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  • Author: Andrew Mark Spencer
  • Publication Date: 09-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Fletcher Security Review
  • Institution: The Fletcher School, Tufts University
  • Abstract: Two key facts about late medieval England: The kingdom had no standing army and was at war for most of the period between 1294 and 1485. Given these circumstances, it might seem ambitious to identify a role for the military of the time in a non-war environment. Nonetheless, this peacetime role existed, and created a state of preparedness that was crucial to success when the kingdom went to war. Under ‘bastard feudalism’ the leaders of the army, trained in war and incubated in a thoroughly military ethos and culture, through their efforts in domestic governance, provided the stability at home and the financial and material resources which were as vital to the victories of the Hundred Years’ War as the much better known and remembered archers of Crecy and Agincourt. This article will provide background into medieval military and landed society before tracing how the governmental role of this group increased alongside ‘bastard feudalism’ in response to the crown’s need to find the resources for war. It will then show how ‘bastard feudalism’ worked for king, nobles and gentry in tandem and how this, in turn, created experienced administrators who were able to support the war effort. ‘Feudalism’ is a term synonymous with the Middle Ages. The feudal pyramid, with the king at the apex, his nobles and knights beneath, and peasants on the bottom, will be familiar to readers from their school days. ‘Bastard feudalism’, on the other hand, is less well-known and usually has currency only in academic journals. Both are highly controversial terms among medievalists and some even deny the existence of one or the other, or both. Most historians, however, would accept that, in England at least, there was a gradual transition from feudalism—where the principal means by which the king or nobleman rewarded his followers was through a permanent grant of land—to ‘bastard feudalism’—where rewards were primarily paid in cash payments. Where historians do not agree, however, is on the timing, causes and results of such a change...
  • Topic: War, History, Governance, Feudalism, Middle Ages
  • Political Geography: Europe, England
  • Author: Matthew Testerman
  • Publication Date: 09-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Fletcher Security Review
  • Institution: The Fletcher School, Tufts University
  • Abstract: Winning a war requires the capacity to wage a war and an understanding of an end-state that equates to winning. These fundamental concepts, however, are not well defined. This essay draws from recent historical examples, contemporaneous strategy documents, and formal game theory to provide some additional degree of conceptual clarity that will enhance the debate about winning without war. In the past two decades, the U.S. has developed a demonstrated capacity to win with war. Victory in kinetic war fighting is nearly assured and can be accomplished with limited cost. Despite this, in the modern context, war has evolved to the point that war is not worth winning. It is far from the case that there are no wars to be fought, but the political and economic constraints of the international system have transformed the environment in which the U.S. operates militarily. Evidence of this is found in the strategic outlook of the U.S. military as documented in the revised U.S. naval strategy, especially when compared to earlier maritime strategy. To inform this discussion, game theoretic explanations of strategic interactions are helpful. The assumptions underlying recent U.S. naval strategy can be understood by applying the basic construct of a “game of strategic entry." Applying this construct, one finds that war is not worth winning– a conclusion that has substantive consequences for designing, organizing, and employing naval forces.
  • Topic: Security, War, Military Strategy, Military Affairs, Iraq War
  • Political Geography: North America, United States of America
  • Author: Feng-tai Hwang
  • Publication Date: 09-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Fletcher Security Review
  • Institution: The Fletcher School, Tufts University
  • Abstract: As early as March 2011, the journal Aerospace America featured an article with the title “China’s Military Space Surge,”[1] which warned that there had been a rapid increase in China’s capability to conduct warfare in space. Such capabilities would then in turn threaten and jeopardize the ability of the carrier battle groups of the United States to conduct operations in the Pacific. This article was soon translated into Japanese and published in Space Japan Review. This and other high profile articles highlight the anxieties on the part of the U.S. and Japan about China’s increasing ability to militarize space, and also their concerns about its implications for the peace and security of East Asia and the entire Pacific Asia region. On December 31, 2015 China announced the creation of three new branches of armed forces to be added into the reformed People’s Liberation Army (PLA): Army General Command, Strategic Support Force, and the PLA Rocket Force. While the PLA Rocket Force replaced the old Second Artillery Corps, what is even more intriguing is the mission of the new Strategic Support Force. According to Chinese media, the Strategic Support Force will be responsible for overseeing intelligence, technical reconnaissance, satellite management, electronic warfare, cyberwarfare, and psychological warfare. It is no coincidence that Gao Jin (高津), the newly appointed commander of the Strategic Support Force, is also an expert on rocket science, which has further fueled media speculations that the Strategic Support Force has been created for the purpose of conducting future space warfare.[2] In fact, China has been increasing the focus on the military applications of space since the end of Persian Gulf War in the 1990s. During that war, the United States mobilized dozens of satellites to aid the American-led coalition forces, enabling them to defeat Iraqi forces with extraordinary efficiency and ease. The Persian Gulf War greatly shocked PLA observers at the time, and served as a reminder that the conduct of modern warfare had been transformed by the arrival of a new generation of technology. Chinese military theorists then began to study the concept of “space warfare.” The most influential was Chang Xian-Qi (常顯奇), who categorized space warfare into three distinct phases based on his observations of U.S. planning: the “Entry into Space,” the “Utilization of Space,” and the “Control of Space.” “Entry into Space” is represented by the delivery of a military-purpose spacecraft into its designated orbit path. “Utilization of Space” is to harness the power of existing space assets to aid military operations across the land, naval, and air domains. For example, such power can manifest in the forms of using space sensors to conduct surveillance and gather intelligence for Anti-Access/Area Denial (A2/AD) against potential foes, to provide ballistic missile early warning, satellite navigation and communications, among other purposes. The “Control of Space” phase focuses on establishing “space superiority” with the missions of: (1) increasing survivability of one’s own military satellites and systems; (2) disrupting, sabotaging, or destroying opposing countries’ satellites and their systems when necessary; and (3) directly using space-based weapons to aid in combat operations on the ground.[3]...
