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.
One of the major developments in international law since World War II is the growth of human rights law dedicated to ensuring the protection of individuals from violence wherever they are, including from their own state. Tracking such changes, in recent decades, just-war theory has evolved from its traditional focus on state sovereignty in the direction of a rights-based approach that treats just wars as a form of global law enforcement. This monograph provides a survey of these developments, focusing on the increased scope for humanitarian intervention, principles of justice after war, and on the question of the responsibility of combatants for assessing the justice of their military's cause. It concludes by considering the call for strengthening international institutions and training programs in military ethics.
Underestimated: Our Not So Peaceful Nuclear Future, Second Edition explores what nuclear future we may face over the next three 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 dire will the consequences be? What might help us avoid the worst?
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.
The 2018 National Defense Strategy and National Space Strategy both reaffirm the vital interests that the United States has in the domain of space. However, space remains an inherently hostile environment that has become congested, contested, and competitive among the nations. What are ways for the U.S. Army to assure the success of its space-dependent warfighting functions in an anti-access/area denial (A2/AD) environment where space systems are degraded for significant periods of time?
Senior leaders are told in doctrine that they must lead and manage change. But apart from some popular models for the process of change, there are few how-to guides for leading change in the unique context of military organizations. Moreover, popular change management texts focus on initiating change, and less about inheriting and sustaining change efforts already happening in the unit. This how-to guide draws from a wide range of organizational literature to provide a comprehensive set of questions and guidelines that senior leaders should answer as they navigate change efforts and work to improve their organizations.
For over a decade, the USAWC has published the Key Strategic Issues List (KSIL) to inform students, faculty, and external research associates of strategic topics requiring research and analysis. A subset of these topics, designated as Chief of Staff of the Army special interest topics, consists of those which demand special attention. The USAWC will address these as Integrated Research Projects and other research efforts. The USAWC in coordination with Headquarters Department of the Army (HQDA), major commands throughout the Army, and the joint and interagency community have developed the remaining Army Priorities for Strategic Analysis. The KSIL will help prioritize strategic research and analysis that USAWC students and faculty, USAWC Fellows, and external researchers conduct to link their research efforts and results more effectively to the Army’s highest priority topics.
Conflict and fragile environments are increasingly complex and unpredictable, but the U.S. policy system itself is much more complex and unpredictable than most leaders appreciate. In this monograph, the authors argue that until we get a grasp on this “dual-system problem,” the United States will fall further and further behind in its strategic ambitions.
Syria has become one of the most vexing and complex problems for U.S. strategic planners in recent times. Currently, the United States has about 2,000 troops in the northeastern part of the country whose primary mission has been to aid the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), made up primarily of Kurds and some Arab tribesmen, to fight ISIS. The near total defeat of ISIS in Syria, especially with the fall of its so-called caliphate capital in Raqqa in October 2017, might seem to suggest that the military mission is coming to an end and, therefore, the United States should pull out its troops. Indeed, President Donald Trump stated publicly in late March 2018, that he wanted these troops to come home “very soon.” However, since that time, the U.S. President has backtracked from this statement after receiving advice from several of his top military advisers, including Defense Secretary James Mattis, some foreign leaders like French President Emanuel Macron and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and influential members of Congress, such as Senator Lindsey Graham, all of whom have recommended that the President keep these troops in Syria.
Parameters 47, no. 4 (Winter 2017–18). This article examines the potential implications of the combinations of robotics, artificial intelligence, and deep learning systems on the character and nature of war. The author employs Carl von Clausewitz’s trinity concept to discuss how autonomous weapons will impact the essential elements of war. The essay argues war’s essence, as politically directed violence fraught with friction, will remain its most enduring aspect, even if more intelligent machines are involved at every level.