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  • Author: Terry Babcock-Lumish, Tania Chacho, Tom Fox, Zachary Griffiths
  • Publication Date: 03-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: As the Indo-Pacific region enters a period of uncertainty, this monograph details the proceedings of West Point’s 2019 Senior Conference 55. Scholars and practitioners convened to discuss and debate strategic changes, and experts shared thoughts during keynote addresses and panels on economics, security, technology, and potential futures in this critically important region.
  • Topic: Security, Science and Technology, Military Strategy, Armed Forces, Military Affairs
  • Political Geography: Asia, North America, United States of America, Indo-Pacific
  • Author: Jean-loup Samaan
  • Publication Date: 02-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: This monograph explores the emerging challenge of nonstate actors’ anti-access and area denial (A2/AD) strategies and their implications for the United States and its allies by looking at two regions, the Middle East and Eastern Europe, with case studies such as Hezbollah in Lebanon, Hamas in the Gaza Strip, the Houthis in Yemen, and separatist groups in Ukraine.
  • Topic: Non State Actors, Armed Forces, Military Affairs, Hezbollah, Houthis, Hamas
  • Political Geography: Europe, Ukraine, Middle East, Eastern Europe, Yemen, Gaza, Lebanon, United States of America
  • Author: C. Anthony Pfaff
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: Security cooperation with Iraq remains a critical component of the US-Iraq relationship. Despite neighboring Iran’s ability to limit US political and economic engagement, Iraq still seeks US assistance to develop its military and to combat resurgent terrorist organizations. This monograph provides a historical and cultural basis from which to understand the limitations and potential for US cooperation with Iraq’s armed forces.
  • Topic: Security, Politics, Terrorism, Military Strategy, Armed Forces, Military Affairs, Islamic State, Economy
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Kamal A. Beyoghlow
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: This monograph analyzes the current political tensions between the United States and Turkey and suggests ways to manage them. The two countries have been strategic allies since at least the end of World War II—Turkey became a North Atlantic Treaty Organization member and participated with its military forces in the Korea War, and during the Cold War protected NATO’s southern flank against Soviet communism, and Turkey’s military and intelligence services maintained close relationships with their Western and Israeli counterparts. These relationships were not without problems, due mostly to differences over minority and civil rights in Turkey and over Turkey’s invasion of Cyprus in 1973 and continued tensions with Greece. The special relationship with the United States was put to the final test after the Islamic conservative populist political party, Justice and Development, and its current leader, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, came to power in 2002. Turkey opposed the US invasion of Iraq in 2003 and the NATO-backed regime change in Libya in 2011. Most recently, Turkey has had strained relations with Cyprus, Greece, and Israel—all key US allies—and has alienated the US Congress and select NATO members further by its October 2019 invasion of Syria against Kurdish forces aligned with the US military against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, all against a background of a military rapprochement with Russia. This monograph highlights differences between US agencies concerning Turkey and ways to reconcile them, and offers several policy recommendations for new directions.
  • Topic: NATO, Politics, History, Military Strategy, Bilateral Relations, Armed Forces
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Lewis G. Irwin
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: This monograph identifies challenges and opportunities in today’s US Army Reserve. Since its inception in 1908, the Army Reserve has made important, diverse, and cost-effective contributions to the Army and the Joint Force and has shown the ability to adapt in profound ways to meet emerging requirements. In the context of emerging requirements driven by the 2018 National Defense Strategy, the Army is developing its thinking on multi-domain operations and evolving complex threats in the strategic and operational environments. To meet these emerging, complex challenges, the Army Reserve must adapt again. Accordingly, the monograph offers an honest and direct assessment of the modern Army Reserve’s structural realities, institutional limitations, and untapped potential, while proposing a series of “quick wins,” “heavy lifts,” and “deep” reforms aimed at adapting the institution to meet our nation’s twenty-first century needs.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Military Strategy, Military Affairs, Army
  • Political Geography: North America, Global Focus, United States of America
  • Author: Stephen J. Blank
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: Wherever one looks, Russia is carrying out aggressive military and informational attacks against the West in Europe, North and South America, the Arctic, and the Middle East. This “war against the West” actually began over a decade ago, but its most jarring and shocking event, the one that started to focus Western minds on Russia, was the invasion of Ukraine in 2014. Given this pattern, the National Security Council (NSC) in 2014 invited Stephen Blank to organize a conference on the Russian military. We were able to launch the conference in 2016 and bring together a distinguished international group of experts on the Russian military to produce the papers that were then subsequently updated for presentation here.
