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  • Author: Robert Hutchings
  • Publication Date: 07-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Fletcher Security Review
  • Institution: The Fletcher School, Tufts University
  • Abstract: We begin with a puzzle: the need for strategic analysis is more important than ever in this period of great flux and uncertainty, but the disdain for analysis of any kind has never been greater than under the administration of President Donald J. Trump. The very premise that leaders need reasonably objective intelligence analysis to inform their policy decisions – a premise that has guided every U.S. administration since World War II – is under assault. If we are to rebuild our capacity for strategic thinking, we need to go back to the beginning. When President Harry Truman created the strategic intelligence function at the end of World War II, he understood that the United States had been thrust into a global role for which it was not prepared. The world was simply too complex, and American interests too extensive, to operate on the basis of impulse or ad hoc decision making. Moreover, when Truman issued National Intelligence Authority No. 5 on July 8, 1946, instructing the Director of Central Intelligence to “accomplish the evaluation and dissemination of strategic intelligence,” he deliberately set up this function outside of the White House, the Department of State, and the military, so that strategic analysis would be kept at a critical distance from policy making. Yet Truman, like every president since, was ambivalent about the role of strategic intelligence and the degree of autonomy it ought to have. ​ The story actually begins earlier, when President Franklin Roosevelt, in a military order of June 13, 1942, formally established the Office of Strategic Services with William J. “Wild Bill” Donovan at its head, and directed it to “collect and analyze... strategic information” and to “plan and operate special services.” The cloak- and-dagger wartime operations of the OSS are the stuff of legend, as are the notable figures recruited to serve, including the poets Archibald MacLeish and Stephen Vincent Benét, the banker Paul Mellon, the psychologist Carl Jung, the philosopher Herbert Marcuse, the anthropologist Margaret Mead, and the movie director John Ford. Less well known is its role in strategic intelligence analysis through its Research and Analysis (R&A) Branch, led initially by James Phinney Baxter III, president of Williams College, and after 1943 by Harvard historian William Langer, identified in war correspondence as “OSS 117.”
  • Topic: Security, Intelligence, History, Military Strategy
  • Political Geography: North America, United States of America
  • Author: Basem Aly, William Nester
  • Publication Date: 07-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Fletcher Security Review
  • Institution: The Fletcher School, Tufts University
  • Abstract: Decision makers and academics have debated for decades the most effective strategies to defeat militant groups. The absence of a clear center of gravity for conventional militaries to target creates hardships in achieving strategic objectives against non-state actors. In a conventional war, the force with a higher capability to destroy these centers of gravity — such as weapons depots and troop deployment locations — will likely win. Yet, when conventional militaries encounter non-state groups, whose centers of gravity may be well hidden or highly dispersed, the results are quite different. The Israeli wars against Hezbollah and the U.S. war in Vietnam exemplify the difficulties related to this traditional dilemma. One counterinsurgency program, suggested by classical theorists such as David Galula, says that success requires focusing on winning the support of local populations by “capturing hearts and minds.” The logic is obvious: locals living in warzones know where militants are hiding their weapons, money, and personnel. Thus, militaries need local support. In his book, Hearts, Minds, and Hydras: Fighting Terrorism in Afghanistan, Pakistan, America, and Beyond — Dilemmas and Lessons, William Nester argues that capturing hearts and minds is not enough. Rather, Nester develops two primary arguments to show that militaries need a multidimensional strategy in order to succeed.
