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  • Author: Yuriy Danyk, Chad Michael Briggs, Tamara Maliarchuk
  • Publication Date: 02-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The conflict in Ukraine has received renewed attention in Washington D.C., and it is worth considering the relevance of this conflict to US national security interests. The open conflict in eastern Ukraine since 2014 has been part of a larger hybrid war, including political and information warfare, cyber warfare, assassinations, promotion of corruption, and traditional (kinetic) warfare carried out by destructive geopolitical actors (DGAs) [1]. The conventional conflict cannot be taken out of context, and it is the less visible and “dark” aspects of hybrid warfare that should particularly worry the United States. Hybrid warfare consists of a wide spectrum of attacks, from conventional to covert, carried out to destabilize one’s opponent. Rather than being isolated incidents, cyber attacks often represent part of a wide spectrum of coordinated, offensive strategies against countries like Ukraine and the United States.
  • Topic: National Security, War, Cybersecurity, Conflict
  • Political Geography: Europe, Ukraine, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Wilder Alejandro Sanchez
  • Publication Date: 05-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Since achieving its independence after the fall of the Soviet Union, Kazakhstan has maintained warm relations with the United States. The country regards the United States both as a potential source for trade and investment and as a partner to balance the influence of Russia and China in Central Asia, a perspective which underlines the importance of US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s February visit to Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. During the visit, Pompeo was generous in his praise for Kazakhstan and highlighted the importance of bilateral ties, while criticizing China’s detention of hundreds of thousands of Uyghurs, Kyrgyz, and ethnic Kazakhs in so-called “re-education” camps.
  • Topic: Security, Terrorism, War, Bilateral Relations, Conflict, Trade
  • Political Geography: Russia, Central Asia, Kazakhstan, North America, United States of 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: Heidi Peltier
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs at Brown University
  • Abstract: This infographic displays an estimate of the raw number of service members from each state operating in the United States post-9/11 wars in 2019 and the relative burden borne by each state in making this contribution. The ‘post-9/11 wars’ refers to U.S. military operations around the world, including in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and elsewhere, that have grown out of President George W. Bush’s “Global War on Terror” and the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan in 2001. The color coding on the map shows the broader context of each state’s contribution of service members in relation to its population size. The darkest color, for instance, shows that South Carolina, Hawaii, Alaska, Florida, and Georgia send the highest numbers of troops, per capita, to war. Since there is no publicly available government data that lists service members involved in the U.S. post-9/11 wars by their state of origin, the research team estimated the figures using a combination of various government data sources. The Methodological Appendix, below, lists sources and methods.
  • Topic: Demographics, War, Armed Forces, Military Affairs, 9/11, War on Terror, Statistics
  • Political Geography: North America, United States of America
  • Author: Heidi Peltier
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs at Brown University
  • Abstract: Throughout the 18 years the U.S. has been engaged in the “Global War on Terror,” mainly in Iraq and Afghanistan, the government has financed this war by borrowing funds rather than through alternative means such as raising taxes or issuing war bonds. Thus, the costs of the post-9/11 wars include not only the expenses incurred for operations, equipment, and personnel, but also the interest costs on this debt. Since 2001 these interest payments have been growing, resulting in more and more taxpayer dollars being wasted on interest payments rather than being channeled to more productive uses. This paper calculates that the debt incurred for $2 trillion in direct war-related spending by the Department of Defense and State Department has already resulted in cumulative interest payments of $925 billion. Even if military interventions ceased immediately, interest payments would continue to rise, and will grow further as the U.S. continues its current military operations.
  • Topic: Debt, War, Military Spending, 9/11
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Iraq, Middle East, Yemen, Syria, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Zainab Saleh
  • Publication Date: 10-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs at Brown University
  • Abstract: For decades, U.S. policy actions towards Iraq have had devastating consequences for the Iraqi people. This paper situates the U.S. “war on terrorism” in Iraq since 2003 within a longer trajectory of U.S. intervention in that country since the 1960s and shows that we can only understand the full human costs of current interventions when we see them in broader historical context. The author, Zainab Saleh, an assistant professor of anthropology at Haverford College, was born in Iraq and lived there until 1997. Later, she conducted ethnographic research with Iraqis who had migrated to London since the late 1970s. The Iraqis she knew and met felt they were pawns at the mercy of global powers. When the U.S. invaded Iraq and brought down Hussein in 2003, Iraqis saw the United States' true motive as continuing a well-established pattern of pursuing U.S. economic interests in the region. Since the 1960s, Iraqi arms purchases have bolstered American military-industrial corporations and stable access to Middle East oil has secured U.S. dominance in the global economy. The paper tells the story of one Iraqi woman, Rasha, who was forced by the violence in her country to flee to London. Rasha’s displacement and her family’s history of dispossession – her father imprisoned, her family impoverished, friends murdered and her own life threatened – show the deep human effects of decades of U.S. intervention. In 1963, under pretext of protecting the region from a communist threat, the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency backed a coup by the Arab nationalist Ba‘th party after Iraq nationalized most of its oil fields. During the 1980s, the United States supported Saddam Hussein’s regime and prolonged the Iran-Iraq War in order to safeguard its national interests in the region, including weakening Iran to prevent it from posing a threat to U.S. power. After Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1990, U.S. policy shifted from alignment to “dual containment” of Iraq and Iran, a posture which culminated in the Gulf War of 1991 to drive Iraq out of Kuwait. In the 1990s, the United States justified its imposition of economic sanctions by claiming a goal of disarming Iraq of weapons of mass destruction and protecting allies. In 2003, the U.S. packaged its invasion of Iraq as delivering U.S. values—namely, freedom and democracy—to the Iraqi people. Saleh writes, “The imperial encounter between Iraq and the United States has made life deeply precarious for Iraqis. For decades, they have lived with fear for their own and their family’s lives, the loss of loved ones and homeland, the realities of economic hardship, and the destruction of the fabric of their social lives.”
