2011-2012 U.S. Army War College Key Strategic Issues List (KSIL)

Dr. Antulio J. Echevarria, II

Update: The PDF of the KSIL is now available.

Topics with an * are from Headquarters Department of the Army G-3/5 and G-4


The Key Strategic Issues List (KSIL) is published annually for the purpose of making students and other researchers aware of strategic topics that are, or should be, of special importance to the Department of Defense and the U.S. Army. The list is a compilation of input from the faculty at the U.S. Army War College, as well as from civilian and military experts across the field of defense studies. The topics reflect ongoing as well as anticipated strategic concerns, each of which is revised as the changing security environment warrants. This year has seen immense political and social changes sweep across North Africa and the Middle East. It has also seen important strategic and tactical successes in the war against al Qaeda. In addition, the campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan have been assessed, and U.S. and Coalition forces continue to build upon past successes. Political, social, and economic developments in Asia, Europe, Africa, and the Western Hemisphere have altered the global landscape as well.

The KSIL is supplemented by a more expansive “live” research topic online database which is updated as necessary to reflect specific strategic issues or concerns for the major U.S. commands. Researchers are encouraged to contact any of the faculty members of the Strategic Studies Institute listed herein for further information regarding current or potential topics.

Douglas C. Lovelace, Jr.
Strategic Studies Institute

Functional Strategic Issues

POC: Dr. Dallas Owens

I. Overseas Contingency Operations

  1. Assess efforts to respond to evolving challenges in Iraq and Afghanistan.
  2. Evaluate methods for countering ideological, political, and material support for terrorism through domestic and foreign means including building partner capacity.
  3. Assess measures for defining progress in counterinsurgency operations.
  4. Determine how U.S. land power can best be focused to conduct counterinsurgency operations.
  5. Assess methods for training international security forces (ministries, military, paramilitary, and police).
  6. Evaluate methods to integrate political, economic, informational, and military tools in counterinsurgency operations.
  7. Assess efforts to employ local militias in counterinsurgency operations.
  8. Assess the utility of using U.S. land power to conduct complex contingencies and stability operations.
  9. Analyze issues related to genocide, ethnic cleansing, mass atrocities, Protection of Civilians (PoC), and the Responsibility to Protect (RtP).
  10. Assess options for building intelligence networks which do not compromise the neutrality of nonstate actors such as the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).
  11. Assess methods to exert influence, align objectives, and harmonize activities in a Joint, Interagency, Intergovernmental, and Multinational (JIIM) cross-boundary organizational environment.
  12. *Assess the ability of current partners to assume Phase IV/V operational responsibility in a conflict. Consider both warfighting and sustainment capabilities.
  13. *Assess the implications to the War Powers Act given Libyan Operations

II. Homeland Security/Homeland Defense/Civil Support

  1. Assess current measures for countering and responding to chemical, biological, nuclear, radiological, and high-explosive threats.
  2. Examine the strategic implications of missile defense as a component of homeland defense.
  3. Evaluate current measures for identifying and protecting DoD and/or non-DoD critical infrastructure.
  4. How can we establish domestic and international intelligence and other information sharing mechanisms among homeland defense, homeland security, and civil support entities?
  5. Assess measures for integrating private sector and USG planning for and responses to public health emergencies.
  6. Assess the need for distinguishing between crimes and acts of war for certain activities in cyberspace; determine to what extent existing treaties and laws govern cyberspace.
  7. What steps should be taken to enhance domestic security cooperative efforts between the U.S., Central America, and South America?
  8. Characterize the Strategic Communication campaigns that should accompany preparations for and responses to disaster.
  9. Identify the trip wires that move an event from declared disaster to catastrophic incident. Are our responses in this upper tier of destruction the same?
  10. As the Homeland Security Enterprise is focused across a continuum of prevent, protect, respond, and recover, the civil-military partnership seems more focused on actions to be taken after a disaster. What should the role of the military be in preparing for natural and manmade disasters?
  11. Our National Plans are constructed to support state preparedness and response mechanisms. FEMA’s Regional Response Coordination Centers (RRCC’s) may represent a viable civil component of means to prepare for, respond to, and recover from a multi-state catastrophe. What should characterize the military component in support of such an entity?
  12. *Does the Army exercise and prepare its cyber/network defense capabilities enough to accurately reflect the risk posed by a cyber attack?
  13. *Assess the effects of the Drug Cartels in Mexico on US Defense and homeland security requirements.

