ACSC Department of International Studies

About the Department:

The Department of International Security ACSC/DEI enhances students' abilities to think critically about the employment of military power in the international environment.  Our two core courses broaden students' understanding of the nature of conflict as well as the current and future threats to the United States and its allies.  The International Security I course introduces concepts and theories of international politics that enable students to understand the international security challenges civilian and military leaders face. The course also helps students recognize the cognitive frameworks and domestic political processes through which policymakers, diplomats, and commanders interpret the international security environment in order to craft and execute national policy. Students analyze and assess global and regional security issues which affect the maintenance of international order and influence the US national security agenda.  The International Security II course introduces military theory, focusing on issues such as the nature and evolution of warfare, the range of military operations, the operational art, and the future of armed conflict.  Whereas IS1 sets the context of the international environment, IS2 focuses on the military Instrument of Power within that global context.  Through this examination, field grade officers and government personnel will have the tools to apply the lessons of military theory and armed force to operational challenges facing the United States and its essential partners.


Department Leadership

                             Department Chair:


Dr. Ronald Dains currently serves as Chair, Department of International Security. He holds an MA and PhD in Political Science from the University of Alabama and an MAS in Aeronautical Science and BS in Professional Aeronautics from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. During his doctoral matriculation he specialized in International Relations with minor fields of study in American Politics and Public Administration. His dissertation, Lasswell’s Garrison State Reconsidered: Exploring a Paradigm Shift in U.S.Civilian- Military Relations Research, explored the existence of plausible indicators to determine the potential for an increasingly influential military presence in the US policymaking process. He offers elective courses in US Civil-Military Relations and Logistics and the Use of Military Force. Dr. Dains was assigned to the Air Command and Staff College (ACSC) from 2005 to his retirement in 2006.

Research Interest/Expertise: International Security.

                             Deputy Chair (MIL):

Lt Col Eltressa D. Spencer, DBA, is the Deputy Chair and Assistant Professor in the Department of International Security at Air Command and Staff College. She holds a doctorate degree in Global Business Sustainability and is a recent graduate of Air War College (AWC) in-residence program at Maxwell AFB, AL. In addition to teaching International Security Courses I and II, Lt Col Spencer is also an adjunct for the Leadership department and the International Officer School. Prior to attending AWC in-residence, she was assigned as the Defense Support of Civil Authorities Lead Planner and Functional Plans Deputy Branch Chief at US Pacific Command at Camp Smith Hawaii. She began her military career as an enlisted Information Management Specialist at Goodfellow AFB, TX.

Research Interests/Expertise: International Security, Sustainability, Green Building Policies, Environmental Practices, and changing corporate culture.




                               Deputy Chair (CIV):

Dr. Matthew R. Schwonek is associate professor of Comparative Military Studies in the Department of International Security of Air Command and Staff College.  Currently he serves as deputy chairman of the Department of International Security, while he also oversees the exchange with the Polish Military Studies University.  He teaches core courses on international security and military theory as well as electives/research seminars on the First World War and Politics and Security in Central Europe.  He holds a Doctor of Philosophy Degree in East Central European and Russian History from The Ohio State University, where he formerly served as assistant director of the Center For Slavic and East European Studies.  He is the author of several articles, essays, and reviews on the armed forces of Poland published in The Journal of Military History, Przegląd historyczny, War in History, the Polish Review, and the Journal of Slavic Military Studies.  He currently serves on the editorial board of Przegląd wojskowo-historyczny (Warsaw).  In progress is a biography of Gen. Kazimierz Sosnkowski (1885-1967).


Research Interest/Expertise: European Military and Diplomatic History, Military Thought and Strategy, Poland, Southeastern Europe, Russia.




