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  • Publication Date: 07-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: North Korea last week rejected South Korea’s invitation to attend the Seoul Defense Dialogue in September, denigrating the talks as “puerile.” In the same breath, it also rejected a proposal by National Assembly speaker Chung Ui-hwa for a meeting with his northern counterpart to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Korean Peninsula on Aug. 15. If you ask an Obama administration official about America’s “strategic patience” policy of non-dialogue with North Korea, he or she will tell you that the problem is not an unwillingness on the part of the United States to have dialogue. On the contrary, the Obama administration has tried every channel possible, from six-party talks to personal communications to secret trips, to jump-start a dialogue. But the regime in Pyongyang has rejected all of these.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Defense Policy, International Security
  • Political Geography: United States, South Korea, North Korea
  • Author: Sarah Weiner
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Since the beginning of the Cold War, nuclear deterrence has been a central element of U.S. national security policy. The United States' nuclear guarantee became the foundation of its security strategy and that of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), which was created to deter the Soviet Union and served as a core part of the alliance's victorious emergence from the Cold War. Just as many questioned the purpose of the alliance after the Cold War, many allies along with the United States currently debate the continued role of U.S. nuclear deterrence in Europe.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Nuclear Weapons, Nuclear Power
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Over the years since the formation of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), the Southern Gulf states and the US have developed a de facto strategic partnership based on a common need to deter and defend against any threat from Iran, deal with regional instability in countries like Iraq and Yemen, counter the threat of terrorism and extremism, and deal with the other threats to the flow of Gulf petroleum exports.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Defense Policy, Military Strategy
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Iran, Middle East, Yemen, Arabia, North America
  • Author: Clark A. Murdock, Samuel J. Brannen
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: A CSIS study team led by senior adviser Clark Murdock and senior fellow Sam Brannen undertook an eight-month study to explore new "ways" of using U.S. military power to achieve enduring strategic effects. As the defense budget decreases over the coming decade, and with defense strategic priorities of the United States taken as a constant, the CSIS study team sought to identify new approaches, reflect on U.S. lessons l earned from historical cases, consider international defense best practices, and examine potentially transferrable approaches from the private sector to achieve defense strategic ends. Insights from the study were shared throughout the process with the sponsoring OSD Strategy Office in support of its role in the 2014 Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR).
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Military Strategy, Border Control
  • Political Geography: United States, North America
  • Author: Aaron Shull
  • Publication Date: 06-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Examining global cybercrime as solely a legal issue misses an important facet of the problem. Understanding the applicable legal rules, both domestically and internationally, is important. However, major state actors are using concerted efforts to engage in nefarious cyber activities with the intention of advancing their economic and geostrategic interests. This attempt to advance a narrow set of economic interests through cybercrime and economic cyber espionage holds to the potential to erode the trust in the digital economy that has been a necessary condition for the success of the Internet as an economic engine for innovation and growth. By pursuing these efforts, states are prioritizing short-term interests over long-term stability and a responsibly governed, safe and secure Internet platform. This paper explores the recent unsealing of a 31-count indictment against five Chinese government officials and a significant cyber breach, perpetrated by Chinese actors against Western oil, energy and petrochemical companies. The paper concludes by noting that increased cooperation among governments is necessary, but unlikely to occur as long as the discourse surrounding cybercrime remains so heavily politicized and securitized. If governments coalesced around the notion of trying to prevent the long-term degradation of trust in the online economy, they may profitably advance the dialogue away from mutual suspicion and toward mutual cooperation.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Crime, International Trade and Finance, Terrorism, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Asia
  • Author: Mary Habeck
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: Current national security policy is failing to stop the advancement of al Qaeda and its affiliates throughout the Muslim-majority world. While there are many reasons for this failure, three key issues stand out: a poor definition of the enemy, an incorrect view of its objectives, and the adoption of a strategy that will not defeat the latest evolution of this adaptive organization. If the US understood al Qaeda as it is: the leadership and field army of an insurgency with worldwide linkages that hopes to impose its extremist version of shari'a , govern territory, and overthrow the leaders of every Muslim- majority country, the current national strategy for combating al Qaeda would not be confined to counter - terrorism and attrition, but would instead make counterinsurgency-without large numbers of American ground forces-its main technique for confronting and defeating the organization.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Islam, Terrorism, Military Strategy, Counterinsurgency
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Bruce "Ossie" Oswald
