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Recent Publications


  • Publication cover with title

    Added November 14, 2017

    Armed Robotic Systems Emergence: Weapons Systems Life Cycles Analysis and New Strategic Realities

    Authored by Dr. Robert J. Bunker.
    View the Executive Summary

    This monograph analyzes the historical weapons systems life cycles of the early 9th through the mid-16th-century knight, the mid-19th through the later 20th-century battleship, and the early 20th through the early 21st-century tank. Next, it applies the knowledge gained to provide strategic context and governmental guidance concerning the emergence of armed robotic systems—drones and droids—on the modern battlefield.

  • Publication cover with title

    Added November 02, 2017

    Evaluation of the 2015 DoD Cyber Strategy: Mild Progress in a Complex and Dynamic Military Domain

    Authored by Mr. Jeffrey L. Caton.
    View the Executive Summary

    In April 2015, the Department of Defense (DoD) released its second official strategy for cyberspace. How does the new strategy compare to the 2011 Strategy for Operating in Cyberspace? Does it provide an appropriate and actionable path forward for military operations in the rapidly evolving cyberspace domain?

  • Publication cover with title

    Added November 01, 2017

    Terrorist Sanctuary in the Sahara: A Case Study

    Authored by Lieutenant Colonel Joseph Guido.
    View the Executive Summary

    Nuclear weapons, great state competition, and belligerence have refocused American strategy to view military operations in undeveloped and largely ungoverned areas, such as Africa, as economy of force efforts. Lieutenant Colonel Joseph Guido suggests what such economy of force efforts to control terrorist sanctuary would look like, and the key considerations to achieve success against these terrorist groups in his detailed study of one of the most notorious al-Qaeda leaders of all time who finds refuge in the middle of the world’s largest desert—perhaps the greatest sanctuary of all.

  • Publication cover with title

    Added October 26, 2017

    Closer Than You Think: The Implications of the Third Offset Strategy for the U.S. Army

    Edited by Samuel R. White, Jr..
    View the Executive Summary

    The implications of the Third Offset for the Army should not be dismissed. These technologies have the potential to change the character of conflict and they require deliberateness. They are coming, and in many cases are already here—it is inevitable. How the Army approaches the Third Offset over the upcoming few years will set the stage for the next 30 years.

  • Publication cover with title

    Added October 10, 2017

    A Typology of Arguments about Drone Ethics

    Authored by Dr. Mary Manjikian.
    View the Executive Summary

    Many different actors oppose the use of unmanned autonomous weapons (UAV’s) from adversary states, to international governmental organizations to policymakers and academics. However, the basis for their opposition varies, as do the assumptions behind their arguments. This Letort Paper lays out distinctions between arguments about technology, arguments about policy, and arguments about strategy.

  • Publication cover with title

    Added September 28, 2017

    Toward a NATO of the Gulf? The Challenges of Collective Defense Within the GCC

    Authored by Dr. Jean-Loup Samaan.
    View the Executive Summary

    Although collective security in the Gulf is the topic of numerous policy publications, most of the available literature focuses on the political environment without considering the operational requirements of this scenario. This monograph offers an evaluation of Gulf defense cooperation programs in order to stir the discussion on the future of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) as the “NATO of the Gulf.”

  • Publication cover with title

    Added September 14, 2017

    Strategic Landscape, 2050: Preparing the U.S. Military for New Era Dynamics

    Authored by Mr. Roman Muzalevsky.
    View the Executive Summary

    A series of megatrends will present a major challenge to the United States in the coming decades, exposing it to crises and opportunities on the battlefield and in the market. The U.S. military should stand ready to harness these dynamics to retain its edge in an operational environment marked by increased complexity, speed, and intensity of global developments.

  • Publication cover with title

    Added September 11, 2017

    The Clash of the Trinities: A New Theoretical Analysis of the General Nature of War

    Authored by Major Daniel Maurer.
    View the Executive Summary

    This monograph reimagines war’s fundamental nature, extending Clausewitz’s theory of its political origin and “trinitarian” elements in a way that embraces alternative, sociological explanations like that of John Keegan. Ultimately, it proposes a new way to visualize the complexities of war’s intrinsic elements, operating at any scale, and expresses war with a completely new and universal definition.

