The Chinese Military Speaks to Itself, Revealing Doubts
By Dennis J. Blasko, War on the Rocks: "A large body of evidence in China’s official military and party media indicates the nation’s senior civilian and uniformed leaders recognize significant shortcomings in the warfighting and command capabilities of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA)."
Strategy from the Ground Level:
Why the Experience of the U.S. Civil War Soldier Matters
By Alexandre F. Caillot, Strategy Bridge: "The lessons derived from America’s bloodiest conflict are not an isolated product of the Victorian Era—they remain just as relevant for military organizations in the twenty-first century. Strategists today should note the enduring relationship between the soldiers’ ground-level perspective and their own high-level planning."
Hybrid Warfare Represents a Threat to American Innovation
By James “Spider” Marks, RealCLearDefense: "Russia’s “investment” in Venezuelan oil, Iran’s manipulation of the Syrian War and China’s exploitation of technology all share a common theme: they represent the latest in a string of attacks against western civilization."
By Angelo M. Codevilla
Europe was never a full partner in its own defense. The very question—Will Europe ever fully partner with the U.S., or will the European Union and NATO continue to downplay the necessity of military readiness?—is no longer meaningful as posed, because the political energies of Europe’s elites are absorbed as they try to fend off attacks on their legitimacy by broad sectors of their population.
NATO Renewed (Coming Soon To A Theater Of War Near You)
By Ralph Peters
Clio, the muse of history, has a fabulous sense of irony: As the human pageant unfolds, she delights in confounding our intentions and expectations. Thus, two public enemies of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (whose acronym, NATO, sounds like another Greek deity) promise to be the unwitting saviors of the alliance, rescuing it from complacency, lethargy, and diminishing relevance.
Urging More From Our NATO Allies
By Robert G. Kaufman
The United States should never expect to achieve full burden-sharing with the European members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Even in the most balanced alliances, the most powerful member will pay some premium for ensuring its credibility and effectiveness. The United States can strive plausibly to minimize but not eliminate the massive degree of free riding and strategic incoherence that has become politically untenable and strategically unwise.
The European Alliance That Never Was
By Angelo M. Codevilla
Europe Is Alert to the Dangers It Faces
By Kori Schake
Even Amidst Change, Europe Still Relies on the U.S. for Defense
By Barry Strauss
Europe Lacks the Will to Defend Itself
By Bing West
Read the full issue here.
Strategika's Issue 53 (U.S. Engagement with Russia).
Nyet to the Reset
by Robert G. Kaufman
Any reset with Putin’s increasingly illiberal and expansionist Russia is a triumph of hope over experience. Unrealistic realists underestimate the importance of ideology and regime type in assessing Russia’s calculus of its ambitions and interest.
A Russian Reset? Not Unless We Want To Declare Defeat.
by Peter Mansoor
It is no secret that U.S.-Russia relations are at their lowest ebb since the end of the end of the Cold War in 1989. Spurred on by President Vladimir Putin’s nationalist impulses, Russia has invaded two neighboring states, Georgia and Ukraine, seized the Crimean Peninsula, and interfered in elections in the United States and various European nations. Russian cyber warriors arguably made a difference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, won by Donald Trump by the slimmest of margins—just 80,000 votes in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania. Russian agents have used nerve agent in assassination attempts on British soil.
Another Reset with Russia? Sure, If We Accept the Unacceptable.
by Hy Rothstein
Any reset with Russia must first assess whether Russia’s policy interests are reconcilable with the interests of the U.S. and NATO. For President Putin and Russian elites, the collapse of the Soviet Union was the worst calamity of the 20th century. Russians have always felt a deep-seated and occasionally real sense of vulnerability from the West. For many Russians, the security dilemma is very real. Moreover, after the end of the Cold War, NATO expansion increased this perception of vulnerability beyond Russian defenses to economic and political domains as well.
Read the full issue here.
YALE'S GRAND STRATEGY DIRECTOR CHARLES HILL SPEAKS BIOGRAPHICALLY, ADDRESSES WORLD ORDER & EXAMINING US NUCLEAR COMMAND AND CONTROL ISSUES
Ep. 211: Charlie's Wars With Charles Hill
with Charles Hill via Q & A, Hosted by Jay NordlingerHoover Institution fellow Charles Hill talks about his upbringing in New Jersey, his life in the arena, his career in the academy, and the fate of the world.
Whither Nuclear Command, Control & Communications?
