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  • Author: Henry D. Sokolski
  • Publication Date: 03-2021
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Nonproliferation Policy Education Center
  • Abstract: Although much has been said about the fusion of China’s civilian and military sectors, no detailed, unclassified analysis has been done of how Beijing’s “peaceful” nuclear efforts might be exploited to make more nuclear warheads. Even the U.S. Department of Energy’s own explanations of the export restrictions it imposed on “advanced” nuclear exports to China failed to discuss this. This volume is dedicated to clarifying just what the connection could be. Much of it focuses on China’s advanced fast breeder reactor program and its related plutonium recycling efforts. As explained in this volume’s first chapter, “How Many Nuclear Warheads China Might Acquire by 2030,” the least burdensome way for China to achieve nuclear weapons parity with the United States is simply to use the weaponsgrade plutonium that its planned “peaceful” fast breeder reactor and reprocessing programs will produce to make primaries for the two-stage thermonuclear weapons designs they already have perfected. By exploiting this weapons plutonium and the highly enriched uranium and tritium that China can easily access or make, Beijing by 2030 could conservatively assemble an arsenal of 1,270 warheads (nearly as many as the US currently has deployed on its intercontinental missiles).
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, Nuclear Weapons, Science and Technology, Military Affairs, Nonproliferation, Missile Defense, Denuclearization, Nuclear Energy
  • Political Geography: United States, China
  • Author: Henry D. Sokolski
  • Publication Date: 02-2021
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Nonproliferation Policy Education Center
  • Abstract: With a new Democratic administration, Washington is almost certain to moderate its demands that Japan and South Korea pay more for American forces on their soil. This should ease tensions with Seoul to Tokyo. To strengthen security relations with Japan and South Korea, though, more will be required. Rather than simply increase their conventional military deployments, Washington, Seoul, and Tokyo will need to collaborate in new ways to enhance allied security. This will entail working more closely on new military frontiers, such as enhancing allied command of outer and cyber space as well as in underwater warfare. Washington, Seoul, and Tokyo will also want to carve out new functional areas of cooperation to make existing energy sources more secure, communications more reliable, data sharing easier and safer, and allied economic assistance to developing nations in strategic zones more effective. Enhanced collaboration in each of these areas has begun but is not yet locked in or fully institutionalized. It should be. Washington, Seoul, and Tokyo need one another to deal with China and North Korea. Yet, how each currently strategically views Beijing and Pyongyang differs. Nor is America’s preferred military approach to deterring Chinese and North Korean adventurism — by preventing Beijing and Pyongyang from projecting military strikes against their neighbors — all that easy to achieve. Adding new, more tractable items to America’s Asian security alliance agenda won’t immediately eliminate these misalignments. But it will strengthen the security ties they have as liberal democracies — bonds Beijing and Pyongyang are straining to fray.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, Nuclear Weapons, Science and Technology, International Security, Military Affairs, Cyberspace, Nuclear Energy
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, China, South Korea
  • Author: Trita Parsi
  • Publication Date: 01-2021
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft
  • Abstract: • Abandon dominance. For many of the United States’ security partners, even a dysfunctional Pax Americana is preferable to the compromises that a security architecture would inevitably entail. The preconditions for creating a successful security architecture can emerge only if the United States begins a military withdrawal from the Persian Gulf and credibly signals it no longer seeks to sustain hegemony. • Encourage regional dialogue, but let the region lead. The incoming Biden administration’s hint that it will seek an inclusive security dialogue in the Persian Gulf is a welcome first step toward shifting the burden of security to the regional states themselves. For such an effort to be successful, the United States should play a supporting role while urging regional states to take the lead. • Include other major powers. The regional dialogue should include the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council and major Asian powers with a strong interest in stability in the Persian Gulf. Including them can help dilute Washington’s and Beijing’s roles while protecting the region from inter–Asian rivalries in the future.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, National Security, United Nations, Military Strategy, Hegemony, Military Affairs, Grand Strategy
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran, Persian Gulf
  • Author: Joshua R. Itzkowitz Shifrinson
  • Publication Date: 01-2021
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft
  • Abstract: Despite the Biden administration’s push to revitalize U.S. alliances, U.S. relations with NATO are due for a reset. The United States should incentivize European members of NATO to take on additional responsibilities for their defense. Encouraging the European allies to take initiative will help the United States focus on its other domestic and international priorities and may facilitate improving relations with Russia. This approach will also prove attractive to European states concerned about the future direction of U.S. foreign policy. Recalibrating the U.S. role in Europe would conform with the United States’ post–World War II efforts to stabilize European security — and stand as the fruit of Washington’s success in this regard.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, NATO, International Security, Military Strategy, Military Affairs, Alliance
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Global Focus
  • Author: Gordon Adams
  • Publication Date: 02-2021
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft
  • Abstract: To meet today’s foreign policy challenges, the United States needs to end its overreliance on military superiority and intervention and instead put creative and persistent diplomacy in the lead to promote locally owned solutions to national, bilateral, and regional security issues and to address global challenges not amenable to military force. This rebalancing will not succeed if civilian statecraft is dysfunctional and unprepared. More funding and more diplomats will not solve this problem. What is needed is fundamental reform of structures, processes, and personnel practices, particularly at the State Department. These include strategic planning, resource planning, institutional integration, clear authority over security assistance programs, and moving away from nation-building and toward conflict prevention. Far-reaching changes in the way diplomats are recruited, trained, and promoted are also required. Without such changes, there is substantial risk that our diplomatic tools will be ineffective, resulting in even greater militarization of U.S. foreign policy when diplomacy fails.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Regional Cooperation, International Security, Bilateral Relations, Military Affairs, Grand Strategy, Alliance, Statecraft
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Eugene Gholz
  • Publication Date: 06-2021
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft
  • Abstract: U.S. interests in the Middle East are often defined expansively, contributing to an overinflation of the perceived need for a large U.S. military footprint. While justifications like countering terrorism, defending Israel, preventing nuclear proliferation, preserving stability, and protecting human rights deserve consideration, none merit the current level of U.S. troops in the region; in some cases, the presence of the U.S. military actually undermines these concerns.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, War, Military Affairs, Military Intervention, War on Terror, Troop Deployment
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East
  • Author: Mike Sweeney
  • Publication Date: 03-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Defense Priorities
  • Abstract: The strategic importance of the Middle East has declined, but Washington has so far inadequately adjusted. Diversification of energy sources and reduction in external threats to the region make the Middle East less important to U.S. interests.
  • Topic: Cold War, Military Strategy, Military Affairs
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: World Politics Review
  • Abstract: The ballistic missiles that Iran fired at two military bases in Iraq housing American troops could only be the start of Tehran’s retaliation. Many observers worry that more blowback could come in the form of Iran’s favored tactic of asymmetric warfare waged through its proxies, such as Hezbollah in Lebanon and pro-Iranian militias in Iraq. This escalation did not begin with the killing of Soleimani, but in May 2018, when Trump unilaterally took the United States out of the international agreement curbing Iran’s nuclear program, known as the JCPOA, and reimposed crippling sanctions on Iran’s economy. What impact has the U.S. exit from the nuclear deal had in Iran? How has it changed the Iranian regime’s foreign policy calculations? And how have Iranian citizens reacted to Trump’s campaign of “maximum pressure” and more sanctions? This WPR report provides an essential view of events from Iran.