III. Military Change

  1. Assess ongoing efforts to respond to the changing character of war as reflected in such concepts as unrestricted warfare, evolution of insurgencies, and cyber warfare.
  2. Evaluate the IED as a strategic weapon; today and tomorrow.
  3. Evaluate current capabilities for conducting information operations and strategic communication in the global policy and practice arena.
  4. Assess the strategic implications of emerging operational concepts.
  5. Assess themes in the Army’s Strategic Planning Guidance.
  6. What force capabilities are needed for stability operations, domination in complex terrain, strategic responsiveness, the Army’s Global Force Posture, and for battle command?
  7. Assess logistical support measures for U.S. allies and coalition partners.
  8. Evaluate efforts to transform the three Army components and the level of transformation success in current operations.
  9. Assess measures of modular force performance.
  10. Assess resource conflicts between operational and institutional transformation.
  11. Examine whether Army Force Generation (ARFORGEN) is meeting the Army needs.
  12. Assess cyberspace in terms of risk and as an enabler to conduct warfare.
  13. Are DoD business practices responsive enough in today’s fast-changing world?
  14. Examine the strategic implications of space as a theater of war.
  15. *Given US withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan; and no major competitor in the next decade, how large an Army is needed to meet the Nation’s needs and ensure it can expand in time of crisis?
  16. *Assess the need for an Army and land forces in the future operating environment?
  17. *What core capabilities must the Army preserve in any reorganization or downsizing?
  18. *What is the most efficient Brigade-Division-Corps organization/structure to support TSC while retaining the ability to meet crisis response needs (maximize forces available)
  19. *What should the roles and missions of Corps and ASCCs be? Are they duplicative?
  20. *Assess and recommend an EAB HQ structure for division, corps, ASCC, and theater enabler commands.
  21. *Does the Army need to maintain separate heavy, Stryker, and light combat formations?
  22. *What is the impact of the growing commercialization of our depot-level maintenance on our ability to react to changing capability requirements?
  23. *How agile is the current institutional Army in terms of our ability to react to changing or surge requirements?
  24. *Is the Generating Force properly organized to ensure we field capabilities against our articulated strategic requirements?
  25. *Assess the ability of the Army to generate large numbers of formations in the event of a significant land campaign, given the high-tech nature of today’s BCTs?
  26. *Assess the sufficiency of the Army’s current niche capabilities (such as cyber, ballistic missile defense, ect.) to meet the requirements of the strategic environment in the mid-term (3-8 years)
  27. *Assess tactical network capabilities and whether they are sufficient, effective, interoperable, and secure for 21st Century operations.
  28. *The Army has revised FM 3-0 and changed the Army Operating Concept to Unified Operations – enable by core competencies of Combined Arms Maneuver and Wide Area Security. How will this impact Army force structure – designed and mix?
  29. *The Army has revised FM 3-0 and changed the Army Operating Concept to Unified Operations – enable by core competencies of Combined Arms Maneuver and Wide Area Security. How will this impact ARFORGEN to include access to the Reserve Component?
  30. *Assess the effects of operationalizing the Reserve Component.
  31. *Evaluate and identify what missions the Army could stop doing under the proposed Defense Department budget cuts.

