Publications

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Category: Defense Strategy & Policy

Aug. 1, 2022

Chinese Perspectives on US Strategy in Asia, 2017-2021

The architects of US strategy in Asia have advanced a bold vision for a "free and open Indo-Pacific" but have paid less attention to China's views and responses. This article surveys perceptions of Chinese strategists toward the Trump administration's regional approach, arguing that China's analytic community came to see US strategy as largely focused on the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue.

June 15, 2022

What Next in Ukraine?

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

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.

March 23, 2022

Were Drone Strikes Effective? Evaluating the Drone Campaign in Pakistan Through Captured al-Qaeda Documents

At a time when the United States seems likely to rely heavily on targeted killing as an instrument of counter-terrorism, scholars, policymakers, and other analysts remain divided over its utility. These disagreements have been especially pronounced in scholarship and commentary regarding the U.S. drone campaign in Pakistan.

March 7, 2022

Can the West Apply Enough Pressure to End the War in Ukraine Without Further Provoking Vladimir Putin?

The U.S. and its allies should begin thinking now about what an acceptable diplomatic outcome would look like.

Jan. 26, 2022

Updating Defeat Mechanisms

“The advocates of Maneuver Warfare claimed all the positive virtues of operational art and castigated attrition as the artless application of raw force.”

Jan. 11, 2022

Defeat Mechanisms in Modern Warfare

This podcast explores the current debate about service and Joint operating concepts, starting with the Army’s multi-domain operations concept. It argues for adaptations to an old operational design technique—defeat mechanisms; updates to Joint and service planning doctrine; and discipline regarding emerging concepts. Rather than debate over attrition versus maneuver, combinations of a suite of defeat mechanisms should be applied to gain victory in the future.

Oct. 20, 2021

Defence Dominance: Advantage for Small States

Emerging technologies are leading to a period of defensive dominance on the battlefield. Small states can take advantage of the new small, smart, and numerous weapons systems to create highly lethal, survivable forces that can deter larger powers.

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

June 14, 2021

Three Priorities for NATO Partnerships in a Contested World

Over the next twelve months, the allies will negotiate a new Strategic Concept that adapts NATO’s core tasks—collective defense, crisis management, and cooperative security—to this contested environment. It will be informed by the NATO 2030 Report, which characterized China as a full-spectrum rival and offered recommendations to strengthen NATO’s political dimensions and extend its global reach. The next Strategic Concept presents an opportunity to breathe new life into cooperative security by steering cooperation with non-member states toward these challenges. NATO should double down on what works—capacity-building—while expanding political consultations with partners and forging new frontiers in science and technology cooperation.