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Nov. 22, 2021

PRISM Vol. 9, No. 3 (November 2021)

PRISM Vol. 9, No. 3 (November 2021)

Nov. 18, 2021

Anti-American Terrorism

This year (2021) the counterterrorism campaign that started out as the Global War on Terrorism is 20 years old. It has not ended, but with the death of Osama bin Ladin in 2011, the operational neutralization of the al-Qaeda core in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, it has moved on to other battle- fronts. It is time for a long-term retrospective and reckoning for the counterterrorism fight. The two volumes reviewed here are the start of that process.

Nov. 18, 2021

War: How Conflict Shaped Us

War: How Conflict Shaped Us, is an elegantly written examination of the subject, initially delivered by MacMillan as part of BBC Four’s Reith Lecture series in 2018. In it, MacMillan delivers on her promise to analyze the evolution of war and society and how one influenced the other.

Nov. 18, 2021

How China Loses: The Pushback Against China’s Global Ambitions

As the economy of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) has grown, its military has modernized, and its global presence has expanded, there has been more and more concern about the prospect of a Chinese century, or even millennium, to replace the American century. President Joe Biden is now reportedly concerned with the rise of China—and the possibility that China might prevail in the current great power competition. Luke Patey’s book, How China Loses, discusses these issues in detail with his own take.

Nov. 18, 2021

An Interview with the Honorable Michèle Flournoy

In an exclusive interview with Prism, Michele Flournoy, former Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, discusses the withdrawal from Afghanistan, China, Russia, and other national security challenges to the United States. She also speaks about China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and what the US can do to compete with China on the global stage.

Nov. 18, 2021

Pride of Place: Reconceptualizing Disinformation as the United States’ Greatest National Security Challenge

In the contested information environment, both domestic and foreign actors use mis- and disinformation for malign and malicious purposes and, if left unchecked, the information environment presents adversaries with an attack surface that conventional national security measures fail to secure. Ultimately, the speed and scale at which mis- and disinformation penetrate and disrupt civil society is America’s most urgent national security challenge.

Nov. 18, 2021

Modern Electromagnetic Spectrum Battlefield

As defined in the Joint Doctrine Note 3-16, the electromagnetic spectrum (EMS) is “the range of all frequencies of electromagnetic radiation. The electromagnetic radiation consists of oscillating electric and magnetic fields characterized by frequency and wavelength.” This radiation has fascinating properties: it can be visible or invisible, move at speeds approaching that of light, cross certain obstacles or, on the contrary, bounce off them (thus indicating their presence), transport energy or data.

Nov. 18, 2021

Project Governance for Defense Applications of Artificial Intelligence

The recent Department of Defense (DOD) Artificial Intelligence (AI) strategy calls for the Joint Artificial Intelligence Center (JAIC) to take the lead in “AI ethics and safety.” This article provides recommendations for implementing project governance controls based on an ethical framework while providing tailorable solutions to tightly control those projects with high ethical risk and speeding the implementation of those with low risk. In this way, a tiered approach to project governance will allow the Department to more closely balance the ethical challenges with the need for efficiency in the development of this technology.

Nov. 18, 2021

Rebuilding Total Defense in a Globalized Deregulated Economy The Case of Sweden

During the Cold War, Sweden had one of the most comprehensive total defense systems in the world, only to dismantle it following the collapse of the Warsaw Pact. This article gives a background on Sweden’s decision to reestablish total defense, highlights some of the shortcomings in national preparedness laid bare by the early phase of the COVID-19 pandemic, lists a number of inherent challenges in creating a new total defense structure, and proposes some solutions to addressing these challenges.

Nov. 18, 2021

The New Geopolitics of Human Rights

In the United States’ effort to outcompete China, Russia, and other rivals, its ideas are likely to play a defining role in determining the strength of alliances and the vulnerability of foes. The more its ideas have an inherent appeal based on their universality—transcending culture and context—the more likely the United States will be able to leverage them to forge a coalition that can withstand geopolitical threats and apply pressure for reform in places like China.