The U.S., NATO, and the Defense of Europe: Underlying Trends

The U.S., NATO, and the Defense of Europe: Underlying Trends. Center for Strategic & International Studies. Anthony H. Cordesman. June 27, 2018

 The Trump Administration has adopted an “America First” strategy, and taken aggressive stands on NATO burden sharing, trade, the JCPOA nuclear agreement with Iran, and the treatment of refugees that have led many in Europe to question its support for NATO and the Transatlantic Alliance. At least some European security experts talk about the U.S. as it was backing away from the NATO alliance, and a split between the United States and Europe that will force Europe to create its own approach to creating military and other security forces.

Many aspects of the Trump Administration’s approach to foreign policy are as controversial in the U.S. as in Europe, and President Trump has proved to be an exceptionally volatile and combative leader who can express himself in extreme terms and suddenly change his positions. However, it but it is important to note the underlying realities that shape the new U.S. strategy, the U.S. military role in the NATO alliance, and Europe’s own divisions and failures to create effective forces. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

 [PDF format, 60 pages].

From College to Cabinet: Women in National Security

From College to Cabinet: Women in National Security. Center for a New American Security. Katherine Kidder et al. April 05, 2017

Throughout history, the talent pool of women has been underutilized in the national security sector. Trends over the past 40 years—since the first classes of women were accepted to the nation’s military academies—show an increase in the representation of women in the military and throughout national security departments and agencies, including in the Department of Defense, the Department of State, the Central Intelligence Agency, and, more recently, the Department of Homeland Security—but not necessarily at the top. In the post-9/11 world, women have made up a larger and more visible portion of the national security establishment, yet they remain in the minority of leadership positions. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 30 pages, 583.09 KB].

Additional U.S. Ground Troops to Counter the Islamic the Islamic State? Five Questions

Additional U.S. Ground Troops to Counter the Islamic the Islamic State? Five Questions. Cogressional Research Service, Library of Congress. Kathleen J. McInnis and Andrew Feickert. February 17, 2016.

Operation Inherent Resolve (OIR) – the military campaign to counter the Islamic State (IS) – has three primary components: coordinated air strikes, training and equipping local security forces, and targeted special operations based out of northern Iraq. Perceived setbacks in OIR have led some observers to maintain that inserting significant numbers of additional U.S. and/or coalition ground forces is becoming necessary. Proposals include, but are not limited to, the introduction of additional ground forces to secure territory once it has been taken back from the Islamic State, and the introduction of additional trainers for local security forces. However, there are no clear-cut answers to determining the suitability, size, and mission profile of the ground elements of any military campaign; determining the disposition of military forces is in many ways as much an art as it is a science.

[PDF format, 2 pages, 92.64 KB].

The US Faces Rival Powers Waging Hybrid Warfare

The US Faces Rival Powers Waging Hybrid Warfare. YaleGlobal. Richard Weitz. January 12, 2016.

Overall, global military spending decreased in 2014 from the previous year, reports the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. The United States spends more than other countries on defense, yet struggles against the skillful use of hybrid tactics by China and Russia, explains Richard Weitz. Weitz explains that “both authoritarian states have applied various military, paramilitary, legal, economic and information tools in the western Pacific and Eurasia to expand their regional influence, divide potential opponents and otherwise seize the strategic initiative.” The West must analyze the various hybrid tactics and develop rapid responses that include technology and counter media-messaging. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

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Strategy and Grand Strategy: What Students and Practitioners Need to Know

Strategy and Grand Strategy: What Students and Practitioners Need to Know. Strategic Studies Institute. Tami Davis Biddle. December 31, 2015.

The author examines why it is so difficult to devise, implement, and sustain sound strategies and grand strategies. Her analysis begins with an examination of the meaning of the term “strategy” and a history of the ways that political actors have sought to employ strategies and grand strategies to achieve their desired political aims. She examines the reasons why the logic undergirding strategy is often lacking and why challenges of implementation, including bureaucratic politics, unforeseen events, civil-military tensions, and domestic pressures, complicate and undermine desired outcomes.

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The Militarization of Crimea under Russian Occupation

The Militarization of Crimea under Russian Occupation. Atlantic Council. Andrii Klymenko. October 29, 2015.

In the report, Crimean activist Andrii Klymenko explains how the Kremlin has moved to tighten its grip on Crimea as the world turns its focus toward Syria. Indeed, Russia has proven itself to be settling in for the long haul in Crimea, with mass relocations of Russian military servicemen to the peninsula spurring housing shortages and massive infrastructure projects. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 11 pages, 1.06 MB].

Arab Threat Perceptions and the Future of the U.S. Military Presence in the Middle East

Arab Threat Perceptions and the Future of the U.S. Military Presence in the Middle East. Strategic Studies Institute. W. Andrew Terrill. October 22, 2015.

The threat perceptions of many Arab states aligned with the United States have changed significantly as a result of the dramatic events occurring in the region and globally since 2011. The report analyzes these new Arab threat perceptions and considers how the United States can work with its allies to strengthen both U.S. and allied goals in the region.

[HTML format with a link to the PDF file].

Medal of Honor: History and Issues

Medal of Honor: History and Issues. Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress. Barbara Salazaar Torreon. August 18, 2015.

The Medal of Honor is the nation’s highest military award for bravery. It is awarded by the President in the name of Congress. For this reason, it is often referred to as the Congressional Medal of Honor. Since it was first presented in 1863, the medal has been awarded 3,512 times to 3,493 recipients. Nineteen individuals have been double recipients of the award.

[PDF format, 30 pages, 875.89 KB].

A Year Later, U.S. Campaign Against ISIS Garners Support, Raises Concerns

A Year Later, U.S. Campaign Against ISIS Garners Support, Raises Concerns. Pew Research Center. July 22, 2015.

Nearly a year after the United States launched its first airstrikes against ISIS, the public remains broadly supportive of the military campaign. Yet Americans also have persistent doubts about how well the U.S. military effort is going, and there is no agreement about whether the U.S. should deploy ground troops as part of the military campaign in Iraq and Syria. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 12 pages, 403.32 KB].

Strengthening Nuclear Stability in Turbulent Times

Strengthening Nuclear Stability in Turbulent Times. Brookings Institution. April 2015.

The Ukraine crisis and broader deterioration in relations between Russia and the West has created a heightened danger of unintended clashes between Russian and NATO military forces, and continues to deflate hopes for near-term progress on nuclear arms control. The report offers key recommendations and identifies additional measures to build confidence and strengthen security in Europe, enhance global nuclear stability, and set the stage for further progress on reducing nuclear weapons. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 32 pages, 716 KB].