  • Topic: Nuclear Weapons, Sanctions, Military Affairs, Nuclear Power, Denuclearization
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Iran
  • Author: Elizabeth Shackelford
  • Publication Date: 11-2020
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft
  • Abstract: In U.S. foreign policy circles today, the bar to justify ending a military intervention is higher than it is to keep one going. Small wars have become routine foreign policy tools, executed with minimal oversight or scrutiny. Somalia offers a clear example of how this approach leads to high accumulated costs for the American people with little to show in gains for the U.S. national interest. The current military-led strategy promises no end to lethal interventions, and the costs and risks associated with it exceed the threats it is meant to address. Expanding U.S. military activity over the past five years has done little to impede the Somali terrorist insurgency group al–Shabaab, but it has continued to overshadow and undermine diplomatic and development efforts to address Somalia’s political and governance problems. At the same time, military intervention has propped up an ineffective government, disincentivizing Somali political leaders from taking the hard steps necessary to reach a sustainable peace and build a functioning state. The U.S. military cannot be expected to stay indefinitely in Somalia to maintain a messy stalemate. Rather than reflexively increase U.S. military activity when it falls short of stated objectives, the United States should reassess its overall strategy in Somalia by returning to basic questions: Why is the U.S. military fighting a war there? What U.S. national interest is the war serving? And are America’s actions in Somalia and the region furthering that national interest?
  • Topic: Diplomacy, War, Military Strategy, Governance, Military Affairs, Military Intervention, Peace
  • Political Geography: United States, Somalia
  • Author: Serhii Plokhy
  • Publication Date: 03-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Toynbee Prize Foundation
  • Abstract: It is only in the past decade that Ukrainian history has begun to be researched in the context of international or global history. The American historian Serhii Plokhy, Mykhailo S. Hrushevs'kyi Professor of Ukrainian History at Harvard University and director of the Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute, is a prominent exponent of this approach. His books The Gates of Europe: A History of UkraineandChernobyl: History of a Tragedy analyze the major problems of the Ukrainian past from a transnational perspective. His latest book, Forgotten Bastards of the Eastern Front: An Untold Story of World War II, deals with the establishment of United States Air Force bases in the Poltava region of Soviet Ukraine in 1944—the only place where Soviet and American troops lived and fought side by side during the war, putting the anti-Nazi alliance to the test. Plokhy's research interests include the early modern history of Ukraine, twentieth-century international history, and intellectual history. I spoke with Serhii Plokhy about the integration of Ukrainian history into global history, the colonial status of Ukraine, and environmental history.
  • Topic: History, Military Affairs, World War II, Air Force
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Ukraine, Soviet Union
  • Author: Jeannette Greven
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: The U.S. Security Coordinator (USSC) mission in Jerusalem was created in 2005 to help implement security sector reform within the Palestinian Authority (PA). With a single-minded focus on “counterterrorism,” Washington considered the USSC an ancillary mechanism to support U.S. diplomatic and political efforts to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Despite upending long-standing U.S. policy and cutting all other forms of aid to the Palestinians, the Trump administration has maintained the USSC in the run-up to the “Deal of the Century.” This article draws on original interviews with security personnel responsible for enacting USSC interventions. It uses their insights to highlight how the mission tethered Israeli political aims to its remit, and the distorting ramifications that have ensued for Palestine and the Palestinians. In uncovering the full parameters of Washington’s securitization policy, this history also points to the ways in which the PA has consequently been woven into the U.S.-led “global War on Terror.”
  • Topic: Security, Sovereignty, International Security, Military Affairs, Negotiation, Settler Colonialism
  • Political Geography: United States, Israel, Palestine, Jerusalem
  • Author: Alastair Iain Johnston
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Many scholars and policymakers in the United States accept the narrative that China is a revisionist state challenging the U.S.-dominated international liberal order. The narrative assumes that there is a singular liberal order and that it is obvious what constitutes a challenge to it. The concepts of order and challenge are, however, poorly operationalized. There are at least four plausible operationalizations of order, three of which are explicitly or implicitly embodied in the dominant narrative. These tend to assume, ahistorically, that U.S. interests and the content of the liberal order are almost identical. The fourth operationalization views order as an emergent property of the interaction of multiple state, substate, nonstate, and international actors. As a result, there are at least eight “issue-specific orders” (e.g., military, trade, information, and political development). Some of these China accepts; some it rejects; and some it is willing to live with. Given these multiple orders and varying levels of challenge, the narrative of a U.S.-dominated liberal international order being challenged by a revisionist China makes little conceptual or empirical sense. The findings point to the need to develop more generalizable ways of observing orders and compliance.
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance, Hegemony, Military Affairs, Information Age, Liberal Order
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Asia
  • Author: Marina Henke
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Many countries serving in multilateral military coalitions are “paid” to do so, either in cash or in concessions relating to other international issues. An examination of hundreds of declassified archival sources as well as elite interviews relating to the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Gulf War, the Iraq War, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization operation in Afghanistan, the United Nations–African Union operation in Darfur, and the African Union operation in Somalia reveals that these payment practices follow a systematic pattern: pivotal states provide the means to cover such payments. These states reason that rewarding third parties to serve in multilateral coalitions holds important political benefits. Moreover, two distinct types of payment schemes exist: deployment subsidies and political side deals. Three types of states are most likely to receive such payments: (1) states that are inadequately resourced to deploy; (2) states that are perceived by the pivotal states as critical contributors to the coalition endeavor; and (3) opportunistic states that perceive a coalition deployment as an opportunity to negotiate a quid pro quo. These findings provide a novel perspective on what international burden sharing looks like in practice. Moreover, they raise important questions about the efficiency and effectiveness of such payment practices in multilateral military deployments.
  • Topic: Security, National Security, Regional Cooperation, International Security, Military Strategy, Military Affairs, Alliance
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Kuwait, Vietnam, Korea, Somalia
  • Author: J.C. Sharman
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: The making of the international system from c. 1500 reflected distinctively maritime dynamics, especially “gunboat diplomacy,” or the use of naval force for commercial gain. Comparisons between civilizations and across time show, first, that gunboat diplomacy was peculiarly European and, second, that it evolved through stages. For the majority of the modern era, violence was central to the commercial strategies of European state, private, and hybrid actors alike in the wider world. In contrast, large and small non-Western polities almost never sought to advance mercantile aims through naval coercion. European exceptionalism reflected a structural trade deficit, regional systemic dynamics favoring armed trade, and mercantilist beliefs. Changes in international norms later restricted the practice of gunboat diplomacy to states, as private navies became illegitimate. More generally, a maritime perspective suggests the need for a reappraisal of fundamental conceptual divisions and shows how the capital- and technology-intensive nature of naval war allowed relatively small European powers to be global players. It also explains how European expansion and the creation of the first global international system was built on dominance at sea centuries before Europeans’ general military superiority on land.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, International Security, Military Strategy, Military Affairs, Navy, Law of the Sea, Maritime
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe
  • Author: Andrea Gilli, Mauro Gilli
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Can countries easily imitate the United States' advanced weapon systems and thus erode its military-technological superiority? Scholarship in international relations theory generally assumes that rising states benefit from the “advantage of backwardness.” That is, by free riding on the research and technology of the most advanced countries, less developed states can allegedly close the military-technological gap with their rivals relatively easily and quickly. More recent works maintain that globalization, the emergence of dual-use components, and advances in communications have facilitated this process. This literature is built on shaky theoretical foundations, however, and its claims lack empirical support. In particular, it largely ignores one of the most important changes to have occurred in the realm of weapons development since the second industrial revolution: the exponential increase in the complexity of military technology. This increase in complexity has promoted a change in the system of production that has made the imitation and replication of the performance of state-of-the-art weapon systems harder—so much so as to offset the diffusing effects of globalization and advances in communications. An examination of the British-German naval rivalry (1890–1915) and China's efforts to imitate U.S. stealth fighters supports these findings.
