International Security & Defense

596 Items

Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan on Capitol Hill

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

Analysis & Opinions - The Washington Post

The Military-Industrial-Congressional Complex is Holding Our National Security Back

| Mar. 14, 2019

This battle between past and future is the hidden drama within the gargantuan $750 billion fiscal 2020 defense budget proposal. Nearly everyone favors high-tech weapons to combat great-power adversaries in the new millennium, in principle. But meanwhile, the military-industrial-congressional complex, as John McCain termed it, keeps pumping vast sums to sustain legacy weapons systems.

 

Afghan National Army-Territorial Force members prepare for an exercise at the Kabul Military Training Center in Kabul, Afghanistan, June 11, 2018. (Tech. Sgt. Sharida Jackson/Air Force)

Associated Press

Analysis & Opinions - Miami Herald

Peace with the Taliban? Trump Warned of Afghan Pullout Risks

| Jan. 30, 2019

Trump administration claims of progress in talks with the Taliban have sparked fears even among the president's allies that his impatience with the war in Afghanistan will lead him to withdraw troops too soon, leaving the country at risk of returning to the same volatile condition that prompted the invasion in the first place.

Demonstration in Egypt

(AP Photo/Mostafa Darwish)

Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

The Demographic Transition Theory of War: Why Young Societies Are Conflict Prone and Old Societies Are the Most Peaceful

| Winter 2018/19

Many states with young populations are growing old fast. If states with older populations engage in violent conflict less frequently than states with large numbers of young people, the implications for the international order could be significant. 

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

William Rapp on Office Hours Podcast

| Jan. 11, 2019

Retired Army Major General William Rapp, former Commandant of both the United States Military Academy and the U.S. Army War College, and currently the Faculty Chair of the Belfer Center’s National Security Fellows Program, sits down with with Aroop Mukharji to talk about civilian-military relations, congressional oversight, and the biggest adjustments to civilian life.

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

Gen. Lori J. Robinson Joins Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center as Senior Fellow

| Dec. 17, 2018

Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs has named General (ret.) Lori J. Robinson a non-resident Senior Fellow. After 37 years of military service, Gen. Robinson retired this year as Commander, United States Northern Command and North American Aerospace Defense Command.

KFOR Multinational Battle Group-East Soldiers fire the M9 pistol from the firing line during the weapons qualification event for the German Armed Forces Proficiency Badge at Camp Bondsteel, Kosovo, Dec. 12, 2017. (U.S. Army Photo / Staff Sgt. Nicholas Farina)

U.S. Army / SSG Nicholas Farina

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

No Exceptions: The Decision to Open All Military Positions to Women

| December 2018

As Secretary of Defense, my overwhelming priority was ensuring that we had the strongest possible military force today – and tomorrow. Building this force meant finding the most qualified person to fill any position. Yet at the time I became SecDef in February 2015, nearly 10 percent of all military positions—220,000 in total—were barred to women. My decision exactly three years ago to open all roles to women without exception was not a social experiment. It was a professional responsibility to draw from our nation’s entire pool of talent, and to recruit and retain high-performing women in our armed services. Though consequential, the decision has enjoyed broad and lasting support. Service members and policymakers alike share the view that the policy change reflected military needs, not political desires.
 
I’m proud of the decision we made – and even prouder of the remarkable women who’ve since earned their way into our most demanding assignments. In this report, which you can download at the link below and read in full below my signature, I detail the steps we took to make sure this decision reflected the military’s mission-critical thinking.

Image of China’s People’s Liberation Army Rocket Force drill with a ballistic missile launcher

(China Military / 81.cn)

Policy Brief - Quarterly Journal: International Security

Inadvertent Escalation and the Entanglement of Nuclear Command-and-Control Capabilities

    Author:
  • James Acton
| Oct. 29, 2018

The risks of nuclear escalation between the U.S. and China or Russia are greater than ever given the possibility of misinterpreted cyber espionage and military strikes against early warning systems. What can be done to reduce this risk?