2109
The Australian Defence Force and contested space
August 2019 ASPI strategy paper
This new Strategy report looks at war on the high frontier of outer space, and what the implications such a development might have for the ADF. It highlights that space is not a sanctuary from geopolitical rivalries. The report notes that Australia is heavily dependent on the space environment, both for its national prosperity and societal well-being, and for its defence and national security, and the report examines Australia’s current approach to use of space for Defence.

The report then examines emerging counterspace threats. China and Russia are moving towards deploying a suite of ‘counterspace capabilities’ to deny access to essential space systems used by the US and its allies, including Australia, prior to, or at the outset of a military conflict. These include direct-ascent anti-satellite (ASAT) weapons that physically destroy satellites in orbit after being launched from Earth’s surface; they are testing technologies that could be applied towards a co-orbital ASAT system designed to attack satellites from space; and have a range of ‘soft-kill’ ground-based technologies to disrupt, damage, and disable – but not destroy - satellites.

The report highlights the risks posed by ‘soft-kill’ systems described above. These don’t generate space debris, and thus have greater operational utility and anonymity, and they raise the threat of ‘grey zones in orbit. The report also examines efforts towards legal and arms control measures to constrain space weaponization and explores how these can contribute to reduce the prospect of warfare in space.

The report finally makes a number of recommendations on how Defence should respond to this challenge to maintain freedom of action in space.
aspi  australia  space 
19 days ago
The indigenisation of India’s defence industry
August 2019 Brookings report
An indigenous defence industry is a vital objective for India given its security environment and strategic objectives. India has a large and growing defence budget and a long history of defence industrial production. However, the country remains heavily reliant on defence imports, particularly for major platforms, while its own exports are extremely meagre. Although several high-level committees have been established to address the problem of defence industrial indigenisation, very few of the necessary steps have been taken.
brookings  india  defense_industrial_base 
19 days ago
Did Dollars Follow Strategy? A Review of the FY 2020 Defense Budget
August 2019 CSBA study
On 1 October, the U.S. federal government ushers in its Fiscal Year (FY) 2020. If policymakers approve the $738 billion national defense budget – the amount agreed to by the White House and Congressional leaders in a July 2019 agreement – military spending will have increased in real terms for the fifth consecutive year. At the same time, the July budget plan envisions a cut in inflation-adjusted spending in 2021, thus pausing a defense buildup that began in the Obama administration.

In a new CSBA study, Did Dollars Follow Strategy?, Research Fellow Travis Sharp delivers authoritative commentary on the FY 2020 budget plan and how its investment parameters conform to the requirements laid out in last year’s National Defense Strategy. This report is the 35th in a series of annual budget analyses published by CSBA and its predecessor organization. Mr. Sharp analyzes top-line expenditures and provides critical context through force planning scenario and defense mission assessments.
csba  budget  strategy 
25 days ago
Strong and free? The future security of Australia's north
August 2019 ASPI report
This report argues that ‘there is a need to reconceptualize Northern Australia, as a single scalable Defence and National Security ecosystem’. This ecosystem should be developed to ‘deliver integrated support to current and future ADF and National Security operations’.
aspi  australia  security 
27 days ago
Averting Crisis: American strategy, military spending and collective defence in the Indo-Pacific
August 2019 United States Studies Centre (Sydney) report
Australia should be deeply concerned about the state of America’s armed forces and strategic predicament in the Indo-Pacific. In order to realise shared defence objectives in the face of these challenges, Canberra would be wise to increase security cooperation with Washington and other like-minded partners to advance a strategy of collective regional defence. Such a strategy would see capable middle powers — like Australia and Japan — aggregate defence capabilities to offset shortfalls in America’s regional military power and hold the line against Chinese adventurism. This kind of collective action is not without risks and must be conducted prudently, including by remaining ever vigilant about America’s capacity and willingness to underwrite a regional balancing coalition. But as Australia’s freedom of action and ability to evade military coercion ultimately depend on the preservation of a stable strategic order, contributing to collective deterrence in the Indo-Pacific is the best way for Canberra to assist in averting a deeper crisis.
ussc  australia  budget  indo_pacific 
27 days ago
SUSTAINING THE FIGHT: Resilient Maritime Logistics for a New Era
April 2019 CSBA study
CSBA’s new report finds that the United States lacks the right maritime logistics force to support the 2018 National Defense Strategy in general and major military operations in a war with China or Russia in particular.

