John Mearsheimer

John Mearsheimer

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John J. Mearsheimer is an American professor of Political Science
Political science
Political Science is a social science discipline concerned with the study of the state, government and politics. Aristotle defined it as the study of the state. It deals extensively with the theory and practice of politics, and the analysis of political systems and political behavior...

 at the University of Chicago
University of Chicago
The University of Chicago is a private research university in Chicago, Illinois, USA. It was founded by the American Baptist Education Society with a donation from oil magnate and philanthropist John D. Rockefeller and incorporated in 1890...

. He is an international relations
International relations
International relations is the study of relationships between countries, including the roles of states, inter-governmental organizations , international nongovernmental organizations , non-governmental organizations and multinational corporations...

 theorist. Known for his book on offensive realism
Offensive realism
In international relations, offensive realism is a variant of political realism. Like realism, offensive realism regards states as the primary actors in international relations. However, offensive realism adds several additional assumptions to the framework of structural realism...

, The Tragedy of Great Power Politics
The Tragedy of Great Power Politics
The Tragedy of Great Power Politics is a book by the American scholar John Mearsheimer on the subject of international relations theory. In the book, Mearsheimer lays out the theory of offensive realism, showing its key assumptions, evolution from early realist theory, and providing some...

, more recently Mearsheimer has attracted attention for co-authoring and publishing the article The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy
The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy
The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy is the title of a book by John Mearsheimer, Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago, and Stephen Walt, Professor of International Relations at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, published in late August 2007...

, which was subsequently published as a book, becoming a New York Times Best Seller. His most recent book, entitled Why Leaders Lie: The Truth About Lying in International Politics, "catalogs the kinds of lies nations tell each other." According to an interview with Mearsheimer in The Boston Globe
The Boston Globe
The Boston Globe is an American daily newspaper based in Boston, Massachusetts. The Boston Globe has been owned by The New York Times Company since 1993...

, the lesson of the book is: "Lie selectively, lie well, and ultimately be good at what you do."

Early years



Mearsheimer was born in December 1947 in Brooklyn
Brooklyn
Brooklyn is the most populous of New York City's five boroughs, with nearly 2.6 million residents, and the second-largest in area. Since 1896, Brooklyn has had the same boundaries as Kings County, which is now the most populous county in New York State and the second-most densely populated...

, New York. He was raised in New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

 until the age of eight, when his parents moved his family to Croton-on-Hudson, New York
Croton-on-Hudson, New York
Croton-on-Hudson is a village in Westchester County, New York, United States. The population was 8,070 at the 2010 census. It is located in the town of Cortlandt, in New York City's northern suburbs...

, a suburb located in Westchester County.

When he was 17, Mearsheimer enlisted in the U.S. Army. After one year as an enlisted member, he chose to attend the United States Military Academy
United States Military Academy
The United States Military Academy at West Point is a four-year coeducational federal service academy located at West Point, New York. The academy sits on scenic high ground overlooking the Hudson River, north of New York City...

 at West Point
West Point, New York
West Point is a federal military reservation established by President of the United States Thomas Jefferson in 1802. It is a census-designated place located in Town of Highlands in Orange County, New York, United States. The population was 7,138 at the 2000 census...

. He attended West Point from 1966-1970. After graduation, he served for five years as an officer in the U.S. Air Force.

While in the Air Force
United States Air Force
The United States Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the American uniformed services. Initially part of the United States Army, the USAF was formed as a separate branch of the military on September 18, 1947 under the National Security Act of...

, Mearsheimer earned a Masters Degree in International Relations
International relations
International relations is the study of relationships between countries, including the roles of states, inter-governmental organizations , international nongovernmental organizations , non-governmental organizations and multinational corporations...

 from the University of Southern California
University of Southern California
The University of Southern California is a private, not-for-profit, nonsectarian, research university located in Los Angeles, California, United States. USC was founded in 1880, making it California's oldest private research university...

 in 1974. He subsequently entered Cornell University
Cornell University
Cornell University is an Ivy League university located in Ithaca, New York, United States. It is a private land-grant university, receiving annual funding from the State of New York for certain educational missions...

