Some legislators have pushed to restrict the president from launching preemptive nuclear strikes without the authorization of Congress. While proponents of congressional authorization hope that it will reduce tensions, it will only serve to increase the risks of accidental or inadvertent escalation.
In October, ISP released a comprehensive assessment of the strategy formulation processes within the U.S. Department of Defense. Formulating National Security Strategy: Past Experiences and Future Choices offers insights into the series of choices facing policymakers during a strategy review. The study, prepared for DOD and mandated by Congress, was helped shaped the process for the 2018 National Defense Strategy.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.