Middle East & North Africa

 
  •  2010 Key Strategic Issues List (KSIL)

    2010 Key Strategic Issues List (KSIL)

    2010 Key Strategic Issues List (KSIL) Antulio J. Echevarria II Document by the US Army War College, Strategic Studies Institute "The Key Strategic Issues List (KSIL) is published annually to make students and other researchers aware of strategic topics that are, or should be, of particular concern to the Department of Defense and the U.S. Army. The list is a compilation of input from the faculty at the U.S. Army War College as well as input from subject matter experts across the field of strategic studies. The topics reflect current as well as longer-term strategic issues, and are revised as the changing security environment warrants. This hard copy document is supplemented by a more expansive online research topic database which is updated in real time. Researchers are encouraged to contact any of the faculty members of the Strategic Studies Institute listed herein for further information regarding possible topics."
    • Published On: 7/1/2010
  •  Wanted: A Strategy for the Black Sea

    Wanted: A Strategy for the Black Sea

    Wanted: A Strategy for the Black Sea Dr Stephen J Blank Op-Ed by the US Army War College, Strategic Studies Institute "There exists an extensive literature on the strategic importance of the Black Sea zone. Yet it is difficult to discern whether U.S. policymakers are pursuing a coherent strategy for this crucial region. Although Kyrgyzstan is in Central Asia, an adjoining region, events there are symptomatic of this strategic challenge. Not only did our embassy in Kyrgyzstan repeat the mistake the United States made in Iran by being excessively attached to the reigning government and insufficiently attuned to other opposing sociopolitical groups, its actions during the April 2009 upheaval were inadequate, even though it had forewarning of that event."
    • Published On: 6/1/2010
  •  Endgame for the West in Afghanistan? Explaining the Decline in Support for the War in Afghanistan in the United States, Great Britain, Canada, Australia, France and Germany

    Endgame for the West in Afghanistan? Explaining the Decline in Support for the War in Afghanistan in the United States, Great Britain, Canada, Australia, France and Germany

    Endgame for the West in Afghanistan? Explaining the Decline in Support for the War in Afghanistan in the United States, Great Britain, Canada, Australia, France and Germany Mr Charles A Miller Letort Paper by US Army War College, Strategic Studies Institute "Domestic support for the war is often mentioned as one of the key battlegrounds of the Afghan conflict. A variety of explanations have been put forward in the media and in the political realm to explain why this war, which once commanded overwhelming popular support in almost all participating countries, is now opposed by a majority, even in the United States itself. Casualties, lack of equitable multilateral burden sharing, confused and shifting rationales on the part of the political leadership for the war and a “contagion” effect from the unpopularity of the Iraq war have all been cited at one time or another."
    • Published On: 6/1/2010
  •  Decisionmaking In Operation IRAQI FREEDOM: The Strategic Shift of 2007

    Decisionmaking In Operation IRAQI FREEDOM: The Strategic Shift of 2007

    Decisionmaking In Operation IRAQI FREEDOM: The Strategic Shift of 2007 Dr Steven Metz Monograph by the US Army War College, Strategic Studies Institute "In Volume 1 of the Operation IRAQI FREEDOM Key Decisions Monograph Series, Dr. Steven Metz skillfully studied the 2003 decision to go to war in Iraq. The results of that decision are widely called disastrous. In this second volume of the series, Dr. Metz looks carefully at the 2007 decision to surge forces into Iraq, a choice which is generally considered to have been effective in turning the tide of the war from potential disaster to possible—perhaps probable—strategic success. Although numerous strategic decisions remain to be made as the U.S. military executes its “responsible withdrawal” from Iraq, Dr. Metz has encapsulated much of the entire war in these two monographs, describing both the start and what may eventually be seen as the beginning of the end of the war. In this volume, he provides readers with an explanation of how a decision process that was fundamentally unchanged—with essentially the same people shaping and making the decision—could produce such a different result in 2007. As the current administration tries to replicate the surge in Afghanistan, this monograph is especially timely and shows the perils of attempting to achieve success in one strategic situation by copying actions successfully taken in another where different conditions applied."
    • Published On: 5/1/2010
  •  Thinking about Nuclear Power in Post-Saddam Iraq