  • Topic: Military Strategy, Counterinsurgency, Non State Actors, Book Review
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Afghanistan, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Stacie L. Pettyjohn, Jennifer Kavanagh, Robert Pulwer
  • Publication Date: 07-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Fletcher Security Review
  • Institution: The Fletcher School, Tufts University
  • Abstract: Stacie L. Pettyjohn is a senior political scientist at the RAND Corporation and co-director of the Center for Gaming. She is also an adjunct professor and Johns Hopkins University’s School for Advanced International Studies (SAIS). Her primary research areas include wargaming, military posture, Internet freedom, and American foreign policy in the Middle East. She is the author of the RAND monograph U.S. Global Defense Posture, 1783-2011 and the coauthor of several other reports, including Access Granted: Political Challenges to the U.S. Overseas Military Presence, 1945-2011, The Posture Triangle: A New Framework for U.S. Air Force Global Presence, Overseas Basing of U.S. Military Forces: An Assessment of the Relative Costs and Strategic Benefits, and Deradicalizing Islamist Extremists. Her work has also been published in academic journals such as Security Studies and International Negotiation, and her commentary has appeared in Foreign Affairs, War on the Rocks, Defense News, The National Interest, Asia Times, and The Daily Star. Previously, she was a research fellow at the Brookings Institution, a Peace Scholar at the United States Institute of Peace, and a TAPIR fellow at the RAND Corporation. She has a Ph.D. and M.A. in foreign affairs from the University of Virginia and a B.A. in history and political science from the Ohio State University. Jennifer Kavanagh is a political scientist at the RAND Corporation. Her research focuses on defense strategy and planning; trends in international conflict and military interventions; domestic and international terrorism; military personnel policy; and U.S. public opinion. She has also recently studied the resurgence of populism in the United States and its implications for U.S. foreign and domestic policy. Jennifer is also a faculty member at the Pardee RAND Graduate School and has taught research methods courses as an adjunct professor at Georgetown and American University. While completing her Ph.D., she was a Department of Homeland Security Fellow and completed a research internship at Lawrence Livermore National Lab. She was a research assistant at RAND from 2003-2006. Dr. Kavanagh graduated from Harvard University with a BA in Government and a minor in the Russian language. She completed her Ph.D. in Political Science and Public Policy at University of Michigan. Her dissertation, "The Dynamics of Protracted Terror Campaigns: Domestic Politics, Terrorist Violence, Counterterror Responses" was named the best dissertation in the Public Policy subfield in 2010 by the American Political Science Association.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Military Strategy, Interview
  • Political Geography: Global Focus, United States of America
  • Author: Harlan Ullman
  • Publication Date: 07-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Fletcher Security Review
  • Institution: The Fletcher School, Tufts University
  • Abstract: Dr. Harlan Ullman, a distinguished Fletcher School alumnus, sat down with the Fletcher Security Review recently to discuss the past, present, and future of U.S. and global security, as well as his most recent book, A Handful of Bullets: How the Murder of Archduke Franz Ferdinand Still Menaces the Peace. He is Chairman of the Killowen Group, which advises leaders in business and government; Chairman of CNIGuard Ltd and CNIGuard Inc. which are infrastructure protection firms; Senior Advisor at the Atlantic Council and Business Executives for National Security, both in Washington, D.C.; on the Advisory Board for the Supreme Allied Commander Europe; and Director Emeritus of the Wall Street Fund, one of the nation’s first mutual funds. A former naval officer with 150 combat operations and missions in Vietnam in patrol boats and other commands at sea, he was principal author of the ’Shock and Awe’ doctrine, which was released in 1996. With seven books and thousands of articles and columns to his credit, he was made UPI’s Arnaud de Borchgrave distinguished columnist earlier this year.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, War, History, Military Strategy
  • Political Geography: Iraq, United States of America
  • Author: Charles Cleveland
  • Publication Date: 09-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Fletcher Security Review
  • Institution: The Fletcher School, Tufts University
  • Abstract: Lieutenant General Charles T. Cleveland, an Army Special Forces Officer, relinquished command of the United States Army Special Operations Command (USASOC) and retired after 37 years of military service on 01 July 2015. He previously commanded the Special Operations Command Central and Special Operations Command South as well as the Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force-North during Operation Iraqi Freedom. LTG Cleveland is a native of Arizona and a 1978 graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York. His military awards and decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal and the Legion of Merit Medal.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, War, Military Strategy, Military Affairs, Interview, Army, Special Operations
  • Political Geography: Africa, North America, Panama, United States of America
  • Author: Sebastian Bruns
  • Publication Date: 09-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Fletcher Security Review
  • Institution: The Fletcher School, Tufts University