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: Between 1981 and 2007, governments in eighty-eight countries established or supported more than three hundred armed militias to provide security to local communities. Such militias often directly engage in armed conflict and law-and-order activities. A number of state-supported civil defense groups make local communities less secure by refusing to respond to state direction, setting up security apparatuses in competition with state authorities, committing human rights violations, and engaging in criminal behavior. The doctrine of state responsibility and the application of international humanitarian law, international human rights law, and international criminal law obligate the state or states that establish or support civil defense groups to investigate, prosecute, punish, and provide reparations or compensate victims. In many cases, the domestic laws of states are ineffective at holding members of govern¬ments or civil defense groups accountable. Local law enforcement authorities also often fail to investigate or prosecute members of civil defense groups. At present there is no specific international legal instrument to guide the responsible management of relationships between states and civil defense groups. Thus, the international community should develop a legal instrument that specifies the rules and principles that apply to states and civil defense groups and that includes a due diligence framework that focuses on accountability and governance of both states and civil defense groups. Such a framework would enhance the protection and security of communities by setting accountability and governance standards, assisting in security sector reform by establishing benchmarks and evaluation processes, and contributing to the reinforcement of legal rules and principles that apply in armed conflicts. For fragile states or those in a post conflict phase of development, the better management of such forces is likely to build state legitimacy as a provider of security to vulnerable communities.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Defense Policy, Reform
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The United States and the People's Republic of China (PRC) face a critical need to improve their understanding of how each is developing its military power and how to avoid forms of military competition that could lead to rising tension or conflict between the two states. This report focuses on China's military developments and modernization and how they are perceived in the US, the West, and Asia.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Military Strategy
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Asia
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Creating an effective transition for the ANSF is only one of the major challenges that Afghanistan, the US, and Afghanistan's other allies face during 2014-2015 and beyond.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Middle East
  • Author: Frederick W. Kagan, Kimberly Kagan, Jessica D. Lewis
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for the Study of War
  • Abstract: The Islamic State poses a grave danger to the United States and its allies in the Middle East and around the world due to its location, resources, the skill and determination of its leaders and fighters, and its demonstrated lethality compared to other al Qaeda-like groups. In Syria, the Assad regime has lost control of the majority of the state, and the regime's atrocities and sectarianism have fueled violent Islamists, particularly ISIS and Jabhat al-Nusra (JN). In Iraq, the government has lost control over large portions of territory that the Iraqi Security Forces and Kurdish Peshmerga are incapable of retaking without significant foreign support. The Sunni Arabs of Iraq and Syria are the decisive human terrain. Al-Qaeda and similar groups can only flourish in distressed Sunni communities. Any strategy to counter al-Qaeda requires working with these communities, as the U.S. and the Iraqi government did during the Awakening in 2007. Having neglected Iraq and Syria, the U.S. currently lacks the basic intelligence and contextual understanding to build a strategy. The U.S. must adopt an iterative approach that tests assumptions, enriches understanding, builds partnerships with willing Sunni Arabs, and sets conditions for more decisive operations.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Islam
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Syria
  • Author: Richard Barrett
  • Publication Date: 06-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Soufan Group
  • Abstract: Over 12,000 fighters from at least 81 countries have joined the civil war in Syria, and the numbers continue to grow. Around 2,500 are from Western countries, including most members of the European Union, the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. There are also several hundred from Russia. But the great majority are from the Arab World. Most are fighting with rebel groups, and increasingly with the most extreme among them; but many are also fighting with the Government, or with ethnic or faith communities that are trying to protect themselves from both sides. A lot are young, often teenagers, and a fair percentage of those arriving from non-Muslim majority countries are converts to Islam. These and others who share their faith commonly express their motivation as a religious obligation to protect fellow Muslims from attack. This sense of duty is captured by their loose use of the word 'jihad'.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, International Security
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, Middle East, Canada, Arabia, Australia, Syria, New Zealand
  • Author: Jeffery L. Caton
  • Publication Date: 10-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: The monograph is comprised of four main sections: Characterization. This section provides the notional foundation necessary to avoid any devolution of the analysis to mere semantic arguments. It presents how cyberspace is defined and characterized for this discussion, as well as how this compares to existing concepts of the traditional domains of land, sea, air, and space. Also, it identifies some of the unique technical challenges that the cyberspace domain may introduce into the process of distinguishing acts of war. Assessment Criteria. This section explores the de jure and the de facto issues involved with assaying cyber incidents to determine if they represent aggression and possible use of force; and, if so, to what degree? It reviews the traditional legal frameworks surrounding military action to include the United Nations (UN) Charter and the Law of Armed Conflict. It also examines how these compare to the recently published Tallinn Manual on the International Law Applicable to Cyber Warfare. From these sources, it proposes a cyberspace incident assessment methodology. Policy Considerations. Having identified viable criteria to aid with the assessment of cyber-space incidents, this section looks at the policy considerations associated with applying such principles. First, it examines the relevant U.S. strategies; next, it investigates the strategies of other key countries and international organizations and how they compare to U.S. tenets; and finally, it evaluates how nonstate actors may affect U.S. deliberations. Courses of Action. This section examines the influences that course of action development and implementation may have on the assessment of cyberspace incidents. It first looks at the President's role as the primary decisionmaker in U.S. national matters regarding cyber-space. It then surveys key influences affecting subordinate decisionmakers and their staffs that may be advising the Commander-in-Chief: reliable situational awareness, global and domestic environment considerations, and options and their related risks and potential consequences.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Intelligence, Science and Technology, War
  • Political Geography: United States, United Nations
  • Author: Richard Weitz
