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  • Author: Gary J. Schmitt
  • Publication Date: 07-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: Since World War II, a key element of America’s grand strategy has been its worldwide network of strategic allies and partners. The network has provided the United States an invaluable global presence, enhanced deterrence against adversaries and, when called upon, provided men and materiel to help fight wars. However, following the end of the Cold War, less attention has been paid to America’s allies, especially their “hard power” capabilities, despite the United States and its allies going to war more frequently than before. This volume addresses that gap, providing a holistic account of allied hard power and, in turn, the ability – and, indirectly, the willingness – of those same partners to use force independently or in concert with the United States and other allies.
  • Author: Dr. R. Evan Ellis
  • Publication Date: 07-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: The U.S. response to the ever deepening political and economic crisis in Venezuela, and the regime’s increasingly aggressive behavior toward its neighbors and the international community, is compelling evidence that the Barack Obama administration is sincere in respecting the sovereignty of nations of Latin America and the Caribbean, and allowing the region to address its own governance issues. While analysts in Washington, DC, and Latin America have long decried the involvement of Venezuelan officials in narcotrafficking, if assertions made by the highly credible Wall Street Journal prove true regarding investigations by U.S. authorities into criminal activity by Venezuelan Parliamentary Speaker Diosdado Cabello, and other top Venezuelan political and military leaders, 1 the scope of the problem that Venezuela represents for the region has reached a new low point. 2 Although a very different situation in a very different time, it was the 1988 indictment of Panamanian strongman Manuel Noriega on drug charges by grand juries in Miami and Tampa, FL, that paved the way for the U.S. invasion of Panama the following year. 3
  • Author: Roy A. Wallace, Lt. Colonel Michael J. Colarusso, Col. Andrew O. Hall, Col. David S. Lyle, Major Michael S. Walker
  • Publication Date: 06-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: Transforming the U.S. military’s personnel management system is critical to long-run American national security interests, particularly as increasingly capable peer adversaries emerge. Talent management is critical to confronting these threats, particularly in an austere fiscal environment. This transformation cannot take place in a vacuum, however. As an extensive body of labor economics literature makes clear, total compensation management is an integral part of talent management. As the military changes the way it accesses, retains, develops, and employs its people, so, too, must it change the ways in which it compensates them. However, the current compensation system, rooted in industrial-era labor management practices, has outlived its usefulness. It is not linked to defined organizational outcomes, rests upon an ineffectual evaluation system, and does little to incentivize performance. Designed to complement an “up or out” personnel system that treats people as interchangeable parts, it has been rendered obsolete by dramatic changes in the American labor market, fiscal constraints, technological advances, and the changing nature of information age work. Using the Army’s Officer Corps as a case study upon which a wider compensation model can be built, a system is proposed that integrates redesigned basic pays and pensions, “monetizes” nonpay benefits, and provides additional performance incentives in critical positions demanding organizational productivity.
  • Author: Keir Giles
  • Publication Date: 06-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: Russia's actions in Ukraine are not the only challenge to relations with the United States. U.S. plans for ballistic missile defense (BMD) capability in Europe have led to aggressive rhetoric from Moscow, which continues at the time of this writing even though attention in the West is focused almost exclusively on Ukraine. Russia’s strenuous opposition to the U.S. European Phased Adaptive Approach plans is based on claims that this capability is intended to compromise Russia’s nuclear deterrent capability. Most of these claims have been dismissed as groundless. Yet, all discussion of the subject highlights the U.S. current and proposed deployments, and entirely ignores Russia’s own missile interception systems, which are claimed to have comparable capability. Russia protests that U.S. missiles pose a potential threat to strategic stability, and has made belligerent threats of direct military action to prevent their deployment. But no mention at all is made of the strategic implications of Russia’s own systems, despite the fact that if the performance and capabilities claimed for them by Russian sources are accurate, they pose at least as great a threat to deterrence as do those of the United States. This monograph aims to describe Russia’s claims for its missile defense systems, and, where possible, to assess the likelihood that these claims are true. This will form a basis for considering whether discussion of Russian capabilities should be an integral part of future conversations with Russia on the deployment of U.S. and allied BMD assets.
