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  • Author: Patrick Martin
  • Publication Date: 04-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for the Study of War
  • Abstract: ISIS is waging a renewed offensive campaign in recaptured areas that could exploit vulnerabilities in the Iraqi Government’s ability to respond amidst accelerating political competition before upcoming elections.
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: Iraq
  • Author: Jacqueline Lopour
  • Publication Date: 03-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Humanitarian crises across the world are the worst since World War II, and the situation is only going to get worse. According to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), almost 60 million people worldwide have been forcibly displaced from their homes — that is approximately one in every 123 people on the planet (UNHCR 2016a). The problem is growing, as the number of those displaced is over 60 percent greater than the previous decade. As a result, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has announced the first ever World Humanitarian Summit to be held May 23-24, 2016. The world’s attention is focused on the Syrian refugee crisis, which has displaced 11 million people. But in doing so, the global community has lost sight of an equally severe humanitarian and displacement crisis — the situation in Yemen. Yemen now has more people in need of aid than any other country in the world, according to the UNOCHA Global Humanitarian Overview 2016. An estimated 21.2 million people in Yemen — 82 percent of the population — requires humanitarian aid, and this number is steadily growing (UNOCHA 2016a).
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Development, Human Rights, Humanitarian Aid, Poverty, War, Refugee Issues
  • Political Geography: Yemen, Global Focus
  • Author: Alexa L. Wesner
  • Publication Date: 04-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Ambassadors Review
  • Abstract: Since the end of the Second World War, the United States and Austria have enjoyed one of the most mutually beneficial and prosperous relationships in the world. Born from a shared desire for lasting peace and nourished by trade, education, and people-to-people exchanges, Austria and the United States share an intertwined past and interconnected future. Today, our shared democratic ideals and our willingness to work together to combat global threats serve as an example of collaboration on the world stage. But since the earliest days of the modern era, our common goals have been underwritten by a series of often-overlooked exchange programs that have exposed thousands of people to the significance of our shared values. The intimate human bonds built by exchange participants continue to weave an increasingly beautiful, intricate, and durable social fabric that strengthens our bilateral relationship.
  • Topic: Politics, War, Bilateral Relations, Global Security
  • Political Geography: Austria, United States of America
  • Author: Wolfgang Mühlberger
  • Publication Date: 10-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The September ceasefire in Syria expired after the scheduled duration of a week due to the bombardment of sensitive targets by the brokers – instead of being extended and shored up by a political track. Agreeing on the modalities without the ability or willingness to enforce them, makes ceasefires futile and undermines peace negotiations.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, War
  • Political Geography: Syria
  • Author: Jason Stearns
  • Publication Date: 03-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Global Peace Operations
  • Abstract: Since October 2014, the region around the town of Beni in north eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DR Congo) has been the site of some of the worst massacres in the country’s recent history. Over five hundred people have been killed and tens of thousands have fled their homes. The UN mission and the Congolese government have publicly stated that the massacres are the work of Ugandan rebels from the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF). Research by the Congo Research Group (CRG) based on interviews conducted with over a hundred witnesses and local leaders indicates that the definition of the ADF needs to be revised. Rather than a foreign Islamist group driven by revenge, our research points to a group that has forged strong ties with local interest groups and militias over the course of twenty years of insurrection around Beni. Moreover, our preliminary findings indicate that responsibility does not lie with the ADF alone. In addition to commanders directly tied to the ADF, members of the Forces armées de la République démocratique du Congo (FARDC), the national army; former members of the Rassemblement congolais pour la démocratie—Kisangani/Mouvement de libération (RCD– K/ML); as well as members of communal militias have also been involved in attacks on the civilian population.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, United Nations, War, Peacekeeping
  • Political Geography: Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Author: Alan Gill, David Sevigny
  • Publication Date: 01-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: The creation of the multilateral development bank (MDB) model represents one of the most ingenious financial innovations in recent times. Initially designed to address the problems of financing reconstruction after World War II, this model has shown itself to be surprisingly adaptable to meet a range of other challenges. These have included fostering developing country growth, dealing with the developing world debt problem and facilitating the transition of countries within Central and Eastern Europe from centrally planned to market-based economies.
  • Topic: Economics, War
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, Chicago
  • Author: Alexander De Juan
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: Does extraction increase the likelihood of antistate violence in the early phases of state building processes? While much research has focused on the impacts of war on state building, the potential “war‐making effects” of extraction have largely been neglected. The paper provides the first quantitative analysis of these effects in the context of colonial state‐building. It focuses on the Maji Maji rebellion against the German colonial state (1905–1907), the most substantial rebellion in colonial Eastern Africa. Analyses based on a newly collected historical data set confirm the correlation between extraction and resistance. More importantly, they reveal that distinct strategies of extraction produced distinct outcomes. While the intensification of extraction in state‐held areas created substantial grievances among the population, it did not drive the rebellion. Rather, the empirical results indicate that the expansion of extractive authority threatened the political and economic interests of local elites and thus provoked effective resistance. This finding provides additional insights into the mechanisms driving the “extraction–coercion cycle” of state building.
