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National Security Strategy Studies

Added December 27, 2013
Type: Monograph
Dangerous Ground: The Spratly Islands and U.S. Interests and Approaches. Authored by Lieutenant Colonel Clarence J. Bouchat (USAF, Ret.).
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The Spratly Islands disputes are the nexus of interests and clashes for U.S. partners and competitors that will draw in the United States as it involves itself more in Asia-Pacific issues. This analysis may help readers to better understand these disputes and how the United States may better address them.
Added December 10, 2013
Type: Monograph
Politics and Economics in Putin's Russia. Edited by Dr. Stephen J. Blank.
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Is this the beginning of the end for Putin's system? The authors investigate the structural bases for Russia's domestic challenges, if not crisis.
Added December 03, 2013
Type: Monograph
U.S. Governmental Information Operations and Strategic Communications: A Discredited Tool or User Failure? Implications for Future Conflict. Authored by Dr. Steve Tatham.
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Are U.S. information operations and strategic communications fit for purpose? This issue is debated herein, and the author concludes that, if the United States is to compete with emerging powers such as China and Russia, it needs to significantly modernize and update information operations and strategic communications. But, despite what critics and even Congress may say, these important programs must not be cut.
Added November 20, 2013
Type: Monograph
What Is Next for Mali? The Roots of Conflict and Challenges to Stability. Authored by Dr. Dona J. Stewart.
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In 2012, Mali simultaneously faced a military coup, a Tuareg nationalist movement, al-Qaeda in the Islamic Magreb control in the north, and a drought-fueled humanitarian emergency. Military intervention restored security; addressing the underlying factors of the crisis is key to achieving long-term stability.
Added November 14, 2013
Type: Monograph
State Collapse, Insurgency, and Counterinsurgency: Lessons from Somalia. Authored by Dr. J. Peter Pham.
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After years as the world’s prime example of a failed state—one that gave rise to catastrophic humanitarian crises, a wave of maritime piracy, and Islamist militancy, including an al-Qaeda-linked insurgency that came close to toppling the internationally-recognized government—Somalia appears to be turning the corner. In this provocative monograph, Dr. Pham argues that there are indeed lessons to be learned from the insurgency and counterinsurgency in Somalia, but they are not the ones usually advanced by diplomats and soldiers.
Added November 12, 2013
Type: Monograph
Building Better Armies: An Insider’s Account of Liberia. Authored by Dr. Sean McFate.
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This monograph explains, step-by-step, how to demobilize militias and raise armies in conflict-affected states by someone who has done so successfully.
Added October 22, 2013
Type: Book
Forging an American Grand Strategy: Securing a Path Through a Complex Future. Selected Presentations from a Symposium at the National Defense University. Edited by Dr. Sheila R. Ronis.
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Issues associated with U.S. grand strategy were discussed on November 8-9, 2011, at the National Defense University symposium, "Forging an American Grand Strategy: Securing a Path Through a Complex Future." This volume includes several presentations from the event.
Added September 24, 2013
Type: Letort Papers
The Real "Long War": The Illicit Drug Trade and the Role of the Military. Authored by Professor Geoffrey Till.
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With a shift in focus and priority from likely involvement in large-scale counterinsurgency operations, the limited likelihood of continental traditional warfighting operations, together with the onset of an era of budgetary austerity, the U.S. Army may need to give greater attention to its role in responding to the many nontraditional threats to the peace and security of the United States. Of these, the illicit trade in drugs ranks highly because of its massive effects on human, national, and international security.
Added September 23, 2013
Type: Letort Papers
An Assessment of the DoD Strategy for Operating in Cyberspace. Authored by Dr. Thomas M. Chen.
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This monograph critically examines the Department of Defense Strategy for Operating in Cyberspace, which was published in July 2011. What are the messages conveyed, and is the Strategy adequate to maintain U.S. superiority in the face of existing and future cyber threats?
Added August 27, 2013
Type: Letort Papers
The Security Concerns of the Baltic States as NATO Allies. Authored by Dr. James S. Corum.
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America’s small NATO allies have unique views concerning international threats. This monograph explores the security environment of the three Baltic States and how the Baltic policymakers see the future of their relationship with NATO and the United States in an uncertain world.
Added August 19, 2013
Type: Monograph
The Causes of Instability in Nigeria and Implications for the United States. Authored by Lieutenant Colonel Clarence J. Bouchat (USAF, Ret.).
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The political economy problems of Nigeria, the root cause for ethnic, religious, political and economic strife, can be in part addressed indirectly through focused contributions by the U.S. military, especially if regionally aligned units are more thoroughly employed.
Added August 08, 2013
Type: Letort Papers
AFRICOM at 5 Years: The Maturation of a New U.S. Combatant Command. Authored by David E. Brown.
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Created in 2007, the new U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) has matured greatly over the last 5 years, overcoming much of the initial resistance from African stakeholders and the U.S. interagency about a “militarization” of U.S. foreign policy in Africa. This Letort Paper describes the geostrategic, operational, and intellectual changes that explain why AFRICOM was created, debunks three negative myths about AFRICOM’s current operations, and raises five issues important to AFRICOM’s future, including the need to carry out a “right-sizing” exercise at AFRICOM during a time of severe budget constraints and a real risk for the United States of “strategic insolvency.”
