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Chinese Military Reforms in the Age of Xi Jinping: Drivers, Challenges, and Implications March 21, 2017 — Chinese military modernization has made impressive strides in the past decade. The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has achieved progress in key technological areas, ranging from precision-guided missiles to advanced surface ships and combat aircraft; PLA personnel are more highly trained and skilled, capable of carrying out increasingly complex operations near to and farther away from China’s shores; and Chinese military doctrine and strategy have been updated to emphasize modern, joint maneuver warfare on a high-tech battlefield. This progress has been supported by significant increases in Chinese defense spending every year since 1990. Taken together, these changes better enable the PLA to fight what the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) describes as “short-duration, high-intensity regional conflicts.” MORE

India-Japan Strategic Cooperation and Implications for U.S. Strategy in the Indo-Asia-Pacific Region March 14, 2017 — The emerging strategic relationship between India and Japan is significant for the future security and stability of the Indo-Asia-Pacific region. It is also a critical emergent relationship for U.S. security objectives across the Asia-Pacific. India possesses the most latent economic and military potential of any state in the wider Asia-Pacific region. Therefore, India is the state with the greatest potential outside of the United States itself to contribute to the objectives of the “Rebalance to the Pacific” announced by Washington in 2011. This “rebalance” was aimed at fostering a stable, prosperous, and rules-based region where peace, prosperity, and wide respect for human rights are observed and extended. Implicit in the rebalance was a hedge against a China acting to challenge the existing post–World War II rules-based international and regional order. MORE

The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Negotiations: A Case Study February 24, 2017 — On July 16, 1945, the United States conducted the world’s first nuclear explosive test in Alamagordo, New Mexico. The test went off as planned; a nuclear chain reaction, in the form of an explosion, could be created. Less than a month later, nuclear weapons were used to support Allied efforts to end World War II. MORE

Managing Military Readiness February 7, 2017 — Understanding the limits of the Nation’s ability to generate and deploy ready military forces is a basic element of national security. It is also the element most likely to be taken for granted or assumed away despite ample historical evidence of the human and operational costs imposed by such an error. As budgets shrink and threats grow more diverse, national security leaders need a specific accounting of the readiness limits of the force and the consequences of those limits as well as the insight to make timely and effective mitigation decisions. MORE

Regional Missile Defense from a Global Perspective January 27, 2017 — In Regional Missile Defense from a Global Perspective, Catherine M. Kelleher and Peter Dombrowski analyze the history of missile defense, U.S. policy debates, the resulting acquisition programs, and challenges and opportunities of the past, present, and future. The genesis of the volume was two workshops on the topic held at the Naval War College during 2011 and 2012. While seemingly dated, the work remains timely given the elevation of regional missile defense in the U.S. National Security Strategy and Russia’s provocations in the Baltics and Ukraine. The anthology should prove useful to policymakers, scholars, and students interested in the complexities of missile defense around the globe. MORE

Forgotten January 27, 2017 — Linda Hervieux’s well-written and thoroughly researched book, Forgotten: The Untold Story of D-Day’s Black Heroes, at Home and at War, is a micro history that makes three macro contributions to American military history. At its core, Forgotten is the story of the 320th Anti-Aircraft Barrage Balloon Battalion, VLA (Very Low Altitude), the only African-American combat unit to land in France on D-Day, June 6, 1944. As such, it pulls double duty by highlighting the untold story of this innovative method of protecting Allied ships and troops from air attack as well as by emphasizing the role of African-Americans in Operation Overlord. MORE

Red Team January 27, 2017 — Cyber warfare, asymmetric threats, emerging challenges to conventional hegemony—a myriad of threats face American policymakers in the 21st century. In Red Team: How to Succeed by Thinking Like the Enemy, Micah Zenko, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, proposes “red-teaming” as an effective antidote to the cognitive biases that plague decisionmakers in any organization. Overall, Zenko does an excellent job portraying the value of having a cell of critical, outside-the-box thinkers to challenge orthodoxy in variegated contexts, and specifically recommends how to design red-team engagements to overcome the organizational inertia and blind spots that they are meant to combat. The book is a worthy read for national security analysts of every stripe who are working to keep America safe in the face of the complexities of the 21st century. MORE

Joint Doctrine Update January 27, 2017 — Joint Doctrine Update, MORE

Joint Concept for Access and Maneuver in the Global Commons: A New Joint Operational Concept January 27, 2017 — In two separate keynote addresses at the annual conventions of the professional associations of the Army and Air Force, General Joseph Dunford, Jr., described how he and the other Service chiefs went through a “process of discovery” to develop the new National Military Strategy. He further explained that part of that process included their collective thinking on our national centers of gravity. MORE

Mentoring: Civilian Contributions to the Joint Force January 27, 2017 — This year, in support of the Secretary of Defense’s priority to “build a department and joint force of the future by embracing change,” General Dunford laid out his approach for the future joint force. His three key joint force focus areas include the requirement to develop leaders for Joint Forces Next. MORE

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