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Feb. 10, 2021

Beyond Bean Bags and Rubber Bullets: Intermediate Force Capabilities Across the Competition Continuum

Nonlethal weapons technological advancements could provide a variety of counterpersonnel and countermateriel effects without destruction. Could this new generation of capabilities provide senior leaders and operational commanders intermediate force options that support the full spectrum of military objectives? If so, how do they fit in the Department of Defense’s (DOD’s) focus on increased lethality?

Feb. 10, 2021

Harnessing the Power of Information: A Better Approach for Countering Chinese Coercion

China has implemented an incremental approach toward coercive activities in the Indo-Pacific region, placing the United States and its allies in a deteriorating position to counteract Beijing effectively. An information-centric strategy offers the best opportunity to counter Chinese influence and advance U.S. interests in the region without a greater risk of military conflict.

Feb. 10, 2021

The Evolution of Special Operations as a Model for Information Forces

U.S. special operations forces (SOF) writhed from perennial neglect before a dedicated combatant command—U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM)—was created, an assistant secretary was appointed, and major force program funding was allocated. This article draws an analogy between historical SOF and contemporary information forces and suggests that the history and evolution of SOF could serve as a possible model and provide cautionary lessons for the future development of information forces.

Feb. 9, 2021

Executive Summary

Whether you are on the ground halfway around the world or standing point here at home in Washington, DC, whether you are in uniform or civil service, in defending our Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic you are defending both a way of life and a precious set of values all freedom-loving people around the world believe in. Your team here at NDU Press supports your efforts and wants to hear from you as you work the difficult issues and tasks in the days and months ahead. Stay safe.

Feb. 1, 2021

The Future of Weapons of Mass Destruction: An Update

In an update to their 2014 paper on the future of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), John P. Caves, Jr., and W. Seth Carus assess and offer policy considerations on the significant geopolitical and technological developments shaping the future of WMD since 2014.

Jan. 29, 2021

Baltics Left of Bang: The Southern Shore

Sponsored by the U.S. National Defense University (NDU) and the Swedish Defence University, this is the fourth and final paper in a series of INSS Strategic Forums dedicated to the multinational exploration of the strategic defense challenges faced by the Baltic states. The December 2017 U.S. National Security Strategy describes Russia as “using subversive measures to weaken the credibility of America’s commitment to Europe, undermine transatlantic unity, and weaken European institutions and governments.” The American and European authors of this paper, along with many others, came together in a series of exercises conducted in late 2017 through the winter of 2019 to explore possible responses to the security challenges facing the Baltic Sea region (BSR).

Jan. 12, 2021

Economics, Diplomacy, and Great Power Competition

The US Department of Defense (DoD) Strategic Multilayer Assessment (SMA) program hosted a speaker session on January 12, 2021, presented by Hon. Robert Zoellick (Former World Bank President; US Trade Representative; and Deputy Secretary, Undersecretary, and Counselor to the US Department of State), as a part of its SMA INSS/PRISM Speaker Series.

Nov. 19, 2020

Joint Force Quarterly 99 (4th Quarter, October 2020)

Robert Kennedy’s speech that day in 1966—on a then unprecedented trip and exactly 2 years before his assassination—included some words that may help all of us see our road ahead a bit more clearly. He stated, “It is from numberless diverse acts of courage such as these that the belief that human history is thus shaped. Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.” To me that is what Americans, especially those in uniform, aspire to do. Let us know what you think. Be safe.

Nov. 19, 2020

Command: The Twenty-First-Century General

Command is two loosely connected books. One book is about generalship in combat in the 21st century with a focus on hybrid conflicts. The second is about imagining generalship as a collective enterprise and the challenges of employing a division of differently sized units with unique capabilities. A division might be limited to units that shoot and destroy and heavy in units that simply collect and process information with such speed that no single commander could possibly make timely decisions. Drawing on his prior work on unit cohesion and military culture as a British army contractor, Dr. Anthony King offers an updated look at generalship and division command for an increasingly complex battlefield.

Nov. 19, 2020

Divided Armies: Inequality and Battlefield Performance in Modern War

Why armies win wars or suffer battlefield defeats has long piqued the curiosity and interest of military historians, war planners, and strategists alike. Theorists commonly attribute military effectiveness (or not) to force ratios, firepower, technological superiority, material/resourcing advantages, or exceptional leadership (possibly aided by surprise or dumb luck). Jason Lyall, however, advances a groundbreaking analysis for understanding who wins, who loses, and why. In the process, he suggests equality as a key element in better designing military forces positioned for battlefield success.