You can access our ongoing podcast series "SSI Live" with our own Dr. John R. Deni. President-Elect Donald Trump announced that he would nominate retired Marine Corps General James Mattis as his Secretary of Defense. What does this nomination say about the direction of the Trump administration's security and defense policy? What are the implications for the fight against the Islamic State, or for managing security challenges in Europe, Asia, and elsewhere? Dr. Deni invited two SSI colleagues who are experts in U.S. defense policy and security strategy, Dr. Steven Metz and Prof. Nate Freier, to discuss these questions. Find this and all other podcasts here and be sure to subscribe.
The USAWC Fellows Program
The U.S. Army War College-administered Fellows Program—comprised of CSA Senior Fellows (post-Military Education Level 1, or post-MEL 1), and U.S. Army War College Fellows (MEL 1)—supports 92 Fellows assigned in 58 locations and in 63 separate programs across the United States and in 6 foreign countries.
The U.S. Army War College Fellows’ charter is two-fold in terms of Army expectations. The primary thrust is for the Fellow to take advantage of a learning environment that is separate and distinct from that traditionally offered by the war colleges, and to parlay knowledge gained for the betterment of the Army. That said, the Fellows are also pursuing Individual Learning Plans that parallel the learning outcomes expected of their resident student peers at Carlisle Barracks. The secondary thrust is for the Fellow to represent the Army, either formally or informally, at the institutions and areas to which they are assigned. The Fellowships, as currently configured, offer the Fellows the opportunity to satisfy the Army's goal of developing appropriately-educated ambassadors for the Army who will be steeled to hold positions of broad scope and great responsibility, work in highly complex, ambiguous environments, and deal with problems with no clear-cut solutions.
The CSA Senior Army Fellows are more senior—sent by the Army as seasoned ambassadors of the institution to centers of thought and influence. Once there, they assist those who would deliberate on the larger security challenges faced by the nation, and also report their findings to the senior Army leadership, either to the CSA or the VCSA, and individual general officer-level mentors who have functional or regional interests coincidental with "their" Fellow’s host institution.
The Fellows are now at their hosting institutions and are learning, engaging with the general public, and representing the USAWC and the Army on a daily basis.
The 2016-17 Key Strategic Issues List (KSIL) has been released. The KSIL provides military and civilian researchers a ready reference for issues of special interest to the Department of the Army and the Department of Defense.
Hard Copy Online Ordering
If you would like to order a hard copy of any publication, for those limited publications where hard copies are available, see the information located on the right-hand side of the publication's page. You may download a digital copy of the selected work free of charge. Free download links for three different digital formats are available on the specific publication's page as well.
For out of stock publications and our new digital only publications, refer to the new GPO on-demand site. For a small fee, receive many prior publications. Click here to visit.
If you missed any of the 27th Annual Strategy Conference or would just like to relive the experience, videos are available here on the conference page.
Be sure to keep checking here for information on next year's conference.
Integrated Research Projects
The USAWC has embarked on another round of Integrated Research Projects (IRPs). An IRP is a comprehensive research effort involving faculty and students (or faculty only) that leads to scholarship of value to the Army, the Joint Force, and Department of Defense (DoD). Last year’s efforts included ground breaking analysis on the gray zone, deterrence in Europe, and land-force recommendations for the Asia-Pacific region.
This year the War College has redoubled its efforts and will focus on nine topics of special interest.
Great Power War - How expansible is the US Army should a great power war break out?
Third Offset Strategy - What are the implications for the Army of the Third Offset Strategy?
Risk Assessment - To what extent do the conventions for strategic military risk assessment meet the needs of senior defense and military leadership?
Defense Reform - What changes to the DoD (in structure, processes, and authorities) will make it more responsive to the nation’s current and emerging security needs?
Strategy and Planning - How can military and civil leaders and staffs translate strategic guidance to facilitate effective whole-of-government/society collaboration and operations to stabilize fragile and conflict-affected states?
Asia-Pacific Rebalance - Following the change of administrations, what U.S. policy and strategy adjustments are needed to achieve rebalance in the Asia-Pacific region?
Global Response - Can rotational forces achieve deterrent and reassurance effects at reasonable cost, relative to permanently forward stationed forces?
Non-Nuclear Deterrence - What potential new forms of non-nuclear deterrence are within the realm of the possible within the next 20 years?
Building Partner Capacity - Given the contemporary security challenges confronting African nation-states, how can the U.S. Army build partner capacity in the region more effectively?
Stay tuned for more in-depth updates on each of these projects as the year progresses.
Dr. Deni authored a piece for Carnegie Europe on how Russian meddling in U.S. and other Western elections amounts to an assault on our political independence and hence may be grounds to invoke Article 5 of the NATO Treaty. Read it here.
The US Army War College hosted the Peoples Liberation Army (PLA) Academy of Military Science (AMS), 4-7 Dec 2016 at Carlisle Barracks, PA. This military-to-military exchange has been a staple of our engagement with the AMS for more than 2 decades.
Ten PLA officers attended the exchange. MG Nie Songlai, Deputy Director of the Foreign Military Studies Division, AMS was the PLA head of delegation. Six U.S./PLA military panels produced candid discussions from strategy to crisis management. The goal of the exchange was to share perceptions and clarify interests. Three PLA points were reinforced throughout the exchange: 1. Respect China’s core interests (principally territorial sovereignty). 2. China does not want conflict with the United States 3. China wants a win-win situation for its development (the United States and China are both winners over time). These points seem benign, but the talks revealed that perception and definition drive how these points are interpreted. For example, historical perspective was argued as the basis for PRC island sovereignty in the contested South China Sea. Other points include:
SINO-U.S. relationship will frame the 21st century and this relationship is currently burdened by a lack of strategic trust. Both nations need to strengthen mutual trust.
Although the United States proclaims their interest in a strong and prosperous China, their actions demonstrate a desire to encircle and constrain China. Efforts to strengthen existing alliances prolong a Cold War relic that emboldens allies and amplifies their threat perception, creating avoidable crises. The language of cooperation is drowned out by heightened military competition, highlighted by FON OPs and the plan to deploy THAAD to the Korean Peninsula. Falling into the Thucydides Trap remains a great concern.
China’s growing global interests demands an appropriate response by the Chinese military establishment to protect these interests.
Both militaries should continue to strengthen dialogue and engagement, to include PME exchanges of students and instructors.
There was much interest, bordering on concern, about the potential policy changes with the incoming presidential administration.
The PLA articulated the perceived U.S. policy contradictions over Taiwan.
The Army War College Review, an online refereed journal, publishes award-winning student research that exemplifies outstanding strategic analysis at the professional graduate level. Selected articles address issues at the cutting edge of U.S. national security, Landpower, strategic leadership, global security, and advancement of the profession of arms. Produced by SSI and USAWC Press, The Army War College Review is published quarterly and can be found at http://www.strategicstudiesinstitute.army.mil/pubs/AWCreview/
The faculty of the U.S. Army War College (USAWC) includes a carefully selected mix of men and women with deep experience in military and national security strategy. To provide a venue for their analysis of the challenges and best practices of strategic leadership and to make available to the students and faculty of USAWC and other institutions in the professional military educational system, the Strategic Studies Institute has created the "practitioners' corner."
The views expressed in this newsletter are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, the Department of Defense, or the U.S. Government. This newsletter is cleared for public release; distribution is unlimited.