Posts Tagged ‘Strategy’

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.

All Options are on the Table: U.S. Foreign Policy and Iran

August 20, 2012

Satellite Image

“All options are on the table.”  These six words often spoken by President Obama, presidential aspirant Mitt Romney, DoD Chiefs, and a litany Congressmen define the contemporary U.S. strategic postures towards an Iran seemingly intent on acquiring a nuclear weapon and upsetting global stability.  However, few details are given as to what these words imply.  The magnitude of the threat, qualified by the assurance that this is the U.S.’s most pressing national security threat since 9/11, gives rise to the following question: if all options are on the table, then what are they?  This article outlines the various options that are most likely to be on the table and discusses the implications of each option.

To read the rest of the article, click on the link below.

All Options Are On The Table

By Eric S. Morse

From India With Unrequited Love

June 14, 2012

A new article by NSF Editorial Board Member Frank Schell, featured in The American Spectator: “From India With Unrequited Love.”

“Deep within the psyche of America is the desire to be loved.  Never a colonial power in the traditional sense, and with a New World cheerfulness unlike the cynicism of so-called Old Europe, America predictably seeks to provide aid monies, investment capital, cultural exchanges, armaments, goodwill, and in the case of India — even nuclear fuel and civilian reactors.  While America has a vested interest in making these offerings to ensure a benign world order, at times we are perplexed when generosity is not met with warm display…”

Please visit the following link to read the rest of the article “From India With Unrequited Love.”

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.

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 Iranian Nuclear Crisis and American Leadership

January 25, 2012

The case for American leadership in the Iran nuclear crisis has gained focus lately.  It is becoming clearer that strong U.S. leadership is the predicate for coordinated multilateral engagement on the Iranian nuclear issue.  An effective sanctions campaign against Iran’s nuclear program has been impeded in the past by lack of strategic focus and the complexity international relations.  This is not time for the U.S. to lead from behind.

A member of the NSF Editorial Board, recently published a commentary on the subject at The American Spectator.

The American Spectator: Don’t Waste Another Crisis, Mr. President

By Frank Schell

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.

US-Cambodia Policy

November 9, 2011

Most of the time most nations are insignificant to the interests of the United States.  However, from time to time one such insignificant nation seems to step into the limelight of American interests and the crossfire of history.  Cambodia once occupied the latter and now enjoys the tranquility of the former.  Nevertheless, it remains a part of the complex international system and will play an important role in American policy objectives in Southeast Asia.

What are the critical issues facing the United States?  How does Cambodia play a role in those issues?  What policies does that role call for?  What developments are likely or possible within Cambodia and the international system that will affect U.S. policy with Cambodia?

To read this NSFR Special Report, click below:

U.S.-Cambodia Policy: Probabilities and Possibilities

By Ed Bacharach

U.S. Strategy in South Asia

September 9, 2011

Illinois Senator Mark Kirk recently issued a statement about his strategy for U.S. aid in Pakistan.  He commented that “In such an environment, and with our deficits and debt, aid to Pakistan seems naive at best and counter-productive at worst. I am seriously reconsidering and rethinking how well aid to Pakistan served us.”  The day after, the Chicago-Sun Times ran an editorial suggesting that the U.S. should pull out of Afghanistan and allow India to become the natural leader of the region.

Whatever the merits, these policy positions have important implications that must be seriously considered by national security policymakers.  Richard E. Friedman has provided an analysis of these policy proposals in his new article titled “Toward a Complementary Strategy for the U.S. in South Asia.”  He warns that eliminating U.S. aid to Pakistan and allowing India to become the regional leader may destabilize the region and lead to outcomes counter to U.S. objectives in South Asia.  For a deeper look at the potential consequences of these proposals, and for an alternative U.S. strategy, click on the link below to read Mr. Friedman’s new commentary.

Toward a Complementary Strategy for the U.S. in South Asia

By Richard E. Friedman