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  • Author: Dr. Don M. Snider
  • Publication Date: 02-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: Crossing the Plains on an expedition to Utah [in the 1850s], Major Charles A. May searched the wagons in an effort to reduce unnecessary baggage. When he reached the wagons of the light artillery battery, Captain Henry J. Hunt proudly pointed out the box containing the battery library. “Books,” May exclaimed. “You say books? Whoever heard of books being hauled over the Plains? What the hell are you going to do with them?” At that moment Captain Campbell of the Dragoons came up and asked permission to carry a barrel of whiskey. ”Yes, anything in reason Captain, you can take along the whiskey, but damned if these books shall go.
  • Topic: Education, Military Affairs, Ethics
  • Political Geography: United States of America
  • Author: Dr. Larry D. Miller
  • Publication Date: 01-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: The Army War College Review, a refereed publication of student work, is produced under the purview of the Strategic Studies Institute and the United States Army War College. An electronic quarterly, The AWC Review connects student intellectual work with professionals invested in U.S. national security, Landpower, strategic leadership, global security studies, and the advancement of the profession of arms
  • Author: Dr. John R. Deni
  • Publication Date: 01-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: Military engagement and forward-based U.S. military forces offer decisionmakers effective and efficient mechanisms for maintaining American influence, deterring aggression, assuring allies, building tomorrow’s coalitions, managing the challenge of disorder in the security environment, mitigating the risk of a major interstate war, and facilitating U.S. and coalition operations should deterrence fail. Unfortunately, significant cuts to overseas permanent presence and continuing pockets of institutional bias against engagement as a force multiplier and readiness enhancer have combined to limit the leverage possible through these two policy tools. Instead, reliance on precision strike stand-off capabilities and a strategy of surging American military might from CONUS after a crisis has already started have become particularly attractive approaches for managing insecurity in a more resource-constrained environment. This approach is short-sighted politically and strategically. Relying on stand-off capabilities and so-called “surge readiness” – instead of placing greater emphasis on forward presence and, when employed selectively, military engagement – will ultimately result in reduced American influence with friends and adversaries alike, encourage adversaries to act hastily and aggressively, and have the effect of reducing, not expanding, options available to any President.
  • Author: Dr. Tami Davis Biddle
  • Publication Date: 12-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: In this monograph, Dr. Tami Davis Biddle examines why it is so difficult to devise, implement, and sustain sound strategies and grand strategies. Her analysis begins with an examination of the meaning of the term “strategy” and a history of the ways that political actors have sought to employ strategies and grand strategies to achieve their desired political aims. She examines the reasons why the logic undergirding strategy is often lacking and why challenges of implementation (including bureaucratic politics, unforeseen events, civil-military tensions, and domestic pressures) complicate and undermine desired outcomes. This clear-headed critique, built on a broad base of literature (historical and modern; academic and policy-oriented), will serve as a valuable guide to students and policymakers alike as they seek to navigate their way through the unavoidable challenges—and inevitable twists and turns—inherent in the development and implementation of strategy.
  • Topic: Politics, History, Military Strategy, Military Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Dr. Richard Weitz
  • Publication Date: 12-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: The U.S. defense export system needs further major reforms to reduce inefficiencies and weaknesses. Although the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) do help prevent potential foreign adversaries from using U.S. arms against the United States and its allies, the Regulations, as enforced, can weaken U.S. national security in other important ways. For example, by excessively impeding defense exports, the ITAR makes it more difficult for U.S. firms to sustain core U.S. defense technological and industrial advantages, decreases U.S. military interoperability with allies that purchase ITAR-free weapons from other sources, and generates other undesirable effects for the U.S. Army and U.S. national security.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, International Trade and Finance, National Security, Science and Technology, Military Affairs, Reform, Weapons
  • Political Geography: United States of America
  • Author: Henry D. Sokolski
  • Publication Date: 12-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: With the world focused on the nuclear crisis in Iran, it is tempting to think that addressing this case, North Korea, and the problem of nuclear terrorism is all that matters and is what matters most. Perhaps, but if states become more willing to use their nuclear weapons to achieve military advantage, the problem of proliferation will become much more unwieldy. In this case, U.S. security will be hostage not just to North Korea, Iran, or terrorists, but to nuclear proliferation more generally, diplomatic miscalculations, and wars between a much larger number of possible players. This, in a nutshell, is the premise of Underestimated: Our Not So Peaceful Nuclear Future, which explores what nuclear futures we may face over the next 3 decades and how we currently think about this future. Will nuclear weapons spread in the next 20 years to more nations than just North Korea and possibly Iran? How great will the consequences be? What can be done?
