Thank you for viewing the current issue of the SSI newsletter. If you can see this line, the newsletter may not be rendering correctly in your email client. Click here.
Newsletter Header
SSI Home · Update Subscription · Forward to a Colleague · Contact Us
New Publications
Criminals, Militias, and Insurgents: Organized Crime in Iraq by Dr. Phil Williams. Criminal enterprises and activities had a debilitating impact and made the attainment of U.S. objectives in Iraq much more difficult. Organized crime inhibited reconstruction and development and became a major obstacle to state-building; the insurgency was strengthened and sustained by criminal activities; sectarian conflict was funded by criminal activities and motivated by the desire to control criminal markets; and more traditional criminal enterprises created pervasive insecurity through kidnapping and extortion. Organized crime also acted as an economic and political spoiler in an oil industry expected to be the dynamo for growth and reconstruction in post Ba'athist Iraq.

Escalation and Intrawar Deterrence During Limited Wars in the Middle East, by Dr. W. Andrew Terrill. This monograph seeks to analyze military escalation and intrawar deterrence by examining two key wars where these concepts became especially relevant—the 1973 Arab-Israeli War and the 1991 Gulf War against Iraq. A central conclusion of this monograph is that intrawar deterrence is an inherently fragile concept, and that the nonuse of weapons of mass destruction in both wars was the result of a number of positive factors that may not be repeated in future conflicts.

Toward a Risk Management Defense Strategy, by Mr. Nathan P. Freier. This monograph offers key considerations for DoD as it works through the on-going defense review. The author outlines eight principles for a risk management defense strategy. He argues that these principles provide "measures of merit" for evaluating the new administration's defense choices. This monograph builds on two previous works--Known Unknowns: Unconventional "Strategic Shocks" in Defense Strategy Development and The New Balance: Limited Armed Stabilization and the Future of U.S. Landpower. Combined, these three works offer key insights on the most appropriate DoD responses to increasingly "unconventional" defense and national security conditions.

Alien: How Operational Art Devoured Strategy, by Brigadier Justin Kelly and Dr. Michael James Brennan. This authors argue that the idea of an operational level of war charged with the planning and conduct of campaigns misconceives the relationship between wars, campaigns, and operations, and is both historically mistaken and wrong in theory. They conclude that its incorporation into U.S. doctrine has had the regrettable impact of separating the conduct of campaigns from the conduct of wars and consequently marginalized the role of politics in the direction of war. In essence, they argue that the idea of the campaign has come to overwhelm that of strategy.

Russian Elite Image of Iran: From the Late Soviet Era to the Present, by Dr. Dmitry Shlapentokh. Since the late Soviet era, Iran has loomed large in the minds of the Russian elite. Iran became especially important in the geopolitical construction of Eurasianists or neo-Eurasianists who believed that Russia's alliance with Iran is essential for Russia's rise to power. Yet, by the middle of Russian President Vladimir Putin's tenure, increasing tension with the Muslim community and the rise of Russian nationalism had led to more complicated views of the Russian elite on Iran. At present, the Russian elite does not mind using Iran as a bargaining chip in its dealings with the West, especially the United States, and as a market for Russian weapons and other goods and services. However, the dream of a Russian-Iran axis is apparently abandoned for good.

Baghdad ER--Revisited, by Colonel Erin P Edgar. The China Dragons of the 28th Combat Support Hospital deployed in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM from September 2006 until November 2007. This combat tour was historic in many regards, with the team challenged by unprecedented casualty numbers and indirect fire attacks. Not only did they save thousands of lives; they helped advanced trauma medicine, as leading hospitals worldwide have benefitted from military initiatives in the areas of bleeding control and hemostatic resuscitation. Their service epitomizes the strides that have been made in military combat medicine, and their challenges highlight the areas in which our medical system can improve further.

