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Category: PRISM

June 11, 2020

Foreign Aid in an Era of Great Power Competition

Over the past decade the international political system has evolved into a state of great power rivalry in which the United States is challenged for international leadership by a rising China and a rapidly re-arming, revanchist Russia. A new militant nationalism is spreading across the globe; democracy appears to be in retreat as aggrieved populations turn to populist authoritarianism as a remedy. This rising political and strategic competition has now crossed over into the international development space.

June 11, 2020

COVID-19: The Pandemic and its Impact on Security Policy

The world is caught up in an existential struggle. The opponent is intangible; it spares neither state nor social group and does not stop at any border. For many of us, this struggle feels like war. Indeed, with the growing use of war-like language in the fight against COVID-19, also called coronavirus, a rapidly rising number of victims, and last but not least the economic consequences which are becoming increasingly clear, we seem to be experiencing a war-like situation.

June 11, 2020

No Such Thing as a Perfect Partner: The Challenges of “By, With, and Through”

Taking a peacebuilding approach to working with local militaries and armed groups means using assistance to fragmented security sectors to increase cooperation between various formal and informal elites in a weak state. This approach places less emphasis on developing conventional military power and more emphasis on facilitating and improving relations between the different factions within the security sector and between the security sector and the civilian population. If international providers help local partners perform better at military tasks without ensuring that the forces have local legitimacy and strong accountability, progress is likely to be fleeting and could actually exacerbate civilian harm and the underlying drivers of violent conflict.

June 11, 2020

China’s Private Military and Security Companies: “Chinese Muscle” and the Reasons for U.S. Engagement

On 7 February 2019, General Thomas Waldhauser, then-Commander of United States Africa Command, stated the following during a hearing of the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee: “The Chinese bring the money and the Russians bring the muscle.” “Chinese money” is evident in the fact that since 2009, China has been Africa’s largest trading partner.

June 11, 2020

AI Singularity and the Growing Risk of Surprise: Lessons from the IDF’s Strategic and Operational Learning Processes, 2014-2019

For decades, scholars have pondered the likelihood and effect of computers surpassing human intelligence, often referred to as the singularity. For militaries, artificial intelligence (AI) singularity will be a double-edged sword. We should seek to achieve and employ it, while denying our adversaries the opportunity to do so. When AI singularity does emerge, it will likely have profound implications for tactical capabilities, as well as strategic and operational decisionmaking.

June 11, 2020

ROC(K) Solid Preparedness: Resistance Operations Concept in the Shadow of Russia

Resistance is a form of warfare. It can be planned. The Resistance Operations Concept is simply a resistance primer. It contains guidance and advice toward establishing a nationally authorized resistance capability. It advises the establishment of a pre-crisis organization for nations under greater threat, for the purpose of having a unified resistance effort against an occupier, and renders specific organizational guidance.

June 11, 2020

Who Wants to Be a Great Power?

Strategic competition is back in vogue. After years of worrying about ethnic conflict and humanitarian intervention, civil wars and counterinsurgency, there is a renewed focus among policymakers, think-tankers, and academics on traditional strategic concerns and in particular great power confrontation. For many students of international relations this appears as no more than recognizing a feature of the system that never went away.

Jan. 10, 2020

The Future of Leadership: Rise of Automation, Robotics, and Artificial Intelligence

It seems like we are continuously bombarded with prophecies about how Artificial Intelligence (AI) and all of its permutations—from quantum computing and machine learning to RPA and Skynet—will radically change just about everything we do.1 However, much of its potential (whether as promise or pariah) remains prospective, more speculative than real.

Jan. 10, 2020

“Thinking About What Could Be” An Interview with General John M. Murray, Commanding General, Army Futures Command

Army Futures Command is an adaptation to the on-going change in the international order we have seen since the end of World War Two. The rules of the road for international order have changed; Russian destabilization of Ukraine, Chinese assertiveness in the South China Sea, and the inevitable shift from an Atlantic-based global economy to a Pacific-based economy.

Jan. 10, 2020

A Small State Perspective on the Evolving Nature of Cyber Conflict: Lessons from Singapore

Cyber conflicts among states are still largely driven by geopolitical and political considerations and should not be seen as separate from other kinds of conflict or political objectives. Brandon Valeriano, Benjamin Jensen, and Ryan Maness observe that modern cyber strategies are neither new nor revolutionary and that actions in cyberspace fall into “a domain of limited coercive actions designed to alter the balance of information as well as manage escalation risks in long-term competitive interactions.” Cyber operations may offer new ways to test the robustness of networks, control messaging, or degrade a network, but they do not fundamentally change great power competition or the hierarchy of states in the international system.