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  • Author: Alexander Velez-Green
  • Publication Date: 08-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for a New American Security
  • Abstract: The United States has long looked to Egypt as a key partner in the Middle East. Egypt’s adherence to the Camp David Accords is fundamental to Israeli security. Cairo has also been a key player in the Israeli–Palestinian peace process for many years. In addition, the Egyptian state has played an essential role in supporting the U.S. fight against global jihadism. Its provision of reliable access to the Suez Canal, Egyptian airspace, and intelligence sharing directly enables U.S. operations against al Qaeda and the Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) across the Middle East. That is not to mention the blood and treasure that Egypt itself has spent to defeat terrorist groups operating in the Sinai Peninsula and elsewhere.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Security, Political stability
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Author: Adam Klein, Madeline Christian, Matt Olsen, Tristan Campos
  • Publication Date: 08-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for a New American Security
  • Abstract: Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act is an important intelligence tool that will expire on December 31, 2017, unless Congress re-authorizes it. Here’s what it is, and how it works. First, a bit of background: The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 requires the government to get a court order to intercept the electronic messages of a suspected spy or terrorist on U.S. soil. By contrast, overseas spying took place with no court oversight. That made sense for 20th century technology, because international communications rarely transited the United States. The internet made things far more complicated: now, foreigners’ communications often travel through the United States, or are stored on servers here. That produced an anomaly: FISA was forcing the government to apply Fourth Amendment safeguards when a foreign terrorist or spy’s internet messages passed through the U.S.—even though non-Americans overseas do not have Fourth Amendment rights. This overtaxed the Justice Department and made counterterrorism more difficult. To remedy this, Congress passed the FISA Amendments Act of 2008, which included Section 702. Section 702 creates a middle ground between U.S.-based surveillance under FISA and overseas surveillance by the NSA.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Security
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Elizabeth Rosenberg, ​Neil Bhatiya, Edorado Saravalle
  • Publication Date: 08-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for a New American Security
  • Abstract: Congress adopted new sanctions in late July to codify and significantly expand U.S. financial restrictions on Russia and tightly constrain the president’s exercise of policy in this domain. The sanctions bill was driven by concerns over Russia’s interference in U.S. elections and destabilizing aggression abroad, as well as a broadly held belief by legislators that the president is mishandling critical national security issues. With these new sanctions authorities, Congress is taking an unprecedented step to assume greater control over a domain of foreign policy
  • Topic: International Relations, International Trade and Finance, International Security, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Russia, America
  • Author: Edward Fishman, Peter Harrell, Elizabeth Rosenberg
  • Publication Date: 07-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for a New American Security
  • Abstract: North Korea has emerged as one of the most significant national security threats facing the United States and its allies today. Since leader Kim Jong Un came to power in 2011, North Korea has accelerated the pace of its nuclear tests, and appears to have made substantial progress in developing operational medium-, long-range, and intercontinental ballistic missiles. Many experts assess that if left unchecked, Pyongyang could develop the capability to strike the contiguous United States with a nuclear warhead within 5–10 years. Because of that, in June 2017 U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis characterized North Korea as “the most urgent and dangerous threat” to U.S. peace and security.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Security, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: North Korea, Global Focus
  • Author: Gregory Allen, Taniel Chan
  • Publication Date: 07-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for a New American Security
  • Abstract: Partially autonomous and intelligent systems have been used in military technology since at least the Second World War, but advances in machine learning and Artificial Intelligence (AI) represent a turning point in the use of automation in warfare. Though the United States military and intelligence communities are planning for expanded use of AI across their portfolios, many of the most transformative applications of AI have not yet been addressed. In this piece, we propose three goals for developing future policy on AI and national security: preserving U.S. technological leadership, supporting peaceful and commercial use, and mitigating catastrophic risk. By looking at four prior cases of transformative military technology—nuclear, aerospace, cyber, and biotech—we develop lessons learned and recommendations for national security policy toward AI.
