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First Things First for Future Defense Strategy

Mr. Nathan P. Freier, Ms. Laura McAleer

May 27, 2015

Источник: http://www.strategicstudiesinstitute.army.mil/index.cfm/articles/First-things-first-for-future-defense-strategy/2015/05/27

The Department of Defense (DoD) will face a dramatic and sustained transition period over the next decade. At no other time in recent memory have American defense strategists faced such a dizzying and complex array of challenges like those which they will be required to direct their attention, energy, and resources toward in the coming years. It is frankly impossible to overstate the scale and complexity of the decisions that they will be required to make. This degree of uncertainty and complexity makes the task of deliberately charting a responsible way ahead that much more difficult and urgent.

In the wake of 15 years of persistent combat operations, senior defense leaders will need to repurpose institutions and capabilities for use against a wider range of 21st century threats and challenges. They will have to do so with fewer aggregate forces and resources, more top-down constraints on their use, less clarity of overall purpose, and no bipartisan consensus on either the most compelling threats or the most appropriate responses to those threats. These factors support calls for top to bottom adaptation within DoD.

Resetting DoD to secure at-risk interests effectively will most certainly require a new set of governing “first principles,” since little about the current environment conforms well to the traditional defense playbook. These foundational assumptions will need to focus the enterprise on the most salient and durable characteristics of the decisionmaking and operating environments, while providing a reasoned road map for future requirements, operational priorities, and risk.

One constant amidst the dynamism, volatility, and hazards of the contemporary landscape is a bipartisan commitment to an outward-looking and activist defense of core interests. In all cases, whether or not there is broad agreement on the specifics, that commitment includes an explicit interest in maintaining robust military capabilities that as a rule collectively contribute to conflict prevention, reliable and timely military responses to crises, and durable results across the widest possible range of contingency events. In the end, senior defense leaders want agile military tools at their disposal that demonstrate the requisite competencies and depth of capabilities for assigned missions. They also want some confidence that those tools can deliver on time and at acceptable cost, regardless of operational conditions.

Three tangled, yet distinct, threat vectors make doing this an especially nettlesome challenge. Understanding and socializing these trends within DoD will play an essential role in defining the right first principles for 21st century defense. While precise prediction is a fool’s errand in defense planning, these three foundational trends present U.S. defense planners with a reasonable template for future decisionmaking. Albeit imperfect, they may nonetheless be the best available pacers for a risk informed defense strategy.

The first and perhaps most obvious among the vectors is the rise of a militarily capable revisionist power that increasingly presents a credible alternative to U.S. leadership in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region. China’s provocative regional ambitions increasingly put it at odds with the United States in the vast region stretching from the Indian Ocean through the western Pacific and northeast Asia. Escalating regional tensions put both U.S. partners and fence-sitting third parties in the middle of an uncomfortable tug-of-war between two competing giants. Further, China’s distinct interest in actively countering U.S. power projection capabilities hazards triggering a high-end arms race reminiscent of the Cold War. We are entering dangerous times in the western Pacific for sure. Therefore, offsetting increased U.S. vulnerability there is and should remain a high priority for DoD.

Traditional security competition with our likeliest near-peer rival cannot, however, be DoD’s only priority effort. A second contemporary threat vector emerges from so-called “gray zone” actors. “Gray zone” competitors employ sophisticated hybrid combinations of capabilities and methods to encroach on important U.S. interests without decisively breaching unmistakable redlines. In short, “gray zone” competitors are skillfully “pushing our buttons” in ways that fail to conform to preferred U.S. military countermeasures.

In Europe, for example, a worrisome unease has settled in. Russia is incrementally advancing an obvious counter-Western agenda, adversely manipulating local political outcomes on its periphery by combining high politics, resource intimidation, political subversion, and proxy conflict. What we do not yet know is whether increased Russian activism is a sign of growing asymmetric strength or profound fear, weakness, and internal fragility. Both scenarios are equally bad.

Likewise, Iran employs its own unique high-low brand of “gray zone” competition as it simultaneously employs legitimate international engagement with harmful regional activism. While it appears to be negotiating a responsible nuclear accord with the P-5+1, it also actively exploits sectarian fissures region-wide through the same brand of subversion, intimidation, and proxy resistance exhibited by the Russians in Europe. Additionally, it has recently engaged in overt harassment of commercial shipping, raising the potential for miscalculation and escalation. Iran’s overall regional endgame is somewhat uncertain. However, strengthening its position at the expense of its regional and extra-regional rivals is a reasonable opening hypothesis. The Russian and Iranian brand of hybrid competition defies long-held defense convention and, thus, requires fresh ideas to combat it effectively.

Finally, in a wide swath of the Islamic world stretching through North Africa, across the traditional Middle East, and well into South Asia, we are seeing traditional authority structures disintegrating into violent seizures of civil disorder and conflict. Terrorism is one by-product of this trend. However, terrorism is neither the only nor the most important one. Perhaps more troubling than the pop-up extremism likely to emerge from any revolutionary change in the region is the persistent, contagious, and profoundly disruptive instability within countries and between peoples occurring in its wake. So far, the darkest manifestations of the at-first benign Arab Spring respects neither established political boundaries nor the virtue of deliberate political reform.

Thus, in somewhat rapid order, governments and the governed across the region are increasingly at odds over political primacy in an environment where hyperconnectivity, confessional identity, religious radicalism, and prolific violence have proven bankable currency for greater influence. New sources of extremism and the atomization and proliferation of armed conflict are local symptoms of a broader viral malady that increasingly undermine hopes for a stable transition to a more responsible regional order. Ignoring the potential for the worst security outcomes in the greater Middle East is a luxury DoD can ill-afford, and attention to it will require more creativity than a more robust counterterrorism program.

Each vector by itself harbors significant implications for the defense establishment, and all present immediate, compelling, and persistent dilemmas for DoD strategists. Though each is a distinct and definable challenge now, they are all also emblematic of the worldwide strategic and operational future of DoD. There may, for example, be other great power competitors on the horizon who generate niche asymmetries to limit U.S. freedom of action; time will tell. Further, following the Iranian and Russian lead, new challengers may opt to fight in the “gray,” employing ambiguous methods to achieve unambiguous benefits vis-à-vis the United States. Finally, American strategists might be well advised to consider prolific Middle Eastern instability as the leading indicator of systemic and networked resistance to the established order elsewhere.

Any one of these discrete challenges could, through overcommitment, dangerously consume the limited resources that U.S. strategists have at hand. Unfortunately, all of these challenges manifest themselves in knotted combinations that eschew simple categorization and, thus, dim the prospects for “one size fits all” defense optimization. For example, though clearly a traditional military power, China has skillfully entered the “gray zone” in the way it employs resources and capabilities to limit U.S. options. Likewise, while Russia and Iran are pre-disposed to indirect pressure, they possess just enough traditional military capability to threaten unacceptable costs in an open conflict with the United States. Finally, violent devolution in the Middle East occurs alongside old world power politics pitting the United States, Israel, and the Gulf against Iran.

Invariably, planners are likely to get the particulars about future conflict wrong. Further, with new vulnerabilities in space, cyberspace, and the electromagnetic spectrum, even straight forward defense challenges will manifest in less bounded ways. We can identify, plan for, and build against a divinable set of competing and irreducible macro trends. We suggest DoD start with these three to lay a foundation for a 21st century defense strategy that minimizes the likelihood for disruptive surprise.

The Growling Bear or «Why The Army Owes Mr. Putin a Favor»

Lieutenant Colonel Michael A. Adelberg

The Army owes Mr. Vladimir Putin a “thank-you.” So does the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)—because his reckless aggression is providing both institutions a resurgent identity. Russia’s current actions provide the United States a unique opportunity, as well as foreshadowing the future. This is because Russia appears likely to be an adversary to the West for some time. If the United States wants to influence Russia’s behavior and actions, it must recognize that it has to act from a position of both real and perceived strength. One of the most concrete demonstrations of strength to both Russia and to our European allies is a robust ground force presence in Europe. Such a robust force will likely keep Putin from acting too aggressively in Europe.

Putin’s position has been unambiguous, to return Russia to its former glory during the Soviet era. Time and again, his bombastic rhetoric emphasizes the theme that Russia is a great power that cannot be ignored. This is not new, nor is it necessarily unique to Putin. As Strobe Talbot outlined in, “The Making of Vladimir Putin,” the forces now at play in Russia were in place from the 1980s. Mikhail Gorbachev’s ascension to power, according to Talbot, began the struggle between reformers and reactionaries fighting for the future path of the Soviet Union, later Russia. Reactionaries viewed Gorbachev’s actions as an existential threat to the Communist system; and when they attempted to overthrow Gorbachev, the result ironically led to the collapse of the Soviet Union and the re-emergence of an independent Russia under Boris Yeltsin.1

U.S. policymakers must appreciate the psychological and emotional differences of Russia as a whole, and Russians individually in the current environment. First, Russia has a long history of xenophobia. However, Putin called xenophobia “a manifestation of weakness” in his annual speech on December 4, 2014. Yet the entire Russian foreign policy position, which emphasizes the right to protect ethnic Russians and Russian speakers abroad, relies very much on a xenophobic “us-vs-them” logic. The notion that Russia has the right to intervene in foreign sovereignty based upon perceived ethnic repression, i.e., Abkhazia, South Ossetia, and Crimea, has little basis in a Westphalian world. While Putin uses the protection of ethnic Russians as a convenient instrument to argue for intervention, the historical mistrust of foreigners makes it a resounding argument to Russian ears.