IV. National Security Strategy/National Military Strategy

  1. Assess U.S. National Security Strategy (NSS) and/or U.S. National Military Strategy (NMS); how/where should the United States prioritize its efforts?
  2. Assess costs and benefits of alternative grand strategies.
  3. Evaluate strategic implications of irregular and traditional challenges.
  4. Assess the value of deterrence and dissuasion in U.S. national strategy.
  5. Evaluate proliferation and counterproliferation measures in a globalized world.
  6. Evaluate measures to integrate military (hard power) and nonmilitary (hard and soft power) tools to achieve strategic objectives and avoid or resolve potential conflict.
  7. Evaluate the utility of military force as an instrument of policy in the 21st century.
  8. Examine the implications of U.S. missile defense for allies and potential adversaries.
  9. Evaluate the utility of strategic net and risk assessment in a multipolar system.
  10. Assess potential impact of global climate change on U.S. national security.
  11. Assess how military power might complement a “smart power” approach to national security.
  12. Evaluate potential changes to the U.S. Constitution to reflect the 21st century security environment and the changed nature of armed conflict.
  13. Evaluate ways to improve the effectiveness of military advice to national policymakers.
  14. Evaluate ways to more effectively integrate military and nonmilitary planning into national strategy.
  15. *When does an attack in cyberspace constitute an act of war?
  16. *Are the current efforts and programs sufficient to achieve the envisioned benefits of ‘whole of government’ approaches to challenges?
  17. *What are the characteristics required of an effective Strategic Communications Plan that illustrates to Congress and the American public the enduring requirement to maintain a suitably sized and effective ground component as the key element of the defense establishment?

V. Landpower Employment

  1. Evaluate current responses to irregular challenges.
  2. Evaluate the requirements for military operations in complex terrain.
  3. Assess the nature and importance of information superiority in military operations.
  4. Assess evolving landpower roles in stability operations, security force assistance, reconstruction, and humanitarian operations.
  5. Assess measures for improving joint, combined, interagency, NGO, and IGO cooperation in humanitarian and counterinsurgency operations.
  6. Evaluate the effectiveness of U.S. landpower in foreign policy execution by combatant commanders and country teams.
  7. Assess the impact of international law on American military operations.
  8. Evaluate decision-making models and assess their relevance to various landpower employment environments.
  9. Evaluate ethical implications associated with landpower employment in stability, security force assistance, and counterinsurgency operations.
  10. *Should the Army maintain forces stationed overseas?
  11. *The demonstrated inability of the interagency to fully source its support to land operations, most notably during Phase IV/V, places a burden on the Army to provide stability and reconstruction capabilities. Should the Army institutionalize those required capabilities by designing force structure that specifically addresses stability and reconstruction requirements?
  12. *The Army has revised FM 3-0 and changed the Army Operating Concept to Unified Operations – enable by core competencies of Combined Arms Maneuver and Wide Area Security. How will this change the Army’s contribution to joint force operations?