  • Topic: Science and Technology, Military Affairs, Cybersecurity, Information Age
  • Political Geography: Britain, United States, China, Germany
  • Author: George Fust
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Department of Social Sciences at West Point, United States Military Academy
  • Abstract: In 1957 Samuel Huntington published a highly influential book called the Soldier and the State. In the last paragraph he famously wrote “Highland Falls [represents] the American spirit at its most commonplace…today America can learn more from West Point than West Point from America.” This passage was controversial at the time and even cost Huntington tenure at Harvard. The book would go on to influence generations of civil-military relations scholars. While the sentiment may have been accurate in the 1950s, today’s Highland Falls represents everything America should be.
  • Topic: Military Affairs, Bureaucracy, Civil-Military Relations
  • Political Geography: United States, North America
  • Author: George Fust
  • Publication Date: 08-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Department of Social Sciences at West Point, United States Military Academy
  • Abstract: I teach civil-military relations at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. While searching for readings for an elective course taught in the spring semester, I came across a 2010 article written in the L.A. Times, “An increasingly politicized military.” One passage stood out: “By all accounts, the curricula of the service academies and the war colleges give remarkably little attention to the central importance of civilian control. They do not systematically expose up-and-coming officers to intensive case studies and simulations designed to give them a sense of the principle’s real-world implications.” So where are we now? Nearly a decade later, those cadets have graduated and are now midcareer officers. Do civilians have less control over the military as a result of the claim that the military received poor instruction on proper civ-mil relations? Can curriculum “fix” broken civilmilitary relations?
  • Topic: Political Theory, Military Affairs, Civil-Military Relations
  • 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: Besides looking cool on your chest or sleeve, Army schools should be sought after. They provide opportunities, they demonstrate your technical or tactical proficiency, and the act of preparing to complete them will make you stronger and faster. As a junior officer you should actively seek every opportunity to invest in your education. Rarely will the slot be handed to you. You must make the effort to be ready when the tryouts come along, or circumstances align to allow you to attend.
  • Topic: Military Affairs, Training, Military Academy
  • Political Geography: United States, North America
  • Author: R. Scott Sheffield
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Military and Strategic Studies
  • Institution: Centre for Military, Security and Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: This article explores the meaning of military service for Indigenous men who volunteered during the Second World War. At its core, this question can help elucidate what is often the “big why?” invariably asked by people encountering this subject for the first time: why did young Indigenous men fight for a freedom, democracy and equality that they had never experienced? Employing a transnational lens, the article seeks to do interrelated things. First, it examines the meaning of military service for Indigenous men in each of three distinct phases: prior to their enlistment, while serving in the army and in combat, and after demobilisation and transitioning to veterans. Second, this study considers Indigenous perspectives and experiences in relation to, and the broader context of, the non-Indigenous comrades-in-arms with whom they enlisted, served, and sacrificed. In the end, this examination reveals a diversity of interpretations amongst Indigenous soldiers at each stage, but cannot be definitive in the face of such complexity and the ultimately idiosyncratic and personal nature of veterans’ lived experiences.
  • Topic: Military Affairs, transnationalism, Indigenous, Military Service
  • Political Geography: United States, Canada, Australia, North America, New Zealand
  • Author: Michael James Kirchner, Mesut Akdere
  • Publication Date: 05-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Military and Strategic Studies
  • Institution: Centre for Military, Security and Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: The United States Army’s leader development program offers new opportunities to examine how leaders are developed within the traditional workforce. Leader development is at the forefront of Army training and is coordinated through an institutional, operational, and self-development domain. Each domain contributes toward a holistic leader development program which prepares soldiers to be lifelong leaders. Veterans transitioning out of the military are often credited as possessing the leadership skills employers seek, though exploration of the process used to develop leadership attributes in soldiers has been minimal. Upon comparing the Army’s leader development program with other private sector leadership development training, similar goals were identified though the Army’s approach is distinguishable. This paper is an analysis of the U.S. Army’s leader development process and makes comparisons with leadership development in the traditional workplace. Three propositions are presented and discussed for leadership scholars and practitioners to consider. The authors also call for increased research and exploration of leader development in the military for transferability into the traditional workplace.
  • Topic: Military Affairs, Leadership, Private Sector, Management
  • Political Geography: United States, North America
  • Author: Ina Kraft
  • Publication Date: 05-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Military and Strategic Studies
  • Institution: Centre for Military, Security and Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: This article sets out to catalogue narration strategies used in the professional discourse about Effects-Based Operations (EBO). EBO was at the heart of the US military transformation (2001-2008) and is one of few concepts officially discontinued instead of being simply replaced by a successor concept making it a crucial case for analysing its rise and fall. An analytical framework for classifying the rhetoric of military innovations is presented in this article. Based on this framework the debate about EBO in the U.S. military journal Joint Force Quarterly between 1996 and 2015 is assessed with a view to three questions: How was EBO framed by military experts? Was the shift of institutional support for EBO reflected in the discourse? And, is there evidence to suggest that the EBO discourse had an influence on the adoption and later discontinuation of EBO? The analysis shows that in the case of EBO a particularly homogenous discourse pattern existed, which might have contributed to the concept’s quick and ultimate demise.
  • Topic: Science and Technology, Military Strategy, Military Affairs
  • Political Geography: United States, North America
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Humanitas
  • Institution: The Center for the Study of Statesmanship, Catholic University
  • Abstract: By any conventional measure, Chief Justice John Marshall’s Life of George Washington (1804) was a flop. Intended to be the authoritative biography of the nation’s most celebrated general and president, the work was widely derided at the time of its overdue publication, and since then has been largely forgotten. Surely the sense of personal embarrassment Marshall experienced must have been keen, for he admired no public figure more than Washington. Amid his Supreme Court duties, he labored for years on the Life, digging deep into American military and political history in hopes of etching in the minds of his fellow citizens the memory of the republic’s foremost founder. Yet in spite of his efforts, on no other occasion were Marshall’s failures more total and public. At one point, Marshall expressed the desire to publish the work anonymously, and one wonders if his wish was motivated less by self-effacement than a faint premonition of the biography’s failure.