Second, policymakers must understand that most Russians are willing to believe that the West, and in particular the United States, really is to blame for their declining economy. While American voters tend to find fault with their own elected leaders and will place the blame on them, Russians will tend to blame outside powers, not their leaders—another facet of Russian xenophobia. For example, Russian media blames the United States for destabilizing Ukraine and causing the Ukrainian crisis. This perception is widely accepted among Russians. Along the same lines, Russia continues to view NATO as an offensive threat to Russia just as the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) did. To Russia, the NATO expansion into their near-abroad is perceived as a direct threat. Although to be fair, one would imagine that a permanent major Russian naval base in Cuba, for example, would be viewed by the United States as a direct threat.

Third, Russians have a high level of respect for Putin due to his personal and national demonstrations of strength, as evidenced by his approval rating which is above 80 percent. In contrast, American President Barack Obama’s is nearly 45 percent.2 To Russians, Putin embodies the return to Russian greatness, the theme of much of his rhetoric. He is seen as strong and decisive. His pronouncements and those of several of his foreign policy ministers, throughout the second half of 2014, have been extraordinarily bellicose. It vacillates between warning the United States against war and threatening the United States with war. In the U.S. media, such statements are seen as reckless and irresponsible, but to the Russians, these comments continue to demonstrate Putin’s resolve. Such support does not imply that he enjoys universal adoration in Russia. There is still a very vocal opposition, from business leaders, to the press, to at least one popular punk rock group. However, Putin has been managing to keep the opposition somewhat under control through a variety of methods, and the opposition is neither active enough nor strong enough to present much of a roadblock to him.

Putin’s claim of returning Russia to a position of strength and greatness is not solely rhetorical. Russia is undertaking many actions that further the cause, as well as upping the ante to the rest of the world. Without question, Russia has been modernizing and revitalizing its military capabilities. Russia actually has done a decent job of assessing its conduct in both the Chechen war and the Georgia war and drawing on lessons learned. For example, it is working toward creating a professional volunteer military force with the intent of completely eliminating its conscription. It is modernizing its equipment and its command and force structures. Russia has adopted brigade-based battle groups for greater flexibility, a move the U.S. Army took a decade ago.

Russia has been funding its modernization through increased annual defense spending. In 2015, it is projected to spend approximately $80 billion in U.S. dollars, which is nearly 4 percent of its gross domestic product and which marks the highest defense budget to date. According to Reuters:

Between 2004 and 2014, Russia doubled its military spending and according to the newly adopted budget, it will further increase it from 17.6 percent of all budget spending this year to 20.8 percent, or 3.36 trillion rubles ($84.19 billion), in 2017. Defense spending was foreseen at 23 trillion rubles ($576 billion) in the decade to 2020 under the original plan to upgrade 70 percent of military equipment by then.3

In addition to increased military spending and capability, Russia has increased the number of show of force exercises. NATO has had to scramble interceptor jets more than 400 times this year in response to Russian air incursions, more than double that of last year, according to NATO.4 In addition to the number of Russian flights, the size of their military sorties is also increasing. On both December 6 and 7, 2014, Russia flew formations of a dozen bombers, refuelers, and transport aircraft in the Baltic Sea region each day, although they did not violate any NATO airspace. Such Cold War-style shows of force continue to demonstrate that Russia does have real capability.

Aside from its blatant muscle-flexing, Russia is also entering into partnerships in ways that are counter to U.S. interests. Recently, Russia signed a military cooperation pact with Pakistan. Russia, of course, has been a long-time arms supplier to Pakistan’s arch-rival India; Pakistan has received significant U.S. foreign assistance over many decades with a dramatic increase since the September 11, 2001 attacks on the U.S. homeland and the subsequent war in Afghanistan. According to data cited by the Center for Global Development,5Pakistan was ranked as the fourth greatest recipient of U.S. Foreign Assistance. Pakistan significantly influences the stability and security of Afghanistan, and at this delicate juncture, after the withdrawal of U.S. combat troops from Afghanistan, any new actors on the stage risks upsetting the balance that the United States has worked to achieve.

Russia also is expanding its military, economic, and energy ties to China. Russia and China have agreed to conduct combined naval exercises in 2015 in the Mediterranean Sea and the Pacific Ocean. Additionally, as reported by The Christian Science Monitor in November, “economic relations between them have taken a quantum leap, with two massive energy deals totaling almost $1 trillion signed in the past few months alone.”6

Finally, in recent years, Russia has reinvigorated its involvement in Latin America. Dr. Evan Ellis writes that:

Whether or not such activities are benign, the pattern of Russian diplomatic and military activity in Latin America and the Caribbean in response to tensions with the U.S. over states of the Former Soviet Union demonstrates that, for Russia at least, its activities in Latin America is part of its strategic position globally as it seeks to re-project itself as a significant actor on the world stage.7

Such activities include trade agreements and military basing negotiations with several Latin American states.

For several years now, Russia has been attempting to achieve its stated goal of returning to great-power status even though it has been experiencing extremely significant financial challenges. Oil, oil products, and natural gas account for more than 50% of Russia’s federal budget revenues.8 Russia’s 2015 national budget was based on an estimated price for crude oil trading at $100 per barrel, unfortunately for them, oil was trading at approximately $50 per barrel in mid-January 2015. Furthermore, the price of oil is expected to continue to decline as the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries announced that it does not intend to lower production. According to Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov, the decline in oil prices plus the effect of Western sanctions will cost Russia at least $140 billion. In October, he was quoted as stating that Russia’s military spending must be “more realistic” due to the increasing economic constraints.9 Russia’s budget called for $576 billion of defense spending over the next 6 years, which Silianov now says must be re-evaluated and scaled back. The lack of diversity in Russia’s export markets has the potential to drastically curb Russian defense spending. As of December 16, 2014, the ruble was valued at 72 to the dollar, a 60 percent decline in its value over the past year.10

To summarize the previous discussion, Russia’s goal is to return to the world stage as one of the dominant powers. It has been modernizing its forces and using them, but it will face significant economic obstacles in the next few years. Therefore, the question for the United States is: What can the United States expect from Russia? Lacking any indicators that Russia intends to change its present course, policymakers should anticipate that Russia will continue to engage in the same type of actions that it has been doing for the past several years, especially the aggressive use of its forces as it has throughout 2014. Basically, the United States can expect to see Russia continue to flex its muscles in its near-abroad among non-NATO states, while it seeks to frustrate U.S. influence and efforts globally. Most likely, the United States will see Russia executing activities reminiscent of its Soviet predecessor, albeit without the ideological drive behind them. It will continue to work diplomatically and militarily to expand its influence among nonaligned states, and will continue to harass NATO with aggressive show-of-force and out-of-area flights and naval maneuvers. The United States can anticipate seeing at least one large-scale ground exercise annually in the Western Military District, and also may see some additional movement of forces into the Kaliningrad Oblast. With Russia’s permanent membership on the Security Council, the United States can expect to see Russia foiling U.S. efforts there as well.

NATO can expect to see Russia whittling away at NATO’s influence in non-allied states while working to create fissures and questions of credibility within the Alliance. What forms this will take are unknown, but most likely, Russia will continue to strategically posture forces in such a way that the Baltics continue to feel threatened. Much as Russia always views NATO as an imminent threat, the Baltics will likely always believe Russia is an imminent threat, perhaps justifiably so, given Soviet/Russian history and the simple proximity. Putin, and the rest of the world, has probably surmised that being a NATO Partner for Peace does not really guarantee any security, and so he may make more aggressive moves in Transnistria and the Caucasus. He certainly will ensure through all means available, including military means, that neither Georgia nor Ukraine move any closer to full membership in NATO.

Although Russia is likely to conduct Cold-War style activities, this by no means implies that Russia wields the same economic weight of the former USSR. It absolutely does not. Michael Cembalast from JP Morgan found, according to Zack Beauchamp of VOX:

that the bulk of economic power in the former communist bloc now isn’t Putin’s to command, and often is aligned against him. Most of that power is now in NATO and/or EU countries, like Poland and the part of Germany that used to be East Germany, or countries where [Cembalest] judges Russian influence to be fairly limited.11

For U.S. policymakers, all of this means that Russia will remain an obstacle to American interests.12 It is unlikely, given the economic hardships facing Russia, that it will be able to directly threaten U.S. vital interests.It also cannot directly threaten the vital interests of Europe, as currently underwritten and guaranteed by NATO.

