Publications

April 10, 2020

Strategy As Appetite Suppressant

It is tempting to compare successful national strategies to unicorns: They both seem mythical. But while good strategies might be rare, they are very real. And despite the impressions left by recent history, they are possible. There are multiple meanings and purposes for grand strategy; as grand plans, as a set of macro principles, or as patterns

April 10, 2020

Ready or Not: Regaining Military Readiness during COVID19

The COVID19 pandemic has critically shaken the health, civil society, and economic security of the United States.  It also has tested the readiness management processes of the U.S. Defense Department. While we wait for treatments, the Department of Defense needs to maintain readiness of the force in the interim. Force readiness and management will be improved by rapidly deploying a point of care serological test to all in the U.S. military. 

April 2, 2020

Modernizing biotechnology for the fight against COVID-19 and the future of pandemic response

Alexander Titus, Michelle Rozo, and Diane DiEuliis provide some perspective on the importance of using advanced biotechnology capabilities during the global pandemic.

April 1, 2020

Joint Force Quarterly 97 (2nd Quarter, April 2020)

This issue of JFQ shows the way ahead for the Joint Force. In our Forum and JPME Today sections, we discuss emerging battlespace technologies. In Commentary, authors propose the development of a new global engagement cycle. In our Features section are articles about the need to adapt the Joint Force command and control structure, about dealing with Iran as a rival nation-state, and addressing A2/AD threats in the Indo-Pacific region. In Recall, we see how General Ulysses Grant learned the art of joint operations in the Civil War. Finally, we review Andrew Marble’s biography of former CJCS General John Shalikashvilli.

March 31, 2020

The Missing Element in Crafting National Strategy: A Theory of Success

Grand strategy is more art than science, but the practice has always required creativity to translate the Big Idea into a specific plan which uses every instrument of national power to advance the national interest. How do policymakers develop grand strategy? Is it captured in a single concept like containment? Or is it a series of strategic activities orchestrated like a campaign plan? This article explores the “theory of success”, a methodology to formulate grand strategy with an emphasis on strategic logic, the continuous line of thinking which integrates and aligns desired outcomes with existing conditions and constraints.

Feb. 10, 2020

Joint Force Quarterly 96 (1st Quarter, January 2020)

This issue of JFQ covers many topics about the decade ahead. In our Forum section there’s an article about the Australian Army’s efforts to advance intellectual development. In JPME Today, we cover the JPME experience and the nature of war. In Commentary, authors write about climate change and great power competition. In our Features section are articles about the role of chaplains in humanitarian assistance and aerial combat during the Vietnam War. Finally, we review Andrew Marble’s biography of former CJCS General John Shalikashvilli. As usual, good thinking leads to good writing on many issues facing the Joint Force.

Feb. 4, 2020

Qassem Soleimani: Moscow's Syria Decision – Myth and Reality

On January 3, 2020, Iran’s Special Forces leader– IRGC Quds Force – Major General Qassem Soleimani, was killed by an American drone strike outside of the Baghdad International Airport in Iraq. Commentators noted that Soleimani had been the subject of a United Nations (UN) travel ban and an asset freeze by the United Nations Security Council (UNSCR) since 2007.  Soleimani had, however, traveled frequently to Syria, Iraq and Lebanon in the decade since these prohibitions. Notably, Soleimani also reportedly made a covert trip to Moscow in July of 2015 that was conspicuous for its flouting of UN travel restrictions and for the lore associated with it having facilitated what became a precipitous escalation in Russian intervention into the Syrian civil war.

Jan. 31, 2020

Baltics Left of Bang: Nordic Total Defense and Implications for the Baltic Sea Region

Sponsored by the U.S. National Defense University (NDU) and the Swedish National Defense University, this paper is the second in a series of Institute for National Strategic Studies Strategic Forums dedicated to the multinational exploration of the strategic and defense challenges faced by the Baltic states. The December 2017 U.S. National Security Strategy described 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 U.S. and European authors of this paper, along with many others, came together in late 2017 to explore possible responses to the security challenges facing the Baltic Sea Region (BSR). This second report highlights early research and gaming insights indicating the importance of total defense and comprehensive security, whole-of-society approaches to deterrence and defense of the Baltic Sea Region from Russian aggression. It also provides recommendations for how the Nordic and Baltic states can leverage aspects of total defense and comprehensive security to generate a credible asymmetric defense and build societal resilience.

Jan. 22, 2020

The PLA Beyond Asia: China’s Growing Military Presence in the Red Sea Region

China’s establishment of a military base in Djibouti in 2017 was an important “first” for the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), which had never operated a base on foreign territory. It was also a milestone in a gradually expanding PLA presence in the Red Sea region. Over the previous decade, China deployed peacekeepers to conflicts in the oil-producing states of Sudan and South Sudan, conducted anti-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden, and increased its military diplomacy throughout the area. By the time the Djibouti base opened, the PLA was already maintaining a presence of more than 2,000 personnel in the region—far more than in any other area outside the Indo-Pacific. While PLA capabilities have remained largely concentrated in Asia, its Red Sea presence showcased an increasing ability to project power to other regions and suggested that additional deployments may occur as China seeks to defend its overseas interests. The PLA role in the region has also entered the Chinese popular imagination: the navy’s evacuation of Chinese and foreign citizens from Yemen in 2015 was the basis of Operation Red Sea, one of China’s top grossing films of 2018.

Jan. 22, 2020

The European Union’s Permanent Structured Cooperation: Implications for Transatlantic Security

In November of 2017, the European Union (EU) officially launched the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) project, its latest attempt to deepen defense cooperation among EU members. Earlier that same year, the EU approved two other important initiatives designed to strengthen defense cooperation: the Coordinated Annual Review on Defence (CARD) and the European Defence Fund (EDF). Shortly after the launch of PESCO, many U.S. defense officials expressed skepticism about its value. This is not surprising; U.S. officials have reflexively opposed European defense initiatives such as PESCO since the end of the Cold War. U.S. opposition to these initiatives reflects its fear that they could lead the EU to become a competitor to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) for European security issues and resources, and in so doing reduce U.S. influence in European security.