  • Topic: Security, Nuclear Weapons, Terrorism, International Security, Military Affairs
  • Political Geography: Iran, North Korea, United States of America
  • Author: Liam P. Walsh
  • Publication Date: 12-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: Beginning in 2013, the U.S. Army began an effort to “engage regionally and respond globally.” A central tenant of this strategy, building upon National strategic guidance, is the necessity to build partner capacity. Army units, through the regionally aligned forces concept, may find themselves conducting security force assistance (SFA) missions across the globe as a means to achieve these ways. However, after examining the Army’s SFA mission in Operation IRAQI FREEDOM from 2003-10, it becomes apparent that institutional and organizational shortcomings plagued the Army’s initial efforts in this critical aspect of the campaign. Many of these shortcomings remain in the Army today, particularly within the Army’s core formation—the brigade combat team (BCT). This monograph examines the Army’s role in conducting SFA in Iraq, drawing key lessons for the Army’s experience there, and then provides recommendations as to how the Army can better optimize the BCT to conduct SFA, while still retaining its core mission to fight and win America’s wars.
  • Topic: National Security, War, Military Strategy, Military Affairs
  • Political Geography: Iraq, United States of America
  • Author: Jeffrey L. Caton
  • Publication Date: 12-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: What does the Department of Defense hope to gain from the use of autonomous weapon systems (AWS)? This Letort Paper explores a diverse set of complex issues related to the developmental, operational, legal, and ethical aspects of AWS. It explores the recent history of the development and integration of autonomous and semi-autonomous systems into traditional military operations. It examines anticipated expansion of these roles in the near future as well as outlines international efforts to provide a context for the use of the systems by the United States. As these topics are well-documented in many sources, this Paper serves as a primer for current and future AWS operations to provide senior policymakers, decision-makers, military leaders, and their respective staffs an overall appreciation of existing capabilities and the challenges, opportunities, and risks associated with the use of AWS across the range of military operations. Emphasis is added to missions and systems that include the use of deadly force.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Military Strategy, Military Affairs, Weapons
  • Political Geography: United States of America
  • Author: Dr. Shima D. Keene
  • Publication Date: 12-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: While supporters claim that drone warfare is not only legal but ethical and wise, others have suggested that drones are prohibited weapons under International Humanitarian Law (IHL) because they cause, or have the effect of causing, indiscriminate killings of civilians, such as those in the vicinity of a targeted person. The main legal justification made by the Barack Obama Administration for the use of armed drones is self-defense. However, there is ambiguity as to whether this argument can justify a number of recent attacks by the United States. In order to determine the legality of armed drone strikes, other factors such as sovereignty, proportionality, the legitimacy of individual targets, and the methods used for the selection of targets must also be considered. One justification for the ethical landscape is the reduced amount of collateral damage relative to other forms of strike. Real time eyes on target allow last-minute decisions and monitoring for unintended victims, and precise tracking of the target through multiple systems allows further refinements of proportionality. However, this is of little benefit if the definition of “targets” is itself flawed and encompasses noncombatants and unconnected civilians. This monograph provides a number of specific recommendations intended to ensure that the benefits of drone warfare are weighed against medium- and long-term second order effects in order to measure whether targeted killings are serving their intended purpose of countering terrorism rather than encouraging and fueling it.
