RUSSIA, LIBYA AND WEAPONIZING HUMAN MIGRATION

THE KREMLIN’S ABILITY TO UNLEASH MILLIONS OF MIGRANTS GIVES PUTIN STRATEGIC LEVERAGE OVER EUROPE SINCE EVEN THE THREAT TO UNLEASH MASS MIGRATION MAY DESTABILIZE ALREADY FRAGILE EU AND NATO ALLIANCES WITHOUT DIRECT CONFLICT. Russian deployment of private military companies to support the insurgent Libya National Army (LNA) supports the Kremlin’s ambitions to gain access to critical […]

THE DODO’S PROBLEM (AND THE REASON FOR WAR ROOM) – THREE YEAR ANNIVERSARY

The vision of our first Editor-In-Chief, Andrew Hill, WAR ROOM began three years ago today with the release of this article. Confident that there was space online for discussion and debate of national security, military history and simply furthering critical and innovative thought, Andrew found a way to get the resources together to create this […]

LEADERSHIP ROLE MODELS IN FICTION REVISITED: (A WHITEBOARD)

[Darth] Vader has many admirable qualities; he did not rise to the level of Sith Lord without ability. He possesses incredible personal will, is a skilled warrior, is not afraid to put himself in harm’s way, and he has a great eye for talent. We had a great response to our December Whiteboard post so we […]

THE RISE OF THE LIBERAL WORLD ORDER

To understand the rise of the liberal world order requires understanding scholarship in both history and international relations Many foreign policy and international relations experts are expressing concern about the future of the liberal world order. These experts contend that the return of great power competition with the rise of Russia and China, the decline […]

THE INFORMATION APOCALYPSE, PART VI: PARANOIA AND PRIVACY

Every border you cross, purchase you make, call you dial, friendship you keep, site you visit…is in the hands of a system whose reach is unlimited but whose safeguards are not. Edward Snowden A major facet of the Information Apocalypse is the cumulative erosion of personal privacy. The Surveillance Apocalypse has been sneaking up on […]

START WITH BOOK THREE: FINDING UTILITY IN CLAUSEWITZ’S ON WAR

The problem, due in large part to Clausewitz’s meandering style, is that too many influential commentators have treated those books as how-to manuals. Carl von Clausewitz’s text, On War, ascends to the status of sacred text in many circles. Military leaders and politicians quote him, and it is rare to find a professional military education […]

ELLUL’S “PROPAGANDA”: OVER FIFTY YEARS’ WARNING, BUT ARE WE LISTENING? (DUSTY SHELVES)

Western nations have again become concerned about propaganda and disinformation due to the actions of the Chinese and Russian governments. An overlooked classic of information warfare/operations, disinformation, and fake news is Jacques Ellul’s Propaganda: The Formation of Men’s Attitudes (1965). Jacques Ellul was a French sociologist and philosopher who served as professor at the University […]

WHAT MAKES A CIVILIAN?

But what might the process of civilianizing mean, and what are the results? What is being gained, and what is being lost? What, in short, distinguishes the civilian from the military? Currently, U.S. law requires that a former military officer must be retired from active duty for a minimum of seven years before she or […]

NOT WORTH A THOUSAND WORDS: ABANDONING THE DA PHOTO

The Army wanted to make sure you were fit, knew how to wear your uniform, and you were not ‘stealing valor.’ As promotion and selection board season rolls through every Army post, officers rush to finish evaluations for their deserving subordinate officers and noncommissioned officers (NCOs). But there is another rush happening too: At the […]

A NEW WASHINGTON NAVAL CONFERENCE FOR A POST-COVID WORLD?

