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National Military Strategy Studies

Added December 14, 2016
Type: Monograph
The COIN Conundrum: The Future of Counterinsurgency and U.S. Land Power. Authored by Dr. Thomas R. Mockaitis.
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Counterinsurgency (COIN) continues to be a controversial subject among military leaders. This engaging monograph examines how the U.S. Army has absorbed the lessons of Iraq and Afghanistan and assesses its ability to combat insurgencies, while maintaining preparedness to perform other missions.
Added March 26, 2015
Type: Other
Project 1704: A U.S. Army War College Analysis of Russian Strategy in Eastern Europe, an Appropriate U.S. Response, and the Implications for U.S. Landpower. Edited by COL Douglas V. Mastriano, LTC Derek O'Malley.
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The 2014 Russian annexation of Crimea and its ongoing war against Ukraine is a turning point in its relations with Europe and the United States. Yet, NATO and the United States are yet to offer a viable strategy on how it will answer this emerging threat. Project 1704 takes a hard look at the changing strategic environment in Europe and offers an approach to maintain stability in Europe.
Added January 30, 2015
Type: Monograph
Do Fewer Resources Mean Less Influence? A Comparative Historical Case Study of Military Influence in a Time of Austerity. Authored by Dr. Mary Manjikian.
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The issue of how military resources should be reallocated after a military drawdown is not new. This monograph considers how this question was addressed in post-World War I Britain, and in the United States in the Post-Vietnam and Cold War environment, as well as making comparisons with the present environment.
Added November 10, 2014
Type: Book
Stepping Up: Burden Sharing by NATO's Newest Members. Authored by Dr. Joel R. Hillison.
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The burden sharing behavior of new NATO members is compared to that of old NATO members. Are new NATO members burden sharing at a greater rate than older NATO members?
Added September 11, 2014
Type: Monograph
After the Spring: Reforming Arab Armies. Authored by Dr. Florence Gaub.
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The Arab Spring has returned Arab military forces and their necessity for reform to the forefront. Outside actors, such as the United States, are now asked to rethink their security assistance in broader terms, shifting toward comprehensive security sector reform. As several countries are facing large-scale security implosion, terrorism, politicization of the military and protracted instability, the time for reform was never more imminent than now.
Added September 03, 2014
Type: Monograph
A New Type of Great Power Relationship between the United States and China: The Military Dimension. Authored by Professor Geoffrey Till.
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President Xi Jinping's recent suggestion that a newly empowered China and the United States adopt a relationship that is new and different from previous relations between the great powers provides an ideal opportunity for the United States to consider its strategic options in the region.
Added May 13, 2014
Type: Monograph
Soldiers of Misfortune? Authored by Dr. Thomas R. Mockaitis.
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What roles have security contractors played in missions in Iraq and Afghanistan?
Added October 22, 2013
Type: Book
Forging an American Grand Strategy: Securing a Path Through a Complex Future. Selected Presentations from a Symposium at the National Defense University. Edited by Dr. Sheila R. Ronis.
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Issues associated with U.S. grand strategy were discussed on November 8-9, 2011, at the National Defense University symposium, "Forging an American Grand Strategy: Securing a Path Through a Complex Future." This volume includes several presentations from the event.
Added August 13, 2013
Type: Monograph
Development of the Baltic Armed Forces in Light of Multinational Deployments. Authored by Dr. James S. Corum.
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Small NATO allies have become important players in multinational operations. This monograph helps U.S. policymakers and military leaders understand the problems that small allies face when they participate in U.S.-led operations.
Added June 24, 2013
Type: Letort Papers
Joint Strategic Planning System Insights: Chairmen Joint Chiefs of Staff 1990 to 2012. Authored by Dr. Richard M. Meinhart.
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Examining strategic planning by seven Chairmen Joint Chiefs of Staff over the past 2 decades provides insights on how these leaders addressed global challenges and made decisions. As such, this Paper provides an historic perspective in identifying key strategic planning legacies, while providing a contemporary focus for describing the current planning system's processes and products with greater fidelity.
Added October 29, 2012
Type: Monograph
How Nation-States Craft National Security Strategy Documents. Authored by Dr. Alan G. Stolberg.
This monograph compares and contrasts how different countries craft their national security strategy documents. It highlights similarities as well as differences, and provides lessons learned that all national strategy makers can apply.