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, War, History, Counter-terrorism, Military Intervention
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Jessica Katzenstein
  • Publication Date: 09-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs at Brown University
  • Abstract: Six years after the germinal United States protests against anti-Black police violence in Ferguson, MO, and months after the 2020 police killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, police in mine-resistant vehicles have once again occupied both the streets and mass public attention. In 2014, images from the Ferguson protests—of snipers pointing semiautomatic rifles into crowds and officers tear-gassing unarmed civilians—prompted activists and politicians to compare the St. Louis suburb to occupied Gaza, Ukraine, or Iraq. During the summer of 2020, as the U.S. witnessed its largest public uprisings since the 1960s, police militarization again came under scrutiny. The Department of Homeland Security flew surveillance aircraft over protests in 15 cities, as officers on the ground deployed flash-bang grenades, sound cannons, rubber bullets, and tear gas against peaceful demonstrators. Since protests began, at least 14 local law enforcement agencies in 10 states have received free mine-resistant vehicles built for the U.S. military. In response, some lawmakers have revived efforts to curtail such transfers of military equipment. Reform groups are advocating to demilitarize the police by limiting when and how they can use armored vehicles and camouflage uniforms.
  • Topic: War, Law Enforcement, Protests, War on Terror
  • Political Geography: North America, United States of America
  • Author: Heidi Peltier
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs at Brown University
  • Abstract: Throughout the 18 years the U.S. has been engaged in the “Global War on Terror,” mainly in Iraq and Afghanistan, the government has financed this war by borrowing funds rather than through alternative means such as raising taxes or issuing war bonds. Thus, the costs of the post-9/11 wars include not only the expenses incurred for operations, equipment, and personnel, but also the interest costs on this debt. Since 2001 these interest payments have been growing, resulting in more and more taxpayer dollars being wasted on interest payments rather than being channeled to more productive uses. This paper calculates that the debt incurred for $2 trillion in direct war-related spending by the Department of Defense and State Department has already resulted in cumulative interest payments of $925 billion. Even if military interventions ceased immediately, interest payments would continue to rise, and will grow further as the U.S. continues its current military operations. War is expensive — in terms of lives lost, physical damage to people and property, mental trauma to soldiers and war-zone inhabitants, and in terms of money. The expense of war is not restricted to the annual budgetary costs of the war spending itself, but also depends upon the way in which war is financed. When war is financed through debt, the costs are much greater than when it is financed through taxation or other revenues, since interest payments must be made as long as the debt is outstanding. In fact, interest payments can sometimes grow to beyond the level of the debt itself, as will likely be the case with the post-9/11 wars. If war spending ceased immediately, interest payments on the $2 trillion of existing war debt would rise to over $2 trillion by 2030 and to $6.5 trillion by 2050. These interest payments will grow larger as the U.S. continues its post-9/11 military interventions and continues amassing debt to pay for the costs of war.
  • Topic: Debt, War, Armed Forces, Military Spending
  • Political Geography: North America, United States of America
  • Author: Alberto Gasparetto
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Rest: Journal of Politics and Development
  • Institution: Centre for Strategic Research and Analysis (CESRAN)
  • Abstract: This paper focuses on Turkey’s foreign policymakers’ attitudes in the context of the 2003 US decision to wage war against Iraq. The main goal is to assess and downplay the impact of religion in relation to security-related concerns. Drawing on official speeches, interviews, declarations by key figures in the foreign policy process, the paper argues that religion is nothing more than an intervening factor in the case of Turkey’s approach to the 2003 war in Iraq. Therefore, notwithstanding the role of Islamist elites in the foreign policy decision-making of Turkey, Turkey’s foreign affairs were rather inspired by realist behaviour, driven by pragmatic considerations, aimed at pursuing rationalist goals.
