Call It a Crime
A recent murder reveals the distorted language employed by British police.
The Good Friday Agreement: Ending War and Ending Conflict in Northern Ireland by James B. Steinberg
Call It a Crime
A recent murder reveals the distorted language employed by British police.
Download the newest report now.
And check out the first two volumes of our major ongoing analytic effort, The Changing Nuclear Balance: a Net Assessment: Understanding Strategic Interaction in the Second Nuclear Age and Assessing the Arsenals: Past, Present, and Future Capabilities.
SOCOM Pivots Toward Great Power Competition
By Paul McLeary
The Pentagon’s new Special Ops leader is looking to the defense industry for help in meeting peer adversaries, but he also has a bone to pick.
New SOCOM Leader Lays Out Command Priorities
By Mandy Mayfield, National Defense Magazine: “United States Special Operations Command has five top priorities as the nation's elite warfighters adjust to a new strategic era."
NATIONALISM - NEW INSTRUMENTS OF POWER AND INFLUENCE FOR STATECRAFT IN THE INFORMATION AGE & EXAMINING MAXWELL TAYLOR'S WAR
Why the Military is the Wrong Tool for Defending Western Society
By Stanley J. Wiechnik, Strategy Bridge: "Sometimes social events occur that change the character of interstate conflict in ways no new military technology or improved doctrine can address. The last time this happened was during the Napoleonic Wars (1799-1815)."
Threat of Nationalism to the State Power of Democracies in the Information Age
By James P. Micciche, Divergent Options: "Historically, both scholars and political leaders have viewed nationalism as an advantageous construct that enhanced a state’s ability to both act and exert power within the international system. Contrary to historic precedence, nationalism now represents a potential threat to the ability of modern democracies to project and exercise power due to demographic trends, globalized economies, and the information age."
Is the U.S. Planning for the Right War?
By Aaron Kliegman, The Washington Free Beacon: "America's geopolitical situation and strategic thinking during the pre-9/11 Bush years resemble those of today in many ways."
Hope as a Method: Maxwell Taylor and America’s Cold War
By Gregory Daddis & Jesse A. Faugstad, War on the Rocks: "There is an inherently aspirational quality to strategic planning. Former U.S. Army Chief of Staff Gordon R. Sullivan may have famously argued that “hope is not a method,” but strategy still centers upon hoping to achieve or avoid possible outcomes."
From the Somme to the Persian Gulf, Lessons on Shows of Force
By Charles Glass, Stratfor Worldview: "Wars rarely turn out as their authors predict. For the United States, this has been true of Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq. The same may be said one day of Iran."
‘Hard Choices’ and Strategic Insolvency: Where the National Defense Strategy Falls Short
by Rick Berger and Mackenzie Eaglen
The Case for a Narrower View of ‘Empire’ in the Study of U.S. Foreign Relations by Joseph Stieb
Net Assessment: A Failure of Leadership? Americans’ Views of U.S. Foreign Policy by Rachel Hoff, Bryan McGrath, and Christopher Preble
Great Power Rivalry Is Also a War for Talent
By Elsa Kania & Emma Moore, Defense One: "China’s military is working harder to find and keep good people. The U.S. must step up its own efforts."
Navy's SPY-6 Radar Boosts Sea-Based Defense Against Hypersonic Threats
By Loren Thompson, Forbes: " ... the networking features that Raytheon has engineered into the system, so that radars on vessels scattered across vast expanses of ocean can cooperate in detecting, tracking and targeting threats. This will enable them to maximize the effectiveness of a new generation of interceptor missiles"
What’s great power competition? No one really knows
(Defense One) More than a year since the new National Defense Strategy refocused the U.S. military away from counterinsurgency and back towards the country’s greatest strategic competitors, some policy and strategy experts say the Pentagon hasn’t yet figured out how to “compete” with Russia and China.
