Publications

Feb. 1, 2018

Low-Cost Access to Space: Military Opportunities and Challenges

Space activity is critical to the American way of war. The commercialization of space has potentially radical implications for U.S. national security through its impact on a range of military and intelligence functions and on the ability of the nation to effectively project power around the globe.

Dec. 18, 2017

Can You Hear Me Now? The Case for Considering Information and Communications Technology as a Critical Component of Future Postconflict Operations

Information and communications technology (ICT) is vital to modern post-conflict security, stability, reconstruction, and development operations for both the intervening civil-military elements and the affected nation.

Sept. 27, 2017

Chinese Perspectives on the Belt and Road Initiative: Strategic Rationales, Risks, and Implications

Chinese officials have downplayed the security dimensions of Xi Jinping’s signature foreign policy initiative—the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). However, Chinese strategists have extensively analyzed three major issues: strategic benefits the BRI can provide for China, key security risks and challenges, and ways to reduce those risks. This study surveys their views and comments on implications for U.S. strategy.

Sept. 6, 2017

A Failure of Strategic Vision: U.S. Policy and the Doklam Border Dispute

On Monday, August 28th, China and India announced a de-escalation of their two month old confrontation along the tri-border area with Bhutan near Doklam. Beijing and New Delhi made this announcement about a week in advance of Prime Minister Modi’s simultaneously-announced intent to visit to China from September 3-5 for the annual BRICS (Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa) Summit.

Aug. 14, 2017

The Pentagon’s Pivot: How Lead Users Are Transforming Defense Product Development

Historically, the Department of Defense (DOD) has relied on strategic forecasting to determine specifications for new military products. These specifications are codified in formal product requirements that drive new product development (NPD).

Aug. 14, 2017

China’s Russia Problem on North Korea

The Trump Administration has hailed a recent 15-0 UN Security Council vote imposing new sanctions on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) as a diplomatic victory. The sanctions include a complete ban on coal, iron, and lead exports, a major source of foreign currency for Pyongyang. Success will depend on how effectively China, as North Korea’s predominant trading partner, enforces the new sanctions. In deciding how vigorously to implement them, Beijing will have to weigh multiple competing factors, including assessments of North Korea’s reaction, Chinese public expectations, and the possibility of additional U.S. secondary sanctions on Chinese firms. A less obvious, but potentially crucial, variable in China’s calculus is whether Russia will take advantage of a curtailed Sino-DPRK economic relationship to build its own influence in North Korea.

Aug. 8, 2017

Asia and the Trump Administration: Challenges, Opportunities, and a Road Ahead

The Asia-Pacific region is of exponentially increasing importance to the United States. Developments there affect vital U.S. economic, security, and political interests. Unfettered access to the region is a strategic imperative to allow the United States to protect and advance its wide-ranging national interests.

Aug. 7, 2017

A Short History of Biological Warfare: From Pre-History to the 21st Century

This short monograph reviews the history of biological warfare (BW) from prehistory to the present. It covers what we know about the practice of BW and briefly describes the programs that developed BW weapons based on the best available research.

July 26, 2017

Analysis of an Intervention: Lessons from U.S. Advisory Work in Afghanistan's Information and Communications Technology Sector

After decades of war and civil strife, Afghanistan’s infrastructure had largely been destroyed and the country had virtually no telecommunications services. Most Afghans had to travel to neighboring countries to make phone calls, and data services were essentially non-existent. The ouster of the Taliban at the hands of the US-led NATO Coalition in late 2001 ushered in a new era for Afghanistan. In 2002, the Afghan Government laid the groundwork for the reconstruction of the country by adopting a policy framework that encouraged public and private investment in Afghanistan’s rebirth. With the first private company authorized to provide GSM telephone service in April of that year, the information and communications technology (ICT) sector was among the very first post-war sectors to be established. To date, the ICT has attracted over US$2 billion in private investment, is one of the largest contributors to the Afghan treasury, and is one of Afghanistan’s greatest success stories.

July 17, 2017

Chinese Military Diplomacy, 2003–2016: Trends and Implications

China is placing increasing emphasis on military diplomacy to advance its foreign policy objectives and shape its security environment. Military diplomacy is part of broader Chinese foreign policy efforts to create a favorable international image, develop soft power, and shape international discourse. Other objectives include shaping China’s security environment, collecting intelligence, and learning from advanced militaries. The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) seeks to forward strategic and operational goals through a variety of interactions with foreign military partners, including senior-level visits, security dialogues, nontraditional security cooperation, military exercises, functional exchanges, and port calls.