  • Topic: Security, Religion, War, Conflict
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Europe, Turkey, Middle East, Asia, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Michael Flynn, Andrew Rhodes, Michael F. Manning, Scott Erdelatz, Michael Kohler, John T. Kuehn, B. A. Friedman, Steven A. Yeadon, Matthew C. Ludlow, Terje Bruøygard, Jørn Qviller
  • Publication Date: 09-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Advanced Military Studies
  • Institution: Marine Corps University Press, National Defense University
  • Abstract: In 2019, the 38th Commandant of the Marine Corps released his planning guidance that laid out the strategic focus and future direction of the Marine Corps. General David H. Berger’s intent for the following four years concurred with the analysis of the previous Commandant and the necessary alignment of the Corps with the National Defense Strategy for the future needs of the Fleet by focusing on five areas: force design, warfighting, education and training, core values, and command and leadership. General Berger cogently noted that the coming decade will be characterized by conflict, crisis, and rapid change—just as every decade preceding it. And despite our best efforts, history demonstrates that we will fail to accurately predict every conflict; will be surprised by an unforeseen crisis; and may be late to fully grasp the implications of rapid change around us. Berger’s primary concern is that the Marine Corps is not fully prepared— equipped, trained, or organized—to support the naval force. To that end, force design became the priority for Marine Corps efforts to fulfill its role for the Fleet as prescribed by the U.S. Congress. The level of change required to integrate the Corps of the future with the naval forces of today would not happen overnight and certainly not without a great deal of growing pains to ensure the Corps is equipped and prepared for the future security environment. When Force Design 2030 was released in March 2020, the Marine Corps was prepared to make the force-wide changes necessary to partner with the Navy and serve as the country’s naval expeditionary force. Our current force design, optimized for large-scale amphibious forcible entry and sustained operations ashore, has persisted unchanged in its essential inspiration since the 1950s. It has changed in details of equipment and doctrine as technology has advanced toward greater range and lethality of weapon systems. In light of unrelenting increases in the range, accuracy, and lethality of modern weapons; the rise of revisionist powers with the technical acumen and economic heft to integrate those weapons and other technologies for direct or indirect confrontation with the U.S.; and the persistence of rogue regimes possessing enough of those attributes to threaten United States interests, I am convinced that the defining attributes of our current force design are no longer what the nation requires of the Marine Corps. Berger’s plan pointed to specific areas of change required to make force design a reality: the size, capacity, and capability of the Corps. In an austere fiscal environment, the Marines must assess their current capabilities to achieve a smaller footprint with broader reach—do more with less. As the reality of COVID-19 and the 2020 U.S. presidential election have so poignantly reminded us all, these tasks cannot and should not rest on any single shoulder and any response should be well considered and intended to benefit the greater good. This issue of the Journal of Advanced Military Studies (JAMS) will address elements of the Commandant’s Planning Guidance, particularly the concept of naval integration and what it means for the Services, especially the Marine Corps. Our authors look to the past for relevant examples of military successes and failures of integration, but they also discuss how future warfare will play out based on these concepts. The authors explore the topic from a variety of perspectives, including those for and against, and they offer analyses of past and current attempts and what naval integration may mean for the future of the Corps. The following articles present the capabilities that will be required to shift from a traditional power projection model to a persistent forward presence and how the Marine Corps can exploit its positional advantage while defending critical regions. Our first author, Dr. Matthew J. Flynn, presents a historical approach to the topic in his article “The Unity of the Operational Art: Napoleon and Naval Integration.” Flynn’s research calls for greater coordination between the sea and land domains to improve U.S. national security. His article draws parallels between Napoleon Bonaparte’s defeat and the importance of naval integration for military success: “Napoleon’s fate reveals a great deal about naval integration and how it explains France’s defeat and, most importantly, that there is but one operational art—not one for land and one for sea.” Our second author, Andrew Rhodes, also relies on a historical example with his discussion of the salient lessons that can be learned from the Sino-Japanese War. Rhodes encourages professional military educators and planners who are developing future operational concepts to look beyond simply retelling history and consider how the legacy of this conflict might shape Chinese operational choices. He reinforces From the Editors 9 Vol. 11, No. 2 the concept that military history is not simply a resource for answering concerns about future conflict, but it encourages us to ask better questions about the role of the sea Services and how they can handle uncertainty when preparing for the future. Lieutenant Colonel Michael F. Manning’s “Sea Control: Feasible, Acceptable, Suitable, or Simply Imperative” offers a historical review of early twentieth century Japanese naval battles as a framework to model possible future contests for control of the maritime domain. Manning believes that control of the maritime domain is a prerequisite for assured access and sets the condition for successful Joint operations. Manning believes that “nations not only have to compete with their enemy’s major air and naval capabilities but must also defend against land-based airpower; missiles; torpedoes; short-range, antisurface warfare assets; and coastal mines.” Colonel Scott Erdelatz (Ret) and his team of coauthors focused on an old approach for a new era of naval integration that acknowledges the long-term threat posed by China but also considers how much of what we know as the Marine Corps should be retained to fulfill other missions. Erdelatz et al. also analyze how radical integration might incur significant risk for the Marine Corps if long-term force structure decisions are based on still-evolving concepts and unproven technologies. Major Michael Kohler’s article, “The Joint Force Maritime Component Command and the Marine Corps: Integrate to Win the Black Sea Fight,” discusses how most current Marine and Navy integration takes place