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March 4, 2024

Lessons and Legacies of the War in Ukraine: Conference Report

The international conference titled “Lessons and Legacies of the War in Ukraine” took place on November 17, 2023, at the National Defense University in Washington, DC. Hosted by the University’s Institute for National Strategic Studies, the conference brought together perspectives from practitioners in the U.S. Government and uniformed military, along with experts from academia and the think tank community in the United States, United Kingdom, Ukraine, and Taiwan, to discuss the lessons that the United States and its allies should take from the first year and a half of the effort to repel Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Feb. 16, 2024

Joint Force Quarterly 112

And as you work through some of the pressing issues facing the joint force, we are here to help your ideas get a complete and full airing out. The only way we can change is to help each other to see the need to do so and then suggest a proper path to that new future. We need you to help be a good wingman and show us how to succeed.

Feb. 16, 2024

No Limits: The Inside Story of China’s War With the West

No Limits: The Inside Story of China’s War With the West is a valuable book. It is simultaneously analytical and personal. No Limits is an incisive, selective history about how the promise of China’s integration into Western economic systems and global institutions gave way to acrimony and rivalry. It also is author Andrew Small’s memoir about how his quarter-century-long iterative interactions with China evolved from hope and cautious optimism about Sino-global integration into resigned fatalism that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) can never tolerate such a happy ending. The CCP must instead view itself as perpetual victim and implacable rival of the West.

Feb. 16, 2024

Airpower in the War Against ISIS

In Airpower in the War Against ISIS, Benjamin Lambeth not only weaves an account that celebrates the decisive role he insists airpower played in the defeat of the so-called Islamic State (IS) but also depicts tragically missed opportunities and almost incomprehensibly poor judgment on the part of U.S. civilian and military leaders that unnecessarily delayed that defeat.

Feb. 16, 2024

The Genesis Machine: Our Quest to Rewrite Life in the Age of Synthetic Biology

Emerging biotechnologies have captured the imagination, interest, and concerns of the world. Scenarios once relegated to science fiction movies and novels are now potentially within the grasp of bioengineering. The purposeful design of biology can enable novel ways to meet a variety of societal needs—from the biomanufacturing of commodities to gene therapies and the recreation of once-extinct organisms. This biological revolution, or “bioeconomy,” has the potential to address important issues such as climate change, sustainable energy, and food production, as well as improved medicines and quality of life for all. But with this capability comes dual use (that is, not only for commercial/military use but also by good actors/bad actors) as well as profound ethical concerns, making The Genesis Machine a timely volume.

Feb. 16, 2024

Applying Three Decisionmaking Models to the Lakota Sioux Wars

Examining the factors leading to the decisions made by Crazy Horse, Custer, and Reno through the lenses of expected utility, cybernetic, and poliheuristic decision strategies enables objectivity in analysis and hindsight. It also offers an example of how to study three different leaders, each of whom resolved uncertainty with their decisions, even if such decisions proved disastrous. Modern leaders can utilize these same tools to make sense of complexity and to apply a framework to analyze an opponent’s past decisions, compare the findings to the present situation, and then predict future courses of action.

Feb. 16, 2024

Converting a Political- to a Military-Strategic Objective

Political objectives are usually achieved by using one’s military power. Converting political objectives into achievable military-strategic objectives is the primary responsibility of military-strategic leadership. This process is largely an art rather than a science. There are many potential pitfalls because much depends on the knowledge, understanding, experience, and judgment of military-strategic leaders. Most often, mistakes made are only recognized after setbacks or defeats suffered during the hostilities. Despite its critical importance, there is no consensus on the steps and methods in converting political- into military-strategic objectives. There is scant writing on the subject in either doctrinal documents or professional journals.

Feb. 16, 2024

The “Survival Chain”: Medical Support to Military Operations on the Future Battlefield

The Department of Defense Joint Trauma System (JTS) was created to provide optimal care to the wounded on a battlefield. The current National Defense Strategy anticipates future threats of large-scale combat operations (LSCO) against peer adversaries that may limit overall freedom of maneuver for medical evacuation, increase survivability risk of medical units, and limit timeliness and robustness of critical medical logistics. Thus, the JTS must continue to evolve and embrace the concept of Medical Performance Optimization (MPO) to adapt to this new operational reality.

Feb. 16, 2024

From “Made in China” to “Created in China”: Intellectual Property Rights in the People’s Republic of China

Friction between the United States and the People’s Republic of China (PRC) on technology captures the headlines regularly. While there continue to be intellectual property rights (IPR) violations in China, China analysts need to be more mindful of China’s rising influence in generating intellectual property. The reality is that China’s growing influence in patent applications and innovation is the real threat.

Feb. 15, 2024

Don’t Get Lost in the Numbers: An Analytic Framework for Nuclear Force Requirements Debates

This article proposes an approach to nuclear force sizing debates based on a framework built on four analytic dimensions: overarching risk management approaches; deterrence and assurance objectives; strategic force employment guidance; and operational constraints. The answers to key questions across these dimensions provide a structure to inform debates about the appropriate size and characteristics of U.S. nuclear forces. Only after clarifying U.S. objectives across these dimensions and focusing on key considerations therein should policymakers enter nuclear force sizing debates. The resulting analysis does not advocate for any policy position or hypothesize the “correct” number of nuclear forces. Instead, the purpose of the framework is to focus nuclear force sizing debates on more fundamental assumptions regarding the role of nuclear weapons in achieving U.S. national security objectives.