Archive for the ‘U.S. Army War College’ Category

Disjointed Ways, Disunified Means: Learning from America’s Struggle to Build an Afghan Nation

August 20, 2012 Comments off

Disjointed Ways, Disunified Means: Learning from America’s Struggle to Build an Afghan Nation

Source:  Strategic Studies Institute, U.S. Army War College

Remarkably ambitious in its audacity and scope, NATO’s irregular warfare and nation-building mission in Afghanistan has struggled to meet its nonmilitary objectives by most tangible measures. Put directly, the Alliance and its partners have fallen short of achieving the results needed to create a stable, secure, democratic, and self-sustaining Afghan nation, a particularly daunting proposition given Afghanistan’s history and culture, the region’s contemporary circumstances, and the fact that no such country has existed there before. Furthermore, given the central nature of U.S. contributions to this NATO mission, these shortfalls also serve as an indicator of a serious American problem as well. Specifically, inconsistencies and a lack of coherence in the U.S. Government’s strategic planning processes and products, as well as fundamental flaws in the U.S. Government’s structures and systems for coordinating and integrating the efforts of its various agencies, are largely responsible for this adverse and dangerous situation. This book explores these strategic and interagency shortfalls, while proposing potential reforms that would enable the United States to achieve the strategic coherence and genuine unity of effort that will be needed in an era of constrained resources and emerging new threats.

Can Russia Reform? Economic, Political, and Military Perspectives

July 29, 2012 Comments off

Can Russia Reform? Economic, Political, and Military Perspectives
Source: Strategic Studies Institute, U.S. Army War College

These three papers represent the first panel of papers from SSI’s annual Russia conference that took place in September 2011. They assess the nature of Russia’s political system, economy, and armed forces and draw conclusions, even sharp and provocative ones, concerning the nature and trajectory of these institutions. The three papers presented here offer attempts to characterize first of all, the nature of the state; second, the prospects for economic reform within that state—perhaps the most pressing domestic issue and one with considerable spillover into defense and security agendas as well—in contemporary Russia; and third, the nature and lasting effects of the defense reform that began in 2008. The papers are forthright and pull no punches, though we certainly do not claim that they provide the last or definitive word on these subjects. The papers go straight to the heart of the most important questions concerning the nature of the state and the possibilities for its economic and military reform. As such, we hope that the papers presented here, and in subsequent volumes, provide insight and understanding to several critical questions pertaining to and/or affecting Russia, a country that deliberately tries to remain opaque to foreign observers despite its many changes. These papers aim to be a resource, to enlighten, to edify readers, and to stimulate the effort to understand and deal with one of the most important actors in international affairs today.

The Future of the Field Artillery

June 11, 2012 Comments off

The Future of the Field Artillery
Source: U.S. Army War College

Since the beginning of Operation Iraqi Freedom, the Field Artillery branch, more than any other branch in today’s Army, has been asked to conduct in-lieu-of missions rather than its core fire support mission during conduct of the war. The associated potential deterioration of core competencies could possibly have a major impact in future operations.

This U.S. Army War College student author examines:
— how long it would take to restore Field Artillery core competencies to support Major Combat Operations?;
— how the branch could perhaps be balanced in order to support current operations as well as prepare for future operations?;
— when should the branch be ready to conduct operations in either a hybrid or Major Combat Operation environment?; and
— how much lead time would be needed to ensure success in either operation?

He offers recommendations to enhance the Army’s capabilities and capacity to address Field Artillery challenges.

Once Again, the Challenge to the U.S. Army During a Defense Reduction: To Remain a Military Profession

April 14, 2012 Comments off
Source:  Strategic Studies Institute, U.S. Army War College

As with the post-Cold War downsizing during the Clinton administration in the late 1990s, one critical challenge for the U.S. Army centers on the qualitative, institutional character of the Army after the reductions—will the U.S. Army manifest the essential characteristics and behavior of a military profession with Soldiers and civilians who see themselves sacrificially called to a vocation of service to country within a motivating professional culture that sustains a meritocratic ethic, or will the Army’s character be more like any other government occupation in which its members view themselves as filing a job, motivated mostly by the extrinsic factors of pay, location, and work hours? In mid-2010, the Secretary of the Army and the Chief of Staff directed the Commanding General, Training and Doctrine Command, then General Martin Dempsey, to undertake a broad campaign of learning, involving the entire Department. The intent was to think through what it means for the Army to be a profession of arms and for its Soldiers and civilians to be professionals as the Army largely returns stateside after a decade of war and then quickly transitions to the new era of Defense reductions. Several new conceptions of the Army as a military profession have been produced, along with numerous initiatives that are currently being staffed to strengthen the professional character of the Army as it simultaneously recovers from a decade of war and transitions through reductions in force. They form the descriptive content of this monograph.

