Publications

Oct. 19, 2021

AI Will Change War

Artificial Intelligence (AI) could lead to “Hyperwar”—a type of conflict and competition so automated that it would collapse the decision action loop, eventually minimizing human control over most decisions. America’s challenge is to encourage the organizational transformation necessary to adopt safer, more explainable AI systems to maintain our competitive edge, now that the technical transformation is at our doorstep.

Oct. 12, 2021

Recalibrating U.S. Counterterrorism: Lessons Learned from Spain

As the United States recalibrates its counterterrorism policy, law enforcement will play an even greater role. Kim Cragin, Michael Bartlett and William Crass of National Defense University point to Spain’s experience as a source of lessons for the United States. The authors describe Spain’s expeditionary use of law enforcement and identify steps the United States can take to improve coordination with foreign partners. Editor's Note - Daniel Byman

Oct. 7, 2021

Competing Visions of World Order

When Samuel Huntington described the “clash of civilizations” in 1993, he was criticized for reinforcing a self-fulfilling prophecy. Today we face a tectonic global clash, but not necessarily of the type Huntington foresaw; clashing are two conflicting visions of the future global order. How this clash evolves will be the story of the 21st century.

Sept. 28, 2021

Doing Well by Doing Good? Strategic Competition and United Nations Peacekeeping

This study thus evaluates the benefits that U.S. competitors have gained through their engagement in UN peacekeeping and assesses the extent to which these benefits necessarily challenge U.S. interests. It finds the threat to U.S. interests from Russian and Chinese participation in UN missions and deliberations to be most pronounced at UN headquarters.

Sept. 16, 2021

A Weapon of Mass Destruction Strategy for the 21st Century

In a recent article in War on the Rocks, CSWMD Expert Consultant, Dr. Seth Carus, and colleagues explore how the U.S. government should, through the National Security Council, formulate a unified strategy that addresses the changing character of, and challenges posed by, WMD. That strategy should align current and future national security capabilities in order to prevent the proliferation of such weapons and discourage adversaries from using them to harm the United States, allied nations, and broader American national security interests.

Sept. 7, 2021

Afghanistan Will Put Russia's Regional Ambitions to the Test

While the failure of the United States’ two-decade campaign to reshape Afghanistan was a source of no little schadenfreude in Moscow, the collapse of Ashraf Ghani’s U.S.-backed government has thrust Russia into a challenging position. Even as President Vladimir Putin confirmed that Russia has no intention of deploying troops to Afghanistan itself, the potential for radicalization and violence around Russia’s borders is foisting greater responsibility for regional security on Moscow at a time of mounting domestic difficulties.

Sept. 7, 2021

Did Globalization Go Too Far?

As the economic competition between the United States and China intensifies companies find themselves caught in the crossfire. Western companies hesitate to offend China and possibly lose access to China’s “super-large market.” Milton Friedman argues that a company’s only responsibility is to its shareholders. Recently companies have accepted that they have certain social responsibilities; do they also have national security responsibilities?

Sept. 2, 2021

The Return of Great Power Proxy Wars

If the United States fights with China or Russia, what type of war will it be? Will it look like the high-tech conflict envisaged in The Kill Chain or will it be closer to the plot of Ghost Fleet? Much of the U.S. strategic debate has been dominated by the perceived need to deter and prepare for large-scale, conventional conflicts — what some in these pages have called a Napoleonic conception of war. But great-power competition does not always manifest itself by direct, protracted, and high-intensity wars.

Sept. 1, 2021

Dueling Dyads: Conceptualizing Proxy Wars in Strategic Competition

The purpose of this article is to explore the character of proxy wars in the context of the emerging strategic environment. It offers insights into the array of forms that proxy wars can take, identifies shortfalls in how such conflicts are currently conceptualized, and offers recommendations to update U.S. military doctrine to prepare for this more prevalent and likely form of armed conflict in this century.

Aug. 31, 2021

National Security In A Digital World

The digital revolution of recent decades has transformed nearly all facets of life—not least the national security environment. The volume and mass transmission of digitized information has pushed the velocity of decision-making to the limits of human capacity. Leaders will struggle to keep up with the furious pace of artificial intelligence and machine learning as they increasingly dominate the battlespace. Mastering the arts of peace and war in the digital world will be the epic challenge of the 21st century.