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  • Author: Philip C. Saunders, Joel Wuthnow
  • Publication Date: 05-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Institute for National Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is undertaking its most significant restructuring since 1949, including changes to all of the PLA’s main organizational pillars—the Central Military Commission, services, and theaters. The reforms are modeled partly on the U.S. military structure, where combatant commanders lead operations and the services train and equip troops. However, the PLA remains a Leninist military responsible for defending Chinese Communist Party (CCP) rule. The reforms aim to tighten CCP supervision over a force seen as corrupt and unaccountable and to enhance the PLA’s ability to conduct joint operations across multiple domains. Theater commanders will be able to develop force packages drawn from all the services, and a new Strategic Support Force will provide C4ISR support. The reforms will create a short term organizational disruption, but may enable more effective joint war fighting over the long term. The PLA will have to overcome significant obstacles such as continued ground force dominance and inter-service rivalry to make the reforms succeed.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: Christopher J. Lamb, Joseph C Bond
  • Publication Date: 03-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Institute for National Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: Over the past 20 years, there has been a sea change in senior leader views on national security reform from skepticism to support. Nine major studies argue the national security system cannot generate or integrate the capabilities needed to manage security problems well. The system is “broken.” Yet there are major obstacles to reform. Inexperienced U.S. Presidents discover system limitations too late, when it is politically difficult to correct them; experts who have not studied system behaviors underestimate their liabilities; and leaders in the Department of Defense are more likely to favor reform than their counterparts in other departments, which creates a bureaucratic backlash against reform. However, two key prerequisites for success are in place: galvanizing cases of unsustainable performance, and in-depth problem analysis that reveals the origins of the same. A third prerequisite is committed leadership. With that in mind, the authors identify several reasons why Presidential candidates should embrace national security reform during the 2016 campaign.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Joel Wuthnow
  • Publication Date: 03-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Institute for National Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: China is poised to increase economic and diplomatic cooperation with Iran as a result of sanctions relief under the recent Iran nuclear deal, though a close geopolitical alignment between the two states is unlikely. Sino-Iranian relations will remain limited by several enduring constraints, including China’s desire for positive ties with other states, its pursuit of energy diversification, and its need for regional stability. Renewed Chinese arms sales to Iran could constitute an emerging challenge for the United States. This could increase Iran’s antiaccess/ area-denial threat to U.S. military forces and create proliferation risks. U.S. officials should press Chinese interlocutors to avoid exporting advanced weapons, which could embolden Iran to conduct a more brazen foreign policy that would threaten China’s fundamental need for regional stability
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: China, Iran
  • Author: David F. Helvey
  • Publication Date: 03-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Institute for National Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: Unification of the Korean Peninsula would remove the primary threat that has animated the U.S.–Republic of Korea (ROK) alliance for over 60 years, but it need not require termination of the alliance. An alliance between the United States and a unified Korea would, at a macro level, reinforce the international liberal democratic order. At a micro level, it could help ensure security on the Korean Peninsula during the process of integrating the North, assist in the defense of Korea, and serve as a platform for multilateral security cooperation. A future alliance should be a part of planning for Korean unification and should consider the purpose of the alliance, its roles and missions, coordinating structures, and presence (if any) of U.S. troops. It should also include diplomatic efforts to assure China, Russia, and Japan that a future alliance would respect sovereignty and support stability. A reconfigured alliance should reflect greater equality between the United States and a unified Korea to ensure its political sustainability in both capitals. Planning for a future alliance must not erode the critical functions of deterrence that the alliance performs today
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Korea
  • Author: Vivek Chadha
  • Publication Date: 12-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses
  • Abstract: There has been an upsurge in violence in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) in recent years. This has been accompanied by increasing cross-border violations by Pakistan and heavy retaliation by India. The Uri terrorist attack on September 18, 2016 — directed, equipped and supported by Pakistan, led to the surgical strike by India across the Line of Control (LoC), which caught Pakistan off-guard. These were followed by repeated attempts by Islamabad to disrupt the 2003 ceasefire along the LoC and hit at targets inside J&K through orchestrated terrorist strikes. The brief analyses fidayeen attacks that have taken place during the last three years by Pakistan sponsored terrorist groups. It then delineates steps the security forces could take to counter such attacks effectively.
