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  • Author: Patrice Franko
  • Publication Date: 01-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for National Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: Brazil is a puzzling new player in the global system. Emerging as a complex international actor, it has come to be seen as a significant economic competitor and dynamic force in world politics. But transformational changes in the economic and political realms have not been accompanied by advances in military power. While Brazil has entered the world stage as an agile soft power exercising influence in setting global agendas and earning a seat at the economic table of policymakers, its military capacity lags. The national security strategy announced under President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva in 2008 intended to redress this power gap. President Dilma Rousseff 's 2011 White Paper—so detailed that it is called a "White Book"—provides the conceptual roadmap to achieve a new military balance. But military modernization is still a work in progress.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Development, Economics, Emerging Markets
  • Political Geography: Brazil, Latin America
  • Author: Christopher J. Lamb
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for National Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: Military assistance to Bosnian forces was part of a complex plan to resolve what one former Secretary of State called "the problem from hell." When Yugoslavia began to disintegrate in the early 1990s following the Soviet Union's demise, it released a mix of nationalist and ethnic movements that led to civil war. Ill-disciplined combinations of regular and irregular forces struggled to control territory and protect civilians, sometimes herding them toward ethnically homogenous enclaves in a process widely referred to as "ethnic cleansing." The intentional displacement of civilian populations, often encouraged by atrocities including mass murder and rape, was a tragic and complex foreign policy problem that defied simple and easy solutions.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Security, Foreign Policy, Sectarian violence, Peacekeeping
  • Political Geography: Yugoslavia, Balkans
  • Author: Andre LeSage
  • Publication Date: 10-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for National Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: Despite its reputation for peace and stability in a troubled region, the East African country of Tanzania is experiencing a rising number of militant Islamist attacks that have targeted local Christian leaders and foreign tourists, as well as popular bars and restaurants. These attacks, which began in 2012, rarely make the headlines of international media. However, they should serve as a wake-up call for U.S. policymakers to increase short-term engagement with Tanzanian officials and support for Tanzanian security agencies to preempt the emergence of a more significant threat to U.S. and international interests in East Africa.
  • Topic: Security, Islam, Terrorism, International Security
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, Tanzania
  • Author: Phillip C. Saunders
  • Publication Date: 08-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for National Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: Upon taking office in January 2009, Obama administration officials proclaimed a U.S. “return to Asia.” This pronouncement was backed with more frequent travel to the region by senior officials (Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's first trip was to Asia) and increased U.S. participation in regional multilateral meetings, culminating in the decision to sign the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Treaty of Amity and Cooperation and to participate in the East Asia Summit (EAS) at the head-of-state level. The strategic “rebalance to Asia” announced in November 2011 builds on these earlier actions to deepen and institutionalize U.S. commitment to the Asia-Pacific region.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Arms Control and Proliferation, Diplomacy, Economics, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: United States, Israel, Asia
  • Author: John W. Parker, Michael Kofman
  • Publication Date: 03-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for National Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: Russia's institution of a ban on American adoptions of Russian orphans, an appalling response by the Duma to U.S. sanctions against officials involved in the Sergei Magnitsky case,1 was a clear indicator that bilateral relations will assume a lower priority in the next 4 years for both capitals. Russian President Vladimir Putin signed the measure despite open misgivings by some of his own key aides and against the opposition of most of Russia's civil society. The Russian Internet response was scathing, producing an instant winner for best sick joke of 2012: “An educated American family has decided to adopt a developmentally disabled Duma deputy.”.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Arms Control and Proliferation, Islam, Nuclear Weapons, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, Middle East
  • Author: Judith S. Yaphe
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for National Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: Nearly 3 years since the start of the Syrian civil war, no clear winner is in sight. Assassinations and defections of civilian and military loyalists close to President Bashar al-Asad, rebel success in parts of Aleppo and other key towns, and the spread of violence to Damascus itself suggest that the regime is losing ground to its opposition. The tenacity of government forces in retaking territory lost to rebel factions, such as the key town of Qusayr, and attacks on Turkish and Lebanese military targets indicate, however, that the regime can win because of superior military equipment, especially airpower and missiles, and help from Iran and Hizballah. No one is prepared to confidently predict when the regime will collapse or if its opponents can win.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East, Arabia, Lebanon, Syria