  • Topic: Economics, War
  • Political Geography: Africa, Germany
  • Author: Alexandra Francis
  • Publication Date: 09-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: The Syrian refugee crisis has exacerbated endemic political, economic, and resource challenges in Jordan. As the conflict in Syria enters a protracted state and public discontent and other tensions rise, Jordan has limited its humanitarian response. Yet, the roots of the kingdom’s challenges run deeper than the refugee crisis and if left unaddressed will be harbingers of instability. If Jordan is to confront its national challenges and continue to provide a safe haven for Syrian refugees, the country will depend on increased international support.
  • Topic: Humanitarian Aid, Political Economy, War, Refugee Issues
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Syria, Jordan
  • Author: Paul D. Williams
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: The number of UN peacekeepers is at a record high, with nearly 110,000 uniformed deployed "blue helmets" worldwide, most of them in Africa. But the status quo is "untenable," warns Paul D. Williams, author and associate professor of international affairs at George Washington University, in a new Council Special Report, Enhancing U.S. Support for Peace Operations in Africa. Unrealistic mandates, unsustainable supplies of personnel, hostile host governments, and mission creep have undermined peace operations, Williams writes. "Given the growing interest in fostering a stable and prosperous Africa, the United States should wield its political influence to address these challenges."
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Humanitarian Aid, War, Fragile/Failed State, Peacekeeping
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Publication Date: 06-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: European Union Institute for Security Studies
  • Abstract: This report derives from a colloquium on the theme of ‘Women & War’ organised jointly by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the European Union Institute for Security Studies (EUISS) which took place on 30 September 2014 in Brussels. The proceedings of this colloquium have been written by the speakers or by the Delegation of the ICRC in Brussels on the basis of audio recordings of the event.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, War, Peacekeeping, Women
  • Author: Maksymilian Czuperski, John Herbst, Eliot Higgins, Alina Polyakova, Damon Wilson
  • Publication Date: 10-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: Russia is at war with Ukraine. Russian citizens and soldiers are fighting and dying in a war of their government's own making. Russian President Vladimir Putin continues to deny Russian involvement in the fighting, but the evidence is overwhelming and indisputable. Drawing upon open source information, Hiding in Plain Sight: Putin's War in Ukraine provides irrefutable evidence of direct Russian military involvement in eastern Ukraine.
  • Topic: Political Violence, War, Hegemony, Self Determination
  • Political Geography: Ukraine, Eastern Europe
  • Author: Sarah Wolff
  • Publication Date: 10-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The death of Aylan, a 3-year-old boy on a Turkish beach, prompted European leaders and public opinions to acknowledge that Europe is the deadliest migration destination in the world. In spite of this disturbing truth, there is little agreement on an EU solution to the Syrian refugee crisis. In September 2015, the EU Interior Ministers struggled to agree over the relocation of 120,000 refugees through a common compulsory mechanism, as Eastern European countries oppose the idea of “sharing the burden.” Progress regarding other solutions such as a European rescue at-sea-mission, the delivery of humanitarian visas or the opening of legal means of migration have also met strong member state resistance. If Europe is not up to the task, can international organisations (IOs), often critical of European states for their inaction, impulse change? What influence do IOs have on EU and Mediterranean migration and refugee policies? This paper investigates how IOs have been trying to frame an alternative debate and the challenges they meet in promoting transregional governance.
  • Topic: Humanitarian Aid, Migration, War, Immigration, Border Control
  • Political Geography: Europe, Middle East
  • Publication Identifier: 978-88-98650-66-8
  • Publication Identifier Type: DOI
  • Publication Date: 09-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Never before was the lack of a single European government, or at least of a strong and effective European governance, as acutely felt as in these days. With wars and failed states in the neighbourhood, and an unstoppable exodus crossing Europe, the continent appears at once more interdependent and more fragmented than ever. A coherent model of governance, competent and cohesive, but above all empowered by a full democratic investiture, would be needed everyday, to cope with daily emergencies while painstakingly devising and developing a long-term strategy where such emergency responses would be framed. Instead, in spite of the remarkable efforts of creative leadership made by the Commission, we are “governed” (but the term sounds like a gross overstatement) by subsequent extraordinary summits, each summoned to remedy the failures of the previous one. What can thus be expected and what should be asked, in such dire circumstances, to the next of these ad hoc European Council meeting, scheduled on Wednesday 23 September?