VI. Landpower Generation and Sustainment

  1. Assess the impact of legal constraints on military and interagency mobilization.
  2. Evaluate measures to overcome anti-access and area-denial strategies.
  3. Evaluate measures for operating in areas with primitive and austere infrastructures.
  4. Evaluate the tradeoffs of power projection, prepositioning, and forward stationing.
  5. Evaluate the impact of the expanding or decreasing roles of contractors and other civilians in defense operations.
  6. Assess measures to sustaining a modular, capabilities-based Army.
  7. Assess measures to establish a single Army logistics enterprise.
  8. Assess command and control, logistics, and sustainment structure gaps for the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in support of stability operations.
  9. Assess inter and intratheater mobility requirements for the U.S. military.
  10. *Evaluate the Army’s ability to sustain land power in a protracted conflict?
  11. *Given the decreasing support and capacity from allied forces, does the US need to increase the size of the ground components to ensure sufficient overmatch/manageable risk in future ground-centric joint campaigns?
  12. *How should the Army (Operational and Generating Force) organize to ensure it is expansible should it need to grow to meet demand in time of conflict? Consider the need for med and senior grade offices and NCOs.
  13. *Evaluate measures to overcome anti-access and area-denial strategies. What is the Army’s contribution to Joint forcible entry; to include sustainment and protection of lodgments?
  14. *What capabilities does the Army need to operate in areas with primitive and austere infrastructures?
  15. *How should the Army (Operational and Generating Force) organize to ensure it is expansible should it need to grow to meet demand in time of conflict? Use the DOTMLPF framework, and specifically consider the need for mid and senior grade offices and NCOs, types of units that can be generated quickly, and the institutional and industrial base required for an expansible Army.
  16. *What is the Army’s responsibility to provide a strategic reserve?
  17. *What is the role of doctrine in a dynamic environment and in the age of wiki-information?
  18. *Should the Army continue utilization of ARFORGEN as a core process versus its use a temporary wartime procedure? How does the Army’s Title 10 requirement to generate forces change based on conditions and demand.
  19. *Given the projected Operating Environment (OE), what is the best way to organize capabilities at the BCT level? Is modularity most functional at the BCT level or better considered at the battalion or division level of employment?
  20. *Should there be a Joint Depot Maintenance Organization as some have suggested or should each Service Chief retain the capability to sustain its Service responsibilities under Title X? Assess the benefits and risks associated with such an organization as well as its effectiveness in light of the performance of Army depots over the last decade.
  21. *What are the effects of Equipping the Aviation Force to 80% of the Army Acquisition Objective?
  22. *Operational Contract Support: How can we strengthen the Commander’s ability to use OCS and how do we structure the force to be able to effectively execute OCS during full spectrum operations?
  23. *Is there an over-reliance on contractor logistics support (CLS)? Assess/Analyze CLS and what capabilities should we maintain/adjust in the future maintenance force structure given pending budget and force structure constraints.
  24. *ASCCs and MACOMs frequently request short-term loans from APS giving auditors the impression that the Army uses APS as a convenient supply warehouse instead of as a strategic asset; Through efficient management, can APS fulfill both roles?
  25. *Moving beyond the scope of CALL’s publication on Money as A Weapons system (MAAWS); How can in-depth planning for OCS be integrated into the Combatant Commander’s Campaign Plan and subsequently into the Department of State/United Nations follow-on strategies?
  26. *Virtually all fielded products of a Program Manager will be deployed into an operational theater sometime during the product lifecycle; If that product requires contracted support during the deployed period, how best can PMs plan for the application of OCS when mapping the lifecycle?
  27. *What is the most efficient means to integrate systems modernization into APS strategic planning?
  28. *What is the most effective way to encourage green cost savings and forward-thinking contractors with regard to base life support to our contingency forces?
  29. *Assess logistics dependencies on space-based/space-enabled communications systems. Identify potential means to recognize, respond, and mitigate the impacts of degraded space environments on delivery of critical logistics support for combat operations. Identify opportunities to train logistics leaders at all level on how to operate in a degraded space environment. Identify continuity of operations requirements that might help mitigate SATCOM points of failure.
  30. *Conduct a review of industry and government initiatives for space-based solar power, with the focus on current level of investment dollars and projected return on investment. Space solar power is the conversion of solar energy at a location outside of the Earth’s atmosphere into power that is usable either in space or on Earth. Microwave technology would be used to transmit energy through space back to receiver stations on earth. Commercial sector firms are exploring the capability, but it is not addressed in either the National Space Strategy or Army Space Strategy. The review would focus on technical and economic feasibility.
  31. *Conduct a review of progress of the Materiel Core Enterprise in integrating sustainment, materiel systems development, and improved materiel life-cycle functions. Assess level of industry engagement in materiel enterprise strategy and forums and potential contributions.
  32. *Conduct a review to develop alternative fuel sources to negate the dependency on JP8 and cut down the number of resupply missions. Exploring the use of Micro-grids for power generation and converting waste to energy are examples of possible life and cost saving methods.
  33. *Conduct a review to find the best ways to best equip our soldiers in the current operating environment. Producing a well-protected, well-cared for soldier who is agile and confident is critical to sustaining the fight.
  34. *Efforts to develop the means to transfer NIPRNet data onto and off of the SIPRNet in near real time without compromising security continues to deny to commanders and staffs a shared true common operating picture. A clear and rational path needs to be identified for the Army to achieve an integrated network for planning, execution, and control.
  35. *Sustainment of BCT units in current and future operational environments will take place over widely dispersed areas of challenging terrain. Reduced logistics structure and personnel tax units to deliver critical but often small items and supplies over terrain and distance, using convoys or non-organic requested airframes. A small UAV capable of at least 60 pound cargo delivery over 60-150 nautical mile delivery range may have the potential to address operational shortcomings and challenges associated with aerial delivery under these scenarios.
  36. *The dismounted squad has emerged as a “strategic force,” with the future squad envisioned as being organized, trained, equipped, and enabled as a “formation.” A key enabler for this squad in the conduct of operations will be the lightening of the soldier’s load and improved power and energy capacities. Desired Outcome: A high-level assessment of critical task lists for the squad, impact upon current and future logistics capabilities, and correlation of current investments to desired capabilities
  37. *The 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review Report stated the OSD must take steps to strengthen the technology and private sector industrial base to facilitate innovation, to include ensuring that critical skills are not lost and that access to venture funding and overall access to capital for small technology start-up companies is assessed. Desired Outcome: Observations on OSD efforts to address potential private sector critical issues.
  38. *Evaluate the use of Army multi-modal capabilities in support of contingency operations during Phases II-V of the Joint Operational Phasing Model.
  39. *Assess the transformation of Army sustainment over the past decade. What changes (if any) need to be made to Army logistics force structure and modularity concept.
  40. *Evaluate the joint logistics lessons learned from Afghanistan and Iraq to identify what changes need to be made to DOTLMPF.
  41. *Assess both Army and joint lessons learned from a logistics planner perspective and determine which findings should be incorporated into the future logistics planner’s template or identified as new planning factors for consideration.
  42. *Identify the changes that need to be made to Army contracting doctrine and policy as a result of contracting operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
  43. *Analyze the current acquisition process. Identify recommendations for improving the requirements determination, validation, and funding process to speed delivery solutions to the warfighter.
  44. *Discuss potential contingency basing initiatives that would energy requirements and improve efficiencies. Determine metrics for operational energy that can be employed at the tactical level.
  45. *Identify science and technological advancements that can be used to meet future logistics requirements.