There is a distinction to be made here. To say that Russia cannot directly threaten U.S. and European vital interests does not mean that Russia cannot interfere with or negatively influence U.S. and European vital interests. It absolutely can, and will. Policymakers, therefore, must develop a strategic approach that addresses continued Russia adventurism. First and foremost, they must understand that the United States probably cannot dissuade Putin from continuing his “return to great power” actions. The Russian leadership has already determined that this is critical to their own national interest. Economic sanctions have not induced them to change their course of action, and probably will play to the Russian narrative that it is under attack from the West. In actuality, this is likely to have the reverse and unintended effect of giving Putin the pretext to further consolidate his domestic power base; nothing unifies people like a common outside threat whether it is real or perceived.

Given the previous discussion, there are two more strategic assumptions that should be considered. First, one can assume that a stable, secure, economically strong, and unified Europe remains absolutely essential to U.S. national security for the foreseeable future. The second is that NATO is the guarantor of such a secure Europe. Taking these assumptions and understanding Russian motivations and associated factors, the United States should adopt a strategy that employs hard power (military forces) in Europe to allow the other elements of national power (diplomacy, information, and economics) to influence Russia from a position of strength. Such a policy is based on three elements: 1) the United States cannot simply ignore Russia, for example, by hoping the Ukraine crisis resolves itself, and expecting Russia to cease its aggression due to financial challenges; 2) Russia responds to strength; and, 3) NATO is the counterweight to Russian aggression.

The current set of U.S. actions do not appear to have substantially influenced Putin’s behavior. These include several rounds of sanctions, as well as small-scale military activities. For example, during the spring and summer of 2014, the United States sent infantry companies to each of the Baltic states and to Poland in April 2014 to conduct training with the host countries. The United States enhanced its Baltic Air Policing rotation with additional aircraft, as well as sending other aircraft to Poland.13 None of these were major forces, however, and they have apparently done little to cause Putin to cease actions in Ukraine or to scale back his aggressive shows-of force.

Similarly, U.S. policy and actions over the past several years in Europe have also caused several eastern NATO members to question U.S. commitment. The Pacific “pivot” was a poor choice of words that gave the misperception of “turning away” from Europe. While the U.S. policy was actually a Pacific “rebalance,” its material actions made Europe question otherwise. The United States removed the only two armor-equipped Brigade Combat Teams from Europe. It removed A-10 ground attack aircraft from Europe. It also removed the Maritime Prepositioned Ships Squadron One (MPSRON 1) with all of its prepositioned Marine combat equipment. It removed significant amounts of other support units and support equipment from all the Services in Europe. These reductions were, understandably, driven by fiscal uncertainty coupled with an apparently stable Europe. But they did little to assuage European uncertainty about U.S. commitment. One can therefore extrapolate that, if the NATO Allies are uncertain about our commitment, the Russian adversary must be equally uncertain.

This uncertainty, coupled with Russian adventurism could lead to unintentional Russian miscalculation that causes a major military confrontation. To prevent such a catastrophe, the United States should re-evaluate its ground force presence in Europe, and rebuild its ground forces in Europe to reassure allies and dissuade Russian opportunism. If the draw-down was based on a seemingly cooperative Russia and a safe Europe, the reverse must equally apply: an adversarial Russia challenging Europe should logically drive an increased U.S. force presence in Europe. While this may seem to represent Army interests parochially, in a much larger sense it protects U.S. interests. Dr. Luis Simón writes that “if the West is ever to establish any sort of meaningful dialogue with Russia on global security issues, it must do so from a position of strength.”14 A strong U.S. ground presence in Europe, with permanent stationing of the proper heavy capabilities to defend against Russian ground forces, greatly reduces the risk of a Russian miscalculation, making all of Europe that much safer.

ENDNOTES

1. Strobe Talbotte, «The Making of Vladimir Putin,» August 19, 2014, available fromwww.politico.com/magazine/story/2014/08/putin-the-backstory-110151.html, accessed on November 12, 2014.

2. Gallup Daily: Obama Job Approval, February 19-21, 2015, available fromwww.gallup.com/poll/113980/Gallup-Daily-Obama-Job-Approval.aspx.

3. Lidia Kelly, «Finance Minister Warns Russia Can’t Afford Military Spending Plan,» October 7, 2014, available from www.reuters.com/article/2014/10/07/us-russia-economy-spending-defence-idUSKCN0HW1H420141007, accessed on December 9, 2014.

4. Brad Lendon, «NATO Jets Scrambled More Than 400 Times This Year for Russian Intercepts, November 21, 2014, available from www.cnn.com/2014/11/21/world/europe/nato-russia-intercepts/index.html, accessed on November 21, 2014.

5. Center for Global Security, «Aid to Pakistan by the Numbers,» n.d., available fromwww.cgdev.org/page/aid-pakistan-numbers, accessed on December 9, 2014.

6. Fred Weir, «Russia, China plan war games, arms sales. Could alliance be in the cards?» The Christian Science Monitor, November 21, 2014, available from news.yahoo.com/russia-china-plan-war-games-arms-sales-could-130004941.html, accessed on November 21, 2014.

7. R. Evan Ellis, «The New Russian Engagement in Latin America, Strategic Position, Commerce, and Dreams of the Past,» Draft, November 19, 2014.

8. U.S. Energy Information Administration, «Russia,» March 12, 2014, available fromwww.eia.gov/countries/cab.cfm?fips=RS, accessed on January 27, 2015.

9. Kelly.

10. Associated Press, «Russian Ruble Falls to Historic Lows, While Pressure Increases on Putin,» December 16, 2014, available from www.foxnews.com/world/2014/12/16/russian-ruble-falls-to-historic-lows-while-pressure-increases-on-putin/, accessed on December 18, 2014.

11. Zack Beauchamp, «Why Putin’s Russia is Weaker Than the USSR, In One Chart,» September 4, 2014, available from www.vox.com/2014/9/4/6105491/putin-russia-chart, accessed on September 23, 2014.

12. “Vital” in this article means the security of the United States (notwithstanding nuclear attack, of course), her citizens, and her economy.

13. Luis Simón, “Assessing NATO’s Eastern European ‘Flank’,” Parameters, Vol. 44, No. 3, pp. 67-79.

14. Ibid., p. 79.

Political Scientists and the Military

Before engaging military leaders on issues of policy and strategy, spending some time on the basics can pay terrific dividends for civilian academics

by Paula G. Thornhill and Rachel Whitlark

August 10, 2015

Источник: http://warontherocks.com/2015/08/political-scientists-and-the-military/

In a conversation a few years ago with one of us, a senior political scientist from a prominent Ivy League university asked for insights on how to offer defense policy advice on a contemporary Middle East security issue. It quickly became clear that this academic had no idea of the overall structure of the defense policy community, much less specific ideas about who to approach or how best to offer advice. Specifically, this individual wanted to approach the military leadership but did not know the difference between the service chiefs and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, much less understand the unique roles of the Joint Staff, combatant commands, or Special Operations Command. Moreover, this person was uncertain what was actually under the purview of the military leadership when it came to selecting and implementing policy recommendations. As the conversation went on, it became clear that this expert lacked the most basic understanding of the defense policy world and especially of how the military fit into it. The academic’s opportunity to offer advice, unsurprisingly, never materialized.

Though the international relations community has for some time focused on the need to “Bridge the Gap” between academia and policy, the above anecdote illustrates an important aspect of this divide that has received far less attention: the lack of military expertise in academia. Indeed, while articles in the Schoolhouse series here at War on the Rocks, journal articles, and entire books have been dedicated to closing the broader gap, they have collectively overlooked the military component. We highlight here bridging the academic-military gap because both communities can contribute to and learn from one other, and because greater interaction will ultimately lead to improved policymaking and policy-relevant research.

Much political science scholarship in the security arena aims to explain military phenomena and to draw theoretical insights from technical and complex events. At the same time, very few academics understand whether this scholarship reflects technical or strategic realities — either on the battlefield or in decision-making circles. Moreover they lack the professional military contacts to evaluate their claims. Indeed, only a minority of political scientists are well versed in military affairs and have access to the military community, but this minority has written some of the most influential security studies scholarship with significant policy-relevant impact. This is particularly true when we consider academic studies on civil-military relations, where Samuel Huntington and Eliot Cohen, to name just two political scientists, have had a profound affect on both the academic and practitioner communities. What follows reflects the idea that this kind of scholarship — technically sound, militarily relevant, and accessible to both academics and military personnel — will become even more important as the future unfolds. Likewise, it suggests that increasingly informed dialogue between the two groups can improve how political science is utilized within the military.