 and earned a Ph.D.
Ph.D.
A Ph.D. is a Doctor of Philosophy, an academic degree.Ph.D. may also refer to:* Ph.D. , a 1980s British group*Piled Higher and Deeper, a web comic strip*PhD: Phantasy Degree, a Korean comic series* PhD Docbook renderer, an XML renderer...

 in government, specifically in international relations, in 1980. From 1978-1979, was a research fellow at the Brookings Institution
Brookings Institution
The Brookings Institution is a nonprofit public policy organization based in Washington, D.C., in the United States. One of Washington's oldest think tanks, Brookings conducts research and education in the social sciences, primarily in economics, metropolitan policy, governance, foreign policy, and...

 in Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

 From 1980-1982, he was a post-doctoral fellow at Harvard University
Harvard University
Harvard University is a private Ivy League university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States, established in 1636 by the Massachusetts legislature. Harvard is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States and the first corporation chartered in the country...

’s Center for International Affairs. During the 1998-1999 academic year, he was the Whitney H. Shepardson Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York.

University of Chicago



Since 1982, Mearsheimer has been a member of the faculty
Faculty (university)
A faculty is a division within a university comprising one subject area, or a number of related subject areas...

 of the Department of Political Science at the University of Chicago
University of Chicago
The University of Chicago is a private research university in Chicago, Illinois, USA. It was founded by the American Baptist Education Society with a donation from oil magnate and philanthropist John D. Rockefeller and incorporated in 1890...

. He became an associate professor in 1984, a full professor
Professor
A professor is a scholarly teacher; the precise meaning of the term varies by country. Literally, professor derives from Latin as a "person who professes" being usually an expert in arts or sciences; a teacher of high rank...

 in 1987, and was appointed the R. Wendell Harrison Distinguished Service Professor in 1996. From 1989-1992, he served as chairman of the department. He also holds a position as a faculty member in the Committee on International Relations graduate program, and is the co-director of the Program on International Security Policy.

Mearsheimer has written extensively about national security
National security
National security is the requirement to maintain the survival of the state through the use of economic, diplomacy, power projection and political power. The concept developed mostly in the United States of America after World War II...

 policy and international relations theory, especially realism, which he defines as a state’s tendency to attempt to gain as much relative power as possible and eventually become the sole regional hegemon within the international system.

Mearsheimer’s books include Conventional Deterrence (1983), which won the Edgar S. Furniss Jr., Book Award, Nuclear Deterrence: Ethics and Strategy (1985), Liddell Hart and the Weight of History (1988), The Tragedy of Great Power Politics (2001), which won the Joseph Lepgold Book Prize, The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy (2007), and Why Leaders Lie: The Truth About Lying in International Politics (2011). He has also written many articles that have appeared in academic journals like International Security, and popular magazines like The London Review of Books. Furthermore he has written a number of op-ed pieces for The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and the Chicago Tribune.

Mearsheimer has won a number of teaching awards. He received the Clark Award for Distinguished Teaching when he was a graduate student at Cornell in 1977, and he won the Quantrell Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching at the University of Chicago in 1985. In addition, he was selected as a Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar for the 1993-1994 academic year. In that capacity, he gave a series of talks at eight colleges and universities. In 2003, he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences
American Academy of Arts and Sciences
The American Academy of Arts and Sciences is an independent policy research center that conducts multidisciplinary studies of complex and emerging problems. The Academy’s elected members are leaders in the academic disciplines, the arts, business, and public affairs.James Bowdoin, John Adams, and...

.

Mearsheimer has acquired some renown among the University of Chicago community for his colorful language and idiomatic speech in his classes and lectures. He famously refers to the United States as "Uncle Sugar", the Soviet Union as "the Bear
Russian Bear
The Russian Bear is a national personification for Russia, used in cartoons, articles and dramatic plays at least since the 17th century, and relating alike to Tsarist Russia, the Soviet Union and the present-day Russian Federation....

". countries or territories as "real estate", and planet Earth as "God's little green acre". He also frequently characterizes one-sided international conflicts as "Bambi versus Godzilla". In addition, he frequently waves a stick in lecture and becomes animated when describing the German advance on the English at Dunkirk.

