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  • Author: Michael Miklaucic
  • Publication Date: 12-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: PRISM
  • Institution: National Defense University Press
  • Abstract: The hardest call during my first year in the Senate was my vote to authorize military force in Syria to punish President Bashar al-Assad for using chemical weapons against his citizens. When I was sworn in on January 3rd, 2013, I expected difficult votes. But I did not anticipate such a profound vote within my first nine months. Only the 18 Senators who serve on he Foreign Relations Committee had to take that vote on September 4, following President Barack Obama's decision to ask Congress to formally authorize a military response. But as tough as the vote was, I am glad the President brought it to Congress instead of proceeding on his own.
  • Political Geography: America
  • Publication Date: 09-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: PRISM
  • Institution: National Defense University Press
  • Abstract: It's an honor to return to the National Defense University. Here, at Fort McNair, Americans have served in uniform since 1791– standing guard in the early days of the Republic, and contemplating the future of warfare here in the 21st century.
  • Topic: Cold War, Terrorism, Law
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, America, Europe
  • Author: Douglas Farah
  • Publication Date: 09-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: PRISM
  • Institution: National Defense University Press
  • Abstract: Over the past decade the Northern Triangle of Central America (Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador) has earned the unenviable position as one of the world's most violent and lawless regions.
  • Topic: Security, Government
  • Political Geography: America, Mexico
  • Author: James Dobbins
  • Publication Date: 09-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: PRISM
  • Institution: National Defense University Press
  • Abstract: Last summer, in response to a directive from Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Martin Dempsey, the Joint Staff issued a short summary of lessons learned from the past decade of military operations. The document, entitled Decade of War, Volume 1 frankly and cogently acknowledges mistakes made over this period, and particularly during the first half of the decade, that is to say between the invasion of Afghanistan in late 2001 and the surge of troops into Iraq in early 2007. Among the admitted deficiencies were the failure to adequately grasp the operating environment, a reliance on conventional tactics to fight unconventional enemies, an inability to articulate a convincing public narrative, and poor interagency coordination. The document is testimony to the capacity of the American military for self-criticism and eventual correction, albeit not always in time to avoid costly setbacks.
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Iraq, America
  • Author: Jeff Rice
  • Publication Date: 09-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: PRISM
  • Institution: National Defense University Press
  • Abstract: Fred Kaplan's The Insurgents is a highly successful and compelling intermingling of three stories: the rise and eventual fall of General David Petraeus; the intellectual history of counterinsurgency; and the broadening of the learning culture within the United States Military during the Iraq war. Indeed, the heroes of the book are the “insurgents” within the U.S. Army who all but overthrew the dominant paradigm of kinetic warfare in favor of ideas derived from England and France during the end of the colonial era.1 Kaplan's book picks up on the story told by Tom Ricks in The Gamble2 about how this intellectual insurgency transformed the way the U.S. fought the war in Iraq, preferring the counterinsurgency (COIN) approach to protecting civilians from insurgents and lowering their casualty rate, and building alliances in order to reduce the number of insurgents. For Kaplan this is nothing short of a profound alteration of the American way of war, one that caused enormous consternation amongst certain sectors of the military who were wedded to a more conventional approach to war.
  • Topic: Government, War
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Iraq, America
  • Publication Date: 03-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: PRISM
  • Institution: National Defense University Press
  • Abstract: After a career at the Department of State, and now serving as Deputy Administrator at the U.S. Agency for International Development [USAID], how would you characterize the differences in organizational culture between State and USAID?
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Andrea Barbara Baumann
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: PRISM
  • Institution: National Defense University Press
  • Abstract: American-led interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan are drawing to an end and the political climate inside the Beltway has turned decidedly hostile toward large deployments of U.S. troops and civilians overseas. Consequently, stability operations have dropped off the radar for many analysts and commentators. The policy community that once feverishly tackled questions over how to stabilize foreign countries through the extended deployment of military and civilian capabilities under various labels (most prominently state- or nation-building and/or population- centric counterinsurgency) is shifting its gaze elsewhere. With growing hindsight, the entire endeavor is often declared as flawed from the start. In addition to this sense of strategic failure, a drop in political attention now heightens the risk of losing hard-earned insights from these operations. This is therefore a crucial time to evaluate the institutional developments that operations in Iraq and Afghanistan have spurred.
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Iraq, America
  • Author: Dov S. Zakheim
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: PRISM
  • Institution: National Defense University Press
  • Abstract: The United States has been fighting wars, to a greater or lesser extent, for the better part of the past 20 years. Indeed, hardly a year has passed during that period in which American forces were not involved in combat somewhere in the world. At the same time, the extent to which the United States and its military should be involved in nation-building, which increasingly was tied to the outcome of American military operations, became a major issue during the 1990s. In fact, there were two aspects to this issue, both of which were, and still are, hotly debated.