at the Service-chief level and primarily focuses on the Pacific. Kohler, however, believes that naval integration is also an important component of a successful defense against Russian expansion in the Black Sea region. Dr. John T. Kuehn shifts the focus to carriers and amphibious operations with his article “Carriers and Amphibs: Shibboleths of Sea Power.” Dr. Kuehn argues that aircraft carriers and Amphibious Ready Groups (ARGs) with an embarked Marine Expeditionary Unit represent shibboleths of seapower that conflate a deeper understanding of where the U.S. Fleet belongs now and where it needs to go in the future to face the challenges of the twenty-first century. Major B. A. Friedman’s article, “First to Fight: Advanced Force Operations and the Future of the Marine Corps,” then circles back to the traditional Marine Corps stance as always first to fight and the need for advanced force operations in the Corps of the future. Steven A. Yeadon’s article, “The Problems Facing United States Marine Corps Amphibious Assault,” rounds out the current perspective with a review of issues the Marine Corps has faced with amphibious assaults. Yeadon offers actionable information on current limitations and vulnerabilities of U.S. amphibious forces to chart a way forward for a robust forcible entry capability from the sea. The discussion closes with two articles looking to the future of naval in- 10 From the Editors Journal of Advanced Military Studies tegration and the Marine Corps. Major Matthew C. Ludlow’s article, “Losing the Initiative in the First Island Chain: How Organizational Inefficiencies Can Yield Mismatched Arsenals,” presents what may be considered a losing proposition of initiatives in China’s First Island Chain; however, strategic gaps in capabilities have emerged that could dramatically impact the ability to execute an island-defense strategy. The final article by Lieutenant Colonels Terje Bruøygard and Jørn Qviller, “Marine Corps Force Design 2030 and Implications for Allies and Partners: Case Norway,” offers a larger discussion of Force Design 2030 and its future implications for American allies with a case study on Norway. The authors encourage the Department of Defense to consider greater interoperability between and among Services and allies, including increased communication with allies on changes happening at the Service and national level of the U.S. armed forces. The remainder of the journal rounds out with a review essay and a selection of book reviews that continues our focus on naval integration, but it also highlights continuing challenges in national security and international relations. The coming year will be busy for the JAMS editors as we work to provide journal issues on a diverse range of topics relevant to the study of militaries and defense.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, War, History, Military Strategy, Power Politics, Armed Forces, Military Affairs, Geopolitics, Navy, Oceans and Seas, Seapower
  • Political Geography: Russia, Japan, China, Europe, Norway, Asia, North America, United States of America, Black Sea
  • Author: Cristiano Mendes, Karina Junqueira
  • Publication Date: 05-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Contexto Internacional
  • Institution: Institute of International Relations, Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro
  • Abstract: Based on the theoretical frameworks of Carl Schmitt (hostis and inimicus), Giorgio Ag- amben (field and homo sacer), and Grégoire Chamayou (hunter-states and kill boxes), and being seen through the theoretical lens of post-structuralism in International Relations, this article aims to analyse the use of drones, especially Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicles (UCAVs), in the ‘War on Terror’ led by the USA. In this context, we seek to demonstrate how the use of drones has affected the logic of current warfare scenarios in three different, but related aspects. First of all (Act One), the use of drones makes the construction of political otherness of the enemy impossible, and thus identity construction by counterpoint impracticable. Then (Act Two), this paper demonstrates how there is an attempt to move the enemy to the externality of the International Community, relegating their status to banishment and marginalisation. Finally (Act Three), the authors analyse the role of kill boxes and how the solution given by this phenomenon subverts the traditional notions of sover- eignty, challenging the very raison d’être of politics.
  • Topic: Sovereignty, Terrorism, War, Counter-terrorism, Drones, Conflict
  • Political Geography: North America, United States of America
  • Author: Jacques Singer-Emery
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Harvard Journal of Middle Eastern Politics and Policy
  • Institution: The John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University
  • Abstract: This is the second of a three-part essay series on the different paths the U.S. Congress might take to limit Washington’s support for the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen. As explained in Part 1 of this series, the Trump administration’s continued support for the Saudi coalition’s war in Yemen has triggered a range of Congressional responses. Although Congress faces challenges in passing new legislation to denounce Saudi Arabia’s actions in Yemen and its killing of Jamal Khashoggi, the White House’s Saudi policy implicates at least four pieces of existing legislation: the Arms Export Control Act (AECA), the War Powers Resolution, the Foreign Assistance Control Act (FAA), and the Leahy Laws. These laws were all passed during the Cold War to curtail the executive’s increasing ability to unilaterally sell arms, supply military aid, and order U.S. troops to assist allies in a theater of war. The executive must abide by these laws. If the President refuses or cuts corners, Congress can bring him to heel directly via impeachment, or indirectly through court orders that force executive branch agencies to halt the restricted activity.
  • Topic: Government, War, Law, Courts, Legislation
  • Political Geography: Yemen, Saudi Arabia, North America, United States of America, Gulf Nations
  • Author: Stephen J. Blank
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: Wherever one looks, Russia is carrying out aggressive military and informational attacks against the West in Europe, North and South America, the Arctic, and the Middle East. This “war against the West” actually began over a decade ago, but its most jarring and shocking event, the one that started to focus Western minds on Russia, was the invasion of Ukraine in 2014. Given this pattern, the National Security Council (NSC) in 2014 invited Stephen Blank to organize a conference on the Russian military. We were able to launch the conference in 2016 and bring together a distinguished international group of experts on the Russian military to produce the papers that were then subsequently updated for presentation here.