  • Author: Dr. Larry D. Miller
  • Publication Date: 06-2015
  • 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: Zachary Abuza
  • Publication Date: 06-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: Since early-2014, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has made gradual inroads into Southeast Asia. There are an estimated 500 Southeast Asians, not including family and kin, in Iraq and Syria fighting for ISIS, as well as al-Nusra, which at first attracted far more Southeast Asians. Since August 2014, there has been a company of Bahasa-speaking Southeast Asians, Katibah Nusantara, within ISIS. The numbers have remained low only because of proactive policies from regional security forces, who are determined not to repeat the mistakes of the 1990s when they turned a blind eye to returning veterans of the Afghan mujahideen. As an Indonesian counter-terrorism official put it, “We have experience [of those who committed terrorist acts in Indonesia] after going to Afghanistan and the Philippines and we don’t want ISIS alumni to do the same.”1 Malaysia, Indonesia, and Singapore have all detained people for involvement in ISIS or prevented them from traveling abroad. Jihadists from around the region, including the co-founder of the al-Qaeda affiliated Jemaah Islamiyah (JI), Abu Bakar Ba’asyir,2 as well as Philippine groups such as the Abu Sayyaf and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, have pledged bai’at to the self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS) caliphate. There have been a number of children of JI members to join IS, including the sons of Bali bombers Imam Samudra and Mukhlas, while the sons of senior JI members, Mukhliansyah and Abu Jibril, have joined al-Nusra.
  • Topic: Religion, Terrorism, Violent Extremism, ISIS, ISIL, Islamic State
  • Political Geography: Southeast Asia
  • Author: Dr. M. Chris Mason
  • Publication Date: 06-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: The wars in Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan were lost before they began, not on the battlefields, where the United States won every tactical engagement, but at the strategic level of war. In each case, the U.S. Government attempted to create a Western-style democracy in countries which were decades at least away from being nations with the sociopolitical capital necessary to sustain democracy and, most importantly, accept it as a legitimate source of governance. The expensive indigenous armies created in the image of the U.S. Army lacked both the motivation to fight for illegitimate governments in Saigon, Baghdad, and Kabul and a cause that they believed was worth dying for, while their enemies in the field clearly did not. This book examines the Afghan National Security Forces in historical and political contexts, explains why they will fail at the tactical, operational and strategic levels of war, why they cannot and will not succeed in holding the southern half of the country, and what will happen in Afghanistan year-by-year from 2015 to 2019. Finally, it examines what the critical lessons unlearned of these conflicts are for U.S. military leaders, why these fundamental political lessons seem to remain unlearned, and how the strategic mistakes of the past can be avoided in the future.
  • Topic: Security, Democratization, Politics, Military Strategy, Military Affairs
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Iraq, Vietnam
  • Author: Dr. R. Evan Ellis
  • Publication Date: 06-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: In many ways, Russia’s expanded engagement in Latin America as a response to escalating tension over the Ukraine was a repetition of its answer to U.S. involvement in the 2008 conflict in the former Soviet Republic of Georgia. In the latter conflict, the U.S. deployed naval forces to the Black Sea in response to Russian support for the breakaway republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Russia countered with a series of actions in Latin America, including sending nuclear-capable Tu-160 bombers to Venezuela, from where they conducted symbolically-charged flights around the Caribbean. A month later, a four-ship Russian naval flotilla deployed to the area to conduct military exercises with the Venezuelan navy before making port calls in Cuba and Nicaragua. In November 2008, Russian President Dmitri Medvedev traveled to Latin America to participate in the leadership summit of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas, then subsequently hosted both Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega in Moscow. Three months later, Bolivian President Evo Morales also traveled to Russia, followed in November 2009 by Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa. Very little beyond journalistic accounts have been written to examine contemporary Russian activities in Latin America and the Caribbean. As Russia’s reassertion of its global position and associated tensions with the United States proceed, a broad understanding of Russia in the Americas becomes ever more important, both as a question of U.S. national security and as an important dynamic shaping the global geopolitical environment. This monograph focuses on the character of the ongoing Russian re-engagement with Latin America and the Caribbean and its implications for the U.S.
  • Topic: National Security, Military Strategy, Military Affairs, Navy
  • Political Geography: Russia, Latin America
  • Author: Dr. Leif Rosenberger
  • Publication Date: 06-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: This Letort Paper analyzes the new global oil market. It shows how the price of oil reflects the confluence of four interrelated factors. First, the Paper explores why the supply of oil has been soaring in the world. Second, it explains why the demand for oil has been relatively weak. Third, it discusses the role that Wall Street plays in moving the price of oil. Fourth, it examines the importance of the U.S. dollar in determining the prices of oil. As a result of these factors, oil prices are relatively low. The Paper also explains how these low oil prices produce winners and losers at home and abroad. In addition, it explores where oil prices are likely to go in 2016 without policy intervention. It also recommends ways to make oil prices less volatile.
  • Author: Dr. Norman Cigar
  • Publication Date: 06-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: As America’s de facto co-belligerents who often share the same battlespace in the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, the presence and activity of Iraq’s Shia warlords and their militias have an impact on U.S. interests and policies at both the strategic and operational levels. The objective of this monograph is to provide a better understanding of the Shia militia phenomenon and to highlight the factors with which U.S. policymakers and U.S. Army planners and commanders will have to deal with respect to operations in Iraq.