What drives some governments to persevere in war at any price while others choose to stop fighting? It is often less-tangible political and economic variables, rather than raw military power, that ultimately determine national will to fight. In this analysis, the authors explore how these variables strengthen or weaken a government’s determination to conduct sustained military operations, even when the expectation of success decreases or the need for significant political, economic, and military sacrifices increases.
This report is part of a broader RAND Arroyo Center effort to help U.S. leaders better understand and influence will to fight at both the national level and the tactical and operational levels. It presents findings and recommendations based on a wide-ranging literature review, a series of interviews, 15 case studies (including deep dives into conflicts involving the Korean Peninsula and Russia), and reviews of relevant modeling and war-gaming.
The authors propose an exploratory model of 15 variables that can be tailored and applied to a wide set of conflict scenarios and drive a much-needed dialogue among analysts conducting threat assessments, contingency plans, war games, and other efforts that require an evaluation of how future conflicts might unfold. The recommendations should provide insights into how leaders can influence will to fight in both allies and adversaries. [Note: contains copyrighted material].
Scorched Earth. Center for Strategic & International Studies. Margo Balboni. September 27, 2018
Processes of environmental degradation can exacerbate, prolong, and even spark conflicts. In Iraq and Yemen, where water and cultivable land are becoming scarce, efforts toward rebuilding these countries will need to factor in a changing climate. Despite their importance, environmental issues are often neglected in post-conflict reconstruction processes. Some of the most sweeping risks—environmental and climate crises—are the most likely to be overlooked because they are “threats without enemies.” [Note: contains copyrighted material].
The size and scope of the global forced migration crisis are unprecedented. Almost 66 million people worldwide have been forced from home by conflict. If recent trends continue, this figure could increase to between 180 and 320 million people by 2030. This global crisis already poses serious challenges to economic growth and risks to stability and national security, as well as an enormous human toll affecting tens of millions of people. These issues are on track to get worse; without significant course correction soon, the forced migration issues confronted today will seem simple decades from now. Yet, efforts to confront the crisis continue to be reactive in addressing these and other core issues. The United States should broaden the scope of its efforts beyond the tactical and reactive to see the world through a more strategic lens colored by the challenges posed—and opportunities created—by the forced migration crisis at home and abroad. CSIS convened a diverse task force in 2017 to study the global forced migration crisis. This report is a result of those findings. [Note: contains copyrighted material].
The transatlantic community is facing a vast array of security challenges in Europe. The principal intergovernmental organizations—the European Union (EU) and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)—responsible for rising to these challenges face a number of hurdles. This monograph takes a unique perspective—that of European partners and allies—in suggesting to U.S. policymakers how Washington ought to consider adjusting its approach in Europe and beyond, as a means of helping NATO and the EU to provide credible and sustainable collective security and defense. [Note: contains copyrighted material].
The emerging technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution offer unprecedented avenues to improve quality of life, advance society, and contribute to global economic growth. Yet along with greater prospects for human advancement and progress, advancements in these technologies have the potential to be dramatically disruptive, threatening existing assumptions around national security, rules for international cooperation, and a thriving global commerce. This report by the Atlantic Council’s Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security and the Korea Institute for Advancement of Technology (KIAT) addresses emerging technologies in key areas of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and explores innovative ways by which the United States and the Republic of Korea can cooperate around advancements in artificial intelligence and robotics; biotechnology; and the Internet of Things. [Note: contains copyrighted material].
The concept of border management hinges on the tension between the need to prevent undesirable people and goods from crossing borders and the economic vitality that a country gains through trade and travel. Building on the concept of border management, this Perspective proposes opportunities to strengthen security while simultaneously improving the flow of licit travelers and goods through national policies, programs, regulations, and activities. [Note: contains copyrighted material].
Russia’s relations with the West are in deep turmoil. While the competitive dynamic between Russia and the West has come to a head in Ukraine, all of the “in-between” states — Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan — are objects of a contest among outside powers. This contest has become a negative-sum game, benefiting none of the parties: The West and Russia now find themselves locked into a dangerous and damaging competition, while the states in the region remain to varying degrees unstable, unreformed, and rife with conflict. Both Russian and Western policy toward these states has seemingly reached a dead end. Continuing with the status quo will likely perpetuate instability, poor governance, and a long-term Cold War-like atmosphere in West-Russia relations. However, without a credible alternative to the status quo, both the West and Russia seem doomed to continue it. The RAND Corporation convened a working group composed of experts and former policy practitioners from the United States, the European Union, Russia and the in-between states to consider proposals to foster cooperation, reduce tensions, and increase stability. The papers collected here outline these findings and recommendations. [Note: contains copyrighted material].