  • Topic: Human Rights, War, Counter-terrorism, Ethics
  • Political Geography: United States of America
  • Author: Dr. Jose de Arimateia da Cruz
  • Publication Date: 12-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: While the rest of the world is concerned about the refugee crisis in Europe, the conflict in Syria, and the potential contenders in the U.S. presidential elections of 2016, there is a brewing dispute between Guyana and Venezuela in Latin America. As a result of this diverted attention, there are few reports regarding the instability of an already fragile region. The dispute between the two nations centers on the lands west of the Essequibo River of Guyana. This stretch of land covers 40 percent of Guyana’s sovereign territory and, according to experts, is rich in gold, bauxite, diamonds, and other natural resources. The dispute over control of the Essequibo region was initially settled by international arbitration in 1899, awarding the Guyana Government the region. However, the Venezuelan Government has rejected the final decision granting Guyana the Essequibo region; and, since the 19th century, it has been laying claim to this vast mineral rich area, alleging that the decision was fraudulent and therefore null (see map of Guyana)
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Natural Resources, Territorial Disputes, Military Affairs
  • Political Geography: Europe, Latin America, Venezuela, Guyana
  • Author: Dr. Christopher Sims
  • Publication Date: 12-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: The Human Terrain System embedded civilians primarily in brigade combat teams (BCTs) in Iraq and Afghanistan between 2007 and 2014 to act as a collection and dispersal mechanism for sociocultural comprehension. Set against the backdrop of the program’s evolution, the experiences of these social scientists clarifies the U.S. Army’s decision to integrate social scientists at the tactical level in conflict. Based on interviews, program documents, material from Freedom of Information Act requests, and secondary sources, this book finds a series of limiting factors inhibiting social science research at the tactical level, common to both Iraq and Afghanistan. Complexity in integrating civilians into the military decision-making cycle, creating timely research with a high level of fidelity, and making granular research resonate with brigade staff all contributed to inhibiting the overall effect of the Human Terrain System. Yet, while high operational tempo in contested spaces complicates social science research at the tactical level, the author argues that there is a continued requirement for a residual capability to be maintained by the U.S. Army.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, War, Military Strategy, Military Affairs
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Iraq, United States of America
  • Author: Gregory Aftandilian
  • Publication Date: 12-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: This manuscript examines the increasingly important form of rivalry and statecraft that has become known as “gray zone strategies.” In regions from Eastern Europe to the South China Sea, such tactics in the hands of ambitious regional powers pose a growing challenge to U.S. and allied interests. This monograph aims to provide a broad introduction to the issue to help leaders in the U.S. Army and the wider joint Department of Defense and national security community better understand this challenge. Dr. Michael Mazarr, a Senior Political Scientist at the RAND Corporation and Associate Program Director of the Army’s Arroyo Center there, defines the issue, examines the most notable current cases of gray zone strategies, offers several hypotheses about the nature of this form of conflict, and suggests a number of policy responses.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, National Security, Politics, Military Strategy, Military Affairs
  • Political Geography: United States of America
  • Author: Dr. Ariel Cohen, Ivan Benovic
  • Publication Date: 11-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: Since the breakup of the Soviet Union, a number of gas disputes between Russia and Central and Eastern European countries have unveiled the strategic dependence of Europe on Russian piped gas. The recent Ukrainian crisis demonstrated that Europe has a desperate need to improve the security of its gas supply. The United States is interested in the economic stability and growth of Europe, because the European Union (EU) is its principal and largest economic partner. The United States and the EU enjoy the largest trade and investment relationship in the world, which should not be jeopardized by disruptive, anti-status-quo powers. Europe’s energy independence is not only an economic interest of America, but also a political and security one. Europe’s dependence on Russian natural gas undermines European unity and weakens the primary U.S. allies in their relations with Russia. U.S. Armed Forces in Europe and the U.S. Army in particular can and should play an important role in promoting energy security. This involvement includes: increased situational awareness; deployment to the sensitive areas; and enhanced training activities, including with the allies of the U.S. military in Central and Eastern Europe.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Energy Policy, Natural Resources, Military Affairs, Gas
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Eastern Europe, Soviet Union
  • Author: Dr. W. Andrew Terill
  • Publication Date: 11-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: In an unexpected effort to protect a key Middle Eastern ally, the Kremlin intervened in Syria with military forces in late September 2015. This effort was undertaken to protect the Bashar Assad regime from Islamist and secular rebels now threatening his regime. Moscow initiated this action with a limited force that may be primarily designed to prevent Assad’s ouster but does not have the capabilities to help him retake large tracks of the country from the rebel groups that are now holding them. The Russian leadership made the decision to use military units in Syria at some political cost, aware that it was poisoning relations with many conservative anti-Assad Arabs and complicating its troubled relationship with Western powers.1 At some point, the Russians will have to consider the questions of how well these efforts have met their goal of bolstering the regime and what will be their next moves. They may also be rapidly faced with pressure to escalate their commitment to support the regime, if current actions do not produce meaningful results. They may also learn the painful lesson of other great powers, that military intervention in the Middle East is often much more problematic than national leaders initially expect.