Department Faculty

                                  Director of Staff:

Lt Col Anthony Kim is the Director of Staff and Instructor of International Security Studies at Air University’s Air Command and Staff College (ACSC), and co-instructor for Air University’s Homeland Security elective, which studies the changing course of National Security centering on ‘emergence’ or evolution of traditional national security as it relates to public safety. Lt Col Kim has participated in several AU, OSD and USAF wargames focused on Future Warfare and the role of ISR in multi-theater conflict. He is the former Reserve Advisor to the Curtis E. LeMay Center for Doctrine Development and Education responsible for the management and training of the Center’s assigned Intelligence reservists and was the program manager that designed and launched the Air Force Culture and Language Center’s Language Immersion Training Events currently used today. Lt Col Kim has taught extensively throughout Air University to include 41


Research Interest/Expertise: ROTC, OTS, SOS, ACSC distance learning and professional continuing education classes at the LeMay Center.


                              War Theory Course Director:

Dr. Kelly Grieco is an assistant professor in the Department of International Security at the Air Command and Staff College (ACSC). She is also the Course Director for War Theory and teaches courses in war theory, international security, and military effectiveness. She holds a PhD in Political Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she was an affiliate of the Security Studies Program (SSP). She has held fellowships from the MIT Center for International Studies (CIS), the Smith Richardson Foundation, and the Tobin Project. Her research interests include coalition warfare, coalition military effectiveness, military strategy and 39 US force posture. She is currently working on a book manuscript on the sources of coalition battlefield effectiveness.



                              War Theory, Deputy Course Director

LTC Chadwick Shields, United States Army, is an instructor of Leadership and Internal Security Studies at the Air Command and Staff College. His previous assignment was at the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) where he served as the Squadron Commander for the “Widowmakers”, 1-75th Cavalry Squadron. He has over three and a half years of combat experience in Iraq and Afghanistan and has an operational deployment to Kosovo. He holds a Master’s Degree in Military Art and Science from the School of Advanced Military Studies at Fort Leavenworth, KS and a Master’s Degree in Management from Webster University. LTC Shields is a 1993 graduate of the United States Military Academy with a Bachelor of Science in International Relations.




                           International Security I Course Director

Dr. Wes Hutto is Assistant Professor of International Security and Military Studies at Air University’s Air Command and Staff College (ACSC). He is also the Course Director for International Security 1 and teaches courses in war theory, military strategy, US foreign policy, and regional security. His research interests include multinational military exercises as they relate to international and regional security dynamics, IR theory, and institutional processes in international politics. He holds a PhD in Political Science from the University of Alabama. His recent publication “The Socialization of Military Power: Security Cooperation and Doctrine Development through Multinational Military Exercises” (coauthored with Derrick Frazier) is forthcoming in Defence Studies.


                   International Security I Deputy Course Director

Lt Col Benjamin D. Forest is an Instructor and Deputy Course Director in the Department of International Security (DEI) at Air Command and Staff College. During his 24-year Air Force officer and enlisted career, he has served in a variety of fields, including acquisition, cyberspace operations, recruiting, and contracting. He holds four masters degrees, including a Masters of Systems Engineering Management from the Naval Postgraduate School. He has served in aircraft and satellite program offices, on the Air Staff, in Iraq and Afghanistan, and is a graduated squadron commander.  



                          International Security II Course Director

Dr. Ann Mezzell is an assistant professor in the Department of International Security. She is also the Course Director for International Security II. She holds an MA in political science from the University of Alabama and PhD in political science from the University of Georgia. Her fields of specialization include international relations and comparative politics. Her research focuses on new wars, failed states, human security, humanitarian intervention, and peace enforcement. In addition to teaching the international security core courses, she offers an elective on the state and social contract theory.

Lt Col Jonathan Arnett, PhD, is an associate professor of national security studies in the Department of International Security at Air University’s Air Command and Staff College (ACSC).  He is presently the deputy course director of International Security 1: Concepts and Challenges.  He also teaches International Security 2: The Use of Armed Force and Joint Air Operations.  Lt Col Arnett earned his PhD in political science from the Nelson A. Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy at the State University of New York in Albany.   He is a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy and a 2006 graduate of Air Command and Staff College. 