  • Topic: Migration, War, Fragile/Failed State, Governance, European Union
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Publication Identifier: 978-88-98650-58-3
  • Publication Identifier Type: DOI
  • Author: Liam P. Walsh
  • Publication Date: 12-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: Beginning in 2013, the U.S. Army began an effort to “engage regionally and respond globally.” A central tenant of this strategy, building upon National strategic guidance, is the necessity to build partner capacity. Army units, through the regionally aligned forces concept, may find themselves conducting security force assistance (SFA) missions across the globe as a means to achieve these ways. However, after examining the Army’s SFA mission in Operation IRAQI FREEDOM from 2003-10, it becomes apparent that institutional and organizational shortcomings plagued the Army’s initial efforts in this critical aspect of the campaign. Many of these shortcomings remain in the Army today, particularly within the Army’s core formation—the brigade combat team (BCT). This monograph examines the Army’s role in conducting SFA in Iraq, drawing key lessons for the Army’s experience there, and then provides recommendations as to how the Army can better optimize the BCT to conduct SFA, while still retaining its core mission to fight and win America’s wars.
  • Topic: National Security, War, Military Strategy, Military Affairs
  • Political Geography: Iraq, United States of America
  • Author: Dr. Shima D. Keene
  • Publication Date: 12-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: While supporters claim that drone warfare is not only legal but ethical and wise, others have suggested that drones are prohibited weapons under International Humanitarian Law (IHL) because they cause, or have the effect of causing, indiscriminate killings of civilians, such as those in the vicinity of a targeted person. The main legal justification made by the Barack Obama Administration for the use of armed drones is self-defense. However, there is ambiguity as to whether this argument can justify a number of recent attacks by the United States. In order to determine the legality of armed drone strikes, other factors such as sovereignty, proportionality, the legitimacy of individual targets, and the methods used for the selection of targets must also be considered. One justification for the ethical landscape is the reduced amount of collateral damage relative to other forms of strike. Real time eyes on target allow last-minute decisions and monitoring for unintended victims, and precise tracking of the target through multiple systems allows further refinements of proportionality. However, this is of little benefit if the definition of “targets” is itself flawed and encompasses noncombatants and unconnected civilians. This monograph provides a number of specific recommendations intended to ensure that the benefits of drone warfare are weighed against medium- and long-term second order effects in order to measure whether targeted killings are serving their intended purpose of countering terrorism rather than encouraging and fueling it.
  • Topic: Human Rights, War, Counter-terrorism, Ethics
  • Political Geography: United States of America
  • Author: Dr. Christopher Sims
  • Publication Date: 12-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: The Human Terrain System embedded civilians primarily in brigade combat teams (BCTs) in Iraq and Afghanistan between 2007 and 2014 to act as a collection and dispersal mechanism for sociocultural comprehension. Set against the backdrop of the program’s evolution, the experiences of these social scientists clarifies the U.S. Army’s decision to integrate social scientists at the tactical level in conflict. Based on interviews, program documents, material from Freedom of Information Act requests, and secondary sources, this book finds a series of limiting factors inhibiting social science research at the tactical level, common to both Iraq and Afghanistan. Complexity in integrating civilians into the military decision-making cycle, creating timely research with a high level of fidelity, and making granular research resonate with brigade staff all contributed to inhibiting the overall effect of the Human Terrain System. Yet, while high operational tempo in contested spaces complicates social science research at the tactical level, the author argues that there is a continued requirement for a residual capability to be maintained by the U.S. Army.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, War, Military Strategy, Military Affairs
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Iraq, United States of America
  • Author: Dr. W. Andrew Terill
  • Publication Date: 11-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: In an unexpected effort to protect a key Middle Eastern ally, the Kremlin intervened in Syria with military forces in late September 2015. This effort was undertaken to protect the Bashar Assad regime from Islamist and secular rebels now threatening his regime. Moscow initiated this action with a limited force that may be primarily designed to prevent Assad’s ouster but does not have the capabilities to help him retake large tracks of the country from the rebel groups that are now holding them. The Russian leadership made the decision to use military units in Syria at some political cost, aware that it was poisoning relations with many conservative anti-Assad Arabs and complicating its troubled relationship with Western powers.1 At some point, the Russians will have to consider the questions of how well these efforts have met their goal of bolstering the regime and what will be their next moves. They may also be rapidly faced with pressure to escalate their commitment to support the regime, if current actions do not produce meaningful results. They may also learn the painful lesson of other great powers, that military intervention in the Middle East is often much more problematic than national leaders initially expect.
  • Topic: Political Violence, Civil War, Islam, Politics, War, Military Strategy, Military Affairs
  • Political Geography: Russia, Middle East, Syria
  • Author: Dr. David Lai
  • Publication Date: 10-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: The Chinese government conducted a military parade to commemorate the “70th Anniversary of the Victory of the Chinese People’s War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression and the World Anti-Fascist War” on September 3, 2015. Although Chinese President Xi Jinping uttered “peace” 18 times in his brief opening remarks and Chinese government propaganda flooded China’s media with massive unqualified praise afterward, this show of force was by no means a blessing for peace. On the contrary, it arguably will cast a shadow over China’s outreach in the Asia-Pacific region for years to come.