  • Topic: Law, Military Affairs, Domestic politics, Supreme Court
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Enea Gjoza, Benjamin H. Friedman
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Defense Priorities
  • Abstract: The Yemeni Civil War is in its fourth year, and Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and their allies are not close to a victory over the Houthi rebels.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Conflict Prevention, Defense Policy, Military Strategy, Military Affairs, Military Spending, Military Intervention, Peace
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, North Africa
  • Author: Benjamin H. Friedman, Justin Logan
  • Publication Date: 05-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Defense Priorities
  • Abstract: The United States intervened in Syria’s civil war in two ways: (1) anti-Assad efforts—through aid to rebels to help foster regime change and with airpower, troops and support to a militia—and (2) anti-ISIS efforts—through aid to the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) to destroy the Islamic State’s territorial caliphate. The first mission was an ill-considered failure, the second a success.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Civil War, Military Strategy, Peacekeeping, Military Affairs, Military Intervention, Peace
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Iran, Syria
  • Author: Benjamin H. Friedman
  • Publication Date: 08-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Defense Priorities
  • Abstract: The war in Afghanistan—now America’s longest at nearly 18 years—quickly achieved its initial aims: (1) to destroy the Al-Qaeda terrorist organization and (2) to punish the Taliban government that gave it haven. However, Washington extended the mission to a long and futile effort of building up the Afghan state to defeat the subsequent Taliban insurgency.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, War, Military Strategy, Peacekeeping, Military Affairs, Military Intervention
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Middle East, Asia
  • Author: Alan McPherson
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Strategic Visions
  • Institution: Center for the Study of Force and Diplomacy, Temple University
  • Abstract: Strategic Visions: Volume 18, Number II Contents News from the Director ................................2 Spring 2019 Colloquium.........................2 Spring 2019 Prizes...................................2 Diplomatic History...................................3 SHAFR Conference.................................4 Thanks to the Davis Fellow.......................4 Note from the Davis Fellow..........................5 Note from the Non-Resident Fellow...............6 News from the CENFAD Community............8 Spring 2019 Interviews...................................11 Erik Moore..............................................11 Eliga Gould Conducted by Taylor Christian..........13 Nancy Mitchell.......................................15 Book Reviews.................................................18 Jimmy Carter in Africa Review by Brandon Kinney................18 The Girl Next Door: Bringing the Home front to the Front Line Review by Ariel Natalo-Lifotn...........20 Armies of Sand: The Past, Present and Future of Arab Military Effectiveness Review by Brandon Kinney...............23 Jimmy Carter in Africa Review by Graydon Dennison...........25
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Gender Issues, Power Politics, Military Affairs, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, Middle East, Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 08-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: World Politics Review
  • Abstract: Integrating China into the liberal trade order was expected to have a moderating effect on Beijing. Instead, under President Xi Jinping, China has asserted its military control over the South China Sea and cracked down on domestic dissent, all while continuing to use unfair trade practices to boost its economy. As a result, a bipartisan consensus has emerged in Washington that the U.S. must rethink the assumptions underpinning its approach to China’s rise. But President Donald Trump’s confrontational approach, including a costly trade war, is unlikely to prove effective. This report provides a comprehensive look at the military and economic aspects of U.S.-China rivalry in the Trump era.
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance, Military Affairs, Trade Wars, Economic Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, China
  • Author: Nikhil Pal Singh
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft
  • Abstract: I teach college students at New York University’s campus on Washington Square in Manhattan and in its prison program in upstate New York. My students have never lived in a time when the United States was not at war. Growing up after the Vietnam War, when the United States had converted to an all-volunteer military, the great majority of my N.Y.U. students have not served in uniform, although the military is more likely to be a stop on the itinerary, or part of family experience, for those who end up in prison. For most of them, the wars in which U.S. soldiers and support personnel have been engaged on three continents for the past two decades retain a hazy, distant, and amorphous character; this perception is also typical now among civilian noncombatants. That the consequences of war-fighting remain seemingly remote ironically reinforces war as a natural and unchanging backdrop to social life in the United States today. We are overdue for a major cost accounting and reappraisal of these permanent wars.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Military Strategy, Military Affairs, Domestic politics, Military Intervention
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Pamela Moss, Michael J. Prince
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Berghahn Books
  • Abstract: As seen in military documents, medical journals, novels, films, television shows, and memoirs, soldiers’ invisible wounds are not innate cracks in individual psyches that break under the stress of war. Instead, the generation of weary warriors is caught up in wider social and political networks and institutions—families, activist groups, government bureaucracies, welfare state programs—mediated through a military hierarchy, psychiatry rooted in mind-body sciences, and various cultural constructs of masculinity. This book offers a history of military psychiatry from the American Civil War to the latest Afghanistan conflict. The authors trace the effects of power and knowledge in relation to the emotional and psychological trauma that shapes soldiers’ bodies, minds, and souls, developing an extensive account of the emergence, diagnosis, and treatment of soldiers’ invisible wounds.
  • Topic: Military Affairs, Psychology, Trauma, Masculinity , PTSD
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Europe, Middle East, Vietnam
  • Author: Navin Bapat
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Political Violence @ A Glance
  • Abstract: The Washington Post’s publication of the Afghanistan Papers reveals that, although the official line was that the war was turning in favor of the US and its allies in Kabul, policymakers have long been aware that the situation was bleak, deteriorating, and unlikely to produce anything resembling a “victory.” Following 9/11, the US identified failed states as a key national security risk, in that these environments enabled terrorists, rebels, warlords, and other non-state actors to plot and plan operations against the US and the international community. Given that Afghanistan seemed to represent the prototypical weak state, the solution was obvious: Afghanistan needed to be transformed into a strong state that would resist non-state actors—particularly terrorist groups such as Al Qaeda. But in trying to achieve this lofty goal, the US has lost thousands of soldiers and contractors and spent several trillion dollars—and the costs will likely continue rising. The Afghans themselves have suffered even more, with over 100,000 deaths since 9/11. Despite all of this loss—and the open acknowledgment that the strategy is failing—there is little appetite among US policymakers for reversing course.
  • Topic: War, Military Affairs, Afghanistan, Military Intervention, War on Terror, Military Contractors
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman
  • Publication Date: 02-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The U.S. has learned many lessons in its wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria—most of them the hard way. It has had to adapt the strategies, tactics, and force structures designed to fight regular wars to conflicts dominated by non-state actors. It has had to deal with threats shaped by ideological extremism far more radical than the communist movements it struggled against in countries like Vietnam. It has found that the kind of “Revolution in Military Affairs,” or RMA, that helped the U.S. deter and encourage the collapses of the former Soviet Union does not win such conflicts against non-state actors, and that it faces a different mix of threats in each such war—such as in cases like Libya, Yemen, Somalia and a number of states in West Africa. The U.S. does have other strategic priorities: competition with China and Russia, and direct military threats from states like Iran and North Korea. At the same time, the U.S. is still seeking to find some form of stable civil solution to the conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria—as well as the conflicts Libya, Yemen, Somalia, Sudan and West Africa. Reporting by the UN, IMF, and World Bank also shows that the mix of demographic, political governance, and economic forces that created the extremist threats the U.S. and its strategic partners are now fighting have increased in much of the entire developing world since the attack on the World Trade Center and Pentagon in 2001, and the political upheavals in the Middle East and North Africa in 2011. The Burke Chair at CSIS has prepared a working paper that suggests the U.S. needs to build on the military lessons it has learned from its "long wars" in Afghanistan, Iraq, and other countries in order to carry out a new and different kind of “Revolution in Civil-Military Affairs,” or RCMA. This revolution involves very different kinds of warfighting and military efforts from the RMA. The U.S. must take full advantage of what it is learning about the need for different kinds of train and assist missions, the use of airpower, strategic communications, and ideological warfare. At the same time, the U.S. must integrate these military efforts with new civilian efforts that address the rise of extremist ideologies and internal civil conflicts. It must accept the reality that it is fighting "failed state" wars, where population pressures and unemployment, ethnic and sectarian differences, critical problems in politics and governance, and failures to meet basic economic needs are a key element of the conflict. In these elements of conflict, progress must be made in wartime to achieve any kind of victory, and that progress must continue if any stable form of resolution is to be successful.
