. In this episode of Horns of a Dilemma, Professor Benjamin Young of Virginia Commonwealth University discusses these developments, as detailed in his book, Guns, Guerrillas, and the Great Leader: North Korea and the Third World. This talk was sponsored by the Clements Center at the University of Texas, Austin, and was hosted by Professor Sheena Greitens of the LBJ School at the University of Texas, Austin.
A Strategy of Denial
In this episode of Horns of a Dilemma, we hear from Elbridge Colby, co-founder of the Marathon Initiative, former deputy assistant secretary of defense, and author of The Strategy of Denial: American Defense in an Age of Great Power Competition. Colby makes the case for a U.S. defense strategy focused on preventing Chinese hegemony in Asia by denying the Chinese the ability to achieve faits d'accompli--completed acts that violate the security and sovereignty of American's allies and partners in Asia, thereby threatening the defensive perimeter critical to protecting American interests. Colby's was the principal author of the 2018 National Defense Strategy, and his work continues to influence the formulation of strategy today. This event was hosted at the Clements Center at the University of Texas, Austin, and is introduced by Professor Will Inboden, executive director of the Clements Center.