Publications

Results:
Category: Occasional Papers

Dec. 22, 2022

Averting Escalation and Avoiding War: Lessons from the 1995–1996 Taiwan Strait Crisis

This study assesses information-sharing, communication, and policy coordination between U.S. and Taiwan decisionmakers in the 1995–1996 Taiwan Strait Crisis, derives key lessons, considers the implications for a future crisis, and makes recommendations to policymakers.

Dec. 21, 2022

The Inevitable U.S. Return and the Future of Great Power Competition in South Asia

More than a year after America’s painful Afghanistan withdrawal, the future of U.S. and Western security interests in South Asia no longer relates mainly to the terrorism threat from Salafi jihadism, which has receded and reoriented there to be most menacing toward Pakistan and China. Instead, American security interests now require the proper posture for long-term Great Power competition (GPC) with China. Such a posture in South Asia requires patient, persistent growth in the slowly maturing, overt strategic security partnership with India and a quiet regeneration of a transactional one with Pakistan.

Dec. 21, 2022

Dangerous Alliances: Russia’s Strategic Inroads in Latin America

Russia’s growing strategic presence in the U.S. near abroad empowers anti-U.S. populist authoritarian regimes while gaining potentially important access points for Russia in the Western Hemisphere. Understanding and developing a comprehensive response to this asymmetric threat should be a hemispheric priority as the United States faces numerous strategic challenges with waning influence in the region. The response should include ongoing proactive engagement in the media and on social platforms to create a fact-based counternarrative to Russian propaganda as well as coordination with regional allies to expose and counter Russian activities and the threats they pose.

Dec. 21, 2022

Priorities for NATO Partnerships in an Era of Strategic Competition

This study evaluates how select NATO partner states in Europe and the Indo-Pacific region see the strategic value of cooperating with as the Alliance adapts for strategic competition, and it assesses the prospects for future cooperation.

Oct. 20, 2021

Future Directions for Great Power Nuclear Arms Control: Policy Options and National Security Implications

With New START expiring in 2026, this Occasional Paper by 2020 National Defense University-U.S. Strategic Command Scholar Lt T. Justin Bronder, USAF, provides an assessment of several possible nuclear arms control/risk reduction approaches for the United States to consider. The author evaluates each approach for its possible impact on U.S.-Russia strategic stability, extended deterrence, budget costs, and other key factors, and recommends that in the near-term the United States engage other major nuclear powers in talks on new risk reduction and confidence-building measures.

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.

Feb. 1, 2021

The Future of Weapons of Mass Destruction: An Update

In an update to their 2014 paper on the future of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), John P. Caves, Jr., and W. Seth Carus assess and offer policy considerations on the significant geopolitical and technological developments shaping the future of WMD since 2014.

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.

June 25, 2020

System Overload: Can China’s Military Be Distracted in a War over Taiwan?

In his 2019 New Year’s Day address, Chinese Communist Party (CCP) General Secretary Xi Jinping issued a stern warning to Taiwan: “We make no promise to abandon the use of force, and retain the option of taking all necessary measures.” At the same time, he warned that force could also be used to forestall “intervention by external forces,” referring to the United States. While designed to intimidate recalcitrant Taiwan and U.S. leaders—and appeal to domestic nationalists—rather than to signal an imminent confrontation, Xi’s comments underscored the very real military threats that China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) poses to Taiwan. As the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency notes, Taiwan has been the “primary driver” of PLA modernization for decades, spurring the development of short- and long-range ballistic missiles, amphibious and airborne units, and other capabilities targeted at Taiwan and intervening U.S. forces. Those threats have become more worrisome as the PLA conducts large-scale exercises and provocative bomber flights around the island. The PLA’s improved warfighting capabilities have contributed to China’s near-term cross–Taiwan Strait objective—deterring Taiwan independence. Understanding the costs that a war would impose on the island, few but the most die-hard Taiwan independence activists have supported overt moves toward de jure independence.