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Rebuilding Armed Forces: Learning from Iraq and Lebanon
Rebuilding Armed Forces: Learning from Iraq and Lebanon Dr Florence Gaub Monograph by the US Army War College, Strategic Studies Institute "Since U.S. operations began in Iraq in 2003, the Iraqi armed forces have embarked on a huge transformation. In this groundbreaking monograph, Dr. Florence Gaub focuses on the structural and sociological aspects of rebuilding the Iraqi armed forces, which she observes and comments on through the lens of lessons learned from Lebanon’s experience of rebuilding its own armed forces in the late 20th century following civil war."
Published On: 5/1/2011
Improvised Explosive Devices in Iraq, 2003-09: A Case of Operational Surprise and Institutional Response
Improvised Explosive Devices in Iraq, 2003-09: A Case of Operational Surprise and Institutional Response Brigadier Andrew Smith Letort Paper by US Army War College, Strategic Studies Institute "The threat of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) that has emerged in conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2003 is a contemporary example of conventional militaries being confronted with a tactical surprise with operational—if not strategic—implications. Those implications can necessitate “institutional” responses to avoid strategic defeat in what, for many countries, are “wars of discretion.” Operational surprise, as defined in this examination, differs from strategic shocks as described by Nathan Freier, and the necessary responses are distinct from the military adaptations considered by John Nagl. The paper contends that the 6-year evolution of the IED experience from 2003 until 2009 constitutes a complete cycle of surprise and response, of which the most significant part is the institutional response."
Published On: 4/1/2011
The Conflicts in Yemen and U.S. National Security
The Conflicts in Yemen and U.S. National Security Dr W Andrew Terrill Monograph by the US Army War College, Strategic Studies Institute "Yemen is not currently a failed state, but it is experiencing huge political and economic problems that can have a direct impact on U.S. interests in the region. It has a rapidly expanding population with a resource base that is limited and already leaves much of the current population in poverty. The government obtains around a third of its budget revenue from sales of its limited and declining oil stocks, which most economists state will be exhausted by 2017. Yemen has critical water shortages aggravated by the use of extensive amounts of water and agricultural land for production of the shrub qat, which is chewed for stimulant and other effects but has no nutritional value. All of these problems are especially difficult to address because the central government has only limited capacity to extend its influence into tribal areas beyond the capital and major cities..."
Published On: 1/1/2011
Transitions: Issues, Challenges and Solutions in International Assistance
Transitions: Issues, Challenges and Solutions in International Assistance Doctor Harry R Yarger Reports and Misc. Publications by the US Army War College, Peacekeeping and Stability Operations Institute "In this text, papers prepared for the Transitions: Issues, Challenges and Solutions Conference,” conducted at Carlisle Barracks in November 2010, examine transitions from theoretical and practical perspectives. In sharing their research and experience, the authors collectively cultivate in the reader a necessary strategic perspective; one that is holistic and systemic in outlook. However, each essay focuses on some specific aspect of transitions and develops it in some detail. Readers will find each essay and its argument stands on its own merit, offering an independent assessment and making a valuable and enduring contribution to the body of knowledge on transitions and state-building."
Published On: 11/18/2010
America's Most Committed Muslim Ally
America's Most Committed Muslim Ally Dr W Andrew Terrill Op-ed by the US Army War College, Strategic Studies Institute "Somehow in the rage over the New York Mosque and Cultural Center, many of America’s Muslim allies have been forgotten. Jordan is an especially important case. This country is both a victim of terrorism and one of America’s most committed allies in the struggle against al Qaeda. As with the United States, al Qaeda has struck Jordanian targets without mercy..."
Published On: 11/1/2010
Somalia: Line in the Sand--Identification of MYM Vulnerabilities
Somalia: Line in the Sand--Identification of MYM Vulnerabilities LTC Eloy E Cuevas, Ms Madeleine Wells Letort Paper by US Army War College, Strategic Studies Institute "Continuing instability in Somalia has increased concern that terrorists who seek to establish a foothold in Africa may use such insecure places as a safe haven and launching pad. Several attempts have been made to establish lawful governments in Somalia; however, warlord and clan interests have managed to take center stage among the population. The Somali-based al-Shabaab (also known as the Mujahidin Youth Movement [MYM]) is a militant organization born out of both successive regional turmoil and international salafi-jihadi ideology, which continues to actively undermine the United Nations (UN)-supported African Union (AU) peacekeeping force, the fledging Somali Transitional Federal Government (TFG), and all UN efforts to support Somalis in creating a stable state. "
Published On: 9/1/2010
America's Flawed Afghanistan Strategy
America's Flawed Afghanistan Strategy Dr Steven Metz Op-Ed by the US Army War College, Strategic Studies Institute "Despite the lavish time and attention that the Obama administration devoted to reviewing its Afghanistan strategy, the result was more continuity than change. The administration adjusted U.S. troops levels and shifted some operational methods but accepted the most basic—and questionable—assumptions of the Bush strategy. Unfortunately, these do not hold up under close scrutiny. The new strategy, like the old one, totters on a dangerously flawed foundation."
Published On: 8/1/2010
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 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 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 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 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 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? -- 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 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
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