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Volume 02 Issue 01, Spring 2020

  • ARTICLES
  • Gen  Tod  D.  Wolters,  USAF,  commander  of  US  European  Command and NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander Europe testified at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on the defense authorization request for fiscal year 2021 and the  Future  Years  Defense  Program.
    General Tod D. Wolters, USAF, testifies
    On 25 February 2020, Gen Tod D. Wolters, USAF, commander of US European Command and NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR), and Gen Stephen R. Lyons, US Army, commander of US Transportation Command, testified at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on the defense authorization request for fiscal year 2021 and the Future Years Defense Program. The following is an edited and condensed transcript of their testimony, focusing primarily on General Wolters testimony. The video of the full testimony is available via DVIDS at https://www.dvidshub.net/.
    Photo By: Dr. Ernest Rockwell
    VIRIN: 200229-F-YT915-0001

    Generals Testify at Senate Hearing on FY 2021 Defense Budget

    General Tod D. Wolters, USAF & General Stephen R. Lyons, USA
    On 25 February 2020, Gen Tod D. Wolters, USAF, commander of US European Command and NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR), and Gen Stephen R. Lyons, US Army, commander of US Transportation Command, testified at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on the defense authorization request for fiscal year 2021 and the Future Years Defense Program. The following is an edited and condensed transcript of their testimony, focusing primarily on General Wolters testimony.
  • Beginning in 2014, US forces partnered with the YPG against ISIS in Syria. In 2015, the YPG joined other Syrian groups to form the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), comprising the SDF’s leading component. Turkey considers the YPG to be the Syrian branch of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), a US-designated terrorist organization that has waged a decades-long insurgency in Turkey. Ankara has strongly objected to US cooperation with the SDF. While US officials have acknowledged YPG–PKK ties, Washington considers the two groups to be distinct.
    Erstwhile allies
    Beginning in 2014, US forces partnered with the YPG against ISIS in Syria. In 2015, the YPG joined other Syrian groups to form the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), comprising the SDF’s leading component. Turkey considers the YPG to be the Syrian branch of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), a US-designated terrorist organization that has waged a decades-long insurgency in Turkey. Ankara has strongly objected to US cooperation with the SDF. While US officials have acknowledged YPG–PKK ties, Washington considers the two groups to be distinct.
    Photo By: Kurdishstruggle
    VIRIN: 191112-F-QR584-521

    The US Withdrawal and the Scramble for Syria

    Dr. Wojciech Michnik & Dr. Spyridon Plakoudas
    Amid an outbreak of protests and recriminations against the Trump administration for its “betrayal” of the erstwhile allies in the struggle against the Islamic State (ISIS), the following questions must be answered: (1) could such a situation have been avoided; (2) how will this policy impact on the power and prestige of the United States in the Middle East and beyond; (3) what does this incident indicate about the use of proxies by the United States in the Middle East and beyond; and (4) how does this affect the regional balance of power and major powers’ competition in Syria? With the benefit of painstaking research on the relations between the United States and the Syrian Kurds, this article will endeavor to examine a situation that is still unfolding and offer answers to the above four questions, while attempting also to identify winners and losers.
  • .
    180715-F-GV347-0573
    An HH-60 Pave Hawk assigned to the 46th Expeditionary Rescue Squadron arrives at the site of a simulated aircraft crash site to provide personnel recovery operations and support for Battlefield Airmen assigned to the 52nd Expeditionary Rescue Squadron on the ground assisting role players in an undisclosed location, Iraq, July 15, 2018. The primary mission of the HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter is to conduct day or night personnel recovery operations into hostile environments to recover isolated personnel. Battlefield Airmen assigned throughout the combined joint operational area conduct operations in support of Combined Joint Task Force - Operation Inherent Resolve. CJTF- OIR aims to enable and equip local forces to take ISIS head on while leveraging Coalition nation airpower to defeat ISIS in Iraq and Syria. (U.S. Air Force photo by SSgt Keith James)
    Photo By: Staff Sgt. Keith James
    VIRIN: 180715-F-GV347-0573