Added October 12, 2012
Type: Letort Papers
A "Hollow Army" Reappraised: President Carter, Defense Budgets, and the Politics of Military Readiness. Authored by Professor Frank L. Jones.
For more than 30 years, the term “hollow army” has represented President Carter’s alleged willingness to allow American military capability to deteriorate in the face of growing Soviet capability. The true story is more complicated than the metaphor suggests.
Added August 30, 2012
Type: Monograph
The Promise and Pitfalls of Grand Strategy. Authored by Dr. Hal Brands.
This monograph offers a critical analysis of the idea of “grand strategy.” It explains why grand strategy is simultaneously so important and so difficult to do, and offers suggestions for how U.S. officials might approach the challenges of grand strategy in the 21st century.
Added August 31, 2011
Type: Book
National Security Reform 2010: A Midterm Assessment. Edited by Dr. Joseph R. Cerami, Dr. Robert H. Dorff, Mr. Matthew Harber.
This book includes a summary report of three panels, along with selected papers, from an April 22, 2010, colloquium in Washington, DC, on “2010: Preparing for a Mid-Term Assessment of Leadership and National Security Reform in the Obama Administration.”
Added April 08, 2011
Type: Monograph
Hard Power and Soft Power: The Utility of Military Force as an Instrument of Policy in the 21st Century. Authored by Dr. Colin S. Gray.
The concepts of "hard" and "soft" power are subjected to close critical scrutiny. The author finds the latter is significantly misunderstood and therefore inappropriately assessed as a substitute for the former, the threat or the use of military force.
Added January 31, 2011
Type: Monograph
2010 SSI Annual Strategy Conference Report "Defining War for the 21st Century". Authored by Dr. Steven Metz, COL Phillip R. Cuccia.
SSI's XXI Strategic Conference convened many of the world's top experts to assess and debate the definition of war and the strategic implications of how it is defined.
Added June 01, 2010
Type: Book
Rethinking Leadership and "Whole of Government" National Security Reform: Problems, Progress, and Prospects. Edited by Dr. Joseph R. Cerami, Dr. Jeffrey A. Engel.
On June 24, 2009, in Washington, DC, the Bush School of Government and Public Service and Scowcroft Institute of International Affairs at Texas A&M University, and the Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College conducted a conference on Leadership and Government Reform. Two panels discussed "Leader Development in Schools of Public Affairs" and "Leadership, National Security and 'Whole of Government' Reforms." The authors in this volume are from universities and policy institutes focused on international affairs, history, foreign policy, intelligence, and national and homeland security.
Added May 06, 2010
Type: Monograph
Decisionmaking In Operation IRAQI FREEDOM: The Strategic Shift of 2007. Authored by Dr. Steven Metz.
Was the 2007 decision to surge forces into Iraq effective in turning the war from a potential disaster to a possible success?
Added March 31, 2010
Type: Book
Teaching Strategy: Challenge and Response. Edited by Dr. Gabriel Marcella.
No subject is more essential in the preparation of national security professionals and military leaders than the teaching of strategy, from grand to military strategy. Nor is there one that is more timeless and intellectually demanding. The questions dealing with teaching strategy—why we should study it, what we should teach, and how we should teach it—may bear most directly on the system of PME. However, the answers need to be applied much more broadly across a wider range of our society today. For only then can we expect to regain strategic competence, not just in the crisis of the moment but in a sustained manner well into the 21st century. The contributions to this edited volume will advance that society-wide discussion and debate. This book should stimulate discussion and introspection that will in time enhance the security of our nation.
Added March 22, 2010
Type: Monograph
Decisionmaking in Operation IRAQI FREEDOM: Removing Saddam Hussein by Force. Authored by Dr. Steven Metz. Edited by Professor John R. Martin.
The Strategic Studies Institute (SSI) is pleased to initiate its latest monograph series, Operation IRAQI FREEDOM Key Decisions. SSI started this project in an effort to give leaders of the U.S. Armed Forces some important insights into how military advice was provided to the Nation’s civilian leadership during the many years—including the months before the invasion—of the war in Iraq. Dr. Metz starts this series with an impressive review of the decision to remove Saddam Hussein by force. The Strategic Studies Institute hopes that this and the succeeding monographs will generate debate on just how the United States made decisions—some of them disastrous—about Iraq. The resulting better understanding of the decisions should lead to strengthening of the processes—where appropriate—so that the military and civilian leadership forge better decisions in the future.