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Michael J. Williams
  • Publication Date: 09-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: PRISM
  • Institution: National Defense University Press
  • Abstract: Using history to understand the present can be a useful tool, but it is also a limited one. Historical cases are not identical to contemporary ones, and there is a danger of conflating challenges in such a manner that, rather than illuminating a present challenge, history obfuscates it. This problem tends to be evident in the inaccurate use of analogies by policymakers, commentators, and analysts. Such may be the case in the contemporary American debate over the state of U.S. engagement in Afghanistan. Since President Barack Obama came to office in 2009 and deployed an additional 60,000 troops to Afghanistan in the first year of his administration, the debate over continued U.S. involvement has been dogged by analogies to Vietnam. But it is not readily apparent that Vietnam is an appropriate analogy for understanding the current challenge the United States faces in Afghanistan.
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, America
  • Author: Antulio J. Echevarria II
  • Publication Date: 09-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: PRISM
  • Institution: National Defense University Press
  • Abstract: Our understanding of the American way of war begins in 1973 with the publication of historian Russell Weigley's classic work, The American Way of War: A History of U.S. Military Strategy and Policy. Weigley maintained that after the Civil War, American military strategy essentially narrowed from the practice of two types, annihilation and attrition, to one, annihilation. as the united states experienced a “rapid rise from poverty of resources to plenty,” he argued, so too the American way of war tended to opt for strategies of annihilation, largely because it could. as a consequence, however, the further evolution of strategies of attrition was cut short, and American military strategy became unidimensional, or imbalanced. that, according to Weigley, was part of the problem with the Vietnam conflict. the other part of the problem, in his view, was that the era of using military force rationally to achieve the aims of policy was nearing its end.
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Vietnam
  • Author: Geoffrey Lambert, Larry Lewis, Sarah Sewall
  • Publication Date: 09-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: PRISM
  • Institution: National Defense University Press
  • Abstract: This study examines the military support provided by U.S. Joint special operations task Force–Philippines (JSOTF-P) to Philippine military operations. Building upon the 2010 Joint Civilian Casualty Study—the first comprehensive examination of U.S. prevention and mitigation of civilian casualties based on U.S. operations in Afghanistan—this current effort aimed to assess civilian casualties in the different context of indirect U.S. operations. We found that the evolution of Philippine civilian and military strategy since the mid 2000s has reduced the occurrence and salience of civilian casualty issues during combat operations. Additionally, the study revealed many related best practices in JSOTF-P and operation Enduring Freedom–Philippines (OEF-P) more broadly, and provided insights into the possible future evolution of the mission and wider implications for foreign internal defense (FID) in the 21st century.
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, America, Philippines
  • Author: George Michael
  • Publication Date: 09-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: PRISM
  • Institution: National Defense University Press
  • Abstract: As the U.S. military enters its 11th year of operations in Afghanistan, public support for the effort dwindles, according to recent polls, as a solid majority of Americans now believe the war is going badly and is not worth fighting. In The Operators, journalist Michael Hastings explores the recent history of America's longest military campaign through the prism of General Stanley McChrystal and his staff. Not long after his story broke in June 2010 in Rolling Stone magazine, General McChrystal was forced to resign. t he episode illustrated the deepening division between the White house and Pentagon over the appropriate prosecution of the war.
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, America
  • Author: Evan Ellis
  • Publication Date: 12-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: PRISM
  • Institution: National Defense University Press
  • Abstract: In June 2010, the sacking of Secretary of Justice Romeu Tuma Júnior for allegedly being an agent of the Chinese mafia rocked Brazilian politics. Three years earlier, in July 2007, the head of the Colombian national police, General Oscar Naranjo, made the striking proclamation that “the arrival of the Chinese and Russian mafias in Mexico and all of the countries in the Americas is more than just speculation.” although, to date, the expansion of criminal ties between the People's Republic of China (PRC) and Latin America has lagged behind the exponential growth of trade and investment between the two regions, the incidents mentioned above highlight that criminal activity between the regions are becoming an increasingly problematic by-product of expanding China–Latin America interactions, with troubling implications for both regions.
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, America, Brazil, Latin America, Mexico
  • Author: Norton A. Schwartz
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: PRISM
  • Institution: National Defense University Press
  • Abstract: In 2001, the U.S. military, aided by indigenous forces, swiftly toppled a Taliban government responsible for providing sanctuary to al Qaeda. In 2003, the Iraqi military disintegrated in the face of a devastating demonstration of American power that ended the regime of Saddam Hussein. America showcased its unique ability to project power over vast distances to achieve substantial results. Unfortunately, those initial victories were short-lived. As the security situations deteriorated in both Iraq and Afghanistan, the United States became engaged in longer term irregular conflicts. American and allied militaries struggled to adapt their doctrine, training, and technology to counter an elusive foe. While ground forces relearned and incorporated counterinsurgency (COIN) lessons, Airmen explored how airpower's flexibility, responsiveness, and bird's-eye view of the battlefield could respond to those lessons.
