Publications

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Category: INSS Strategic Perspectives

Aug. 9, 2022

Lawfare in Ukraine: Weaponizing International Investment Law and the Law of Armed Conflict Against Russia’s Invasion

This paper explores Ukraine’s innovative use of international investment law to hold Russia financially liable for damages arising out of its 2014 invasion and occupation of Crimea, and how this use of “lawfare” strategy can be further leveraged considering Russia’s renewed military invasion of Ukraine in 2022.

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

Oct. 19, 2021

The PRC’s Changing Strategic Priorities in Latin America: From Soft Power to Sharp Power Competition

The willingness of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) to give billions of dollars in loans across Latin America created the perception that the PRC is spending unlimited resources to woo allies in a region where the United States historically carries significant influence. Currently, the PRC is heightening this perception by delivering millions of COVID-19 vaccines to Latin America, buttressed by a robust media operation to shape the information environment. Far less visible are the PRC’s concerted regional efforts to reshape commercial supply chain architecture, cyber and telecommunications systems, and markets to depend on Chinese technologies, standards, and hardware for the PRC’s long-term benefit and America’s loss.

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.

June 14, 2021

Russia and Saudi Arabia: Old Disenchantments, New Challenges

The Joseph Biden administration can manage its recalibration of relations with Saudi Arabia without unwarranted fear that Riyadh will view Russia as a safe-harbor alternative to the United States on a myriad of state-to-state interactions that are most important to the Kingdom. While Russia’s transactional approach to foreign partners has at times given it advantages in some areas over the more value-based framework of U.S. foreign relations, there clearly have been limits to the Russian style of dealing with Saudi Arabia in this century.

June 2, 2021

Iran in Latin America: Malign Alliances, “Super Spreaders,” and Alternative Narratives

Iran's ongoing and multifaceted campaigns of disinformation and carefully curated messages—coordinated with Russian and Venezuelan state media companies and thousands of allied Internet and social media accounts—pose a strategic challenge to U.S. interests and regional efforts to promote stability, democratic values, and the rule of law.

Aug. 12, 2020

The Micromanagement Myth and Mission Command: Making the Case for Oversight of Military Operations

This paper argues that leaders, historians, and pundits have grossly exaggerated civilian micromanagement of the U.S. military, resulting in less effective civilian and military oversight of military operations and a reduced likelihood that military operations will achieve strategic results.

July 31, 2019

Five Conundrums: The United States and the Conflict in Syria

For the past 8 years, two U.S. administrations, the United Nations (UN), and numerous foreign governments have sought to end the catastrophic war in Syria and reach a negotiated political settlement to the conflict. Their efforts have repeatedly been complicated, even thwarted, by the highly contested and violent politics underlying the conflict, the sheer number of conflict actors inside and outside of Syria, and those actors’ diverse and often irreconcilable objectives.

May 20, 2019

Finding Ender: Exploring the Intersections of Creativity, Innovation, and Talent Management in the U.S. Armed Forces

Current national-level strategic documents exhort the need for creativity and innovation as a precondition of America’s continued competitive edge in the international arena. But what does that really mean in terms of personnel, processes, and culture? This paper argues that an overlooked aspect of talent management, that of cognitive diversity, must be considered when retooling military talent management systems. Going one step further, talent management models must incorporate diversity of both skill set and mindset into their calculus. Specifically, the Department of Defense (DOD) needs to recruit, retain, and utilize Servicemembers and civilians with higher than average levels of creativity and a propensity for innovative thinking. It needs “enders.”

March 25, 2019

Russian Challenges from Now into the Next Generation: A Geostrategic Primer

U.S. and Western relations with Russia remain challenged as Russia increasingly reasserts itself on the global stage. Russia remains driven by a worldview based on existential threats—real, perceived, and contrived. As a vast, 11-time zone Eurasian nation with major demographic and economic challenges, Russia faces multiple security dilemmas internally and along its vulnerable and expansive borders. Exhibiting a reactive xenophobia stemming from a long history of destructive war and invasion along most of its borders, the collapse of the Soviet Union, the enlargement of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, and perceived Western slights, Russia increasingly threatens others and lashes outward. However, time is not on Russia’s side, as it has entered into a debilitating status quo that includes unnecessary confrontation with the West, multiple unresolved military commitments, a sanctions-strained and only partially diversified economy, looming domestic tensions, and a rising China directly along its periphery. Washington still has an opportunity to carefully improve U.S.-Russia relations and regain a more stable relationship in the near term, but only if activities and initiatives are based on a firm and frank appreciation of each other’s core interests, including those of their allies and partners.