Revisiting Orbis

Revisiting Orbis is a new feature by editor Nikolas K. Gvosdev, to go back into the archives of Orbis and to take a second look at articles, their predictions and their analysis, to see how they have held up over time, and to reconnect the past issues of the journal with present-day developments.

Déjà Vu: Coping with Conventional Aggression in a Nuclear Context

Original Orbis piece: Alvin J. Cottrell and James E. Dougherty, “Nuclear Weapons, Policy and Strategy,” Orbis 1:1 (April 1957) Focus of the original piece: The authors, in assessing the evolution of U.S. defense strategy since the end of World...

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Baltic Sea Mining as an Extension of the Russian Gray Zone

Editor’s note: Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and renewed interest on the part of both Finland and Sweden to consider formal membership in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization has brought new scrutiny to security threats in the Baltic Sea basin....

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The Invasion of Ukraine Shows China’s Inability to Lead

Editor’s note: Arthur Waldron, writing in Orbis in spring 2019, offered his “Reflections on China’s Need for a ‘Chinese World Order.”’ This essay from Shay Stautz examines how those aspirations have fared in the wake of Russia’s invasion of...

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What We Can Learn about Russian Strategy from Ivan III

Editor’s note: In the Winter 2022 issue of Orbis¸ Jakub Grygiel authored a review of John P. LeDonne’s Forging a Unitary State: Russia’s Management of the Eurasian Space, 1650–1850 (Issue 66:1). This commentary takes us back another two centuries...

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Middle-Class Dynamics for U.S. Foreign Policy?

Orbis Issue revisited: Spring 2021 (65:2), “Challenges Facing the Biden Administration The focus on foreign (economic) policy for the middle class remains a key organizing principle for the Biden administration, but so far it has seemed more powerful rhetorically than...

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Advice on Ukraine

In the Spring 2022 issue of Orbis, we are pleased to feature a conversation with the Honorable Dov S. Zakheim, senior adviser at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and vice chairman of the board for the Foreign...

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A Return to Coherence?

Orbis Issue revisited: Spring 2021 (65:2), “Challenges Facing the Biden Administration The Biden Administration has not yet clearly operationalized the concept of a foreign policy for the middle class. No small share of its values-driven foreign policy rhetoric focuses...

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Some Thoughts on ‘A Foreign Policy for the Middle-Class’

 Orbis issue revisited: Spring 2021 (65:2), “Challenges Facing the Biden Administration” After serving as a diplomat for thirty years I am always a bit skeptical about catch phrases to describe the practice of diplomacy. A foreign policy for the...

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The Future of Germany’s Foreign Policy after Merkel

In the Winter 2022 issue of Orbis, we are pleased to feature a conversation with Dr. Nils Schmid, foreign policy spokesman for the Social Democratic Party (SPD) and member of the Bundestag, representing the constituency of Nürtingen in Baden-Württemberg....

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Making Sense of Afghanistan

As the Taliban retake control over Afghanistan while the United States completes the withdrawal of its military forces, some are asking, “How could this have happened?” Already, there are discussions of intelligence failures within the Biden administration and mutual...

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