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Science and Technology, War, Military Affairs, Space
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Rebecca Jensen
  • Publication Date: 03-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Military and Strategic Studies
  • Institution: Centre for Military, Security and Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: The historians of the Annales School developed an approach that emphasized long-term regional histories based upon social structures and worldviews, in part because they believed the narrowness of political and diplomatic history to be reductive. The first half of Mike Martin's An Intimate War: An Oral History of the Helmand Conflict, adapted from his doctoral research at King's College and drawing on his experience as an army officer in Afghanistan, evokes this approach, while the second half explores how the absence of such a grounding in the local dynamics of Helmand province resulted in a profound misunderstanding of parties to the conflict and their goals, and thus a flawed and sometimes counterproductive approach to military and political efforts there. An Intimate War makes a solid argument that the narratives driving the ISAF (International Security Assistance Force) were largely mistaken, and that misperception accounted for poor policy and misguided operations; it also raises questions for future research, including why organizations and individuals adopted and hewed to inadequate models, and implicitly how this might be avoided in future military engagements.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, War
  • Political Geography: London
  • Author: Jenny Manrique
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: In August, the 27th round of negotiations between the Colombian government and delegates from the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia—FARC) took place in Havana. Since November 2012, both sides have been negotiating behind closed doors to search for ways to end the 50-year-old civil war that has killed more than 200,000 and displaced almost 6 million Colombians.
  • Topic: War
  • Author: Ramon Campos Iriarte
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: The recent 50th anniversary of the Ejército de Liberación Nacional (National Liberation Army—ELN) led journalist Ramón Campos Iriarte to the jungles of Colombia's western Chocó province, where open war between guerrillas, government forces and paramilitary groups has been escalating. The ELN—self-defined as a Marxist-Leninist organization influenced by liberation theology—was created on July 4, 1964, in the mountains of central Colombia by a group of students and clerics inspired by the Cuban Revolution.
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: Colombia, Cuba
  • Author: Peter Van Doren
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: Economic shocks in an unregulated textbook world are managed through the price system. During gluts, prices fall and the least efficient firms lose wealth and exit the market. The result is that supply falls and demand increases. Eventually a new equilibrium is reached in which prices increase toward marginal cost and risk-adjusted returns to firms equal the cost of capital. During shortages, prices rise, existing firms receive rents, and new firms enter the market. The result is that supply increases and demand falls. Eventually a new equilibrium is reached in which prices decrease toward marginal cost and risk-adjusted returns to firms fall to equal the cost of capital.
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: New York
  • Author: Lewis E. Lehrman
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Cato Journal
  • Institution: The Cato Institute
  • Abstract: To evaluate the history of the Federal Reserve System, we cannot help but wonder, whither the Fed? and to consider wherefore its reform—even what and how to do it. But first let us remember whence we came one century ago.
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Robert Jervis
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Political Science Quarterly
  • Institution: Academy of Political Science
  • Abstract: Robert Jervis reviews Robert Gates's recently published memoir, Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War. The reviewer argues that the memoir is very revealing, but inadvertently so insofar as it shows for example Gates's failure to focus on the key issues involved in the decisions to send more troops to Afghanistan and his inability to bridge the gap between the perspectives of the generals and of the White House.
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan
  • Author: Matthew J. Dickinson
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Political Science Quarterly
  • Institution: Academy of Political Science
  • Abstract: In his study of the leadership style exhibited by six presidents, James Polk, Zachary Taylor, Millard Fillmore, Franklin Pierce, James Buchanan, and Abraham Lincoln, Fred Greenstein applies the analytic scheme he first unveiled in The Presidential Difference to explain how the decisions that these men made in the critical period 1846–1861 led to the Civil War. Greenstein argues that their actions, beginning with Polk's ill-fated decision to provoke a war with Mexico, formed a funnel of causality that increasingly limited the options of their successors when dealing with the slavery issue, so that when Lincoln took office, it was impossible to keep the Union together short of military conflict. In addition to addressing a significant period in American history, Greenstein's choice of topic has the added virtue of shining a spotlight on a group of presidents who, with the exception of Lincoln, tend to be overlooked in the history books. To be sure, this is not a revisionist study; Greenstein's analysis is unlikely to change anyone's assessment of these six presidents in terms of their historical rankings (although I admit to coming away with a slightly greater appreciation for Millard Fillmore's presidency).
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: America