  • Topic: Nuclear Weapons, War, Military Strategy, Military Affairs, Authoritarianism, Cybersecurity, Vladimir Putin
  • Political Geography: Russia, Ukraine, Asia, Syria, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Antulio J. Echevarria II, Hew Strachan, Seth A. Johnston, Howard Coombs, Martijn Kitzen, Christophe Lafaye, Conrad C. Crane, Alexander G. Lovelace
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: The Autumn issue of Parameters opens with a Special Commentary by Sir Hew Strachan concerning lessons Western militaries learned, or ought to have learned, during their campaigns in Afghanistan. His commentary sets up this issue’s first forum, Afghanistan’s Lessons: Part I. In the opening article, Seth Johnston’s “NATO’s Lessons” underscores the importance of the Alliance’s role as a facilitator of multinational collaboration. He presents a favorable view, arguing NATO’s established processes succeeded in enabling countries with limited resources to participate fully in the mission in Afghanistan. Howard Coombs follows with a contribution concerning “Canada’s Lessons.” Among other things, he maintains Canada’s whole-of-government approach resulted in great gains while Canadian Forces were actively involved in combat. Nonetheless, Canada seems uninterested in maintaining this capability as a framework for responding to other crises. The third article in this forum is Martijn Kitzen’s “The Netherlands’ Lessons,” which highlights the benefits of having a small military that enjoys networked learning. Although the Dutch military seems to be reverting to enemy-centric thinking, the author encourages its leaders to retain an adaptive mindset that will facilitate adopting a more population-centric approach when necessary. In “France’s Lessons,” Christophe Lafaye explains how combat in Afghanistan contributed to the tactical and doctrinal evolution of the French Army. With decades of relative peace since the Algerian War, French soldiers began their service in Afghanistan with little experience and inadequate materiel. They quickly developed into a combat-ready force capable of responding rapidly to a variety of military emergencies as the need arose. Our second forum, World War II: 75th Anniversary, features two contributions concerning famous US generals. Conrad Crane’s, “Matthew Ridgway and the Battle of the Bulge” illustrates examples of Ridgway’s strategic thinking at work during the German’s surprise attack and ensuing crisis. Alexander G. Lovelace’s “Slap Heard around the World: George Patton and Shell Shock” analyzes Patton’s possible motives for slapping two soldiers in during the Sicily campaign in 1943.
  • Topic: NATO, War, History, Armed Forces, Military Affairs
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Middle East, Canada, North America, Netherlands, United States of America
  • Author: M. Chris Mason, John Crisafulli, Fernando Farfan, Aaron French, Yama Kambiz, Bryan Kirk, Matthew Maybouer, John Sannes
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: The United States will soon enter the 18th year of combat operations in Afghanistan. During that time, multiple approaches to stabilize the country have been tried, including support to regional security initiatives, “nation-building,” counterinsurgency, counternarcotics, counterterrorism, and “train and equip.” The constellation of anti-government elements known collectively as the Taliban continues to refuse reconciliation or a negotiated peace under the existing Afghan constitution.
  • Topic: War, History, Armed Forces, Military Affairs
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Middle East, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Elizabeth G. Troeder
  • Publication Date: 05-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: This monograph provides an assessment of gray zone tactics used by the most active U.S. adversaries and builds the case for requiring U.S. Federal agencies to request that the Deputy National Security Advisor convene a National Security Council/Deputies Committee (NSC/DC) meeting whenever any Federal agency deems a gray zone approach to an international issue is appropriate. It also recommends that the United States should pursue the development of a standing National Security Council/Policy Coordination Committee (NSC/PCC) for gray zone solutions, with sub-NSC/PCCs for each component of the 4+1 (Russia, China, Iraq, North Korea, and violent extremist organizations) so that experts can be quickly assembled in times of crisis.
  • Topic: Government, War, Military Strategy, Military Affairs, Gray Zone
  • Political Geography: North America, United States of America
  • Author: Tami Davis Biddle
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: In this monograph, Tami Davis Biddle analyzes the historical record of air power over the past 100 years. Her monograph, designed for the student of strategy, is intended to provide both a concise introduction to the topic and a framework for thinking intelligently about air power, particularly aerial bombing. Her primary aim is to discern the distinction between what has been expected of air power by theorists and military institutions, and what it has produced in the crucible of war. Aerial bombing, Biddle argues, is a coercive activity in which an attacker seeks to structure the enemy’s incentives—using threats and actions to shape and constrain the enemy’s options, both perceived and real. It is an important and much-utilized military instrument for both deterrence and compellence. In addition, it is a powerful tool in the arsenal of the joint warfighter. Its ability to achieve anticipated results, however, varies with circumstances. Students of strategy must be able to discern and understand the conditions under which aerial bombing is more or less likely to achieve the results expected of it by those who employ it.
  • Topic: War, History, Armed Forces, Military Affairs, Air Force
  • Political Geography: North America, United States of America
  • Author: Michael A. McCarthy, Matthew A. Moyer, Brett H. Venable
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: The United States lacks a cohesive strategy to deter Russian aggression. Despite being militarily and economically inferior, Russia has undermined the United States and its allies by exploiting the “gray zone,” or the conceptual space between war and peace where nations compete to advance their national interests. In dealing with Russia, the United States must shift its strategic framework from a predominantly military-centric model to one that comprises a whole-of-government approach. The holistic approach must leverage a combination of diplomacy, information, military, and economic (DIME) measures. In this timely and prescient monograph, three active duty military officers and national security fellows from the Harvard Kennedy School look to address this contemporary and complex problem. Through extensive research and consultation with some of the nation’s and academia’s foremost experts, the authors offer policymakers a menu of strategic options to deter Russia in the gray zone and protect vital U.S. national security interests.
