Sept. 30, 2022

PRISM Vol. 10, No. 1 (September 2022)

PRISM Vol. 10, No. 1 is now online.

Sept. 30, 2022

Old and New Battlespaces

How and why warfare is changing has become its own genre of late. Enter Jahara “Franky” Matisek and Buddhika “Jay” Jayamaha. Both have military backgrounds and are on faculty at the U.S. Air Force Academy. Old and New Battlespaces builds on their previous scholarship regarding “social media warriors.” Like their articles, readers will find the book either astonishingly naïve or extraordinarily prescient, depending on what war they inhabit.

Sept. 30, 2022

2034: A Novel of the Next World War

This is a thriller that carries a cautionary note for those interested in national security who worry about the risks of human miscalculation. The point that the book makes is that in the emerging threat environment, when state players rely heavily upon technology to improve military capabilities, the human factor remains central.

Sept. 30, 2022

The Ledger and The American War in Afghanistan

The American war in Afghanistan has finally come to an ignominious end, but the inevitable post-mortems have only just begun to trickle in. No doubt soon they will become a flood, adding to the mountains of studies, analyses, and full-length volumes that have appeared virtually since the onset of the war two decades ago. In no small part because of the chaos that surrounded America’s final withdrawal from that embattled country, many analysts and observers have been quick to draw parallels with its equally chaotic departure from Vietnam nearly a half century earlier.

Sept. 30, 2022

The Digital Silk Road

The Digital Silk Road is Jonathan Hillman’s hi-tech companion to his book The Emperor’s New Road: China and the Project of the Century, published in 2020, which dealt with the vast Chinese Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), the largest developmental project of our time. The Digital Silk Road (DSR) is the BRI’s high-tech portion, its transoceanic fiber-optic cables and its space-based satellite chains every bit as much a part of the BRI as a railroad project in Africa or port construction in South Asia. And like the BRI, the DSR’s goal is global and hegemonic: in establishing it, China intends to be the world’s “indispensable hub and gatekeeper” of the digital space.

Sept. 30, 2022

Why Nation-Building Matters

The recent fall of Kabul is a stark reminder that policymakers need to understand much more about the problems of nation-building. Some may try to swear off any further involvement with nation-building, but these problems cannot be ignored when failures of law and governance in weak states underlie a pressing migrant crisis on America’s own borders. As the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction has noted, America’s refusal to prepare for future stabilization missions after the collapse of South Vietnam did not prevent the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq but instead ensured that they would become quagmires. To begin thinking more carefully about these vital problems, a good place to start is with Keith Mines’s book Why Nation-Building Matters.

Sept. 30, 2022

Interview with Kevin Rudd

The interview was conducted by Michael Miklaucic on March 29, 2022. The Honorable Kevin Rudd served as Prime Minister of Australia from 2007 to 2010, and again in 2013.

Sept. 30, 2022

Great Power Competition: Understanding the Role of Leaders in French Joint Forces

Engaged in counterinsurgency or counterterrorism operations for several decades, Western forces are now faced with the resurgence of Great Power competition (GPC) and the specter of high-intensity warfare. This type of conflict, characterized by the clash of symmetrical military powers confronting each other with high-tech capabilities in a wide range of domains and fields of action, marks the return of potentially high levels of attrition and the end of the relative operational and strategic comfort known during past asymmetric conflicts. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in early 2022 is an excellent example of this, demonstrating the disinhibition of a part of the stage with respect to international law. Is France, seen as a balanced power, ready for this return to GPC?

Sept. 30, 2022

Defining and Achieving Success in Ukraine

This article examines the ongoing war in Ukraine and explores options that lead to ending the conflict in some way that would constitute success or “victory.” Decisive victory in a purely military sense is an unlikely prospect. A frozen conflict, a larger and longer version of Donbas across the entire Ukrainian frontier, is increasingly likely despite the efforts by the West to induce Russia to back down. The prospects of a grinding stalemate are evident and extending the fighting creates spillover consequences for other U.S. strategic priorities. A war of endurance may play to U.S./European economic advantages but could evolve in a way that harms longer-term interests.

Sept. 30, 2022

China, the West, and the Future Global Order By Julian Lindley-French and Franco Algieri

The primary purpose of this article is to respectfully communicate to a Chinese audience a Western view of the future world order. China needs the West as much as the West needs China. However, the West has awakened geopolitically to the toxic power politics that Russia is imposing on Ukraine and China’s support for it. China is thus faced with a profound choice: alliance with a declining and weak Russia or cooperation with a powerful bloc of global democracies that Russia’s incompetent and illegal aggression is helping to forge.