Strategy Without Politics is No Strategy
By Kori Schake, Lawfare: “The lessons of World War I are many and varied for those who study warfare. To name a few: economic interconnectedness does not avert armed conflict; democratic states are capable of making durable and costly commitments to both war effort and alliances; the decisiveness of battlefield outcome is a central determinant of the sustainability of peace settlements; technological innovation can radically alter the offense-defense balance in military operations; and “laws of war” can be developed that create enduring norms limiting classes of weaponry.”
Remembering the Moral Purpose of War
By Paul D. Miller, Atlantic Council: “Our remembrance of the Great War is colored by its moral ambiguity, by our knowledge that it did not resolve its underlying causes, and by the fact that it ended up causing more problems by how it ended. But the war is enormously influential in American history because it set a template for how Americans forget wars when we forget why they were fought."
A ‘crisis of national security’: New report to Congress sounds alarm
(Defense News) America’s military superiority has “eroded to a dangerous degree,” leaving the U.S. in a “crisis of national security,” especially if faced with more than one conflict at once, a new congressionally-mandated report concluded.
The U.S. faces an expanding risks from China, including threats to the technology supply chain, Beijing’s military expansion in the Indo-Pacific region and the country’s efforts to undermine sanctions on North Korea, according to an annual report by a bipartisan congressional panel. – Bloomberg
Two prominent U.S. senators expressed alarm on Tuesday about the military and political consequences if China gains control of a port terminal in Djibouti, and said they were concerned it could further boost Beijing’s influence in East Africa. – Reuters
Ross Marchand writes: Federal appropriations and acquisition leaders should wake up and realize that America’s national defense is too critical to design based on political clout rather than strict utility, efficiency, and merit. […]For these reasons and more, Congress should think of the hardworking American citizens that are footing the bill and begin putting country over politics. – Washington Examiner
The United States has lost its military edge to a dangerous degree and could potentially lose a war against China or Russia, according to a report released Wednesday by a bipartisan commission that Congress created to evaluate the Trump administration’s defense strategy. – Washington Post
Tom Karako writes: But without omnidirectional sensing, U.S. air defenses and their defended assets may also end up dead, suppressed by enemy threats they cannot see. And that’s why air defenders need 360-degree sensor coverage. […]At stake is survivability in a challenging aerial-threat environment. Sacrificing 360-degree coverage for LTAMDS could be a grave mistake. Army leadership shouldn’t make it easier for the enemy to suppress Army air defenders by lowering sensor requirements. – Defense News
Minuteman III Replacement Program Moves Toward Next Phase
By Nick Adde, National Defense Magazine: “The current ground-based strategic deterrent system is reaching the end of its useful lifespan. First installed at Northern Tier Air Force bases in 1968, the LGM-30 Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missiles were intended to serve for a decade.”
Swarm Killer: Raytheon's Mobile Laser Defense
By Tiago Machado, The National Interest: “On October 10, Raytheon released its High-Energy Mission Scenarios marketing vid where it lays out its vision for networked laser defenses, but how early Raytheon can deliver—if at all—remains to be seen.”
The 1896 political environment resembles that of today: A rapidly changing electorate affected by a growing immigrant population, an uncertain economy disrupted by new technologies, growing income inequality, and contentious issues the two parties could not resolve. McKinley found ways to address these challenges and win, which is why his campaign is so relevant to our politics now.
McKinley, a Civil War hero who preferred “The Major” above any other title he was given, changed the arc of American history by running the first truly modern presidential campaign. Knowing his party could only win if it grew beyond its base, he reached out to diverse ethnic groups, including openly seeking the endorsement of Catholic leaders and advocating for black voting rights. Running on the slogan “The People Against the Bosses,” McKinley also took on the machine men who dominated his own party. He deployed campaign tactics still used today, including targeting voters with the best available technology. Above all, he offered bold, controversial answers to the nation’s most pressing challenge—how to make a new, more global economy work for every American—and although this split his own party, he won the White House by sticking to his principles, defeating a charismatic champion of economic populism, William Jennings Bryan.
A SILLY, OVERUSED WORD IN FOREIGN AFFAIRS: STRATEGY & A LOOK AT RUSSIAN INTERMEDIATE RANGE MISSILES; THE LIMITS OF INTEL FOR THE LONG WAR
Does the U.S. Military Really Need More Strategists? by James Joyner
What We Owe the Vietnam Veterans Who Stayed by David Barno and Nora Bensahel
Is the U.S. Military Ready for the Threats It Faces?
By Adam Twardowski, Brookings: “The United States vastly outspends its rivals and allies on defense, but today experts debate whether that spending has delivered a military ready to confront the threats and challenges that the nation faces.”
Russia’s Intermediate-Range Missile Production Challenge
By Maxim Starchak, Eurasia Daily Monitor: “After President Donald Trump’s stated decision to withdraw the United States from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, signed in 1987 by Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, some experts asserted that Russia will now be free to deploy a variety of ground-launched medium-range missiles in response.”
One Hundred Years of American Grand Strategy
By Daniel Fried, Atlantic Council: “On November 11, 1918, World War One, the Great War, ended. Amid the chaos that followed—revolution, the fall of empires, and rise of nations—the United States attempted to build a rules-based world which favored freedom."
Intelligence and You: A Guide for Policymakers by Brian Katz
Should we have ever fought the First World War?
The 11th Hour Of The 11th Day Of The 11th Month-100 Years Ago
by Victor Davis Hanson via American Greatness
The First World War ended 100 years ago this month on November 11, 1918, at 11 a.m. Nearly 20 million people had perished since the war began on July 28, 1914. In early 1918, it looked as if the Central Powers—Austria-Hungary, Germany, Bulgaria and the Ottoman Empire—would win.