VII. Leadership, Personnel Management, and Culture

  1. Evaluate retention and readiness measures of active and reserve forces.
  2. Assess measures to develop Soldiers and leaders for future Missions.
  3. Define and assess the continuum of service.
  4. Assess the apparent gap between civilian and military cultures and its effect on interagency interaction and purpose.
  5. Assess the relationship between the U.S. military and American society:
    1. Demographics: who is in it, and who fights?
    2. Civilian control over the military in the 21st century.
    3. Sustaining public support.
  6. Assess efforts to identify, manage, and sustain the Army’s intellectual and technological talent.
  7. Assess the status of the Army as a profession.
  8. Evaluate how the Army develops and responds to “lessons learned.”
  9. Assess how differences in service cultures detract from or enhance Joint synergy.
  10. Evaluate measures for maintaining a culture of innovation.
  11. Assess the implications of adopting commercial best business practices for the military.
  12. Assess measures to manage nondeployable Soldiers.
  13. Evaluate the strategic purpose and effectiveness of the Individual Ready Reserve.
  14. Examine the pre-commissioning program’s effectiveness for meeting the needs of the Army.
  15. Analyze the impact of changing military service requirements on families.
  16. Examine the impact of military service on the perspectives of political and business leaders concerning defense policy.
  17. Assess implications of interagency integration on professional military education, career progression, and other human resource management practices.
  18. Examine the utilization of foreign area officers in Office of Defense Cooperation (ODC) and Defense Acquisition Organization (DAO) positions within the Senior Defense Official (SDO) concept.
  19. Assess the knowledge, skills, and abilities that military leaders require in complex contingencies and/or stability operations.
  20. Examine ways to optimize cooperation among international, host nation, government, and nongovernment actors.