  • Publication cover with title

    Added August 29, 2017

    Building Partner Capacity in Africa: Keys to Success

    Edited by Dr. Frank L. Jones.
    View the Executive Summary

    This book examines the implications for building partner capacity in Africa based on reform initiatives in the fiscal year (FY) 2017 National Defense Authorization Act. The legislation enacts sweeping changes to how the Defense Department (DoD), including the Army, conducts security cooperation activities. The study assesses this legislation’s impact on U.S. defense interests in Africa and recommends ways for the DoD to address these reform initiatives for the region, and in some cases, serve as a model for other regions.

  • Publication cover with title

    Added August 25, 2017

    Rotational Deployments vs. Forward Stationing: How Can the Army Achieve Assurance and Deterrence Efficiently and Effectively?

    Authored by Dr. John R. Deni.
    View the Executive Summary

    The Department of Defense can achieve deterrence and assurance objectives more effectively and efficiently through a rebalancing of its force posture. The Army should reverse the trend of the last 2 decades and forward station additional heavy units in Europe and on the Korean Peninsula, while ending lengthy, heel-to-toe rotational noncombat deployments.

  • Publication cover with title

    Added July 26, 2017

    What Should the U.S. Army Learn From History? Recovery From a Strategy Deficit

    Authored by Dr. Colin S. Gray.
    View the Executive Summary

    Although history does not repeat itself in detail, it certainly does so roughly in parallel circumstances. Of course, much detail differs from one historical case to another, but nonetheless, there are commonly broad and possibly instructive parallels that can be drawn from virtually every period of history, concerning most circumstances.

  • Publication cover with title

    Added July 24, 2017

    The Army War College Review Vol. 3, No. 1

    Edited by Dr. Larry D Miller.
    The Army War College Review, a refereed publication of student work, is produced under the purview of the Strategic Studies Institute and the United States Army War College. An electronic quarterly, The AWC Review connects student intellectual work with professionals invested in U.S. national security, Landpower, strategic leadership, global security studies, and the advancement of the profession of arms.

  • Publication cover with title

    Added July 13, 2017

    Ends, Means, Ideology, and Pride: Why the Axis Lost and What We Can Learn from Its Defeat

    Authored by Dr. Jeffrey Record.
    View the Executive Summary

    Axis defeat in World War II often is attributed to its material inferiority against Great Britain, the United States, and the Soviet Union. However, was strategic incompetence also a root cause? Did not Germany, Italy, and Japan also pursue territorial objectives that were simply beyond their power?

  • Publication cover with title

    Added July 07, 2017

    U.S. Landpower in the South China Sea

    Authored by Lieutenant Colonel Clarence J. Bouchat (USAF, Ret.).
    View the Executive Summary

    Think that the use of landpower in the South China Sea is an oxymoron? Think again! Modern and future landpower capability is essential for U.S. security interests in the region through engaging partners and competitors, deterrence via forward presence and peacetime operations, and when necessary to fight and win employing maneuver and wide area defense—along with the essential support that enables the air and sea services and other government organizations in this pivotal semi-enclosed maritime environment.

  • Publication cover with title

    Added July 03, 2017

    2017-18 Key Strategic Issues List

    Edited by COL Todd E. Key.
    Updated 11/15

    For your reference, we provide the U.S. Army War College's Key Strategic Issues List (KSIL) for academic year 2018. The KSIL informs students, faculty, and external research associates of strategic topics requiring research and analysis.

