SSI

Decisive Point Podcast

Dr. Jason W. Warren and Dr. John A. Bonin – “Reversing the Readiness Assumption: A Proposal for Fiscal and Military Fitness”

Released 27 September 2021. Looming budget cuts will necessitate adept management to retain a military capable of competing and winning by avoiding the mistakes made in prior drawdowns. This article presents a framework for government and defense leaders to prepare for the coming drawdown and plan for the necessary capacity of tomorrow across the diplomatic, …

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Dr. Brian McAllister Linn – “Samuel Huntington, Professionalism, and Self-Policing in the US Army Officer Corps”

Released 21 September 2021. Drawing on Samuel P. Huntington’s three phases of self-regulationused to determine if an occupation qualifies as a profession, this article focuses onthe third phase of policing and removing those who fail to uphold the standardsset forth in the first two phases. It reviews how the Army implemented this phasefollowing the Civil …

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Dr. Matthew Valasik and Dr. Shannon E. Reid – “The Alt-Right Movement and National Security”

Released 16 September 2021. Identifying the January 6 insurrection at the US Capitol as an inflection point, this article analyzes the historical relationship between White supremacy and the US military from Reconstruction after the Civil War to the present. The article posits causes for the disproportionate number of current and former members of the military …

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Gregory Aftandilian – “Hope versus Reality: The Efficacy of Using US Military Aid to Improve Human Rights in Egypt”

Released 16 September 2021. Using US military aid as a lever to achieve human rights reforms has proven only marginally effective. This article examines the approaches employed by the Obama and Trump administrations to US military aid to Egypt and proposes practical steps that can be taken by policymakers and the military personnel on the …

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Dr. Austin C. Doctor and Dr. James I. Walsh – “The Coercive Logic of Militant Drone Use”

Released 27 July 2021. While unmanned aerial systems can serve as a force multiplier for militants, these systems do not embody a transformation in modern insurgent warfare or enable militants to engage regularly in strategic coercion. Instead, drone use is consistent with a militant group’s relative capabilities and broader strategic objectives. Consequently, these groups are …

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Dr. Robert Ehlers and Dr. Patrick Blannin – “Integrated Planning and Campaigning for Complex Problems”

Released 12 July 2021. Shortfalls and inefficiencies in traditional planning and campaigning have become increasingly clear in the current hyperconnected security environment. US military planners can mitigate these deficiencies by embracing integrated planning and campaigning approaches including the development of new organizational structures and processes. These improvements will give senior leaders increased options as the …

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Dr. Tongfi Kim and Dr. Luis Simon – “Greater Security Cooperation: US Allies in Europe and East Asia”

Released 7 July 2021. Growing Sino-Russian coordination necessitates greater security cooperation between US Allies in Europe and East Asia. US Allies in both regions face remarkably similar threats requiring similar operational concepts, capabilities, and technologies. Further, these Allies must hedge against the specter of US abandonment. An exploration of the links between the two geographically …

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M. Chris Mason – “COIN Doctrine Is Wrong”

Released 28 June 2021. Counterinsurgency does not increase the legitimacy of, or support for, central governments engaged in internal conflicts. Recent research shows quantifiable degrees of government legitimacy, national identity, and population security are necessary precursors and accurate predictors of a government’s ability to outlast a civil uprising. Because the first two predictors—government legitimacy and …

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Darren Colby – “Toward Successful COIN: Shining Path’s Decline”

Released 28 June 2021. The rapid decline of the Peruvian left-wing insurgent organization Sendero Luminoso was not only the result of the arrest of its leader. An analysis of the precipitous weakening of the organization using two social movement theories finds other factors were involved in the demise of the organization as well. These factors—participatory …

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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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