Army War College Publication Repository      Total Publications 1153


Author: Dr M Chris Mason

Published: August 2017

In a change from the Vietnam War—where the U.S. military trained at least 45,000 deploying service members to speak Vietnamese and probably twice that number—for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, apart from some remotely-based intelligence specialists doing classified work, the U.S. military trained almost no deploying personnel to speak either Arabic or Pashto fluently. Instead, it relied on interpreters or “terps” as the troops called them. This policy was an unmitigated failure and an important cause of the U.S. inability to get traction at the operational level of war in both countries. All of the thousands and thousands of day-to-day tactical engagements in Iraq and Afghanistan that involved communicating with someone who did not speak English were intended to combine together and attain an operational objective, but they were all essentially gobbledygook.


Author: Dr Colin S Gray

Published: July 2017

Does history repeat itself? This monograph clearly answers “no,” firmly. However, it does not argue that an absence of repetition in the sense of analogy means that history can have no utility for the soldier today. This monograph argues for a “historical parallelism,” in place of shaky or false analogy. The past, even the distant and ancient past, provides evidence of the potency of lasting virtues of good conduct. This monograph concludes by offering four recommendations: 1) Behave prudently. 2) Remember the concept of the great stream of time. 3) Do not forget that war nearly always is a gamble. 4) War should only be waged with strategic sense.


Editor: Dr Larry D Miller

Author: Colonel James M. Efaw, Lieutenant Colonel Benjamin R. Jonsson, Lieutenant Colonel Asariel Loria, Commander Mark O’Connell, Colonel Stephen E. Schemenauer

Published: July 2017

The Army War College Review, a refereed publication of student work, is produced under the purview of the Strategic Studies Institute and the United States Army War College. An electronic quarterly, The AWC Review connects student intellectual work with professionals invested in U.S. national security, Landpower, strategic leadership, global security studies, and the advancement of the profession of arms.


Author: Prof John F Troxell

Published: July 2017

Much has been written about the rise of China and the tensions that this has put on the international system. The potential for conflict between the United States and China can be compared to the Peloponnesian War, as told by the ancient historian Thucydides, and the inevitability of that war because of Sparta’s fear of a rising Athens. There is no doubt that the rise of China has generated, if not fear, at least significant consternation on the part of the United States and our Pacific allies.


Editor: Dr Larry D Miller

Author: Colonel Darren Huxley, COL David C. Menser, Lieutenant Colonel Carter L. Price, Lieutenant Colonel Jaren K. Price, LTC Geoffrey W. Wright

Published: July 2017

The Army War College Review, a refereed publication of student work, is produced under the purview of the Strategic Studies Institute and the United States Army War College. An electronic quarterly, The AWC Review connects student intellectual work with professionals invested in U.S. national security, Landpower, strategic leadership, global security studies, and the advancement of the profession of arms.


Author: Dr Jeffrey Record

Published: July 2017

The author examines the Axis defeat in World War II and concludes that the two main causes were resource inferiority (after 1941) and strategic incompetence—i.e., pursuit of imperial ambitions beyond the reach of its actual power. Until 1941 Axis military fortunes thrived, but the addition in that year of the Soviet Union and the United States to the list of Axis enemies condemned the Axis to ultimate strategic defeat. Germany, Italy, and Japan all attempted to bite off more than they could chew and subsequently choked to death.


Author: LTC Clarence J Bouchat (USAF, Ret)

Published: July 2017

U.S. landpower is an essential, but often overlooked, element of national power in semi-enclosed maritime environments like the South China Sea. This monograph gives U.S. policymakers a better understanding of the role of the U.S. Army, Marine Corps, and Special Operations Forces (SOF) in the region through potential combat operations employing wide area defense and maneuver; deterrence through forward presence and peacetime operations; and security engagement with landpower-dominant allies, partners, and competitors in the region. Landpower’s capabilities are also essential for direct support of the air and sea services and other government organization’s success when operating in this theater in direct support of U.S. national interests.


Editor: COL(R) Christopher M. Bado, Dr Christopher J Bolan, Prof Robert S Hume, COL J Matthew Lissner

Author: Mr Nathan P Freier

Published: June 2017

The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) faces persistent fundamental change in its strategic and operating environments. This report suggests this reality is the product of the United States entering or being in the midst of a new, more competitive, post-U.S. primacy environment. Post-primacy conditions promise far-reaching impacts on U.S. national security and defense strategy. Consequently, there is an urgent requirement for DoD to examine and adapt how it develops strategy and describes, identifies, assesses, and communicates corporate-level risk. This report takes on the latter risk challenge. It argues for a new post-primacy risk concept and its four governing principles of diversity, dynamism, persistent dialogue, and adaptation. The authors suggest that this approach is critical to maintaining U.S. military advantage into the future. Absent change in current risk convention, the report suggests DoD exposes current and future military performance to potential failure or gross under-performance.


Author: Brigadier General Thomas C. Graves

Published: June 2017

This monograph will answer the question: Can the U.S. Army apply to the current “prototype brigade” the lessons that were learned during the development and experimentation of the 11th Air Assault Division (Test)? Having established that the criteria of DTLOMS is a valuable tool for evaluating change in military systems, the next step is to apply those criteria to evaluate the changes that occurred in the formation of the 11th Air Assault Division (Test) from 1963 to 1965. In order to accomplish this, a study of the separate elements of DTLOMS will be conducted in order to determine how the 11th Air Assault Division reorganized itself and conducted operations during that period. The benchmark for studying the elements of DTLOMS will be the use of air mobility during the Ia Drang campaign of November 1965. Specifically, this monograph will attempt to answer the following six questions: 1. How did the division develop doctrine to support the transition to airmobile warfare? 2. How did the division determine the proper organization to facilitate warfighting with the airmobile division? 3. How did the division train leaders to support the new doctrine and organization? 4. How did the division conduct field training to certify its soldiers and units in the new tactics? 5. Did building a new force require any specific soldier skills; and if so, how were those skills cultivated? 6. How did the division adopt and recommend changes to material and equipment to support the new methods of fighting? Each of these questions addresses one aspect of the DTLOMS and will be used to measure change in the 11th Air Assault (Test) Division from the beginning in 1963 to the redesignation to the 1st Cavalry Division in 1965. Finally, this study will synthesize these changes and determine which lessons learned can be applied to ongoing experimentation in the U.S. Army of the 21st century.


Author: LTC John D Colwell, Jr, Dr Tarek N Saadawi

Published: June 2017

Despite leaps in technological advancements made in computing system hardware and software areas, we still hear about massive cyberattacks that result in enormous data losses. Cyberattacks in 2015 included: sophisticated attacks that targeted Ashley Madison, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM), the White House, and Anthem; and in 2014, cyberattacks were directed at Sony Pictures Entertainment, Home Depot, J.P. Morgan Chase, a German steel factory, a South Korean nuclear plant, eBay, and others. These attacks and many others highlight the continued vulnerability of various cyber infrastructures and the critical need for strong cyber infrastructure protection (CIP). This book addresses critical issues in cybersecurity. Topics discussed include: a cooperative international deterrence capability as an essential tool in cybersecurity; an estimation of the costs of cybercrime; the impact of prosecuting spammers on fraud and malware contained in email spam; cybersecurity and privacy in smart cities; smart cities demand smart security; and, a smart grid vulnerability assessment using national testbed networks.


Author: Mr Nathan P Freier

Published: June 2017

This month, a team of U.S. Army War College (USAWC) researchers concluded a yearlong study on enterprise-level risk and risk assessment inside the Department of Defense (DoD). At Our Own Peril: DoD Risk and Risk Assessment in a Post-Primacy World argues for a new Department-level risk concept for describing, identifying, assessing, and communicating risk in an environment defined by sudden disruptive change. It suggests that a new concept should rest on four foundational principles: diversity, dynamism, persistent dialogue, and adaptation. Among At Our Own Peril’s many insights, perhaps the most enlightening are those concerning the strategic environment and the complex hazards emerging from it. The report characterizes the contemporary environment as one of “post-primacy,” where the United States remains a global power, but one that is commonly confronted by purposeful and contextual defense-relevant challenges that fall considerably outside of the DoD’s dominant bias and convention.


Author: Dr Richard Weitz

Published: June 2017

The U.S.-Indian security relationship has markedly improved since the Cold War with increased cooperation in a range of areas. The two countries have established stronger military, economic, and political ties based on mutual interests in combating terrorism, promoting democracy, preventing weapons of mass destruction (WMD) proliferation, and addressing China’s rise. Their bilateral defense engagements now include a range of dialogues, exercises, educational exchanges, and joint training opportunities. The partnership benefits both countries, enabling them to realize their core security goals. Yet, U.S. and Indian national security leaders must take new steps to ensure that the relationship realizes its potential.


Author: Dr Shima D Keene

Published: June 2017

Corruption increases the level of instability and the risk of conflict by undermining the legitimacy and credibility of state institutions. It can be both a cause and effect of poor leadership and governance. States emerging from conflict are particularly vulnerable to corruption, due to the lack of good governance infrastructures; but Western interventions can exacerbate the problem through the unintended consequences of good intentions. For peacekeeping and state-building interventions to be effective, careful consideration must be given as to the reason the problem occurs, and to its broader impact, as well as ways to manage it. This Letort Paper suggests ways in which these unintended consequences may be mitigated in future peace and stability operations.


Author: Dr Anna Simons

Published: May 2017

Leadership receives a tremendous amount of attention, but what about the day-to-day command challenges that confront O-4s, O-5s, and O-6s in today’s war zones? What has command entailed over the past decade and a half for special operations force (SOF) commanders who have deployed to Afghanistan (and Iraq) either to lead or to work under Special Operations Task Forces (SOTFs) or Combined Joint Special Operations Task Forces (CJSOTFs)? In both theaters, officers have had to contend with various competing hierarchies and significant churn. What then might the Army and military do to obviate or mitigate these and other problems? The contours of a potential solution are described and its benefits discussed.


Author: Dr Anna Simons

Published: May 2017

Leadership receives a tremendous amount of attention, but what about the day-to-day command challenges that confront O-4s, O-5s, and O-6s in today’s war zones? What has command entailed over the past decade and a half for special operations force (SOF) commanders who have deployed to Afghanistan (and Iraq) either to lead or to work under Special Operations Task Forces (SOTFs) or Combined Joint Special Operations Task Forces (CJSOTFs)? In both theaters, officers have had to contend with various competing hierarchies and significant churn. What then might the Army and military do to obviate or mitigate these and other problems? The contours of a potential solution are described and its benefits discussed.


Author: Mr Gregory Aftandilian

Published: May 2017

This monograph examines the possibility of Egypt leading the Arab world again, and how that effort, if successful, will present opportunities and challenges for U.S. policy. At the present time, Egypt is not in a position to do so given its many domestic problems stemming from its turbulent politics since 2011 and the challenges facing its economy, which is currently experiencing high unemployment, weak tourism revenues because of terrorist incidents, and high rates of inflation as it implements an International Monetary Fund (IMF) economic reform package. However, Egypt has faced similar problems in the past and has recovered from them, enabling it to pursue an Arab leadership role. Hence, the United States should be prepared to deal with Egypt’s longstanding leadership quest, which this monograph argues will generally be a positive development for the United States in the region, though there will be some issues where the United States and Egypt will not see eye-to-eye. Given the intense Sunni-Shia conflicts in the region that are fed in large part by the rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Iran, having Egypt (a moderate Sunni Muslim country not pushing a religious agenda) in a leadership role in the region will help to dampen this sectarian strife. Moreover, because of its large and competent military, Egypt can be a source of stability and reassurance when other Arab states, particularly the Gulf states such as Saudi Arabia, are feeling vulnerable because of outside threats. Furthermore, Egypt can play a moderating influence in the region by being a bulwark against the radical extremist ideologies of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), al-Qaeda, and like-minded groups. The United States can help Egypt succeed by continuing military assistance, offering counterterrorism training of whole units, and resuming military exercises like Bright Star. This monograph also argues for a boost in U.S. economic assistance to past levels—given Egypt’s strategic importance—to help it cope with economic reform measures even under U.S. budgetary woes. Although the United States and Egypt will continue to differ on the nature of Egypt’s domestic politics, particularly with regard to human rights and dissent and recognizing that the United States has limited influence in this regard, Washington should use whatever leverage it has to persuade the Egyptian Government to be less repressive, because an easing of authoritarian policies and practices will help Egyptian stability in the long run.


Author: Mr Keir Giles

Published: May 2017

This Letort Paper analyzes the drivers of assertive military action by Russia, as exemplified by interventions in Ukraine and Syria. It identifies key turning points in Russia’s perception of external threat, and the roots of Russian responses to this threat making use of a capacity for military, political, and diplomatic leverage that has been greatly enhanced in the current decade. Color revolutions, the Arab Spring, and Western intervention in Libya are all highlighted as key influencers leading to a Russian assessment that the developments in Ukraine and Syria presented direct security challenges to Russia, which needed to be addressed through direct action. This Letort Paper concludes with a range of policy recommendations intended to mitigate the risk of confrontation with Russia through an imperfect understanding of Russian security perspectives.


Author: Dr Antulio J Echevarria II

Published: May 2017

Mission Command: Strategic Implications – Anthony C. King, Russell W. Glenn, and Thomas-Durell Young. After 15 Years of Conflict – Charlotte F. Blatt, Stanley J. Wiechnik, Ellen "Elle" Klein, Douglas A. Sims II, and Amy B. Adler. Modernization Among US Partners – Ian Langford, and Rémy Hémez. Review Essay – Larry D. Miller. Commentaries and Replies – Conrad C. Crane, Gates Brown, and John. A. Bonin. A Dialogue on Strategy – Gregory D. Miller, Chris Rogers, Francis J. H. Park, William F. Owen, and Jeffrey W. Meiser.


Author: Dr Steve Tatham, Mr. Ian Tunnicliffe

Published: April 2017

The impact of social media on the media environment has been widely recognized; as has the ability of extremist and adversarial organizations to exploit social media to publicize their cause, spread their propaganda, and recruit vulnerable individuals. Supporting the growth of social media has been the phenomenal global increase in mobile telephone usage, and much of this increase is in areas where there are existing conflicts or conflicts are highly likely. These combined revolutions will increasingly have a direct impact on virtually all aspects of military operations in the 21st century. In doing so, social media will force significant changes to policy, doctrine, and force structures. This Letort Paper explores the implications of social media for the U.S. Army.


Author: LTC Anthony Abbott, Mr Kenneth Michael Absher, COL Gregory A Adams, Dr Christopher J Bolan

Published: April 2017

The primary shortcoming of U.S. policymakers since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, has been a consistent inability to translate tactical and operational military successes into sustainable strategic political outcomes. This was objectively true for both former U.S. Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama as evidenced by the long and tragic history of the continued conflict in Afghanistan and Iraq that has yielded wholly unsatisfying strategic outcomes. It remains to be seen if President Donald Trump and his senior officials can successfully reverse this trend. Doing so will require a long-term strategy that first establishes realistic and attainable objectives and then skillfully marshals all instruments of national power—military and non-military alike—to accomplish those goals.


Author: Prof William G Braun III

Published: April 2017

Dealing with other states, whom the United States has a hard time categorizing as a threat, rival, competitor, or partner requires a new way of approaching national security decision-making. China is a partner in trade, but a rival regarding territorial rights in the South China Sea. Russian support may stabilize the Syrian crisis, but interference in domestic national elections and its intervention through the coercive use of force in Crimea and the Ukraine are threats. Creating actionable solutions to these challenges requires public involvement in decision-making in order to transcend hyper-partisan political positions and rigid adherence to ideologies that dominate the current decision environment.


Author: Dr W Andrew Terrill

Published: April 2017

The Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) has embarked on a campaign to destroy or sell priceless world heritage relics throughout the area under its control. While images of the outrageous destruction of priceless artifacts have been seen throughout the world, the strategic and military implications of comprehensive antiquities looting and ISIS propaganda about antiquities are of vital importance and correspondingly are considered throughout this Letort Paper. In particular, ISIS funding from the illicit sales of antiquities (and high quality fakes) is a serious problem and may help ISIS remain functional even after other sources of revenue are increasingly disrupted or eliminated. Should ISIS experience additional defeats and further loss of territory in Iraq and Syria, an ongoing stream of revenue could fund a nucleus of the organization while it searches for opportunities to rebuild itself and prove its continued relevance through spectacular acts of terrorism. Antiquities, if hidden and trafficked later, along with reproductions marketed as original masterpieces, could give the organization the financial lifeline it needs to stay operational and relevant, even if it is forced to transform itself from a “caliphate” controlling territory to a more simplified type of terrorist organization operating out of portions of the areas it once ruled.


Author: Dr R Evan Ellis

Published: March 2017

This monograph comparatively examines the content and country focus of high-level diplomacy for each of the two actors, as well as the volume and patterns of trade, the activities of Indian and Chinese companies in the region, and their relationship to their respective governments in eight sectors: (1) petroleum and mining; (2) agriculture; (3) construction; (4) manufacturing and retail; (5) banking and finance; (6) logistics and port operations; (7) technology such as telecommunications, space, and high technology; and, (8) military sales and activities. This monograph finds that Indian engagement with the region is significantly less than that of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), and concentrated on a more limited subset of countries and sectors. In the commercial and military sector, it finds that the efforts by the Indian government to support their companies in the region are generally more modest and less coordinated than those of the PRC. Nonetheless, despite such limitations, the nature of Indian companies and their engagement with the region create opportunities for significant advances in the future, in a manner that is relatively well received by Latin American governments and societies.


Author: Dr John R Deni

Published: March 2017

Questioning long-held assumptions and challenging existing paradigms in U.S. security policy can be a useful way to ensure that American leaders are not pursuing strategies that do not actually support and promote U.S. interests. However, on the question of whether the European Union’s (EU) existence is in U.S. interests, the evidence is consistently clear. It most definitely is, and undermining it—for example, by promoting Brexit or suggesting other countries would or should follow the United Kingdom’s (UK) exit from the EU—risks the further unraveling of the international order that is central to American prosperity and security.


Author: Dr Elizabeth Wishnick

Published: March 2017

China has been elaborating its position on the Arctic at the same time as the United States has been refining its own Arctic strategy as Chairman of the Arctic Council through April 2017. This Letort Paper examines the geopolitical implications of China’s growing involvement in the Arctic for U.S. interests. First, the evolution of U.S. Arctic strategy is discussed, including its political and military components. Next, China’s interests and goals in the Arctic are addressed. A third section examines the Arctic in China’s relations with Canada, Russia, and the Nordic states. This Letort Paper then evaluates the consequences of China’s expanding Arctic presence for U.S. security interests and concludes with policy recommendations.


Editor: Dr Antulio J Echevarria II

Published: March 2017

None


Author: Dr Christopher J Bolan

Published: February 2017

U.S. President Donald Trump has proved himself willing to question and challenge many of the conventional wisdoms embedded in contemporary American foreign policies. During his presidential campaign, he questioned the utility of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) that has formed the bedrock of American foreign and security policies throughout the Cold War. During his presidential transition, he rocked the foreign policy establishment by accepting a phone call from the Taiwanese President and hinting that he may no longer adhere to America’s long-standing “One-China” policy. In examining these early signals, many analysts anticipate that the foreign policies of his administration will be non-ideological, unconventional, and characterized by a business- like transactional approach emphasizing the costs and visible benefits of American policies and programs.


Author: Dr Paul Kamolnick

Published: February 2017

The al-Qaeda Organization (AQO) and the Islamic State Organization (ISO) are transnational adversaries that conduct terrorism in the name of Sunni Islam. It is declared U.S. Government (USG) policy to degrade, defeat, and destroy them. The present book has been written to assist policymakers, military planners, strategists, and professional military educators whose mission demands a deep understanding of strategically-relevant differences between these two transnational terrorist entities. In it, one shall find a careful comparative analysis across three key strategically relevant dimensions: essential doctrine, beliefs, and worldview; strategic concept, including terrorist modus operandi; and specific implications and recommendations for current USG policy and strategy. Key questions that are addressed include: How is each terrorist entity related historically and doctrinally to the broader phenomenon of transnational Sunni “jihadism”? What is the exact nature of the ISO? How, if at all, does ISO differ in strategically relevant ways from AQO? What doctrinal differences essentially define these entities? How does each understand and operationalize strategy? What critical requirements and vulnerabilities characterize each entity? Finally, what implications, recommendations, and proposals are advanced that are of particular interest to USG strategists and professional military educators?


Author: Dr. Robert D. Lamb

Published: January 2017

In early 2003, the Association of the U.S. Army and the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) released the final report from their joint, blue ribbon Commission on Post-Conflict Reconstruction (PCR) that had completed its year-long study in 2002.1 The PCR Commission had extracted lessons from U.S. and international stabilization, reconstruction, and transition efforts over the previous decade and distilled them into a framework intended to inform such efforts in the future. The United States did not have long to wait to put those lessons into practice; it entered Iraq just 2 months later.


Author: Mr Keir Giles

Published: January 2017

The application of international law and legal principles in cyberspace is a topic that has caused confusion, doubt, and interminable discussions between lawyers since the earliest days of the internationalization of the Internet. The still unresolved debate over whether cyberspace constitutes a fundamentally new domain that requires fundamentally new laws to govern it reveals basic ideological divides. On the one hand, the Euro-Atlantic community led by the United States believes, in broad terms, that activities in cyberspace require no new legislation, and existing legal obligations are sufficient. On the other, a large number of other states led by Russia and China believe that new international legal instruments are essential in order to govern information security overall, including those expressed through the evolving domain of cyberspace. Russia in particular argues that the challenges presented by cyberspace are too urgent to wait for customary law to develop as it has done in other domains; instead, urgent action is needed. This Letort Paper will provide an overview of moves toward establishing norms and the rule of law in cyberspace, and the potential for establishing further international norms of behavior.


Author: Dr Azeem Ibrahim

Published: January 2017

Diplomacy has all but failed in Syria, and it is difficult to envisage when and how diplomatic efforts could be restarted in light of the continued difficulties between Russia and the West. With these difficulties, it is imperative to change focus and tackle the one area where the United States might still be able to have a positive impact: the humanitarian situation in Syria. The first priority in this regard must be the establishment of safe zones within Syria, where civilian populations who fear being targeted by either side can find safe refuge until the conflict can move toward some kind of resolution. Achieving this first priority will require a much more serious commitment than any Western power has yet been willing to make. Failing to do so will carry even higher costs over the medium and long term: the continued migration of refugees into Europe, where the political impact of the migration crisis so far has already had serious political and social costs; as well as the possible spread of the instability contagion to neighboring Lebanon, Jordan, and perhaps most seriously, North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) member Turkey.


Author: Dr Mason Richey

Published: January 2017

After contextualizing North Korea’s capacity for belligerent rhetoric directed toward the United States and its northeast Asian allies, the author examines the contention that rhetoric from Pyongyang represents a conflict escalation risk or even a casus belli. The results of statistical tests indicate a negative correlation between Pyongyang’s rhetoric and international diplomatic initiatives, but no correlation between North Korea’s verbal hostility and its provocations.


Author: Dr R Evan Ellis

Published: December 2016

In the 2016 U.S. presidential debates, as on other occasions, the theme of Latin America and the Caribbean was remarkably absent. Important events in the region occasionally insert themselves into the U.S. consciousness through the mainstream media, including: the arrival of thousands of Central American child refugees at the U.S. border; the U.S. re-establishment of diplomatic relations with Cuba; the impending collapse of Venezuela; and the Colombian public’s rejection, on October 2, 2016, of the agreement between the government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). Yet even with its geographic connectedness to the United States, and although Latin America eclipses even China and Asia as the U.S. principal foreign trading partner, and despite the fact that more U.S. residents have family in the region than any other part of the world, Latin America, and the Caribbean continue to be remarkably absent from the U.S. strategic and foreign policy discourse.


Author: COL Heidi A Urben

Published: December 2016

According to a Gallup poll conducted July 18-25, 2016, the 2016 presidential election campaign had set an inauspicious record: never before have so many Americans held such unfavorable views of each party’s presidential nominee. Among registered voters, 58 percent held negative views of both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. Social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter offer immediate and accessible venues for the average citizen to express their support or displeasure on a host of political topics, especially during an election year. For most citizens, that commentary is a natural extension of their freedom of expression, but for members of the U.S. military, it should represent a “no-fly zone.”


Author: Mr Werner Selle, Dr Phil Williams

Published: December 2016

View the Executive Summary

Urbanization is one of the most important mega-trends of the 21st century. Consequently, the possibility of U.S. military involvement in a megacity or sub-megacity is an eventuality that cannot be ignored. After elucidating the nature of urbanization and developing a typology in terms of smart, fragile, and feral cities, we give consideration to the kinds of contingencies that the U.S. military, especially the Army, needs to think about and prepare for. Understanding the city as a complex system or organism is critical and provides the basis for changes in intelligence, recruitment, training, equipment, operations, and tactics.

One of the key takeaways is the need to understand the urban environment and the need to work with (instead of against) the flows and rhythms of a city. Without such an approach, the results of military involvement in such a formidable environment would likely be disastrous; with it, the prospects for success would at least be enhanced.


Editor: Dr Antulio J Echevarria II

Published: December 2016

Special Commentary The Army's Identity Crisis by Gates Brown Toward Strategic Solvency Ensuring Effective Military Voice by William E. Rapp The Crisis of American Military Primacy and the Search for Strategic Solvency by Hal Brands and Eric Edelman Are Our Strategic Models Flawed? Faith in War: The American Roots of Global Conflict by Gregory A. Daddis Solving America's Gray-Zone Puzzle by Isaiah Wilson III and Scott Smitson Strategic Uncertainty, the Third Offset, and US Grand Strategy by Ionut C. Popescu Ends + Ways + Means = (Bad) Strategy by Jeffrey W. Meiser Regional Issues in Asia Turning It Up to Eleven: Belligerent Rhetoric in North Korea's Propaganda by Mason Richey Foreign Military Education as PLA Soft Power by John S. Van Oudenaren and Benjamin E. Fisher


Author: Dr Mary Manjikian

Published: December 2016

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Perhaps the best starting point for those looking to “borrow” a deterrent strategy for cyberspace from other fields is not the example of nuclear deterrence but instead the example of United States-Mexican border security. The nuclear deterrent analogy is not the best fit for understanding cyber-deterrence—due to the ways in which rewards and payoffs for would-be attackers in cyberspace are different from those in the nuclear analogy—among other factors. The emphasis here is not on deterrent effects provided by specific weapons but rather on the ways in which human actors understand deterrence and risk in making an attempt to violate a border, and the ways in which security architects can manipulate how would-be aggressors think about these border incursions. This Letort Paper thus borrows from the criminology literature rather than the military-security literature in laying out how individuals may be deterred from committing crimes in real space and in cyberspace through manipulating rewards and punishments. Lessons from attempts at deterring illegal immigration along America’s borders are then presented, with lessons derived from those situations, which are helpful in understanding how to deter incursions in cyberspace.


Author: Doctor Thomas P Galvin

Published: December 2016

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Identity development is touted as an important leader development need, but it often gets short shrift in professional military education (PME) environments, including the Senior Service Colleges (SSC). The inculcation of professional values, resiliency, and critical and reflective thought are essential to properly operationalizing the skills and knowledge learned in an SSC, but they are highly subjective, difficult to measure, and therefore difficult to develop educational activities around. New policies for officer and civilian professional education include provisions for developing leaders, such as the recent inclusion of six Desired Leader Attributes (DLAs) in the Joint officer PME continuum, but it remains unclear how to operationalize those goals. This Letort Paper presents a way ahead using role identities and Bloom’s affective domain to identify developmental objectives to parallel the development of skills and knowledge in SSC programs and shows how this approach can be generalized across PME.


Author: Dr Thomas R Mockaitis

Published: December 2016

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Counterinsurgency (COIN) continues to be a controversial subject among military leaders. Critics argue that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have made the U.S. military, particularly the Army, "COIN-centric." They maintain that equipping U.S. forces to combat insurgency has eroded their conventional war fighting capabilities. Those committed to preserving and even enhancing COIN capabilities, on the other hand, insist that doing so need not compromise the ability of the military to perform other tasks. They also point out that the likelihood of even a mid-level conventional war remains low while the probability of unconventional engagements is high. This monograph reviews the COIN debate, analyzes current force structure, and concludes that contrary to the more extreme positions taken by critics and proponents, the U.S. military has achieved a healthy balance between COIN and other capabilities.


Author: Dr John R Deni

Published: November 2016

In mid-September, European Union (EU) Commission President Jean Claude Juncker delivered the Commision's annual State of the Union address.1 Coming on the heels of the British vote to leave the EU, the address provided a roadmap for overcoming the challenges brought about by what Juncker termed an “existential crisis.” Among the key components of the roadmap were several initiatives related to defense and security. For example, Juncker noted rather bluntly that Europe could not rely on soft power alone and that it therefore needed to “toughen up.” This was music to Washington’s ears, particularly when Juncker went on to argue for Europe to stop “piggy-backing” on the military might of others (read: Washington). European countries already appear to be heeding his call. After years of flat budgets and defense austerity, there is a growing body of evidence that European states have in fact begun to increase defense spending over the last couple of years.2 Although some European states, such as Poland, have been increasing defense spending—if only slightly—for many years, evidence now indicates that such increases are broad-based, if perhaps uneven. For example, recent defense spending increases in Eastern Europe are greater than what is occurring in Northern or Western Europe. Regardless, Juncker was right to promote and encourage this emerging trend.


Author: Dr Tami Davis Biddle

Published: November 2016

The American soldiers who returned home from the war in 1945 were greeted with joy and open arms. They were feted in parades, and celebrated in books, films, and songs. They were the heroes of the war that created modern America—wealthy, technologically-advanced, and sitting astride the world. Later they would come to be known as “the greatest generation”; it is a label that many of them eschew, but it speaks to the way they have been appropriated in American public memory and national identity. The soldiers who returned home from the war in the early-1970s came back to a nation that wanted nothing to do with them. Hostile stares, sometimes worse, greeted them on their arrival. American confusion, anger, and guilt about Vietnam were re-directed to its draftee army. After the war, the U.S. military adopted an all-volunteer force structure. For the services, this choice solved many of the problems of dealing with unpredictable civilian draftees and the sometimes-fickle population from which they were drawn. For the American people, it meant that their husbands, sons, and brothers faced very low odds of being asked to go to war. This shift, however, went far to sever the link between American civilians and the military that represents them, protects them, and does their bidding in the world.


Editor: Mr Henry D Sokolski

Author: Mr Henry D Sokolski

Published: November 2016

View the Executive Summary

Nuclear deterrence and nonproliferation no longer enjoy the broad support they once did during the Cold War. Academics and security experts now question the ability of either to cope or check nuclear rogue states or terrorists. On the one hand, America’s closest allies—e.g., Japan and South Korea—believe American nuclear security guarantees are critical to their survival. If the United States is unwilling to provide Tokyo or Seoul with the assurance they believe they need, would it then not make sense for them to acquire nuclear forces of their own? On the other hand, with more nuclear-armed states and an increased willingness to use them, how likely is it that nuclear deterrence will work?

This volume investigates these questions. In it, six experts offer a variety of perspectives to catalyze debate. The result is a rich debate that goes well beyond current scholarship to challenge the very basis of prevailing nonproliferation and security policies.


Editor: Prof William G Braun III, Dr David Lai

Author: Prof William G Braun III, Dr David Lai

Published: November 2016

The context of the Asia-Pacific rivalry between the United States and China has evolved over the last 5 or 6 decades. Issues associated with territorial dispute resolution, response to a bellicose nuclear-armed North Korea, and partner concerns over China’s increasingly assertive foreign policy now challenge the relationship, once characterized by strong elements of cooperation and economic growth. This report examines U.S.-China gray zone competition in the Asia-Pacific, and identifies land forces capabilities and initiatives necessary to advance U.S. national interests in the face of that competition. The report offers nine specific recommendations and a two-tier implementation plan to integrate those recommendations into defense management processes.


Author: Ms Diane E Chido

Published: November 2016

View the Executive Summary

The U.S. military recognizes that it will be required to engage in dense urban areas in the near future, whether under combat, stabilization, or disaster response conditions. The military also recognizes that it is not prepared to effectively operate within such complex terrain and populations. Alternative governance structures, which can be ethnic- or religious-based civil society groups or even organized criminal networks, emerge to provide basic services when the state fails to govern effectively. Leaders of these groups maintain control through various means including violence, coercion, and service provision or through tribal, religious, or other cultural ties and structures.

Developing a flexible toolkit of currently available and vetted resources to understand the alternative governance structures existing or emerging in that environment would provide crucial foreknowledge, which will serve as a force multiplier for planning and operating in an urban environment, particularly one as dense as a megacity.


Author: Dr David Lai

Published: October 2016

There is a widely-shared view in China that the United States has ill will toward China and is always looking for opportunities to make trouble for China. The Chinese believe that this was the case when China was a poor developing nation; and they particularly believe it to be the case today as China is rapidly becoming a great power. The Chinese claim that U.S. influence on every aspect of Chinese foreign and domestic relations is so ubiquitous that they have a name for it: “U.S. factor/shadow/specter”. The Chinese view, however, is largely based on unsubstantiated speculations, erroneously-formed impressions, and poorly-staged analyses; and cannot stand up to close scrutiny. The Chinese assertion that the Philippines vs. China arbitration of 2016 is a U.S.-orchestrated, directed, and supported farce is an excellent example.


Author: Dr Mohammed El-Katiri

Published: October 2016

View the Executive Summary

North Africa's security landscape has worsened in the aftermath of the political events of the Arab Spring. Libya's dire state of affairs has had significant repercussions not only on its internal security and stability, but also on that of its neighboring countries, particularly the ones with long and exposed land borders. The worsening of the security situation has led North African countries to cooperate on strengthening their military and security collaboration. However, while rapid progress has been made in establishing bilateral cooperation between Algeria and its neighbors, Tunisia and Libya, there has been a grave failure to launch a regional security initiative that is effectively capable of dealing with the range of cross-border and internal security threats that face all of these countries.

The failure to construct a regional-security structure in North Africa is due primarily to decades-long differences between Algeria and Morocco over a variety of pending issues, including the disputed Western Sahara territory. In addition, the fluid political and security situation in Libya has impeded engagement in any bilateral or regional security cooperation framework.


Editor: Dr Larry D Miller

Author: Dr Larry D Miller

Published: October 2016

The Army War College Review, a refereed publication of student work, is produced under the purview of the Strategic Studies Institute and the United States Army War College. An electronic quarterly, The AWC Review connects student intellectual work with professionals invested in U.S. national security, Landpower, strategic leadership, global security studies, and the advancement of the profession of arms.


Editor: Dr Antulio J Echevarria II

Published: September 2016

Special Commentary: Rebalancing Offshore Balancing Michael G. Roskin Adapting to Strategic Change Brian McAllister Linn, J. P. Clark, Charles Hornick, Daniel Burkhart, and Dave Shunk Myths about the Army Profession Don M. Snider, C. Anthony Pfaff On Strategic Communications Today James P. Farwell and Darby J. Arakelian Christopher Paul Gideon Avidor and Russell W. Glenn


Author: Dr. Jose de Arimateia da Cruz

Published: September 2016

According to the Organization of American States (OAS) in its report on “Latin American and Caribbean Cyber Security Trends” released in June 2014, Latin America and the Caribbean have the fastest growing Internet population in the world with 147 million users in 2013 and growing each year.1 While having more users and more network connections are great advancements for traditional developing nations, they also represent a potential threat. Audrey Kurth Cronin points out that “insurgents and terrorist groups have effectively used the Internet to support their operations for at least a decade. The tools of the global information age have helped them with administrative tasks, coordination of operations, recruitment of potential members, and communications among adherents.”2 While much of the discussion regarding potential enemy attacks on U.S. cyber critical infrastructure mainly focuses on China,3 Russia,4 and Iran,5 the Americas have been largely ignored in the literature. Why are the Americas important? Why should we be discussing its place within the U.S. national security strategic goals?


Author: Dr Florence Gaub

Published: September 2016

View the Executive Summary

Arab military cooperation has been, over the past century, mostly a history of failures. Whether the Arab League’s Defence Pact or the Middle East Command, ideas for collective security in the region all failed to move beyond the state of declarations. Most of the time, Arab states were either at open war or in cold peace. Since the Arab Spring has toppled not only regimes but also brought insecurity, new momentum has come into regional security. From joint exercises to the announcement of first an Arab and more recently an Islamic military alliance, states begin to move further into cooperation. As this Letort Paper shows, several obstacles will have to be overcome before collective security in the Middle East and North Africa can become a reality.


Author: Dr. W. Andrew Terrill

Published: August 2016

The full story of the July 15-16, 2016, Turkish coup attempt may not be known for some time, but it is clear that a limited number of officers attempted to overthrow the government and either capture or kill elected President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The government has accused these officers of belonging to the Fethullah Gulen movement (Hizmet), which is certainly possible since many of Turkey’s most secular military leaders were removed in earlier purges when Erdogan and Gulen were allies. These secular senior officers were often replaced by individuals associated with either the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) or the Gulenist movement, which the government did not view as a threat prior to 2013.1 Since then, Erdogan has viewed Gulen as an enemy, and the clerical leader has remained in voluntary exile in Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania.2 Erdogan is now seeking Gulen’s extradition to Turkey on charges of masterminding the coup, but his government has produced no clear evidence to back up that request.


Author: Dr R Evan Ellis

Published: August 2016

From July 11 to 15, 2015, I had the opportunity to participate in a seminar in Bogota, Colombia, on the topic of transnational organized crime that brought together security sector professionals from 10 countries across Latin America and the Caribbean, co-sponsored by U.S. Army South and the Colombian military. The activity occurred on the heels of the June 23rd announcement by the Colombian Government that a final agreement was in sight with the country’s largest terrorist organization, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), just days after leaders of the 1st and 7th fronts of the FARC announced that they would not participate in the deal.


Author: Dr Douglas Stuart

Published: August 2016

View the Executive Summary

Deciding when, where, and how to prioritize is the essence of strategy. U.S. President Barack Obama’s decision to designate the Indo-Asia-Pacific (IAP) as his top regional priority made good sense, in light of the ongoing shift in economic power from West to East and the rise of China as a potential global and regional peer competitor. The Obama Administration has attempted to use all available instruments of American power—diplomatic, information, military, and economic—to gain the support of regional friends and allies for its “pivot to Asia.” Rather than a “one size fits all” approach, Washington has attempted to adapt its recruitment efforts to the specific interests and concerns of each regional actor. The U.S. campaign has benefitted from the fact that most IAP governments recognize the value of an active American presence in the region at a time of growing Chinese assertiveness. If Obama, and his successor, can sustain the pivot, it can serve as the foundation for U.S. grand strategy in the 21st century.


Author: Dr Ryan Burke, Dr Sue McNeil

Published: August 2016

View the Executive Summary

Part I of the 2014-2015 Army War College’s Key Strategic Issues List (KSIL)—Army Priorities for Strategic Analysis—asks: “Given the growing importance of homeland defense, what would be the benefits and drawbacks of realigning the [National] Guard under the department of Homeland Security to enhance domestic security and disaster response, while retaining utility for overseas missions in support of the Department of Defense?” (pg. 10). This monograph details our efforts to research and evaluate the perceived benefits and drawbacks of realigning the National Guard under the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). We begin with a brief review of the relevant literature shaping the current policy and doctrinal approach to military civil support (CS) operations, including a summary of laws and strategic guidance relevant to the discussion. We then note the important distinctions between homeland security (HS) and homeland defense (HD) and the military role in each context. The seam between HS and HD provides a conceptual basis for discussing the roles and responsibilities of the National Guard, the DHS, and the Department of Defense (DoD) within domestic security and disaster response operations. After evaluating the National Guard’s role in each of the above contexts, we briefly discuss the realignment of the United States Coast Guard (USCG) within the DHS as a proxy for comparison of a similar realignment of a military-style entity under the DHS. The study concludes by listing and discussing the potential benefits and drawbacks of a National Guard realignment under the DHS and then makes five short recommendations in summary of the research effort.


Editor: Dr Dighton Fiddner, Dr Phil Williams

Author: Dr Dighton Fiddner, Dr Phil Williams

Published: August 2016

View the Executive Summary

This volume has three parts: the first focuses on cyberspace itself; the second on some of the major forms of malevolence or threats that have become one of its defining characteristics; and the third on possible responses to these threats. One of the most significant features of cyberspace, however, is that it is becoming a risky place for the entire spectrum of users: nation-states, nongovernmental and transnational organizations, commercial enterprises, and individuals. Yet it is a space of opportunities—for benevolent, neutral, and malevolent actors. Moreover, the authors identify and assess the challenges and threats to security that can arise in cyberspace because of its unique nature. In the final section, the authors discuss a variety of responses, with some suggesting that the most favored options being pursued by the United States are poorly conceived and ill-suited to the tasks at hand.


Author: Dr M Chris Mason

Published: August 2016

2015 was a bad year for the Afghan National Security Forces. They ended the Western calendar year badly battered, like a punch-drunk prize fighter on the ropes. At least 5,500 of them died in 2015, the worst annual casualty toll since American involvement in Afghanistan’s civil war began in 2001. By the end of Western calendar year 2015, the 215 Corps based in Helmand had virtually disintegrated, with perhaps only 35 percent of its table of organization and equipment strength still present and able to fight.1 For comparison, U.S. Army doctrine considers an infantry unit to be “combat ineffective” if it suffers 30 percent casualties. Continuing the steady 12-year long pattern, about 35 percent of the Afghan Army and the Afghan Police deserted in 2015. “Ghost policemen” and “ghost soldiers” were reported by Afghan officials with credible accounts suggesting as many as 3 policemen out of every 10 now receiving pay (from U.S. taxpayers) do not actually exist, or are no longer alive. The ANA’s 10,000 commandos, who are good solid troops, were literally exhausted from being shuttled from one firefight to another all over Afghanistan, often pausing between battles just long enough to throw some more ammunition onto the helicopters.


Author: Dr Larry M Wortzel

Published: July 2016

View the Executive Summary

According to many analysts of China’s military, when an officer of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) suggests new forms of operations, expanded domains of warfare, or new weapons systems, American security planners can dismiss these projections as merely “aspirational” thinking. This assessment of the PLA Academy of Military Science publication Long Distance Operations and other military publications of this genre propose that suggestions for forms of future warfare capture currents of thinking among mid-grade officers and also reflect how the senior political and military leaders in China want the PLA to evolve. Among the trends identified in this Letort Paper is the requirement for a capacity to more effectively attack a distant adversary, such as the United States, and to hold that adversary’s population at risk. This analysis also shows that a number of military analysts in China perceive that the populace is at risk from attacks by stronger, distant states. In the past 5 years, the PLA has exercised to develop force projection and expeditionary capabilities. As described in brief in this analysis, in the past 6 months, the PLA has changed its own force structure and posture in ways that will facilitate expeditionary operations.


Editor: Dr Larry D Miller

Author: Dr Larry D Miller

Published: July 2016

The Army War College Review, a refereed publication of student work, is produced under the purview of the Strategic Studies Institute and the United States Army War College. An electronic quarterly, The AWC Review connects student intellectual work with professionals invested in U.S. national security, Landpower, strategic leadership, global security studies, and the advancement of the profession of arms. All issues are listed in the Army War College Review area.


Editor: Prof John F Troxell

Published: July 2016

The United States faces security challenges within a global context of rapid technological change, significant demographic shifts, an uncertain economy, and geostrategic power dynamics of historic proportions. These conditions intensify the level of uncertainty and the pace of change, and raise the potential for significant interstate conflict to levels higher than at any time since the end of the Cold War. We must continue to focus the efforts of the Army's educational institutions on addressing these seemingly insurmountable challenges. The Key Strategic Issues List (KSIL), developed by the U.S. Army War College, in coordination with Headquarters, Department of the Army and major commands throughout the Army, includes issues we must address to ensure the Army of 2025 and beyond will continue to meet the needs of the Nation. As we build a new future to deal with this growing complexity, the Army will require evolutionary change, and this change begins by changing mindsets. This necessary change must be based on rigorous research and the development of ideas that are invaluable to the Army and to the Nation. With your work and research, our Army will be better prepared for the future and the threats posed against our Nation's interests.


Author: Dr John R Deni

Published: June 2016

The momentous decision of British voters to leave the European Union (EU) is already having major repercussions in both economics and politics. In the former, investors fled uncertainty for more stable opportunities, while in the latter there are already calls for another Scottish independence referendum. In the worlds of defense and security, the implications are less clear, at least in the short run. What appears far more certain though is that the economic and political implications are likely to have profound long-term effects on NATO, U.S. national security, and the U.S. Army’s relationship with one of America’s closest allies. In response, and in order to mitigate the most damaging effects of the Brexit vote, the United States needs to intensify military cooperation with a longstanding UK rival – namely, France.


Author: LTC Thomas R. Matelski

Published: June 2016

In recent months, there has been much discussion in the U.S. Department of Defense and its subordinate components over the conduct of steady state operations, or as defined in the Joint Operation Planning Process (JOPP), Phase Zero (Phase 0) operations.1 While important to military planning, the current construct for Phase 0 is improperly framed. Planning must be re-evaluated and redefined in order to reflect the changing nature of conflict and the myriad hybrid challenges faced by the United States. These challenges exist below the threshold of armed conflict and full spectrum conflict.2 Politically, they do not necessitate full-scale U.S. military responses. Potential adversaries exploit the gap between peace and armed conflict, leaving the United States with limited ability to counteract them.


Author: LTC Charles R Burnett, COL William J Cain Jr, LTC Christopher D Compton, Mr Nathan P Freier, LTC Sean M Hankard, Prof Robert S Hume, LTC Gary R Kramlich II, COL J Matthew Lissner, LTC Tobin A Magsig, COL Daniel E Mouton, Mr Michael S Muztafago, COL James M Schultze, Prof John F Troxell, LTC Dennis G Wille

Published: June 2016

U.S. competitors pursuing meaningful revision or rejection of the current U.S.-led status quo are employing a host of hybrid methods to advance and secure interests contrary to those of the United States. These challengers employ unique combinations of influence, intimidation, coercion, and aggression to incrementally crowd out effective resistance, establish local or regional advantage, and manipulate risk perceptions in their favor. So far, the United States has not come up with a coherent countervailing approach. It is in this “gray zone”—the awkward and uncomfortable space between traditional conceptions of war and peace—where the United States and its defense enterprise face systemic challenges to U.S. position and authority. Gray zone competition and conflict present fundamental challenges to U.S. and partner security and, consequently, should be important pacers for U.S. defense strategy.


Author: Mr Yogesh Joshi, Dr Frank O'Donnell, Dr Harsh V Pant

Published: June 2016

View the Executive Summary

Since India declared itself a nuclear weapon state in May 1998, its nuclear capabilities have grown significantly. India is now on the verge of acquiring a triad of nuclear delivery systems. Its increasing nuclear profile has also stirred a debate on its stated nuclear doctrine involving principles of no-first use and massive retaliation. This Letort Paper examines changes in India’s nuclear trajectory, the accompanying doctrinal debate, and its nonproliferation policies in the backdrop of the current regional and international context. The implications of this for the United States and its policy in the Asia-Pacific region are also discussed.


Author: Mr Jeffrey L Caton

Published: June 2016

The development of cyberspace defense capabilities for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) has been making steady progress since its formal introduction at the North Atlantic Council Prague Summit in 2002. Bolstered by numerous cyber attacks, such as those in Estonia (2007), Alliance priorities were formalized in subsequent NATO cyber defense policies adopted in 2008, 2011, and 2014.

This monograph examines the past and current state of cyberspace defense efforts in NATO to assess the appropriateness and sufficiency to address anticipated threats to member countries, including the United States. The analysis focuses on the recent history of cyberspace defense efforts in NATO and how changes in strategy and policy of NATO writ large embrace the emerging nature of cyberspace for military forces as well as other elements of power. It first examines the recent evolution of strategic foundations of NATO cyber activities, policies, and governance as they evolved over the past 13 years. Next, it outlines the major NATO cyber defense mission areas, which include NATO network protection, shared situational awareness in cyberspace, critical infrastructure protection, counter-terrorism, support to member country cyber capability development, and response to crises related to cyberspace. Finally, it discusses several key issues for the new Enhanced Cyber Defence Policy that affirms the role that NATO cyber defense contributes to the mission of collective defense and embraces the notion that a cyber attack may lead to the invocation of Article 5 actions for the Alliance.

This monograph concludes with a summary of the main findings from the discussion of NATO cyberspace capabilities and a brief examination of the implications for Department of Defense and Army forces in Europe. Topics include the roles and evolution of doctrine, deterrence, training, and exercise programs, cooperation with industry, and legal standards.


Author: Dr R Evan Ellis

Published: June 2016

Since his election in 2013, Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez has made significant changes in the strategy and institutions of the country in combating the interrelated scourges of organized crime and violent gangs, which have prejudiced Honduras as well as its neighbors. Principal among these are the creation of a new inter-agency structure, de la Fuerza de Seguridad Interinstitucional Nacional (the National Inter-Agency Security Force [FUSINA]), integrating the military, police, prosecutors, special judges, and other state resources to combat organized crime and delinquency in the country. More controversially, he has created a new police force within the military, the Policía Militar del Orden Público (Military Police of Public Order [PMOP]), which has been deployed both to provide security to the nation’s principal urban areas, Tegucigalpa, Comayagüela and San Pedro Sula, and to participate in operations against organized crime groups. In the fight against narcotrafficking, he has advanced a concept of three interdependent “shields”:

1). An air shield to better control Honduran airspace, enabled by January 2014 enabling the shoot-down of suspected drug flights and the acquisition of three radars from Israel to support intercepts by the Honduran air force;

2). A maritime shield, with new naval bases on the country’s eastern coast, and new shallow-water and riverine assets for intercepting smugglers; and,

3). A land shield, including enhanced control of the border with Guatemala through the Task Force “Maya Chorti.”

Beyond FUSINA, the Hernandez administration has also sought to reform the nation’s national police, albeit with slow progress. It is also reforming the penitentiary system, dominated by the criminal gangs MS-13 and B-18.

The new security policies of the Hernandez administration against transnational organized crime and the gang threat, set forth in its Inter-Agency Security Plan and “OPERATION MORAZÁN,” have produced notable successes. With U.S. assistance, FUSINA and the Honduran government dismantled the leadership of the nation’s two principal family-based drug smuggling organizations, the Cachiros and the Los Valles, and significantly reduced the use of the national territory as a drug transit zone, particularly narco flights. Murders in the country have fallen from 86.5 per 100,000 in 2011, to 64 per 100,000 in 2014.

This monograph focuses on the evolution of the transnational organized crime and gang challenges in Honduras, the strategy and structures of the Hernandez administration in combating them, associated challenges, and provides recommendations for the U.S. military and policymakers to support the country in such efforts.


Editor: Dr Antulio J Echevarria II

Published: June 2016

Special Commentary: Prospects for Peace: The View from Beijing Jacqueline N. Deal Russian Military Power Tor Bukkvoll, Bettina Renz Challenges in Asia Michael A. Spangler, Jin H. Pak War: Theory and Practice Christopher H. Tuck Paul R. Norwood, Benjamin M. Jensen, and Justin Barnes


Author: Dr. Jose de Arimateia da Cruz

Published: May 2016

In his National Security Strategy (February 2015), President Barack Obama stated that, “the threat of catastrophic attacks against our homeland by terrorists has diminished but still persists . . . Our adversaries are not confined to a distinct country or region. Instead, they range from South Asia through the Middle East and into Africa.” However, the President failed to mention that terrorists and sympathizers are already making inroads into the Western Hemisphere as well. An example of this is the nation-island of Trinidad and Tobago. It has been reported that about 100 Trinidadian citizens have gone to Syria to fight along with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS/ISIL). According to the former commander of the U.S. Southern Command, General John F. Kelly, in his posture statement before the 114th Congressional Senate Armed Services Committee, “when these foreign fighters return, they will possess operational experience, ties to global extremists, and possible intent to harm Western interests.”


Author: Dr Leonard Wong

Published: May 2016

In the preface to the Army’s Operating Concept, General David Perkins, Commanding General of the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, counsels that as the Army prepares for the future, “We must not be consumed with focusing solely on avoiding risk, but build[ing] leaders and institutions that recognize and leverage opportunities.”1 Indeed, the complex world in which the future force will operate demands that the junior leaders of today—the Millennials—be developed into tomorrow’s future leaders capable of exercising aggressive, independent, and disciplined initiative. Today’s Millennials, however, are coming out of an American society that has become increasingly uneasy about potential danger and progressively intolerant to risk.


