Publications

Nov. 16, 2021

Russia in the Era of Great Power Competition

Russia has come to occupy an anomalous position in Western strategic thought. While former US president Barack Obama dismissed Russia as a “regional power” following its 2014 occupation of Crimea and invasion of eastern Ukraine, both the Trump and Biden administrations have identified Russia as one of the United States’ principal rivals in an era defined by strategic competition among great powers. To a significant degree, though, the United States continues to think about Russia as more of a disruptor than a true great power rival. Though widespread, that view misreads both the nature and the durability of Russian power and underestimates the extent to which Russia remains a potent competitor whose preferences Western leaders will have to take into account.

Nov. 4, 2021

Winning the Fight Taiwan Cannot Afford to Lose

Taiwan’s defense approach has long relied on purchases of U.S. equipment and attempts to emulate U.S. doctrine. The U.S. military, however, has focused on projecting power to fight smaller adversaries around the world, while Taiwan faces the prospect of defending its homeland from China’s increasingly capable People’s Liberation Army (PLA). The United States is deeply committed to defending Taiwan, particularly as it becomes increasingly clear that Taiwan’s military needs to adapt to the rising threat posed by the PLA and the risk that Xi Jinping might seek to use force to compel unification. China has long had the ability to blockade or to launch missiles or air strikes against Taiwan, but a defiant Taipei could resist such coercion and refuse to surrender. Beijing can only be certain that it can compel unification if it can mount an invasion. Deterring invasion is, therefore, the ultimate objective for the United States and Taiwan. Maintaining cross-strait stability in the face of an increasingly well-resourced and modernizing PLA requires continual innovation and adaptation, including the updating of defense concepts.

Nov. 3, 2021

Extending that "Loving Feeling" to Undersea Warfare

It is time to extend that “loving feeling” to submarine warfare — including, and perhaps especially, to the submarine forces of U.S. allies and partners in the Indo-Pacific region.

Oct. 20, 2021

A Methodology for Evaluating Chinese Academic Publications

NDU’s Center for the Study of Chinese Military Affairs (CSCMA), part of the Institute of National Strategic Studies, has published a methodology for evaluating the policy relevance of publications by Chinese scholars. The methodology presented in the research memo seeks to increase confidence that analysts are dealing with publications by those who matter, and to ensure that collection takes place in a transparent and consistent manner.

Oct. 20, 2021

Defence Dominance: Advantage for Small States

Emerging technologies are leading to a period of defensive dominance on the battlefield. Small states can take advantage of the new small, smart, and numerous weapons systems to create highly lethal, survivable forces that can deter larger powers.

Oct. 19, 2021

Joint Force Quarterly 103 (4th Quarter, October 2021)

This issue of Joint Force Quarterly includes the winning essays from our annual Secretary of Defense and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Essay Competitions, along with features from a number of seasoned national security professionals. We hope you'll let us know which articles resonate with you.

Oct. 19, 2021

The PRC’s Changing Strategic Priorities in Latin America: From Soft Power to Sharp Power Competition

The willingness of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) to give billions of dollars in loans across Latin America created the perception that the PRC is spending unlimited resources to woo allies in a region where the United States historically carries significant influence. Currently, the PRC is heightening this perception by delivering millions of COVID-19 vaccines to Latin America, buttressed by a robust media operation to shape the information environment. Far less visible are the PRC’s concerted regional efforts to reshape commercial supply chain architecture, cyber and telecommunications systems, and markets to depend on Chinese technologies, standards, and hardware for the PRC’s long-term benefit and America’s loss.

Oct. 12, 2021

Recalibrating U.S. Counterterrorism: Lessons Learned from Spain

As the United States recalibrates its counterterrorism policy, law enforcement will play an even greater role. Kim Cragin, Michael Bartlett and William Crass of National Defense University point to Spain’s experience as a source of lessons for the United States. The authors describe Spain’s expeditionary use of law enforcement and identify steps the United States can take to improve coordination with foreign partners. Editor's Note - Daniel Byman

Sept. 28, 2021

Doing Well by Doing Good? Strategic Competition and United Nations Peacekeeping

This study thus evaluates the benefits that U.S. competitors have gained through their engagement in UN peacekeeping and assesses the extent to which these benefits necessarily challenge U.S. interests. It finds the threat to U.S. interests from Russian and Chinese participation in UN missions and deliberations to be most pronounced at UN headquarters.

Sept. 7, 2021

Afghanistan Will Put Russia's Regional Ambitions to the Test

While the failure of the United States’ two-decade campaign to reshape Afghanistan was a source of no little schadenfreude in Moscow, the collapse of Ashraf Ghani’s U.S.-backed government has thrust Russia into a challenging position. Even as President Vladimir Putin confirmed that Russia has no intention of deploying troops to Afghanistan itself, the potential for radicalization and violence around Russia’s borders is foisting greater responsibility for regional security on Moscow at a time of mounting domestic difficulties.