Before getting into specific recommendations, it is worth highlighting the informal cultural dynamics that could inhibit this discussion. While they might be obvious to political scientists, they are probably opaque to the military:

1. The military is not the intended audience for political science scholarship. Military-focused scholarship is not incentivized within the discipline; thus unsurprisingly, political scientists are not trained to communicate their work to the military. Moreover, while many political scientists are open to learning about the military, they lack the necessary time, opportunity, and instruction. This oversight stems from an already-overcrowded graduate curriculum and the fact that only a small minority of departments pay dedicated attention to this type of expertise — MIT’s Security Studies Program, Johns Hopkins’ School of Advanced International Studies, and Columbia’s Department of Political Science, with the affiliated School of International and Public Affairs and its Arnold A. Saltzman Institute of War and Peace among them. This is especially ironic given that international relations as a dedicated field of study only became professionalized after two world wars.

2. Policy-relevance is not trained or rewarded. Even those who would like to engage the military need to make a deliberate effort to independently acquire the necessary skills. However, given the well-documented incentives that push scholars away from policy-relevant work, political scientists may choose to prioritize other kinds of training, especially early in their careers. Both of these factors (1 and 2) may cause political scientists to postpone their efforts to learn about the military, much less engage in military-relevant research, until after tenure.

3. Not all political science research is relevant to the military, yet there is a large body of it to cull through. Obviously, political scientists have different goals, purposes, methodologies, and audiences when they write. For those in the military, knowing where to access the research itself can be mysterious. Even a highly esteemed journal like International Security goes largely unread in military circles. Thus having a specific sense of the policy problem and a general understanding of the scholarship available are essential preconditions for military personnel when engaging the political science community.

It is worth noting that despite the above constraints, many political scientists want to be part of the solution. Moreover, our military colleagues describe instances where academic expertise could be useful in tackling challenges the military is currently facing or might face in the future. For example, nuclear and deterrence theory experts could offer creative new ways to communicate the importance of today’s nuclear deterrence mission to those on the forefront of this vital effort but unfamiliar with the dynamics of the Cold War and the first nuclear age. However, while many international security experts want to contribute, there is no obvious mechanism for participation, beyond the scholarship already being produced.

With this in mind we offer five recommendations to get civilian academics started in acquiring basic information about the military that will encourage improved interaction, better policy-relevant scholarship, and an enhanced policy process.

1. Learn key components of the defense organizational structure. At a minimum, anyone who deals with the military needs to understand the structure and role of the military services, Joint Chiefs of Staff, Joint Staff, Office of the Secretary of Defense, and combatant commands. Absent this, it is virtually impossible to offer meaningful advice or find the correct audience for it.

2. Learn military rank structure. Policy advisers need to spend time memorizing military ranks. Having a discussion with a Navy captain for example is very different than having a discussion with an Army or Marine Corps captain. It is also critical to understand that rank itself means different things depending on location. An Air Force colonel at the wing level is in a very different role than an Air Force colonel in the Pentagon.

3. Learn key pieces of military hardware. Many aspects of policy advice are contingent on the actual hardware available to implement it. The basic composition of an aircraft carrier strike group, the difference between a P-8 and a CV-22, the capabilities of the A-10 versus the F-35: These are just a few of the kinds of items a policy adviser should come to know and speak of with ease.

4. Appreciate that history tends to be more appealing than political science for the military. Although most political scientists are loath to hear it, the majority of those in uniform gravitate to narrative history much more than to theoretical political science models full of variables and hypotheses. Indeed, many in uniform have an innate connection to military history because it gives them a sense of identity and connection to their past. Thus, political scientists with historical expertise should seek to leverage it where applicable.

5. Read what those in the military are reading. For those interested in the policy realm, it is worth taking some time to understand what those in the military are already reading. Depending on the challenges it is facing, this could be books on organizational management (e.g., The Starfish and the Spider), biographies (e.g., Boyd: The Fighter Pilot Who Changed the Art of War), historical fiction (e.g., Once an Eagle, Killer Angels), or science fiction (e.g., Ender’s Game). These are in addition to strategy classics like Clausewitz and Sun Tzu. Online outlets can also provide a glimpse into the military’s mindset. For example, War on the Rocks issues a holiday reading list every year, polling its contributors — many of whom have spent their careers in uniform. The service chiefs and the chairman, among others, annually release a variety of reading lists that reflect organizational focus. They vary in quality but offer an important glimpse into the mindset and focus of the organizations publishing them. David Barno and Nora Bensahel have also recently penned a great reading list for the incoming Joint Chiefs that is likewise useful for the broader policy community.

We’ve unfortunately bifurcated the security studies and military communities for far too long. For political scientists interested in bridging the political science–military gap, regional expertise or mastery of strategy and policy classics only get you so far. Before engaging military leaders on issues of policy and strategy, spending some time on the basics can pay terrific dividends. By demonstrating a willingness to take these five basic steps, political scientists and others interested in influencing defense policy will find that they better understand those in the military they seek to advise. They will ask more knowledgeable questions and reveal a mastery of the inner workings of the military that will open many more doors than advanced degrees and peer-reviewed articles. In short, their actions will tangibly demonstrate a respect for those who serve in this large, fascinating, and imperfect organization. The resultant scholarship, policy processes, and hopefully policy outcomes would benefit greatly from having this engagement commence at once.

NEXT UP: What the military needs to know about political scientists …

The Enemy You Know and the Ally You Don’t

Sunni tribal fighters stand guard near a school used as a shelter for displaced people in the city of Ramadi

by Benjamin Bahney, Patrick B. Johnston, Patrick Ryan

April 11, 2015

Источник: http://www.rand.org/blog/2015/06/the-enemy-you-know-and-the-ally-you-dont.html

In the weeks since the Islamic State captured the Iraqi city of Ramadi, a loud and diverse chorus of voices, including the New York Times editorial board, has called for the Iraqi government and the United States to arm Sunni militias to fight the extremist group’s advance. The administration increased the number of U.S. trainers last week, adding an additional 450 as early as this summer to the 3,100 American troops already in Iraq. Regardless, current political and military dynamics on the ground may merit giving arms to Sunni fighters if the Islamic State can’t be pushed back soon.

But the decision to hand weapons over to the Sunni militias also poses risks. Before directly arming more ethnic- or sectarian-aligned militias, both U.S. policymakers and the public should have a deeper understanding of our potential allies’ past and their possible future interests. And what the unintended consequences of arming these Sunni militias might be.

Newly declassified documents from the Islamic State’s predecessor, captured during a U.S.-Iraqi raid in 2010 and published by the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point, suggest that some of Iraq’s most prominent Sunni politicians collaborated with the Islamic State’s predecessor in 2009, when the group faced its darkest hour. Some of these senior figures may have worked with the Islamic State to benefit themselves, some to benefit the Sunnis, and some to weaken the hand of the Kurds in Iraq’s ethnically mixed areas in the country’s north. While the threat of the Islamic State has moved these dynamics to the back burner today, they will likely reemerge if and when the security environment improves. And now some of these same politicians are lobbying the United States to send money and weapons to the militias from their territories.

While most of the U.S. public hadn’t heard of the Islamic State before its breakout last summer, the group declared an “Islamic State of Iraq” back in 2006 and maintained a presence in the northern city of Mosul through the U.S. military’s withdrawal in 2011. Conventional wisdom says that the Islamic State’s place in Iraq’s sectarian political strife rose out of the disarray that followed the U.S. withdrawal. It was at that moment that Iraq’s Sunnis were left to fend for themselves against the domineering, Shiite-oriented central government. The Islamic State’s resurgence in Iraq in 2013 and 2014 came at a time when the country’s Sunni minority was ripe to accept the group as a bulwark against political marginalization and crackdowns at the hands of then-Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s government.

In this telling, which has dominated U.S. media and policy circles, Maliki and his Shiite allies in the Iraqi government bear the brunt of the blame for inciting the renewed sectarian tensions that enabled the Islamic State to reemerge and unleash the brutal campaign that has arrested the world’s attention.

The new documents published by the CTC suggest the need to approach this conventional wisdom with caution. They have important implications for understanding Iraq’s sectarian schism and for informing the ongoing policy debate on how to stabilize the war-torn country.

A key document sent to Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, who preceded Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi as the group’s leader, suggests that the Islamic State established cooperative relationships with key Sunni politicians by 2009 that gave it access to extortion opportunities, kickbacks, and other revenue-generating activities in and around Mosul. Assuming the document is authentic — for the moment, there is no evidence to suggest it is not — these revelations should give pause to those recommending that the Iraqis train and equip local Sunni forces under the auspices of the provincial governments in Nineveh and Anbar. Reporting from Mosul indicates that similarities between Sunni government officials and the Islamic State likely continued after U.S. troops withdrew from Iraq, and Maliki’s government began to intensify its repression of Sunni political leaders.