Author: LTC R Reed Anderson, COL Patrick J Ellis, LTC Antonio M Paz, LTC Kyle A Reed, LTC Lendy Renegar, LTC John T Vaughan

Published: May 2016

View the Executive Summary

In support of U.S. Army Europe (USAREUR) and U.S. European Command (EUCOM), this monograph explores whether and how the U.S. Army is prepared to respond to the challenges posed by Russia to vital American interests in Europe. The monograph first assesses Moscow's motivations and then offers a critical analysis of U.S. and allied efforts to date. Specifically, the monograph examines Western deterrence efforts, force posture, force structure, security cooperation, and information operations—all in an effort to provide an unvarnished, rigorous analysis. The monograph ends with a series of forward-leaning yet practical recommendations designed to strengthen U.S. efforts without significant escalation.


Author: LTC Michael A. Adelberg

Published: April 2016

A collection of social and security trends are at play in Europe that may threaten the peace and stability of the continent. The array of challenges, threats, and frictions could converge at such a point that an unintentional spark could ignite a major crisis or even a regional war of some type. The most obvious security threat to Europe is Russia and its evident willingness to employ force, including proxy forces, like it did to reshape national borders in Ukraine. Russia does not, of course, view this operation as expeditionary expansionism, but rather as a necessity to stabilize a crisis on its border. Russia sees the Ukraine annexation as not of its own making, but rather like that of a tornado that drew in Russia against its desires. This narrative conveniently overlooks the fact that Russian economic warfare, to prevent Ukraine from entering into an Association Agreement with the EU, was the catalyst for the eventual Euromaidan protests and subsequent violence.


Author: Prof William G Braun III

Published: April 2016

The United States finds itself in a presidential election year that will certainly result in new priorities and policies. By the time this article is published, the world will know the results of the March madness primary elections and caucuses. Currently, the nation is choosing between two Democrat and three Republican candidates, with a real possibility of having contested conventions in both parties come July. National security policy and the employment of the nation’s Joint Force are perhaps the most sacred responsibilities of the commander in chief, and a central theme in the run-up to the July conventions. Army leaders are interested in the variance among the candidates’ national security policy positions and their potential implications on land forces.


Author: LTC Michael J Colarusso, LTC Kenneth G Heckel, COL David S Lyle, LTC William L Skimmyhorn

Published: April 2016

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Because the U.S. military's long-held advantage in physical capital and equipment is waning, cutting-edge human capital management is more critical than ever before. The authors of "Starting Strong" argue that by gathering detailed information on the unique talents possessed by each newly commissioned Army officer, as well as on the unique talent demands of each Army basic branch, the Army can create a "talent market" that identifies and liberates the strengths of every officer, aligning each with the career field where they are most likely to be engaged, productive, and satisfied leaders. Strong evidence demonstrates that this talent-based approach better aligns officer talent with occupational requirements while simultaneously increasing individual branch satisfaction.


Author: Dr Antulio J Echevarria II

Published: April 2016

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So-called gray zone wars are not new, but they have highlighted shortcomings in the way the West thinks about war and strategy. This monograph proposes an alternative to the U.S. military's current campaign-planning framework, one oriented on achieving positional advantages over rival powers and built around the use of a coercion-deterrence dynamic germane to almost all wars as well as to conflicts short of war.


Editor: Dr Antulio J Echevarria II

Published: April 2016

Special Commentary: Making Sense of the “Long Wars” Tami Davis Biddle US Leadership and NATO Luis Simón, Alexander Mattelaer, John R. Deni, Magnus Petersson Is Nation-Building a Myth? Charles J. Sullivan, M. Chris Mason Learning from Today’s Wars Ben Nimmo, Roger N. McDermott, Erik W. Goepner


Author: Dr R Evan Ellis

Published: March 2016

From February 15-23, 2016, I1 had the opportunity to travel to Mexico to conduct interviews with Mexican security experts about the evolution of transnational organized crime in the country and the work of Mexico's current government to combat it. My trip to Mexico coincided with the February 12-17 visit to Mexico by Pope Francis. The Pope also focused on issues related to organized crime during stops in Michoacán2 and Ciudad Juarez.3 This focus briefly highlighted to the world the gravity of Mexico’s struggle, and the importance of prevailing for the future of the country and the region. While I did not have the good fortune to see Pope Francis, the following are some of my preliminary insights regarding Mexico’s struggle against organized crime, based on my interviews and supporting research. In comparing the perspectives of Mexican government officials, the Armed Forces and police to those of academics, journalists, teachers and taxi drivers, the range of perceptions regarding what is happening in the country is stunning. At the popular level, cynicism is profound regarding President Enrique Peña Nieto and his government, the principal political parties, and security and justice institutions at the national, state, and local levels. In the tradition of surreal drama reflected in Mexico’s television art form, the telenovela, allegations abound of criminal connections involving President Peña Nieto, senior government, Army, and intelligence figures, and even the media outlet Televisa, and senior Mexican Clergy.


Editor: Dr Antulio J Echevarria II

Published: March 2016

None


Author: Dr. Erik W. Goepner

Published: March 2016

America’s efforts in the war on terror have been substantial and sustained, with more than four trillion dollars spent, two and a half million military members sent into harm’s way, and nearly 7,000 service members losing their lives over the past 15 years. To date, however, few studies have sought to measure the effectiveness of those efforts. This study empirically assesses the extent to which US efforts in the war on terror have achieved the government’s objectives and concludes those endeavors have been largely ineffective.


Author: Dr Robert J Bunker

Published: March 2016

View the Executive Summary

This monograph creates a proposed insurgency typology divided into legacy, contemporary, and emergent and potential insurgency forms, and provides strategic implications for U.S. defense policy as they relate to each of these forms. The typology clusters, insurgency forms identified, and their starting dates are as follows, Legacy: Anarchist (1880s), Separatist—Internal and External (1920s), Maoist Peoples (1930s), and Urban Left (Late-1960s); Contemporary: Radical Islamist (1979), Liberal Democratic (1989), Criminal (Early 2000s), and Plutocratic (2008); and Emergent and Potential: Blood Cultist (Emergent), Chinese Authoritarianism (Potentials; Near to Midterm), and Cyborg and Spiritual Machine (Potentials; Long Term/Science Fiction-like). The most significant strategic implications of these forms for U.S. defense policy are derived from the contemporary Radical Islamist form followed by the contemporary Criminal and emergent Blood Cultist forms. If the potential Chinese Authoritarianism form should come to pass it would also result in significant strategic impacts.


Author: Dr Jean-Loup Samaan

Published: March 2016

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The collapse of Israel-Turkey relations over the last decade has led to a reshuffling of the power plays in the East Mediterranean region. Following the dismantlement of the Ankara-Jerusalem axis, Greece has entered the game by becoming the new ally of Israel in the area. As a result, the new strategic triangle that emerges in the region has implications at both the security and economic levels. Its future will shape not only the regional security system but also the prosperity of the area, for instance by defining the governance of energy discoveries. Therefore, it will have direct implications for the U.S. security interests.


Author: Dr Don M Snider

Published: February 2016

Crossing the Plains on an expedition to Utah [in the 1850s], Major Charles A. May searched the wagons in an effort to reduce unnecessary baggage. When he reached the wagons of the light artillery battery, Captain Henry J. Hunt proudly pointed out the box containing the battery library. “Books,” May exclaimed. “You say books? Whoever heard of books being hauled over the Plains? What the hell are you going to do with them?” At that moment Captain Campbell of the Dragoons came up and asked permission to carry a barrel of whiskey. ”Yes, anything in reason Captain, you can take along the whiskey, but damned if these books shall go.” The Army’s new Chief of Staff just published his detailed vision for the Army in the near term. The focus is “to regain combined arms capabilities in tactical formations while improving key aspects of overall strategic readiness.”2 However, “to regain,” means something has been lost. And that something, in General Milley’s view, is nothing less than one of the Army’s core professional competencies—combined arms operations at the tactical level. But, how do military professions lose the ability to perform one of their key professional practices?


Author: Dr. W. Andrew Terrill

Published: January 2016

In one of the opening scenes of the 1973 movie, The Exorcist, an older Catholic priest stands among the ruins of the ancient Mesopotamian city of Hatra.1 In the movie, he views an ancient statue of an Assyrian wind demon and stares directly into the stone representation of his enemy’s face. In the background, two extremely vicious dogs are fighting and the sounds of their battle appear to be coming directly from the statue as the camera closes in on its face. Clearly, a horrifying ancient evil has awakened in northern Iraq. And now, we have a modern representation of an awakened and increasingly formidable Middle Eastern evil. The evil of sectarianism. Virulently sectarian bigots, in the Middle East and elsewhere, believe that other religions and sects are not only mistaken, they are also composed of heretics, apostates, and infidels. This outlook is every bit as frightening as the horror movie demon, and it is not to be easily dismissed after two hours of scares in the theater. Like the demon in the movie, sectarianism is not new, but also like the demon it is much stronger and more dangerous than it once was. Sectarianism, particularly between Sunni and Shi’ite Muslims, has grown dramatically in the Middle East in recent decades for a variety of reasons including the post-Saddam Sunni-Shi’ite bloodshed in Iraq, the rise of Iranian power and influence in the region, the Syrian Civil War, the Saudi-led 2011 invasion of Bahrain, the rise of the Islamic State organization often known as ISIS, and the Houthi war in Yemen.2 As the world greets 2016, it now appears that against most previous expectations, the sectarian situation in the Middle East is actually getting dramatically worse. As this drama unfolds, two of the most important players in the Muslim sectarian schism are Sunni Saudi Arabia and Shi’ite Iran, with Iraq, Syria, and Yemen also deeply involved and bearing much of the suffering.


Editor: Dr Larry D Miller

Author: Dr Larry D Miller

Published: January 2016

The Army War College Review, a refereed publication of student work, is produced under the purview of the Strategic Studies Institute and the United States Army War College. An electronic quarterly, The AWC Review connects student intellectual work with professionals invested in U.S. national security, Landpower, strategic leadership, global security studies, and the advancement of the profession of arms.

All issues are listed in the Army War College Review area.


Author: Dr John R Deni

Published: January 2016

View the Executive Summary

Military engagement and forward-based U.S. military forces offer decisionmakers effective and efficient mechanisms for maintaining American influence, deterring aggression, assuring allies, building tomorrow’s coalitions, managing the challenge of disorder in the security environment, mitigating the risk of a major interstate war, and facilitating U.S. and coalition operations should deterrence fail. Unfortunately, significant cuts to overseas permanent presence and continuing pockets of institutional bias against engagement as a force multiplier and readiness enhancer have combined to limit the leverage possible through these two policy tools. Instead, reliance on precision strike stand-off capabilities and a strategy of surging American military might from CONUS after a crisis has already started have become particularly attractive approaches for managing insecurity in a more resource-constrained environment. This approach is short-sighted politically and strategically. Relying on stand-off capabilities and so-called “surge readiness” – instead of placing greater emphasis on forward presence and, when employed selectively, military engagement – will ultimately result in reduced American influence with friends and adversaries alike, encourage adversaries to act hastily and aggressively, and have the effect of reducing, not expanding, options available to any President.


Author: Dr. Jose de Arimateia da Cruz

Published: December 2015

While the rest of the world is concerned about the refugee crisis in Europe, the conflict in Syria, and the potential contenders in the U.S. presidential elections of 2016, there is a brewing dispute between Guyana and Venezuela in Latin America. As a result of this diverted attention, there are few reports regarding the instability of an already fragile region. The dispute between the two nations centers on the lands west of the Essequibo River of Guyana. This stretch of land covers 40 percent of Guyana’s sovereign territory and, according to experts, is rich in gold, bauxite, diamonds, and other natural resources.


Author: Dr Steven Metz

Published: December 2015

Nothing is more important to American security than nuclear weapons. Despite all the fretting over terrorism, hybrid threats, and conventional aggression, only nuclear weapons can threaten the existence of the United States and destroy the global economy. This is certainly not news to American policymakers and military strategists: they have recognized the centrality of nuclear weapons at least since the Soviets detonated their first atomic bomb in 1949. But so far, U.S. strategy has focused almost exclusively on deterring attacks from a hostile nuclear state, preventing unfriendly nations from acquiring nuclear weapons and, after the break up of the Soviet Union, keeping nuclear weapons out of the hands of terrorists.


Editor: Dr Antulio J Echevarria II

Published: December 2015

None


Author: Dr Michael J Mazarr

Published: December 2015

View the Executive Summary

Discussions of an emerging practice of “gray zone” conflict have become increasingly common throughout the U.S. Army and the wider national security community, but the concept remains ill-defined and poorly understood. This monograph aims to contribute to the emerging dialogue about competition and rivalry in the gray zone by defining the term, comparing and contrasting it with related theories, and offering tentative hypotheses about this increasingly important form of state competition. The idea of operating gradually and somewhat covertly to remain below key thresholds of response is hardly new. Many approaches being used today—such as support for proxy forces and insurgent militias—have been employed for millennia. The monograph argues that the emergence of this more coherent and intentional form of gray zone conflict is best understood as the confluence of three factors. Understood in this context, gray zone strategies can be defined as a form of conflict that pursues political objectives through integrated campaigns; employs mostly nonmilitary or nonkinetic tools; strives to remain under key escalatory or red line thresholds to avoid outright conventional conflict; and moves gradually toward its objectives rather than seeking conclusive results in a relatively limited period of time. Having examined the scope and character of gray zone conflict, the monograph offers seven hypotheses about this emerging form of rivalry. Finally, the monograph offers recommendations for the United States and its friends and allies to deal with this challenge.


Author: Dr Shima D Keene

Published: December 2015

View the Executive Summary

While supporters claim that drone warfare is not only legal but ethical and wise, others have suggested that drones are prohibited weapons under International Humanitarian Law (IHL) because they cause, or have the effect of causing, indiscriminate killings of civilians, such as those in the vicinity of a targeted person. The main legal justification made by the Barack Obama Administration for the use of armed drones is self-defense. However, there is ambiguity as to whether this argument can justify a number of recent attacks by the United States. In order to determine the legality of armed drone strikes, other factors such as sovereignty, proportionality, the legitimacy of individual targets, and the methods used for the selection of targets must also be considered. One justification for the ethical landscape is the reduced amount of collateral damage relative to other forms of strike. Real time eyes on target allow last-minute decisions and monitoring for unintended victims, and precise tracking of the target through multiple systems allows further refinements of proportionality. However, this is of little benefit if the definition of “targets” is itself flawed and encompasses noncombatants and unconnected civilians. This monograph provides a number of specific recommendations intended to ensure that the benefits of drone warfare are weighed against medium- and long-term second order effects in order to measure whether targeted killings are serving their intended purpose of countering terrorism rather than encouraging and fueling it.


Author: Dr Tami Davis Biddle

Published: December 2015

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In this monograph, Dr. Tami Davis Biddle examines why it is so difficult to devise, implement, and sustain sound strategies and grand strategies. Her analysis begins with an examination of the meaning of the term “strategy” and a history of the ways that political actors have sought to employ strategies and grand strategies to achieve their desired political aims. She examines the reasons why the logic undergirding strategy is often lacking and why challenges of implementation (including bureaucratic politics, unforeseen events, civil-military tensions, and domestic pressures) complicate and undermine desired outcomes. This clear-headed critique, built on a broad base of literature (historical and modern; academic and policy-oriented), will serve as a valuable guide to students and policymakers alike as they seek to navigate their way through the unavoidable challenges—and inevitable twists and turns—inherent in the development and implementation of strategy.


Author: CPT (P) Liam P Walsh

Published: December 2015

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Beginning in 2013, the U.S. Army began an effort to “engage regionally and respond globally.” A central tenant of this strategy, building upon National strategic guidance, is the necessity to build partner capacity. Army units, through the regionally aligned forces concept, may find themselves conducting security force assistance (SFA) missions across the globe as a means to achieve these ways. However, after examining the Army’s SFA mission in Operation IRAQI FREEDOM from 2003-10, it becomes apparent that institutional and organizational shortcomings plagued the Army’s initial efforts in this critical aspect of the campaign. Many of these shortcomings remain in the Army today, particularly within the Army’s core formation—the brigade combat team (BCT). This monograph examines the Army’s role in conducting SFA in Iraq, drawing key lessons for the Army’s experience there, and then provides recommendations as to how the Army can better optimize the BCT to conduct SFA, while still retaining its core mission to fight and win America’s wars.


Author: Dr Richard Weitz

Published: December 2015

View the Executive Summary

The U.S. defense export system needs further major reforms to reduce inefficiencies and weaknesses. Although the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) do help prevent potential foreign adversaries from using U.S. arms against the United States and its allies, the Regulations, as enforced, can weaken U.S. national security in other important ways. For example, by excessively impeding defense exports, the ITAR makes it more difficult for U.S. firms to sustain core U.S. defense technological and industrial advantages, decreases U.S. military interoperability with allies that purchase ITAR-free weapons from other sources, and generates other undesirable effects for the U.S. Army and U.S. national security.


Author: Dr Christopher Sims

Published: December 2015

View the Executive Summary

The Human Terrain System embedded civilians primarily in brigade combat teams (BCTs) in Iraq and Afghanistan between 2007 and 2014 to act as a collection and dispersal mechanism for sociocultural comprehension. Set against the backdrop of the program’s evolution, the experiences of these social scientists clarifies the U.S. Army’s decision to integrate social scientists at the tactical level in conflict. Based on interviews, program documents, material from Freedom of Information Act requests, and secondary sources, this book finds a series of limiting factors inhibiting social science research at the tactical level, common to both Iraq and Afghanistan. Complexity in integrating civilians into the military decisionmaking cycle, creating timely research with a high level of fidelity, and making granular research resonate with brigade staff all contributed to inhibiting the overall effect of the Human Terrain System. Yet, while high operational tempo in contested spaces complicates social science research at the tactical level, the author argues that there is a continued requirement for a residual capability to be maintained by the U.S. Army.


Author: Mr Jeffrey L Caton

Published: December 2015

View the Executive Summary

What does the Department of Defense hope to gain from the use of autonomous weapon systems (AWS)? This Letort Paper explores a diverse set of complex issues related to the developmental, operational, legal, and ethical aspects of AWS. It explores the recent history of the development and integration of autonomous and semi-autonomous systems into traditional military operations. It examines anticipated expansion of these roles in the near future as well as outlines international efforts to provide a context for the use of the systems by the United States. As these topics are well-documented in many sources, this Paper serves as a primer for current and future AWS operations to provide senior policymakers, decisionmakers, military leaders, and their respective staffs an overall appreciation of existing capabilities and the challenges, opportunities, and risks associated with the use of AWS across the range of military operations. Emphasis is added to missions and systems that include the use of deadly force.


Author: Mr Henry D Sokolski

Published: December 2015

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With the world focused on the nuclear crisis in Iran, it is tempting to think that addressing this case, North Korea, and the problem of nuclear terrorism is all that matters and is what matters most. Perhaps, but if states become more willing to use their nuclear weapons to achieve military advantage, the problem of proliferation will become much more unwieldy. In this case, U.S. security will be hostage not just to North Korea, Iran, or terrorists, but to nuclear proliferation more generally, diplomatic miscalculations, and wars between a much larger number of possible players. This, in a nutshell, is the premise of Underestimated: Our Not So Peaceful Nuclear Future, which explores what nuclear futures we may face over the next 3 decades and how we currently think about this future. Will nuclear weapons spread in the next 20 years to more nations than just North Korea and possibly Iran? How great will the consequences be? What can be done?


Author: LTC Michael A. Adelberg

Published: November 2015

U.S. foreign policy experts in 1948 would be familiar with modern Russia. George F. Kennan or President Harry Truman would immediately recognize modern Russian behavior. Nationalist rhetoric, economic brinksmanship, the cult of personality, and aggressive shows of force? All old. Therefore, it is worth reviewing some basic foundations of Soviet foreign policy to understand modern Russian foreign policy. On February 9, 1946, Joseph Stalin gave a speech at the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow, Russia. Although the war was over, he called for a level of military production three times higher than in the pre-war years. Stalin “justified the sacrifices this would require” because of “capitalism’s tendency to produce conflict”; pure Marxist rhetoric that initially did not even raise the interest of the Moscow Embassy. “No one familiar with Stalin’s thinking would have found much new in the speech: it reflected what he had long believed and often said.”1 It did, however, get Washington’s attention. The State Department sent a request to the Moscow Embassy for an “interpretive analysis of what we may expect in the way of future implementation of these announced policies.”


Author: Dr Mohammed El-Katiri

Published: November 2015

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This monograph focuses on the geopolitical and economic drivers for the renewed Moroccan interest in West Africa and examines how Morocco is conducting its foreign and security policy in a variety of Western African countries. It highlights Morocco’s contribution to counterextremism in West Africa and Sahel regions through the provision of training to the imams and preachers of African Mosques. It concludes with recommendations on how Morocco could be supported by the U.S. defense community to mutual benefit, tackling some of the key security challenges that are facing these sub-regions of Africa. Given the common interest between the United States and Morocco in preserving peace and stability in Morocco’s surrounding region, Rabat’s growing assertiveness in West Africa presents an opportunity, not a challenge, for U.S. interests. Morocco’s geographic location, political stability, and deep and long-standing cultural ties with sub-Saharan states provide a potential bridgehead for U.S. efforts to promote its security objectives in Africa. At a time of severe defense budget constraints, bilateral cooperation with reliable and moderate regional partners can provide an effective multiplier and augment the U.S. reach into otherwise challenging regions.


Author: Mr Ivan Benovic, Dr Ariel Cohen

Published: November 2015

View the Executive Summary

Since the breakup of the Soviet Union, a number of gas disputes between Russia and Central and Eastern European countries have unveiled the strategic dependence of Europe on Russian piped gas. The recent Ukrainian crisis demonstrated that Europe has a desperate need to improve the security of its gas supply. The United States is interested in the economic stability and growth of Europe, because the European Union (EU) is its principal and largest economic partner. The United States and the EU enjoy the largest trade and investment relationship in the world, which should not be jeopardized by disruptive, anti-status-quo powers. Europe’s energy independence is not only an economic interest of America, but also a political and security one. Europe’s dependence on Russian natural gas undermines European unity and weakens the primary U.S. allies in their relations with Russia. U.S. Armed Forces in Europe and the U.S. Army in particular can and should play an important role in promoting energy security. This involvement includes: increased situational awareness; deployment to the sensitive areas; and enhanced training activities, including with the allies of the U.S. military in Central and Eastern Europe.


Author: Mr Gregory Aftandilian

Published: November 2015

This monograph examines the new Arab regional order that has emerged over the past few years and analyzes opportunities and challenges for U.S. strategic interests. The regional order encompasses: 1) an anti-Islamist grouping of countries that came about largely in reaction to Muslim Brotherhood rule in Egypt in 2012-2013; and, 2) an anti-Shia grouping which solidified in the aftermath of the Houthi takeover over much of Yemen, but which includes other areas of Sunni-Shia conflict in the region. Saudi Arabia is a leader in both orders and has important allies in them, like Egypt. Although the United States has extensive ties to a number of the countries in these alliances, and has assisted many of them in recent conflicts, it has tried to avoid getting involved in the larger Sunni-Shia conflict (having equities with both Sunni and Shia countries) and does not share the views of many secularists in the region that all Islamist groups pose a threat to regional stability. The monograph argues that U.S. policymakers should continue to promote inclusivity of all nonviolent political groups in the political systems of these countries, regardless of whether these groups are secularist or Islamist, with the understanding that there are limits to U.S. influence. In addition, U.S. policymakers should continue to avoid taking sides as much as possible in Sunni-Shia conflicts and should use its influence in the area to try to dampen such conflicts, as they are a main source of instability in the region and help extremist groups, like ISIL (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) and al-Qaeda, exploit these conflicts. The monograph also recommends that the U.S. Army should assist countries of the region in counter-terrorism training and operations where possible, but Army officers should avoid being drawn into discussions about the Islamist-secularist and Sunni-Shia disputes.


Author: Mr Keir Giles, Dr Steve Tatham

Published: November 2015

View the Executive Summary

Experience from Afghanistan and Iraq has demonstrated the vital nature of understanding human terrain, with conclusions relevant far beyond counterinsurgency operations in the Islamic world. Any situation where adversary actions are described as “irrational” demonstrates a fundamental failure in understanding the human dimension of the conflict. It follows that where states and their leaders act in a manner which in the U.S. is perceived as irrational, this too betrays a lack of human knowledge. This monograph offers principles for operating in the human domain which can be extended to consideration of other actors which are adversarial to the United States, and whose decisionmaking calculus sits in a different framework to our own — including such major states as Russia and China. This monograph argues that the human dimension has become more, not less, important in recent conflicts and that for all the rise in technology future conflicts will be as much defined by the participants’ understanding of culture, behavior, and language as by mastery of technology.


Author: Mr Roman Muzalevsky

Published: October 2015

View the Executive Summary

India’s impressive economic growth over the last two and a half decades has brought India’s role and interests to the forefront of global politics and statecraft. Importantly, it has put India into a comparative perspective with China, another aspiring Asian great power poised to stiffen competition for resources and influence worldwide. Both are resource-hungry and rapidly emerging powers seeking a new place and role in the global and regional orders. Both are also strategic rivals and consider their immediate neighborhood of Central Asia of growing strategic importance to their grand strategies. For now, China has outperformed India in Central Asia on all counts, securing the region as a key resource base and platform for power projection. India launched the “Connect Central Asia” policy in 2012 to shore up its presence, but the policy has not yet secured for it even a remotely comparable stake in the region due to aspects of India’s strategic culture and geopolitical constraints. Meanwhile, the U.S. strategic presence in the region leaves much to be desired. The United States is withdrawing from Afghanistan without major political or military gains from the conflict that has cost it and its partners a fortune in lives and money. The future of its military infrastructure and relationships with countries in Central-South Asia is a big unknown, with regional partners equating the U.S. military pullout with its waning commitment to support the regional economic and security order. To help unlock their strategic potentials, Delhi and Washington should join forces and cultivate a strategic partnership that makes Central Asia its major pillar. Until then, neither Delhi, nor Washington is likely to succeed.


Author: COL Glenn J Voelz

Published: October 2015

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During a decade of global counterterrorism operations and two extended counterinsurgency campaigns, the United States was confronted with a new kind of adversary. Without uniforms, flags, and formations, the task of identifying and targeting these combatants represented an unprecedented operational challenge for which Cold War era doctrinal methods were largely unsuited. This monograph examines the doctrinal, technical, and bureaucratic innovations that evolved in response to these new operational challenges. It discusses the transition from a conventionally focused, Cold War-era targeting process to one optimized for combating networks and conducting identity-based targeting. It analyzes the policy decisions and strategic choices that were the catalysts of this change and concludes with an in depth examination of emerging technologies that are likely to shape how this mode of warfare will be waged in the future.


Author: COL Curtis D Taylor

Published: October 2015

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In 2014, the National Defense Authorization Act directed the Department of Defense to reconsider the way the Army evaluates and selects leaders. This call for reform came after repeated surveys from the Center for Army Leadership suggested widespread dissatisfaction with the current approach. The Army today is seeking to inculcate a philosophy of mission command across the force based on a culture of mutual trust, clear intent, and decentralized initiative. It is therefore, reasonable to ask if our current performance evaluation system contributes or detracts from such a culture. This paper seeks to answer this question by considering the essential leader attributes required for the exercise of mission command and then considering practical methods for evaluating this behavior. It then reviews the history of the existing Army performance evaluation system and analyzes how well this existing system conforms to the attributes of mission command. Finally, the paper examines other methods of performance evaluation outside of the Army to determine if those methods could provide a better model. This examination includes a variety of best practice models in private business and the public sector and identified alternative approaches to performance evaluation.


Author: Dr W Andrew Terrill

Published: October 2015

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The threat perceptions of many Arab states aligned with the United States have changed significantly as a result of such dramatic events as the 2011 U.S. military withdrawal from Iraq, the emergence and then fading of the Arab Spring, the rise of Iranian power and Tehran’s nuclear agreement with key world powers, the Egyptian revolution and counterrevolution, and the development of civil wars in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, and Libya. There have also been some notable differences that have developed between the United States and its Arab allies over how to address these issues and most especially Iranian regional ambitions. This report considers ways in which the United States might react to these events with a specific focus on military coordination and support to friendly Arab countries. It notes that a variety of U.S. officials remain intensely committed to a strong effort to work with Arab allies and to convince them that the United States will not abandon them or downgrade the importance of their security concerns.


Author: Dr John R Deni

Published: October 2015

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American security policy rests on a three-legged stool consisting of defense, diplomacy, and development. As President Obama implied in his May 2014 speech at West Point, the United States is in the midst of a resurgence of diplomacy and development, as it seeks to leverage diplomatic influence, foreign aid, and multilateral institutions to solve the most vexing international security challenges. However, the dramatic rebalance toward diplomacy and development over the last several years has largely has failed. Rhetoric, official strategies, and actual policies have all aimed at rebalancing the three legs of the foreign policy stool. However, several factors point to a continued militarization of U.S. foreign policy, including funding levels, legal authorities, and the growing body of evidence that civilian agencies of the U.S. Government lack the resources, skills, and capabilities to achieve foreign policy objectives. Continued reliance by senior decisionmakers at both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue on the U.S. military in the development, planning, and implementation of U.S. foreign policy has significant implications. Foremost among them is the fact that the military itself must prepare for a future not terribly unlike the very recent past.


Editor: Dr Larry D Miller

Author: Dr Larry D Miller

Published: October 2015

The Army War College Review, a refereed publication of student work, is produced under the purview of the Strategic Studies Institute and the United States Army War College. An electronic quarterly, The AWC Review connects student intellectual work with professionals invested in U.S. national security, Landpower, strategic leadership, global security studies, and the advancement of the profession of arms.

All issues are listed in the Army War College Review area.


Author: Mr Keir Giles, Ms Kim Hartmann

Published: September 2015

An overview of four different national approaches to cyber defense are discussed: those of Norway, Estonia, Germany and Sweden. While providing a useful guide for engagement with the relevant governmental and other organizations in each of these countries, the Paper also compares and contrasts the advantages and drawbacks of each national approach.


Author: Dr Marcus Schulzke, Dr James Igoe Walsh

Published: September 2015

View the Executive Summary

Armed unmanned aerial vehicles—combat drones—have fundamentally altered the ways the United States conducts military operations aimed at countering insurgent and terrorist organizations. Drone technology is on track to become an increasingly important part of the country’s arsenal, as numerous unmanned systems are in development and will likely enter service in the future. Concerned citizens, academics, journalists, nongovernmental organizations, and policymakers have raised questions about the ethical consequences of drones and issued calls for their military use to be strictly regulated. This level of concern is evidence that the future of drone warfare not only hinges on technical innovations, but also on careful analysis of the moral and political dimensions of war. Regardless of whether drones are effective weapons, it would be difficult to sanction their use if they undermine the legitimacy of U.S. military forces or compromise the foundations of democratic government.


Editor: Dr Joseph R Cerami

Author: Dr Joseph R Cerami

Published: September 2015

View the Executive Summary

The main focus of this monograph is to synthesize the top research on leadership and leader development and to highlight the needs for developing individuals committed to careers of service across the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. The foundation for the research is based on ideas drawn from leadership and management literature, government doctrine and reports, think tank studies, and case studies. The Army has long sought to be innovative in its leader development. Most recently, the Army’s Human Development White Paper supports TRADOC Pamphlet 5250301, The U.S. Army Operating Concept, “Win in a Complex World” document (2014), by emphasizing the Army’s desire to become the nation’s leader in “human development.” In short, the Army Operating Concept requires that emerging leaders must understand the political-social-military environmental context, the defense-diplomatic-development (the 3-Ds) policies of the U.S. Government, and their roles as emerging leaders and followers in a variety of operational settings. Collaboration, not just within the Army, but across government agencies will be crucial to success in this complex operating environment.


Author: Dr Hal Brands

Published: September 2015

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Is offshore balancing the right grand strategy for America? Is it time for Washington to roll back the vast system of overseas security commitments and forward military deployments that have anchored its international posture since World War II? This monograph argues that the answer to these questions is no. Offshore balancing represents the preferred grand strategy among many leading international-relations “realists,” who argue that significant geopolitical retrenchment can actually improve America’s strategic position while slashing the costs of its foreign policy. The reality, however, is rather different. The probable benefits of offshore balancing—both financial and geopolitical—are frequently exaggerated, while the likely disadvantages and dangers are more severe than its proponents acknowledge. In all likelihood, adopting this strategy would not allow America to achieve more security and influence at a lower price. The more plausible results would be to dissipate U.S. influence, to court heightened insecurity and instability, and to expose the nation to greater long-range risks and costs.


Author: COL Michael J Arnold

Published: September 2015

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The dynamic nature of the future security environment necessitates better retention of diversified talent among officers from the Millennial Generational Cohort. Although the U.S. Army has done well to attract a diverse and talented group of junior officers at commissioning, a revision of the Army’s Personnel System, that incorporates a more personalized management approach, could help to motivate and retain millennial officers and better prepare them for senior leadership. Lieutenant colonels and colonels must provide the transformational leadership and innovation needed to create the intrinsic value that millennials seek in their profession. In order to explore what is most appealing to talented millennial officers and what is most effective for the Army, this Carlisle Paper will explore, as its methodology, the salient features of leadership theory, the characteristics of the Millennial Generational Cohort, and what senior leaders must do to improve attraction, motivation, and retention of millennial officers in the U.S. Army.


Editor: Dr Antulio J Echevarria II

Published: August 2015

None


Author: COL Craig Trebilcock

Published: August 2015

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The Army has an opioid drug problem that is not going away under current personnel policies and medical practices. The survey results recorded here indicate that senior officers attending the U.S. Army War College recognize that the opioid problem is distinct in nature and origin from those of recreational drug abuse. The majority of these future Army leaders see misuse originating out of prescribing practices, a lack of medical monitoring, and a lack of Soldier training and education on the dangers of opioids, rather than from undisciplined Soldiers.


Author: Dr Robert J Bunker

Published: August 2015

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This manuscript focuses on the present threat posed by terrorist and insurgent use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) as well as associated future threat potentials. This work presents a counterintuitive analysis in the sense that armed drones are typically viewed as a component of America’s conventional warfighting prowess—not a technology that would be used against U.S. troops deployed overseas or against civilians back home. The emerging threat of such UAV use against the United States is investigated, and the unique analysis and creative approach related to the threat scenario variants generated are very informative. Hopefully, the larger implications posed by this analysis related to semi-autonomous and autonomous UAV type robotic systems will be of benefit.


Author: Dr Steve Tatham

Published: August 2015

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The author explains how sophisticated social science research and behavioral profiling can be used to warn us of impeding issues and how that information might be used by senior strategy makers as a tool for testing and refining strategy. He makes a compelling case that the science of Target Audience Analysis (TAA) is now so well advanced that it must become a key component of future strategic decisionmaking. The author views social media as just another communication conduit, and sees this as a continuum of wrong activities being undertaken. In Iraq and Afghanistan, he saw how big public relations and marketing companies cost the U.S. taxpayer millions of dollars in ultimately failed communication and propaganda campaigns. Social media, he argues, has become yet another blank checkbook for companies who rely on creative energy rather than empirical understanding to produce communications campaigns. Instead, he argues for far greater resource in TAA and greater understanding by federal agencies of what is and is not possible or desirable in their communication efforts. To this end, he looks in particular at the U.S. Agency for International Development relief work in Pakistan and argues that the communication objectives set at the start of the projects are almost unattainable, even naive in their presumptions.


Editor: Prof John F Troxell

Author: Prof John F Troxell

Published: August 2015

The KSIL is available for online viewing here: 2015-16 KSIL

The recently published National Military Strategy emphasizes the unpredictability of the global security environment. According to General Dempsey, “global disorder has significantly increased while some of our comparative military advantage has begun to erode. We now face multiple, simultaneous security challenges…” General Odierno echoes this concern by pointing to the “increased velocity of instability,” and emboldened potential adversaries that have “magnified the risk to U.S. interests around the world.” Responding to this period of geopolitical uncertainty demands thoughtful and careful analysis of a wide array of strategic issues. The Strategic Studies Institutes’ (SSI) annual Key Strategic Issues List (KSIL) addresses this need by providing a list of high-priority topics organized to support the Army's most important strategic objectives, issues that must be addressed to ensure the Army of 2025 and beyond will continue to meet the needs of the nation. Part I of the KSIL lists the Chief of Staff of the Army’s top five topics, all five of which will be addressed as integrative research projects by the US Army War College. Part II, “Priority Research Areas,” is a compilation of critical topics developed by the Army War College and Commands and organizations throughout the Army. Part III consists of the Army Warfighting Challenges. Students and researchers are encouraged to get in touch with the topic sponsors listed in the document, tackle one of these issues, and contribute to the knowledge base needed to support the future direction of the Army.


Author: COL Russell N Bailey, LTC Bob Dixon, Ms Laura McAleer, LTC Derek J O'Malley, COL (NZ) Christopher J Parsons, COL Elizabeth R Smith

Published: August 2015

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This strategic assessment seeks to go beyond a traditional comparative analysis of the military, technological, political, cultural, and economic factors governing the relationships and capabilities of the Asia Pacific environment. To make sense of the intrinsic complexities unique to this region, we endeavor to broaden our view and rely on a tool often overlooked in government studies: imagination. Moreover, we aim to offer a strategic document that is readable, instructive, and provocative. Pulling from a well-referenced piece of military teaching, this assessment borrows a learning concept first employed in 1904 by Major General Sir Ernest Dunlop Swinton in "The Defence of Duffer’s Drift." This fictional story describes the plight of young Lieutenant Backsight Forethought as he commands a 50-man platoon tasked to hold a tactically critical piece of land called Duffer’s Drift. The story unfolds in a series of six dreams, where the blunders of the unwitting lieutenant lead to disaster. As the dreams progress, he harnesses the lessons of each of his failures, and by applying these lessons, his platoon ultimately defends Duffer’s Drift.


Author: Mr Robert E Atkinson, Jr

Published: July 2015

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This monograph offers a neo-classically republican perspective on a perennial problem of civilian/military relations: limitations on military officers’ obligation to obey civilian authorities. All commentators agree that military officers are generally obliged—morally, professionally, and legally—to obey civilian orders, even as they agree that this rule of obedience must admit of exceptions. Commentators tend to differ, however, on the basis and breadth of these exceptions. Following Samuel Huntington’s classic analysis in The Soldier and the State, this monograph shows that disagreement about the breadth of the exceptions tends to assume that their bases—moral, professional, and legal—are incommensurable. It suggests, to the contrary, that all defensible exceptions to the rule of military obedience, like that rule itself, derive from a single neo-classical, Huntingtonian standard, binding on civilian authorities and military officers alike: the common good. This perspective promises significantly to reduce the range of disagreement over the limits of military obedience both in theory and in practice.


Author: Mr Roman Muzalevsky

Published: July 2015

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China’s emergence as a global actor has questioned the position of the United States as the strongest power and the future of the Washington-led global order. To achieve the status of a truly global player wielding influence in all dimensions of power would require China to leverage its regional influence in Central Asia. This region is increasingly representing China’s western leg of economic expansion and development, and is of a growing strategic importance for Beijing. It is also a region that should be of greater strategic importance to Washington, which seeks to preserve its leading position in the international system and ensure China’s peaceful integration in the global political, security, and economic architecture.


Author: Ms Zhulduz Baizakova, Mr Roger N McDermott

Published: July 2015

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Central Asia has been experiencing an increase or activation of radical Islamic movements over the last decade or so. These complex processes include increasing urbanization, institutional and individual corruption, the growing gap between rich and poor, the inability of the state to provide security, corruption in the law enforcement agencies, poor functioning of the state religious bodies, inefficient power structures, limited scope for citizens to influence decisionmaking, all which result in lower trust in the authorities as well as other factors. The authoritarian regimes of Central Asia gave rise to boiling anger and discontent among their populations. For people unable to defend their rights and interests, religion might be seen as a way out of this situation. Kazakhstan, the most stable and safe country in the region, witnessed a series of alleged extremist terrorist acts since 2011. Historic roots and the identity of “Kazakh Islam,” the nature of connection and influence reaching Kazakhstan from neighboring North Caucasus and Afghanistan and how it affects radicalization of the youth, and reasons for misleading assumptions are analyzed so as to identify how Kazakhstan is viewed from the outside world. State structures and the role of the state overseeing issues regarding Islam and its practices, with attention to banned extremist groups, their specifics, and the country’s experience of political violence in 2011-12, as well as the state’s response to the acts of violence, are discussed.


Editor: Mr Roy Kamphausen, Dr David Lai

Author: Mr Roy Kamphausen, Dr David Lai

Published: July 2015

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This volume is of special relevance in light of the profound changes occurring within the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA). China’s desire to develop a military commensurate with its diverse interests is both legitimate and understandable. The challenge for U.S. Pacific Command (USPACOM) is to understand how China will employ this growing military capability in support of its interests. The book addresses the uncertainty surrounding the potential direction of the PLA by examining three distinct focus areas: domestic, external, and technological drivers of PLA modernization; alternative futures for the PLA; and, implications for the region, world, and U.S.-China relations. The analysis provides an insightful perspective into the factors shaping and propelling the PLA’s modernization, its potential future orientation ranging from internally focused to globally focused, and how the PLA’s choices may impact China’s relations with its neighbors and the world.


Editor: Mr Gary J Schmitt

Author: Mr Gary J Schmitt

Published: July 2015

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Since World War II, a key element of America’s grand strategy has been its worldwide network of strategic allies and partners. The network has provided the United States an invaluable global presence, enhanced deterrence against adversaries and, when called upon, provided men and materiel to help fight wars. However, following the end of the Cold War, less attention has been paid to America’s allies, especially their “hard power” capabilities, despite the United States and its allies going to war more frequently than before. This volume addresses that gap, providing a holistic account of allied hard power and, in turn, the ability – and, indirectly, the willingness – of those same partners to use force independently or in concert with the United States and other allies.


Author: Dr Norman Cigar

Published: June 2015

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As America’s de facto co-belligerents who often share the same battlespace in the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, the presence and activity of Iraq’s Shia warlords and their militias have an impact on U.S. interests and policies at both the strategic and operational levels. The objective of this monograph is to provide a better understanding of the Shia militia phenomenon and to highlight the factors with which U.S. policymakers and U.S. Army planners and commanders will have to deal with respect to operations in Iraq.


Author: Dr Leif Rosenberger

Published: June 2015

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This Letort Paper analyzes the new global oil market. It shows how the price of oil reflects the confluence of four interrelated factors. First, the Paper explores why the supply of oil has been soaring in the world. Second, it explains why the demand for oil has been relatively weak. Third, it discusses the role that Wall Street plays in moving the price of oil. Fourth, it examines the importance of the U.S. dollar in determining the prices of oil. As a result of these factors, oil prices are relatively low. The Paper also explains how these low oil prices produce winners and losers at home and abroad. In addition, it explores where oil prices are likely to go in 2016 without policy intervention. It also recommends ways to make oil prices less volatile.


Author: Dr R Evan Ellis

Published: June 2015

In many ways, Russia’s expanded engagement in Latin America as a response to escalating tension over the Ukraine was a repetition of its answer to U.S. involvement in the 2008 conflict in the former Soviet Republic of Georgia. In the latter conflict, the U.S. deployed naval forces to the Black Sea in response to Russian support for the breakaway republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Russia countered with a series of actions in Latin America, including sending nuclear-capable Tu-160 bombers to Venezuela, from where they conducted symbolically-charged flights around the Caribbean. A month later, a four-ship Russian naval flotilla deployed to the area to conduct military exercises with the Venezuelan navy before making port calls in Cuba and Nicaragua. In November 2008, Russian President Dmitri Medvedev traveled to Latin America to participate in the leadership summit of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas, then subsequently hosted both Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega in Moscow. Three months later, Bolivian President Evo Morales also traveled to Russia, followed in November 2009 by Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa. Very little beyond journalistic accounts have been written to examine contemporary Russian activities in Latin America and the Caribbean. As Russia’s reassertion of its global position and associated tensions with the United States proceed, a broad understanding of Russia in the Americas becomes ever more important, both as a question of U.S. national security and as an important dynamic shaping the global geopolitical environment. This monograph focuses on the character of the ongoing Russian re-engagement with Latin America and the Caribbean and its implications for the U.S.


Author: Dr M Chris Mason

Published: June 2015

The wars in Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan were lost before they began, not on the battlefields, where the United States won every tactical engagement, but at the strategic level of war. In each case, the U.S. Government attempted to create a Western-style democracy in countries which were decades at least away from being nations with the sociopolitical capital necessary to sustain democracy and, most importantly, accept it as a legitimate source of governance. The expensive indigenous armies created in the image of the U.S. Army lacked both the motivation to fight for illegitimate governments in Saigon, Baghdad, and Kabul and a cause that they believed was worth dying for, while their enemies in the field clearly did not. This book examines the Afghan National Security Forces in historical and political contexts, explains why they will fail at the tactical, operational and strategic levels of war, why they cannot and will not succeed in holding the southern half of the country, and what will happen in Afghanistan year-by-year from 2015 to 2019. Finally, it examines what the critical lessons unlearned of these conflicts are for U.S. military leaders, why these fundamental political lessons seem to remain unlearned, and how the strategic mistakes of the past can be avoided in the future.


Author: Mr Keir Giles

Published: June 2015

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Russia's actions in Ukraine are not the only challenge to relations with the United States. U.S. plans for ballistic missile defense (BMD) capability in Europe have led to aggressive rhetoric from Moscow, which continues at the time of this writing even though attention in the West is focused almost exclusively on Ukraine. Russia’s strenuous opposition to the U.S. European Phased Adaptive Approach plans is based on claims that this capability is intended to compromise Russia’s nuclear deterrent capability. Most of these claims have been dismissed as groundless. Yet, all discussion of the subject highlights the U.S. current and proposed deployments, and entirely ignores Russia’s own missile interception systems, which are claimed to have comparable capability. Russia protests that U.S. missiles pose a potential threat to strategic stability, and has made belligerent threats of direct military action to prevent their deployment. But no mention at all is made of the strategic implications of Russia’s own systems, despite the fact that if the performance and capabilities claimed for them by Russian sources are accurate, they pose at least as great a threat to deterrence as do those of the United States. This monograph aims to describe Russia’s claims for its missile defense systems, and, where possible, to assess the likelihood that these claims are true. This will form a basis for considering whether discussion of Russian capabilities should be an integral part of future conversations with Russia on the deployment of U.S. and allied BMD assets.


Author: LTC Michael J Colarusso, COL Andrew O Hall, COL David S Lyle, Major Michael S Walker, Mr Roy A Wallace

Published: June 2015

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Transforming the U.S. military’s personnel management system is critical to long-run American national security interests, particularly as increasingly capable peer adversaries emerge. Talent management is critical to confronting these threats, particularly in an austere fiscal environment. This transformation cannot take place in a vacuum, however. As an extensive body of labor economics literature makes clear, total compensation management is an integral part of talent management. As the military changes the way it accesses, retains, develops, and employs its people, so, too, must it change the ways in which it compensates them. However, the current compensation system, rooted in industrial-era labor management practices, has outlived its usefulness. It is not linked to defined organizational outcomes, rests upon an ineffectual evaluation system, and does little to incentivize performance. Designed to complement an “up or out” personnel system that treats people as interchangeable parts, it has been rendered obsolete by dramatic changes in the American labor market, fiscal constraints, technological advances, and the changing nature of information age work. Using the Army’s Officer Corps as a case study upon which a wider compensation model can be built, a system is proposed that integrates redesigned basic pays and pensions, “monetizes” nonpay benefits, and provides additional performance incentives in critical positions demanding organizational productivity.


Editor: Dr Larry D Miller

Author: Dr Larry D Miller

Published: June 2015

The Army War College Review, a refereed publication of student work, is produced under the purview of the Strategic Studies Institute and the United States Army War College. An electronic quarterly, The AWC Review connects student intellectual work with professionals invested in U.S. national security, Landpower, strategic leadership, global security studies, and the advancement of the profession of arms.


Editor: Dr John R Deni

Author: COL Gregory K Anderson, LTC Karen LT Briggman, Dr John R Deni, LTC Joseph E Hilbert, COL Gert-Jan Kooij, LTC Christopher T Lay, Dr James C McNaughton

Published: May 2015

Russian aggression in 2014 caught U.S. policy and strategy off guard, forcing reactive measures and reevaluation of the U.S. approach toward Russia. Moscow employed nonlinear methodologies and operated just beneath traditional thresholds of conflict to take full advantage of U.S. and NATO policy and process limitations. In light of this strategic problem, the U.S. Army War College (US - AWC), conducted a wargame that revealed four key considerations for future policy and strategy.


Author: Dr Florence Gaub

Published: May 2015

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This monograph examines the impact that the “Arab Spring” has had on how Arab states relate to each other post-regime change and post-Islamist electoral victory. It shows that the region is undergoing a profound change as some traditional regional policy actors are paralyzed by internal turmoil (such as Syria and Egypt), while others do not have a regional ambition (such as Algeria and Morocco). The region has therefore entered a Gulf moment where key decisions pertaining to the region’s future are now taken in Riyadh, Doha, and Abu Dhabi. From having once been mere bystanders of regional politics, the Gulf States have moved to become players with both the ambition and capability to shape regional dynamics. As the ripple effects of their 2014 rift show, these dynamics will have a wider Arab impact.


Author: Mr James Lacey

Published: May 2015

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This monograph presents a survey of the crucial link between state (national) power and finance from the ancient era through to the present day. Cicero once said that the true sinew of war was “endless streams of money.” His observation remains as accurate today as it was when Rome first began constructing its Empire. Unfortunately, too many historical works leave this crucial underpinning link out of their narratives. Even those that do discuss economic and financial concerns typically miss the fact that the size of a state’s economy often has little to do with its capacity to wield influence on the global stage. Much more crucial, in this regard, is the possession of an administrative system capable of efficiently mobilizing a state’s resources. It was such an administrative apparatus that allowed Britain to punch far above its weight in the international arena for centuries. As a survey, this work is far from comprehensive, but the author hopes it will provide a stepping stone for a much-needed in-depth examination of the topic.


Author: Mr Roman Muzalevsky

Published: May 2015

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The nuclear talks between Iran and P5+1 following the most stringent sanctions against Iran to date have opened new prospects for relaxation of tensions between Tehran and the West and for a U.S.-Iranian détente in the long run. The coming to power of new presidential administrations in both the United States and Iran, the additional sanctions, major geo-economic and geopolitical trends, and U.S.-Iranian economic and security cooperation imperatives all contributed to these dynamics. Some view the talks as a new beginning in U.S.-Iranian ties, which could herald the emergence of a U.S.-Iranian strategic relationship in the next 15 years. This work has developed three such possible strategic relationships: 1) strategic engagement involving a nuclear weapons-capable Iran; 2) comprehensive cooperation following a “Grand Bargain”; and, 3) incremental strategic engagement after a nuclear deal. These relationships deliberately focus on constructive engagement, skipping the status quo and a strike on Iran as two other possible outcomes. If they pull it off by 2030, a U.S.-Iranian détente would advance external integration of the region, aiding the U.S. strategy of fostering global connectivity. It would promote resolution of conflicts and development and reconstruction of countries ravaged by wars and sectarian violence. It would also enable Washington to deploy select military assets to other locales to address other challenges while repurposing remaining forces to face new threats in the Greater Middle East.


Author: Dr. David E. Johnson

Published: May 2015

Abstract: This article argues counterinsurgency wars are not analogous to the challenges presented by the Islamic State. The United States needs to accept the nature of the war it is in, and undertake a clear and comprehensive assessment of the means necessary for strategic success. Such an assessment will make apparent the need to commit US ground combat forces.


Author: Dr Richard Weitz

Published: April 2015

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China and Russia have engaged in an increasing number of joint exercises in recent years. These drills aim to help them deter and, if necessary, defeat potential threats, such as Islamist terrorists trying to destabilize a Central Asian government, while at the same time reassuring their allies that Russia and China would protect them from such challenges. Furthermore, the exercises and other joint Russia-China military activities have a mutual reassurance function, informing Moscow and Beijing about the other’s military potential and building mutual confidence about their friendly intentions toward one another. Finally, the joint exercises try to communicate to third parties, especially the United States, that Russia and China have a genuine security partnership and that it extends to cover Central Asia, a region of high priority concern for Moscow and Beijing, and possibly other areas, such as northeast Asia. Although the Sino-Russian partnership is limited in key respects, the United States should continue to monitor their defense relationship since it has the potential to become a more significant international security development.