  • Topic: Civil Society, United Nations, Military Strategy, Governance, Military Affairs, Developing World
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, Iraq, Middle East, West Africa, Somalia, Sundan
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman
  • Publication Date: 08-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The report draws on a wide range of official sources and is designed to provide an overview of official reporting on major trends rather than make an independent analysis. The U.S. provides a vast amount of detail on its annual budget request for military and international affairs spending – much of it in graphic, tabular, and summary form. The material presented here is an attempt to pick the key materials to show where the U.S. is focusing its military spending, how it relates to its strategy, how major force improvements will affect U.S. capabilities, and how the U.S. is dealing with its strategic partners and potential threats. However, the user should be aware that much of the material presented is often uncertain and is not comparable from source to source. There also is no easy or single way to summarize the trends in the U.S. defense budget. The materials that go into just the unclassified portions of the Department of Defense’s annual submission of President’s budget request to Congress, and the subsequent Congressional review of that request, run well over several thousand pages. It is also critical for the reader to understand that only the portion of the report dealing with the National Defense Authorization Act (pages 24-43) represents the final result of Congressional action and the FY2019 budget signed by the President, and not all of the portions of reference action by the key Committees involved were approved in exactly the form shown in the final bill signed by the President. Much of the material is drawn from sources that precede the final Congressional markup because the Department never updates most of the tables and charts in the Department of Defense request until the following year and new budget submission. The material presented also shows that different sources define total defense spending in different ways, and include different expenditures and convert current to constant dollars in different ways. More importantly, most sources report in terms of “Budget Authority” (BA) – the total money the Congress authorizes in a given Fiscal Year that can be spent over a period of years. This is the best estimate of what the Congress is actually approving. However, some sources in terms of “Budget Outlays” (BO) – only the money that can be spent in 12-month period of that U.S. Fiscal Year. (Which begins on 1 October of the year the Congress acts upon, and ends on 30 September of the following year). This is the best way of assessing the impact of spending on how well the budget is balanced, the size of the deficit, and impact on the federal debt. Budget projections for future years present other problems. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) provides detailed estimates of how the President’s budget request – and the final budgets the Congress authorizes – will impact over time. Many such estimates precede Congressional action on the budget, and it then takes several months for the CBO to estimate the probable future trends in the total federal budget and impact of the final Congressionally approved levels of U.S. defense spending on that total federal budget and the U.S. GDP. This often creates major lags in official estimates of the trends in every aspect of federal spending, the budget deficit, and the national debt. More broadly, the Department of Defense has effectively abandoned any serious effort to create a program budget, and to provide a realistic estimate of the cost of the Future Year Defense Program beyond the fiscal year directly under review. It essentially rolls forward current activities and plans to make estimates of the next four years that are based on the spending levels in the budget year under review. It bases such estimates largely on input categories such as personnel, O&M, RDT&E, and procurement. The Department of Defense does not report expenditures by major mission or command. The Department defines “strategy” largely in terms of broad concepts and goals. It does not tie its “strategy” to net assessments of the balance in terms of threats and strategic partners, to specific force plans, to specific actions and schedules, to specific costs, or to measures of success and effectiveness. Unclassified reporting in “PPB” – or planning, programming, and budgeting– form has become a functional oxymoron. The Congress does hold strategy hearings and directs studies of key strategic issues, but these efforts rarely address any of the practical details of any aspect of the nature and cost of U.S. strategy. Similarly, the outyear estimates of military spending by the Department of Defense, OMB, and the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) focus on a “baseline” that assumes the United States does not actually use its military forces in any operational form. The limited estimates provided for future Overseas Contingency Operations are “placeholders” and not actual estimates. This is partly inevitable given the inability to predict the future, but it creates a practical problem in a country whose civil plans call for major future increases in mandatory spending on retirement, medical case, and welfare. This means the official U.S. projections of civil spending rise relative to military spending in ways history indicates will be highly unrealistic.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Military Strategy, Military Affairs, Budget
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Middle East, North America
  • Author: Euan Graham, Chengxin Pan, Ian Hall, Rikki Kersten, Benjamin Zala, Sarah Percy
  • Publication Date: 03-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Australian National University Department of International Relations
  • Abstract: In this Centre of Gravity paper, six of Australia’s leading scholars and policy experts debate Australian participation in the ‘Australia-India-Japan-United States consultations on the Indo-Pacific’ - known universally as the ‘Quad’. A decade since its first iteration, the revival of the Quad presents significant questions for Australia and the regional order. Is the Quad a constructive partnership of the region’s major powers to safeguard regional stability, uphold the rules-based order and promote security cooperation? Is it a concert of democracies seeking to contain China? Or is it an emerging strategic alignment that risks precipitating the very confrontation with China it seeks to avoid? Or is it something else entirely? Euan Graham opens the debate by arguing that the Quad represents a rare second chance for Australia to cooperate with regional powers who have a shared interest is the maintenance of stability in Asia through the preservation of a balance of power. In addition to constraining China’s strategic choices beyond its maritime periphery, Dr. Graham argues that the Quad’s revival aims to send a concerted strategic signal to China along the four compass points of the Indo-Pacific region, but sufficiently restrained to avoid significant blowback from Beijing. Chengxin Pan responds that instead of forcing China to change tack, the Quad, by exacerbating China’s strategic vulnerability, will achieve precisely the opposite: prompting it to further strengthen its military capabilities. Dr. Pan argues that the nature of China’s challenge to the existing regional order is actually geoeconomic in design, as evidenced by the Belt and Road Initiative. To meet this challenge, however, the Quad’s military response is far from the right answer or an effective alternative. Ian Hall next argues that the Quad is neither a proto-alliance nor an instrument for containing China. Given that these states have so far failed to advance a coherent and coordinated line on Chinese initiatives to transform the region, Dr. Hall notes that the Quad offers something more prosaic and evolutionary: a forum for discussion and information exchange intended to lead to better policy coordination between like-minded states with a stake in the rules-based order. Rikki Kersten notes that the Japanese government wants Quad 2.0 to be seen as a Japanese initiative because it aspires to lead an ethical endeavour that reaches beyond the Asia-Pacific region. This represents a stepchange in post-war Japanese foreign and security policy thinking. Japan under Abe is seeking to harness rising insecurity to underpin its own regional leadership credentials and enhance the geographical scope of its security policy ambition. Benjamin Zala responds that the potential risks associated with sending containment-like signals to Beijing in the short-term and the potential for misperceptions over ambiguous commitments during a future crisis in the longer-term clearly outweigh the benefits of the current vague aspiration to cooperation with no clear purpose. Dr. Zala also warns against blurring the lines between formal military alliances and strategic partnerships like the Quad which increase the odds of miscalculation during times of power transition. Finally, Sarah Percy rounds out the debate by arguing that discussions of the Quad’s high politics have thus far obscured the more practical and interesting questions about how it might function and contribute to maritime security. Dr. Percy notes that that the day-to-day operations of most navies are focused on the more proximate security challenges posed by maritime crime. The Quad would yield tangible and possibly lasting benefits from such cooperation.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Diplomacy, Military Affairs, Maritime
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, China, India, Asia, Australia
  • Author: Michael Dominguez
  • Publication Date: 11-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The National Academy of Public Administration
  • Abstract: Given the current strategic aim of the Department of Defense (DOD) to aggressively update the nation’s nuclear arsenal through DOE-operated defense nuclear facilities, and the aging infrastructure in the DOE’s nuclear complex, the Panel unequivocally concludes that the DNFSB’s safety oversight mission is as important today as it has ever been in its thirty-year history. The Panel, however, finds evidence confirming that the Board has recently underperformed in its essential mission.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Nuclear Weapons, Military Strategy, Military Affairs