In this report, the authors identify challenges to the logistics force and propose a new, resilient architecture that would allow the fleet to fight in a more effective, distributed, and sustained manner while supporting U.S. Joint Force power projection.
csba  readiness  maritime  logistics 
4 weeks ago
Approaches to Strategic Sealift Readiness
August 2019 Rand report
The authors addressed six questions that apply to sealift readiness requirements and the mechanisms for generating this readiness. To conduct this analysis, they used a mix of data reported in various systems and the assessments of subject matter experts. They determined that, though organizational management plays a role, many other factors also have a substantial effect on strategic sealift readiness — including requirements determination, material readiness, and personnel readiness. The research team concluded that each of these areas can be improved in ways that could collectively increase strategic sealift readiness and makes recommendations toward that end.
rand  readiness  maritime 
4 weeks ago
Chinese Leadership and the Future of BRI: What Key Decisions Lie Ahead?
July 2019 Center for Global Development report
In the coming years, China will confront a series of decisions about how to engage with three different groups: (1) citizens in the countries where it is implementing BRI projects; (2) leaders of the same countries; and (3) donors and lenders outside of China. These decisions will shape the ultimate outcomes that are achieved via BRI—and whether China finds itself in a position that is more similar to the first or second scenario that I have just described. In the remainder of this essay, I will introduce the big decisions that lie ahead and the considerations that ought to be weighed by those who set strategy and make policy in Beijing.
center_for_global_development  china  financial_assistance  development 
5 weeks ago
Producing Joint Qualified Officers FY 2008 to FY 2017 Trends
July 2019 Rand report
The overall objective of this report was to quantify and assess the production of joint qualified officers (JQOs) and thereby establish a baseline of joint officer management (JOM) and joint professional military education (JPME) outcomes against which to assess historical trends. The report provides such historical trends for field grade officers in the active component over a ten-year period. The authors analyzed JQO inventories and appointees on an annual basis, examining trends, addressing the sequencing of education and duty assignment; and conducting two case studies to examine the experiences of JQOs. To gain a historical context and to appreciate other factors that may have contributed to trend variances, the authors reviewed relevant laws, policies, and regulations and engaged in discussions with the JOM and JPME offices of the services and Joint Staff to better understand their perceptions on data validity, gain their historical recollections of policy and operational events, understand their thoughts on the report's findings, and identify potential practices that may be effective for others. The trends presented in the report serve as a baseline allowing policymakers to evaluate impact of both current and future policy changes.
rand  joint  jpme 
5 weeks ago
Healthcare Transformation Artificial Intelligence, Automation, and Robotics
The breakthrough peer-reviewed journal dedicated to the advancement of artificial intelligence, automation, and robotics in healthcare, healthcare delivery, education, technology, innovation, and discovery.

Online content seems to be open-access?
journals  health_care  robotics  technology 
5 weeks ago
Winning Without Fighting: Chinese and Russian Political Warfare Campaigns and How the West Can Prevail
July 2019 CSBA study
This report assesses the role of political warfare in Chinese and Russian strategy. The report goes beyond diagnosing the challenge to offer a range of potential allied counter-strategies and proposes a new conceptual approach to such thinking.

There are 2 volumes - volume 2 is case studies.
csba  china  russia 
6 weeks ago
Stealing a March: Chinese Hybrid Warfare in the Indo-Pacific; Issues and Options for Allied Defense Planners
July 2019 CSBA study
This report examines Beijing’s hybrid warfare campaigns, their origins, means and modes, level of success and possible future shape. It also assesses the primary options for U.S. and allied counter-strategy.

