Dr. Leonard Wong and Dr. Stephen Gerras – “Veteran Disability Compensation and the Army Profession: Good Intentions Gone Awry”

Released 4 February 2021. Today, two-thirds of soldiers depart the US Army with a disability rating. Unfortunately, some soldiers are exploiting a generous disability system overextended beyond its original purposes and potentially damaging trust in the military, jeopardizing Army readiness, and encouraging a culture that erodes the Army’s notions of selfless service. Click here to …

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Dr. Christopher J. Bolan, Col. Jerad I. Harper, and Dr. Joel R. Hillison – “Diverging Interests: US Strategy in the Middle East”

Released 3 February 2021. The novel coronavirus is only the latest in a series of global crises with implications for the regional order in the Middle East. These changes and the diverging interests of actors in the region have implications for US strategy and provide an opportunity to rethink key US relationships there. Click here …

Dr. Christopher J. Bolan, Col. Jerad I. Harper, and Dr. Joel R. Hillison – “Diverging Interests: US Strategy in the Middle East” Read More »

Veteran Disability Compensation and the Army Profession: Good Intentions Gone Awry

Authors: Dr. Leonard Wong, Dr. Stephen J. Gerras  Previous studies analyzing disability compensation have decried its $76 billion annual budget or warned of its perverse ability to incentivize veterans not to work. This study focuses on the impact of this moral hazard on the US Army profession. If soldiers continue to capitalize on an extremely …

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Dr. Andrew Bell – “Civilians, Urban Warfare, and US Doctrine”

Released 22 January 2021. The US military must prepare for the realities of densely populated areas as it plans and conducts campaigns. This planning must include considerations of soldiers’ health and wellbeing. An engaged analysis of urban battlespaces in the mid-twentieth and early twenty-first centuries highlights the need for essential updates to US military doctrine …

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Dr. Raymond A. Millen – “Stability Operations in WW II: Insights and Lessons”

Released 4 January 2021. The stability achieved by the US military in the European Theater of Operations after D-Day was the direct result of good military governance concurrently deployed with combat operations. The role of civil affairs in securing this stability has been under-emphasized in analyses of these operations. But an examination of the historical …

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Mr. Jody Prescott – “Gender Blindness in US Doctrine”

Released 15 December 2020. US military Joint and Army civil affairs doctrine have failed to consider the operational relevance of gender, posing a risk to mission accomplishment and force protection. A comparison of NATO and Australian Defence Force doctrine reveals gender considerations have been included in Allied doctrine in recent years. US land-force operational planning …

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Dr. Tim Hoyt and Pamela M. Holtz – “Challenging Prevailing Models of US Army Suicide”

Released 11 December 2020. Statistics behind reported suicide rates in the military are often insufficiently analyzed and portray a distorted picture of reality. Several models for identifying individuals at risk for suicide have been proposed but few show adequate predictive power to be actionable. Instead, a collaborative and consistent effort to address core drivers at …

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Michael J. Eisenstadt and Kenneth M. Pollack – “Training Better Arab Armies”

Released 25 September 2020. US security force assistance missions to Arab partner states have had limited success, due in part to a tendency to impose American doctrine, which embodies American cultural values and norms, on Arab armed forces. Accordingly, US security force assistance missions should train Arab partners to fight in a manner better suited …

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Douglas W. Bristol Jr. – “Two Worlds: African American Servicemembers, WWII and Today”

Released 23 September 2020. The theory of social stigma provides a context for the subjective experience of African American servicemembers in World War II. Those experiences reveal the paradox the military faces when addressing racial discrimination. An examination of these experiences suggests only a collective response by African American servicemembers will solve this problem.  Click …

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Audrey Kurth Cronin – “Technology and Strategic Surprise: Adapting to an Era of Open Innovation”

Released 21 September 2020. Technological revolutions affecting state power are either open or closed. The precursor to the digital age is not the twentieth century, with state-controlled programs yielding nuclear weapons, but the late nineteenth century, when tinkerers invented the radio, airplane, and high explosives—all crucial to subsequent wars. To avoid strategic surprise, the US …