Author: Mr Jeffrey L Caton

Published: April 2015

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With growing international awareness of energy security challenges, the promise of space-based solar power for clean and unlimited energy for all humankind is certainly appealing. While significant progress continues in the enabling technologies of such systems, is there compelling evidence that space-based solar power systems will provide the best energy solution? How does the Army’s current approach to incorporating a diverse portfolio of renewable energy sources in distributed locations compare to the potential of enterprise ventures that beam energy from solar collectors in space? For over 4 decades, many credible organizations in government and industry have explored the concept of space-based solar power, but their serious studies often conclude that such systems remain on the future horizon, usually at least 10 years away from practical application. While space-based solar power systems may be technically feasible, the author believes there is no compelling evidence that such systems will be economically or operationally competitive with terrestrial power generation systems in use or in development. However, he does find that there may be some utility in the limited application of space-based solar power to enable operations in remote and forward operating locations.


Author: Dr Mary Manjikian

Published: April 2015

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An analysis of weapons-based confidence-building measures shows how academics can work together to self-police their research for national security implications, socialize new members of the academic community into the importance of considering security issues, and develop and disseminate norms regarding what is and is not a moral and ethical use of these technologies. It may be possible for academics and policymakers to come together to work for a ban or build-down on cyber weapons patterned on international efforts to ban chemical and biological weapons and implement export regimes to control the export of code which may form the components of cyber weapons. If we conceptualize cyberspace as territory, we can also learn from the example of territorially-based confidence-building measures such as those implemented along the Indo-Pakistan border. This approach stresses the importance of developing notification procedures to prevent misperceptions and the escalation spiral, as well as communicating regularly to establish trust between all parties. The case studies presented here illustrate the promises and pitfalls of each approach and offer valuable warnings to policymakers seeking to implement such measures in cyberspace. They show what happens when not everyone in a regime is equally committed to a specific outcome by illustrating the difficulties of monitoring compliance in confidence-building regimes, and show the ways in which doctrines and confidence-building measures may not be perfectly aligned.


Author: Dr Colin S Gray

Published: April 2015

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To define future threat is, in a sense, an impossible task, yet it is one that must be done. The only sources of empirical evidence accessible are the past and the present; one cannot obtain understanding about the future from the future. The author draws upon the understanding of strategic history obtainable from Thucydides’ great History of the Peloponnesian War. He advises prudence as the operating light for American definition of future threat, and believes that there are historical parallels between the time of Thucydides and our own that can help us avoid much peril. The future must always be unpredictable to us in any detail, but the many and potent continuities in history’s great stream of time can serve to alert us to what may well happen in kind.


Author: Dr Mohammed El-Katiri

Published: April 2015

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In this monograph, Dr. Mohammed El-Katiri focuses on the variety of challenges that face reform attempts in the post-revolution Arab countries. He examines underlying factors that have prevented new political elites and post-revolution institutions from successfully implementing essential reforms. He explains how these failures have affected the building of these countries' political legitimacy. Dr. El-Katiri concludes with a series of specific policy recommendations, with the aim of preventing further deterioration to the detriment of U.S. interests.


Author: Mr Keir Giles, Maj Gen Aleksandr V Rogovoy

Published: April 2015

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Russia’s seizure of Crimea, and ongoing operations in eastern Ukraine, have refocused attention on the Russian military as a potential cause for concern in Europe. This Letort Paper, by an influential Russian general and military academic, lays out specifically Russian views on the essential nature of strong conventional land forces, and how they may be used. With an expert commentary providing essential context and interpretation, the Paper presents a valuable insight into Russian military thinking, at a potentially critical juncture for European security.


Author: Dr Ryan Burke, Dr Sue McNeil

Published: April 2015

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The authors advocate the integration of process improvement methods into future Defense Support of Civil Authorities (DSCA) operations. They briefly discuss alternative process improvement strategies and their current state of employment in a variety of DoD programs. Methods discussed include Lean Six Sigma, Total Quality Management, and Capability Maturity Models, the utility of such methods is demonstrated, and the value in applying process improvement methods to DSCA operations is articulated. Three recommendations are given to demonstrate how a usable process maturity model can be built and employed for future operations. The monograph concludes by reaffirming the inherent utility of, and advocating for, process improvement techniques as a way to mature future DSCA operations using the dual status commander arrangement.


Author: Dr Yannis A Stivachtis

Published: April 2015

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The end of the Cold War, and especially the events of September 11, 2001, have led to the redefinition of the U.S. Army’s role. In this new environment, the purpose of the U.S. Army is not only to win a battle or a war, but also to be involved effectively in peace operations in post-conflict societies. To make the U.S. Army more effective requires prior knowledge about the political, societal, and cultural environment within which these operations would take place, as well as the acquisition of a new set of skills that would allow the U.S. Army to handle sensitive situations relevant to this environment. Due to the presence of several “weak” states in the international system, the United States needs to devise and employ strategies aimed at preventing and managing the outbreak of domestic conflicts that have the potential of undermining regional and international peace and stability. To avoid oversimplifications in the planning process, U.S. policymakers should have a comprehensive view of the relationship between the state experiencing domestic conflict and its society/citizens. For the design and effective implementation of peacemaking and peace/state-building policies, U.S. strategists should be fully aware of what constitutes a security issue for social groups and individuals in third countries. Thus, U.S. strategic planning and actions should be based on the adoption of the broaden definition of security as well as the idea of human security. Since international stability is based on the stability of states, the United States needs to assist the creation and maintenance of “strong” states.


Author: Dr Jean-Loup Samaan

Published: April 2015

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For the last 4 decades, Israel has been challenged by the rise of ballistic arsenals in the Middle East. If, at first, the country kept relying on its traditional offensive doctrines, it eventually developed missile defense programs in the early-1980s through U.S.-Israel cooperation and then in the 2000s with the building of its iconic Iron Dome. This Israeli experience in missile defense reveals crucial lessons on the military adaptation to both new threats and new remedies that have direct implications for the United States and its allies.


Author: Mr Jeffrey L Caton

Published: April 2015

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The Army has been involved with space-based military operations for well over a half-century. During this time, space operations have changed from a realm exclusive to scientists and engineers, to highly classified activities largely unknown to the general population, to the unveiling of space-based communication, imagery, surveillance, and environment capabilities that have become a foundation for all modern warfare. Today, such support is so ingrained into daily operations that most soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines assume it has been, and always will be, available for their use. But with such reliance comes vulnerability that potential adversaries may try to exploit. The evolution of Army space operations is well documented in many sources, thus this monograph serves not as a comprehensive history or detailed critique of the myriad accomplishments. Rather, it serves as a primer for current and future space-based operations to provide senior policymakers, decisionmakers, military leaders, and their respective staffs an overall appreciation for existing Army space capabilities and the challenges, opportunities, and risks associated with their use in joint operations.


Author: Dr Ryan Burke, Dr Sue McNeil

Published: April 2015

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The 2013-14 Army War College Key Strategic Issues List stated: “If Hurricane Sandy is seen as an archetype of a complex catastrophe, then a careful analysis of the effectiveness of the DoD response within the context of dual status commanders [DSCs], lead federal agencies, and state response capabilities needs to be conducted.” This monograph does exactly that as it carefully and comprehensively analyzes the DSC-led military response to Hurricane Sandy in New York. Through this lens, it illustrates and discusses the perspectives of the DSC construct and offers recommendations for leveraging existing capabilities and improving those deemed insufficient. Using a case study approach, this analysis addresses notable issues of constitutionality, legality, policy, financial considerations, and even politics, all uniquely situated between individual states’ interests and those of the federal government. To provide military and defense officials with a greater understanding of the benefits and limitations of the DSC arrangement during a no-notice/limited-notice incident, this monograph offers objective and systematic documentation of the Sandy response. It concludes by offering a series of actionable recommendations aimed at improving operational decisionmaking, policy, and legislation specifically related to DSCs during no-notice/limited-notice incidents.


Editor: COL Ty Seidule, Dr Jacqueline E Whitt

Author: COL Ty Seidule, Dr Jacqueline E Whitt

Published: April 2015

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Stand Up and Fight is a collection of essays that explores how new National Security Organizations are stood up—that is, formed, organized, funded, and managed—in the first years of their existence. From Joint ventures to combatant commands to cabinet-level departments, each organization’s history reveals important themes and lessons for leaders to consider in forming a new organization. A substantive introduction defines the scope of the project and outlines several important themes including organizational rivalry, the problems of analogical reasoning, the use of simulations, the consequences of failure, the significance of leadership and organizational culture, working with allies, the role of fear and emotion, and the basic advice that “the best defense is a good offense.” The book includes thirteen substantive chapters, each of which covers a different national security organization. Section I on U.S. unified combatant commands includes chapters on U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM), U.S. Joint Forces Command (JFCOM), U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM), U.S. Transportation Command (TRANSCOM), and Space Command (SPACECOM). Section II, on sub-unified commands and organizations includes chapters on U.S. Cyber Command (CYBERCOM) and the Vietnam-era Civil Operations and Revolutionary Development Support (CORDS). Section III deals with issues of allied commands and covers military government in post-WWII Germany, Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE), and North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD). Section IV explores Department of Defense and cabinet-level organizations including The U.S. Air Force (USAF), the National Security Agency (NSA), and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The conclusion again draws out several relevant themes and offers some practical recommendations and insights for leaders who are charged with standing up a new organization.


Editor: COL Douglas Mastriano, LTC Derek O'Malley

Author: COL Douglas Mastriano, LTC Derek O'Malley

Published: March 2015

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The strategic calculus changed in Europe with the 2014 Russian seizure of Crimea and its ongoing war against Ukraine. Compounding the dilemma of an aggressive Russia, is the application of ambiguity to create a clock of uncertainty that prevents a decisive response to counter its destabilizing activities. However, this application of ambiguity is easily defeated, if nations are willing to take concerted efforts now to preempt and deter further Russian aggression. Project 1704 provides an honest assessment of the tenuous strategic environment that now envelopes Eastern Europe and offers specific recommendations on how to continue the 70 years of unparalleled peace that most of Europe has enjoyed.


Editor: Major Charlie D Lewis, COL Jeffrey D Peterson, Dr Rachel M Sondheimer

Author: Major Charlie D Lewis, COL Jeffrey D Peterson, Dr Rachel M Sondheimer

Published: February 2015

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The United States Military Academy (USMA) Senior Conference is run annually by the Department of Social Sciences at the USMA on behalf of the Superintendent. This event allows distinguished representatives from the private sector, government, academia, the think-tank community, and the joint military services to discuss important national security topics. Senior Conference 2014, the 50th iteration of this event, explored emerging trends and their implications for the Army’s strategic contribution to national security. As policymakers strive to rebalance U.S. national security investments in a fiscally constrained environment, debates about the future roles and missions of the armed services have intensified. Though many questions related to the future role of military power remain unsettled, the Army will undoubtedly have an important role to play.


Author: Mr Gregory Aftandilian

Published: February 2015

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This monograph examines the terrorist groups in Egypt emanating from the Sinai and assesses the level of Egyptian public support for the government's security crackdown. These terrorist groups have not only targeted Egyptian security personnel and foreign tourists in the Sinai Peninsula but have attacked government installations and personnel in the Egyptian mainland. Because most Egyptians desire stability, want terrorism to end, and want their moribund economy to grow, and because they have few family ties to the Bedouin inhabitants of the Sinai, they have given the government wide berth to carry out a heavy-handed crackdown there. However, some of Egypt's draconian security policies (such as punishing whole Bedouin villages) can be counterproductive, often making more terrorist recruits out of disaffected Bedouin youth than would otherwise be the case. The monograph recommends enhanced U.S. counterterrorism assistance to the Egyptian military, with specialized courses for Egyptian military officers attending professional military education institutions in the United States and the training of whole Egyptian counterterrorism units either in the United States or in a friendly Arab country. The monograph also recommends the resumption of a U.S.-Egyptian strategic dialogue, to include U.S. Army officers and their Egyptian counterparts, where effective counterterrorism policies can be discussed frankly in a closed-door setting. In addition, the monograph advocates for new and enhanced social and economic policies in the Sinai that would aim to dissuade Beduion youth from assisting and joining the terrorist groups. These policies would involve recruiting properly vetted Bedouin youth into the local police forces, and a major jobs training program, with U.S. financial and administrative support, for these youth to prepare them for eventual employment in tourism and other legitimate economic sectors.


Author: Dr Stephen J Gerras, Dr Leonard Wong

Published: February 2015

Untruthfulness is surprisingly common in the U.S. military even though members of the profession are loath to admit it. Further, much of the deception and dishonesty that occurs in the profession of arms is actually encouraged and sanctioned by the military institution. The end result is a profession whose members often hold and propagate a false sense of integrity that prevents the profession from addressing—or even acknowledging—the duplicity and deceit throughout the formation. It takes remarkable courage and candor for leaders to admit the gritty shortcomings and embarrassing frailties of the military as an organization in order to better the military as a profession. Such a discussion, however, is both essential and necessary for the health of the military profession.


Author: Dr Colin S Gray

Published: February 2015

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American Landpower is a strategic instrument of state policy and needs to be considered as such. This monograph explores and explains the nature of Landpower, both in general terms and also with particular regard to the American case. The monograph argues that: (1) Landpower is unique in the character of the quality it brings to the American joint team for national security; (2) the U.S. has a permanent need for the human quality in Landpower that this element provides inherently; (3) Landpower is always and, indeed, necessarily strategic in its meaning and implications—it is a quintessentially strategic instrument of state policy and politics; (4) strategic Landpower is unavoidably and beneficially joint in its functioning, this simply is so much the contemporary character of American strategic Landpower that we should consider jointness integral to its permanent nature; and, (5) notwithstanding the nuclear context since 1945, Landpower retained, indeed retains, most of the strategic utility it has possessed through all of history: this is a prudent judgment resting empirically on the evidence of 70 years’ experience. In short, the strategic Landpower maintained today safely can be assumed to be necessary for security long into the future. No matter how familiar the concept of strategic Landpower is when identified and expressed thus, it is a physical and psychological reality that has persisted to strategic effect through all of the strategic history to which we have access.


Author: Dr Stefan Forss, COL Pekka Holopainen

Published: February 2015

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Russian actions in Ukraine in 2014 have prompted an urgent reassessment of the defense posture of many European nations. The Nordic states in particular are grappling with a 2-decade legacy of defense drawdowns and repositioning for expeditionary warfare. The challenge for these nations is how to resurrect a credible military deterrent in the face of continuing Russian assertiveness. One attractive option is closer defense cooperation between the Nordic states, but moves in this direction are slow and faltering. Political complications include the deeply ambivalent attitude of Sweden and Finland to the prospect of NATO membership. In this monograph, two leading Nordic defense experts assess the progress of cooperation to date, both within the region and externally with the United States, and offer specific recommendations for urgently enhancing both.


Editor: Dr John R Deni

Author: Dr John R Deni

Published: February 2015

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Revolutionary changes among energy producers and dramatically altered patterns of energy consumption across the planet are having profound implications for American national security in general and the U.S. Army specifically. The U.S. Army War College gathered experts from the policymaking community, academia, think tanks, the private sector, and the military services at the Reserve Officers Association in Washington, DC, in November 2013 to address first the major “new realities,” both geographically and technologically, and then the specific military implications. The chapters of this compendium are based on the presentations delivered at that conference, which was funded through the generous support of the U.S. Army War College Foundation.


Author: Mr Keir Giles

Published: February 2015

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This monograph, completed ahead of the November 2014 deadline, examines some of the underlying factors which will be constant in dealing with a nuclear capable Iran under President Hassan Rouhani, and which will help determine the success or failure of talks in 2015. It analyzes Rouhani's eventful first year in office in order to provide pointers to what may be possible—and to some key limiting factors—for Iran under his leadership. During that time, Rouhani has been forced to balance his own progressive instincts with the instinctual caution of more conservative elements of the Iranian ruling elite. As a result, foreign hopes for his influence on Iran’s place in the world have moved from initial optimism to a more sober assessment of the options available to him. This monograph provides an essential backdrop to the forthcoming renewed negotiations with Iran by providing an introduction to the complex interplay of issues and interests which constrain the Iranian leadership.


Editor: Dr Larry D Miller

Author: Dr Larry D Miller

Published: February 2015

The Army War College Review, a refereed publication of student work, is produced under the purview of the Strategic Studies Institute and the United States Army War College. An electronic quarterly, The AWC Review connects student intellectual work with professionals invested in U.S. national security, Landpower, strategic leadership, global security studies, and the advancement of the profession of arms.


Author: LTG Robert L Caslen Jr, LTC Daniel Gade, COL Cindy R Jebb, Cadet Hope C Landsem

Published: January 2015

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On July 26, 1948, President Harry Truman signed Executive Order 9981, ending the practice of segregating the military services by race. That same year, the Army allowed women to join the services on an equal basis with men. Both of these steps preceded the larger societal changes that allowed fully equal treatment of all types of American citizens in military service. Just over 2 years ago, Congress repealed the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy, allowing for gays and lesbians to openly take their place in the military. Our procedures and policies for successful gender integration have grown and evolved. The authors share five principles for leaders and commanders on the prevention of sexual harassment and assault, as well as associated “Tips” for implementation: (1) Leaders identify and break chains of circumstance; (2) Education is preferable to litigation; (3) What’s electronic is public; (4) Don’t ignore pornography; and, (5) Unit climate is the commander’s responsibility. These principles and their associated tips are not panaceas, and these recommendations are submitted for discussion and feedback.


Author: Dr Shima D Keene

Published: January 2015

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This monograph identifies areas where the U.S. Army and other services can potentially benefit from examining the United Kingdom's comparable program of reserve reform. Key areas where aspects of this reform have been entirely counterproductive are identified, as well as specific and expensive recent British mistakes which it is essential for the U.S. military to avoid.


Author: Mr Jeffrey L Caton

Published: January 2015

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Military cyberspace operations have evolved significantly over the past 2 decades and are now emerging into the realm of military operations in the traditional domains of land, sea, and air. The goal of this monograph is to provide senior policymakers, decisionmakers, military leaders, and their respective staffs with a better understanding of Army cyberspace operations within the context of overall U.S. military cyberspace operations. It examines the development of such operations in three major sections. First, it looks at the evolution of Department of Defense cyberspace operations over the past decade to include the founding of U.S. Cyber Command from its roots in various military units focused on defensive and offensive cyberspace operations. Second, it examines the evolution of the Army implementation of cyberspace operations toward the initial establishment of Army Cyber Command as well as recent efforts to establish Fort Gordon, Georgia as the center of gravity for Army cyberspace activities. Third, it explores the role of cyberspace operations in the escalation of international conflict, focusing on the sufficiency of the current cyberspace force structure to address an international environment of multiple actors interacting with varying degrees of tension.


Author: Dr Mary Manjikian

Published: January 2015

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As military conflicts come to an end, it is not uncommon for societies to expect a “peace dividend” and to engage in elite and popular conversations about how much defense spending is still needed. The issues are similar across countries and time periods: How can defense planners preserve capabilities, avoid the reversibility problem, and plan for the long term? How can they guide the development of technologies and doctrines in a climate of austerity? This manuscript draws lessons from previous historic situations and applies them to today.


Author: Prof Katherine E White

Published: December 2014

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During Operations Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and Enduring Freedom (OEF), more than half of the U.S. personnel on the ground were civilian contractors. Unfortunately, lack of contractor oversight led to significant levels of waste, fraud, and abuse. To address these concerns, Congress created the Commission on Wartime Contracting to develop recommendations to study the acquisition process during OIF/OEF. Concomitantly, the Office of Federal Procurement Policy issued a policy letter to provide strategic-level guidance to federal agencies to assess risk and accountability when outsourcing critical functions. This Paper looks at these recommendations and guidance and identifies the gap between what has been adopted versus what was recommended—ultimately focusing on the steps needed for the U.S. military to change its culture and make government contracting a core competency for civilian and military personnel.


Author: Ms Laura El-Katiri, Dr Mohammed El-Katiri

Published: December 2014

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The East Mediterranean has been witnessing an unparalleled natural resource boom since the late-2000s, when Israel, followed by Cyprus, made its first significant offshore hydrocarbon discoveries in many years. These discoveries have since proven to be substantially larger than any other resources previously explored in the East Mediterranean Sea. At the time of this writing, they consist primarily of natural gas, although liquids are expected to be discovered offshore as well, including in the potentially hydrocarbon-rich waters of Lebanon and Syria. A 2010 U.S. Geological Survey suggests the Levant basin—the area including Cyprus and Israel’s offshore zones, and the offshore and some onshore territories of Syria, Lebanon, and the Palestinian territories—could hold as much as 1.7 billion barrels of oil and up to 122 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, leaving as much as two-thirds of the region’s potential resource base still undiscovered.


Editor: Major Joseph V Da Silva, Dr Hugh P Liebert, Prof Isaiah Wilson III

Author: Major Joseph V Da Silva, Dr Hugh P Liebert, Prof Isaiah Wilson III

Published: December 2014

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The U.S. military faces a dramatic rebalancing among its services. As the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have waned, an era of budget austerity has emerged and the U.S. strategic focus has shifted toward the Pacific, American air and sea power have become more prominent while Landpower has diminished. What is the future of U.S. Landpower? Within American grand strategy, the overarching objective orienting all the means at the nation's disposal, what role should ground forces play? This volume offers an authoritative set of responses to these questions, from a variety of leading experts in international relations and security studies.


Author: Dr Shima D Keene

Published: December 2014

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This Letort Paper describes effective Counter Threat Finance strategies as a specific area where the capability of U.S. and allied militaries can be augmented for the purpose of targeted action against adversaries. With appropriate analysis and exploitation, financial data can be used to reveal patterns of enemy behavior, motivations, and possible intentions as well as lifestyles and networks, all of which will impact directly upon military operations within a counterinsurgency environment. The targeting of the financial, and perhaps more importantly, the economic base of an organization, will not only impact the operational capability of that organization, but can ultimately lead to its destruction. To date, these strategies have been used predominantly for the purpose of disruption. However, the potential application of such strategies goes far beyond—they have the potential to be a multifaceted weapon, capable not only of disruption of the enemy, but of detecting impending instability. Specific recommendations are proposed for making best use of the potential for financial intelligence as part of an integrated strategy for both forecasting and countering contemporary security threats.


Author: Dr William T Johnsen

Published: November 2014

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After 13 years of prolonged ground combat, a weary American public is leery of further interventions requiring land forces. Shifting geostrategic conditions, such as a revanchist Russia and a rising China, reinforce this reluctance. At the same time, technological innovation once more offers the chimera of war from a distance that does not endanger land forces. Nonetheless, at some point, a highly volatile international security environment will place U.S. national interests at risk, requiring the use of military power. Given the increasing rise of interdependence among all components of military power (air, cyberspace, land, sea, and space), a better understanding of Landpower is essential if national leaders are to have a full range of policy options for protecting and promoting those interests. Landpower, “the ability—by threat, force, or occupation—to gain, sustain, exploit control over land, resources, and people,” stems from a country’s geostrategic conditions, economic power, population, form of government, and national will. The military elements of Landpower include a country’s ground forces, the institutions that generate and sustain those forces, and the human dimension—intelligent, highly adaptable, and innovative individuals—so vital to the successful employment of Landpower. Landpower offers policymakers tremendous utility in peace, crisis, or war, because Landpower can defeat, deter, compel, reassure, engage, and support the nation. Within each of these roles, as well as across them, Landpower can carry out the broadest range of military operations. This versatility across the spectrum of conflict offers national leaders the greatest number of effective policy options.


Editor: Mr Henry D Sokolski

Author: Mr Henry D Sokolski

Published: November 2014

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In 2009, President Obama spotlighted nuclear terrorism as one of the top threats to international security, launching an international effort to identify, secure, and dispose of global stocks of weapons-usable nuclear materials—namely highly enriched uranium and weapons-grade plutonium. Since that time, three nuclear security summits have been held, along with scores of studies and workshops (official and unofficial), drawing sustained high-level attention to the threat posed by these materials. However, little attention has been given to incidences where sensitive nuclear materials actually went missing. This volume seeks to correct this deficiency, examining incidences of material unaccounted for (MUF) arising from the U.S. and South African nuclear weapons programs, plutonium gone missing from Japanese and British civilian production facilities, and a theft of highly enriched uranium from a U.S. military contractor in the 1960s that was used to help fuel Israel’s nuclear weapons program. This volume also questions the likelihood that the International Atomic Energy Agency would be able to detect diversions of fissile materials, whether large or small, and the likelihood that a state could or would do anything about the diversion if it was detected. What emerges from this book is an assessment of how likely we are to be able to account for past MUF quantities or to be able to prevent future ones.


Author: Major Raven Bukowski, Major John Childress, LTC Michael J Colarusso, COL David S Lyle

Published: November 2014

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As the war in Afghanistan draws to a close, the Army increasingly is focused upon “regionally aligning” its forces. To do so effectively, however, it must undertake several initiatives. First, the Army must acknowledge and liberate the unique productive capabilities (talents) of each individual. Second, it must shift from process-oriented, industrial age personnel management to productivity-focused, information age talent management. Third, the Army must foster enduring human relationships between its organizations and the governments, militaries, and populations to which they are regionally aligned. Hand in hand with this, it must redesign its Force Generation Model to create regional expertise at both individual and organizational levels. Finally, the Army must ensure that regional alignment does not degrade the worldwide “flex” capabilities of its forces.


Author: Dr Norman Cigar

Published: November 2014

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Despite over a decade of open war, dealing with Al-Qaida and its affiliates in the Middle East is likely to remain a concern for the foreseeable future and will pose a challenge requiring the use of any tool that is likely to be effective in meeting the threat. Developing effective tools to counter Al-Qaida’s continuing presence in the social environment of tribal militias, therefore, is a priority and requires understanding Al-Qaida’s critical vulnerabilities when it operates in those societies and developing the means to counter Al-Qaida’s efforts. Recommendations for policy where the United States is a tribal militia’s direct patron, as well as recommendations for policy when the United States is in a supporting role to the local government are included.


Author: Dr Anastasia Filippidou

Published: November 2014

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Leadership is dynamic; it is a continuous process and ever-changing relationship between numerous different factors. The research focuses on political leadership in transitional situations and the efforts of leadership in the transformation process from weak and fragmented states or communities to peaceful and viable states. These concepts are tested vis-à-vis U.S. foreign policy toward the Middle East, which will have to be adaptive and flexible on the one hand in order to show ability and will; but will also have to be consistent on the other, so that it can show commitment and impartiality.


Author: Dr Joel R Hillison

Published: November 2014

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This book examines the burden sharing behavior of new NATO members. It makes the argument that new NATO members are burden sharing at a greater rate than older NATO members. It also suggests that NATO’s expansion did not lead to greater free-riding behavior in NATO, contrary to the predictions of the collective action literature. This analysis reveals that new NATO members have demonstrated the willingness to contribute to NATO missions, but are often constrained by their limited capabilities. This argument is supported using case studies, interviews with key NATO officials, and quantitative analysis of NATO defense expenditures and troop contributions.


Author: Mr Roman Muzalevsky

Published: November 2014

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The United States is witnessing a transformation of Central Asia—a critical yet highly understudied and misunderstood area of the world, which is seeing growing influence of China, India, and Russia. The agendas of these actors, as well as the United States, Japan, the EU, Turkey, and Iran, among others, have enabled Central and South Asian countries to shrink their connectivity gaps dramatically in the last 2 decades, aiding the U.S. grand strategy of advancing global connectivity. However, they could also potentially undermine a multidirectional connectivity and limit development choices for the Central Asian states, generating challenges and opportunities for the United States, whose global influence is receding. The U.S. future global and regional role and capabilities will depend on how well Washington adjusts its grand strategy in response to current and projected economic and geopolitical trends in the era of rising powers. As the United States calibrates its ends and means, its assessment of the importance of Central and South Asia for its strategy will in large part hinge on security trends unfolding in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Whether Central Asia will become a major pillar of the U.S. grand strategy, given the rise of China and India and the resurgence of Russia, remains unclear. But its goals of supporting sovereignty, democratization, and inter-regional links in Central and South Asia offer some hope that Washington will continue to support the region’s global connectivity, preferably by pursuing an engaged, long-term, and substantive regional strategy.


Author: Dr Larry P Goodson, Prof Thomas H Johnson

Published: October 2014

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What should the United States do about Afghanistan? After nearly 13 years and substantial U.S. national commitment in a country on the other side of the world, much has changed in Afghanistan, the United States, Afghanistan’s region, and the globe. To prepare policy and strategy recommendations on Afghanistan for U.S. leaders, this monograph answers six key questions: 1. Did the United States have or develop critical national interests in Afghanistan and its immediate neighborhood on or because of the events of September 11, 2001? 2. Was overall U.S. strategy to pursue those interests successful and appropriate? 3. What outside conditions shaping U.S. involvement in Afghanistan exist now? 4. Do new vital and/or important national interests not met by our earlier strategies exist in this region? 5. What strategy(s) should the United States adopt or emphasize to achieve critical national interests in/around Afghanistan? 6. What risks and challenges are associated with new policies and/or strategies?


Author: Mr Gregory Aftandilian

Published: October 2014

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This monograph examines the Islamist-secularist divide in Arab countries, particularly in Egypt and Tunisia, and why it has become so intense and polarizing. It demonstrates that having Islamist parties in power or in domineering positions in Arab societies often provokes a backlash from secular elements because the latter see the Islamists as threatening their social freedoms. For countries beginning the transitory process from authoritarianism to democracy, the monograph recommends that the United States press for a broad governing coalition and a delay in holding elections, which would allow secular-liberal forces the opportunity to build their political parties and compete with Islamist parties. For Arab countries already facing polarization, the United States should be consistent on human rights, help to build up institutions (such as parliaments) as a hedge against authoritarian presidents, and press for inclusionary politics. In addition, the monograph recommends that U.S. Army officers should reinforce to their Arab military counterparts the value and necessity of concentrating on genuine external and internal terrorist threats as opposed to being used as a coercive internal force that favors exclusionary politics.


Author: Mr Jeffrey L Caton

Published: October 2014

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Determining an act of war in the traditional domains of land, sea, and air often involves sophisticated interactions of many factors that may be outside the control of the parties involved. This monograph seeks to provide senior policymakers, decisionmakers, military leaders, and their respective staffs with essential background on this topic as well as introduce an analytical framework for them to utilize according to their needs. It develops this theme in four major sections. First, it presents the characterization of cyberspace to establish terms for broader dialogue as well as to identify unique technical challenges that the cyberspace domain may introduce into the process of distinguishing acts of war. Second, it explores assessment criteria involved with assaying cyber incidents to determine if they represent aggression and possible use of force; and if so, to what degree? Third, it looks at the policy considerations associated with applying such criteria by examining relevant U.S. strategies as well as the strategies of other key countries and international organizations, and considers how nonstate actors may affect U.S. deliberations. Fourth, it examines the influences that course of action development and implementation may have on the assessment of cyberspace incidents, such as reliable situational awareness, global and domestic environment considerations, and options and their related risks and potential consequences. It argues that the United States must also expect and accept that other nations may reasonably apply the criteria we develop to our own actions in cyberspace.


Author: Dr Mohammed El-Katiri

Published: October 2014

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Military and security cooperation with Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states is of continuing importance for the United States, given the region's pivotal location in the Middle East and proximity to Iran. But recent developments in the defense posture of the United States, together with the U.S. responses to the Arab Spring, and the lingering after-effects of the Iraq conflict, have caused local leaders to question the nature and durability of this cooperation. This monograph examines recent developments in the political and economic dynamics in GCC countries and their neighbors, and the potential implications for U.S. security interests in the region.


Author: Dr Richard Weitz

Published: September 2014

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Until a few years ago, the relationship between Washington and Ankara was perennially troubled and occasionally terrible. Turkey opposed the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq and complained that the Pentagon was allowing Iraqi Kurds too much autonomy, leading to deteriorating security along the Iraq-Turkish border. Disagreements over how to respond to Iran’s nuclear program; U.S. suspicions regarding Turkey’s outreach efforts to Iran and Syria; and differences over Armenia, Palestinians, and the Black Sea further strained ties. However, Turkey is now seen as responding to its local challenges by moving closer to the West. The United States has called the U.S.-Turkish relationship a “model partnership” and Turkey “a critical ally.” For a partnership between Turkey and the United States to endure, Turkey must adopt more of a collective transatlantic perspective, crack down harder on terrorist activities, and resolve a domestic democratic deficit. At the same time, Europeans should show more flexibility meeting Turkey’s security concerns regarding the European Union, while the United States should adopt a more proactive policy toward resolving potential sources of tensions between Ankara and Washington that could worsen significantly at any time.


Author: Dr Florence Gaub

Published: September 2014

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As the Arab Spring has renewed Western interest in the political, as well as military, role of Arab armed forces, reform—rather than mere assistance—is crucial. In this monograph, the author focuses on the structural aspects of reform from which the Arab Spring forces would benefit. Seven features are identified which need to be addressed when attempting Arab military reform in the countries affected by large-scale unrest in 2011: an unclear mandate, over-politicization, a challenging ongoing security situation, limited resources, lack of civilian oversight, pockets of paramilitary activity, and, in parts, as well as the lack of an institutional perception of reform need. Their origins are elaborated as much as recommendations for what outside assistance can achieve.


Editor: LTC John D Colwell, Jr, Dr Michael J Fratantuono, Dr David M Sarcone

Author: LTC John D Colwell, Jr, Dr Michael J Fratantuono, Dr David M Sarcone

Published: September 2014

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In the current era, initiatives that involve cross-sector collaboration—collaboration among participants representing government, military, for-profit, non-profit, citizen groups, and intergovernmental organizations—to tackle problems that defy easy solution are becoming more commonplace at all levels of society. Thus, there is an increasing need on the part of strategic leaders from all sectors to better understand the factors that contribute to the success of collaborative initiatives. Those insights are relevant to efforts to promote sustainable development, a matter of importance in the context of the U.S.-India strategic relationship.


Author: Dr Arthur T Coumbe

Published: September 2014

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The present volume was written as a supplement to series of monographs authored by Casey Wardynski, David Lyle, and Mike Colarusso of the Army’s Office of Economic and Manpower Analysis and published by the Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College from 2009 to 2010. In those monographs, Wardynski, Lyle, and Colarusso adumbrated an officer corps strategy based on the theory of talent management. This volume aims to provide a historical context for their discussion of an officer strategy (and for what has passed for such a strategy in the past). Like the earlier monographs, this volume is organized around the functionally interdependent concepts of accessing, developing, retaining, and employing talent. Each chapter will take the reader up to the point where the earlier monographs began their story, which generally falls in the timeframe of the late-1980s and early-1990s.


Author: Prof Geoffrey Till

Published: September 2014

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The relative economic and military rise of China is likely to lead a major shift in the world’s strategic architecture. The form that China's new role takes will have a decisive impact on the interests of the United States and its allies and partners in the region. For the outcome to be generally beneficial, China needs to be dissuaded from hegemonic aspirations and retained as a cooperative partner in the world system. President Xi Jinping's recent suggestion that a newly empowered China and the United States adopt a relationship that is new and different from previous relations between the great powers provides an ideal opportunity for the United States to consider its strategic options in the region. Given the importance of the issues at stake, and the difficulty of the task, all of the levers of American power, both “hard” and “soft” will need to be brought into play. Since the Asia-Pacific Region is primarily a maritime theater, a leading role wi1ll need to be played by the U.S. Navy, Marines, and Air Force. The U.S. Army will have a substantial supporting and facilitating role in shaping the new relationship with an emergent China.


Editor: Dr John R Deni

Author: Dr John R Deni

Published: September 2014

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Dramatic political, economic, and social changes across both the Greater Middle East and Latin America over the last several years—in some instances revolutionary, in others evolutionary—have had profound implications for global security generally and U.S. security specifically. Policymakers in Washington are hence confronted with the issue of how to respond to the various changes in these disparate regions in order to safeguard U.S. interests, promote Western values, and shape the security environment into the future. Whether and to what degree U.S. policymakers can influence the unfolding changes and shape outcomes remains to be seen. But if Washington is to achieve success in this regard though, it will likely only be possible through the skillful employment of a variety of policymaking tools, including development, diplomacy, and defense. The authors assess the changes across these two important regions, outline the implications for U.S. security and specifically for the U.S. military, and offer policy recommendations for the way forward.


Author: Dr Tracey German

Published: August 2014

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This monograph examines Russia’s policy toward the Caspian Sea region as Moscow attempts to counterbalance growing American involvement within what it perceives to be its zone of privileged interest. It focuses on the recent expansion of the Caspian Flotilla and the rationale behind it. Moscow has sought to counterbalance the growing involvement of other actors in the region, which has led to rising tension between Russia and its southern neighbors. The primary objectives of the research are to examine Russian perceptions of threat and security in the Caspian region and assess the implications for other actors. This monograph analyzes the drivers of the increasing competition for influence, focusing on developments within the energy sector, and assesses the implications of Russia’s consolidation of its dominance for security and stability in the region. This issue is important because a clear understanding of Russian strategic thinking and threat perception in the Caspian Sea is vital in order to facilitate effective U.S. policy in the wider Caucasus and Central Asian region.


Author: Dr Andrew Monaghan, Mr Henry Plater-Zyberk

Published: August 2014

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The role of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in regional politics and the significance of the organization for U.S. interests are widely misunderstood. The organization is emphatically not a military bloc, and yet engages in joint activities which resemble military cooperation to U.S. eyes. It is, in theory, open to new members; but at present is highly unlikely to accept any. Its rhetoric firmly opposes U.S. presence and activity on the territory of member states, and yet individual member states leverage basing agreements with the U.S. to their advantage. The author reviews SCO's history and stated aspirations, and measures these against actual achievements. He concludes that, with the notable exception of the Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure(RATS), the great majority of SCO accomplishments are of little significance other than to provide an additional multinational vehicle through which China and in particular Russia can seek to counter U.S. and Western activity in Central Asia.


Editor: Dr Peter Feaver

Author: Dr Peter Feaver

Published: August 2014

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At a time of fiscal constraint and global uncertainty, should the United States retrench geopolitically or seek to reinvigorate its international leadership? This collection of essays puts this pressing question in historical and theoretical context. The authors examine past episodes in which U.S. policymakers confronted similar choices, and draw insights from the strategies that they fashioned in response. The essays also consider the major theoretical and policy debates pertaining to the issues of retrenchment and renewal today.


Author: Dr Mohammed El-Katiri

Published: July 2014

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Regime change during the Arab Spring allowed Islamist political forces that had long been marginalized to achieve political influence in Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya. Morocco’s first government led by an Islamist party has been in power since January 2012. This trend caused widespread concern over the future direction of these states; but despite the tragic example of Egypt, few negative predictions have yet been borne out. The author cautions against an overly simplistic assessment of this rise in the influence and power of political Islam. He shows that the political crises besetting each of these Islamist governments are not necessarily of their own making, but instead are determined by objective circumstances. Dr. El-Katiri describes how, in several key respects, the aims of Islamist parties are in line with U.S. aspirations for the region.


Author: Mr Henry Plater-Zyberk

Published: July 2014

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This monograph examines terrorism and counterterrorism from the Russian perspective so as to assess prospects for cooperation with Russia in fighting terror. It concludes that, regardless of the state of political relations between Russia and the United States at any given time, longer-term systemic and conceptual obstacles to meaningful cooperation may well prevent any significant Russian contribution to U.S. counterterrorism efforts. This monograph details Russian definitions of terrorism and then looks at the Russian security “pyramid,” which sets out the relevant authority structure. It examines the roles of coordinating bodies such as the Security Council and the National Anti-Terrorist Committee, before looking at the individual organs involved in counterterrorism operations, particularly the Federal Security Service and Ministry of the Interior. The monograph then explores the most important question for Russia in terms of terrorism, the North Caucasus, and finally explores the wider context of the relationship between Russia and the West, particularly the United States, looking at the lengthy list of tensions affecting that relationship even before Russia's seizure of Crimea, which took place after the monograph was completed.


Author: Dr Cori E Dauber, Dr Carol K Winkler

Published: July 2014

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Visual images have been a central component of propaganda for as long as propaganda has been produced. But recent developments in communication and information technologies have given terrorist and extremist groups options and abilities they never would have been able to come close to even 5 or 10 years ago. There are terrorist groups who, with very little initial investment, are making videos that are coming so close to the quality of BBC or CNN broadcasts that the difference is meaningless, and with access to the web they have instantaneous access to a global audience. Given the broad social science consensus on the power of visual images relative to that of words, the strategic implications of these groups’ sophistication in the use of images in the online environment is carefully considered in a variety of contexts by the authors in this collection.


Author: Mr Keir Giles, Dr Andrew Monaghan

Published: July 2014

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This monograph examines the history of missile defense and the current dialogue from a Russian perspective, in order to explain the root causes of Russian alarm. Specific recommendations for managing the Russia relationship in the context of missile defense are given. Important conclusions are also drawn for the purpose of managing the dialogue over missile defense plans not only with Russia as an opponent, but also with European NATO allies as partners and hosts. The latter are especially significant in the light of these partners' heightened hard security concerns following Russian annexation of Crimea and continuing hostile moves against Ukraine. This analysis was completed before the start of Russia's annexation of Crimea in March 2014, but already warned of the prospect of direct military action by Russia in Europe in order to protect Moscow's self-perceived interests.


Author: LTC Clarence J Bouchat (USAF, Ret)

Published: June 2014

The Paracel Islands and South China Sea disputes require better understanding by U.S. policymakers in order to address the region’s challenges. To attain that needed understanding, legal aspects of customary and modern laws are explored in this monograph to analyze the differences between competing maritime and territorial claims, and why and how China and Vietnam stake rival claims or maritime legal rights. Throughout, U.S. policies are examined through U.S. conflicted interests in the region. Recommendations for how the United States should engage these issues, a more appropriate task than trying to solve the disputes outright, are then offered.


Author: Mr Nathan P Freier

Published: June 2014

The 25th Annual U.S. Army War College Strategy Conference "Balancing the Joint Force to Meet Future Security Challenges" occurred against the backdrop of a complicated decision making environment. It sought establish a context for future military decision making based on two foundational questions: what are the most important military demands facing U.S./partner forces through the next decade and how should they think about confronting them? The author endeavors to describe the context that emerged here.

The accompanying J-7 Report can be found by clicking here.


Editor: Prof John F Troxell

Author: Prof John F Troxell

Published: June 2014

December 9 - Part II of the Key Strategic Issues List has been updated once again and is available for online viewing: 2014-15 KSIL

For several years, the Strategic Studies Institute (SSI) has annually published the Key Strategic Issues List (KSIL). The purpose of this document is to make students and other researchers aware of strategic topics that are of special interest to the U.S. Army. Part I of KSIL is entitled "Army Priorities for Strategic Analysis" (APSA) and is a list of high-priority topics organized to support the Army's five strategic objectives as identified in the "2014 Army Strategic Planning Guidance." Part II includes topics of critical importance to various joint commands, and major commands and other organizations within the Army. Students and researchers are encouraged to get in touch with the topic sponsors listed in the document. Thorough research and solid arguments on these topics are extremely important to the Army in this period of transition and geopolitical uncertainty.


Author: Dr Harsh V Pant

Published: June 2014

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According to most political observers, the global political architecture is undergoing a transformation with power increasingly shifting from the West to the East. The two most populous nations on the earth, China and India, are on their way to becoming economic powerhouses and are shedding their reticence in asserting their global profiles, making their relationship of still greater importance for the international system. The evolution of Sino-Indian ties over the last few decades and the constraints that continue to inhibit this relationship from achieving its full potential are examined. The implications of this for the United States and the wider international system are discussed.


Author: COL John D Ellis, COL Laura McKnight Mackenzie

Published: June 2014

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As the Army Reserve Components—the Army Reserve and the Army National Guard—assume an “operational” mission as the force drawdowns in overseas contingency operations occur, the Army senior military and civilian leadership should consider the ramifications and realities of such a mission in what is expected to be a relatively peaceful time. This monograph explores some of these considerations regarding the implementation of the Army Total Force Policy, identifies potential obstacles, and makes recommendations to better engage the “three Armies” in a successful and meaningful reform effort. Throughout, the authors call for significant cultural shifts in thinking about how the Reserve Components are used and integrated into a Total Force.


Author: LTC Clarence J Bouchat (USAF, Ret)

Published: June 2014

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The Paracel Islands and South China Sea disputes require better understanding by U.S. policymakers in order to address the region’s challenges. To attain that needed understanding, legal aspects of customary and modern laws are explored in this monograph to analyze the differences between competing maritime and territorial claims, and why and how China and Vietnam stake rival claims or maritime legal rights. Throughout, U.S. policies are examined through U.S. conflicted interests in the region. Recommendations for how the United States should engage these issues, a more appropriate task than trying to solve the disputes outright, are then offered.


Editor: Mr Henry D Sokolski

Author: Mr Henry D Sokolski

Published: June 2014

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The U.S. President and nearly all his critics agree that the spread of nuclear weapons and the possibility of their seizure and potential use is the greatest danger facing the United States and the world. Looking at the way government and industry officials downplay the risks of civilian nuclear technology and materials being diverted to make bombs, one would get almost the opposite impression. In fact, most governments have made the promotion of nuclear power’s growth and global development a top priority. Throughout, they have insisted that the dangers of nuclear weapons proliferation are manageable either by making future nuclear plants more “proliferation-resistant” or by strengthening International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards and acquiring more timely intelligence on proliferators. How sound is this view? How useful might civilian nuclear programs be for states that want to get nuclear weapons quickly? Are current International Atomic Energy Agency nuclear safeguards sufficient to block military nuclear diversions from civilian programs? Are there easy fixes to upgrade these controls? How much can we count on more timely intelligence on proliferators to stem the further spread of nuclear weapons? This volume taps the insights and analyses of 13 top security and nuclear experts to get the answers. What emerges is a comprehensive counternarrative to the prevailing wisdom and a series of innovative reforms to tighten existing nuclear nonproliferation controls. For any official, analyst, or party concerned about the spread of nuclear technology, this book is essential reading.


Author: Dr Paul Kamolnick

Published: June 2014

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This Letort Paper proposes that actions, policies, and deeds—those of the U.S. Government and al-Qaeda—be leveraged as a means of delegitimizing al-Qaeda terrorist propaganda. Two chief fronts—changing deeds and challenging deeds—is proposed. Changing deeds requires that the United States carefully and systematically examine its own foreign and military policies and their specific consequences for the Arab and Muslim world. Challenging deeds comprises systematically countering with evidence and fact al-Qaeda’s two greatest propagandistic fabrications: that the United States is a crusader at war with Islam, and that al-Qaeda is the vanguard defender of a besieged and oppressed Muslim Umma. Provocative at times, and even controversial in its willingness to reconsider long-standing U.S. Government policies, this Letort Paper is adamant that it is not spin, empty platitudes, and “lipstick on pigs,” but actual deeds, that are our surest bet for defeating this ignoble adversary.


Author: Dr Thomas M Chen

Published: June 2014

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The discovery of STUXNET was a recent milestone in the arena of cyber security because it was the first malware designed to cause real world damage to industrial control systems. It demonstrated that a sufficiently determined adversary might be able to cause physical damage to U.S. critical infrastructure through a cyberattack. This monograph asks if STUXNET has had an effect on cyberterrorism in terms of motive, means, and opportunity. It is argued that terrorists have ample motive, opportunity, and modest means, which raises the question of why a major cyberattack has not happened yet. The lack of cyberattacks can be explained by a cost-benefit argument, and STUXNET has not changed the cost-benefit equation. Cyberattacks are unlikely in the near future, but the cost-benefit argument does not rule out the possibility of cyberattacks in the long term if costs change. There seems little that can be done to change terrorist motive or means. The only factor that is feasible to address is opportunity. Specifically, policies should enhance protection of national infrastructure to reduce the risk exposure to cyberattacks.


Author: Dr Robert Nalbandov

Published: June 2014

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This monograph analyzes the interconnections between the democratic institutionalization of the newly independent states of Ukraine, Georgia, and Belarus, their political (in)stability, and economic development and prosperity. By introducing the concept of regime mimicry into the field of public administration, this monograph extends the epistemological frameworks of the democratization school to the phenomenon of political culture. Successes and failures of the democratic institutionalization processes in these countries largely depend on the ways their institutional actors reacted to internal and external disturbances of their domestic political, econmic, and cultural environments. While Georgia’s political culture revealed the highest degree of flexibility in accepting the externally-proposed institutional frameworks and practices, the bifurcate political culture in Ukraine impeded its democratic institutionalization, while the rigid political culture in Belarus completely stalled the process of institutional transformations.


Author: Dr John R Deni

Published: June 2014

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The time has come for a reappraisal of the U.S. Army’s forward presence in East Asia, given the evolving strategic context and the extraordinarily high, recurring costs of deploying U.S. Army forces from the 50 states for increasingly important security cooperation activities across the Indo-Asia-Pacific theater. Without unduly harming America's commitment to deterrence on the Korean peninsula, a reconfigured Army forward presence could help to achieve U.S. objectives throughout the theater more effectively through more regular, longer-duration engagement with critical allies and partners, while reducing the recurring transportation costs associated with today’s practice of sending U.S.-based units to conduct most exercises and training events across the Indo-Asia-Pacific region. Certainly, there are some major challenges involved in reconfiguring the Army's forward presence, but these are not insurmountable. Furthermore, to avoid trying would severely limit the effectiveness and the efficiency of the Army’s contribution to broader U.S. national security goals.


Author: Dr Richard J Krickus

Published: May 2014

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Despite many obstacles, the leadership in Washington and Moscow must find ways to address security threats even as the United States rebalances toward Asia. Moreover, he agrees with prominent statesmen like Zbigniew Brzezinski and Henry Kissinger that ultimately, Russia must be integrated into a Euro-Atlantic security system. The unexpected events of September 2013 that have resulted in a United Nations resolution compelling Syria to surrender its chemical weapons and a re-start of the Geneva negotiations to find a diplomatic resolution to the Syrian crisis offers evidence that a partnership, even if limited and fragile, is plausible. A major consideration of the U.S. national security establishment must include how to operationalize the partnership. For all intents and purposes, the United States and Russia now have taken responsibility for resolving the Syrian crisis and in the process have reached a new chapter in the reset of relations. If they succeed in finding a diplomatic solution to it, further cooperation on other shared security concerns will follow. If not, they will take a turn for the worse. Note: This research was completed in the fall of 2013, which was obviously prior to the recent crisis in Crimea and Ukraine.


Author: Mr Keir Giles, Dr Andrew Monaghan

Published: May 2014

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The Russian Armed Forces have been undergoing major structural reform since 2008. Despite change at the most senior levels of leadership, the desired endstate for Russia's military is now clear; but this endstate is determined by a flawed political perception of the key threats facing Russia. This monograph reviews those threat evaluations, and the challenges facing Russia's military transformation, to assess the range of options available to Russia for closing the capability gap with the United States and its allies.


Author: Dr Thomas R Mockaitis

Published: May 2014

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In examing the role of security contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan, the author draws broad lessons from which he provides concrete recommendations to improve the conduct of further missions. Rather than do away with contractors altogether, the author recommends limiting their roles, providing better oversight of their activities, and improving legal accountability for their wrong doing. This monograph will be of interest to soldiers and policymakers engaged in the difficult task of planning and conducting contingency operations.


Author: Dr Jean-Loup Samaan

Published: May 2014

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Over the last 7 years, the border between Israel and Lebanon has remained quiet. Against all odds, in a Middle East experiencing tremendous challenges, Israel and Hezbollah did not trigger a new conflict. To understand this paradox, the monograph explores the mechanisms of deterrence in the competition between both actors. Based on original materials, the author underlines the recent doctrinal innovations on both sides that engendered strategic stability in the area and ventures thoughts on potential evolutions in the near future.


Author: Dr Azeem Ibrahim

Published: May 2014

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The Syrian civil war has allowed al-Qaeda to recover from its setbacks up to 2010. Its main affiliate in the region seems to be testing a new strategy of collaboration with other Salafist-Jihadist groups and a less brutal implementation of Sharia law in areas it controls. In combination, this might allow the Al Nusrah Front to carve out the sort of territorial control of a region (or state) that al-Qaeda has sought ever since its eviction from Afghanistan. On the other hand, Syria has also seen a civil war between two al-Qaeda inspired factions (Al Nusrah and the Iraq based Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant [ISIS]) and indicates there are limits to its ability to cooperate with other anti-Assad factions and gain popular appeal. The extent that the Syrian civil war offers the means for al-Qaeda to recover from its earlier defeats will determine whether the organization has a future, or if it will become simply an ideology and label adopted by various Islamist movements fighting their own separate struggles.