There are 2 volumes - volume 2 is case studies.
csba  china  indo_pacific 
6 weeks ago
Deciphering China’s Intentions: What Can Open Sources Tell Us?
July 2019 ASAN Forum report
How can we know what China’s strategic goals are in the first place? International relations theorists have long speculated based on comparative history and deductive logic, but the gold standard is evidence from China itself. Without access to privileged information about the inner workings and designs of the Chinese party-state, however, we have to make do with three categories of open source data: documentary evidence, such as party documents and non-authoritative books and articles; inferences based on China’s development of military, economic, and diplomatic power resources; and the track record of Chinese behavior, notably on contentious regional issues. Each category presents unique challenges, but can—alone and in combination—yield some insights into China’s ambitions. Thus, it is worth asking what these sources can tell us, what they cannot, and how we can apply analytic rigor to data that are often, at best, incomplete and difficult to interpret.
asan  china  strategic_thinking 
6 weeks ago
Women and Al-Shabaab’s Insurgency
June 2019 International Crisis Group report
Crisis Group’s interviews with women previously linked to Al-Shabaab, and verification of their statements with former militants and close observers of the movement, suggest that women also help sustain the insurgency. While Al-Shabaab imposes restrictions upon women, it can provide some security and its courts often uphold Islamic family law to their benefit. Some women recruit, fundraise, spy or smuggle arms for the group. While Al-Shabaab remains potent and controls some areas, women are likely to continue in such roles. But by developing a strategy against gender-based violence the Somali government could demonstrate that it is doing what it can to alleviate women’s suffering. It can better integrate women into the security forces and study women’s roles in Al-Shabaab to improve efforts against the militants.
international_crisis_group  women  terrorism 
7 weeks ago
Building Armies, Building Nations: Toward a New Approach to Security Force Assistance
Nov 2017 Rand report
This report proposes an alternative approach to Security Force Assistance (SFA) derived from an interpretation of nation-building and legitimacy formation grounded in history; it highlights the importance of ideas, identities, and ideology and argues that SFA efforts often err by focusing too much on force structure, capabilities, and readiness, while not sufficiently considering the extent to which a force's development complements the larger nation-building project and the formation of appropriate ideas, identities, and ideologies within the force. The report uses six case studies (South Korea, South Vietnam, Iraq, Ghana, Mali, and Nigeria) to analyze the relationship between building armies and building nations as well as potential U.S. contributions.
rand  nation_building 
7 weeks ago
Review of Army Total Force Policy Implementation
Nov 2017 Rand report
This report reviews the implementation of the Army's Total Force Policy (ATFP). It presents an analysis of the extent to which the Army has implemented the actions directed by the ATFP, how these efforts benefitted the different components and enhanced the total force, whether implementation actions to date caused negative unintended consequences, and how the Army might improve the ATFP to achieve a more cost effective, integrated and capable total force. We find that, in general, the Army has made progress in implementing the policy and improving the integration of the Regular Army, Army National Guard, and U.S. Army Reserve. However, budget constraints have limited implementation of some objectives, such as multicomponent training, reserve component equipment modernization, and use of 12304b mobilization authority. Since the Army's budget is likely to remain constrained in the future, we recommend that it continue to pursue and develop innovative solutions, such as multicomponent vehicle loans, positioning modernized equipment at regional training and mobilization sites, and integrating individual training and professional military education under the One Army School System. We also recommend that the Army set measurable goals for total force integration and establish metrics to monitor progress, and evaluate pilot programs such as associated units and combining recruiting and marketing functions to determine whether they are meeting their intent.
rand  army  combat_readiness 
7 weeks ago
Human Capital Needs for the Department of Defense Operational Contract Support Planning and Integration Workforce
Oct 2017 Rand report
The United States relies on contractors to fill support roles in theaters of conflict to an extent that is unprecedented in modern history. Contractors provide supplies and perform a variety of other functions, including security (personal security details, convoy security, and static site security), logistical support, weapon and equipment upkeep and maintenance, intelligence, communication, transportation, construction, engineering, and base support operations and maintenance. It is important to ensure that these operational contract support (OCS) capabilities are available when needed for operations, but U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) oversight and planning for OCS activities is decentralized, making it difficult to determine manpower and training requirements for these DoD activities. This comprehensive review of the DoD OCS planning and integration workforce shows that some doctrinally mandated OCS planning and integration tasks are not being performed by DoD personnel, that personnel across the force receive limited training in OCS, and that there are several human capital approaches to address these shortfalls. Staffing estimates, findings, and recommendations were informed by an exhaustive review of OCS-related policy, doctrine, and training materials, as well as survey responses and interviews with experts. The result is a clearer picture of staffing requirements for the OCS planning and integration workforce and gaps in awareness, training, and career path options.
rand  contracting  personnel  operations 
7 weeks ago
Future of Health: Findings from a survey of stakeholders on the future of health and healthcare in England
Sept. 2017 Rand report
The report presents findings from a survey conducted by RAND Europe at the request of the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) to gather and synthesise stakeholder views on the future of health and healthcare in England in 20 to 30 years' time. The aim of the research was to generate an evidenced-based picture of the future health and healthcare needs, and how it might differ from today, in order to inform strategic discussions about the future priorities of the NIHR and the health and social care research communities more broadly.