  • Topic: Political Violence, Civil War, Islam, Politics, War, Military Strategy, Military Affairs
  • Political Geography: Russia, Middle East, Syria
  • Author: Dr. Don Snider
  • Publication Date: 11-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: Recently, one of the most respected voices of those who work and teach in the field of American civil-military (civ-mil) relations, Professor Peter Feaver, provocatively offered the following question: When it comes to national security, should one advise President Barack Obama on the best course of action or just the best course of action that he is likely or able to accept and implement?1 Thus, owing primarily to the Obama administration’s difficult civ-mil relations and what some consider to be ineffective policy implementation, particularly in Syria, this question is now sprouting up in journalistic reporting, academic journals, and in classroom discussions here at the U.S. Army War College. The import of the question for military professionals lies in the fact that it could lead one outside the traditional norms of American civil-military relations. These norms have in general held that the responsibility of senior military leaders is simply to give their best professional military advice – no shading allowed, and most certainly no shading that might make policy implementation less than fully effective. In fact in the Army’s new doctrine of the profession (ADRP 1 – The Army Profession),2 the principles are clearly stated: Military leaders offer their expertise and advice candidly to appropriate civilian leadership . . . Army professionals properly confine their advisory role to the policymaking process and do not engage publically in policy advocacy or dissent. Army professionals adhere to a strict ethic of political nonpartisanship in the execution of their duty.3
  • Topic: National Security, Politics, Military Strategy, Military Affairs
  • Political Geography: United States of America
  • Author: Dr. Steve Tatham, Keir Giles
  • Publication Date: 11-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: Experience from Afghanistan and Iraq has demonstrated the vital nature of understanding human terrain, with conclusions relevant far beyond counterinsurgency operations in the Islamic world. Any situation where adversary actions are described as “irrational” demonstrates a fundamental failure in understanding the human dimension of the conflict. It follows that where states and their leaders act in a manner which in the U.S. is perceived as irrational, this too betrays a lack of human knowledge. This monograph offers principles for operating in the human domain which can be extended to consideration of other actors which are adversarial to the United States, and whose decision-making calculus sits in a different framework to our own — including such major states as Russia and China. This monograph argues that the human dimension has become more, not less, important in recent conflicts and that for all the rise in technology future conflicts will be as much defined by the participants’ understanding of culture, behavior, and language as by mastery of technology.
  • Topic: Islam, Science and Technology, Counterinsurgency
  • Political Geography: United States of America
  • Author: Roman Muzalevsky
  • Publication Date: 10-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: India’s impressive economic growth over the last two and a half decades has brought India’s role and interests to the forefront of global politics and statecraft. Importantly, it has put India into a comparative perspective with China, another aspiring Asian great power poised to stiffen competition for resources and influence worldwide. Both are resource-hungry and rapidly emerging powers seeking a new place and role in the global and regional orders. Both are also strategic rivals and consider their immediate neighborhood of Central Asia of growing strategic importance to their grand strategies. For now, China has outperformed India in Central Asia on all counts, securing the region as a key resource base and platform for power projection. India launched the “Connect Central Asia” policy in 2012 to shore up its presence, but the policy has not yet secured for it even a remotely comparable stake in the region due to aspects of India’s strategic culture and geopolitical constraints. Meanwhile, the U.S. strategic presence in the region leaves much to be desired. The United States is withdrawing from Afghanistan without major political or military gains from the conflict that has cost it and its partners a fortune in lives and money. The future of its military infrastructure and relationships with countries in Central-South Asia is a big unknown, with regional partners equating the U.S. military pullout with its waning commitment to support the regional economic and security order. To help unlock their strategic potentials, Delhi and Washington should join forces and cultivate a strategic partnership that makes Central Asia its major pillar. Until then, neither Delhi, nor Washington is likely to succeed.
