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Air & Space Power Journal

Volume 07, Issue 3, Fall 2016

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Cyber Power, Deterrence, European Union Peace Building, International Courts and Tribunals, and Climate Change and Conflict Prevention

Rémy M. Mauduit
As usual, this issue of Air and Space Power Journal-Africa and Francophonie addresses diverse topics relevant to our time and its readers in 185 countries. This editorial serves as a guide to introduce the many topics covered in this edition.


Dilating Pupils
The Pedagogy of Cyber Power and the Encouragement of Strategic Thought

Col Richard J. Bailey Jr.
Military practitioners face a daunting task; they must incorporate cyberspace and cyber power into an already complex suite of military applications. However, our nascent experience with the technology shows that we have yet to understand fully the domain's intricacies. Students of cyber strategy must acknowledge and respect the challenges inherent in this conundrum. Thinking strategically about cyber power is a complex endeavor. This article proposes that strategy is ultimately dependent on understanding one's environment and adapting to uncertainty; thus, we still have much work to do in the cyber domain. Biases and frameworks, many of which result from etymological foundations, often hamper our understanding of the cyberspace environment. In addition, contextual confusion often leads to polarization in the early literature and a tendency to use anachronistic analogies to aid in comprehension - both of which present problems to strategic thinking. Uncertainty in cyberspace is a product of the dialectical nature of strategy and the limits to useful information - both organic and synthetic - inherent in cyberspace and in our application of cyber power, therefore making adaptation critical to the cyber strategist. To make the most of their intellectual journey, students of cyber strategy must attempt to address these challenges or, at the very least, respect them.

Uncertainty and Deterrence

Yakov Ben-Haim, PhD
In this article the author postulates that the decision to initiate or refrain from war is accompanied by multifarious uncertainty. Uncertainty deters, but deterrence is uncertain. What looks like the better option may be more uncertain than the alternative, so the decision maker may choose the putatively less attractive option. The author develops an analytical framework for studying this reversal of preference. The analysis uses two concepts: the innovation dilemma and robust satisficing (satisfying a critical or essential outcome requirement). Decision makers face an innovation dilemma when they choose between a new, innovative, but poorly understood option and a standard option that is more thoroughly understood. The decision makers want the best possible outcome, but all outcomes are highly uncertain. The robustly satisficing choice is the one that meets critical requirements despite large error or surprise. Professor Ben-Haim discusses a historical example - the Six-Day War - and applies his analysis to a theoretical question: does uncertainty increase the propensity for war?

Enable and Enhance - That's It?
European Union Peace Building and the Enable and Enhance Initiative

Witold Mucha, PhD
In this article the author postulates that in the summer 2014, Germany's decision to supply arms to Kurdish Peshmerga in their fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) revealed the importance of the Enable and Enhance Initiative (E2I) as discussed by the European Union's (EU) member states. In addition to Berlin, policy makers in London and Paris, among others, also followed the rationale of taking responsibility in foreign affairs without being directly involved in military combat. However, as recent initiatives have shown, the E2I approach comes with limitations. Based on EU peace-building initiatives in South Sudan and Mali, the article analyzes the challenges confronted by any "getting fit initiative." The analysis comes to a twofold conclusion: (1) recent EU peace-building missions have failed in terms of design, scope, and unintended effects, and (2) academics have similarly failed to recommend feasible policy solutions.

The Role of International Courts and Tribunals in Global Environmental Governance

Steinar Andresen
International courts and tribunals have experienced strong growth over the last two decades, but no such institution has been established for international environmental governance. In this article the author notes that many existing international courts are relevant to this issue area but that they have had very little significance in terms of the effectiveness of global environmental governance. Because of the alleged ineffectiveness of this system, nonstate actors have argued for the establishment of an international environmental court (IEL). No states support this idea since they prefer the existing system. This article argues that a new IEL would probably not make much difference in the effectiveness of this governance system and that the chances that one will be established in the foreseeable future are extremely low.

The Implications of Climate Change for the Military and for Conflict Prevention, Including through Peace Missions

Shirley V. Scott PhD
Shahedul Khan

In this article the authors discuss five implications of climate change for the military: (1) installations and equipment will be affected by the consequences of climate change, including rising sea levels, (2) the military will have an increased responsibility to reduce its own environmental footprint, (3) military strategists will need to factor the consequences of climate change into their planning, (4) the military is likely to play a greater role in responding to natural disasters, and (5) the military will contribute to enhanced emphasis on conflict prevention. The article explores in further detail the potential for peace operations to contribute to climate change adaptation as one dimension of conflict prevention.

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