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The People’s Liberation Army and Contingency Planning in China
November 1, 2015
— How will China use its increasing military capabilities in the future? China faces a complicated security environment with a wide range of internal and external threats. Rapidly expanding international interests are creating demands for the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) to conduct new missions ranging from protecting Chinese shipping from Somali pirates to evacuating citizens from Libya. The most recent Chinese defense white paper states that the armed forces must “make serious preparations to cope with the most complex and difficult scenarios . . . so as to ensure proper responses . . . at any time and under any circumstances.”
Lessons Encountered: Learning from the Long War
September 1, 2015
— Lessons Encountered: Learning from the Long War began as two questions from General Martin E. Dempsey, 18th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff: What were the costs and benefits of the campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan, and what were the strategic lessons of these campaigns? The Institute for National Strategic Studies at the National Defense University was tasked to answer these questions. The editors composed a volume that assesses the war and analyzes the costs, using the Institute’s considerable in-house talent and the dedication of the NDU Press team. The audience for this volume is senior officers, their staffs, and the students in joint professional military education courses—the future leaders of the Armed Forces. Other national security professionals should find it of great value as well.
Rethinking Deterrence and Assurance
September 1, 2015
— Convening in the shadow of Russia’s continuing efforts to destabilize Ukraine, this conference examined NATO’s assessment of the changed security environment and the threat posed by Russia’s evolving approach to contemporary confl ict. Discussions focused on Moscow’s worldview and the sources of its conduct, its doctrine and capabilities, and the specifi c challenge of understanding the nature and implications of “hybrid warfare” as practiced by Russia. Participants also debated how best to bolster NATO deterrence and defence in the near-term, the appropriate strategies to counter hybrid warfare over the longer-term, whether and how to adapt NATO’s nuclear posture going forward, and the utility of sanctions and other policies of economic coercion in seeking changes in Russian behavior.
Putin's Russia and U.S. Defense Strategy
August 15, 2015
— The workshop addressed two questions bearing on the development of U.S. and NATO strategy toward Russia. First, how has Russia framed the problem of deterring and defeating a conventionally superior nuclear-armed major power and its allies? Second, what should the United States and NATO do to strengthen their deterrence and defense postures? In exploring these challenges with a diverse group of experts, the workshop also sought to give impetus to a community of interest that should work collectively to ensure that defense planning is informed by a detailed understanding of contemporary Russian attitudes, doctrine, and capabilities. In order to focus in depth on the deterrence challenge, the workshop did not undertake a comprehensive review of all the issues shaping Russia’s relations with the west. A number of worthy and important questions were therefore not discussed in detail, including the genesis of the current confrontation with Russia, the full range of recent developments in Russian military capability and doctrine, Russian domestic politics, and how to integrate the military and nonmilitary dimensions of national and international strategy toward Russia.
An Empirical Analysis of Claimant Tactics in the South China Sea
August 1, 2015
— China, Taiwan, Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, and Brunei all claim some or all of the land features and maritime territory in the South China Sea. One notable aspect of the South China Sea dispute is that its advocates argue past one another with little reference to a common set of facts. Another is the absence of comprehensive data on the actions claimants have taken to advance or protect their claims. The Center for the Study of Chinese Military Affairs at the National Defense University (NDU) set out to create a comprehensive database documenting the various tactics pursued by South China Sea claimants over an 18-year timeframe (1995–2013). This paper draws upon that data to analyze what tactics South China Sea claimants are employing and to present some potential considerations for U.S. and allied policymakers.
Understanding Putin Through a Middle Eastern Looking Glass
July 1, 2015
— DOWNLOAD PDFExecutive Summary The resurgence of Russian influence in the Middle East has surprised Moscow as much as any other capital. Russia has done better than the Kremlin and its Middle East experts feared when the Arab Spring began. Despite Moscow’s deep involvement in the Ukrainian crisis, Russia is now in a stronger position with national
China Moves Out: Stepping Stones Toward a New Maritime Strategy
July 1, 2015
— Over the last decade, the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) has increased the frequency, duration, complexity, and distance from the mainland of its operations. Not only does China maintain a permanent counterpiracy escort flotilla in the Indian Ocean, it also now routinely conducts naval exercises and operations beyond the first island chain throughout the year. This normalization of PLAN operations in the Western Pacific and beyond is an important step toward an emerging new maritime strategy that will incorporate far seas defense.
Women on the Frontlines of Peace and Security
April 1, 2015
— There is a growing body of evidence that shows how outcomes are better for whole societies when women participate in peace talks, security-sector planning, and reconstruction efforts. For example, women often raise day-to-day issues such as human rights, citizen security, employment, and health care, which make peace and security plans more relevant and more durable. They speak on behalf of marginalized groups, often crossing cultural and sectarian divides, which helps give voice to everyone seeking a peaceful future. And once consensus is reached, women can help translate peace from an agreement on paper into changes that make a real difference in people’s lives.
Responding to Russia after the NATO Summit: Unmanned Aerial Systems Overmatch in the Black Sea
April 1, 2015
— The Ukraine conflict poses unique and asymmetric challenges to the international community. Since the earliest days of the Crimean crisis, Russian support of “separatists” within Ukraine has ranged from plainclothes thugs to more traditional uniformed troops, munitions, and other forms of aid. Some of the individuals involved may have had links to the Russian military or its intelligence community. While much of the aid comes through the porous border between Russia and Ukraine, Russia also leverages the opportunity to use Black Sea smugglers as a way to supply ongoing rebellions or to initiate new revolts. Two Black Sea–bordering regions, Odessa and Transnistria, are home to active pro-Russian movements that could potentially evolve into a pro-Russian state. Worries of Russia supplying separatists via illicit movements on the Black Sea and generally advancing its Novorossyia claims should be matched to a general concern over Black Sea smuggling rings, which traffic humans, weapons, and nuclear materials into Europe via Odessa’s port.
Global Knowledge Networking: Smart Strategies for Promoting Innovative Learning and Leader Development
April 1, 2015
— Smart security builds on actionable knowledge. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Wales Summit in September 2014 highlighted the need to build on partnerships to prepare and operate together better. Building on the successes of past partnership initiatives and capabilities, this paper proposes new ways to embrace and extend techniques and relationships originally developed under successful Secretary of Defense (SECDEF)-level memoranda of understanding (MOUs) within NATO’s Partnership for Peace (PfP) program. The Global Knowledge Networking (GKN) initiative supports smart decisionmaking by educating and training tomorrow’s agile, resilient, and effective leaders. GKN is a network of people, ideas, and processes to make knowledge actionable and is focused on improving on U.S. and coalition interoperability through improvements in existing training and education capabilities. It has begun to convene strategic dialogues around key challenges and collectively owned opportunities. Its initial framing is globally relevant and focused on the Arabian Gulf region through a proposed test bed for collaboration with the member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). This will allow new tools for interoperability to be explored and created together as enablers of joint capability. Drawing on the experiences of NATO’s Partnership for Peace, it will promote an innovative systems approach that could help cultivate and sustain more effective security partnerships around the globe.