By Colin Clark, Breaking Defense: “Most of the system that allows the president to launch nuclear weapons and to know what the enemy is doing with theirs is ancient. No one yet agrees what it must replaced with. And no one knows how much it will cost, although late last month the Congressional Budget Office issued an estimate of $77 billion."
The United States and World Order
By Colin S. Gray, National Institute for Public Policy: “With very few exceptions the United States plays a dominant leadership role just about everywhere. This condition warrants the description hegemonic (from the Greek) so considerable is the country’s lead internationally in most of the true foundations of power. With few exceptions, this American dominance has been a source of enormous net benefit to the world at large. In common with many other powers, even the United States has a few notable weaknesses, some of them, when regarded ironically, being largely a consequence of its relative greatness.”
The future of arms control is global
(War On The Rocks) In the United States, discussion of Indo-Pacific nuclear weapons issues often centers on how existing and developing nuclear weapon capabilities in the region affect U.S. strategic calculations.
WILL AUSTRALIA GO TO CHINA? HOW CHINESE AMBITIONS TO DESTROY "THE QUAD" ARE WORKING; NET ASSESSMENT & ARMS CONTROL FOR THE INDO-PACIFIC
Confronting the Flaws in America's Indo-Pacific Strategy by Jean-Loup Samaan
Building The Air Force We Need To Meet Chinese And Russian Threats
(Forbes) For the first time in a generation, America’s global interests are at risk.
"Australia’s Great Strategic Transition
Australia is about to embark upon only its second strategic “course correction” since Federation in 1901. But it has yet to determine a destination, or to plot a course.
Analysis. By the Canberra staff of GIS/Defense & Foreign Affairs. Few question the place of Australia in the strategic firmament. It is an economically and militarily strong part of “the West”. And yet it is now, for only the second time in its independent history, beginning to move onto a new strategic path.
It is a path yet to be plotted to a destination yet to be envisioned. It is only the second time in the country’s independent history — in the 116 years since Federation in 1901 — that it has so clearly begun such a move.
What are the headline aspects?
• Australia’s relationship with the US has already changed, and will change further. It is — although the US may not yet recognize it — evolving into a more balanced relationship;
• Australia will be forced to seek a far more nuanced balance among a variety of allies, neighbors, and trading partners;
• Australia will be forced to seek more balanced trading and economic models, given the evolution away from zero-architecture globalism;
• Australia will have to move rapidly away from its belief that it can be sustained primarily by a service economy;
• Australia will need to define its identity and grand strategic objectives or else face growing internal polarization and focused Indo-Pacific challenges.
Significantly, the strategic evolution of Australia is not overtly linked to changes which were announced in July 2017 in Canberra, creating some new framework elements for Australia’s national security and intelligence communities. It is a sea-change, nonetheless, even though it has yet to be formally recognized by the Government, the Defence community, or the public.
Rather, the changes being evidenced in the national security system are unconsciously reflective of (and reflexive to) the transforming context, not the other way around.
The first shift, from strategic dependence on and alliance with the United Kingdom, to dependence on and alliance with the United States, reached a tipping point in about 1962. The signs of that shift began to be evident in World War II, as Britain’s position East of Suez began to crumble (particularly with the lost of Singapore by February 15, 1942). By May 8, 1942, with the US-Australian forces fighting the Battle of the Coral Sea, the course had become, perhaps, inevitable.
The Future of Arms Control is Global: Reconsidering Nuclear Issues in the Indo-Pacific by Andy Weber and Christine Parthemore
Say It With Statues: Brick-and-Mortar Revisionism in Orban's Hungary by Vivian S. Walker
New Net Assessment: To Intervene or Not to Intervene? That is the Question by Melanie Marlowe, Bryan McGrath, and Christopher Preble
The Fundamentals of the Quad
By Walter Lohman, The Strategist (ASPI): “The most important thing that unites the Quad countries, however, is an awareness that managing the rise of China is the defining challenge of our era.
THE QUAD SUPPORTS US BASED RULES FOR INTERNATIONAL ORDER, THE ANNIVERSARY OF THE RUSSIAN PULLOUT FROM AFGHANISTAN
Quad Supports U.S. Goal to Preserve Rules-Based Order
By Derek Grossman, The Strategist (ASPI): “Washington’s key objective when contending with Beijing in the Indo-Pacific is to preserve the liberal international order that has been in place since the end of World War II."
30-Year Anniversary of Soviet Withdrawal From Afghanistan
By Franz-Stefan Gady, The Diplomat: “The withdrawal of the Soviet 40th Army from Afghanistan from 1988 to 1989 was a militarily successful operation save one mistake."
