For over a decade, the USAWC has published the annual Key Strategic Issues List (KSIL) to inform students, faculty, and external research associates of strategic topics requiring research and analysis. Part I of the Academic Year (AY) 2018 KSIL, referred to as the Chief of Staff of the Army Special Interest Topics, consists of critical topics demanding special attention. A subset of these topics will be addressed by the USAWC as Integrated Research Projects. Part II: Army Priorities for Strategic Analysis, has been developed by the U.S. Army War College in coordination with Headquarters Department of the Army (HQDA) and Major Commands throughout the Army. The KSIL will help prioritize strategic research and analysis conducted by USAWC students and faculty, USAWC Fellows, and external researchers, to link their research efforts and results more effectively to the Army’s highest priority topics.
Armed robotic systems—drones and droids—now emerging on the battlefield portend new strategic realities not only for U.S. forces but also for our allies and future potential belligerents. Numerous questions of immediate warfighting importance come to mind with the fielding of these drones and droids that are viewed as still being in their experimental and entrepreneurial stage of development. By drawing upon historical weapons systems life cycles case studies, focusing on the early 9th through the mid-16th-century knight, the mid-19th through the later 20th-century battleship, and the early 20th through the early 21st-century tank, the monograph provides military historical context related to their emergence, and better allows both for questions related to warfighting to be addressed, and policy recommendations related to them to be initially provided.
In 2011, the Department of Defense (DoD) released its Strategy for Operating in Cyberspace, which officially recognized cyberspace as an operational domain akin to the traditional military domains of land, sea, air, and space. This monograph examines the 2015 DoD Cyber Strategy to evaluate how well its five strategic goals and associated implementation objectives define an actionable strategy to achieve three primary missions in cyberspace: defend the DoD network, defend the United States and its interests, and develop cyber capabilities to support military operations. This monograph focuses on events and documents from the period of about 1 year before and 1 year after the 2015 strategy was released. This allows sufficient time to examine the key policies and guidance that influenced the development of the strategy as well as follow-on activities for the impacts from the strategy. This inquiry has five major sections that utilize different frameworks of analysis to assess the strategy:
1. Prima Facie Analysis: What is its stated purpose and key messages?
2. Historical Context Analysis: What unique contributions does it introduce into the evolution of national security cyberspace activities?
3. Traditional Strategy Analysis: Does it properly address specific DoD needs as well as broader U.S. ends in a way that is appropriate and actionable?
4. Analysis of Subsequent DoD Action: How are major military cyberspace components—joint and Service—planning to implement these goals and objectives?
5. Whole of U.S. Government Analysis: Does it integrate with the cyberspace-related activities of other U.S. Government departments and agencies?
The monograph concludes with a section that integrates the individual section findings and offers recommendations to improve future cyberspace strategic planning documents.
Welcome to the most recent issue of the PKSOI Peace & Stability Journal. In this edition the PKSOI Director Colonel Gregory Dewitt will introduce the articles of the Journal, go over the past three months of PKSOI's activities and also brief you on the upcoming major activities and events. This journal features articles from PKSOI Subject Matter Experts in their respective fields and also include articles from PKSOI interns. The feature is from PSKOI intern Abdullah Rumman.
Many different actors oppose the use of unmanned autonomous weapons (UAV’s) from adversary states, to international governmental organizations to policymakers and academics. However, the basis for their opposition varies, as do the assumptions behind their arguments. This Letort Paper lays out distinctions between arguments about technology, arguments about policy, and arguments about strategy.
Although collective security in the Gulf is the topic of numerous policy publications, most of the available literature focuses on the political environment without considering the operational requirements of this scenario. This monograph offers an evaluation of Gulf defense cooperation programs in order to stir the discussion on the future of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) as the “NATO of the Gulf.”
The Summer issue of Parameters opens with an essay by Sir Lawrence Freedman entitled “Beyond Surprise Attack.” Surprise, argues Freedman, can come in any number of forms, and sometimes those that come in the middle or end of a campaign prove the most decisive. Our first forum, Reevaluating Diplomatic & Military Power, offers two articles. The first, “What Are America’s Alliances Good For?” by Hal Brands and Peter Feaver, contends the costs and risks associated with America’s military alliances are frequently overstated, while at the same time the benefits are downplayed. Brands and Feaver, thus, provide a more accurate net assessment of America’s alliances in hopes of better informing current policy debates. In the second article, “Employing Military Force in the 21st Century,” Michael Matheny petitions US policymakers look to past uses of force for ways of employing force while managing the global and national violence threshold.
Welcome to the most recent issue of the PKSOI Peace & Stability Journal. In this edition the PKSOI Director Colonel Gregory Dewitt will introduce the articles of the Journal, go over the past three months of PKSOI's activities and also brief you on the upcoming major activities and events. This journal will feature articles from PKSOI Subject Matter Experts in their respective fields and also include articles from PKSOI interns. The feature article is from PKSOI's own Commander Danny King titled: Migrants on the Sea.
The stability operation in Haiti from January 14 to June 1, 2010 demonstrated how over a dozen U.S. Government departments and agencies worked together effectively in an unprecedented large-scale foreign humanitarian assistance/disaster relief (FHA/DR) effort. The 7.0 magnitude earthquake that struck Haiti on January 12, 2010, precipitated the operation. The Haiti action, known within the U.S. military as Operation UNIFIED RESPONSE, was not only a whole-of-government, but also a whole-of-nation and global undertaking. The United States played a significant role in the Haiti earthquake relief effort in collaboration with more than 140 countries and over 1,000 non-governmental organizations (NGOs).
In a change from the Vietnam War—where the U.S. military trained at least 45,000 deploying service members to speak Vietnamese and probably twice that number—for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, apart from some remotely-based intelligence specialists doing classified work, the U.S. military trained almost no deploying personnel to speak either Arabic or Pashto fluently. Instead, it relied on interpreters or “terps” as the troops called them. This policy was an unmitigated failure and an important cause of the U.S. inability to get traction at the operational level of war in both countries. All of the thousands and thousands of day-to-day tactical engagements in Iraq and Afghanistan that involved communicating with someone who did not speak English were intended to combine together and attain an operational objective, but they were all essentially gobbledygook.