Australia’s Strategic Posture

      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… Continue Reading Australia’s Strategic Posture

Azerbaijan and Armenia: The Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict

  In autumn 2020, a six-week war in the South Caucasus reshaped the dynamics of a decades-old conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia. The dispute centers on the predominantly Armenian populated region of Nagorno-Karabakh (or Mountainous Karabakh, also known in Armenian as Artsakh) and surrounding territories internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan. The war has resulted… Continue Reading Azerbaijan and Armenia: The Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict

Iran’s Foreign and Defense Policies

Iran’s national security policy is arguably the product of overlapping and sometimes competing priorities such as the ideology of Iran’s Islamic revolution, perception of threats to the regime and to the country, and long-standing national interests. The incoming Biden Administration has indicated that it will seek to rejoin the Iran nuclear agreement if Iran comes… Continue Reading Iran’s Foreign and Defense Policies

Security Threats, American Pressure, and the Role of Key Personnel: How NATO’s Defence Planning Process is Alleviating the Burden-Sharing Dilemma

In 2017, for the first time since the end of the Cold War, none of the capability targets identified in NATO’s quadrennial NATO Defence Planning Process (NDPP) were left on the negotiating table. Previously, capability targets were identified by the alliance’s secretariat, but they remained unfilled as allies failed to assume responsibility for them.This monograph… Continue Reading Security Threats, American Pressure, and the Role of Key Personnel: How NATO’s Defence Planning Process is Alleviating the Burden-Sharing Dilemma

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

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

Renewed Great Power Competition: Implications for Defense

The post-Cold War era of international relations—which began in the early 1990s and is sometimes referred to as the unipolar moment (with the United States as the unipolar power)—showed initial signs of fading in 2006-2008, and by 2014 had given way to a fundamentally different situation of renewed great power competition with China and Russia… Continue Reading Renewed Great Power Competition: Implications for Defense

Changes in the Arctic

The diminishment of Arctic sea ice has led to increased human activities in the Arctic, and has heightened interest in, and concerns about, the region’s future. The United States, by virtue of Alaska, is an Arctic country and has substantial interests in the region. The seven other Arctic states are Canada, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Finland,… Continue Reading Changes in the Arctic

Crafting Strategy for Irregular Warfare: A Framework for Analysis and Action

The 2018 U.S. National Defense Strategy made headlines by officially downgrading terrorism as a national security priority in favor of “inter-state strategic competition.” Many interpreted the statement as signifying a return to “conventional combat,” yet a closer reading suggests that even state-based competition is likely to be “irregular.” Much like insurgent adversaries, states blend separate… Continue Reading Crafting Strategy for Irregular Warfare: A Framework for Analysis and Action

Latin America 2020: Challenges to U.S. National Security Interests

U.S. national security interests in Latin America are undermined by three key threats: transnational criminal organizations, which exploit weak levels of governance across the majority of countries in the region; extra-regional actors, which fill the vacuum created by U.S. distraction and inattention to its neighborhood; and finally, a number of regional political actors embracing ideological… Continue Reading Latin America 2020: Challenges to U.S. National Security Interests