Marine Corps Gets Long-Range Anti-Ship Missiles
By Hope Hodge Seck, Military.com: "The Marine Corps is dropping nearly $48 million on Raytheon's Naval Strike Missile (NSM) as it moves toward a series of experiments involving striking enemy ships and maritime targets from land."
Navy, USMC Advancing New Operating Concept
By Mandy Mayfield, National Defense Magazine: "The concept, formally known as expeditionary advanced base operations, or EABO, is “all about distributing lethality across the battle space in support of a larger maritime campaign,” said Brig Gen. Stephen Liszewski, director of operations for the Marine Corps."
Marines: FVL Intriguing, BUT CH-53K Is Essential
By Sydney Freedberg, Breaking Defense: "LtGen Steven Ruder said, for heavy lift — the logistical lifeline of the missile batteries and forward airfields the Marines envision for the next war — the CH-53K King Stallion “is the only aircraft today that can do what we are asking it to do.”"
Secret Knife Missile That Kills Terrorists Without Harming Civilians
By Ryan Pickrell, Busiuness Insider: "The U.S. has developed a secret missile to kill terrorists in precision strikes without harming civilians nearby, and it has already proven its worth in the field."
Rolls-Royce Unveils Hybrid Power System for Laser Weapons
By Jen Judson, Defense News: "Rolls-Royce has been quietly developing an integral system required to operate laser weapons on the battlefield for about a decade in its LibertyWorks division, which is the company’s internal advanced technology unit based in Indianapolis."
Getting to Know the Competition
By Cortez A. Cooper III, RealClearDefense: " ... PLA concepts and capabilities also include military and para-military forces that operate below the threshold of war, such as increased presence in contested waters of fishing fleets and supporting maritime militia and navy vessels. These operations might spark conflict when an opposing claimant such as the Philippines, Vietnam, or Japan responds.”
Rising to the Threat: Revitalizing America’s Military and Political Power
This conference marked the launch of FDD’s Center on Military and Political Power (CMPP), which focuses on the defense strategies, policies, and capabilities necessary to deter and/or defeat threats to the freedom, security, and prosperity of Americans and our allies... Read more
China isn't what it used to be
Clifford D. May — The Washington Times
Last week, presidential contender Joseph Biden asked rhetorically: “China is going to eat our lunch? Come on, man!” He added: “I mean, you know, they’re not bad folks. But guess what, they’re not competition for us!” As vice president and, before that, as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Mr. Biden met foreign leaders and voted on foreign policy legislation. On that basis, he fancies himself a foreign policy expert. But at least where China is concerned, he has not kept up. Evidence of China’s grand ambitions... Read more
The Sources of CCP Conduct
By Mike Gallagher, The American Interest: "The Chinese Communist Party is hard-wired for hostile expansion—and it poses a threat to the free world unlike any since George Kennan’s time."
Testimony: Bridging the transatlantic divide on China
Zack Cooper | House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia, Energy, and the Environment
The growing transatlantic divide on China policy poses a serious challenge — not just for America’s relationships with its European allies and partners, but also for US grand strategy more generally. The United States’ greatest strength in the competition with China is our global network of alliances and partnerships. It is vital that the US pursue policies that unite these allies and partners in support of our shared interests and a rules-based international order.
ANDREW MARSHALL, DECENTRALIZED COMMAND OF WAR, gaps in us war strategy & WHAT MAKES FOREIGN WARS SUCCESSFUL
Surveying the Responsibility of Command by Maj. Gen. William F. Mullen II
Surveying the Responsibility of Command
By William F. Mullen III, War on the Rocks: "Based on my observations from my most recent tour in Iraq from 2015 to 2016, I believe it still comes down to the personality of the commander. In that time, I saw division commanders who were comfortable with a more decentralized decision-making process and others who still attempted to control every last detail."
The Brain of the Pentagon
By Eliot A. Cohen, The Atlantic: "Andrew Marshall leaves behind an American tradition of strategic thinking that will live well beyond him."