  • Topic: Science and Technology, International Security, Military Strategy, Cybersecurity
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Thomas Shugart
  • Publication Date: 06-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for a New American Security
  • Abstract: You may have heard that China’s military has developed a “carrier-killer” ballistic missile to threaten one of America’s premier power-projection tools, its unmatched fleet of aircraft carriers.1 Or perhaps you have read about China’s deployment of its own aircraft carrier to the Taiwan Strait and South China Sea. But heavily defended moving targets like aircraft carriers would be a challenge to hit in open ocean, and were China’s own aircraft carrier (or even two or three like it) to venture into open water in anger, the U.S. submarine force likely would make short work of it.2 In reality, the greatest military threat to U.S. vital interests in Asia may be one that has received somewhat less attention: the growing capability of China’s missile forces to threaten U.S. bases in the region.
  • Topic: International Security, Military Strategy
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: Nicholas Heras
  • Publication Date: 09-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for a New American Security
  • Abstract: The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and trans-Sahara regions are undergoing a period of instability and state collapse, with active civil wars raging in four of the most important countries in the region: Syria, Iraq, Yemen, and Libya. As witnessed during the Arab uprisings of 2010–2011, the MENA region has begun to grapple with the once and future challenges of instability as the regional population grows and skews younger, economies stagnate and start to collapse, and resources become scarcer. U.S. national security policy toward the MENA and trans-Sahara regions is at a point of high uncertainty, with a new administration developing strategies to address the security threats to the United States and its partner nations being caused by the region’s civil wars.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Security
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Author: Jerry Hendrix, Lt Col James Price
  • Publication Date: 06-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for a New American Security
  • Abstract: On Christmas Day in 1914, three former cross-channel packet ships, the Engadine, Empress, and Riviera, stood off the island of Heligoland in the North Sea. Under the watchful eye of the Royal Navy cruisers Arethusa and Undaunted, the three ships pulled back the tarps erected on their sterns and forecastles to reveal nine seaplanes. The aircraft – three Short Folders (Short was the company name; Folder was the model and denoted the aircraft’s ability to fold its wings for storage), four Short 74s, and two Short 135s – were assembled and carefully lowered into the water. The Folders had a 67-foot wingspan, were powered by a 160-horsepower engine, and weighed 3,040 pounds fully loaded. The other two models were derivatives of the original Folder and had similar, if not exact, characteristics. Seven of the nine aircraft were able to get airborne (the other two were unable to break the dynamic tension of the water) and headed eastward carrying three 20-pound Hale bombs apiece, each of which contained 4.5 pounds of explosives within 13 pounds of steel guided by aluminum tail fins. Combined, the 21 bombs had less destructive power than one 13-inch shell fired from a British battleship, but these weapons could be taken directly to their targets and dropped precisely on top of them.
  • Topic: International Security, Military Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Stephen Tankel
  • Publication Date: 06-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for a New American Security
  • Abstract: Pakistan is not a front-burner issue for the administration of President Donald Trump, but it remains a major contributor to the security challenges facing the United States in South Asia. This is most immediately felt in Afghanistan, where President Trump is considering sending 3,000 to 5,000 more troops on top of the almost 10,000 already there.1 There is considerable frustration with Pakistan on Capitol Hill and among career officials in the executive branch over the country’s ongoing support for various militant groups, including the Taliban-led insurgency in Afghanistan, and production of tactical nuclear weapons.2 Members of Congress and committee staff are thinking through how to reform the U.S.-Pakistan defense relationship. Several prescriptive reports and articles, including one by the author, have argued the United States should consider a tougher line with Pakistan.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, International Security, Military Affairs
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, America
  • Author: Richard Fontaine, Patrick M. Cronin, Mira Rapp-Hooper, Harry Krejsa
  • Publication Date: 06-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for a New American Security
  • Abstract: merican security strategy in the Asia-Pacific has for decades been built on a “hub and spokes” model of bilateral, exclusive alliance relationships. Japan, Australia, South Korea, the Philippines, and Thailand each share mutual defense treaties with the United States—but not with any other countries, and not with one another. In recent years, this atomized approach to regional security has begun to change. Political and economic integration has provided the foundation upon which deeper intra-Asian defense and security ties have organically emerged. Hedging against critical uncertainties surrounding China’s rise and America’s enduring presence in the region, U.S. allies and other countries are strengthening their security ties with one another.
  • Topic: International Security
  • Political Geography: Asia