  • Political Geography: United States, North America
  • Author: Marcos Valle Machado De Silva
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: AUSTRAL: Brazilian Journal of Strategy International Relations
  • Institution: Postgraduate Program in International Strategic Studies, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul
  • Abstract: The issue of the Falklands catalyzes the attention of researchers in studies of the military presence of extraregional actors in South America. However, France, a state equally exogenous to the South American nations, is present in the region, keeping a colonial territory, where contingents and military installations are located, almost always ignored in regional security studies. In this context, this paper aims to highlight the military presence of France and the United Kingdom in America and South Atlantic, and to analyze the tensions arising from this presence in relation to the regional Brazilian view of defense.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Imperialism, International Cooperation, Military Affairs
  • Political Geography: United States, United Kingdom, France, Brazil, Argentina, South America, Falkland Islands, South Atlantic
  • Author: Henry D. Sokolski
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Nonproliferation Policy Education Center
  • Abstract: The 13 chapters contained in this book’s two volumes were prompt-ed by a single inquiry in 2012 from the MacArthur Foundation. Was there any way, I was asked, to further clarify the economic and nonproliferation downsides if further production of civilian pluto-nium proceeded in East Asia? My initial reply was no. So much already had been done.But the more I thought about it, two things that had yet to be at-tempted emerged. The first was any serious analysis of just how bad things could get militarily if Japan and South Korea acquired nuclear weapons and North Korea and Mainland China ramped up their own production of such arms. Such nuclear proliferation had long been assumed to be undesirable but nobody had specified how such proliferation might play out militarily. Second, no serious consideration had yet been given to how East Asia might be able to prosper economically without a massive buildup of civilian nucle-ar power. Since each of the key nations in East Asia—China, the Koreas, and Japan—all would likely exploit their civilian nuclear energy infrastructure to acquire their first bombs or to make more, such inattention seemed odd.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, Nuclear Weapons, Science and Technology, Military Affairs, Nuclear Power, Nonproliferation
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, China, North Korea, Global Focus
  • Author: Henry D. Sokolski
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Book
  • Institution: Nonproliferation Policy Education Center
  • Abstract: The 13 chapters contained in this book’s two volumes were prompt- ed by a single inquiry in 2012 from the MacArthur Foundation. Was there any way, I was asked, to further clarify the economic and nonproliferation downsides if further production of civilian pluto- nium proceeded in East Asia? My initial reply was no. So much already had been done.But the more I thought about it, two things that had yet to be at- tempted emerged. The first was any serious analysis of just how bad things could get militarily if Japan and South Korea acquired nuclear weapons and North Korea and Mainland China ramped up their own production of such arms. Such nuclear proliferation had long been assumed to be undesirable but nobody had specified how such proliferation might play out militarily. Second, no serious consideration had yet been given to how East Asia might be able to prosper economically without a massive buildup of civilian nucle- ar power. Since each of the key nations in East Asia—China, the Koreas, and Japan—all would likely exploit their civilian nuclear energy infrastructure to acquire their first bombs or to make more, such inattention seemed odd.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, Nuclear Weapons, Science and Technology, Military Affairs, Nuclear Power, Nonproliferation
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, China, North Korea, Global Focus
  • Author: Shimon Arad
  • Publication Date: 04-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for National Security Studies (INSS)
  • Abstract: In January 2018, the United States and Egypt signed a bilateral communications security agreement known as the Communications Interoperability and Security Memorandum of Agreement (CISMOA), which protects and regulates the use of sensitive American avionics and communications systems. This development now allows, for the first time, the acquisition by Egypt of US-made high precision GPS-based air-to-ground weapon systems and components, as well as advanced air-to-air missiles. Over the years, Israel’s concerns over the sale of large quantities of US weapon systems to Egypt were moderated by the quality cap dictated by the absence of a CISMOA agreement. Israel thus needs to raise this issue with Washington, within the context of the Qualitative Military Edge (QME) discussions. Given the unreliability of enduring stability in the Middle East, as exemplified by the events in Egypt since 2011, Israel should not disregard possible future scenarios in which its QME versus Egypt may matter. Based on the current convergence of security interests between Israel and Egypt, raising this issue with the US, though likely to upset Cairo, is not expected to undermine the practical manifestations of this relationship.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, International Cooperation, Military Strategy, Military Affairs
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Israel, North America, Egypt
  • Author: Shimon Stein
  • Publication Date: 05-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for National Security Studies (INSS)
  • Abstract: President Trump’s announcement that the United States would withdraw from the JCPOA is the most recent development in a series of unilateral decisions by the administration that have thrown relations between the US and its European allies into a crisis. In the short term, Germany, France, and Britain, like the European Union as a whole, will need to confront their relations with Iran vis-à-vis the nuclear deal against the background of the American withdrawal, and in the long term, their future relations with the United States. Indeed, the crisis stemming from the agreement with Iran is a symptom of the fundamental disagreement that has characterized US-Europe relations since President Trump entered the White House, which reflects only limited commitment by the US to multilateral frameworks. Still, Europe’s dependence on the United States in the realm of security and economics is significant, and it has no potential alternative in the foreseeable future. As for Israel, even if many members of the European Union understand Israel’s need to contend with the threats posed by Iran, the EU is not party to the opposition of Prime Minister Netanyahu to the nuclear deal. It is therefore still unclear how Europe will respond to Israel’s position, which encouraged a situation whereby the deal that the Europeans regarded as an achievement of recent European foreign policy, and as a tool for achieving stability in the Middle East, will be erased.
  • Topic: Nuclear Weapons, Military Affairs, European Union, JCPOA
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Iran, Middle East, North America, Israel
  • Author: Alan McPherson
  • Publication Date: 03-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Strategic Visions
  • Institution: Center for the Study of Force and Diplomacy, Temple University
  • Abstract: Contents News from the Director .................................. 2 Spring 2018 Colloquium ............................ 2 Cuba in War and Peace ............................... 3 Spring 2018 prizes ....................................... 3 TURF-CreWS Papers....................................4 Fall 2018 Colloquium Preview ................ 4 Final Words.....................................................5 Note from the Davis Fellow........................... 6 News from the CENFAD Community ......... 7 Profile of Dr. Eileen Ryan ............................... 9 The U.S. Military’s 2018 National Defense Strategy .............................................................. 12 Book Reviews .................................................. 17 Doyle, Don. H., ed. American Civil Wars: The United States, Latin America, Europe, and the Crisis of the 1860s.... 17 McAdams, A. James. Vanguard of the Revolution: The Global Idea of the Communist Party ....................................... 20 Judith L. Van Buskirk, Standing in Their Own Light: African-American Patriots in the American Revolution ................... 22 Burnidge, Cara Lea. A Peaceful Conquest: Woodrow Wilson, Religion, and the New World Order. ..................... 24
  • Topic: Civil War, Communism, Diplomacy, Military Affairs, Woodrow Wilson
  • Political Geography: United States, Latin America, Global Focus
  • Author: Ryan D. Martinson, Peter A. Dutton
  • Publication Date: 11-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: China Maritime Studies Institute, U.S. Naval War College
  • Abstract: Today, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) is investing in marine scientific research on a massive scale. This investment supports an oceanographic research agenda that is increasingly global in scope. One key indicator of this trend is the expanding operations of China’s oceanographic research fleet. On any given day, 5-10 Chinese “scientific research vessels” (科学考查船) may be found operating beyond Chinese jurisdictional waters, in strategically-important areas of the Indo-Pacific. Overshadowed by the dramatic growth in China’s naval footprint, their presence largely goes unnoticed. Yet the activities of these ships and the scientists and engineers they embark have major implications for U.S. national security. This report explores some of these implications. It seeks to answer basic questions about the out-of-area—or “distant-ocean” (远洋)—operations of China’s oceanographic research fleet. Who is organizing and conducting these operations? Where are they taking place? What do they entail? What are the national drivers animating investment in these activities?
