Although collective security in the Gulf is the topic of numerous policy publications, most of the available literature focuses on the political environment without considering the operational requirements of this scenario. This monograph offers an evaluation of Gulf defense cooperation programs in order to stir the discussion on the future of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) as the “NATO of the Gulf.”
Armed robotic systems—drones and droids—now emerging on the battlefield portend new strategic realities not only for U.S. forces but also for our allies and future potential belligerents. Numerous questions of immediate warfighting importance come to mind with the fielding of these drones and droids that are viewed as still being in their experimental and entrepreneurial stage of development. By drawing upon historical weapons systems life cycles case studies, focusing on the early 9th through the mid-16th-century knight, the mid-19th through the later 20th-century battleship, and the early 20th through the early 21st-century tank, the monograph provides military historical context related to their emergence, and better allows both for questions related to warfighting to be addressed, and policy recommendations related to them to be initially provided.
Still Soldiers and Scholars? sheds light on a neglected aspect of talent management, namely, officer accessions testing and evaluation. It does so by tracing the history of officer testing since 1900, identifying and analyzing key developments in the assessment process, and then offering recommendations about how the Army should revise its approach to officer testing. This book supplements a series of monographs written by the Army’s Office of Economic and Manpower Analysis (OEMA) and published by the Strategic Studies Institute (SSI) in 2009 and 2010. In those monographs, the authors proposed an officer corps strategy based on the theory of talent management. This book is a necessary first step in reforming the Army’s officer accessions effort in order to better align it with the Army’s talent-based approach to officer management.
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.
Operation UNITED ASSISTANCE (OUA), which deployed to Liberia between September 2014 and June 2015, provides an example of how a Joint Force can support a lead federal agency (LFA), in this case the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and other interagency and international partners to end a raging epidemic of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD). This EVD outbreak began in late 2013, when Emile Ouamouno, a two year old from Meliandou, a village in Guinea, close to the border with Liberia and Sierra Leone, died of a hemorrhagic fever.1 Soon after, many of his relatives and their connections, who lived across the region, also became ill and died. In March 2014, a team from the Institut Pasteur in France confirmed that the hemorrhagic fever spreading through the region was EVD. By then, more than 2,400 people had died from the disease. By the time the epidemic ended, in Liberia alone, 15,227 cases of EVD had been confirmed through laboratory tests and 11,310 people had died.
The much-anticipated National Security Strategy of the United States of America was released in December 2017 by President Donald J. Trump. The National Security Strategy is composed of four pillars and is applied in a regional context. How does the National Security Strategy view the Western Hemisphere? What are the U.S. priorities within the realm?
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.
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.
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.
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.