  • Publication cover with title

    Added June 29, 2017

    At Our Own Peril: DoD Risk Assessment in a Post-Primacy World

    Authored by Mr. Nathan P. Freier, Colonel (Ret.) Christopher M. Bado, Dr. Christopher J. Bolan, Colonel (Ret.) Robert S. Hume, Colonel J. Matthew Lissner.
    View the Executive Summary

    At Our Own Peril is the product of a year-long U.S. Army War College (USAWC) research effort focused on a single simple question: How should the Department of Defense (DoD) adapt its current risk identification and assessment conventions to accommodate an environment defined by persistent, disruptive change? Sponsored by Army G-3/5 (Strategy, Plans, and Policy Directorate), the Joint Staff, J-5 (Strategy Development Division), and the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Strategy and Force Development, the report recommends adoption of a post-primacy risk concept and its four governing principles of diversity, dynamism, persistent dialogue, and adaptation. The report adds significant texture and value to this summer’s strategy development debates.

  • Publication cover with title

    Added June 27, 2017

    Transforming the Force: The 11th Air Assault Division (Test) from 1963 to 1965

    Authored by Brigadier General Thomas C. Graves.
    View the Executive Summary

    In this revised monograph originally written in the Spring of 2000, then-Major Thomas Graves explores the development of air assault doctrine, tactics, and procedures that would later be used with great effect during the Vietnam War. Now Brigadier General Graves revisits this study as an example that still applies to the integration of technology into today’s modern U.S. Army.

  • Publication cover with title

    Added June 15, 2017

    Cyber Infrastructure Protection: Vol. III

    Edited by Dr. Tarek N. Saadawi, LTC John D. Colwell, Jr.
    View the Executive Summary

    This book is a follow-on to our two earlier books published in 2011 and 2013, and represents an updated and well-informed view at the wide spectrum of cybersecurity. Experts in the field provide an integrated and comprehensive look at the various forms of cyber infrastructure protection (CIP).

  • Publication cover with title

    Added June 07, 2017

    Promoting U.S.-Indian Defense Cooperation: Opportunities and Obstacles

    Authored by Dr. Richard Weitz.
    View the Executive Summary

    The United States and India have developed a dynamic multifaceted relationship with regular military exercises, defense-industrial collaboration, and other joint security projects. Their ties are mutually advantageous, helping both countries realize their core national security objectives. Yet, the relationship needs further development to achieve its full potential.

  • Publication cover with title

    Added June 06, 2017

    Corruption, Legitimacy, and Stability: Implications for the U.S. Army

    Authored by Dr. Shima D. Keene.
    View the Executive Summary

    This Letort Paper provides a comprehensive assessment of the relationship between corruption, legitimacy, and stability in fragile states, and explores what must be done by the U.S. Army to counter these issues that directly impact its operational effectiveness.

  • Publication cover with title

    Added May 31, 2017

    21st-Century Challenges of Command: A View from the Field

    Authored by Dr. Anna Simons.
    View the Executive Summary

    This Letort Paper examines challenges that confront 21st-century commanders—particularly at the O-4 through O-6 levels. Observations are drawn from special operations force (SOF) experiences in Afghanistan, but apply more broadly and lead to several conclusions about the Army’s surprising under-utilization of hierarchy.

  • Publication cover with title

    Added May 26, 2017

    Can Egypt Lead the Arab World Again? Assessing Opportunities and Challenges for U.S. Policy

    Authored by Mr. Gregory Aftandilian.
    View the Executive Summary

    This monograph examines the potential for Egypt to lead the Arab world again, and what that role would mean for U.S. foreign and security policy and cooperation in the region. Although Egypt is currently looking inward as it deals with domestic economic and political issues, it has encountered such problems before and has recovered from them, leading Egypt to reassert a prominent role in regional affairs.

  • Publication cover with title

    Added May 25, 2017

    The Turning Point for Russian Foreign Policy

    Authored by Mr. Keir Giles.
    View the Executive Summary

    Russia’s military interventions in Ukraine and Syria were responses to what Moscow perceived as direct and immediate security challenges to Russia. This Letort Paper analyzes the roots of this Russian assessment and of Russia’s new assertiveness and confidence in foreign policy.

