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.
For three years now, the Civil Affairs Association and its partners have provided the Civil Affairs Regiment a way to provide experience-based feedback and advice to institutional and policy level leadership on the future of the Civil Affairs force through an annual fall symposium. These symposia result in Civil Affairs Issue Papers published and presented at the spring roundtable. The workshop built upon Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster’s 2015 Symposium challenge to the CA Regiment to contribute to the discussion of the future force through the Army Warfighting Challenges. This discussion was motivated by the general recognition of CA’s longstanding role as more than a critical “force multiplier” or tactical “enabler” in decisive action.
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.
On July 20, 2015, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) endorsed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), an international agreement on the nuclear program of the Islamic Republic of Iran, hereafter referred to as Iran. The JCPOA was negotiated between Iran and the five permanent members of the UNSC, plus Germany (P5+1) to eliminate Iran’s path to the development of a nuclear weapon. The signatories to the JCPOA state the agreement puts in place safeguard measures that prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon or weapons-grade nuclear material. The JCPOA is the first agreement to limit fissile material and uranium enrichment capability since the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty entered into force in 1970. As a historic agreement and one that affects the Middle East, and possibly global, security, it is appropriate to analyze its safeguard provisions to determine if deficiencies in coverage exist and the ramifications of such deficiencies. This analysis will demonstrate that P5+1 claim that the JCPOA has completely, and indefinitely, blocked Iranian attempts to develop a nuclear weapon is not verifiable.
As warfare evolves, new technology pushes the limits of acceptability and operations in cyberspace are no different. If attacks in cyberspace are assaults of one state against another, then the framework of Just War theory should still apply and Michael Walzer’s Legalist Paradigm provides a clearer lens on when an armed response to a cyber attack is morally permissible. While some parts of Just War theory directly apply to responses to Cyber Attacks, the others do not, beginning with Just Cause. Walzer describes Just Cause in terms of the natural rights of the citizens of a state, and when a cyber attack interrupts the ability of those citizens to make a life together or the “safe space” they create, then a physical response to a cyber attack could be justified. This paper outlines the relationship between Walzer’s Legalist Paradigm and justification for physical responses to cyber attacks, with the intent of providing senior leaders with a framework for those responses.
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.
This issue will focus on articles generated from PKSOI's annual Peace & Stability Training and Education Workshop or PSOTEW. The PKSOI Director COL Greg Dewitt will also brief you on PKSOI's activities over the past three months as well as the upcoming major events and activities.
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.
The 3D (Diplomacy, Development, and Defense) Planning Process is a novel concept meant to fuse together critical aspects of our nation’s whole of government approach to international affairs. Despite a bevy of key strategic documents, U.S. Foreign Policy lacks focus, structure, and accountability across the interagency to make it effective and efficient. From the local through the regional to the national level, issues of poor coordination, boundary confusion, and bureaucratic competition grow worse the higher one gets in the relations between the Department of State, U.S. Agency for International Development, and the Department of Defense. American Foreign Policy requires effective synchronization of the different parts of government. This effort would involve national-level leadership and a comprehensive review of interagency collaboration, organization, and policies to address some of the obvious problems with the current approach.
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.