Author: Ms Leslie S Lebl

Published: May 2014

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U.S. experts fear violence could once again break out in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and some even want the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) to mount another military mission there. Yet few of these experts focus on the danger of gradually expanding Islamism. In Bosnia, it appears to have made slow but steady progress, despite resistance from Bosnia’s moderate Muslims. Senior Bosniak (Muslim) leaders retain their long-standing Islamist ties, and their calls to impose traditional Islamic law, or sharia, and develop closer ties with the Islamic world only aggravate Bosnian Croat and Serb separatism.


Editor: Dr John R Deni

Author: Dr John R Deni

Published: April 2014

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As the United States and its allies prepare to withdraw most of their military forces from Afghanistan and following the end of the war in Iraq, fundamental questions have arisen over the future of American Landpower. Among them are the role of allies and partners in terms of contributing to the safeguarding of shared global interests, the implications of the Pacific rebalancing for American alliances worldwide, and the role of Landpower in identifying, developing, and maintaining critical alliances, partnerships, and other relationships. To examine these and other questions, as well as to formulate potential solutions to the challenges facing U.S. national security in the coming decade, the U.S. Army War College gathered a panel of experts on alliances and partnerships for the 24th Annual Strategy Conference in Carlisle, PA. Conducted on April 9-11, 2013, the conference explored American Landpower implications associated with an evolving national security strategy. Chaired by the Strategic Studies Institute’s Dr. John R. Deni, the panel devoted to alliances and partnerships featured expert presentations based on the papers in this edited volume by Dr. Sean Kay, Dr. Carol Atkinson, and Dr. William Tow. Their analyses provided the U.S. Army and the U.S. Department of Defense with invaluable strategic assessments and insights.


Editor: Mr Roy Kamphausen, Dr David Lai, Mr Travis Tanner

Author: Mr Roy Kamphausen, Dr David Lai, Mr Travis Tanner

Published: April 2014

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The 2012 PLA (People’s Liberation Army) conference took place at a time when the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) was making its leadership transition from Hu Jintao to Xi Jinping. The conference discussion focused on the developments in China’s national security and in the PLA during the Hu Jintao Administration from 2002 to 2012. Key observations are presented in this volume. The most significant ones are Hu Jintao’s promulgation of the new Historic Missions for the PLA, and Hu’s complete handover of power to his successor. The former has turned on the green light for the PLA to go global. The latter is a milestone is the CCP’s institution building.


Author: COL Alexander P Shine, Dr Don M Snider

Published: April 2014

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The authors argue that an urgent leadership issue has arisen which is strongly, but not favorably, influencing our professional culture--a hostility toward religion and its correct expressions within the military. Setting aside the role of Chaplains as a separate issue, the focus here is on the role religion may play in the moral character of individual soldiers--especially leaders--and how their personal morality, faith-based or not, is to be integrated with their profession's ethic so they can serve in all cases "without reservation" as their oath requires.


Author: Dr George W Grayson

Published: April 2014

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The United States has diplomatic relations with 194 independent nations. Of these, none is more important to America than Mexico in terms of trade, investment, tourism, natural resources, migration, energy, and security. In recent years, narco-violence has afflicted Mexico with more than 50,000 drug-related murders since 2007 and some 26,000 men, women, and children missing. President Enrique Peña Nieto has tried to divert national attention from the bloodshed through reforms in energy, education, anti-hunger, health-care, and other areas. Even though the death rate has declined since the chief executive took office on December 1, 2012, other crimes continue to plague his nation. Members of the business community report continual extortion demands; the national oil company PEMEX suffers widespread theft of oil, gas, explosives, and solvents (with which to prepare methamphetamines); hundreds of Central American migrants have shown up in mass graves; and the public identifies the police with corruption and villainy. Washington policymakers, who overwhelmingly concentrate on Asia and the Mideast, would be well-advised to focus on the acute dangers that lie principally below the Rio Grande, but whose deadly avatars are spilling into our nation.


Author: Dr Ariel Cohen

Published: March 2014

The North Caucasus region has been a source of instability for the past several centuries. Most recently, Chechen aspirations to achieve full independence after the break-up of the Soviet Union led to two disastrous wars. While the active phase of the Chechen conflict ended in 2000 – more than a decade ago—the underlying social, economic, and political issues of the region remain. A low-level insurgency continues to persist in the North Caucasus region, with occasional terrorist attacks in the Russian heartland. There are few reasons to expect any substantial improvement in the situation for years to come. Chechnya functions as a de facto independent entity; Islamist influence in Dagestan is growing, terror attacks continue, and the rest of the North Caucasus requires massive presence of Russian security services to keep the situation under control. Preventing the North Caucasus from slipping back into greater instability requires tackling corruption, cronyism, discrimination, and unemployment—something the Kremlin has so far not been very willing to do. “Small wars” in the Caucasus resonated as far away as Boston, MA, and more international attention and cooperation is necessary to prevent the region from blowing up.


Author: Mr Bill Park

Published: March 2014

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The withdrawal of U.S. combat forces from Iraq at the end of 2011 left behind a set of unresolved problems in the relationship between the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), and the Federal Government in Baghdad—notably relating to the disputed boundaries of the KRG, and the extent of its autonomy. Tensions have since been compounded by the discovery of significant quantities of oil and gas in the KRG area, and Erbil’s pursuit of an energy policy independent of and in opposition to Baghdad. Turkey, uneasy with the increasingly sectarian and authoritarian flavor of the Shia-dominated government in Baghdad, has since moved closer to the KRG, not least with respect to energy issues, deepening Turkish-Iraqi tensions still further. Added to the mix is the increasingly sectarian standoff in the region as a whole, in large measure as a consequence of Syrian developments, which has further pitted Ankara against Baghdad and its ally Iran; and the emergence of a bid for autonomy by Syria’s Kurds, which has complicated the stance of both Ankara and Erbil toward Syria and towards each other. Washington is in danger of being left behind by the fast-paced events in the region, while the ethnic Kurds of the region may be approaching a decisive moment in their long struggle for self-determination.


Author: Dr Larry M Wortzel

Published: March 2014

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On November 23, 2013, the Chinese government announced plans to establish a new air defense intercept zone which will include the Diaoyu or Senkaku Islands, sovereignty over which is disputed by Japan, China, and Taiwan. Due to complaints of cyber penetrations attributed to the Chinese People’s Liberation Army, U.S. Departments of Justice, Homeland Security, and State are devising new means to protect intellectual property and secrets from the PLA’s computer network operations. This monograph explains how the PLA is revising its operational doctrine to meet what it sees as the new mode of “integrated, joint operations” for the 21st century. An understanding of the PLA’s new concepts are important for U.S. and allied military leaders and planners.


Author: Dr Colin S Gray

Published: March 2014

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The challenge that is defense planning includes: "educated futurology" and the humanities as methodological approaches; futurists and scenarios, trend spotting and defense analysis; the impossibility of science in studying the future; the impossibility of verification by empirical testing of hypotheses; the value of the humanities which are politics, strategy, and history for defense planning; the use and misuse of analogy; learning from history; why and how strategic history works; and recommendations for the Army. What can be learned from history and what cannot are discussed in this analysis.


Author: Mr Keir Giles, Dr Andrew Monaghan

Published: March 2014

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While conflict in cyberspace is not new, the legality of hostile cyber activity at a state level remains imperfectly defined. While there is broad agreement among the United States and its allies that cyber warfare would be governed by existing laws of armed conflict, with no need for additional treaties or conventions to regulate hostilities online, this view is not shared by many nations that the United States could potentially face as adversaries. The author illustrates the very distinct set of views on the nature of conflict in cyberspace that pertains to Russia. He provides an important window into Russian thinking and explains how fundamental Russian assumptions on the nature of cyber activity need to be considered when countering, or engaging with, Russian cyber initiatives.


Author: LTC Michael J Colarusso, COL David S Lyle

Published: February 2014

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The Army has for years been successful at creating senior leaders adept in the art and science of land combat after honing their leadership at the direct and organizational levels. While those experiences remain invaluable, undue reliance upon them to create the Army's future institutional leaders is increasingly risky in today's rapidly changing world. The contemporary and future operating environments demand an innovative and highly adaptive Institutional Army, capable of rapidly responding to operational demands. Incremental adjustments to current senior officer management practices will not create that adaptability. An entirely new approach is required, one that unleashes the unique potential of each person—full-career officer talent management.


Editor: Dr John R Deni

Author: Dr John R Deni

Published: January 2014

The rapidly changing global energy supply situation, coupled with a host of social, political, and economic challenges facing consumer states, has significant implications for the United States generally and for the U.S. military specifically. The U.S. Army War College gathered experts from the policymaking community, academia, think tanks, the private sector, and the military services at the Reserve Officers Association in Washington, DC on 19-20 November 2013 to address first the major ‘new realities’ both geographically and technologically and then the specific military implications. This compendium of executive summaries is based on the presentations delivered at that conference, which was funded through the generous support of the U.S. Army War College Foundation.


Author: Mr David E Brown

Published: December 2013

Two key long-term energy trends are shifting the strategic balance between the United States and China, the world’s superpower rivals in the 21st century: first, a domestic boom in U.S. shale oil and gas is dramatically boosting America’s energy security; second, the frenetic and successful search for hydrocarbons in Africa is making it an increasingly crucial element in China’s energy diversification strategy. America’s increasing energy security and China’s increased dependence on energy imports from Africa and the Middle East until well past 2040 despite its own shale discoveries will make Beijing’s own increasing energy insecurity be felt even more acutely, pushing the People’s Liberation Army to accelerate adoption of a “two ocean” military strategy that includes an enduring presence in the Indian Ocean as well as the Pacific Ocean.


Author: LTC Clarence J Bouchat (USAF, Ret)

Published: December 2013

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The Spratly Islands warrant better understanding by U.S. policymakers in order to discuss nuanced responses to the region’s challenges. To attain that needed understanding, legal aspects of customary and modern laws are explored to analyze the differences between competing maritime and territorial claims and why and how the parties involved stake rival claims or maritime legal rights. Throughout the monograph, the policies of the United States are examined through its conflicted interests in the region. Recommendations for how the United States should engage these issues, a more appropriate task than trying to solve the disputes outright, are then offered.


Editor: Dr Stephen J Blank

Author: Dr Stephen J Blank

Published: December 2013

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In one way or another, the papers included in this monograph, from the Strategic Studies Institute’s annual conference on Russia in May 2012, all point to the internal pathologies that render Russian security a precarious affair at the best of times. As the editor suggests, the very fact of this precariousness makes Russia an inherently unpredictable and even potentially dangerous actor, not necessarily because it will actively attack its neighbors, though we certainly cannot exclude that possibility, but rather because Russia may come apart trying to play the role of a great power in Eurasia or elsewhere. As we all know, that outcome happened in 1917 and in 1989-91, with profound implications for international security and U.S. interests.


Author: Dr Steve Tatham

Published: December 2013

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Through the prism of operations in Afghanistan, the author examines how the U.S. Government’s Strategic Communication (SC) and, in particular, the Department of Defense’s (DoD) Information Operations (IO) and Military Information Support to Operations (MISO) programs, have contributed to U.S. strategic and foreign policy objectives. It assesses whether current practice, which is largely predicated on ideas of positively shaping audiences perceptions and attitudes towards the United States, is actually fit for purpose. Indeed, it finds that the United States has for many years now been encouraged by large contractors to approach communications objectives through techniques heavily influenced by civilian advertising and marketing, which attempt to change hostile attitudes to the United States and its foreign policy in the belief that this will subsequently reduce hostile behavior. While an attitudinal approach may work in convincing U.S. citizens to buy consumer products, it does not easily translate to the conflict- and crisis-riven societies to which it has been routinely applied since September 11, 2001.


Author: Dr Erica Marat

Published: November 2013

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This report identifies and explains the determinants of police reform in former Soviet states by examining the cases of Georgia and Kyrgyzstan. The two cases were chosen to show two drastically different approaches to reform played out in countries facing arguably similar problems with state-crime links, dysfunctional governments, and corrupt police forces. In Georgia, the government’s reform program has fundamentally transformed the police, but it also reinforced the president Mikhail Saakashvili regime’s reliance on the police. With two political regime changes in one decade, Kyrgyzstan’s failed reform effort led to increasing levels of corruption within law enforcement agencies and the rise of violent nonstate groups. The experiences of Georgia and Kyrgyzstan show that a militarized police force is unlikely to spontaneously reform itself, even if the broader political landscape becomes more democratic. If anything, the Interior Ministry will adapt to new political leadership, both to ensure its own position in society and to continue receiving the state resources needed to sustain itself. Both Georgia and Kyrgyzstan offer important guidelines for conducting successful police reform in a former Soviet state, advice that could be helpful to the Middle Eastern states currently undergoing rapid political transformation.


Author: Dr Dona J Stewart

Published: November 2013

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In March 2012, the government of Mali, one of the most touted symbols of Africa’s democratic potential, fell in a military-executed coup. At the same time, a 4-decades old rebellion among Tuaregs seeking autonomy or independence reached new heights fueled by weapons from Libya and the belief that the Arab Spring could extend to northern Mali. Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and their allies were quick to capitalize on the increasing chaos in a territory characterized by lack of government control and poverty and seized the major cities in the north. While French-led military intervention restored security to cities in the north, the underlying social, economic and political issues of the crisis remain.


Author: Dr Sean McFate

Published: November 2013

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Recent events in Mali, Libya, Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, and elsewhere demonstrate that building professional indigenous forces is imperative to regional stability, yet few success stories exist. Liberia is a qualified “success,” and this study explores how it was achieved by the program’s chief architect. Liberia suffered a 14-year civil war replete with human rights atrocities that killed 250,000 people and displaced a third of its population. Following President Charles Taylor’s exile in 2003, the U.S. contracted DynCorp International to demobilize and rebuild the Armed Forces of Liberia and Ministry of Defense; the first time in 150 years that one sovereign nation hired a private company to raise another sovereign nation’s military. This monograph explores the theory and practice behind the successful disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration (DDR) of the legacy military and security sector reform (SSR) that built the new one. It also considers some of the benefits and difficulties of contracting out the making of militaries. This is significant since the private sector will probably participate increasingly in security sector reform. The monograph concludes with 28 concrete recommendations for practitioners and 6 recommendations for the U.S. Army on how to expand this capability. Finally, this monograph is written by a practitioner for practitioners.


Editor: Dr Stephen J Blank

Author: Dr Stephen J Blank

Published: November 2013

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As NATO and the United States proceed to withdraw their forces from Afghanistan, the inherent and preexisting geopolitical, security, and strategic challenges in Central Asia become ever more apparent. The rivalry among the great powers: the United States, China, Russia, India, and others to a lesser degree, are all becoming increasingly more visible as a key factor that will shape this region after the allied withdrawal from Afghanistan. The papers collected here, presented at SSI’s annual conference on Russia in 2012, go far to explaining what the agenda for that rivalry is and how it is likely to influence regional trends after 2013. Therefore, these papers provide a vital set of insights into an increasingly critical area of international politics and security, especially as it is clear that the United States is reducing, but not totally withdrawing, its military establishment in Afghanistan and is seeking to consolidate long-term relationships with Central Asian states. Accordingly, these papers provide assessments of Sino-Russian rivalry, the U.S.-Russian rivalry, and a neglected but critical topic—Chinese military capability for action in Central Asia. All of these issues are essential for any informed analysis of the future of Central Asian security, as well as relations among the great powers in Central Asia.


Author: Dr J Peter Pham

Published: November 2013

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For more than 2 decades, Somalia has been the prime example of a collapsed state, resisting multiple attempts to reconstitute a central government, with the current internationally-backed regime of the “Federal Republic of Somalia” struggling just to maintain its hold on the capital and the southeastern littoral—thanks only to the presence of a more than 17,000-strong African Union peacekeeping force. Despite the desultory record, the apparent speedy collapse since late 2011 of the insurgency spearheaded by the Harakat al-Shabaab al-Mujahideen (Movement of Warrior Youth, al-Shabaab)—a militant Islamist movement with al-Qaeda links—has made it fashionable within some political and military circles to cite with little nuance the “Somalia model” as a prescription for other conflicts in Africa, including the fight in Mali against al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and its allies. This monograph takes a closer look at the situation in order to draw out the real lessons from the failures and successes of the counterinsurgency effort in Somalia.


Editor: Dr Sheila R Ronis

Author: Dr Sheila R Ronis

Published: October 2013

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On November 8-9, 2011, the National Defense University (NDU) held a conference entitled "Forging an American Grand Strategy: Securing a Path Through a Complex Future." The discussion that began at that conference needs to be further developed and continued. More importantly, we, as a nation, need to explore together the path ahead as well as questions that have yet to be answered regarding how and why we, as a nation, struggle with grand strategies. If developed and executed with a systemic orientation, grand strategies could help us shape our future in an ever changing and complex world. This volume represents a compilation of some of the presentations given at the NDU conference. They represent the great diversity of opinions regarding this subject.


Author: Dr John R Deni, Mr Steven J Whitmore

Published: October 2013

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In 2010, NATO decided to expand its ballistic missile defense program, in part because of the American offer to include its European Phased Adaptive Approach (EPAA) as the centerpiece of an expanded effort. For the Allies' part, few have actually contributed tangible ballistic missile defense assets, in terms of missile interceptors, radars or other sensors, or ballistic missile defense-related platforms. This is likely to have significant implications for the U.S. Army, which has an important but largely underappreciated role in NATO missile defense today. In particular, the Army is likely to face increased manpower demands, materiel requirements, and training needs in order to meet the demand signal created by the NATO ballistic missile defense program. Additionally, Army units involved directly in or in support of ballistic missile defense are likely to face a higher OPTEMPO than currently projected. Ultimately, this will exacerbate the perceived imbalance in transatlantic burden-sharing, particularly if the EPAA provides little, if any, benefit to the defense of U.S. territory, given Washington’s decision to cancel Phase 4 of that framework.


Author: Dr Stephen J Gerras, Dr Leonard Wong

Published: October 2013

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History and organizational studies both demonstrate that changing one’s mind is quite difficult, even in the face of overwhelming evidence that this change needs to occur. This monograph explains how smart, professional, and incredibly performance-oriented Army senior leaders develop frames of reference and then oftentimes cling to their outdated frames in the face of new information. It describes the influence of individual-level concepts—personality, cognitive dissonance reduction, the hardwiring of the brain, the imprints of early career events, and senior leader intuition—along with group level factors to explain how frames of reference are established, exercised, and rewarded. It concludes by offering recommendations to senior leaders on how to structure Army leader development systems to create leaders comfortable with changing their minds when the environment dictates.


Editor: Dr Robert H Dorff, Dr Volker C Franke

Author: Dr Robert H Dorff, Dr Volker C Franke

Published: October 2013

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The authors examine the utility of the U.S. Government’s whole-of-government (WoG) approach for responding to the challenging security demands of operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. They specifically discuss the strategic objectives of interagency cooperation particularly in the areas of peacebuilding and conflict management. Discussions range from the conceptual to the practical, with a focus on the challenges and desirability of interagency cooperation in international interventions. The book shares experiences and expertise on the need for and the future of an American grand strategy in an era characterized by increasingly complex security challenges and shrinking budgets. All authors agree that taking the status quo for granted is a major obstacle to developing a successful grand strategy and that government, military, international and nongovernmental organizations, and the private sector are all called upon to contribute their best talents and efforts to joint global peace and security activities. Included are viewpoints from academia, the military, government agencies, nongovernmental organizations, and industry. Despite the broad range of viewpoints, a number of overarching themes and tentative agreements emerged.


Author: Prof Geoffrey Till

Published: September 2013

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The 21st century has seen the growth of a number of nontraditional threats to international stability on which, trade, and thus U.S. peace and security, depends, and for the moment at least a reduced likelihood of continental scale warfighting operations, and something of a de-emphasis on major involvement in counterinsurgency operations. These nontraditional threats are, however, very real and should command a higher priority than they have done in the past, even in a period of budgetary constraint. The military have cost-effective contributions to make in countering the manufacture and distribution of illicit drugs, and in many cases can do so without serious detriment to their main warfighting role. Successfully completing this mission, however, will require the military to rethink their integration with the nonmilitary aspects of a whole-of-government approach, and almost certainly, their institutional preference for speedy victories in short wars.


Author: Dr Ellen Hallams

Published: September 2013

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In the 21st century, the transatlantic bargain that has framed the relationship between the United Statates and its NATO allies is under more scrutiny than ever before. In a changed geopolitical environment, one characterized by the complexity of modern military operations, the growing power of China, and a climate of economic austerity in the West, a consensus has emerged on both sides of the Atlantic as to the need for a revised bargain to accommodate the changing dynamics of global politics. Washington is becoming less and less willing to tolerate what it sees as fundamental gaps within the Alliance—in defense spending, capabilities, and military transformation—and is sending clear signals to its European allies, as well as NATO partners, that they must take on a greater share of Alliance burdens, accelerate efforts to generate capabilities and resources, and move away from a deeply-entrenched culture of dependency. European allies are learning they must approach transatlantic relations with a new maturity, and as efforts at multinational defense collaboration accelerate across Europe, there is evidence of a new approach to thinking about transatlantic relations. The transatlantic bargain was a Cold War construct suited to its time; what is required now is a transatlantic bargain that generates a new culture of transatlantic partnership, between the United States, NATO, and the European Union.


Author: Dr Thomas M Chen

Published: September 2013

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In July 2011, the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) issued the DoD Strategy for Operating in Cyberspace, which outlines five strategic initiatives: 1) Treat cyberspace as another operational domain; 2) Employ new defense operating concepts to protect DoD networks; 3) Partner with other U.S. Government agencies and the private sector; 4) Build relationships with U.S. allies and international partners to strengthen cyber security; and, 5) Leverage national intellect and capabilities through cyber workforce training and rapid technological innovation. First, the monograph explores the evolution of cyberspace strategy through a series of government publications leading up to the DoD Strategy for Operating in Cyberspace. It is seen that, although each strategy has different emphases on ideas, some major themes recur. Second, each strategic initiative is elaborated and critiqued in terms of significance, novelty, and practicality. Third, the monograph critiques the DoD Strategy as a whole. Is it comprehensive and adequate to maintain U.S. superiority in cyberspace against a rapidly changing threat landscape? Shortcomings in the strategy are identified, and recommendations are made for improvement in future versions of the strategy.


Author: COL Paul Paolozzi

Published: September 2013

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Candor stands as the keystone element in creating the foundation of trust in the Army, yet the topic is muted. Stewards of the Army Profession build trust through authentic communication—in education, training, and modeled in application. Candor was previously included in Army Doctrine, yet nearly no mention of it currently exists in professional military education and dialogue. Through personal experiences and review of literature, two examples—the demands placed on the Army Reserve Components and a review of the Army’s counseling and evaluation environment—serve as illustrations where candor requires revitalization. Candor must be reinforced to be valued or it remains peripheral, serving as a lesson that is equally damaging to individual character as is it institutionally to the Army.


Author: Dr James S Corum

Published: August 2013

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If the United States is likely to fight in a coalition with small allies in the future, then it is useful to understand the experience, capabilities, and perspectives of those allies. Since regaining independence in 1991, the countries of Latvia, Estonia, and Lithuania have been very active in supporting NATO and U.S. military operations abroad. It is notable that the three Baltic countries have also used the deployment of a significant part of their forces in the last decade as a major part of their program to carry out a major force transformation.


Editor: Prof John F Troxell

Author: Prof John F Troxell

Published: August 2013

*September 24: Part I, Imperative 2 has been updated*
**November 18: Part II, Commands 1 and 3 have been updated**

The KSIL is available for online viewing here: 2013-14 KSIL


For several years, the Strategic Studies Institute has annually published the Key Strategic Issues List (KSIL). The overall purpose of this document is to make students and other researchers aware of strategic topics that are of special interest to the U.S. Army. Part I of KSIL is entitled "Army Priorities for Strategic Analysis" (APSA) and is a list of high-priority topics submitted by Headquarters, Department of the Army. Part II is entitled "Command Sponsored Topics" and represents the high-priority command-specific topics submitted by MACOMs and ASCCs. This KSIL provides military and civilian researchers worldwide a listing of the Army's most critical national security issues. The KSIL is developed by soliciting input from the appropriate elements of HQDA to develop the Army's high priority topics for strategic analysis. In addition, a similar solicitation is made to the Geographic Combatant Commands and Major Army Commands to identify their high-priority command-specific topics researchers can address. Topics for the APSA are organized to support the four imperatives and related objectives as identified in the "2013 Army Strategic Planning Guidance." Research on these topics will continue to contribute to the transition to the Army of the future. Part II of the KSIL incorporates many critical strategic issues that are both unique to the submitting organizations, and common to a number of commands. The intent of this document is to achieve greater fidelity and harmony between the research needs of the Department of Defense, and the considerable work done by the many different research assets.


Author: Dr Robert J Bunker, Mr John P Sullivan

Published: August 2013

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Contemporary Mexican cartel use of car bombs began in mid-July 2010 and has since escalated. Given the proximity to the United States, some literally within miles of the border, the car bombings, with about 20 incidents identified over the last 2 1/2 years, should be of interest to local, state, and federal U.S. law enforcement, the U.S. Army, and other governmental institutions which are providing increasing support to Mexican federal agencies. An historical overview and analysis of cartel car bomb use in Mexico provides context, insights, and lessons learned stemming from the Medellin and Cali cartel car bombing campaigns. In order to generate insights into future cartel car bombings in Mexico, the identification of such potentials offers a glimpse into cartel “enemy intent,” a possible form of actionable strategic intelligence. For Mexico, steady and both slowly and quickly increasing car bomb use trajectories may exist. The prognosis for decreasing car bomb deployment appears unlikely. If cartel car bombs were to be deployed on U.S. soil or against U.S. personnel and facilities in Mexico, such as our consulates, we could expect that a pattern of indications and warnings (I&W) would be evident prior to such an attack(s). In that case, I&W would be drawn from precursor events such as grenade and improvised explosive device (IED) attacks (or attempted attacks) on our personnel and facilities and on evolving cartel car bomb deployment patterns in Mexico. The authors conclude with initial recommendations for U.S. Army and defense community support to the military and the federal, state, and local police agencies of the Mexican state, and the various U.S. federal, state, and local police agencies operating near the U.S.-Mexican border. The extent of support in intelligence, organization, training, and equipment is highlighted, as well as the extent that these forms of support should be implemented to counter cartel vehicle-borne IEDs and overall cartel threats.


Author: Dr James Igoe Walsh

Published: August 2013

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The United States increasingly relies on unmanned aerial vehicles to target insurgent and terrorist groups around the world. This monograph analyzes the available research and evidence that assesses the political and military consequences of drone strikes. It is not clear if drone strikes have degraded their targets, or that they kill enough civilians to create sizable public backlashes against the United States. Drones are a politically and militarily attractive way to counter insurgents and terrorists, but, paradoxically, this may lead to their use in situations where they are less likely to be effective and where they are difficult to predict consequences.


Author: Dr James S Corum

Published: August 2013

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Developing coalition security strategies within NATO has never been easy. However, it does help to have a thorough understanding of one’s allies and their concerns and perspectives. This monograph provides an in-depth view of how three Baltic nations (Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania) view current and future security threats and likely problems. It also recommends some ways in which the United States might respond to these issues.


Author: LTC Clarence J Bouchat (USAF, Ret)

Published: August 2013

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An understanding the political economy of Nigeria is needed to reveal the root causes of its many ethnic, religious, economic, and political problems and to address them for the long term. The pressures now weighing on Nigeria could literally fracture the state along deep fault lines if rampant corruption and partisanship continues. As mutually important partners for both of our interests in Africa, the United States should assist in specific but indirect ways to help Nigerians overcome their political economic problems. Within such assistance, the role of the U.S. military is particularly delicate but needed through focused aid to specific programs and sharing of expertise, all best managed through employing units that are regionally aligned to Nigeria or West Africa.


Author: Mr David E Brown

Published: August 2013

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The U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM), newest of the six U.S. Department of Defense geographic combatant commands (CCMDs), was created in 2007 amid great controversy in both Africa and the United States over its location and mission. Over the last 5 years, AFRICOM has matured greatly, overcoming much of the initial resistance from African stakeholders through careful public messaging, and by addressing most of the U.S. interagency concerns about the Command’s size and proper role within the U.S. national security/foreign policy community. This Letort Paper describes the geostrategic, operational, and intellectual changes that explain why AFRICOM was created, and debunks three myths about AFRICOM: that it was created to “exploit” Africa's oil and gas riches, “blocks” China’s rise in Africa, and that France “opposes” AFRICOM. The author concludes by raising five issues that are important to AFRICOM’s future: 1) allocated forces to carry out short-term training engagements in Africa; 2) preference to emerging democracies in the selection of the Command’s partner-nations; 3) the desirability of regional approaches in Africa, including helping the African Union and its Regional Economic Communities to establish standby brigades; 4) the location of the Command’s headquarters, which should remain in Stuttgart, Germany, for operational efficiency; and, 5) the need to carry out a top-down “right-sizing” exercise at AFRICOM during a time of severe budget constraints and a real risk for the United States of “strategic insolvency.”


Author: Mr Keir Giles

Published: July 2013

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An apparent lack of interest by Russia in Sub-Saharan Africa over recent years masks persistent key strategic drivers for Moscow to re-establish lost influence in the region. A preoccupation with more immediate foreign policy concerns has temporarily interrupted a process of Russia reclaiming relationships that were well-developed in the Soviet period in order to secure access to mineral and energy resources which are crucial to Russia’s economic and industrial interests, as well as both existing and new markets for military arms contracts. Russian policy priorities in Africa provide both challenges and opportunities for the U.S. in fields such as nuclear nonproliferation, as well as energy security for the United States and its European allies. Russian development of key resources in southern Africa should be observed closely. Russian trade with the region is significantly underdeveloped, with the exception of the arms trade, which Russia can be expected to defend vigorously if its markets are challenged, including by the prospect of regime change or international sanctions. At the same time, Russia and the United States have a shared interest in restricting the freedom of movement of terrorist organizations in ungoverned or lightly governed spaces in Africa, which opens potential for cooperation between AFRICOM initiatives and Russian presence in the region. Russian diplomatic and economic activity in southern Africa should receive continuing attention from U.S. policymakers due to its direct relevance to a number of U.S. strategic concerns.


Editor: Mr Henry D Sokolski, Dr Bruno Tertrais

Author: Mr Henry D Sokolski, Dr Bruno Tertrais

Published: July 2013

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At the height of the Cultural Revolution a Chinese long-range nuclear missile is fired within the country, and the nuclear warhead it is carrying detonates. A French nuclear device is exploded in Algeria during a coup there. The Soviet empire has collapsed, and shots are fired at a Russian crowd intent on rushing a nuclear weapons-laden plane straining to remove a stash of nuclear weapons to a safer locale. Pakistani civilian governments are routinely pushed aside by a powerful, nuclear-armed military that observers worry might yet itself fall prey to a faction willing to seize a portion of Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal. This volume reveals previously unknown details on each case and teases out what is to be learned. This book is ideal not only for policymakers and analysts, but for historians and teachers as well.


Author: COL David S Lyle, Dr John Z Smith, Mr Roy A Wallace

Published: July 2013

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The current military retirement system has been integral to sustaining the All Volunteer Force (AVF). Mounting federal budget challenges, however, have raised concern that the program may become fiscally unsustainable. While several restructuring proposals have emerged, none have considered the implications of these changes to the broader issue of manning an AVF. Changes to the existing system could create military personnel shortfalls, adversely affect servicemember and retiree well-being, and reduce public confidence in the Armed Forces. With the right analytical framework in place, however, a more holistic system restructuring is possible, one that avoids these negative effects while significantly reducing costs. A comprehensive framework is provided, as well as a proposal that stands to benefit both servicemembers in terms of value and the military in terms of overall cost savings.


Author: Dr Florence Gaub

Published: June 2013

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On March 17, 2011, a month after the beginning of the Libyan revolution, with up to 2,000 civilians dead, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) decided on backing a no-fly zone over Libya and authorized “all necessary measures” to protect civilians. While France, Great Britain, and the United States took immediate military action using air and missile strikes, considerations to hand over military actions to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) emerged within days of the operation. On March 22, 2012, NATO agreed to enforce the arms embargo against Libya; 2 days later, it announced to take over all military aspects of the UNSC 1973. On March 31, 2012, Operation UNIFIED PROTECTOR (OUP) began. OUP turned out to be one of NATO’s shorter, and seemingly also less controversial, missions. Mandated by both the League of Arab States and the UN as the regime of Colonel Qaddafi was launching assaults on peacefully demonstrating citizens, its aim was to protect civilians from the air and sea. Described as a “war of choice” rather than a “war of necessity,” NATO achieved its goals more by accident than by design, according to some critics. The lessons which can be drawn from OUP are both military and political in nature. The overestimation of air power as a result of “no boots on the ground” might be a dangerous conclusion for future cases; the lack of cultural advice very likely prolonged the mission, while the shortcomings in strategic communication gave input to improve an area that is still new to NATO. The operation also highlighted a strategic dimension the Alliance was not ready to perceive—that the Mediterranean, and its Southern states, is likely to continue being a source of instability for NATO, particularly after the Arab Spring. In legal terms, the Alliance faced an important communication gap between its legal, and therefore military, mandate—the legal interpretations of UNSCR 1973 made clear that the operation did not seek to topple Colonel Gaddafi’s regime, let alone assassinate him. Its aim was solely the protection of civilians in a situation of internal conflict, and, therefore, it conformed to the norm of “Responsibility to Protect.” On the political level, heads of NATO member states made contradictory remarks calling for Gaddafi’s departure, thereby compromising the clarity of the mission. Last but not least, the aftermath of NATO’s Libya operation was not planned at all as the Libyan National Transitional Council firmly rejected any military personnel on the ground, even UN observers. As the regime’s security forces had virtually imploded, Libya’s security therefore fell into the hands of the multiple militias which continued to proliferate after the conflict had ended.


Author: Dr W Andrew Terrill

Published: June 2013

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In recent years, al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) has been widely recognized as a more dangerous regional and international terrorist organization than the original al-Qaeda led by Osama bin Laden until his death in 2011. In 2010-11, AQAP was able to present a strong challenge to Yemen's government by capturing and retaining large areas in the southern part of the country. Yemen's new reform President defeated AQAP and recaptured areas under their control in 2012, but the terrorists remain an extremely dangerous force seeking to reassert themselves at this time of transition in Yemen.


Author: Dr Mohammed El-Katiri

Published: June 2013

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Seismic cultural and political shifts are under way in the Arab Gulf monarchies. The political upheavals and transitions that have swept through the Arab world over the last 2 years have not toppled the Arab Gulf rulers, but did not leave them untouched, either. Rulers of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states face heightened internal and external challenges and uncertainties. Pro-democracy protests and calls are extending from Bahrain to other oil-rich countries of the Arabian Peninsula. The expectations of GCC citizens, particularly the educated youth, are increasingly moving from socio-economic demands to political ones. They are now not only asking for jobs or wage increases, but also for more political participation and accountability. Chief among internal challenges is the resurgence in several GCC countries, particularly Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, of a decades-long sectarian rift between the Sunni regimes and their Shia subjects. The Gulf regimes’ already tense relations with Iran have worsened on the basis of alleged Iranian interference inflaming sectarian tensions in Bahrain and across the broader region.


Author: LTC Clarence J Bouchat (USAF, Ret), Mr Gerald McLoughlin

Published: June 2013

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Nigeria’s future as a unified state is in jeopardy. Those who make or execute U.S. policy will find it difficult to advance U.S. interests in Africa without an understanding of the pressures that tear and bind Nigeria. Despite this, the centrifugal forces that tear at the country and the centripetal forces that have kept it whole are not well understood and rarely examined. After establishing Nigeria’s importance to the United State as a cohesive and functioning state, this monograph examines the historic, religious, cultural, political, physical, demographic, and economic factors that will determine Nigeria’s fate. It identifies the specific fault lines along which Nigeria may divide. It concludes with practical policy recommendations for the United States to support Nigerians in their efforts to maintain a functioning and integrated state, and, by so doing, advance U.S. interests.


Author: Dr Richard M Meinhart

Published: June 2013

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Military leaders at many levels have used strategic planning in various ways to position their organizations to respond to the demands of the current situation while simultaneously preparing to meet future challenges. This Paper will first describe the Chairman’s statutory responsibilities and strategic challenges, because this affects leaders and the focus of the strategic planning system. The Paper then briefly examines how the Joint Strategic Planning System (JSPS)changed in five major ways during the time period of 1990 to 2012 before describing in greater detail the key products and processes of the current system. The Paper then goes on to summarize the more significant ways each Chairman used this system during the past 2 decades to produce specific planning products, which is part of their formal leadership legacy. During this time the Chairman were Generals Powell (1989-93), Shalikashvili (1993-97), Shelton (1997-2001), Myers (2001-05), Pace (2005-07), and Admiral Mullen (2007-11). General Dempsey’s current strategic planning focus, since he became Chairman in October 2011, is also summarized. This leadership focus and concluding thoughts provide broad insights into how senior leaders have used the strategic planning system to respond to internal and external challenges. These leadership and management insights are related to the importance of strategic vision, planning system and process characteristics, decisionmaking styles, and organizational change.


Author: Dr Thomas R Mockaitis

Published: June 2013

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This Letort Paper covers U.S. military interventions in civil conflicts since the end of the Cold War. It defines intervention as the use of military force to achieve a specific objective (i.e., deliver humanitarian aid, support revolutionaries or insurgents, protect a threatened population, etc.) and focuses on the phase of the intervention in which kinetic operations occurred. The analysis considers five conflicts in which the United States intervened: Somalia (1992-93), Haiti (1994), Bosnia (1995), Kosovo (1999), and Libya(2011). It also reviews two crises in which Washington might have intervened but chose not to: Rwanda (1994) and Syria (2011-12). The author examines each case using five broad analytical questions: 1. Could the intervention have achieved its objective at an acceptable cost in blood and treasure? 2. What policy considerations prompted the intervention? 3. How did the United States intervene 4. Was the intervention followed by a Phase 4 stability operation? and, 5. Did Washington have a viable exit strategy? From analysis of these cases, the author derives lessons that may guide policy makers in deciding when, where, and how to intervene in the future.


Author: Dr David Lai

Published: May 2013

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Dr. David Lai provides a timely assessment of the geostrategic significance of Asia-Pacific. His monograph is also a thought-provoking analysis of the U.S. strategic shift toward the region and its implications. Dr. Lai judiciously offers the following key points. First, Asia-Pacific, which covers China, Northeast Asia, and Southeast Asia, is a region with complex currents. On the one hand, there is an unabated region-wide drive for economic development that has been pushing Asia-Pacific forward for decades. On the other, this region is troubled with, aside from many other conflicts, unsettled maritime disputes that have the potential to trigger wars between and among Asia-Pacific nations. Second, on top of these mixed currents, China and the United States compete intensely over a wide range of vital interests in this region. For better or for worse, the U.S.-China relationship is becoming a defining factor in the relations among the Asia-Pacific nations. Third, the U.S. strategic shift toward Asia-Pacific is, as President Obama puts it, not a choice but a necessity. Although conflicts elsewhere, especially the ones in the Middle East, continue to draw U.S. attention and consume U.S. foreign policy resources, the United States is turning its focus toward China and Asia-Pacific. Fourth, in the mid-2000s, the United States and China made an unprecedented strategic goodwill exchange and agreed to blaze a new path out of the tragedy that often attends great power transition. Fifth, at this time of U.S. strategic reorientation and military rebalancing toward Asia-Pacific, the most dangerous consideration is that Asia-Pacific nations having disputes with China can misread U.S. strategic intentions and overplay the “U.S. card” to pursue their territorial interests and challenge China. Finally, territorial dispute is becoming an urgent issue in the Asia-Pacific.


Author: Mr David E Brown

Published: May 2013

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International criminal networks mainly from Latin America and Africa—some with links to terrorism—are turning West Africa into a key global hub for the distribution, wholesaling, and production of illicit drugs. These groups represent an existential threat to democratic governance of already fragile states in the subregion because they are using narco-corruption to stage coups d’état, hijack elections, and co-opt or buy political power. Besides a spike in drug-related crime, narcotics trafficking is also fraying West Africa’s traditional social fabric and creating a public health crisis, with hundreds of thousands of new drug addicts. While the inflow of drug money may seem economically beneficial to West Africa in the short-term, investors will be less inclined to do business in the long-term if the subregion is unstable. On net, drug trafficking and other illicit trade represent the most serious challenge to human security in the region since resource conflicts rocked several West African countries in the early 1990s. International aid to West Africa’s “war on drugs” is only in an initial stage; progress will be have to be measured in decades or even generations, not years and also unfold in parallel with creating alternative sustainable livelihoods and addressing the longer-term challenges of human insecurity, poverty, and underdevelopment.


Author: Mr Staff Researcher

Published: May 2013

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At a crucial crossroads between Africa and Europe, the Mediterranean and the Atlantic, and the “Arab World” and the West, Morocco has long had a special place in U.S. diplomacy and strategic planning. Since September 11, 2001, Morocco’s importance to the United States has only increased, and the more recent uncertainties of the Arab Spring and Islamist extremism have further increased the value of the Moroccan-American alliance. Yet one of the pillars of the legitimacy of the Moroccan monarchy, its claim to the Western Sahara, remains a point of violent contention. Home to the largest functional military barrier in the world, the Western Sahara has a long history of colonial conquest and resistance, guerrilla warfare and counterinsurgency, and evolving strategic thought, and its future may prove critical to U.S. interests in the region.


Author: Mr Janusz Bugajski

Published: May 2013

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For the first time in its modern history the entire Balkan Peninsula has the opportunity to co-exist under one security and developmental umbrella combining NATO and the European Union (EU). Unfortunately, European and American leaders have been unable to complete such a unique historic vision, while the progress of several Western Balkan countries continues to be undermined by a plethora of political, social, economic, ethnic, and national disputes. This monograph focuses on the escalating security challenges facing the Western Balkans, assesses the shortcomings and deficiencies of current international engagement, considers future prospects for U.S. military involvement, and offers recommendations for curtailing conflict and promoting the region’s international institutional integration. In particular, to prevent the future deployment of U.S. forces, more comprehensive strategic intelligence gathering is needed, together with the identification of local and foreign political actors promoting instability, early warning signals regarding impending conflicts, and a commitment to incorporate all countries in the region into NATO and the EU.


Editor: Dr Vincent Boudreau, COL Louis H Jordan Jr, Dr Tarek N Saadawi

Author: Dr Vincent Boudreau, COL Louis H Jordan Jr, Dr Tarek N Saadawi

Published: May 2013

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Increased reliance on the Internet and other networked systems raise the risks of cyber attacks that could harm our nation’s cyber infrastructure. The cyber infrastructure encompasses a number of sectors including: the nation’s mass transit and other transportation systems; banking and financial systems; factories; energy systems and the electric power grid; and telecommunications, which increasingly rely on a complex array of computer networks, including the public Internet. However, many of these systems and networks were not built and designed with security in mind. Therefore, our cyber infrastructure contains many holes, risks, and vulnerabilities that may enable an attacker to cause damage or disrupt cyber infrastructure operations. Threats to cyber infrastructure safety and security come from hackers, terrorists, criminal groups, and sophisticated organized crime groups; even nation-states and foreign intelligence services conduct cyber warfare. Cyber attackers can introduce new viruses, worms, and bots capable of defeating many of our efforts. Costs to the economy from these threats are huge and increasing. Government, business, and academia must therefore work together to understand the threat and develop various modes of fighting cyber attacks, and to establish and enhance a framework to assess the vulnerability of our cyber infrastructure and provide strategic policy directions for the protection of such an infrastructure. This book addresses such questions as: How serious is the cyber threat? What technical and policy-based approaches are best suited to securing telecommunications networks and information systems infrastructure security? What role will government and the private sector play in homeland defense against cyber attacks on critical civilian infrastructure, financial, and logistical systems? What legal impediments exist concerning efforts to defend the nation against cyber attacks, especially in preventive, preemptive, and retaliatory actions?


Author: Ms Diane E Chido

Published: April 2013

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Prevention is the key to effective policies in Africa, whether the issue is equitable resource exploitation, ethnic conflict, infectious diseases, or famine. African Regional Economic Communities (RECs) have moved beyond their initial purpose of a loose confederation of trading partners to become increasingly effective supranational bodies promoting financial, political, and security stabilization in each of their regions. Looking at each of the RECs, their power centers, and areas of weakness, policymakers can gain a more comprehensive understanding of the sometimes symbiotic and often destructive dynamics within and among African states to seek more effective strategic and regional, not national, approaches. This monograph suggests USAFRICOM is uniquely positioned to help design a path to spearhead a pan-African strategy highly likely to have the net long-term effect of attaining considerable competitive advantage for the U.S. economically, militarily, and politically, with a corresponding increase in stability, security, and economic opportunity for the entire continent.


Author: Dr Colin S Gray

Published: April 2013

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Cyber is now recognized as an operational domain, but the theory that should explain it strategically is, for the most part, missing. It is one thing to know how to digitize; it is quite another to understand what digitization means strategically. The author maintains that, although the technical and tactical literature on cyber is abundant, strategic theoretical treatment is poor. He offers four conclusions: (1) cyber power will prove useful as an enabler of joint military operationsl; (2) cyber offense is likely to achieve some success, and the harm we suffer is most unlikely to be close to lethally damaging; (3) cyber power is only information and is only one way in which we collect, store, and transmit information; and, (4) it is clear enough today that the sky is not falling because of cyber peril. As a constructed environment, cyberspace is very much what we choose to make it. Once we shed our inappropriate awe of the scientific and technological novelty and wonder of it all, we ought to have little trouble realizing that as a strategic challenge we have met and succeeded against the like of networked computers and their electrons before. The whole record of strategic history says: Be respectful of, and adapt for, technical change, but do not panic.


Author: Mr Gregory Aftandilian

Published: April 2013

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This monograph examines the strategic importance of Egypt for the United States by exploring Egypt's role in the Arab-Israeli peace process, its geographical role (providing air and naval access) for U.S. military assets heading to the Persian Gulf, and joint training programs. With so much at stake in the Middle East, the idea of "losing" Egypt as a strategic ally would be a significant setback for the United States. The Egyptian revolution of early 2011 was welcomed by U.S. officials because the protestors wanted democratic government which conformed to U.S. ideals, and the institution that would shepherd the transition, the Egyptian military, had close ties with the United States. To bolster the U.S.-Egyptian relationship and help keep Egypt on the democratic path, the monograph recommends that U.S. military aid should not be cut, economic aid should be increased, and U.S. administration officials should not oppose congressional conditions tying aid to democratic norms because it signals U.S. support for democracy. The United States should continue to speak out for free and fair elections and other international norms, but should avoid commentating on the role of religion and Islamic law in the Egyptian Constitution. Helping the Egyptian military deal with the extremist threat in the Sinai, which the United States has already offered, should also be continued. The U.S. Army should continue to advocate for military-to-military contacts, encourage their Egyptian counterparts to continue to attend U.S. professional military educational institutions, engage with Egyptian counterparts on regional threat assessments, and advocate for a reactivation of the Bright Star exercises. What U.S. Army officials and officers should do is avoid getting into discussions with Egyptian military officers about Egyptian domestic politics, and drop any interest they may have in convincing Egypt to opt for a “more nimble” force because Egyptian defense officials would see it as an effort to weaken the Egyptian military.


Author: Dr Patrick Porter

Published: April 2013

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The subject of U.S. grand strategy has been getting increasing attention from the policy and academic communities. However, too often the debate suffers from being too reductionist, limiting America’s choices to worldwide hegemony or narrow isolation. There is a wide spectrum of choices before Washington that lie “somewhere in the middle.” Frequently, not enough thought is given to how such alternative strategies should be designed and implemented. The future cannot be known, and earlier predictions of American decline have proven to be premature. However, there is a shift in wealth and power to the extent that America may not be able to hold on to its position as an unrivalled unipolar superpower. Therefore, it is worth thinking about how the United States could shape and adjust to the changing landscape around it. What is more, there are a number of interlocking factors that mean such a shift would make sense: transnational problems needing collaborative efforts, the military advantages of defenders, the reluctance of states to engage in unbridled competition, and “hegemony fatigue” among the American people. Alternative strategies that are smaller than global hegemony, but bigger than narrow isolationism, would be defined by the logic of “concerts” and “balancing,” in other words, some mixture of collaboration and competition. Can the United States adjust to a Concert-Balance grand strategy that made space for other rising powers without sacrificing too much of its forward military presence, without unleashing too much regional instability, and without losing the domestic political will? It is not certain that a cumulative shift to a new grand strategy would necessarily succeed, since other powers might turn down the chance to cooperate. But with soaring budget deficits and national debt, increasing burdens on social security, and possible agonizing choices in the future between guns and butter, it is surely worth a try.


Author: Dr Michael Fitzsimmons

Published: March 2013

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The premise of most Western thinking on counterinsurgency is that success depends on establishing a perception of legitimacy among local populations. The path to legitimacy is often seen as the improvement of governance in the form of effective and efficient administration of government and public services. However, good governance is not the only possible basis for claims to legitimacy. The author considers whether, in insurgencies where ethno-religious identities are salient, claims to legitimacy may rest more on the identity of who governs, rather than on how whoever governs governs. This monograph presents an analytic framework for examining these issues and then applies that framework to two detailed local case studies of American counterinsurgency operations in Iraq: Ramadi from 2004-05; and Tal Afar from 2005-06. These case studies are based on primary research, including dozens of interviews with participants and eyewitnesses. The cases yield ample evidence that ethno-religious identity politics do shape counterinsurgency outcomes in important ways, and also offer qualified support for the argument that addressing identity politics may be more critical than good governance to counterinsurgent success. Key policy implications include the importance of making strategy development as sensitive as possible to the dynamics of identity politics, and to local variations and complexity in causal relationships among popular loyalties, grievances, and political violence.


Author: COL Richard H M Outzen

Published: February 2013

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The 21st century U.S. military seldom operates alone. Except for initial entry and organizational training, it works almost always with and through foreign partners. Yet over the past decade, anecdotal evidence suggests that U.S. military organizations and personnel have trouble understanding, influencing, and cooperating with international partners. This evidence includes high-profile incidents from Iraq and Afghanistan: civilian deaths, Koran burnings, blue-on-blue or green-on-blue lethal attacks. It also includes more numerous, lower profile bits of friction that follow U.S. service members around the globe in the form of protests, lawsuits, criminal cases, and difficult military-to-military relations from Iraq and Afghanistan to Turkey and Pakistan. In some instances, the U.S. military may be entirely without fault, suffering friction driven by problematic local attitudes or political dynamics. On the other hand, it is possible that certain characteristics of thought or behavior within the U.S. military culture increase the likelihood of severe friction. Against this backdrop, the gap between the U.S. military’s self-image and its image in the eyes of an international military audience is examined. When considering U.S. power, do response patterns indicate great difference between how U.S. military officers view themselves, and how they are viewed by their international peers? If so, is there anything that the United States can do about it, or does a fundamental and pathological anti-Americanism predetermine outcomes? Based on a survey administered at the National Defense University, this study offers observations and recommendations about the increasingly central question of how U.S. forces can form better and stronger ties with partners.


Editor: Mr Elbridge A Colby, Mr Michael S Gerson

Author: Mr Elbridge A Colby, Mr Michael S Gerson

Published: February 2013

What is strategic stability and why is it important? This edited collection offers the most current authoritative survey of this topic, which is central to U.S. strategy in the field of nuclear weapons and great power relations. A variety of authors and leading experts in the field of strategic issues and regional studies offer both theoretical and practical insights into the basic concepts associated with strategic stability, what implications these have for the United States, as well as key regions such as the Middle East, and perspectives on strategic stability in Russia and China. Readers will develop a deeper and more developed understanding of this consent from this engaging and informative work.


Author: Dr Harsh V Pant

Published: December 2012

View the Executive Summary

Since 2001, the situation in Afghanistan has afforded New Delhi an opportunity to underscore its role as a regional power. India has a growing stake in the development of peace and stability in Afghanistan; and the 2011 India-Afghan strategic partnership agreement underlines India’s commitment to ensure that a positive momentum in Delhi-Kabul ties is maintained. This monograph examines the changing trajectory of Indian policy toward Afghanistan since 2001, and it is argued that New Delhi has been responding to a strategic environment shaped by other actors in the region. U.S.-led North Atlantic Treaty Organization forces are preparing to leave Afghanistan in 2014, and India stands at a crossroads as it remains keen to preserve its interests in Afghanistan. The ever-evolving Indian policy in Afghanistan is examined in three phases before implications of this change for the region and the United States are drawn. There has been a broader maturing of the U.S.-India defense ties, and Afghanistan is likely to be a beneficiary of this trend. Managing Pakistan and unravelling Islamabad’s encirclement complex should be the biggest priority for both Washington and New Delhi in the coming years if there is to be any hope of keeping Afghanistan a stable entity post-2014.


