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Strategic Reflections: Operation Iraqi Freedom, July 2014 - February 2007
November 1, 2012
— Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom were the first major wars of the 21st century. They will not be the last. They have significantly impacted how the U.S. Government and military think about prosecuting wars. They will have a generational impact on the U.S. military, as its future leaders, particularly those in the ground forces, will for decades be men and women who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. It is imperative that leaders at all levels, both military and civilian, share their experiences to ensure that we, as a military and as a country, gain appropriate insights for the future.
Japan-China Relations 2005–2010: Managing Between a Rock and a Hard Place An Interpretative Essay
October 1, 2012
— DOWNLOAD PDFExecutive Summary Between China and Japan, the past is ever-present. Notwithstanding shared cultural and historic ties, throughout the past century and going back to the Sino-Japanese war at the end of the 19th century, a bitter legacy of history—the Boxer Rebellion; the Mukden Incident and Japan’s occupation of South Manchuria (1931);
Countering Violent Terrorism & the Role of Military Special Operations: A View from India
September 10, 2012
— On behalf of the National Defense University’s Institute for National Strategic Studies and the Program on Irregular Warfare and Special Operations, I wish to welcome you to this special event this afternoon. I’m Tom Lynch. I’m the research fellow for South Asia and the Near East at the Institute for National Strategic Studies and the Center for Strategic Research. It’s my distinct pleasure to work for NDU President MG Greg Martin, his Director of Research for the Institute for National Strategic Studies, COL Tim Vuono, and the Director for the Center for Strategic Research, Dr. Nick Rostow. None of these gentlemen are here with us this afternoon, but all sent along their greetings and best wishes to General Katoch and to all of you here today. It’s my pleasure to work closely with the Program on Irregular Warfare, an affiliate of the Institute for National Strategic Studies, and I’m indebted here and wish to acknowledge the hard work and support of that program’s leadership, specifically Dr. Joe Tonon and Mr. Matt Reid, and thank them for their instrumental role in making this presentation, by LTG Katoch, possible here today. Thank you, gentlemen. I’m also most pleased to be sitting here next to the General today, on this his first visit ever to Washington, DC as I understand it, and to hear him speak in person on today’s topic which is, “Countering Violent Extremism and the Role of Special Forces: a View from India.”
The Presidential Nuclear Initiatives of 1991-1992
September 1, 2012
— On the morning of September 28, 1991, then-Colonel Frank Klotz witnessed an historic moment at Grand Forks Air Force Base, North Dakota. As he and other senior officers from the base bomber and missile units watched, the crews for the B-1 strategic bombers that had been on alert that day climbed into their cockpits, started the planes, and taxied one after another away from the alert aircraft parking area. That scene was repeated at all 11 Strategic Air Command (SAC) bases in the United States. By the end of the day, there were no U.S. bombers on alert for the first time in over 30 years.
Managing Sino-U.S. Air and Naval Interactions: Cold War Lessons and New Avenues of Approach
September 1, 2012
— The United States and China have a complex, multifaceted, and ambiguous relationship where substantial areas of cooperation coexist with ongoing strategic tensions and suspicions. One manifestation involves disputes and incidents when U.S. and Chinese military forces interact within China’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). Three high-profile incidents over the last decade have involved aggressive maneuvers by Chinese military and/or paramilitary forces operating in close proximity to deter U.S. surveillance and military survey platforms from conducting their missions. Why do these incidents continue to occur despite mechanisms designed to prevent such dangerous encounters? Could new or different procedures or policies help avoid future incidents?
Proliferation Security Initiative: Origins and Evolution
June 1, 2012
— On December 9, 2002, the United States and Spanish navies cooperated to interdict a North Korean vessel, the So San, in the Arabian Sea.1 The operation initially appeared to be an unqualified success, a textbook example of interdiction to prevent proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), related materials, or delivery systems. According to press reports, the United States began tracking the vessel when it first left North Korea, believing that it was carrying a cargo related to Scud ballistic missiles. The So San flew no flag, making it a stateless vessel under international law, subject to interception and boarding by warships on the high seas.2 The United States asked the Spanish navy to stop and search the So San when the ship reached the patrol area of Combined Task Force (CTF) 150, then under Spanish command. The mission of CTF 150 was “to promote maritime security in order to counter terrorist acts and related illegal activities” in the Gulf of Aden, Gulf of Oman, Red Sea, and Indian Ocean.3 Thus, the United States proposed—and Spain agreed—to use a tool developed to combat global terrorism in a counterproliferation mission.
Deception, Disinformation, and Strategic Communications: How One Interagency Group Made a Major Difference
June 1, 2012
— This study explains how one part-time interagency committee established in the 1980s to counter Soviet disinformation effectively accomplished its mission. Interagency committees are commonly criticized as ineffective, but the Active Measures Working Group is a notable exception. The group successfully established and executed U.S. policy on responding to Soviet disinformation. It exposed some Soviet covert operations and raised the political cost of others by sensitizing foreign and domestic audiences to how they were being duped. The group’s work encouraged allies and made the Soviet Union pay a price for disinformation that reverberated all the way to the top of the Soviet political apparatus. It became the U.S. Government’s body of expertise on disinformation and was highly regarded in both Congress and the executive branch.
Cross-currents in French Defense and U.S. Interests
April 1, 2012
— France is the only European ally—except for the United Kingdom (UK)—that regards its military capabilities, operational performance, and defense industry as vital levers to exert global influence. While the French believe strongly in their need to preserve “strategic independence,” they see new challenges in the evolving international security environment that will oblige them to accept greater cooperation with others, even in areas once considered too sensitive to discuss. Although some French strategists remain uncomfortable with the notion of closer defense ties with the United States, others ask whether there might be a greater danger ahead: specifically, if Europe’s strength dissipates as America “rebalances” toward the Asia-Pacific region, where does France turn to find capable and willing partners to protect its security interests?
Russia and the Iranian Nuclear Program: Replay or Breakthrough?
March 1, 2012
— Despite protests across Russia sparked by last December’s fraud-filled Duma (parliament) elections, Vladimir Putin is preparing to return to the presidency this May. Will Putin replay his 2004–2008 approach to Iran, during which Russia negotiated the S–300 air defense system contract with Tehran? Or will he continue Russia’s breakthrough in finding common ground with the United States on Iran seen under President Dmitriy Medvedev, who tore up the S–300 contract?
The Iron Triangle Manifested: U.S. Air Force Tanker Lease 2001–2005 Case Study
January 1, 2012
— The proposed lease of the KC–767 tanker aircraft was one of the most infamous procurement scandals of the post–Cold War era. Interactions within the military-industrial-congressional complex led to legislation permitting the Air Force to lease tankers from Boeing using an operating lease rather than standard procurement. Following the outcry from Congress, industry, the media, and numerous watchdog groups, Congress and the Department of Defense (DOD) launched a wave of investigations and hearings. During the lease debate, participants reached a number of compromises documented in congressional legislation. However, this was not sufficient to continue the lease process. After nearly 4 years, Congress cancelled the tanker lease and directed the Air Force to pursue a traditional procurement approach.