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: Until a few years ago, the relationship between Washington, DC, and Ankara, Turkey, was perennially troubled and occasionally terrible. Turks strongly opposed the U.S. 2003 invasion of Iraq and have subsequently complained that the Pentagon was allowing Iraqi Kurds too much autonomy, leading to deteriorating security along the Iraq-Turkey border. Disagreements over how to respond to Iran's nuclear program, U.S. suspicions regarding Turkey's outreach efforts to Iran and Syria, and differences over Armenia, Palestinians, and the Black Sea further strained ties and contributed to further anti Americanism in Turkey. Now Turkey is seen as responding to its local challenges by moving closer to the West, leading to the advent of a “Golden Era” in Turkish U.S. relations. Barack Obama has called the U.S.-Turkish relationship a “model partnership” and Turkey “a critical ally.” Explanations abound as to why U.S.-Turkey ties have improved during the last few years. The U.S. military withdrawal from Iraq removed a source of tension and gave Turkey a greater incentive to cooperate with Washington to influence developments in Iraq. Furthermore, the Arab Awakening led both countries to partner in support of the positive agenda of promoting democracy and security in the Middle East. Americans and Turks both want to see democratic secular governments in the region rather than religiously sanctioned authoritarian ones. Setbacks in Turkey's reconciliation efforts with Syria, Iran, and other countries led Ankara to realize that having good relations with the United States helps it achieve core goals in the Middle East and beyond. Even though Turkey's role as a provider of security and stability in the region is weakened as a result of the recent developments in Syria and the ensuing negative consequences in its relations to other countries, Turkey has the capacity to recover and resume its position. Partnering with the United States is not always ideal, but recent setbacks have persuaded Turkey's leaders that they need to backstop their new economic strength and cultural attractiveness with the kind of hard power that is most readily available to the United States. For a partnership between Turkey and the United States to endure, however, Turkey must adopt more of a collective transatlantic perspective, crack down harder on terrorist activities, and resolve a domestic democratic deficit. At the same time, Europeans should show more flexibility meeting Turkey's security concerns regarding the European Union, while the United States should adopt a more proactive policy toward resolving potential sources of tensions between Ankara and Washington that could significantly worsen at any time.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, Ethnic Conflict, Islam, Power Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Andrew Monaghan, Henry Plater-Zyberk
  • Publication Date: 08-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: The views expressed in this report are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, the Department of Defense, or the U.S. Government. Authors of Strategic Studies Institute (SSI) and U.S. Army War College (USAWC) Press publications enjoy full academic freedom, provided they do not disclose classified information, jeopardize operations security, or misrepresent official U.S. policy. Such academic freedom empowers them to offer new and sometimes controversial perspectives in the interest of furthering debate on key issues. This report is cleared for public release; distribution is unlimited.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, International Cooperation, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States, China, East Asia
  • Author: Andrew Monaghan, Keir Giles
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: When U.S. President Barack Obama cancelled a scheduled September 2013 summit meeting with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, “lack of progress on issues such as missile defense” was cited as the primary justification. Despite widespread and well founded assumption that the real trigger for the cancellation was the Russian decision to offer temporary asylum to Edward Snowden, the citing of missile defense was indicative. The comment marked one of the periodic plateaus of mutual frustration between the United States and Russia over U.S. attitudes to missile defense capability, stemming from a continued failure to achieve meaningful dialogue over U.S. plans and Russian fears.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, NATO, Arms Control and Proliferation
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe
  • Author: Paul Kamolnick
  • Publication Date: 06-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: Disrupting, dismantling, and ultimately defeating al-Qaeda-based, affiliated, and inspired terrorism is the declared policy of the U.S. Government (USG). Despite noteworthy success in attacking the al-Qaeda (AQ) terrorist network and securing the homeland from terrorist attack, the United States has yet to execute an effective methodology for countering radicalization and recruitment to AQ. This monograph proposes a distinct War of Deeds methodology for accomplishing this.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Defense Policy, Islam, Terrorism, Counterinsurgency
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: John R. Deni
  • Publication Date: 05-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: The time has come for a reappraisal of the U.S. Army's forward presence in East Asia, given the significantly changed strategic context and the extraordinarily high, recurring costs of deploying U.S. Army forces from the 50 states for increasingly important security cooperation activities across the Indo-Asia-Pacific theater. For economic, political, diplomatic, and military reasons, the Indo-Asia-Pacific theater continues to grow in importance to the United States. As part of a broad, interagency, multifaceted approach, the U.S. military plays a critical role in the rebalancing effort now underway. The U.S. Army in particular has a special role to play in bolstering the defense of allies and the deterrence of aggression, promoting regional security and stability, and ameliorating the growing U.S.-China security dilemma.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Arms Control and Proliferation
  • Political Geography: United States, East Asia, Asia, Australia
  • Author: Michael J. Meese
  • Publication Date: 05-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for National Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: On February 13, 1989, General Colin Powell, who was in a transition between National Security Advisor and Commander of U.S. Army Forces Command, addressed the reality of strategy: “All of the sophisticated talk about grand strategy is helpful, but show me your budgets and I will tell you what your strategy is.”1 What General Powell meant is that the definition of the U.S. role in the world and its strategic goals flow from budgets, not the other way around. This paper fleshes out General Powell's observation by focusing on the means part of the ends, ways, and means of strategy in order to explain how austerity affects force planning and strategy. By first examining budget reductions as a general matter, the paper describes today's austere U.S. budgetary environment. It concludes with the current strategic options that will likely characterize the contemporary discussion of strategy and force planning.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Financial Crisis, Budget
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Mark Fukuda, Tom Cullison