Author: Dr Jack A LeCuyer

Published: December 2012

View the Executive Summary

Our legacy 1947/1989 national security system is unsuited for the dynamic and complex global security environment that has developed since the end of the Cold War. Over time, the National Security Council has evolved from the very limited advisory group initially imagined by President Truman to that of a vast network of interagency groups that were developed since 1989. These interagency groups view themselves as deeply involved in integrating policy development, crisis management, and staffing for the President. However, the National Security Staff (NSS) and the national security system are relics of the industrial age—vertical stovepipes—in an age that demands that the management of the national security system be conducted at the strategic level. What is required is a true national security strategy based on ends, ways, and means; the alignment of resources with integrated national security missions; and the assessment and accountability of management functions that should be performed by a properly resourced NSS unburdened from the urgency of the 24/7 news cycle. The President’s National Security Strategy of May 2010 calls for reform in many of these areas. Section 1072 of the 2012 Defense Authorization Act calls upon the President to outline the changes and resources that are needed in both the executive branch and in Congress to implement his national security strategy. The President’s response to this legislative mandate can and should be the first step in a strategic partnership for transforming our national security system, in both the executive branch and the Congress, to that of a system that can meet and anticipate the challenges and opportunities for ensuring our security and well-being.


Author: LTC Michael F Walther

Published: December 2012

In the 4 decades since President Richard Nixon first declared war on drugs, the U.S. counterdrug strategy has remained virtually unchanged—favoring supply-reduction, law enforcement and criminal sanctions over demand-reduction, treatment, and education. While the annual counterdrug budget has ballooned from $100 million to $25 billion, the availability of most illicit drugs remains at an all-time high. The human cost is staggering—nearly 40,000 drug-related deaths in the United States annually. The societal impact, in purely economic terms, is now estimated to be approximately $200 billion per year. The global illicit drug industry now accounts for 1 percent of all commerce on the planet—approximately $320 billion annually. Legalization is almost certainly not the answer; however, an objective analysis of available data confirms that: 1) the United States has pursued essentially the same flawed supply-reduction strategy for 40 years; and, 2) simply increasing the amount of money invested each year in this strategy will not make it successful. Faced with impending budget cuts and a future of budget austerity, policymakers must replace the longstanding U.S. counterdrug strategy with a pragmatic, science-based, demand-reduction strategy that offers some prospect of reducing the economic and societal impacts of illicit drugs on American society.


Author: Dr George W Grayson

Published: December 2012

View the Executive Summary

In the absence of honest, professional civilian law-enforcement agencies, President Felipe Calderón assigned the military the lead role in his nation’s version of the “War on Drugs” that he launched in 2006. While the armed forces have spearheaded the capture and/or death of several dozen cartel capos, the conflict has taken its toll on the organizations in terms of deaths, corruption, desertions, and charges by nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) of hundreds of human rights violations. The nation’s Supreme Court has taken the first step in requiring that officers and enlistees accused of crimes against civilians stand trial in civil courts rather than hermetic military tribunals. As if combating vicious narco-syndicates were not a sufficiently formidable challenge, the government has assigned such additional roles to the Army and Navy as overseeing customs agents, serving as state and municipal security chiefs, taking charge of prisons, protecting airports, safeguarding migrants, functioning as firefighters, preventing drug trafficking around schools, establishing recreational programs for children, and standing guard 24-hours a day over boxes of ballots cast in recent elections. Meanwhile, because of their discipline, training, and skill with firearms, security firms are snapping up men and women who have retired from active duty. The sharp expansion of the armed forces’ duties has sparked the accusation that Mexico is being “militarized.” Contributing to this assertion is the Defense Ministry’s robust, expensive public relations campaign both to offset criticism of civilians killed in what the Pentagon would label “collateral damage” and to increase contacts between average citizens and military personnel, who often constituted a separate caste. Dr. George W. Grayson examines the ever wider involvement of the armed forces in Mexican life by addressing the question: “Is Mexican society being ‘militarized’?” If the answer is “yes,” what will be the probable impact on relations between the United States and its southern neighbor?


Author: Dr Max G Manwaring

Published: December 2012

Almost no one seems to understand the Marxist-Leninist foundations of Hugo Chavez’s political thought. It becomes evident, however, in the general vision of his “Bolivarian Revolution.” The abbreviated concept is to destroy the old foreign-dominated (U.S. dominated) political and economic systems in the Americas, to take power, and to create a socialist, nationalistic, and “popular” (direct) democracy in Venezuela that would sooner or later extend throughout the Western Hemisphere. Despite the fact that the notion of the use of force (compulsion) is never completely separated from the Leninist concept of destroying any bourgeois opposition, Chavez’s revolutionary vision will not be achieved through a conventional military war of maneuver and attrition, or a traditional insurgency. According to Lenin and Chavez, a “new society” will only be created by a gradual, systematic, compulsory application of agitation and propaganda (i.e., agit-prop). That long-term effort is aimed at exporting instability and generating public opinion in favor of a “revolution” and against the bourgeois system. Thus, the contemporary asymmetric revolutionary warfare challenge is rooted in the concept that the North American (U.S.) “Empire” and its bourgeois political friends in Latin America are not doing what is right for the people, and that the socialist Bolivarian philosophy and leadership will. This may not be a traditional national security problem for the United States and other targeted countries, and it may not be perceived to be as lethal as conventional conflict, but that does not diminish the cruel reality of compulsion.


Editor: Dr Carolyn Pumphrey

Author: Dr Carolyn Pumphrey

Published: November 2012

The relationship between energy and security has been receiving increasing attention over the last few years. Energy literally drives the global economy. Societies rely on it for everything from advanced medical equipment to heating, cooling, and irrigation. Whether it derives from advanced nuclear reactors in developed nations or simple woodstoves in the developing world, energy is recognized as vital to human welfare. It influences our economic, political, and social policies. Possessing or not possessing sufficient energy determines a state’s political and economic power. Competition for energy has been, is, and will be a source of conflict. The choices nation-states make when it comes to energy will have a profound bearing on a wide range of security concerns, from nuclear proliferation to climate change.


Author: Dr Jeffrey M Bale

Published: November 2012

The first of two interrelated security threats is multifaceted inasmuch as it stems from a complex combination of religious, political, historical, cultural, social, and economic motivational factors caused by the growing predilection for carrying out mass casualty terrorist attacks inside the territories of “infidel” Western countries by clandestine operational cells that are inspired by, and sometimes linked to, various jihadist networks with a global agenda. The second threat is more narrowly technical: the widespread fabrication of increasingly sophisticated and destructive improvised explosive devices (IEDs) by those very same jihadist groups. These devices, if properly constructed, are capable of causing extensive human casualties and significant amounts of physical destruction within the radius of their respective blasts. These dual intersecting threats within the recent European context are examined in an effort to assess what they might portend for the future, including within the U.S. homeland.


Editor: Mr Roy Kamphausen, Dr David Lai, Mr Travis Tanner

Author: Mr Roy Kamphausen, Dr David Lai, Mr Travis Tanner

Published: November 2012

To better understand the PLA’s ability to employ its developing capabilities in a variety of potential scenarios, this year’s workshop examined how the PLA learns by doing, specifically through its exercises and noncombat operations at home and overseas, and through key logistical and theoretical developments. Key findings are: 1) recent PLAN exercises and operations point to an increasing interest in developing expeditionary naval capabilities and a presence in distant seas, suggesting that a move beyond the current “near seas” focus is both possible and an extension of existing efforts; 2) PLA ground force exercises—rather than aiming to intimidate others by demonstrating the ability to project power beyond China’s borders—focus on moving military power within China, both to defend China’s borders and perhaps as a prelude to military restructuring in which smaller but more mobile formations could replace larger and more static ones; 3) through its participation in international military exercises as well as peacekeeping operations and humanitarian aid and disaster relief missions, the PLA is gaining greater capabilities to deploy outside of China’s borders for a variety of missions; and, 4) PLA operations are increasingly supported by a modern, civilian-integrated military logistics network, though a lack of overseas bases continues to limit the effectiveness of this network as it pertains to overseas power projection capabilities.


Author: LTC G Scott Taylor

Published: November 2012

The Army goes to great lengths to capture lessons learned and preserve these lessons for current practitioners and future generations. Though the Army is one of the most self-critical organizations found in American society, a well-deserved reputation has also been earned for failing to inculcate those lessons by transforming the institutional Army. Change is achieved through a continuous cycle of adaptive innovation, experimentation, and experience. In Iraq, out of necessity while in contact with a dynamic enemy, the Army transformed on the battlefield with radical changes in doctrine, organization, training, and materiel, which significantly enabled battlefield success. As a result of the withdrawl of troops from Iraq at the end of 2011, this Paper analyzes the success of the military’s counterinsurgency strategy and nation-building efforts, examines the future of combat which the Army may face in order to recommend a suitable force posture, and makes recommendations for future competencies and capabilities utilizing the problem-solving construct of DOTMLPF in order to ensure future victories in this relevant component of the full spectrum of conflict.


Editor: Dr Stephen J Blank

Author: Dr Stephen J Blank

Published: October 2012

The three papers offered in this monograph provide a detailed analysis of the insurgency and counterinsurgency campaigns being conducted by Islamist rebels against Russia in the North Caucasus. This conflict is Russia’s primary security threat, but it has barely registered on Western minds and is hardly reported in the West as well. To overcome this neglect, these three papers go into great detail concerning the nature of the Islamist challenge, the Russian response, and the implications of this conflict. This monograph, in keeping with SSI’s objectives, provides a basis for dialogue among U.S., European, and Russian experts concerning insurgency and counterinsurgency, which will certainly prove useful to all of these nations, since they will continue to be challenged by such wars well into the future. It is important for us to learn from the insurgency in the North Caucasus, because the issues raised by this conflict will not easily go away, even for the United States as it leaves Afghanistan.


Author: Prof Frank L Jones

Published: October 2012

For more than 3 decades, the term “hollow army” or the more expansive idiom, “hollow force,” has represented President Carter’s alleged willingness to allow American military capability to deteriorate in the face of growing Soviet capability. The phrase continues to resonate today. In this current period of declining defense resources, the President of the United States, the Secretary of Defense, and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff have articulated how the newly released strategic guidance and budget priorities signify a concerted effort not to “hollow out” U.S. forces. They have affirmed their dedication to preventing the recreation of the ragged military and disastrous deterioration in defense capability the Carter administration allowed to occur. However, it is also time to reexamine the term “hollow army” and its meaning as the inevitable tug of war over defense spending gets underway. This Paper places the “hollow army” metaphor within its historical context: barely 5 years after the United States finally disengaged from a major war (Vietnam), a struggling economy, and an election year in which a President was not only tenuously leading in the polls, but also confronted substantial opposition from elements of his own political party. Over the years, a specific political reading of these events has taken hold. It is the purpose of this Paper to re-read the historical events, and in doing so, come to a better understanding of the domestic political and geostrategic environment during Carter’s presidency, the U.S. Cold War strategy, and the assertions made concerning the readiness of the U.S. Army to perform its missions.


Author: Dr Mohammed El-Katiri

Published: October 2012

Following the overthrow of Muammar Qadhafi, Libya’s National Transitional Council inherited a difficult and volatile domestic situation. The new leadership faces serious challenges in all areas of statehood. Libya’s key geostrategic position, and role in hydrocarbon production and exportation, means that the internal developments in Libya are crucial not only to the Libyan people, but also to neighboring countries both in North Africa and across the Mediterranean in southern Europe. Therefore, mitigation or prevention of conditions that could lead to Libya becoming a failing or failed state is of vital importance. A review of the major challenges to the new Libyan regime, including the continuing role of tribalism and the difficulty posed by the new government’s lack of monopoly on ensuring security in Tripoli and beyond are discussed. Special attention is given to the key issues of concern that foreign partners should have when engaging with the new Libyan leadership; and a number of policy recommendations are made as well. Libya’s immediate future is of critical importance, and will determine whether the country faces state consolidation or state failure.


Author: Dr Alan G Stolberg

Published: October 2012

The need for security and the institutionalization of that security in national strategy and its associated documents is becoming a significant concern for nations in the 21st century international system. This need requires the development of national-level strategies that are designed with objectives; the attainment of which can ensure that the conditions necessary for security for a given actor in the international system can be met. The intent of this monograph is to explore the actual processes that nation-states employ to craft their national security strategy-related documents. The study aligned individual case studies of nation-states conducting their national strategy document formulation processes. These case studies were selected based upon a determination of two primary factors: 1) The nation-states in question had developed national security strategy documents that involved participation in the drafting process from more than one department or agency from the executive branch of government; and, 2) Individual participants that were involved in the actual drafting process would be willing to respond to the questions delineated above, either in person or by written response. In addition, subject to travel resource availability, an effort was made to have as many different regions of the world as possible represented in the review. Ultimately, five countries and their national strategy documents were selected for assessment: Australia, Brazil, South Africa, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Once the data was gathered, the monograph written so as to compare and contrast the various processes employed by each nation in their strategy document development. The last portion of the analysis evaluates the lessons learned from all five cases and identifies specific lessons that could be applicable to strategy document formulation for any future actor engaged in the process.


Author: Dr John R Deni

Published: October 2012

View the Executive Summary

In this monograph, Dr. John R. Deni explores the utility of forward presence in Europe, placing the recent decisions—and, in particular, the arguments against forward presence—in the context of a decades-long tradition on the part of many political leaders, scholars, and others to mistakenly tie the forward-basing of U.S. forces to more equal defense burden sharing across the entire North Atlantic alliance. In assessing whether and how forward presence still matters in terms of protecting U.S. interests and achieving U.S. objectives, Dr. Deni bridges the gap between academics and practitioners by grounding his analysis in political science theory while illuminating how forward-basing yields direct, tangible benefits in terms of military operational interoperability. Moreover, Dr. Deni’s monograph forms a critical datapoint in the ongoing dialogue regarding the future of American Landpower, particular in this age of austerity.


Author: LTC Clark C Barrett

Published: September 2012

The ethical lapses exemplified by Abu Ghraib, Mahmudiyah (Blackhearts), and Maywand (5/2 Stryker) are distressing symptoms of an even bigger, and a potentially devastating cultural shortcoming. The U.S. Army profession lacks an institutional ethical framework and a means of peer-to-peer self-governance. The frameworks the Army has may imply, but do not explicitly dictate, an Army ethic. Other English-speaking nations' ethical constructs can inform the development of an Army Ethic which serves to protect our organizational and individual honor from moral and ethical lapses which do great harm to the institution, undermine the American public trust, and hinder mission accomplishment. This Paper describes the problem, provides a review of the literature, including current Army artifacts, partner nation military ethics, and necessary philosophical underpinnings. It also addresses the importance of promulgation, nontoleration, and the necessity for the Army to act as a learning organization. Finally, the Paper supplies and justifies a proposed institutional and individual Army Ethic and a means of promulgation, ethical decisionmaking and governance. The proposed Ethic replaces and integrates a number of disjointed and disconnected Army artifacts.


Editor: Dr Stephen J Blank

Author: Dr Stephen J Blank

Published: September 2012

The essays gathered here represent a panel at SSI’s annual Russia conference in 2011. They focus on the analysis of Russian foreign policy both on its material side or actual conduct as well as on the cognitive bases of Russian thinking about international affairs and Russian national security. They span much of the gamut of that foreign policy and also show its strong linkages to the Russian historical tradition and to the imperatives of Russian domestic development.


Author: Dr Querine Hanlon

Published: September 2012

In the year since the revolution, Tunisia has achieved what no other Arab Spring country has managed: peaceful transition to democratic rule through national elections widely viewed to be free and fair. The legacy of the previous regime, however, remains. Dr. Querine Hanlon assesses the prospects for Security Sector Reform (SSR) in Tunisia and concludes that Tunisia’s new government faces major challenges dismantling and reorienting the mandate and institutional culture of Tunisia’s labyrinth of security institutions. Serious SSR will be critical for building trust in the new governments and its security institutions and essential if Tunisia’s transition to democratic rule is to succeed in the long term.


Editor: Dr Stephen J Blank

Author: Dr Stephen J Blank

Published: September 2012

Arms control remains the central issue in U.S.-Russian relations for many reasons,including the respective capabilities of these two states and their consequent responsibility for preventing both nuclear proliferation and the outbreak of war between them. The bilateral relationship is usually directly proportional to the likelihood of their finding common ground on arms control. To the extent that they can find such ground, chances for an agreement on what have been the more intractable issues of regional security in Eurasia and the Third World grow, and the converse is equally true. The chapters in this volume focus on Russian developments in arms control in the light of the so-called New Start Treaty signed and ratified in 2010 by Russia and the United States in Prague, Czech Republic.


Author: Mr David E Brown

Published: September 2012

The explosive growth of China’s economic interests in Africa—bilateral trade rocketed from $1 billion in 1990 to $150 billion in 2011—may be the most important trend in the continent’s foreign relations since the end of the Cold War. In 2010, China surpassed the United States as Africa’s top trading partner; its quest to build a strategic partnership with Africa on own its terms through tied aid, trade, and development finance is also part of Beijing’s broader aspirations to surpass the United States as the world’s preeminent superpower. Africa and other emerging economies have become attractive partners for China not only for natural resources, but as growing markets. Africa’s rapid growth since 2000 has not just occurred because of higher commodity prices, but more importantly due to other factors including improved governance, economic reforms, and an expanding labor force. China’s rapid and successful expansion in Africa is due to multiple factors, including economic diplomacy that is clearly superior to that of the United States. China’s “no strings attached” approach to development, however, risks undoing decades of Western efforts to promote good governance. Consequently, this monograph examines China’s oil diplomacy, equity investments in strategic minerals, and food policy toward Africa. The official U.S. rhetoric is that China’s rise in Africa should not be seen as a zero-sum game, but areas where real U.S.-China cooperation can help Africa remain elusive, mainly because of Beijing’s hyper-mistrust of Washington. The United States could help itself, and Africa, by improving its own economic diplomacy and adequately funding its own soft-power efforts.


Author: Dr Mark R Shulman

Published: September 2012

This monograph explains why robust civil-military relations matter and discusses how they are evolving. Part I discusses A More Perfect Military: How the Constitution Can Make Our Military Stronger by Diane Mazur, a book that examines the jurisprudence that has reshaped civil-military relations. Mazur maintains that since the Vietnam era, the U.S. Supreme Court has hewn the armed forces from general society in order to create a separate—and more socially conservative—sphere. Part II discusses The Decline and Fall of the American Republic by Bruce Ackerman, a wise and wide-ranging book which argues that the nation’s polity is in decline and that the increasingly politicized armed forces may force a change in government. Part III asks where we go from here. The important books attribute a thinning of civilian control over the military to specific legal and political decisions. They explain some of the most important implications of this transformation. They offer proposals about how to improve that critical relationship for the sake of enhancing the effectiveness of the armed forces and the vitality of the republic. This monograph goes on to examine briefly the evolving great power politics, the effects new technologies have on long-standing distinctions and borders, and the relative rise of non-state actors including al Qaeda—three sets of exogenous factors that inevitably drive changes in the civil-military relationship. In the end, this monograph points to a more ambitious enterprise: a complete reexamination of the relationship between force and society.


Editor: Dr Antulio J Echevarria II

Author: Dr Antulio J Echevarria II

Published: September 2012

Please reference the main 2012-13 KSIL for a full list of topics.

This is an update to the 2012-13 Key Strategic Issues List. It includes topics from U.S. Army Pacific G-5, Plans and U.S. Army Maneuver Center of Excellence (MCoE).


Author: Dr Hal Brands

Published: August 2012

What is “grand strategy,” and why is it seemingly so important and so difficult? This monograph explores the concept of grand strategy as it has developed over the past several decades. It explains why the concept is so ubiquitous in discussions of present-day foreign policy, examines why American officials often find the formulation of a successful grand strategy to be such an exacting task, and explores the ways in which having a grand strategy can be both useful and problematic. It illustrates these points via an analysis of two key periods in modern American grand strategy—the Truman years at the outset of the Cold War, and the Nixon-Kissinger years in the late 1960s and 1970s—and provides several suggestions for how U.S. officials might approach the challenges of grand strategy in the 21st century.


Author: Dr Pauline Kusiak

Published: August 2012

While it is impossible to predict the values and beliefs of future generations, a modest forecast is made by tracing global trends in the use of language and media, as well as in the use of information and communication technologies. The potential implications of these culture and identity trends for the strength of the U.S. “signal” in the global info-communication sphere are analyzed. The author suggests that the information that will dominate the 21st century, particularly the beliefs and values of foreign societies, may increasingly and more directly impact our own national security, making it ever more critical for policymakers to understand issues of cultural change and identity formation from a strategic perspective.


Editor: Dr Stephen J Blank, COL Louis H Jordan Jr

Author: Dr Stephen J Blank, COL Louis H Jordan Jr

Published: August 2012

The following three papers comprise one of the panels from a conference on U.S.-Russia relations that SSI co-sponsored with the Carnegie Council at Pocantico, NY, from June 1-3, 2011: Carnegie Council's Program on “U.S. Global Engagement: A Two-Year Retrospective.” The papers offer three contrasting looks at one of the major issues in today’s arms control agenda, namely the future of the Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty (CFE). The three papers were written by leading experts in the field from the United States, the United Kingdom, and Russia and provide a revealing glimpse into the very different assessments that are being made by those three governments and the difficult issues involved in attempting to regenerate the process that led to the original treaty in 1990. These three chapters also implicitly contribute to a better understanding of the intractabilities facing the major players in any effort to advance not only arms control but also European stability.


Author: Dr Florence Gaub

Published: August 2012

While NATO was created with a primary outlook to the East, its Southern rim was neglected strategically until the end of the Cold War. Since then, the Alliance has undertaken a number of efforts to build strategic relationships with the Middle East and North Africa, recognizing the region’s importance for Allied security. However, looming obstacles may well interfer with NATO's efforts to enhance relations with the region. Geostrategic realities are not in NATO’s favor: it is a region of crisis; suspicious of the West in general; riddled with internal instability; and is a difficult to build ties with. This monograph examines the existing relationships as well as the remaining obstacles, and proposes solutions to the latter.


Editor: Dr Antulio J Echevarria II

Author: Dr Antulio J Echevarria II

Published: August 2012

Please reference the main 2012-13 KSIL for a full list of topics.

This is an update to the 2012-13 Key Strategic Issues List. It includes topics from I Corps, USACE, UNC/CFC/USFK, and U.S. Army South (ARSOUTH).


Editor: Dr Antulio J Echevarria II

Author: Dr Antulio J Echevarria II

Published: August 2012

Update No. 1 and Update No. 2 to the KSIL are now available with additional topics.

Unlike other lists that generally reflect issues which are operational or tactical in nature, the focus of the Key Strategic Issues List is strategic. The spotlight is, in other words, on those items that senior Army and Department of Defense leaders should consider in providing military advice and formulating military strategy. At present, the U.S. military is engaged in a changing situation in Iraq and an increasing presence in Afghanistan, as well as efforts to restore balance in force sizing and structure.


Author: Mr Douglas Farah

Published: August 2012

The emergence of new hybrid (state and nonstate) transnational criminal/terrorist franchises in Latin America operating under broad state protection now pose a tier-one security threat for the United States. Similar hybrid franchise models are developing in other parts of the world, which makes the understanding of these new dynamics an important factor in a broader national security context. This threat goes well beyond the traditional nonstate theory of constraints activity, such as drug trafficking, money laundering, and human trafficking, into the potential for trafficking related to weapons of mass destruction by designated terrorist organizations and their sponsors. These activities are carried out with the support of regional and extra-regional state actors whose leadership is deeply enmeshed in criminal activity, which yields billions of dollars in illicit revenues every year. These same leaders have a publicly articulated, common doctrine of asymmetrical warfare against the United States and its allies that explicitly endorses as legitimate the use of weapons of mass destruction. The central binding element in this alliance is a hatred for the West, particularly the United States, and deep anti-Semitism, based on a shared view that the 1979 Iranian Revolution was a transformative historical event. For Islamists, it is evidence of divine favor; and for Bolivarians, a model of a successful asymmetrical strategy to defeat the “Empire.” The primary architect of this theology/ideology that merges radical Islam and radical, anti-Western populism and revolutionary zeal is the convicted terrorist Ilich Sánchez Ramirez, better known as “Carlos the Jackal,” whom Chávez has called a true visionary.


Editor: Mr Henry D Sokolski

Author: Mr Henry D Sokolski

Published: July 2012

The New Strategic Arms Reduction Talks (New START) agreement was reached in 2011, and both Russia and the United States are bringing nuclear strategic warhead deployments down to roughly 1,500 on each side. In the next round of strategic arms reduction talks, though, U.S. officials hope to cut far deeper; perhaps as low as several hundred warheads on each side—numbers that approach what other nuclear weapons states, such as France, China, Israel, India, and Pakistan either have or will soon possess. This, then, raises the question of how compatible such reductions might be with the nuclear activities of other states. How might Russia view the nuclear and military modernization activities of China? How might the continuing nuclear and military competition between Pakistan and India play out? What might the nuclear dynamics be between North and South Korea, Japan, and China? What might other states interested in developing a nuclear weapons option of their own make of the way the superpowers have so far dealt with the nuclear programs in India, Iraq, Iran, Syria, and North Korea? Are "peaceful" nuclear competitions in the Middle and Far East where states build up civilian nuclear programs to help them develop nuclear weapons options inevitable? What, beyond current nuclear control efforts, might help to reduce such nuclear threats? Each of these questions and more are examined with precision in The Next Arms Race.


Author: LTC William L Peace Sr

Published: July 2012

This monograph analyzes the occupation of Germany after World War II and the occupation of Iraq after major combat operations in Operation IRAQI FREEDOM to understand the similarities between the two operations and to highlight the lessons learned from both. Allied forces spent much time planning and preparing for the occupation of the Axis countries, obtaining practical experience in North Africa, Sicily, and France as they pressed on toward Berlin. Unity of command and unity of effort ensured the effective governance of Germany, helping to make it the vibrant country that it is today, ranking in the top five countries in many metrics. Iraq has not been as fortunate, and has only started to move forward within the last 3 to 4 of the almost 9 years of occupation there. The United States did not have as much time to plan for the occupation, and unity of command was not achieved in the beginning, causing a lack of security during the initial years of the occupation. While we cannot yet know the outcome of Iraq, there is hope that it will become our friend in the years to come. However, we can take some lessons from both of these operations and apply them to the future.


Editor: Dr J Boone Bartholomees Jr

Author: Dr J Boone Bartholomees Jr

Published: July 2012

This edition of the U.S. Army War College Guide to National Security Issues continues to reflect the structure and approach of the core national security strategy and policy curriculum at the U.S. Army War College. The 5th Edition is published in two volumes that correspond roughly to the Department of National Security and Strategy’s core courses: “Theory of War and Strategy” and “National Security Policy and Strategy.” Like previous editions, this one is based on its predecessor, but contains both updates and new scholarship. Over a third of the chapters are new or have undergone significant rewrites. Many chapters, some of which appeared for years in this work, have been removed. Nevertheless, the book remains unchanged in intent and purpose. Although this is not primarily a textbook, it does reflect both the method and manner that the U.S. Army War College uses to teach strategy formulation to America’s future senior leaders. The book is not a comprehensive or exhaustive treatment of either strategic theory or the policymaking process. Both volumes are organized to proceed from the general to the specific. Thus, the first volume opens with general thoughts on the nature and theory of war and strategy, proceeds to look at the complex aspect of power, and concludes with specific theoretical issues. Similarly, the second volume begins by examining the policy/strategy process, moves to a look at the strategic environment, and concludes with some specific issues. This edition continues the effort begun in the 4th Edition to include several short case studies to illustrate the primary material in the volume.


Editor: Dr Stephen J Blank

Author: Dr Stephen J Blank

Published: June 2012

These three papers represent the first panel of papers from SSI’s annual Russia conference that took place in September 2011. They assess the nature of Russia's political system, economy, and armed forces and draw conclusions, even sharp and provocative ones, concerning the nature and trajectory of these institutions. The three papers presented here offer attempts to characterize first of all, the nature of the state; second, the prospects for economic reform within that state—perhaps the most pressing domestic issue and one with considerable spillover into defense and security agendas as well—in contemporary Russia; and third, the nature and lasting effects of the defense reform that began in 2008. The papers are forthright and pull no punches, though we certainly do not claim that they provide the last or definitive word on these subjects. The papers go straight to the heart of the most important questions concerning the nature of the state and the possibilities for its economic and military reform. As such, we hope that the papers presented here, and in subsequent volumes, provide insight and understanding to several critical questions pertaining to and/or affecting Russia, a country that deliberately tries to remain opaque to foreign observers despite its many changes. These papers aim to be a resource, to enlighten, to edify readers, and to stimulate the effort to understand and deal with one of the most important actors in international affairs today.


Editor: Dr J Boone Bartholomees Jr

Author: Dr J Boone Bartholomees Jr

Published: June 2012

This edition of the U.S. Army War College Guide to National Security Issues continues to reflect the structure and approach of the core national security strategy and policy curriculum at the U.S. Army War College. The 5th Edition is published in two volumes that correspond roughly to the Department of National Security and Strategy’s core courses: “Theory of War and Strategy” and “National Security Policy and Strategy.” Like previous editions, this one is based on its predecessor, but contains both updates and new scholarship. Over a third of the chapters are new or have undergone significant rewrites. Many chapters, some of which appeared for years in this work, have been removed. Nevertheless, the book remains unchanged in intent and purpose. Although this is not primarily a textbook, it does reflect both the method and manner that the U.S. Army War College uses to teach strategy formulation to America’s future senior leaders. The book is not a comprehensive or exhaustive treatment of either strategic theory or the policymaking process. Both volumes are organized to proceed from the general to the specific. Thus, the first volume opens with general thoughts on the nature and theory of war and strategy, proceeds to look at the complex aspect of power, and concludes with specific theoretical issues. Similarly, the second volume begins by examining the policy/strategy process, moves to a look at the strategic environment, and concludes with some specific issues. This edition continues the effort begun in the 4th Edition to include several short case studies to illustrate the primary material in the volume.


Author: COL Lewis G Irwin

Published: May 2012

Remarkably ambitious in its audacity and scope, NATO’s irregular warfare and nation-building mission in Afghanistan has struggled to meet its nonmilitary objectives by most tangible measures. Put directly, the Alliance and its partners have fallen short of achieving the results needed to create a stable, secure, democratic, and self-sustaining Afghan nation, a particularly daunting proposition given Afghanistan’s history and culture, the region’s contemporary circumstances, and the fact that no such country has existed there before. Furthermore, given the central nature of U.S. contributions to this NATO mission, these shortfalls also serve as an indicator of a serious American problem as well. Specifically, inconsistencies and a lack of coherence in the U.S. Government’s strategic planning processes and products, as well as fundamental flaws in the U.S. Government’s structures and systems for coordinating and integrating the efforts of its various agencies, are largely responsible for this adverse and dangerous situation. This book explores these strategic and interagency shortfalls, while proposing potential reforms that would enable the United States to achieve the strategic coherence and genuine unity of effort that will be needed in an era of constrained resources and emerging new threats.


Author: Dr W Andrew Terrill

Published: May 2012

This monograph considers both the future of Iraq and the differences and similarities between events in Iraq and the Arab Spring states. The author analyzes the nature of Iraqi de-Ba’athification and carefully evaluates the rationales and results of actions taken by both Americans and Iraqis involved in the process. While there are many differences between the formation of Iraq’s post-Saddam Hussein government and the current efforts of some Arab Spring governing bodies to restructure their political institutions, it is possible to identify parallels between Iraq and Arab Spring countries. As in Iraq, new Arab Spring governments will have to apportion power, build or reform key institutions, establish political legitimacy for those institutions, and accommodate the enhanced expectations of their publics in a post-revolutionary environment. A great deal can go wrong in these circumstances, and any lessons that can be gleaned from earlier conflicts will be of considerable value to those nations facing these problems, as well as their regional and extra-regional allies seeking to help them. Moreover, officers and senior noncommissioned officers of the U.S. Army must realize that they may often have unique opportunities and unique credibility to offer advice on the lessons of Iraq to their counterparts in some of the Arab Spring nations.


Author: Dr Dmitry Shlapentokh

Published: May 2012

The United States is no longer the only global center of power as it was in the first years of post-Cold War era. Neither are there just two superpowers — the United States and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics — that define the course of global events. The new multipolarity implies the presence of several centers of power that will provide the opportunity for small states, such as Belarus, to move from one center of power to the other and/or to engage in a sort of geopolitical gamesmanship. During the last 10 years or so, Belarus moved from Russia to the European Union and back, while at the same time engaging in relationships with Iran and China. While relationships with Russia and the European Union have not been stable, the story is different with China and Iran. Belarus has always maintained a good relationship with both countries, especially with China. This demonstrates the increasing role of Asia in the geopolitical arrangements now and certainly in the years to come.


Author: Dr Max G Manwaring

Published: April 2012

The principle security threat of the past several centuries—war between or among major powers—is gone. Two new types of threats have been introduced into the global security arena. Violent nonstate actors and other indirect political, economic, and social causes of poverty, social exclusion, corruption, terrorism, transnational crime, the global drug problem, and gangs are a few examples of these “new” threats to global security and stability. More and more, national security implies protection—through a variety of nonmilitary and military ways and means—of popular interests that add up to well-being. This broadened definition of the contemporary security problem makes the concept so vague as to render it useless as an analytical tool. The genius of Ambassador Stephen Krasner, however, helps solve the problem. His orienting principle for foreign policy and military management (responsible sovereignty/legitimate governance) focuses on the need to create nation-states capable of legitimate governance and to realize stability, security, and well-being for citizens. This concept has serious implications for the transition and relevance of armed forces and other instruments of power, as well as foreign policy. Thus, we: 1) define the contemporary security dilemma and the larger principle of Krasner’s responsible sovereignty; 2) outline the major components of a legitimate governance paradigm; 3) discuss some considerations for foreign policymaking and military management; and, 4) argue that substantially more sophisticated security-stability concepts, policy structures, and decision and policymaking precautions are necessary if the United States is to play more effectively in the security arena now and in the future.


Author: LTG H Steven Blum, LTC Kerry McIntyre

Published: April 2012

Any significant homeland response event requires Americans to work together. This is a complex challenge. The authors assert that the principal obstacle to effective homeland response is a recurring failure to achieve unity of effort across a diverse and often chaotic mix of participating federal, state, and local government and nongovernmental organizations. Despite a decade of planning since the terror attacks of September 2001, unity of effort still eludes us—particularly in the largest and most dangerous of crises. The authors examine how the military’s joint doctrine system affected joint military operational capabilities, concluding that a similar national homeland response doctrinal system is needed to create and sustain unity of effort. Doctrine performs a vital unifying function in complex operations, standardizing ways and means. A doctrinal system operates in a dynamic cycle, providing a process to identify capability gaps, develop and validate solutions, and incorporate new concepts into evolving plans and operational capabilities. To implement a dynamic national doctrine, the authors propose a new management concept modeled on the joint interagency task force. They also propose eliminating obstacles to unity of effort within the military, including the temporary employment of any relevant and available military capabilities under the direction of a governor.


Author: Dr Vanda Felbab-Brown, Dr Phil Williams

Published: April 2012

Although challenges posed by various kinds of violent armed groups initially appear highly diverse and unrelated to one another, in fact they all reflect the increasing connections between security and governance and, in particular, the relationship between poor governance and violent armed groups. In many cases, these groups are overtly challenging the state; in others they are cooperating and colluding with state structures while subtly undermining them; in yet others, the state is a passive bystander while violent armed groups are fighting one another. The mix is different, the combinations vary, and the perpetrators of violence have different motives, methods, and targets. In spite of their divergent forms, violent nonstate actors (VNSAs) share certain qualities and characteristics. These violent armed groups represent a common challenge to national and international security, a challenge that is far greater than the sum of the individual groups, and that is likely to grow rather than diminish over the next several decades. This monograph focuses on the complex relationship between human security, crime, illicit economies, and law enforcement. It also seeks to disentangle the linkages between insurgency on the one hand and drug trafficking and organized crime on the other, suggesting that criminal activities help sustain an insurgency, but also carry certain risks for the insurgency.


Editor: Dr Robert H Dorff, Dr Volker C Franke

Author: Dr Robert H Dorff, Dr Volker C Franke

Published: April 2012

Today, America faces security challenges that are exceedingly dynamic and complex, in part because of the ever changing mix and number of actors involved and the pace with which the strategic and operational environments change. To meet these new challenges more effectively, the Obama administration advocated strengthening civilian instruments of national power and enhancing America’s whole of government (WoG) capabilities. Although the need for comprehensive integration and coordination of civilian and military, governmental and nongovernmental, and national and international capabilities to improve efficiency and effectiveness of post-conflict stabilization and peacebuilding efforts is widely recognized, Washington has been criticized for its attempts at creating WoG responses to international crises and conflicts that result in the overcommitment of resources, lack of sufficient funding and personnel, competition between agencies, ambiguous mission objectives, and the undermining of the military’s primary purpose of defending the national interest. Presenting the results of an international symposium held at Kennesaw State University in February 2011, this volume traces the genesis of WoG, critically examines current WoG practices, and draws lessons from the operational contexts of Iraq and Afghanistan. The first part of the book describes the overall global security context within which peacebuilding and stability operations are currently conducted, examines the merits of WoG approaches, and discusses their efficacy for responding to a range of emerging threats. The second part addresses some of the practical challenges of implementing WoG approaches for international conflict management and specifically for U.S. intervention in fragile states. The third and final part examines WoG efforts in the field and draws lessons learned from operational experiences in Afghanistan and Iraq that may be useful in future interventions.


Editor: Dr Jeffrey D McCausland, Dr Tom Nichols, Dr Douglas Stuart

Author: Dr Jeffrey D McCausland, Dr Tom Nichols, Dr Douglas Stuart

Published: April 2012

NATO has been a “nuclear” alliance since its inception. Nuclear weapons have served the dual purpose of being part of NATO military planning as well as being central to the Alliance’s deterrence strategy. For over 4 decades, NATO allies sought to find conventional and nuclear forces, doctrines, and agreed strategies that linked the defense of Europe to that of the United States. Still, in light of the evolving security situation, the Alliance must now consider the role and future of tactical or non-strategic nuclear weapons (NSNWs). Two clear conclusions emerge from this analysis. First, in the more than 2 decades since the end of the Cold War, the problem itself—that is, the question of what to do with weapons designed in a previous century for the possibility of a World War III against a military alliance that no longer exists—is understudied, both inside and outside of government. Tactical weapons, although less awesome than their strategic siblings, carry significant security and political risks, and they have not received the attention that is commensurate to their importance. Second, it is clear that whatever the future of these arms, the status quo is unacceptable. It is past the time for NATO to make more resolute decisions, find a coherent strategy, and formulate more definite plans about its nuclear status. Consequently, decisions about the role of nuclear weapons within the Alliance and the associated supporting analysis are fundamental to the future identity of NATO. At the Lisbon Summit in Portugal in November 2010, the Alliance agreed to conduct the Deterrence and Defense Posture Review (DDPR). This effort is designed to answer these difficult questions prior to the upcoming NATO Summit in May 2012. The United States and its closest allies must define future threats and, in doing so, clarify NATO’s identity, purpose, and corresponding force requirements. So far, NATO remains a “nuclear alliance,” but it is increasingly hard to define what that means.


Author: Dr. John A. Lynn

Published: March 2012

On the morning of 9/11, Americans across the country witnessed al Qaeda’s terrorist attacks as appalling images that provoked shock at the slaughter, grief for the victims, and furor toward the perpetrators. Islamist radicals had succeeded in striking an intensely visceral blow. Even though the destruction was great, it once again became brutally clear that the power of terrorist violence derives not primarily from the physical damages it inflicts, but from the states of mind it provokes. This realization dominates our definitions of terrorism, which usually stress its intention to achieve victory by engendering fear. American reactions to 9/11, however, illustrate that we need to recognize the centrality of another emotion—outrage. While accepting the importance of fear in terrorist schemes, this article insists that to understand the dynamics of terrorism we should also grant that many of its most important gains come not by instilling fear but by inciting outrage.


Author: Dr Paul Kamolnick

Published: March 2012

Disrupting, dismantling, and ultimately defeating al-Qaeda based and inspired terrorism is a declared policy of the U.S. Government. Three key strategic objectives have been identified for accomplishing this: attacking al-Qaeda’s terror network, undermining radicalization and recruitment, and hardening homeland defense. The present monograph proposes a distinct "jihad-realist" approach for undermining radicalization and recruitment to al-Qaeda. First, a brief discussion of six means for ending terrorist organizations is provided. Second, the premises of a jihad-realist approach are described. Third, a jihad-realist shari’a case against al-Qaeda’s terrorism is presented. In conclusion, key assertions are summarized, and several specific policy recommendations offered for national security personnel charged with formulating and executing counterterrorist messaging strategy.


Author: Dr Richard Weitz

Published: March 2012

The case studies in this volume confirm the conclusions of other PNSR analyses that the performance of the U.S. national security apparatus in inconsistent. Although some cases illustrate relatively clear, integrated strategy development, unified policy implementation, and coherent tactical planning, coordination, and execution; others depict flawed, divided, contradictory, and sometimes nonexistent strategy promulgation and enactment. Similarly, the U.S. national security system can provide resources efficiently, but it also can do so inadequately and tardily. Flawed responses recur in issue areas as diverse as biodefense, public diplomacy, and military intervention. They also occur across many presidential administrations, from the onset of the Cold War to the present day. The piecemeal organizational reforms enacted to date have not fostered improved policy outcomes or decisionmaking, while capability building, especially in the civilian national security agencies, remains less than optimal.


Author: Dr Don M Snider

Published: February 2012

As with the post-Cold War downsizing during the Clinton administration in the late 1990s, one critical challenge for the U.S. Army centers on the qualitative, institutional character of the Army after the reductions—will the U.S. Army manifest the essential characteristics and behavior of a military profession with Soldiers and civilians who see themselves sacrificially called to a vocation of service to country within a motivating professional culture that sustains a meritocratic ethic, or will the Army’s character be more like any other government occupation in which its members view themselves as filing a job, motivated mostly by the extrinsic factors of pay, location, and work hours? In mid-2010, the Secretary of the Army and the Chief of Staff directed the Commanding General, Training and Doctrine Command, then General Martin Dempsey, to undertake a broad campaign of learning, involving the entire Department. The intent was to think through what it means for the Army to be a profession of arms and for its Soldiers and civilians to be professionals as the Army largely returns stateside after a decade of war and then quickly transitions to the new era of Defense reductions. Several new conceptions of the Army as a military profession have been produced, along with numerous initiatives that are currently being staffed to strengthen the professional character of the Army as it simultaneously recovers from a decade of war and transitions through reductions in force. They form the descriptive content of this monograph.


Author: Dr Colin S Gray

Published: February 2012

Strategic theory should educate to enable effective strategic practice, but much of contemporary theory promotes confusion, not clarity, of suitable understanding. A little strategic theory goes a long way, at least it does if it is austere and focused on essentials. Unfortunately, contemporary strategic conceptualization in the U.S. defense community is prolix, over-elaborate, and it confuses rather than clarifies. Recent debate about irregular, as contrasted allegedly with traditional, challenges to U.S. national security have done more harm than good. Conceptualization of and for an operational level of war can imperil the truly vital nexus between strategy and tactics. In much the same way, the invention of purportedly distinctive categories of challenge endangers the relationship between general theory for statecraft, war, and strategy, and strategic and tactical practice for particular historical cases. It is not helpful to sort challenges into supposedly distinctive categories. But, if such categorization proves politically or bureaucratically unavoidable, its potential for harm can be reduced by firm insistence upon the authority of the general theory of strategy.


Author: Dr Max G Manwaring

Published: December 2011

The reality and severity of the threats associated with contemporary transnational security problems indicate that the U.S. and its national and international partners need a new paradigm for the conduct of unconventional asymmetric conflict, and an accompanying new paradigm for strategic leader development. The strategic-level basis of these new paradigms is found in the fact that the global community is redefining security in terms of nothing less than a reconceptualization of sovereignty. In the past, sovereignty was the acknowledged and/or real control of territory and the people in it. Now, sovereignty is the responsibility of governments to protect peoples’ well-being and prevent great harm to those peoples. Thus, the security dilemma becomes, “Why, when, and how to intervene to protect people and prevent egregious human suffering?” We address some of the strategic-level questions and recommendations that arise out of that debate. We probably generate more questions than answers, but it is time to begin the strategic-level discussion.


Author: Dr David Lai

Published: December 2011

The most profound change that the United States and China have experienced in their relations over the past 30 years is perhaps the onset of an apparent power transition between the two nations. This potentially titanic change was set in motion as a result of China’s genuine and phenomenal economic development, and the impact of this economic success on the United States and the U.S.-led international system has been growing steadily. This perceived power transition process will continue to be a defining factor in U.S.-China relations for the next 30 years. As China’s economic, political, cultural, and military influence continue to grow globally, what kind of a global power will China become? What kind of a relationship will evolve between China and the United States? How will the United States maintain its leadership in world affairs and develop a working relationship with China so that China can join hands with the United States to shape the world in constructive ways? In this book, Dr. David Lai offers an engaging discussion of these questions and others. His analysis addresses issues that trouble U.S. as well as Chinese leaders. Dr. Lai has taken painstaking care to put the conflicting positions in perspective, most notably presenting the origins of the conflicts, highlighting the conflicting parties’ key opposing positions (by citing their primary or original sources), and pointing out the stalemates.


Author: Dr W Andrew Terrill

Published: December 2011

Saudi Arabia and Iran have often behaved as serious rivals for influence in the Middle East and especially the Gulf area since at least Iran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution and the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq War. While both nations define themselves as Islamic, the differences between their foreign policies could hardly be more dramatic. In most respects, Saudi Arabia is a regional status quo power, while Iran often seeks revolutionary change throughout the Gulf area and the wider Middle East with varying degrees of intensity. Saudi Arabia also has strong ties with Western nations, while Iran views the United States as its most dangerous enemy. Perhaps the most important difference between the two nations is that Saudi Arabia is a conservative Sunni Muslim Arab state, while Iran is a Shi’ite state whose senior politicians often view their country as the defender and natural leader of Shi’ites throughout the region. The rivalry between Riyadh and Tehran has been reflected in the politics of a number of regional states where these two powers exercise influence including Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, Egypt, Bahrain and others.

The 2011 wave of pro-democracy and anti-regime protests known as the “Arab Spring” introduced new concerns for both Saudi Arabia and Iran to consider within the framework of their regional priorities. The Saudi-Iranian rivalry is therefore likely to intensify as a central feature in the Middle Eastern security landscape that reaches into both the Gulf region and the Arab-Israeli theater. This is a reality that will touch upon the interests of the United States in a number of situations. In many instances, Saudi opposition to Iran will serve U.S. interests, but this will not occur under all circumstances. Saudi Arabia remains a deeply anti-revolutionary state with values and priorities which sometimes overlap with those of Washington on matters of strategic interest and often conflict over matters of reform and democracy for other Middle Eastern states. Additionally, in seeking to support Middle Eastern stability, the United States must be prepared to mediate between Riyadh and Baghdad, and thereby help to limit Iranian efforts to insert itself into Iraqi politics.


Author: COL John B Richardson IV

Published: December 2011

This monograph begins with a case study that provides a means for analyzing the complexity of organizational leadership in the contemporary security environment. As such, it presents a high stakes problem-set that required an operational adaptation by a cavalry squadron conducting combat operations in Baghdad. This problematic reality triggered the struggle to find a creative response to a very deadly problem, while cultural norms served as barriers that prevented the rejection of previously accepted solutions that had proven successful in the past, even though those successful solutions no longer fit in the context of the reality of the present. The case study highlights leaders who were constrained by deeply-held assumptions that inhibited their ability to adapt quickly to a changed environment. The case study then moves on to provide an example of a successful application of adaptive leadership and adaptive work that was performed by the organization after a period of reflection and the willingness to experiment and assume risk. The case study serves as a microcosm of the challenges facing the U.S. Army, and the corresponding leadership framework presented in this monograph can be used as a model for the Army as it attempts to move forward in its effort to make adaptation an institutional imperative. The paper presents a more holistic approach to leadership where the leader transcends that of simply being an authority figure and becomes a real leader who provides a safe and creative learning environment where the organization can tackle and solve adaptive challenges. The paper concludes by recommending that U.S. Army leaders apply Harvard Professor Dean Williams’s theory to the challenges confronting the Army’s leader development process thereby fostering a culture of adaptive leaders.


Author: Dr Rod Thornton

Published: December 2011

This monograph considers the recent history of organizational change in the Russian Airborne Forces (VDV). In particular, it looks at how the VDV has changed since the end of Russia’s conflict with Georgia in 2008. The VDV, a force much admired in Russian media and society has, in fact, escaped fairly lightly during the comprehensive reform of the Russian Army more generally over the last few years. In large part this has been down to the personality of the current head of the VDV, Lieutenant-General Vladimir Shamanov. Close to Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, Shamanov--a "maverick"--has used his political connections to help ward off many of the cuts and reforms that have impacted the rest of the Army. He has managed to keep the basic structure of the VDV intact, while also dealing with a number of problematic issues related to manning, equipment, and training regimes within his organization. This monograph goes on to point out the level of professionalism in the VDV that was demonstrated during the Georgian war. It also though, highlights the fact that, while some battalions within the VDV will be very effective and well trained, other battalions will not. Thus it is difficult to judge precisely how battle-ready the VDV’s divisions now are. Ultimately, this monograph seeks to establish just what sort of Russian airborne forces U.S. or NATO troops may one day have to either work alongside or, indeed, face in some sort of confrontation.


Author: Dr Stephen J Blank

Published: November 2011

The current U.S. reset policy with Russia involves efforts to blaze a path of mutual cooperation on arms control and proliferation. In arms control, we see determined administration attempts to promote greater nuclear reductions in the direction of nuclear zero, including reductions in tactical nuclear weapons. This necessarily leads Moscow to raise issues of missile defense in Europe that it vehemently opposes. This monograph analyzes Russia’s position on these arms control issues and examines the chances for the United States to achieve its arms control goals in the foreseeable future. It also looks at the Russian position with regard to the main nonproliferation issues of Iran and North Korea, what the implications of these positions are for the achievement of U.S. policy goals, and what the United States might do with regard to Russia to advance those goals in a dynamic international environment.


Editor: Dr Stephen J Blank

Author: Dr Stephen J Blank

Published: November 2011

This book presents several essays analyzing Russia’s extensive nuclear agenda and the issues connected with it. It deals with strategy, doctrine, European, Eurasian, and East Asian security agendas, as well as the central U.S.-Russia nuclear and arms control equations. This work brings together American, European, and Russian analysts to discuss Russia’s defense and conventional forces reforms and their impact on nuclear forces, doctrine, strategy, and the critical issues of Russian security policies toward the United States, Europe, and China. It also deals directly with the present and future roles of nuclear weapons in Russian defense policy and strategy.


Author: Mr Jonathan Pearl

Published: November 2011

A vigorous debate is occurring among American elites with respect to whether and when the United States should relinquish its nuclear weapons. Bolstering hopes for tangible results is that a U.S. President is again publicly and forcefully supporting disarmament. While this debate, which addresses both technical and political factors related to abolition, may be the most serious one of its kind since the dawn of the nuclear age, the future of U.S. nuclear weapons policy remains uncertain. The general approach advanced today in U.S. policy circles largely hews, after all, to the logic of the past 65 years: arms control and nonproliferation now, disarmament at an undetermined time in the future. Moreover, several conceptual and strategic barriers continue to block serious progress toward U.S. disarmament. By situating the current pro-disarmament rhetoric in this larger historical and strategic context, this monograph argues that there is reason to doubt whether the current push for disarmament will produce meaningful and lasting results.


Editor: Mr Roy Kamphausen, Dr David Lai, Dr Andrew Scobell

Author: Mr Roy Kamphausen, Dr David Lai, Dr Andrew Scobell

Published: November 2011

The importance of China stems not only from its current international role and its influence on the Asia-Pacific region in particular, but also because China’s impact on global developments will likely continue to grow. One of our enduring imperatives is to accurately survey China’s experiences as a means to grasp its existing perceptions, motivations, and ambitions. More than ever, solid, evidence-based evaluation of what the PLA has learned from the use of force and conflict elsewhere in the world is needed to shed light on the prospects for its cooperation, or rivalry, with the international community. This volume provides unique, valuable insights on how the PLA has applied the lessons learned from others’ military actions to its own strategic planning.


