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Protecting the Warfighter in an Austere Budget Environment
By David J. Trachtenberg , September 24, 2014

Winston Churchill is often quoted as saying, “Gentlemen, we have run out of money. Now we have to think.” A similar statement is attributed to Ernest Rutherford, a New Zealand physicist often cited as the “father” of nuclear physics. Regardless of who uttered this quote, many believe it appropriately summarizes the state of America’s defense establishment today. “Fiscal austerity” is the environment in which national security decisions are made...

Security and Defense Dimensions of the Asia Pivot
By Dr. Peter Brookes , May 14, 2014

There is no question that the United States faces significant and increasing security challenges in the Asia-Pacific region, including the growing threat posed by ballistic missiles and their payloads. It is fair to argue that China is increasingly confident and assertive in addressing its perceived national interests, supported by its expanding military might and power projection capabilities. From appearances, it is also reasonable to assert that North Korea is not on a path to openness, reform, and reconciliation with its neighbors. As such, it is critical that the United States provide for its national defense in the Pacific...

Is the Classified Information Paradigm Beyond Repair?
By James B. Bruce , May 1, 2014
The problem. The U.S. government is demonstrably unable to protect the classified
information on which much of national security is based. In the Manning and Snowden era when
possibly two million classified documents are made public and the press is awarded prizes for
publishing much of the stolen material, it is fair to ask whether the government is capable of
protecting the information required for effective intelligence, military, and diplomatic results. As
internet‐age leakers are outpacing spies as insider threats, it would appear that the paradigm to
protect classified information is fundamentally broken, and it is time to consider what it might take

to fix it. Or if the paradigm is truly beyond repair, what should replace it? 

Space in the National Interest: Security in a Global Domain
By Eric R. Sterner , April 16, 2014

Space as a domain and the systems that use it are integrated with American power, whether the soft power of culture, reputation, diplomacy and economics or the hard power of armed force. For that reason, it is no longer possible to stovepipe strategic thinking about space and national security. Developments in one area directly affect others. From civil space programs that help shape foreign spending on space and trade arrangements that impact access to space and have diplomatic consequence to military systems that civilian users have come to rely upon, policymakers must approach developments in space as an integrated whole, a single phenomenon that requires expertise across the range of space activities. 

Defense of the U.S. Homeland Against Ballistic Missile Attack
By Baker Spring , November 15, 2013

Today, the Obama administration and Congress have a variety of options before them for strengthening the defense of the U.S. homeland against ballistic missile attack. The word “options,” however, should not be interpreted as an either/or choice. Official Washington should not—indeed, cannot choose between defending the homeland against ballistic missile attack and erecting regional capabilities against the threat. Rather, it is necessary to treat the variety of programs available for this purpose not as options, but as components of a global plan for development and fielding: essentially, an “all of the above” approach. Only in this way can America achieve the proper balance between missile defense capabilities for the protection of the United States and the protection of our friends and allies and forces in various regions around the world...

Cybersecurity: New Threats and Challenges
By Abraham R. Wagner , September 27, 2013

In recent years the vast expansion of cyberspace, not only in terms of user but content and applications, has brought about a set of new threats and challenges never anticipated by the net’s designers. At the outset of this technological revolution access to the net was only through a few connected mainframe computers; there was literally nothing to steal or attack; and no infrastructure was connected to the net. Cybersecurity was simply not an issue...

Iran Strategy Brief No. 6: The Sunni-Shi'a Divide and Today's Iran
By David Wurmser , June 1, 2013

 Islam has two main sects, Sunni and Shi’a. The process by which the original schism materialized and played out—though well over 1,400 years old—remains the foundation of the ideas and tensions which continue to drive the split. As such, understanding what happened nearly a millennia-and-a-half ago is essential to understanding the contemporary divisions that exist within the Muslim world.

South Asia and the Obama Doctrine
By Dr. Lamont Colucci , May 1, 2013

There has been much talk about the “pivot to Asia” as if it is something novel or new. In truth, however, U.S. foreign policy has been engaged in a pivot to Asia ever since Commodore Perry sailed under orders given to him by President Millard Fillmore in 1853 to open up Japan. Missing in the current approach, however, has been discussion about South Asia, except when South Asian states (namely Pakistan, India, Nepal, and Bangladesh) intersect with issues related to Central Asia and the war in Afghanistan.

Iran Strategy Brief No. 5: Iran's Venezuelan Gateway
By Norman A. Bailey , February 1, 2012

 For years, the media and the U.S. government have repeated a familiar refrain: that the regime of now-ailing Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez, however annoying, poses no serious threat to the national security of the United States. Compelling evidence, however, suggests otherwise. Under Chavez, Venezuela has systematically opposed U.S. values and initiatives throughout the Western Hemisphere and the world in general. It has tried to influence political events in other Latin American countries, sometimes successfully. It has supported guerrilla movements and terrorist organizations in other countries (most notably Colombia). And it has facilitated the activities of drug traffickers active in the region, even as it has destabilized the regional status quo through massive military purchases.

The most dangerous threat to the U.S. from Venezuela, however, results from its facilitation and encouragement of the penetration of the Western Hemisphere by the Islamic Republic of Iran. Since 2005, with Venezuela’s assistance, Iran has created an extensive regional network of economic, diplomatic, industrial and commercial activities, with significant effect. The sum total of Iran’s declared investments in the region now stands at some $20 billion, at a time when the Iranian economy itself is in exceedingly poor condition. The depths of Iran’s involvement in the Western Hemisphere are all the more surprising—and significant—given that there is no historical or cultural affinity whatsoever between Iran and the countries on this side of the Atlantic. Nevertheless, the Iranian regime in recent years has exhibited an unprecedented level of interest and involvement in the region, facilitated by its burgeoning strategic partnership with Caracas.

Iran Strategy Brief No. 4: Hezbollah's Inroads Into The Western Hemisphere
By Ilan Berman , August 24, 2011

 A year after the attacks of September 11th, then-Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage, in contextualizing the terrorist threat facing the country, made a telling assessment. “Hezbollah may be the A-team of terrorists,” Mr. Armitage told an audience at the United States Institute of Peace in Washington, DC, “and maybe al-Qaida is actually the B-team.” The description was apt, and remains so. With a presence in an estimated forty countries on five different continents, the Lebanese Shi’ite militia represents one of the very few terrorist groups active today that possess a truly global presence and reach.

This footprint extends not only to the greater Middle East and Europe, but to the Western Hemisphere as well. Over the past quarter-century, Hezbollah has devoted considerable energy and resources to establishing an extensive network of operations throughout the Americas. Today, its web of activity in our hemisphere stretches from Canada to Argentina, and encompasses a wide range of illicit activities and criminal enterprises, from drug trafficking to recruitment to fundraising and training.