Inflated Counts of Civilian Casualties Collateral of Modern War
By Rodger Shanahan, the interpreter: “Such is the nature of modern conflict in built-up urban areas. When there is a complex, multi-division assault on a large urban area against an entrenched enemy, with multiple methods of fire and close air support, making a determination afterwards about what ordnance collapsed what building is nigh on impossible."
THE FUTURE OF ASIAN INTERNATIONAL ORDER, INDIA'S MODERNIZATION BUDGET FAILS & THE VITALITY OF PROTECTING GEOGRAPHIC CHOKEPOINTS AGAINST US ADVERSARIES
Protecting Chokepoints Remains a Key Strategic Challenge
By Austin Bay, StrategyPage: “Chokepoints matter, economically and militarily. Most of the world's trade passes through nine maritime chokepoints: Hormuz, Malacca Straits, Mandeb, Suez, Gibraltar, Cape Horn, Cape of Good Hope, Panama Canal and the Turkish Straits. The Danish Straits also matter -- especially to Russia.”
Competition with China and the Future of the Asian International Order by David M. Edelstein
India’s new defense budget falls way short for modernization plans
(Defense News) India’s defense budget for 2019 included a marginal 6.87 percent bump to $49.68 billion, which is unlikely to meet modernization demands or ‘Make in India’ manufacturing increases.
India Is Going Big on New Fighters; Lockheed, Boeing Pledge Indian Plants
Boeing, Lockheed, Dassault Aviation of France, the European Eurofighter consortium, Sweden’s Saab, and United Aircraft Corporation of Russia are all jockeying for position for an Indian fighter contract worth $15 billion for 110 planes, and an $8 billion navy program of around 60 aircraft.
Self-Deception and the 'Conspiracy of Optimism' by Charles Vandepeer
The Best Defense Ever? Busting Myths About the Trump Administration’s Missile Defense Review by Joan Johnson-Freese and David Burbach
Pentagon Studies Post-INF Weapons, Shooting Down Hypersonics
The Pentagon has almost completed a study of how to shoot down hypersonic missiles. It’s also developing new offensive weapons — conventional, not nuclear — whose deployment will become legal with the end of the INF Treaty.
Iran’s “New” Land-Attack Cruise Missile In Context
An overemphasis by the West on seeking to check Tehran’s ballistic missile program has led to inattention to Iran’s cruise missile capabilities and intentions. Over the weekend, Iran unveiled and test-launched a "new" land-attack cruise missile, dubbed the Hoveizah, days in advance of the Islamic Republic's 40th anniversary.
5 Reasons the Navy's D5 Missile Is the Most Important Weapon in the U.S. Arsenal
By Loren Thompson, Forbes: “Last week, the Navy’s Strategic Systems Programs office awarded Lockheed Martin a $560 million modification to a pre-existing contract for production and support of the Trident II D5 missile. Almost nobody outside the Navy and Lockheed’s missiles and space unit noticed. Dozens of such agreements have been completed over the years."
STEPHEN BRYEN Canceling INF Treaty makes sense
The 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear (INF) Treaty, agreed by US president Ronald Reagan and Soviet general secretary Mikhail Gorbachev, has been suspended by both the United States and Russia. Vladimir Putin says he will not negotiate the matter, and the treaty’s six-month notice clause
Spain 1808: The Birth of Guerrilla Warfare
By Paolo Palumbo, NewsRep: "A careful analysis emerges as to how the British and the French armies–given their colonial experiences–are the most accustomed to dealing with this type of emergency. In fact, many tend to forget what the European continent was like after the French Revolution, when the republican armies wore the liberators’ uniforms."
GREGORY COPLEY COVERS POWER POLITICS FOR THE 21ST CENTURY; INFANTRY CLOSE COMBAT RANGE STILL REIGNS WHILE AIR FORCE REFORMS ITSELF AROUND A CONCEPT OF 'BALANCE' NOT BOMBERS
More Missile Defense Ships, New Ground Deployments
By Paul McLeary, Tuesday, January 29, 2019 4:19 PM
Despite the Navy’s misgivings over having dozens of its ships sailing in boxes hunting for missiles, plans remain in place for more Aegis-capable hulls, as well as new radars, and mobile missile defense batteries.
A look inside the work, future of Jim Mattis' task force focused on infantry, close combat
(Military Times) Nearly a year after former defense secretary Jim Mattis inked a memo to create the first task force focused solely on making close combat formations more lethal, the group has coordinated efforts to add more than $3 billion toward that goal and now has another year to find a way to institutionalize its mission.
