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The Strategic Logic of the Contemporary Security Dilemma By U.S. Army War College, Max G. Manwaring, Strategic Studies Institute
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From the Peace of Westphalia in 1648 to the end of World War II and beyond the Cold War period, the prevailing assumption was that interstate warfare would continue to be the dominant threat to... More > global peace and prosperity. Today’s wars, by contrast, are intrastate conflicts that take place mainly within—not across—national borders. As a consequence, the disease of intrastate conflict has been allowed to rage relatively unchecked across large areas of the world, and has devastated the lives of millions of human beings. At the same time, indirect and implicit unmet needs (e.g., poverty) lead people into greater and greater personal and collective insecurity. In the past, the traditional security dilemma was: What is defensive, and what is aggressive? This problem has never been sorted out. It depends entirely on one’s interpretation—based on culture, values, external relationships, interests, and concepts of threat to national security.< Less
The Saudi-Iranian Rivalry and the Future of Middle East Security (Enlarged Edition) By W. Andrew Terrill, Strategic Studies Institute, U.S. Army War College
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The Middle East is undergoing an era of revolutionary change that is challenging the foreign policies of the United States and virtually all regional states. In this new environment, opportunities... More > and challenges exist for a number of regional and extra-regional states to advance their national interests, while attempting to marginalize those of their rivals. Despite these changes, the Arab Spring and revolutions in countries such as Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya have not altered some of the more fundamental aspects of the Middle East regional situation. One of the most important rivalries defining the strategic landscape of the Middle East is between Iran and Saudi Arabia. The competition between these two states is long-standing, but it is especially important now. Political relationships that have endured for decades, such as the one between Iran and Syria, now seem to be in some danger, depending upon how current struggles play out.< Less