  • Publication Date: 12-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: In the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS), militaries remain essential to any effort to control and eliminate artemisinin-resistant malaria. Stretching back to World War II and the Vietnam War, the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) has a long and distinguished history researching and developing new tools for malaria control, in partnership with both military and civilian host government experts. Since the mid-1990s, DoD has significantly expanded its global surveillance, training, and capacity - building investments. As Southeast Asian countries have mobilized in recent years against artemisinin-resistance with the ultimate aim of malaria elimination, DoD and regional militaries have actively joined the effort, initiating promising pilot approaches in Southeast Asia. To strengthen DoD's contribution, it is proposed that the United States launch a Defense Malaria Elimination Program that will significantly enhance partner militaries' capacities, advance the goal of elimination, including the threat of resistance, and accelerate the development of drugs and vaccines.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Health, Humanitarian Aid
  • Political Geography: United States, Vietnam, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman
  • Publication Date: 12-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Let me begin by congratulating the Emirates Center and Dr. Jamal Sanad Al-Suwaidi for so many accomplishments over the last 2 0 years. It has been a privilege to watch its growth, its sustained quality, and its steadily increasing influence.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Regional Cooperation, Military Strategy
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran
  • Author: Michael J. Green, Kathleen H. Hicks, Zack Cooper
  • Publication Date: 12-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The United States has long emphasized the desirability of working with allies and partners to meet pressing security challenges. Indeed, many of our most vexing security concerns—from terrorism to cyber attacks—are best met with concerted multilateral responses. At a time when the United States and many of its allies and partners are reluctant to increase defense and security spending, working together is paramount. This is perhaps most evident in Asia, where present and potential future threats to security and prosperity are high and shared interests are substantial.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Diplomacy, Disaster Relief, Humanitarian Aid, Intelligence
  • Political Geography: United States, Asia
  • Author: Maren Leed, Kathryn Easop, Alvaro Genie, Jaimie Hoskins
  • Publication Date: 12-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: In recent months, Department of Defense leaders have raised increasing concerns about the potential for the United States to lose its comparative advantage in multiple technology areas. To help address this trend, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel recently directed a “Defense Innovation Initiative” aimed at fostering the development of breakthrough technologies. Success in this effort will require a series of actions, but all rest on one critical factor: a shared understanding across the research and policy communities of the scientific potential and its importance to our national security going forward. Without that common view, scientists in both the public and private sector will be unable to sustain sufficient support to deliver meaningful advances.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Science and Technology, Infrastructure
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: David J. Berteau, Scott Miller, Ryan Crotty, Paul Nadeau
  • Publication Date: 12-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: CSIS launched the Federated Defense Project to assess and recommend concrete ways for the United States and its partners to integrate their defense capabilities in support of shared interests. Rather than creating interdependencies that would hinder autonomous action or bind partners to commitments to which they only share a tangential interest, the federated defense strategy builds on the natural interests of allies and partners to develop closer working ties to the United States and one another in order to manage the challenges posed by constrained resources and a daunting geostrategic environment. Buttressing any form of federated defense must be a set of bottom-up, organic interactions within the private sector to develop the capabilities that will underpin these security architectures. The expansion of business-to-business relationships among providers of platforms, supplies, and services to the network of trusted partners and allies is a key building block in ensuring adequate capabilities development, integration, and interoperability. To date, this interaction has occurred despite the many barriers that exist to their success. A federated approach will seek to enable this cooperation and lower these barriers, leading to greater cooperation, collaboration, and integration through global value chains (GVCs). Addressing the findings below is essential to the successful execution of a federated approach to defense.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Privatization, Military Strategy
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman, Robert M. Shelala II
  • Publication Date: 04-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Concepts are not a strategy. Broad outlines do not set real priorities. A strategy requires a plan with concrete goals numbers schedules and costs for procurement, allocation, manpower, force structure, and detailed operational capabilities. For all the talk of 10 years of planned spending levels and cuts, the President and Congress can only shape the actual budget and defense program one year at a time. Unpredicted events and realities will intervene. There is a near zero real world probability that the coming plan and budget will shape the future in spite of changes in the economy, politics, entitlements, and threats to the US.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, Arms Control and Proliferation, International Cooperation, War, Counterinsurgency
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: James M. Acton
  • Publication Date: 09-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: The development of non-nuclear weapons that can strike distant targets in a short period of time has been a U.S. goal for more than a decade. Advocates argue that such Conventional Prompt Global Strike (CPGS) weapons could be used to counter antisatellite weapons or sophisticated defensive capabilities; deny a new proliferator the ability to employ its nuclear arsenal; and kill high-value terrorists. Critics worry that CPGS weapons could create serious strategic risks, most notably of escalation—including to the nuclear level—in a conflict.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Arms Control and Proliferation, Terrorism, War