  • Topic: Nuclear Weapons, War, Military Strategy, Military Affairs, Authoritarianism, Cybersecurity, Vladimir Putin
  • Political Geography: Russia, Ukraine, Asia, Syria, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Antulio J. Echevarria II, Hew Strachan, Seth A. Johnston, Howard Coombs, Martijn Kitzen, Christophe Lafaye, Conrad C. Crane, Alexander G. Lovelace
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: The Autumn issue of Parameters opens with a Special Commentary by Sir Hew Strachan concerning lessons Western militaries learned, or ought to have learned, during their campaigns in Afghanistan. His commentary sets up this issue’s first forum, Afghanistan’s Lessons: Part I. In the opening article, Seth Johnston’s “NATO’s Lessons” underscores the importance of the Alliance’s role as a facilitator of multinational collaboration. He presents a favorable view, arguing NATO’s established processes succeeded in enabling countries with limited resources to participate fully in the mission in Afghanistan. Howard Coombs follows with a contribution concerning “Canada’s Lessons.” Among other things, he maintains Canada’s whole-of-government approach resulted in great gains while Canadian Forces were actively involved in combat. Nonetheless, Canada seems uninterested in maintaining this capability as a framework for responding to other crises. The third article in this forum is Martijn Kitzen’s “The Netherlands’ Lessons,” which highlights the benefits of having a small military that enjoys networked learning. Although the Dutch military seems to be reverting to enemy-centric thinking, the author encourages its leaders to retain an adaptive mindset that will facilitate adopting a more population-centric approach when necessary. In “France’s Lessons,” Christophe Lafaye explains how combat in Afghanistan contributed to the tactical and doctrinal evolution of the French Army. With decades of relative peace since the Algerian War, French soldiers began their service in Afghanistan with little experience and inadequate materiel. They quickly developed into a combat-ready force capable of responding rapidly to a variety of military emergencies as the need arose. Our second forum, World War II: 75th Anniversary, features two contributions concerning famous US generals. Conrad Crane’s, “Matthew Ridgway and the Battle of the Bulge” illustrates examples of Ridgway’s strategic thinking at work during the German’s surprise attack and ensuing crisis. Alexander G. Lovelace’s “Slap Heard around the World: George Patton and Shell Shock” analyzes Patton’s possible motives for slapping two soldiers in during the Sicily campaign in 1943.
  • Topic: NATO, War, History, Armed Forces, Military Affairs
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Middle East, Canada, North America, Netherlands, United States of America
  • Author: M. Chris Mason, John Crisafulli, Fernando Farfan, Aaron French, Yama Kambiz, Bryan Kirk, Matthew Maybouer, John Sannes
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: The United States will soon enter the 18th year of combat operations in Afghanistan. During that time, multiple approaches to stabilize the country have been tried, including support to regional security initiatives, “nation-building,” counterinsurgency, counternarcotics, counterterrorism, and “train and equip.” The constellation of anti-government elements known collectively as the Taliban continues to refuse reconciliation or a negotiated peace under the existing Afghan constitution.
  • Topic: War, History, Armed Forces, Military Affairs
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Middle East, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Antulio J. Echevarria II, Sam J. Tangredi, Mathieu Boulegue, Keir Giles, C. Anthony Pfaff, Karen J. Finkenbinder, Massimo Pani, Richard A. Lacquement Jr., John F. Sullivan
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: Our 2019 Spring/Summer issue of Parameters features three forums. In the first forum, A2/AD Myths: Chinese & Russian, Sam Tangredi’s “Anti-Access Strategies in the Pacific: The United States and China” puts Beijing’s A2/AD capabilities in perspective and encourages the United States to consider developing an anti-access strategy of its own to deter possible Chinese aggression in the South China Sea. Keir Giles and Mathieu Boulegue’s “Russia’s A2/AD Capabilities: Real and Imagined,” explode some of the myths concerning Russia’s A2/AD capabilities and recommend ways to promote a stronger defense of the Baltic states and Eastern Europe. The second forum, Enhancing Security & Stability, considers how to address emerging and periodic challenges in regional and functional stability. In “Human Security in the Arctic: Implications for the US Army,” Tony Pfaff explains the growing importance of Arctic security for Army strategists. The challenges of climate change will require the Army, including the Alaska National Guard, to reallocate forces to this important region. In “Projecting Stability: A Deployable NATO Police Command,” Massimo Pani and Karen Finkenbinder propose methods NATO could use to project a stability force to crisis situations within 5 days, to be augmented with additional police forces and command elements within 30 days. Our third forum, On Strategic Foundations, offers two articles that explore the reliability of some of the conceptual foundations of our strategic thinking. Richard Lacquement Jr. discusses the use of historical analogies as one of humanity’s most important adaptive techniques in “Analogical Thinking: The Sine Qua Non for Using History Well.” He suggests pattern recognition may aid in clarifying context and in guiding action in unfamiliar intellectual terrain. In “Reconsidering Sun Tzu,” John Sullivan challenges readers to be more critical of orthodox interpretations of Sun Tzu’s Art of War. After all, the unexamined theory is not worth teaching.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Armed Forces, Military Affairs
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Asia, North America, Arctic, United States of America
  • Author: Stefan Forss, Juha Pyykönen
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: With enhanced cooperation from the U.S. Army, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s Nordic partner nations could combine efforts with each other and with the Alliance to deliver effective and visible regional deterrence against a resurgent Russia in the Nordic-Baltic region. This monograph by two leading Finnish defense academics explores the regional defense environment and optimum roles for the United States.
