Publications

Aug. 1, 2022

Joint Force Quarterly 106 (3rd Quarter, 2022)

As we drop the third quarter edition of JFQ, we hope you enjoy what our authors have to offer. Highlights of 106 include discussions on future cyber operations, learning within insurgent groups, and how law powerfully affects Great Power competition. We encourage you to join in the conversation by weighing in on the articles.

July 15, 2022

The War in Ukraine and Eurasia's New Imperial Moment

Eurasia contains four states whose leaders portray their countries as the center of distinct regional orders, consciously evoking their imperial history as a justification to be something greater than ordinary states. China, Iran, Russia and Turkey are thus at least in part “revisionist” powers. Unless Russia’s imperial war in Ukraine is soundly defeated, the world should be prepared for further bouts of Eurasian empire rebuilding.

June 15, 2022

What Next in Ukraine?

Five experts outline possible military, political, environmental, and socioeconomic scenarios

May 31, 2022

How the al-Qaeda–Taliban Alliance Survived

Al-Qaeda’s interactions with the Taliban have often been marked by mutual suspicion and mistrust, but both groups have adopted robust and ultimately successful approaches to manage these tensions. In particular, the relationship survived turbulent episodes from 2001 to 2011, and the two groups coordinated during the run-up to the Doha Agreement. This suggests that although al-Qaeda’s relationship with the Taliban may remain fraught, it will endure. It is unclear whether the Taliban will allow the group to use Afghan territory to support transnational terrorist operations. But the Taliban will likely be unable or unwilling to constrain al-Qaeda’s regional and international ambitions, and therefore will probably be a highly unreliable partner in any effort mounted by outside powers to do so.

May 24, 2022

Gangs No Longer: Reassessing Transnational Armed Groups in the Western Hemisphere

Download PDFExecutive SummaryMS-13 (Mara Salvatrucha) in the Northern Triangle of Central America and the Primeiro Comando da Capital (PCC; First Command of the Capital), based in São Paulo, Brazil, are both tier-one criminal/political/military threats to the stability of the Western Hemisphere.1 These groups—no longer gangs but community-embedded

April 29, 2022

America Needs a Comprehensive Compellence Strategy Against Russia

One month before the war started, FPRI’s Rob Lee argued that Moscow’s compellence strategy would include the use of military force directly against Kyiv or more likely by punitive raids deep into the eastern half of Ukraine. He argued, “By inflicting heavy losses on the Ukrainian military, taking prisoners of war, and degrading Kyiv’s defense capabilities, Russia could potentially alter Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s incentive structure sufficiently to induce painful concessions.” Despite Ukraine’s successful effort to turn back Russian forces around Kyiv, Russia’s compellence strategy has not yet failed. As a result, it needs to be undercut by NATO with a more comprehensive approach.

April 26, 2022

Empires of Eurasia: How Imperial Legacies Shape International Security

Dr. Jeffrey Mankoff, INSS-CSR Distinguished Research Fellow, has recently published a new book, Empires of Eurasia: How Imperial Legacies Shape International Security. How the collapse of empires helps explain the efforts of China, Iran, Russia, and Turkey to challenge the international order.

April 26, 2022

Central Asia Is Keeping a Nervous Eye on Russia’s War in Ukraine

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is upending the geopolitical calculations of states around the world. The fallout is especially complex for the post-Soviet states of Central Asia, which maintain extensive economic, political, cultural and other ties to both Russia and Ukraine. While Central Asia is far from the front lines of the ongoing war, and therefore less directly impacted than states like Moldova or Georgia, its leaders also face difficult decisions.

April 26, 2022

Russia's War in Ukraine: Identity, History, and Conflict

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine constitutes the biggest threat to peace and security in Europe since the end of the Cold War. On February 21, 2022, Russian president Vladimir Putin gave a bizarre and at times unhinged speech laying out a long list of grievances as justification for the “special military operation” announced the following day. While these grievances included the long-simmering dispute over the expansion of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the shape of the post–Cold War security architecture in Europe, the speech centered on a much more fundamental issue: the legitimacy of Ukrainian identity and statehood themselves. It reflected a worldview Putin had long expressed, emphasizing the deep-seated unity among the Eastern Slavs—Russians, Ukrainians, and Belarusians, who all trace their origins to the medieval Kyivan Rus commonwealth—and suggesting that the modern states of Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus should share a political destiny both today and in the future.

April 14, 2022

Executive Summary

On a rainy spring day here on the Potomac, the war in Ukraine rages on, and what can be done is being done. Ukrainians are showing the world what real courage is as Russia wages a brutal war against them. While Thomas Hobbes told us that life is “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short,” war is certainly all those things and more. The pain of war spreads out widely in the obvious ruins of lives lost, cities leveled, homes and businesses destroyed, and futures denied. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, on February 24, 2022, will be remembered by millions of people, like some of us remember 9/11 or December 7, or the fateful early July days of 1863, at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.