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Perhaps the worst part of the debate that has led to the shut down of the federal government is its almost total irrelevance. It threaten both the US economy and US national security, but it does even begin to touch upon the forces that shape the rise in entitlements spending or their underlying causes.The Congressional debate does not address the forces that have led to a form of sequestration that focuses on defense as if it were the key cause of the deficit and pressures on the debt ceiling. It does not address the irony that much of defense spending has direct benefits to the US economy and that the spending on foreign wars–the so-called OCO account–dropped from $158.8 billion in FY2011 to some $88.5 billion in FY2013, and is projected to drop to around $37 billion in FY2015. Much of the debate focuses on the Affordable Care Act or "Obama Care"–a program whose balance between federal expenditures and revenues is sufficiently uncertain so the Congressional Budget office can only make limited forecasts, but whose net impact cannot come close to the cost pressures that an aging America and rising national medical costs have put on Federal entitlements in the worst case NDS May actually have a positive impact in the best case.The following briefing provides a range of estimates that addresses the real issues that are shaping the overall pressures that poverty, an aging America, and rising medical costs are putting on the US economy and federal spending. It draws on a range of sources to show how different estimates affect key trends, but focuses on data provide by a neutral arm of the same Congress that has paralyzed the US government and whose action threaten the funding on a viable national security strategy.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Arms Control and Proliferation, Economics, Governance
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman, Nicholas S. Yarosh, Ashley Hess
  • Publication Date: 09-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The United States and the People's Republic of China (PRC) face a critical need to improve their understanding of how each is developing its military power and how to avoid forms of military competition that could lead to rising tension or conflict between the two states. This report utilizes the unclassified data available in the West on the trends in Chinese military forces. It relies heavily on the data in the US Department of Defense (DoD) Report to Congress on Military and Security Developments Involving the People's Republic of China, particularly the 2013 edition.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Arms Control and Proliferation
  • Political Geography: United States, China
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman
  • Publication Date: 09-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Far too much of the analysis of Iran's search for nuclear weapons treats it in terms of arms control or focuses on the potential threat to Israel. In reality, Iran's mix of asymmetric warfare, conventional warfare, and conventionally armed missile forces have critical weaknesses that make Iran anything but the hegemon of the Gulf. Iran's public focus on Israel also disguises the reality that its primary strategic focus is to deter and intimidate its Gulf neighbors and the United States – not Israel. It has made major progress in creating naval forces for asymmetric warfare and developing naval missiles, but it has very limited air-sea and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (IS) capabilities. It lacks modern conventional land, air, air defense and sea power, has fallen far behind the Arab Gulf states in modern aircraft and ships, and its land forces are filled with obsolete and mediocre weapons that lack maneuver capability and sustainability outside Iran. Iran needs nuclear weapons to offset these facts.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, Arms Control and Proliferation, Nuclear Weapons, Treaties and Agreements, Weapons of Mass Destruction
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran, Middle East, Israel, Arabia
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman
  • Publication Date: 09-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: More than a decade into the “war on terrorism,” much of the political debate in the US is still fixated on the legacy of 9/11. US politics has a partisan fixation on Benghazi, the Boston Marathon bombing, intelligence intercepts, and Guantanamo. Far too much US attention still focuses on “terrorism” at a time the US faces a much broader range of threats from the instability in the Middle East North Africa (MENA) and Islamic world. Moreover, much of the US debate ignores the fact that the US has not actually fought a “war on terrorism” over the last decade, and the US failures in using military force and civil aid in Afghanistan and Iraq. The US has not fought wars as such, but rather became involved in exercises in armed nation building where stability operations escalated into national building as a result of US occupation and where the failures in stability operations and nation building led to insurgencies that forced the US into major counterinsurgency campaigns that had little to do with counterterrorism. An analysis of the trends in the Iraq and Afghan conflicts shows that the US has not been fighting a war on terrorism since Bin Laden and Al Qaida Central were driven into Pakistan in December 2001. The US invaded Afghanistan and Iraq and then made stability operations and armed nation building its key goals. It was US mishandling of these exercises in armed nation building that led to major counterinsurgency campaigns although – at least in the case of Afghanistan --the US continued to label its military operations as a struggle against “terrorism.” By 2013, the US had committed well over $1.4 trillion to these exercises in Afghanistan and Iraq. At the same time, the US made massive increases in its domestic spending on homeland defense that it rationalized as part of the fight against terrorism but often had little or nothing to do with any aspect of counterterrorism. At the same time, the US failed to develop consistent or useful unclassified statistics on the patterns in terrorism and its counterterrorism activities. The US government has never provided a meaningful break out of federal activities and spending at home or abroad which actually focus on terrorism, or any unclassified measures of effectiveness. The OMB has lumped a wide range of activities that have no relation to terrorism it its reporting on the President's budget request – activities whose total cost now approach $60 billion a year. The Department of Defense has never provided a meaningful estimate of the total cost of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, or a break out of the small portion of total overseas contingency operations (OCO) spending actually spent on counterterrorism versus counter insurgency. The State Department and US intelligence community provide no meaningful unclassified data on the cost of their counterterrorism effort and it is unclear that they have developed any metrics at any level that show the cost-benefits of their activities. The annual US State Department country reports on terrorism come as close to an unclassified report on the status of terrorism as the US government provides. While many portions are useful, the designation of terrorist movements is often political and shows the US designation of terrorist movements conflates terrorism and insurgency. The closest the US has come to developing any metrics on terrorism has been to develop an unclassified database in the National Counter-Terrorism Center (NCTC) that