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SSI is the U.S. Army’s institute for geostrategic
and national security research and analysis. 

Of Interest

Russian Gas, Green Technology, and the Great Sacrifice
By Sarah Lohmann at The Georgetown Journal of International Affairs (GJIA), June 2022
This article argues that the Russian invasion of Ukraine has highlighted the long-term energy dependencies on Moscow that Europe’s fledgling green technology will not be able to fix in the short term. While the crisis does have the power to speed their development, many renewables are not yet cyber-secured and leave even more vulnerabilities for Moscow to exploit. Europe’s late awakening to the geopolitical ramifications of its decades-long dependencies could provide hope for long-term energy source diversification ...
Article
Toward a New Normal in Transatlantic Collective Defense
By John R. Deni, at GMFUS, May 2022
With Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in its third month, it is already possible to draw some important lessons from the most serious security crisis in Europe in decades. It has fundamentally altered security on the continent, prompting a reappraisal of where and how NATO allies ensure their security and stability. But there are many uncertainties head as to how the transatlantic community will make the dramatic changes ...
Article
Yes, the United States Should Weaken Russia
By John R. Deni, at Foreign Policy, May 2022
Following a recent visit to Kyiv, Ukraine, with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said the United States wanted “to see Russia weakened to the degree that it can’t do the kinds of things that it has done in invading Ukraine.” Later, U.S. officials made clear that this didn’t reflect a policy shift.
Article
China, Europe, and the Pandemic Recession:
Beijing’s Investments and Transatlantic Security
By John R. Deni, 2022
Given the depth and breadth of the pandemic-induced recession in Europe, private companies in need of capital and governments looking to shed state-owned enterprises may be tempted to sell shares, assets, or outright ownership to investors with liquidity to spare. Of greatest concern is the role that China might play in Europe, building Beijing’s soft power, ...
BOOK
Great Decisions 2022 — The Quad Alliance
Dr. Carol Evans,Director of the Strategic Studies Institute
and the USAWC Press at the U.S. Army War College


Evans discussed the U.S. pivot to Asia, and U.S. dialogue with Japan, Australia, and India in an effort to contain China. How effective will the actions of this alliance be? Evans brings 30 years of expertise in the areas of mission assurance, asymmetric warfare, terrorism, maritime security, and homeland security. Her research and teaching interests are wide ranging in the areas of geoeconomics, geostrategy, intelligence, and international security with a focus on the Indo-Pacific region.
Video
China's Role in Latin America
and the Caribbean
Dr. Evan Ellis

Dr. Ellis testified before the Senate Western Hemisphere Subcommittee Hearing on Chinese activities in our region.
Officials within the PLA naturally plan for how they would use Latin America in a future war, leveraging the knowledge and relationships they build today to do so. To this end, the PLA has made 20 military deployments to the region, and PLA leaders have visited 200 times since 2000. His testimony begins at approximately 1:51:35.
Video
Lessons from Russia's
Latin America Engagement Over Ukraine
By Evan Ellis and Ryan Bergi, at The Hill

