In the News

The Army Role in Achieving Deterrence in Cyberspace

Jeffrey L. Caton, 2019

In 2015, the Department of Defense (DoD) released the DoD Cyber Strategy which explicitly calls for a comprehensive strategy to provide credible deterrence in cyberspace against threats from key state and nonstate actors. To be effective, such activities must be coordinated with ongoing deterrence efforts in the physical realm, especially those of near-peers impacting critical global regions such as China in the Asia-Pacific region and Russia in Europe. It is important for the U.S. Army to identify and plan for any unique roles that they may provide to these endeavors.  Continue reading >>>

Prospects for the Rule of Law in Cyberspace

Keir Giles, 2017

The application of international law and legal principles in cyberspace is a topic that has caused confusion, doubt, and interminable discussions between lawyers since the earliest days of the internationalization of the Internet. The still unresolved debate over whether cyberspace constitutes a fundamentally new domain that requires fundamentally new laws to govern it reveals basic ideological divides. On the one hand, the Euro-Atlantic community led by the United States believes, in broad terms, that activities in cyberspace require no new legislation, and existing legal obligations are sufficient.   Continue reading >>>

Israel and Gaza

Nonstate Actors and Anti-Access/Area Denial Strategies: The Coming Challenge

Jean-Loup Samaan Dr., 2020

The emerging challenge of nonstate actors’ anti-access and area denial (A2/AD) strategies and their implications for the United States and its allies by looking at two regions, the Middle East and Eastern Europe, with case studies such as Hezbollah in Lebanon, Hamas in the Gaza Strip, the Houthis in Yemen, and separatist groups in Ukraine. The historical monopoly of states over precision-guided munitions has eroded, and this evolution eventually challenges the ability of the most advanced militaries to operate in specific environments.  Continue reading >>>

Future Warfare: Weaponizing Critical Infrastructure

Carol V. Evans, 2020
Adversaries are actively targeting US and NATO critical infrastructure, particularly energy, transportation, information, communications, and the defense industrial base sectors to undermine military capability, readiness, and force projection. In some cases, adversaries are penetrating the critical infrastructure of the United States and our allies to identify vulnerabilities for later exploitation, and in others critical infrastructure is being weaponized by Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea as a form of hybrid warfare.  Continue reading >>>

Another Brick in the Wall: The Israeli Experience in Missile Defense

Jean-Loup Samaan Dr., 2015

For the last 4 decades, Israel has been challenged by the rise of ballistic arsenals in the Middle East. If, at first, the country kept relying on its traditional offensive doctrines, it eventually developed missile defense programs in the early-1980s through U.S.-Israel cooperation and then in the 2000s with the building of its iconic Iron Dome. This Israeli experience in missile defense reveals crucial lessons on the military adaptation to both new threats and new remedies that have direct implications for the United States and its allies.  Continue reading >>>

Gaza 2014: Israel's Attrition vs Hamas' Exhaustion

Eitan Shamir, Eado Hecht, 2014

While Hamas adopted a strategy of psychological exhaustion of Israel’s civilians, Israel employed physical attrition of Hamas’ military capabilities. This article examines how these strategies interacted with each other, assesses the strategic gains and losses on each side, and suggests some lessons relevant for American strategists.  Continue reading >>>

Gaza 2014: Hamas' Strategic Calculus

Glenn E. Robinson, 2014

This article analyzes Hamas’ strategic and political calculations during the 2014 conflict with Israel in Gaza. I argue Hamas did not plan the conflict, which came mostly in response to Israel’s crackdown on Hamas in the West Bank (Operation Brothers Keeper). However, Hamas sought to use the conflict to reverse its increasingly weak strategic position, and had some success in doing so.  However, given Gaza’s continued physical and regional isolation, Hamas’ enhanced position coming out of the conflict is not likely to be long-lived.  Continue reading >>>

HAMAS and Israel: Conflicting Strategies of Group-Based Politics

Sherifa D. Zuhur Dr., 2008

Efforts to separate HAMAS from its popular support and network of social and charitable organizations have not been effective in destroying the organization, nor in eradicating the will to resist among a fairly large segment of the Palestinian population. It is important to consider this Islamist movement in the context of a region-wide phenomenon of similar movements with local goals, which can be persuaded to relinquish violence or which could become more violent. Certainly an orientation to HAMAS and its base must be factored into new and more practical and effective approaches to peacemaking in the region.  Continue reading >>>

Another Brick in the Wall: The Israeli Experience in Missile Defense

Jean-Loup Samaan Dr., 2015

For the last 4 decades, Israel has been challenged by the rise of ballistic arsenals in the Middle East. If, at first, the country kept relying on its traditional offensive doctrines, it eventually developed missile defense programs in the early-1980s through U.S.-Israel cooperation and then in the 2000s with the building of its iconic Iron Dome. This Israeli experience in missile defense reveals crucial lessons on the military adaptation to both new threats and new remedies that have direct implications for the United States and its allies.  Continue reading >>>