    The Contract Broken, and Restored, Part II

    Dr. Forrest L. Marion
    This article examines the history of air rescue operations and the failure to properly plan for and deploy adequate resources to that effort during the early years of Operation Inherent Resolve.
  • Syrian president Bashar al-Assad (second  from  left), Russian president Vladimir Putin (center), Russian minister of defense Sergei Shoigu (second from right), and chief of the general staff of the Russian Federation armed forces Valery Gerasimov (right) meet 21 November 2017 in Sochi, Russia, to discuss Russian support for operations in Syria.
    Russia in Syria
    Syrian president Bashar al-Assad (second from left), Russian president Vladimir Putin (center), Russian minister of defense Sergei Shoigu (second from right), and chief of the general staff of the Russian Federation armed forces Valery Gerasimov (right) meet 21 November 2017 in Sochi, Russia, to discuss Russian support for operations in Syria. (photo courtesy of the Office of the President of Russia)
    Photo By: Dr. Ernest Rockwell
    VIRIN: 200310-F-YT915-0005

    Why Are Warm-Water Ports Important to Russian Security?

    Tanvi Chauhan
    This article aims to examine why Russia’s warm-water ports are so important to Russian security. First, the article defines what security encompasses in relation to ports. Second, the article presents two case studies: the Crimean port of Sevastopol and the Syrian port of Tartus. This article proves that warm-water ports are important to Russian security because they enable Russia to control the sea, project power, maintain good order, and observe a maritime consensus. Each of these categorical reasons are then analyzed in the Crimean and Syrian context. The results are compared in regional perspective, followed by concluding remarks on what the findings suggest about Russian foreign policy in retrospect, as well as Russian security in the future.
  • The Israeli Air Force destroyed enemy aircraft on the ground during the opening stages of the Six-Day War.
    Destroyed on the ground
    The Israeli Air Force destroyed enemy aircraft on the ground during the opening stages of the Six-Day War. (photo courtesy of Government Press Office, Israel)
    Photo By: Dr. Ernest Rockwell
    VIRIN: 200310-F-YT915-0006

    The Struggle for Air Superiority

    Dr. Tal Tovy
    The goal of this article is to examine the aerial campaigns between Israel and the Arab states (with an emphasis on Egypt and Syria). A discussion of the operational history of the Israeli Air Force (IAF) between the years 1967 and 1982 will be used to analyze an additional chapter in the historical struggle to gain air superiority, while also highlighting the importance of gaining air superiority and maintaining it over armies that rely on a ground-based air defense (GBAD) to prevent it. A further goal is to examine the formation and implementation of the various strategies applied by the belligerents in their confrontations and the system of learning lessons and applying them from one campaign to another. For example, beginning in 1969, the air war in the Middle East turned into a lethal encounter between American and Soviet technologies and served as an important operational laboratory for both superpowers. This trend continues today, and therefore an analysis of the history of the air wars in the Middle East can provide insights and lessons for those that are currently operating against advanced and dense GBAD systems.
  • Former  presidents  Mbeki and Obasanjo discuss issues at the 6th Tana High-Level Forum on Security in Africa, held in Bahir Dar, Ethiopia, 22–23 April 2017.
    Continued leadership
    Former presidents Mbeki and Obasanjo discuss issues at the 6th Tana High-Level Forum on Security in Africa, held in Bahir Dar, Ethiopia, 22–23 April 2017.
    Photo By: Dr. Ernest Rockwell
    VIRIN: 200310-F-YT915-0007