  • Topic: War, Governance, Peacekeeping, Military Affairs
  • Political Geography: Japan, China, Asia-Pacific
  • Author: Dr. James Igoe Walsh, Marcus Dr. Schulze
  • Publication Date: 09-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: Armed unmanned aerial vehicles—combat drones—have fundamentally altered the ways the United States conducts military operations aimed at countering insurgent and terrorist organizations. Drone technology is on track to become an increasingly important part of the country’s arsenal, as numerous unmanned systems are in development and will likely enter service in the future. Concerned citizens, academics, journalists, nongovernmental organizations, and policymakers have raised questions about the ethical consequences of drones and issued calls for their military use to be strictly regulated. This level of concern is evidence that the future of drone warfare not only hinges on technical innovations, but also on careful analysis of the moral and political dimensions of war. Regardless of whether drones are effective weapons, it would be difficult to sanction their use if they undermine the legitimacy of U.S. military forces or compromise the foundations of democratic government.
  • Topic: Security, Human Welfare, War, Military Strategy, Military Affairs, Counter-terrorism, Ethics, Drones
  • Political Geography: United States of America
  • Author: Professor John F. Troxell
  • Publication Date: 08-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: The recently published National Military Strategy emphasizes the unpredictability of the global security environment. According to General Dempsey, “global disorder has significantly increased while some of our comparative military advantage has begun to erode. We now face multiple, simultaneous security challenges…” General Odierno echoes this concern by pointing to the “increased velocity of instability,” and emboldened potential adversaries that have “magnified the risk to U.S. interests around the world.” Responding to this period of geopolitical uncertainty demands thoughtful and careful analysis of a wide array of strategic issues. The Strategic Studies Institutes’ (SSI) annual Key Strategic Issues List (KSIL) addresses this need by providing a list of high-priority topics organized to support the Army's most important strategic objectives, issues that must be addressed to ensure the Army of 2025 and beyond will continue to meet the needs of the nation. Part I of the KSIL lists the Chief of Staff of the Army’s top five topics, all five of which will be addressed as integrative research projects by the US Army War College. Part II, “Priority Research Areas,” is a compilation of critical topics developed by the Army War College and Commands and organizations throughout the Army. Part III consists of the Army Warfighting Challenges. Students and researchers are encouraged to get in touch with the topic sponsors listed in the document, tackle one of these issues, and contribute to the knowledge base needed to support the future direction of the Army
  • Topic: Security, War, Military Strategy, Military Affairs, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: United States of America
  • Author: Colonel Martha S. H. VanDriel
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: Cyberspace operations have a far-reaching, permanent impact on military operations. At the conceptual level, the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) now recognizes five warfighting domains: land, maritime, air, space, and cyber.1 While there are examples of how cyberspace support to military operations have advanced over the past decade, one gap has not been addressed in detail—operational planning. It is clear that in U.S. military operations, the land, maritime, air, and space domains rely heavily on cyberspace. Therefore, cyberspace operations must be viewed in the context of all domains and be included as part of the overall operational scheme of maneuver. For if a commander postures his or her command to fight an adversary in the first four domains but ignores cyberspace, not only will that commander have ceded the cyberspace domain to the adversary, but the adversary can then proceed to undermine that commander’s effectiveness in the other four domains.
  • Topic: National Security, Science and Technology, War, Cybersecurity
  • Political Geography: United States of America
  • Author: Jeffrey L. Caton
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: The Army has been involved with space-based military operations for well over a half-century. During this time, space operations have changed from a realm exclusive to scientists and engineers, to highly classified activities largely unknown to the general population, to the unveiling of space-based communication, imagery, surveillance, and environment capabilities that have become a foundation for all modern warfare. Today, such support is so ingrained into daily operations that most soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines assume it has been, and always will be, available for their use. But with such reliance comes vulnerability that potential adversaries may try to exploit. The evolution of Army space operations is well documented in many sources, thus this monograph serves not as a comprehensive history or detailed critique of the myriad accomplishments. Rather, it serves as a primer for current and future space-based operations to provide senior policymakers, decision-makers, military leaders, and their respective staffs an overall appreciation for existing Army space capabilities and the challenges, opportunities, and risks associated with their use in joint operations.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Science and Technology, War, Military Strategy, Military Affairs
  • Author: Richard Dr. Weitz
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: China and Russia have engaged in an increasing number of joint exercises in recent years. These drills aim to help them deter and, if necessary, defeat potential threats, such as Islamist terrorists trying to destabilize a Central Asian government, while at the same time reassuring their allies that Russia and China would protect them from such challenges. Furthermore, the exercises and other joint Russia-China military activities have a mutual reassurance function, informing Moscow and Beijing about the other’s military potential and building mutual confidence about their friendly intentions toward one another. Finally, the joint exercises try to communicate to third parties, especially the United States, that Russia and China have a genuine security partnership and that it extends to cover Central Asia, a region of high priority concern for Moscow and Beijing, and possibly other areas, such as northeast Asia. Although the Sino-Russian partnership is limited in key respects, the United States should continue to monitor their defense relationship since it has the potential to become a more significant international security development.