  • Author: David C. Gompert, Michael Kofman
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for National Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: The United States and Russia have sought to reduce the danger of nuclear war by limiting offensive strategic capabilities through negotiated agreements, relying on mutual deterrence based on reciprocal threats and the corresponding fear of retaliation. Although nuclear arsenals have been pared, this is fundamentally the same way the United States and Soviet Union sought to reduce the danger of nuclear war during the Cold War, when both were impelled to do so because they were adversaries and able to do so despite being adversaries. It is ironic—not to say unimaginative—that although the two are no longer adversaries, they stick to a path chosen when they were. This current approach is inadequate given new strategic vulnerabilities brought on by technological change. Both the opportunity and the need now exist for a different, more ambitious approach to avoiding strategic conflict—one designed for new possibilities as well as new vulnerabilities. The United States and Russia can and should raise their sights from linear numerical progress to qualitative transformation of their strategic relationship.
  • Topic: Security, Arms Control and Proliferation, Nuclear Weapons, Science and Technology, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States
  • Author: Isabelle François
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for National Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: In 2012, the U.S. Department of Defense published Sustaining U.S. Global Leadership: Priorities for 21st Century Defense. In this strategy document, the Defense Department outlines the new focus of U.S. efforts on threats emanating primarily from South Asia and the Middle East, spelling out the U.S. commitment to address them by working with allies and partners, acknowledging Europe as the “home to some of America's most stalwart allies and partners.” It clearly states that the United States “has enduring interests in supporting peace and prosperity in Europe as well as bolstering the strength and vitality of NATO [North Atlantic Treaty Organization], which is critical to the security of Europe and beyond.” Moreover, the document characterizes engagement with Russia as important and reiterates U.S. commitment to continue efforts toward building a closer relationship in areas of mutual interest, encouraging Russia to be a contributor across a broad range of issues. The strategic environment will therefore remain one of partnership with Europe and Russia as nations work out the consequences of a rebalancing of forces in the near future.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, NATO, International Cooperation, Counterinsurgency
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe
  • Author: Patrick Clawson
  • Publication Date: 02-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for National Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: U.S. policy toward the continued rule of Syrian President Bashar al- Asad is partly based on the impact his rule has had in Syria. Asad's fall might not bring improvement for the Syrian people. But the argument that Asad, odious as he may be, provides stability now looks less and less convincing. Whether Asad stays or falls, the current Syrian unrest could have profound implications on the Middle East in at least four ways: the impact on Iran, Asad's closest strategic partner; the perception of the power of the United States and its allies; the stability of neighboring states; and the impact on Israel. The more Asad falls on hard times, the more Tehran has to scramble to prevent damage to its image with the “Arab street” and to its close ally, Lebanese Hizballah. Asad's overthrow is by no means assured, and U.S. instruments to advance that objective are limited. The U.S. Government decision to call for his overthrow seems to have rested on a judgment that the prospects for success were good and the payoff in the event of success would be high.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Civil War, Government, Insurgency
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Arabia, Syria
  • Author: Michael Kofman, Richard B. Andres
  • Publication Date: 02-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for National Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: On January 7, 2009, the existing energy relationship among Europe, Russia, and Ukraine broke down over a natural gas dispute, just as it had done 3 years earlier. Amid subzero temperatures in many parts of Europe, Russia turned off its gas supply to Ukraine, causing shortages in more than 20 European countries. Thousands across the continent were left in the dark, and government services were closed. While the flow of gas was eventually restored, Russian gas disputes with Ukraine continue, and the prospect of another Gazprom shutoff has become an annual event for European consumers. Despite earlier indications that another breakdown in negotiations would lead to blackouts in Europe early in 2010, the potential crisis was averted via a Russia-Ukraine deal that restructured earlier payment and pricing arrangements. However, it is doubtful that Ukraine can continue timely payments for its domestic gas consumption and maintain its own pipeline infrastructure. Fundamental changes to Russia-Ukraine energy transport agreements are coming.
