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Countering China's Efforts to Isolate Taiwan Diplomatically in Latin America and the Caribbean
March 2019 Rand report
How can Taiwan optimize its development assistance to Latin America and the Caribbean to ensure that it gets the maximum diplomatic value out of its generosity? What aid programs does Taiwan currently undertake in the region, and what does it get from its efforts? How does Taiwan's assistance fit with U.S. policy goals and giving in the region? Are there areas where adjustments could be made that would produce synergies between Taiwan and U.S. efforts while also reducing the temptation on the part of regional governments to de-recognize Taipei and switch ties to Beijing?

This report explores these questions and finds that, on the whole, Taiwan's assistance to the governments of Latin America and the Caribbean is well-received, improving desired outcomes such as enhancing local livelihoods and contributing to greater resilience and more rapid disaster recovery and relief.
rand  taiwan  china  latin_america 
11 days ago by strohps
The U.S. Department of Defense's Planning Process Components and Challenges
Feb 2019 RAND report
This report — Phase Two of a three-phase project — explores the current defense planning process used by the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), with a focus on how scenarios are developed and employed to support defense planning. The authors examine and critique how scenarios are used in current planning processes, based on an assessment of unclassified documents and dialogues with current and former participants in the process. They find that the process is structurally sound but insufficiently flexible. In theory, many opportunities, methods, and means exist to respond to a changing security environment. However, in practice, the layers of approval required for new concepts, lengthy intradepartmental coordination, exhaustive detail required for the preferred formal modeling, and the resource-intensiveness of the entire process — even as headquarters shrink — often make the system unable to generate new scenarios and concepts for an area of interest in a timely manner. Instead, DoD ends up with a single new authoritative scenario — a point solution rather than an exploration of the many policy-relevant differences that might affect how a conflict unfolds. Just as important, the process both obscures critical uncertainties and smothers innovation. The process tends to be unwelcoming to innovative or controversial ideas or initiatives that might further delay decisions about the new "canonical" scenario still further. This process can work during times of continuity (scenario diversity is developed over several years) — but, during times of sudden discontinuity, it seriously reduces DoD's responsiveness. The authors offer recommendations to address these challenges.
rand  planning  dod 
29 days ago by strohps
Defeat, Not Merely Compete: China's View of Its Military Aerospace Goals and Requirements in Relation to the United States
Dec 2018 Rand report
Over the past two decades, the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) has made rapid advances in building up new capabilities and operational concepts. Aerospace power has been a core feature of the PLA's rapid modernization. In particular, since 2004, the PLA Air Force has pursued a service strategy aimed at developing the capacity to "simultaneously prosecute offensive and defensive integrated air and space operations." This report explores the extent to which the desire to "compete" with the U.S. Air Force (or other advanced air forces) shapes PLA thinking about the development of military aerospace power. It examines how China selects between the options of "copying" foreign powers and "innovating" its own solutions to various operational military problems, as well as which areas China chooses to not compete in at all.
rand  china  pla 
9 weeks ago by strohps
Building Partner-Nation Capacity Through the Defense Education Enhancement Program
Dec 2018 Rand report
In response to new global challenges, defense education practitioners have promoted multinational and multistakeholder training in defense education institutions. The United States, working in close cooperation with North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) headquarters, has signaled the importance of defense education in its engagement with a number of former Soviet Union states and NATO partner nations of interest through the creation of the Defense Education Enhancement Program (DEEP).

This document reviews DEEP by defining the program, its functions, and why it is valuable to participating nations. The authors describe its specific purpose, the efforts that have been made to gauge DEEP's effectiveness, some select accomplishments, and the significant lessons learned about the program.
rand  education  NATO 
december 2018 by strohps
What Deters and Why: Exploring Requirements for Effective Deterrence of Interstate Aggression
Nov 2018 Rand report
The study stems from a specific research question: What are the requirements of effective extended deterrence of large-scale military aggression? The focus is therefore on the criteria that tend to distinguish successful from unsuccessful efforts to deter interstate aggression.
rand  deterrence 
december 2018 by strohps
How California Turned Into a ‘State of Resistance’ - The New York Times
Even today’s center of extreme private wealth, the Bay Area tech industry, illustrates the point, Pastor says. Its leaders recognize that they and the state rise or fall together. Because they “often see themselves in a sort of collective ecosystem that allows for individual success,” within this zone of hyper-capitalism “there has been a sense, now somewhat eroded by growing internationalization, of business responsibility for stewarding the region.”
rand  ca 
november 2018 by dpb

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