  • Topic: National Security, War, Military Affairs, Economy, Peace, Deterrence, Gray Zone
  • Political Geography: Russia, Eurasia, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Dr. Robert J. Bunker
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: This monograph focuses on an understudied, but yet a critically important and timely component of land warfare, related to the battlefield use of chemical weapons by contemporary threat forces. It will do so by focusing on two case studies related to chemical weapons use in Syria and Iraq by the Assad regime and the Islamic State. Initially, the monograph provides an overview of the chemical warfare capabilities of these two entities; discusses selected incidents of chemical weapons use each has perpetrated; provides analysis and lessons learned concerning these chemical weapons incidents, their programs, and the capabilities of the Assad regime and the Islamic State; and then presents U.S. Army policy and planning considerations on this topical areas of focus. Ultimately, such considerations must be considered vis-à-vis U.S. Army support of Joint Force implementation of National Command Authority guidance.
  • Topic: War, Islamic State, Conflict, Syrian War, Army, Chemical Weapons
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, Syria, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Joel D. Rayburn, Frank K. Sobchak, Jeanne F. Godfroy, Matthew D. Morton, James S. Powell, Matthew M. Zais
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: Originally commissioned by Chief of Staff of the Army General Raymond T. Odierno, The U.S. Army in the Iraq War is the Army’s interim examination of military operations in Iraq from 2003 to 2011. This study, published in two volumes, is a narrative history that tells the story of U.S. forces in Iraq, mainly from the perspective of the theater command in Baghdad and the operational commands immediately subordinate to it. It focuses at the operational level of war, exploring the decisions and intent of the senior three- and four-star commanders and how these decisions effected the course of the war over time. This work was built from over 30,000 pages of previously unavailable declassified documents and hundreds of hours of interviews with senior defense leaders. While the Army will eventually publish a comprehensive, official “Green Book” history that describes Operation Iraqi Freedom in greater depth, this study is being released now in order that key lessons, insights, and innovations from this period of the conflict are available to the next generation of Soldiers and leaders to study, learn from, and adapt to ensure the future readiness of our Army and the Joint Force.
  • Topic: War, History, Military Affairs, Army, Iraq War
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Joel D. Rayburn, Frank K. Sobchak
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: The Iraq War has been the costliest U.S. conflict since the Vietnam War. To date, few official studies have been conducted to review what happened, why it happened, and what lessons should be drawn. The U.S. Army in the Iraq War is the Army’s initial operational level analysis of this conflict, written in narrative format, with assessments and lessons embedded throughout the work. This study reviews the conflict from a Landpower perspective and includes the contributions of coalition allies, the U.S. Marine Corps, and special operations forces. Presented principally from the point of view of the commanders in Baghdad, the narrative examines the interaction of the operational and strategic levels, as well as the creation of theater level strategy and its implementation at the tactical level. Volume 1 begins in the truce tent at Safwan Airfield in southern Iraq at the end of Operation DESERT STORM and briefly examines actions by U.S. and Iraqi forces during the interwar years. The narrative continues by examining the road to war, the initially successful invasion, and the rise of Iraqi insurgent groups before exploring the country’s slide toward civil war. This volume concludes with a review of the decision by the George W. Bush administration to “surge” additional forces to Iraq, placing the conduct of the “surge” and its aftermath in the second volume. This study was constructed over a span of 4 years and relied on nearly 30,000 pages of hand-picked declassified documents, hundreds of hours of original interviews, and thousands of hours of previously unavailable interviews. Original interviews conducted by the team included President George W. Bush, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Secretaries of Defense Leon Panetta and Robert Gates, Chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and every theater commander for the war, among many others. With its release, this publication, The U.S. Army in the Iraq War, represents the U.S. Government’s longest and most detailed study of the Iraq conflict thus far.
  • Topic: Government, War, History, Conflict, Army, Iraq War
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Catherine Besteman
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs at Brown University
  • Abstract: Although the United States has not formally declared war in Somalia and the US Congress has not formally approved US military engagements in Somalia, US intervention in Somalia has rapidly expanded under the Trump Administration. US airstrikes against the Somali terrorist group known as Al-Shabaab have skyrocketed, from between 15 and 21 drone strikes and other covert operations in Somalia during the period from 2007-2014 to a record high of 46 strikes in 2018 alone, which killed 326 people, to an astonishing 24 strikes in just the first two months of 2019, killing at least 252 people. Recent reports suggest other entities, such as the CIA, are also carrying out an unknown number of additional airstrikes, and the US currently has about 500 troops, mostly Special Operations, stationed in Somalia. According to a recent investigation by Amnesty International and a subsequent review by AFRICOM, the United States Africa Command, some of the US airstrikes have killed civilians. Tens of thousands of Somalis have fled areas targeted by air strikes, crowding into miserable displaced persons camps outside Mogadishu. Civilians who have lost family members or been injured by strikes have no recourse, and there is no accountability for those carrying out the strikes. In short, without a formal declaration or any particular acknowledgement or interest from the US Congress, a war is being waged in Somalia.
