June 1, 2011

Joint Interagency Task Force–South: The Best Known, Least Understood Interagency Success

Joint Interagency Task Force–South (JIATF–South) is well known within the U.S. Government as the “gold standard” for interagency cooperation and intelligence fusion, despite its preference for keeping a low profile and giving other agencies the credit for its successes. It is often cited as a model for whole-of-government problem-solving in the literature on interagency collaboration, and other national security organizations have tried to copy its approach and successes. Despite the plaudits and attention, the way that JIATF–South actually operates has only received superficial analysis. In fact, few people actually understand why JIATF–South works as well as it does or how its success might be replicated.

May 1, 2011

DTP-082: Analysis of the Threat of Genetically Modified Organisms for Biological Warfare

This study seeks to better understand the evaluation of the potential threats posed by advances in biotechnology, especially genetically modified organisms and synthetic biology. It narrows the scope of consideration into two parts: defining a catastrophic biological attack focused on bioterrorism and that this attack would be restricted to the United States.

April 1, 2011

Iran’s Islamic Revolution: Lessons for the Arab Spring of 2011?

The Islamic Revolution surprised senior U.S. policymakers as well as the Shah of Iran, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. On the eve of revolution, Iran—a key U.S. ally—seemed relatively stable despite bouts of urban terrorism in the early and mid-1970s. At the first signs of escalating unrest in early 1978, neither Iranian nor U.S. officials considered the possibility that Iran’s armed forces, the largest and most modern in the region (next to those of Israel), would prove unable to deal with whatever trouble lay ahead. The fall of the Shah a year later, therefore, raised searching questions regarding the role of the armed forces during the crisis and its failure to quash the revolution. The recent emergence of popular protest movements that have overthrown authoritarian regimes in Tunisia and Egypt—and that are challenging similar regimes in Libya, Yemen, Bahrain, and Syria—has revived memories of the Shah and his fall. These developments have again raised questions regarding the role of armed forces during revolutions and whether Iran’s experience during the Islamic Revolution and after holds relevant lessons for current developments in the Middle East.

March 1, 2011

Brazil and the United States: The Need for Strategic Engagement

Washington’s identification of Brazil with Latin America and the Third World hampers its appreciation of Brazil’s power and importance to the United States. It is true that Brazil is geographically part of Latin America, and it is also true that Brazil, a founder of the Group of 77, was, with India, among the original leaders of the “Third World.”

March 1, 2011

DTP-081: Assessing Army Power and Energy for the Warfighter

This paper reviews some of the landscape of research and development on power and energy as it pertains to the needs of the Army warfighter. It focuses on the battlefield and considers questions related to vehicles, dismounted soldiers, and forward operating bases. The context of the study is twofold: the National need to reduce the use of petroleum-based fuels and the Army’s need to reduce the logistical burden and hazards moving said fuels on the battlefield.

March 1, 2011

DTP-081: Assessing Army Power and Energy for the Warfighter

This paper reviews some of the landscape of research and development on power and energy as it pertains to the needs of the Army warfighter. It focuses on the battlefield and considers questions related to vehicles, dismounted soldiers, and forward operating bases. The context of the study is twofold: the National need to reduce the use of petroleum-based fuels and the Army’s need to reduce the logistical burden and hazards moving said fuels on the battlefield.

March 1, 2011

Secret Weapon: High-value Target Teams as an Organizational Innovation

This study argues that interagency teams were a major catalyst in turning around the Iraq War, and that they will disappear from America’s arsenal unless the knowledge base supporting the innovation can be secured. Most explanations credit the dramatic reduction in violence in Iraq between 2007 and 2008 to new U.S. leadership, the surge in U.S. forces, and/or U.S. financial support to Sunni tribal leaders. In contrast, we argue that the United States employed an underappreciated organizational innovation—interagency teams—to put insurgent clandestine organizations on the defensive and give population security measures a chance to take effect.

Feb. 1, 2011

Toward a Theory of Spacepower: Selected Essays

This volume is a product of the efforts of the Institute for National Strategic Studies Spacepower Theory Project Team, which was tasked by the Department of Defense to create a theoretical framework for examining spacepower and its relationship to the achievement of national objectives. The team was charged with considering the space domain in a broad and holistic way, incorporating a wide range of perspectives from U.S. and international space actors engaged in scientific, commercial, intelligence, and military enterprises.

Feb. 1, 2011

Small Nuclear Reactors for Military Installations: Capabilities, Costs, and Technological Implications

In recent years, the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) has become increasingly interested in the potential of small (less than 300 megawatts electric [MWe]) nuclear reactors for military use.1 DOD’s attention to small reactors stems mainly from two critical vulnerabilities it has identified in its infrastructure and operations: the dependence of U.S. military bases on the fragile civilian electrical grid, and the challenge of safely and reliably supplying energy to troops in forward operating locations. DOD has responded to these challenges with an array of initiatives on energy efficiency and renewable and alternative fuels. Unfortunately, even with massive investment and ingenuity, these initiatives will be insufficient to solve DOD’s reliance on the civilian grid or its need for convoys in forward areas. The purpose of this paper is to explore the prospects for addressing these critical vulnerabilities through small-scale nuclear plants.

Feb. 1, 2011

Conventional Prompt Global Strike: Strategic Asset or Unusable Liability?

The Conventional Prompt Global Strike (CPGS) concept calls for a U.S. capability to deliver conventional strikes anywhere in the world in approximately an hour. The logic of the CPGS concept is straightforward. The United States has global security commitments to deter and respond to a diverse spectrum of threats, ranging from terrorist organizations to near-peer competitors. The United States might need to strike a time-sensitive target protected by formidable air defenses or located deep inside enemy territory. Small, high-value targets might pop up without warning in remote or sensitive areas, potentially precluding the United States from responding to the situation by employing other conventional weapons systems, deploying Special Operations Forces (SOF), or relying on the host country.