  • Topic: Security, Energy Policy
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe
  • Author: Evan Munsing, Christopher Lamb
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for National Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: Joint Interagency Task Force-South (JIATF-South) is well known within the U.S. Government as the "gold standard" for interagency cooperation and intelligence fusion, despite its preference for keeping a low profile and giving other agencies the credit for its successes. It is often cited as a model for whole-of-government problem-solving in the literature on interagency collaboration, and other national security organizations have tried to copy its approach and successes. Despite the plaudits and attention, the way that JIATF-South actually operates has only received superficial analysis. In fact, few people actually understand why JIATF-South works as well as it does or how its success might be replicated.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, War on Drugs, Counterinsurgency
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Phillip C. Saunders, Ross Rustici
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for National Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: The People's Republic of China (PRC) State Council Information Office released the seventh edition of its biennial defense white paper, "China's National Defense in 2010," on March 31, 2011. This document aims to communicate the latest information on China's military development, strategy, capabilities, and intentions. China began publishing defense white papers in 1998, partly as a means of increasing transparency in response to regional concerns about the growing capabilities and actions of the People's Liberation Army (PLA). Despite the systematic release of these documents, many of China's neighbors and other regional powers continue to express concerns about China's lack of military transparency. The Chinese maintain that they are becoming more open over time and highlight the importance of transparency about strategic intentions rather than capabilities.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy
  • Political Geography: China, Israel
  • Author: Jerry Warner, James Ramsbotham, Ewelina Tunia, James J. Valdes
  • Publication Date: 05-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for National Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: Evaluating the potential threats posed by advances in biotechnology, especially genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and synthetic biology remains a contentious issue. Some believe that, inevitably, these advances will lead to a catastrophic biological attack. Others believe that, despite these advances, the scientific and technical requirements, as well as the fundamental laws of natural selection will prevent such an attack.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Terrorism, Biosecurity
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Mark Fields, Ramsha Ahmed
  • Publication Date: 11-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for National Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: Ten years ago in Bonn, Germany, the United Nations Envoy to Afghanistan, Ambassador Lakhdar Brahimi, and U.S. Envoy to the Afghan Opposition, Ambassador James Dobbins, led a diverse group of international diplomats and warriors to consensus and charted the political course for Afghanistan well into the decade. The process that led to the Bonn Agreement (Bonn 2001, or Bonn I) reflects the best of U.S. and United Nations statesmanship and was the result of the effective application of military and diplomatic power.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, NATO, United Nations, War, Peacekeeping
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Germany
  • Author: Gregory L. Schulte
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for National Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: The United States has a great interest in the success of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), given the important role it can play in reducing the risks of nuclear proliferation and nuclear terrorism. Stalled investigations of Iran and Syria have put the credibility of the IAEA at stake. The agency detected neither Iran’s hidden uranium enrichment facility near Qom nor the reactor being constructed by Syria near al Kibar. These examples underscore the importance of strengthening the agency’s verification capability, by both increasing its authority and sharing more information. The IAEA can also help shape the global growth of nuclear power, ensuring the highest levels of safety and security, while discouraging the spread of sensitive technologies that can be misused to build nuclear weapons. The IAEA Board of Governors’ recent decision to establish a nuclear fuel bank in Russia is a step in the right direction. Success requires a new “Spirit of Vienna”—a willingness of delegates to work toward consensus on even difficult topics—surrounding the agency’s important role in nonproliferation. It also requires a conscious effort by the new Director General to remove the politics from IAEA business and return the agency to its technical mandate.
