Monday, December 8, 2008

December 2008 Newsletter

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New Publications
The 2006 Lebanon Campaign and the Future of Warfare, by Dr. Stephen Biddle and Mr. Jeffrey Friedman. This monograph seeks to inform the debate about Hezbollah's conduct of its 2006 campaign in southern Lebanon. The authors analyze whether Hezbollah was a nonstate actor employing irregular methods or a nonstate actor waging a state-like conventional war. Their findings shed valuable insights for the future of warfare and the U.S. defense debate. (This monograph was published in September, but we are highlighting it again due to continued interest and relevance). Known Unknowns: Unconventional "Strategic Shocks" in Defense Strategy Development, by Nathan Freier. This PKSOI Paper provides the defense policy team a clear warning against excessive adherence to past defense and national security convention. The author contends that defense-relevant unconventional shocks, despite their nonmilitary character, will demand the focused attention of defense leaders, as well as the decisive employment of defense capabilities in response. He makes a solid case for continued commitment by DoD to prudent strategic hedging against their potential occurrence. Unity of Command in Afghanistan: A Forsaken Principle of War, by Colonel Ian Hope. This Carlisle Paper examines the unprecedented departure from the principle of unity of command in Afghanistan in 2006, when Combined Forces Command-Afghanistan passed control of the ground fight to the International Security Assistance Force, and operations became split between several unified or "supreme" commanders in charge of CENTCOM, NATO, and SOCOM. The author argues for a renewal of understanding of unity of command's importance and recommends that the United States amend the Unified Command Plan to invest one "supreme commander" with responsibility for the current Operation ENDURING FREEDOM Joint Operations Area.
Coming Soon
Nuclear Heuristics: Selected Writings of Albert and Roberta Wohlstetter, edited by Robert Zarate and Henry Sokolski HAMAS and Israel: Conflicting Strategies of Group-Based Politics, by Dr. Sherifa Zuhur Regional Spillover Effects of the Iraq War, by Dr. W. Andrew Terrill The Serpent in Our Garden: Al-Qa'ida and the Long War, by Colonel Brian Drinkwine
Monthly Op-Ed
Russia Challenges the Obama Administration, by Dr. Stephen Blank.
Events
The Andes: Tectonic Paradigm Shifts and their Consequences for Democracy and Market-Friendly Development in the Americas December 11, 2008, Washington, DC Trans-National Criminal Organizations in the Americas: Responding to the Growing Threat January 29, 2009, Washington, DC 20th Annual Strategy Conference "Strategic Implications of Current and Emerging Technologies" April 14-16, 2009, Carlisle, PA Mark your calendars and look for details and a conference website coming later this month.
News and Updates
Dr. Steven Blank published "Georgia: The War Russia Lost" in the November-December 2008 edition of Military Review. Dr. Sherifa Zuhur, as a nominated member of the NATO Human Factors and Medicine Research Technical Team 140 on "Psychosocial, Organizational and Cultural Aspects of Terrorism," presented her research on violent Islamist groups and the obstacles to deradicalization at the NATO Defense College in Rome, Italy on November 20-21 to the Team in closed meetings. She then attended the Middle East Studies Association's 2008 annual meeting in Washington, November 22-24, 2008 and the annual editorial meeting of the Middle East Review. On October 23-26, Dr. Echevarria and Dr. Lai attended the Chinese People's Liberation Army Xiangshan Forum in Beijing. The forum was hosted by the China Association for Military Science and was about International Security Cooperation and Asia-Pacific Security. International participants from the United States, the UK, Russia, France, Sweden, Norway, South Korea, the Philippines, Thailand, and Singapore along with Chinese think-tank analysts and AMS PLA officers participated in the forum. Dr. Echevarria and Dr. Lai presented their views on military transformation and the Asia-Pacific strategic outlook, respectively. On November 12, Dr. Stephen Blank briefed the Office of Secretary Defense on the Caucasus concerning the situation there after the war in Georgia and then participated in a round-table discussion organized by Under Secretary of Defense Eric Edelman on the topic of Russia in Asia.
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The views expressed in this newsletter are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, the Department of Defense, or the U.S. Government. This newsletter is cleared for public release; distribution is unlimited.

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