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From Cooperation To Competition - The Future of U.S.-Russian Relations By U.S. Army War College
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Russian aggression in 2014 caught U.S. policy and strategy off guard, forcing reactive measures and reevaluation of the U.S. approach toward Russia. Moscow employed nonlinear methodologies and... More > operated just beneath traditional thresholds of conflict to take full advantage of U.S. and NATO policy and process limitations. In light of this strategic problem, the U.S. Army War College (USAWC), conducted a wargame that revealed four key considerations for future policy and strategy.< Less
U.S.-China Competition: Asia-Pacific Land Force Implications By U.S. Army War College & Strategic Studies Institute (SSI)
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This report is the product of the U.S. Army War College’s (USAWC) inaugural Integrated Research Project (IRP) on “U.S.-China Competition: Asia-Pacific Land Force Implications.” It... More > addresses a Chief of Staff, Army priority research topic and was sponsored by the U.S. Army Pacific and the Headquarters, Department of the Army, Directorate of Strategy and Policy (HQDA G-35). The report resulted from a whole-of-War-College effort. Core curriculum and regional elective studies augmented student research and facilitated analysis. The Center for Strategic Leadership hosted an implementation workshop to solicit subject matter expertise on recommendations and implementation plans. Faculty from across the USAWC supported the analytical debate, mentored student participants, and reviewed the written contributions. Additionally, the USAWC team engaged in extensive dialogue with senior military leaders, both in theater and at Carlisle Barracks, to explore issues and develop recommendations.< Less
Outplayed: Regaining Strategic Initiative In The Gray Zone By U.S. Army War College & Strategic Studies Institute (SSI)
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Sponsored by the Army Capabilities Integration Center and in collaboration with the Joint Staff’s Deputy Directorate for Global Operations (Strategic Multi-Layer Assessment Branch), this report... More > examines the emergence of gray zone competition and conflict as important pacers for U.S. defense strategy. The authors argue that gray zone challenges are unique defense-relevant issues sharing three common characteristics—hybridity, menace to defense and military convention, and profound and paralyzing risk-confusion. This report and its authors offer an important opening venture into a vexing strategic question for senior defense and military leadership on the subject of gray zone threats. Namely, how can the American defense enterprise adjust to an era of relentless revisionist and rejectionist opposition to U.S. power? On the one hand, purposeful U.S. competitors pursue meaningful revision of the U.S.-led status quo through campaign-quality combinations of influence, intimidation, coercion, and aggression.< Less
Military Engagement And Forward Presence: Down But Not Out As Tools To Shape And Win By John R. Deni et al.
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Although different U.S. Presidential administrations often face differing national security challenges, one element common to all American Presidents is the desire for policy options when it comes to... More > managing those challenges. Options provide room for maneuver strategically, operationally, and politically. In this monograph, the U.S. Army War College’s Dr. John R. Deni argues that some persistent biases and some more recent trends in defense strategy, planning, and budgeting are likely to have the effect of reducing the options available to current and future senior U.S. leaders.< Less
Politics And Economics In Putin’s Russia By Stephen J. Blank et al.
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The papers included here, except for the editor’s introduction, all come from the Strategic Studies Institute’s annual conference on Russia in May 2012. In one way or another, they all... More > point to the internal pathologies that render Russian security a precarious affair, at the best of times. As the editor suggests, the very fact of this precariousness makes Russia an inherently unpredictable and even potentially dangerous actor, not necessarily because it will actively attack its neighbors, though we certainly cannot exclude that possibility, but rather because it may come apart trying to play the role of a great power in Eurasia or elsewhere. As we all know, that outcome happened in 1917 and in 1989-91, with profound implications for international security and U.S. interests.< Less
Gold, Blood, and Power: Finance and War Through The Ages By James Lacey et al.
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cCicero once pointed out that the crucial sinew of war is, and always has been, “endless streams of money.” Wars throughout history have been waged for only as long as the money has held... More > out. If silver and gold continued to pour forth from a state’s treasury, then a ruler or government could tap a never-ending supply of soldiers and war materiel. However, soon after the supply of coin was expended, armies began to vanish and sources of supply would dry up. Only when new methods of providing long-term finances started to evolve, first in the Netherlands and soon thereafter through the Bank of England, do we begin to witness progress toward a financial revolution that was still evolving at the start of the 20th century. By World War II, however, this process was complete. For the first time in recorded history, a major war was fought where the manpower and productive capacity of states was exhausted before any major state’s finances gave out.< Less
China’s Rise and Reconfiguration of Central Asia’s Geopolitics: A Case for U.S. “Pivot” To Eurasia By Roman Muzalevsky et al.
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China’s global rise has prompted numerous discussions and studies of this historically monumental phenomenon and its implications for the world. On the one hand, China’s emergence as a... More > global player has generated a lot of optimism for global development and economic convergence. On the other, it has spurred concerns about possible collisions on the world stage as existing and emerging powers seek to retain and redesign their roles and influences. Related opportunities and fears have been especially pronounced in countries neighboring China, including in Central Asia where the newly independent and post-Soviet republics face a possibility of yet another imperial expansion due to strategic advances of the “Middle Kingdom.” As the strongest power on the planet, the United States has a major stake in China’s and the region’s future because both directly affect the U.S. global standing and the U.S.-led global economic and security order.< Less
Reforming U.S. Export Controls Reforms: Advancing U.S. Army Interests By Richard Weitz et al.
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The U.S. defense export system is in need of significant reform to reduce the impact of its core inefficiencies and weaknesses. The International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) create serious... More > problems for the U.S. defense industry and thereby weaken U.S. national security in several important ways. While the ITAR is mostly successful in preventing U.S. arms from being used against the United States and its allies, the manner in which the ITAR regulations are enforced presents excessive barriers to U.S. firms that impede their ability to compete in the global defense market. These firms are important contractors to the U.S. military, and their success enables the United States to maintain a technological and industrial advantage. Additionally, when U.S. allies choose to purchase defense products from ITAR-free firms based outside of the United States, U.S. Army interoperability with foreign forces decreases.< Less
UNDERESTIMATED: Our Not So Peaceful Nuclear Future By Henry D. Sokolski et al.
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Henry Sokolski has written an excellent, short book about what he sees as our not so peaceful nuclear future. While short in length, it covers a lot of ground, and because it is extensively... More > footnoted, it can lead readers to the broader literature. The book provides a good picture of the growing stockpiles of separated plutonium and the stockpiles of highly enriched uranium, as well as the likely expansion of nuclear power programs in additional countries. When reading the book, my thoughts turned to the Per Bak book, How Nature Works, and the concept of self-organized criticality and its descriptions of computer simulations and experiments leading to avalanches in sandpiles. This may be a useful way of thinking about the possible consequences for nuclear weapon proliferation as the stockpiles of fi ssile material grow.< Less

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