    Thinking about Nuclear Power in Post-Saddam Iraq

    Thinking about Nuclear Power in Post-Saddam Iraq Dr Norman Cigar Monograph by the US Army War College, Strategic Studies Institute "This monograph provides an overview and analysis of thinking in Iraq on the issue of nuclear power. Nuclear power has long held a special fascination for Iraq, and despite past controversies, this issue continues to draw the attention of numerous influential Iraqis in the post-Saddam era. Informed public opinion in Iraq today is clearly a more important factor for understanding the background of decisionmaking than it was during the Saddam era, so that this monograph addresses the views of all the sectors of Iraqi society likely to have an input into decisionmaking in this arena."
    • Published On: 4/1/2010
  •  Shades of CORDS in the Kush: The False Hope of "Unity of Effort" in American Counterinsurgency

    Shades of CORDS in the Kush: The False Hope of "Unity of Effort" in American Counterinsurgency

    Shades of CORDS in the Kush: The False Hope of "Unity of Effort" in American Counterinsurgency Mr Henry Nuzum Letort Paper by US Army War College, Strategic Studies Institute "The past 2 years have been the most violent of the Afghan insurgency thus far. Taliban and affiliates seek to undermine the state and sap the will of the occupying force. In response, the United States and the coalition pursue a counterinsurgency (COIN) campaign that coordinates military, political, and economic assistance to the Afghan government so that it may provide security and services to its people. If the effort succeeds, the government will win the confidence of the citizens, who will increasingly reject the insurgents."
    • Published On: 4/1/2010
  •  War Is War?

    War Is War?

    War Is War? -- The utility of cyberspace operations in the contemporary operational environment Dennis M Murphy Issue Paper by the US Army War College, Center for Strategic Leadership "The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) defines cyberspace operations as “the employment of cyber capabilities where the primary purpose is to achieve military objectives or effects in or through cyberspace.” Cyberspace emerged as a national-level concern through several recent events of geo-strategic significance. Estonian infrastructure was attacked in the spring of 2007, allegedly by Russian hackers. In August 2008, Russia again allegedly conducted cyber attacks, this time in a coordinated and synchronized kinetic and non-kinetic campaign against Georgia. It is plausible that such complex excursions may become the norm in future warfare among nation-states having the capabilities to conduct them."
    • Published On: 3/15/2010
  •  Transnational Insurgencies and the Escalation of Regional Conflict: Lessons for Iraq and Afghanistan

    Transnational Insurgencies and the Escalation of Regional Conflict: Lessons for Iraq and Afghanistan

    Transnational Insurgencies and the Escalation of Regional Conflict: Lessons for Iraq and Afghanistan Dr Idean Salehyan Monograph by the US Army War College, Strategic Studies Institute "In this monograph, Dr. Idean Salehyan examines several recent transnational insurgencies and their implications for regional relations. While the majority of cases resulted in an escalation of conflict between neighbors, in some instances countries have been able to construct successful border security regimes. This monograph discusses these patterns of conflict and cooperation. Additionally, detailed analyses of the relations between Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, as well as India and its neighbors, are offered to shed light on positive and negative dynamics."
    • Published On: 3/1/2010
  •  Do Oil Exports Fuel Defense Spending?

    Do Oil Exports Fuel Defense Spending?

    Do Oil Exports Fuel Defense Spending? Dr Clayton K S Chun Monograph by the US Army War College, Strategic Studies Institute "This monograph explores the impact that oil revenue had on the national defense spending of five oil-exporting countries. Despite periods of falling oil revenues, these countries typically did not lower defense spending. In some cases, defense spending increased sharply, or the rate of decrease was much lower than the drop in oil revenues. This condition creates challenges for national security professionals. If nations face falling oil revenues and still have the will and ability to expand their military or security capabilities, then they might do so through the sacrifice of domestic spending or regional stability. Economic sanctions, worldwide recession, or falling oil demand may not stop these oil-exporting nations from purchasing weapons and creating large security forces. Although oil might have been a key to provide past or future earnings expectations to fund defense, perhaps there are other reasons why nations want relatively high defense spending levels despite lower oil revenue. The politics of oil and its impact on government control, regional threats, national interests, and other strategic factors may explain why these nations pursue defense spending despite falling oil revenue."
    • Published On: 2/1/2010
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