The Dual-System Problem in Complex Conflicts

Despite decades of research and experience in for-eign conflicts and fragile environments, institutions in the United States and beyond are often unable to position themselves for success when called upon to intervene. This monograph contributes to the growing recognition that today’s conflicts are best understood as complex systems, characterized by greater levels of fragility, uncertainty,… Continue Reading The Dual-System Problem in Complex Conflicts

Exit Strategy: Rule of Law and the U.S. Army

Establishing the rule of law is a key goal and end state in counterinsurgency (COIN) operations and is a critical aspect of securing peace and preventing future conflict. However, recent experience in theaters such as Afghanistan has shown that establishing effective rule of law institutions and practices is not a straightforward task. Consequently, considerations as… Continue Reading Exit Strategy: Rule of Law and the U.S. Army

Relevance of the European Union and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization for the United States in the 21st Century

The “America First” approach to foreign policy seems to call into question the value of institutions like the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the European Union (EU). However, in a more competitive and uncertain strategic environment, NATO and the EU remain vital to promoting U.S. interests.

Maintaining Information Dominance in Complex Environments

There are many risks to the U.S. Army’s command and control (C2) operations and to its intelligence and information warfare (IW) capabilities. The challenges include: significant uncertainty; sudden unexpected events; high noise and clutter levels in intelligence pictures; basic and complex deceptions exercised through a variety of channels; the actions of hidden malign actors; and… Continue Reading Maintaining Information Dominance in Complex Environments

China’s Strategic Support Force: A Force for a New Era

In late 2015, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) initiated reforms that have brought dramatic changes to its structure, model of warfighting, and organizational culture, including the creation of a Strategic Support Force (SSF) that centralizes most PLA space, cyber, electronic, and psychological warfare capabilities. The reforms come at an inflection point as the PLA seeks… Continue Reading China’s Strategic Support Force: A Force for a New Era

New START Treaty: Central Limits and Key Provisions

The United States and Russia signed the New START Treaty on April 8, 2010. Following ratification by the American and Russian legislatures, it entered into force on February 5, 2011, after Secretary of State Clinton and Foreign Minister Lavrov exchanged the instruments of ratification. Reductions were to be implemented by February 5, 2018, a goal… Continue Reading New START Treaty: Central Limits and Key Provisions

International Law and Agreements: Their Effect upon U.S. Law

International law is derived from two primary sources—international agreements and customary practice. Under the U.S. legal system, international agreements can be entered into by means of a treaty or an executive agreement. The Constitution allocates primary responsibility for entering into such agreements to the executive branch, but Congress also plays an essential role. First, in… Continue Reading International Law and Agreements: Their Effect upon U.S. Law

Islamic State and U.S. Policy

The Islamic State (IS, aka the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, ISIL/ISIS, or the Arabic acronym Da’esh) is a transnational Sunni Islamist insurgent and terrorist group that controlled large areas of Iraq and Syria from 2014 through 2017. The group attracted a network of global supporters and its leader, Abu Bakr al Baghdadi,… Continue Reading Islamic State and U.S. Policy