  • Topic: Military Strategy, Military Affairs, Geopolitics, Navy, Oceans and Seas, Seapower, Chinese Communist Party (CCP), People's Republic of China (PRC)
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Asia
  • Author: Ryan D. Martinson
  • Publication Date: 02-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: China Maritime Studies Institute, U.S. Naval War College
  • Abstract: On April 10, 2012, two Chinese law-enforcement cutters on joint patrol in the South China Sea received orders to proceed immediately to Scarborough Shoal, a disputed cluster of rocks 140 nautical miles west of Subic Bay, the Philippines. Earlier that day, a Chinese fisherman aboard one of several boats moored in the lagoon had transmitted an alarming message to authorities in his home port in Hainan: “Philippine Navy ship number 15 heading this way.” Ship number 15 was BRP Gregorio del Pilar, an elderly former U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) cutter now serving as a frigate in the Philippine navy. Not long after the first message arrived in Hainan, sailors operating from the ship entered the lagoon and approached the Chinese boats. At this point, the fisherman sent a final message: “They’re boarding.”
  • Topic: Military Strategy, Military Affairs, Geopolitics, Navy, Oceans and Seas, Seapower, Port
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Asia
  • Author: Ryan Snyder
  • Publication Date: 03-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Arms Control Association
  • Abstract: Perhaps the most controversial aspect of the plan to overhaul the nation’s nuclear arsenal is the replacement program for the intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) force, the land-based leg of the nuclear triad that also includes submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs) and heavy bombers. The current deployed fleet of 400 silo-based Minuteman III ICBMs are distributed across three bases touching five states and are expected to be removed from service by the U.S. Air Force in the mid-2030s. A follow-on ICBM system–known as the Ground-Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD)–is scheduled to replace the Minuteman IIIs (and their supporting infrastructure) on a one-for-one basis between 2028 and 2035. Many have questioned the need for this program, including former Secretary of Defense William Perry, who has argued for eliminating all ICBMs. The latest independent Pentagon acquisition cost estimate to design and build the ICBM replacement ranges from $85 to over $140 billion (in then-year dollars), while the cost to operate and sustain the weapons system over its expected 50-year service life is projected at roughly $150 billion. This ICBM recapitalization cost is but one piece of a larger plan to sustain and upgrade the nuclear arsenal over the next thirty years, with the total price tag projected to exceed $1.2 trillion (in 2017 dollars). Separate modernization programs planned for U.S. conventional forces will require additional outlays. These upgrades will necessitate either a significant and prolonged increase in defense spending, which is unlikely to be forthcoming, or a reallocation of resources within the defense budget. Hard choices will likely be required among competing programs. The Trump administration’s Nuclear Posture Review published in February endorses replacing and upgrading the current Minuteman III force with the GBSD program. It will be up to Congress to assess the program’s cost-effectiveness and evaluate alternatives. This paper will examine this issue in several stages: first, by considering whether ICBMs are needed to hedge against threats to the strategic submarines; second, by discussing their possible benefits and risks as a warhead “sponge”; third, by examining whether ICBMs possess necessary capabilities absent from other legs of the triad; and last, by considering the stability implications of developing a new ICBM with enhanced capabilities. Finally, the paper evaluates alternative options to the costly GBSD program of record.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, Nuclear Weapons, Military Affairs, Missile Defense, Donald Trump
  • Political Geography: United States, Global Focus
  • Author: Maggie Tennis
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Arms Control Association
  • Abstract: In March 2017, Gen. Paul Selva, the Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the House Armed Services Committee (HASC) that Russia had deployed a ground-launched cruise missile (GLCM) violating the “spirit and intent” of the 1987 Intermediate Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty. Selva warned the committee that Russia is “modernizing its strategic nuclear triad and developing new nonstrategic nuclear weapons.” His testimony illustrates the new normal of U.S.-Russian relations, wherein historic nuclear cooperation is profoundly at risk. Russia’s alleged INF Treaty violation has soured already strained relations between the world’s largest nuclear powers. Yet, the United States and Russia continue to share a common interest in ensuring nuclear stability worldwide. Together, the countries possess over 90 percent of the planet’s roughly 15,000 nuclear weapons. This power carries a responsibility to rejuvenate cooperative initiatives that reduce nuclear risks dating back to the depths of the Cold War. To effectively evaluate the opportunities and challenges involved in that objective, U.S. policymakers must understand Russia’s current nuclear force policy and strategy. This policy paper examines Moscow’s nuclear doctrine, capabilities and modernization efforts, the status of U.S.-Russian arms control treaties, and the primary obstacles to cooperation. It concludes by offering a set of recommendations for both mitigating threats to strategic stability and resuming a productive U.S.-Russian arms control dialogue.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, Cold War, International Law, Nuclear Weapons, Military Affairs, Nuclear Power, INF Treaty
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States
  • Author: Jason Frohnmayer
  • Publication Date: 09-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Ambassador's Review
  • Institution: Council of American Ambassadors
  • Abstract: It is a heck of a time to be an American diplomat. The work of diplomacy is never boring, but recently it seems like we can barely make it through a cup of coffee before someone calls a meeting to deal with an issue no one has ever faced. Public Diplomacy officers have it particularly hard as we endeavor to explain the United States’ position on issues and work to strengthen people-to-people relationships with those of other countries. The State Department’s diplomatic training center, the Foreign Service Institute (FSI), was created with an understanding of the importance of developing intercultural communication skills. This article advocates for an even greater emphasis on this critical training as FSI examines its curriculum. Out of all five cones of Foreign Service Officer Generalists, Public Diplomacy (PD) officers are called upon most often to interact with people of another culture. The heart of our work is building cross-cultural relationships. Success requires a high level of in­ter­cultural communication competence (ICC). FSI offers several distance-learning courses on cross-cultural communication, including “Communicating Across Cultures” and “Culture and Its Effect on Communication,” as well as offering training on considera­tion of foreign audiences, which is a component of cultural affairs tradecraft required for Cultural Affairs Officers. If PD officers are going to build relationships with skeptical foreign audiences, they should be armed with the best tools, which should include a dedicated focus on intercultural communication theories.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Communications, Culture, Military Affairs
  • Political Geography: United States, North America
  • Author: Michelle Nicholasen, Joshua D. Kertzer
  • Publication Date: 02-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: In July 2014, a wave of violence erupted in the Middle East, as Israel responded to a barrage of rockets from Gaza by launching airstrikes, and eventually, a ground incursion intent on degrading Hamas’s military capabilities. In Washington, both Democrats and Republicans firmly sided with Israel: the Senate passed a unanimous resolution blaming Hamas for the conflict, and both prominent Democrats and Republicans gave staunch defenses of Israel’s right to defend itself. Although both Democrats and Republicans in Washington were united in their support for Israel, a series of polls conducted at the time found that Democrats and Republicans in the public were not aligned with them: in a Pew poll, for example, 60 percent of Republicans blamed Hamas for the violence, while Democrats were more evenly split, with 29 percent blaming Hamas and 26 percent blaming Israel. A Gallup poll detected a similar pattern: 65 percent of Republicans thought Israel’s actions were justified, but Democrats were more divided, as 31 percent backed the Israeli response, and 47 percent called it unjustified.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Public Opinion, Military Affairs, Political Parties, Hamas
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Israel, Palestine, North America
  • Author: Alan McPherson
