Nonstrategic Nuclear Weapons

Recent debates about U.S. nuclear weapons have questioned what role weapons with shorter ranges and lower yields can play in addressing emerging threats in Europe and Asia. These weapons, often referred to as nonstrategic nuclear weapons, have not been limited by past U.S.-Russian arms control agreements, although some analysts argue such limits would be of… Continue Reading Nonstrategic Nuclear Weapons

Missile Defense Review 2019

The 2018 National Defense Strategy (NDS) states that the Defense Department’s “enduring mission is to provide combat-credible military forces needed to deter war and protect the security of our nation.” This 2019 Missile Defense Review (MDR) is fully aligned with the NDS, writes acting US Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan. The MDR was conducted pursuant to… Continue Reading Missile Defense Review 2019

Between Russia and Iran: Room to Pursue American Interests in Syria

President Donald Trump has underscored containing Iran’s sway as a key element in establishing a “strong and lasting footprint” in Syria as the United States moves toward bringing its Soldiers home. In pursuing this key American objective, this paper recommends that Washington take advantage of the “daylight” between Russia and Iran, and that it be… Continue Reading Between Russia and Iran: Room to Pursue American Interests in Syria

Iran Sanctions

U.S. sanctions have been used extensively by successive Administrations to try to achieve change in Iran’s behavior. Sanctions had a substantial effect on Iran’s economy and on some major strategic decisions, but little or no effect on Iran’s regional malign activities. During 2012-2015, when the global community was relatively united in pressuring Iran, Iran’s economy… Continue Reading Iran Sanctions

Maneuvering the Saudi-iranian Rivalry in the Middle East: How the United States Can Preserve and Protect its Long-term Interests in the Region

This monograph examines the conflicts in the Middle East region between Saudi Arabia and Iran and the so-called proxy wars that are being fought between them, and discusses ways that the United States needs to maneuver carefully in this struggle to preserve its long-term interests in the area. Although Washington has political, economic, and strategic… Continue Reading Maneuvering the Saudi-iranian Rivalry in the Middle East: How the United States Can Preserve and Protect its Long-term Interests in the Region

Silent Partners: Organized Crime, Irregular Groups, and Nation-States

The U.S. Army increasingly faces adversaries that are difficult to define. The threat landscape is further complicated by the silent partnership between criminal organizations, irregular groups, and nation-states. This collaboration, whatever its exact nature, is problematic, because it confounds understanding of the adversary, making existing countermeasures less effective, and thus directly challenging U.S. national security… Continue Reading Silent Partners: Organized Crime, Irregular Groups, and Nation-States

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.

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

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