  • Topic: Security, War, Governance, Military Affairs
  • Political Geography: Russia, China
  • Author: Dr. Sue McNeil, Ryan Burke
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: The authors advocate the integration of process improvement methods into future Defense Support of Civil Authorities (DSCA) operations. They briefly discuss alternative process improvement strategies and their current state of employment in a variety of DoD programs. Methods discussed include Lean Six Sigma, Total Quality Management, and Capability Maturity Models, the utility of such methods is demonstrated, and the value in applying process improvement methods to DSCA operations is articulated. Three recommendations are given to demonstrate how a usable process maturity model can be built and employed for future operations. The monograph concludes by reaffirming the inherent utility of, and advocating for, process improvement techniques as a way to mature future DSCA operations using the dual status commander arrangement.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, National Security, War
  • Political Geography: United States of America
  • Author: Dr. Jean-Loup Samaan
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: For the last 4 decades, Israel has been challenged by the rise of ballistic arsenals in the Middle East. If, at first, the country kept relying on its traditional offensive doctrines, it eventually developed missile defense programs in the early-1980s through U.S.-Israel cooperation and then in the 2000s with the building of its iconic Iron Dome. This Israeli experience in missile defense reveals crucial lessons on the military adaptation to both new threats and new remedies that have direct implications for the United States and its allies.
  • Topic: War, History, Military Strategy, Military Affairs
  • Political Geography: Israel, United States of America
  • Author: Keir Giles, Major General Aleksandr V Rogovoy
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: Russia’s seizure of Crimea, and ongoing operations in eastern Ukraine, have refocused attention on the Russian military as a potential cause for concern in Europe. This Letort Paper, by an influential Russian general and military academic, lays out specifically Russian views on the essential nature of strong conventional land forces, and how they may be used. With an expert commentary providing essential context and interpretation, the Paper presents a valuable insight into Russian military thinking, at a potentially critical juncture for European security.
  • Topic: Security, War, Military Strategy, Military Affairs
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Ukraine, Crimea
  • Author: Dr. Colin S. Gray
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: To define future threat is, in a sense, an impossible task, yet it is one that must be done. The only sources of empirical evidence accessible are the past and the present; one cannot obtain understanding about the future from the future. The author draws upon the understanding of strategic history obtainable from Thucydides’ great History of the Peloponnesian War. He advises prudence as the operating light for American definition of future threat, and believes that there are historical parallels between the time of Thucydides and our own that can help us avoid much peril. The future must always be unpredictable to us in any detail, but the many and potent continuities in history’s great stream of time can serve to alert us to what may well happen in kind.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Politics, War, History
  • Political Geography: United States of America
  • Author: Dr. Mary Manjikian
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: An analysis of weapons-based confidence-building measures shows how academics can work together to self-police their research for national security implications, socialize new members of the academic community into the importance of considering security issues, and develop and disseminate norms regarding what is and is not a moral and ethical use of these technologies. It may be possible for academics and policymakers to come together to work for a ban or build-down on cyber weapons patterned on international efforts to ban chemical and biological weapons and implement export regimes to control the export of code which may form the components of cyber weapons. If we conceptualize cyberspace as territory, we can also learn from the example of territorially-based confidence-building measures such as those implemented along the Indo-Pakistan border. This approach stresses the importance of developing notification procedures to prevent misperceptions and the escalation spiral, as well as communicating regularly to establish trust between all parties. The case studies presented here illustrate the promises and pitfalls of each approach and offer valuable warnings to policymakers seeking to implement such measures in cyberspace. They show what happens when not everyone in a regime is equally committed to a specific outcome by illustrating the difficulties of monitoring compliance in confidence-building regimes, and show the ways in which doctrines and confidence-building measures may not be perfectly aligned.
  • Topic: Security, National Security, Science and Technology, War, Weapons of Mass Destruction, Cybersecurity
  • Political Geography: United States, Global Focus
  • Author: Dr. Larry D. Miller
  • Publication Date: 03-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: The Army War College Review, a refereed publication of student work, is produced under the purview of the Strategic Studies Institute and the United States Army War College. An electronic quarterly, The AWC Review connects student intellectual work with professionals invested in U.S. national security, Landpower, strategic leadership, global security studies, and the advancement of the profession of arms.
  • Topic: Security, National Security, War, Global Security
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Timothy Frye
  • Publication Date: 09-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Arnold A. Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies
  • Abstract: What are public attitudes in Russia toward the war in Ukraine? Is this Putin’s war, or do his narrative on Ukraine and the policies he has followed toward that country resonate with Russian citizens? If the war has popular support, to what extent is this the case and why?