  • Topic: War, Military Intervention, Al-Shabaab
  • Political Geography: Africa, North America, Somalia, United States of America
  • Author: Neta C. Crawford
  • Publication Date: 11-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs at Brown University
  • Abstract: If climate change is a “threat multiplier,” as some national security experts and members of the military argue, how does the US military reduce climate change caused threats? Or does war and the preparation for it increase those risks?
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Climate Change, War, International Security, Military Spending, Fossil Fuels
  • Political Geography: North America, Global Focus, United States of America
  • Author: Heidi Garrett-Peltier
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs at Brown University
  • Abstract: All types of federal spending have ripple effects throughout the economy. As funds are spent on war, there is demand not only for soldiers and for DOD personnel, but for the goods and services that support these positions. Likewise, if we focus on a sector such as clean energy, spending that is channeled directly to an industry such as solar or wind also creates secondary effects, what we call indirect employment, in industries such as hardware manufacturing, electronics production, and trucking. To capture the full effect of any federal spending, then, we need to estimate not only the direct jobs that are created by any type of spending, but also the indirect jobs that are supported throughout the supply chain.
  • Topic: War, Labor Issues, Economy, Military Spending, Job Creation
  • Political Geography: North America, United States of America
  • Author: Julie A. Eadeh
  • Publication Date: 05-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Contemporary Arab Studies
  • Abstract: For MAAS alum Julie Eadeh, diplomacy is all about human relationships, whether building connections with local communities or helping Americans abroad in times of crisis.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, War, Hezbollah
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Lebanon, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Chris Dougherty
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for a New American Security
  • Abstract: For the first time in decades, it is possible to imagine the United States fighting—and possibly losing—a large-scale war with a great power. For generations of Americans accustomed to U.S. military superiority and its ability to deter major wars, the idea of armed conflict between great powers may seem highly improbable. The idea that the United States—with the most expensive armed forces in the world by a wide margin—might lose such a war would seem absolutely preposterous. Nevertheless, the possibility of war and U.S. defeat are real and growing. Given that U.S. armed forces’ last major conventional combat operations were the massively lopsided victories against Saddam Hussein’s Iraq in 1991 and 2003, many Americans might be wondering how this could come to pass. This report makes the case that one salient issue is that the American way of war—the implicit and explicit mental framework for U.S. military strategy and operations—that coalesced after the Gulf War is no longer valid. China and Russia have spent almost two decades studying the current American way of war. While the Department of Defense (DoD) has taken its military superiority for granted and focused on defeating nonstate adversaries, China and Russia have been devising strategies and developing new concepts and weapons to defeat the United States in a war should the need arise. They have offset their relative weakness versus the United States by using time and geography to their advantage and by focusing their weapons- and concept-development efforts on finding ways to attack vulnerable nodes in U.S. military operations. The goal of these strategies and concepts is to create a plausible theory of victory whereby China or Russia avoid a “fair fight” with the Joint Force and could therefore defeat the United States and its allies and partners in a regional war. These Chinese and Russian strategies, which once seemed implausible or far in the future, are beginning to pay off. They are shifting military balances in key regions and pushing allies and partners to reconsider U.S. security guarantees.
  • Topic: War, Armed Forces, Military Affairs
  • Political Geography: North America, United States of America
  • Author: Louis René Beres
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Begin-Sadat Centre for Strategic Studies (BESA)
  • Abstract: On core matters of peace and security, two closely interrelated questions must be asked: 1. What precisely does Donald Trump have in mind regarding any potential armed conflict with Iran? 2. What might such a possibility portend for Israel, a US ally? Answers to these questions must extend beyond narrowly partisan simplifications. They should be nuanced and subtly overlapping. At a minimum, once a shooting war were underway, the Israeli armed forces (IDF) could become involved, possibly to a substantial degree. In a worst case scenario, clashes would involve unconventional weapons and directly affect Israel’s civilian population. The worst of the worst could involve nuclear ordnance.
  • Topic: Security, War, Nuclear Power, Peace, Israel Defense Forces (IDF)
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East, North America, United States of America, Israel
  • Author: Ed Erickson, Christian H. Heller, T. J. Linzy, Mallory Needleman, Michael Auten, Anthony N. Celso, Keith D. Dickson, Jamie Shea, Ivan Falasca, Steven A. Yeadon, Joshua Tallis, Ian Klaus
  • Publication Date: 09-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Advanced Military Studies
  • Institution: Marine Corps University Press, National Defense University
  • Abstract: There are a variety of reasons to study geopolitical rivalries, and analysts, officers, and politicians are rediscovering such reasons amid the tensions of the last several years. The best reason to study geopolitical rivalries is the simplest: our need to better understand how power works globally. Power not only recurs in human and state affairs but it is also at their very core. Today’s new lexicon—superpower, hyperpower, and great power—is only another reminder of the reality of the various ways that power manifests itself. Power protects and preserves, but a polity without it may be lost within mere decades. Keith D. Dickson’s article in this issue of MCU Journal, “The Challenge of the Sole Superpower in the Postmodern World Order,” illuminates how fuzzy some readers may be in their understanding of this problem; his article on postmodernism calls us to the labor of understanding and reasoning through the hard realities. Ed Erickson’s survey of modern power is replete with cases in which a grand state simply fell, as from a pedestal in a crash upon a stone floor. Modern Japan, always richly talented, rose suddenly as a world actor in the late nineteenth century, but the Japanese Empire fell much more quickly in the mid-twentieth century. A state’s power—or lack thereof—is an unforgiving reality. This issue of MCU Journal, with its focus on rivalries and competition between states, is refreshingly broad in its selection of factors—from competing for or generating power. Dr. Erickson recalls that Alfred Thayer Mahan settled on six conditions for sea power, all still vital. Other authors writing for this issue emphasize, by turns, sea power (Steven Yeadon, Joshua Tallis, and Ian Klaus); cyberpower (Jamie Shea); alliances (T. J. Linzy and Ivan Falasca); information (Dickson); and proxies (Michael Auten, Anthony N. Celso, and others).