  • Abstract: The Cold War ended rather suddenly in 1991. With it went the model on which the United States’ maritime strategy of the 1980s had rested. Driven by individuals like John Lehman, President Ronald Reagan’s long-time Secretary of the Navy, that series of strategic documents promulgated a forward, offensive, counter-force approach and the famous ‘600-ship Navy’ force structure. With the formal dissolution of the Soviet Union on December 25, 1991, the sole challenger to U.S. naval power vanished practically overnight. Red Fleet warships were rusting away in port or dismantled altogether. In the United States, the military lost significant human capital through a number of force reduction rounds, which reflected how the U.S. Navy could and would take on the post-Cold War world intellectually. In the wake of this strategic recalibration, allied militaries and their navies—such as the Federal German Navy, soon to be renamed German Navy—also underwent substantial transformations. These were often guided by the shifting geopolitical landscape as well as the popular desire to reduce the inflated defense budgets of Cold War days in order to obtain a peace dividend. This analysis will focus on the Eurasian theater—very broadly speaking, the waters that surround the European and Southwest Asian landmasses[1]—in U.S. and German naval strategy between 1991 and 2014. The maritime sphere has become increasingly important as a domain of emerging security since the end of the Cold War, yet comparatively little time and resources are being devoted to research on naval strategy and relationships between allies at sea. As a result, the use of naval force for political and diplomatic ends and the dynamics of maritime geopolitics have suffered. This essay seeks to underline the challenges that have confronted the U.S. Navy in the past generation and analyze their long-term effects. While the U.S. Navy’s geographic focus and operational interests have increasingly shifted from Europe to the Middle East and Asia, and from control of the “blue water” high seas to the littorals, these key interests should not be overlooked. In the view of the author, the fall of the Soviet Union and the implication that allies like Germany would do more to patrol their own maritime neighborhood provided the U.S. Navy with a convenient reason to de-emphasize their previously highly valued naval hub in the Mediterranean Sea. In rebalancing from the Sixth Fleet area of responsibility (AOR) to other regions of the world, the U.S. Navy accepted the consequences for fleet design and ship numbers, perhaps willingly using it as a bargaining chip for force reduction rounds in Washington, D.C. Implicitly, European allies and the U.S. Air Force[2] were expected to fill the gap left behind in terms of naval presence and crisis response, in particular after the successful campaigns in the Adriatic Sea in responding to unrest and war in the Balkans. European allies, however, were largely uninterested in stepping up to the plate; they considered their near abroad safe enough. Most importantly, they were somewhat wary of delivering a combined ‘pocket Sixth Fleet’ of their own. Finally, they were preoccupied with managing German unification, enlargement of the European Union, and establishing a common market and currency, among other things. Accordingly, this paper sheds a light on some key German strategic documents for a time when the reunited country sought its new place in the security environment of the post-Cold War world. By taking a unique view from Germany, one of the U.S. Navy’s premier NATO allies, this analysis also considers the transformation of the Bundesmarine from an escort navy to an expeditionary navy.[3] It seeks to conceptually explain how Germany’s security policy addressed the maritime challenges of the new era. The German Navy was principally drawn south- and eastward geographically after 1991, usually in close cooperation with other allied and friendly navies (and mandated by NATO, the EU, or the UN).[4] It was increasingly asked to address maritime security challenges to which the U.S. Navy no longer, or only in a supporting role, responded. The German Navy went into the breach with what were essentially Cold War assets and a mindset fundamentally dominated by the inability to think strategically. This paper is split into two sections. The first section discusses the 1991-2001 timeframe and the second section covers the period from 2001-2014. 2001 marked the inauguration of President George W. Bush in January and the terrorist attacks on September 11 eight months later. Each section looks at the strategic developments of the U.S. Navy and the German Navy, their major naval operations, and some areas of cooperation between the two navies in Eurasia...
  • Topic: Security, Cold War, History, Military Strategy, Navy, Maritime
  • Political Geography: Europe, Germany, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Anthony Gilgis
  • Publication Date: 09-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Fletcher Security Review
  • Institution: The Fletcher School, Tufts University