Our Risk-Averse Army: How We Got Here and How to Overcome It
By John Amble, Modern War Institute: "There are three main reasons Army commanders tend avoid risk: loss aversion, institutional risk norms, and senior leaders’ lack of comfort with risk."
Gaps Exist Between U.S. Strategy and Military Capacity
There will not be enough resources to close the technological, doctrinal, and budgetary gaps between stated U.S. aims and the military capabilities needed to achieve them. What changes to U.S. strategy and investments could help close these gaps, and which missions should be prioritized? Read more »
What Makes U.S. Military Interventions Successful?
An analysis of 145 U.S. military interventions identifies the factors that have made them more or less successful at achieving their political objectives. They were successful 63 percent of the time, but levels of success have declined over time as the United States has pursued more ambitious goals. Before intervening, planners should carefully match strategy with political objectives.
Read more »
THE END OF CHIMERICA, A LOOK AT CHINA'S STRATEGY AGAINST THE US & TRENDS DOMINATING THE INDO-PACIFIC
H. R. McMaster takes on China
H. R. McMaster, Michael R. Auslin, and John Yoo | "The Pacific Century"
Problematic Thinking on China from the State Department’s Head of Policy Planning
by Abraham M. Denmark
China is laying the groundwork for war with Taiwan
(Defense News) China is improving and increasing its options for a possible future invasion of Taiwan, with military reforms and investments in multi-domain military capabilities offering a range of options to defeat the self-governing island, according to a Pentagon report.
The End of Chimerica
By John Lee, The Strategist (ASPI): "Competition in all areas has been deepening between the U.S. and China for some time. So, what has changed? In a new Strategic Insights paper, released today by ASPI and the United States Studies Centre, I identify three major shifts from what has been before."
A Closer Look at China’s Strategy — And Why the U.S. Keeps Losing to It
By Morgan Wright, The Hill: " From 900 AD to 1905, China used a form of execution known as lingchi. Referred to as the lingering death or slow slicing, it became commonly known as “death by a thousand cuts.” Banned in 1905, Lingchi now has become a parallel for how the United States is losing a battle across many fronts to China.”
The Expanding Chinese Nuclear Threat
Editor's Note: This article is a complement to the below article on Chinese Military Strategy.
By Mark B. Schneider, RealClearDefense: "We face a very serious threat from China and its growing nuclear weapons capability is a key component."
Nuclear Weapons in Chinese Military Strategy
By Mark B. Schneider, National Institute for Public Policy (NIPP): "China does not assume or plan for a “peaceful rise,” as its actions in the South China Sea demonstrate. At a minimum, China seeks hegemony in the Far East and claims sovereignty over Taiwan, and shifting the balance of nuclear power is an important element of China’s drive to regional hegemony."
Strategic Trends Across the Indo-Pacific Region
By Kevin Rudd, the interpreter: "The U.S. might be reorienting to the region, but so is the region responding to the deep gravitational pull from China."
TRANSNATIONAL ORGANIZED CRIME, NATIONAL SECURITY, remembering suez & influence operations, why small airlift matters
Beyond Chinook: Army Secretary Challenges Industry To Revolutionize Heavy Lift
By Sydney J. Freedberg Jr., on Tuesday, April 30, 2019 2:41 PM
A light scout and a mid-size transport remain Army aviation’s top two priorities, Secretary Mark Esper said, but industry needs to start thinking about the next heavy-lift aircraft and stop fighting against cuts to the venerable CH-47.
Transnational Organized Crime and National Security
By Eric Halliday, Lawfare: "Unlike purely domestic organized crime, transnational organized crime, defined by the Justice Department as groups that pursue criminal activities across geographic boundaries, has profound national security implications. The FBI warns that transnational organized crime poses a diverse array of national security threats related to border security, government corruption both in the United States and abroad, energy and “strategic material” markets around the world, and “logistical and other support to terrorists and foreign intelligence services.”"