  • Topic: International Relations, War, Public Opinion
  • Political Geography: Russia, Ukraine
  • Publication Date: 01-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The violence in Darfur's decade-old war spiked in 2013, as the mostly Arab militias initially armed by the government to contain the rebellion increasingly escaped Khartoum's control and fought each other. Recent fighting has displaced nearly half a million additional civilians – in all 3.2 million Darfurians need humanitarian help. The Doha Document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD) signed in Qatar in 2011 is largely unimplemented, notably because it was endorsed by factions with limited political and military influence, blocked by the government and suffered fading international support. The main insurgent groups remain active, have formed an alliance that goes beyond the region and increasingly assert a national agenda. If Darfur is to have durable peace, all parties to the country's multiple conflicts, supported by the international community, need to develop a more coherent means of addressing, in parallel, both local conflicts and nationwide stresses, the latter through a comprehensive national dialogue; eschew piecemeal approaches; embrace inclusive talks; and recommit to Sudan's unity.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Civil War, Islam, War, Armed Struggle, Insurgency, Fragile/Failed State
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Robert D. Lamb, Sadika Hameed, Kathryn Mixon
  • Publication Date: 01-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The United States has a number of interests and values at stake in India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan, or "South Asia" for the purposes of this analysis. But it also has a broader set of such concerns at stake regionally (in the greater Middle East, Eurasia, East Asia, and Southeast Asia)—and, of course, globally as well. Any long- term policy or strategy frame- work for South Asia needs to be built around the global and regional concerns that are most likely to persist across multiple changes in U.S. political leadership regardless of political party.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Foreign Policy, Islam, War, Insurgency
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, South Asia, Middle East, India
  • Author: Józef Lang
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: European Union Institute for Security Studies
  • Abstract: Russia's current and foreseeable policy towards Afghanistan is multi-vectored, complex and shows, at times, signs of incoherence. Russia views developments in Afghanistan as a strategic challenge and is expressing growing concern over the country's prospects for stability after the withdrawal of ISAF forces by the end of 2014. Russian decision-makers fear that a security vacuum emerging after the withdrawal could destabilise Central Asia and have a negative impact on Russia itself. At the same time, Moscow is concerned with Western military presence in the region, which it regards as interference in its neighbourhood. At tactical level, Russia also sees the situation in Afghanistan as an opportunity to secure its interests both regionally (consolidating its influence in Central Asia) and more widely (in terms of its relations with NATO).
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Foreign Policy, Regional Cooperation, War, Insurgency
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Russia, Central Asia
  • Author: Michael von der Schulenburg
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: Since the end of the Cold War, the UN has found itself intervening directly within its member states to help them end intrastate conflicts and rebuild their war-torn countries. Peacekeeping missions that were originally designed to keep opposing national armies apart and that had the consent of the host state are now expected to secure a much more comprehensive peace, intervene much more deeply in states' internal affairs—with tenuous legitimacy—and resolve active conflicts where there is no "peace" to keep.
  • Topic: Cold War, Peace Studies, War, Peacekeeping
  • Political Geography: United Nations
  • Author: Marisa Sullivan
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for the Study of War
  • Abstract: Hezbollah's deepening involvement in Syria is one of the most important factors of the conflict in 2013 and 2014. Since the beginning of 2013, Hezbollah fighters have operated openly and in significant numbers across the border alongside their Syrian and Iraqi counterparts. They have enabled the regime to regain control of rebel-held areas in central Syria and have improved the effectiveness of pro-regime forces. The impact of Hezbollah's involvement in Syria has been felt not just on the battlefield, where the regime now has momentum in many areas, but also in Lebanon where growing sectarian tensions have undermined security and stability.