Lying in International Politics


Mearsheimer has written the first book that systematically analyzes lying in international politics. He argues in Why Leaders Lie (Oxford University Press, 2011) that leaders lie to foreign audiences as well as their own people because they think it is good for their country. For example, he maintains that President Franklin D. Roosevelt lied about the Greer incident in August 1941, because he was deeply committed to getting the United States into World War II, which he thought was in America's national interest.

His two main findings are that leaders actually do not lie very much to other countries, and that democratic leaders are actually more likely to lie to their own people than autocrats. Thus, he starts his book by saying that it is not surprising that Saddam Hussein did not lie about having WMD -- he truthfully said he had none -- but that George Bush and some of his key advisors did lie to the American people about the threat from Iraq. Mearsheimer argues that leaders are most likely to lie to their own people in democracies that fight wars of choice in distant places, which is another way of saying the United States and Britain as well. He says that it is difficult for leaders to lie to other countries because there is not much trust among them, especially when security issues are at stake, and you need trust for lying to be effective. He says that it is easier for leaders to lie to their own people because there is usually a good deal of trust between them.

Mearsheimer argues that there are five types of international lies: inter-state lies, fear-mongering, strategic cover-ups, nationalist myths, and liberal lies. He explains the reasons why leaders pursue each of these different kinds of lies. He also says that international lying can have negative effects, and there he emphasizes "blowback," which is where telling international lies helps cause a culture of deceit at home, and "backfiring," which is where telling a lie leads to a failed policy. He also emphasizes that there are two other kinds of deception besides lying: "concealment,” which is where a leader remains silent about an important matter, and "spinning," which is where a leader tells a story that emphasizes the positive and downplays or ignores the negative. Mearsheimer does not consider the moral dimension of international lying; he looks at it simply from a utilitarian perspective.

Israel lobby


In March 2006, Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt
Stephen Walt
Stephen Martin Walt is a professor of international affairs at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government. Among his most prominent works are and . He coauthored The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy with John Mearsheimer.-Education and career:In 1983, he received a Ph.D. in...

, academic dean and professor of International Relations at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, published a working paper and an article in the London Review of Books
London Review of Books
The London Review of Books is a fortnightly British magazine of literary and intellectual essays.-History:The LRB was founded in 1979, during the year-long lock-out at The Times, by publisher A...

 discussing the power of the Israel lobby
Israel lobby in the United States
The Israel lobby is a term used to describe the diverse coalition of those who, as individuals and as groups, seek and have sought to influence the foreign policy of the United States in support of Zionism, Israel or the specific policies of its government...

 in shaping US foreign policy. They define the Israel lobby as "a loose coalition of individuals and organizations who actively work to steer US foreign policy in a pro-Israel direction". They emphasize that it is not appropriate to label it a "Jewish lobby
Jewish lobby
The term Jewish lobby is used to describe organized lobbying attributed to Jews on domestic and foreign policy decisions, as a political participant of representative government, conducted predominantly in the Jewish diaspora in a number of Western countries...

", because not all Jews
Jews
The Jews , also known as the Jewish people, are a nation and ethnoreligious group originating in the Israelites or Hebrews of the Ancient Near East. The Jewish ethnicity, nationality, and religion are strongly interrelated, as Judaism is the traditional faith of the Jewish nation...

 feel a strong attachment to Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

 and because some of the individuals and groups who work to foster U.S. support for Israel are not Jewish; according to Mearsheimer and Walt, Christian Zionists play an important role. Finally, they emphasize that the lobby is not a cabal
Cabal
A cabal is a group of people united in some close design together, usually to promote their private views and/or interests in a church, state, or other community, often by intrigue...

 or a conspiracy but simply a powerful interest group like the NRA
NRA
NRA is an abbreviation that may mean:* National regulatory authorities , government agencies tasked with regulating and supervising sections of public service and economy...

 or the farm lobby. Their core argument is that the policies that the lobby pushes are not in the US' national interest
National interest
The national interest, often referred to by the French expression raison d'État , is a country's goals and ambitions whether economic, military, or cultural. The concept is an important one in international relations where pursuit of the national interest is the foundation of the realist...

, nor ultimately that of Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

. Those pieces generated extensive media coverage, and led to a wide-ranging and often polemic debate between supporters and opponents of their argument.