What insurgency will look like in 2030
(Defense One) Robots, artificial intelligence, cyberwar, 3D printing, bio-enhancements, and a new geopolitical competition; the 21st century is being shaped by a range of momentous, and scary, new trends and technologies. We should also expect them to shape the worlds of insurgency and terrorism.
The New Age of Propaganda: Understanding Influence Operations in the Digital Age by Zac Rogers, Emily Bienvenue, and Maryanne Kelton
Uplifted: The Case for Small Tactical Airlift by Mike Pietrucha and Jeremy Renken
The Suez Crisis and the Fog of Diplomacy by Jordan Chandler Hirsch
Red Sea rivalries: The Gulf, the Horn, and the new geopolitics of the Red Sea
Karen E. Young | Brookings Institution
Strongmen are on the rise. Here’s how to defeat them.
Clay R. Fuller | AEIdeas
'Armies of Sand'
Danielle Pletka and Kenneth Pollack | "AEI Events Podcast"
U.S. Naval Chief in India for High-Level Defense Talks
By Ankit Panda, The Diplomat: "“Major issues discussed during the visit included operations and exercises, training interactions, information exchange, capacity building and capability enhancement,” a statement from the Indian Navy describing Richardson’s visit said."
The US and India practiced hunting subs for the first time since signing a deal making it easier to keep track of China
(Business Insider) The exercises, which took place near Diego Garcia, were the first ASW drills since India and the US signed the Communications, Compatibility and Security Agreement in September.
A Historical Analysis of the Guadalcanal Campaign 1942-1943
By Ronald W. Sprang, Small Wars Journal: “Guadalcanal marked a more than ten-month campaign by U.S. combined, joint forces to transition from the strategic and operational defense to the strategic and operational offense in the Pacific during World War II. In order to fully understand the case study, an understanding of the strategic context is necessary."
THE STRUCTURE OF A DIPLOMATIC REVOLUTION, DIFFERENCES B/T CONFLICT AND STABILITY & WHY MILITARY LEADERS NEEDS TO STUDY HUMAN NATURE
The Line Between Conflict and Stability in Great Power Competition
By Jeff Goodson, Stratfor Worldview: “Confrontation between the United States, China and Russia will deepen in many countries, with the great powers relying on proxies to wage conflict short of war."
The Structure of a Diplomatic Revolution
By Richard Haass, The Strategist (ASPI): “It has been nearly 60 years since the philosopher and historian Thomas Kuhn wrote his influential book The structure of scientific revolutions. Kuhn’s thesis was simple but heretical: breakthroughs in science occur not through the gradual accumulation of small changes to existing thinking, but rather from the sudden emergence of radical ideas that cause existing models to be replaced with something fundamentally different."
Why Military Leaders Should Study Human Nature
By Joe Byerly, From the Green Notebook: “It seems obvious, but today we live in a time of numbers and algorithms where, at least in business, leaders spend more much more time concerned with data. The element of human nature, the psychology of the people you are leading into battle, is absolutely the most critical factor. Knowledge of human nature is essential to do this well."
All About the Bomb? Cold War Influences on ‘Modern Deterrence’
By Gareth W, Wavell Room: "Every generation sees themselves living through the most complex of times. Such perceptions can lead to an oversimplification of the past and the influence it has on our future. This is the position today regarding the Cold War experience of deterrence in some quarters. Yet those who found themselves planning for and executing deterrence activities during the Cold War certainly found them complex and challenging problems."
THE REALITY OF RUSSIAN IRREGULARS IN CONFLICTS & ADDRESSING THE FOG OF PEACE OF MILITARY IMBALANCES DURING GREAT POWER COMPETITION
Counterterrorism in the era of great-power competition
(Defense One) Debate is bubbling about whether the United States remains too focused on counterterrorism when the Trump administration has set priority on “global power competition” with China and Russia, not to mention other threats we expect to face.
The Russian State’s Use of Irregular Forces and Private Military Groups
By Sergey Sukhankin, Eurasia Daily Monitor: “Russia’s growing employment of non-linear forms of warfare (including private military contractors) has long historical traditions."