  • Topic: International Relations, War, International Security
  • Political Geography: Lebanon, Syria
  • 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: John D. Ellis, Laura McKnight Mackenzie
  • Publication Date: 06-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: As the Army Reserve Components—the Army Reserve and the Army National Guard—assume an “operational” mission as the force drawdowns in over seas contingency operations occur, the Army senior military and civilian leadership should consider the ramifications and realities of such a mission in what is expected to be a relatively peaceful time. This monograph explores some of the considerations regarding the implementation of the Army Total Force Policy, identifies potential obstacles, and makes recommendations to better engage the “three Armies” in a successful and meaningful reform effort. Throughout, the authors call for significant cultural shifts in thinking about how the Reserve Components are used and integrated into a Total Force.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, Arms Control and Proliferation, War
  • Author: Babrak Osman
  • Publication Date: 10-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Afghanistan is one of four Oxfam country programmes delivering the Within and Without the State (WWS) programme, funded by DFID from 2011 to 2016 under the Conflict, Humanitarian and Security Programme Partnership Arrangement (CHASE PPA). WWS is piloting innovative approaches to working with civil society to promote more accountable governance in conflict-affected and fragile contexts.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Civil Society, Gender Issues, Peace Studies, War, Youth Culture
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Central Asia
  • Publication Date: 11-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The peace process to end the 30-year-old insurgency of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) against Turkey's government is at a turning point. It will either collapse as the sides squander years of work, or it will accelerate as they commit to real convergences. Both act as if they can still play for time – the government to win one more election, the PKK to further build up quasi-state structures in the country's predominantly- Kurdish south east. But despite a worrying upsurge in hostilities, they currently face few insuperable obstacles at home and have two strong leaders who can still see the process through. Without first achieving peace, they cannot cooperate in fighting their common enemy, the jihadi threat, particularly from the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. Increasing ceasefire violations, urban unrest and Islamist extremism spilling over into Turkey from regional conflicts underline the cost of delays. Both sides must put aside external pretexts and domestic inertia to compromise on the chief problem, the Turkey-PKK conflict inside Turkey.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Ethnic Conflict, Peace Studies, Treaties and Agreements, War, Armed Struggle
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, Middle East, Asia
  • Author: Heidi Reisinger, Aleksandr Golts
  • Publication Date: 11-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: NATO Defense College
  • Abstract: Ukraine is not even a state!” Putin reportedly advised former US President George W. Bush during the 2008 NATO Summit in Bucharest. In 2014 this perception became reality. Russian behaviour during the current Ukraine crisis was based on the traditional Russian idea of a “sphere of influence” and a special responsibility or, stated more bluntly, the “right to interfere” with countries in its “near abroad”. This perspective is also implied by the equally misleading term “post-Soviet space.” The successor states of the Soviet Union are sovereign countries that have developed differently and therefore no longer have much in common. Some of them are members of the European Union and NATO, while others are desperately trying to achieve this goal. Contrary to what Professor John Mearsheimer may suggest. In his article “Why the Ukraine crisis is the West's fault” he argues that NATO has expanded too far to the East, “into Russia's backyard”, against Moscow's declared will, and therefore carries responsibility for recent events; however, this seems to ignore that NATO was not hunting for new members, but found them knocking at its door.
  • Topic: NATO, War
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Ukraine, Soviet Union, Moscow
  • Author: Christian Ickler
  • Publication Date: 11-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Research Center (SFB) 700
  • Abstract: Territorial control by violent (non-)state actors (VNSA) in sub-state war features prominently in many fundamental concepts in conflict studies. Though there have been attempts to measure this phenomenon or at least delimit it from a spatiotemporal perspective, these have so far been based either primarily on qualitative expert assessments or rely on dyadic event data to determine contested areas. In this methodological research paper, I present three approaches that can be used to estimate actor presence on basis of spatiotemporal approximation. In doing so, I focus on challenges and obstacles that can be encountered when measuring territorial control via the proxy of territorial contestation. Spatiotemporally disaggregated violent incidence data is used to analyze a small subsample of countries in sub- Saharan Africa in order to determine various ways of visualizing territorial contest. Further points of discussion include the impact of data aggregation, the availability of context data and analytical methods used for these evaluations.
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Ariel Dr. Cohen
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: The North Caucasus region has been a source of instability for the past several centuries. Most recently, Chechen aspirations to achieve full independence after the break-up of the Soviet Union led to two disastrous wars. While the active phase of the Chechen conflict ended in 2000 – more than a decade ago—the underlying social, economic, and political issues of the region remain. A low-level insurgency continues to persist in the North Caucasus region, with occasional terrorist attacks in the Russian heartland. There are few reasons to expect any substantial improvement in the situation for years to come. Chechnya functions as a de facto independent entity; Islamist influence in Dagestan is growing, terror attacks continue, and the rest of the North Caucasus requires massive presence of Russian security services to keep the situation under control. Preventing the North Caucasus from slipping back into greater instability requires tackling corruption, cronyism, discrimination, and unemployment—something the Kremlin has so far not been very willing to do. “Small wars” in the Caucasus resonated as far away as Boston, MA, and more international attention and cooperation is necessary to prevent the region from blowing up.
