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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