Research Interests:  the use of armed force and norms, terrorism, insurgency and counter-insurgency.

  Dr. Terry Beckenbaugh is an Associate Professor in the Department of International Security at Air University’s Air Command and Staff College (ACSC) at Maxwell Air Force Base. He came to ACSC from the US Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, where he taught for nine years in the Department of Military History. Dr. Beckenbaugh received his PhD in 19th Century US History from the University of Arkansas, and his Masters and Bachelors in US History and History, respectively, from Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania. Beckenbaugh has taught at a variety of undergraduate and graduate civilian institutions. He is currently working on a book on the White River Campaign in Arkansas in the spring-summer of 1862, and has numerous publications and conference presentations.


Major Charlie Bueker is an Air Command and Staff College AY17 graduate and serves as an instructor in Air Command and Staff College's Department of International Security. Additionally, as the Political-Military Affairs Strategist (PAS) Course Director, he is tasked to deliberately develop field grade officers into international affairs specialists who will build positive relationships with global partners. Prior to his current assignment, Maj Bueker served as a B-1 pilot, Air Liaison Officer and Joint Terminal Attack Controller. He holds a MAS in Military Operational Art and Science from Air University, and a BS in Management from the United States Air Force Academy. 

Lieutenant Colonel Anson Chiu is an Air Warfare Officer in the Republic of Singapore Airforce and joined the Department of International Security (DEI) in 2016,  following his graduation from the Air Command and Staff College (in residence) program. Prior to joining Air Command and Staff College, he has served in a variety of staff and leadership appointments at the Squadron, Operational Command, and at the Headquarters level.  Anson graduated with a Bachelor of Engineering (Second Class Upper Honors) in Mechatronics from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore and has Masters Degree from Cranfield University, United Kingdom and Air Command and Staff College. In 2004, he was part of the Singapore's Joint Task Force and served as a liaison officer during the Tsunami Rescue and Relief Mission in Meulaboh, Indonesia.

Dr. Dan Connelly currently serves as Assistant Professor and Director of Instruction, Department of International Security. He holds a PhD in Educational Psychology from Auburn University, an MS from the Joint Military Intelligence College, and an MA from American University and BA from Trinity College  in Russian Studies. During his doctoral matriculation he specialized in Organizational and Social Psychology. He offers elective courses in Russian strategic culture and the contemporary applications of the Just War Tradition. Dr. Connelly was assigned to Squadron Officer College in 2004, returned there as Dean in 2010, and was assigned to the Air Command and Staff College (ACSC) in 2015 for his last military assignment before retirement from the US Air Force.


Research Interest/Expertise:  Russian affairs, Just War literature, international relations theory, and philosophy and psychology of education.

   Dr. Charles E. Costanzo is an Associate Professor of International Security Studies at the Air Command and Staff College. A retired Air Force lieutenant colonel, Dr. Costanzo had assignments in ICBM operations, the Office of the Secretary of Defense, and as a faculty member at the US Air Force Academy. His most recent co-authored article is “Busting Myths about Nuclear Deterrence.” Previous articles include “South Asia—Danger Ahead?,” an examination of potentially destabilizing military developments between India and Pakistan, and “What’s Wrong with Zero?” and “What’s Still Wrong with Zero?”, both critical assessments of the proposal to eliminate nuclear weapons from the US arsenal. 

William Dean is an associate professor of history at the Air Command and Staff College at Maxwell AFB, AL. He is a graduate of the Univ. of the South (Sewanee) and received his doctorate and master’s degrees from the University of Chicago in European military and diplomatic history. He was a Chateaubriand recipient from the French government and has won the Military Officer of America Association (MOAA) award for civilian educator of the year and the Major General John Alison Award for Air Force Special Operations. He has published on French colonial warfare, intelligence, and air power issues in Revue Hisotrique des Armees, Penser les Ailes Francais, Defense Intelligence Review, and several chapters in various books.

