The Red Queen Problem: Innovation in DoD and Intelligence Community
By Steve Blank, War on the Rocks: “Our defense department and intelligence community owned proprietary advanced tools and technology. We and our contractors had the best technology domain experts. We could design and manufacture the best systems. We used these tools to keep pace with the Soviet threats and eventually used silicon, semiconductors and stealth to create an offset strategy to leapfrog their military.”
How to Reform Counterintelligence Outreach to Industry
By Darren E. Tromblay, ITIF: “It’s time for a new approach to counterintelligence outreach to the commercial sector—one that focuses more on recognizing and responding to threat indicators, less on turning to investigators once damage has already been done.”
The Legacy of Unfinished Revolutions
By James Holmes, Proceedings Magazine: “Thinkers from Machiavelli to John Boyd tell us that keeping in tune with the times is the foremost act of statecraft and generalship.”
A Larger, More Capable U.S. Amphibious Warfare Fleet
By Daniel Gouré, RealClearDefense: “For more than seventy-five years, amphibious assaults against hostile shores have had a successful record. Even when subjected to intense and protracted naval and air defenses and the nominal forerunner of today’s Anti-Access/Area Denial (A2/AD) threat, these landings were never turned back.”
The Trojan Horse of Military Intermarium
By Jacek Saryusz-Wolski, War on the Rocks: ““Who rules East Europe commands the Heartland; who rules the Heartland commands the World-Island; who rules the World-Island commands the world.” Every scholar of international relations knows this formula uttered by the geopolitics pioneer Halford Mackinder almost a century ago.”
Special Operations Support to Conflict Prevention
By Assad Raza, Small Wars Journal: “Soon after the end of the Cold War, political expert Samuel P. Huntington wrote an article titled “The Clash of Civilizations” in 1993. Huntington emphasized how globalization contributed to the increased tensions between different cultures, as societies feared their values and identities were threatened. ”
Crimea Isn't the End of Russia's Black Sea Ambitions
By James Stavridis, Bloomberg: “Having successfully concluded this real world “object lesson” in Eastern Europe largely for NATO’s benefit, look for the Russians to shift their attention to the south and the most strategically important sea on their periphery: the Black Sea.”
SYRIA: Al Qaeda Rising From the Ashes in Syria
By Stephen Loosley, The Strategist (ASPI): “One of the most worrisome trend lines in the Syrian civil war has been the accelerated growth of al Qaeda’s Syrian affiliate, Hayat Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS), which seized control of Syria’s northwestern Idlib province over the summer and has transformed into the de facto face of the country’s anti-Assad campaign.”
Command of the Littorals—Insights From Mahan
By B.A. Friedman, Strategy Bridge: “As the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps effort to modernize littoral operations proceeds, leaders in both services would do well to return to the insights of famed naval strategist Alfred Thayer Mahan.”
Integration in Warfare
By Nathan Finney, The Strategist (ASPI): “With the recognition by most defence thinkers and senior military leaders that potential future adversaries have created and employed capabilities that will negate U.S. and ally advantages, different approaches to contemporary warfare will be required. Enter ‘multi-domain battle’, a concept designed to address the diminishing ability of commanders to wage a joint fight effectively on the future battlefield.”
Cosmic Decisions: A Ptolemaic View of Military Decisions
By Daniel Sukman, Strategy Bridge: “One of the more complicated aspects of war is how military commanders and civilian policymakers arrive at decisions. At each level of warfare, from the tactical to the strategic, and including the cross-cutting institutional level of war, speed and consequences in decisions vary.
Building Trust in the Strategic Dialogue
By Jim Golby, Strategy Bridge: “Over the last three U.S. presidential administrations, questions about the appropriate level of military autonomy have dominated the practice of civil-military relations at the strategic level. These tensions have caused pundits and armchair generals—along with serving and retired generals and admirals —to ask questions about the relationship between methods of civilian control and effective national strategy.”
When Marshall Met Pershing
By Benjamin Runkle, War on the Rocks: “Oct. 3, 1917, is the centennial of General John J. Pershing’s inspection of the 1st Infantry Division at Gondrecourt, France. This obscure event would not only have significant repercussions for the American effort in the next world war, but also offer lessons for leadership development in the U.S. military a century later.
China’s Djibouti Military Base: Platform for Geopolitical Ambitions?
By Sarah Zheng, South China Morning Post: “Beijing has described its military outpost as a logistics facility for resupplying Chinese vessels on peacekeeping and humanitarian missions. But satellite imagery and unofficial reports show the base has military infrastructure, including barracks and storage and maintenance units, and docking facilities that can handle most vessels in its naval fleet.”
Testing Modern Counter-Insurgency (COIN) Strategies
By Brian J. Hancock, Small Wars Journal: “Modern counter-insurgency (COIN) strategies are a complex cocktail of lethal, non-lethal, and stability and support operations (SOSO). In order to achieve sustainable success each element must be precisely balanced with every other. When employed correctly Military Information Support Operations (MISO--formerly PSYOP) as a force multiplier enjoys unparalleled capability to shape, and ultimately win, the hearts and minds of the populace who are the key terrain in any COIN conflict.
