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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.