Russia’s engagement with Latin America after its unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, and the Latin American response to the invasion, illustrates the growing strategic challenge to the U.S. from the survival and proliferation of populist authoritarian regimes in the Western Hemisphere. It also hints at opportunities for Russian President Vladimir Putin to escalate pressure against the United States and its allies should he need to retaliate over Western sanctions in the long-term.
Article
Review of “What Went Wrong in Afghanistan?”
by Todd Greentree, Parameters 51:4 (2021)
Review by Conrad C. Crane, US Army War College, June 2022
Among the many competing schools of thought within the field of counterinsurgency, perhaps no debates are as acrimonious as those between advocates of large-footprint and small-footprint troop presence. The writing team for the 2006 edition of FM 3-24 Counterinsurgency engaged in much discussion about whether there was some minimum recommended troop density required for effective COIN operations. ...
Article
Russian Gas, Green Technology, and the Great Sacrifice
By Sarah Lohmann at The Georgetown Journal of International Affairs (GJIA), June 2022
This article argues that the Russian invasion of Ukraine has highlighted the long-term energy dependencies on Moscow that Europe’s fledgling green technology will not be able to fix in the short term. While the crisis does have the power to speed their development, many renewables are not yet cyber-secured and leave even more vulnerabilities for Moscow to exploit. Europe’s late awakening to the geopolitical ramifications of its decades-long dependencies could provide hope for long-term energy source diversification ...
Article
Toward a New Normal in Transatlantic Collective Defense
By John R. Deni, at GMFUS, May 2022
With Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in its third month, it is already possible to draw some important lessons from the most serious security crisis in Europe in decades. It has fundamentally altered security on the continent, prompting a reappraisal of where and how NATO allies ensure their security and stability. But there are many uncertainties head as to how the transatlantic community will make the dramatic changes ...
Article
Yes, the United States Should Weaken Russia
By John R. Deni, at Foreign Policy, May 2022
Following a recent visit to Kyiv, Ukraine, with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said the United States wanted “to see Russia weakened to the degree that it can’t do the kinds of things that it has done in invading Ukraine.” Later, U.S. officials made clear that this didn’t reflect a policy shift.
Article
China, Europe, and the Pandemic Recession: Beijing’s Investments and Transatlantic Security
By John R. Deni, 2022
Given the depth and breadth of the pandemic-induced recession in Europe, private companies in need of capital and governments looking to shed state-owned enterprises may be tempted to sell shares, assets, or outright ownership to investors with liquidity to spare. Of greatest concern is the role that China might play in Europe, building Beijing’s soft power, ...
BOOK
Great Decisions 2022 — The Quad Alliance
Dr. Carol Evans,Director of the Strategic Studies Institute
and the USAWC Press at the U.S. Army War College
Evans discussed the U.S. pivot to Asia, and U.S. dialogue with Japan, Australia, and India in an effort to contain China. How effective will the actions of this alliance be? Evans brings 30 years of expertise in the areas of mission assurance, asymmetric warfare, terrorism, maritime security, and homeland security. Her research and teaching interests are wide ranging in the areas of geoeconomics, geostrategy, intelligence, and international security with a focus on the Indo-Pacific region.
Video
China's Role in Latin America
and the Caribbean
Dr. Evan Ellis
Dr. Ellis testified before the Senate Western Hemisphere Subcommittee Hearing on Chinese activities in our region.
Officials within the PLA naturally plan for how they would use Latin America in a future war, leveraging the knowledge and relationships they build today to do so. To this end, the PLA has made 20 military deployments to the region, and PLA leaders have visited 200 times since 2000. His testimony begins at approximately 1:51:35.
Video
COMPETE AND WIN: ENVISIONING A COMPETITIVE STRATEGY FOR THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY
US Army War College faculty, in partnership with the Modern Warfare Institute at West Point, the Army Cyber Institute, and a host of other PME institutions, have contributed to this short-article series as part of the larger “Competition in Cyberspace Project” and endeavors to present expert commentary on diverse issues surrounding US competitive strategy and irregular warfare with peer and near-peer competitors in the physical, cyber, and information spaces. USAWC articles will appear throughout March. Access the series here:
SERIES
COMPETE AND WIN: ENVISIONING A COMPETITIVE STRATEGY FOR THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY
US Army War College faculty, in partnership with the Modern Warfare Institute at West Point, the Army Cyber Institute, and a host of other PME institutions, have contributed to this short-article series as part of the larger “Competition in Cyberspace Project” and endeavors to present expert commentary on diverse issues surrounding US competitive strategy and irregular warfare with peer and near-peer competitors in the physical, cyber, and information spaces. USAWC articles will appear throughout March. Access the series here:
SERIES

Trending Today

Sten Rynning, 2017

This article discusses the role of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s policy of “Protection of Civilians” in directing international efforts to counter adversaries who blur the boundaries of war during armed conflict. When the North Atlantic Treaty Organization commanded the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan
from 2003 to 2014, NATO allies and partners learned that protecting civilians was a key parameter of both operational and strategic success. 
Continue reading >>>

Maximilian K. Bremer and Kelly A. Grieco, 2021

Assessing threats to the air littoral, the airspace between ground forces and high-end fighters and bombers, requires a paradigm change in American military thinking about verticality. This article explores the consequences of domain convergence, specifically for the Army and Air Force’s different concepts of control. It will assist US military and policy practitioners in conceptualizing the air littoral and in thinking more vertically about the air and land domains and the challenges of domain convergence. Continue reading >>>