It is impossible to know the specific motivations of these officials — Sunni politicians may simply have been buying themselves protection in an environment where no other party was able or willing to provide it. But what is clear is this: For the Islamic State, these relationships enabled the group to access tens of millions of dollars to finance its operations in 2009 and after, some of which may have been diverted from Western reconstruction aid through political favors and phony contracts. The Islamic State likely used these funds to expand its extortion and intimidation networks in Mosul even prior to the 2011 U.S. withdrawal. This would go far in explaining how it had become so rich, even before it seized over $400 million from Mosul’s bank vaults last June.

One document dated August 2009 — when the Islamic State was regrouping in Mosul following military defeats in Anbar and Baghdad — sent from a senior Islamic State operative known as “Hatim” to Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, provides evidence that the group remained active in Mosul throughout the period by financing itself through project-skimming and extortion of contractors. In one example of these arrangements, the Islamic State claimed a $4 million profit from a construction contract in east Mosul. The expected revenues from these deals ranged from $7 to $34 million each.

The operative’s report on this special project describes how Islamic State agents established relationships with the Iraqi central government and with high-level Sunni politicians in Nineveh province, which forms the northern tip of the so-called Sunni triangle. Several Sunni politicians, according to the operative, had agreed to give the group access to lucrative contracting and extortion opportunities. As the author describes it, the Islamic State sought to “infiltrate the infidel government administratively, for the purpose of directing some of the economic and financial decisions issued by the apostates … also to benefit from the possibility of recruiting individuals from the infidel government as sources of information.”

These opportunities would have been a significant boon to the Islamic State during a period after senior U.S. intelligence officials declared the group “essentially defeated.”

To be sure, some uncertainty remains about how far the Islamic State went toward exploiting these opportunities. The author of the key document, likely a high-level Islamic State operative in Iraq, was making a direct entreaty to the Islamic State’s top leaders to allow the group to move forward with more deals after many months of internal bureaucratic bungling, inertia, and poor communication. It is possible that the Islamic State cut these deals short to avoid being a party to Sunni politics — the group’s radical version of Islam views democratic politics as idolatrous — but this raises the question of why the group’s third-in-command, a Swedish extremist of Moroccan descent called Abu Qaswarah, purportedly directed these activities in the first place.

These arrangements could have also affected the course of Iraq’s sectarian politics by increasing mistrust of the Sunnis by Iraq’s Shiites and Kurds and contributing to sectarian political conflict, which further marginalized Iraq’s Sunnis. The Islamic State operative’s report names several individuals, including some of Iraq’s most prominent Sunni politicians: Atheel al-Nujaifi, the former governor of Nineveh; Dildar al-Zibari, the former deputy chairman of the Nineveh Provincial Council; Faruq Abd al-Qadir, the former Iraqi minister of communications; and Hajj Riyad, the director of the office of then-deputy Prime Minister (and later Minister of Finance) Rafi al-Issawi.

At least two of these figures, Qadir and Zibari, wittingly aided the Islamic State, according to the report. Qadir had reportedly placed two Islamic State operatives in official government positions in the Ministry of Communications. Other officials were reportedly more reluctant to collaborate, but eventually capitulated. Hajj Riyad and Qadir, who was also head of the Nineveh Reconstruction Council at the time, had initial hesitations about collaborating with the Islamic State but buckled under additional pressure, according to the documents.

Fast forward to today: Several figures described in the document remain key players in Iraq’s Sunni political landscape. Atheel al-Nujaifi, governor in absentia of Nineveh and the brother of Iraqi Vice President Usama al-Nujaifi, continues to try to build a 3,000-man local security force to fight the Islamic State after he was sacked in May, when a majority of Iraqi MPs voted to fire him for corruption and complicity in the fall of Mosul to the Islamic State. Even if such a security force ostensibly fell under Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi’s National Guard, Nujaifi has indicated that he would continue to “work as a politician in the governorate and will be a fighter in the liberation process.”

In September of last year, Nujaifi paid (PDF) $300,000 of his own money to a Washington consulting firm to help rally support among influential foreign-policy elites and policymakers in the United States for his plan to arm a state militia for Nineveh. This May, Nujaifi and Issawi met with key players in Washington’s foreign-policy circles and gave a talk at the Brookings Institution. In the talk, Issawi emphasized the dire security situation and pleaded for help, arguing that the Shiite militias are nearly an equal threat to the stability of Iraq as the Islamic State is. Issawi also noted that he and Nujaifi were two of the few Sunnis to participate in politics since the beginning of the new Iraqi state, as others boycotted politics for years. The sidelining of such key Sunni politicians diminishes the chances that successful political reconciliation between Iraq’s Sunni and Shiite groups will occur.

If members of Iraq’s Sunni leadership indeed had ties to the Islamic State, it raises serious questions about these figures as reliable long-term partners and as stewards of their own security forces. The U.S. strategy in Iraq hinges on putting in place a power-sharing agreement based on a willingness by all parties to set aside narrow sectarian agendas. However, none of the major political blocs — Sunni, Shiite, or Kurd — appear likely to change their zero-sum calculus. Political leaders on all sides have demonstrated a willingness to do whatever it takes to advance their sectarian agendas. And in the case of Sunni leaders, this has likely included direct cooperation with the Islamic State.

These sectarian gambits have failed everyone involved — except for the Islamic State. On the Sunni side, Issawi and Nujaifi fled the Islamic State’s military onslaught last year for exile in Iraqi Kurdistan. On the Shiite side, the Islamic State’s 2014 breakout cost Maliki his position as prime minister. Meanwhile, the Islamic State’s organization gained significant military capability, financial resources, and popular support within Iraq.

The Islamic State’s recent victories against government troops in Syria and against Iraqi security forces in Anbar are alarming signs of its growing power and influence. In this context, proposals to arm and support Sunni-led provincial forces are compelling. But policymakers also must consider the prospects for eventual demobilization. Arming provincial militias will increase the power of Iraq’s governors, which would complicate eventual disarmament and could even spark new fighting among Iraq’s factions. Disarming tribal militias would prove easier, but the tribes have been weakened in the years since they joined U.S. forces to fight al Qaeda, and some now openly back the Islamic State. If Iraq needs more security forces, the United States should help to reform and strengthen the troops Iraq already has. Going around them is only asking for trouble.

France Is Replacing the UK as America’s Top Ally in Europe

by Michael Shurkin and Peter A. Wilson

March 30, 2015

Источник: http://www.rand.org/blog/2015/03/france-is-replacing-the-uk-as-americas-top-ally-in.html

The combination of Western Europe’s continued disarmament and a rapidly evolving strategic situation —the return of Cold War-type tensions with Russia and the rise of ISIS (a.k.a. “The Caliphate”) and allied Islamist movements—has underscored an important development for the U.S. strategic approach toward the North Atlantic Alliance: The key ally in NATO Europe may no longer be the United Kingdom but France.

This is good news insofar as it means that the UK’s decline as a military power does not leave the United States bereft of a willing and able ally, and the U.S. relationship with France should be recognized and strengthened. The bad news is that the relationship’s stability is threatened by the rise of France’s Marine Le Pen and the far-right Front National party she leads.

France, alone among the big NATO powers, retains the military capability and the political moxie to contribute significantly and aggressively to collective responses to security threats to the Atlantic Alliance. Paris demonstrated this in 2013, when French President François Hollande launched a military intervention in Mali to save it from Islamist militants and effectively assumed responsibility for Europe’s “southern front” in the African Sahel.

Today, more than 3,000 French troops backed by fighter jets are engaged in a U.S.-backed regional “hot” war against Islamist groups in the Sahel, and the French are inching toward greater involvement in the war against the Nigerian Islamist group Boko Haram. In the Middle East, the French have joined the U.S.-led coalition against ISIS. There, as well as in Africa, Paris sees itself as doing what it can to prevent the various pieces of a potential Islamist caliphate from joining together.

Regarding Russia, the French have been firm in their opposition to Russian aggression at the diplomatic and economic levels, and Paris has gone so far as to block delivery to Russia of two highly capable amphibious assault ships. France also has the greatest ability of any of the European allies to rapidly contribute a significant force capable of handling a clash with Russia, if the need arises.

The French government’s recent decision to freeze defense-spending cuts even in the face of powerful financial pressure—unlike the British government, which appears committed to further defense reductions for an already diminished and shrinking UK defense establishment—indicates a desire to preserve that ability.

Moreover, France, which only recently returned to full integration with NATO, has been going to great lengths to ensure that French forces can fight effectively alongside Americans. For example, French Rafale fighter jets have been practicing operations off U.S. aircraft carriers, and in the first week of March, Rafales were operating off a U.S. carrier in the Arabian Gulf, participating in the anti-ISIS campaign.

The importance of the burgeoning Franco-American relationship makes the rise of Le Pen troubling. Reportedly tapping into post-Charlie Hebdo anti-Muslim sentiment, she now polls ahead of all other major French political leaders. But rather than cheering on Paris’s militarily robust actions abroad, Le Pen and her party advocate withdrawing from NATO and retreating from ongoing coalition operations into a stance of armed isolationism combined with admiration if not support for foreign strongmen.