Dr. DiPrizio earned his PhD in Political Science from the University of Delaware in 2000 with a focus on international security studies and comparative politics.  After a short stint at West Virginia University, he joined the faculty at ACSC.  Dr. DiPrizio has held numerous leadership positions there and currently serves as an Associate Professor of International Security Studies in the Department of International Studies.  He teaches seminars on US national security, contemporary warfare, and Arab-Israeli conflict.  He is the author of the book Armed Humanitarians: US Interventions from Northern Iraq to Kosovo (Baltimore, Maryland: Johns Hopkins University Press, August 2002) and is currently revising his manuscript America in the World Today which introduces readers to America’s most pressing international security concerns.


LCDR Sean Ferguson is an Instructor of International Security Studies at Air University’s Air Command and Staff College (ACSC), and he is a member of the International Security Studies course team. In addition to teaching core courses, he teaches in an elective on Small Wars. Prior to coming to ACSC, LCDR Ferguson served as Officer in Charge, Strategic Systems Programs Fleet Support Detachment where he trained and certified Pacific and Atlantic ballistic missile submarine crews in strategic weapon system operation. His previous tours include USS ASHEVILLE (SSN 758), Naval Nuclear Power Training Command, USS KENTUCKY (SSBN 737) (BLUE), and the Commander Submarine Force Pacific staff.


Dr. Mary Hampton is Professor of National Security and Course Director for the International Security I core course at the Air Command and Staff College, Air University, Maxwell AFB. She was the Associate Dean for Academics at ACSC and has been Professor of National Security at ACSC since 2003. Prior to ACSC, Dr. Hampton was a Professor of Political Science at the University of Utah for 14 years, where she went immediately after receiving her PhD from UCLA. Her research focuses on International relations Theory, European security, German security and foreign policy, women and German politics, issues and identity in trans-Atlantic relations, Russian foreign policy, the media and foreign policy, and US foreign and security policy.

Dr. Hampton has written extensively on NATO, European security, German foreign, domestic, and security policy, Russian foreign policy, U.S. foreign and security policy, and identity politics in international relations.

Her co-edited book (with Donald Hancock, Vanderbilt University), The Baltic Security Puzzle: Regional Developments in Integration, Democratization and Authoritarianism, was published in 2015 by Rowman and Littlefield. Her previous book, A Thorn in Transatlantic Relations: American and European Perceptions of Threat and Security (Palgrave-Macmillan, 2013), was published in 2013. She has published many articles and chapters, including “German unification: 20 Years Later”, in Carl Caldwell, ed., German Unification (Palgrave, 2011), and “Living in a World of Dangers and Strangers: Changing EU and German Perceptions of Threat” (German Politics and Society, 2011). She is currently writing an article on Putin and foreign policy and a book chapter on Russian politics.


  Major Sarah K. Helms is an Air Command and Staff College AY17 graduate and serves as an instructor in Air Command and Staff College’s Department of International Security. Maj Helms is a USAF Test Pilot School, class 09A, graduate. She has held developmental engineer positions within AFRL and an Iraq deployment team supporting OIF, and flight test engineer positions at a variety of AFTC's developmental test flight test squadrons. Prior to her tour at Air Command and Staff College, Maj Helms was the Director of Operations at the 746th Test Squadron and Central Inertial and GPS Test Facility. She holds an MS degree in Flight Test Engineering and an MAS degree in Military Operational Art and Science from Air University, an MS degree in Astronautical Engineering from the Air Force Institute of Technology, and a BS in Astronautical Engineering from the United States Air Force Academy. 