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, NATO, Islam, Terrorism, War, History, Power Politics, Military Affairs, European Union, Seapower, Cities, Ottoman Empire, Hybrid Warfare , Cyberspace, Soviet Union, Safavid Empire
  • Political Geography: Britain, Russia, Europe, Ukraine, Middle East, Lithuania, Georgia, North Africa, Syria, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Shireen Al-Adeim
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Harvard Journal of Middle Eastern Politics and Policy
  • Institution: The John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University
  • Abstract: This is the second of a three-part series of essays on Yemen highlighting the magnitude and impact of the civil war on Yemenis. Starting in March 2015, Saudi Arabia led a coalition of several Arab countries in bombing Yemen, its neighbor to the south. The coalition’s indiscriminate bombing has targeted countless homes, schools, markets, and even hospitals. Yemenis have become accustomed to double-tap and triple-tap strikes that target rescuers after an attack. One notable case was a double-tap strike that killed at least 140 mourners at a large funeral home in Sana’a, Yemen’s capital. The number of deaths resulting from US/Saudi airstrikes and fighting between Saudi-allied and Saleh/Houthi-allied forces has been conservatively estimated at 10,000 deaths and 40,000 injuries. The hidden costs of war, however, are much greater.
  • Topic: Health, Poverty, War, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, North America, United States of America, Gulf Nations
  • Author: Mahdi Dakhlallah, Imad Salim, Tahseen al-Halabi, Bashar al-Assad
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Harvard Journal of Middle Eastern Politics and Policy
  • Institution: The John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University
  • Abstract: During the presidential campaign, Trump said he “[doesn’t] like Assad at all” and described the Syrian leader as “a bad guy.” But he compared Assad favorably to the alternatives. “Assad is killing ISIS,” Trump stated, whereas “we don’t even know who they [the rebels] are.” Trump even claimed Assad to be “much tougher and much smarter” than political rivals Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Unsurprisingly, Assad and his admirers took heart in Trump’s surprise victory last November, with an adviser to the Syrian president saying the American people had “sent a great, a very important message to the world.” Yet Assad supporters – as well as the Syrian president himself – are taking a cautious approach to the new US administration, unsure of whether, and to what extent, Trump will overhaul American foreign policy. Here’s what columnists in pro-Assad media outlets think about Trump’s implications for Syria, followed by excerpts from two interviews with Assad about the new US president.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, War, Elections, News Analysis, Trump, Syrian War
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Syria, North America, United States of America
  • Author: David J. Bercuson, Randolph Mank, Sarah Goldfeder, Mike Day, David Perry, Peter Jones, David Carment, Milana V. Nikolko, Brett Boudreau, Rolf Holmboe, Darren Schemmer, Andrew Griffith, Robert Vineberg
  • Publication Date: 03-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Global Exchange
  • Institution: Canadian Global Affairs Institute (CGAI)
  • Abstract: The Global Exchange is the Canadian Global Affairs Institute’s quarterly magazine featuring topical articles written by our fellows and other contributing experts. Each issue contains approximately a dozen articles exploring political and strategic challenges in international affairs and Canadian foreign and defence policy. This Spring 2017 issue includes articles on trade, defense policy, elections and more.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, War, Bilateral Relations, Budget, Elections, Democracy, Negotiation, Peace, Trade
  • Political Geography: Russia, Ukraine, Canada, Syria, North America, United States of America, Gambia
  • Author: Chas W. Freeman Jr.
  • Publication Date: 05-2016
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: American Diplomacy
  • Institution: American Diplomacy
  • Abstract: The late Arthur Goldberg, who served on our Supreme Court and as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, once said that “diplomats approach every question with an open… mouth.” No doubt that’s often true at the U.N., where parliamentary posturing and its evil twin, declaratory diplomacy, rule. But the essence of diplomacy is not talking but seeking common ground by listening carefully and with an open mind to what others don’t say as well as what they do, and then acting accordingly. Diplomacy is how a nation advances its interests and resolves problems with foreigners with minimal violence. It is the nonbelligerent champion of domestic tranquility and prosperity. It promotes mutually acceptable varieties of modus vivendi between differing perspectives and cultures.
  • Topic: Cold War, Diplomacy, War, Military Affairs
  • Political Geography: North America, United States of America