Topical Alert: Security Affairs
(Updated November 14, 2013)
ARMS CONTROL & DISARMAMENT
U.S. STRATEGIC NUCLEAR FORCES: BACKGROUND, DEVELOPMENTS, AND ISSUES. Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress. Amy F. Woolf. October 22, 2013.
Full Text [PDF format, 40 pages, 483 KB]
The Obama Administration is completing a review of the size and structure of the U.S. nuclear force, and a review of U.S. nuclear employment policy, as it implements the 2010 Nuclear Posture Review. It is also implementing the New START Treaty with Russia that will limit the number of deployed missiles and warheads in the U.S. strategic force. Congress will review the Administration's plans for U.S. strategic nuclear forces during the annual authorization and appropriations process, and as it assesses U.S. plans under New START and possible future arms control treaties with Russia.
FACING THE FACTS: TOWARDS A NEW U.S. NORTH KOREA POLICY. Brookings Institution. Evans J.R. Revere. October 2013.
Full Text [PDF format, 25 pages, 180 KB]
For two decades, the United States has sought to end North Korea's nuclear weapons program. Occasional success in freezing elements of that program, together with pledges by Pyongyang to end it, inspired hope that denuclearization could actually be achieved. Hope also grew from the belief that there existed a collection of incentives, including diplomatic normalization, security guarantees, and food assistance, which would convince Pyongyang to abandon its nuclear ambitions. According to the report, these hopes have been dashed. U.S. policy has failed to achieve its objective. However, important lessons have been learned from years of negotiating with Pyongyang. [Note: contains copyrighted material].
GLOBAL FORECAST 2014: U.S. SECURITY POLICY AT A CROSSROADS. Center for Strategic & International Studies. Craig Cohen et al. November 1, 2013.
Full Text [PDF format, 76 pages, 7.53 MB
After a dozen years of war, the 2008 financial crisis, budgetary contraction inside government, and growing political polarization, U.S. security policy stands at a crossroads as America finds itself lacking a durable political consensus on the nation's role in the world. The CSIS scholars answer the questions that will determine the future trajectory of American power in 2014 and beyond. The report looks overseas at America's ability to sustain its rebalance to Asia and adapt to the changing order in the Middle East. At the same time, the authors examine America's ability to get its own house in order, to develop a sustainable resource strategy for defense and to rebuild a national security consensus to meet the challenges the United States will face in the years ahead. [Note: contains copyrighted material].
CHANGING MINDS IN THE ARMY: WHY IT IS SO DIFFICULT AND WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT. Strategic Studies Institute. Stephen J. Gerras and Leonard Wong. October 28, 2013.
Executive Summary [PDF format, 2 pages, 629.58 KB]
Full Text [HTML format with a link to the PDF file, 49 pages]
In a time of extraordinary fiscal and national security uncertainty, it seems naïve to assume that all, or even most, of a strategic leader's current assumptions will be just as relevant several years into the future. The monograph highlights the need for Army senior leaders, in the midst of change, to periodically question their deep-seated beliefs on critical issues, and perhaps change their minds, rather than relying solely on what they have long believed to be true.
THE DRAGON'S SPEAR: CHINA'S ASYMMETRIC STRATEGY. YaleGlobal. Loro Horta. October 17, 2013.
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As the world's leading military powers invent new weapons systems, other nations develop countermeasures. "China has no illusions about its military inferiority via-à-vis the United States and knows that the status is likely to endure for at least two decades," explains security analyst Loro Horta. "As such the PLA has been developing a full range of asymmetric strategies to deter the U.S. until its military reaches maturity." Horta describes the rapid modernization of China's military and its study of history, especially the experiences of underdogs who prevailed in war. China's ambitious projects include anti-satellite missiles, lasers and the DF-21A anti-ship ballistic missile that could target aircraft carriers. Asymmetric strategies are the dominant force of China's military, even as the country invests in and builds technological capability. Horta urges the United States and other nations to recognize and appreciate China's full range of asymmetric strategies even as technology matures. [Note: contains copyrighted material].
CONFLICT MANAGEMENT AND PEACEBUILDING: PILLARS OF A NEW AMERICAN GRAND STRATEGY. Strategic Studies Institute. Volker C. Franke and Robert H. Dorff, eds. October 16, 2013.
Executive Summary [PDF format, 2 pages, 624.56 KB]
Full Text [HTML format with a link to the PDF file, 426 pages]
The authors examine the utility of the U.S. Government's whole-of-government (WoG) approach for responding to the challenging security demands of operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. They specifically discuss the strategic objectives of interagency cooperation particularly in the areas of peace building and conflict management.
