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The Strategic Studies Institute (SSI) is the U.S. Army’s institute for geostrategic and national security research and analysis. SSI conducts global geostrategic research and analysis that creates and advances knowledge to influence solutions for national security problems facing the Army and the nation. SSI serves as a valuable source of ideas, criticism, innovative approaches, and independent analyses as well as a venue to expose external audiences to the U.S. Army’s contributions to the N ...
 
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Released 23 June 2022.This podcast discusses drone swarms, which can be used at sea, on land, in the air, and even in space, are fundamentally information-dependent weapons. No study to date has examined drone swarms in the context of information warfare writ large. This article explores the dependence of these swarms on information and the resulta…
 
Released 17 June 2022.This podcast examines faits accomplis—how states attempt to seize disputed territory using military force, hoping to avoid war in the process—and offers suggestions for how to deter them. Since 1945, faits accomplis have become the most common means by which states attempt to take over territory, even though they frequently re…
 
Released 15 June 2022.This podcast argues shortfalls in the international institutions governing the Arctic have allowed Russia and China to expand control over the region. It provides an overview of regional governance and power dynamics, outlines a three-part approach to correcting deficiencies, highlights attempts by Russia and China to circumve…
 
Released 7 June 2022.This podcast assesses the American-Russian economic relationship, identifying how Russia exploits strategic asymmetries to gain advantage in the space below armed conflict and how the United States can modernize its economic statecraft. It draws upon a wide range of comparative research, from US-Russian military thought to the …
 
Released 1 June 2022.In this podcast, Colonel George Shatzer, director of the Strategy Research and Analysis Department of the Strategic Studies Institute at the US Army War College, discusses books of relevance to US Joint planners and strategists, as well as those of allies and strategic partners. He applies his experience and education as a US A…
 
Released 26 May 2022.This podcast examines critical issues for the field of strategic studies raised by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, including the waning of major war, strategic coercion, and “War Amongst the People.” Drawing on previous scholarship and current events, this commentary considers the questions raised by the first major war of the tw…
 
Released 23 May 2022.While propaganda and disinformation have been used to destabilize opposing forces throughout history, the US military remains unprepared for the way these methods have been adapted to the Internet era. This article explores the modern history of disinformation campaigns and the current state of US military readiness in the face…
 
Released 16 May 2022.The root cause for the defeat of the Armenian forces in the second Nagorno-Karabakh War was flawed military doctrine inherited from the Soviet Union. This article analyzes the major problems faced by Armenia, uncovers the main reasons for unsuccessful innovation, tests empirical findings against some of the most authoritative t…
 
Released 5 May 2022.Current events warrant a review of US civil-military relations doctrine. This article examines eight principles of military subordination to elected civilian officials and addresses the fundamental question at the heart of civil-military relations theory and practice—what options, if any, does the military have when civilian lea…
 
Released 5 May 2022.Does it matter if more countries have nuclear weapons? Will the weaponization of space make nuclear weapons less of a threat or even obsolete? In this podcast, author Henry D. Sokolski gives an overview of his monograph, Underestimated: Our Not So Peaceful Nuclear Future, and explores potential future nuclear trends.Click here t…
 
Released 27 April 2022.This Canadian contribution to Parameters’ Strategic Lieutenant series shows how domestic context creates the conditions for professional military education reform to a greater extent than the global strategic context. The podcast assesses the junior officer education delivered by Canada’s military colleges and analyzes interv…
 
Released 26 April 2022.Early in academic year 2018, a group of US Army War College faculty and students came together in pursuit of an integrated research project devoted to an examination of contested deployment and the growing realization the US homeland can no longer be considered an inviolable zone in preparing for war. Expecting free movement …
 
Released 27 April 2022.The lessons of counterinsurgency have deeper implications for cyber conflict than previous research has identified. Two decades of experience in Iraq and Afghanistan provide insights into the cyber strategy of defending forward including treating major cybersecurity and technology companies as host-nation partners and focusin…
 
Released 25 April 2022.This article provides background and context for regional trends and historic agreements focused on the Nile River Basin, offers a comprehensive assessment of security challenges, and presents focus areas for future investment and cooperation. The policy recommendations will serve American interests better and improve agricul…
 
Released 19 April 2022.As women assume more combat roles in the US military and continue to operate in austere environments with varied mission sets, the Department of Defense must rethink its approach to equipment and uniform development to accommodate female anatomical differences. This podcast analyzes the results of a study conducted during the…
 
Released 18 April 2022.In this podcast, COL Maximillian K. Bremer and Dr. Kelly A. Grieco apply concepts from their 2021 article “Air Littoral: Another Look” to current events in Russia and Ukraine.Click here to read the original article.Episode Transcript Stephanie Crider (Host)Welcome to Decisive Point, a US Army War College Press production feat…
 