Mearsheimer and Walt subsequently turned the article into a book – The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy – which was published in late August 2007. The book has been translated into twenty-one languages and published in twenty-one countries, and has become a widely popular, if controversial, work. Mearsheimer and Walt traveled extensively throughout the United States and overseas to talk about the book.

Statements on the 2006 Lebanon War, the 2008-2009 Gaza War, and a Palestinian State


Mearsheimer was critical of Israel’s war against Lebanon in the summer of 2006. He argued that Israel’s strategy was "doomed to fail" because it was based on the "faulty assumption" that Israeli airpower could defeat Hezbollah, which was essentially a guerrilla force. The war, he argued, was a disaster for the Lebanese people, as well as a "major setback" for the United States and Israel. The lobby, he said, played a key role in enabling Israel’s counterproductive response, by preventing the United States from exercising independent influence.

Mearsheimer was also critical of Israel’s offensive against Hamas in the Gaza Strip that began in December 2008. He argued that it would not eliminate Hamas’s capability to fire missiles and rockets at Israel, and that it would not cause Hamas to end its fight with Israel. In fact, he argued that relations between Israel and the Palestinians were likely to get worse in the years ahead.

Mearsheimer emphasizes that the only hope for Israel to end its conflict with the Palestinians is to end the occupation and allow the Palestinians to have their own state in Gaza and the West Bank. Otherwise, Israel is going to turn itself into an "apartheid state", and that will be a disastrous outcome not only for Israel, but also for the United States and especially the Palestinians.

The Future of Palestine: Righteous Jews vs. the New Afrikaners


In April 2010, Mearsheimer delivered the Hisham B. Sharabi Memorial Lecture at the Palestine Center
Palestine Center
The Palestine Center is an independent think tank based in Foggy Bottom, Washington, D.C.. Their focus is on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and other Middle East issues....

 in Washington, DC, in which he argued that "the two-state solution is now a fantasy", Israel will incorporate the Gaza Strip and the West Bank into a "Greater Israel", which would become an apartheid state. This state, according to Mearsheimer, would not be politically viable, that most American Jews would not support it, and it would eventually become a democratic bi-national state, politically dominated by its Palestinian majority. He suggested that "American Jews who care deeply about Israel" could be divided into three categories: the "new Afrikaners" who will support Israel even if it is an apartheid state, "righteous Jews," who believe that individual rights are universal, and apply equally to Jews and Palestinians, and the largest group who he called the "great ambivalent middle". He concludes that most of the "great ambivalent middle" would not defend an apartheid Israel because "American Jews are among the staunchest defenders of traditional liberal values" resulting in the "new Afrikaners" becoming increasingly marginalized over time.

Offensive realism


John Mearsheimer is the leading proponent of a branch of realist theory called offensive realism
Offensive realism
In international relations, offensive realism is a variant of political realism. Like realism, offensive realism regards states as the primary actors in international relations. However, offensive realism adds several additional assumptions to the framework of structural realism...

. Offensive realism is a structural theory which, unlike the classical realism of Hans Morgenthau
Hans Morgenthau
Hans Joachim Morgenthau was one of the leading twentieth-century figures in the study of international politics...

, blames security competition among great powers on the anarchy of the international system, not on human nature. In contrast to another structural realist theory, the defensive realism of Kenneth Waltz
Kenneth Waltz
Kenneth Neal Waltz is a member of the faculty at the University of California, Berkeley and Columbia University and one of the most prominent scholars of international relations alive today...

, offensive realism maintains that states are not satisfied with a given amount of power, but seek hegemony for security. Mearsheimer summed this view up in The Tragedy of Great Power Politics:
Given the difficulty of determining how much power is enough for today and tomorrow, great powers recognize that the best way to ensure their security is to achieve hegemony now, thus eliminating any possibility of a challenge by another great power. Only a misguided state would pass up an opportunity to be the hegemon in the system because it thought it already had sufficient power to survive.


In this world, there is no such thing as a status quo
Status quo
Statu quo, a commonly used form of the original Latin "statu quo" – literally "the state in which" – is a Latin term meaning the current or existing state of affairs. To maintain the status quo is to keep the things the way they presently are...

 power, since according to Mearsheimer, "A great power that has a marked power advantage over its rivals is likely to behave more aggressively, because it has the capability as well as the incentive to do so." He has also dismissed democratic peace theory
Democratic peace theory
Democratic peace theory is the theory that democracies don't go to war with each other. How well the theory matches reality depends a great deal on one's definition of "democracy" and "war"...