Dr. Kevin C. Holzimmer is Professor of Comparative Military Studies at Air University’s Air Command and Staff College (ACSC).  Before his current position at ACSC, he was a research professor at the USAF Air Force Research Institute and taught at the School for Advanced Air and Space Studies.  Dr. Holzimmer has published numerous studies on World War II in the Pacific, including General Walter Krueger: Unsung Hero of the Pacific War (University Press of Kansas).  He is currently working on a book-length project that examines how the principal air, land, and sea commanders forged an effective joint team that successfully fought the Japanese in Douglas MacArthur’s Southwest Pacific Area.  In addition to his academic pursuits, Dr. Holzimmer has worked on recent policy concerns, first with GEN David H. Petraeus’ USCENTCOM Joint Strategic Assessment Team (9 October 2008- February 2009) and most recently conducting fieldwork in charting a U.S. Air Force strategy based upon President Obama’s famous “pivot to Asia” speech.  He holds a PhD in military history from Temple University.


Dr. Michael Kraig is Associate Professor of International Security at Air Command and Staff College, Alabama.  He earned his Ph.D. in political science from the University at Buffalo, New York, with a major in international security studies and a minor in comparative politics.  Dr. Kraig served in several senior capacities with the Stanley Foundation, a non-profit, non-partisan NGO devoted to advocating security policy options for the United States and its competitors that would moderate the extremes of their geopolitical disagreements. He was a frequent traveler to Washington, DC, Europe, and the Middle East to give scholarly presentations to senior policy leaders, policy analysts, and academics. His publications include the book Shaping U.S. Military Forces for the Asia Pacific: Lessons from Conflict Management in Past Great Power Eras, by Rowman & Littlefield Press, and numerous articles on US-Iran relations, nuclear deterrence in the developing world between regional rivals, and military theory and its relation to US conventional force posture in East Asia, in The Journal of Peace Research, India Review, Security Studies, and Strategic Studies Quarterly.  


  Maj Matthew J. Mansell is an Air Command and Staff College AY17 graduate and serves as an instructor/advisor in Air Command and Staff College’s Department of International Security. Prior to his tour at Air Command and Staff College, Maj Mansell was a KC-10 Evaluator Pilot and C-130 Instructor Pilot. He holds a MAS in Military Operational Art and Science from Air University, a MSOM in Operations Management from the University of Arkansas, and a BBA in Management from Baylor University. 

Wing Commander Rich Milburn currently serves as the UK Liaison Officer to ACSC and is an instructor in the Department of International Security. He holds an LL.B from the University of Durham and an MSc from Kingston University London in Aerospace Systems. His Masters’ thesis was titled Advanced Radar and Infra-red Solutions for the Detection of Rockets, Artillery and Mortars.  He graduated from ACSC AY16 with academic distinction.  Milburn is an Aerospace Battle Manager, who has spent considerable time in tactical Air Command and Control posts, including a tour of duty in Iraq in 2003 and two tours of duty in Afghanistan in 2007 and 2010.  More recently, Milburn was the Executive Officer of the UK Air C2 ISR Test and Evaluation (T&E) Squadron at RAF Waddington that is responsible for the T&E of multiple platforms including the Sentry E-3D, Sentinel R1 and the Airseeker Programme, as well as ground-based radar and tactical data links.  His final assignment prior to being at Maxwell was as the Head of the Battle Management Branch at the NATO Deployable Air Command and Control System, Recognised Picture Production Centre and Sensor Fusion Post (DARS), part of NATO’s Deployable Air Command and Control Centre (DACCC).  Milburn was assigned to the Air Command and Staff College (ACSC) from 2015 to 2018.