  • Publication Date: 09-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Strategic Visions
  • Institution: Center for the Study of Force and Diplomacy, Temple University
  • Abstract: Contents: News from the Director ...................... 1 A Quarter-Century of Thanks....... 1 A Half-Year of Help ........................... 1 SV’s New Look .................................... 2 Fall 2017 Colloquium ...................... 2 Fall 2017 Prizes .................................. 3 Final Words .......................................... 4 Spring 2018 Lineup .............................. 5 Note from the Davis Fellow............... 6 Book Reviews.......................................... 7 Jeffrey Engel’s When the World Seemed New: George H.W. Bush and the End of the Cold War. By Brian McNamara. ............................ 7 Stephen Kinzer’s The True Flag: Theodore Roosevelt, Mark Twain, and the Birth of American Empire. By Alexandre Caillot. ............................ 9 Meredith Hindley’s Destination Casablanca: Exile, Espionage, and the Battle for North Africa in World War II. By Mathias Fuelling. .......................... 11 Jeremi Suri’s The Impossible Presidency. The Rise and Fall of America's Highest Office. By Manna Duah. .................................. 13
  • Topic: Cold War, Diplomacy, Military Affairs, Empire, American Presidency
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, Middle East, North Africa, Global Focus
  • Author: Furkan Halit Yolcu
  • Publication Date: 10-2016
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Turkish Journal of Middle Eastern Studies
  • Institution: Sakarya University (SAU)
  • Abstract: The Persian Gulf War was one of the defining incidents that shaped the current situation of the Middle East. There has been a vast amount of studies about this conflict but on a specific case why Israel stayed out of the conflict even though she was attacked continues to be an intriguing question for researchers. Saddam’s decision on invading Kuwait and the war following this is going to be summarized in order to present the structure when this incident took place and also to build an environment in which Israel’s decision on refraining itself from the war is going to be analyzed. Israel is perceived as one of the most agg- ressive countries in the Middle East mostly because of the wars that it included so far and the grand projects that it wants to put in practice in the future. With these assumptions it is rather hard to understand Israel’s passive behaviour during the Persian Gulf War and possible reasons of this is going to be main focus of this study to understand the motivations behind such policy. Israel’s state in that period and its capacity will be analyzed in order to understand whether this decision was taken directly and solely by Israel or it was a result of long-going dependency to another country or any other possible situation. Possible reasons that resulted with Israel’s passive attitude will be under the scope to explain whether what Israel did was rather rational or not. In addition to that, the advantages that Israel enjoyed and disadvantages that it faced will be shown at the last part of the study.
  • Topic: Military Strategy, Military Affairs, Conflict, Gulf War
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Middle East, Israel, North America
  • Author: Kate Martin
  • Publication Date: 04-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for American Progress - CAP
  • Abstract: There has been much controversy and criticism about drone strikes conducted by the United States, especially those that have targeted Al Qaeda operatives outside Afghanistan in Yemen, Somalia, and the border regions of Pakistan. Many questions have surfaced about the effectiveness of using drone strikes. There is also a widespread perception that strikes have killed many civilians and that they are illegal. The Obama administration recently promised to release information about the number of civilians killed, as well as its policy guidance governing drone strikes outside Afghanistan. However, this new information is unlikely to directly address the question of what legal framework governs such drone strikes. In fact, the Obama administration has never been completely clear about its views on the legal basis for the drone program. But an understanding of the legal framework is necessary to evaluate the new information and the legality of the drone program.
  • Topic: Military Strategy, Military Affairs, Counter-terrorism, Al Qaeda, Drones, Legal Theory
  • Political Geography: United States, North America
  • Author: Chris Kolenda, Chris Rogers
  • Publication Date: 06-2016
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Open Society Foundations
  • Abstract: During the early years of the United States’ involvement in Afghanistan, the U.S. military was killing too many civilians and depriving too many others of basic rights and liberties. By 2008, nearly 40 percent of civilian deaths in Afghanistan resulted from U.S. military operations. The level of “civilian harm”—the military’s term for killing innocent civilians and causing major political, social, and economic disruption—was adversely impacting the United States’ efforts to defeat the Taliban and weakening the legitimacy of the U.S. and Afghan governments. The report, The Strategic Costs of Civilian Harm: Applying Lessons from Afghanistan to Current and Future Conflicts, examines how the U.S. military learned from its early mistakes in Afghanistan and applied lessons to mitigate civilian harm. In fact, starting in 2009, the U.S. military recognized its mistakes and started to understand the high strategic cost of civilian harm. The military’s changes led to a significant reduction in civilian deaths during the next few years. The report argues that the United States should develop a Uniform Policy on Civilian Protection. The new standards would apply to all U.S. military operations in current and future conflicts and, hopefully, better protect civilians caught in conflict.
  • Topic: Human Rights, War, Military Affairs, Military Intervention, Conflict, War on Terror, Civilians, Casualties
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States
  • Author: Elizabeth Philipp
  • Publication Date: 06-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Arms Control Association
  • Abstract: The window of opportunity to prevent North Korea from fielding nuclear-armed ballistic missiles is closing. Diplomatic engagement with North Korea has been scant in recent years. In response to Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile tests, the United States and other countries, through actions of the United Nations Security Council and independent policies, have adopted an approach of increasing political and economic isolation. Yet, during this time, Pyongyang has improved its nuclear weapons capability quantitatively and qualitatively. The next presidential administration must prioritize reviewing and renewing Washington’s diplomatic approach to North Korea. With each successive nuclear and missile test, North Korea advances its knowledge and consolidates its capability. History has shown that it is far easier to convince North Korea to negotiate away a military capability it does not yet possess. Washington’s stated primary concern is a North Korean nuclear-armed intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM). Pyongyang will achieve this capability if it is not reined in through a diplomatic agreement or understanding. Once Pyongyang achieves this status, the security balance in Asia will be disrupted and U.S. diplomats will be hard-pressed to convince North Korea to abandon the capability.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, Diplomacy, Nuclear Weapons, United Nations, Military Affairs, Nonproliferation
  • Political Geography: United States, North Korea
  • Author: Greg Thielmann
  • Publication Date: 02-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Arms Control Association
  • Abstract: In the first five weeks of 2016, North Korea twice defied UN Security Council resolutions designed to stem its pursuit of nuclear weapons. On January 6, it conducted its fourth underground nuclear test; on February 7, it launched a satellite into space for the second time. These two events provided a vivid reminder that North Korea continues to make progress mastering the technology needed for developing long-range ballistic missiles and arming them with nuclear warheads. U.S. leaders have long sought to formulate and implement policies that would secure a denuclearized Korean peninsula, but these efforts have not been successful. U.S. political commentary on North Korea vacillates between taking at face value the regime’s exaggerated claims of technological prowess and reducing its leadership to cartoonish stereotypes. A clearer understanding of North Korea’s motives and the current status of its nuclear and missile programs can lead to a more realistic strategy for enhancing U.S. security. That strategy would involve using enhanced sanctions as leverage for achieving a halt in North Korea’s nuclear and missile testing and production of fissile material, but this can only happen through negotiations.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, Nuclear Weapons, United Nations, International Security, Military Affairs, Nonproliferation
  • Political Geography: United States, North Korea