Dan Blumenthal and Jakob Urda | The National Interest
China has faced two disasters in 2020 — the coronavirus and historic floods — which exposed its fragilities and created internal unrest. Its response to both was the same: escalating aggression against its neighbors.
Radical Shift in the Next National Security Strategy
By Michael N. Gonzalez, Strategy Bridge: "If 2020 has taught the citizens of the United States anything, it is that the security we take for granted is not assured."
by Jacob Stokes and Zack Cooper
By Matthew Van Wagenen & Arnel P. David, RealClearDefense: “The Army is converting ideas, prototypes, and various modes of operating (i.e., new ways of fighting) into new capabilities. This is a departure from the past, where a lion share of the budget and programming narrowly focused on incremental upgrades to existing platforms, adding armor, speed, reach, and lethality at exorbitant costs, over long periods of time."
By Scott Cooper, Defense One: "When Pentagon strategists game out potential near-peer conflicts, they tend to plug in sortie-generation rates for the F-35 Lightning II that reflect the program’s original vision, not the far lower numbers that represent the actual state of things. But if planners intend to count on the F-35 in a battle of any but the shortest duration, the Pentagon and industry must urgently improve their ability to maintain and sustain the most technologically complex (and capable) aircraft in history."
How to Safely Trim the Defense Budget
By Elbridge Colby, Mackenzie Eaglen & Roger Zakheim, Foreign Policy: “Although preparing for the next pandemic is crucial, there is no justification for trading off security abroad for safety at home when both are necessary."
By Adam Schiff, Foreign Affairs: "Our nation’s intelligence agencies are not ready—not by a long shot. Absent a significant realignment in resources and organization, the United States will be ill prepared to compete with China on the global stage for decades to come."
Oriana Skylar Mastro | The Interpreter
There are many reasons all parties should avoid a second Sino-Indian border war; the costs of conversation are only one of many factors that would delay conflict resolution.
Net Assessment: Understanding America’s Declining Global Influence with Zack Cooper, Melanie Marlowe, and Christopher Preble
By Michael Schuman The policies and practices of the country's dynasties offer insights into how modern Chinese leaders may wield their strength.
Elisabeth Braw | Foreign Policy
Margaret Thatcher and François Mitterrand nearly stopped it from happening, but 30 years on, reunification remains the world’s most successful geopolitical experiment.
Hamdi Malik: No other Iraqi militia has gained enough credits to be given these missions. Kata’ib Hizballah is Iran’s preferred militia and it is evolving as the main force belonging to the resistance in Iraq. Unlike Lebanon or Yemen, where one major militia facilitates Iran’s expansionist policies, several smaller militias function as the Islamic Republic’s proxies in Iraq. But one militant group more than others has the potential to dominate the scene, and that is Kata’ib Hizballah. – War on the Rocks
By Dan Gouré, RealClearDefense: “The United States’ military is evolving towards a new way of warfare designed to counter adversaries’ efforts to develop a dominant anti-access/area denial (A2/AD) capability."
By Kevin Bilms, Modern War Institute: “Last week, the Defense Department released an unclassified summary of the Irregular Warfare (IW) Annex to the National Defense Strategy."
Stereotype, Ideal Type, and the Dematerialization of the Concept
By Maurizio Recordati, Strategy Bridge: "Scholars from disparate disciplines have been agonizing over definitions of grand strategy with increasing frequency over the last decades."
By Francis P. Sempa, The Diplomat: “The United States’ Indo-Pacific strategy includes an important role for the ground forces of the U.S. Army."
A Brief Guide to Maritime Strategy
By Jeffrey Becker, Strategy Bridge: "This cultural aversion to strategic studies and thought has deep roots. While speaking to the incoming Naval War College class of 1911, war college founder Stephen B. Luce lamented how operational demands and a preoccupation with technology had drawn the U.S. Navy’s attention away from strategic education. “Very few [U.S. Navy line officers] are studying their profession—the art of war,” Luce observed."
By H.E. Williams, Proceedings: “Beginning where Admiral A. James Winnefeld and Mr. Michael J. Morell’s “The War that Never Was: Part 1” finished, the following story offers what the end of the beginning could look like, considering their dire and unlikely ending."
American Sea Power at a Crossroads:
A Plan to Restore the U.S. Navy’s Maritime Advantage
By Bryan Clark, Timothy A. Walton & Seth Cropsey, Hudson Institute: "The U.S. fleet is at an important crossroads. Nearly twenty years after the drive for transformation led to costly and problematic programs such as the littoral combat ship (LCS), Gerald R. Ford-class aircraft carrier, and Zumwalt-class destroyer, the Navy is again starting work on new ships in every vessel category."
By Scott Cooper
Unless its logistics can be improved, the jet's contributions to a major fight will be far less than Pentagon wargamers are counting on.