Regional Strategic Issues

POC: Dr. Steven Metz

I. Evolving Regional Security Matters in Africa

  1. The evolving role and organization of AFRICOM, and its receptivity within Africa.
  2. Africa and the war on terrorism.
  3. Lessons learned from Africa’s insurgencies and implications for Africa’s future conflicts.
  4. Implications of HIV/AIDS on the ground forces of African partners.
  5. Strategic implications of Chinese, Iranian, Indian, and Brazilian activity in Africa.
  6. Analysis of regional African infrastructure and its impact on how African nations provide for their own security (e.g., the Zambezi River Valley or the Great Lakes nations or the Trans-Sahel).
  7. U.S. strategy toward the Trans-Sahel.
  8. U.S. strategy toward the conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and its impact on its neighbors.
  9. Maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea subregion — threats, challenges, and solutions.
  10. U.S. strategy toward the West Indian Ocean nations (Comoros, Mauritius) and southeast African coast nations.
  11. Nexus of security and development in Africa — why they go hand-in-hand.
  12. U.S. military roles in human security issues in Africa.
  13. The impacts and risks of mass migrations and refugee flows in Africa.
  14. The role of the African Union in African peacekeeping operations.
  15. Army international activities programs in Africa.
  16. Professional development of African militaries.
  17. Developing partnerships with Africa’s powers: Nigeria, Ethiopia, Kenya, and South Africa.
  18. Transnational crime and security in Africa, including the effects of narco-trafficking on stability in West Africa.
  19. The U.S. role in the Niger Delta conflict.
  20. Climate change and conflict in Africa.

II. Evolving Regional Security Matters in the Middle East and the Islamic World

  1. Assess political upheaval in Middle East following the Egyptian and Tunisian revolutions.
  2. Iranian regional assertiveness and its implications for Middle East security.
  3. U.S.-Iraqi security relations and cooperation following a withdrawal of U.S. combat units from Iraq.
  4. U.S. interests with respect to a stable, sovereign Iraq.
  5. Military and security issues of the Arabian Peninsula including Saudi Arabia and Yemen.
  6. Changing the U.S. military presence in the Persian/Arabian Gulf.
  7. Security issues created by the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
  8. U.S. strategy toward Lebanon.
  9. U.S. strategy toward Libya.
  10. U.S. strategy toward Syria.
  11. U.S. strategy toward Iran.
  12. Regional and global implications of the Iranian nuclear program and ballistic missile program.
  13. The impact of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM (OIF) on U.S. national security.
  14. Strategic implications of a changing Egypt.
  15. The future of Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and the smaller Gulf monarchies in Middle Eastern security.
  16. Strategic implications of fully or partially democratic, but anti-U.S. governments, mass movements, and political parties, in the Middle East.
  17. Strategic implications of increasing Chinese interests in Middle East oil, arms sales, and economic aid to the Middle East.
  18. Future role of external powers and security organizations in the Middle East.
  19. Emerging and evolving military relationships among Middle Eastern states including counterterrorism relationships.
  20. Strategies that regional states have for dealing with the United States and its allies in the Middle East.
  21. Regional security strategies in the Middle East including ways in which the United States can most effectively cooperate with regional allies.
  22. The nature of politically-oriented Islamic militancy, salafi jihadism, and their implications for U.S. and regional security.
  23. Efforts to contain and moderate violent ethnic and sectarian conflicts throughout the Middle East.
  24. Dangers of “spillover” problems from Iraq, and the activities of regional states within Iraq.
  25. The danger of the spread of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) of all kinds throughout the region and the potential danger of regional conflicts in which WMD are employed.
  26. Regional implications of efforts to improve and modernize the conventional militaries of major regional powers including Egypt, Iraq, Iran, Israel, and Saudi Arabia.
  27. Challenges of political reform (including fair treatment of all religious sects and ethnic groups) and the ways in which such reform may enhance domestic and regional security.

