Analysis & events

The Vandenberg Coalition

Honest Candor

Senator Vandenberg called for “honest candor” in discussions on U.S. foreign policy. The Vandenberg Coalition is proud to continue this tradition by sharing the best analysis from across the country and around the world.

Grand Strategy

The Wedge Strategy Logic of U.S.-Russia Dialogue

Timothy W. Crawford

Cornell University Press Blog

May 25, 2021

 

Bottom Line: Crawford notes that the geopolitics behind Biden’s push for a “strategic stability dialogue” with Russia are of a trilateral — not bilateral — nature in light of the looming U.S.-China-Russia triangle. In this context, Crawford asks “If Russia and China are using wedge strategies to weaken U.S.-led alliances in Europe and East Asia, can the U.S. use them to divide Russia from China?”

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Defense

Why ‘Plutonium Pits’ Are Key to Updating Our Aging Nuclear Arsenal

Rebeccah L. Heinrichs and Tim Morrison

The Dispatch

May 20, 2021

 

Bottom Line: The Biden administration has begun reviewing U.S. nuclear posture in advance of a formal nuclear posture review (NPR).  Heinrichs and Morrison advise the administration to maintain the bipartisan consensus to fully modernize the U.S. nuclear deterrent, emphasizing the need to embrace plans to reconstitute a plutonium pit production capability at two sites.

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Middle East

Don’t Withdraw U.S. Forces from the Middle East

Roger Zakheim

National Review

May 24, 2021

 

Bottom Line: Zakheim argues that President Biden’s plan to withdraw all U.S. forces from Afghanistan needs a dose of realism, arguing that a reimagined military presence in the Middle East is essential to furthering U.S. national security interests.

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Iran

Biden Must Reverse Course on Iran — Before It’s Too Late

Sen. Bill Hagerty and H.R. McMaster

Real Clear Politics

May 11, 2021

 

Bottom Line: Hagerty and McMaster argue that President Biden must reverse course on Iran before it is too late. He should preserve sanctions and acknowledge that maximum pressure, not conciliation, is the best way to force the Iranian regime to choose either behaving like a normal nation or facing economic ruin

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