Through its publications, INSS aims to provide expert insights, cutting-edge research, and innovative solutions that contribute to shaping the national security discourse and preparing the next generation of leaders in the field.



Category: Irregular Warfare

Dec. 1, 2023

Assessing Russian Cyber and Information Warfare in Ukraine

This article examines Russian use of cyber and information capabilities to influence the course of the Ukraine war by analyzing prior expectations, public knowledge of wartime realities, potential reasons for disparity between the two, and the distinct and sometimes contradictory takeaways that have been drawn to date within the analytical community.

July 11, 2023

Proxy Wars and Strategic Competition

This chapter of the Routledge Handbook of Proxy Wars (Eds. Assaf Moghadam, Vladimir Rauta, Michael Wyss) explores the character of proxy wars through the lens of great power competition, where conventional warfare remains a major concern given its potentially catastrophic consequences.

June 26, 2023

Counterterrorism Jenga

Editor’s Note: As the United States focuses on China and Russia and moves away from the Middle East, its ability to strike at terrorist groups such as al-Qaeda and the Islamic State is in question. National Defense University’s Kim Cragin examines the Biden administration’s “over-the-horizon” approach and argues that its foundations are increasingly shaky.

April 5, 2023

Game-changers: Implications of the Russo-Ukraine War for the Future of Ground Warfare

What does the record of combat in the year since Russia began its full-scale invasion of Ukraine herald about the future character of ground war?

Dec. 4, 2022

Virtual and Physical Realities: Violent Extremists’ Recruitment of Individuals Associated with the US Military

INSS’s Kim Cragin’s new article, Virtual and Physical Realities, compares five case studies from the white power and militia movements to learn how violent extremists attempt to attract new members. The findings suggest that (1) recruitment occurs through iterative interactions in virtual and physical spaces; (2) these individuals shift between movements; and (3) little divergence exists between civilian and military recruits.

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.

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