Strategic Studies Quarterly

Volume 10 Issue 2 - Summer 2016


Sustaining and Enhancing the US Military’s Technology Edge

Honorable Michele A. Flournoy and Lt Col Robert P. Lyons III, USAF

The United States can no longer take for granted its decisive technological superiority. The battle to sustain and enhance the US military’s technological superiority has begun.

Why US Nuclear Force Numbers Matter
Keith B. Payne

Effective deterrence is too important to depend on the assumption that the US will face only opponents who are susceptible to minimum deterrent threats.


Nuclear Threat Perceptions
Susan Turner Haynes

China is the only nuclear weapon state under the NPT to continue increasing the size and sophistication of its nuclear arsenal. Understanding why means looking at the threat environment, as China perceives it, and explaining how these perceptions interact to form the basis of China’s nuclear deterrence strategy.


Iran’s Path Dependent Military Doctrine
Erik A. Olson

Iran’s continued focus on missiles is a less-optimal approach to its own security needs or those of its regional allies. However, it does offer opportunities for US cost-imposing strategies against Iran.

Biotech Business Lessons for Defense Acquisition
Col David L. Peeler, Jr., USAF

The desire to innovate and transform defense acquisition is ill-informed regarding the true meaning of innovation and transformation. Lessons from private business sectors would serve DOD interests well.

A Reality Check on a Cyber Force
Col Corey M. Ramsby, USAF and Panayotis A. Yannakogeorgos

It is premature to call for a separate cyberspace armed service, independent of the other services and agencies. There are four key prerequisites required before achieving this goal. 

Autonomy and the Future
Wg Cdr Andrew Massie, RAF

Machine intelligence can be exploited to its maximum potential by being free to react to its environment. The irony is that to harness the full potential of autonomy, we have to trust machines and free decision makers. 

 Download in PDF Format Download in IBook Format   Download in Nook Format Download in Kindle Format 
USAF Comments Policy
If you wish to comment, use the text box below. AF reserves the right to modify this policy at any time.

This is a moderated forum. That means all comments will be reviewed before posting. In addition, we expect that participants will treat each other, as well as our agency and our employees, with respect. We will not post comments that contain abusive or vulgar language, spam, hate speech, personal attacks, violate EEO policy, are offensive to other or similar content. We will not post comments that are spam, are clearly "off topic", promote services or products, infringe copyright protected material, or contain any links that don't contribute to the discussion. Comments that make unsupported accusations will also not be posted. The AF and the AF alone will make a determination as to which comments will be posted. Any references to commercial entities, products, services, or other non-governmental organizations or individuals that remain on the site are provided solely for the information of individuals using this page. These references are not intended to reflect the opinion of the AF, DoD, the United States, or its officers or employees concerning the significance, priority, or importance to be given the referenced entity, product, service, or organization. Such references are not an official or personal endorsement of any product, person, or service, and may not be quoted or reproduced for the purpose of stating or implying AF endorsement or approval of any product, person, or service.

Any comments that report criminal activity including: suicidal behaviour or sexual assault will be reported to appropriate authorities including OSI. This forum is not:

  • This forum is not to be used to report criminal activity. If you have information for law enforcement, please contact OSI or your local police agency.
  • Do not submit unsolicited proposals, or other business ideas or inquiries to this forum. This site is not to be used for contracting or commercial business.
  • This forum may not be used for the submission of any claim, demand, informal or formal complaint, or any other form of legal and/or administrative notice or process, or for the exhaustion of any legal and/or administrative remedy.

AF does not guarantee or warrant that any information posted by individuals on this forum is correct, and disclaims any liability for any loss or damage resulting from reliance on any such information. AF may not be able to verify, does not warrant or guarantee, and assumes no liability for anything posted on this website by any other person. AF does not endorse, support or otherwise promote any private or commercial entity or the information, products or services contained on those websites that may be reached through links on our website.

Members of the media are asked to send questions to the public affairs through their normal channels and to refrain from submitting questions here as comments. Reporter questions will not be posted. We recognize that the Web is a 24/7 medium, and your comments are welcome at any time. However, given the need to manage federal resources, moderating and posting of comments will occur during regular business hours Monday through Friday. Comments submitted after hours or on weekends will be read and posted as early as possible; in most cases, this means the next business day.

For the benefit of robust discussion, we ask that comments remain "on-topic." This means that comments will be posted only as it relates to the topic that is being discussed within the blog post. The views expressed on the site by non-federal commentators do not necessarily reflect the official views of the AF or the Federal Government.

To protect your own privacy and the privacy of others, please do not include personally identifiable information, such as name, Social Security number, DoD ID number, OSI Case number, phone numbers or email addresses in the body of your comment. If you do voluntarily include personally identifiable information in your comment, such as your name, that comment may or may not be posted on the page. If your comment is posted, your name will not be redacted or removed. In no circumstances will comments be posted that contain Social Security numbers, DoD ID numbers, OSI case numbers, addresses, email address or phone numbers. The default for the posting of comments is "anonymous", but if you opt not to, any information, including your login name, may be displayed on our site.

Thank you for taking the time to read this comment policy. We encourage your participation in our discussion and look forward to an active exchange of ideas.

Join the Strategic Conversation

Visit the Air University Press on FacebookFacebook Logoand Join the Strategic Conversation.

What are your thoughts on SSQ?

Air University Press Logo
600 Chennault Circle
Maxwell AFB, AL 36112-6010