III. Evolving Regional Security Matters in the Asia-Pacific

  1. Balancing U.S. security interests in China and Taiwan.
  2. Assess U.S.-China mil-mil relations.
  3. Assess the Obama Administration’s “back to Asia” efforts.
  4. Implications of China’s growing economic and military power in the region.
  5. China’s regional and global grand strategy.
  6. China’s military transformation.
  7. The strategic implications of China’s growing space capabilities.
  8. Chinese-North Korean relations.
  9. Strategic response to North Korea’s intentions and capabilities.
  10. Evolving Republic of Korea-U.S. security relations.
  11. Examine North Korea’s leadership change and the future of North Korea.
  12. The role of the U.S. military on the Korean Peninsula.
  13. Politics of history and memory in South-North Korean relations.
  14. The future of the Japan-U.S. security relationship.
  15. Japan’s relationships with Asian nations.
  16. Security concerns in Southeast Asia and implications for the United States.
  17. Future of ASEAN and U.S. strategic posture in the region.
  18. Future of the U.S. alliance with Australia and New Zealand.
  19. Sources and dimensions of anti-Americanism in Asia: policy implications.
  20. Role of nationalism in Asia and implications for U.S. policy.
  21. Role of ideology in Asia and implications for U.S. policy.
  22. Russia’s interests, policy, and actions in Asia.
  23. Transformation of U.S. forward deployment in Asia.
  24. Future U.S. energy security strategy for Asia and the Pacific.
  25. Organized crime and security in South Asia.
  26. India as a rising Asian power and the expansion of its overall capabilities and interests.
  27. Strategic implications of U.S.-Vietnam security relations.
  28. Evolving U.S.-Thailand security relations.
  29. Contending sea powers in East Asia.
  30. Strategic implications of U.S. economic downturn and global financial crisis on U.S.-Asian relations.

IV. Evolving Regional Security Matters in Europe

  1. U.S. Army roles in future Balkan security.
  2. A roadmap for future security in the Balkans.
  3. The revival of the Russian military.
  4. Prospects for Russo-American security and/or defense cooperation.
  5. Russia’s future relationships with Europe and the United States.
  6. Energy security in Europe.
  7. Democratization and instability in Ukraine, Georgia, and Belarus.
  8. Impact of growing Muslim populations on European security policy.
  9. Strategic implications of reconfiguring the U.S. military presence in Europe.
  10. Implications of a changing NATO.
  11. U.S. leadership in NATO: Does/should the U.S. Army still play a role?
  12. NATO and EU defense capabilities: new or just repackaging the old?
  13. EU civil-military cell: a useful model for joint/interagency operations?
  14. Is the U.S.-Europe military capabilities gap still growing; are U.S. technology transfer rules helping or hindering?
  15. Implications of OIF for European cooperation in the war on terrorism.
  16. EU expansion while excluding Turkey from membership.
  17. Strategic implications of drawing down U.S. forces in Europe.
  18. Will ISAF break NATO?
  19. Should the United States encourage handover of OEF to NATO and allow CENTCOM to focus on OIF?
  20. EUCOM’s future role with the Maritime Analysis and Operations Centre-Narcotics (MOAC-N) located in Lisbon, Portugal (7 nation regional center).
  21. Discuss coordination across the COCOM seams: The unique role that Joint Interagency Task Force South (JIATF-S) plays in the EUCOM AOR to combat cross-Atlantic illicit narcotics trafficking.
  22. How should the United States leverage European engagement with China?
  23. Mediterranean strategic implications in light of the creation of AFRICOM.