Robert F. Hahn II and Bonnie Jezior, 1999

Panama City, Kuwait City, Mogadishu, Port-au-Prince, Grozny, Sarajevo, Kinshasa, Baghdad. For the past decade, newspaper headlines have proclaimed the news of wars and peacekeeping operations in distant cities, while TV screens have flashed vivid depictions of brutal combat in city streets around the world. Images of dead American soldiers being dragged through the streets of Mogadishu and beheaded Russian soldiers in Chechnya have provided a marked contrast to the almost sterile video of precision-guided munitions finding their mark against tanks arrayed …
Continue reading >>>

Andrew Bell, 2020
The US military must prepare for the realities of densely populated areas as it plans and conducts campaigns. This planning must include considerations of soldiers’ health and wellbeing. An engaged analysis of urban battlespaces in the midtwentieth and early twenty-first centuries highlights the need for essential updates to US military doctrine and training, particularly in the areas of civilian mass casualties and civilian noncombatants in the urban battlespace … Continue reading >>>
Dr. Michael Desch, 2019

In the past half-century, the classic military conflict of armies maneuvering in the field has been replaced by conflicts that center on, rather than avoid, heavily populated areas. Modern military conflict more frequently is not just a fight to control villages or cities, but a variation on the timeless wish to control populations and the hearts of nations. The hardware and mass orientation of the levee en masse and industrial-age armies is being replaced by sophisticated terrorists, information warfare, and the politics of mass persuasion. These are reshaping the face of warfare. …
Continue reading >>>

Keir Giles and Mathieu Boulegue, 2019

This article discusses the myths surrounding Russia’s A2/AD capabilities and the risks associated with the current counter A2/AD efforts among NATO countries. It offers recommendations for investing in a stronger defense of the Baltic states and Eastern Europe.
References to Russia’s anti-access/area denial (A2/AD) capabilities are now standard in assessments of America’s ability to protect its allies and its interests in Europe. Unclassified briefings on European military security now …
Continue reading >>>

Dr. Stephen J. Blank, 2019
 American Foreign Policy Council

Wherever one looks, Russia is carrying out aggressive military and informational attacks against the West in Europe, North and South America, the Arctic, and the Middle East. This “war against the West” actually began over a decade ago, but its most jarring and shocking event, the one that started to focus Western minds on Russia, was the invasion of Ukraine in 2014. Given this pattern, the National Security Council (NSC) in 2014 invited Stephen Blank to organize a conference on the Russian military. We were able to launch the conference in 2016 and bring together a distinguished international group of experts on the Russian military to produce … Continue reading >>>

Keir Giles, 2019

This article presents five scenarios that might result from a Russian coup de main in the Baltic region. The author argues the North Atlantic Treaty Organization should analyze force capabilities further to ensure Alliance nations can adequately respond if Russia attacks across its border with Estonia and Latvia.
Russia’s annexation of Crimea, involvement in Donbas, and support of the Bashar al-Assad regime in Syria have strained the country’s relations with the West … 
Continue reading >>>

Jared M. McKinney and Peter Harris, 2021

Deterring a Chinese invasion of Taiwan without recklessly threatening a great-power war is both possible and necessary through a tailored deterrence package that goes beyond either fighting over Taiwan or abandoning it. This article joins cutting-edge understandings of deterrence with empirical evidence of Chinese strategic thinking and culture to build such a strategy. Continue reading >>>

Dr. John R. Deni, 2022

Negotiations between Russia and the United States, NATO, and the OSCE regarding the situation in/around Ukraine begin this week. How should the West approach those negotiations? SSI Live host Dr. John R. Deni argues the West should strike a hard bargain, even if it risks war in Ukraine. Listen to the podcast.

Looking Back

Dr. John R. Deni, 2017

The Army’s force posture is out of balance, with a greater percentage of troops stationed in the United States than at any time since the late 1940s. This has forced an over-reliance on lengthy, continuous rotational deployments to achieve deterrence and assurance in theaters such as northeast Asia and Europe. This finding is based on a 9-month study assessing the costs and benefits of rotational deployments and forward stationing. The analysis reveals that in terms of fiscal cost, training readiness, morale and family readiness, and diplomatic factors, the United States could likely achieve deterrence and assurance objectives more efficiently and more effectively with increased forward stationing…
Continue reading >>>

T. S. Allen and A. J. Moore, 2018

This article argues Russian information operations are a decisive tool of state power rather than a supporting element. Uniquely, Russian leaders are significantly more likely to employ diplomatic, military, and economic tools in pursuit of informational objectives than other states’ leaders. Russia is a resurgent geopolitical actor that the United States identified as a major competitor in the 2017 National Security Strategy. Russia has maintained its position as a great power… Continue reading >>>