  Maj Jason K. Powell is a 2017 graduate of Air Command and Staff College (ACSC) and serves as an instructor/advisor in ACSC’s Department of International Security. Prior to his assignment at Maxwell Air Force Base (AFB), Major Powell was the Director of Operations for the 43d Air Mobility Squadron, at Pope Army Airfield (AAF), Fort Bragg, North Carolina. An aircraft maintenance officer by trade, he holds a Master of Military Operational Art and Science degree from Air University, a Master of Science in Operations Management, with a certificate in Industrial Production Management from the University of Arkansas, and a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Northern Colorado (UNC). He has served in numerous leadership assignments supporting Air Mobility Command, United States Air Forces in Europe, and Air Force Reserve Command. He began his career at Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas, where he led maintainers and logisticians sustaining 88 legacy C-130 aircraft, both on and off the flight-line. After Little Rock, he and his family served overseas in the 435th Contingency Response Group at Ramstein Air Base (AB), Germany. There he was the Logistics Support Unit Officer-in-Charge, a Contingency Response Element Commander and later as the Group’s Operations Officer. Major Powell has deployed in support of numerous overseas contingencies including Operations ENDURING FREEDOM, IRAQI FREEDOM, and ODYSSEY DAWN. 
  Maj Travis L. Rueff is an Instructor of Leadership and International Security Studies at Air University’s Air Command and Staff College (ACSC). He graduated from ACSC in 2017 with 43 Academic Distinction and is an Air University Fellow. Prior to his tour at Air University, Maj Rueff served as a U-2 Instructor Pilot and T-38 Companion Trainer Pilot. Previously, Maj Rueff has served as an Instructor Pilot in the C-5 and C-21 aircraft and deployed to multiple theaters of operations, including a tour as an Air Operations Advisor at the Joint Force Special Operations Component Command – Iraq. He holds a Master of Military Operational Art and Science from Air University and a Master of Engineering with an Electromagnetic Engineering (EME) Specialization from the University of Illinois at Chicago. 