V. Evolving Regional Security Matters in South Asia

  1. Balancing U.S. security interests between India and Pakistan.
  2. Role of India in world events and U.S.-Indian military-strategic relations.
  3. Maintaining stability and security in Afghanistan.
  4. Long-term implications of maintaining the OIF coalition.
  5. The evolving American security relationship with Pakistan.
  6. The global response to state failure or internal conflict in South Asia.
  7. Organized crime and security in South Asia.
  8. The risks, benefits, and implications of poppy eradication in Afghanistan.
  9. Iran: A potential partner in stemming illegal Afghan drug flow. Should the coalition seek to engage Iran in mutually beneficial border control to stem the flow of illicit narcotics?
  10. Strategic implications of China-India cooperation and conflict.

VI. Evolving Regional Security Matters in Central Asia

  1. Growing U.S. security interests in the Caucasus and Central Asia.
  2. Russian-China-U.S. competition in Central Asia.
  3. Implications of energy development in the Caucasus and Caspian regions.
  4. Synchronizing security cooperation and political reform in Central Asia.
  5. The role and structure of the U.S. military presence in Central Asia.
  6. Strategic implications of the evolving Shanghai Cooperation Organization.

VII. Evolving Regional Security Matters in the Western Hemisphere

  1. U.S. interests in Caribbean security issues.
  2. Hemispheric security forces (military and police) and new threats.
  3. Improving security ties with Brazil.
  4. Lessons from the Colombian insurgency.
  5. Immigration and people smuggling as a security issue.
  6. Alternately governed space and implications for territorial security.
  7. Gangs and other transnational crime as a threat to the area.
  8. Venezuela as an exporter of political instability.
  9. Narco-funded terrorism networks.
  10. Instability and disenfranchised indigenous and poor populations.
  11. Implications of the rising threat of populism in the region; the difference between populists and the “responsible left.”
  12. Addressing the fundamental disconnect between the U.S. and Latin American visions of current threats to the region.
  13. Long-term implications of Chinese engagement in Latin America.
  14. Maintaining the viability of hemispheric security forces during a time of declining budgets.
  15. Implications for U.S. security of a post-Castro Cuba.
  16. Forming a North American Security Community.
  17. Improving U.S.-Mexico security ties.
  18. Implications of the drug war in Mexico.
  19. Impact and desirability of forming sub-regional security organizations like the Conferencia de Fuerzas Armadas Centroamericanas (CFAC).

VIII. Other

  1. Revising the boundaries of the geographic Combatant Commands.
  2. Integrating regional security cooperation plans, basing, and presence policies.
  3. Environmental issues as a basis for enhancing security cooperation.
  4. How Interagency Combatant Commands function.
  5. Analysis of a viable and relevant sub-national, national, or trans-national political actor along the framework suggested by the Analytical Cultural Framework for Strategy and Policy (ACFSP) as discussed in the May 2009 SSI Letort Paper “Cultural Dimensions of Strategy and Policy” to identify that group’s sense of purpose and values, the interests that derive from them, and implications for U.S. strategy and policy regarding that group.

War and Society

POC: Dr. Antulio J. Echevarria, II

I. American Society

  1. Discuss ways of balancing individual civil rights and national security requirements.
  2. Assess the debate over America’s place in the world.
  3. Examine America’s changing perceptions of other nations.
  4. Examine the U.S. media’s role in political and social mobilization.
  5. Examine American civil-military relations in wartime.
  6. Examine the role of religion and faith in the American way of war.
  7. Strategic implications of public perceptions of who serves, and who dies.
  8. Assess how operations in Iraq and Afghanistan have affected U.S. civil-military relations.
  9. Assess civilian control of the military and the requirement to provide military advice.
  10. Examine possible political boundaries for general and flag officers, active and retired.

II. International Society

  1. Assess the impact of the global financial crisis on the United States.
  2. Assess the strategic impact of the rising powers, i.e., China, India, EU, Brazil, Russia, and others on the United States.
  3. Assess the “Clash of Cultures” debate.
  4. Examine the implications of anti-Americanism for U.S. foreign policy.
  5. Examine centers of power in other societies and cultures.
  6. Assess the role of “strategic communication” in establishing trust with our partners.

More topics available in the expanded KSIL.