Archive for the ‘National Strategy Forum Review’ Category

Security Challenges Over the Horizon and Close to Home: Africa and Cook County, IL

March 22, 2013

Winter 2013 Edition: Now Available Online 

This issue contains two themes: U.S. security interests and challenges in Africa; and Cook County, Illinois security issues.

Part I: U.S. Security Interests in Africa

Africa is undergoing a period of both economic and political transition, and the consequences of uprising, insurgency, and terrorism, partially relating to the aftershocks of the Arab Spring.  For example, in North Africa, Libya, Algeria, Tunisia, and Morocco have been on the front lines of rapid turnover and change emanating from the Arab Spring.  In other countries, such as Mali and Somalia, Islamic insurgency has sparked regional and international military responses to stem this security threat.

Africa is generally considered low priority for U.S. national security.  However, recent trends suggest its ascent on the list of strategic priorities.  The central theme of this section is the calculus and consequences of increased U.S. attention on African security issues.  Articles include:

  • AFRICOM: A New National Security Approach for the 21st Century?
  • How the Dragon of Prosperity Uses State Power and Resources in Africa to Displace Western Influence
  • The Arab Spring, Moroccan Exceptionalism, and U.S. Strategic Interests
  • Turmoil in the Middle East: How Has Morocco Fared?
  • Operation Serval in Mali: The Fight Against Terrorism and the Strengthening of States

Part II: Cook County Urban Security

In Spring of 2012, the NSF argued that national security began at the local level, using the City of Chicago’s security strategy as a point of departure for discussing local level security issues facing other large municipalities across the U.S.  This theme is amplified with a closer look at urban security issues facing Cook County, Illinois.  The policies and strategies put in place by Cook County officials are a single component of the national security patchwork.  Without security at the local level, as in Cook County, Illinois, the national security structure is weakened.  Articles include:

  • Chicago’s Gang Problem
  • Cybersecurity and the Private Sector
  • Chicago’s FInancial Cybersecurity
  • Tackling Student Gun Violence in Chicago
  • Cyber Threats to the Power Grid
  • Climate Change and Nuclear Power
  • Risk and the Chicago Infrastructure Trust
  • Solutions for Hurricane Sandy-like Flooding
  • Illinois’ Pension Problem
  • Viewpoints on Gun Laws
  • Addressing Violence in Chicago

The National Strategy Forum Review is available online at http://www.nationalstrategy.com
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U.S. National Security Forecast: The Next Four Years

December 12, 2012

The election is over.  President Obama’s administration will be in charge of national security policy for the next four years.  The product of this tenure will have long lasting consequences for American security, for good or for ill.

The next issue of the National Strategy Forum Review presents a comprehensive and succinct overview of what lies ahead for the next four years—trends, options, and consequences.  It is our forecast of the major issues and challenges that will shape U.S. national security discussion in 2013 and beyond.  Articles in this issue include:

  • The Threat Array: Knowns and Unknowns: Given that there are many unknown emerging threats, it may be prudent to develop national resilience rather than to counter every known threat to U.S. national security.
  • Military Policy in a Time of Fiscal Retrenchment: The U.S. military is in a state of flux as a result of the Afghan and Iraq wars. U.S. military resources and doctrine must adapt to asymmetry, terrorism, insurgency, and a constrained defense budget.
  • Pivot to Asia: Calculus and Consequences: The American destiny may lie more with countries in the Asia-Pacific than with traditional Western European orientation.  What are the consequences and how can this shift be managed?
  • Flashpoint Mediterranean: Middle Eastern conflicts are continuing and are unresolved.  There is a Mediterranean connection that should be explored, resulting in potential amelioration of the conflict.  The realistic goal is political stability rather than peace.
  • The National Security Benefit of Good Neighbors – Canada And Mexico: America’s backyard is composed of Canada, Mexico, and Latin America.  These states are expanding their economic and political stability.  Although the U.S. has not been an exceptionally good neighbor, there is opportunity for the U.S. to initiate actions that could result in an enhanced relationship.
  • Proactive Asymmetry: To counter ongoing terrorist threats, the U.S. needs to “think small”—an asymmetric, proactive offensive doctrine.

The National Strategy Forum mission is to assist our members to become more informed about U.S. national security issues through our lecture series, conferences, and publications.  It is our hope that this new issue of the National Strategy Forum Review proves useful to you.

National Security Forecast: The Next Four Years can be read online at the link here.

Iran in the Crosshairs

September 28, 2012

 

Iran in the Crosshairs: International Elements of Non-Proliferation Policy

President Obama’s speech at the UN on September 25 amplified the urgent need to confront Iran’s nuclear program.  In an effort to project American strength on the issue, President Obama made the following statement:

“A nuclear-armed Iran … would threaten the elimination of Israel, the security of Gulf nations, and the stability of the global economy.  It risks triggering a nuclear-arms race in the region, and the unraveling of the non-proliferation treaty.  That’s why a coalition of countries is holding the Iranian government accountable.  And that’s why the United States will do what we must to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.”

