International Security & Defense

658 Items

U.S. Army Soldiers share tactics and training with Nigerian Army Soldiers, Nigeria, February 8, 2018.

Capt. James Sheehan, U.S. Army

Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

The Cult of the Persuasive: Why U.S. Security Assistance Fails

  • Rachel Tecott Metz
| Winter 2022/23

Why does the U.S. Army rely on persuasion to influence military partners to improve their forces despite repeated failures that undermine U.S. foreign policy goals? The army prioritizes its role as a fighting force, not an advisory group. U.S. leaders have developed an ideology—the cult of the persuasive—to advance army bureaucratic interests.

A row of T-34 tanks

Wikimedia Commons

Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

Dangerous Changes: When Military Innovation Harms Combat Effectiveness

  • Kendrick Kuo
| Fall 2022

Contrary to the conventional wisdom, military innovation can degrade a state’s military effectiveness as well as strengthen it. In fact, innovation is a gamble that a state may lose, particularly if it is already overextended in its commitments. 

teaser image

Analysis & Opinions - PRISM - National Defense University

The 21st Century's Great Military Rivalry

| September 30, 2022

A quarter-century ago, China conducted what it called “missile tests” bracketing the island of Taiwan to deter it from a move toward independence by demonstrating that China could cut Taiwan’s ocean lifelines. In response, in a show of superiority that forced China to back down, the United States deployed two aircraft carriers to Taiwan’s adjacent waters. If China were to repeat the same missile tests today, it is highly unlikely that the United States would respond as it did in 1996. If U.S. carriers moved that close to the Chinese mainland now, they could be sunk by the DF-21 and DF-26 missiles that China has since developed and deployed. This article presents three major theses concerning the military rivalry between China and the United States in this century.

A type 094A Jin-class nuclear submarine Long March 10 of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy participates in a naval parade to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the founding of China's PLA Navy in the sea near Qingdao in eastern China's Shandong province, April 23, 2019.

AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein

Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

Then What? Assessing the Military Implications of Chinese Control of Taiwan

| Summer 2022

An analysis of Taiwan’s military value concludes that its reunification with China would improve Chinese submarine warfare and ocean surveillance capabilities, tipping the military balance in China’s favor. These findings have important implications for U.S. operational planning, policy, and grand strategy.

Raising the American flag over Fort Santiago, Manila

Public Domain/George W. Peters

Analysis & Opinions - War on the Rocks

The Psychology of Stickiness: What America Can Learn from Its Annexation of the Philippines In 1898

| May 05, 2022

Aroop Mukharji writes that the moment the United States became a major military power in Asia can be traced to a single day, Oct. 28, 1898. It is a story about the difficulty of letting go, and it teaches scholars and policymakers an important lesson: An everyday psychological bias can lead to years of entanglement. Foreign policy commentary is awash with debates about why one region or another is more or less relevant to U.S. national interests. Those debates are important, but they miss a general point. It is always hard to let go.

Analysis & Opinions

Preserving a Nonpartisan Military

| Apr. 22, 2022

Preserving a nonpartisan military is sacred and critically important to the institution and the military’s role in defending our nation.  Today’s society is characterized by intense partisanship as seen in current events, media, and technological changes, with recent polls indicating the public’s trust in the military waning.  As a microcosm of society, military members are increasingly at risk of being influenced by this political partisanship.  A nonpartisan military is not only essential to maintain the trust of our elected civilian leaders, but also of the public and the men and women of the Armed Forces.  To preserve this trust, the Department of Defense needs to reenergize core democratic principles for military members by implementing professional military education on the foundational tenets of why the military is nonpartisan, balancing political astuteness and being political, and the effects of political influence by media, technology, and former military leaders.

Ukrainian servicemen walk to their position at the frontline with with Russia-backed separatists outside Verkhnotoretske village in Yasynuvata district of Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine, Monday, Dec. 27, 2021.

AP/Andriy Andriyenko

Analysis & Opinions - The Hill

What are the best US military options for Ukraine?

| December 12, 2021

Since last April, Russia has been slowly and methodically building up military forces near Ukraine’s border. Those who recall the 1990 U.S. military buildup in advance of the January “Desert Storm” attack to free Kuwait and invade Iraq, will recognize that such a buildup is a serious threat. 

Modern weapons on the Battleship New Jersey

Wikimedia CC/Steven Fine

Announcement - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Distribution of Military Capabilities (rDMC) Dataset

| Oct. 05, 2021

The Distribution of Military Capabilities (rDMC) dataset is a catalog of over 18,000 types of military equipment spanning 173 countries from 1970–2014. This data is sourced from the IISS Military Balance and organized into a machine-readable format, which may be downloaded.