  • Abstract: For the past two decades, the United States military and the national security apparatus have focused their energy and capabilities on confronting Islamic terrorism as a kinetic target. Much of U.S. counterterrorism policy today consists of lethal raids and unmanned aerial vehicle strikes against targeted individuals. The U.S. government has come to rely heavily on the Special Operations Forces (USSOF) in particular for lethal raids, also termed “Direct Action” assaults, one of the ten “Core Activities” that Title X identifies for USSOF. Unfortunately, Direct Action has come to overshadow the broad array of missions that USSOF was originally intended to conduct. Unconventional Warfare, for example, is a core USSOF mission intended to prevent radical ideology from taking root in a society with a range of activities to build local good will towards friendly forces and animosity towards extremists. The U.S. can more effectively incorporate USSOF into a “whole-of-government” approach to counterterrorism by refocusing attention on non-kinetic, counter-ideology operations. To move beyond the recognized battlefields of the past decade, U.S. officials must embrace a multidimensional operating environment that requires simultaneous focus along multiple lines of effort. Future warfare will include complex, adaptive systems of ideology, economy, physical infrastructure, governance, and energy — which cannot be defeated through kinetic operations alone. The USSOF will need to transform its operations accordingly. During the last two decades of the twentieth century, a paradigm shift occurred in the realm of transnational terrorism and how nations responded to it. Shifting away from a focus on political goals, transnational terrorist groups began using religion as a motivating factor — both in their operations and in their recruitment. This new form of terrorism required a shift in response from the international community. It took the West almost a decade to recognize this shift and adjust its response to the emergent threat. Following 9/11, the United States fully engaged Special Operations Forces and paramilitary elements to actively counter this new religious ideology. SOF and paramilitary units were tasked to conduct raids against members of radical extremist groups. However, after almost 15 years of continuous warfare, the U.S. has arguably experienced limited success with its counterterrorism efforts as groups continue to conduct attacks and grow, gaining notoriety and establishing affiliated movements around the globe. Kinetic actions have created an entire generation of potential radicals who are victims of our counterterrorism “successes.” Populations sensitive to radicalization are also vulnerable to state-level terror in the form of unexpected and unpredictable military strikes. The battle against terrorism to date leaves the question, “As the United States looks to the future operating environment, can the Special Operations community find a more effective method to counter the ideology that creates the modern Islamic terrorist?” Since 2001, the West has increasingly focused on lethal targeting of individuals within religious-based extremist organizations. This method of conducting kinetic operations — either through direct action assaults by military or paramilitary units, or through the use of missile strikes from aerial platforms — has become the public face of the United States counter-terrorism effort. While the United States military has arguably raised man-hunting of individuals from an imprecise task to a methodical science, targeted lethal actions are nonetheless perceived as little more than indiscriminate state-level terror within the populations in which the operations are conducted. Looking to the future operating environment, the current policy of countering terrorist actions with targeted killing is unlikely to sway the underlying ideology in Americans’ favor. As such, it is necessary to develop a sustainable counterterrorism strategy that considers the human domain of local opinion as the future battlefield. The Special Operations Forces of the U.S. military will play a central role in any long-term strategy to counter violent extremist organizations; they are specifically designed to create a counter-ideology within the scope of unconventional warfare. Before looking at the role of U.S. Special Operation Forces within this emerging strategy, an understanding of the changing nature of warfare within a complex environment is necessary. Moving forward in the concept of developing a long-term counterterrorism strategy beyond the use of kinetic operations, we must understand that Islamic extremism is rooted in an ideology the West has displayed overt ignorance of and has been unprepared to counter. As stated by Patrick Sookhdeo, “Equally damaging has been the desire for a quick-fix and the reluctance to engage in a long-term struggle against the ideological struggle that nourishes and promotes Islamist terrorism.”
  • Topic: Security, Military Strategy, Counter-terrorism, Special Operations
  • Political Geography: North America, United States of America
  • Author: Matthew Testerman
  • Publication Date: 09-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Fletcher Security Review
  • Institution: The Fletcher School, Tufts University
  • Abstract: Winning a war requires the capacity to wage a war and an understanding of an end-state that equates to winning. These fundamental concepts, however, are not well defined. This essay draws from recent historical examples, contemporaneous strategy documents, and formal game theory to provide some additional degree of conceptual clarity that will enhance the debate about winning without war. In the past two decades, the U.S. has developed a demonstrated capacity to win with war. Victory in kinetic war fighting is nearly assured and can be accomplished with limited cost. Despite this, in the modern context, war has evolved to the point that war is not worth winning. It is far from the case that there are no wars to be fought, but the political and economic constraints of the international system have transformed the environment in which the U.S. operates militarily. Evidence of this is found in the strategic outlook of the U.S. military as documented in the revised U.S. naval strategy, especially when compared to earlier maritime strategy. To inform this discussion, game theoretic explanations of strategic interactions are helpful. The assumptions underlying recent U.S. naval strategy can be understood by applying the basic construct of a “game of strategic entry." Applying this construct, one finds that war is not worth winning– a conclusion that has substantive consequences for designing, organizing, and employing naval forces.