Iran’s rapid development of fissile nuclear material is a complex issue.  The transition from conventional contemporary weapons to nuclear weapons has grave implications for the existence of the State of Israel; the potential for nuclear proliferation, including possession of a nuclear weapon by terrorist organizations; a severe oil shortage; and the degradation of the global ecosystem.

Iran’s ability to acquire a nuclear weapon is a manifestation of nuclear proliferation.  It tells us that the concept of an effective international non-proliferation regime is a marvelous idea that, based on the statements of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), has not prevented Iran from moving rapidly toward a nuclear capability.  What is complicating the process?  How can the international community change course? (more…)

Evaluation of the 2012 Chicago NATO Summit

June 25, 2012

New Publication Now Online: Evaluation of the 2012 Chicago NATO Summit

The 2012 Chicago NATO Summit was a significant event for the City of Chicago, the U.S., and for the Transatlantic Alliance.  On the agenda were a number of important issues affecting global security and the future of the transatlantic relationship.  Some of these were addressed substantively, others were glossed over.  In both cases, the implications of the Summit have profound effects on international relations and U.S. national security.

This special issue of the National Strategy Forum Review (NSFR) evaluates the 2012 Chicago NATO Summit on the basis of what was on the agenda, what agreements and policies were produced during the Summit, and what the consequences of these policies will be in the future.  NATO affiliates and NSFR Editorial Board Members have evaluated these criteria in the first section, titled “Evaluation of the 2012 Chicago NATO Summit.”  For the past several years, the National Strategy Forum has developed a close working relationship with the Northwestern Medill School of Journalism National Security Journalism Initiative that is funded, in part, by generous assistance from the McCormick Foundation.  In the second section, titled “Key Issues for NATO,” advanced graduate school journalism students from Medill were assigned to do first-hand interviews with NATO participants and stakeholders, and have provided reports on many of the complex issues facing NATO after the Summit.

Looking back on the May summit, much was accomplished, but there were opportunities that were missed and there are several negative implications for the future.  The articles herein provide the reader with the playbook for analyzing these issues and arriving at their own conclusions.

 To access this new NSFR Special Edition, please visit the link here.

Chicago, the 2012 G8 and NATO Summits, and U.S. National Security

May 9, 2012

This special edition of the National Strategy Forum Review (NSFR) addresses the local, national, and international implications of the 2012 NATO Summit in Chicago.  The confluence of these three parts creates the rationale for this combined issue of the NSFR.  The articles herein are a guidebook to the global relevance of the G8 and NATO Summits in May 2012, and to the ramifications of these events to Chicago and U.S. security in the future.

The publication has three interrelated parts:

On the local level, the City of Chicago has prepared to implement a security and marketing campaign for a secure and successful Summit.  Chicago hopes to leverage this historic event into tangible benefits for the City.  Meanwhile, Chicago is also addressing many other local security strategy issues the affect the long-term prosperity of the City.  These include financial deficits, deteriorating infrastructure, business flight, and physical security concerns.  The combination of the new Emanuel administration and the opportunities afforded by the NATO Summit have coalesced at a propitious time to reevaluate Chicago’s multifaceted strategy for its future.  The articles in the “Chicago’s Security Strategy” section ask this question: What is the City’s long-term strategy for prospering as a Global City?

On the national level, the G8 and NATO Summits have created discussion regarding the viability and relevance of these institutions.  Occupy Wall Street, the Coalition Against NATO and G8, and other movements have raised concerns about these organizations’ roles in global affairs.  Public vetting of these voices is an important part of the democratic process.  At the same time, some of the issues raised – including the financial, foreign policy, and social justice concerns – relate directly to U.S. national security.  The articles in the “Social Justice, NATO, and International Security” section ask: Why are NATO and the G8 relevant (or perhaps irrelevant) to U.S. national security?

On the international level, the G8 and NATO organizations are pillars of the global architecture.  They help to form the backbone of international economics, global security, and humanitarian aid.  Yet much of what these organizations do remain unclear to the public sector.  The articles in “The G8 and NATO Summits” section ask: What are the major issues facing these organizations at their respective events in May?

The Winter-Spring 2012 Special Edition is now available online at the link here.  The entire issue is also available as a PDF download at the link here.

The 2012 G8 and NATO Summits

March 22, 2012

 

 

 

 

 

 

In May 2012, leaders of the Group of 8 (G8) and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) countries are descending on Camp David and Chicago respectively to discuss pressing issues of global governance and international security. These meetings will have broad policy effects on their respective fields. To prepare for the following summit meetings, the National Strategy Forum Review is providing a background briefing  on these two organizations to discuss their institutional histories and contemporary relevance to global governance.