Gaza 2014: Israel's Attrition vs Hamas' Exhaustion

Eitan Shamir, Eado Hecht, 2014

While Hamas adopted a strategy of psychological exhaustion of Israel’s civilians, Israel employed physical attrition of Hamas’ military capabilities. This article examines how these strategies interacted with each other, assesses the strategic gains and losses on each side, and suggests some lessons relevant for American strategists.  Continue reading >>>

Gaza 2014: Hamas' Strategic Calculus

Glenn E. Robinson, 2014

This article analyzes Hamas’ strategic and political calculations during the 2014 conflict with Israel in Gaza. I argue Hamas did not plan the conflict, which came mostly in response to Israel’s crackdown on Hamas in the West Bank (Operation Brothers Keeper). However, Hamas sought to use the conflict to reverse its increasingly weak strategic position, and had some success in doing so.  However, given Gaza’s continued physical and regional isolation, Hamas’ enhanced position coming out of the conflict is not likely to be long-lived.  Continue reading >>>

HAMAS and Israel: Conflicting Strategies of Group-Based Politics

Sherifa D. Zuhur Dr., 2008

Efforts to separate HAMAS from its popular support and network of social and charitable organizations have not been effective in destroying the organization, nor in eradicating the will to resist among a fairly large segment of the Palestinian population. It is important to consider this Islamist movement in the context of a region-wide phenomenon of similar movements with local goals, which can be persuaded to relinquish violence or which could become more violent. Certainly an orientation to HAMAS and its base must be factored into new and more practical and effective approaches to peacemaking in the region.  Continue reading >>>

Afghanistan

Transition in Afghanistan

Richard W. Weitz, 2013
NATO has made progress constructing the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF), which have assumed the lead for most combat operations, resulting in declining NATO  casualties. The ANSF’s ability to suppress the Taliban insurgency, however, depends on NATO’s training and equipping it sufficiently to replace the military intelligence, aviation support, logistics, and other enablers NATO now provides. Continue reading >>>

Leaving the Graveyard:
The Soviet Union’s Withdrawal From Afghanistan

David G. Fivecoat, 2012
Conventional wisdom states the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) was defeated in Afghanistan and forced to withdraw in ignominy. A closer look at history, however, reveals the Soviet Union from 1985 to 1992 capably orchestrated its diplomatic, military, and economic efforts to disengage… Continue reading >>>

Winning in Afghanistan

Ali A. Jalali, 2009
Seven years into the US-led effort to bring peace and stability to Afghanistan, the mission is on the verge of failing. This unsettling new reality is the result of key international and Afghan actors having for years pursued a narrow strategy focused almost exclusively on short-term goals at the expense of a broader and more cohesive strategy.  Continue reading >>>

Russia

Russia's A2/AD Capabilities:
Real and Imagined

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.  Continue reading >>>

Russian Special Operations Forces in Crimea and Donbas

Tor Bukkvoll, 2016
Special operations forces have played an important role in Russian warfare against Ukraine. In Crimea, they engaged in mostly covert action tasks, whereas in Donbas they engaged in more regular special operations functions such as special reconnaissance, military assistance, and direct action. The annexation of Crimea was the first time in which the new Special Operations Command took on a leading role. Based on the Ukrainian experience, there is little reason to doubt Russian capacity in special operations has increased. This may have consequences for the contingency planning of other countries, including the United States. Continue reading >>>

Why Russia is Reviving Its Conventional Military Power

Bettina Renz, 2016
The revival of Russian military power poses certain challenges to NATO and to the West. However, the exact nature of these challenges is not straightforward. This article discusses why Russia is reviving its conventional military power and argues these developments are not limited to the intention of preparing for offensive action. NATO’s and the West’s policy responses to recent changes in Russian defense policy need to be based on a realistic and nuanced understanding of Russian motivations because ill-considered responses could have serious unintended consequences  Read now >>>

"The Real Story" from BBC News

China's Advance into Latin America. Evan Ellis discusses China's role in South America. The whole podcast is worth a listen, but Ellis starts speaking around the 29:15 mark.
Podcast

Strategikon 90:
Hermanos de Armas, ‘Brothers at Arms'

A tale of two countries – featuring USAWC Distinguished Fellow, former Colombian Maj. Gen., and currently the Colombian Ambassador to Australia, H.E. Alberto José Mejia Ferrero with SSI Latin America Research Professor, Dr. Evan Ellis, discussing Colombia and Venezuela on the Sage International podcast, "Strategikon".
PODCAST