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Categorical Confusion? The Strategic Implications of Recognizing Challenges Either as Irregular or Traditional

March 5, 2012 Comments off
Source:  Strategic Studies Institute, U.S. Army War College
Strategic theory should educate to enable effective strategic practice, but much of contemporary theory promotes confusion, not clarity, of suitable understanding. A little strategic theory goes a long way, at least it does if it is austere and focused on essentials. Unfortunately, contemporary strategic conceptualization in the U.S. defense community is prolix, over-elaborate, and it confuses rather than clarifies. Recent debate about irregular, as contrasted allegedly with traditional, challenges to U.S. national security have done more harm than good. Conceptualization of and for an operational level of war can imperil the truly vital nexus between strategy and tactics. In much the same way, the invention of purportedly distinctive categories of challenge endangers the relationship between general theory for statecraft, war, and strategy, and strategic and tactical practice for particular historical cases. It is not helpful to sort challenges into supposedly distinctive categories. But, if such categorization proves politically or bureaucratically unavoidable, its potential for harm can be reduced by firm insistence upon the authority of the general theory of strategy.

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The Strategic Logic of the Contemporary Security Dilemma

December 4, 2011 Comments off

The Strategic Logic of the Contemporary Security Dilemma
Source: Strategic Studies Institute, U.S. Army War College

The reality and severity of the threats associated with contemporary transnational security problems indicate that the U.S. and its national and international partners need a new paradigm for the conduct of unconventional asymmetric conflict, and an accompanying new paradigm for strategic leader development. The strategic-level basis of these new paradigms is found in the fact that the global community is redefining security in terms of nothing less than a reconceptualization of sovereignty. In the past, sovereignty was the acknowledged and/or real control of territory and the people in it. Now, sovereignty is the responsibility of governments to protect peoples’ well-being and prevent great harm to those peoples. Thus, the security dilemma becomes, “Why, when, and how to intervene to protect people and prevent egregious human suffering?” We address some of the strategic-level questions and recommendations that arise out of that debate. We probably generate more questions than answers, but it is time to begin the strategic-level discussion.

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Mexico’s “Narco-Refugees”: The Looming Challenge for U.S. National Security

November 24, 2011 Comments off

Mexico’s “Narco-Refugees”: The Looming Challenge for U.S. National Security
Source: Strategic Studies Institute, U.S. Army War College

Since 2006, when Mexican President Felipe Calderon declared war on the drug cartels, there has been a rise in the number of Mexican nationals seeking political asylum in the United States to escape the ongoing drug cartel violence in their home country. Political asylum cases in general are claimed by those who are targeted for their political beliefs or ethnicity in countries that are repressive or are failing. Mexico is neither. Nonetheless, if the health of the Mexican state declines because criminal violence continues, increases, or spreads, U.S. communities will feel an even greater burden on their systems of public safety and public health from “narco-refugees.” Given the ever increasing cruelty of the cartels, the question is whether and how the U.S. Government should begin to prepare for what could be a new wave of migrants coming from Mexico. Allowing Mexicans to claim asylum could potentially open a flood gate of migrants to the United States during a time when there is a very contentious national debate over U.S. immigration laws pertaining to illegal immigrants. On the other hand, to deny the claims of asylum seekers and return them to Mexico where they might very well be killed, strikes at the heart of American values of justice and humanitarianism. This monograph focuses on the asylum claims of Mexicans who unwillingly leave Mexico rather than those who willingly enter the United States legally or illegally. To successfully navigate through this complex issue will require a greater level of understanding and vigilance at all levels of the U.S. Government.