never distinguished terrorism from insurgency. This database formed the core of the statistical annex to State Department reporting, but has since been withdrawn without explanation. As this analysis shows in detail, it now has been replaced by a contractor effort that makes all of the previous mistakes made by the NCTC. The end result is a set of official reporting and statistics in the annex to the State Department report where “terrorism” remains remained poorly defined, badly structured, ignored in parts of the world, and conflates terrorism with counterinsurgency, instability, and civil war. A review of the Afghan, Iraq conflicts, and other recent conflicts in the MENA region shows just how serious these problems are in distorting the true nature of the wars the US is fighting and the threats it faces. The same is true of the unclassified reporting the US government provides on terrorism. A detailed review of the most recent State Department report on terrorism provides important insights into key terrorist movements, but the narratives generally ignore their ties to insurgent movements, their statistical data include some major insurgent movements and exclude others, and many of the data seem to include violence that is not truly terroristic in character.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, Islam, Terrorism, Counterinsurgency
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Middle East, North Africa
  • Author: Maren Leed
  • Publication Date: 09-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: At present, the defense policy landscape is replete with arguments, many of which are ultimately based in the lack of a common vision among both elites and within the broader population about the role of the U.S. military in the future. Cyber operations are one element of these debates, although much of the discussion has centered around how best to defend against a growing cyber threat, the role of the Defense Department in that defense, and tensions between civil liberties and security interests. Occasionally, greater attention is paid to questions about the U.S. use of cyber offensively, which brings with it questions of precedent, deterrence, international norms, and a host of other challenges. But it is also apparent that U.S. leaders have already approved the use of offensive cyber capabilities, though under tight restrictions. While not ignoring this larger context, the specific question this report examines is whether the Defense Department should make a more deliberate effort to explore the potential of offensive cyber tools at levels below that of a combatant command.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Arms Control and Proliferation, Intelligence, Science and Technology, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Rick "Ozzie" Nelson, Ally Pregulman, Rob Wise, Briana Fitch, Melissa Hersh
  • Publication Date: 08-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Given India's rapid development, the nation has become an increasingly vital world actor. India has the 11th largest economy in the world, and with its annual economic growth rate averaging 7 percent per year since 1997, it could surpass the United States and China to become the world's largest economy by 2050. This economic capacity facilitated billions of dollars in investments since 2006 to expand and upgrade India's defense and security capabilities, including the launch of its first nuclear- powered submarine and the ongoing acquisition of a fleet of aircraft carriers. The growth of India's economic and military sectors increases its strategic importance to the United States and other partners interested in ensuring stability and security in Asia.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, Diplomacy, Terrorism, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: United States, China, South Asia, India
  • Publication Date: 09-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: Congressional leaders are best able to judge what committee should have jurisdiction over this department and its duties. But we believe that Congress does have the obligation to choose one in the House and one in the Senate, and that this committee should be a permanent standing committee with a nonpartisan staff.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Weapons of Mass Destruction, Biosecurity, Governance, Law, Reform
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Walter H. Shorenstein
  • Publication Date: 06-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Asia-Pacific Research Center
  • Abstract: Meeting after North Korea had raised tensions on the Korean Peninsula in the spring, participants in the Tenth Korea-U.S. West Coast Strategic Forum focused on the implications for the Korean Peninsula of leadership changes in North and South Korea and especially China. Participants also focused on regional dynamics, including increased confrontation between China and Japan and various, sometimes conflicting, efforts to increase regional economic integration in Northeast Asia.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Defense Policy, Arms Control and Proliferation, Diplomacy, Nuclear Weapons, Weapons of Mass Destruction, Bilateral Relations, Sanctions
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, China, Israel, Asia
  • Author: Srdjan Vucetic
  • Publication Date: 06-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre d'Etudes et de Recherches Internationales
  • Abstract: The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is a high-calibre international collaboration project that figures in many debates on the emerging structure of international politics. How and why did the U.S. government and the U.S. defence industry enter into a set of international partnerships to develop this weapon system? Conversely, how and why did the partner nations become partners, and what influence, if any, have they had on the program so far? And how have participating governments dealt with the mounting controversies surrounding the new fighter jet? In principle, collaboration projects not only cement alliance ties, but also help offset development costs and increase exports, thus lowering unit costs overall. In reality, the F-35 has so far been a boondoggle. Highly asymmetric by design, the JSF project has proven particularly challenging to partners, especially now that the program's cost overruns, delays, and performance shortfalls have become a regular news item in the mainstream media. A review of ongoing F-35 debates across partner countries suggest that evaluations based on “high politics” considerations implicating the costs and benefits of the U.S. alliance trail well behind those concerning technical issues such as cost overruns, work shares, and transfers of technology. The F-35 is a political hot potato for all participating governments, but in the absence of a fatal cut to the program made in Washington D.C., outright defections are unlikely at this stage.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Arms Control and Proliferation, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: United States, Washington
  • Author: Yu Bianjiang
  • Publication Date: 06-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for the Study of Diplomacy, Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University
