Strategic Assessment 2020: Into a New Era of Great Power Competition

This strategic assessment is both firmly focused on the dynamics of contemporary Great Power competition (GPC) and respectful of past strategic assessments generated by the Institute for National Strategic Studies (INSS) over the course of almost 40 years As an homage to the format of several historical INSS strategic assessments, this one begins with a… Continue Reading Strategic Assessment 2020: Into a New Era of Great Power Competition

Women in the Middle East and North Africa

Many experts have found that women in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) fare worse than those in other parts of the world on a range of social, economic, legal and political measures. Some attribute this underperformance to prevailing gender roles and perspectives (including discriminatory laws and beliefs), as well as challenges facing the… Continue Reading Women in the Middle East and North Africa

Australia’s Strategic Posture: Issues for Congress

Australia is responding to increased uncertainty in its strategic environment by developing a new strategic posture that will likely allow it greater flexibility to act independently. In new strategic documents, Australia has outlined plans to increase its defense spending, acquire key combat systems, and further develop strategic and defense ties and bilateral relations with Japan,… Continue Reading Australia’s Strategic Posture: Issues for Congress

Navy Constellation (FFG-62) Class Frigate

The Constellation (FFG-62) class frigate program, previously known as the FFG(X) program, is a Navy program to build a class of 20 guided-missile frigates (FFGs). Congress funded the procurement of the first FFG-62 class ship in FY2020 at a cost of $1,281.2 million (i.e., about $1.3 billion). The Navy’s proposed FY2021 budget requests $1,053.1 million… Continue Reading Navy Constellation (FFG-62) Class Frigate

Fundamentals of Military Readiness

Each year the Department of Defense (DOD) requests and Congress authorizes and appropriates billions of dollars in Operations and Maintenance (O&M) funding to support what the DOD calls readiness. Additionally, other types of defense appropriations may be used to contribute to producing, sustaining, or otherwise enabling readiness. DOD defines readiness as “the ability of military… Continue Reading Fundamentals of Military Readiness

Russia: Domestic Politics and Economy

Over the course of his 20 years of rule, Russian President Vladimir Putin has consolidated an authoritarian system of governance that has benefitted himself and a close group of colleagues and led Russia to take increasingly aggressive actions abroad. At the same time, Putin presided over Russia’s recovery from the economic collapse of the 1990s… Continue Reading Russia: Domestic Politics and Economy

Navy Virginia (SSN-774) Class Attack Submarine Procurement

The Navy has been procuring Virginia (SSN-774) class nuclear-powered attack submarines(SSNs) since FY1998. The one Virginia-class boat that the Navy is requesting for procurement inFY2021 would be the 33rd boat in the class. The Navy’s FY2020 budget submission had projected that the Navy would request two Virginia-class boats in FY2021.Virginia-class boats scheduled for procurement in… Continue Reading Navy Virginia (SSN-774) Class Attack Submarine Procurement

Navy Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) Program

The Aegis ballistic missile defense (BMD) program, which is carried out by the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) and the Navy, gives Navy Aegis cruisers and destroyers a capability for conducting BMD operations. BMD-capable Aegis ships operate in European waters to defend Europe from potential ballistic missile attacks from countries such as Iran, and in in… Continue Reading Navy Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) Program

Hypersonic Weapons

  The United States has actively pursued the development of hypersonic weapons—maneuvering weapons that fly at speeds of at least Mach 5—as a part of its conventional prompt global strike program since the early 2000s. In recent years, the United States has focused such efforts on developing hypersonic glide vehicles, which are launched from a… Continue Reading Hypersonic Weapons