  • Author: Col. Curtis D. Taylor
  • Publication Date: 10-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: In 2014, the National Defense Authorization Act directed the Department of Defense to reconsider the way the Army evaluates and selects leaders. This call for reform came after repeated surveys from the Center for Army Leadership suggested widespread dissatisfaction with the current approach. The Army today is seeking to inculcate a philosophy of mission command across the force based on a culture of mutual trust, clear intent, and decentralized initiative. It is therefore, reasonable to ask if our current performance evaluation system contributes or detracts from such a culture. This paper seeks to answer this question by considering the essential leader attributes required for the exercise of mission command and then considering practical methods for evaluating this behavior. It then reviews the history of the existing Army performance evaluation system and analyzes how well this existing system conforms to the attributes of mission command. Finally, the paper examines other methods of performance evaluation outside of the Army to determine if those methods could provide a better model. This examination includes a variety of best practice models in private business and the public sector and identified alternative approaches to performance evaluation.
  • Author: Dr. John R. Deni
  • Publication Date: 10-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: American security policy rests on a three-legged stool consisting of defense, diplomacy, and development. As President Obama implied in his May 2014 speech at West Point, the United States is in the midst of a resurgence of diplomacy and development, as it seeks to leverage diplomatic influence, foreign aid, and multilateral institutions to solve the most vexing international security challenges. However, the dramatic rebalance toward diplomacy and development over the last several years has largely has failed. Rhetoric, official strategies, and actual policies have all aimed at rebalancing the three legs of the foreign policy stool. However, several factors point to a continued militarization of U.S. foreign policy, including funding levels, legal authorities, and the growing body of evidence that civilian agencies of the U.S. Government lack the resources, skills, and capabilities to achieve foreign policy objectives. Continued reliance by senior decisionmakers at both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue on the U.S. military in the development, planning, and implementation of U.S. foreign policy has significant implications. Foremost among them is the fact that the military itself must prepare for a future not terribly unlike the very recent past.
  • Author: Colonel Glenn J. Voelz
  • Publication Date: 10-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: Options Read Study Download Study Add to My SSI Favorites Rate Study Contact the Author(s) Send to a Colleague View Similar Studies View Disclaimers and Reprinting Rights Research and Analysis All Publications by Year Authors by Name By Series Key Strategic Issues List (KSIL) Most Popular Downloads Coming Soon Colloquium Briefs Links and Resources Strategic Studies Institute Faculty & Staff Directory About Us Media Inquiries U.S. Army War College Monthly Newsletter Your Email: Enter email address... Subscribe Current Newsletter featuring Un-"Steady" State Operations: Redefining the Approach to Phase Zero in a Complex World, by LTC Thomas R. Matelski Past Newsletters Manage Your Subscription U.S. Army War College >> Strategic Studies Institute >> Publications >> Details The Rise of iWar: Identity, Information, and the Individualization of Modern Warfare Authored by Colonel Glenn J. Voelz. The Rise of iWar: Identity, In... Cover Image Added October 16, 2015 Type: Monograph 187 Pages Download Format: PDF (Recommended) Kindle Reader ePub (Mobile Devices) Cost: Free Send this page to a colleague. Alert me when similar studies are published Share| Brief Synopsis View the Executive Summary During a decade of global counterterrorism operations and two extended counterinsurgency campaigns, the United States was confronted with a new kind of adversary. Without uniforms, flags, and formations, the task of identifying and targeting these combatants represented an unprecedented operational challenge for which Cold War era doctrinal methods were largely unsuited. This monograph examines the doctrinal, technical, and bureaucratic innovations that evolved in response to these new operational challenges. It discusses the transition from a conventionally focused, Cold War-era targeting process to one optimized for combating networks and conducting identity-based targeting. It analyzes the policy decisions and strategic choices that were the catalysts of this change and concludes with an in depth examination of emerging technologies that are likely to shape how this mode of warfare will be waged in the future.