International leaders might do well to look to an idea from a century ago, when the world was also trying to deal with the global effects of a pandemic and an age of great power competition. Updated as of 0830/31 Mar 2020 In the middle of confronting the COVID-19 pandemic, everyone’s attention is focused squarely on public […]

WHAT GOOD IS GRAND STRATEGY? (A WHITEBOARD)

A grand strategy defines a country’s interests, the threats to those interests and the policies as well as the military forces to defend them. For this Whiteboard we reached out again to several scholars at the Bush School of Government and Public Service, Texas A&M University. We sent them the following prompt: What good is grand […]

INSIDER THREAT: A PEOPLE PROBLEM IN THE AGE OF BITS AND BYTES

At the end of 2019 the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence (OUSDI), in cooperation with WAR ROOM, announced an essay contest to generate new ideas and elevate thinking about insider threats and how we respond to and counter the threat. There was a fantastic response, and we were thrilled to see what […]

‘BEHAVIORAL INDICATORS’: AVOIDING SELF-DEFEAT IN COUNTERING INSIDER THREATS

At the end of 2019 the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence (OUSDI), in cooperation with WAR ROOM, announced an essay contest to generate new ideas and elevate thinking about insider threats and how we respond to and counter the threat. There was a fantastic response, and we were thrilled to see what […]

MOBILIZATION TO DEMOBILIZATION: THE LIFE OF THE MINUTEMAN (DUSTY SHELVES)

He was a competent but not flamboyant officer, commanding at an echelon that attracted little public attention during and after the war. In recent years there has been much discussion about the Army’s refocusing on largescale combat operations, command at the division echelon, and the transformation of the National Guard from a strategic to an […]

THE BALANCING ACT FOR FEMALE OFFICERS

Meaningful progress will occur only when male leaders engage in deliberate and sustained efforts to change the culture and when the proportion of women increases more substantially. Although formal barriers to women’s participation across branches and specialties in the United States’ (U.S.) armed forces have been removed, women still comprise a relatively small percentage of […]

A TOOL FOR DECEPTION: THE URGENT NEED FOR EM DECOYS

THE EXTENT TO WHICH THE U.S. MILITARY HAS EMPLOYED DECEPTION, PARTICULARLY DECOYS, HAS VARIED OVER TIME BUT IS CURRENTLY AT A LOW   The militaries of both Russia and China have become increasingly adept in finding enemy units by searching for signatures in the electromagnetic spectrum. Coupled with those militaries’ precision, standoff weaponry and anti-access/area-denial […]

SANCTIONS IN THE CYBER DOMAIN: OLD WAYS WON’T WIN TODAY’S WARS

Generals always fight the last war. Ever heard this saying? Turns out this adage, dating back to at least 1929, describes not only the famously disastrous French Maginot Line defenses in World War II, but it also refers to the contemporary use of antiquated policies in a rapidly changing world. In applying economic sanctions to […]

THE UNITED NATIONS’ GREATEST ACCOMPLISHMENT: (A WHITEBOARD)

26 COUNTRIES SIGNED THE DECLARATION OF THE UNITED NATIONS ON 1 JANUARY 1942 THAT SUBSCRIBED TO THE PRINCIPLES OF THE 1941 US-UK ATLANTIC CHARTER. For this Whiteboard we reached out again to several scholars with the following prompt: What has been the United Nations’ greatest accomplishment since its founding? Readers are invited to make their own […]

WHY MILITARY OFFICERS ARE FAILING

The prerequisites for cross-cultural leadership are to reflect on and understand one’s own culture, and how it shapes one’s experience. My first deployment was an excellent leadership lab: I worked side by side with experienced military officers from all branches. This experience sparked my curiosity as to what made one officer exceptional and another a […]

“TECHNOCRATS AND OPERATIONAL EXPERTS” (DUSTY SHELVES)

Murray…highlights the German military’s failure as a whole to understand how the Industrial Revolution had transformed warfighting. Written histories, it is said, speak to each generation differently, enabling readers to interpret them within the framework of their own experiences. As such, a rereading of Williamson Murray’s Luftwaffe—first published in 1985—is especially timely. Although offering more […]