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  • Author: Katherine Zimmerman
  • Publication Date: 09-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: The failure to define al Qaeda properly has confused American policy and strategy. The enemy was not just the man shot dead on May 2, 2011, in Abbottabad, Pakistan, nor is it the 1.5 billion Muslims for whom Osama bin Laden claimed to speak.
  • Topic: Political Violence, Defense Policy, Islam, Terrorism, War, Armed Struggle, Counterinsurgency
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, America
  • Author: Cheryl Miller
  • Publication Date: 05-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: The military-civilian disconnect has been a source of increasing concern over the last few decades. National security leaders—including the commander in chief, President Barack Obama—have warned that many Americans are unaware of the military's sacrifices and its growing sense of isolation from wider society. In remarks at Duke University in September 2010, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates identified this issue as the “narrow sliver” problem, reflecting on both the achievements of America's all-volunteer force and the challenges it now faces.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Education, Terrorism, War
  • Political Geography: New York, America
  • Author: Frederick W. Kagan, Kimberly Kagan
  • Publication Date: 01-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: Success in Afghanistan is the establishment of a political order, security situation, and indigenous security force that is stable, viable, enduring, and able—with greatly reduced international support—to prevent Afghanistan from being a safe haven for international terrorists. The current American and Coalition strategy is making progress and should be continued. Since President Obama, NATO allies, and the Afghans have agreed that troops will be present in Afghanistan through 2014, the policy does not require substantial modifications at this point. This paper is thus primarily a report on the current situation in Afghanistan and a consideration of some of the prospects and challenges ahead. Our principal recommendation is that the U.S. and its allies should continue to resource and sustain the strategy now being executed, which is the only approach that can secure their vital national security interests in Afghanistan.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, War
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, America
  • Author: Antulio J. Echevarria II
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: Current trends in defense thinking show signs of being influenced by the notion that preparing for one form of war has brought about another. We find evidence of this notion in a number of official speeches, the 2008 National Defense Strategy, and the 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review Report. It is captured in the almost routine claim that America's superiority in conventional warfare is so great that it is driving our adversaries toward irregular methods. All of these examples share the basic assumption that we are now fighting (and will likely continue to fight) conflicts for which we have not prepared—precisely because we have not prepared for them. Thus, the modern complement—a preparation paradox—to the old Latin adage “If you want peace, prepare for war,” might well be “If you want one kind of war, prepare for another.”
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Terrorism, War, Weapons of Mass Destruction, Counterinsurgency
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Frank G. Hoffman
  • Publication Date: 04-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Academy of Political Science
  • Abstract: America's ongoing battles in Afghanistan and Iraq have highlighted limitations in our understanding of the complexity of modern warfare. Furthermore, our cultural prism has retarded the institutionalization of capabilities needed to prevail in stabilization and counter-insurgency missions.
  • Topic: War, Counterinsurgency
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Iraq, America
  • Author: Nona Mikhelidze
  • Publication Date: 02-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Following the war between Georgia and Russia in August 2008 and the ensuing Russian recognition of independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, the Caucasus has risen again on the Euro-Atlantic security agenda. First, the war highlighted that the “frozen” nature of the South Caucasus conflicts was a chimera, even if the war may have entrenched further the frozen nature of peace processes in the region. Second, the crisis generated new sources of instability for the entire post-Soviet space, not only because it highlighted a new form of Russian revisionism but also because it brought to the fore the limits of Western policies in what Kremlin views as its sphere of influence. The war brought to the forefront the colliding foreign policy agendas of the major external actors in the region. Not only in the run-up to the war, but also in the months and years preceding it, the American and European responses to Russia have been firm in rhetoric but compromising in reality. Russia made it clear that it has it own claims over the South Caucasus, it demonstrated its readiness to embark on military confrontation in order to achieve its goals, and through the war it wished to make crystal clear to the international community that Moscow is the only game in town. Third and related, the war exposed the inability of the West to prevent Russia from moving aggressively to restore its primacy over the former Soviet Union's territory. Thus the August war posed new implications and challenges not only for Georgia, but also for the wider Caucasus and beyond. This new context has induced the West to react and redefine its strategy towards the region and its relations with Russia, it has raised the urgency to engage in conflict resolution issues, and it has highlighted further the need for energy diversification.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, War
  • Political Geography: Russia, America, Europe, Moscow, Abkhazia
  • Author: Don M. Snider, Major Paul Oh, Kevin Toner.
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: The purpose of the Army's Ethic is stated clearly in Field Manual (FM) 1, The Army . It is “to maintain [the Army's] effectiveness.” The implication is as clear as it is true—without such an ethic, the Army cannot be effective at what it does. As is well-documented in the literature of professions, their ethics provide the primary means of social direction and control over their members as they perform their expert duties, often under chaotic conditions. For the Army profession, its evolving expert knowledge in the moral-ethical domain is what enables the profession to develop individual professionals—Soldiers and their leaders—to fight battles and campaigns “effectively and rightly,” as expected by the client the profession serves. Without such good, right, and just application of its expertise, the Army will lose its lifeblood—the trust of the American people.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, War
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Linda J. Skitka, Peter Liberman
  • Publication Date: 10-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Arnold A. Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies
  • Abstract: In January 2002 national survey data, we find a strong relationship between Americans' desire to avenge 9/11 and their bellicosity toward Iraq, even after controlling for the perceived terrorist threat, left right ideology, and approval of U.S. political leaders. This effect could have been due to suspicions of Iraqi complicity in 9/11 stemming from prior enemy images of Iraq, or to the effects of anger and desires for revenge on out-group antipathy, displaced blame, and optimistic assessment of war risks. We test the out group antipathy hypothesis and find evidence that anti-Arab and anti-Muslim antipathy partially mediated vengefulness's effect on bellicosity. Vengeance, in turn, was boosted by retributiveness (proxied by rightwing authoritarianism) and patriotism. While perceptions of the Iraqi threat probably assumed greater importance over the course of the following year, additional survey data shows that even as war approached, most supporters acknowledged it would satisfy a desire for revenge.
  • Topic: Islam, Terrorism, War
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, America, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Thomas R. Pickering, R. Nicholas Burns, Robert Kimmitt, Marc Grossman, David D. Newsom
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for the Study of Diplomacy, Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University
  • Abstract: On October 29, 2007, the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy hosted a roundtable with Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs R. Nicholas Burns, and his predecessors as Under Secretaries from past administrations. This was a rare opportunity to hear from the nation's top diplomatic practitioners together in one room. The Under Secretary for Political Affairs is the third most senior position in the State Department, and traditionally at the center of U.S. diplomacy and foreign policy formulation.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Political Violence, Defense Policy, Diplomacy, Government, Terrorism, War
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Carl Conetta
  • Publication Date: 12-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The New School Graduate Program in International Affairs
  • Abstract: The September 2001 attacks on the United States facilitated the formation of an effective domestic consensus on post-Cold War US globalism – a goal that had eluded the Clinton administration. The centerpiece of that consensus is the "war on terrorism." This puts US global engagement in a "war-fighting" framework, which has strong institutional, cultural, and ideological resonances in the American polity. And it admits both neo-conservative and neo-liberal varieties. However, the attendant surge in US military activism has proved both fabulously expensive and largely counter-productive. Moreover, it has helped undermine America's already-troubled hegemonic position within the Western and allied camp.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Imperialism, Terrorism, War
  • Political Geography: United States, America