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China-Latin America Military Engagement: Good Will, Good Business, and Strategic Position

September 23, 2011 Comments off

China-Latin America Military Engagement: Good Will, Good Business, and Strategic Position
Source: Strategic Studies Institute, U.S. Army War College

This monograph examines Chinese military engagement with Latin America in five areas: (1) meetings between senior military officials; (2) lower-level military-to-military interactions; (3) military sales; (4) military-relevant commercial interactions; and, (5) Chinese physical presence within Latin America, all of which have military-strategic implications. This monograph finds that the level of PRC military engagement with the region is higher than is generally recognized, and has expanded in important ways in recent years: High-level trips by Latin American defense and security personnel to the PRC and visits by their Chinese counterparts to Latin America have become commonplace. The volume and sophistication of Chinese arms sold to the region has increased. Officer exchange programs, institutional visits, and other lower-level ties have also expanded. Chinese military personnel have begun participating in operations in the region in a modest, yet symbolically important manner. The monograph also argues that in the short term, PRC military engagement with Latin America does not focus on establishing alliances or base access to the United States, but rather, supporting objectives of national development and regime survival, such as building understanding and political leverage among important commercial partners, creating the tools to protect PRC interests in the countries where it does business, and selling Chinese products and moving up the value-added chain in strategically important sectors. It concludes that Chinese military engagement may both contribute to legitimate regional security needs, and foster misunderstanding. It argues that the U.S. should work for greater transparency with the PRC in regard to those activities, as well as to analyze how the Chinese presence will impact the calculation of the region’s actors in the context of specific future scenarios.

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Threat Posed by Mounting Vigilantism in Mexico

September 22, 2011 Comments off

Threat Posed by Mounting Vigilantism in Mexico
Source: Strategic Studies Institute, U.S. Army War College

Until the 1980s, Mexico enjoyed relative freedom from violence. Ruthless drug cartels existed, but they usually abided by informal rules of conduct hammered out between several capos and representatives of the dominant Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), which ruled the country until the 1990s. Relying on bribes, the desperados pursued their illicit activities with the connivance of authorities. In return for the legal authorities turning a blind eye, drug dealers behaved discretely, shunned high-tech weapons, deferred to public figures, spurned kidnapping, and even appeared with governors at their children’s weddings. Unlike their Colombian counterparts, Mexico’s barons did not seek elective office. In addition, they did not sell drugs within the country, corrupt children, target innocent people, engage in kidnapping, or invade the turf or product-line (marijuana, heroin, cocaine, etc.) of competitors. The situation was sufficiently fluid so that should a local police or military unit refuse to cooperate with a cartel, the latter would simply transfer its operations to a nearby municipality where they could clinch the desired arrangement. Three key events in the 1980s and 1990s changed the “live and let live” ethos that enveloped illegal activities. Mexico became the new avenue for Andean cocaine shipped to the United States after the U.S. military and law-enforcement authorities sharply reduced its flow into Florida and other South Atlantic states. The North American Free Trade Agreement, which took effect on January 1, 1994, greatly increased economic activities throughout the continent. Dealers often hid cocaine and other drugs among the merchandise that moved northward through Nuevo Laredo, El Paso, Tijuana, and other portals. The change in routes gave rise to Croesus-like profits for cocaine traffickers–a phenomenon that coincided with an upsurge of electoral victories. Largely unexamined amid this narco-mayhem are vigilante activities. With federal resources aimed at drug traffickers and local police more often a part of the problem than a part of the solution, vigilantes are stepping into the void. Suspected criminals who run afoul of these vigilantes endure the brunt of a skewed version of justice that enjoys a groundswell of support.

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization and the European Union’s Common Security and Defense Policy: Intersecting Trajectories

August 25, 2011 Comments off

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization and the European Union’s Common Security and Defense Policy: Intersecting Trajectories
Source: Strategic Studies Institute, U.S. Army War College

NATO used to be the world’s most formidable military alliance. But its original reason for existence, the Soviet Union, disintegrated years ago, and its dreams of being a world cop are withering in the mountains of Afghanistan. Meanwhile, the European Union’s (EU) Common Security & Defense Policy (CSDP) has deployed 27 successful military/civil missions from Africa to Asia in the last 10 years. Through CSDP, Europeans are increasingly taking charge of managing their own foreign and security policy. NATO is no longer the sole and preeminent Euro-Atlantic security actor. But watching NATO fade into irrelevance would be a mistake. It is a tried and true platform to harness the resources of North America and Europe. NATO’s future usefulness depends on its willingness to accept its reduced role, to let the EU handle the day-to-day security needs of Europe, and to craft a relationship with CSDP that will allow North America and Europe to act militarily together, should that ever become necessary. It is time for NATO 2.0, a new version of NATO, to fit the realities of an ever more integrated Europe in the 21st century.