  • Topic: NATO, Armed Forces, Military Affairs, Deterrence, Army
  • Political Geography: Russia, Finland, North America, Nordic Nations, United States of America
  • Author: Dr. Shima D. Keene
  • Publication Date: 05-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: This monograph provides an assessment of the emerging threat posed by foreign jihadist fighters following the reduction in territory controlled by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and recommends ways that the U.S. Army should address the issues highlighted.
  • Topic: Migration, Military Affairs, Violent Extremism, Islamic State, Jihad, Army
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, Syria, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Samit Ganguly, M. Chris Mason
  • Publication Date: 05-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: As global competition with an increasingly assertive Chinese Government expands, the strategic relationship between India and the United States is assuming ever-greater importance. From a superficial perspective, a strategic partnership seems to make a great deal of sense for both countries. Yet, enormous political, cultural, and structural obstacles remain between them, which continue to slow the progress in security cooperation to a crawl, relative to China’s economic and military advances. The authors explore these impediments frankly and suggest practical ways to build trust and establish confidence.
  • Topic: Bilateral Relations, Armed Forces, Military Affairs, Partnerships, Strategic Competition
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Elizabeth G. Troeder
  • Publication Date: 05-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: This monograph provides an assessment of gray zone tactics used by the most active U.S. adversaries and builds the case for requiring U.S. Federal agencies to request that the Deputy National Security Advisor convene a National Security Council/Deputies Committee (NSC/DC) meeting whenever any Federal agency deems a gray zone approach to an international issue is appropriate. It also recommends that the United States should pursue the development of a standing National Security Council/Policy Coordination Committee (NSC/PCC) for gray zone solutions, with sub-NSC/PCCs for each component of the 4+1 (Russia, China, Iraq, North Korea, and violent extremist organizations) so that experts can be quickly assembled in times of crisis.
  • Topic: Government, War, Military Strategy, Military Affairs, Gray Zone
  • Political Geography: North America, United States of America
  • Author: Tim Hwang How
  • Publication Date: 05-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: How should the defense community best organize to combat modern campaigns of propaganda and disinformation? Without a broader strategic concept of the nature of the challenge posed by these techniques, current efforts and investments run the risk of simply chasing the latest tactics without establishing enduring security. This monograph offers a way forward, proposing a cohesive strategic framework for thinking about modern information warfare and its effective conduct.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Science and Technology, Military Strategy, Armed Forces, Cybersecurity
  • Political Geography: Russia, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Antulio J. Echevarria II, Thomas N. Garner, Buddhika Jayamaha, Jahara "Franky" Matisek, David J. Katz, Ash Rossiter, Adam Jay Harrison, Bharat Rao, Bala Mulloth, Donn A. Starry
  • Publication Date: 05-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: After an intense period of internal reorganization, Parameters opens its long-awaited Winter 2018–2019 issue with a Special Commentary, “Civil-Military Relations and Today’s Policy Environment” by Thomas Garner. Garner suggests US civil-military relations may have come to a crossroads where the rift between American citizens and their military has grown too great to be ignored any longer. Our first forum, Coercion: New Means & Methods, features two articles that discuss underexplored ways of achieving strategic coercion. The first contribution, “Social Media Warriors: Leveraging a New Battlespace” by Buddhika Jayamaha and Jahara Matisek, explains how certain hostile parties have created a new battlespace consisting of the internet, social media, and other means of communication to foment social and political discontent within Western-style democracies. No less novel, David Katz’s contribution, “Multidimensionality: Rethinking Power Projection for the 21st Century,” explains how American military strategists might incorporate multidimensional power projection into their planning processes to counter gray-zone adversaries. The second forum, Technological Innovation: Problems & Prospects, addresses the double-edged nature of technology. The first article, “High-Energy Laser Weapons: Overpromising Readiness” by Ash Rossiter, discusses some of the facts and fictions associated with modern laser weapons within the context of today’s great-power competition. An essential point in this discussion is how the excessive promises of those responsible for developing (and selling) high-tech weapons can severely undermine military readiness. In quite a different vein, the forum’s second article, “Innovation Tradecraft: Sustaining Technological Advantage in the Future Army” by Adam Jay Harrison, Bharat Rao, and Bala Mulloth, identifies the components needed to build an innovation ecosystem. This ecosystem would include organizational culture, awareness of emerging technologies, a capacity for leveraging resources, and a strategy for absorbing external information. Ideally, such an ecosystem would help channel technological innovation in positive directions while reducing bureaucratic inertia. Our third forum, Technological Change & War’s Nature, consists of a contribution by a historical figure of some renown. The article entitled “Profession at the Crossroads” written by Donn A. Starry while he was still a lieutenant colonel. Among other things, Starry reveals how he and his contemporaries understood the relationship between technological change and the nature of war. His views provide an interesting contrast with those of today. This contribution is separated by nearly 50 years; yet it deals with a timeless and, for the military professional, a fundamentally inescapable question.