    The Foreign Policy of Large Democratizing African States

    Dr. Stephen F. Burgess
    Large country size (measured by gross domestic product), democratizing regime type, and two exceptional leaders created sufficient conditions for innovative foreign policy leadership by two African states, including the creation of regional institutions committed to democracy and human rights norms and the willingness to intervene to stabilize war-torn states and uphold human rights and democratic values. The global democratic wave of the 1980s and 1990s provided pressures from outside and inside Africa for the promotion of democracy and human rights. In the 2000s, South Africa’s Thabo Mbeki and Nigeria’s Olusegun Obasanjo led in founding the African Union, the New Partnership for African Development, and other institutions that included democratic and human rights norms. These leaders helped make similar innovations in the Southern African Development Community and Economic Community of West African States respectively. Their nations’ relatively large country size provided the basis for “symbolic hegemony”—leadership in creating norms and peacemaking. However, these states often have lacked the power and leadership to pressure other countries to democratize and observe human rights norms. In addition, less exceptional leaders in the 2010s accompanied a recession in foreign policy leadership, including a diminished commitment to democracy and human rights that coincided with the beginning of an autocratic wave. The two cases demonstrate that large size, assertive leadership, and democratizing regime type can produce innovative foreign policies that include limited democracy and human rights promotion.
  • A view of a mock village set up by the Israeli army to conduct urban warfare exercises, at the urban warfare training center at Tze’elim military base in southern Israel.
    Urban warfare training
    A view of a mock village set up by the Israeli army to conduct urban warfare exercises, at the urban warfare training center at Tze’elim military base in southern Israel.
    Photo By: Dr. Ernest Rockwell
    VIRIN: 200302-F-YT915-0001

    How the Israel Defense Forces Might Confront Hezbollah

    Dr. Ehud Eilam
    The inevitability of another war between Israel and the Hezbollah terrorist organization seems nearly certain; however, at present, neither belligerent in this longstanding feud desires immediate conflict. The two sides confronted each other in Lebanon in the 1980s and in the 1990s, until the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) withdraw from that country in 2000, concluding a campaign that had come to be known as the “Israeli Vietnam.” In 2006, war erupted between the two combatants again, lasting a mere 34 days. That war ended in a draw. Since then, the two sides have been preparing for another round.

    .
  • Soldiers of Bravo Company, 3rd Infantry Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division conduct a patrol in northeast Syria, 30 January 2020.
    Continued partnership
    Soldiers of Bravo Company, 3rd Infantry Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division conduct a patrol in northeast Syria, 30 January 2020. These patrols help maintain security and stability in the region as well as build community support. The Coalition and our Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) partners remain committed to increasing security in northeast Syria, to enable humanitarian assistance, reconstruction, and stability operations. Terrorist organizations use ungoverned spaces as safe havens. The more stability that exists in a region, the less opportunities for terrorism to thrive. (US Army photo by SSgt Jodi Eastham)
    Photo By: SSgt Jodi Eastham
    VIRIN: 200130-Z-NU746-0173

    Aid to Anti-Assad Forces Became the Most Expensive US Covert Action

    Dr. David S. Sorenson, interviewed by Nuño Rodríguez
    In December 2019, political scientist Mr. Nuño Rodríguez, founder and director of the Quixote Globe, interviewed Dr. David S. Sorenson, professor of international security studies at the US Air War College (AWC). Dr. Sorenson received his PhD from the University of Denver and has served on the faculties of the University of Colorado at Denver, Denison University, and the Mershon Center at The Ohio State University before joining AWC. Dr. Sorenson has served as chair of the International Security Studies Section of the International Studies Association and chair of the International Security and Arms Control Section of the American Political Science Association. He has written numerous books on defense policy, military aviation, and Middle Eastern affairs.
  • STRATEGIC CHALLENGES IN THE BALTIC SEA REGION
Russia, Deterrence, and Reassurance
Ann-Sofie Dahl, Editor
Foreword by Anders Fogh Rasmussen
    STRATEGIC CHALLENGES IN THE BALTIC SEA REGION
    STRATEGIC CHALLENGES IN THE BALTIC SEA REGION Russia, Deterrence, and Reassurance Ann-Sofie Dahl, Editor Foreword by Anders Fogh Rasmussen
    Photo By: Dr. Ernest Rockwell
    VIRIN: 200310-F-YT915-0008