, which claims that democracies never or rarely go to war with one another.

Although Mearsheimer does not believe it is possible for a state to become a global hegemon, he believes states seek regional hegemony
Regional hegemony
Regional hegemony is a concept in international relations which refers to the influence exercised over neighboring countries by an independently powerful nation, the regional hegemon...

. Furthermore, he argues that states attempt to prevent other states from becoming regional hegemons, since peer competitors could interfere in a state's affairs. States which have achieved regional hegemony, such as the U.S., will act as offshore balancers, interfering in other regions only when the great powers in those regions are not able to prevent the rise of a hegemon. In a 2004 speech, Mearsheimer praised the British historian E. H. Carr for his 1939 book The Twenty Years’ Crisis and argued that Carr was correct when he claimed that international relations was a struggle of all against all with states always placing their own interests first. Mearsheimer maintained that Carr’s points were still as relevant for 2004 as for 1939, and went on to deplore what he claimed was the dominance of “idealist” thinking about international relations among British academic life

Mearsheimer has been a vocal critic of American policy toward China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

. Though China does not have openly militaristic ambitions today, he thinks that by trading with China and helping its economy, the United States is providing a base from which the Chinese could seriously threaten American national security in the years to come. Furthermore, he thinks that China's neighbours are increasingly worried about the growing power of China and that there are already indications that they are trying to balance China by improving ties with the United States, making the U.S. an offshore balancer.

Conventional deterrence



Mearsheimer's first book Conventional Deterrence (1983) addresses the question of how decisions to start a war depend on the projected outcome of military conflict. In other words, how do decision makers' beliefs about the outcome of war affect the success or failure of deterrence? Mearsheimer's basic argument is that deterrence is likely to work (function) when the potential attacker believes that a successful attack will be unlikely and costly. If the potential attacker, however, has reason to believe the attack will likely succeed and entail low costs, then deterrence is likely to breakdown. This is now widely accepted to be the way the principle of deterrence works. Specifically, Mearsheimer argues that the success of deterrence is determined by the strategy available to the potential attacker. He lays out three strategies. First, a war-of-attrition strategy, which entails a high level of uncertainty about the outcome of war and high costs for the attacker. Second, a limited-aims strategy, which entails less risks and lower costs. And, third, a blitzkrieg strategy, which provides a way to defeat the enemy rapidly and decisively, with relatively low costs. For Mearsheimer, failures in the modern battlefield are due mostly to the potential attacker's belief that it can successfully implement a blitzkrieg strategy—in which tanks and other mechanized forces are employed swiftly to effect a deep penetration and disrupt the enemy's rear. The other two strategies are unlikely to lead to deterrence failures because they would entail a low probability of success accompanied by high costs (war of attrition) or limited gains and the possibility of the conflict turning into a war of attrition (limited aims). If the attacker has a coherent blitzkrieg strategy available, however, an attack is likely to ensue, as its potential benefits outweigh the costs and risks of starting a war.

Besides analyzing cases from World War II and the Arab-Israeli conflict, Mearsheimer extrapolates implications from his theory for the prospects of conventional deterrence in Central Europe during the late Cold War. Here, he argues that a Soviet attack is unlikely because the Soviet military would be unable to successfully implement a blitzkrieg strategy. The balance of forces, the difficulty of advancing rapidly with mechanized forces through Central Europe, and the formidable NATO forces opposing such a Soviet attack made it unlikely, in Mearsheimer's view, that the Soviets would start a conventional war in Europe. Conversely, the same premise held true for NATO forces.

Nuclear proliferation


In 1990 he published a controversial essay where he predicted that Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

 would revert to a multipolar
Polarity in international relations
Polarity in international relations is any of the various ways in which power is distributed within the international system. It describes the nature of the international system at any given period of time. One generally distinguishes four types of systems: Unipolarity, Bipolarity, Tripolarity, and...

 environment similar to that in the first half of the Twentieth century if American and Soviet forces left following the end of the Cold War
Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...