Author: Mr Alexander Ghaleb

Published: October 2011

This monograph is meant to provide an unbiased examination of: the scarcity of natural gas in the contemporary security environment; the salience of natural gas in Russia’s national security strategies; and, the natural gas pipeline politics in Eastern and Central Europe. While the tendency of most energy security scholars has been to collectively analyze Europe’s dependency on oil and gas, this author analyzes the two energy markets separately, and demonstrates that natural gas is a more potent instrument of coercion in the contemporary security environment than oil was in the traditional security environment. Sufficient evidence is also provided that Russia continues to perceive NATO as a hostile alliance, and that future natural gas disruption by Russia—who holds a monopoly on the supply of natural gas via pipeline to Eastern and Central Europe—will prove deadly to the economies of many NATO member states. The salience of natural gas as an instrument of state power is emphasized in Russia’s negotiations with Ukraine; this monograph credits the 2006 and 2009 gas wars between the two nations as the main causes for the failure of the Orange Revolution in Ukraine. Ultimately, today, Russia uses the same tools it used in Ukraine—in the context of natural gas negotiations—to bribe Western European nations; to divide the NATO Alliance; and to rule over its traditional sphere of influence in Eastern and Central Europe. Finally, the author emphasizes that with the Russian construction of Nord Stream and South Stream natural gas pipelines, and unless alternatives to Russian natural gas are found, it is only a matter of time until Russia will use natural gas as an instrument of coercion against NATO member states.


Author: Dr Richard J Krickus

Published: October 2011

The ability of the United States and Russia to cooperate in Afghanistan represents a solid test of their reset in relations. The author provides the historical background to the Afghanistan Question and assesses current events in the Afghan war with three objectives in mind: 1) To determine whether Russian-American cooperation in Afghanistan has been successful; 2) To identify and evaluate the successes and failures of the counterinsurgency strategy as the transition from U.S. to Afghanistan authority gains traction in the 2011-14 time frame; and 3) To provide conclusions and recommendations bearing on developments in Afghanistan.


Author: Dr Paul Rexton Kan

Published: October 2011

Since 2006, when Mexican President Felipe Calderon declared war on the drug cartels, there has been a rise in the number of Mexican nationals seeking political asylum in the United States to escape the ongoing drug cartel violence in their home country. Political asylum cases in general are claimed by those who are targeted for their political beliefs or ethnicity in countries that are repressive or are failing. Mexico is neither. Nonetheless, if the health of the Mexican state declines because criminal violence continues, increases, or spreads, U.S. communities will feel an even greater burden on their systems of public safety and public health from "narco-refugees." Given the ever increasing cruelty of the cartels, the question is whether and how the U.S. Government should begin to prepare for what could be a new wave of migrants coming from Mexico. Allowing Mexicans to claim asylum could potentially open a flood gate of migrants to the United States during a time when there is a very contentious national debate over U.S. immigration laws pertaining to illegal immigrants. On the other hand, to deny the claims of asylum seekers and return them to Mexico where they might very well be killed, strikes at the heart of American values of justice and humanitarianism. This monograph focuses on the asylum claims of Mexicans who unwillingly leave Mexico rather than those who willingly enter the United States legally or illegally. To successfully navigate through this complex issue will require a greater level of understanding and vigilance at all levels of the U.S. Government.


Author: Mr Gregory Aftandilian

Published: October 2011

Although this monograph was written before the pro-democracy demonstrations in Egypt in January 2011, it examines the important question as to who might succeed President Hosni Mubarak by analyzing several possible scenarios and what they would mean for U.S. strategic relations with Egypt. The monograph first describes the importance of Egypt in the Middle East region and gives an overview of the U.S.-Egyptian strategic relationship. It then examines the power structure in Egypt to include the presidency, the military, and the ruling party. The monograph next explores various succession scenarios. Although some of the scenarios outlined in this monograph are no longer viable--for example, President Mubarak is now on trial for complicity in the deaths of protestors during the uprising that resulted in his ouster from power--other scenarios remain plausible, particularly given what we see as the more prominent role of the Egyptian military in this fluid political situation. In addition, some of the possible presidential successors that the author mentions have now risen to higher positions in the Egyptian government. The author also discusses the sensitive issue of the Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt's most organized opposition group that is opposed to many U.S. policies. He examines a scenario of a Muslim Brotherhood-dominated government, but notes that this is unlikely to occur unless both the Brotherhood and the Egyptian military split apart.


Author: Mr Inigo Guevara Moyano

Published: September 2011

Since December 2006, when Felipe Calderon assumed the office of the President, Mexico has embarked upon the implementation of a culture of law and security that has triggered a war with organized crime involving all sectors of society. This implementation has activated a series of renovations in its armed forces, which remain the most trusted institutions in Mexican society. This Letort Paper contributes to an understanding of the structure, culture, motivators, and the challenges that the Mexican military faces in the 21st century. The Paper also provides a clear picture of doctrinal and structural transformations, adaptations, and improvements that the Mexican armed forces have accomplished over the past 5 years. This Paper discusses how the counternarcotic role of the armed forces has impacted its organization, deployments, and operations, and how it has generated new doctrinal and equipment requirements. The Paper also addresses key areas of national and international concern such as the respect for human rights and and the military justice system. Given Mexico’s importance to the United States as a neighbor, an ally, and as its third largest trading partner, understanding the transformation that the Mexican armed forces are undergoing to foster a culture of law should be of prime concern to all actors—government, private sector, and academia—involved in the decisionmaking process.


Author: Dr George W Grayson

Published: September 2011

Until the 1980s, Mexico enjoyed relative freedom from violence. Ruthless drug cartels existed, but they usually abided by informal rules of conduct hammered out between several capos and representatives of the dominant Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), which ruled the country until the 1990s. Relying on bribes, the desperados pursued their illicit activities with the connivance of authorities. In return for the legal authorities turning a blind eye, drug dealers behaved discretely, shunned high-tech weapons, deferred to public figures, spurned kidnapping, and even appeared with governors at their children’s weddings. Unlike their Colombian counterparts, Mexico’s barons did not seek elective office. In addition, they did not sell drugs within the country, corrupt children, target innocent people, engage in kidnapping, or invade the turf or product-line (marijuana, heroin, cocaine, etc.) of competitors. The situation was sufficiently fluid so that should a local police or military unit refuse to cooperate with a cartel, the latter would simply transfer its operations to a nearby municipality where they could clinch the desired arrangement. Three key events in the 1980s and 1990s changed the “live and let live” ethos that enveloped illegal activities. Mexico became the new avenue for Andean cocaine shipped to the United States after the U.S. military and law-enforcement authorities sharply reduced its flow into Florida and other South Atlantic states. The North American Free Trade Agreement, which took effect on January 1, 1994, greatly increased economic activities throughout the continent. Dealers often hid cocaine and other drugs among the merchandise that moved northward through Nuevo Laredo, El Paso, Tijuana, and other portals. The change in routes gave rise to Croesus-like profits for cocaine traffickers--a phenomenon that coincided with an upsurge of electoral victories. Largely unexamined amid this narco-mayhem are vigilante activities. With federal resources aimed at drug traffickers and local police more often a part of the problem than a part of the solution, vigilantes are stepping into the void. Suspected criminals who run afoul of these vigilantes endure the brunt of a skewed version of justice that enjoys a groundswell of support.


Author: Dr Andrew Mumford

Published: September 2011

This monograph holds that an aura of mythology has surrounded conventional academic and military perceptions of British performance in the realm of irregular warfare. It identifies 10 myths regarding British counterinsurgency performance and seeks to puncture them by critically assessing the efficacy of the British way of counterinsurgency from the much-vaunted, yet over-hyped, Malayan Emergency to the withdrawal of combat troops from Iraq in 2009. It challenges perceptions of the British military as an effective learning institution when it comes to irregular warfare and critically assesses traditional British counterinsurgency strategic maxims regarding hearts and minds and minimum force.


Author: Dr R Evan Ellis

Published: August 2011

This monograph examines Chinese military engagement with Latin America in five areas: (1) meetings between senior military officials; (2) lower-level military-to-military interactions; (3) military sales; (4) military-relevant commercial interactions; and, (5) Chinese physical presence within Latin America, all of which have military-strategic implications. This monograph finds that the level of PRC military engagement with the region is higher than is generally recognized, and has expanded in important ways in recent years: High-level trips by Latin American defense and security personnel to the PRC and visits by their Chinese counterparts to Latin America have become commonplace. The volume and sophistication of Chinese arms sold to the region has increased. Officer exchange programs, institutional visits, and other lower-level ties have also expanded. Chinese military personnel have begun participating in operations in the region in a modest, yet symbolically important manner. The monograph also argues that in the short term, PRC military engagement with Latin America does not focus on establishing alliances or base access to the United States, but rather, supporting objectives of national development and regime survival, such as building understanding and political leverage among important commercial partners, creating the tools to protect PRC interests in the countries where it does business, and selling Chinese products and moving up the value-added chain in strategically important sectors. It concludes that Chinese military engagement may both contribute to legitimate regional security needs, and foster misunderstanding. It argues that the U.S. should work for greater transparency with the PRC in regard to those activities, as well as to analyze how the Chinese presence will impact the calculation of the region’s actors in the context of specific future scenarios.


Editor: Dr Joseph R Cerami, Dr Robert H Dorff, Mr Matthew Harber

Author: Dr Joseph R Cerami, Dr Robert H Dorff, Mr Matthew Harber

Published: August 2011

On April 22, 2010, the Bush School of Government and Public Service and the U.S. Army War College, Strategic Studies Institute co-sponsored a colloquium in Washington, DC, on a midterm assessment of leadership and national security reform in the Obama administration. Panelists included experts from the Project on National Security Reform; the Foreign Policy Research Institute; the Hudson Institute; the Council on Foreign Relations; the Reserve Officers Association; the American Security Project; and Creative Associates International, Inc. The colloquium theme focused on the need for advancing the research and study of national security reform by engaging the invited participants to share their expertise on ways to develop a deeper awareness and understanding of the reform issues facing the U.S. Government. Three panels of national security experts discussed: “Assessing National Security Reform”; “Legislative Imperatives”; and, “Assessing National Security Reform-The Way Forward.” This book includes a summary of the panelists’ presentations, along with chapters written after the colloquium to further address and to assess the effectiveness and the near-term potential for Obama administration's national security reform initiatives.


Author: Dr Zhivan Alach

Published: July 2011

The Western way of war has come full circle. After centuries of evolution toward increased totality and brutality, it has turned back once again to the ritualistic and restrained methods of primitive warfare. Largely, this has been due to an interaction between the perceived lack of utility in contemporary warfare, developing humanitarian public opinion, and increasing professionalism among militaries. The significance of these evolutionary trends in the way that the West engages in modern warfare is that they are potentially dangerous, and they include the possibility that the West will be unprepared for a future foe whose defeat requires more unrestrained methods.


Author: Mr Sarwar A Kashmeri

Published: July 2011

NATO used to be the world’s most formidable military alliance. But its original reason for existence, the Soviet Union, disintegrated years ago, and its dreams of being a world cop are withering in the mountains of Afghanistan. Meanwhile, the European Union’s (EU) Common Security & Defense Policy (CSDP) has deployed 27 successful military/civil missions from Africa to Asia in the last 10 years. Through CSDP, Europeans are increasingly taking charge of managing their own foreign and security policy. NATO is no longer the sole and preeminent Euro-Atlantic security actor. But watching NATO fade into irrelevance would be a mistake. It is a tried and true platform to harness the resources of North America and Europe. NATO’s future usefulness depends on its willingness to accept its reduced role, to let the EU handle the day-to-day security needs of Europe, and to craft a relationship with CSDP that will allow North America and Europe to act militarily together, should that ever become necessary. It is time for NATO 2.0, a new version of NATO, to fit the realities of an ever more integrated Europe in the 21st century.


Author: COL Deborah Hanagan

Published: July 2011

Based on the reporting of major American news media, one could have drawn the conclusion that the Bush administration had paid little attention to Afghanistan or that its strategy focused mainly on military operations in the country. This conclusion would have been inaccurate. Shortly after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, President Bush articulated his broad foreign policy goals in Afghanistan and laid out a strategy that included the main instruments of U.S. national power: diplomatic, economic, and military. He also recognized the United States could not achieve its objectives unilaterally; he welcomed and strongly supported cooperation with the United Nations (UN) and the international community. The U.S.-led effort in Afghanistan was multilateral and multinational from the beginning in 2001. The administration also constantly assessed the progress being made, as well as the challenges, and it was flexible enough to adjust its strategy to address challenges and changing conditions in the country and the region. This paper is a review of the broad dimensions of the Bush administration’s Afghanistan policy and what was achieved over the course of 7 1/2 years, as well as some of the ongoing challenges.


Editor: Dr Stephen J Blank

Author: Dr Stephen J Blank

Published: July 2011

The Arctic has returned with a vengeance as an area of international contention. Beginning in 2007, Russia has continued to make aggressive moves and claims regarding territory in the Arctic Ocean. These moves undoubtedly have been prompted by global climate change and the importance of energy, with which Russia believes the Arctic is lavishly supplied. These moves apparently were intended to compel other Arctic states, like Norway, to come to terms with Russia. Nonetheless, the tendency to invoke military and security issues and instruments in this region of the world continues apace. These essays, taken from SSI's 2010 conference on Russia, fully explore the Russian and international competition for influence and rights over the exploration and commercial exploitation of the Arctic.


Author: COL William A Boik

Published: July 2011

This monograph provides a timely analysis and thoughtful insights into the challenges faced by the United States in developing a strategy for North Korea. The author examines the complex history of U.S. policy toward North Korea over the last decade that has left the United States in a position of having virtually no influence over the country. He addresses the complicated regional concerns and interests of North Korea’s neighbors and how these concerns impact on each of their approaches to North Korea. Most importantly, he looks at how the North Korean culture and history have influenced the attitudes of North Korean society and their relationship with other countries. He concludes by pointing out that despite the numerous challenges, the United States must develop a strategy focused on engaging Pyongyang if we expect to have any influence over the future direction of events in North Korea.


Author: Dr Clayton K S Chun, Dr Samuel J Newland

Published: June 2011

The authors begin with an examination of prewar planning for various contingencies, then move to the origins of “Germany first” in American war planning. They then focus on the concept, favored by both George C. Marshall and Dwight D. Eisenhower, that the United States and its Allies had to conduct a cross-channel attack and undertake an offensive aimed at the heartland of Germany. Following this background contained in the initial chapters, the remainder of the book provides a comprehensive discussion outlining how the European Campaign was was carried out. The authors conclude that American political leaders and war planners established logical and achievable objectives for the nation’s military forces. However during the campaign’s execution, American military leaders were slow to put into practice what would later be called operational level warfare. For comparison, the authors include an appendix covering German efforts at war planning in the tumultuous 1920s and 1930s.


Author: Dr Ariel Cohen, COL Robert E Hamilton

Published: June 2011

In August 2008, the armed conflict on the territory of Georgia's breakaway regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia broke out between Russia and Georgia. The Russian-planned military campaign lasted 5 days until the parties reached a preliminary ceasefire agreement on August 12. The European Union, led by the French presidency, mediated the ceasefire. After signing the agreement, Russia pulled most of its troops out of uncontested Georgian territories, but established buffer zones around Abkhazia and South Ossetia. On August 26, 2008, Russia recognized the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, making them a part of what Russian President Dmitry Medvedev called Moscow’s “zone of privileged interests.” Since then, Russia has deployed troops to five military bases on occupied Georgian territory. This conflict clearly demonstrated weaknesses inherent in NATO and European Union security systems.


Author: Dr Rod Thornton

Published: June 2011

Russia’s political leaders are currently pushing a state- and society-wide process of modernization. The Russian military, a deeply conservative institution, is being asked to accept fundamental changes that threaten the very livelihoods of those being asked to implement them. New structures can be created and new equipment and technologies procured, but the crucial element is the degree to which such changes are accepted by the human element. This is often the most difficult aspect in any process of organizational change. It is no wonder that the military modernization process is progressing slowly in Russia. The Russian ground forces will not be very different in the next few years than they are now. Time and future investment will eventually produce the more refined army that a host of Russian politicians have wished to see. But it will take time and investment.


Author: Dr Thomas R Mockaitis

Published: June 2011

Understanding how insurgencies may be brought to a successful conclusion is vital to military strategists and policymakers. This study examines how past insurgencies have ended and how current ones may be resolved. Four ways in which insurgencies have ended are identified. Clear-cut victories for either the government or the insurgents occurred during the era of decolonization, but they seldom happen today. Recent insurgencies have often degenerated into criminal organizations that become committed to making money rather than fighting a revolution, or they evolve into terrorist groups capable of nothing more than sporadic violence. In a few cases, the threatened government has resolved the conflict by co-opting the insurgents. After achieving a strategic stalemate and persuading the belligerents that they have nothing to gain from continued fighting, these governments have drawn the insurgents into the legitimate political process through reform and concessions. The author concludes that such a co-option strategy offers the best hope of U.S. success in Afghanistan and in future counterinsurgency campaigns.


Author: Dr Geraint Hughes

Published: May 2011

The author examines historical and contemporary examples of military involvement in counterterrorism, outlining the specific roles which the armed forces of liberal democracies have performed in combating terrorism, both in a domestic and international context. He describes the political, strategic, conceptual, diplomatic, and ethical problems that can arise when a state’s armed forces become engaged in counterterrorism, and argues that military power can only be employed as part of a coordinated counterterrorist strategy aimed at the containment and frustration—rather than the physical elimination—of the terrorist group(s) concerned.


Editor: COL Louis H Jordan Jr, Dr Tarek N Saadawi

Author: COL Louis H Jordan Jr, Dr Tarek N Saadawi

Published: May 2011

This book provides an integrated view and a comprehensive framework of the various issues relating to cyber infrastructure protection. It provides the foundation for long-term policy development, a roadmap for cyber security, and an analysis of technology challenges that impede cyber infrastructure protection. The book is divided into three main parts. Part I deals with strategy and policy issues related to cyber security. It provides a theory of cyberpower, a discussion of Internet survivability as well as large scale data breaches and the role of cyberpower in humanitarian assistance. Part II covers social and legal aspects of cyber infrastructure protection and it provides discussions concernsing the attack dynamics of politically and religiously motivated hackers. Part III discusses the technical aspects of cyber infrastructure protection including the resilience of data centers, intrusion detection, and a strong focus on IP-networks.


Author: Dr Florence Gaub

Published: May 2011

Security Force Assistance becomes more and more important not only in the post-conflict reconstruction process, but also in a more general way in the foreign policy of the United States. Looking into the experience of both Iraq and Lebanon, this monograph offers useful insights for future military assistance programs and reconstruction efforts. While current assistance programs are certainly of high quality in technical terms, this publication sheds light on the equally important, yet often overlooked social dimension. Elements such as ethnic composition, exclusion of politically compromised personnel, and the armed forces’ image in society will determine the military’s future success just as much as technical training. How to improve these aspects is explained in this analysis.


Author: COL Tony Pfaff

Published: April 2011

The character of irregular warfare has challenged the American “way of war” in a number of ways. Not only does it challenge how U.S. forces fight, it also brings into question the ethical norms that they employ to govern the fighting. The resulting confusion is especially evident in the public debate over the use of force in Iraq and Afghanistan. For example, traditional just war thinking has permitted collateral damage that has undermined the civil order that those military operations are intended to impose, while at the same time has prohibited Soldiers from killing or detaining the enemy who threatens that order in the first place. These counterintuitive outcomes suggest that the traditional view needs to be revised in light of the demands of combating irregular threats. Revising this view will have to take into account the emphasis that combating irregular threats places on populations rather than on military capability. In doing so, it expands the ends and means of war requiring Soldiers to not only defend the state, but to impose civil-order outside the state as well. These complications fundamentally change the character of warfare and require Soldiers to rethink where they may accept and place risk when balancing the ethical demands of their profession. This point has important implications for the way the United States should fight irregular wars and the norms they should employ to govern them.


Author: Dr Colin S Gray

Published: April 2011

Power is one of the more contestable concepts in political theory. In recent decades, scholars and commentators have chosen to distinguish between two kinds of power, “hard” and “soft.” The former is achieved through military threat or use, and by means of economic menace or reward. The latter is the ability to have influence by co-opting others to share some of one’s values and, as a consequence, to share some key elements on one’s agenda for international order and security. Whereas hard power obliges its addressees to consider their interests in terms mainly of calculable costs and benefits, soft power works through the persuasive potency of ideas that foreigners find attractive. It is highly desirable if much of the world external to America wants, or can be brought to want, a great deal of what America happens to favor also. Coalitions of the genuinely willing have to be vastly superior to the alternatives.


Author: Dr Steven Metz

Published: April 2011

Each month a member of the SSI faculty writes an editorial for our monthly newsletter. This is the Op-Ed for the April 2011 newsletter.


Author: Mr Dave Lewis, Dr Steve Maxner, Dr Dennis Patterson

Published: April 2011

Key Insights from this colloquium are: • Establishing and continuing a collaborative dialogue between traditional academic institutions and disciplines and the nation’s next generation of senior officers is not just beneficial, it is essential to U.S. national security. • Scholars in universities and the nation’s war colleges possess unique strengths and limitations with respect to understanding and communicating insights into contemporary warfare and the education of senior officers. • Quantitative data analysis and qualitative case assessment provide unique insights into the study of war. • Some bridges between these institutional cultures and research traditions exist; to gain the best understanding of contemporary warfare and facilitate greater collaboration, existing bridges must be maintained while new ones are built. • Researchers from both the quantitative and qualitative traditions must develop strategic communication skills to reach strategic military and policy leaders. Pragmatic constraints on senior leader’s time demand succinct presentation of “big ideas” and salient context early, leaving the traditional literature review, data findings, and data analysis for deeper layers of the communication. • New analytic “lenses” for traditional problems in the study of war may shed light on solutions, especially when combined with more traditional strategic scholarship. • The legal context of evolving contemporary operations is essential to understanding and successfully prosecuting wars.


Author: Mr Daniel Alderman, Mr Joe Narus

Published: April 2011

Key Insights: • The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has not fought in a major war since 1979, but has studied the lessons of modern foreign conflicts from throughout the world. In some cases, those lessons have resulted in observable changes to the PLA’s strategic, tactical, or operational posture. • Conversely, what lessons from foreign conflicts the PLA has chosen not to explore may be equally illuminating for contemporary PLA watchers as they seek to better understand PLA self-perceptions, intentions, and doctrine. Although it is more difficult to observe what potential lessons the PLA has ignored, the absence of study may provide important clues into how the PLA views its current and future roles. • This conference identified the need for further research on how the PLA as an organization goes from observing a lesson to implementing that lesson within its ranks. In only limited cases can a lesson observed by PLA leadership be conclusively linked to an adjustment made by the PLA.


Editor: Dr Stephen J Blank

Author: Dr Stephen J Blank

Published: April 2011

The war in Afghanistan has added considerably to the strategic significance of Central Asia due to its proximity to the conflict. Moreover, the continuation of the war increasingly involves the vital interests of many other actors other than the U.S. and NATO forces currently there. This monograph, taken from SSI's conference with European and Russian scholars in 2010, provides a comprehensive analysis of the means and objectives of Russia's involvement in Central Asia. It also provides Russian perspectives concerning the other actors in Central Asia and how Moscow views the policy significance of those efforts.


Author: Brigadier Andrew Smith

Published: April 2011

Surprise is a familiar term in military writings and is enshrined in most nations’ doctrine. Surprises that emerge in tactics, however, can also operate at the strategic and operational levels and are particularly dangerous because they can test the relevance and adaptability of military forces and the "institutional" defense establishments that create, develop, and sustain them. A military establishment that is too slow to recognize and respond to such surprises places its nation’s interests at grave risk. Western nations are contemplating major reductions in defense spending, with consequent limitations on force structure. As the range of enemy capabilities that a force will be able to match, qualitatively and quantitatively, becomes smaller, the potential for operational and strategic surprise will increase. A key conclusion from this analysis is the critical role of strategic leadership in recognizing the scale of surprise and in forcing the necessary institutional response. At a time when budgets will not allow surprise to be addressed by maintaining large and technically diverse forces at high readiness, the ability to recognize and respond adroitly to operational and strategic surprise may be a critical requirement for a modern defense establishment.


Author: COL Charles D Allen

Published: April 2011

The author outlines the past, present, and future of the Profession of Arms.


Author: Ms Diane E Chido

Published: March 2011

For decades, a lack of economic opportunity has caused instability and violence in Sub-Saharan Africa. Fortunately, U.S. Africa Command (USAFRICOM) is in a unique position to increase stability and reduce the causes of violence and extremism through new partnerships and military-to-military training. The current training approach is very likely to be beneficial to African military officers currently on active duty; however, proficiency in military science alone will not provide the necessary skills for those separating from service and facing an uncertain future in societies that do not pay pensions on time, if at all, and do not offer economic opportunities, especially to those without the right expertise. USAFRICOM partnerships are an excellent foundation on which to provide engineering and other technical training for African military officers and NCOs. In this way, African nations can create indigenous capacity to construct and maintain needed infrastructure like power stations, dams, bridges, and roads. A robust engineering training program has the great potential to lead to improved civil-military relationships and to reduce instability through increased opportunities for separating service members. These new technical skills will enable separating service members, now in mufti, to positively contribute to the societies they once served while in uniform.


Author: Mr Henrik Bliddal

Published: March 2011

Our national security system turns our overall capabilities into active assets, protects us against the threats of an anarchic international system and makes it possible to exploit its opportunities. Today, however, the system is arguably in dire need of reform. Much remains in the dark about how the organizations that safeguard our national security are reformed because international circumstances change. The author examines a crucial historical case of military reform: the establishment of the Rapid Deployment Joint Task Force (RDJTF)—the direct predecessor of Central Command. He discusses how the U.S. military adapted to the emerging security challenges in the Persian Gulf in the late 1970s by recasting military command arrangements. The RDJTF was one of the components of President Carter’s Persian Gulf Security Framework, which marked a critical strategic reorientation towards the region as a vital battleground in the global competition with the Soviet Union. The author also suggests how national security reforms can be understood more generally. In this way, he lays out some of today’s challenges that we must face in effectively restructuring our security and defense establishment. Especially in these times of fiscal restraint, a better grasp of institutional reform is very much needed. Based upon original interviews with key civilians and military officers as well as extensive archival research, including the analysis of material only recently declassified, this monograph is the most complete account of the establishment of the RDJTF thus far.


Author: Mr Andrew Fishman, Dr Max G Manwaring

Published: March 2011

Brazil is a developing nation well situated in time and place. Unlike other areas of the world, it has no bloody religious or ethnic conflicts, and its last border conflict took place in the early 19th century. However, Brazil is the most populous Latin American nation, with nearly 200 million inhabitants, and thousands of miles of land and sea borders. These borders, together with large natural gas and oil reserves and the “Green” Amazon (land and river areas within the Amazon Basin) and “Blue” Amazon (coastal areas of Brazil where major hydro-carbon and other resources are located), are strategic strengths, as well as concerns for the Armed Forces and the nation. Brazil’s new national defense strategy consists of three principal elements that it hopes to develop. They are: 1) advanced technologies; 2) a space program; and 3) a peaceful nuclear capacity.


Editor: Dr Stephen J Blank

Author: Dr Stephen J Blank

Published: March 2011

These three papers represent the third monograph to come out of the SSI-U.S. State Department conference “Contemporary issues in International Security,” that took place at the Finnish Embassy in Washington, DC, on January 25-26, 2010. This monograph consists of three deeply probing essays into the genesis of Russia’s 2010 defense doctrine, the political struggle behind it, and the actual content of the doctrine. They reveal a highly politicized minefield of struggle comprising leading actors in the military, the government, and in Russian security policy as a whole. They duly illuminate the ongoing struggles between and among these sets of military and civilian elites and therefore cast a shining light on critical aspects of Russian policy that all too often are left in darkness. They are essential to any understanding of Russian defense and security policy as well as the nature of the relationship between the Russian military and the government and the way in which these actors formulate key policy statements and resolve pressing political issues.


Author: Dr J Peter Pham

Published: March 2011

This monograph examines India’s rapidly expanding network of influence in Africa. The author analyzes the country’s burgeoning public and private investments in the region as well as its policies vis-à-vis African regional organizations and individual states, especially in the security sector. After reviewing the historic role that India has played in Africa, the author looks at the principal motivations for India’s approach to Africa—including the former’s quests for the resources, business opportunities, diplomatic influence, and security—and Africans’ responses to it. In the context of the broader U.S.-India strategic partnership, as well as American political and security interests in Africa, India’s willingness to make significant contributions to African peacekeeping and to extend its maritime security cover to the continent’s eastern littoral ought to be welcomed, not least because of the potential positive impact on regional stability and development. Consequently, the author believes the opportunity thus presented in Africa for greater engagement between the United States and India ought to be seized upon.


Author: LTC Baucum Fulk

Published: March 2011

Counterterrorism, support to insurgency, and antiterrorism are each both efficient and sustainable from a military and economic perspective, and each have inherent political concerns, hazards, or constraints. The author maintains that an overall strategy combining counterterrorism and antiterrorism is the best means of employing military forces to counter violent extremism.


Author: COL Charles D Allen

Published: March 2011

Since trust is the coin of the realm for an Army in a democratic society, it is important that as the Profession of Arms study proceeds that it includes a broad exploration of just what exactly the Army as profession means by the concept of trust.


Author: LTC Ernest A Szabo

Published: March 2011

Each month a member of the SSI faculty writes an editorial for our monthly newsletter. This is the Op-Ed for the March 2011 newsletter.


Author: Mr Dru Lauzon, Mr Andrew Vine

Published: March 2011

Stability operations in fragile states are likely to remain an important focus of the foreign policy of Western countries for the foreseeable future. The central question to consider when launching these operations is whether a particular type of intervention is more effective than others, and to determine what insights can be drawn from previous deployments in failed and fragile states. Capacity building is a lengthy process that requires a considerable amount of resources to produce lasting results. The progress achieved through military partnerships between countries should therefore be measured over decades rather than in months or years, as a lengthy engagement is more likely to produce lasting results in a weak or fragile state. Efforts at institution building in fragile states have been largely unsuccessful. Attempts to construct viable regimes in countries such as Iraq and Afghanistan have proven far more challenging than was originally assumed, and resistance from sub-national groups has been far more protracted than policymakers expected. Capacity building is especially difficult when it requires cooperation among multiple host nation agencies and collaboration among multiple assisting countries that consist of a mix of military, civilian, and NGO entities.


Author: COL Phillip R Cuccia, Dr Steven Metz

Published: February 2011

The Strategic Studies Institute's XXI Annual Strategy Conference, held at Carlisle Barracks from April 6-8, 2010, addressed the topic of the meaning of war. While it did not seek to produce a definitive answer to questions about the nature and definition of war, it did highlight the crucial questions and their implications, including issues such as whether the cause of war is shifting, whether all forms of organized, politically focused violence constitute war, and the distinction between passive and active war.


Author: Chaplain (COL) Jonathan E Shaw

Published: February 2011

The United States has struggled to find a framework to integrate religion into the post-September 11, 2001 (9/11) discussion of national security. Islam has been the central focus, with both the 9/11 terrorists and many of America’s partners in overseas contingency operations sharing an Islamic heritage. President George W. Bush’s paradigm of “Religion as Freedom” and President Barack H. Obama’s paradigm of “Religion as Unity” have been partially successful, but they have yet to provide a nuanced understanding of Islam and a comprehensive framework. Part I of this Carlisle Paper examines the enduring role of religion in human conflict through the eyes of Alvin Toffler, Francis Fukuyama, Samuel Huntington, and Robert Kaplan. Part II provides an analysis of Islam to determine its power within current alignments, and addresses jihad and the level of support for terrorism. Part III examines the role of religion within the Bush and Obama administrations, and proposes a third paradigm—“Religion as Ideology”—in an attempt to relate a strategic vision which comprehends the power of Islam to a policy which accounts for religion in terms of empowered behavior. Part IV addresses practical questions regarding the implementation of the paradigm of “Religion as Ideology” and the way ahead.


Author: COL Louis H Jordan Jr

Published: January 2011

Each month a member of the SSI faculty writes an editorial for our monthly newsletter. This is the Op-Ed for the January 2011 newsletter.


Editor: Dr Stephen J Blank

Author: Dr Stephen J Blank

Published: January 2011

The best recent scholarship on Russian civil-military relations explicitly addresses this issue’s importance for both domestic and external security. An inquiry into the present state of those relations under conditions of defense reform and the current international situation is of immense analytical and policy relevance for both domestic and external security in Russia. While the Russian regime is serious about military reform, it is encountering severe objections from the uniformed military, and the military has successfully persuaded the government to accept its expansive concept of the threats to Russia, i.e., its threat assessment. Therefore, we must closely follow those developments to understand more clearly current tendencies in Russian politics and policy as a whole. Specifically, this chapter examines issues pertaining to civil-military relations in several areas of Russian national security policies that suggest some disturbing trends for the future.


Author: Dr W Andrew Terrill

Published: January 2011

Yemen is not currently a failed state, but it is experiencing huge political and economic problems that can have a direct impact on U.S. interests in the region. It has a rapidly expanding population with a resource base that is limited and already leaves much of the current population in poverty. The government obtains around a third of its budget revenue from sales of its limited and declining oil stocks, which most economists state will be exhausted by 2017. Yemen also has critical water shortages and a variety of interrelated security problems. In Sa’ada province in Yemen’s northern mountainous region, there has been an intermittent rebellion by Houthi tribesmen (now experiencing a cease-fire) who accuse the government of discrimination and other actions against their Zaydi Shi’ite religious sect. In southern Yemen, a powerful independence movement has developed which is mostly nonviolent but is increasingly angry and confrontational. More recently, Yemen has emerged as one of the most important theaters for the struggle against al-Qaeda. Yemen is among the worst places on earth to cede to al-Qaeda in this struggle, but it is also an especially distrustful and wary nation in its relationship with Western nations and particularly the United States. All of these problems are difficult to address because the central government has only limited capacity to extend its influence into tribal areas beyond the capital and major cities. The United States must therefore do what it can to support peaceful resolutions of Yemen’s problems with the Houthis and Southern Movement while continuing to assist the government’s struggle against al-Qaeda forces in Yemen. It must further pursue these policies in ways that avoid provoking a backlash among the Yemeni population which will not tolerate significant numbers of U.S. combat troops in Yemen.


Editor: Mr Henry D Sokolski

Author: Mr Henry D Sokolski

Published: December 2010

When security and arms control analysts list what has helped keep nuclear weapons technologies from spreading, energy economics is rarely, if ever, mentioned. Yet, large civilian nuclear energy programs can—and have—brought states quite a way towards developing nuclear weapons; and it has been market economics, more than any other force, that has kept most states from starting or completing these programs. Since the early 1950s, every major government in the Western Hemisphere, Asia, the Middle East, and Europe has been drawn to atomic power’s allure, only to have market realities prevent most of their nuclear investment plans from being fully realized. Adam Smith’s Invisible Hand, then, could well determine just how far civilian nuclear energy expands and how much attention its attendant security risks will receive. Certainly, if nuclear power's economics remain negative, diplomats and policymakers could leverage this point, work to limit legitimate nuclear commerce to what is economically competitive, and so gain a powerful tool to help limit nuclear proliferation. If nuclear power finally breaks from its past and becomes the cheapest of clean technologies in market competitions against its alternatives, though, it is unlikely that diplomats and policymakers will be anywhere near as able or willing to prevent insecure or hostile states from developing nuclear energy programs, even if these programs help them make atomic weapons. Will the global spread of nuclear power programs, which could bring many more countries much closer to acquiring nuclear weapons capabilities, be an inevitable consequence of energy market economics? Or is such an expansion impossible without government subsidies and new policies to support them? This volume showcases the analyses of some of the world's leading energy experts to shed light on this key 21st century security issue.


Author: COL John A Mauk

Published: December 2010

The United States requires a national security strategy and a force posture that reflect the nation’s economic and emotional capacity to implement the strategy. Recently published strategic concepts fail to accommodate these requirements. Current Secretary of Defense guidance to the Services is to develop a strategically balanced joint force capable of spanning the full spectrum of conflict. The U.S. Joint Forces Command interpretation of the Department of Defense vision is to expand military capability in an economic environment where defense budgets will almost certainly contract. In response, U.S. Joint Force and Army Capstone Concepts articulate the development of a force that is not optimized toward specific threats but rather depends on rapid adaptability to threats as they are revealed. These concepts demand vigorous debate on their risk and affordability implications. This paper explores a risk-based approach to a strategically balanced force that assesses alternative postures and the viability of competing force concepts in mitigating national risk in a resource-constrained environment. This assessment also examines alternate definitions of balance and the continued relevance of U.S. conventional capabilities and nuclear deterrence.


Editor: Dr Stephen J Blank

Author: Dr Stephen J Blank

Published: December 2010

These three chapters originated in an SSI conference in January 2010 and go to the heart of a question of vital significance for both Asia and Russia, namely what are Russia’s prospects in Asia. The three chapters outline the challenges Russia faces in Asia, the nature of the dynamic and complex Asian security environment, and the extent to which Russia is or is not meeting those challenges. These chapters represent both Russian and U.S. views and clearly do not agree in their conclusions or analyses. For this reason, they are all the more interesting. These chapters should provoke debate, reflection, and greater awareness as to the complexities of the current international scene in Asia and of Russia’s success or lack thereof in participating in that environment. In view of the extraordinary dynamism that now characterizes Asia and the fact that it is the center of the world economy, the analysis provided here goes beyond obvious issues to address questions that we believe are unjustly neglected, e.g., Russia’s prospects as an Asian power and as an independent great power player in Asia. The answers to these questions are urgent for Russians, but very consequential for the U.S. because getting Asia right will be among the most critical challenges to U.S. policymakers in the coming years.


Author: Dr George W Grayson

Published: December 2010

La Familia Michoacana burst onto the national stage on September 6, 2006, when ruffians crashed into the seedy Sol y Sombra nightclub in Uruapan, Michoacán, and fired shots into the air. They screamed at the revelers to lie down, ripped open a plastic bag, and lobbed five human heads onto the beer-stained black and white dance floor. The day before these macabre pyrotechnics, the killers seized their prey from a mechanic’s shop and hacked off their heads with bowie knives while the men writhed in pain. “You don’t do something like that unless you want to send a big message,” said a U.S. law-enforcement official, speaking on condition of anonymity about an act of human depravity that would “cast a pall over the darkest nooks of hell.” The desperados left behind a note hailing their act as “divine justice,” adding that: "The Family doesn't kill for money; it doesn't kill women; it doesn't kill innocent people; only those who deserve to die, die. Everyone should know . . . this is divine justice.” While claiming to do the “Lord’s work,” the ruthless leaders of this syndicate have emerged as the dominant exporter of methamphetamines to the United States, even as they control scores of municipalities in Michoacán and neighboring states.


Author: Dr Robert H Dorff

Published: December 2010

Each month a member of the SSI faculty writes an editorial for our monthly newsletter. This is the Op-Ed for the December 2010 newsletter.


Author: Mr Quentin E Hodgson

Published: November 2010

The development and procurement of major weapons programs in the United States is a complex and often drawn-out process complicated by political considerations and often sharp disagreements over requirements and the merits of systems. Secretaries of Defense since Robert McNamara have sought to impose discipline on the process, with varying degrees of success. Conflicts between a Military Service and the civilian leadership are inevitable. A Service wants to develop the most advanced system to address its perceived need, whereas the Secretary of Defense must balance competing requirements across the Department of Defense. The military and the civilian leadership may also have different strategic perspectives that feed this conflict. Through the detailed analysis of three case studies—the Nuclear Surface Navy in the 1960s, the B-1 Bomber in the 1970s, and the Crusader Artillery System in the 2000s--the author explores some of the common themes and sources of friction that arise in civil-military relations concerning major weapons programs. He concludes with some thoughts on how the Secretary of Defense can anticipate and reduce these sources of friction, while retaining an environment that supports healthy debate.


Author: Dr W Andrew Terrill

Published: November 2010

Each month a member of the SSI faculty writes an editorial for our monthly newsletter. This is the Op-Ed for the November 2010 newsletter.


Author: Mr Nicholas J Armstrong, Ms Jacqueline Chura-Beaver

Published: October 2010

Current research and available tools for transition in post-conflict situations are analyzed. The authors make a significant contribution to the field by providing a broadly applicable definition of transition and a comprehensive assessment of the existing approaches and literature on the topic. Most importantly, their analysis lays the groundwork for future conceptual development and improved implementation of post-conflict transitions. To evaluate transition strategies and make recommendations for future stability operations, researchers and policymakers require both a common understanding and a way ahead for advancing the concept as a critical doctrinal and operational objective.


Author: Mr Bjoern H Seibert

Published: October 2010

Addressing security challenges posed by weak and failed states will require increasingly demanding military interventions, often over a great distance and prolonged periods of time. As a result of several engagements over the last decade, the U.S. military has gained valuable experience in undertaking stability operations. However, the United States should not be expected to fulfill such operations alone; we must look to our partners and allies to share some of the global responsibility. In this, Europe is unquestionably the most capable and natural U.S. ally. While most U.S. policymakers are familiar with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, developments in the field of security and defense within the European Union (EU) have thus far received little attention in the United States, despite the EU’s increasing importance. One such operation in Africa, Operation EUFOR TCHAD/RCA, provides a look inside the workings of an EU military operation, highlights successes and failures, and draws lessons learned.


Author: Maj Gen Eric T Olson

Published: October 2010

Even under the best circumstances, reconstruction in counterinsurgency is a difficult endeavor. The most critical tasks are numerous and complex. Many participating agencies must undertake missions that fall well out of their existing core competencies or operate in environments that are completely unfamiliar to them. The involvement of multiple agencies who are not accustomed to working together makes coordination difficult. And all this must take place in an environment where an armed, violent foe, who understands the disadvantage to him of a successful reconstruction effort, is determined to go to almost any length to resist progress or destroy what has been accomplished. If the counterinsurgent understands what needs to be accomplished and to what end, and he has a plan and can mount a coordinated effort to execute that plan, reconstruction can indeed then become one of the array of key weapons that do not shoot that are available to the counterinsurgent. Even as a weapon that does not shoot, reconstruction can end up being dangerous to the hunter as well as the hunted. A coordinated, skillfully executed reconstruction program is essential to a manageable security environment and strong national institutions that have the confidence and the support of the people. But reconstruction that is mismanaged, bungled, and obviously ineffectual not only represents a lost opportunity to advance the cause; it also may well put a weapon in the hands of the insurgent.


Author: Dr David Lai

Published: October 2010

Each month a member of the SSI faculty writes an editorial for our monthly newsletter. This is the Op-Ed for the October 2010 newsletter.


Author: LTC Eloy E Cuevas, Ms Madeleine Wells

Published: September 2010

The al-Shabaab Organization, also known as the Mujahidin Youth Movement (MYM), and its allies have been active opponents in undermining the United Nations (UN)-supported African Union (AU) peacekeeping forces, the fledging Somali Transitional Federal Government (TFG), and all the UN efforts to support the Somali people. Al-Shabaab’s use of the internet and its control of the local news media has resulted in its increased ability to disseminate its story to the Somali public, to sympathizers throughout the world, and to the greater Islamic community. It is able to accomplish its strategic communication campaign through the use of organic websites, publication of online magazines and newsletters, and through international press conferences and interviews. The authors of this monograph identify al-Shabaab’s strategic, operational, and tactical vulnerabilities organized according to four sources of national power: diplomatic, informational, military, and economic (DIME). After exploring the group’s inherent and apparent weaknesses, the authors then provide some suggestions on what efforts or capabilities may be leveraged in defeating and deterring the group. Such instruments do not have to be kinetic or military in nature, but can be diplomatic, economic, or persuasive. The authors concentrate on diplomatic and informational options and do not address the military or economic implications at this time.


Author: LTC Suzanne C Nielsen

Published: September 2010

During the 2 decades preceding the Persian Gulf War in 1991, the U.S. Army went through tremendous reform and rejuvenation. In explaining this important case of military change, this paper makes four central arguments. First, leaders within military organizations are essential; external developments most often have an indeterminate impact on military change. Second, military reform is about more than changing doctrine. To implement its doctrine, an organization must have appropriate training practices, personnel policies, organizations, equipment, and leader development programs. Third, the implementation of comprehensive change requires an organizational entity with broad authority able to craft, evaluate, and execute an integrated program of reforms. In the case of the U.S. Army in the 1970s and 1980s, this organization was the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC). To an unprecedented degree, TRADOC was able to ensure that changes in personnel policies, organizations, doctrine, training practices, and equipment were integrated and mutually reinforcing. Fourth and finally, the process of developing, implementing, and institutionalizing complementary reforms can take several decades. While today’s demands differ from those of the past, this report suggests questions that may be useful in thinking about change today. Knowing the answers to these questions would enable informed judgment about the prospects for the successful implementation of a program of reforms. The consequences, for good or for ill, could be quite significant in terms of resources, lives, and the national interest.


Author: Dr Antulio J Echevarria II

Published: September 2010

This monograph examines the fundamental argument that America's adversaries are shifting more toward irregular methods due to the demonstrated prowess of the U.S. military at conventional warfare. This argument is based on what one might call a paradoxical logic, not unlike that described by Edward Luttwak in his classic work, Strategy. Among other things, the monograph concludes that few genuine paradoxes exist in war; most principles that appear paradoxical are completely linear. Moreover, those adversarial states and nonstate actors employing irregular methods today were doing so long before the U.S. military demonstrated its superiority at conventional warfare, and will likely continue to do so.


Author: Dr Antulio J Echevarria II

Published: September 2010

Each month a member of the SSI faculty writes an editorial for our monthly newsletter. This is the Op-Ed for the September 2010 newsletter.


Author: COL Kevin J Palgutt

Published: September 2010

In recounting his experiences as a senior advisor to the Afghan Minister of Interior, COL Palgutt indicates that it is a shame that many senior advisors will go on to new duty assignments that will have nothing to do with the experiences that were learned during their 12+ months of senior advisor duty. He states that the U.S. DoD needs to consider “utilizing” the knowledge and experience gained by these former senior advisors by creating a program where their knowledge of the minister, ministry, and how the ministry functions with Coalition partners will be imparted to future senior advisors thereby going a long way toward facilitating sustained progress.


Author: Ms Eva Silkwood Baker, Dr Max G Manwaring

Published: September 2010

Key insights developed from the issues discussed at the 2010 Western Hemisphere Security Colloquium include: • The need to advance regional understanding of the contemporary security partnership situation in the Hemisphere: An educational and conceptual requirement; • The need to foster a broader partnership focus on the disaster relief issue: An educational, conceptual, and organizational requirement; and • The need to build multilateral mechanisms and processes to address the contemporary security partnership situation: An educational and organizational requirement. • Recommendation: USSOUTHCOM take the lead in developing a multilateral regional security action plan to begin a viable long-term regional partnership effort in the Hemisphere.


Author: Dr James G Pierce

Published: September 2010

In the present study, Dr. Pierce postulates that the ability of a professional organization to develop future leaders in a manner that perpetuates readiness to cope with future environmental and internal uncertainty depends on organizational culture. Specifically, the purpose of his study is to explore the relationship between the Army’s organizational culture and professional development. He examines the degree of congruence between the Army’s organizational culture and the leadership and managerial skills of its officer corps senior leaders. He uses data from a representative sample of such leaders while they were students at the Army War College, Classes of 2003 and 2004. At the macro level, the results of his research strongly suggest a significant lack of congruence between the U.S. Army’s organizational culture and the results of its professional development programs for its future strategic leaders. He bases his conclusion on empirical data that indicate that the future strategic leaders of the Army believe that they operate on a day-to-day basis in an organization whose culture is characterized by: • an overarching desire for stability and control, • formal rules and policies, • coordination and efficiency, • goal and results oriented, and • hard-driving competitiveness. Dr. Pierce recommends that the leaders of the Army profession initiate an organizational culture change effort. Specifically, he recommends changes to the more informal aspects of the professional development program, such as the less than lifelong commitment to the Army profession, the “up or out” personnel policy, and the officer evaluation system which may be creating an underlying assumption that failure will not be tolerated regardless of the circumstances. Those conditions all are representative of “theories-in-use” that are incongruent with the concept of professionalism. As a result of the current culture, senior leaders may be exercising an excessive degree of structured supervision which reinforces the culture of stability and control despite, the formal education system which attempts to teach the opposite. Therefore, it is not surprising that junior professionals learn to distrust their senior leaders and to then subsequently perpetuate the cycle of over-control, or depart the profession altogether.


Author: Ms Ann Marlowe

Published: August 2010

This monograph is based on interviews with David Galula’s surviving family and friends as well as archival research. It places Galula’s two great books in the context of his exposure to Mao’s doctrine of revolutionary warfare in China, the French Army’s keen interest in counterinsurgency in the second half of the 1950s, and the transmission of French doctrine to the U.S. military in the early 1960s. It also discusses home-grown American counterinsurgency pioneers like General Edward Lansdale, who promoted Galula’s American career and encouraged him to write a book. It details the counterinsurgency fever of President John F. Kennedy’s administration, a nearly forgotten episode. Galula died in relative obscurity at the age of 49 in 1967. He had the odd historical luck of not having been a part of the counterinsurgency fever of his day, but of ours instead. Both those who think counterinsurgency has been embraced uncritically and those who think it has not been followed enough will find intellectual ammunition in Galula--and food for thought in the relationship of his ideas to his time.


Author: Dr Hal Brands

Published: August 2010

This monograph analyzes Brazilian grand strategy under President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. During Lula’s nearly 8 years in office, he has pursued a multi-tiered grand strategy aimed at hastening the transition from unipolarity to a multipolar order in which international rules, norms, and institutions are more favorable to Brazilian interests. Lula has done so by emphasizing three diplomatic strategies: soft-balancing, coalition-building, and seeking to position Brazil as the leader of a more united South America. This strategy has successfully raised Brazil’s profile and increased its diplomatic flexibility, but it has also exposed the country to four potent strategic dilemmas that could complicate or undermine its ascent. These dilemmas touch on issues ranging from anemic macroeconomic performance to rising tensions in Brazil’s relationship with the United States. In the future, the efficacy of Brazilian grand strategy—and its implications for U.S. interests and the global system—will be contingent on how Lula’s successors address these dilemmas.


Author: Mr Jared E Bennett, Dr Joseph R Cerami, Dr Robert H Dorff

Published: August 2010

Key Insights: • The initiatives for the extensive national security reform that is required to meet current threats will have to come from outside of the executive branch bureaucracy. This is true even though former senior members of the Project on National Security Reform are holding key executive branch positions. • The 3-D’s (defense, diplomacy, development, as 3 overlapping circles) has been a harmful way to portray the capacities, requirements, and relationships for policy and operational effectiveness, especially in ongoing counterinsurgency operations in Afghanistan. The current 3-D’s model is incorrect, as these functions are not properly represented by circles, are not the same size in terms of capacity and resources, and in many significant ways they do not overlap in several respects in the key areas necessary for effective integration, alignment, and coordination. • The Obama Administration still has much work to do in organizing development efforts to focus on the need for stronger political, economic and social development structures, resources, and leadership. Given the ongoing efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan, there is an urgent need for better defining the roles and responsibilities.


Author: Dr Nadia Schadlow

Published: August 2010

In this analysis, the author identifies some of the contining obstacles to achieving civil-military integration in war. She argues that there are continuing disagreements about who should lead the shaping of the political landscape in war, and that while doctrine has advanced in this area, good doctrine does not guarantee the effective execution of governance-related tasks. Sound operational approaches are required as well.


Author: Mr David Kerner, Dr Scott Thomas

Published: August 2010

Energy security is a fundamental requirement for national security, and global energy competition threatens to make Department of Defense (DoD) missions increasingly vulnerable to the whims of energy suppliers. DoD’s approach to energy security must accommodate a highly uncertain outlook for energy resource availability. Although U.S. energy security needs are currently met, the shrinking gap between global supply and demand draws the world closer to a point at which competition disrupts social and geopolitical normalizing forces, and conflict becomes likely. While DoD expresses concern over trends that are threatening energy security, Defense planners still operate as if adequate energy supplies will continue to be available without interruption into the extended future. What limited energy-related planning that is currently done addresses only the symptoms of a systemic over-reliance on very few energy resources. This analysis offers key insights into what a shifting energy security environment is, and the paper provides a novel theoretical framework for how the United States can best respond to this ever changing energy security environment.