The survey provided a rich and varied dataset based on responses from 300 stakeholders in total. A wide range of fields were represented, including public health, social care, primary care, cancer, genomics, mental health, geriatrics, child health, patient advocacy and health policy. The respondent group also included a number of professional and private stakeholder categories, such as clinicians, policy experts, academics and patient and public representatives.

The study findings validate a number of prominent health research priorities currently visible in England, such as antimicrobial resistance, the burden of dementia and age-related multi-morbidity, digital health and genomics. Interest in these areas and other themes, such as mental health, health inequalities and transforming health service models, cut across multiple disciplinary boundaries. However, it is clear that there are a variety of views among stakeholders on the relative importance of these areas of focus, and the best approach to manage their emergence in the coming decades.
rand  health  future 
7 weeks ago
Private Sector Investment in Global Health R&D Spending Levels, Barriers, and Opportunities
Sept. 2017 Brookings report
In this report, the authors examine current private sector spending by pharmaceutical firms, venture capital funds, and impact investors in global health R&D. They analyze three types of R&D spending and, using data from a number of sources, calculate how much the private sector currently invests in each.
brookings  private_sector  health 
7 weeks ago
Understanding Conflict Trends: A Review of the Social Science Literature on the Causes of Conflict
Sept. 2017 Rand lit review
There has been a significant decline in the incidence of wars between states over the past several decades. The incidence of intrastate violence, on the other hand, appears to have stabilized following a decline in the aftermath of the Cold War. There is little consensus on the causes of these changes in conflict patterns. The critical question for policymakers is whether the current conflict patterns represent a permanent shift or a temporary aberration. This report explores this question through an extensive review of the literature on armed conflicts and global strategic trends to determine the possible reasons for the change in conflict patterns and to assess the potential for a change in these patterns that might portend increased propensity toward state-on-state conflicts. This report is likely to be of use for developing leading indicators of conflicts or constructing future scenarios for war games or defense planning.
rand  conflict 
7 weeks ago
Conflict Trends and Conflict Drivers An Empirical Assessment of Historical Conflict Patterns and Future Conflict Projections
Sept 2017 Rand research report
Armed conflict has declined in both frequency and intensity since the end of the Cold War. The trends are especially clear for interstate conflict, but they also hold true for intrastate conflict. Taking into account historical trends and projections of key conflict drivers, the interstate and intrastate baseline future conflict projections in this report depict a continued decline through 2040, with interstate conflict down to extremely low levels and a much lower incidence of intrastate conflict. Some divergence from these projections is likely. The three factors that most strongly increased interstate conflict expectations were declining U.S. preeminence, declining capabilities of international organizations, and declining prevalence of consolidated democracies. The incidence of intrastate conflict is expected to increase if the capacity of state institutions or the rate of economic growth declines. Although the authors' projections indicate that interstate conflict may be rare in the future, the United States must retain a ready and credible land power deterrent to ensure such a future. Such a deterrent might not be used frequently, but its very existence delays the rise of a challenger and has a dampening effect on the incidence of conflict. The authors' projections also indicate that intrastate conflict (including proxy wars) will continue to be the main form of conflict incidence and, given the U.S. position in the international state system, Army forces are likely to become engaged in such conflicts. The trends toward a decrease in conflict incidence do not necessarily mean fewer U.S. interventions.
rand  conflict 