What are the institutional histories of these institutions?  Why are they relevant and important to global affairs?  What issues will be discussed during these summits?  To read the article, click on the link below.

Briefing: The 2012 G8 and NATO Summits

By Eric S. Morse 

U.S.-Canada Arctic Strategy

February 16, 2012

Strategic cooperation in the Arctic is an important issue for U.S.-Canada relations.  The region is a vital source of natural ocean resources and global transportation, one that is often contentious for the complicated international interests in its strategic potential.  Managing these contentious issues is the subject of a new, excellent report by the Center of Strategic and International Studies, A New Security Architecture for the Arctic.

The National Strategy Forum Review published an issue dedicated to the U.S.-Canada relationship in the Summer of 2010.  The publication covers a number of U.S.-Canada security issues, but two articles in particular addressed the Arctic.  To read this issue, visit Canada: The Other Special Relationship.

The U.S.-China Relationship

December 9, 2011

The U.S.-China relationship is the most important international relationship today.  Our countries are linked economically and the security and stability of the international system depends on actions that we take collectively or unilaterally.  However, greater friction is occurring today as a result of China’s rise and the decrease of U.S. supremacy abroad.  Neither sees eye to eye on many important international issues, and the prospects for cooperation and rapprochement are strained.

The National Strategy Forum Review has published a report about the status of the U.S.-China relationship.  We compiled a series of interviews with our contacts in Beijing and Shanghai, and have synthesized the substance of these discussions into a report about China’s strategic objectives and the means to improve the U.S.-China relationship.  This report serves as a baseline for ongoing discussions with our Chinese counterparts on how to guide the U.S. and China through tense diplomatic waters.  Cooperation is not a foregone conclusion, but the U.S. and China must first understand what each other wants before we can accommodate cooperation that is mutually beneficial.  We argue that the U.S. and China are bound to compete for influence in the Asia-Pacific, but this competition can be directed in constructive ways if the interactions are based upon established rules of the game.  The report, “The U.S.-China Relationship: Building Constructive Competition,” is now available online.

In addition to the report, we asked Drs. Bernard Cole and Cynthia Watson from the National Defense University to discuss China’s military modernization and strategic objectives in East Asia.  Their insights are unique and valuable contributions to the discussion.  Finally, Mr. Mark Frazzetto wrote a review of Joel Brenner’s new book on cyber security titled, America the Vulnerable.

These articles and the entire issue of the National Strategy Forum Review: Fall 2011, Volume 20, Issue 4  are now available online.

Breeding Grounds for Terrorism and Transnational Crime

July 19, 2011

As the U.S. is withdrawing from Iraq and Afghanistan, and the Department of Defense and Pentagon are cutting excess programs, security analysts are faced with the challenge of doing more with less.  How can the U.S. best use its resources, military, and intelligence tools to focus in on the major threats to U.S. national security?

Fine tuning what too look for and where to look for it is key to this process.  A team of analysts at Syracuse University’s Global Black Spots—Mapping Global Insecurity Project (GBS-MGI) is developing a new research methodology that goes beyond the traditional state level analysis to find “Black Spots,” or areas of insecurity that are beyond government control.  The team probes the local-level characteristics of a region using open source information to determine where terrorism and transnational crime may develop in the future.  Their findings provide a map of global insecurity that is being applied by U.S. intelligence agencies.

The Summer 2011 issue of the National Strategy Forum Review shares this process with our readers.  The case studies below are a sample of the estimated 600+ Black Spots operating around the globe.  This unique research demonstrates that traditional security analysis must add a deeper, more local component to the search for future security threats.

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Pew Global Attitudes Survey: U.S. Image in Pakistan

June 22, 2011

A new Pew Global Attitudes Project poll was released on June 21, 2011 detailing the U.S. image in Pakistan.  The survey data is available at the link here.

Many of these findings echo NSF research completed in March-April of 2011.  The Spring 2011 NSFR report titled “The U.S.-Pakistan Relationship: Towards a Complementary Strategy” analyzed many of these trends and suggested a complementary strategy for achieving U.S. objectives in Pakistan.

To improve the relationship, the report suggested a number of initiative (details found on page 14):

  • Restructuring American aid to Pakistan by emphasizing targeted project investments that are highly visible to the Pakistani public. Several common sense ideas include power plants and natural gas facilities.
  • Establishing anti-corruption controls to facilitate future American aid and support.
  • Emphasizing U.S. communications and branding. America must rebrand its image, sense of purpose, and policy actions in the eyes of Pakistan’s public.
  • Encouraging cultural diplomacy that leverages civilian cross-cultural exchanges and study abroad opportunities.
  • Increasing medical collaboration in projects that provide visible assistance to the Pakistani people.
  • Setting a new diplomatic tone to make it more likely that the two countries listen to one another.

The new Pew Global Attitudes survey on Pakistan reinforces a number of the trends identified in the NSF report.  There are ten notable results from the Pew Global Attitudes survey data:

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