  • Topic: Political Violence, Politics, War, International Security, Self Determination, Military Affairs
  • Political Geography: Russia, Soviet Union, Chechnya, North Caucasus
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman
  • Publication Date: 01-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The more one looks at the current situation in Afghanistan today, the more likely it seems that Transition will at best produce a weak and divided state and at worst a state that either continues its civil war or comes under Taliban and extremist control. More than a decade of Western intervention has not produced a strong and viable central government, an economy that can function without massive outside aid, or effective Afghan forces. There is no sign that insurgents are being pushed towards defeat or will lose their sanctuaries in Pakistan. This has made every aspect of Transition is a high-risk effort.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Civil War, Development, Islam, Terrorism, War, Armed Struggle, Counterinsurgency, Governance
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Afghanistan, Taliban
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman, Bryan Gold
  • Publication Date: 05-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The report shows that Iran's current missile and rocket forces help compensate for its lack of effective air power and allow it to pose a threat to its neighbors and US forces that could affect their willingness to strike on Iran if Iran uses its capabilities for asymmetric warfare in the Gulf or against any of its neighbors. At another level, Iran's steady increase in the number, range, and capability of its rocket and missile forces has increased the level of tension in the Gulf, and in other regional states like Turkey, Jordan, and Israel. Iran has also shown that it will transfer long-range rockets to “friendly” or “proxy” forces like the Hezbollah and Hamas. At a far more threatening level, Iran has acquired virtually every element of a nuclear breakout capability except the fissile material needed to make a weapon. This threat has already led to a growing “war of sanctions,” and Israeli and US threats of preventive strikes. At the same time, the threat posed by Iran's nuclear programs cannot be separated from the threat posed by Iran's growing capabilities for asymmetric warfare in the Gulf and along all of its borders. It is far from clear that negotiations and sanctions can succeed in limiting Iran's ability to acquire nuclear weapons and deploy nuclear-armed missiles. At the same time, the report shows that military options offer uncertain alternatives. Both Israel and the US have repeatedly stated that they are planning and ready for military options that could include preventive strikes on at least Iran's nuclear facilities and, and that US strikes might cover a much wider range of missile facilities and other targets. A preventive war might trigger a direct military confrontation or conflict in the Gulf with little warning. It might also lead to at least symbolic Iranian missile strikes on US basing facilities, GCC targets or Israel. At the same time, it could lead to much more serious covert and proxy operations in Lebanon, Iraq, Afghanistan, the rest of the Gulf, and other areas.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Arms Control and Proliferation, Nuclear Weapons, War
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran, Middle East
  • 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: Müge Dalkıran
  • Publication Date: 09-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Global Political Trends Center
  • Abstract: The Voluntary Repatriation Program to Afghanistan assisted by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, which started in 2002, is the largest return program in the modern history. Whereas over 5,8 million Afghan refugees have returned to Afghanistan between 2002 and 2013, 4,7 million of them participated in the Voluntary Repatriation Program. Being the asylum fatigue countries, Iran and Pakistan are the main host countries conducting this program together with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. This paper examines the Voluntary Repatriation Program to Afghanistan in the light of the situation in Pakistan and Iran.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, War
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Iran, South Asia, Central Asia, United Nations
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman
  • Publication Date: 08-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The US is already at least six months behind in shaping an effective Transition in Afghanistan. It has not laid credible plans for the security, governance, and economic aspects of Transition. It has not made its level of future commitment clear to its allies or the Afghans, and it has failed dismally to convince the Congress and the American people that there is a credible reason to support Transition beyond the end of 2014.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Foreign Policy, Development, Economics, Islam, War, Fragile/Failed State
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States
  • Author: Patricia A. Gossman
  • Publication Date: 09-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: In Afghanistan, the social upheaval resulting from thirty-five years of war has created widely differing narratives of the conflict as various communities and political factions have reconstructed events through the lens of their experiences. Extensive dislocation of large segments of the population and poor communication throughout the war years meant that Afghans often had no way of knowing what was happening in different parts of the country. Although the war had several phases, earlier transitions—such as the collapse of the Najibullah government in 1992—failed to provide an opportunity for investigations into past human rights abuses because the conflict was ongoing. As a consequence, documentation remains thin. Conditions have made it difficult for human rights groups to function; additionally, many records have been either lost or destroyed. Since 2001, a number of initiatives were launched to investigate and document war crimes and human rights abuses. The relative openness of this period provided increased opportunities to document ongoing abuses occurring in the context of the Taliban insurgency and counterinsurgency effort. The most ambitious components of transitional justice, as envisioned by Afghan organizations and their international partners, however, appear to be indefinitely stalled given the failure of electoral vetting and the silencing of an Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission report that would have mapped all abuses in the three decades of conflict. No single report or archive can provide a definitive truth about the past. Such an archive, however, can serve, however imperfectly, as vital evidence in the effort to understand the complex array of factors that have played a part in conflict. Better documentation and access to other narratives could provide a counterweight to narrow or politically motivated interpretations of past events that could seed future conflict.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Development, Islam, Terrorism, War, Armed Struggle, Insurgency
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan
  • Author: Suparva Narasimhaiah
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for European Studies at Cornell University
  • Abstract: On April 26, 2013, the UN Foundation (UNF), Quaker United Nations Office (QUNO), the International Peace Institute (IPI), and the Post-2015 Development Team at the Executive Office of the Secretary-General jointly convened a workshop to assess the impact of conflict, violence, and instability on development. The meeting brought together members from the UN Secretariat, agencies, funds, and programs as well as outside experts to consider strategies for addressing the post-2015 development agenda.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Political Violence, Arms Control and Proliferation, Development, Peace Studies, War, Insurgency, Peacekeeping