Still In The Trenches: World War I And Its Complicated Aftermath
featuring Stephen Kotkin via Princeton Alumni Weekly
One hundred years later, all remains quiet on the Western Front. An area known as the Zone Rouge running from Lille to Verdun, scene of some of the heaviest fighting of the First World War, is fenced off to this day. Entire towns within it were abandoned, the surrounding fields and collapsed trenches filled with human bones and tons of unexploded ordnance. It remains too dangerous to enter, the soil still saturated, even now, with the chemicals of war: mercury, lead, chlorine, and arsenic.
The Presbyterian Minister’s Son
Reconsidering Woodrow Wilson, 100 years after the Armistice ending the First World War
Four Reasons to Manage China’s Rise
By Dhruva Jaishankar, the interpreter: “Today, China shapes almost every global issue of note, from climate change to trade, and from regional security in Southeast Asia and the Indian Ocean to investment trends in Africa and Central Europe."
Operation BADR: Defeating A2AD With DIME
By Scott Humr, Strategy Bridge: "While the U.S. has continually maintained a sizeable margin in military technological superiority over many adversaries, recent developments from near-peer competitors such as China and Russia are beginning to challenge this supremacy. The 1973 Arab-Israeli War provides an example of how even relatively inferior forces overcame similar threats from a more powerful adversary through a whole of government approach. "
Whether The U.S. Scraps The INF Or Stays In, China Must Be Checked
(Forbes) Beyond the merits of being in or out of the treaty, the U.S. must address the treaty’s unintended consequences that resulted in China’s conventionally-armed missile advantage in the Pacific.
Strike-Capable Wing Loong II Drone Enters PLAAF Service
By Franz-Stefan Gady, The Diplomat: “The Chinese-designed next-generation medium-altitude long-endurance and strike-capable Wing Loong II (also known as Gongji-2 or GJ-2) unnamed aerial vehicle (UAV) has officially entered service with China's People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF).”
The Demise of the INF Treaty and a Return to Nuclear Warfighting
By David Lonsdale, The Strategist (ASPI): “Some criticism of the decision is based on the misunderstood notion of strategic stability. Intermediate-range forces were originally banned because their short flight times and close proximity to the enemy were seen as destabilising factors.”
Beyond INF: Countering Russia, Countering China (Analysis)
Beyond INF: A Democratic House & A New Era Of War (Analysis)
China’s Campaign to Dominate Maritime Commerce
Christopher O’Dea, National Review
Pushback: America’s New China Strategy
By Robert Sutter, The Diplomat: “A situation report from Washington assessing the U.S. whole of government opposition to China’s challenges.”
WHAT SHOULD THE WEST HAVE LEARNED ABOUT ITS INTERWAR PERIOD & WALTER RUSSEL MEAD EXAMINES THE RETURN OF GEOPOLITICS
A Message to the Leaders of the 21st Century Interwar Period
By Jonathan C. Nielsen, Small Wars Journal: “One may argue that the military profession functions similarly as the greatest military leaders have valued a balance of learning and innovating as an essential blend to make the right decision at the appropriate time in what is, by nature, an uncertain and hostile environment. But even this comparison is inexact.”
Walter Russell Mead writes: The return of geopolitics means the basic framework for economic policy has changed. In periods of great-power rivalry, national leaders must often put geopolitical goals ahead of economic ones. […]President Trump cannot be blamed for the return of geopolitics. Russia, China and Iran decided to challenge the American power on which the economic order depended, and Mr. Obama’s response to that challenge was, regrettably, insufficient. – Wall Street Journal
China Expands its Peace and Security Footprint in Africa
Michael Kovrig, ICG
Geopolitical forces are perpetuating instability
All of Afghanistan's immediate neighbors have traditionally competed with each other for influence over the landlocked country and intervened to protect and advance their national interests. No regional or extra-regional state has the power to truly impose its will on Afghanistan, but they are surely able to sabotage anything they perceive to be a threat to their national interests. They have failed in their efforts to establish democracy and strengthen Afghanistan's institutions and now...
Under the Missile’s Shadow: What Does the Passing of the INF Treaty Mean? by Michael Kofman
It’s Time to Make a New Deal: Solving the INF Treaty’s Strategic Liabilities to Achieve U.S. Security Goals in Asia by Scott A. Cuomo
Trump Is Right to Leave The INF Nuclear Treaty
// Kori Schake
Despite sensible objections, the US could benefit, and it's hard to see how Russia ever would comply.
The U.S. will outspend any other nation in building up its nuclear arsenal, President Donald Trump said, in a fresh challenge to Russia and China. “We have more money than anybody else, by far. We’ll build it up,” Trump said after being asked late Monday if he was prepared to build up the U.S.’s nuclear arsenal. “Until they come to their senses. When they do, then we’ll all be smart and we’ll all stop.” – Bloomberg
The Future of Strategy
By Von Lambert, Strategy Bridge: “Gray’s work on the foundations and future of strategy is extremely useful to those seeking both a definition and the common influences such as motive and politics on its formulation.”
Terrorism in Civil Wars
By Suman Soni, Strategy Bridge: “Concerning civil wars, research has shown that many characteristics and motivators have changed since the collapse of the Soviet Union.”
Chinese Anti-Submarine Warfare: Platforms, Strategy, and Doctrine
By Rick Joe, The Diplomat: “The PLAN’s ASW strategy can be viewed in a similar way as the PLAN’s overall naval strategy, by dividing missions as either “regional” or “blue water.””