Rotational Deployments vs. Forward Stationing: How Can the Army Achieve Assurance and Deterrence Efficiently and Effectively? Authored by: Dr John R Deni. August 25, 2017

The Army’s force posture is out of balance, with a greater percentage of troops stationed in the United States than at any time since the late 1940s. This has forced an over-reliance on lengthy, continuous rotational deployments to achieve deterrence and assurance in theaters such as northeast Asia and Europe. This finding is based on a 9-month study assessing the costs and benefits of rotational deployments and forward stationing. The analysis reveals that in terms of fiscal cost, training readiness, morale and family readiness, and diplomatic factors, the United States could likely achieve deterrence and assurance objectives more efficiently and more effectively with increased forward stationing. The recommendations address what kinds of units would be best suited for forward stationing, where forward stationing would be most efficacious, and how the Department of Defense should go about rebalancing Army force posture.

Stability Operations in Kosovo 1999-2000: A Case Study Authored by: Mr Jason Fritz. January 19, 2018


This case study examines the intervention and stability operations in Kosovo from March 24, 1999 through approximately 2 years thereafter. Set during the dissolution of the former Yugoslavia and preceded by ethnic carnage in Bosnia, Croatia, and elsewhere, the intervention, named Operation ALLIED FORCE, was executed in order to protect Kosovars of Albanian descent from the ethnic cleansing of the Serbian leaders of the remaining federation of Yugoslavia

The New Russian Engagement with Latin America: Strategic Position, Commerce, and Dreams of the Past Authored by: Dr R Evan Ellis. June 01, 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.

What's Old is New — Kennan, Putin, and the Russian Competitive Viewpoint Authored by: LTC Michael A. Adelberg. November 30, 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.” 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.”

Strategic Insights: Making Good on the NSS and NDS: Competing with Russia in Europe and Beyond Authored by: Dr John R Deni. March 20, 2018

In January, the Trump administration released its first National Defense Strategy (NDS), which closely followed the December 2017 release of the new National Security Strategy (NSS). Both of these documents call for a fundamental shift in the U.S. approach to security, emphasizing competition against Russia and China at the expense of what some may argue has been a myopic focus on eradicating transnational terrorism. What the NSS and NDS are less clear about is how the United States will compete against Russia. Instead, an array of arguably vague policy objectives are all these documents seem to muster. There may be good reasons why these documents provide us little in the way of substantive ways and means, but that shouldn’t prevent a public debate about the many tools Washington can and should employ in competition with Russia in order to generate potentially novel policy options for decision-makers, clearly signal Washington’s intent and reassurance to allies, and convey a stronger deterrent message to Moscow.

NATO Cyberspace Capability: A Strategic and Operational Evolution Authored by: Mr Jeffrey L Caton. June 01, 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.

Friendly Force Dilemmas in Europe: Challenges Within and Among Intergovernmental Organizations and the Implications for the U.S. Army Authored by: Jose Luis Calvo Albero, Jose De Meer Madrid, Kirk Gallinger, Klaus Klingenschmid, Angus McAfee, Stefano Messina, Markus Meyer, Michael Mineni, Darryl Rupp. May 23, 2018

After a period of stability, the transatlantic community is facing considerable challenges in maintaining European security. Russia’s efforts to destabilize Europe, terrorism, climate change, energy insecurity, migration, fracturing European identity, and the reemergence of nationalist populism challenge the ability of European institutions to perform their central functions. Different visions for Europe’s future and the lack of a shared threat perception add to these dilemmas.

The U.S. military can help to shape these “friendly force dilemmas” by influencing European actors and institutions, promoting positive change through the U.S. interagency, and providing capabilities to tackle the theater-specific challenges.

Russian Ballistic Missile Defense: Rhetoric and Reality Authored by: Mr Keir Giles. June 01, 2015



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.

The Turning Point for Russian Foreign Policy Authored by: Mr Keir Giles. May 25, 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.

Project 1721: A U.S. Army War College Assessment on Russian Strategy in Eastern Europe and Recommendations on How to Leverage Landpower to Maintain the Peace Authored by: COL Douglas Mastriano. March 22, 2017

Since its occupation of Crimea, Russia has adopted an aggressive and often belligerent approach to the nations on its borders. The on-going war against Ukraine and its occupation of large portions of Georgian territory demonstrates this increasingly hostile foreign policy. However, far more dangerous to the United States and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is the Kremlin's use of a strategy of ambiguity. In this, Moscow keeps hostilities at a low boil, leveraging a Russian diaspora, a web of complex information-campaign-trolls, to stir ethnic unrest that has the potential to destroy NATO and end the unparalleled post-World War II peace experienced in Europe. Yet, there are actions that the United States and NATO can take to prevent Russian aggression from turning into a war and Project 1721 provides the answers to this complex and dangerous security dilemma.