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"On Thursday, the parliament of the semi-autonomous and largely pro-Moscow region of Crimea voted to break away from Ukraine and join Russia, and set a date for a referendum on the subject for March 16."
"In less than four years, Beijing has amassed a controlling interest in Israel’s agrochemical industry with a $2.4 billion investment by China National Chemical Corp., and access to Israeli nanotechnology through a joint research center to be operated by Tsinghua and Tel Aviv universities." "With state financing, surging investment and the support of the Israeli government, Chinese public institutions and private investors are acquiring control of key industries and gaining unprecedented access to Israeli technology, innovation and know-how."
"Five years ago, Syria was the world's second-largest refugee-hosting country," Guterres said. "Syrians are now about to replace Afghans as the biggest refugee population worldwide." That's saying something, since Afghanistan has been in conflict for more than four decades. Guterres says if current trends continue, there could be 4 million Syrian refugees by the end of this year. "Neighboring countries have provided them safety since the beginning, at an enormous cost to themselves," he said. "Few refugee influxes have ever generated this profound an impact on their host countries, with such dramatic demographic, economic and social consequences."
"Ali al-Mousawi, the media adviser to Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, in exclusive statements to Al-Monitor. “Our war on terrorism will fail if we do not get international support, through clear stances, against states supporting terrorism in the region. Terrorism hotbeds in the world should be dried up. This hasn’t happened so far,” he noted. "Mousawi stated that Iraq had not held dialogues with the Syrian government to put in place a common plan to fight al-Qaeda and ISIS, although the battlefield will become, at some point, a common one against the same enemy. He claimed that the Syrian government does not have control of the regions on the border with Iraq, and thus such talks would be ineffective."
"Fighters linked to Al Qaeda and their allies seized the city of Falluja and parts of the Anbar provincial capital, Ramadi, in late December after the authorities dismantled a protest camp. Like the camp in the northern Iraqi town of Hawija whose dismantlement in April set off violent clashes and the current upsurge in killing, the Anbar camp was established by Sunnis angry at what they consider to be second-class treatment at the hands of the Shiite-led government."
"Kadyrov expressed concern that "nationalists of all descriptions" are systematically stripping ethnic Chechen citizens of Ukraine of their homes and businesses. He warned that "this is impermissible.... We shall not allow Chechens to be offended, wherever they happen to live."
"The Group of Seven (G7) leading industrialized countries say they are suspending participation in the planning for an international summit in Russia. The White House issued a joint statement on March 2 on behalf of the G7 leaders, the president of the European Council, and the president of the European Commission. In the statement, the leaders condemned Russia’s "clear violation of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine," adding that Moscow's actions violate the "principles and values" on which the G7 and G8 operate." "The G7 includes Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the United States. The countries also participate in the G8, which includes Russia. The country's Black Sea port of Sochi is scheduled to host the G8 summit in June."
"The reported ultimatum came as world attention focused on the crisis in Crimea and acting Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk called the Russian troop movements and call to arms of Crimea’s predominantly ethnic Russian population “a declaration of war.”
"The deal was signed by the three main opposition leaders, including former boxing star Vitali Klitschko. However, it was almost immediately rejected by the extremist Right Sector party, which has been blamed for much of the civilian violence since protests began in November." "We are inclined to consider Yanukovich’s statement as another whitewash," Right Sector said in a statement. "National revolution continues." "Holding early presidential elections had been a key demand of the opposition." "In these tragic days when Ukraine suffered such grave losses, when people on both sides of barricades have died, I consider it my obligation to the memory of the deceased to state that there is nothing more important then a human life," [Ukranian President] Yanukovych added.
"The strategy follows the release of a memorandum issued in 2010 by President Obama titled “Unleashing the Wireless Broadband Revolution,” which requires 500 MHz of spectrum be made available for commercial use by 2020 and one issued in June 2013 titled “Expanding America's Leadership in Wireless Innovation” which directed federal agencies and offices to accelerate efforts to allow and encourage shared access to spectrum allocated for federal use. " "The president mandated that federal agencies free up a significant portion of wireless spectrum so that it can be used by individuals and businesses to spur domestic economic growth and help keep the U.S. on top of the technological hierarchy." For further information about the DoD EMS Strategy, please visit http://www.defense.gov/news/dodspectrumstrategy.pdf
