Publications

Jan. 29, 2021

Baltics Left of Bang: The Southern Shore

Sponsored by the U.S. National Defense University (NDU) and the Swedish Defence University, this is the fourth and final paper in a series of INSS Strategic Forums dedicated to the multinational exploration of the strategic defense challenges faced by the Baltic states. The December 2017 U.S. National Security Strategy describes Russia as “using subversive measures to weaken the credibility of America’s commitment to Europe, undermine transatlantic unity, and weaken European institutions and governments.” The American and European authors of this paper, along with many others, came together in a series of exercises conducted in late 2017 through the winter of 2019 to explore possible responses to the security challenges facing the Baltic Sea region (BSR).

Jan. 12, 2021

Economics, Diplomacy, and Great Power Competition

The US Department of Defense (DoD) Strategic Multilayer Assessment (SMA) program hosted a speaker session on January 12, 2021, presented by Hon. Robert Zoellick (Former World Bank President; US Trade Representative; and Deputy Secretary, Undersecretary, and Counselor to the US Department of State), as a part of its SMA INSS/PRISM Speaker Series.

Jan. 6, 2021

National Security in the Post-Pandemic Era

The geopolitical implications of COVID-19 are profound in the near term, and will have a ripple effect throughout the U.S. economy and the foundations of U.S. power. It could be more strategically contagious over the longer term if it compels a sharp change in how Americans see their role in the world and adapts its conception of national security.

Dec. 18, 2020

Regaining the Initiative: Can the US Lead Again?

Restoring US leadership in global affairs will require a number of strategic shifts to change the trajectory set by the Trump administration. These substantial choices have to be made quickly by the new Biden team, which faces daunting domestic and political obstacles to its more internationalist approach.

Dec. 18, 2020

A Kinder, Gentler Bear? Why Rumors of Russia’s Post-Soviet Retreat Are Premature

While 2020 has been an annus horribilis pretty much everywhere, it has been particularly challenging across the periphery of the former Soviet Union. In Eastern Europe (Belarus), the South Caucasus (Nagorno-Karabakh), and Central Asia (Kyrgyzstan), 2020 has brought widespread political upheaval and conflict. Amid this wave of instability washing

Nov. 24, 2020

Russia’s Escalating Use of Private Military Companies in Africa

In May 2020, fourteen unmarked Russian Mig-29 and Su-24 combat aircraft appeared in the possession of Russian paramilitaries in Libya. This transfer was unprecedented. While outdated, the aircraft have air-to-air and ground-attack capabilities similar to the United States (U.S.) Air Force F-15 and A-10. Why would Moscow send this equipment to a ragtag group of former military personnel moonlighting in Libya? As the United States military refocuses its attention on strategic competition with great powers, it will need to answer not only this question, but also broader questions related to how and why Russia utilizes its proxy forces.

Nov. 19, 2020

Joint Force Quarterly 99 (4th Quarter, October 2020)

Robert Kennedy’s speech that day in 1966—on a then unprecedented trip and exactly 2 years before his assassination—included some words that may help all of us see our road ahead a bit more clearly. He stated, “It is from numberless diverse acts of courage such as these that the belief that human history is thus shaped. Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.” To me that is what Americans, especially those in uniform, aspire to do. Let us know what you think. Be safe.

Nov. 19, 2020

Executive Summary

In an address in Cape Town, South Africa, on June 6, 1966, Senator Robert F. Kennedy stated, “There is a Chinese curse which says, ‘May he live in interesting times.’ Like it or not, we live in interesting times. They are times of danger and uncertainty; but they are also the most creative of any time in the history of mankind.” As it turns out, we ourselves are living in interesting times: from the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic to racial strife, wildfires to record numbers of hurricanes, contested politics to economic crises, and more.

Nov. 18, 2020

American Businesses and Great Power Competition

On November 18, 2020, the US Department of Defense (DoD) Strategic Multilayer Assessment (SMA) program hosted a speaker session as a part of its SMA INDOPACOM/AFRICOM Speaker Series. The speaker was GEN (Ret.) Joseph Votel (Former Commander, USSOCOM and USCENTCOM; President and CEO, Business Executives for National Security (BENS)).

Nov. 12, 2020

China – Next Steps

If we are to compete successfully with China for influence in Asia and across the globe, where to begin? In short, back to basics – our alliances.