Regional Issues

  •  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
  •  Something Brewing in Venezuela

    Something Brewing in Venezuela

    Something Brewing in Venezuela COL Phillip R Cuccia Op-Ed by the US Army War College, Strategic Studies Institute "Addressing a regional diplomatic-military problem is made all the more complicated when the region is not at the forefront of U.S. global strategic interests. Such a region simply does not get the attention that it deserves. I fear that may be what is happening now with South America in general and Venezuela in particular."
    • Published On: 1/1/2010
  •  Resetting the Reset Button: Realism About Russia

    Resetting the Reset Button: Realism About Russia

    Resetting the Reset Button: Realism About Russia Dr Stephen J Blank Op-Ed by the US Army War College, Strategic Studies Institute "In Washington, there is a widely shared view that the United States needs Russian cooperation to stop Iranian and North Korean nuclear proliferation, particularly Iran’s. This view rests on the premise that the United States should take Russia “seriously,” and taking Russia seriously means accepting Russian demands for no missile defense in Europe and no NATO enlargement or further European integration of the countries of the former Soviet Union."
    • Published On: 12/1/2009
  •  Dealing with Political Ferment in Latin America: The Populist Revival, the Emergence of the Center, and Implications for U.S. Policy

    Dealing with Political Ferment in Latin America: The Populist Revival, the Emergence of the Center, and Implications for U.S. Policy

    Dealing with Political Ferment in Latin America: The Populist Revival, the Emergence of the Center, and Implications for U.S. Policy Dr Hal Brands Monograph by the US Army War College, Strategic Studies Institute "Over the past decade, Latin America has experienced considerable political upheaval. Persistent poverty, corruption, and public insecurity have produced profound popular dissatisfaction and caused widespread ideological ferment. While the electoral results of this ferment are frequently described as a “lurch to the left,” such descriptions are misleading. Latin America is not experiencing a uniform shift to the left; it is witnessing a competition between two very different political trends. "
    • Published On: 9/1/2009
  •  A "New" Dynamic in the Western Hemisphere Security Environment: The Mexican Zetas and Other Private Armies

    A "New" Dynamic in the Western Hemisphere Security Environment: The Mexican Zetas and Other Private Armies

    A "New" Dynamic in the Western Hemisphere Security Environment: The Mexican Zetas and Other Private Armies Dr Max G Manwaring Monograph by the US Army War College, Strategic Studies Institute "There is a large number of nonstate actors in the Western Hemisphere and around the world that exercise violence to advance their causes, radicalize the population, and move slowly but surely toward the achievement of their ideological and self-enrichment dreams. In Mexico, these nonstate actors have included a complex and enigmatic mix of transnational criminal organizations (TCOs) (cartels and mafia); enforcer gangs; political and ideological insurgents; and paramilitary “vigilante” organizations that generate violence and instability, erode democracy and the state, and challenge national security and sovereignty. The author, Dr. Max Manwaring, explains that a new and dangerous dynamic has been inserted into the already crowded Mexican and Western Hemisphere security arena. That new dynamic is represented by a private military organization called the Zetas."
    • Published On: 9/1/2009
  •  Russian Elite Image of Iran: From the Late Soviet Era to the Present

    Russian Elite Image of Iran: From the Late Soviet Era to the Present

    Russian Elite Image of Iran: From the Late Soviet Era to the Present Dr Dmitry Shlapentokh Monograph by the US Army War College, Strategic Studies Institute "Since the late Soviet era, the presence of Iran has loomed large in the minds of the Russian elite. Their vision of Iran has been incorporated in the general view of the Russian relationship with the Muslim world. Soon after the end of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR)—and even before—increasing numbers of Russian intellectuals became disenchanted with the West, especially the United States, and looked for alternative geopolitical alliances. The Muslim world, with Iran at the center, became one of the possible alternatives. "
    • Published On: 9/1/2009
  •  Escalation and Intrawar Deterrence During Limited Wars in the Middle East

    Escalation and Intrawar Deterrence During Limited Wars in the Middle East

    Escalation and Intrawar Deterrence During Limited Wars in the Middle East Dr W Andrew Terrill Monograph by the US Army War College, Strategic Studies Institute "The number of declared nuclear powers has expanded significantly in the last 20 years to include Pakistan, India, and North Korea. Additionally, other powers such as Iran are almost certainly striving for a nuclear weapons capability while a number of countries in the developing world possess or seek biological and chemical weapons. In this milieu, a central purpose of this monograph by W. Andrew Terrill is to reexamine two earlier conflicts for insights that may be relevant for ongoing dangers during limited wars involving nations possessing chemical or biological weapons or emerging nuclear arsenals. "
    • Published On: 9/1/2009
  •  The Role of Cuban Paramilitary Organizations (People's Militias) in the Post-Castro Era

    The Role of Cuban Paramilitary Organizations (People's Militias) in the Post-Castro Era

    The Role of Cuban Paramilitary Organizations (People's Militias) in the Post-Castro Era Dr Max G Manwaring Op-Ed by the US Army War College, Strategic Studies Institute "Armed nonstate groups all over the world are directly challenging targeted governments’ physical and moral right and ability to govern. This almost chronic chaos is exacerbated by traditional nationstate actors using nonstate popular militias, youth leagues, gangs, or their equivalents to help the take control, maintain control, or regain control of a given political-economic-social entity. It is in this context that popular militias have been organized, trained, and nurtured in Cuba."
    • Published On: 8/1/2009
  •  Pakistan - The Most Dangerous Place in the World

