SSI (test)

Letort Papers

What Next for Russia’s Front-Line States?

Author: Mr Keir Giles Russia’s annexation of Crimea and intervention in Eastern Ukraine in 2014, alarmed not only Western-leaning states in Central Europe and the Baltic but also Moscow’s traditional allies. These events signaled that Moscow is now willing and capable of using direct military force against perceived strategic threats in its self-proclaimed region of …

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A Typology of Arguments about Drone Ethics

Author: Dr Mary Manjikian Many different actors oppose the use of unmanned autonomous weapons (UAV’s) from adversary states, to international governmental organizations to policymakers and academics. However, the basis for their opposition varies, as do the assumptions behind their arguments. This Letort Paper lays out distinctions between arguments about technology, arguments about policy, and arguments …

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Ends, Means, Ideology, and Pride: Why the Axis Lost and What We Can Learn from Its Defeat

Author: Dr Jeffrey Record The author examines the Axis defeat in World War II and concludes that the two main causes were resource inferiority (after 1941) and strategic incompetence—i.e., pursuit of imperial ambitions beyond the reach of its actual power. Until 1941 Axis military fortunes thrived, but the addition in that year of the Soviet …

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Corruption, Legitimacy, and Stability: Implications for the U.S. Army

Author: Dr Shima D Keene Corruption increases the level of instability and the risk of conflict by undermining the legitimacy and credibility of state institutions. It can be both a cause and effect of poor leadership and governance. States emerging from conflict are particularly vulnerable to corruption, due to the lack of good governance infrastructures; …

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21st-Century Challenges of Command: A View from the Field

Author: Dr Anna Simons Leadership receives a tremendous amount of attention, but what about the day-to-day command challenges that confront O-4s, O-5s, and O-6s in today’s war zones? What has command entailed over the past decade and a half for special operations force (SOF) commanders who have deployed to Afghanistan (and Iraq) either to lead …

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The Turning Point for Russian Foreign Policy

Author: Mr Keir Giles This Letort Paper analyzes the drivers of assertive military action by Russia, as exemplified by interventions in Ukraine and Syria. It identifies key turning points in Russia’s perception of external threat, and the roots of Russian responses to this threat making use of a capacity for military, political, and diplomatic leverage …

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Social Media—The Vital Ground: Can We Hold It?

Author: Dr Steve Tatham, Mr. Ian Tunnicliffe The impact of social media on the media environment has been widely recognized; as has the ability of extremist and adversarial organizations to exploit social media to publicize their cause, spread their propaganda, and recruit vulnerable individuals. Supporting the growth of social media has been the phenomenal global …

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Antiquities Destruction and Illicit Sales as Sources of ISIS Funding and Propaganda

Author: Dr W Andrew Terrill The Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) has embarked on a campaign to destroy or sell priceless world heritage relics throughout the area under its control. While images of the outrageous destruction of priceless artifacts have been seen throughout the world, the strategic and military implications of comprehensive antiquities …

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China’s Interests and Goals in the Arctic: Implications for the United States

Author: Dr Elizabeth Wishnick China has been elaborating its position on the Arctic at the same time as the United States has been refining its own Arctic strategy as Chairman of the Arctic Council through April 2017. This Letort Paper examines the geopolitical implications of China’s growing involvement in the Arctic for U.S. interests. First, …

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Prospects for the Rule of Law in Cyberspace

Author: Mr Keir Giles The application of international law and legal principles in cyberspace is a topic that has caused confusion, doubt, and interminable discussions between lawyers since the earliest days of the internationalization of the Internet. The still unresolved debate over whether cyberspace constitutes a fundamentally new domain that requires fundamentally new laws to …

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Deterring Cybertrespass and Securing Cyberspace: Lessons from United States Border Control Strategies

Author: Dr Mary Manjikian Perhaps the best starting point for those looking to “borrow” a deterrent strategy for cyberspace from other fields is not the example of nuclear deterrence but instead the example of United States-Mexican border security. The nuclear deterrent analogy is not the best fit for understanding cyber-deterrence—due to the ways in which …

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Enhancing Identity Development at Senior Service Colleges

Author: Doctor Thomas P Galvin Identity development is touted as an important leader development need, but it often gets short shrift in professional military education (PME) environments, including the Senior Service Colleges (SSC). The inculcation of professional values, resiliency, and critical and reflective thought are essential to properly operationalizing the skills and knowledge learned in …

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The Quest for Military Cooperation in North Africa: Prospects and Challenges

Author: Dr Mohammed El-Katiri North Africa’s security landscape has worsened in the aftermath of the political events of the Arab Spring. Libya’s dire state of affairs has had significant repercussions not only on its internal security and stability, but also on that of its neighboring countries, particularly the ones with long and exposed land borders. …

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An Arab NATO in the Making? Middle Eastern Military Cooperation Since 2011

Author: Dr Florence Gaub Arab military cooperation has been, over the past century, mostly a history of failures. Whether the Arab League’s Defence Pact or the Middle East Command, ideas for collective security in the region all failed to move beyond the state of declarations. Most of the time, Arab states were either at open …

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Taking the Fight to the Enemy: Chinese Thinking about Long-Distance and Expeditionary Operations

Author: Dr Larry M Wortzel According to many analysts of China’s military, when an officer of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) suggests new forms of operations, expanded domains of warfare, or new weapons systems, American security planners can dismiss these projections as merely “aspirational” thinking. This assessment of the PLA Academy of Military Science …

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India’s Evolving Nuclear Force and Implications for U.S. Strategy in the Asia-Pacific

Author: Mr Yogesh Joshi, Dr Frank O’Donnell, Dr Harsh V Pant Since India declared itself a nuclear weapon state in May 1998, its nuclear capabilities have grown significantly. India is now on the verge of acquiring a triad of nuclear delivery systems. Its increasing nuclear profile has also stirred a debate on its stated nuclear …

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The East Mediterranean Triangle at Crossroads

Author: Dr Jean-Loup Samaan The collapse of Israel-Turkey relations over the last decade has led to a reshuffling of the power plays in the East Mediterranean region. Following the dismantlement of the Ankara-Jerusalem axis, Greece has entered the game by becoming the new ally of Israel in the area. As a result, the new strategic …

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Autonomous Weapon Systems: A Brief Survey of Developmental, Operational, Legal, and Ethical Issues

Author: Mr Jeffrey L Caton What does the Department of Defense hope to gain from the use of autonomous weapon systems (AWS)? This Letort Paper explores a diverse set of complex issues related to the developmental, operational, legal, and ethical aspects of AWS. It explores the recent history of the development and integration of autonomous …

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Cyber Defense: An International View

Author: Mr Keir Giles, Ms Kim Hartmann An overview of four different national approaches to cyber defense are discussed: those of Norway, Estonia, Germany and Sweden. While providing a useful guide for engagement with the relevant governmental and other organizations in each of these countries, the Paper also compares and contrasts the advantages and drawbacks …

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Using Target Audience Analysis to Aid Strategic Level Decisionmaking

Author: Dr Steve Tatham The author explains how sophisticated social science research and behavioral profiling can be used to warn us of impeding issues and how that information might be used by senior strategy makers as a tool for testing and refining strategy. He makes a compelling case that the science of Target Audience Analysis …

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