MILITARY & DEFENSE
NATO MISSILE DEFENSE AND THE EUROPEAN PHASED ADAPTIVE APPROACH: THE IMPLICATIONS OF BURDEN-SHARING AND THE UNDERAPPRECIATED ROLE OF THE U.S. ARMY. Strategic Studies Institute. Steven J. Whitmore and John R. Deni. October 18, 2013.
Full Text [HTML format with a link to the PDF file, 71 pages]
NATO's ballistic missile defense initiative remains a work in progress, but a lack of interceptor and sensor contributions on the part of the European allies is likely to have significant implications for the U.S. Army. In particular, the U.S. Army is likely to face increased manpower demands, materiel requirements, and training needs in order to meet the demand signal created by the NATO ballistic missile defense program.
CENTRAL ASIA AFTER 2014. Strategic Studies Institute. Stephen J. Blank, Ed. November 3, 2013.
Executive Summary [PDF format, 5 pages, 673.2 KB]
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The papers collected here offer assessments of Sino-Russian rivalry, the U.S.-Russian rivalry, and a neglected but critical topic, Chinese military capability for action in Central Asia. All of these issues are essential for any informed analysis of the future of Central Asian security, as well as relations among the great powers in Central Asia.
LESSONS FROM NEGOTIATING WITH THE TALIBAN. YaleGlobal. Marc Grossman. October 8, 2013.
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Pakistan released the Afghan Taliban's second in command to catalyze a peace process. It's not the first effort. In trying to end fighting in Afghanistan and secure a sustainable representative government for Afghans, from mid-2011 to March 2012, the United States tried encouraging Taliban members to work with the Afghan government. Those talks failed, explains Marc Grossman. Grossman offers three lessons for others who have little choice but to negotiate with stubborn insurgents: set moral guidelines on end goals for the negotiating team, recognize that it's challenging for both sides to negotiate and fight simultaneously; and apply force to back diplomacy and vice versa. Fragmentation among opponents is frustrating when commitments are not met, but can lead to breakthroughs. For most it's puzzling why a few ideologues prefer endless pursuit of power, at any cost, over peace and stability. [Note: contains copyrighted material].
THE DARK SIDE OF TRANSITION: VIOLENCE AGAINST MUSLIMS IN MYANMAR. International Crisis Group. October 1, 2013.
Full Text [PDF format, 36 pages, 2.7 MB]
According to the brief, unless there is an effective government response and change in societal attitudes, violence against Myanmar's Muslim communities could spread, jeopardising the country's transition as well as its standing in the region and beyond. [Note: contains copyrighted material].
Filkins, Dexter. THE SHADOW COMMANDER. (The New Yorker, September 30, 2013, pp. 42-53)
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“A former C.I.A. officer calls [Qassem] Suleimani, the head of Iran’s Quds Force, the ‘most powerful operative in the Middle East today.’” [Note: contains copyrighted material].
TERRORISTS & TERRORISM
THE US AND PAKISTAN: AN INCOMPATIBLE COUPLE. YaleGlobal. Dilip Hiro. October 31, 2013.
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As the United States withdraws forces from landlocked Afghanistan, it needs cooperation from Pakistan for the easiest exit route and support against the ongoing war on terrorism. Pakistan resents U.S. drone attacks and other intrusions, yet with a troubled economy, also relies on funding from the U.S. and the International Monetary Fund. Pakistan seeks more policy leniency, including a nuclear agreement similar to India's with the U.S., but the U.S. has set limits on the dysfunctional relationship, explains author Dilip Hiro. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and President Barack Obama met 23 October. Sharif protested drone strikes in his nation. The same day the Washington Post published a report outlining the Pakistani government's quiet support for drone strikes and receipt of regular classified briefings. U.S.-Pakistani relations, already tense and fractious, must yet endure ongoing conflict with the Taliban, the April Afghan presidential election and the final pullout of US troops before the end of 2014. [Note: contains copyrighted material].
PREDICTING SUICIDE ATTACKS: CHARACTERISTICS OF BOMBINGS IN ISRAEL. RAND Corporation. Walter L. Perry et al. November 7, 2013.
Full Text [PDF format, 3 pages, 0.2 MB]
This brief describes an assessment of how geospatial and sociocultural characteristics may help predict the timing and targets of terrorist attacks. [Note: contains copyrighted material].
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