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Category: Strategic Monographs

Dec. 14, 2023

Solarium at 70: Project Solarium’s Influence on Eisenhower Historiography and National Security Strategy

Project Solarium was a national security exercise that took place in 1953 during the first months of the Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidency, taking its name from the White House solarium, where Eisenhower and his Secretary of State, John Foster Dulles, conceived it. According to many scholars, Project Solarium highly influenced Eisenhower’s strategy, and it has come to be regarded as an outstanding example of strategic planning and foresight—indeed as a standard for other American Presidential administrations.

May 15, 2023

Integrated Deterrence and Cyberspace

This edited volume represents an important contribution to our thinking on cyberspace and national security. It also serves as one example of an enduring and fruitful relationship between the U.S. Cyber Command (USCYBERCOM) and the College of Information and Cyberspace (CIC) at the National Defense University (NDU).

Sept. 20, 2022

Crafting Strategy for Irregular Warfare: A Framework for Analysis and Action (2nd Edition)

The United States, and the West, struggle to understand and respond to irregular warfare, whether by states or nonstate actors. Attempts to master the art have generated much new jargon, ranging from “hybrid war” to “the gray zone,” and most recently “integrated deterrence.” The terminology belies a struggle to overcome entrenched presumptions about war—a confusion that generates cognitive friction with implications for strategy. To inform a better approach, this monograph presents an analytical framework to assess and respond to irregular threats.

Sept. 13, 2022

The Civil War and Revolutions in Naval Affairs: Lessons for Today

At certain times, owing to new strategy, new technology, or the vagaries of war, the character of naval warfare and course of naval history undergo rapid, profound, and lasting change. Our thesis is that the American Civil War was one such time. It was the seminal revolution in naval affairs in the history of the United States. With its existence at stake, the Union doubled down on its plan to blockade the Confederacy even as the demands of doing so became clear. What followed was an American revolution in naval affairs with worldwide implications for the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries.

Sept. 6, 2022

Academics vs. Aliens: Selected Essays on Social Science Research, Defense Education, and the Power of Partnerships

The book is divided into two sections of student essays that discuss the main goals of the program: the roles of partnership and social science education in PME. Each section is introduced by a reflection from one of our esteemed partners who worked on the project over the past two years. Eleven masters’ students contributed essays informed by their experience that comment on the broader topics of scientific innovation through collaboration, the role of social science research for national security, and how they would like to see PME take creative advantage of programs like Minerva DECUR.

July 7, 2020

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 positions opposed to open political systems and free markets, which undermine progress toward democratic governance and stability.

July 2, 2020

Crafting Strategy for Irregular Warfare: A Framework for Analysis and Action (1st Edition)

This edition has been revised and updated. See the 2nd Edition for the most recent version.

Dec. 4, 2019

Mercenaries and War: Understanding Private Armies Today

Mercenaries are more powerful than experts realize, a grave oversight. Those who assume they are cheap imitations of national armed forces invite disaster because for-profit warriors are a wholly different genus and species of fighter. Private military companies such as the Wagner Group are more like heavily armed multinational corporations than the Marine Corps. Their employees are recruited from different countries, and profitability is everything. Patriotism is unimportant, and sometimes a liability. Unsurprisingly, mercenaries do not fight conventionally, and traditional war strategies used against them may backfire.

Nov. 15, 2016

The NSC Staff: New Choices for a New Administration

Early in every new administration, the President and his national security team are inundated with studies offering advice on how to organize for national security. Many propose sweeping changes in the size, structure, and mission of the National Security Council (NSC) staff, the fulcrum of national security decisionmaking. However attractive superficially, organizational tinkering is unlikely to drive better performance. This paper argues that structure and process are less important than leadership and the quality of NSC staffing. No duty rises higher than the President’s call to defend the Constitution and the people and territory it nourishes. That duty will be tested early and often. An NSC staff that is up to the task will play an enormous role in keeping the United States safe.

Oct. 1, 2014

The Grand Strategy of the United States

From the earliest days of the Republic, the outlines of an evolving American grand strategy have been evident in our foreign and domestic policy. Much of that history continues to inform our strategic conduct, and therefore American grand strategy rests today on traditional foundations. Despite a welter of theory and debate, grand strategy as a practical matter is remarkably consistent from decade to decade, with its means altering as technology advances and institutions evolve but its ends and ways showing marked continuity.