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Nina Jankowicz and Henry Collis – “Enduring Information Vigilance: Government After COVID-19”

Released 14 September 2020. The framework of Enduring Information Vigilance will help ally and partner governments deny advantages adversaries gain through their use of information operations in our new global perpetual information environment. This approach recognizes the persistent threat, unifies responses within and between governments, and resolves societal fissures toward a more global democratic information …

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Jacqueline Deal – “Disintegrating the Enemy: The PLA’s Info-Messaging”

Released 08 September 2020. The DoD can exploit weaknesses in Chinese military attempts at political warfare, or “enemy disintegration,” most recently observed in PLA media on the subject of the pandemic. Targeted information efforts will signal the United States’ refusal to be intimidated, expose untruths in Chinese government messaging to its citizens, and reassure relevant …

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Jason Healey – “A Bizarre Pair: Counterinsurgency Lessons for Cyber Conflict”

Released 04 September 2020. The lessons of counterinsurgency have deeper implications for cyber conflict than previous research has identified. Two decades of experience in Iraq and Afghanistan provide insights into the cyber strategy of defending forward including treating major cybersecurity and technology companies as host-nation partners and focusing on winning the hearts and minds of …

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Ryan J. Scott, Odelle J. Means, and Patricia M. Shields – “The COVID-19 Enemy is Still Advancing”

Released 01 September 2020. The US military has a historical precedence for dealing with a pandemic while simultaneously conducting largescale combat operations. Two twentieth-century examples assess the extent to which the military adapted operations following an influenza outbreak, and make clear military and civilian leaders must balance strategic objectives when facing threat multipliers such as …

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Danelle R. Gamble – “Toward a Racially Inclusive Military”

Released 28 August 2020. Racialized structural inequalities and related social biases in US society and replicated in the military hinder diversity and inclusion efforts necessary to maintain a ready force. Examining the history of Blacks in the military through a social science lens helps explain this challenge and reveals the military must both promote relationships …

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SSI Live 081 – Addressing Hypercompetition in the Indo-Pacific Theater

Released 24 July 2020. Given the multifaceted great power competition underway in the Indo-Pacific theater, how can the United States military best position itself? What role can and should the Army play in facilitating a joint approach? After a two-year hiatus, SSI Live returns as Dr. John R. Deni discusses a major newly released SSI study on USINDOPACOM …

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Key Strategic Issues List (KSIL) 2021-2022

Editors: COL Steve Cunningham, USAWC Strategic Studies Institute New for Academic Years 2021-2022, the USAWC has published an updated Key Strategic Issues List (KSIL). The KSIL informs students, faculty, and external research associates of strategic topics requiring research and analysis. The USAWC in coordination with Headquarters Department of the Army (HQDA), major commands throughout the …

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Striking the Balance: US Army Force Posture in Europe, 2028—A Study Sponsored by the Office of the Secretary of the Army

Authors: J.P. Clark and C. Anthony Pfaff Within the context of Europe, the US Army must develop a force posture that best navigates the tensions between deterring or defeating armed conflict at acceptable cost, successfully competing below armed conflict, and maintaining global responsiveness and institutional flexibility through the global operating model and dynamic force employment. …

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Commentary on “The US Army in Multi-Domain Operations 2028”

Author: Huba Wass de Czege Does The US Army in Multi-Domain Operations 2028 lack a clear theory of victory? A comparative analysis of the development of MDO and the historical concepts of Active Defense and AirLand Battle reveals the necessity of greater insight into sources of Russian and Chinese behavior and countering mechanisms, what constitutes …

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Senior Conference 55—The Emerging Environment in the Indo-Pacific Region: Drivers, Directions, and Decisions

Editors: Dr Terry Babcock-Lumish, COL Tania Chacho, MAJ Tom Fox, MAJ Zachary Griffiths As the Indo-Pacific region enters a period of uncertainty, this monograph details the proceedings of West Point’s 2019 Senior Conference 55. Scholars and practitioners convened to discuss and debate strategic changes, and experts shared thoughts during keynote addresses and panels on economics, …

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