Added February 17, 2010
Type: Monograph
Do Oil Exports Fuel Defense Spending? Authored by Dr. Clayton K. S. Chun.
Rising oil prices facilitate the acquisition of greater resources and perhaps economic development. But oil revenues can also drive a government to finance massive military equipment purchases like Saudi Arabia did in 1979. The nature of governments that rely on raw material extraction and long-term development of military programs may affect how their current and future spending occurs regardless of oil prices. How nations decide to use their national wealth helps explain some of the perennial problems facing oil and commodity exporting nations and provides insights into their relations with other countries.
Added January 15, 2010
Type: Colloquium Brief
The Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA). Authored by Mr. Daniel Alderman.
Participants in this conference sought to understand the PLA's evolving view of its roles and responsibilities in a changing global security landscape.
Added August 27, 2009
Type: Letort Papers
Mind-Sets and Missiles: a First Hand Account of the Cuban Missile Crisis. Authored by Mr. Kenneth Michael Absher.
A detailed chronology and analysis of the intelligence failures and successes of the Cuban Missile Crisis is provided.
Added August 11, 2009
Type: PKSOI Papers
Toward a Risk Management Defense Strategy. Authored by Mr. Nathan P. Freier.
The author outlines eight principles for a risk management defense strategy. He argues that these principles provide “measures of merit” for evaluating the new administration’s defense choices.
Added November 04, 2008
Type: Monograph
Known Unknowns: Unconventional "Strategic Shocks" in Defense Strategy Development. Authored by Mr. Nathan P. Freier.
Historically, defense strategy demonstrates three flaws: (1) it is generally reactive, (2) it lacks sufficient strategic imagination, and (3) as a result, it is vulnerable to surprise. The current administration confronted a game-changing “strategic shock” in its first 8 months in office. The next team would be well-advised to expect the same kind of unconventional and nonmilitary shock to DoD convention early in its first term.
Added October 22, 2008
Type: Colloquium Report
Leadership and National Security Reform: The Next President's Agenda. Edited by Dr. Joseph R. Cerami, Dr. Robert H. Dorff, Ms. Lisa Moorman.
The Bush School of Government and Public Service held a conference on “Leadership and National Security Reform: The Next President’s Agenda” on March 20, 2008, at the Annenberg Presidential Conference Center, Texas A&M University. The conference addressed national and international security reforms and the next presidency.
Added September 25, 2008
Type: Monograph
The 2006 Lebanon Campaign and the Future of Warfare: Implications for Army and Defense Policy. Authored by Dr. Stephen D. Biddle, Mr. Jeffrey A. Friedman.
Critics of irregular-warfare transformation often cite the 2006 Lebanon campaign as evidence that modern nonstate actors can wage conventional warfare in state-like ways. This analysis assesses this claim via a detailed analysis of Hezbollah’s conduct of the campaign at the tactical through theater-strategic levels of war.
Added September 17, 2008
Type: Book
The "People" in the PLA: Recruitment, Training, and Education in China's Military. Edited by Mr. Roy Kamphausen, Dr. Andrew Scobell, Mr. Travis Tanner.
On September 28, 2007, under the joint leadership of the U.S. Army War College’s Strategic Studies Institute and NBR’s Pyle Center for Northeast Asian Studies, approximately 70 leading experts on the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) convened at Carlisle Barracks, PA, for a 2-day discussion on the Chinese military’s human infrastructure. Presentations and discussions focused on identifying trends in PLA recruitment, education, training, personnel management, and demographics.
Added July 07, 2008
Type: Op-Ed
Expand the U.S. Military? Not So Fast. Authored by Dr. Steven Metz.
Each month a member of the SSI faculty writes an editorial for our monthly newsletter. This is the Op-Ed for the July 2008 newsletter.
Added May 01, 2008
Type: Book
Global Climate Change National Security Implications. Edited by Dr. Carolyn Pumphrey.
Contributors to this volume agree that climate change is a threat deserving of serious attention. They stress the need for greater planning and coordination and for further research as well as the utility of engagement—military to military and state to state—on environmental issues. They differ as to whether the Armed Forces should play a leading or supporting role, but agree that they can—and already do—make a valuable contribution.
Added January 10, 2008
Type: Colloquium Brief
COIN of the Realm: U.S. Counterinsurgency Strategy. Authored by Dr. Steven Metz, Mr. Ralph Wipfli.
