DoD photo by Cherie Cullen: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Defense.gov_News_Photo_100811-D-7203C-003_-_Secretary_of_Defense_Robert_M._Gates_speaks_with_outgoing_acting_U.S._Central_Command_commander_Lt._Gen._John_Allen_right_and_incoming_commander.jpg
Analysis / Forces, Strategy

Confirmation Hearing Questions Beyond Headlines

The nomination of General James Mattis for Secretary of Defense brings a level of controversy. Though General Mattis is highly regarded he is ineligible to be Secretary of Defense within seven years of his retirement unless Congress provides him a waiver. This article provides a list of questions the Congress should consider proposing to General Mattis on his January 12, hearing.

Photo courtesy of US Air Force: http://www.afgsc.af.mil/News/ArticleDisplay/tabid/2612/Article/673654/minuteman-iii-test-launches-from-vandenberg.aspx
Analysis / Strategy

Time for Nuclear Straight Talk: Words Matter, and So Do Deeds

New and more accessible forms of dialogue will be critical to the conversation on nuclear policy. Social media and other personalized communication tools, which have thus far remained mostly outside the nuclear policy toolbox, are an important part of outreach. President-elect Trump’s administration must use these new tools wisely and with discretion to share a message that speaks to allies, adversaries, and Americans at home.

Photo by Mstyslav Chernov, Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license
Analysis / Strategy

Strengthening the Counter-ISIS Strategy

President-elect Trump has stated his intention to strengthen the U.S. approach to defeating the Islamic State (ISIS). The biggest challenge will be developing a sustainable strategy to prevent future terrorist groups from taking root. The United States will need a strategy that synchronizes the right mix of military forces and non-kinetic tools to achieve this outcome. This paper proposes changes the administration should implement as it develops its counter-ISIS strategy.

Photo by SSgt. Romain Beaulinette, IJC Public Affairs
Analysis / Strategy

Afghanistan: Renewed Resolve is Needed

Although the American public is weary of war, Afghanistan is a particularly concerning problem that will need to be a top national security priority for the incoming administration. The region is home to the largest concentration of terrorist groups in the world and on the verge of collapse should the U.S. withdraw forces. Unfortunately, continual U.S. engagement results in high cost. Recognizing this challenge, this paper provides a recommendation for an Afghanistan strategy.

US Navy Photo
Analysis / Forces, Strategy

Winning the Invisible Fight: The Need for Spectrum Superiority

U.S. forces have been employing electronic warfare for over 75 years, using the spectrum to sense, outmaneuver, and engage our adversaries. Absent U.S. investments in dedicated electronic warfare personnel, training, and equipment, Russia and China are likely to meet or exceed U.S. capabilities. How should the U.S. maintain its superiority in this invisible battlefield?

U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Kevin J. Gruenwald
Analysis / Forces

Special Operations Forces: Let SOF be SOF

Special Operation Forces (SOF) has had great success against al Qaeda. This success and continued demand for special operations have led to slightly increased personnel numbers and larger budgets. As demand for SOF increase, so does rates of deployment and concerns for SOF readiness. This paper addresses how the new administration should consider engaging with SOF in the future to ensure SOF is not overextended and remains effective.