Le Pen criticizes Hollande and his predecessor, Nicolas Sarkozy, for undermining Syrian President Bashar Assad and toppling Libya’s Muammar el-Qaddafi. Le Pen also has voiced support for Russian President Vladimir Putin and opposes Hollande’s alignment with the U.S. regarding the Ukraine crisis. Some of this support might have been bought: A Russian bank reportedly lent the Front National party $11 million, prompting speculation that Putin is supporting Le Pen covertly.

Whatever the case may be, it is clear that there is an alliance in Europe between Putin and populists on both the far right and far left who share antipathy toward the European Union and the U.S.-led liberal and military order. These efforts are not inconsistent with Moscow’s systematic attempts to develop “special relations” with acute European nationalists in Hungary, Serbia and Greece as it tries to damage the near-term cohesion of the European Union.

Although little can or should be done about Le Pen by the United States, it is in the United States’s interest to strengthen bilateral relations with France. Military cooperation is already taking place at an unprecedented scale and should be encouraged. The value of the French nuclear deterrent force should be openly acknowledged as part of the collective Alliance deterrent posture toward a Russian leadership that openly brandishes the prospect of limited nuclear weapon use in the event of a future severe political military crisis in Europe.

Finally, the time may have come to bring France into the exclusive intelligence-sharing club known as “the Five Eyes,” which includes long-standing U.S. allies Canada, the UK, Australia and New Zealand. The price of membership for France is high because Paris would be expected to give as well as to take. But in light of the strategic convergence between Paris and Washington, both Americans and the French would have much to gain.

US Strategy in Africa

By Peter Pham, Bronwyn Bruton

February 4, 2015

Atlantic Council Africa Center Director J. Peter Pham and Deputy Director Bronwyn Bruton contributed essays to a French Ministry of Defense study on US strategy in Africa.

Источник: http://www.atlanticcouncil.org/publications/articles/j-peter-pham-and-bronwyn-bruton-write-on-us-strategy-in-africa

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Pham, in his essay entitled «AFRICOM’s Evolution from Bush to Obama,» argues, «Under any circumstances, the birth of the new command would not have been easy. To many Africans with memories of liberation struggles still fresh in their minds, the very idea smacked of a neo-colonial effort to dominate the continent anew…To others who recall the cyclic nature of past U.S. engagements, it was a question of the long-term sustainability of the effort. Still others, noting the increased attention paid by U.S. analysts to the role in Africa being played by relative newcomers to the continent like China and India, worry about the possible polarization of the continent in some sort of new scramble between the great powers of the 21st century. To his credit, General Ward…allayed many of these concerns and laid the groundwork for General Ham and General Rodriguez, who have strengthened relationships with African partners to create a more operationally focused AFRICOM. The election of Barack Obama, an event which was met with genuine enthusiasm across the continent, likewise also helped. However, what has probably done the most to win AFRICOM a place and, indeed, at least grudging acceptance across Africa is perhaps the fact that African states and individuals discovered that it was not what they feared it to be, but rather it was both a continuation of already existent security engagements and the opportunity to enhance them in their own interests even as America pursued her own.»

Bruton, in the essay she co-wrote with Paul D. Williams entitled «The Hidden Costs of Outsourcing the ‘War on Terrorism’ in Africa,» writes «If the United States avoids the temptation to drag regional proxies into other countries’ wars, al Qaeda will have a much harder time convincing Africa’s rebels that their causes are part of the global jihad. In turn, the fight against terrorism in Africa will become easier to win.»

The study was published by the Institut de Recherche Stratégique de l’Ecole Militaire and edited by Maya Kandel.

Artful Balance: The Future of US Defense Strategy and Force Posture in the Gulf

By Bilal Y. Saab And Barry Pavel

March 23, 2015

Источник: http://www.atlanticcouncil.org/publications/reports/artful-balance-the-future-of-us-defense-strategy-and-force-posture-in-the-gulf

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A strategic review of US defense strategy and force posture in the Gulf is long overdue. In Artful Balance: Future US Defense Strategy and Force Posture in the Gulf, Bilal Y. Saab, Resident Senior Fellow for Middle East Security at the Atlantic Council’s Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security, and Barry Pavel, Vice President and Director of the Scowcroft Center, analyze how historic changes and developing trends in Washington, the Middle East, and across the globe—along with Iran’s nuclear ambitions and asymmetric threat—are all affecting US defense strategy in the Gulf.

Saab and Pavel argue that it is more critical than ever that US defense strategy in the Gulf be designed around reassuring partners, deterring adversaries, continuing to conduct counterterrorism missions, and advancing needed political development to help dry up the sources of extremism and promote internal stability. Underwriting a new force posture in the region to support that strategy effectively is just as important. The authors propose a more flexible and dynamic force posture in the Gulf that can help protect US long-term interests and those of its partners. To achieve this, they recommend a series of incremental improvements to current US posture to increase its geographical distribution, operational resiliency, political sustainability, and tactical robustness.

Saab and Pavel’s recommendations include:

  • propose and then negotiate an offer of a mutual defense treaty with willing Arab Gulf states
  • reduce the visibility, predictability, and vulnerability of US forces in the Gulf by further dispersing them, diversifying patterns of deployment, and exploring new basing concepts
  • emphasize the maritime character of future US force posture in the Gulf by improving maritime defenses, anti-fast attack and craft capabilities, mine countermeasure capabilities, and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities
  • intensify security cooperation with Gulf partners, in order for them to improve their self-defense capabilities and carry a greater share of the burden

Dynamic Stability: US Strategy for a World in Transition

By Barry Pavel, Peter Engelke, And Alex Ward

April 22, 2015

Источник: http://www.atlanticcouncil.org/publications/reports/dynamic-stability-us-strategy-for-a-world-in-transition

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We have entered a new era in world history, a post-post-Cold War era that holds both great promise and great peril for the United States, its allies, and everyone else. We now can call this a «Westphalian-Plus» world, in which nation-states will have to engage on two distinct levels: dealing with other nation-states as before, and dealing with a vast array of important nonstate actors. This era calls for a new approach to national strategy called «dynamic stability.»

The authors of this paper—Atlantic Council Vice President and Scowcroft Center Director Barry Pavel and Senior Fellow Peter Engelke, with the help of Assistant Director Alex Ward—kick off the Atlantic Council Strategy Paper series by telling the United States to seek stability while leveraging dynamic trends at the same time. The central task facing America is «to harness change in order to save the system,» meaning the preservation of the rules-based international order that has benefited billions around the world, including Americans themselves, since 1945. Within its pages, the paper outlines the components of strategy in a swiftly-changing world.

Deconstructing Syria: Towards a regionalized strategy for a confederal country

By: Michael E. O’Hanlon

June 23, 2015

Источник: http://www.brookings.edu/research/papers/2015/06/23-syria-strategy-ohanlon

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U.S. policy towards Syria since the Arab spring uprisings of 2011 has been a litany of miscalculation, frustration, and tragedy for the people of that ill-fated land. The ascendance of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) as the major element of the opposition to the Bashar al-Assad regime may not amount to an imminent threat to American security; indeed, very few Americans have died to date at the hands of ISIL or affiliates. But ISIL’s rise does place at much greater risk the security of Iraq, the future of Syria itself, and the stability of Lebanon and Jordan. It could jeopardize the safety of American citizens as well, given the possibility of attacks by “lone wolves” inspired in their western home by ISIL propaganda, or by westerners returning from the Syrian jihad to carry out attacks at home. Massacres on a par with the Charlie Hebdo tragedy, or worse, could easily occur in the United States. The potency of the al-Nusra organization, al Qaeda’s loyal affiliate, within the Syrian opposition is also of considerable concern.

This paper makes a case for a new approach to Syria that attempts to bring ends and means more realistically into balance. It also seeks to end the Hobson’s choice currently confronting American policymakers, whereby they can neither attempt to unseat President Assad in any concerted way (because doing so would clear the path for ISIL), nor tolerate him as a future leader of the country (because of the abominations he has committed, and because any such policy would bring the United States into direct disagreement with almost all of its regional allies). The new approach would seek to break the problem down in a number of localized components of the country, pursuing regional stopgap solutions while envisioning ultimately a more confederal Syria made up of autonomous zones rather than being ruled by a strong central government. It also proposes a path to an intensified train and equip program. Once that program had generated a critical mass of fighters in training locations abroad, it would move to a next stage. Coupled with a U.S. willingness, in collaboration with regional partners, to help defend local safe areas using American airpower as well as special forces support once circumstances are conducive, the Syrian opposition fighters would then establish safe zones in Syria that they would seek to expand and solidify. The safe zones would also be used to accelerate recruiting and training of additional opposition fighters who could live in, and help protect, their communities while going through basic training. They would, in addition, be locations where humanitarian relief could be provided to needy populations, and local governance structures developed.