Reassuring Allies and Strengthening Strategic Stability: An Approach to Nuclear Modernization for Democrats by Frank A. Rose and Benjamin Bahney
Why the the days of ‘fighter jock culture’ may be numbered
(Air Force Times) For the past half century, fighter pilots have dominated high-level leadership roles in the Air Force, much as bomber pilots did during World War II and the Cold War.
How Does the Next Great Power Conflict Play Out? Lessons from a Wargame by James Lacey
Bringing the Air Division Back to the Future by Mike Pietrucha and Jeremy Renken
PREPARING FOR THE RISE OF CHINA, REVIEWING THE SUCCESS OF COUNTERINSURGENCY POLICY IN VIETNAM & WHY POLAND MATTERS
Insurgency in 2030
By Peter W. Singer, New America Foundation: "Exciting, and scary, new technologies are shaping the 21st century. They will also shape the worlds of insurgency and terrorism.
Nation-Building in a Time of War: Revisiting Vietnam by Martin Clemis
Preparing for China’s Rapid Rise and Decline by Collin Meisel and Jonathan D. Moyer
To Deter Russia, the U.S. Army Must Be Permanently Based in Poland
By Dan Gouré, RealClearDefense: “The RAND Corporation has intensively analyzed the military balance in the Baltic region. The conclusions of this effort are, to say the least, sobering."
‘A War to the Death’: The Ugly Underside of an Iconic Insurgency by Lincoln Krause
An Assessment of the Small Wars Manual as an Implementation Model for Strategic Influence in Contemporary and Future Warfare
By Bradley L. Rees, Divergent Options: "A disparity between how most within the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) understand 20th-century information operations and 21st-century information warfare and strategic influence has produced a cognitive dissonance."
An Assessment of Population Relocation in 21st Century Counterinsurgencies
By Sam Canter, Divergent Options: "As other methods of counterinsurgency fail, population relocation will continue to hold the fascination of military planners, even as it grows increasingly controversial."
DEFENDING AGAINST HYPER-SONICS, RUSSIAN IDEAS ABOUT MISSILE DEFENSE & SPECIAL OPERATORS FOR GREAT POWER COMPETITION (IN RE: IRAQ WAR)
Future of Hypersonic Weapons: Defending Against Super-Fast Missiles
By Talal Husseini, Airforce-Technology: “Hypersonic weapons are missiles that can travel at speeds of Mach 5 or higher, which makes them particularly difficult to defend against. What are the most advanced hypersonic weapons and how can we stop them?"
Air Force to Test Fire Fighter Jet-Configured Laser Weapons Pod From the Ground
By Kris Osborn, Warrior Maven: “As a part of its preparation, the service is refining its combat strategy, tactics and concepts of operation to accommodate the rapid emergence of laser weapons, technologies which promise to alter the landscape of modern warfare and substantially expand the envelope of attack possibilities for fighter jets.”
How SOF Will Operate in ‘Great Power Competition’
By Todd South, Military Times: “As the services shift to “great power competition,” some on Capitol Hill are asking what that might mean for special operations forces."
Keep those Iraq War notes handy: Small wars, not great power battles, still the most likely future fight
(Military Times) The findings in the long-awaited Iraq War Study at first glance appear to not be in lockstep with the Pentagon’s new focus on China and Russia, but are perhaps more important than ever.
Less door kicking, more partner building for special operations in ‘great power competition’
(Military Times) As the services shift to “great power competition,” some on Capitol Hill are asking what that might mean for special operations forces.
America, You're Not Listening to Us
// Anatoly Antonov You can’t have a conversation if one party won’t listen to the other.
Read full article »
The Navy’s Newest Nemesis: Hypersonic Weapons
By John Isaac, CIMSEC: "In January 2019, Chinese Communist Party leaders announced that the newest iteration of their DF-17 missile system was being designed to overwhelm and sink U.S. aircraft carriers and surface combatants stationed in the West Pacific."