  • Abstract: In recent years, “rebalancing” has been a buzzword in the U.S.'s Asia-Pacific policy and naturally also in U.S.-China relations. Some believe this rebalancing has been quite successful and refer to this as the hallmark of President Barack Obama's first-term foreign policy.  At the same time, others, both within and outside of America, have expressed different opinions. The most critical point is that while the U.S. administration has argued that rebalancing is an integrated strategy with military, diplomatic, and economic initiatives intended to strengthen U.S. involvement in the Asia-Pacific area, in practice, rebalancing has been depicted and implemented in more military terms, with the United States shifting its troops and resources from wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to the Asia- Pacific region. “The military soundtrack has the volume turned up too loud.”.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, Arms Control and Proliferation, Emerging Markets, Bilateral Relations, Armed Forces
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Israel, Asia, Australia/Pacific
  • Author: Seth G. Jones, Keith Crane
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Afghanistan will undergo three major transitions in 2014: from a Hamid Karzai–led government to one presumably headed by another president following the 2014 election; from a U.S.-led to an Afghan-led counterinsurgency; and from an economy driven by foreign expenditures on military support and assistance to one more reliant on domestic sources of growth, as the United States and other countries reduce their presence. The United States and its allies will need to shape each of these transitions in ways that safeguard their interests.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, Arms Control and Proliferation, Islam, Terrorism, War, Counterinsurgency
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States
  • Author: Ian E. Rinehart
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: If Japan decides to exercise its right of collective self-defense (CSD), it would have complex effects on US-Japan security cooperation. The tangible short-term outcomes would likely be rather modest, and mid-term outcomes are dependent on changes in complementary policies, laws, and attitudes. American observers who expect that a revised interpretation of Japan's Constitution will provide an immediate boost to the alliance are likely to be disappointed. There are institutional and legal limitations on the Japanese Self-Defense Forces (SDF) that will constrain its activities in the near-term, no matter what policy course leaders choose. Japanese public opinion is also highly circumspect about the use of force to resolve international problems and will likely not support missions that do not directly address the security of Japan. However, due to the powerful symbolism of CSD, the long-term effects could be quite significant.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, America, Israel
  • Author: David J. Berteau, Gregory Sanders, Jesse Ellman, Rhys McCormick
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Over the past decade, the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) has been analyzing and reporting on contract spending for national security and across the federal government. This report analyzes contracting for products, services, and research and development (R) by the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) and its key components. It provides an in-depth look at the trends currently driving nearly 70 percent of all federal contract dollars throughout the growth and subsequent inflection of defense spending of the 2000–2012 study period. This third edition of the DoD report updates reports from previous years and provides greater depth of analysis. Rather than primarily reporting the changes across dozens of graphs, the analysis lists key factors behind growth or decline. However, the ability to dive deeply into raw data is as important to many CSIS readers. To meet that need, CSIS has significantly upgraded the project website (http://www.csis.org/NSPIR/DoD ) to include the graphs and table contained within this report as well as variants by defense component and by product/service area. This web site will be a living repository. Throughout the year, the study team will publish and update the data underlying shorter publications on key issues relevant to the defense- industrial base.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, Arms Control and Proliferation
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The United States has long emphasized the desirability of working with allies and partners to meet pressing security challenges. Indeed, many of our most vexing security challenges-such as terrorism, threats to freedom of the seas and air, and cyber threats-are best met with multilateral action. At a time when the United States and many of its allies and partners are reluctant to increase defense and security investments, working together is of increasing importance. This is perhaps most evident in the Middle East and Asia, where real and potential threats to U.S. and partner security are high and our interests great.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, Arms Control and Proliferation, International Cooperation, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Asia
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman, Bryan Gold
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: No single aspect of US and Iranian military competition is potentially more dangerous than the missile and nuclear dimensions, and the possibility Iran will deploy long-range, nuclear-armed missiles.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, Arms Control and Proliferation
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran, Middle East
  • Author: Jon Kyl, Jim Talent
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: When President Obama took office, the armed services of the United States had already reached a fragile state. The Navy had shrunk to its smallest size since before World War I; the Air Force was smaller, and its aircraft older, than at any time since the inception of the service. The Army was stressed by years of war; according to Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, it had been underfunded before the invasion of Iraq and was desperately in need of resources to replace its capital inventory.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Economics, Politics, War
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq
  • Author: John L. Kokulis
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: The rise in military health care spending has been a primary driver of the large growth in military personnel compensation over the past decade. Left unchecked, these costs will impact the ability of the DoD's Military Health System (MHS) to support its three critical missions: 1. Readiness for deployment: Maintaining an agile, fully deployable medical force and a health care delivery system so they are capable of providing state-of-the-art health services anytime, anywhere; 2. Readiness of the fighting force: Helping commanders create and sustain the most healthy and medically prepared fighting forces anywhere; and 3. The benefits mission: Providing long-term health coaching and health care for 9.7 million DoD beneficiaries.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Economics, Health, Governance