The strategy would begin by establishing one or two zones in relatively promising locations, such as the Kurdish northeast and perhaps in the country’s south near Jordan, to see how well the concept could work and how fast momentum could be built up. Over time, more might be created, if possible. Ultimately, and ideally, some of the safe zones might merge together as key elements in a future confederal arrangement for the Syrian state. Assad, ISIL, and al-Nusra could have no role in such a future state, but for now, American policymakers could otherwise remain agnostic about the future character and governing structures of such an entity.

Америка усиливает давление с моря

ВМС США обновили свою стратегию на ближайшие сто лет

Владимир Иванов
Обозреватель «Независимого военного обозрения»

03.04.2015

Источник: http://nvo.ng.ru/concepts/2014-08-29/1_usa.html

В предисловии к утвержденной «Обобщенной стратегии военно-морских сил в XXI веке», опубликованной на сайте ВМС США в середине прошлого месяца, министр ВМС Рей Мейбас заявил, что военные моряки, морские пехотинцы и береговая охрана дислоцируются на акваториях Мирового океана, на военно-морских базах и на отдаленных прибрежных территориях, чтобы «быть там, где они необходимы, и в то время, когда они необходимы».

«Приходя с моря, мы попадаем в эти районы быстрее, остаемся там дольше, привозим с собой все, что нам необходимо, и нам не надо спрашивать у кого-то разрешения на свои действия», – объявил министр. Документ был разработан в связи с радикально меняющейся ситуацией в мире, на все лады декларируемого повышения агрессивности России и необходимостью Пентагона действовать в условиях сокращения военного бюджета. Стратегия, первый вариант которой был опубликован еще в 2007 году, включает четыре раздела: Глобальная безопасность; Передовое присутствие и партнерство; Обеспечение ВМС национальной безопасности; Будущий облик ВМС.

СИТУАЦИЯ В МИРЕ

ВМС США призваны обеспечить защиту национальных интересов Америки в мире, ситуация в котором на современном этапе характеризуется постоянной изменчивостью, нестабильностью, сложностью и взаимозависимостью происходящих событий и перемен.

Как говорится в обновленной стратегии, Индо-Азиатский-Тихоокеанский регион, простирающийся от западного побережья США до восточного побережья Африки, включает восемь из десяти наиболее населенных стран мира и приобретает все большее значение для Америки, ее союзников и партнеров.

Экономика и национальная безопасность США существенно зависят от огромных торговых потоков, проходящих через Тихий и Индийский океаны. Экономическая важность акваторий этих океанов и прилегающих территорий, их значимость для национальной безопасности и географические особенности диктуют необходимость наращивания мощи ВМС США для обеспечения защиты интересов Америки и поддержания стабильности в этом регионе.

На основе общих стратегических интересов США стремятся укреплять сотрудничество с такими своими давними союзниками, как Австралия, Япония, Новая Зеландия, Филиппины, Республика Корея и Таиланд, а также продолжают развивать партнерские отношения с Народной Республикой Бангладеш, Брунеем, Индией, Индонезией, Малайзией, Микронезией, Пакистаном, Сингапуром и Вьетнамом.

При этом продвижение ВМС Китая в Тихий и Индийский океаны не только совпадает с определенными интересами Америки, но и ставит новые вызовы. Так, например, Пекин поддерживает операции по борьбе спиратами в Аденском заливе, осуществляет гуманитарную помощь и помогает пострадавшим от стихийных бедствий странам, используя свой флот. Корабли КНР принимают активное участие в проведении широкомасштабных, международных морских учений. Китай также демонстрирует свою приверженность международным нормам поведения на морских акваториях. Однако увеличение группировок китайских ВМС на океанских акваториях создает определенные проблемы, когда он использует силу или угрозу ее применения при предъявлении территориальных претензий. Такая политика одновременно с отсутствием прозрачности военных намерений руководства КНР повышает уровень напряженности и нестабильности ситуации в мире. Это не позволяет США своевременно принимать необходимые меры и осложняет обстановку в мире.

ВМС США, реализуя стратегию передового базирования и конструктивного взаимодействия с ВМС Китая, обеспечивают разрешение возможных противоречий, снижают уровень агрессивности КНР и способствуют сохранению мира и стабильности в регионе.

Постоянная нестабильность и слабое государственное управление на отдельных территориях Ближнего Востока и Африки позволяют жестким фундаменталистским организациям и террористическим объединениям более умеренного толка создавать там свои базы. В их число входят ИГ, ХАМАС, «Аль Шабаб», «Боко-харам», а также «Аль-Каида» и ее сторонники. Все эти террористические группировки дестабилизируют обстановку в указанных регионах, а их действия требуют постоянного передового присутствия боеготовых ВМС США, способных противостоять боевикам всех мастей в глобальном масштабе.

На практически не управляемых прибрежных территориях указанных регионов создаются все необходимые условия для роста нестабильности, начиная с повышения активности пиратских формирований и незаконных торговых операций, реализуемых на морских пространствах, и кончая расширением возможностей действий террористических группировок. Благодаря совместным усилиям ВМС США и их партнеров активность пиратовстала несколько снижаться в районе Африканского Рога. Однако их активность в Западной Африке и особенно в Гвинейском заливе, в Индийском и Тихом океанах продолжает вызывать серьезные опасения. Такая региональная нестабильность угрожает глобальной экономике и требует совместных действий флотов заинтересованных стран по ее ликвидации.

На территориях от Северной Америки до Европы НАТО остается наиболее мощной организацией в мире и центром трансатлантической безопасности. Сотрудничество стран альянса и объединение усилий по борьбе с пиратством являются реальной моделью сотрудничества в сфере безопасности. С момента создания береговых систем ПРО в Румынии и Польше, способных действовать в составе постоянных региональных военно-морских групп НАТО, американские ВМС ежедневно принимают самое активное участие во всех операциях блока.

Проходящая модернизация ВС РФ, незаконный захват Крыма и военная агрессия в Украине, говорится в новом документе американских морских стратегов, подчеркивают важность следования Америкой принципам обеспечения безопасности и стабильности в Европе. Члены НАТО, по убеждению Вашингтона, вполне способны обеспечить гарантии длительной жизнеспособности союза и его возможности по поддержанию морской группировки, способной обеспечить безопасность на европейских военно-морских театрах военных действий (ТВД).

Стремительно растущие потребности всех стран мира в энергетике и ресурсах могут привести к тому, что к 2040 году глобальный спрос энергопотребления вырастет на 56%. Кроме того, это может существенно повлиять на свободное движение торговых потоков через стратегические морские трассы, включая Ормузский и Малаккский проливы, а также Панамский и Суэцкий каналы. Хотя США экспортируют большее количество энергетических ресурсов, чем их закупали в первые годы текущего десятилетия, американская экономика остается крайне зависимой от непрерывных поставок нефти и газа с Ближнего Востока и из Центральной Азии. Этот процесс может быть серьезно подорван региональной нестабильностью и конфликтами. Иран продолжает наращивать силы противодействия движению коммерческих грузов через Ормузский пролив. Прерывание непрерывного притока энергетических ресурсов может крайне отрицательно повлиять на мировые экономические отношения и окажет предельно негативное влияние на американскую экономику.

Межнациональные террористические организации продолжают оставаться главной угрозой стабильности и безопасности в Африке и в Западном полушарии, особенно в Центральной Америке и на Южном полушарии США. Они обладают возможностями по перемещению людских потоков, оружия, наркотиков, финансовых средств и всего того, что может оказать негативное влияние на США, их союзников и национальные интересы Америки.

КУДА НАЦЕЛЕНЫ ЗАОКЕАНСКИЕ МОРЯЧКИ

ВМС США действуют в районах Мирового океана, которые стратеги военно-морского министерства называют «передовыми». Они полагают, что именно такой подход к дислокации военного флота Америки позволит обеспечить ее безопасность, своевременно реагировать на все угрозы, защищать национальные интересы на морях и в океанах и прибрежных зонах, а также гарантировать свободу передвижения кораблей и судов всех стран в Мировом океане. Все это, как декларируется в новой стратегии, будет обеспечиваться совместно с союзниками и партнерами Вашингтона. Кроме того, в документе объявляется, что во время войны ВМС обеспечат свободный доступ всех видов Вооруженных сил (ВС) на ТВД и будут поддерживать их в ходе боевых действий.

Бюджет Пентагона позволит ВМС к 2020 году иметь в своем составе более 300 кораблей, 120 из которых будут находиться в передовых районах, то есть «там, где нужно, и тогда, когда нужно». Сюда будут входить боевые корабли, базирующиеся на Гуаме, в Японии и в Испании. Кроме того, в передовые силы войдут корабли, стоящие в портах Сингапура, и ротационный корабельный состав, приписанный к военно-морским базам США. Сегодня в состав сил передового базирования входит 97 кораблей.