Released 14 April 2022.In this podcast, Tor Bukkvoll revisits his 2016 Parameters, article and examines Russian Special Forces and their potential use in Ukraine today.Click here to read the article.Episode Transcript: Stephanie Crider (Host)Welcome to Decisive Point, a US Army War College Press production featuring distinguished authors and contri…
 
Released 13 April 2022.In this podcast, Pfaff argues understanding the ethical logic available to one’s adversaries will allow US leaders and planners to leverage China’s behavior and optimally shape US policies and actions.Click here to read the article.Episode Transcript: Chinese and Western Ways of War and Their Ethics Stephanie Crider (Host)Wel…
 
Released 8 April 2022.In this podcast, strategist David Katz argues American military strategists must incorporate multidimensional power projection into their planning processes to counter adversarial actions by gray-zone actors. By developing a more complete concept of power projection, the United States can apply its resources more effectivelyCl…
 
Released 4 April 2022.This article delivers a novel economic analysis of US dependence on China for rare-earth elements and sheds light on how Western nations may exploit the limitations of limit pricing to break China’s global monopoly in rare-earth element production and refinement. This analytical framework, supported by a comprehensive literatu…
 
Released 4 April 2022.This article addresses the impact of diversity, equity, and inclusion on talent management. It explains how systemic bias impairs the US Army’s ability to harness cognitive diversity. It stresses the value of cognitive diversity among teams and senior leadership and how cumulative bias impacts the entire career cycle of an ind…
 
Released 30 March 2022.This commentary responds to Matthew Valasik and Shannon E. Reid’s article “The Alt-Right Movement and US National Security” published in the Autumn 2021 issue of Parameters (vol. 51, no. 3). Click here to read the article.Episode Transcript: Stephanie Crider (Host)Welcome to Decisive Point, a US Army War College Press product…
 
Released 8 February 2022.Assessing threats to the air littoral, the airspace between ground forces and high-end fighters and bombers, requires a paradigm change in American military thinking about verticality. This article explores the consequences of domain convergence, specifically for the Army and Air Force’s different concepts of control. It wi…
 
Released 24 January, 2022.Critics of the Afghan war have claimed it was always unwinnable. This article argues the war was unwinnable the way it was fought and posits an alternative based on the Afghan way of war and the US approach to counterinsurgency in El Salvador during the final decade of the Cold War. Respecting the political and military di…
 
Released 10 January, 2022.A titan of modern strategic studies, Colin S. Gray distinguished himself from other scholars in the field with his belief that grand strategy is indispensable, complex, and inherently agential. This article identifies key themes, continuities, conceptual relationships, and potential discontinuities from his decades of gran…
 
Released 27 December, 2021.This article explores the current debate about service and Joint operating concepts, starting with the Army’s multi-domain operations concept. It argues for adaptations to an old operational design technique—defeat mechanisms; updates to Joint and service planning doctrine; and discipline regarding emerging concepts. Rath…
 
Released 16 December, 2021.Deterring a Chinese invasion of Taiwan without recklessly threatening a great-power war is both possible and necessary through a tailored deterrence package that goes beyond either fighting over Taiwan or abandoning it. This article joins cutting-edge understandings of deterrence with empirical evidence of Chinese strateg…
 
Released 12 October, 2021.PROLOGUE: In the wake of the Battle of Mogadishu, Somalia, on October 3-4, 1993, in which 19 American servicemembers were killed and 73 injured, I was tasked to lead an effort to discern the strategic lessons to be learned from the ill-fated US intervention. The study highlighted several shortfalls: the absence of a clear …
 
Released 7 October, 2021.Statistical evidence suggests that Army battalion commanders are significant determinants of the retention of their lieutenants—especially high-potential lieutenants. Further, this so-called Battalion Commander Effect should be included in brigadier general promotion board assessments and used to inform officer professional…
 
Released 6 October, 2021.The reemergence of great power competition, conflict with near-peer competitor states below the level of armed conflict, and persisting threats from nonstate actors with transnational ambitions and global reach pose challenges for strategists planning, executing, and assessing military operations and strategy. Building on c…
 
Released 1 October, 2021.Global health engagement, an underutilized strategy rooted in the strengths of soft power persuasion, can lead to more military-to-military cooperation training, help establish relationships that can be relied on when crises develop, stabilize fragile states, and deny violent extremist organizations space for recruiting and…
 
Released 29 September 2021.The concept of hybrid war has evolved from operational-level use of military means and methods in war toward strategic-level use of nonmilitary means in a gray zone below the threshold of war. This article considers this evolution and its implications for strategy and the military profession by contrasting past and curren…
 
Released 27 September 2021.Looming budget cuts will necessitate adept management to retain a military capable of competing and winning by avoiding the mistakes made in prior drawdowns. This article presents a framework for government and defense leaders to prepare for the coming drawdown and plan for the necessary capacity of tomorrow across the di…
 
