SSI

Decisive Point Podcast

Dr. Conrad C. Crane – “Matthew Ridgway and the Value of Persistent Dissent”

Released 22 June 2021. Army General Matthew Ridgway’s actions throughout his career provide a valuable example of the appropriate time and place for serious dissent by military leaders. Ridgway demonstrated the importance of selectively and pragmatically expressing open disagreement in response to operational decisions a military leader deems unnecessarily risk American lives and economic resources. …

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Dr. Ann Mezzell and Dr. J. Wesley Hutto – “JDN 2-19: Hitting the Target but Missing the Mark”

Released 22 June 2021. Predoctrinal deliberations about the employment of the US armed forces, captured in Joint Doctrine Notes, remain critically understudied. Using comparative text analysis, this article identifies changes in recent Joint Doctrine Note depictions of military strategy. These changes risk distorting the logic of military strategy, sacrificing means-ends integration to organizational impulse, and …

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Dr. Jean-Yves Haine and Dr. Cynthia Salloum – “Europe: A Strategy for a Regional and Middle Power”

Released 04 June 2021. As the European Union deals with yet another crisis— the COVID-19 pandemic—it must adopt a grand strategy based on unity, policy, and proportionality: cohesion over inaction, policy over process, and regional imperatives over global ambitions. An analysis of past strategy documents and a study of current international trends stress the need …

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Dr. Nora Bensahel – “Transforming the US Army for the Twenty-First Century”

Released 20 April 2021. In an era of great power competition centered on warfighting domains other than land, the US Army faces difficult and likely painful choices. This reality, coupled with looming budget cuts, means the Army must reconsider its approach to capabilities and total force structure, its role in homeland security, and the relationship …

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Dr. W. Andrew Terrill – “Moscow in the Middle East”

Released 9 April 2021. In 1971 Dr. John R. Thomas documented the involvement of the Soviet Union in the Middle East from the start of the Cold War. Like its name and borders, the motivations for that country’s involvement in the region have changed. Russia today promulgates relationships with the governments of the Middle East …

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COL Jonathan P. Klug – “The Joint Force and Lessons from 1971”

Released 7 April 2021. In 1971 Colonel Duane H. Smith analyzed the unified command structure, examined an existing proposal for change, and suggested improvements. He illustrated how this structure must account for the challenges of the contemporary strategic environment and balance several tensions, such as effectiveness versus efficiency, flexibility versus focusing on a specific mission, …

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COL Jason P. Clark – “US Army Reforms in the Progressive Era”

Released 26 March 2021. A look back at F. Gunther Eyck’s assessment of reforms enacted under US Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson may reveal as much about the historiography of the early 1970s as it does about Stimson’s reform efforts themselves. Eyck’s 1971 evaluation, among the first in a decade of scholarship examining successes …

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Dr. Robert Hamilton — “Soviet Reform—Surprisingly Prescient”

Released 25 March 2021. Writing in 1971, economist Dr. John P. Hardt assessed the trajectory of the Soviet economy arguing the need for reform and evaluating the willingness of key actors in the Soviet bureaucracy to support such policies. Fifty years later, Hardt was remarkably prescient with regard to structural difficulties such reform posed and …

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Dr. Michael Neiberg — “Coalition Warfare—Echoes from the Past”

Released 23 March 2021. The dilemmas posed by coalition warfare were a subject of academic interest in the inaugural issue of Parameters in 1971. Lieutenant Colonel James B. Agnew examined the unified command model pursued by the Allies during the First World War. Agnew’s assessment of the challenges faced by French Marshal Ferdinand Foch speaks …

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Dr. C. Anthony Pfaff and Julia L. E. Pfaff — “Academe and the Military”

Released 19 March 2021. Differences between the academic and military communities and the dysfunction that occurs when these communities comingle can have disastrous consequences for foreign policy. Donald Bletz, writing on the subject in 1971, details this dynamic as it related to the Vietnam War. His observations can be applied to wars since and suggest …