Dr. Ariel Cohen and Ivan Benovic, 2015

Since the breakup of the Soviet Union, a number of gas disputes between Russia and Central and Eastern European countries have unveiled the strategic dependence of Europe on Russian piped gas. The recent Ukrainian crisis demonstrated that Europe has a desperate need to improve the security of its gas supply. The United States is interested in the economic stability and growth of Europe, because the European Union (EU) is its principal and largest economic partner. The United States and the EU enjoy the largest trade and investment relationship in the world, which should not be jeopardized by disruptive, anti-status-quo powers. …
Continue reading >>>

T. S. Allen and A. J. Moore, 2018

Some American readers may wonder if this article is a caricature of the Russians, thinking that surely no one would still talk like this. Likewise, some might wonder if this really represents the views of the “man in the street” in St. Petersburg or Irkutsk or Khabarovsk. In fact, it does not represent the concerns of the average Russian citizen. However, it is important to note that for at least the last 1000 years, the views of the man in the street have counted for little with those who actually make and implement Russian policy. In the fictional monologue that follows, every effort has been made to portray accurately, based on official and other statements, the views of many of the senior decisionmakers … Continue reading >>>

Framing the Future
of the US Military Profession

Richard A. Lacquement, Jr. Thomas P. Galvin
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USAWC Quarterly Journal,
"Parameters: Summer Issue 2022, vol.52 no.2"




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Study of Internal Conflict
Research and analysis by SSI professors, USAWC faculty and students, and research assistants into the causes and outcomes of internal conflicts since 1945 as part of the ongoing Study of Internal Conflict (SOIC). Research and analysis will also include topics in Unconventional and Irregular Warfare.
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A Hard Look at Hard Power: Assessing the Defense Capabilities of Key US Allies and Security Partners—Second Edition
Go to Monograph
Security Threats, American Pressure, and the Role of Key Personnel: How NATO’s Defence Planning Process is Alleviating the Burden-Sharing Dilemma
Go to Monograph
WORKING PAPERS — INDOPACOM
This section contains working papers of the 2019-2020 US Army War College Integrated Research Project on the Indo-Pacific Region.
Each Working Paper will be a product of the USAWC INDOPACOM Project on Theater Design and represents the judgment of project researchers at the time of publication.
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USAWC Quarterly Journal,
"Parameters: Spring 2022, vol.52 no.1"




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Mission Command of Multi-Domain Operations
This research monograph explores the Army’s emerging concept of multi-domain operations and its implications on the mission command approach. The transition to multi-domain operations changes the traditional view of how Army commanders and staffs conduct operations in the physical environment to include simultaneously operations in the information environment.
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Key Strategic Issues List (KSIL) 2021-2022
The Key Strategic Issues List (KSIL), developed by the US Army War College, in collaboration with many other organizations and institutions, helps the Army bring to bear considerable research and analysis capabilities on the most important challenges to the defense of our Nation. The KSIL presents over two hundred key strategic issues to guide these efforts. Those conducting research through Senior Service Colleges and Fellows programs, as well as other researchers, are strongly encouraged to take on the difficult issues listed below.
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China Engages Latin America
Distorting Development and Democracy?
R. Evan Ellis
This book explores China’s engagement with Latin America and the Caribbean as a case study of its broader effort to use commercial tools and instruments of state to create a global economic order that functions to its benefit, while neutralizing challenges from institutions, states, and others that would oppose it. Unlike the common representation of the Cold War as a political-military struggle, this work uniquely examines China’s current efforts as primarily seeking to dominate global value chains, with supporting political, technological, and military ...
Available Now
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Introducing Conversations on Strategy,
a subseries of Decisive Point Podcast

Integrated Research Projects (IRPs)

Every academic year (AY), the Commandant of the US Army War College commissions Integrated Research Projects (IRPs) to conduct intensive study on the Army’s top priority strategic issues. An IRP research team consists of subject matter expert faculty members and select resident students who engage in strategic research and analysis on each issue.

Employment
& Research Opportunities

  • On-site Opportunities
  • Off-site Opportunities
  • Visiting Research Professors
  • Government Service Employment
  • Adjunct Professors
  • Unsolicited Submissions

“Tactics teaches the use of armed forces in the engagement; strategy, the use of engagements for the object of the war.”

– CARL VON CLAUSEWITZ