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Improvised Explosive Devices in Iraq, 2003-09: A Case of Operational Surprise and Institutional Response

August 4, 2011 Comments off

Improvised Explosive Devices in Iraq, 2003-09: A Case of Operational Surprise and Institutional Response
Source: Strategic Studies Institute, U.S. Army War College

Surprise is a familiar term in military writings and is enshrined in most nations’ doctrine. Surprises that emerge in tactics, however, can also operate at the strategic and operational levels and are particularly dangerous because they can test the relevance and adaptability of military forces and the “institutional” defense establishments that create, develop, and sustain them. A military establishment that is too slow to recognize and respond to such surprises places its nation’s interests at grave risk. Western nations are contemplating major reductions in defense spending, with consequent limitations on force structure. As the range of enemy capabilities that a force will be able to match, qualitatively and quantitatively, becomes smaller, the potential for operational and strategic surprise will increase. A key conclusion from this analysis is the critical role of strategic leadership in recognizing the scale of surprise and in forcing the necessary institutional response. At a time when budgets will not allow surprise to be addressed by maintaining large and technically diverse forces at high readiness, the ability to recognize and respond adroitly to operational and strategic surprise may be a critical requirement for a modern defense establishment.

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The New Aztecs: Ritual and Restraint in Contemporary Western Military Operations

July 20, 2011 Comments off

The New Aztecs: Ritual and Restraint in Contemporary Western Military Operations
Source: Strategic Studies Institute, U.S. Army War College

The Western way of war has come full circle. After centuries of evolution toward increased totality and brutality, it has turned back once again to the ritualistic and restrained methods of primitive warfare. Largely, this has been due to an interaction between the perceived lack of utility in contemporary warfare, developing humanitarian public opinion, and increasing professionalism among militaries. The significance of these evolutionary trends in the way that the West engages in modern warfare is that they are potentially dangerous, and they include the possibility that the West will be unprepared for a future foe whose defeat requires more unrestrained methods.

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Resolving Insurgencies

July 11, 2011 Comments off

Resolving Insurgencies
Source: Strategic Studies Institute, U.S. Army War College

Understanding how insurgencies may be brought to a successful conclusion is vital to military strategists and policymakers. This study examines how past insurgencies have ended and how current ones may be resolved. Four ways in which insurgencies have ended are identified. Clear-cut victories for either the government or the insurgents occurred during the era of decolonization, but they seldom happen today. Recent insurgencies have often degenerated into criminal organizations that become committed to making money rather than fighting a revolution, or they evolve into terrorist groups capable of nothing more than sporadic violence. In a few cases, the threatened government has resolved the conflict by co-opting the insurgents. After achieving a strategic stalemate and persuading the belligerents that they have nothing to gain from continued fighting, these governments have drawn the insurgents into the legitimate political process through reform and concessions. The author concludes that such a co-option strategy offers the best hope of U.S. success in Afghanistan and in future counterinsurgency campaigns.

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Civilian skills for African military officers to resolve the infrastructure, economic development, and stability crisis in Sub-Saharan Africa

June 10, 2011 Comments off

Civilian skills for African military officers to resolve the infrastructure, economic development, and stability crisis in Sub-Saharan Africa (PDF)
Source: Strategic Studies Institute, U.S. Army War College

United States Africa Command (USAFRICOM) has pledged to work toward stability in Africa through enhanced partnerships with African countries, mainly through military-to-military training. This is likely to be highly beneficial to serving officers in African military institutions. However, military training alone does not prepare those officers for separation from service and an uncertain future in societies that do not pay pensions on time, if at all, and that do not offer economic opportunities in general, but especially not to those without needed skills.

USAFRICOM is at a unique point in its engage- ment with the continent as it develops programs and adjusts its approach. This is the optimum time to create a holistic framework in which to focus on training and to give these officers sustainable skills in engineering and other technical fields as part of the military curriculum. Such skills are urgently needed to construct and maintain the national infrastructures now lacking in Africa. Such infrastructures are essential if Africa is to move into the new economy. Moreover, such an effort will ultimately provide opportunities for retired service members to continue to contribute to building the societies they once served to protect.

Hard Power and Soft Power: The Utility of Military Force as an Instrument of Policy in the 21st Century

May 23, 2011 Comments off

Hard Power and Soft Power: The Utility of Military Force as an Instrument of Policy in the 21st Century
Source: Strategic Studies Institute, U.S. Army War College

Power is one of the more contestable concepts in political theory. In recent decades, scholars and commentators have chosen to distinguish between two kinds of power, “hard” and “soft.” The former is achieved through military threat or use, and by means of economic menace or reward. The latter is the ability to have influence by co-opting others to share some of one’s values and, as a consequence, to share some key elements on one’s agenda for international order and security. Whereas hard power obliges its addressees to consider their interests in terms mainly of calculable costs and benefits, soft power works through the persuasive potency of ideas that foreigners find attractive. It is highly desirable if much of the world external to America wants, or can be brought to want, a great deal of what America happens to favor also. Coalitions of the genuinely willing have to be vastly superior to the alternatives.

