Photo Courtesy of Department of Defense, Army Sgt. Amber I. Smith https://www.flickr.com/photos/secdef/34758654855/in/photolist-UXvc7F-S7obTp-U6JU1y-TqyYgV-QBSxMB-QSrWnh-ULQVmU-SiGMJh-UyrJv6-UhMr1T-T3Eu3G-V6mc4v-Ut9bBu-UsCiCL-TM2jwo-U6JSSw-SygG6c-V487KT-Tk1MVQ-UPk2D5-RRJymZ-RSGkq7-VrY8U6-UXvFGM-TACLqv-T9ejhf-V33Mbo-U6JSQh-RJwscw-RXsHuR-VFB4kq-hBu5d-S7nC96-VJxUYj-TQcf3o-TqyXVp-RWx9HX-QBU34L-7uLRP8-TrmtRt-Trmwdc-mXYwU6-UQK3YL-mY1tmm-TnK2F1-6mwYw9-mXYtGr-SRmXEJ-mXYyen-SRmXSN
Opinion / Strategy

Defense Strategy and the Iron Triangle of Painful Tradeoffs

The Defense Department has begun the formulation of a new defense strategy. Amidst the chatter surrounding the security strategy effort, Kathleen Hicks explains why significant change of Defense Department direction is unlikely to emerge from the forthcoming National Defense Strategy and recommends some tools to help manage the mismatch born of ambitious goals and inevitably limited resources.

Analysis / Reform, Strategy

Use a Strategic Review to Drive Change

Given the various foreign policy and national security challenges, it will be critical that the new administration develop a strategic approach for their policy objectives. Strategy will help the new administration achieve goals, drive change, and determine which issues may benefit from continuity. This analysis provides recommended steps for an effective review process to help develop a strategy for national security challenges.

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.