Implementing the New Afghanistan Policy
By Earl Anthony Wayne, The National Interest: “North Korea fired a missile that flew over Japan’s northern Hokkaido far out into the Pacific Ocean on Friday, South Korean and Japanese officials said, deepening tensions after Pyongyang’s recent test of its most powerful nuclear bomb.”
Military Command as Moral Prudence
By Reed Bonadonna, Strategy Bridge: “War has been compared to an art, to science, to commerce, and sport. These are metaphors, and as such all may have their uses, but a little-known section of Thomas Aquinas’ massive Summa Theologica posits what is possibly the richest and most accurate characterization of command in war, that it is an act of moral prudence.”
Width, Depth, and Context in Thucydides
By Rex Harrison, Strategy Bridge: “Thucydides provides little overt analysis in his account, nor does he seek to draw many concrete lessons from his record (and certainly does not himself warn of a Thucydides Trap).”
A Better Approach to Urban Operations: Treat Cities Like Human Bodies
By John Spencer & John Amble, Modern War Institute: “Authors like Abel Wolman, Joel Tarr, David Kilcullen, and a recent cohort of the Chief of Staff of the Army’s Strategic Studies Group have argued that cities can be understood by looking at their “metabolic flows.””
How Do We Measure Counterinsurgency Success in Afghanistan?
By Alex Deep, Modern War Institute: “Much as Green Berets fought against a similarly rural insurgency during the Vietnam War through the Civilian Irregular Defense Group program, U.S. special operations forces conceived the village stability operations program in 2011.”
Our Latest Longest War
By Will Selber, Strategy Bridge: “... while senior leaders were erudite students of history and aware of similar missteps in Vietnam, America’s deeply entrenched liberal values and bureaucratic methods led them to repeat many of the same mistakes.”
Reflections on Anbar
By Frank Hoffman, Modern War Institute: “Ramadi was “a turning point of the Iraq war, the battle from which wider successes originated.” The successes of 2007 proved to be, as an even more violent entity, the Islamic State, rises out of the inherently fraught Sunni-Shia politics. ”
Facts About the Vietnam War
By Arnold R. Isaacs, War on the Rocks: “When the documentary series The Vietnam War premieres this Sunday, it will no doubt open a new chapter in America’s long debate on that war and what it meant.”
The Computer That Predicted the U.S. Would Win the Vietnam War
By Alexis C. Madrigal, The Atlantic: ““They put it in the hopper and said, ‘When will we win in Vietnam?’ They went away on Friday and the thing ground away all weekend. [They] came back on Monday and there was one card in the output tray. And it said, 'You won in 1965.’””
A Realistic Western Response to North Korea
By Gary K. Busch, Lima Charlie News: “To understand the reasoning and the logic behind pursuing such a program requires some knowledge of the political origins and structure of the DPRK and the state of its economy.”
North Korea: Slouching Towards Bethlehem?
By Rod Lyon, The Strategist (ASPI): “North Korea’s sixth nuclear test is easily its most impressive. It’s possible, but not certain, that the test featured a genuine thermonuclear device, a second-generation nuclear-weapon design in which a primary fission explosion ignites a secondary fusion stage.”
Is Washington appeasing Kim? @rosett @gordongchang
To be fair to Tillerson, he joins a long roster of American diplomats who over the years have tried to cope with the intractable problem of North Korea by seeing (or at least professing to see) what they want to see. Going back at least to the early days of the Clinton administration, Washington has developed rituals in which American officials proclaim that North Korea's regime has a choice: to continue its rogue pursuit of nuclear weapons and suffer various penalties, or give them up and enjoy the many perquisites of life as a conventionally armed murderous totalitarian state.
Could the F-22, F-35, & B-2 Crush North Korea?
By Dave Majumdar, The National Interest: “In the event a war were to break out on the Korean peninsula, American airpower would play a key role. Initially, the burden would likely fall to the Pentagon's fleet of stealth aircraft including the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor, F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and the Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit stealth bomber.
Much Ado About (Chinese) Nationalism: How Will China’s Past Shape Its Future?
By Tom Fox, Modern War Institute: “With that question of what Chinese nationalism means for the country and the world in mind, it is hard not to turn back to the currently raging policy debate about how the United States ought to approach its relations with China.”
Missile Defense Aimed at North Korea Sends Message to China
By Jon Glassman, Breaking Defense: “Rapid near-term development acquisition of such advanced missile defense capabilities for existing systems to deter and, if necessary, neuter new North Korean missile capabilities — would help provide a sobering effect on Chinese decision-making.”
From Pylos to Pyongyang:
What Thucydides Can Teach Us About Contemporary Diplomacy
By Vivian S. Walker, Small Wars Journal: “By closing the country to external information sources and producing a steady stream of anti-Western propaganda, the North Koreans have fostered an ideology of perpetual conflict—and sustained domestic support for its repressive policies."
Reflections on Airpower: Offensive Strike
By Jason Koxvold & Dan Ryan, Strategy Bridge: “Since the beginning of Operation Enduring Freedom and the destruction of the Iraqi military in the opening phases of Operation Iraqi Freedom, the U.S. military and its coalition partners have maintained air superiority over the skies of both Afghanistan and Iraq. When Islamic State fighters surged south across Iraq, the aircraft of the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy and Marine Corps, and coalition partners were able to provide critical support to the Iraqi military as it attempted to halt the advance.”