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Iraq, America, Taliban
  • Author: James Derleath, Jason Alexander
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: PRISM
  • Institution: National Defense University Press
  • Abstract: The 2002 National Security Strategy of the United States of America led to a number of bureaucratic and policy changes. In 2004, the Department of State established the Office of the Coordinator for Reconstruction and Stabilization (S/CRS). It was charged with coordinating the Nation's postconflict and stabilization efforts. In 2005, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) created an Office of Military Affairs. Its mission was to serve as the agency's focal point for civilian-military planning and interaction with the Department of Defense (DOD) and foreign militaries. On November 28, 2005, DOD published Directive 3000.05, which established stability operations as a core U.S. military mission with the same priority as combat operations. Over the next few years, DOD also issued new military doctrine—Field Manual (FM) 3–24, Counterinsurgency, and FM 3–07, Stability Operations. The latter defines stability operations as the “various military missions, tasks, and activities conducted outside the United States in coordination with other instruments of national power to maintain or reestablish a safe, secure environment, provide essential government services, emergency infrastructure reconstruction, and humanitarian relief.”
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Michael Mazarr
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: PRISM
  • Institution: National Defense University Press
  • Abstract: Gideon Rachman has an intriguing notion. The broad assumptions of most analyses of world politics since 1989—that the major and middle powers of the world are agreed on a set of shared interests, that globalization has created a positive-sum context in which all can benefit at the same time, that a sort of modern alliance of likeminded states opposed to major conflict and other annoyances such as terrorism and environmental degradation will work to preserve stability—may be breaking down. The “international political system has . . . entered a period of dangerous instability and profound change,” he writes, which will fracture the foundations of the positive-sum, like-minded-powers world.
  • Topic: Cold War
  • Political Geography: China, America
  • Author: Pauline Baker
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: PRISM
  • Institution: National Defense University Press
  • Abstract: Imagine a debate erupting in the United States over how much the government should invest in cancer research. (Such a debate might well emerge from the budget cutting that we are going to face over the next few years.) One school of thought argues that we should continue to fund the research generously because men have about a 1 in 2 chance of developing cancer at some point in their lives, and women have a 1 in 3 chance. Impressive statistics, says the other side, but while millions may contract cancer, the actual number of cancer deaths is estimated to be less than 600,000 in 2011. Millions of Americans may suffer and we should make them comfortable, but cancer is not an existential threat to America. We need not continue funding the search for a cure.
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: James Bindenagel
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: PRISM
  • Institution: National Defense University Press
  • Abstract: In December 2009, President Barack Obama revised the American strategy for Afghanistan. He announced an increase of 30,000 American troops for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). Concurrent with this increase, he also announced the planned withdrawal of U.S. Armed Forces beginning in 2011. In the 18-month period between the influx and drawdown, NATO must act collectively to counter the full range of threats against Alliance members from terrorist attacks and to build capacity for the Afghanistan government to self-govern effectively.
  • Topic: NATO
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, America, Germany
  • Author: Matthew W. Parin
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: PRISM
  • Institution: National Defense University Press
  • Abstract: Against the backdrop of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and a changing strategic environment in the broader Middle East, political leaders now are confronting the difficult question of how to achieve long-term stability. The toppling of the Taliban-led government in Afghanistan and removal of Saddam Hussein from Iraq displayed the capability of America's military to marshal overwhelming conventional force against its enemies. However, this overwhelming capability soon was eclipsed when this same force struggled to secure durable peace either in Iraq or Afghanistan.
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Iraq, America, Middle East, Taliban
  • Author: John Coffey
  • Publication Date: 12-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: PRISM
  • Institution: National Defense University Press
  • Abstract: Winston Churchill once famously declared, "Gentlemen, we have run out of money. Now we have to think." Churchill's admonition underlies the theme of The Frugal Superpower, a slender but trenchant work presenting a chastening forecast for American foreign policy in the 21stcentury. Michael Mandelbaum, who is the Christian A. Herter Professor and Director of American Foreign Policy at The Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, DC, explains how economic constraints will curtail America's post-World War II role as the "world's de facto government" and the consequences of that diminished role. The era of "American exceptionalism" has waned, he maintains; henceforth, the United States will behave more like an ordinary power. Written with verve and pith, this is a book for all readers, professional and general alike, who are concerned about America's place in the world.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: America