Released 21 September 2021.Drawing on Samuel P. Huntington’s three phases of self-regulation used to determine if an occupation qualifies as a profession, this article focuses on the third phase of policing and removing those who fail to uphold the standards set forth in the first two phases. It reviews how the Army implemented this phase following…
 
Released 16 September 2021.Identifying the January 6 insurrection at the US Capitol as an inflection point, this article analyzes the historical relationship between White supremacy and the US military from Reconstruction after the Civil War to the present. The article posits causes for the disproportionate number of current and former members of t…
 
Released 16 September 2021.Using US military aid as a lever to achieve human rights reforms has proven only marginally effective. This article examines the approaches employed by the Obama and Trump administrations to US military aid to Egypt and proposes practical steps that can be taken by policymakers and the military personnel on the ground to …
 
Released 27 July 2021.While unmanned aerial systems can serve as a force multiplier for militants, these systems do not embody a transformation in modern insurgent warfare or enable militants to engage regularly in strategic coercion. Instead, drone use is consistent with a militant group’s relative capabilities and broader strategic objectives. Co…
 
Released 12 July 2021.Shortfalls and inefficiencies in traditional planning and campaigning have become increasingly clear in the current hyperconnected security environment. US military planners can mitigate these deficiencies by embracing integrated planning and campaigning approaches including the development of new organizational structures and…
 
Released 7 July 2021.Growing Sino-Russian coordination necessitates greater security cooperation between US Allies in Europe and East Asia. US Allies in both regions face remarkably similar threats requiring similar operational concepts, capabilities, and technologies. Further, these Allies must hedge against the specter of US abandonment. An explo…
 
Released 28 June 2021.Counterinsurgency does not increase the legitimacy of, or support for, central governments engaged in internal conflicts. Recent research shows quantifiable degrees of government legitimacy, national identity, and population security are necessary precursors and accurate predictors of a government’s ability to outlast a civil …
 
Released 28 June 2021.The rapid decline of the Peruvian left-wing insurgent organization Sendero Luminoso was not only the result of the arrest of its leader. An analysis of the precipitous weakening of the organization using two social movement theories finds other factors were involved in the demise of the organization as well. These factors—part…
 
Released 22 June 2021.Army General Matthew Ridgway’s actions throughout his career provide a valuable example of the appropriate time and place for serious dissent by military leaders. Ridgway demonstrated the importance of selectively and pragmatically expressing open disagreement in response to operational decisions a military leader deems unnece…
 
Released 22 June 2021.Predoctrinal deliberations about the employment of the US armed forces, captured in Joint Doctrine Notes, remain critically understudied. Using comparative text analysis, this article identifies changes in recent Joint Doctrine Note depictions of military strategy. These changes risk distorting the logic of military strategy, …
 
Released 04 June 2021.As the European Union deals with yet another crisis— the COVID-19 pandemic—it must adopt a grand strategy based on unity, policy, and proportionality: cohesion over inaction, policy over process, and regional imperatives over global ambitions. An analysis of past strategy documents and a study of current international trends s…
 
Released 20 April 2021.In an era of great power competition centered on warfighting domains other than land, the US Army faces difficult and likely painful choices. This reality, coupled with looming budget cuts, means the Army must reconsider its approach to capabilities and total force structure, its role in homeland security, and the relationshi…
 
Released 9 April 2021.In 1971 Dr. John R. Thomas documented the involvement of the Soviet Union in the Middle East from the start of the Cold War. Like its name and borders, the motivations for that country’s involvement in the region have changed. Russia today promulgates relationships with the governments of the Middle East in a nonideological, m…
 
Released 7 April 2021.In 1971 Colonel Duane H. Smith analyzed the unified command structure, examined an existing proposal for change, and suggested improvements. He illustrated how this structure must account for the challenges of the contemporary strategic environment and balance several tensions, such as effectiveness versus efficiency, flexibil…
 
Released 26 March 2021.A look back at F. Gunther Eyck’s assessment of reforms enacted under US Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson may reveal as much about the historiography of the early 1970s as it does about Stimson’s reform efforts themselves. Eyck’s 1971 evaluation, among the first in a decade of scholarship examining successes and failures of P…
 
Released 25 March 2021.Writing in 1971, economist Dr. John P. Hardt assessed the trajectory of the Soviet economy arguing the need for reform and evaluating the willingness of key actors in the Soviet bureaucracy to support such policies. Fifty years later, Hardt was remarkably prescient with regard to structural difficulties such reform posed and …
 
Released 23 March 2021.The dilemmas posed by coalition warfare were a subject of academic interest in the inaugural issue of Parameters in 1971. Lieutenant Colonel James B. Agnew examined the unified command model pursued by the Allies during the First World War. Agnew’s assessment of the challenges faced by French Marshal Ferdinand Foch speaks to …
 
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