.

In this essay and in the 1993 article in Foreign Affairs The case for a Ukrainian nuclear deterrent, he argued that to reduce the dangers of war, the United States should encourage Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 and Ukraine
Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

 to develop a nuclear arsenal, while working to prevent the rise of hyper-nationalism
Nationalism
Nationalism is a political ideology that involves a strong identification of a group of individuals with a political entity defined in national terms, i.e. a nation. In the 'modernist' image of the nation, it is nationalism that creates national identity. There are various definitions for what...

. Mearsheimer presented several possible scenarios for a post-Cold-War Europe from which American and Russian forces had departed. He believed that a Europe with nuclear proliferation was most likely to remain at peace, because without a nuclear deterrent Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 would be likely to once more try to conquer the continent (See pages 32–33). Also, he refused the possibility that the Ukraine
Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

 would give up its nuclear arsenal (a remnant of the soviet stockpile there) though this in fact occurred. However in 2010 following the draft of the START Treaty, Ukraine has consented to rid of its entire former Soviet nuclear stockpile. When challenged on the former assertion at a lecture given to the International Politics department at the University of Wales in Aberystwyth
Aberystwyth
Aberystwyth is a historic market town, administrative centre and holiday resort within Ceredigion, Wales. Often colloquially known as Aber, it is located at the confluence of the rivers Ystwyth and Rheidol....

, he maintained that in spite of all European integration
European integration
European integration is the process of industrial, political, legal, economic integration of states wholly or partially in Europe...

 and expansion, he still believed that his predictions would come true if the United States military left Europe.

Also, in op-ed pieces written in 1998 and 2000 for The New York Times, Mearsheimer defended India's right to acquire nuclear weapons. In support of this position, he argued that India has good strategic reasons to want a nuclear deterrent, especially in order to balance against China and Pakistan, guaranteeing regional stability. He also criticized US counter-proliferation
Counter-proliferation
Counter-proliferation refers to diplomatic, intelligence, and military efforts to combat the proliferation of weapons, including both conventional weapons and weapons of mass destruction...

 policy towards India, which he considered unrealistic and harmful to American interests in the region.

Iraq war (1991)


In January and early February 1991, Mearsheimer published two op-eds in the Chicago Tribune and the New York Times arguing that the war to liberate Kuwait from Iraqi forces should be quick and lead to a decisive US victory, with less than 1,000 American casualties. This view countered the conventional wisdom at the start of the war, that predicted a conflict lasting for months and costing thousands of American lives. Mearsheimer's argument was based on several points. First, the Iraqi Army was a Third World military, unprepared to fight mobile armored battles. Second, US armored forces were better equipped and trained. Third, US artillery was also far better than its Iraqi counterpart. Fourth, US airpower, unfettered by the weak Iraqi air force, should prove devastating against Iraqi ground forces. Fifth and finally, the forward deployment of Iraqi reserves boded ill for their ability to counter US efforts to penetrate the Iraqi defense line along the Saudi-Kuwaiti border. All these predictions came true in the course of the war.

See also

  • Great Powers
  • Hegemony
    Hegemony
    Hegemony is an indirect form of imperial dominance in which the hegemon rules sub-ordinate states by the implied means of power rather than direct military force. In Ancient Greece , hegemony denoted the politico–military dominance of a city-state over other city-states...

  • Realism in international relations
  • Political power
    Political power
    Political power is a type of power held by a group in a society which allows administration of some or all of public resources, including labour, and wealth. There are many ways to obtain possession of such power. At the nation-state level political legitimacy for political power is held by the...

  • Power projection
    Power projection
    Power projection is a term used in military and political science to refer to the capacity of a state to conduct expeditionary warfare, i.e. to intimidate other nations and implement policy by means of force, or the threat thereof, in an area distant from its own territory.This ability is a...


Books

  • Conventional Deterrence (1983)
  • Liddell Hart and the Weight of History (1988)
  • The Tragedy of Great Power Politics (2001)
  • The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy
    The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy
    The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy is the title of a book by John Mearsheimer, Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago, and Stephen Walt, Professor of International Relations at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, published in late August 2007...

     (2007)
  • Why Leaders Lie: The Truth About Lying in International Politics (2011)

External links