Publications

March 13, 2019

El Salvador's Recognition of the People's Republic of China: A Regional Context

In January 2016, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) abandoned an 8-year truce in its war with the Republic of China (ROC) over diplomatic recognition around the world and subsequently moved to aggressively woo traditional Taipei allies. This paper centers on the PRC’s recent successful push into Latin America, and particularly in Central America—historically a primary area of influence for the United States. Through a concerted effort—and often in exchange for promises of mega investments and financial aid—the PRC increasingly receives a warm welcome across the Latin American continent. This paper analyzes recent decisions by several countries in the Western Hemisphere in recognizing PRC and offers an in-depth assessment of El Salvador’s recent decision to break historic ties to Taiwan and embrace Beijing—a move that presents a significant strategic challenge to U.S. regional interests.

March 12, 2019

PRISM Vol. 8, No. 1

Criminal organizations, narco-traffickers, illegal immigration, violent extremists, cooperative approaches to regional security—all covered in this this latest edition of PRISM, which is co-sponsored by U.S. Southern Command and hot off of National Defense University’s press!

March 11, 2019

The Gilet Jaune Crisis

The gilet jaune movement seemed to come out of nowhere, shook the very foundations of the French Fifth Republic, but now seems trapped in a dance of death, unable to free itself from its own contradictions. It began by calling attention to the forgotten men and women of la France profonde; it is ending with a display of its sad permeability to conspiratorial thinking, hate, and anti-Semitism. It remains to be seen if the crisis will have an impact on French President Emmanuel Macron’s presumed leadership of the forces defending European integration over the forces of continental fragmentation.

March 6, 2019

Moscow Advances Ties to Iran's Regional Rivals

In INSS’s Strategic Perspectives No. 27 – “Between Russia and Iran: Room to Pursue American Interests in Syria,” I argued that Russia’s solution to restraining Iranian behavior in Syria has been one of addition and mediation rather than subtraction. Since then, there have been dramatic developments in the region and in U.S. policy on Syria. Despite -- and at times thanks to -- these twists and turns, Moscow has kept its ties with Israel, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey on track, while doing little more than marching in place in its management of relations with Iran. Here are the recent highlights and the future implications for American policy in Syria.

Feb. 11, 2019

Chairman Xi Remakes the PLA: Assessing Chinese Military Reforms

China’s current military reforms are unprecedented in their ambition and in the scale and scope of the organizational changes. Virtually every part of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) now reports to different leaders, has had its mission and responsibilities changed, has lost or gained subordinate units, or has undergone a major internal reorganization.

Jan. 30, 2019

A Strategic Overview of Latin America: Identifying New Convergence Centers, Forgotten Territories, and Vital Hubs for Transnational Organized Crime

This paper outlines a number of critical strategic challenges in Latin America for U.S. policymakers, which were directly identified in the December 2017 National Security Strategy. However, despite this recognition, these issues are seldom featured in policy discussions about the region.

Jan. 22, 2019

Toward a More Lethal, Flexible, and Resilient Joint Force: Rediscovering the Purpose of JPME II

Joint Professional Military Education (JPME) has never been more important to the success of the Joint Force. The contemporary security environment demands a lethal, flexible and resilient Joint Force to meet transregional, multidimensional, and multifunctional threats to U.S. national security. Today’s complex security environment demands truly joint warfighters capable of addressing transregional, multi-functional challenges across all domains—sea, air, land, space and cyberspace. The DOD can create the broader and deeper jointness necessary for the Joint Force to succeed, say the authors, only by investing in, rather than divesting from the capacity of JPME schools and programs.

Jan. 2, 2019

Between Russia and Iran: Room to Pursue American Interests in Syria

President Donald Trump has underscored containing Iran’s sway as a key element in establishing a “strong and lasting footprint” in Syria as the United States moves toward bringing its Soldiers home. In pursuing this key American objective, this paper recommends that Washington take advantage of the “daylight” between Russia and Iran, and that it be American policy at all levels to work to expand it. This long-existing “daylight” was underscored in 2018 by calls in Moscow for Iran to withdraw its forces from some or all of Syria, and by Putin’s positive regard at the summit in Helsinki with President Trump for Israel’s security requirements.

Dec. 3, 2018

The National Defense Strategy Commission Calls Attention to the “Quiet” Cross Functional Team Revolution in the National Security System

Is there a hidden gem in the recently released National Defense Strategy Commission report? Distinguished Research Fellow Dr. Christopher Lamb thinks so. The report recommends cross-functional teams (CFTs), which have the potential to transform the national security system. But few people are aware of what is happening, what is at stake and what it will take to ensure the success of CFTs.

Nov. 16, 2018

Joint Force Quarterly 91 (4th Quarter, October 2018)

What do you think about the joint force? Where do we need to adapt to meet the future as you see it? Where does leadership make a difference to you, and what does good leadership look like? When you think you have some answers, JFQ is here to help you reach out to the joint force and beyond.