Balanced Airpower, Not Bombers: How the Air Force Found Its Way
By Heather Venable, War on the Rocks: “Has the U.S. Air Force lost its way? Has it lost sight of its core business and role? That’s what naval historian Jerry Hendrix provocatively claims in an already widely discussed article the National Review"
THE STRATEGIC MISSILE DEFENSE REVIEW IS ON, WHY THE QUAD WILL NEVER BE AN ASIAN NATO, CHINA'S NEW NUCLEAR SUBMARINES & A NEW RUSSIAN IRON CURTAIN OF MISSILE DEFENSES
Expect a Missile Race After the INF Demise
// Patrick Tucker
If the Trump administration withdraws, experts see rapid development of new missiles
STRATCOM Warns U.S. Can't Defend Against Hypersonic Missile Threat
By Steve Liewer, Omaha World-Herald: “Current intercontinental ballistic missiles can fly just as fast as hypersonics, but this new class of weapons can fly in controlled patterns just above the Earth’s atmosphere and be shifted in midair.”
Russia, China and the U.S. Missile Defense Review:
The Shape of Strategic Competition
By Rod Lyon, The Strategist (ASPI): “Like its 2010 predecessor, the 2019 MDR splits its consideration of the missile-defence mission into two parts: defence of the U.S. homeland from ICBM-level threats on the one hand, and defence of deployed U.S. forces, allies and partners from regional missile threats on the other.”
Pondering China's Future Nuclear Submarine Production
By Rick Joe, The Diplomat: “ ... A rumored new nuclear submarine production facility under Bohai Shipbuilding Heavy Industry Company (BSHIC) at Huludao may also be edging closer to completion. Therefore it's a good occasion to reflect on what Chinese nuclear submarine production may look like in the future.
The New Iron Curtain: Russian Missile Defenses
By Thomas Grove, Wall Street Journal: “North from Syria, along the borders of Eastern Europe and rounding the Arctic Circle to the east, Russia has built a ring of air defenses that threaten the reach of the U.S. military, forcing Washington to rethink its place as the world's undisputed air power."
Why the Quad Won’t Ever Be an Asian NATO
By Andrew O'Neil & Lucy West, The Strategist (ASPI): “The most recent meeting of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue on the sidelines of the East Asia Summit in Singapore last November suggests that the U.S., India, Japan and Australia regard the initiative as a geostrategic multiplier in the Indo-Pacific."
Trump Endorses Ambitious Goals for Missile Defense
By Rebeccah L. Heinrichs, Hudson Institute: “The MDR did not state, as President Trump did, that the goal of the United States is to work toward a capability that, “regardless of the missile type or the geographic origins of the attack,” ensures “that enemy missiles find no sanctuary on Earth or in the skies above.””
The New Rules of War
By Bob Underwood, Strategy Bridge: “Victory. That is why we are all here. But, does anyone know what victory in war looks like over the next several decades, or how to achieve it? There is no shortage of authors in the ever-growing literature on strategy and national defense telling us both what victory in war will look like and how to get there. Count me a skeptic.”
How to Defeat Hybrid Warfare Before It Starts
// Luke Coffey
A well-governed society is a resilient society.
Gregory B. Poling and Eric Sayers write: A storm is brewing in America’s oldest security alliance in the Indo-Pacific and the administration needs to act quickly to head it off. On December 20, Philippine Secretary of National Defense Delfin Lorenzana called for a review of the provisions of the 1951 Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT) between Washington and Manila.[…] The primary reason for this review is what Lorenzana called America’s “ambivalence” about whether the treaty applies in the South China Sea, where Philippine troops and facilities are under threat from an increasingly assertive China. – War on the Rocks
#Reviewing Grand Strategy
By James Griffin, Strategy Bridge: “Until now, scholars have largely demurred from trying to pin down the theoretical essence of what grand strategy actually is."
The War Cycle: A Model for Managing War
By Albert Palazzo, Strategy Bridge: “Despite the use of these conceptual models by the U.S. military and others, by doctrine writers and military theorists, as well as their presence in military curriculums, both tools have features that undercut their usefulness. In fact, a strong case can be made that the utility they offer to the military and their political masters can be more negative than positive.”
Leading in Uncertainty: A Division Officer’s Perspective
By John D. Miller, Proceedings Magazine: “Disruptions in the status quo generate a diverse range of human reactions and emotions. Sailors look to their chain of command to make sense of an uncertain future. To successfully meet this challenge and retain the warfighting readiness of the force, leaders must prepare for these interactions to bring both assets and operators to the future fight."