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The Nightmare Years to Come? By National Defense University & Regis W. Matlak
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We have entered a particularly dangerous era in the Near East and South Asia— that is, the Greater Middle East. The context of today’s situation is more alarming than respective current... More > crises—as bad as they may be. Rather, there is an increasingly radicalized and violent sectarian environment made up of crosscutting crises occurring in the midst of proliferation; precision weapons; cyber war; increased ungoverned territory vulnerable to global, regional, and local jihadist exploitation; majoritarian authoritarianism; uncompromising sectarianism; ethnic, tribal, and sectarian- driven civil wars; massive popular anger and frustration over the lack of essential services and a diminishing quality of life, particularly in areas such as water, electricity, health, education, employment, and economic collapse; water wars and environmental endangerment; and the vulnerability of sensitive infrastructure targeted by state and nonstate actors, or an empowered lone wolf in the service of a state or nonstate actors.< Less
The Iron Triangle Manifested: U.S. Air Force Tanker Lease 2001–2005 (Case Study) By National Defense University & Shahnaz M. Punjani
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The proposed lease of the KC–767 tanker aircraft was one of the most infamous procurement scandals of the post–Cold War era. Interactions within the military-industrial-congressional... More > complex led to legislation permitting the Air Force to lease tankers from Boeing using an operating lease rather than standard procurement. Following the outcry from Congress, industry, the media, and numerous watchdog groups, Congress and the Department of Defense (DOD) launched a wave of investigations and hearings. During the lease debate, participants reached a number of compromises documented in congressional legislation. However, this was not sufficient to continue the lease process. After nearly 4 years, Congress cancelled the tanker lease and directed the Air Force to pursue a traditional procurement approach.< Less
The Surge: General Petraeus and the Turnaround in Iraq By National Defense University & William A. Knowlton, Jr.
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When General David H. Petraeus, USA, took command of Multi-National Force–Iraq (MNF–I) on February 10, 2007, beginning his 3d tour and 28th month in Iraq, the situation was grim.... More > Increasing sectarian violence had led to an escalation of killings of civilians in Iraq, with up to 150 corpses being found daily in Baghdad.1 The government of Prime Minister Nouri al- Maliki was viewed by almost everyone as ineffective at best, and the U.S. military strategy was not well defined and clearly not working. Iraq appeared to be sliding out of control toward civil war or disintegration, and the United States appeared to be headed inexorably toward defeat— another Vietnam. Popular sentiment held that the best course of action was to cut our losses and disengage from a fight we were losing. General George Casey, USA, the outgoing commander of MNF–I, had supported a gradual drawdown of U.S. forces and a handoff of security tasks to Iraqi forces even as the situation got worse.< Less
The Grand Strategy of the United States By National Defense University & R.D. Hooker, Jr
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From the earliest days of the Republic, the outlines of an evolving American grand strategy have been evident in our foreign and domestic policy.1 Much of that history continues to inform our... More > strategic conduct, and therefore American grand strategy rests today on traditional foundations. Despite a welter of theory and debate, grand strategy as a practical matter is remarkably consistent from decade to decade, with its means altering as technology advances and institutions evolve but its ends and ways showing marked continuity. Grand strategy can be understood simply as the use of power to secure the state.2 Thus, it exists at a level above particular strategies intended to secure particular ends and above the use of military power alone to achieve political objectives. One way to comprehend grand strategy is to look for long-term state behavior as defined by enduring, core security interests and how the state secures and advances them over time.< Less
Lessons Encountered: Learning From The Long War By National Defense University et al.
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This volume represents an early attempt at assessing the Long War, now in its 14th year. Forged in the fires of the 9/11 attacks, the war includes campaigns against al Qaeda, major conflicts in Iraq... More > and Afghanistan, and operations in the Horn of Africa, the Republic of the Philippines, and globally, in the air and on the sea. The authors herein treat only the campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq, the largest U.S. efforts. It is intended for future senior officers, their advisors, and other national security decisionmakers. By derivation, it is also a book for students in joint professional military education courses, which will qualify them to work in the field of strategy. While the book tends to focus on strategic decisions and developments of land wars among the people, it acknowledges that the status of the United States as a great power and the strength of its ground forces depend in large measure on the dominance of the U.S. Navy and U.S. Air Force in their respective domains.< Less

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Genius Matters Genius Matters By Angela Maiers
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