Given the wide-ranging and deep impact of counterinsurgency, the participants in the "Future Defense Dilemmas" seminar conducted by The Brookings Institution and the Strategic Studies Institute, U.S. Army War College, explored two key questions: (1) Is the United States pursuing and executing the right strategy? And (2) Does the military’s focus on counterinsurgency detract from other defense and security needs?
Added December 27, 2007
Type: Book
Sustaining the Peace After Civil War. Authored by Dr. T. David Mason.
Since the end of World War II, there have been four times as many civil wars as interstate wars. The introduction of peacekeeping forces, investment in economic development and reconstruction, and the establishment of democratic political institutions tailored to the configuration of ethnic and religious cleavages in the society also affect the durability of peace after civil war. In applying these propositions in an analysis of the civil war in Iraq, what can be done to bring the Iraq conflict to an earlier, less destructive, and more stable conclusion?
Added October 18, 2007
Type: Student (Carlisle) Papers
The Army and Defense Resource Allocation: The Bronze Medal Ain't Good Enough in a Three-Man Race. Authored by Lieutenant Colonel Tim Flanagan.
How did the Army get to the point where it is the perennial bronze medal winner in a three-man funding race? Are the Army’s relations with Congress part of the problem in obtaining sufficient funding? How does DoD determine who gets what and how do they determine how much is enough?
Added October 15, 2007
Type: Student (Carlisle) Papers
Strategy, National Interests, and Means to an End. Authored by Lieutenant Colonel Stephen D. Sklenka.
This paper focuses on the interrelationship among national interests, stated ends, means to achieve those ends, and the strategies required to tie all of them together into a cohesive and effective vision for the commitment of U.S. forces.
Added October 12, 2007
Type: Student (Carlisle) Papers
Turning on the DIME: Diplomacy's Role in National Security. Authored by Mr. Anton K. Smith.
Understanding between the Departments of State and Defense is critical to ensuring national security. Nonetheless, these two key internationally-oriented agencies take different paths to arrive at the same goals--paths that must ultimately cross in order to heal the wounds of conflict.
Added September 17, 2007
Type: Monograph
The Reserve Policies of Nations: A Comparative Analysis. Authored by Dr. Richard Weitz.
The military reserve policies of the world’s major powers are undergoing sweeping transformations. Since the United States will continue to engage with these countries—in cooperation, conflict, or both—the U.S. defense community needs to keep abreast of new developments in their reserve policies and, in certain cases, adjust its own policies in response.
Added August 16, 2007
Type: Letort Papers
An Introduction to Theater Strategy and Regional Security. Authored by Lieutenant Colonel Clarence J. Bouchat (USAF, Ret.).
Theater strategy and theater security cooperation (TSC) are two of the most important tools available in attaining national security. This paper explains what theater strategy is, its basis, how it is formulated, and how it is executed with emphasis on theater security cooperation.
Added June 05, 2007
Type: Monograph
Rethinking Insurgency. Authored by Dr. Steven Metz.
To be successful at counterinsurgency, the U.S. military and defense community must rethink insurgency. This has profound implications for American strategy and military doctrine.
Added May 24, 2007
Type: Monograph
Strategic Competition and Resistance in the 21st Century: Irregular, Catastrophic, Traditional, and Hybrid Challenges in Context. Authored by Mr. Nathan P. Freier.
The concept of the “four challenges,” outlined in the 2005 National Defense Strategy, has long suffered from underdefinition. For three of the four challenges (traditional, irregular, and catastrophic) and a fourth new category (the “hybrid norm”), the wait is over. The author provides the reader with the conceptual foundations of the challenges as they were conceived at the working level during the strategy’s development.
Added February 05, 2007
Type: Book
A Nation at War. Authored by Professor John R. Martin.
One of the basics of strategy is understanding the foe and the type of war in which a nation is involved. The Global War on Terrorism (GWOT) does not fit easily into the mold of war, but that is because of too much comparison with conventional wars; the Cold War may provide a better model. This report chronicles the panels and resulting papers from the Seventeenth Annual U.S. Army War College Strategy Conference, held at Carlisle Barracks, PA, in April 2006.
Added June 16, 2006
Type: Book
U.S. Army War College Guide to National Security Policy and Strategy, 2nd Edition. Edited by Dr. J. Boone Bartholomees, Jr.