"Even if imperfect, the guidelines do serve a useful purpose. Their ultimate purpose was to ensure that fundamental questions about purpose, risk and costs were addressed up front. While their formulation was obviously flawed given the world we now know we live in, the intent behind their development was neither mendacious nor without merit. As Operation Iraqi Freedom shows, it is still possible for experienced leaders to come to very wrong policy decisions regarding the employment of force, which is ultimately a blunt tool. Rosy assumptions, unasked questions and unexplored options have marked the path to some 5,300 graves over the past decade." "The decision to go to war is a very serious exercise. The virtue of some set of questions to assist policymakers in this most supreme judgment retains great value." "Future crises and war plan debates should be more deliberate and discriminate. Rather than denounce the “use of force” considerations that should have constrained action without contemplation, I agree with Reading University’s Patrick Porter, who argues that we should celebrate such doctrines. Better yet, we should update them in light of what we think we have learned from a long war." "With hindsight, the last two wars suggest that General Powell was not wrong in wanting a more deliberate approach to the Supreme Judgment. I can give you over 5,300 reasons why Powell’s series of questions have enduring value in some form. It’s fashionable to criticize his doctrine now, including by highly respected historians like Hew Strachan. But the last decade, at a cost of 5,300 killed and nearly 40,000 seriously wounded, requires me to rethink my book from a less academic perspective. Today’s warriors can take some solace in the fact that America’s performance in Iraq and Afghanistan was honorably conducted. They can also draw a measure of satisfaction that clear national interests were gained, and that both countries were given the opportunity to unshackle themselves from their dark histories. But they can also question the underlying wisdom of the nation’s policy and strategies. Certainly the cause was again noble, even if the calling was flawed or poorly conceived. Hopefully our policy and strategy community will learn something from this."
"President Barack Obama condemned the scenes and warned President Viktor Yanukovych to withdraw his forces from downtown Kiev immediately." "We are outraged by the images of Ukrainian security forces firing automatic weapons on their own people," Obama said in a statement. "We urge the Ukrainian military not to get involved in a conflict that can and should be resolved by political means." "The European Union's foreign ministers decided to impose sanctions against officials in Ukraine on Thursday, which included a travel ban to the 28-nation bloc and freezing of Ukrainian officials' assets in EU countries. The list of officials targeted had not yet been established." "Later Thursday, President Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke by phone about the Ukraine situation, the White House said. The two leaders agreed it was critical that the U.S., Germany, and the European Union stay in close communication in the days ahead to help the Ukrainian people."
"China’s announcement last November that it would establish an “air defense identification zone” (ADIZ) in the East China Sea was another test of the U.S.-Japan alliance and, more broadly, America’s appetite for sustaining its commitments to the region. Since 2010, Beijing has consistently resorted to forms of coercion to patiently challenge the United States and its allies. I believe strongly that the United States should neither recognize nor accept China’s unilateral declaration of an ADIZ and we should continue to conduct our military exercises and operations in the region so as to maintain the status quo." "Of the many instances of growing Chinese assertiveness, recent incidents surrounding Japan’s southwestern islands are perhaps the most serious. Beijing has pursued its claims to Japan’s Senkaku Islands, with official newspapers even going so far as to assert that the entire Okinawa island chain is Chinese territory. More ominously, Chinese incursions into Japanese airspace and territorial waters have grown exponentially in recent years, raising the prospect of potential miscalculations. As the Senkakus are under Japan’s administrative control, unilateral attempts to change the status quo fall under the terms of Article 5 of the U.S.-Japan Mutual Security Treaty."
"The United States has about 100 military advisers helping the African Union force of about 3,000 troops from Uganda, South Sudan and Congo to hunt down the LRA."
"Tunisia has been winning high praise from American and other Western officials for its progress in assembling a democratic system. At the end of last month, the country adopted a constitution that provides for a separation of power, protects minorities and assures women a place in government." "But Tunisia’s pro-Western elements are locked in a political struggle with conservatives and Islamists. The country has seen killings and attacks on government buildings." "The request for security help is likely to be weighed carefully by Washington, which wants to promote democracy in the country but doesn’t want to be perceived as arming one side in a political contest."
“[We] concluded that the PLA has been given the new task to be able to conduct a short sharp war to destroy Japanese forces in the East China Sea following with what can only be expected a seizure of the Senkakus or even a southern Ryukyu [islands] — as some of their academics say.”
"They're good warriors," said Marine Maj. Gen. Lee Miller , who was wrapping up his tour as commander of Regional Command Southwest. "Sustaining themselves they need a lot of work….and we need to be there to help them do that." "They proved their battlefield prowess last September as the fighting season was drawing to a close." "Still, commanders warn that Afghan security forces lack the critical but unglamorous capabilities — such as supply, logistics and finance — that are needed to sustain a large army in the field." "Afghans lack that mobility. "They have been unable to deny freedom of movement to the insurgency in rural areas," Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, testified to Congress Tuesday." "Another challenge facing Afghan security forces: The Taliban and other insurgent groups in Afghanistan have sanctuary in parts of Pakistan, putting them outside the reach of Afghan security forces." "As long as that state support continues, the Afghan security forces are going to have their hands full regardless of how good they are," said Seth Jones, an analyst at the Rand Corp. "Despite the battlefield successes, U.S. officers say Afghan forces will need logistical support for years to come. Without such help, the achievements over the past decade of war risk unraveling."
"He noted that just a few years ago, there was only one battalion of Marines in Helmand province, and just a small British base. The Marine Corps began building its presence in southwest part of Afghanistan in 2008, eventually reaching a peak with about 21,000 Marines in Helmand in 2010. Now, there are some 4,500 Marines in the province."