Publications

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Category: Policy Briefs

June 1, 2007

Responding in the Homeland: A Snapshot of NATO’s Readiness for CBRN Attacks

The possibility of North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) members having to respond to a chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear (CBRN) incident is not a hypothetical scenario reserved for training exercises. Indeed, a number of countries worldwide have considerable experience in dealing with a variety of naturally occurring, accidental, and deliberate CBRN incidents. NATO itself, however, has no clear conceptual vision of its role in civil emergencies because preparedness of this sort remains a national responsibility.

Feb. 1, 2007

I-Power: The Information Revolution and Stability Operations

Information and information technology (I/IT) can significantly increase the likelihood of success in stability operations— if they are engaged as part of an overall strategy that coordinates the actions of outside intervenors and focuses on generating effective results for the host nation. Properly utilized, I/IT can help create a knowledgeable intervention, organize complex activities, and integrate stability operations with the host nation, making stability operations more effective.

Aug. 1, 2006

Lee’s Mistake: Learning from the Decision to Order Pickett’s Charge

At the Battle of Gettysburg, Robert E. Lee made a mistake that doomed the hopes of the Confederate States of America to compel the United States to sue for peace. Why one of the great generals of his time made such a blunder continues to be a topic of research and intense debate. Lee said little at the time or afterward to justify his decision to launch what has become known as Pickett’s Charge, so analysis must be inferential and inconclusive. Our aim is to explain Lee’s fateful decision not with new facts but with new analytical methods to illuminate decisionmaking in combat.

July 1, 2006

Countering Terrorism Across the Atlantic?

Differences in strategic vision and concepts of security are central to the U.S. and European Union (EU) approaches to counterterrorism. While the United States conceives of a war against terrorism, Europe does not. As a result of different perceptions of the threat, both sides of the Atlantic take divergent approaches to homeland security. Europeans tend to favor the use of a law enforcement strategy over a warfighting approach. Meanwhile, the U.S. administration believes that a quasi-militaristic, overtly proactive, and highly vigilant stance will serve as the best deterrent to future attacks. By their own standards, Europeans are doing more to counter terrorism since September 11 and even more since the attacks in Madrid (March 11, 2004) and in London (July 7, 2005); by U.S. standards, these measures sometimes appear inadequate. As a result, there are significant transatlantic divergences on the best methods for halting the spread of terrorism.

March 1, 2006

Creating a NATO Special Operations Force

In the post-9/11 security environment, special operations forces (SOF) have proven indispensable. SOF units are light, lethal, mobile, and easily networked with other forces. While the United States and its North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) allies have extensive SOF capabilities, these forces are not formally organized to collaborate with one another. There would be much to gain if U.S. and allied SOF trained to work together: national SOF assets would be improved, obstacles to effective combined operations would be removed, and a coherent Alliance capability would be readily available for NATO. The Alliance can focus and grow its SOF capabilities by providing a selective and small combined “inner core” of NATO special operations forces for operations, while using an outer network to expand and improve SOF cooperation with interested allies.

Feb. 1, 2006

Custer in Cyberspace

The combination of abundant networked information and fluid, unfamiliar situations in the current era makes it at once possible and imperative to improve decisionmaking in combat. The key to improvement is to integrate faster reasoning and more reliable intuition into a cognitive whole to achieve battle-wisdom. Although the technologies that both demand and facilitate battle- wisdom are new, military history holds lessons on combining reasoning and intuition in conditions of urgency, danger, and uncertainty.

Oct. 1, 2005

Sweden’s Use of Commercial Information Technology for Military Applications

Sweden, a nation of only 9 million people with a political climate that has fostered a posture of nonalignment for over half a century, has nevertheless maintained highly credible, modern, and high-technology military forces. Sweden has expanded the mission of forces originally designed for the Cold War to include international peacekeeping. The focus of this study is the Swedish formula for achieving the high-technology military capabilities that successfully compensate for a small standing force. What policies and processes enabled the Swedish military to take advantage of leading-edge producers of commercial information technology (CIT)? What lessons does the Swedish model hold for the U.S. Department of Defense?

Oct. 1, 2005

Russia and NATO: Increased Interaction in Defense Research and Technology

As a member of both the Partnership for Peace and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)–Russia Council (NRC), Russia enjoys remarkable status in an alliance formed principally to counter Soviet aggression. Active participation in one additional element of NATO—the Research and Technology Organization (RTO)—would offer unique opportunities to enhance relationships and mutual security. The RTO is the largest organization of its type in the world, has an extremely active program of work, and is eager to work with Russia.

July 1, 2005

The Changing Landscape of Defense Innovation

In a rapidly evolving business environment, many successful companies have transformed themselves by reexamining their core missions and competencies and exploiting innovation in nontraditional ways. General Electric still manufactures products but now identifies itself as a services company. Wal-Mart has become the premier retailer by capitalizing on its logistics and support systems. These two giants and other companies have realized that they can become more profitable by exploiting new regions of the business landscape.

May 1, 2005

A New Military Framework for NATO

Although Americans and Europeans do not always agree on political strategies in the Middle East, they have a compelling reason to reach an accord on the need to strengthen North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) military forces for future operations in that region and elsewhere. If adequate military capabilities are lacking, the Alliance will not be able to act even when its political leaders agree on the need to do so. But if it creates such capabilities, it will be able to act either ad hoc or across the board if a common political strategy eventually were to emerge.