  • Publication cover with title

    Added April 21, 2017

    Social Media—The Vital Ground: Can We Hold It?

    Authored by Ian Tunnicliffe, Dr. Steve Tatham.
    View the Executive Summary

    Social media may barely be 12 years old, but it has had a dramatic effect on the way that a military does its business. However, just how well equipped is the United States for social media engagement? This Letort Paper provides an overview of what social media is, or is not, and how it may be more efficiently harnessed by the U.S. Army.

  • Publication cover with title

    Added April 03, 2017

    Antiquities Destruction and Illicit Sales as Sources of ISIS Funding and Propaganda

    Authored by Dr. W. Andrew Terrill.
    View the Executive Summary

    The Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) has moved to destroy or loot world heritage sites throughout the area under its control. While this effort is usually understood as a towering crime against art and culture, the strategic and military implications of comprehensive antiquities looting and ISIS propaganda about antiquities are also important and are considered throughout this Letort Paper. In particular, funding from the illicit sales of antiquities (and high quality fakes) is increasingly important to ISIS's survival and effectiveness as other sources of revenue are disrupted or eliminated.

  • Publication cover with title

    Added March 22, 2017

    Project 1721: A U.S. Army War College Assessment on Russian Strategy in Eastern Europe and Recommendations on How to Leverage Landpower to Maintain the Peace

    Edited by Colonel Douglas V. Mastriano.
    View the Executive Summary

    Russia changed the strategic calculus in Europe with the 2014 Russian seizure of Crimea and its ongoing war against Ukraine. Compounding the dilemma of an aggressive Moscow is the application of ambiguity to create a cloak of uncertainty that prevents a decisive response to counter its destabilizing activities. However, this application of ambiguity is easily defeated, if the United States together with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) are willing to take action now to deter further Russian aggression.

  • Publication cover with title

    Added March 13, 2017

    Indian and Chinese Engagement in Latin America and the Caribbean: A Comparative Assessment

    Authored by Dr. R. Evan Ellis.
    View the Executive Summary

    This monograph compares Chinese and Indian activities in Latin America and the Caribbean with respect to diplomatic and military engagement and commerce. It finds that Indian engagement with the region is significantly less than that of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), and is concentrated in a narrower subset of countries and sectors, yet the nature of Indian engagement with the region creates opportunities for significant advances in the future.

  • Publication cover with title

    Added March 07, 2017

    China's Interests and Goals in the Arctic: Implications for the United States

    Authored by Dr. Elizabeth Wishnick.
    View the Executive Summary

    As China becomes a global power, it is turning its attention to the Arctic. This Letort Paper examines the geopolitical implications of China’s growing involvement in the Arctic for U.S. interests.

  • Publication cover with title

    Added February 23, 2017

    The North Caucasus Insurgency: Dead or Alive?

    Authored by Dr. Emil Aslan Souleimanov.
    View the Executive Summary

    Combining analysis of the structural and up-to-date sources of the ongoing insurgency in Russia's North Caucasus, this monograph illustrates that despite their substantial weakening in the recent years, locally operating Salafi-jihadist groups are still alive and likely to remain so in the years to come. The monograph also emphasizes the salience of the local socio-cultural codes—retaliation, hospitality, and silence—that have provided, harsh reprisals notwithstanding, for pro-insurgent violent mobilization and local support.

  • Publication cover with title

    Added February 06, 2017

    The Al-Qaeda Organization and the Islamic State Organization: History, Doctrine, Modus Operandi, and U.S. Policy to Degrade and Defeat Terrorism Conducted in the Name of Sunni Islam

    Authored by Dr. Paul Kamolnick.
    View the Executive Summary

    The al-Qaeda Organization (AQO) and Islamic State Organization (ISO) share an aspiration to re-establish a global Sunni imperium, yet are qualitatively distinct species of transnational terrorist entities. Fully comprehending their unique histories, doctrines, modus operandi, and critical vulnerabilities will greatly assist formulating more effective policy and strategy to expedite their degradation, defeat, and destruction.

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