Mind-Sets and Missiles: A First Hand Account of the Cuban Missile Crisis, by Mr. Kenneth Michael Absher. This chronology provides details and analysis of the intelligence failures and successes of the Cuban Missile Crisis, and suggests the applicability of lessons learned to the collection, analysis, and use of intelligence in strategic decisionmaking. The author describes how the crisis unfolded using the author’s personal recollection, declassified documents, and many memoirs written by senior CIA officers and others who were participants. Lessons learned include the need to avoid having our political, analytical and intelligence collection mind-sets prevent us from acquiring and accurately analyzing intelligence about our adversaries true plans and intentions.

Monthly Op-Ed
National Security Strategy Reform: Rebalancing the President's Agenda, by Dr. Robert H. Dorff

Drug Trafficking, Violence and Instability in Mexico, Colombia, and the Caribbean: Implications for US National Security
October 29-30, Pittsburgh, PA

The PLA at Home and Abroad: Assessing the Operational Capabilities of China's Military
September 25-27, Carlisle, PA (by invitation only)

Post-Event Videos Now on iTunes:
Leadership and Government Reform (iTunes link)
This event took place on June 24, 2009 in Washington, DC. See the event's website for the agenda and speakers.

Annual Strategy Conference:
Defining War for the 21st Century
April 6-8, 2010, Carlisle, PA
Mark your calendars

Coming Soon
Reconciling Iraq: Reconciliation, Targeting, and Key Leader Engagement, by Captain Jeanne F. Hull

News and Updates
On August 24, Dr. Stephen Blank gave a paper entitled, "No Need To Threaten Us, We Are Frightened of Ourselves," Russia's Blueprint for a Police State, The New Security Strategy" at the conference The Russian Army Today and Tomorrow" at the Hudson Institute in Washington, DC. Audio from the conference and Dr. Blank's presentation (MP3 File) is available.

On August 26, Dr. Phil Williams, a former Visiting Research Professor at SSI presented his new work, Criminals, Militias, and Insurgents: Organized Crime in Iraq, at a book launching ceremony held at the George Washington University in Washington, DC. Approximately 45 people attended the ceremony for a panel discussion which also included Dr. William Rosenau, a Political Scientist with RAND Corporation, and Dr. John T. Picarelli, a Social Science Analyst for the National Institute of Justice. Copies of Williams' book were given to those in attendance.

From August 15-19, Dr. Andrew Terrill participated in a workshop sponsored by the Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation (IGCC) on "Arms Control and Security Enhancement in the Middle East" in Budapest, Hungary.

On August 17, Dr. David Lai gave a presentation on the Chinese Way of War and Diplomacy to the Center for Army Analysis seminar at Ft. Belvior, VA. The presentation was also transmitted to other Army analysis units via video conference.

On August 21, Dr. Max Manwaring addressed the Defense Institute of Security Assistance Management (DISAM) Western Hemisphere Group of newly assigned Military Attaches and Security Assistance Officers on "Contemporary Security Issues in the Latin American Region."

On August 24, Dr. Antulio Echevarria II conducted a videoconference with students from the Joint Advanced Warfighting School on the topic of Clausewitz's center of gravity and strategic issues related to war's 'second grammar.' On September 25, Dr. Echevarria will conduct a professional development seminar for 50-60 officers and civilians from BG HR McMasters' Directorate of Concept Development and Experimentation (CD&E), Ft Monroe, VA.

On August 31, Dr. James G. Pierce joined SSI as the new Director of Publications. Dr. Pierce leaves retiree recall as an Army Colonel acting as Director of the Army Heritage and Education Center (AHEC). Dr. Pierce is also an Adjunct Professor for the Penn State School of Public Affairs and teaches three courses this semester: Foundations of Homeland Security, The Bureaucratic State, and Public Policy-making & Evaluation.

COL John R. Dabrowski was recently hired as a adjunct instructor of History with Harrisburg Area Community College. He is currently teaching a course entitled, "Hitler and Nazi Germany," for the Fall 2009 semester.

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.

U.S. Army War CollegeStrategic Studies InstituteWebsite Help & PoliciesPublicationsOpportunitiesContact Us

External Link Policy • Last Modified: September 17, 2009