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Dr. Leonard Wong and Dr. Stephen Gerras – “Veteran Disability Compensation and the Army Profession: Good Intentions Gone Awry”

Released 4 February 2021. Today, two-thirds of soldiers depart the US Army with a disability rating. Unfortunately, some soldiers are exploiting a generous disability system overextended beyond its original purposes and potentially damaging trust in the military, jeopardizing Army readiness, and encouraging a culture that erodes the Army’s notions of selfless service. Click here to …

Dr. Leonard Wong and Dr. Stephen Gerras – “Veteran Disability Compensation and the Army Profession: Good Intentions Gone Awry” Read More »

Dr. Christopher J. Bolan, COL Jerad I. Harper, and Dr. Joel R. Hillison – “Diverging Interests: US Strategy in the Middle East”

Released 3 February 2021. The novel coronavirus is only the latest in a series of global crises with implications for the regional order in the Middle East. These changes and the diverging interests of actors in the region have implications for US strategy and provide an opportunity to rethink key US relationships there. Click here …

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Dr. Andrew Bell – “Civilians, Urban Warfare, and US Doctrine”

Released 22 January 2021. 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 mid-twentieth and early twenty-first centuries highlights the need for essential updates to US military doctrine …

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Dr. Raymond A. Millen – “Stability Operations in WW II: Insights and Lessons”

Released 4 January 2021. The stability achieved by the US military in the European Theater of Operations after D-Day was the direct result of good military governance concurrently deployed with combat operations. The role of civil affairs in securing this stability has been under-emphasized in analyses of these operations. But an examination of the historical …

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Mr. Jody Prescott – “Gender Blindness in US Doctrine”

Released 15 December 2020. US military Joint and Army civil affairs doctrine have failed to consider the operational relevance of gender, posing a risk to mission accomplishment and force protection. A comparison of NATO and Australian Defence Force doctrine reveals gender considerations have been included in Allied doctrine in recent years. US land-force operational planning …

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Dr. Tim Hoyt and Pamela M. Holtz – “Challenging Prevailing Models of US Army Suicide”

Released 11 December 2020. Statistics behind reported suicide rates in the military are often insufficiently analyzed and portray a distorted picture of reality. Several models for identifying individuals at risk for suicide have been proposed but few show adequate predictive power to be actionable. Instead, a collaborative and consistent effort to address core drivers at …

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Michael J. Eisenstadt and Kenneth M. Pollack – “Training Better Arab Armies”

Released 25 September 2020. US security force assistance missions to Arab partner states have had limited success, due in part to a tendency to impose American doctrine, which embodies American cultural values and norms, on Arab armed forces. Accordingly, US security force assistance missions should train Arab partners to fight in a manner better suited …

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Douglas W. Bristol Jr. – “Two Worlds: African American Servicemembers, WWII and Today”

Released 23 September 2020. The theory of social stigma provides a context for the subjective experience of African American servicemembers in World War II. Those experiences reveal the paradox the military faces when addressing racial discrimination. An examination of these experiences suggests only a collective response by African American servicemembers will solve this problem.  Click …

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Audrey Kurth Cronin – “Technology and Strategic Surprise: Adapting to an Era of Open Innovation”

Released 21 September 2020. Technological revolutions affecting state power are either open or closed. The precursor to the digital age is not the twentieth century, with state-controlled programs yielding nuclear weapons, but the late nineteenth century, when tinkerers invented the radio, airplane, and high explosives—all crucial to subsequent wars. To avoid strategic surprise, the US …

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Nina Jankowicz and Henry Collis – “Enduring Information Vigilance: Government after COVID-19”

Released 14 September 2020. The framework of Enduring Information Vigilance will help ally and partner governments deny advantages adversaries gain through their use of information operations in our new global perpetual information environment. This approach recognizes the persistent threat, unifies responses within and between governments, and resolves societal fissures toward a more global democratic information …

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