    Pakistan - The Most Dangerous Place in the World

    Pakistan - The Most Dangerous Place in the World Dr Larry P Goodson Op-Ed by the US Army War College, Strategic Studies Institute "Pakistan is the most dangerous foreign policy problem facing the United States for five major reasons. First, Pakistan is a nuclear country, with at least 60 nuclear warheads (according to both journalistic and unclassified U.S. Government sources), a regular supply of fissile material with which to make more, multiple delivery systems, and a history as a known proliferator. Pakistan developed nuclear weapons because of its long and bloody history with its bigger next-door neighbor, India, to which it has lost four major military conflicts since 1947. They have not squared off again since the Kargil Conflict of 1999, and the world holds its breath over their next spat."
    • Published On: 7/1/2009
  •  China's Maritime Quest

    China's Maritime Quest

    China's Maritime Quest Dr David Lai Op-Ed by the US Army War College, Strategic Studies Institute "The Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) turned 60 on April 23, 2009. China held an unprecedented celebration on this occasion. For the first time in its history, China invited foreign navies to the PLAN’s birthday event. Chinese President Hu Jintao and all the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) senior leaders reviewed a parade of China’s major warships from a Chinese destroyer."
    • Published On: 6/1/2009
  •  Preventing Iraq from Slipping Back into Sectarian Chaos

    Preventing Iraq from Slipping Back into Sectarian Chaos

    Preventing Iraq from Slipping Back into Sectarian Chaos Dr W Andrew Terrill Op-Ed by the US Army War College, Strategic Studies Institute "It is at least possible, if not likely, that different choices on two key 2003 U.S. decisions would have allowed the United States to withdraw most of its troops from Iraq well before the present date. The two decisions that are now widely understood to have been disastrous mistakes are the dissolution of the Iraqi Army and the decision to pursue harsh punitive actions against vast numbers of former Ba’ath party members beyond the leadership of Saddam’s regime. Both decisions alienated Iraq’s Sunni Arabs and opened the door for a strong al-Qaeda presence in Iraq..."
    • Published On: 5/1/2009
  •  State and Nonstate Associated Gangs: Credible "Midwives of New Social Orders"

    State and Nonstate Associated Gangs: Credible "Midwives of New Social Orders"

    State and Nonstate Associated Gangs: Credible "Midwives of New Social Orders" Dr Max G Manwaring Monograph by the US Army War College, Strategic Studies Institute "This monograph introduces a misunderstood aspect of “wars among the people.” The author addresses the interesting subject of the multifaceted nature and predominant role of gangs operating as state and nonstate proxies in the modern unbalanced global security environment. In every phase of the process of compelling radical political change, agitator-gangs and popular militias play significant roles in helping their political patrons prepare to take control of a targeted political-social entity. As a result, gangs (bandas criminales or whatever they may be called) are important components of a highly complex political-psychological-military act—contemporary irregular asymmetrical political war. In these terms, this monograph is relevant to modern political discussions regarding “new” socialism, populism and neopopulism, and hegemonic state and nonstate challenges to stronger opponents. "
    • Published On: 5/1/2009
  •  Drug Trafficking, Violence, and the State in Mexico

    Drug Trafficking, Violence, and the State in Mexico

    Drug Trafficking, Violence, and the State in Mexico Dr Phil Williams Op-Ed by the US Army War College, Strategic Studies Institute, US Army War College Press "Headlines and television commentaries about Mexico becoming a failed state as a result of drug-related violence have become a dime a dozen. Terms such as “criminal insurgency,” “narco-terrorism,” and narco-insurgency are all used to describe the widespread killings. The Joint Operating Environment Report of 2008 even suggested that Mexico, along with Pakistan, could suffer from a dramatic collapse of the state, with serious implications for U.S. national security."
    • Published On: 4/1/2009
  •  Russia and Arms Control: Are There Opportunities for the Obama Administration?

    Russia and Arms Control: Are There Opportunities for the Obama Administration?

    Russia and Arms Control: Are There Opportunities for the Obama Administration? Dr Stephen J Blank Monograph by the US Army War College, Strategic Studies Institute "As the Obama administration took office, Russo-American relations were generally acknowledged to be at an impasse. Arms control issues feature prominently in that conflicted agenda. Indeed, as of September 2008, the Bush administration was contemplating not just a break in arms talks but actual sanctions, and allowed the bilateral civil nuclear treaty with Russia to die in the Senate rather than go forward for confirmation. Russian spokesmen make clear their belief that American concessions on key elements of arms control issues like missile defenses in Europe are a touchstone for the relationship and a condition of any further progress towards genuine dialogue."
    • Published On: 3/1/2009
  •  Kazakhstan's Defense Policy: An Assessment of the Trends

    Kazakhstan's Defense Policy: An Assessment of the Trends

    Kazakhstan's Defense Policy: An Assessment of the Trends Mr Roger N McDermott Monograph by the US Army War College, Strategic Studies Institute "In this monograph, Roger N. McDermott argues that Kazakhstan’s armed forces, though subject to many structural changes, have not yet experienced systemic military reform. He assesses the achievements and setbacks of U.S. and NATO defense assistance to the country, while also showing that Kazakhstan remains deeply linked in close defense and security partnership with Russia. McDermott suggests greater sophistication and follow-up is needed from Western assistance programs to ensure that Kazakhstan successfully gains genuine military capabilities and the type of armed forces it needs within the region."
    • Published On: 2/9/2009
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