7 weeks ago
Can a gendered approach improve responses to violent extremism?
Sept. 2017 Institute for Security Studies report
It has been argued that ‘terrorism and violent extremism are highly gendered activities.’ In addition, gendered perspectives are already acknowledged in preventing violent extremism (PVE) and counter-terrorism (CT) policy frameworks. This report assesses how gendered approaches to policy and practices relating to PVE and CT could bring greater value, beyond the importance of gender in its own right. The findings presented here indicate that gender equality and women’s empowerment may be key to the success of CT responses and PVE programming, but further research is required.
iss  brookings  terrorism  gender 
7 weeks ago
“Following the Money Trail” to Combat Terrorism, Crime, and Corruption in the Americas
August 2017 Wilson Center report
This report focuses on the threats from money laundering and terrorist financing, distinguishing the two, and explains government efforts to counter illicit financing. It describes the ways illicit actors raise, move, store, and use money to pursue their dangerous agendas. Specific cases examining the FARC in Colombia, the 2015 fall of the Guatemalan government, and Brazil’s “Operation Car Wash” corruption scandal illustrate how governments use financial intelligence to pursue terrorists, criminals, corrupt politicians, and their financiers in Latin America. Finally, the report emphasizes the need to design, implement, and constantly update national and international strategies to combat the financing of emerging threats like terrorism, crime, and corruption and to safeguard our financial systems.
wilson_center  terrorism  finance  corruption 
7 weeks ago
A Russian Perspective on the Impact of Sanctions
August 2017 KEIA report
The situation on the Korean Peninsula is moving in a dangerous direction. In order to affect the behavior of the North Korean regime and change its calculations, ultimately forcing Pyongyang to abandon its nuclear and missiles programs, the international community has imposed a set of tough economic sanctions. The recent set of sanctions was codified in the UN Security Council Resolution 2321. So far, the impact of these and other sanctions in order to change the DPRK’s actions appears to be limited. Russia is one of the active players on the Korean Peninsula. A geographical neighbor of the DPRK and a former Cold War ally, Russia is engaged in looking for solutions to the North Korean nuclear problem. Still, when it comes to economic sanctions against North Korea, Moscow has an ambiguous position. Its national interests on the Korean Peninsula include prevention of nuclear tests by the DPRK, positioning Russia as one of the leaders of the international community on nonproliferation; non-expansion of the U.S. military presence on the Korean Peninsula; and growth in Russian trade with both Korean states. The sanctions envisaged in Resolution 2321 do not support most of these goals, since Russia thinks that nuclear disarmament of DPRK is impossible in principle. However, Moscow is ready to play along with the sanctions track as long as Russia maintains the appearance of a critical player.
keia  russia  sanctions  dprk  korea_north 
7 weeks ago
Managing the Rise of China's Security Partnerships in Southeast Asia
July 2019 Wilson Center report
This report attempts to fill this gap by examining China’s ongoing efforts to develop security partnerships in Southeast Asia and their strategic implications for the region. Drawing on written Chinese and Southeast Asian accounts as well as conversations with officials on both sides, it argues that the rise of Chinese security partnerships creates both opportunities and challenges that need to be properly understood and managed by Beijing, relevant Southeast Asian states, and external actors including the United States and like-minded allies and partners.
wilson_center  china  southeast_asia  security 
7 weeks ago
Africa's Role in Nation-Building: An Examination of African-Led Peace Operations
June 2019 Rand book
