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  • A Primer on US Civil–Military Relations for National Security Practitioners

    The objective of the primer is to enable national security professionals—military and civilian—to critically evaluate arguments relating to civil–military relations and to be aware of the implications of their own actions.
  • Force Posturing and the Contemporary Security Environment: Options for Industrially Dependent Countries

    This article discusses the anatomy of a country’s force posture and its major determinants as major drivers of the military buildup and force posturing of a nation. It then scans force postures of few powerful nations in the backdrop of prevailing security environment to draw some relevant conclusions before proposing possible options for the developing countries to address their force posturing challenges.
  • COVID-19: China’s Chernobyl, China’s Berlin Airlift, or Neither?

    Contemporary history shows a pattern of crises such as wars or pandemics leading to a shift in global power politics and realignment of power centers. Crises result in opportunities for countries to climb or fall on the global power scale. Will the current COVID-19 crisis be Beijing's Chernobyl, Berlin Airlift, or neither?
  • Future Military Space: From Procurement to the Tactical Fight

    Requirements for space systems are developed on a five to ten-year time horizon, which does not allow the development of systems that can be utilized on demand in an area of responsibility (AOR). New systems must be developed that can be deployed on demand to AORs and utilized by ground, sea, air, cyber, and space forces.
  • So Just What Is a Killer Robot?: Detailing the Ongoing Debate around Defining Lethal Autonomous Weapon Systems

    This article will compare competing definitions of what ought to be considered a lethal autonomous weapon system (LAWS), presenting these definitions for consideration of their merits and differences. Whether a given definition would be considered “prominent” in this respect is largely dependent on the extent to which it was cited in the scholarly literature. It would also depend on whether the definition was referred to in the official statements issued after each meeting of the Group of Governmental Experts on LAWSs, and the extent of the author’s broader contribution to military diffusion studies or Autonomous Weapon Systems (AWS) research. This article will draw together elements of competing definitions from scholars, including Ariel Conn, Chris Jenks, and Michael C. Horowitz.
  • Turning Expert Assessments into High Quality Empirical Data

    Given the challenges and limitations of the current risk-assessment process, there is a more effective, rigorous, useful alternative. This article offers organizations that rely on small numbers of subject-matter experts a set of tools and methodologies that can increase the rigor of assessments and provide more reliable, empirical data. It also seeks to provide those at the service level responsible for programmatic decisions a wider array of measurable options. In so doing, service leaders can make better decisions about risk and priorities.
  • Cyber Underground: Overcoming Obstacles to Cyber in Subterranean Warfare

    To gain insight into how to ameliorate the issues posed in the cyber domain for subterranean warfare, it is important to understand how this environment is defined and what types of advantages, limitations, and challenges characterize this environment.
  • Scenario Planning for the Twenty-first-Century Military Strategist

    In what ways does scenario planning add value for the military? Completing the scenario planning process in its entirety requires dedicating anywhere from two weeks to upward of several months toward exhaustive attention in creating and analyzing plausible future narratives. This is an unrealistic expectation for twenty-first-century leaders; however, this does not diminish the value of the process or provide an excuse to avoid deep strategic thought. This article outlines a methodology to adapt scenario planning into a streamlined process as a means to foster collaboration and crosstalk among various stakeholders. It provides context to explain scenario planning as part of the science of strategic thought and presents a “how-to” practitioner’s guide to return scenario planning to its military roots.
  • Airmen and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles: The Danger of Generalization

    The present inquiry is motivated foremost by continuous developments in technology. As military systems incorporate ever more elements of autonomy, it is essential to assess their potential to become successfully integrated in existing force structures. Given that a human operator is projected to remain a central element of such systems, the success of the integration process is squarely dependent on how humans will adapt to increasing automation. While current UAVs have only limited autonomous functionality, they nonetheless offer the only example of some of the most technologically advanced systems that have tested human capacity to adapt and where the experience of adaptation has been described by the users of such systems.
  • Examining and Enhancing Deterrence Education for Future Leaders

    This article examines educational gaps instructing the Joint Force on deterrence, proposes combatant commander recommendations, and suggests changes for services, increasing student learning. Without integrated and updated education, future leaders may miscalculate situations, leaving the US inconsequential in world events. Our nation’s future leaders must be prepared for increasingly complex threats and worldwide challenges. Education provides the key strengthening preparedness. The article first observes the lack of a comprehensive definition for strategic deterrence and the need to reconceptualize deterrence in the classroom. The next segment reviews military leadership, strategic deterrence experts, and Joint education and doctrine staff perspectives. The third focus investigates public law and government studies highlighting the need to modernize and integrate education and experiences. The fourth topic reveals current deterrence topics at Joint and Service Professional Military Education schools, service academies, and US Strategic Command Deterrence and Assurance Academic Alliance institutes. Finally, the article proposes approaches to bolster deterrence awareness for military and civilian future leaders.
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