Hypersonic Weapons – A Threat to National Security
By John L. Dolan, Richard K. Gallagher & David L. Mann, RealClearDefense: “As evidenced by numerous media accounts and Department of Defense (DoD) senior leaders’ comments, the impact and challenges posed by hypersonic missile systems are a growing and extremely complex threat to our national interests."
Dumping Abraham Lincoln:
Tactical Digital Intelligence Strategy Insights in Afghanistan
By Nick Rife & Josh Brown, Small Wars Journal: “In the age of Tesla and Twitter however, the well of results seems to be running dryer than a Sonoran lake bed under summer’s heat. The underlying Army intelligence establishment, whose proponent coincidentally calls the Sonoran Desert home, is challenged in pacing with an evolving contemporary threat environment."
By Walker D. Mills, Strategy Bridge: "Future War is the whole-of-society sibling to Scales on War’s hard-nosed call to action with the cynicism of James Fallows’ “The Tragedy of the American Military.”"
In Remembrance Of US Entry Into World War I
via The Hoover Centennial Remembering the war that changed everything.
The Inner Workings of Russia's Military Industrial Behemoth
By Pavel Luzin, Riddle: "Russia’s arms industry comprises over 1,300 companies, employing around two million people. A key player in this field is Rostec, Russia’s military industrial behemoth, which incorporates over 700 companies and employs over half a million people."
U.S. Strategy in Syria Is Dangerously Adrift
By Christopher J. Bolan, FPRI: “The absence of a feasible American strategy that looks beyond the narrow issue of ISIS undermines U.S. regional leadership, places remaining U.S. troops in Syria at unnecessary risk for undefined goals, and will likely only prolong the suffering of the Syrian people."
A New Conception of War
By Dan Grazier, Strategy Bridge: “On the otherwise quiet Monday morning of March 6, 1989, a revolution occurred in the private office at the Commandant of the Marine Corps’ home when General Al Gray affixed his signature to a document. Until that moment, the Marine Corps thought about warfare in terms of the firepower and attrition doctrine that had characterized its operations in World War II, Korea, and the worst parts of Vietnam."
Prototype Warfare in the Fourth Industrial Age
By Peter Layton, Small Wars Journal: "A new industrial process is rapidly emerging. This fourth industrial revolution (4IR) based on hyper-connectivity brings with it both continual – indeed relentless – innovation and the possibility of practical large-scale prototype warfare."
US ROLE IN MIDDLE EAST DURING GREAT POWER COMPETITION & EXAMINING RIGHT WING TERRORISM IN AGE OF LONE WOLVES
The US Role In The Middle East In An Era Of Renewed Great Power Competition
by Eric Edelman via The CaravanWhat role should the United States play in the Middle East as its attention shifts to the objectives outlined in the National Security Strategy and the National Defense Strategy of competing with near peers like Russia and China? Today pundits and observers are posing this question against a backdrop of more than a decade and a half of costly, inconclusive and seemingly “endless” wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as the more recent deployment of roughly two thousand Special Forces troops to Syria as part of the counter ISIS campaign. To President Trump the answer seems clear. He noted in April 2018 at an Ohio rally “we’ll be coming out of Syria, like, very soon.
The Case Against Maneuver Warfare
By Michael Gladius, Small Wars Journal: “Ever since the 1970s/1980s, maneuver warfare has been regarded as the ideal form of warfare. It’s associated primarily with the German Army of WWII and the Mongol Empire, and everybody wants to emulate their successes. However, Maneuver Warfare has several real weaknesses that do not translate well into the American way of war."
Scharnhorst: The Vision of an Enlightened Soldier “On Experience and Theory”
By Vanya Eftimova Bellinger, Strategy Bridge: “Without Gerhard von Scharnhorst, it is unlikely there would be a Carl von Clausewitz."
When Do Leaders Change Course? Theories of Success and the American Withdrawal from Beirut, 1983-1984 by Alexandra T. Evans and A. Bradley Potter