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Category: Featured Articles
  • 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.
  • Making a Moral Case for Nonconflict in Space: Expanding Strategic Norm to Taboo

    To construct a moral case against kinetic space conflict in particular, one needs to demonstrate how and why it should be considered uniquely dangerous and reckless. Using space warfare’s similarity to nuclear conflict, this article proposes a moral case against conflict in space based on the amount of environmental destruction it might cause. In doing so, The author highlights the absence of a significant factor that has contributed to the development of other taboos: societal pressure. In the absence of such bottom-up pressure, further institutionalization of a space taboo will be severely limited. Policy makers and other interested actors wishing to limit conflict in space must therefore make a concerted effort to frame the dangers of space conflict in such a way as to highlight its grave consequences.
  • Whatever Happens, Happens: Deterring Russia’s Threat of Nuclear Weapons through Non-Nuclear Means

    Deterring nuclear adversaries such as Russia will continue to provide challenges to the United States during the remainder of the twenty-first century. While the United States and Russia (formerly the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics or Soviet Union) signed multiple arms control and reduction treaties limiting the number and type of nuclear munitions, the danger posed by these weapons remains the same. The United States’ February 2019 withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty due to Russia’s decision to develop new nuclear weapons complicates relations between the two nations. Because of these events, the United States needs to explore methods for countering this threat without appearing belligerent to the international community. Rather than invest in new Intermediate-Range weapons, the United States may develop a strategic advantage by investing in emerging technologies such as Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition, Hypersonic Ground-based Interceptor and Space-based Interceptor systems. This research product will employ the problem/solution framework to analyze how these emerging forms of deterrence can counter the threat of nuclear weapons.

  • Intelligence-Based Urban Operations: Intelligence Preparation of Battlefield Methodology in Urban Settings

    Urban warfare is intelligence and surveillance-intensive. Thorough knowledge of buildings, alleyways, tunnels, and rooftops may have to be acquired, through intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) sources and human intelligence (HUMINT), to operate in cities.8 After reviewing US Army Field Manual (FM)-2 (Intelligence) from a maneuver officer’s perspective, Schrick opines that: “the manual lacks details on employment of military assets in support of tactical operations in urban terrain.” He furthers that the most critical ISR assets in an urban environment are HUMINT. In his view, FM 2-22.3 (Human Intelligence Collector Operation) educates the maneuver officers on the organization and structure, support requirements, and employment considerations of HUMINT assets in an urban environment. However, the explanation of capabilities, limitations, and employment considerations of the remaining military intelligence disciplines are vague.9 Schrick also highlights that the maneuver doctrine FM 3-90.6 (The Brigade Combat Team) elaborates on the need for actionable intelligence in an urban environment. This step requires a maneuver officer to understand how intelligence operations support the ISR process.
  • Future Technology and Nuclear Deterrence

    The following discussion is speculative in nature given the future orientation of the topic. In many respects it is policy-prescriptive in its focus. This is because there is little possibility of a future in which nuclear deterrence will diminish in importance to international security. On the other hand, nuclear weapons will compete for influence among a menu of capabilities that include smaller, lighter, smarter, and more versatile weapons and platforms, together with more agile command, control, and communication systems—some of which must be incorporated into the NC3 architecture. This will all occur in a strategic environment that is more opaque, as the Russian invasion of Crimea and Eastern Ukraine has demonstrated. Within this context, the following discussion first considers some of these technologies in more detail. Second, it assesses the continuing significance of nuclear weapons and NC3 in a post-post-Cold War world. Third, it offers some conclusions about the potential for peaceful coexistence between nuclear deterrence and the new strategies that are driven by technological change.
  • Operational Plan Orange: American Strategy in a Western Pacific War

    While the likelihood of conflict between the United States and China is presently low, it cannot be completely excluded. The days of Western military superiority over China are ending, if not already over. China’s deployment of numerous ballistic missiles, modern aircraft, and cruise missiles amount to a strategic revolution in the western Pacific (WestPac), since China can now plausibly threaten a devastating surprise attack against American and allied bases and ships in the region. This means our bases and the oceans there are no longer sanctuaries, and the opening phases of such a war are all too likely to resemble the opening phases of World War II. This being the case, we need to think through a strategy for such a war in the WestPac—an Operational Plan Orange.
  • Caught in the Crossfire: The Impact of US–China Trade Tensions on Taiwanese Direct Investment in Mainland China

    As the world’s manufacturing center, mainland China imports large amounts of intermediate goods from its Asian neighbors, particularly Taiwan. As the key component supplier for mainland China, will Taiwan suffer from the increasing trade tensions between the United States and China? Since Taiwanese foreign direct investment (FDI)—primarily conducted by Taishang, Taiwanese business people—in mainland China is mostly export-oriented, and the United States is one of their major markets, would the potential trade war reduce Taiwan’s FDI in mainland China? How does the movement of Taishang during the trade war influence Taiwan’s economy, domestic politics, and the cross-strait relationship? Given the important strategic importance of Taishang for mainland China, have Beijing’s Taishang-preferential policies been helpful in neutralizing the negative impact of the trade war on the Taishang? Through descriptive analysis of the official Taishang data, we found that despite the trade war’s effects, there is a general increasing trend of Taishang projects in China. However, we also found that the number of Taishang in the manufacturing sector has been decreasing during the past several years and continues to decrease with the outbreak of the trade war. We also found an increasing trend for Taishang to invest in the non-manufacturing sectors in mainland China.
  • The US Withdrawal and the Scramble for Syria

    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 in Syria? With the benefit of painstaking research on the relations between the United States and the Syrian Kurds, this short article will endeavor to examine a situation is still unfolding and offer answers to the above four questions, while attempting also to identify winners and losers.
  • Realignment and Indian Airpower Doctrine

    With a shift in the balance of power in the Far East, as well as multiple challenges in the wider international security environment, several nations in the Indo-Pacific region have undergone significant changes in their defense postures. This is particularly the case with India, which has gone from a regional, largely Pakistan-focused, perspective to one involving global influence and power projection. This has presented ramifications for all the Indian armed services, but especially the Indian Air Force (IAF).

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