Total Defense: How the Baltic States Are Integrating Citizenry Into Their National Security Strategies

Total Defense: How the Baltic States Are Integrating Citizenry Into Their National Security Strategies. Small Wars Journal. Marta Kepe and Jan Osburg. October 10, 2017.

Russian aggression in Ukraine and military exercises at the borders of the Baltic states, as well as a string of information and cyber operations, have raised fears among Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania about their security. Due to their shared borders with Russia, the Baltic states are the NATO members most exposed to Russia’s threats. As small countries with little strategic depth and limited human and economic resources, they are increasingly adopting a “total defense” approach to national security, which includes enabling civilians to be able to protect themselves and to also support their nation’s professional armed forces in case of a conflict. U.S. and NATO forces therefore also need to plan for effective engagement with local civilians as they prepare their forces for deployment to the Baltic states in times of crisis. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[HTML format, various paging].

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What Are the Trends in Armed Conflicts, and What Do They Mean for U.S. Defense Policy?

What Are the Trends in Armed Conflicts, and What Do They Mean for U.S. Defense Policy? RAND Corporation. Thomas S. Szayna et al. September 12, 2017.

This report assesses trends in armed conflict, the incidence of which has declined in recent decades. Key political, economic, and strategic factors, including the deterrent effect of the U.S. military, suggest this decline is likely to continue. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 11 pages, 331.93 KB].

Measuring the Health of the Liberal International Order

Measuring the Health of the Liberal International Order. RAND Corporation. Michael J. Mazarr et al. September 5, 2017.

As part of a larger study on the future of the post-World War II liberal international order, RAND researchers analyze the health of the existing order and offer implications for future U.S. policy. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 229 pages, 1.41 MB].

Trends in European Terrorism: 1970-2016

Trends in European Terrorism: 1970-2016. Center for Strategic & International Studies. Anthony Cordesman. August 18, 2017

This report provides summary statistical data on the trends in Western and Eastern Europe. It focuses on START and IHS Jane’s data, but also includes data from other sources – including the one useful current official source on terrorism in the world that presents declassified official data. This is the annual report on terrorism which is issued by Europol and the EU.

If one looks at the START data on the total for Western and Eastern Europe, which includes Russia, the impact of terrorism peaks in the 1970s. It rises again in 1991, driven by terrorist attacks in the Balkans, Palestinian violence, and terrorism in the FSU and Russia. It then peaks for a third time in 2014-2015, driven by both violent Islamist extremism and terrorist activity in the Ukraine. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 57 pages, 2.66 MB].

Tracing the Channels Refugees Use to Seek Protection in Europe

Tracing the Channels Refugees Use to Seek Protection in Europe. Migration Policy Institute. Susan Fratzke, Brian Salant. September 2017.

As European policymakers and advocates increasingly express interest in developing managed, legal alternatives to the dangerous, unauthorized journeys many refugees undertake when searching for protection, there is a pressing need to inform the debate with reliable and comprehensive data—both on how protection seekers currently enter Europe and how new pathways are likely to be used.

Yet as this report explains, it is “nearly impossible” at present to obtain a clear picture of how protection seekers enter Europe and what legal channels are available to them. Still, while incomplete, data from EURODAC, Eurostat, Frontex, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), and national databases, suggest several important trends. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 32 pages, 1.65 MB].

Artificial Intelligence and National Security

Artificial Intelligence and National Security. Center for a New American Security. Greg Allen, Taniel Chan. August 12, 2017.

Partially autonomous and intelligent systems have been used in military technology since at least the Second World War, but advances in machine learning and Artificial Intelligence (AI) represent a turning point in the use of automation in warfare. Though the United States military and intelligence communities are planning for expanded use of AI across their portfolios, many of the most transformative applications of AI have not yet been addressed.
In this piece, the authors propose three goals for developing future policy on AI and national security: preserving U.S. technological leadership, supporting peaceful and commercial use, and mitigating catastrophic risk. By looking at four prior cases of transformative military technology—nuclear, aerospace, cyber, and biotech—they develop lessons learned and recommendations for national security policy toward AI. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 132 pages, 1.50 MB].

Making Victory Count After Defeating ISIS: Stabilization Challenges in Mosul and Beyond

Making Victory Count After Defeating ISIS: Stabilization Challenges in Mosul and Beyond. RAND Corporation. Shelly Culbertson, Linda Robinson. July 24, 2017.

This report investigates humanitarian and stabilization needs in Iraq, through a case study of Mosul, and offers recommendations for immediate actions for stabilization after military operations to liberate it from ISIS. The study is based on data collection and review; visits to Iraq; and more than 50 in-depth interviews with a range of key senior officials. The research team examined humanitarian needs, security implications, infrastructure and services, and governance and reconciliation. All of these activities will affect the immediate stabilization of Mosul, and Iraq more broadly, including whether civilians can return home. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 99 pages, 2.53 MB].