  • Topic: International Cooperation
  • Political Geography: India
  • Author: Vivek Chadha
  • Publication Date: 11-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses
  • Abstract: The impact of the demonetisation policy as related to curbing the finance of terrorism announced on November 08, 2016, is gradually emerging from the shadow of its surprise announcement. It is becoming abundantly clear that this is unlikely to remain a one off decision taken in isolation and will in all probability be accompanied by additional measures against the financing of terrorism and corruption. Even as the rollout takes place, it provides an opportunity to assess its potential fallout in the mid and long term, as also possible future options available to the government to further build upon the ongoing initiative.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Priyanka Singh
  • Publication Date: 08-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses
  • Abstract: Most of India’s geopolitical vexations stem from a contested northern periphery, entailing disputes born either in the aftermath of independence or inherited from British rule. Principal among these is the region of Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK), part of the erstwhile princely state of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K). Soon after independence, a huge portion of J&K’s territory was bifurcated from the rest of the princely state as a result of the Pakistan-aided assault conducted in these regions during 1947-48. Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) refers to those parts of the erstwhile princely state of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) that continue to be under Pakistan’s control. It comprises the so-called ‘Azad’ Jammu and Kashmir (‘AJK’), and Gilgit Baltistan, which latter was referred to as the Northern Areas by the government of Pakistan until 2009. India stakes a claim on these territories by virtue of the Instrument of Accession signed by Maharaja Hari Singh on 26 October 1947.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Sushil Kumar Sharma
  • Publication Date: 06-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses
  • Abstract: Earlier this year, the Karbi People’s Liberation Tigers (KPLT) issued a threat to the local media after journalists at a meeting in Diphu Press Club unanimously decided not to publish the outfit’s calls for bandh against the assembly election scheduled in the district on April 04, 2016.1 In fact, just two days before the election, two KPLT militants were killed in an encounter with security forces in Karbi Anglong. Over the years, insurgency has adversely affected the socio-economic development of the district compared to the rest of the state. Development projects in the district have long been hampered by abductions and demands for extortion money by the insurgents.2 While most of the local insurgent groups have come under the ceasefire agreement, the KPLT continues to pose threat to security and development in the Karbi Anglong region. Apart from KPLT, the Naga Rengma Hills Protection Force (NRHPF) and the Kuki Revolutionary Army (KRA) are also active in the area.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: India
  • Author: P. Stobdan
  • Publication Date: 06-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses
  • Abstract: The Foreign Ministers of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) have recently finalised the draft agenda for the next Summit of the grouping to be held in Tashkent on June 23-24. Among other things, they adopted a procedure document for accession of India (and Pakistan) into the SCO. Originated in 1996 as “Shanghai-5” to build confidence building measures along the Sino-Central Asian frontier, the SCO became a full-fledged grouping in 2011 with a broader charter for anchoring Eurasian political, economic and military affairs. While SCO was initially an exclusive club comprising of China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, other countries – India, Mongolia, Iran, and Pakistan – joined in 2005 as Observer states.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Ajey Lele
  • Publication Date: 04-2016
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses
  • Abstract: Several advancements made in the field of space technology over the last few decades have significantly benefitted mankind. Today, space technology is considered critical to human survival and progress. Since space offers numerous socio-economic benefits, the number of states investing in satellite technology has grown over the years. Satellites are now being used for many purposes: meteorology, television broadcasting, mobile telephony, navigation and internet. Space systems are increasingly being used in multiple fields, such as financial management, education, tele-medicine, scientific research and disaster management, to gather real time information and increase efficiency and connectivity. Satellite technology is also playing a crucial role in measuring greenhouse gas emissions globally. In fact, space is rapidly emerging as an important component of the global economy.
  • Topic: International Security
  • Political Geography: India