  • Topic: Security, War, Military Strategy, Military Affairs, Iraq War
  • Political Geography: North America, United States of America
  • Author: Ian Easton
  • Publication Date: 09-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Fletcher Security Review
  • Institution: The Fletcher School, Tufts University
  • Abstract: The United States and the People’s Republic of China (PRC) are firmly entrenched in what will be a long and intense strategic competition for dominance over the Pacific Rim. American strategists Andrew Marshall, Robert Kaplan, and Aaron Friedberg began foretelling of this great power struggle over a decade ago.[1]. They recognized before anyone else that there are strong forces underpinning the U.S.-China rivalry. The two countries’ political systems and national interests stand in fundamental opposition. This is why, despite Washington’s reluctance to officially admit it, strategic competition between the U.S. and the PRC is unavoidable. ​ The United States, while an imperfect democracy, is an inspiration to people everywhere who yearn for the freedom and dignity that comes from having a representative government, independent legal system, and market economy. In the PRC, on the other hand, power is monopolized by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), a political organization that is directly responsible for more human suffering than possibly any other regime past or present, anywhere in the world.[2] Numerous State Department reports detail the past and continuing human rights violations occurring under the watch of the CCP.[3] ​ For all its much ballyhooed economic reforms, China’s economy is still largely controlled by massive state-owned corporations, making it a mercantilist country, not a capitalist one.[4] Much of Beijing’s economic power ultimately stems from its remarkable ability to lure foreign business elites with promises of access to its huge market. Once the hook is set, China pockets their investments, steals their intellectual property, and undercuts their market competitiveness.[5] ​ Yet it is not the PRC’s unsavory political or economic practices that will ensure sustained U.S.-China competition over the coming decades, although future American presidents, like Barack Obama, will undoubtedly be tempted to paper over ideological differences for expedience sake. Rather, Beijing’s insecure and aggressive nature is at the root of the problem. In recent years, China has stoked maritime tensions with Japan and the Philippines, both treaty allies of the United States; provoked border clashes with India, a democratic nation and American security partner; and enabled nuclear missile proliferation amongst its friends: North Korea, Pakistan, and Iran.[6] Track records tell a compelling story. The PRC’s track record indicates that a growing number of geostrategic issues could eventually result in a clash between the United States and China... ​
  • Topic: Security, Military Strategy, Economy, Grand Strategy
  • Political Geography: China, Taiwan, Asia, United States of America
  • Author: Michael M. Tsai, Po-Chang Huang
  • Publication Date: 09-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Fletcher Security Review
  • Institution: The Fletcher School, Tufts University
  • Abstract: In 1949, Mao Zedong, leader of the Communist Party of China (CCP), defeated Chiang Kai-shek’s Kuomintang (KMT) troops and succeeded in establishing the communist dictatorship of the People’s Republic of China out of the “barrel of a gun.” At the beginning of its rule, the CCP believed that the use of violent instruments as provided by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) was in and of itself sufficient to both suppress “reactionaries” at home and defeat “invaders” from abroad. ​ In this vein, during the Korean War of the early 1950s, the CCP regime sent a million-strong “Volunteer Army” into the Korean Peninsula and fought against the U.S.-led United Nations forces, thus cementing the political division of Korea and its complications that linger to this day. Between 1958 and 1960, PLA troops heavily bombarded the Chiang Kai-shek-controlled island of Kinmen, resulting in significant casualties on both sides. Between the 1960s and 1980s, the PLA and militia troops engaged in a series of border conflicts and clashes with the Soviet Union, India, and Vietnam. Throughout this period, the CCP regime still believed that military force alone was sufficient to serve as the primary bargaining chip and policy instrument in its dealing with other states.[1] ​ However, from the late 1980s to 1990s, the collapse of Soviet Union and Eastern Bloc marked the end of Cold War and the confrontation between two global superpowers. The CCP’s strategy in the international arena evolved from an overreliance on hard military force to one that utilizes both “soft power” and the “carrot and stick.” ​ From the Chinese perspective, the concept of “soft power” encompasses the exploitation of any policy or tool outside the traditional definition of “hard” military power to achieve its desired political, economic, and diplomatic objectives. Such exploitation takes place via political, societal, commercial, economic, legal, psychological, cultural, and other means. Mass media and even tourist groups could all be used as a means of penetration to funnel and support Chinese agents deep inside enemy territory and to create conditions that are conducive to achieving China’s desired outcome. This is the essence of China’s strategy of the “United Front.” ​ This article examines the United Front strategy and the ways in which China’s deployment of this strategy impacts the national security of Taiwan as well as neighboring countries such as Japan, Vietnam, the Philippines, and even the United States.[2] The article concludes with proposed policy recommendations for how Taiwan can counter such strategies...
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Cold War, History, Military Strategy, Soft Power
  • Political Geography: Japan, China, Taiwan, Soviet Union, Vietnam, Philippines, United States of America