Author: Dr Ryan Clarke

Published: August 2010

This monograph examines the dynamics of China’s energy security dilemma and the role of the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN). Following this, PLAN development is discussed and its future role in regional security is hypothesized. This report argues that it is domestic market inefficiencies and poor management practices that pose the greatest threat to China’s energy security. Further, less and less of Chinese energy imports are making their way to the country by sea, and as such, the PLAN actually has a minimal role to play. Given these realities, Chinese fears of a naval blockade that deprives it of energy supplies, and American confidence that this is a realistic strategic option in the event of hostilities are implausible. In addition, Beijing’s desire to develop aircraft carriers and other high-tech naval capabilities, combined with its contribution to the anti-piracy mission in the Gulf of Aden, have led many analysts to erroneously conclude that China seeks to engage in global power projection like the United States. However, the focus of the PLAN will remain regional and on asymmetric capabilities, namely the effective use of submarines and other undersea “unknowns” that ultimately seek to deter American and possible Japanese involvement in a conflict over Taiwan and/or maritime features in the South China Sea, such as the Spratly Islands, which China views as inalienable parts of its territory. Although China’s interests are expanding and becoming more international in nature, recovering from the Century of Humiliation and ensuring domestic legitimacy remain the top priorities of China’s leadership.


Author: Dr Steven Metz

Published: August 2010

Each month a member of the SSI faculty writes an editorial for our monthly newsletter. This is the Op-Ed for the August 2010 newsletter.


Editor: Dr Stephen J Blank, Dr Richard Weitz

Author: Dr Stephen J Blank, Dr Richard Weitz

Published: July 2010

Given the stakes involved in achieving a correct understanding of Russian and Chinese defense policies and military developments, the magnitude of Mary Fitzgerald’s enlightening accomplishments in this regard becomes clear. However, the problems that we have outlined in this volume were not unfamiliar to students of the Soviet Union. Indeed, they are enduring strategic issues for Russian policymakers as well as those who analyze or contribute to foreign policies toward the Russian military, despite the magnitude of the tremendous changes that have occurred since 1989 when the Soviet empire began to collapse. Even more importantly, Mary and her colleagues recognized that the issues outlined here are not just tasks relevant for the general study of Russia, but by addressing these strategic issues, and their underlying implications, policymakers will engage in the essential tasks necessary for the creation of an enduring structure of peace.


Author: Dr Anna Simons

Published: July 2010

Moving beyond “unity of effort” and “unity of command,” this monograph identifies an overarching need for “unity of vision.” Without someone at the helm who has a certain kind--not turn, not frame, but kind--of mind, asymmetric confrontations will be hard (if not impossible) to win. If visionary generals can be said to possess “coup d’oeil,” then unity of vision is cross-cultural coup d’oeil. As with strategic insight, either individuals have the ability to take what they know of another society and turn this to strategic--and war-winning--effect, or they do not. While having prior knowledge of the enemy is essential, strategy will also only succeed if it fits “them” and fits “us.” This means that to convey unity of vision a leader must also have an intuitive feel for “us.”


Editor: Dr Antulio J Echevarria II

Author: Dr Antulio J Echevarria II

Published: July 2010

Unlike other lists that generally reflect issues which are operational or tactical in nature, the focus of the Key Strategic Issues List is strategic. The spotlight is, in other words, on those items that senior Army and Department of Defense leaders should consider in providing military advice and formulating military strategy. At present, the U.S. military is engaged in a changing situation in Iraq and an increasing presence in Afghanistan, as well as efforts to restore balance in force sizing and structure.


Author: COL Carolyn F Kleiner

Published: July 2010

Each month a member of the SSI faculty writes an editorial for our monthly newsletter. This is the Op-Ed for the July 2010 newsletter.


Editor: Dr Sheila R Ronis

Author: Dr Sheila R Ronis

Published: July 2010

The Project on National Security Reform submitted its 2-year study of the national security system, Forging a New Shield, to the President, President-elect, and Congress on November 26, 2008. Before the Project finalized the report’s recommendations, its Vision Working Group tested the findings against a diverse set of scenarios to determine if the recommendations were robust and effective. This volume documents the scenario-testing process used by the Vision Working Group and includes the actual pre-reform and post-reform scenarios, and details many other scenario techniques used in the overall study. Results revealed that each of the five major findings improved the performance of the current national security system, but, on the whole, the findings concluded that the national security system was at risk of failure and needed serious reform. The work of the Vision Working Group has led to the formulation of an additional recommendation: The country must establish a mechanism to infuse greater foresight into the Executive Branch, and in particular the national security system. This proposed mechanism, named the Center for Strategic Analysis and Assessment, would exist and operate within the Executive Office of the President. This volume details the proposed architecture and operation of the Center.


Author: Mr Thomas F Berner

Published: July 2010

The role of George Kennan's Containment strategy in securing a U.S. victory in the Cold War has been overstated by both the right and the left. While its attributes render it an acceptable and honorable path to victory, Containment's efficacy is undermined by military and diplomatic conflict, which yielded a change in American foreign policy after 1968. What can more accurately be considered America's winning strategy is a three-part proposal by Major General John R. Deane, chief of the United States Military Liaison Mission to Moscow from 1943 to 1945. He asserted that active attempts to contain Soviet Communism around the globe would not be as potent as the system's inherent incompatibility with both world domination and Russian society.


Editor: Dr J Boone Bartholomees Jr

Author: Dr J Boone Bartholomees Jr

Published: July 2010

This edition of the U. S. Army War College Guide to National Security Policy and Strategy continues to reflect the structure and approach of the core national security strategy and policy curriculum at the War College. The fourth edition is published in two volumes that correspond roughly to the Department of National Security and Strategy’s core courses: “Theory of War and Strategy” and “National Security Policy and Strategy.” Like previous editions, this one is largely an expansion of its predecessor rather than a major rewriting. About a quarter of the chapters are new, and several others have undergone significant rewrites or updates. However, approximately half of the book remains unchanged. Although this is not primarily a textbook, it does reflect both the method and manner we use to teach strategy formulation to America’s future senior leaders. The book is not a comprehensive or exhaustive treatment of either strategic theory or the policymaking process. Both volumes are organized to proceed from the general to the specific. Thus the first volume opens with general thoughts on the nature and theory of war and strategy, proceeds to look at the complex aspect of power, and concludes with specific theoretical issues. Similarly, the second volume begins by examining the policy/strategy process, moves to a look at the strategic environment, and concludes with some specific issues. This edition adds several short case studies that can be used to illustrate the primary material in the volume.


Editor: Dr J Boone Bartholomees Jr

Author: Dr J Boone Bartholomees Jr

Published: July 2010

This edition of the U. S. Army War College Guide to National Security Policy and Strategy continues to reflect the structure and approach of the core national security strategy and policy curriculum at the War College. The fourth edition is published in two volumes that correspond roughly to the Department of National Security and Strategy’s core courses: “Theory of War and Strategy” and “National Security Policy and Strategy.” Like previous editions, this one is largely an expansion of its predecessor rather than a major rewriting. About a quarter of the chapters are new, and several others have undergone significant rewrites or updates. However, approximately half of the book remains unchanged. Although this is not primarily a textbook, it does reflect both the method and manner we use to teach strategy formulation to America’s future senior leaders. The book is not a comprehensive or exhaustive treatment of either strategic theory or the policymaking process. Both volumes are organized to proceed from the general to the specific. Thus the first volume opens with general thoughts on the nature and theory of war and strategy, proceeds to look at the complex aspect of power, and concludes with specific theoretical issues. Similarly, the second volume begins by examining the policy/strategy process, moves to a look at the strategic environment, and concludes with some specific issues. This edition adds several short case studies that can be used to illustrate the primary material in the volume.


Author: Col Greg Kleponis

Published: July 2010

China's recent 3.5 billion dollar contract bid for the Aynak Copper Field in Afghanistan is the single largest foreign investment in Afghanistan to date. Critics contend that China is getting a free-ride on the coat tails of U.S.-coalition stabilization efforts. However, the author argues that any economic stimulus, especially of this magnitude, should be seen as a boon to all parties who have an interest in a stable Afghan economy and government that can maintain its own security.


Author: Mr Charles A Miller

Published: June 2010

Domestic public opinion is frequently and correctly described as a crucial battlefront in the war in Afghanistan. Commentary by media and political figures currently notes not only the falling support for the war in the United States but also in many of its key allies in Europe and elsewhere, making it all the more difficult for the Obama administration to secure the help it believes it needs to bring the war to a successful conclusion. This study is an extensive examination of the determinants of domestic support for and opposition to the war in Afghanistan in the United States and in five of its key allies--the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Canada, and Australia. Tracing the trajectory of public opinion on the war from the original invasion in 2001 to the fall of 2009, this paper concludes that the combination of mounting casualties with a declining belief that the war could be won by the Coalition is the key factor driving the drop in support. Other factors, such as the deployment of numerous and shifting rationales by the political leadership in various countries, and the breakdown of elite consensus have played important but secondary roles in this process.


Editor: Mr Roy Kamphausen, Dr David Lai, Dr Andrew Scobell

Author: Mr Roy Kamphausen, Dr David Lai, Dr Andrew Scobell

Published: June 2010

The chapters presented in this volume have demonstrated first, Chinese and PLA leaders have a strong sense of mission and concern for China’s security and well-being. Second, the PLA is committed to the transformation in military affairs with Chinese characteristics. Third, the PLA is eager to learn from the U.S. military to expand and improve its operational capabilities. Finally, the PLA has made progress in its transformation and operational capabilities. For a long time, American leaders have been surprised with the PLA’s advances. This volume (and many of the previous volumes from past PLA conferences) show that these advances did not come out of the blue. Although much of the learning and many of the improvements are still far from what is desired (from Chinese expectations and American critiques), and some of the learning has even created contradictions for the PLA, these persistent and diligent learning practices will eventually bring the PLA to a higher level of proficiency in its capabilities. The emergence of a much more sophisticated PLA in the coming years should not be a surprise.


Author: Dr Stephen J Blank

Published: June 2010

Each month a member of the SSI faculty writes an editorial for our monthly newsletter. This is the Op-Ed for the June 2010 newsletter.


Author: Dr Steven Metz

Published: May 2010

In this second volume of the series, Dr. Metz looks carefully at the 2007 decision to surge forces into Iraq, a choice which is generally considered to have been effective in turning the tide of the war from potential disaster to possible—perhaps probable—strategic success. Although numerous strategic decisions remain to be made as the U.S. military executes its “responsible withdrawal” from Iraq, Dr. Metz has encapsulated much of the entire war in these two monographs, describing both the start and what may eventually be seen as the beginning of the end of the war. In this volume, he provides readers with an explanation of how a decision process that was fundamentally unchanged—with essentially the same people shaping and making the decision—could produce such a different result in 2007. As the current administration tries to replicate the surge in Afghanistan, this monograph is especially timely and shows the perils of attempting to achieve success in one strategic situation by copying actions successfully taken in another, but where different conditions applied.


Author: LTC Michael J Colarusso, COL David S Lyle, COL Casey Wardynski

Published: May 2010

Efficient talent employment is at the core of the Army Officer Human Capital Model. However, the Army’s current employment paradigm is unequal to the needs of a professional, volunteer Army facing the twin challenges of a competitive labor market and an increasingly complex global operating environment. It unduly prioritizes "fairness" when making assignments, has a narrowly defined pathway to senior leadership ranks, cannot see the talent it possesses, and suffers from severe principal-agent problems. Optimal employment theories, information age tools, and well-regulated market mechanisms can help the Army match individual officer talents against specific work requirements, reducing risk and achieving the depth and breadth of talent it needs, both now and in the future.


Author: Dr Jonathan N C Hill

Published: May 2010

In light of the ongoing threats issued by al-Qaeda (AQ) against the United States and its allies, the need to prevent the radicalization of young Muslim men and women remains as pressing as ever, and perhaps nowhere is this task more urgent than in the countries of West Africa. The global expanse of the ongoing war on terror places these territories in the frontline. With large Muslim populations that have hitherto remained mostly impervious to the advances of Islamism, the challenge now confronting the Nigerian government and the international community is ensuring that this remains the case. But in recent months, Islamist groups have been highly active in the region. The aim of this monograph is to assess the potential of Nigeria’s Sufi Brotherhoods to act, both individually and collectively, as a force for counter-radicalization, to prevent young people from joining Islamist groups.


Author: COL Phillip R Cuccia

Published: May 2010

NATO officials plan to unveil the new NATO Strategic Concept during the Alliance’s summit in Portugal at the end of this year. This monograph focuses on the impact of what the Strategic Concept will have on the Alliance. This analysis describes recent trends within NATO and their implications. The monograph provides senior military and political leaders with a discussion of the changing composition of the NATO nations and the impact of these changes on the nature of the Alliance. This monograph describes four possible scenarios of what NATO could look like in the future in order to give senior leaders thoughts to consider while instituting NATO policy. The NATO Alliance has now reached its 60th birthday and is currently in the middle of updating and rewriting the new Strategic Concept. The Alliance, which has grown to 28 countries, is facing problems with changing demographics, an awkward relationship with Russia, a war in Afghanistan and threats of global jihad. Muslim immigration into Europe and population aging will have a great impact on European views of the Alliance. NATO must decide how closely it wants to work and coordinate with Russia in future endeavors. The most important issue at hand is how NATO is going to fare coming out of the war in Afghanistan. The desired NATO outcome needs to be defined clearly. It is imperative that the New Strategic Concept address NATO goals in Afghanistan and the ways and means of accomplishing those goals. Defined goals will give member nations objectives while formulating national defense plans. Getting the Strategic Concept right is the first step in maintain the health of the Alliance.


Author: Mr Robert D Steele

Published: May 2010

The author explores the centrality of Human Intelligence in meeting the needs of the U.S. Army, the Department of Defense, and the whole of government. Such intelligence is essential to create a national security strategy, to define whole of government policies, to acquire the right capabilities at the right price in time to be useful, and to conduct local and global operations. He outlines 15 distinct types of HUMINT, four of which are classified (defensive and offensive counterintelligence, clandestine operations, and covert action), with the other 11 being predominantly unclassified. The author offers the U.S. Army an orientation to a world in which thinkers displace shooters as the center of gravity for planning, programming, and budgeting, as well as the proper structuring of mission mandates, force structures, and tactics and techniques to be used in any given mission area.


Editor: Dr Joseph R Cerami, Dr Jeffrey A Engel

Author: Dr Joseph R Cerami, Dr Jeffrey A Engel

Published: May 2010

The authors in this book share the viewpoint of many in the international and public affairs communities--that our theories, concepts, and practices for understanding America's role in the world and the U.S. ability to implement effective and ethical national security policies do not seem to be working very well. Is a new era of reform needed for this new age? Can we offer concrete and theoretical suggetions to reform the U.S. national security system to meet 21st century threats? Do we also know how to develop the kind of effective and ethical leaders who can make such reforms work? These papers explore the need for whole of government, national security reform and, simultaneously, the need to include further emphasis on leadership and leader development, in particular, in such areas as economics, information sharing, and ethics. No thoughtful observer disputes the need for some reform of the national security apparatus to improve the capacity for improving the government's performance. Yet, by and large, America's post-September 11, 2001, security agencies and institutions retain their Cold War design. The 1947 National Security Act remains, even after the end of the Cold War, now more than 20 years ago, the defining charter of the nation's security system. The chapter authors offer practical and theoretical suggestions for reforming the nation's security needs to address its 21st century threats, while simultaneously developing the kind of effective and ethical leaders necessary to create a 21st century national security system.


Author: Prof Douglas C Lovelace Jr, Dr Leonard Wong

Published: May 2010

Each month a member of the SSI faculty writes an editorial for our monthly newsletter. This is the Op-Ed for the May 2010 newsletter.


Author: Dr David Lai

Published: May 2010

From our "Of Interest" occasional paper series, the author examines recent threats from China over arms sales to Taiwan.


Author: Dr Hal Brands

Published: April 2010

Guatemala is currently experiencing a full-blown crisis of the democratic state. An unholy trinity of criminal elements—international drug traffickers, domestically based organized crime syndicates, and youth gangs—is effectively waging a form of irregular warfare against government institutions, with devastating consequences. The police, the judiciary, and entire local and departmental governments are rife with criminal infiltrators; murder statistics have surpassed civil-war levels in recent years; criminal operatives brazenly assassinate government officials and troublesome members of the political class; and broad swaths of territory are now effectively under the control of criminal groups. Guatemala’s weak institutions have been unable to contain this violence, leading to growing civic disillusion and causing a marked erosion in the authority and legitimacy of the government.


Editor: Mr Henry D Sokolski

Author: Mr Henry D Sokolski

Published: April 2010

As currently interpreted, it is difficult to see why the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) warrants much support as a nonproliferation convention. Most foreign ministries, including that of Iran and the United States, insist that Article IV of the NPT recognizes the “inalienable right” of all states to develop “peaceful nuclear energy.” This includes money-losing activities, such as nuclear fuel reprocessing, which can bring countries to the very brink of acquiring nuclear weapons. If the NPT is intended to ensure that states share peaceful “benefits” of nuclear energy and to prevent the spread of nuclear bomb making technologies, it is difficult to see how it can accomplish either if the interpretation identified above is correct. Some argue, however, that the NPT clearly proscribes proliferation by requiring international nuclear safeguards against military diversions of fissile material. Unfortunately, these procedures, which are required of all non-nuclear weapons state members of the NPT under Article III, are rickety at best. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) nuclear inspections, which are intended to detect illicit nuclear activities and materials, certainly have a mixed record. Not only has the IAEA failed to find existing covert reactors and fuel-making plants, which are critical to bomb making, the agency still cannot assure the continuity of inspections for spent and fresh reactor fuels that could be processed into bomb usable materials at roughly two-thirds of the sites that it currently inspects. What is easily as worrisome is that even at declared nuclear fuel-making sites the IAEA routinely loses count of many bombs worth of production each year. Finally, in the practical world, the NPT hardly admits of modification and is far too easy for violating states to withdraw from. Under Article X, treaty members are free to leave the NPT with no more than 3 months notice merely by filing a statement of the “extraordinary events [relating to the subject matter of the treaty] it regards as having jeopardized its supreme interests.” As demonstrated by North Korea with its withdrawal from the NPT, these slight requirements are all too easy to meet. As for amending the treaty, it is nearly impossible. Not only must a majority of NPT members ratify any proposed amendments, but every member of the IAEA government board and every NPT nuclear weapons state member must ratify the proposal as well, and this is only to get amendments for consideration by those states that have not yet ratified the NPT. Ultimately, any state that chooses not to so ratify is free to ignore the amendment, and therefore the treaty is functionally incapable of being amended. For all of these reasons, the NPT is not just seen as being weak against violators and difficult to improve, but it is seen effectively as a legal instrument that enables nations to acquire nuclear weapons technology. Consequently, each chapter of this book is dedicated to clarifying the NPT’s key ambiguities, and the chapters are roughly structured to trace the NPT’s text, article by article. The analysis set forth here was mostly written or commissioned by the Nonproliferation Policy Education Center. Much more, of course, could have been included in this book. But rather than seeking to be comprehensive, the aim throughout is to provide a guide for both policymakers and security analysts. This guide should assist in navigating the most important debates over how best to read and implement the NPT and, in the process, spotlighting alternative views of the NPT that are sound and supportable.


Author: Dr Norman Cigar

Published: April 2010

Iraqis are debating the desirability of atomic power for their country. One can expect increasing Iraqi calls for a revival of the country’s nuclear capability, at least in the civilian sector, which reflects a general consensus within key sectors of Iraqi public opinion as well as a growing regional trend. The Iraqi government will continue to reestablish its legitimacy by its support of a nuclear program as a litmus test for modernity and success, and has asked France to rebuild its former reactor, although significant practical obstacles will hamper rapid development in the nuclear field. Despite a continuing widespread perception of the utility of nuclear weapons, at least in some sectors of Iraqi opinion, a near-term resumption of a military nuclear program is not likely, although volatile conditions in the region and within Iraq itself could change that option at some time in the future. U.S. and international policymakers will have to consider Iraqi views as they shape policy to manage the process of an orderly, safe, and peaceful nuclear reintegration of Iraq in the civilian sector while guaranteeing safeguards against both accidents and any future diversion of a nuclear program for military purposes or terrorist exploitation.


Author: Mr Henry Nuzum

Published: April 2010

Counterinsurgency (COIN) requires an integrated military, political, and economic program best developed by teams that field both civilians and soldiers. These units should operate with some independence but under a coherent command. In Vietnam, after several false starts, the United States developed an effective unified organization, Civil Operations and Revolutionary Development Support (CORDS), to guide the counterinsurgency. CORDS had three components absent from our efforts in Afghanistan today: sufficient personnel (particularly civilian), numerous teams, and a single chain of command that united the separate COIN programs of the disparate American departments at the district, provincial, regional, and national levels. This Paper focuses on the third issue and describes the benefits that unity of command at every level would bring to the American war in Afghanistan. The work begins with a brief introduction to counterinsurgency theory, using a population-centric model, and examines how this warfare challenges the United States. It traces the evolution of the Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRTs) and the country team, describing problems at both levels. Similar efforts in Vietnam are compared, where persistent executive attention finally integrated the government’s counterinsurgency campaign under the unified command of the CORDS program. The next section attributes the American tendency towards a segregated response to cultural differences between the primary departments, executive neglect, and societal concepts of war. The Paper argues that, in its approach to COIN, the United States has forsaken the military concept of unity of command in favor of “unity of effort” expressed in multiagency literature. The final sections describe how unified authority would improve our efforts in Afghanistan and propose a model for the future.


Author: Dr Jack J Porter

Published: April 2010

Recent experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan remind U.S. policymakers of the tremendous obstacles and challenges that confront states as they attempt to install liberal, democratic political institutions. The multifaceted transition process involves a host of overlapping and interrelated political, economic, and social innovations that often must be tailored to the specific historical, demographic, and regional needs of each community. While it would be presumptuous to suggest any rigid schedule or set of priorities, most scholars and policymakers agree that restructuring the security and civil-military institutions is vital to the transition. The primary focus of this analysis is a detailed examination of two earlier and successful efforts at democratization—the Federal Republic of Germany and South Africa—paying particular attention to the role of civil-military institutions. The West German and South African examples illustrate the intricate complexities and numerous considerations that factor into this process and provide some important lessons for the future. This monograph analyzes the decisionmaking process behind the construction of the German and South African armed forces in their transition to democracy, and it concludes with a brief list of policy recommendations for future efforts geared toward democratizing formerly authoritarian armed forces.


Editor: Dr Harry R Yarger

Author: Dr Harry R Yarger

Published: April 2010

At the end of the first decade of the 21st century, the United States is involved in two ongoing wars, faces a significant international terrorist threat, and is witnessing an escalation of international resistance to its leadership of the global world order. Looking out to 2025, many see the potential for a prolonged period of instability as a result of competing economic models, demographics, the rise of new international actors and the resurgence old ones, climate change, and the scarcity of resources. The range of stability challenges will stretch the capabilities of any military force structure and require innovative thinking on the part of policymakers and military professionals alike on the appropriate development and use of the military element of power. In this anthology, 16 students of the U.S. Army War College Class of 2008 offer their perspectives on the use of military power across the spectrum of conflict in the 21st century, short of or following general war, and provide insights into the necessary force structure, policy, strategy, and doctrinal approaches for future success. Beyond a focus on operations short of general war, these writings share in common a worthwhile idea or set of ideas that can materially contribute to how the U.S. military can best conduct full spectrum operations. Collectively, these essays reveal the innovative thinking and diversity and depth of thought of the U.S. and foreign military and civilian agency personnel that comprise each student body at the U.S. Army War College as they prepare themselves to become senior leaders and fulfill their roles in their militaries or agencies.


Author: Dr Cori E Dauber

Published: April 2010

Each month a member of the SSI faculty writes an editorial for our monthly newsletter. This is the Op-Ed for the April 2010 newsletter.


Author: Dr Leif Rosenberger

Published: April 2010

In this Op-Ed style document, Dr. Leif Rosenberger recommends the creation of an international financial Early Warning System (EWS), similar to the template employed by the economic advisors at the U.S. Pacific Command in 2007, that can alert policymakers to pending financial crises.


Author: COL Louis H Jordan Jr

Published: April 2010

In this Op-Ed style document, COL Louis Jordan discusses the narcotics industry in Afghanistan—calling it what it is—a commercial enterprise, which is exceedingly important because it provides strength to the insurgency while at the same time keeping the Afghan government weak by fueling instability and corruption. Consequently, COL Jordan emphasizes that the United States will never attain its goals of a stable Afghanistan, which supports the rule of law, until this problem is controlled.


Author: Dr Ryan Clarke

Published: March 2010

A discussion of the foundation of Lashkar-i-Taiba (LeT), the development of its modus operandi, and engages in an investigation of LeT’s activities in India, Pakistan, and the Kashmir region are discussed. Further, LeT’s fundraising methods are touched upon, and LeT’s relationships with regional state and nonstate actors such as Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and Dawood Ibrahim’s D-Company are analyzed. Also, the impact that these developments have on domestic Islamist terrorism in India are addressed. The author argues that although LeT has been a vital component of Islamabad’s regional strategy in the past, the organization has grown beyond the control of its former patron, is largely self-sufficient and operates independently of the political process, and has expanded its agenda well beyond Kashmir. These developments challenge the long-held notion that irregulars can be sustainably used to achieve limited objectives in an asymmetric conflict and should serve as a clear warning to other state sponsors of terrorism. However, contrary to many analyses, LeT is not likely to sacrifice its independence and come under Al-Qaeda’s umbrella. Rather, LeT will continue to evolve into a distinctive, South Asia-centric terrorist actor in its own right while still receiving aid from fringe elements in Pakistan’s security and intelligence apparatus and elsewhere. This will not only allow LeT to continue to plan future Mumbai-style terrorist attacks in India from safe havens in Pakistan, but will also allow LeT to guide and assist the predominantly indigenous Indian Mujahideen (IM).


Author: Mr Lawrence Kaplan

Published: March 2010

Each month a member of the SSI faculty writes an editorial for our monthly newsletter. This is the Op-Ed for the March 2010 newsletter.


Author: Dr Bruce E Bechtol Jr, Mr Robert M Collins, Dr Paul Rexton Kan

Published: March 2010

This monograph examines Office Number 39’s origins, organizational structure, and activities in order to develop a more calibrated strategy and policy to meet the North Korean challenge. This monograph focuses on Office Number 39's key illicit activities— to include manufacture and distribution of illegal drugs, the counterfeiting of U.S. currency, and the manufacture and distribution of counterfeit cigarettes. Finally, as Kim Jong-Il grows frailer, assessing how his successor may continue or alter Office Number 39’s activities is also examined.


Editor: Dr Gabriel Marcella

Author: Dr Gabriel Marcella

Published: March 2010

Teaching all strategy, from grand to military, is essential in the preparation of national security professionals and military leaders. The experience of the armed forces in recent wars recommends that those involved with the system of military education seriously study the way strategy is taught. The task is even more imperative because the ambiguous conflicts and the complex geopolitical environment of the future are likely to challenge the community of strategists, civilian as well as military, in ways not seen in the past. In this context, developing the appropriate curriculum and effective methods of teaching strategy will be the responsibility of universities, colleges, and institutions of professional military education. The authors of this compendium ask and answer the central question of how to teach strategy. The findings, insights, and recommendations in this volume are those of professionals who are accomplished in the classroom as well as the crucible of strategy.


Author: LTC Michael J Colarusso, COL David S Lyle, COL Casey Wardynski

Published: March 2010

Developing leaders through experience, formal training, and education is a long-standing hallmark of the U.S. Army. Maintaining its excellence as a developmental organization requires vigilance, however. Authorized strength and inventory mismatches, an inverse relationship between responsibility and formal developmental time, and sparse nonoperational development opportunities are serious challenges the Army must address. Doing so requires a talent development strategy firmly rooted in human capital theory. Such a strategy will recognize the value of continuing higher education, genuinely useful evaluations, and the signals associated with professional credentials.


Author: LTC Thomas S Bundt

Published: March 2010

A primary pillar to achieving strategic aims in Iraq is through the reestablishment of a functional healthcare system. Currently, no set corporate solution exists including all agencies pertaining to a universally acceptable strategic health policy in support of this objective. Healthcare is an elemental component of basic human needs and should be accessible, affordable, and capable. Following combat operations and phasing into stabilization operations, basic healthcare infrastructure and systems have often been either disrupted or degraded altogether. To address this situation, the U.S. Government requires a coordinated interagency approach to formulate a strategic healthcare plan. Incorporating all relevant players into this goal will promote sound organizational design, unity of effort, and a culture favorable to synchronization. This proposal submits specific recommendations and advocates a renewed effort toward addressing these requirements. The primary constructs under review are U.S. Government organization, leadership, and culture as they relate to a strategic healthcare policy.This approach reduces redundant efforts, conserves resources and augments the legitimacy of the new Government of Iraq, while supporting U.S. national strategic aims.


Author: Dr Idean Salehyan

Published: March 2010

Many insurgents groups benefit from sanctuaries in neighboring countries where they are relatively safe from state security forces. These transnational insurgencies complicate traditional counterinsurgency operations in significant ways. Most importantly, transnational insurgencies have the potential to spark conflicts between neighboring countries. This monograph examines several transnational insurgencies that have been active since the end of the Cold War. While many neighboring countries have experienced the escalation of conflict between them as the result of cross-border violence, other states have successfully cooperated in providing border security. In depth case studies of relations between Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo as well as India and its eastern neighbors are explored. The lessons learned from this research are applied to contemporary issues facing Iraq and Afghanistan.


Author: LTC Michael J Colarusso, COL David S Lyle, COL Casey Wardynski

Published: February 2010

Accessing Talent: The Foundation of a U.S. Army Officer Corps Strategy, is the fourth of six monographs focused upon officer talent management in the U.S. Army. In it, the authors continue their examination of how the U.S. Army accesses, develops, retains, and employs officer talent. In particular, they focus upon the ways in which dynamic labor market conditions and generational preferences have shaped service propensity amongpotential officer prospects.

As in the previous volumes of this series, the authors first articulate a theoretical framework for improvement and then demonstrate how the application of those theories can yield desired results. In sum, they explain why a proper talent accessions strategy can create a “positive sum game” for the Army as perhaps nothing else can. Since the officer accessions process presents the Army with a dramatic opportunity to leverage talent investments made by others, the theories and programs discussed in this monograph merit thoughtful consideration.


Author: Prof John R Martin

Published: February 2010

Each month a member of the SSI faculty writes an editorial for our monthly newsletter. This is the Op-Ed for the February 2010 newsletter.


Editor: Prof John R Martin

Author: Prof John R Martin, Dr Steven Metz

Published: February 2010

In 1946, General Walter Bedell Smith wrote a series of articles describing six great decisions made in World War II by General Dwight David Eisenhower Writing so soon after the war, General Smith could not hope to produce a definitive history, but felt that writing then would document an important viewpoint of one of the major participants in Eisenhower’s many significant decisions. With this initial volume of their Operation IRAQI FREEDOM Key Decisions Monograph Series, the Strategic Studies Institute also attempts to write about key decisions while they are still fresh in the memories of the participants. This series will not produce a definitive history, however, it will make a major contribution to understanding decisions made by senior military and civilian leaders during the several years thus far of the war in Iraq. Looking more at the how and why of certain decisions than at the results of those same decisions, this series will be particularly useful to senior leaders--both uniformed and civilian--as they reflect on how decisions were made in Iraq and how better decisions might be made in future conflicts. As General James Mattis at Joint Forces Command recently said, the challenges of operating in a counterinsurgency can be greater than in large-scale conventional combat, “since the adversary has more flexibility to determine how, when, where, and whether to fight.” This, plus the fact that irregular combat is the more likely challenge of the future operating environment, makes it even more important to examine the key decisions of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM as soon as possible. One of the greatest strengths of our Army over the centuries has been its ability to look critically at itself and to devise ways to improve its ability to prosecute the Nation’s wars.


Author: Dr Clayton K S Chun

Published: February 2010

This monograph explores the impact that oil revenue had on the national defense spending of five oil-exporting countries. Despite periods of falling oil revenues, these countries typically did not lower defense spending. In some cases, defense spending increased sharply, or the rate of decrease was much lower than the drop in oil revenues. This condition creates challenges for national security professionals. If nations face falling oil revenues and still have the will and ability to expand their military or security capabilities, then they might do so through the sacrifice of domestic spending or regional stability. Economic sanctions, worldwide recession, or falling oil demand may not stop these oil-exporting nations from purchasing weapons and creating large security forces. Policies that attempt to limit oil revenues of potential enemies alone may not be sufficient to inhibit them from creating regional instability through expansion of their defense capabilities. Hopes for reduced defense expenditures, by countries like Iran, as a result of a drop in energy demand seem to be diminished by these findings. A more complex picture emerges that forces analysts and policymakers to search more broadly for options to stem potential arms races that may be fueled by the riches of oil-exporting countries.


Author: Mr Evan Brown, Dr Dallas D Owens

Published: January 2010

Key Insights from the conference included: (1) The relationships between powerful criminal groups and states are complex and create transnational issues of corruption and the production, transportation, marketing, and consumption of illegal products and services that have national security implications for most states in the Western Hemisphere. (2) The Colombian government has successfully responded to challenges from the FARC and several criminal groups, but the challengers have responded with adaptations that ensure their survival. The persistence of these security challenges continue to cause concern over the intersection of drugs and terror. (3) Mexico has experienced an increase in organized criminal violence in several of its states; much of the violence is associated with drug trafficking and associated illegal activity. Counterintuitively, some areas sustain high levels of illegal activity without high levels of violence if the state retains sufficient enforcement capacity or cooperates with organized crime. (4) U.S. drug policy has had enormous effect on the Mexican drug trade. However, the solution to organized crime and related violence will ultimately rely on Mexican federal, state, and community ability to understand the issues and more effectively combat corruption and gangs, while providing more effective governance and economic opportunities for its citizens. (5) The small Caribbean nations are experiencing increases in drug trafficking and related violence, but are even less equipped than their larger neighbors to combat these problems; lack of U.S. support has created a vacuum that is being filled by Cuba and Venezuela. (6) Consistently identified issues were: (1) the region’s need to address the intersection of corruption and violence, (2) the unexpected and unintended consequences of national and international policies, and (3) the operational issues surrounding the concepts of decriminalization, tolerance of criminal activity, tough stands against criminal activity, and improving governmental systems.


Author: Dr Richard J Krickus

Published: January 2010

The author addresses the question of how to give Russia a voice but not a veto in a new European security system and provides some provocative recommendations. Most specifically, he proposes that the time has come to provide Russia with a NATO Membership Action Plan (MAP) and agrees that those who argue against it remain mired in a Cold War mindset that is out of sync with today’s strategic realities. Ultimately, a campaign to include Russia in NATO may fail but at the very least, the endeavor deserves serious consideration. He also provides compelling reasons why U.S. defense analysts must consider several future outcomes for Russia. In addition to being the only state that is capable of devastating the United States in a nuclear exchange, most of the world’s population and resources exist on the borders of its massive territory. Its future then, will shape the global strategic environment for decades to come.


Author: LTC Clarence J Bouchat (USAF, Ret)

Published: January 2010

The security and stability of Africa has recently become an important national issue readily seen in the increased time, effort, and resources now devoted to the continent by such new organizations as the U.S. Africa Command (USAFRICOM). This paper seeks to overcome centuries of ignorance and misunderstanding about the conditions and people of Africa by discussing the fundamental issues of economic development and political governance through which enduring stability and security might be obtained. This paper offers solutions in terms of improving African stability and security and a framework of several key issues which should give policymakers the knowledge they need to work in a constantly changing and very challenging environment.


Author: COL Phillip R Cuccia

Published: January 2010

Each month a member of the SSI faculty writes an editorial for our monthly newsletter. This is the Op-Ed for the January 2010 newsletter.


Author: Dr Stephen J Gerras, Dr Leonard Wong

Published: January 2010

Multiple deployments have become a way of life for our Soldiers. In Army families, these frequent deployments increase the burden on children who must face the stress and strain of separation and anxiety. The authors take a much-needed, detailed look at the effects of multiple deployments on Army adolescents. The results of this study reinforce some of what we already know concerning deployments and children, but they also reveal some very interesting, counterintuitive findings that challenge the conventional wisdom concerning Army adolescents. This study goes beyond merely explaining the impact 8 years of war is having on the children of our Soldiers; rather, it explores the specific factors that increase or alleviate stress on Army adolescents. The results reveal that Army adolescents, contrary to what many believed, are much more self-aware and resilient. Furthermore, they are capable of understanding the multiple implications of having a parent serve in the all-volunteer Army during a time of war. Army children may experience the anxiety and stress that often surround a parent’s deployment, but results conclude that there are factors that policymakers, leaders, and parents can use to increase a child’s ability to cope with a life of repeated deployments. In this era of persistent conflict, we should carefully consider such findings.


Editor: Mr Henry D Sokolski

Author: Mr Henry D Sokolski

Published: January 2010

Unfortunately, a nuclear terrorist act is only one—and hardly the most probable—of several frightening security threats Pakistan now faces or poses. We know that traditional acts of terrorism and conventional military crises in Southwest Asia have nearly escalated into wars and, more recently, even threatened Indian and Pakistani nuclear use. Certainly, the war jitters that attended the recent terrorist attacks against Mumbai highlighted the nexus between conventional terrorism and war. For several weeks, the key worry in Washington was that India and Pakistan might not be able to avoid war. Similar concerns were raised during the Kargil crisis in 1999, and the Indo-Pakistani conventional military tensions that arose in 2001 and 2002—crises that most analysts (including those who contributed to this volume) believe could have escalated into nuclear conflicts. The intent of this book is to conduct a significant evaluation of these threats. Its companion volume, Worries Beyond War, published in 2008, focused on the challenges of Pakistani nuclear terrorism. These analyses offer a window into what is possible and why Pakistani nuclear terrorism is best seen as a lesser included threat to war, and terrorism more generally. Could the United States do more with Pakistan to secure Pakistan’s nuclear weapons holdings against possible seizure? It is unclear. This book argues that rather than distracting our policy leaders from taking the steps needed to reduce the threats of nuclear war, we would do well to view our worst terrorist nightmares for what they are: Subordinate threats that will be limited best if the risk of nuclear war is reduced and contained.


Author: LTC Clarence J Bouchat (USAF, Ret)

Published: January 2010

The security and stability of Africa has recently become an important national issue readily seen in the increased time, effort, and resources now devoted to the continent by such new organizations as the U.S. Africa Command (USAFRICOM). This paper seeks to overcome centuries of ignorance and misunderstanding about the conditions and people of Africa by discussing the fundamental issues of economic development and political governance through which enduring stability and security might be obtained. This paper offers solutions in terms of improving African stability and security and a framework of several key issues which should give policymakers the knowledge they need to work in a constantly changing and very challenging environment.


Author: LTC Michael J Colarusso, COL David S Lyle, COL Casey Wardynski

Published: January 2010

Over the last 3 decades, dramatic labor market changes and well-intentioned but uninformed policies have created significant officer talent flight. Poor retention engenders substantial risk for the Army as it directly affects accessions, development, and employment of talent. The Army cannot make thoughtful policy decisions if its officer talent pipeline continues to leak at current rates. Since the Army cannot insulate itself from labor market forces as it tries to retain talent, the retention component of its officer strategy must rest upon sound market principles. It must be continuously resourced, executed, measured, and adjusted across time and budget cycles. Absent these steps, systemic policy, and decisionmaking failures will continue to confound Army efforts to create a talent-focused officer corps strategy.


Author: COL Matthew Moten

Published: January 2010

Colonel Matthew Moten of the West Point History Department has asked why so many other professions have clear statements of professional responsibility, but the Army officer corps does not. This essay briefly surveys the history of the Army’s professional ethic, focusing primarily on the officer corps. It assesses today’s strategic, professional, and ethical environment. Then it argues that a clear statement of the Army officers’ professional ethic is especially necessary in a time when the Army is stretched and stressed as an institution. The Army officer corps has both a need and an opportunity to better define itself as a profession, forthrightly to articulate its professional ethic, and clearly to codify what it means to be a military professional. Finally, the monograph articulates such an ethic focusing on the four roles of commissioned officers—Soldier, servant of the nation, leader of character, and member of a time-honored profession.

NB:
In the Fall of 2013, the author of this monograph, Army Colonel Matthew Moten, chose to retire amid reports of his reprimand for misconduct and removal as head of the U.S. Military Academy's History Department, following an investigation of allegations made against him. Published in 2010, this monograph presents the results of Colonel Moten's critical analysis of an issue important to the Army: deepening our understanding of what the Professional Military Ethic means to the profession today. The monograph remains a solid contribution to the dialogue among professionals the Army leadership sought to ignite. In particular, readers should note well Moten's closing paragraphs:

"Before the Army accepts such a statement of its professional ethic, much debate is in order. Should we use hard phrases such as "total accountability" and "unlimited liability?" What are officers' core responsibilities as leaders and how far do they extend?

How concisely should we explicate our adherence to the principle of civilian control? Should we espouse nonpartisanship as part of our ethic? The debate required to answer such questions will provide impetus for an Army-wide discussion about the profession, its ethical values, and the role that it should play as a servant of American society in the future. Let it begin."

We, at the U.S. Army War College believe the conversation on the Army's professional ethic must continue, and still find value in Moten's 2010 work, notwithstanding the situation that led to his relief.


Author: Mr Daniel Alderman

Published: December 2009

Participants considered the PLA’s relationship with the Chinese Communist Party; trends in the PLA’s ongoing reforms to informationalize, mechanize, and adapt to China’s evolving defense needs; and the PLA’s role in tackling internal security challenges. PLA operations abroad were discussed, with participants assessing trends in the pace, scope, goals, and success of logistics reform and the impact of these reforms on PLA capabilities. Deficiencies are well-documented, but significant progress is being made. The exact pace, scale, and success of the PLA’s modernization efforts must be assessed. Participants were tasked to address how the PLA is determining what types of missions it will undertake and analyze the process by which these missions are created and assigned. In addition, attendees were asked to disaggregate the PLA’s aspirational goals from its current capabilities. Finally, in addition to examining how the PLA is employing new operational capabilities at home and abroad, participants were challenged to assess the PLA’s own measures for improvement.


Author: COL Xavier Stewart

Published: December 2009

Since assuming command in 1998 of the first Civil Support Team (CST) Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD), Colonel Stewart witnessed and experienced dramatic changes in homeland security theory, policy, and practice. The most significant changes have occurred since the attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001, which violently demonstrated how turbulent today’s world strategic environment is. Widely available chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, high yield explosive, and cyberspace security materials, technologies, and equipment often have dual uses. Preventing rogue states and terrorist organizations from acquiring these materials is a necessary but formidable challenge. Additionally, the cyber domain has grown tremendously and may be used to target key infrastructure and resources. In addition to these threats, dramatic weather changes have caused unusual and devastating shifts in weather patterns, which in turn have triggered catastrophic events. The establishment of All-Hazard Training Centers in the 10 Federal Emergency Management Agency regions to train civil support team weapons of mass destruction emergency responders for chemical, biological radiological, nuclear, explosive, and cyberspace events or natural catastrophes are becoming a necessity in light of these threats.


Author: Dr Stephen J Blank

Published: December 2009

Each month a member of the SSI faculty writes an editorial for our monthly newsletter. This is the Op-Ed for the December 2009 newsletter.


Author: Dr Colin S Gray

Published: November 2009

All would-be strategists would benefit by some formal education. However, for education in strategy to be well-directed, it needs to rest upon sound assumptions concerning the eternal nature yet ever shifting character, meaning, and function of strategy, as well as the range of behaviors required for effective strategic performance. The author emphasizes the necessity for strategic education to help develop the strategic approach, the way of thinking that can solve or illuminate strategic problems. He advises that such education should not strive for a spurious relevance by presenting a military variant of current affairs. The author believes that the strategist will perform better in today's world if he has mastered and can employ strategy’s general theory.


Author: LTC Michael J Colarusso, COL David S Lyle, COL Casey Wardynski

Published: November 2009

In our proposed Army Officer Corps Strategy, we established the interdependency of accessing, developing, retaining and employing talented leaders. Before exploring each of those functions in greater detail, however, we must first define “talent.” In our view, talent is something possessed by everyone. In fact, each individual has a unique distribution of talent across three dimensions—skills, knowledge, and behaviors. Effective organizations understand this. They successfully access and retain a depth and breadth of talent that can be developed and employed against current and future requirements.


Author: Capt Jason C Howk

Published: November 2009

This paper provides a case study to help explain the SSR concepts that were recently formalized in U.S. Army Field Manual 3.07, "Stability Operations Doctrine." It provides insights into how the military interacts with host-nation governments, the United Nations, the State Department, and national embassies to solve today’s complex problems. The author’s experience revealed many pitfalls in security sector building and international team-building that we are trying to avoid today. The author points out the synergy that was lost because of a lack of coordination and understanding between government officials and nongovernmental organizations like aid groups, academia, and think tanks.


Author: LTC Brian K Hedrick

Published: November 2009

India’s transformation to modernize its military, obtain “strategic partnerships” with the United States and other nations, and expand its influence in the Indian Ocean and beyond includes a shift from an emphasis on the former Soviet Union as the primary supplier of defense articles to a western base of supply and an increasing emphasis on bilateral exercises and training with many of the global powers. The author explores the nature of this transformation, offers insights into the history of Indian defense relations, and suggests implications to U.S. foreign and defense policy. Much has been written regarding India’s relations with its neighbors, especially Pakistan and China. The author adds a new perspective by taking a global view of India’s rise as a regional and future global military power through its bilateral defense relations and the potential conflict this creates with India’s legacy as a leader of the Non-Aligned Movement.


Author: Dr Cori E Dauber

Published: November 2009

Terrorist attacks today are often media events in a second sense: information and communication technologies have developed to such a point that these groups can film, edit, and upload their own attacks within minutes of staging them, whether the Western media are present or not. In this radically new information environment, the enemy no longer depends on traditional media. This is the “YouTube War.” This monograph methodically lays out the nature of this new environment in terms of its implications for a war against media-savvy insurgents, and then considers possible courses of action for the Army and the U.S. military as they seek to respond to an enemy that has proven enormously adaptive to this new environment and the new type of warfare it enables.


Author: Dr Joseph R Cerami, Dr Jeffrey A Engel, Ms Lindsey K Pavelka

Published: November 2009

In Washington, DC, on June 24, 2009, the Bush School of Government and Public Service, the Scowcroft Institute of International Affairs at Texas A&M University, and the U.S. Army War College Strategic Studies Institute conducted a conference on Leadership and Government Reform. Two panels discussed “Leader Development in Schools of Public Affairs” and “Leadership, National Security, and ‘Whole of Government’ Reforms.” The theme focused on the need for significant changes in leader development and government reform to improve the alignment, coordination, integration, and interoperability among largely autonomous U.S. Government agencies. The two conference panels were challenged to discuss leadership in a broader sense rather than focusing solely at the top, or on presidential leadership. The aim was to think more generally about reform-minded leadership from the top, middle, and entry levels, in order to better prepare the nation for the new security challenges of this still-young 21st century.


Author: Dr Stephen J Gerras

Published: November 2009

Each month a member of the SSI faculty writes an editorial for our monthly newsletter. This is the Op-Ed for the November 2009 newsletter.


Editor: Prof Susan Merrill

Author: Mr Derick W Brinkerhoff, Mr Richard Hill, Mr Ronald W Johnson, Prof Susan Merrill

Published: October 2009

The guide is designed to provide peacekeepers with a thorough and nuanced understanding on the policy, planning, cultural and ethnic implications, tradeoffs, and options for public services reconstruction. It takes the position ultimately that the host government is responsible for public goods. Stability actors and host country governments can cooperate on policy, resource allocation, and service planning, even when the majority of services may initially be provided by nonstate or external actors, but the host country is in the lead. Issues addressed include control of corruption, administration of public services, policy, resource allocation and joint budgeting for restoration, reconstruction, and maintenance. Immediately after a conflict, the flight of skilled professionals may have left little capacity for public services restoration, making it a critical priority to rebuild capacity in engineering, planning, budgeting, and maintenance as well as to reestablish the revenue generation to sustain these services. The role for stability actors is broad and critical in this effort, as they seek to restore the ability of a government to meet the expectations of its citizens and restore legitimacy and stability to a nation.


Author: Dr Antulio J Echevarria II

Published: October 2009

Each month a member of the SSI faculty writes an editorial for our monthly newsletter. This is the Op-Ed for the October 2009 newsletter.


Author: Major Paul Oh, Dr Don M Snider, Major Kevin Toner

Published: October 2009

As the character of conflict in the 21st century evolves, the Army’s strength will continue to rest on our values, our ethos, and our people. Our Soldiers and leaders must remain true to these values as they operate in increasingly complex environments where moral-ethical failures can have strategic implications. Most of our Soldiers do the right thing--and do it well--time and again under intense pressure. But we must stay ever vigilant in upholding our high professional standards, mindful of the strains that accompany repeated combat deployments in the longest war our country has fought with an all-volunteer force. We must think critically about our Professional Military Ethic and promote dialogue at all levels as we deepen our understanding of what this time-honored source of strength means to the profession today.


Author: Mr Kenneth Michael Absher

Published: September 2009

This chronology provides details and analysis of the intelligence failures and successes of the Cuban Missile Crisis, and suggests the applicability of lessons learned to the collection, analysis, and use of intelligence in strategic decisionmaking. The author describes how the crisis unfolded using the author’s personal recollection, declassified documents, and many memoirs written by senior CIA officers and others who were participants. Lessons learned include the need to avoid having our political, analytical and intelligence collection mind-sets prevent us from acquiring and accurately analyzing intelligence about our adversaries true plans and intentions. When our national security is at stake, we should not hesitate to undertake risky intelligence collection operations including espionage, to penetrate our adversary’s deceptions. We must also understand that our adversaries may not believe the gravity of our policy warnings or allow their own agendas to be influenced by diplomatic pressure.


Author: Dr Dmitry Shlapentokh

Published: September 2009

Since the late Soviet era, the presence of Iran has loomed large in the minds of the Russian elite. Soon after the end of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR)—and even before—increasing numbers of Russian intellectuals became disenchanted with the West, especially the United States, and looked for alternative geopolitical alliances. The Muslim world became one of the possible alternatives. Iran became especially important in the geopolitical construction of Eurasianists or neo-Eurasianists who believed that Russia’s alliance with Iran is essential for Russia’s rise to power. Yet, by the middle of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s tenure, increasing tension with the Muslim community and the rise of Russian nationalism had led to more complicated views of the Russian elite on Iran. At present, the Russian elite does not mind using Iran as a bargaining chip in its dealings with the West, especially the United States, and as a market for Russian weapons and other goods and services. However, the dream of a Russian-Iran axis is apparently abandoned for good.


Author: COL Erin P Edgar

Published: September 2009

The China Dragons of the 28th Combat Support Hospital deployed in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM from September 2006 until November 2007. This combat tour was historic in many regards, with the team challenged by unprecedented casualty numbers and indirect fire attacks. Not only did they save thousands of lives; they helped advanced trauma medicine, as leading hospitals worldwide have benefitted from military initiatives in the areas of bleeding control and hemostatic resuscitation. Their service epitomizes the strides that have been made in military combat medicine, and their challenges highlight the areas in which our medical system can improve further.


Author: Capt Jeanne F Hull

Published: September 2009

Discussion of Key Leader Engagements (KLE) as a nonlethal option for countering insurgent organizations. Outreach to insurgent organizations through KLE can be both an economy of force measure and, in some circumstances, could be more effective than engaging insurgent organizations with lethal force. The challenge with insurgent outreach to KLE, though, is that it must be tied to a legitimate host-nation government effort towards reconciliation or, at a minimum, accommodation with the insurgent organizations in question. Through the lens of the Multi-National Forces-Iraq Force Strategic Engagement Cell (FSEC), the author illustrates how KLEs can be incorporated as targets in the U.S. military’s targeting process. FSEC’s mission to reach out to Iraq-based insurgent organizations who sought reconciliation with the Iraqi government was entirely based in KLE-related targeting. FSECs activities, therefore, present a suitable case to study how including KLE as “targets” within the targeting process can maximize the utility of the relationships commanders and diplomats alike establish during counterinsurgency and nation-building operations. The operations of this strategic engagement cell also demonstrate the employment of KLE as a part of Information Operations, and the challenges associated with developing and refining intelligence to support KLE targeting. The other challenges FSEC personnel dealt with highlight some additional difficulties commanders and diplomats face with respect to KLE operations with emphasis on managing expectations, continuity, capability, and synchronization of effort. Finally, FSEC’s endeavors in Iraq underscore the utility of outreach to both local leaders and insurgent populations in counterinsurgency operations.


