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Charting a Course: Strategic Choices for a New Administration December 8, 2016 — The new administration takes office in a time of great complexity. Our new President faces a national security environment shaped by strong currents: globalization; the proliferation of new, poor, and weak states, as well as nonstate actors; an enduring landscape of violent extremist organizations; slow economic growth; the rise of China and a revanchist Russia; a collapsing Middle East; and a domestic politics wracked by division and mistrust. While in absolute terms the Nation and the world are safer than in the last century, today the United States finds itself almost on a permanent war footing, engaged in military operations around the world. MORE

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.” MORE

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. MORE

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. MORE

A Low-Visibility Force Multiplier: Assessing China’s Cruise Missile Ambitions April 1, 2014 — China’s military modernization is focused on building modern ground, naval, air, and missile forces capable of fighting and winning local wars under informationized conditions. The principal planning scenario has been a military campaign against Taiwan, which would require the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) to deter or defeat U.S. intervention. The PLA has sought to acquire asymmetric “assassin’s mace” technologies and systems to overcome a superior adversary and couple them to the command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (C4ISR) systems necessary for swift and precise execution of short-duration, high-intensity wars. MORE

The Noncommissioned Officer and Petty Officer: Backbone of the Armed Forces December 1, 2013 — A first of its kind, this book—of, by, and for the noncommissioned officer and petty officer—is a comprehensive explanation of the enlisted leader across the U.S. Armed Services. It complements The Armed Forces Officer, the latest edition of which was published by NDU Press in 2007, as well as the Services’ NCO/PO manuals and handbooks. Written by a team of Active, Reserve, and retired senior enlisted leaders from all Service branches, this book defines and describes how NCOs/POs fit into an organization, centers them in the Profession of Arms, explains their dual roles of complementing the officer and enabling the force, and exposes their international engagement. As Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin E. Dempsey writes in his foreword to the book, “We know noncommissioned officers and petty officers to have exceptional competence, professional character, and soldierly grit—they are exemplars of our Profession of Arms.” MORE

Convergence: Illicit Networks and National Security in the Age of Globalization April 1, 2013 — Acceleration. Magnification. Diffusion. Entropy. Empowerment. The global environment and the international system are evolving at hypervelocity. A consensus is emerging among policymakers, scholars, and practitioners that recent sweeping developments in information technology, communication, transportation, demographics, and conflict are making global governance more challenging. Some argue these developments have transformed our international system, making it more vulnerable than ever to the predations of terrorists and criminals. Others argue that despite this significant evolution, organized crime, transnational terrorism, and nonstate networks have been endemic if unpleasant features of human society throughout history, that they represent nothing new, and that our traditional means of countering them—primarily conventional law enforcement—are adequate. Even among those who perceive substantial differences in the contemporary manifestations of these persistent maladies, they are viewed as major nuisances not adding up to a significant national or international security threat, much less an existential threat. MORE

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. MORE