  • Topic: Science and Technology, Armed Forces, Military Affairs, Cybersecurity, Social Media
  • Political Geography: North America, United States of America
  • Author: Keir Giles
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: Big data amplifies a classical problem of military leadership, namely, making critical decisions based on limited and often unreliable information. This monograph considers three leadership models that provide an alternative to an overreliance on technological solutions to address new challenges emerging at the various stages of the intelligence process.
  • Topic: Intelligence, Armed Forces, Military Affairs, Leadership
  • Political Geography: North America, United States of America
  • Author: Lukas Milevski
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: In this monograph, Dr. Lukas Milevski examines the logic of grand strategy in practice, defined by its most basic building block—combining military and non-military power in war. He lays out competing visions of how to define grand strategy and why the aforementioned building block is the most fundamental. The monograph establishes the essential logic of military power through annihilation and exhaustion or attrition as well as through control of the opponent’s freedom of action. This baseline understanding of strategic action and effect in war allows an exploration of how the utility and meaning of non-military instruments change between peacetime and wartime and how they may contribute to the strategic effort and includes discussion of specific examples such as the U.S. interwar war plans and the Stuxnet cyberattack on Iranian nuclear facilities. The author also links this combination to present-day Russian and Chinese attempts at mixing military and non-military power.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Military Affairs, Grand Strategy, Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Asia, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Edward Mienie, C. Anthony Pfaff
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: In August of 2017, Blackwater founder Erik Prince offered a plan for privatizing the war in Afghanistan, where he would replace the approximately 23,000 multinational forces (of which 15,000 are U.S. troops) and 27,000 contractors with 2,000 special forces and 6,000 security contractors who would embed with the Afghan National Army. Though the administration apparently rejected the plan at the time, multiple media outlets report there may be renewed interest, especially given the United States remains unable to resolve the conflict despite adopting a new, more aggressive strategy. Predictably, and justifiably, this interest has sparked a great deal of concern. Both former Secretary of Defense James Mattis and Chief of Staff John Kelly, in addition to a host of others, are reportedly opposed to the plan. With their departure, another opportunity to reconsider Prince’s proposal may arise.
  • Topic: Military Affairs, Finance, Business , Military Spending, Private Sector
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Middle East, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Tami Davis Biddle
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: In this monograph, Tami Davis Biddle analyzes the historical record of air power over the past 100 years. Her monograph, designed for the student of strategy, is intended to provide both a concise introduction to the topic and a framework for thinking intelligently about air power, particularly aerial bombing. Her primary aim is to discern the distinction between what has been expected of air power by theorists and military institutions, and what it has produced in the crucible of war. Aerial bombing, Biddle argues, is a coercive activity in which an attacker seeks to structure the enemy’s incentives—using threats and actions to shape and constrain the enemy’s options, both perceived and real. It is an important and much-utilized military instrument for both deterrence and compellence. In addition, it is a powerful tool in the arsenal of the joint warfighter. Its ability to achieve anticipated results, however, varies with circumstances. Students of strategy must be able to discern and understand the conditions under which aerial bombing is more or less likely to achieve the results expected of it by those who employ it.
  • Topic: War, History, Armed Forces, Military Affairs, Air Force
  • Political Geography: North America, United States of America
  • Author: Michael A. McCarthy, Matthew A. Moyer, Brett H. Venable
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: The United States lacks a cohesive strategy to deter Russian aggression. Despite being militarily and economically inferior, Russia has undermined the United States and its allies by exploiting the “gray zone,” or the conceptual space between war and peace where nations compete to advance their national interests. In dealing with Russia, the United States must shift its strategic framework from a predominantly military-centric model to one that comprises a whole-of-government approach. The holistic approach must leverage a combination of diplomacy, information, military, and economic (DIME) measures. In this timely and prescient monograph, three active duty military officers and national security fellows from the Harvard Kennedy School look to address this contemporary and complex problem. Through extensive research and consultation with some of the nation’s and academia’s foremost experts, the authors offer policymakers a menu of strategic options to deter Russia in the gray zone and protect vital U.S. national security interests.
  • Topic: National Security, War, Military Affairs, Economy, Peace, Deterrence, Gray Zone
  • Political Geography: Russia, Eurasia, North America, United States of America