Author: Dr Michael James Brennan, Brigadier Justin Kelly

Published: September 2009

The publication of the 1982 version of Army Field Manual (FM) 100-5, Operations, introduced to the English-speaking world the idea of an operational level of war encompassing the planning and conduct of campaigns and major operations. It was followed 3 years later by the introduction of the term “operational art” which was, in practice, the skillful management of the operational level of war. This conception of an identifiably separate level of war that defined the jurisdiction of the profession of arms was, for a number of historical and cultural reasons, attractive to U.S. practitioners and plausible to its English-speaking allies. As a result, it and its associated doctrine spread rapidly around the world. The authors argue that as warfare continues to diffuse across definitional and conceptual boundaries and as the close orchestration of all of the instruments of national power becomes even more important, the current conception of campaigns and operations becomes crippling. To cope with these demands by formulating and prosecuting “national campaigns,” the authors propose that the responsibility for campaign design should “actually” return to the political-strategic leadership of nations supported by the entirety of the state bureaucracy. This would mark the return of the campaign to its historical sources. If the United States and its allies fail to make this change, they risk continuing to have a “way of battle” rather than a “way of war.”


Author: Dr Max G Manwaring

Published: September 2009

This monograph is intended to help political, military, policy, opinion, and academic leaders think strategically about explanations, consequences, and responses that might apply to the volatile and dangerous new dynamic that has inserted itself into the already crowded Mexican and hemispheric security arena, that is, the privatized Zeta military organization. In Mexico, this new dynamic involves the migration of traditional hard-power national security and sovereignty threats from traditional state and nonstate adversaries to hard and soft power threats from professional private nonstate military organizations. This dynamic also involves a more powerful and ambiguous mix of terrorism, crime, and conventional war tactics, operations, and strategies than experienced in the past. Moreover, this violence and its perpetrators tend to create and consolidate semi-autonomous enclaves (criminal free-states) that develop in to quasi-states—and what the Mexican government calls “Zones of Impunity.” All together, these dynamics not only challenge Mexican security, stability, and sovereignty, but, if left improperly understood and improperly countered, also challenge the security and stability of the United States and Mexico’s other neighbors.


Author: Dr W Andrew Terrill

Published: September 2009

A central purpose of this monograph is to reexamine two earlier conflicts for insights that may be relevant for ongoing dangers during limited wars involving nations possessing chemical or biological weapons or emerging nuclear arsenals. These conflicts are the 1973 Arab-Israeli War and the 1991 Gulf War. Both of these wars were fought at the conventional level, although the prospect of Israel using nuclear weapons (1973), Egypt using biological weapons (1973), or Iraq using chemical and biological weapons (1991) were of serious concern at various points during the fighting. This monograph will consider why efforts at escalation control and intrawar deterrence were successful in the two case studies and assess the points at which these efforts were under the most intensive stress that might have caused them to fail.


Author: LTC Theresa Baginski, COL Brian J Clark, LTC Francis Donovan, Ms Karma Job, LTC John S Kolasheski, COL Richard A Lacquement Jr, COL Michael J McMahon, Brigadier Simon "Don" Roach, COL Sean P Swindell, COL Curt A Van De Walle

Published: September 2009

Security Force Assistance is analyzed, and some specific recommendations designed to improve U.S. performance are provided. While SFA may be a new term, the activities themselves are familiar ones related to how the Department of Defense works to train, advise, and assist foreign partners' security establishments to accomplish common objectives. The United States has demonstrated serious SFA deficiencies in recent years. As Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has noted, the United States is likely to remain actively and broadly engaged in SFA for many years to come. The need for comprehensive improvement encompasses DoD military and civilian efforts and requires thoughtful integration with broader whole of government approaches.


Author: Dr Hal Brands

Published: September 2009

The current political dynamics in Latin America is analyzed, and their meaning for the United States is evaluated. The author argues that references to a uniform “left turn” in the region are misleading, and that Latin America is actually witnessing a dynamic competition between two very different forms of governance. Represented by leaders like Hugo Chávez, Evo Morales, and others, radical populism emphasizes the politics of grievance and a penchant for extreme solutions. Moderate, centrist governance can be found in countries like Chile, Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, and Uruguay. It stresses diplomatic pragmatism, the protection of democratic practices, and the need to blend macroeconomic responsibility with a social conscience. To the extent that the United States can strengthen the centrists while limiting the damage caused by radical populism, the author argues it can promote integral growth, democratic stability, and effective security cooperation in Latin America. A clear understanding of the trends discussed is essential to devising appropriate U.S. policies toward that region.


Author: Dr Robert H Dorff

Published: September 2009

Each month a member of the SSI faculty writes an editorial for our monthly newsletter. This is the Op-Ed for the September 2009 newsletter.


Author: Mr Rymn J Parsons

Published: August 2009

Climate change, in which man-made global warming is a major factor, will likely have dramatic and long lasting consequences with profound security implications, making it a challenge the United States must urgently take up. The security implications will be most pronounced in places where the effects of climate change are greatest, particularly affecting weak states already especially vulnerable to environmental destabilization. Two things are vitally important: stemming the tide of climate change and adapting to its far-reaching consequences. This project examines the destabilizing effects of climate change and how the military could be used to mitigate global warming and to assist at-risk peoples and states to adapt to climate change, thereby promoting stability and sustainable security. Recommendations are made on the importance of U.S. leadership on the critical issue of global warming, on defining and dealing with the strategic dimensions of climate change, and, as a case in point, on how Sino-American cooperation in Africa would not only benefit areas where climate change effects are already pronounced, but also strengthen a crucial bilateral relationship.


Author: Dr Max G Manwaring

Published: August 2009

Each month a member of the SSI faculty writes an editorial for our monthly newsletter. This is the Op-Ed for the August 2009 newsletter.


Editor: Dr Antulio J Echevarria II

Author: Dr Antulio J Echevarria II

Published: July 2009

Unlike other lists that generally reflect issues which are operational or tactical in nature, the focus of the Key Strategic Issues List is strategic. The spotlight is, in other words, on those items that senior Army and Department of Defense leaders should consider in providing military advice and formulating military strategy. At present, the U.S. military is engaged in a changing situation in Iraq and an increasing presence in Afghanistan, as well as efforts to restore balance in force sizing and structure.


Author: Dr Phil Williams

Published: July 2009

Dr. Williams looks in detail at major criminal activities, including the theft, diversion, and smuggling of oil, the kidnapping of both Iraqis and foreigners, extortion, car theft, and the theft and smuggling of antiquities. He also considers the critical role played by corruption in facilitating and strengthening organized crime and shows how al-Qaeda in Iraq, Jaish-al-Mahdi, and the Sunni tribes used criminal activities to fund their campaigns of political violence. Dr. Williams identifies the roots of organized crime in post-Ba’athist Iraq in an authoritarian and corrupt state dominated by Saddam Hussein and subject to international sanctions. He also explains the rise of organized crime after the U.S. invasion in terms of two distinct waves: the first wave followed the collapse of the state and was accompanied by the breakdown of social control mechanisms and the development of anomie; the second wave was driven by anarchy, insecurity, political ambition, and the imperatives of resource generation for militias, insurgents, and other groups. He also identifies necessary responses to organized crime and corruption in Iraq, including efforts to reduce criminal opportunities, change incentive structures, and more directly target criminal organizations and activities. His analysis also emphasizes the vulnerability of conflict and post-conflict situations to organized crime and the requirement for a holistic or comprehensive strategy in which security, development, and the rule of law complement one another.


Author: Dr Larry P Goodson

Published: July 2009

Each month a member of the SSI faculty writes an editorial for our monthly newsletter. This is the Op-Ed for the July 2009 newsletter.


Author: Dr Stephen J Blank

Published: June 2009

President Obama has outlined a comprehensive strategy for the war in Afghanistan which is now the central front of our campaign against Islamic terrorism. The strategy strongly connects our prosecution of that war to our policy in Pakistan and internal developments there as a necessary condition of victory. But the strategy has also provided for a new logistics road through Central Asia. The author argues that a winning strategy in Afghanistan depends as well upon the systematic leveraging of the opportunity provided by that road and a new coordinated nonmilitary approach to Central Asia. That approach would rely heavily on improved coordination at home and the more effective leveraging of our superior economic power in Central Asia to help stabilize the region so that it provides a secure rear to Afghanistan. In this fashion we would help Central Asia meet the challenges of extremism, of economic decline due to the global economic crisis, and thus help provide political stability in states that are likely to be challenged by the confluence of those trends.


Author: COL Fred Johnson

Published: June 2009

In an article published in Foreign Affairs, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates reflects on “whether formations and units organized, trained, and equipped to destroy enemies can be adapted well enough and fast enough to dissuade or co-opt them—or, more significantly, to build the capacity of local security forces to do the dissuading and destroying.” This question is central to the on-going debate over whether the Army has the proper structure and training to perform full spectrum operations. This monograph reports that 3-2 Stryker Brigade Combat Team (SBCT) effectively operated as a “full spectrum” force during Operation ARROWHEAD RIPPER in the city of Baqubah, Iraq, from June to September 2007. The Brigade Commander organized the SBCT to conduct simultaneous kinetic and nonkinetic operations, task-organizing his brigade to leverage the Iraqi military, local leaders, and Iraqi systems already in place to accomplish his mission of defeating al-Qaeda and stabilizing the city of Baqubah. Ultimately, adaptive leadership, at every level, enabled 3-2 SBCT to operate in a full spectrum campaign.


Author: Dr David Lai

Published: June 2009

Each month a member of the SSI faculty writes an editorial for our monthly newsletter. This is the Op-Ed for the June 2009 newsletter.


Author: COL Kenneth D Johnson

Published: June 2009

For the past 2 decades, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) has made great gains in national development and economic growth and now stands as one of the most important states on the world scene. It is extremely important for U.S. policymakers to have a contextual understanding of what shapes Chinese thought and behavior thus driving Chinese political, economic, and military imperatives. With much of the American public accepting the “China Threat” theory, it is critical that the United States recognize the role of strategic culture in shaping China’s domestic and external policies. This paper illustrates the key characteristics of Chinese strategic culture—philosophy, history, and domestic factors that, to a remarkable extent, structure the strategic objectives of China’s formal foreign policy and explain how Chinese strategic interests are defined by modern Chinese pragmatic nationalism, its drive for modernization, and the desire for China to have a more prominent role in the Asian and world communities. A concluding analysis of the implications of Chinese strategic culture offer recommendations for U.S. national security policy.


Author: COL James H Herrera

Published: June 2009

Peace is a phrase that is often used but vaguely understood. Conventional thought considers peace as a condition that shares a dialectical relationship with war, albeit devoid of a separate nature of its own. Upon closer examination, peace has a pragmatic quality and the potential to be a separate element of statecraft, not simply the absence, termination, or continuation of war. This paper examines peace at the individual, collective, and inter-collective levels. It does so by addressing three central questions: First, how is peace defined and what is its nature? Is it a natural condition or an artificially constructed one? Second, does it differ at the individual, collective, and inter-collective levels? And third, can peace stand on its own as a means of policy relative to diplomacy and war? In essence, can peace be waged? Research reveals that a complex paradigmatic change in statecraft must occur in order to employ peace as a “shaping” and sustaining action. Further inquiry is required to fully understand its potential as a tool, one similar to “soft power.” This paper contains recommendations for the continued development of this concept.


Author: Dr Antulio J Echevarria II

Published: June 2009

KEY INSIGHTS: • The conference could only scratch the surface regarding the strategic implications of several important emerging technologies, namely, biogenetics, biometrics, nanotechnologies, robotics, artificial intelligence, alternative energies, and electromagnetic weaponry. More research is needed in the form of additional conferences, individual studies, and war games, comparing the development of these potentially game-changing technologies globally. • While technical expertise appears plentiful within the U.S. Department of Defense and America’s private sector, both would benefit from the addition of more “strategists” capable of assessing, without prejudice, how individual technologies, or combinations of them, might shift the strategic balance of power, and over what timeframe. • The IT revolution is far from over, but it is no longer necessarily the most important one affecting national security; the defense community needs a means for providing greater awareness of technological advances, and on an ongoing basis. • Ethical and legal guidelines must keep pace with, or even anticipate, technological innovations, particularly those that can change the way we think about armed conflict, combatants and noncombatants. The field of robotics, for instance, is already challenging traditional notions of what it means to be a combatant. • Without policy changes and an increase in funding, the exploration of alternative fuels will not yield results capable of supplementing fossil fuels in any significant way over the next 2 decades.


Author: Prof Deane-Peter Baker

Published: June 2009

Since emerging from the mire of its apartheid past, South Africa has become a key player in Sub-Saharan Africa. The challenge of creating a truly national military, during a period in which South Africa has also wrestled with tough internal socio-economic problems, has left the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) in a weakened state. Despite this, they have in recent years made a considerable contribution to efforts to bring peace and stability to the African continent. A critical step in building a capable and confident future South African Army has been the commencement of the SA Army’s Vision 2020 forward planning process. Recent political changes in both the United States and South Africa have opened up a new window of opportunity for developing a productive partnership between the two nations. This monograph outlines ways in which the United States can contribute to the SA Army’s Vision 2020 program to help optimize South Africa’s potential contribution to the emergence of a peaceful and stable Africa.


Author: Dr Dallas D Owens, Mr Ionut C Popescu

Published: May 2009

Academic grand strategists are very much aware of the importance of, the need for, and situational determinants of grand strategy after a change in the strategic environment, typified by a hot or cold war. The difficulty of predicting the time, importance, or response to the next “significant” period requires a substantial change in American grand strategy. The Obama administration will surely attempt to remedy the “grand strategic deficit” that has plagued U.S. foreign policy for the past 20 years. The participants generally agreed that a solid grand strategy needs to articulate U.S. national interests and threats to those interests, prioritize among threats and opportunities, and address much more seriously the connection between “ends” and “means.” A sophisticated discussion of capabilities and available resources has been lacking in recent debates on American grand strategy. The present economic environment and the challenges facing the federal budget over the next couple of decades make it all the more important to better integrate economic considerations into grand strategic planning. Even if the war in Iraq continues on a favorable trajectory and the U.S. military proves able to disengage in a successful manner, the ongoing conflict in Afghanistan will force the Obama administration to forge a new grand strategy in a wartime environment. It is important to remember that the most crucial grand strategic priority in wartime is to win the war currently being fought. Hence, the adoption of a new grand strategy needs to account for this fact and ensure the necessary resources are allocated to defeat the threat most immediate to American national interest. One of the most important challenges for the Obama administration will be to achieve this delicate balance between the short-term requirements of present conflicts and the medium- and long-term demands of any new grand strategy they may adopt.


Author: Dr Hal Brands

Published: May 2009

In late 2007, the U.S. and Mexican governments unveiled the Merida Initiative. A 3-year, $1.4 billion counternarcotics assistance program, the Merida Initiative is designed to combat the drug-fueled violence that has ravaged Mexico of late. The initiative aims to strengthen the Mexican police and military, permitting them to take the offensive in the fight against Mexico’s powerful cartels. As currently designed, however, the Merida Initiative is unlikely to have a meaningful, long-term impact in restraining the drug trade and drug-related violence. Focussing largely on security, enforcement, and interdiction issues, it pays comparatively little attention to the deeper structural problems that fuel these destructive phenomena. These problems, ranging from official corruption to U.S. domestic drug consumption, have so far frustrated Mexican attempts to rein in the cartels, and will likely hinder the effectiveness of the Merida Initiative as well. To make U.S. counternarcotics policy fully effective, it will be imperative to forge a more holistic, better-integrated approach to the “war on drugs.”


Author: COL Jiyul Kim

Published: May 2009

There has been a growing recognition in the post-Cold War era that culture has increasingly become a factor in determining the course of today’s complex and interconnected world. The U.S. experience in Afghanistan and Iraq extended this trend to national security and military operations. There is also a growing recognition by the national security community that culture is an important factor at the policy and strategy levels. Cultural proficiency at the policy and strategic levels means the ability to consider history, values, ideology, politics, religion, and other cultural dimensions and assess their potential effect on policy and strategy. The Analytical Cultural Framework for Strategy and Policy (ACFSP) is one systematic and analytical approach to the vital task of viewing the world through many lenses. The ACFSP identifies basic cultural dimensions that seem to be of fundamental importance in determining such behavior and thus are of importance in policy and strategy formulation and outcomes. These dimensions are (1) Identity, or the basis for defining identity and its linkage to interests; (2) Political Culture, or the structure of power and decisionmaking; and (3) Resilience, or the capacity or ability to resist, adapt or succumb to external forces. Identity is the most important, because it ultimately determines purpose, values and interests that form the foundation for policy and strategy to attain or preserve those interests.


Author: Dr W Andrew Terrill

Published: May 2009

Each month a member of the SSI faculty writes an editorial for our monthly newsletter. This is the Op-Ed for the May 2009 newsletter.


Author: Dr Max G Manwaring

Published: May 2009

The monograph examines contemporary populism and neopopulism, 21st century socialism, and a nonstate actor (al-Qaeda) seeking regional and global hegemony. They are: first, paramilitary gang permutations in Colombia that are contributing significantly to the erosion of the Colombian state and its democratic institutions, and implementing the anti-system objectives of their elite neo-populist sponsors; second, Hugo Chavez’s use of the New Socialism and popular militias to facilitate his populist Bolivarian dream of creating a mega-state in Latin America; and, third, al-Qaeda’s strategic and hegemonic use of political-criminal gangs to coerce substantive change in Spanish and other Western European foreign and defense policy and governance. Lessons derived from these cases demonstrate how gangs might fit into a holistic effort to force radical political-social-economic change, and illustrate how traditional political-military objectives may be achieved indirectly, rather than directly.


Author: LTC Michael J Colarusso, COL David S Lyle, COL Casey Wardynski

Published: April 2009

Creating and maintaining a highly competent U.S. Army Officer Corps has always been the cornerstone of the nation's defense. The authors consider America’s continuing commitment to an all-volunteer military, its global engagement in an era of persistent conflict, and evolving changes in its domestic labor market. They argue that the intersection of these factors demands a comprehensive Officer Corps strategy recognizing the interdependency of accessing, developing, retaining and employing talent. They believe that building a talent-focused strategy around this four-activity human capital model will best posture the Army to match individual officer competencies to specific competency requirements. Such a strategy will enable the thoughtful and deliberate integration of resources, policies, and organizations to employ “the right talent in the right job at the right time.” The authors conclude that without such a talent-focused strategy, the Army and its Officer Corps confront the increasing likelihood that they will be unequal to future American national security demands.


Author: Dr Phil Williams

Published: April 2009

Each month a member of the SSI faculty writes an editorial for our monthly newsletter. This is the Op-Ed for the April 2009 newsletter.


Author: LTC (USAF) Michael B Meyer

Published: April 2009

American forces entered a seemingly dangerous and very foreign world following the surrender of Japan. A nation-building mission unlike any other previously in U.S. history ensued. Insight into Japanese sentiment and ways of conducting business would be paramount to the success of General Douglas MacArthur in demilitarizing and democratizing Japan. Two complementary but rival organizations within MacArthur’s Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers (SCAP) staff were created and charged with understanding Japanese thought patterns and culture to assist with successful reform. The Research and Analysis Branch (R&A), subordinate to the Civil Intelligence Section (CIS), was responsible for turning out quality anecdotal intelligence analysis. It produced weekly “Occupational Trends” reports critical to monitoring Japanese sentiment on issues of seminal importance to demilitarization, such as Japanese popular opinion concerning the maintenance of the Emperor. The other organization, the Public Opinion and Sociological Research Division (PO&SR) under the Civil Information and Education Section (CI&E), employed social scientists who worked closely with Japanese nationals on democratization. For perhaps the first time in history, sociological research supplemented traditional intelligence analysis in informing occupational leaders. PO&SR prepared scientific socio-cultural reports that served various sections across MacArthur’s government. While rivalries existed between the R&A and PO&SR over methods and utility of services, the framework established under the occupation serves as a model of how to process and produce foreign socio-cultural intelligence and research during nation building. Analytic lessons learned include encouraging close cooperation between intelligence professionals and more specialized sociologists, incorporating diverse collection sources, working closely with host nationals, and formally documenting social science project findings.


Author: Dr Joel R Hillison

Published: April 2009

This monograph examines the burden-sharing of new members in NATO. Qualitative and quantitative methods are used to test the hypothesis that new NATO members are burden-sharing at a greater rate than older NATO members. An analysis of the burden-sharing behavior of NATO’s 1999 wave of new members reveals that new NATO members have demonstrated the willingness to contribute to NATO missions, but are often constrained by their limited capabilities. However, new member contributions to NATO have improved and, in comparison to older NATO members, the new members are doing quite well. The United States should focus on improving the capabilities of the new members while encouraging its older allies to increase their own contributions to the alliance where feasible.


Author: Dr Stephen J Blank

Published: March 2009

Russo-American relations are generally acknowledged to be at an impasse. Arms control issues feature prominently in that conflicted agenda. Indeed, as of September 2008, the Bush administration was contemplating not just a break in arms talks but actual sanctions, and allowed the bilateral civil nuclear treaty with Russia to die in the Senate rather than go forward for confirmation. Russian spokesmen make clear their belief that American concessions on key elements of arms control issues like missile defenses in Europe are a touchstone for the relationship and a condition of any further progress towards genuine dialogue. This impasse poses several risks beyond the obvious one of a breakdown in U.S.-Russian relations and the easily foreseeable bilateral consequences. Since the outbreak of the Russo-Georgian war in August 2008, both sides have further hardened positions and raised tensions apart from the war itself and Russia’s quite evident refusal to abide by its own cease-fire terms. Nevertheless, for better or worse, arms control and its agenda will remain at the heart of the bilateral Russo-American relationship for a long time. For these reasons, neither the political nor the military aspect can be divorced from the other. And for these same reasons, we cannot refuse to participate in the bilateral effort to resolve those issues.


Author: COL Louis H Jordan Jr

Published: March 2009

Each month a member of the SSI faculty writes an editorial for our monthly newsletter. This is the Op-Ed for the March 2009 newsletter.


Editor: Mr Roy Kamphausen, Dr David Lai, Dr Andrew Scobell

Author: Mr Roy Kamphausen, Dr David Lai, Dr Andrew Scobell

Published: March 2009

SSI and NBR conducted a book launch event for this book. Audio is available on the NBR site.

While preventing independence likely remains the central aim of the PLA vis-a-vis Taiwan, Chinese foreign policy objectives worldwide are rapidly growing and diversifying. This volume analyzes the PLA’s involvement in disaster and humanitarian relief, United Nations peacekeeping operations (UNPKO), counterterrorism and border defense, security in outer space and cyberspace, and the level of activity in regional “joint” operational contingencies. On the whole, the volume provides a discerning analysis of these varied PLA developments and how they affect policy towards both Taiwan and the entire Asia-Pacific region. While the significance of China has long been understood, the nation’s rise to prominence on the world scene is becoming more acutely felt. An understanding of the PLA’s growing roles both within China and internationally is of critical importance to the United States.


Author: Dr Carter Malkasian, Dr Gerald Meyerle

Published: March 2009

Over the past 6 years, provincial reconstruction teams (PRTs) have played a growing role in the U.S. counterinsurgency effort in Afghanistan. PRTs are one of several organizations working on reconstruction there, along with civilian development agencies, including the U.S. Agency for International Development, numerous nongovernmental organizations, and the Afghan government’s National Solidarity Program. Perhaps unsurprisingly, something of a debate has emerged over whether PRTs are needed. The authors argue that civilian reconstruction agencies cannot do the same job as the PRTs. While these agencies remain essential for long-term economic and political development, the PRTs conduct reconstruction in ways that help create stability in the short term. Absent the PRTs, the “build” in clear-hold-build efforts deemed essential to effective counterinsurgency would fall flat. Based on over 2 months of field research in 2007 and 2 months in 2008 by a CNA team with 4 different PRTs—Khost, Kunar, Ghazni, and Nuristan—plus interviews with the leadership of 10 others, the authors recommend that the United States give the PRTs the lead role in reconstruction activities that accompany any surge of military forces into Afghanistan.


Editor: Dr Stephen J Blank

Author: Dr Stephen J Blank

Published: March 2009

Russia, despite claims made for and against its importance, remains, by any objective standard, a key player in world affairs. Russia is an important barometer of trends in world politics, e.g., the course of democratization in the world. Furthermore, Russia, if it were so disposed, could be the abettor and/or supporter of a host of negative trends in the world today. Even so, if U.S. policymakers and analysts see Russia more as a spoiler than as a constructive partner (whether rightly or wrongly), the fact remains that during the Cold War the Soviet Union was an active supporter of threats to world order such as international terrorism, and carried on a global arms race with the West. We negotiated productively with it on issues like arms control and proliferation. Today, no matter how bad Russo-American or East-West relations may be, no such threats are present or immediately discernible on the horizon. But ultimately, given Russia's power, standing, and nuclear capability, dialogue and cooperation will be resumed at some point in the future. Therefore, an analysis of the prospects for and conditions favoring such cooperation is an urgent and important task that cries out for clarification precisely because current U.S.-Russian relations are so difficult.


Author: Mr Roger N McDermott

Published: February 2009

Kazakhstan’s foreign policy, since its independence, has successfully avoided favoring any one country based on what Astana styles as a “multi-vectored” approach to foreign policy. Yet, in terms of its conduct of defense and security policies, this paradigm simply does not fit with how the regime makes policy in its most sensitive areas of security cooperation. Indeed, its closest defense ties are still with Russia, which have deepened and intensified at a bilateral level, as well as through multilateral initiatives in the context of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). Washington’s military assistance programs have therefore often run into geopolitical issues, such as the limiting effect on its objectives emanating from Kazakhstan’s political and defense relationship with Russia, or sensitivities to its close proximity to China, as well as internal issues surrounding Astana’s military reform agenda. Defense spending in Kazakhstan will also be subject in the short to medium term depending on how the government handles its unfolding financial crisis and continued exposure to the global financial crisis, coupled with the sliding price of oil on the world markets. These issues, sharply refocused by the Russian military exposure of weaknesses within Georgia’s armed forces despite several years of time-phased U.S. training and equipment programs, serve to question the aims, scope, and utility of American defense assistance programs calibrated to enhance Kazakhstan’s military capabilities. While Astana grapples with these internal issues and remains politically sensitive to the anxieties of Moscow as it perceives U.S. training and aid to the Kazakhstani armed forces, success will be modest. New, deeper and more closely monitored programs are needed and, combined with multilateral cooperative initiatives, should be a matter of urgent priority, otherwise, such programs will underperform and languish in the repetition of the misjudgements of the past.


Author: Dr Jeffrey Record

Published: February 2009

The author takes a fresh look at Japan’s decision for war in 1941, and concludes that it was dictated by Japanese pride and the threatened economic destruction of Japan by the United States. He believes that Japanese aggression in East Asia was the root cause of the Pacific War, but argues that the road to war in 1941 was built on American as well as Japanese miscalculations and that both sides suffered from cultural ignorance and racial arrogance. He finds that the Americans underestimated the role of fear and honor in Japanese calculations and overestimated the effectiveness of economic sanctions as a deterrent to war, whereas the Japanese underestimated the cohesion and resolve of an aroused American society and overestimated their own martial prowess as a means of defeating U.S. material superiority. He believes that the failure of deterrence was mutual, and that the descent of the United States and Japan into war contains lessons of great and continuing relevance to American foreign policy and defense decisionmakers.


Author: Dr Alex Crowther

Published: February 2009

Each month a member of the SSI faculty writes an editorial for our monthly newsletter. This is the Op-Ed for the February 2009 newsletter.


Author: Dr Elizabeth Wishnick

Published: February 2009

Russia and China have been reacting to the pressures of changing U.S.-Central Asia policy over the past 5 years as has the United States. In response to the “color” revolutions, they achieved broad agreement on the priority of regime security and the need to limit the long-term military presence of the United States in Central Asia. These are also two key areas—defining the political path of Central Asian states and securing a strategic foothold in the region—where the United States finds itself in competition with Russia and China. The Russia-China partnership should not be seen as an anti-U.S. bloc, nor should the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) be viewed as entirely cohesive. Although there is considerable suspicion of U.S. designs on Central Asia, divergent interests within the SCO, among Central Asian states, and especially between Russia and China serve to limit any coordinated anti-U.S. activity. Despite the fissures within the SCO and the competitive tendencies within the Sino-Russian partnership, the United States will not have an easy time achieving its aims in Central Asia. The author documents how American policy goals—energy cooperation, regional security, and support for democracy and the rule of law—continue to run at cross-purposes with one another. In particular, she asserts that competition to secure basing arrangements and energy contracts only benefits authoritarian regimes at the expense of enduring regional security. She argues further that the rhetoric about a new Cold War in the aftermath of the Georgian crisis, and the more general tendency to view U.S.-Russia-China competition in the region with 19th century lenses, as some sort of “new great game,” obscures the common interests the great powers share in addressing transnational problems in Central Asia.


Author: COL Scott G Wuestner

Published: February 2009

The Civil Response Corps (CRC) would function much like our military reserve. It would ease the burden on the Armed Forces by allowing the hiring of civilians with critical skills to serve on missions abroad when America needs them. The CRC is a product of the efforts of State Department’s Coordinator for Reconstruction and Stabilization (S/CRS). The core mission of S/CRS is to lead, coordinate, and institutionalize U.S. Government civilian capacity to prevent or prepare for post-conflict situations, and to help stabilize and reconstruct societies in transition from conflict or civil strife, so they can reach a sustainable path toward peace, good governance, and a market economy. As the General Purpose Force looks forward to expanding roles in Irregular Warfare, Foreign Internal Defense, Security Assistance and Stability Operations, does the U.S. Army or the Department of Defense have the proper force structure and minimal capability to fight and win through all phases of conflict? This paper analyzes this construct and provides a framework for identifying proponency, institutionalizing lessons learned, and providing a military, police, and governance structure as a tool for global engagement. This new structural paradigm complements S/CRS's efforts to provide the United States with the ability to access, influence, and build capacity throughout this new world order.


Editor: Mr Henry D Sokolski, Mr Robert Zarate

Author: Mr Henry D Sokolski, Mr Robert Zarate

Published: January 2009

Pioneers of nuclear-age policy analysis, Albert Wohlstetter (1913-1997) and Roberta Wohlstetter (1912-2007) emerged as two of America's most consequential, innovative and controversial strategists. Through the clarity of their thinking, the rigor of their research, and the persistence of their personalities, they were able to shape the views and aid the decisions of Democratic and Republican policy makers both during and after the Cold War. Although the Wohlstetters' strategic concepts and analytical methods continue to be highly influential, no book has brought together their most important essays--until now.

Edited by Nonproliferation Policy Education Center (NPEC) research fellow Robert Zarate and NPEC executive director Henry Sokolski, Nuclear Heuristics: Selected Writings of Albert and Roberta Wohlstetter demonstrates not only the historical importance, but also the continuing relevance of the Wohlstetters' work in national security strategy and nuclear policy. It is the first book to make widely available over twenty of Albert and Roberta's most influential published--and unpublished--writings on:

  • methods of policy analysis and design;
  • nuclear deterrence through survivable, controllable and therefore credible strategic forces;
  • nuclear proliferation and the military potential of civil nuclear energy;
  • spiraling arms-race myths versus the real, observable dynamics of strategic competition;
  • the revolutionary potential of non-nuclear technologies of precision, control, and information; and
  • the continuing need for prudence and pragmatism in the face of changing dangers.

In addition, Nuclear Heuristics provides readers with an introduction to the Wohlstetters' work by editor Robert Zarate; and short commentaries on Wohlstetter writings by Henry S. Rowen (2005 WMD Commissioner and former Assistant Secretary of Defense), Alain C. Enthoven (former Assistant Secretary of Defense), Henry Sokolski (2008 WMD Proliferation and Terrorism Commissioner and former Pentagon official), Richard Perle (former Assistant Secretary of Defense and emeritus Defense Policy Board chairman), Stephen J. Lukasik (former Director of the Pentagon's Advanced Research Projects Agency, now DARPA), and Andrew W. Marshall (Director of the Office of Net Assessment).

Nuclear Heuristics: Selected Writings of Albert and Roberta Wohlstetter is a must-read and an indispensable resource for policy makers, military planners, and strategic analysts, as well as for students who aspire to these positions.


Author: Dr Colin S Gray

Published: January 2009

A sustainable national security strategy is feasible only when directed by a sustainable national security policy. In the absence of policy guidance, strategy will be meaningless. The only policy that meets both the mandates of American culture and the challenges of the outside world is one that seeks to lead the necessary mission of guarding and advancing world order. The author considers and rejects a policy that would encourage the emergence of a multipolar structure to global politics. He argues that multipolarity not only would fail to maintain order, it would also promote conflict among the inevitably rival great powers. In addition, he suggests Americans culturally are not comfortable with balance-of-power politics and certainly would not choose to promote the return of such a system. Various “pieces of the puzzle” most relevant to national security strategy are located; leading assumptions held by American policymakers and strategists are identified; alternative national security policies are considered; and necessary components of a sustainable national security strategy are specified. The author concludes that America has much less choice over its policy and strategy than the public debate suggests. He warns that the country’s dominant leadership role for global security certainly will be challenged before the century is old.


Author: Dr Don M Snider

Published: January 2009

Each month a member of the SSI faculty writes an editorial for our monthly newsletter. This is the Op-Ed for the January 2009 newsletter.


Author: COL Brian M Drinkwine

Published: January 2009

The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 (9/11) caused Americans to realize that our sense of invincibility had been shattered. This paper will identify al-Qa’ida and Salafi-Jihadists as our enemy and will recommend new approaches to fighting terrorism. Colonel Brian Drinkwine will explore al-Qa’ida’s organization, leaders, doctrine, and their radical ideologies. It is argued that the war we must fight is one against Islamist transnational actors who openly engage in terrorism or support terrorism. It will highlight that our current national and military strategies to combat terrorism are inadequate to take on an ideologically emboldened transnational foe. It is emphasized that we must refocus our efforts and prepare to fight a war of several generations (long war), and several initiatives will be recommended to include development of a cogent grand national strategy. These recommendations are intended to assist future planners in the development of a grand national strategy and an integrated long war campaign plan aimed directly at al-Qa’ida, the al-Qa’ida Associated Movement, and Islamist terrorists and executed through the application of diplomatic, informational, military, and economic instruments of national power by an unified interagency effort in coordination with our multinational partners, international governmental and nongovernmental organizations, and regional security organizations.


Author: Dr Stephen J Blank

Published: December 2008

Each month a member of the SSI faculty writes an editorial for our monthly newsletter. This is the Op-Ed for the December 2008 newsletter.


Author: Dr W Andrew Terrill

Published: December 2008

The Iraq war has been one of the dominant factors influencing U.S. strategic thinking in the Middle East and globally since 2003. Yet the problems of this highly dynamic and fluid war have sometimes forced U.S. policymakers to address near-term issues that cannot be safely postponed at the expense of long-term strategic thought. Such a technique, while understandable, cannot continue indefinitely as an approach to policy. Long-term planning remains vital for advancing regionwide U.S. and Iraqi interests following a U.S. drawdown from Iraq. Such planning must include dealing with current and potential “spillover” from the Iraq war.

Regional spillover problems associated with the Iraq war need to be considered and addressed even in the event of strong future success in building the new Iraq. In less optimistic scenarios, these issues will become even more important. Spillover issues addressed herein include: (1) the flow of refugees and displaced persons from Iraq, (2) cross-border terrorism, (3) the potential intensification of separatism and sectarian discord among Iraq’s neighbors, and (4) transnational crime. All of these problems will be exceptionally important in the Middle East in the coming years and perhaps decades, and trends involving these issues will need to be closely monitored. The author presents ideas, concerns, and strategies that can help to fill this gap in the literature and enrich the debate on the actual and potential spillover effects of the Iraq war that will face U.S. policymakers, possibly for decades. Of these problems, he clearly is especially concerned with the spread of sectarian divisions which, if not properly managed, can have devastating regional consequences. This monograph forms an important baseline useful for considering future trends in each of the areas that the author has identified.


Author: Dr Sherifa D Zuhur

Published: December 2008

Efforts to separate HAMAS from its popular support and network of social and charitable organizations have not been effective in destroying the organization, nor in eradicating the will to resist among a fairly large segment of the Palestinian population. It is important to consider this Islamist movement in the context of a region-wide phenomenon of similar movements with local goals, which can be persuaded to relinquish violence or which could become more violent. Certainly an orientation to HAMAS and its base must be factored into new and more practical and effective approaches to peacemaking in the region. At the same time, HAMAS offers a fascinating glimpse of the dynamics of strategic reactions and the modification of Israeli impulses towards aggressive deterrence, as well as the evolution in the Islamist movements’ planning and operations. The Palestinian-Israeli conflict bears similarities to a long-standing civil conflict, even as it has sparked inter-Palestinian hostilities in its most recent phase.


Author: Dr Gabriel Marcella

Published: December 2008

Unprotected borders are a serious threat to the security of a number of states around the globe. Indeed, the combination of weak states, ungoverned space, terrorism, and international criminal networks make a mockery of the Westphalian system of international order. Latin American countries are experiencing all of these maladies in varying degrees. The Andean region is under assault by a different kind of war that defies borders. In this context, Dr. Gabriel Marcella analyzes the lessons to be learned from the Colombian attack against the clandestine camp of the the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, which was located at an isolated area within Ecuador on March 1, 2008. This single incident and its aftermath had profound reverberations throughout the Hemisphere. The events leading to the attack illuminate the vulnerabilities of states, societies, and the international community to the actions of substate groups conducting criminal activities. Accordingly, the hemispheric community of nations needs to develop better ways to anticipate and resolve conflicts. The United States plays a critical role in the emerging security environment of the Andean region. Yet a superpower is often unaware of the immense influence it has with respect to small countries like Ecuador, which is trying to extricate itself from becoming a failed state. The author recommends that the United States manage its complex agenda with sensitivity and balance its support for Colombia with equally creative support for Ecuador.


Editor: Dr Gabriel Marcella

Author: Dr Gabriel Marcella

Published: December 2008

The United States has a large and complex interagency process to deal with national security on a global basis. It is imperative that civilian and military professionals understand that process. The chapters in this volume deal with various dimensions and institutions, from the National Security Council, the Department of State, and other agencies. It also contains case studies of interagency coordination and integration.


Author: Mr Marc Miller

Published: November 2008

The interplay between China’s armed forces and its complex foreign policy and international security environment was examined in order to understand the requirements of several newly emerging PLA missions, and to consider how these specific interactions affect policy towards Taiwan and the wider Asia-Pacific region. Three conclusions were reached: (1) The PLA is being assigned and training for an increasing variety of missions, including nontraditional battlefields such as outer space and cyber space, as well as nontraditional functions, such as UN peacekeeping operations; (2) These new PLA missions have created a large gap and resulted in tension vis-à-vis PLA capabilities and traditional missions such as internal security, as well as major questions about operational and doctrinal integration; and (3) China’s neighbors are watching the modernization of the PLA and the expansion and redefinition of its missions very closely, especially those affecting Chinese border regions.


Author: Dr Leonard Wong

Published: November 2008

Each month a member of the SSI faculty writes an editorial for our monthly newsletter. This is the Op-Ed for the November 2008 newsletter.


Author: COL Ian Hope

Published: November 2008

This Carlisle Paper discusses the traditional importance of unity of command in American doctrine and practice from World War I until now, and how this principle has been forsaken in the evolution of military command for Afghanistan. It examines the unprecedented departure from the principle of unity of command in Afghanistan in 2006, when Combined Forces Command-Afghanistan passed control of the ground fight to the International Security Assistance Force, and operations became split between several unified or “supreme” commanders in charge of U.S. Central Command, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, and U.S. Special Operations Command. It argues for a renewal of understanding of the importance of unity of command, and recommends that the United States revert to the application of this principle by amending the Unified Command Plan to invest one “supreme commander” with responsibility for the current Operation ENDURING FREEDOM Joint Operations Area.


Author: Mr Nathan P Freier

Published: November 2008

The author provides the defense policy team a clear warning against excessive adherence to past defense and national security convention. Including the insights of a number of noted scholars on the subjects of “wild cards” and “strategic surprise,” he argues that future disruptive, unconventional shocks are inevitable. Through strategic impact and potential for disruption and violence, such shocks, in spite of their nonmilitary character, will demand the focused attention of defense leadership, as well as the decisive employment of defense capabilities in response. As a consequence, the author makes a solid case for continued commitment by the Department of Defense to prudent strategic hedging against their potential occurrence.


Author: Dr Antulio J Echevarria II

Published: October 2008

Each month a member of the SSI faculty writes an editorial for our monthly newsletter. This is the Op-Ed for the October 2008 newsletter.


Editor: Dr Joseph R Cerami, Dr Robert H Dorff, Ms Lisa Moorman

Author: Dr Joseph R Cerami, Dr Robert H Dorff, Ms Lisa Moorman

Published: October 2008

On March 20, 2008, the Bush School of Texas A&M University hosted a conference on “Leadership and National Security Reform: The Next President’s Agenda.” The participants examined the contemporary international environment and American national security policy for the next presidential administration. How threats, policies, and strategies have changed since 2001 and how the U.S., European, and other international security systems have responded to changing requirements were explored. The conference included a debate on the political parties international affairs positions and focused on three major themes: (1) In the post-9/11 world, what are the threats and challenges facing the next presidential administration? (2) What reforms are needed to the current national, European, and international security systems in terms of policy, institutions, and leadership? and (3) How can the next presidential administration affect change to improve U.S. and international security?


Author: Dr Zhivan Alach

Published: October 2008

The author looks at the development of military technology in recent years. He examines three major platforms: fighter aircraft, tanks, and cruisers, examining the gaps between generations as well as the capability gains of each succeeding type. While development has slowed, at the same time capability increases have also slowed: it takes longer to get new equipment, and that new equipment is less of an improvement over its predecessor than its predecessor was over its predecessor. Only in electronics and computer technology was that shown to be somewhat untrue, but even there military technology has lagged significantly behind commercial advances. This relative military stasis, in technology at least, has a range of causes: the end of the Cold War, bureaucratic changes, political cultures, scientific limits, cost inflation, a focus on new characteristics that cannot be so easily measured. The author also looks at the strategic environment to see whether that has evolved rapidly while technology has proven more dormant.


Editor: COL Greg Kaufmann

Author: COL Greg Kaufmann

Published: October 2008

The Department of Defense published its Directive 3000.05, “Military Support for Stability, Security, Transition, and Reconstruction (SSTR) Operations,” in November 2005, to address this area of state building and stability operations. The process of arriving at this point, however, indicates that no consistent view of the state-building mission area exists as yet. The Strategic Studies Institute’s collaboration with Austin Peay State University allowed for academics, governmental and nongovernmental practitioners, and military personnel to step back and review the entire spectrum of state-building needs as theorized and practiced by modern societies.


Author: Dr Donovan C Chau

Published: September 2008

Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) has never been the centerpiece of U.S. foreign and defense policy. Yet the current struggle between the United States and its allies against terrorist groups and individuals motivated by Islamic extremism thrusts SSA forward as a front in the global conflict. The author asks, centrally, what is the most effective long-term approach to U.S. counterterrorism in SSA. By comparing views in Washington, DC, with perspectives from SSA, he assesses that a fundamental and dangerous misunderstanding of SSA may be leading U.S. policy astray. Recommending a new grand strategic approach to U.S. counterterrorism policy, he suggests urgently educating a future generation of analysts, officers, and policymakers on SSA--whose interest must match their knowledge and understanding.


Author: Dr Stephen D Biddle, Mr Jeffrey A Friedman

Published: September 2008

Many now see future warfare as a matter of nonstate actors employing irregular methods against Western states. This expectation has given rise to a range of sweeping proposals for transforming the U.S. military to meet such threats. In this context, Hezbollah’s 2006 campaign in southern Lebanon has been receiving increasing attention as a prominent recent example of a nonstate actor fighting a Westernized state. In particular, critics of irregular-warfare transformation often cite the 2006 case as evidence that non-state actors can nevertheless wage conventional warfare in state-like ways. This monograph assesses this claim via a detailed analysis of Hezbollah’s military behavior, coupled with deductive inference from observable Hezbollah behavior in the field to findings for their larger strategic intent for the campaign.


Author: Dr Sherifa D Zuhur

Published: September 2008

Each month a member of the SSI faculty writes an editorial for our monthly newsletter. This is the Op-Ed for the September 2008 newsletter.


Author: Dr Douglas V Johnson II

Published: August 2008

Each month a member of the SSI faculty writes an editorial for our monthly newsletter. This is the Op-Ed for the August 2008 newsletter.


Editor: Mr Roy Kamphausen, Dr Andrew Scobell, Mr Travis Tanner

Author: Mr Roy Kamphausen, Dr Andrew Scobell, Mr Travis Tanner

Published: August 2008

This volume represents the latest in the series published by the Strategic Studies Institute and describes the advances and reforms the PLA has made in its recruitment, officer and NCO training and education, and mobilization. As part of its larger reform effort to modernize and transform its military into a technologically sophisticated force, the PLA has implemented a number of measures aimed at training up a “new-type” officer for its modernized forces—one capable of operating effectively in a technologically advanced “informationalized” environment. This volume sheds light on such important questions as how the PLA’s personnel system is adapting to fulfill the requirements of a military force capable of “winning local wars under informationalized conditions” and how the PLA is cultivating a new generation of officers and what capabilities these new officers will likely possess.


Author: Dr Richard Weitz

Published: August 2008

This report argues that, although Chinese-Russian relations have improved along several important dimensions, security cooperation between Beijing and Moscow has remained limited, episodic, and tenuous. The two governments support each other on select issues but differ on others. Since these interests conflict as well as coincide, the relationship is not necessarily moving in an anti-American direction. Although no action undertaken by these two great powers is insignificant and Washington must continue to monitor carefully developments in Beijing and Moscow, thus far their fitfully improving ties have not presented a major security challenge to the United States or its allies. Nevertheless, the radical changes in great power relations during the past century—-which also witnessed major transformations in ties between Beijing and Moscow, from allies in the 1950s to armed adversaries in the 1960s—-behooves U.S. Army and other national security planners to anticipate the potential for major discontinuities in Sino-Russian relations. Above all, American officials need to pursue a mixture of “shaping and hedging” policies that aim to avert a hostile Chinese-Russian alignment while concurrently preparing the United States to better counter such a development should it nevertheless arise despite American efforts.


Author: Mr Michael J Metrinko

Published: August 2008

Although the role of the military advisor to senior foreign officials is honored in political history, it became almost a forgotten art when it was needed in Afghanistan and Iraq. Whatever the past, the American military services are now fully engaged in nation-building in the Iraqi and Afghan conflict zones, and the advisory responsibility seems certain to be needed elsewhere as well. Advisors have become an invaluable part of the nation-building process, and whether they are assigned to counsel and work with governors, generals, or Cabinet Ministers, their role has decided impact on America’s overall political and military strategy. This guidebook draws on the experiences of diplomats and military officers who have served in such advisory roles, and whose work with senior foreign officials was carried out in conflict zones at critical times. Although the examples are drawn from life in the Islamic world, the precepts have widespread application, and the examples will be an important part of any advisor’s--be he military or civilian--preparation for his mission.


Author: Dr Leonard Wong

Published: July 2008

The civil-military relationship, and specifically the interaction between civilian leadership and uniformed military leaders, relies on the attitudes and actions of both civilians and the military. Although recently there has been tension in the relationship between civilian leadership and the uniformed (and retired) military, there is currently no crisis in the civil control aspects of the civil-military relationship. Many options are available to uniformed military leaders to express dissent other than resigning in protest—although these options are rarely discussed in open fora. With an impending change in administration, care should be taken by the arriving civilian and incumbent military leaders to nurture the civil-military leadership.


Editor: Dr Antulio J Echevarria II

Author: Dr Antulio J Echevarria II

Published: July 2008

The Key Strategic Issues List (KSIL) offers military and civilian researchers a ready reference of topics that are of particular interest to the Department of the Army and the Department of Defense. The KSIL performs a valuable service by linking the research community with major defense organizations which, in turn, seek to benefit from focused research. It thus forms a critical link in an ongoing research cycle. With the publication of the AY 2008-09 KSIL, the Strategic Studies Institute and the U.S. Army War College invite the research community to address any of the many strategic challenges identified herein. Further information regarding specific topics can be obtained by contacting SSI faculty or relevant KSIL sponsors.


Author: Dr Steven Metz

Published: July 2008

Each month a member of the SSI faculty writes an editorial for our monthly newsletter. This is the Op-Ed for the July 2008 newsletter.


Author: Dr Dallas D Owens, Mr Ralph Wipfli

Published: June 2008

Key Insights from this seminar were (1) Without significant participation by the Reserve Components (RC), effective current and near future military operations and domestic emergency response would not be possible. (2) The current debate about designation of the RC as operational or strategic is largely artificial and unproductive; the RC have periodically performed major operations, constantly conducted domestic operations, and been part of all past war plans; the difference now is that the current high operational tempo makes obvious the centrality of these forces for successful operations. (3) Leveraging the civilian capacities and knowledge of the RC in missions abroad while making domestic and foreign missions more congruent will ensure that the National Guard and Reserve continue to add strategic depth and operational flexibility to the active force. (4) The continuum of service goal is to make the transition between active and reserve statuses seamless. Achieving this goal will require implementation of several approved personnel management initiatives and adoption of additional proposals. (5) The Commission on the National Guard and Reserves recently released a report that offers recommendations on many of the same issues discussed by colloquium participants. Some recommendations appear consistent with participants’ opinions, while others only partially agree or totally disagree.


Author: Dr Antulio J Echevarria II

Published: June 2008

The author discusses several types of wars of ideas in an effort to achieve a better understanding of what wars of ideas are. That knowledge, in turn, can help inform strategy. It is important to note, for instance, that because ideas are interpreted subjectively, it is not likely that opposing parties will “win” each other over by means of an ideational campaign alone. Hence, physical events, whether intended or incidental, typically play determining roles in the ways wars of ideas unfold, and how (or whether) they are end. Thus, while the act of communicating strategically remains a vital part of any war of ideas, we need to manage our expectations as far as what it can accomplish.


Author: Dr Phil Williams

Published: June 2008

Security and stability in the 21st century have little to do with traditional power politics, military conflict between states, and issues of grand strategy. Instead they revolve around the disruptive consequences of globalization, declining governance, inequality, urbanization, and nonstate violent actors. The author explores the implications of these issues for the United States. He proposes a rejection of “stateocentric” assumptions and an embrace of the notion of the New Middle Ages characterized, among other things, by competing structures, fragmented authority, and the rise of “no-go” zones. He also suggests that the world could tip into a New Dark Age. He identifies three major options for the United States in responding to such a development. The author argues that for interventions to have any chance of success the United States will have to move to a trans-agency approach. But even this might not be sufficient to stanch the chaos and prevent the continuing decline of the Westphalian state.


Editor: Dr J Boone Bartholomees Jr

Author: Dr J Boone Bartholomees Jr

Published: June 2008

Hardcopies are only available to active duty members of the Department of Defense. Volume I of this edition of the U.S. Army War College Guide (USAWC) to National Security Issues corresponds roughly to one of the two core courses that the Department of National Security and Strategy (DNSS) teaches: “Theory of War and Strategy” and “National Security Policy and Strategy.” Like its predecessors, the complete edition is largely an expansion of the existing materials, although over 40 percent is new, and the previously published chapters have been updated as necessary.


Editor: Dr J Boone Bartholomees Jr

Author: Dr J Boone Bartholomees Jr

Published: June 2008

Hardcopies are only available to active duty members of the Department of Defense. Volume II of this edition of the U.S. Army War College Guide (USAWC) to National Security Issues corresponds roughly to one of the two core courses that the Department of National Security and Strategy (DNSS) teaches: “Theory of War and Strategy” and “National Security Policy and Strategy.” Like its predecessors, the complete edition is largely an expansion of the existing materials, although over 40 percent is new, and the previously published chapters have been updated as necessary.


Author: Dr Alex Crowther

Published: June 2008

Each month a member of the SSI faculty writes an editorial for our monthly newsletter. This is the Op-Ed for the June 2008 newsletter.


Author: LTC Raymond A Millen

Published: May 2008

Each month a member of the SSI faculty writes an editorial for our monthly newsletter. This is the Op-Ed for the May 2008 newsletter.


Author: Dr Douglas V Johnson II

Published: May 2008

The following points were put forth by colloquium participants. The concept of a border as a line on the ground is insufficient for today’s realities. The concept of border security obscures larger issues of control and humane management. The European Union approach to interior border management differs from that of exterior border management and may offer a useful model for insight into alternative policies and practices. While the threat from terrorists is real, the over-security with regard to the border control process has generated greater problems than it may have solved. A great deal of room remains for improving management of the issues in both theory and practice, including the effective use of technology; however, this is ultimately a human issue. Practitioners and theorists see very different dimens