    Strategic Challenges in the Baltic Sea Region: Russia, Deterrence, and Reassurance

    Edited by Ann-Sofie Dahl. Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press, 2018
    Reviewed by Leandro Guimaraes Froes
    The North Atlantic Treaty Organization returns to be the topic of discussion, as the current rhetoric of government leaders challenging the efficacy of NATO and the Russian annexation of the Crimean Peninsula threatens the West’s false sense of peace. The United States calls on the NATO members to increase their spending on defense and reach the 2-percent margin, and some NATO members question the American commitment to Article 5. Meanwhile, Russia slowly de-fies the sovereignty of the Baltic States and the integrity of NATO.
  • THE END OF STRATEGIC STABILITY?
Nuclear Weapons and the Challenge of Regional Rivalries
Lawrence Rubin and Adam N. Stulberg, Editors
    THE END OF STRATEGIC STABILITY?
    THE END OF STRATEGIC STABILITY? Nuclear Weapons and the Challenge of Regional Rivalries Lawrence Rubin and Adam N. Stulberg, Editors
    Photo By: Dr. Ernest Rockwell
    VIRIN: 200310-F-YT915-0009

    The End of Strategic Stability? Nuclear Weapons and the Challenge of Regional Rivalries

    Edited by Lawrence Rubin and Adam N. Stulberg. Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press, 2018
    Reviewed by Seth Conor McGeehan
    Lawrence Robin and Adam Stulberg have assembled an expert group of authors to help explore the complex landscape that is strategic stability in the modern era. They believe strategic stability “refers to a condition in which adversaries understand that altering military force posture in response to vulnerability—whether to avoid being emasculated or to preempt one’s opponent—would be either futile or foolish.” In the subsequent chapters, the respective authors detail how the nation they are writing about define this concept, those nations’ current trajectories, and how each trajectory stands to alter the overall status quo. In  addition to state  actors, some chapters allude to the ways nonstate entities or cross-domain deterrence may also factor into the stability equation. 
  • Book Cover for Artificial Intelligence, Russia, China, and the Global Order
    Artificial Intelligence, Russia, China, and the Global Order
    A wide variety of perspectives on the different uses of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Russia and China and the impact this will have on the Global Order. Essays are from leading defense professionals, academics, think tanks, and policy developers. A comprehensive primer for those concerned with how emerging technologies will influence the west's near-peer competitors. [Nicholas Wright, ed. / 2019 / 312 pages / ISSN: 2576-6745 / AU Press Code: B-0161]
    Photo By: Leslie Fair
    VIRIN: 191008-F-QR584-001

    Artificial Intelligence, China, Russia, and the Global Order

    Edited by Nicholas Wright. Maxwell AFB, AL: Air University Press, 2019
    Reviewed by Dr. Srini Sitaraman
    This edited volume aims to prepare Anglo-American security practitioners for the impact of AI-related technologies on a country’s domestic political system. This book contains 27 chapters, which is divided into six sections with 24 expert contributors drawing their insights from mixed professional backgrounds. Particularly, this book traces the differential impact of AI technology on competing domestic regime types. Chapters in the book describe how China will seek to further increase its authoritarian control by utilizing AI, while making its citizens prosperous and shielding them from external knowledge influences. The Chinese model of digital authoritarianism or digital social and political control is likely to emerge as a major and direct rival to free, open, and democratic society—a model championed by the Anglo-American alliance. The Russian model, offers a hybrid approach that relies on a variety of manipulative digital tools to destabilize challenger regimes while maintaining tight state control over critical resources and quashing political rivals 2003. 
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JEMEAA Journal cover Q1 2019
 

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The views and opinions expressed or implied in JEMEAA are those of the authors and should not be construed as carrying the official sanction of the Department of Defense, Air Force, Air Education and Training Command, Air University, or other agencies or departments of the US government or their international equivalents.