By Jason E. Strakes, November 4, 2020
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: While government officials and others have alleged a strategy that involves Russian-sponsored security organizations in recent escalations in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, these claims are largely misconceptions. The conventional wisdom fails to recognize these structures as representing alternative security perceptions held by Russia and other participating states rather than traditional NATO-style military alliances.
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The US military walks a tricky line: preparing for war with other great powers while making peacetime efforts to prevent it. In a Bloomberg op-ed, Hal Brands points out that bracing for conflict with Russia or China is the key to deterrence. However, the Pentagon will not typically be the lead department when it comes to peacetime competition. Success will require contribution to long, indecisive struggles for position and planning for climactic battles if competition gives way to conflict. Read here.
Last week, the Swedish government decided to raise its defense budget by 40 percent over the next five years. Equally important is Sweden’s decision to invest in civil defense, the part of national security focused on ensuring that energy, health care, food provision, and other pillars of daily life function well during a crisis, notes Elisabeth Braw in an AEIdeas blog. Investing in civil defense makes societies stronger to keep themselves safe from subversive attacks on their way of life. Sweden’s decision to double funding civil defense is something that other countries should learn from. Continue here.
In 2021, Washington should take a long, hard look at its military spending and use a bipartisan process to push through the necessary changes. In a National Interest op-ed, John Ferrari argues that a reorientation of US national security priorities can be achieved alongside a modernized military — not at its expense. The solutions however must be the product of a bipartisan consensus that has to emerge quickly after this upcoming election. Learn more here.