Чтобы сделать передовое присутствие флотов более эффективным, руководство ВМС намерено увеличить количество передовых сил на морских ТВД. Морские военачальники планируют вместе с союзниками и партнерами создать дислоцирующиеся в разных регионах экспедиционные войска и создать корабли модульной конструкции, что позволит направлять в соответствующие районы только те боевые средства и грузы, которые необходимы для решения каждой конкретной задачи. Кроме того, они предполагают более широкое использование адаптивных сил, которые будут соответствовать конкретным условиям региональной обстановки и размещаться именно там, где они более всего необходимы. В состав адаптивных сил будут входить боеготовые амфибийные группы, экспедиционные подразделения Корпуса морской пехоты (КМП) и ударные авианосные подразделения. Такая конструкция сил и средств позволит ВМС США, их союзникам и партнерам в кратчайшие сроки реагировать на все кризисные ситуации, которые будут возникать в мире.

Придавая первостепенное значение Индо-Азиатскому-Тихоокеанскому региону, командование американских ВМС намерено увеличить там численность кораблей, количество авианосных эскадрилий и подразделений КМП. К 2020 году в этом регионе будет располагаться более 60% кораблей американского надводного, авианосного и подводного флотов, включая увеличение до четырех единиц боевых кораблей прибрежной зоны (Littoral Combat Ships – LCS, литоральный боевой корабль – ЛБК), базирующихся в Сингапуре. Они также планируют разместить там корабли противоракетной обороны и самолеты наблюдения связи и разведки. В целом в этом регионе будут контролировать самые современные системы и средства, состоящие на вооружении ВМС, КМП и Береговой охраны и те, которые эти ведомства приобретут в будущем.

Белый дом считает Ближний Восток стратегически важным регионом. К 2020 году руководство ВМС планирует увеличить количество присутствующих там кораблей разных классов с 30 до 40 единиц. По замыслам составителей новой военно-морской стратегии это позволит более эффективно разрешать возникающие конфликты и гасить кризисные ситуации.

На Ближнем Востоке будут постоянно присутствовать подразделения КМП, включая воздушно-наземные оперативные формирования морской пехоты (Marine Air-Ground Task Force – MAGTF) и экспедиционное формирование специального назначения (Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force – SPMAGTF). В зоне Арабского залива будет продолжать функционировать штаб ВМС и КМП, а группировка флота на его акватории пополнится новейшими многофункциональными боевыми кораблями и судами обеспечения.

Подразделения Береговой охраны на Ближнем Востоке будут обеспечивать охрану прибрежных зон и портов дружественных США стран, обеспечивать безопасность находящейся там инфраструктуры и противодействовать незаконной деятельности на морских территориях.

НАТО и европейские союзники США, как констатируют американские стратеги, играют определяющую роль в обеспечении безопасности и стабильности Европейского континента, и Пентагон будет поддерживать тесное сотрудничество с ними в военно-морской сфере. Формирования ВМС, действующие в прибрежных зонах Европейского континента, будут и в дальнейшем эффективно обеспечивать его безопасность и проводить морские операции как в Европе, так и за ее пределами – в Африке, странах Леванта и Юго-Восточной Азии.

Европейским союзникам США будут поставлены береговые и корабельные многофункциональные боевые информационно-управляющие системы для противоракетной обороны, включая четыре многофункциональных эсминца, вооруженных комплексами ПРО, которые к концу нынешнего года будут базироваться в портах Испании.

В соответствии с новой стратегией будет расширено присутствие ВМС США на акваториях Африки и Западного полушария. Силы флота, действующие в африканских водах, будут оснащены новейшими кораблями, включая многоцелевой быстроходный десантный корабль-катамаран типа JHSV (Joint High Speed Vessels) и передовые плавучие базы снабжения типа AFSB (Afloat Forward Staging Base), а подразделения специальных операций флота совместно с подразделениями КМП и Береговой охраной будут обеспечивать борьбу с терроризмом и противодействовать незаконной морской торговле и неправовому извлечению природных ресурсов.

В морях Западного полушария для борьбы с терроризмом и пиратством, с незаконной торговлей и другими противоправными действиями, а также для устранения последствий стихийных бедствий будут использоваться литоральные боевые корабли, быстроходные десантные корабли, передовые плавучие базы снабжения, а также медицинские и транспортные суда и плавучие средства Береговой охраны.

РВУТСЯ В АРКТИКУ

В соответствии с климатическими изменениями в Арктике и освобождением ото льдов значительных водных пространств морей Северного Ледовитого океана, как отмечается в стратегии ВМС США, в ближайшее время активность различных стран в этой зоне значительно возрастет. Поэтому американские ВМС в сотрудничестве с семью другими странами этого региона должны обеспечить его безопасность. Это потребует развития технических возможностей для действий в этой области как на открытых, так и покрытых льдами водных акваториях. В связи с этим ВМС планирует начать строительство ледокольного флота, а также создавать средства наблюдения, связи и разведки для контроля Арктики. В новой стратегии ВМС, правда, открыто не говорится о том, что США прямо готовятся к ведению боевых действий в Арктике, но все их намерения свидетельствуют о такой возможности.

В прошлом году Белый дом опубликовал «Дорожную карту США в Арктике 2014–2030», в которой говорится, что «после окончания холодной войны Арктический регион вновь приобрел большую стратегическую значимость. Заметное снижение ледяного покрова позволяет все более активно разрабатывать ресурсы региона. По оценкам Геологической службы США, неразведанные традиционные запасы нефти и газа в регионе составляют приблизительно 90 млрд барр. нефти, 1,669 трлн куб. футов природного газа и 44 млрд барр. газоконденсатов. Данные запасы составляют около 30% от общего объема неразведанных запасов природного газа, 13% от общего объема неразведанных запасов нефти и 20% от мировых запасов газоконденсатов. В целом в Арктике может находиться около 22% неразведанных мировых запасов углеводородов».

Там также отмечается, что «ВМС США предпримут конкретные меры по подготовке к более активному участию в своих операциях в Арктике в ближайшей (2014–2020), среднесрочной (2020–2030) и долгосрочной перспективах (после 2030 года)». В документе говорится и о том, что «по мере изменения условий безопасности в регионе и повышения доступности Арктического региона ВМС США будут оценивать свою готовность к более активным операциям. ВМС США необходимо сделать направленные инвестиции по улучшению возможностей в Арктическом регионе, чтобы защититься от факторов неопределенности и обеспечить долгосрочные национальные интересы США».

В стратегии говорится и о том, что действующие на акваториях Мирового океана Военно-морские силы США должны обеспечивать глобальное преимущество Америки над другими странами, быть способными к нанесению превентивных ударов, предотвращать конфликты, демпфировать кризисные ситуации, уничтожать агрессоров, обеспечивать свободу судоходства, развивать партнерство с заинтересованными странами, а также оказывать гуманитарную помощь и ликвидировать последствия стихийных бедствий.

В этом основополагающем документе также провозглашается принцип свободного доступа ВМС США в любой регион мира. В современной обстановке такая возможность действий американского флота встречает активное противодействие со стороны противостоящих государств и негосударственных объединений, которые не способны оказать сопротивление Вашингтону.

В соответствии с новыми стратегическими установками командования ВМС США указанный принцип будет реализован во всех сферах деятельности ВМС начиная с развития технологий, закупок вооружений и заканчивая непосредственным развертыванием военно-морских формирований в конфликтных зонах и на морских ТВД.

В заключение хочется отметить, что в последние годы агрессивность Пентагона неуклонно растет. Главное острие военной мощи Америки обретает все более четкую направленность. При этом на роль основного противника Белого дома все более и более выдвигается Россия. И это следует не из какой-то военной угрозы, которая исходит из Москвы. Все дело в том, что Вашингтон просто не видит возможности предотвратить свой финансовый коллапс в размере 19 трлн долл. и отладить экономику. Так было всегда. Вашингтону подниматься на верх экономического превосходства помогали только войны. Именно поэтому он разжигает боевые костры везде, где это возможно и необходимо. А вот к чему это может привести, не берутся предсказывать даже боевитые американские генералы. Правда, это те из них, которые знают историю.

Сегодня основной военный костер Америки полыхает на Украине, которая законно лишилась незаконно подаренного ей Крыма, предмета постоянных вожделений американских ВМС. Так что не зря, видимо, не очень сообразительный отставной вояка, генерал-майор Роберт Скейлз кричит о том, что на Украине надо «начать убивать русских». «Убивать русских, убивать так много русских, что даже российские медиа не смогли бы скрыть тот факт, что русские возвращаются на родину в гробах», – проверещал вернувшийся из Вьетнама «воин», не совсем, наверное, отдавая себе отчет в том, что говорит (даже официальный Белый дом поспешил откреститься от такого «патриота»).

Но вряд ли новая военно-морская стратегия Америки поможет ей покорить страну, которую еще никто и никогда не побеждал.