Added July 30, 2013
Type: Book
Nuclear Weapons Security Crises: What Does History Teach? Edited by Mr. Henry D. Sokolski, Dr. Bruno Tertrais.
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What do China’s Cultural Revolution, a coup in French Algeria, the fall of the Soviet Union, and the changing nature of the Pakistani government have in common? All represent situations when the respective governments came close to losing control of their nuclear arsenals during political crises. This volume reveals previously unknown details about the four cases and offers additional analysis and lessons learned by leading scholars.
Added June 28, 2013
Type: Letort Papers
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization and Libya: Reviewing Operation UNIFIED PROTECTOR. Authored by Dr. Florence Gaub.
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NATO's Libya Operation UNIFIED PROTECTOR is considered a military success. As this monograph shows, multiple strategic lessons can be learned from it.
Added June 24, 2013
Type: Letort Papers
Joint Strategic Planning System Insights: Chairmen Joint Chiefs of Staff 1990 to 2012. Authored by Dr. Richard M. Meinhart.
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Examining strategic planning by seven Chairmen Joint Chiefs of Staff over the past 2 decades provides insights on how these leaders addressed global challenges and made decisions. As such, this Paper provides an historic perspective in identifying key strategic planning legacies, while providing a contemporary focus for describing the current planning system's processes and products with greater fidelity.
Added June 21, 2013
Type: Monograph
The Struggle for Yemen and the Challenge of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. Authored by Dr. W. Andrew Terrill.
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How does al-Qaeda's regional and international terrorist acts compare with those of the al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), particularly in Yemen? Although Yemen's new reform government defeated AQAP and recaptured areas lost to AQAP in 2012, the terrorists remain an extremely dangerous force seeking to reassert themselves at this time of transition in Yemen.
Added June 14, 2013
Type: Monograph
Nigerian Unity: In the Balance. Authored by Gerald McLoughlin, Lieutenant Colonel Clarence J. Bouchat (USAF, Ret.).
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The existence of Nigeria as a unified state is in jeopardy. To counter this, the United States should better support Nigeria through some practical steps and thereby significantly advance both countries’ interests.
Added June 10, 2013
Type: Monograph
The Future of the Arab Gulf Monarchies in the Age of Uncertainties. Authored by Dr. Mohammed El-Katiri.
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This monograph assesses the challenges facing the Arab Gulf’s rulers, and proposes meaningful political reform as a means of mitigating these challenges.
Added June 04, 2013
Type: Letort Papers
Avoiding the Slippery Slope: Conducting Effective Interventions. Authored by Dr. Thomas R. Mockaitis.
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Operation ODYSSEY DAWN was the most recent in a long list of foreign interventions by the U.S. military. Difficult as such operations may be, the need for them remains a constant in international security. The author considers how to mount such interventions effectively without getting bogged down in protracted occupations that are costly in blood in and treasure.
Added May 28, 2013
Type: Monograph
Asia-Pacific: A Strategic Assessment. Authored by Dr. David Lai.
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The U.S.-China power transition has become a defining factor in the Asia-Pacific, conditioning the calculation of policy among the Asia-Pacific nations. A rising China brings mixed blessings—opportunities for development, but risks for conflict.
Added May 17, 2013
Type: Letort Papers
The Challenge of Drug Trafficking to Democratic Governance and Human Security in West Africa. Authored by David E. Brown.
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International criminal networks—some with links to terrorism—represent an existential threat to democratic governance of already fragile states in West Africa, and are using drugs to buy political power, fray West Africa’s traditional social fabric, and create a public health crisis. Drug trafficking represents the most serious challenge to human security in the region since resource conflicts rocked several West African countries in the early 1990s; international aid to the subregion’s “war on drugs” is only in an initial stage, and progress will be have to be measured in decades, not years.
Added May 13, 2013
Type: Monograph
War and Insurgency in the Western Sahara. Authored by Staff Researcher.
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Home to the largest functional military barrier in the world, the Western Sahara has a long history of colonial conquest and resistance, guerrilla warfare and counterinsurgency, and evolving strategic thought. This monograph explores the past, present, and future of the region, including its relationship to developments in Morocco, Algeria, and elsewhere in North Africa.
Added April 26, 2013
Type: Monograph
Sharing Power? Prospects for a U.S. Concert-Balance Strategy. Authored by Dr. Patrick Porter.
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Sharing Power examines alternative U.S. grand strategies. It argues that, while retrenchment is prudent, new strategies will also have to cope with dilemmas that can be mitigated but cannot be avoided.
Added February 05, 2013
Type: Book
Strategic Stability: Contending Interpretations. Edited by Elbridge A. Colby, Michael S. Gerson.
This edited volume offers the most current authoritative contemporary survey of the concept of strategic stability, a central plank in U.S. policy on nuclear weapons and great power relations.