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Iran Strategy Brief No. 8: Iranian Ideology after the Nuclear Deal
By James S. Robbins , January 11, 2017
The Obama administration’s Iran policy has been driven by the conviction that reaching a deal with Iran over its nuclear weapons program would constitute a historic diplomatic breakthrough, lead to a fundamental transformation in U.S.-Iranian relations, and prompt significant changes in the Islamic Republic’s international behavior. This view was apparently based on a belief that American opposition to Iran’s policies played a critical role in perpetuating Tehran’s destabilizing activities, and that pursuing a rapprochement with the Islamic Republic could consequently lead to more moderate policies.
High Energy Lasers: Applications for Ballistic Missile Defense
By Dr. William Schneider, Jr. , December 20, 2016

For decades, ballistic missile defense (BMD) has been among the most controversial dimensions of national defense. Since the termination of the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty in 2002, the extensive proliferation of ballistic missiles on the world stage has prompted the gradual emergence of an international consensus supporting the acquisition of ballistic missile defense capabilities. The proliferation of ballistic missiles is abetted by the present, low cost of creating a formidable offensive ballistic missile capability—a feature which has provided aspiring weapons states with new opportunities to acquire strategic capabilities...

Strategic Primer - Drones
By Richard M. Harrison , June 20, 2016

Remotely Piloted Aircrafts (RPAs, or drones) are playing an increasingly important role in modern warfare, and performing a growing nunmber of surveillance and reconnaissance missions at home and abroad. This Primer describe how the United States, as well as our allies and our enemies, are using drones, discusses challenges posed by RPAs, and offers recommendations for future defense planning. 

Strategic Primer - Cybersecurity
By Richard M. Harrison , April 1, 2016

The goal of the new Strategic Primer initiative is to provide a concise, comprehensive overview of specific defense technology issues presented in a clear, direct, and graphical manner that serves as an accessible reference to policymakers. Volume 2 of the series focuses on Cybersecurity.

Cyber Threats in the Space Domain
By Eric Sterner and Jennifer McArdle , March 31, 2016

The ability to access and exploit space has long been woven into the fabric of American national power. It is a critical component of global political leadership, the economy, and military power. Unfortunately, those pillars are increasingly at risk. The spread of space technology to new international actors and the increasing sophistication of those capabilities have made it possible to threaten American space systems directly. The national security community is accustomed to analyzing these threats and vulnerabilities and is pursuing a reasonable mix of policies and programs to address them. (Whether those actions are sufficient is subject to debate). However, over the last decade space and cyberspace have grown increasingly integrated. This opens up new vulnerabilities in American space systems, and gives a greater number of actors the potential to exploit those vulnerabilities...

Shale 3.0 The Revolution Reshaping America and the World
By Jeff M. Smith , March 9, 2016

The world has long known of the existence of a virtual ocean of underground oil and gas deposits imprisoned in “tight,” low-permeable shale rock formations. Until recently, however, it was convinced there was no profitable extract them. Through the stubborn, decades-long persistence of a Texas oilman, and a committed effort by the U.S. government to invest hundreds of millions of dollars into “unconventional” oil and gas research, in 1998 Mitchell Energy CEO George Mitchell discovered the right combination of water, sand, and chemicals to extract natural gas from a shale formation using a hydraulically-fractured horizontal well...

Understanding Cybersecurity - Part 5 | Military Cyber Operations
By Trey Herr, Drew Herrick, and Peter W. Singer , November 10, 2015

 What is the role of cybersecurity in the conduct of war and ongoing security operations? Policymakers, academics, and journalists often think of cybersecurity as a single domain problem. That is to say, they view cyber operations as taking place solely within its own domain—one that is separate from land, sea, air or space. This perspective, however, overlooks the fact that computer systems and networks pervade society and the physical environment, and are present to some degree in all physical environs and across the three levels of war (strategic, operational, and tactical). Modern militaries employ forces in a “joint” manner, combining the specific platforms and technologies of different services to achieve a more effective force. National security policymakers should similarly see both kinetic and cyber capabilities as part of a broad set of tools available to achieve their objectives. Thinking of cybersecurity as a limited or separate space, wholly distinct from the other domains of conflict, limits the potential for understanding its strategic utility...

A Nuclear Deal with Iran: Managing the Consequences
By AFPC Iran Task Force , October 7, 2015

The announcement of a nuclear deal in July 2015 brought to a close nearly two years of intensive negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 powers (the U.S., UK, France, Russia, China and Germany). It also ushered in a new — and arguably more challenging — phase of American policy in the Middle East...

Understanding Cybersecurity - Part 4 | Internet Security Governance
By Trey Herr and Heather West , October 2, 2015

Internet Security Governance covers the policy challenges that arise from building and governing security in the Internet’s architecture and key protocols. It is not a description of security for computers and networks (Information Assurance),  how to manage the negotiated structure and key functions of the Internet (Internet Governance), or the pursuit of criminal groups and other threat actors (Cyber Crime). Internet Security Governance is the discussion of defensively oriented technical and legal topics that cross national boundaries and/or involve security of the underlying protocols and hardware which make up the Internet...

Strategic Primer - Missile Defense
By Richard M. Harrison , October 1, 2015

The goal of the new Strategic Primer initiative is to provide a concise, comprehensive overview of specific defense technology issues presented in a clear, direct, and graphical manner that serves as an accessible reference to policymakers. Volume 1 of the series focuses on Missile Defense.