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The Military’s Role in Counterterrorism: Examples and Implications for Liberal Democracies

May 23, 2011 Comments off

The Military’s Role in Counterterrorism: Examples and Implications for Liberal Democracies
Source: Strategic Studies Institute, U.S. Army War College

The author examines historical and contemporary examples of military involvement in counterterrorism, outlining the specific roles which the armed forces of liberal democracies have performed in combating terrorism, both in a domestic and international context. He describes the political, strategic, conceptual, diplomatic, and ethical problems that can arise when a state’s armed forces become engaged in counterterrorism, and argues that military power can only be employed as part of a coordinated counterterrorist strategy aimed at the containment and frustration—rather than the physical elimination—of the terrorist group(s) concerned.

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Central Asian Security Trends: Views from Europe and Russia

May 20, 2011 Comments off

Central Asian Security Trends: Views from Europe and Russia
Source: Strategic Studies Institute, U.S. Army War College

The war in Afghanistan has added considerably to the strategic significance of Central Asia due to its proximity to the conflict. Moreover, the continuation of the war increasingly involves the vital interests of many other actors other than the U.S. and NATO forces currently there. This monograph, taken from SSI’s conference with European and Russian scholars in 2010, provides a comprehensive analysis of the means and objectives of Russia’s involvement in Central Asia. It also provides Russian perspectives concerning the other actors in Central Asia and how Moscow views the policy significance of those efforts.

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Cyber Infrastructure Protection

May 19, 2011 Comments off

Cyber Infrastructure Protection
Source: Strategic Studies Institute, U.S. Army War College

This book provides an integrated view and a comprehensive framework of the various issues relating to cyber infrastructure protection. It provides the foundation for long-term policy development, a roadmap for cyber security, and an analysis of technology challenges that impede cyber infrastructure protection. The book is divided into three main parts. Part I deals with strategy and policy issues related to cyber security. It provides a theory of cyberpower, a discussion of Internet survivability as well as large scale data breaches and the role of cyberpower in humanitarian assistance. Part II covers social and legal aspects of cyber infrastructure protection and it provides discussions concerning the attack dynamics of politically and religiously motivated hackers. Part III discusses the technical aspects of cyber infrastructure protection including the resilience of data centers, intrusion detection, and a strong focus on IP-networks.

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India in Africa: Implications of an Emerging Power for AFRICOM and U.S. Strategy

April 3, 2011 Comments off

India in Africa: Implications of an Emerging Power for AFRICOM and U.S. Strategy
Source: Strategic Studies Institute, U.S. Army War College

This monograph examines India’s rapidly expanding network of influence in Africa. The author analyzes the country’s burgeoning public and private investments in the region as well as its policies vis-à-vis African regional organizations and individual states, especially in the security sector. After reviewing the historic role that India has played in Africa, the author looks at the principal motivations for India’s approach to Africa—including the former’s quests for the resources, business opportunities, diplomatic influence, and security—and Africans’ responses to it. In the context of the broader U.S.-India strategic partnership, as well as American political and security interests in Africa, India’s willingness to make significant contributions to African peacekeeping and to extend its maritime security cover to the continent’s eastern littoral ought to be welcomed, not least because of the potential positive impact on regional stability and development. Consequently, the author believes the opportunity thus presented in Africa for greater engagement between the United States and India ought to be seized upon.

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2010 SSI Annual Strategy Conference Report “Defining War for the 21st Century”

February 15, 2011 Comments off

2010 SSI Annual Strategy Conference Report “Defining War for the 21st Century”
Source: Strategic Studies Institute, U.S. Army War College

The Strategic Studies Institute’s XXI Annual Strategy Conference, held at Carlisle Barracks from April 6-8, 2010, addressed the topic of the meaning of war. While it did not seek to produce a definitive answer to questions about the nature and definition of war, it did highlight the crucial questions and their implications, including issues such as whether the cause of war is shifting, whether all forms of organized, politically focused violence constitute war, and the distinction between passive and active war.

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