SARS-COV-2 AND THE WAR AGAINST WMD (COVID-19 SERIES)

Any attempt to securitize a pandemic response must of course be mindful that a ‘war’ framework cannot be the only approach to fighting a pandemic, especially as our ‘fight’ is also against the socio-economic impacts of COVID-19. The virus SARS-COV-2 may not be a biological weapon, but the effects of the disease it causes, known […]

EFFECTS AND OPERATIONAL DESIGN: LEARNING FROM WWI CAMPAIGNS

While joint doctrine and most service-specific doctrines have banished EBO as a concept, effects remain one of the elements of operational design. For a time, effects and Effects-Based Operations (EBO) were at the center of U.S. Joint Doctrine, promising an omniscient understanding of the adversary and how to produce its defeat. EBO advocates claimed it […]

READINESS IS PRIORITY #1, BUT READY FOR WHAT? (WARGAMING ROOM)

What do you do when the training your organization requires you to accomplish doesn’t actually prepare you for your mission or enhance your unit readiness. You create a board game, of course. A BETTER PEACE welcomes Mike Loftus, Will McKannay and Jim Markley to discuss how Mike and Will, with Jim’s help, came to create […]

LOSING THE STRATEGIC “BATTLE” AGAINST THE PRC (BUT NOT THE “WAR”): PT I – EMERGING CONFLICT DOMAINS

Despite facing innovative, global rivals, the U.S. military remains a downward-directed, personality-driven organization – one that lacks the flexibility it needs to meet current threats. The word “military” conjures images of rifle-bearing soldiers being yelled at by angry, loud, older leaders, imposing their proverbial ‘my way or the highway’ versions of order. Unfortunately, such images […]

THE QUDS DILEMMA: DEALING WITH IRAN’S INTERNATIONAL ARM

The Quds Force, however, has been incredibly adaptive in sustaining a substantial cash flow with help of the Russian Federation and the People’s Republic of China. Despite the decapitating airstrike killing General Qasem Soleimani, head of the Iranian Republican Guard Corps-Quds Force (hereafter Quds Force), the functionality of his organization remains. This proxy network of […]

DIMINISHING TERRITORIAL CONTROL MAY INCREASE LETHAL POWER OF ISIS

In reality, the threat eventually became defined not only by ISIS’s ability to control territory, but also its ability to conduct and inspire acts of terrorism worldwide. United States President Donald Trump has declared the Islamic State (ISIS) defeated and the war won.  However, others argue the fight against ISIS is growing increasingly complex and […]

SOCIAL MEDIA: GOOD MEDICINE OR A BAD PILL (EISENHOWER SERIES)

There is a concept called collective coping. It’s using social media and specifically social relationships to cope with issues…more than ever you can see that people are reaching out.   In September of 2019 we introduced you to the Eisenhower Series College Program. Members of the Eisenhower Program began the year on the road visiting colleges […]

WAR(GAMING) WHAT IS IT GOOD FOR? (A WHITEBOARD)

Wargames may not predict the future, but a well-designed and well-executed wargame can better equip both analysts and practitioners in facing an uncertain future – filled with unknown dangers.   [UPDATED 29 May 2020 for a late entry] For this Whiteboard we reached out again to several scholars with the following prompt: How can wargaming improve […]

NEGLECT AND ATTENTION IN THE WESTERN HEMISPHERE

There is no “Latin America” right? It is a region made up of independent sovereign countries, some with different histories, some with different languages…based on that they’re going to have different relationships with the United States. In the present day examination of global security, much of the United States’ attention is focused on the Middle […]

EVOLUTIONARY STRATEGY TO COMBAT STRATEGIC ATROPHY

The 2018 National Defense Strategy was clear in its call to shake off strategic atrophy – to maintain competitive advantage against our Nation’s adversaries we must evolve. – Commander’s Foreword, Army Special Operations Forces Strategy In the realm of national security very few elements ever remain stagnant, and those that do are relegated to irrelevance. As […]

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 […]

GREAT WAR IN THE GREAT LAKES REGION OF AFRICA

It’s very hard to implement a long term development project when rebels might overrun and destroy or steal whatever you’ve implemented. To say that Central Africa has been a tumultuous region for the last three decades is an understatement. Genocide, civil and proxy wars and disease have lead to a death count that numbers in […]

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 […]

CULTURAL TERRAIN IN DOMESTIC OPERATIONS

We can’t function in a vacuum without understanding who the people are that we’re interacting with on a daily basis. And this is particularly critical, even in domestic operations, from a disaster and a mass emergency response standpoint. When disaster strikes in the United States we are fortunate to have the National Guard available to […]

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 […]

THE U.S. ARMY IN THE 20TH CENTURY: AN INTERVIEW WITH BRIAN LINN (ON WRITING)

I think in a lot of ways our job…is to move the dialog out of the Pentagon and into the field. A BETTER PEACE welcomes Brian Linn, renowned student and historian of the U.S. Army as an institution. Linn joins Michael Neiberg in the studio to discuss how he began his work first looking at the […]

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 […]

THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF CLASSIFICATION

I think the most important thing the public should know about classification is that there are rules. The Department of Defense does not just make up what they think is classified. No, NOTHING in this episode is classified. If you’re a novice to the world of classification, have you ever wondered who classifies something and […]

LESSONS FROM 1918: GET A FLU SHOT, WASH YOUR HANDS

What we do know is that all of the movement of people and animals made this virus transmit much faster around the world than it would have otherwise. And you can directly associate it with the effects of the war. A BETTER PEACE welcomes Michael Neiberg to examine the misnamed Spanish Flu of 1918. Neiberg […]

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 […]