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New Publications
Mexico’s Narco-Insurgency and U.S. Counterdrug Policy, by Mr. Hal Brands. The author argues that the Merida Initiative, a U.S. multiyear counterdrug program designed to help the Mexican Government fight the drug cartels, may not be the optimal solution. Instead the United States must forge a more creative and encompassing approach. The author asserts that this strategy should combine interdiction and enforcement initiatives with an array of social, economic, political and U.S. domestic programs to create a broad effort that attacks the drug trade from all sides.

Cultural Dimensions of Strategy and Policy, by Colonel Jiyul Kim. The author explores the intersection of culture with strategy and policy. The ability to understand and appreciate the role and impact of culture on policy and strategy is increasingly seen as a critical strategic thinking skill. The concepts and framework provided by the author have formed the foundation for how the U.S. Army War College has incorporated culture into the study of strategy and policy.

State and Nonstate Associated Gangs: Credible "Midwives of New Social Orders," by Dr. Max G. Manwaring. The author addresses the multifaceted nature and predominant role of gangs operating as state and nonstate proxies in the global security environment. He examines examples of contemporary populism and neo-populism, 21st century socialists, and a nonstate actor (al-Qaeda) seeking regional and global hegemony. The lessons he derives from these cases demonstrate how gangs might fit into a holistic effort to force radical political-social-economic change, and illustrate how traditional political-military objectives may be achieved indirectly.

Challenges and Opportunities for the Obama Administration in Central Asia, by Dr. Stephen Blank. The author argues that a winning strategy in Afghanistan depends upon a new coordinated nonmilitary approach to Central Asia. That approach would rely heavily on improved coordination at home and the more effective leveraging of our superior economic power in Central Asia. These actions would help stabilize the region so that it provides a secure rear to Afghanistan.

Coming Soon
Criminals, Militias, and Insurgents: Organized Crime in Iraq, by Dr. Phil Williams

Toward a Risk Management Defense Strategy, by Nathan Freier

New Partnerships for a New Era: Enhancing the South African Army’s Stabilizing Role in Africa, by Dr. Deane-Peter Baker

Monthly Op-Ed
China's Maritime Quest, by Dr. David Lai

Critical Cyber Infrastructure Protection: Policy and Strategy
June 4-5, 2009, New York, NY

At Home in the Americas: Canada, the United States, and Hemispheric Security
June 10-12, 2009, Kingston, Ontario, Canada

For the President's Agenda: National Security Reform for a Post-9/11 World
June 24, 2009, Washington, DC

Of Interest
Redeployment of the Jedi, by Colonel Christine D. Cook, USAR. A Personal Experience Monograph about reintegration of officers when they return home after deployment to a combat zone.

Research Opportunities
The window for submitting research contract proposals is now open. Please read about our External Research Associates Program (ERAP) to learn more.

News and Updates
Dr. Steven Metz was interviewed on the conflict in Afghanistan and Pakistan by al Jazeera and Public Radio International (PRI). PRI audio is available for both "Psychology of War" and "U.S. Strategy in Afghanistan."

On May 7, Dr. Andrew Terrill published, "Seeking Meaningful Deterrence in the Israeli-Iranian Strategic Standoff," in the Spring 2009 Parameters. On May 8, SSI's May Op-Ed, "Iraq on Brink of Third Great Mistake," by Dr. Terrill, was reprinted in Asia Times Online.

On May 15, Dr. David Lai gave a presentation, "China: Friend or Foe?" to 60 members of the World Presidents Organization Indiana chapter.

On May 20, Dr. Stephen Blank testified before the Congressional U.S.-China Commission on China's Energy Policies Towards Russia and Asia.

The views expressed in this newsletter are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, the Department of Defense, or the U.S. Government. This newsletter is cleared for public release; distribution is unlimited.

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