This edition of the U. S. Army War College Guide to National Security Policy and Strategy reflects both the method and manner the college uses to teach strategy formulation to America’s future senior leaders. It contains essays on the general security environment, strategic thought and formulation, the elements of national power, the national security policymaking process in the United States, and selected strategic issues.
Added July 01, 2004
Type: Book
U.S. Army War College Guide to National Security Policy and Strategy, 1st Edition. Edited by Dr. J. Boone Bartholomees, Jr.
This book provides a basic examination of strategy and the national security policymaking environment and process. It reflects both the method and manner the U.S. Army War College uses to teach strategy formulation to America's future senior leaders.
Added September 01, 2002
Type: Monograph
Avoiding Vietnam: The U.S. Army's Response to Defeat in Southeast Asia. Authored by Dr. Conrad C. Crane.
The author analyzes the Army's response to that defeat in Southeast Asia and its long-term impact. Contrary to the accepted wisdom that nations which lose wars tend to learn best how to correct their mistakes, he argues that Americans tried to forget the unhappy experience with counterinsurgency by refocusing on conventional wars.
Added April 01, 2002
Type: Monograph
Defining and Achieving Decisive Victory. Authored by Dr. Colin S. Gray.
The author explores the concept of victory in the war in terrorism, but he does so by placing it within the larger currents of change that are sweeping the global security environment. He contends that the time-tested idea of decisive victory is still an important one, but must be designed very carefully in this dangerous new world.
Added January 01, 2001
Type: Book
Asymmetry and U.S. Military Strategy: Definition, Background, and Strategic Concepts. Authored by Dr. Steven Metz, Dr. Douglas V. Johnson, II.
This report gives a simple and comprehensive definition of strategic asymmetry reflecting the need for military doctrine which transcends today's specific issues. The authors assess the strategic situation of the United States in terms of positive and negative asymmetry and offer five strategic concepts as part of the response to asymmetry: maximum conceptual and organizational adaptability, focused intelligence, minimal vulnerability, full spectrum precision, and an integrated homeland security strategy.
Added December 01, 2000
Type: Book
Alternative National Military Strategies for the United States. Authored by Dr. Conrad C. Crane.
The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College and the Georgetown University Center for Peace and Security Studies convened a conference on "Alternative Military Strategies for the United States" to highlight the key issues that will have to be analyzed by the QDR and the new administration's security planning. This report summarizes the presentations from a distinguished group of patrons.
Added December 01, 1997
Type: Book
The CINCs' Strategies: The Combatant Command Process. Authored by COL (RET) William W. Mendel, Dr. Graham H. Turbiville, Jr..
The authors report their observations of the different ways combatant commanders-in-chief (CINCs) produce a strategy document, and suggest that new joint doctrine is needed to bring a degree of regularity and orderliness to the CINCs' strategic planning process. The CINCs' Strategies: The Combatant Command Process provides a brief look at the CINCs' strategy objectives and concepts in order to place the planning process in context.
Added August 01, 1997
Type: Book
Traditional Military Thinking and the Defensive Strategy of China. Authored by Lieutenant General Li Jijun. Edited by Dr. Earl H. Tilford, Jr..
On July 15, 1997, the U.S. Army War College hosted a delegation from the Chinese Academy of Military Science. A speech was delivered to the U.S. Army War College Corresponding Studies Class of 1997 by the Chinese delegation's leader, Lieutenant General Li Jijun. General Li graciously agreed to the publication of his address.
Added October 01, 1995
Type: Book
Strategic Plans, Joint Doctrine and Antipodean Insights. Authored by Professor Douglas C. Lovelace, Jr., Dr. Thomas-Durell Young.
The common view is that doctrine persists over a broader time frame than planning and that the latter draws on the former for context, syntax, even format. In truth the very process of planning shapes new ways of military action. The authors explore the relationship between strategic planning and doctrine at the joint level.
Added June 01, 1995
Type: Book
Time's Cycle and National Military Strategy: The Case for Continuity in a Time of Change. Authored by Dr. David Jablonsky.
Every April the Army War College's Strategic Studies Institute hosts its Annual Strategy Conference. This year's theme, "Strategy During the Lean Years: Learning from the Past and the Present," brought together scholars, serving and retired officers, and civilian defense officials from the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom to discuss strategy formulation during times of penury from Tacitus to Force XXI.