  • Topic: Security, Nuclear Weapons, Terrorism, Weapons of Mass Destruction
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Iran, Syria, Vienna
  • Author: Victor E. Renuart, Jr., Biff Baker
  • Publication Date: 02-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for National Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: The United States and Mexico share a common history shaped by military incursions during the 19th and early 20th centuries. The bond between the American and Mexican people, however, has continued to grow closer over time despite occasional negative rhetoric from politicians in Washington, DC, and Mexico City. At local and state levels, relations solidified through the closely knit fabric of our border towns, intermarriage between families on each side of the border, and the development of infrastructure (to include water, wastewater, and gas and electricity utilities) that serves communities to the north and south. At the national level, our relationship became closer due to economic growth resulting from the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which now accounts for almost $1 billion (U.S. dollars) in trade per day between the two countries.
  • Topic: Security, International Trade and Finance, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Washington, Latin America, North America, Mexico
  • Author: John P. Caves, Jr.
  • Publication Date: 01-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for National Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: The United States needs to modernize and ensure the long-term reliability and respon¬siveness of its aging nuclear deterrent force and nuclear weapons infrastructure. It cannot otherwise safely reduce its nuclear weapons, responsibly ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, confidently deter and contain challenges from rising or resurgent nuclear-armed near peers, and effectively dissuade allies and partners from acquiring their own nuclear weapons. Modernization is fundamental to avoiding a future crisis of confidence in the U.S. nuclear deterrent..
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Nuclear Weapons, Weapons of Mass Destruction
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Phillip C. Saunders, Michael Kiselycznyk
  • Publication Date: 08-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for National Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: This study reviews the last 20 years of academic literature on the role of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) in Chinese elite politics. It examines the PLA's willingness to support the continued rule of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and to obey directives from top party leaders, the PLA's influence on the selection of China's top civilian leaders, and the PLA's ability to shape the domestic political environment. Over the last two decades the discussion of these three issues has largely been shaped by five trends identified in the literature: increasing PLA professionalism, bifurcation of civil and military elites, a reduced PLA role in political institutions, reduced emphasis on political work within the PLA, and increased military budgets. Together, these trends are largely responsible for the markedly reduced role of the PLA in Chinese elite politics.
  • Topic: Security, Government
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: T.X. Hammes
  • Publication Date: 10-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for National Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: In Iraq and Afghanistan, the use of contractors reached a level unprecedented in U.S. military operations. As of March 31, 2010, the United States deployed 175,000 troops and 207,000 contractors in the war zones. Contractors represented 50 percent of the Department of Defense (DOD) workforce in Iraq and 59 percent in Afghanistan. These numbers include both armed and unarmed contractors. Thus, for the purposes of this paper, the term contractor includes both armed and unarmed personnel unless otherwise specified. The presence of contractors on the battlefield is obviously not a new phenomenon but has dramatically increased from the ratio of 1 contractor to 55 military personnel in Vietnam to 1:1 in the Iraq and 1.43:1 in Afghanistan.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Privatization, War, Counterinsurgency
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Iraq
  • Author: Najim Abed Al-Jabouri
  • Publication Date: 08-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for National Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: As U.S. Armed Forces draw down in Iraq, there is increasing concern about the possibility of resurgent ethnic and sectarian tensions. Many Iraqis believe that the United States may be making a grave mistake by not fully using its remaining leverage to insulate the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) from the political influence of the incumbent Iraqi sectarian political parties. U.S. efforts to rebuild the ISF have focused on much needed training and equipment, but have neglected the greatest challenge facing the forces' ability to maintain security upon U.S. withdrawal: an ISF politicized by ethno-sectarian parties. These ties pose the largest obstacle to the ISF in its quest to become genuinely professional and truly national in character.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, War
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Arabia