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Stefano Santamato, Marie-Theres Beumler
  • Publication Date: 02-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for National Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: The history of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) will say that the first, and so far only, time NATO has called upon its Article 5 collective defense clause was on September 12, 2001, following a terrorist attack on one of its members. Yet, until the agreement by NATO Heads of State and Government on the new policy guidelines on counterterrorism on May 20, 2012, NATO did not have an agreed policy to define its role and mandate in countering terrorism.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, NATO, Cold War, International Cooperation, Treaties and Agreements, Counterinsurgency
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Ashley J. Tellis
  • Publication Date: 01-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: The evolving U.S.-Indian strategic partnership holds great potential for both countries. India's economic growth and its ties to the United States can assist its global rise, which contributes to keeping the peace in Asia, provided New Delhi and Washington sustain concerted cooperation. And India's emerging markets promise to be the key instrument for enlarging India's power while remaining a rich opportunity for U.S. businesses.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, Military Strategy, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: United States, Washington, India, Asia, New Delhi
  • Author: Tevi Troy
  • Publication Date: 09-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Hudson Institute
  • Abstract: Since 2000, the United States has been faced with an unprecedented series of natural and man-made disasters and threats that have generated concerns about the government's ability to respond to future emergencies. As Nate Silver, one of America's most prominent prognosticators, observed in his book The Signal and the Noise, “the first twelve years of the new millennium have been rough, with one unpredicted disaster after another.”As bad as the first decade of the twenty-first century was, with the terror attacks of 9/11, the anthrax scare, and deadly hurricanes, there are troubling indications that things are on track to be even worse in the 2010s. Wall Street Journal “Numbers Guy” Carl Bialik recently wrote, referring to events such as Hurricane Sandy and the 2012 derecho, among others, that “the current decade is on pace to outrank the prior three in cost from inflation-adjusted climate catastrophes costing at least $1 billion in 2013 dollars.”And emergencies related to severe weather events are just one of the many types of crisis we could face. To deal with the potential problems of the future, including bioterror attacks as well as natural disasters, the U.S. government needs to maintain a robust toolkit.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Disaster Relief, Natural Disasters
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for the Study of War
  • Abstract: This document describes the composition and placement of U.S. and other Western combat and advisory forces in Afghanistan down to battalion level. It includes the following categories of units: maneuver (i.e. infantry, armor, and cavalry) units, which in most cases are responsible for advising or partnering with Afghan troops in particular districts or provinces; artillery units; aviation units, both rotary and fixed-wing; military police units; most types of engineer and explosive ordnance disposal units; and "white" special operations forces. It does not include "black" special operations units or other units such as logistical, transportation, medical, and intelligence units or Provincial Reconstruction Teams.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, International Security
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States
  • Author: Sinan Ülgen
  • Publication Date: 02-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Though most states that want a nuclear weapon can get one through determined effort, the fact remains that most choose not to proliferate. Turkey is no exception. Not even the prospect of a nuclear-armed Iran is likely to push Ankara to develop its own nuclear weapons. The only circumstance where such a scenario would acquire a degree of likelihood is a breakdown in Turkey's security relationship with the United States.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Diplomacy, Economics, Nuclear Weapons, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: United States, Turkey, Middle East
  • 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: Timo Behr, Charly Salonius-Pasternak
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: States which contribute to various international efforts in Afghanistan will find it increasingly difficult to balance a need to show long-term commitment with an unpredictable political and quickly changing operating environment. Recent events in Afghanistan are threatening to undermine the plans for an orderly transition of security responsibilities to Afghan authorities by the end of 2014. Countries must be ready to adjust contributions in both size and task during both 2012 and 2013. Germany has pledged to only gradually withdraw its forces and maintain its focus on partnering and training, despite an increasingly unstable environment. Current planning also foresees a German commitment in the post-2014 period. Finland will increasingly focus on civilian crisis management efforts and development assistance, and will stay engaged and committed as long as its closest partners also do so. Sweden is set to continue leading a Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT), but post-2014 commitments are unclear. The United States is set to return to 'pre-surge' force levels (though with a different force structure) of around 68,000 soldiers by autumn 2012. Further withdrawals of up to 30,000 soldiers are being discussed.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Defense Policy, Peace Studies, War
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Finland, Germany, Sweden
  • Author: Hilde Eliassen Restad
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Norwegian Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: James Madison famously stated in 1793: “War is in fact the true nurse of executive aggrandizement.” By this, Madison meant that, when confronted with a grave threat to national security, the instinct of a state is to concentrate power at the very top. This can lead – and has led – to abuse of power. For instance, President Franklin D. Roosevelt's signing of Executive Order 9066 on February 19, 1942 resulted in the forcible internment of Japanese Americans (two thirds of whom were U.S. citizens), an episode widely seen as regrettable later, after history had removed Americans from the anxiety of war. But by no means do we have to look as far back as to World War II. We can note Cold War incidents such as the Iran-Contra scandal (1985–87), when the Reagan administration took it upon itself to bypass Congress – and specific laws – in order to support the controversial Nicaraguan Contras with money acquired by selling arms to Iran.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, Government, Terrorism, Counterinsurgency
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran