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  • Author: Heinrich Brauss, Christian Mölling
  • Publication Date: 04-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: NATO Defense College
  • Abstract: NATO must “stay strong militarily, be more united politically, and take a broader approach 1 globally”. When launching the reflection pro- cess on NATO’s future role, NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg set these three priorities to frame his vision of NATO 2030. At their meeting in London in December 2019, NA- TO’s political leaders mandated a “forward-looking re- flection process” on how NATO should further adapt to ensure it was able to successfully cope with a world of competing great powers due to the rise of China and Russia’s persistently aggressive posture, together with instability along NATO’s southern periphery, new trans- national risks emerging from pandemics, climate change and disruptive technologies. Establishing a unified stra- tegic vision is vital for upholding the Alliance’s cohesion, credibility and effectiveness. Looking forward, what does this mean for NATO’s military dimension?
  • Topic: NATO, Diplomacy, Regional Cooperation, Military Strategy
  • Political Geography: Europe, North Atlantic, North America
  • Author: Pat Shilo, Todd Rosenblum
  • Publication Date: 03-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Third Way
  • Abstract: President Biden has announced plans to re-engage with Iran on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), also known as the Iran Nuclear Deal. In this paper, we briefly outline the five most likely pathways ahead, each of which has strengths and challenges: Return to the JCPOA as it was. Return to the JCPOA plus new commitments that address other security concerns with Iran. Restore the JCPOA as it was plus a set of confidence-building measures to address other security concerns. Formally link a requirement for Iran to address our other concerns as a pre-condition for further talks. Return to the pre-JCPOA Middle East, where US and allies work to rollback Iran’s nuclear program and actively deter its regional actions by confrontation, punishment, and isolating measures. Each path carries risk and opportunity for restoring American leadership in the world, and congressional Democrats should remember the perfect deal does not exist. Members of Congress would be wise to measure the next deal against the status quo ante: an unconstrained, belligerent Iran again racing to a bomb.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, Diplomacy, Nuclear Weapons, Treaties and Agreements, Military Strategy, Denuclearization, JCPOA
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Mieke Eoyang
  • Publication Date: 05-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Third Way
  • Abstract: In 2020, candidates and elected officials will face questions on national security and foreign policy issues. In this memo, we provide short talking points on these issues that acknowledge the concerns of Americans, critique current approaches and policies, and present a vision for the future: 1. Global Health Security, 2. China & COVID-19, 3. China Trade War, 4. Russia, 5. Terrorism, 6. Domestic Extremism, 7. Iran, 8. Election Security, 9. Saudi Arabia & Yemen, 10. Syria, 11. Alliances, 12. North Korea, 13. Cyberthreats, 14. Venezuela, 15. Afghanistan, 16. Forever War, 17. Border Security, 18. Defense Spending, 19. Impeachment, 20. Climate Change, 21. Corruption
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Military Strategy, Elections
  • Political Geography: United States, North America, Global Focus
  • Author: Can Kasapoglu
  • Publication Date: 02-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: NATO Defense College
  • Abstract: In three decades, Ankara’s strategic agenda in Syria has considerably changed. First, back in the late 1990s, Tur- key’s primary goal was to put an end to the Hafez al-As- sad regime’s use of the PKK terrorist organization as a proxy. To address the threat at its source, Ankara resort- ed to a skillfully crafted coercive diplomacy, backed by the Turkish Armed Forces. A determined approach – championed by Turkey’s late president Suleyman Demi- rel – formed the epicenter of this policy: it was coupled with adept use of alliances, in particular the Turkish-Is- raeli strategic partnership. In October 1998, Syria, a trou- blesome state sponsor of terrorism as designated by the US Department of State since 19791, gave in. The Baath regime ceased providing safe haven to Abdullah Oca- lan, the PKK’s founder who claimed thousands of lives in Turkey. The same year, Damascus signed the Adana Agreement with Ankara, vowing to stop supporting ter- rorist groups targeting Turkey. In the following period, from the early 2000s up until the regional unrest in 2011, Turkish policy aimed at reju- venating the historical legacy. During that time, Ankara fostered its socio-cultural and economic integration efforts in Syria – for example, cancelling visas, promoting free trade, and holding joint cabinet meetings. Turkey’s foreign policy was shaped by then Foreign Minister and Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu’s thought, popularly formulated in the concept of “Strategic Depth”. Refer- ring to David Laing’s anti-psychiatry school, Davutoglu claimed that the nation was alienated from its roots and embraced a “false self”. To fix the “identity crisis”, Tur- key pursued charm offensives in the Middle East. This ideationally motivated stance even led to speculative neo-Ottomanism debates in Western writings.2 From 2011, when the Arab Spring broke out, there were high hopes as to Turkey’s role model status. In April 2012, before the Turkish Parliament, then For- eign Minister Davutoglu stated that Ankara would lead the change as “the master, pioneer, and servant” of the Middle East.3 Five years later, the Turkish administration dropped these aspirations. At the 2017 Davos meeting, then Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Simsek stated that the Assad regime’s demise was no longer one of his gov- ernment’s considerations.4 In fact, by 2015, Turkey had to deal with real security problems on its doorstep, such as the Russian expedition in Syria, ISIS rockets hammer- ing border towns, the refugee influx, and mushrooming PKK offshoots.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, NATO, Diplomacy, Regional Cooperation, Military Strategy
  • Political Geography: Europe, North Atlantic, Turkey, Syria, North America
  • Author: Chloe Berger
  • Publication Date: 05-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: NATO Defense College
  • Abstract: In the spring of 2020, the Atlantic Alliance’s “large pe- riphery” to the South, which extends from the Sahel to the Asian borders of the Arabian Gulf, remains in a state of dangerous instability. The health and con- tainment measures taken by the authorities against the COVID-19 crisis have put popular claims to rest. The case of Lebanon shows, however, that the urgency of the pandemic has not made the demands of the pop- ulation disappear. Beyond managing the health crisis, there is no doubt that the future of the region’s lead- erships1 will largely depend on their ability to miti- gate both the socio-economic consequences of the COVID-19 crisis, as well as the political ones. In this “broader MENA” region, whose confines and internal cohesion are unstable, the challenges are ever more complex. Despite the relative consensus between NATO and its Mediterranean Dialogue (MD) and Is- tanbul Cooperation Initiative (ICI) partners on the deep-rooted causes of the structural instability, the po- tential solutions are much debated. NATO’s “Project- ing Stability” concept raises as many questions with the partners, as it does within the Alliance, since a desired end-state has yet to be defined. While all efforts con- tributing to an increase in stability are a priori welcome, the Alliance and its partners must agree on the conditions of stability in order to identify and implement effective means suited to the local context.
  • Topic: NATO, Regional Cooperation, Military Strategy, Collective Defense
  • Political Geography: Europe, North Atlantic, Asia, North America, Gulf Nations
  • Author: Andrea Gilli
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: NATO Defense College
  • Abstract: The continuing role of nuclear weapons for NATO security was the focus of a Workshop for early- to mid-career nuclear strategists convened at the NATO Defense College in July 2019, and organized and run by Andrea Gilli. The articles in this volume, which were drafted by several of the speakers at the event, highlight a number of the most critical challenges to NATO’s nuclear deterrence policy and propose recommendations for further NATO action. Carrie Lee provides detailed analysis on the development of hypersonic missile systems by great powers, assesses their unique characteristics and reviews the potential implications of these systems on strategic stability and deterrence. Jacek Durkalec dives deep into Russia’s nuclear strategy and doctrine and proposes some additional steps that NATO can take to be more effective in deterring Russia. Katarzyna Kubiak examines the security challenges posed by the end of the INF Treaty and assesses a range of nuclear response options that NATO could consider. Finally, Harrison Menke reviews Russia’s integration of conventional and nuclear forces in its defence strategy and argues that NATO should take steps to better align its own conventional and nuclear forces and operations in order to enhance deterrence.
  • Topic: NATO, Nuclear Weapons, Military Strategy, Collective Defense
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, North Atlantic, North America
  • Author: Teresa Val
  • Publication Date: 05-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: EastWest Institute
  • Abstract: Terrorism in Afghanistan: A Joint Threat Assessment is intended to serve as an analytical tool for policymakers and an impetus for joint U.S.-Russia action. The report provides an overview of the security situation and peace process in Afghanistan, taking into account U.S. and Russian policies, priorities and interests; surveys the militant terrorist groups in and connected to Afghanistan and explores the security interests of various regional stakeholders vis-à-vis Afghanistan. Challenges relating to border management, arms trafficking and terrorist financing in Afghanistan are also briefly addressed.
  • Topic: Security, Diplomacy, Military Strategy, Counter-terrorism, Peace
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Russia, United States, Europe, Middle East, North America
  • Author: Charly Salonius-Pasternak, Ville Sinkkonen
  • Publication Date: 10-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The US president has considerable power over the country’s foreign policy. The different worldviews espoused by President Trump and presidential candidate Biden are likely to have an impact on how the most significant foreign policy challenges of the coming years are addressed.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Military Strategy, Elections, Party System
  • Political Geography: United States, North America
  • Author: Mariette Hagglund
  • Publication Date: 10-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: A key issue dominating Iran’s foreign policy agenda is the future of the Iran nuclear deal with regard to the next US president. Non-state armed groups mark the core of Iran’s leverage in the region, but Iran is currently looking into diversifying its means of influence. Although Iran considers its non-aligned position a strength, it is also a weakness. In an otherwise interconnected world, where other regional powers enjoy partnerships with other states and can rely on external security guarantors, Iran remains alone. By being more integrated into regional cooperation and acknowledged as a regional player, Iran could better pursue its interests, but US attempts to isolate the country complicate any such efforts. In the greater superpower competition between the US and China, Iran is unlikely to choose a side despite its current “look East” policy, but may take opportunistic decisions.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Military Strategy, Elections
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Iran, Middle East, Asia, North America
  • Author: Jyrki Kallio
  • Publication Date: 10-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Speculation is rife that China could take advantage of the potential confusion during the US presidential election and invade Taiwan. Although China has never relinquished the military option for resolving the Taiwan issue, there are sound reasons to downplay the risk of a military confrontation at the present time.
  • Topic: War, Military Strategy, Elections, Conflict
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Taiwan, Asia, North America
  • Author: Sven Biscop
  • Publication Date: 03-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: EGMONT - The Royal Institute for International Relations
  • Abstract: When Trump says that he wants NATO to take more responsibility in the Middle East, what he means is that he wants the European allies to do more. He is campaigning for re- election and has promised to bring the boys (and girls) home for Christmas. And of course, in Iraq American troops are less than welcome these days, after the targeted assassination of Iranian General Soleimani near Baghdad airport (3 January 2020). In late 2019, Trump had already withdrawn most troops from Syria, and now the peace agreement with the Taliban (29 February 2020) will allow him to draw down the US military presence in Afghanistan too. And the US is considering pulling its troops out of the Sahel as well. What does this mean for Europe?
  • Topic: Defense Policy, NATO, Military Strategy, Assassination
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Iraq, Iran, Middle East, Syria, North America
  • Author: Jo Coelmont
  • Publication Date: 03-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: EGMONT - The Royal Institute for International Relations
  • Abstract: Europe is looking to be a global player rather than just a global playground. To achieve this, it needs a security council. This is essential for gaining strategic relevance. Europe needs to have recourse not only to international fora but also to a series of instruments of hard and soft power. Swift decision making at the appropriate level is of paramount importance. Such a security council should meet a number of requirements: it must be representative, be able to both achieve unity of vision and undertake action smoothly, and keep going until the desired end-state has been achieved. Several proposals have been made as to the composition of such a body. I will look into the four most discussed options. Are we spoilt for choice?
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, NATO, Regional Cooperation, Military Strategy
  • Political Geography: Europe, North Atlantic, North America
  • Publication Date: 12-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Institute for Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: For the past two decades the US and its allies have faced a very limited surface-to-air threat in wars in which they have engaged. This is now changing as the worsening security environment and the emergence of near-peer rivals once again raises the spectre of a strongly contested air domain. A central element of the renewed challenge is the surface-to-air missile (SAM) system. China and Russia have fielded and continue to develop SAM systems across all range categories – and to offer many of these for export – that pose a credible threat to air operations. The US, and to an even greater extent the Europeans, have reduced emphasis and expenditure on what is known as the suppression of enemy air defence (SEAD) role. Counter-insurgency rather than counter-integrated air-defence operations have been the priority since the turn of the century. There is now, however, the renewed challenge of being able to carry out air operations in airspace defended by the latest generations of point-, short-, medium- and long-range SAM systems. Low-observable aircraft only offer a partial solution, particularly as the US and its allies will operate mixed fleets of stealthy and non-stealthy combat aircraft at least until around the middle of the century. The latter types of aircraft remain at greater risk from SAM threats than low-observable aircraft, and their operational utility will depend partly on the wider capacity to counter surface-based threat missile systems. SEAD is an asset-intensive capability, particularly in the early days of a conflict, and has traditionally involved dedicated platforms as well as fighter ground-attack aircraft. In SEAD operations in the 1990s, such as Operation Allied Force during the 1999 Kosovo conflict, up to one-third of strike missions were tasked against ground-based air defences. While the force mix will change as uninhabited systems are increasingly adopted in the inventory, a variety of crewed and uninhabited aircraft and associated weaponry will still be required for the task, and will be required in numbers greater than are available in current inventories if faced by a peer or near-peer threat. Collating what is known as an electronic order of battle against peer and near-peer rivals should once again become a priority, as should the capacity to counter, disable or destroy surface-to-air threat systems.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, Military Strategy, Missile Defense
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Europe, Asia, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Amanda Lapo, Bastain Giegerich, James Hackett
  • Publication Date: 12-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Institute for Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: The ambition to promote stability and foster peace in an increasingly volatile security environment is an established element of EU and NATO policy. There is a risk that the coronavirus pandemic will increase the demand for stabilisation measures while at the same time complicating their supply. This paper focuses on the role that military and security actors can play in supporting stabilisation efforts. The ambition to promote stability and foster peace in an increasingly volatile security environment is an established element of European Union and NATO policy. This ambition is also reflected in many of their member states’ national-level policy and strategy documents. The direction and implementation of these policies are influenced by a range of motivations including security worries, humanitarian concerns and historical ties. Stability is a challenging endeavour at the best of times, and there is a risk that the coronavirus pandemic will increase the demand for it while at the same time complicating its supply.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, NATO, Regional Cooperation, Military Strategy, European Union, Political stability, Public Health, Pandemic, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Europe, North Atlantic, North America
  • Author: Greg Thielmann
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland (CISSM)
  • Abstract: Growing concerns about third-country nuclear threats led the United States to withdraw from the ABM Treaty’s constraints on the size and scope of ballistic missile defense arsenals in 2002. Inaccurate and alarmist projections of “rogue state” ICBM threats were critical in winning support for the decision to withdraw from the treaty and to sustain the multi-billion dollar annual price tag for developing, deploying, and expanding strategic missile defenses. But 18 years after Washington abandoned the treaty, North Korea is the only rogue state that could pose a near-term nuclear threat against the American homeland—and U.S. missile defense interceptors and radars have not even delivered high confidence of being able to protect against this threat. Meanwhile, the absence of limits on U.S. strategic missile defenses and prudent, worst-case concerns in Moscow and Beijing about their future expansion are fueling resistance to additional nuclear arms reductions and stability measures. The end result is that the exponential threats posed by Russia and China are getting worse and the chances of a disastrous nuclear arms race are increasing. This analysis argues that the nuclear threat confronting the United States is multilateral, three-dimensional, and interrelated. Unless the United States acknowledges the role of missile defenses in this complicated reality, it will not be able to realize the full benefits that arms control offers.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Nuclear Weapons, Military Strategy, Nuclear Power, Missile Defense
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Europe, Asia, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Alexander H. Montgomery
  • Publication Date: 07-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland (CISSM)
  • Abstract: Left unchecked, the diffusion of dual-use enabling technologies—such as additive manufacturing, artificial intelligence, and advanced communication technologies—may pose threats to strategic stability. The rapid development of these technologies by the United States and its allies and partners has taken place primarily in the private sector, and is largely stored and transported in easily-diffused digital formats. If diffusion occurs, it could lead to significant innovation in, or even transformation of, competitors’ military forces. Enabling technologies can be particularly dangerous since they can have a feedback effect by accelerating innovation itself. Rapid shifts in the balance of military forces due to adoption of these technologies by competitors can, in turn, threaten strategic stability. To counter these threats, the United States and its allies and partners need a common awareness of the factors that enable and constrain technological diffusion, adoption, and transformation. In order to deepen understanding of how these developments are most likely to impact international security and contribute to the creation of mitigating policies, this paper develops a model of the pathways through which enabling technologies could affect strategic stability, drawing on the literatures on technological invention, innovation, and evolution; nuclear proliferation; and conventional arms flows. Diffusion of inventions can occur through four pathways: buy, beg, steal or copy; yet none of these pathways guarantee successful diffusion of technological inventions, and are subject to a variety of countermeasures. Moreover, there are significant downstream hurdles to adopting these technologies and using them to transform military forces. Consequently, while some diffusions may have a significant multiplicative effect, many may have little or no net effect on strategic stability. Policymakers must carefully and consider specific technologies and strategically act to effectively limit those that pose the greatest danger.
  • Topic: Science and Technology, Military Strategy, Strategic Stability, Emerging Technology
  • Political Geography: North America, United States of America
  • Author: Richard Nephew
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center on Global Energy Policy (CGEP), Columbia University
  • Abstract: Since taking power in January 2017, the Trump administration has overseen a dramatic escalation of sanctions[1] to pressure and punish US adversaries, including high-profile cases against Iran, North Korea, Russia, and Venezuela. Against this background, the Center on Global Energy Policy is publishing a short series of critiques of the Trump administration’s sanctions in the four cases mentioned. The series utilizes findings from the author’s book The Art of Sanctions, which recommends policy makers evaluate their sanctions decisions regularly to assess whether they are using sanctions effectively. It counsels that policy makers should have alternative strategies under development for use if they determine sanctions have or will likely fail to achieve their objectives. Further, the author enjoins those intent on using sanctions to recall that, like all foreign policy instruments, sanctions are only as good as the underlying strategy being pursued. This commentary, the fourth and last in the series, examines the effectiveness of the sanctions put in place against Venezuela. It assesses the sanctions approach within the parameters of the framework outlined in The Art of Sanctions and concludes with recommendations for the Trump administration. The Trump administration began with a conundrum: how to exert leverage on a country that is not only hostile to the United States but also an economic mess. Diplomatic engagement appeared an implausible path toward resolving US concerns with the country—not least of which centered on its potential to be disruptive to the region as a whole—but these concerns did not reach the level that would merit the use of military force. Such situations are usually tailor-made for the application of sanctions pressure, but, in Venezuela’s case, the country was already suffering under considerable economic strain that was entirely self-administered. Sensibly, the Trump administration declined to undertake major new sanctions initiatives for over a year. But upon doing so, the administration found itself in a wholly new and arguably more difficult situation: imposing sanctions on a country in the midst of a contested political transition. To date, the sanctions approach selected has been largely reasonable in this context, but impatience over the slow pace of the aforementioned transition could prompt error, especially if the administration loses sight of the desired end goal and begins to see sanctions pressure as an end unto itself.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Military Strategy, Sanctions
  • Political Geography: South America, Venezuela, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Richard Nephew
  • Publication Date: 09-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center on Global Energy Policy (CGEP), Columbia University
  • Abstract: For several months, it has seemed likely that the Trump administration would elect to pursue the reimposition, or snapback, of UN Security Council (UNSC) sanctions against Iran. For those less steeped in the terminology, the concept of sanctions “snapback” is one developed as part of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). It refers to the ability of the United States and other partners to quickly reimpose the sanctions that were suspended as part of the quid pro quo that saw Iran accept significant restrictions and transparency requirements for its nuclear program. Conceptually, this was necessary because Iran had the ability to restart its nuclear program if the United States or others were seen as cheating on the deal. The United States and its partners needed some assurance that, if Iran were found to be cheating, they could react just as swiftly. On August 20, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo finally submitted the notification that, according to the US government, would trigger a 30-day timeline for the reimposition of these sanctions. In the US view there is now no stopping the return of the UNSC’s original Iran sanctions regime, though there may be some procedural wrangling over how and when the measures will be reimposed. It is not clear, however, whether this will be the case. A fair amount of analysis has gone into the fundamental question of whether the United States has the standing to trigger snapback, which is an issue I explored in 2019.[1] European, Russian, Chinese, Iranian, and other observers argue that the United States has no such standing, because, under the terms of the UN Security Council resolution that created the snapback mechanism (UNSCR 2231), it is no longer a “participant” of the JCPOA following its withdrawal in 2018. Even former National Security Advisor John Bolton—who was in large part responsible for the US withdrawal from the JCPOA—tends to agree with this reading.[2] The Trump administration obviously disagrees. It is an important question, and one that speaks to the underlying credibility and integrity of the US snapback decision as well as its results. But, ultimately, there is no way of finding a conclusive answer. International law being what it is, there are no authoritative arbiters available to determine whether the United States or its many critics are right. Snapback is happening and will have consequences, we now need to shift to considering what comes next. I see four main outcomes that are directly relevant to this decision and the future of US sanctions policy and negotiations.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, Nuclear Weapons, United Nations, Military Strategy, Sanctions, JCPOA
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Ryan Van Wie
  • Publication Date: 11-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Department of Social Sciences at West Point, United States Military Academy
  • Abstract: This article analyzes how an international peacekeeping operation (PKO) can support an intra-Afghan peace settlement by mitigating information and commitment problems and fostering compliance during the settlement’s implementation phase. To frame the information and commitment problems currently hindering an intra-Afghan settlement, I briefly review noncooperative bargaining theory, its application to civil conflicts, and how PKOs can lessen mutual uncertainty and foster stability. Anchoring this research on Afghanistan, I analyze the first peacekeeping mission in Afghanistan, the 1988–1990 United Nations Good Offices Mission in Afghanistan and Pakistan (UNGOMAP). UNGOMAP’s eventual failure to foster peace highlights Afghanistan’s complexities and the dangers of an insufficiently resourced PKO operating in a state without a viable, incentive-compatible settlement. I apply these lessons to policy analysis, where I explore possible PKO options and their potential for incentivizing compliance with a future intra-Afghan deal. Though a viable PKO currently seems improbable given Afghanistan’s ongoing violence and the Taliban’s insistence on the complete withdrawal of foreign forces, future conditions may change, and I highlight necessary prerequisites where a PKO may become possible. If designed properly, an Afghanistan PKO can fill a critical monitoring and verification capacity and bolster Afghanistan’s prospects for long-term stability.
  • Topic: Military Strategy, Peacekeeping, Military Intervention, Strategic Stability
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Middle East, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Didier Audenaert
  • Publication Date: 12-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: EGMONT - The Royal Institute for International Relations
  • Abstract: In this policy brief, the author focusses on NATO’s nuclear dimension. He highlights key challenges in the European security environment and explains essential charac- teristics of NATO’s deterrence and collective defence, and its contribution to arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation. He then briefly describes the contributions of NATO’s nuclear states (and in particular France’s) to collective security and defence. All Allies (except France) participate in the Nuclear Planning Group (NPG), NATO’s senior body on nuclear matters. NATO’s nuclear role sharing is at the heart of this policy brief: US nuclear weapons carried by European dual-capable aircraft (DCA). The author argues emphatically as to why American nuclear weapons should be kept on European soil and the current DCA countries should maintain the status quo. Tangible recommendations follow on in terms of Belgian’s foreign security policy and defence, many of which are also highly likely to apply to other DCA countries.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, NATO, International Cooperation, Nuclear Weapons, Military Strategy
  • Political Geography: Europe, Belgium, North America
  • Publication Date: 10-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: The Aspen Strategy Group recently released Domestic and International (Dis)Order: A Strategic Response bringing together preeminent experts to explore race, democracy, and political divisions on the American home front; the future of U.S.-China relations; the global economy; and U.S. foreign policy priorities for 2021. Contributors include: Madeleine K. Albright, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Zoë Baird, Robert D. Blackwill, Nicholas Burns, Kurt M. Campbell, Diana Farrell, Peter Feaver, Michael J. Green, Naima Green-Riley, Jane Harman, Kay Bailey Hutchison, Wolfgang Ischinger, Aditi Kumar, Anja Manuel, David McCormick, John McLaughlin, Shivshankar Menon, Joseph S. Nye, Jr., David H. Petraeus, Tom Pritzker, Condoleezza Rice, Senator Tim Scott, Anne-Marie Slaughter, Torrey Taussig, and Philip Zelikow.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Economics, International Cooperation, Race, Military Strategy, Democracy, Strategic Stability
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Lianna Fix, Bastain Giegerich, Theresa Kirch
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Institute for Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: Recent developments in transatlantic relations have reignited the debate about the need for Europeans to assume greater responsibility for their own security. Yet, efforts by European leaders to substantiate the general commitment to 'take their fate into their own hands' are so far lacking sufficient progress. Against this backdrop, the Körber Policy Game brought together a high-level group of senior experts and government officials from France, Germany, Poland, the UK and the US to address a fictional scenario that involves a US withdrawal from NATO, followed by multiple crises in Europe. How will Europeans organise their security and defence if the US withdraws from NATO? To what extent will future European security be based on mutual solidarity, ad-hoc coalitions or a bilateralisation of relations with the US? Which interests would the respective European governments regard as vital and non-negotiable? What role would the US play in European security after the withdrawal? The Körber Policy Game is based on the idea of projecting current foreign and security policy trends into a future scenario – seeking to develop a deeper understanding of the interests and priorities of different actors as well as possible policy options. The starting point is a short to medium-term scenario. Participants are part of country teams and assume the role of advisers to their respective governments.
  • Topic: NATO, Regional Cooperation, Military Strategy, European Union
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, North Atlantic, North America, Brussels
  • Author: Krševan Antun Dujmović
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for Development and International Relations (IRMO)
  • Abstract: This year the North Atlantic Treaty Origination (NATO) marks seventieth anniversary of its creation. Back in 1949, the founding nations gathered around the United States as the leader of Western liberal democracies, establishing NATO as a military and political alliance that was to serve as a barrier against the Soviet Union, ‘’’’ serve as a counterbalance to NATO and the era of the Cold War gained full sway, with clearly established division in Europe between the capitalist West and communist East, and with only a handful of European countries opting for neutrality. Thus, a bipolar system of world order was established, with defined territories and its export of communism throughout the continent. Just six years later, Moscow assembled the Warsaw Pact together with other Eastern European communist countries, excluding Yugoslavia. The Warsaw Pact was to and frontiers of the two global adversaries, and the Cold War pertained until the collapse of the USSR in 1991. From 1991 onwards, fifteen new independent states emerged from the disintegrated Soviet Union, with the newly founded Russian Federation as its legal successor and a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. Subsequently the Warsaw Pact had collapsed, and Eastern European countries used a transition period that was to bring them closer to the West, ultimately to NATO and the European Union. The collapse of the Soviet Union was the single most important event in history after the World War II and the world entered into a new era. Back in early nineties, it seemed that Russia and the West have buried the tomahawk of war for an indefinite time, and many political theorists and politicians, in both NATO member states and in Russia, have stated that without its archrival NATO no longer had raison d’etre.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, NATO, International Cooperation, Military Strategy
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, North Atlantic, North America
  • Author: Dave Johnson
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: NATO Defense College
  • Abstract: The visibility, scale and scope of Russian military exercises have been a focus of the Western media and specialist literature since 2014. Of most recent interest, Russia conducted Vostok 2018, the latest it- eration of its annual strategic1 exercises, from early July to 17 September 2018. Vostok (meaning East) is part of a system of strategic exercises that the Russian Armed Forces have been developing since 2009. It is one of the four named annual strategic exercises conducted on a rotating basis among four of Russia’s five military districts. It should be noted that these visible events represent a small fraction of Russia’s nationwide whole-of-Government effort to develop the ability to conduct large-scale operations against a major military power, and to influence po- tential adversaries.
  • Topic: NATO, Regional Cooperation, Military Strategy, Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, North Atlantic, North America
  • Author: Andrea Gilli
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: NATO Defense College
  • Abstract: The unprecedented pace of technological change brought about by the fourth Industrial Revolution offers enormous opportunities but also entails some risks. This is evident when looking at discussions about artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML) and big data (BD). Many analysts, scholars and policy- makers are in fact worried that, beside efficiency and new economic opportunities, these technologies may also promote international instability: for instance, by leading to a swift redistribution of wealth around the world; a rapid diffusion of military capabilities or by heightening the risks of military escalation and conflict. Such concerns are understandable. Throughout history, technological change has at times exerted similar effects. Additionally, human beings seem to have an innate fear that autonomous machines might, at some point, revolt and threaten humanity – as illustrated in popular culture, from Hebrew tradition’s Golem to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, from Karel Čapek’s Robot to Isaac Asimov’s I, Robot and the movie Terminator. This NDC Policy Brief contributes to the existing debate by assessing the logic behind some of these concerns and by looking at the historical record. While some worries are warranted, this brief provides a much more reassuring view. The implications are straightforward: NATO, its member states and partners should not be afraid of ongoing technological change, but embrace the opportunities offered by new technologies and address the related challenges. In other words, the Atlantic Alliance should start a new transformation process directed toward the age of intelligent machines: it should start with what I call “NATO-mation”. The goal is not only preserving and enhancing NATO’s military superiority and thus better contribute to global security in the decades ahead but also ensuring that its values, ethical stances as well as moral commitments will remain central in a rapidly- changing security environment.
  • Topic: NATO, Regional Cooperation, Science and Technology, Military Strategy, Artificial Intelligence
  • Political Geography: Europe, North Atlantic, North America
  • Author: Karl-Heinz Kamp
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: NATO Defense College
  • Abstract: Seven decades after it was established, the North Atlantic Alliance is doing fairly well and fully de- serves being described as the most successful secu- rity organization in modern history. By constantly evolving and adapting, NATO managed to main- tain its relevance on both sides of the Atlantic in fundamentally different security environments. It preserved the territorial integrity of its members during the Cold War and was crucial for bringing down the Iron Curtain. It helped to bring peace to the Balkans and prevented Afghanistan from once again becoming a breeding ground for jihadist ter- rorism. Since Russia’s return to revanchist policies in 2014, NATO again guarantees the freedom and security of its members in the East. In the long term though, NATO faces an almost existential problem, as it will be difficult to main- tain its relevance for the United States as the dom- inant power within the Alliance. This will be less a result of the current president’s erratic policy than of the geostrategic reorientation of the US away from Russia and towards China. NATO will also have to fundamentally alter its geographic orienta- tion to avoid falling into oblivion.
  • Topic: Security, NATO, Diplomacy, Regional Cooperation, Military Strategy
  • Political Geography: Europe, North Atlantic, North America
  • Author: Bruno Tertrais
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: NATO Defense College
  • Abstract: Twenty years ago, as the Atlantic Alliance was get- ting ready to celebrate its 50th anniversary, this au- thor published a piece entitled “Will NATO still exist in 2009?”.1 It argued that NATO’s lost sense of mission after the disappearance of the Sovi- et threat, disagreements over peacekeeping, and a growing US disinterest for Europe legitimately raised the question of the Alliance’s ability to sur- vive ten years from then. Today NATO’s Article 5 missions are once again taking center stage and the relevance of the Alli- ance is hardly questioned. But questions are still being raised about its political solidity. Is it more le- gitimate today to wonder about NATO’s existence ten years from now than it was in 1999? To a point, no. There is no longer a significant debate about NATO’s relevance. However, there are severe ten- sions in the transatlantic relation, which Russia’s aggressiveness is unlikely to dampen. NATO has remarkably adapted and has even been rejuvenated: but the Atlantic Alliance remains in trouble. And this, in turn, could have consequences on NATO’s ability to deter and act.
  • Topic: NATO, Diplomacy, Regional Cooperation, Military Strategy, Peacekeeping, Transatlantic Relations
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, North Atlantic, North America
  • Author: Tomáš Valášek
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: NATO Defense College
  • Abstract: As NATO celebrates its 70th anniversary, it has re- turned nearly all the way to its original deterrence and defence roots. While it remains in the busi- ness of collective security and crisis management, for the past five years – since Russia’s aggression against Ukraine – Article 5 tasks have come to dominate the agenda of the commanders, plan- ners and policy makers. As for the years ahead, the challenges come in three forms. The first is to finish the transition to common defence. 2019 is not 1949; the nature of the technologies that determine winners and los- ers has changed. And while NATO has adapted admirably in many ways, it has work left to do, par- ticularly in addressing cyber vulnerabilities. The second challenge is also related to technolo- gies, and it is to start preparing for the next gener- ation of partly or fully automated warfare, which will make use of artificial intelligence (AI). The re- search and development is well under way, on the part of the Allies as well as potential adversaries. A lot less thinking is taking place with regard to how defence politics – the way Allies agree on plans and guide operations – will be affected. That is a mistake. The changes which automation will bring to NATO deliberations will be no less dramatic than those which will happen on the battlefield. The third challenge is more immediate and po- litical in nature: it is to keep the Alliance unified inthe face of unprecedented soul-searching on the part of the biggest Ally, the United States. And while by virtue of its size and dominance Wash- ington tends to be self-referential, reactions from the rest of NATO member states do make a dif- ference, both positive and negative. Their track re- cord over the past two years has been mixed.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, NATO, Diplomacy, Regional Cooperation, Military Strategy
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, North Atlantic, Ukraine, North America
  • Author: Sara B. Moller
  • Publication Date: 05-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: NATO Defense College
  • Abstract: Since the 2014 Wales Summit, NATO has made a series of reforms (“Adaptation Measures”) to the NATO Force Structure (NFS), the pool of conventional national and multinational forces and headquarters placed at the Alliance’s disposal on either a permanent or temporary basis.1 Designed to strengthen NATO’s long-term military posture and enable quick response to emergencies wherever they arise, the post-2014 initiatives constitute the most ambitious attempt at modernizing the NFS in a generation. While NATO deserves praise for the speed with which it reacted to security developments on its Eastern flank in recent years, the importance Brussels placed on responding quickly has come at the expense of a comprehensive theater-wide strategy for the new force structure. Because the new Adaptation Measures were adopted largely on an ad hoc basis, with different framework nations often taking the lead, the question of their relationship with existing NATO initiatives and structures received insufficient attention early on. Indeed, within the Alliance, many officials continue to liken the post-Wales force structure adaptation process to the act of building an airplane while flying. The political expediency which initially gave rise to the Adaptation Measures has since given way to intra-Alliance debates about burden-sharing and the appropriate number of resources to commit to one flank. At the core of these disagreements lie members’ differing threat perceptions. To succeed, however, the new NFS will require the support of all members. For this reason, it is imperative that NATO officials and member states redouble existing efforts to forge consensus on an Alliance-wide threat assessment.
  • Topic: NATO, Diplomacy, Regional Cooperation, Military Strategy
  • Political Geography: Europe, North Atlantic, North America
  • Author: Kris Quanten
  • Publication Date: 05-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: NATO Defense College
  • Abstract: Until 2001, NATO considered the terrorist threat as a secondary phenomenon with a limited impact on the Alliance. The 9/11 attacks marked a radical turnaround: suddenly terrorism became a top secu- rity priority. This was also the first and only time in NATO’s history that Article 5 was invoked, further- more for a terrorist attack. Initially, the reaction to 9/11 was purely military. However, it soon became clear that there was lit- tle strategic vision underlying the initiatives to fight terrorism at the operational level. Hence, the hasty approval, at the NATO Prague Summit in 2002, of a Military Concept for Defence Against Terrorism.1 This Concept foresaw a number of new initiatives, such as intelligence sharing, CBRN measures, the establishment of a Terrorist Threat Intelligence Unit, and Civil Emergency planning, as a priority. Yet all these separate initiatives lacked coordination and an overarching vision.
  • Topic: NATO, Regional Cooperation, Terrorism, Military Strategy, Counter-terrorism, War on Terror
  • Political Geography: Europe, North Atlantic, North America
  • Author: Sven Sakkov
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: NATO Defense College
  • Abstract: After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, most of Europe went on a “strategic holiday”. The West had won and the future was bright. Even the fact that at its weakest the Russian Federation was still able to create frozen conflicts at its borders did not dent this optimism. Defence spending in Eu- rope was plummeting throughout the 1990s, and all the way to 2014. NATO’s prevailing paradigm changed from being a collective defence organi- sation more to something of a collective security actor, with many main missions and a plethora of partnerships. After the shock of 9/11, the Alliance focused on counter-insurgency operations in Afghanistan. Military capabilities required to fight a modern near-peer adversary atrophied even further. In this context, some Allies did not take their eyes off Russia – primarily Poland and the Baltic States. Yet they were perceived by major Western Allies as nuisances requiring psychological counselling, as countries who had been traumatised by their harsh history and hence had become incapable of embracing this new reality of partnership with Rus- sia. Even the Russian military aggression against Georgia in 2008 did not change that Zeitgeist. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton presented her “reset” button to the Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov just seven months after Russian tanks rolled into Georgia.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, NATO, Diplomacy, Regional Cooperation, Military Strategy
  • Political Geography: Europe, North Atlantic, Eastern Europe, North America, Northern Europe
  • Author: Diego A. Ruiz Palmer
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: NATO Defense College
  • Abstract: In this Research Paper, Diego Ruiz Palmer argues, that in spite of the many crises over seven decades, NATO has been a forum in which Allies were able to stand together, build a common purpose, most notably through a process of strategy- making. What is strategy-making and why is it important? Strategy-making is mainly about building a shared sense of strategic thinking and doing within the Alliance; it is about making the Alliance a cohesive and credible defence actor that draws on a solid and Alliance-wide political and military posture. This is achieved through a process of constant consultation, planning, policy-making, shared threat assessment and buy-in by all member states. Strategy-making is important because it determines the long-term success of the project. This was true in the past, but still holds today, at a time when the Alliance is re-embracing a deterrence and defence agenda. If, as Diego Ruiz Palmer puts it, strategy-making has been the “key ingredient in sustaining a constancy of purpose in often turbulent times”, then it must continue to be so, as external and internal challenges – in the post-Cold War era more than ever – question the relevance of the Alliance. Diego Ruiz Palmer recounts the strategic odyssey in systematic and meticulous detail: from the very first steps of the Alliance’s establishment, to the post-Cold War adaptation, through the doctrinal evolutions of the 1960s, to NATO’s strategic and operational renaissance in the ‘70s and ‘80s. Throughout, Diego draws on a rich mix of NATO’s archives and declassified documents, secondary sources, and his own expertise of the institution’s life. The result is inspiring, and will no doubt become a reference document on NATO’s nature and ability to navigate through turbulent strategic waters. One may simply hope that the fate of the Alliance does not resemble that of the Odyssey’s hero.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, NATO, Regional Cooperation, Military Strategy
  • Political Geography: Europe, North Atlantic, North America
  • Author: Jan Broeks
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: NATO Defense College
  • Abstract: Since 2014, the Euro-Atlantic security environment has become less stable and predictable as a result of a series of actions taken by Russia: Russia’s illegal and illegitimate annexation of Crimea and ongoing destabilization of eastern Ukraine; Russia’s military posture and provocative military activities, such as the deployment of modern dual-capable missiles in Kaliningrad, repeated violations of NATO Allied air- space, and the continued military build-up in Crimea; its significant investments in the modernization of its strategic forces; its irresponsible and aggressive nu- clear rhetoric; its large-scale, no-notice snap exercises; and the growing number of its exercises with a nucle- ar dimension. In parallel, growing instability in our southern re- gion, from the Middle East to North Africa, as well as transnational and multi-dimensional threats, are chal- lenging our security. These factors can all have long- term consequences for peace and security in the Eu- ro-Atlantic region and stability across the globe. Yet it is mainly Russian military actions that have brought deterrence and collective defence back to the fore- front of NATO’s agenda.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, NATO, Regional Cooperation, Military Strategy
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, North Atlantic, Ukraine, North America
  • Author: Michael Ruhle
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: NATO Defense College
  • Abstract: Since Russia’s hybrid war against Ukraine in 2014, the Western strategic community is trying to come to grips with the concept of hybridity.1 Some ob- servers were quick to point out that the idea of combining military and non-military tools was far from new, and they warned against exaggerating hy- brid warfare.2 However, Russia’s apparently seam- less and effective blending of political, diplomatic, economic, electronic and military tools in order to annex Crimea and support separatists in the Don- bas seemed to herald a new era of hybrid warfare: a revisionist power was using both old and new means to undermine and, eventually, tear down a post-Cold War order it considered unfair and un- favourable.
  • Topic: NATO, Diplomacy, Regional Cooperation, Military Strategy
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, North Atlantic, Ukraine, North America
  • Author: Mathieu Boulegue
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: NATO Defense College
  • Abstract: Russia’s military posture in the Arctic is informed by the changing geopolitical environment, and can no longer be considered in isolation from the country’s growing tensions with the West. In this sense, the period of “Arctic exceptionalism” – in which, by convention, the region has been treated as a zone of depoliticized cooperation – is coming to an end. Certainly, the Russian Arctic is not exceptional for Moscow in military-operational terms. Russia’s leadership has accorded the same threat perception to the Arctic as it has to other theatres of operation. It seeks consistent control over foreign military activity in the Russian Arctic, and ensured access for Russian armed forces, particularly the Northern Fleet. Russia’s military build-up in the Russian Arctic and the Kremlin’s intentions are, at least for now, defensive in nature. Russia’s military build-up in the Arctic Zone of the Russian Federation (AZRF) primarily aims to ensure perimeter defence of the Kola Peninsula for the survivability of second-strike nuclear assets. Russia’s “Bastion” defence concept consists of the projection of multi-layered sea denial and interdiction capabilities. Another Russian priority is to ensure the Northern Fleet’s access to, and passage along, the Northern Sea Route (NSR) from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean. This has hitherto been achieved through military infrastructure along the NSR. However, due to the receding ice, Moscow will seek to enforce “border control” over a larger portion of its Arctic area in the future. The revamping of dual-use border control infrastructure and facilities is deemed a priority for safeguarding Russia’s vision of national security in the AZRF. Since the mid-2010s, Russia has deployed substantive force and capabilities along its northern border in the AZRF. Parts of the armed forces, such as the Arctic Brigade, are now Arctic-capable and have developed concepts of operations tailored to that environment. The Northern Fleet has been repurposed with the Arctic environment in mind, and has been provided with Arctic-specific military technology and training. Russia acts as a status quo power and a reluctant rule-follower in the Arctic, partly because international law there plays in its favour, and partly because it is in Russia’s interest to do so. Despite growing tension, cooperation between Russia and other Arctic nations is likely to endure.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, NATO, Regional Cooperation, Military Strategy
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, North Atlantic, North America, Arctic
  • Author: Marc Ozawa
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: NATO Defense College
  • Abstract: s the growing relationship between Russia and China a short term “axis of convenience” as some have suggest- ed or rather a “stable strategic partnership” described by China’s former vice Foreign Minister, Fu Ying”.1 Based on current events, it is still too early to tell how substan- tive this relationship will develop. On the one hand, there are impressive achievements in cooperation with clear sig- nals from Moscow and Beijing of their future aspirations, which are serious and long-term. On the other hand, there are indications that things could fall apart quickly consid- ering a contentious history that is still in living memory, lingering distrust and socio-cultural obstacles. Although both countries have finally agreed on a mutually recog- nized border, growing Chinese influence and the sheer disparity of populations in the border region raise con- cerns that even Russian leadership privately acknowledge. For the time being, however, the forces bringing both countries together are enough to overcome these obsta- cles. Although the current direction of bilateral relations is towards cooperation, it is still a fragile sort. Because co- operation requires the participation of Russian and Chi- nese leadership, it could recede without their active pro- motion. In the long term much will depend on how the leadership navigates through the phases of cooperation, both military and economic. For NATO, this underscores the need to incorporate Far East developments into its strategic awareness of the Eastern Flank, particularly with respect to the convergence of political, military and eco- nomic forces.
  • Topic: NATO, Diplomacy, Regional Cooperation, Military Strategy
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Europe, North Atlantic, Asia, North America
  • Author: Patrick Turner
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: NATO Defense College
  • Abstract: NATO at 70 shows no sign of slowing down. Indeed, the last few years have been marked by a growth in the challenges to which we must respond, and a high tem- po of decisions and adaptation. NATO’s ability to adapt to the changing security environment has always been a core strength – but this ability has been and will continue to be put to the test. In the last five years, since Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea and intervention in Eastern Ukraine in 2014, NATO has been going back to basics. Its core purpose of defending Allies has come back to the fore. But not to the exclusion of other tasks and priorities such as: NA- TO’s operations and missions, for example in Afghani- stan, Kosovo and Iraq; our broader contributions to the international fight against terrorism; or our work to build partner capacity. This Policy Brieffocuses on NATO’s efforts to strength- en its defence posture. The NATO shorthand for our efforts to improve our collective defence is deterrence, defence and dialogue (the “three Ds”). These are un- derpinned by responsiveness, readiness and reinforce- ment (the “three Rs”), as well as strengthened national resilience to attack. More investment and commitment by non-US Allies in line with the Defence Investment Pledge agreed at the NATO Summit in Wales in 2014, the shorthand for which is cash, capabilities and contri- butions (the “three Cs”), provides the crucial enablers for the three Ds and the three Rs.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, NATO, Regional Cooperation, Military Strategy
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, North Atlantic, Ukraine, North America
  • Author: Andrea Gilli, Mauro Gilli
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: NATO Defense College
  • Abstract: Analysts, academics and observers are worried that NATO countries may lose their industrial leadership in defence production. Globalization and advances in communications are widely believed to enable enemies and adversaries alike to copy NATO countries’ state- of-the-art weapon systems, and possibly even surpass them by developing next-generation weapon systems. Moreover, so-called disruptive technologies like artificial intelligence, quantum computing and additive manufac- turing are believed to offer cheaper and less technologi- cally demanding options to countries that do not possess the decades’ old defence industrial base of NATO coun- tries. These countries could then use such new technolo- gies for weakening NATO force structure. These concerns are real and deserve close scrutiny. However, adversaries and competitors still face signif- icant challenges which are more insidious than those NATO countries are facing. Because of the complexity of modern technology, imitation, innovation and disruption in armaments production have become increas- ingly demanding over the past decades – especially for naval and aerial platforms intended to operate in com- petitive environments. For NATO this implies more tar- geted defence investments and exploitation of industrial specialisation across the Alliance, as well as experimen- tation and innovation with new technologies to favour their future integration into the NATO force structure.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, NATO, Globalization, Regional Cooperation, Science and Technology, Military Strategy
  • Political Geography: Europe, North Atlantic, North America
  • Author: George Fust
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Department of Social Sciences at West Point, United States Military Academy
  • Abstract: Today’s increasingly complex global operating environment can change at the speed of a tweet or viral video. It is therefore imperative for US forces to have the relationships that offer flexibility and options for any contingency—relationships established in advance of unforeseeable events. The world’s interconnectedness and US defense requirements demand partners and allies with whom we work effectively to bridge cultural gaps. Those relationships increase interoperability by creating realistic expectations and combating what can at times emerge as negative stereotypes. Further, shared experiences can help overcome misunderstandings and foster friendships that will be critical in times of crisis. Simply put, you cannot surge trust. It must be cultivated and given constant attention.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Diplomacy, Environment, Military Strategy
  • Political Geography: United States, North America
  • Author: George Fust
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Department of Social Sciences at West Point, United States Military Academy
  • Abstract: Russia docks a warship in Havana knowing it will provoke a response from the United States. How dare they. The US Navy dispatched a destroyer to shadow the vessel; after all, the United States has the Monroe doctrine to enforce. A few weeks prior, Russia sent around a hundred troops to Venezuela. This also provoked a response, albeit rhetorical. Despite these US reactions, Russia continues to play strategic games. Why did the United States respond to these actions in these ways? And what is the most appropriate response?
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Regional Cooperation, Military Strategy, Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, South America, North America
  • Author: Amos Yadlin
  • Publication Date: 05-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for National Security Studies (INSS)
  • Abstract: After a year in which Iran opted for "strategic patience," in the hope that European nations would compensate for the United States sanctions, it now seeks to present a price tag for the US measures against it, and has thus embarked on a response comprising action in three realms: nuclear, military, and oil exports from the Gulf. In the current circumstances, Iran and the United States are demanding conditions that would make a resumption of negotiations difficult, although both sides apparently understand that dialogue may ultimately be the less dangerous option for them. The latest developments embody the potential for escalation and miscalculation that is liable to affect Israel's security, and therefore the security cabinet should convene to craft an appropriate policy for the near, medium, and long terms.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Oil, Military Strategy, Nuclear Power
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran, Middle East, North America
  • Author: Sven Biscop
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: EGMONT - The Royal Institute for International Relations
  • Abstract: Strategic autonomy: yes! But to do what exactly? To protect ourselves, or to protect others, outside Europe, as well? To protect ourselves by defeating the enemy on his own ground, in Europe’s neighbourhood or further afield? Or only by making sure he doesn’t breach the walls of Europe? To protect us from all enemies, or only from some? Who is the “enemy” anyway? The June 2016 European Union Global Strategy (EUGS) for the first time explicitly mentions strategic autonomy as an objective for the Union, and that raises a lot of questions. Sven Biscop argues that the EU’s priorities should be: (1) In the short term, to further strengthen its strategic autonomy in protecting our domestic security, and to achieve full strategic autonomy in crisis response, across the whole spectrum of operations, in our broad neighbourhood. (2) In the medium term, to achieve a significant degree of autonomy in securing Europe’s “connectivity” with the world, in space, air space and cyberspace and on the seas. (3) In the long term, to achieve a significant degree of autonomy for the European Allies and partners of NATO (who, pace Cyprus, happen to constitute the EU), to deter and defend against threats against our territory, in case the attention of our main non-EU allies is pulled away by contingencies outside the North Atlantic area.
  • Topic: Security, NATO, Regional Cooperation, Military Strategy, European Union, Autonomy
  • Political Geography: Europe, North Atlantic, North America
  • Author: Nils Lukacs
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: Ten years ago, President Barack Obama’s unprecedented address to the Muslim world from Cairo was hailed as a landmark in US–Middle Eastern relations and described by contemporary observers as a historical break in US foreign policy in the region. Yet it soon became clear that the president’s vision for a “new beginning based on mutual interest and mutual respect” would face many practical constraints. Analysing the thematic and rhetorical development of Obama’s speeches during the formative period between summer 2008 and 2009, as well as the public and academic perception of and reaction to these moments, the paper examines the underlying interests and motivations for the president’s foreign policy approach in the Middle East. It argues that despite the low priority given to foreign policy issues during the economic crisis occurring at the time, the key pillars of Obama’s ambitious vision for the Middle East were rooted in pronounced US interests as well as the president’s personal convictions, rather than opportunistic calculations. It thus counters retrospective post-2011 criticism which argues that Obama’s words were never meant to be put into practice. The study contributes to the establishment of a solid empirical and conceptual base for further research on the United States’ foreign policy in the Middle East under the Obama administration.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, International Cooperation, Military Strategy
  • Political Geography: Africa, Middle East, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Matti Pesu, Ville Sinkkonen
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The transatlantic relationship is undergoing a period of turmoil. President Trump’s unorthodox policies have exacerbated historical sources of mistrust between the U.S. and its European allies. This working paper approaches the transatlantic bond from the perspective of asymmetric trust, a perennial factor in transatlantic security and defence affairs. For Europe, the U.S. remains the ultimate guarantor of security, rendering allies dependent upon Washington’s decisions and goodwill. From the American perspective, the European allies are not crucial in ensuring U.S. national security, but remain a pool of reliable partners, whom Washington can periodically draw upon to pursue its global ambitions. This paper evaluates how mistrust has featured within the asymmetric alliance setting, and places the current friction between the U.S. and Europe within this broader context. Acknowledging the sources of mistrust and managing mutual suspicions are crucial for the sustainability of the alliance in an increasingly competitive international arena.
  • Topic: Security, Diplomacy, Regional Cooperation, Military Strategy, Transatlantic Relations
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, North America, Atlantic Ocean
  • Author: Ville Sinkkonen
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The heightened tensions between the United States and Iran should be understood in the context of the Trump administration’s broader foreign policy approach. Even if neither side wants a military confrontation, the “maximum pressure” campaign by the US has raised the risk of a potential miscalculation.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Military Strategy, Conflict
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran, Middle East, North America
  • Author: Mikael Wigell
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: For all the rhetorical rage surrounding ‘hybrid warfare’, Western democracy is being threatened more acutely by hybrid interference. Using liberal democratic values and infrastructure for cover, authoritarian actors use a panoply of covert, non-military means to subtly drive wedges between democratic societies and undermine their internal cohesion. This paper outlines the strategic logic of hybrid interference and shows how it puts Western democratic governability in jeopardy. It argues that deterrence policies need to be revamped in the face of this new challenge and suggests a new strategic concept – democratic deterrence – as a framework for dissuading hybrid interference. The concept of democratic deterrence shows how liberal democratic values need not be security vulnerabilities, as often presented in the current debate, but how they can be turned into strengths and tools for a credible deterrence response against hybrid aggressors, all the while making our Western democracies more robust and resilient.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Military Strategy, Democracy, Deterrence
  • Political Geography: Europe, North America
  • Author: Ville Sinkkonen
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: A newfound focus on great-power competition has brought geoeconomics to the forefront of strategic thinking in Washington D.C. The United States is well positioned to use coercive economic tools, particularly unilateral sanctions, in this game because of its structural advantages in the global economy and financial system. President Donald Trump and his administration have also signalled a preference for the unilateral use of sanctions to excel in the competitive international geostrategic environment and confront “rogue regimes”. Meanwhile, wrangling between Congress and the White House over sanctions policy has intensified since the 2016 presidential election. These systemic, policymaker-bounded and domestic-political factors have created a perfect storm in US sanctions policy. While the US may be able to pursue sanctions unilaterally in the short term, in the long run this may dissuade allies from cooperating and erode America’s structural advantages as other states resort to hedging.
  • Topic: Security, Diplomacy, Military Strategy, Sanctions
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran, Middle East, North America
  • Author: Deborah A. McCarthy
  • Publication Date: 11-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The US Department of Defense is playing a predominant role in US foreign policy due to expanded mandates, large budgets and the disparagement of diplomacy by the Trump Administration. Defense relations may be the steadier foundation for transatlantic cooperation.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, Diplomacy, International Cooperation, Military Strategy, Budget, Transatlantic Relations
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, North America
  • Author: Jean De Ruyt
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: EGMONT - The Royal Institute for International Relations
  • Abstract: The decision by the United States to withdraw from the “Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action” and re-impose sanctions on Iran broke an international understanding, sanctioned by a UN Security Council Resolution. However, European and other non-US companies dealing with Iran must abide by US law in order to avoid its extra- territorial effects on their US operations. Efforts are being made to help the EU keep its “sovereignty” on sanction issues when there is disagreement with the US, but until now these have not accomplished much. Therefore a new Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges (INSTEX) was launched at the end of January to ensure the continuation of some trade with Iran. But the only convincing way to allow the EU to increase its autonomy is to boost the role of the Euro in international transactions. Certainly, in today’s unpredictable world, we need more than ever to address the issue of the extraterritorial application of American sanctions – today it is Iran, what if tomorrow it is China?
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Nuclear Weapons, Sovereignty, Military Strategy, Sanctions
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Iran, Middle East, North America
  • Author: Bruno Hellendorff
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: EGMONT - The Royal Institute for International Relations
  • Abstract: On 1 February 2019, the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that his country had suspended its compliance with the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty, or INF Treaty, and would withdraw from it within six months. The INF Treaty, little known outside of arms control and disarmament circles, was a landmark Cold War agreement between the United States of America and the USSR – the first to ban an entire category of weapons (ground-based medium- and intermediate-range missiles). The US withdrawal, announced in dramatic terms by President Donald Trump in October 2018, followed the claim that Russia had recently developed and fielded a missile with performances forbidden by the INF Treaty. The end of this little-known treaty is not anecdotal. Not only will it further strain the US-Russia relationship and antagonise allies, it will also contribute to the erosion of what is left of the global arms-control architecture and incentivise arms-race behav- iours among great powers. In a world where security is increasingly less a question of multilateral deliberation and rules-based interactions, the end of the INF Treaty is a further signal that missile technologies are again becoming a venue for competition between great powers: only this time, at least three are playing the game (United States, China and Russia) rather than two (United States and USSR). Additionally, missile technology proliferation has turned into a major dimension of contemporary battlefield realities, and missile programmes of countries such as Iran and North Korea continue to pose important diplomatic and non-proliferation challenges. Meanwhile, Europe is, by and large, left watching as its regional security architecture erodes. Welcome to what US National Security Advisor John Bolton recently termed ‘a multipolar missile world’. The EU should not try to salvage the INF Treaty. Its diplomatic capital might be better spent in areas where it could potentially make a difference, rather than in a treaty to which it is not even party. Existing multilateral regimes and agreements with the EU or its Member States as parties are already in dire need of reinforcement in the face of technological progress, a volatile diplomatic environment and self-centred, competitive political narratives. These include, inter alia, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) framework (including its Structured Dialogue), multilateral export control regimes (MECR) like the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), transparency and trust-building mechanisms like the Hague Code of Conduct against missile proliferation (HCoC), and nuclear-related frame- works like the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA or ‘Iran deal’) or the Non- Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Process. These, however, may simply fail to meet the challenge of a multipolar missile world. Renewed efforts, both conceptual and in the realm of capabilities, are needed in a NATO framework to reinforce the linkage between deterrence and diplomacy. NATO-EU dialogue and cooperation on defence issues could be further enhanced, and European countries should work more with like-minded partners at both bilat- eral or multilateral levels on the challenges of non-proliferation and disarmament in the twenty-first century. The demise of the INF Treaty should therefore re-energise the debate on European strategic autonomy, help support collective capability building – not least in NATO – and prompt new discussions on stronger multilateral rules on missile development, use and proliferation.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, NATO, Arms Control and Proliferation, Treaties and Agreements, Military Strategy, European Union
  • Political Geography: Europe, North Atlantic, North America