Three previous RAND volumes examined the record of American-, United Nations (UN)--, and European-led peacekeeping, peace enforcement, and postconflict stabilization operations. This volume considers similar missions by the African Union and several subregional African organizations. These missions range from mediation and traditional peacekeeping to peace enforcement and extended counterinsurgency campaigns. This report contains case studies of six of these missions in Burundi, the Central African Republic, Darfur, the Comoros, Somalia, and the Lake Chad Basin. The case studies are followed by a statistical comparison of U.S., UN, European, and African missions. The report concludes with recommendations for the relevant African institutions, the UN, and other organizations and governments interested in peace and security in Africa.
rand  africa  peacebuilding 
7 weeks ago
Measures of Performance and Effectiveness for the Marine Corps' Sexual Assault Prevention Programs
July 2019 Rand report
This report presents logic models for the U.S. Marine Corps' sexual assault prevention annual trainings, leadership courses, and social media efforts and identifies MOPs and MOEs for each component of the logic models. Collectively, these measures serve as an item pool from which to select measures for use in future evaluations. As background, the authors also review measures being used for evaluation of sexual assault prevention training in the military and civilian arenas and existing data sources available to the Marine Corps that include variables relevant to an evaluation of sexual assault prevention programming. The authors conclude with considerations for developing an evaluation of the Marine Corps Sexual Assault Prevention and Response office's prevention programming and recommendations to make best use of the measures.
rand  marine_corps  sexual_assault 
7 weeks ago
People’s Republic of the United Nations: China’s Emerging Revisionism in International Organizations
May 2019 CNAS report
This report examines China’s approach to seven organs and functions of the United Nations (U.N.): the Department of Economic and Social Affairs, the Human Rights Council, Peacekeeping Operations, Accreditation for Non-Governmental Organizations, the International Telecommunication Union, UNESCO, and the Office of Drugs and Crime. This examination yields insights into Beijing’s emerging strategy in the context of international organizations, which seeks to advance China’s interests and values.
cnas  china  multilateral  organization 
8 weeks ago
Foreign territory: Women in international relations
July 2019 Lowy Institute report
A three-year study has revealed severe gender imbalances in Australia’s international relations sector, despite some prominent trailblazers.
lowy  australia  gender  women 
8 weeks ago
India’s Defence Budget 2019-20
July 2019 IDSA issue brief
This Brief examines India’s latest defence allocations, the distribution pattern of resources, shares of various stakeholders in the defence allocation and the possible impact on defence modernisation. It also looks at the Make in India initiatives announced in the budget that have an impact on defence production. It begins with a brief survey of the heath of the Indian economy in order to appreciate the larger context of the defence allocation.
idsa  india  defense  budget 
8 weeks ago
India’s Africa Policy
July 2019 German Institute for International and Security Affairs paper
Since the 1990s, India has significantly widened its relations with Africa. Three summits, increasing trade and newly agreed cooperation on security demonstrate the increased importance of the African continent to India’s foreign policy.

With this commitment to Africa, India continually underscores its claim to act as advocate for the countries of the Global South. Moreover, African countries now account for a larger share of India’s energy imports, thereby reducing its dependence on Middle Eastern countries. India is also trying to establish a counterweight to China’s activities in Africa. However, India’s decision-makers realise that they cannot seriously compete with China in this arena.
swp  india  africa  china  germany 
8 weeks ago
Grand Strategy Alternatives 2019
June 2019 Griffith University
This paper supports the project in deriving some grand strategy alternatives specifically related to China (twelve) and Russia (ten). The development of the alternatives draws on a broader spectrum of international relation’s theories than the restricted neorealist set generally employ. The study’s aims are to encourage the consideration of tangential approaches, suggest different framing mechanisms that could restructure our thinking about managing great power competition, and briefly outline a range of alternative ways to meet the challenges China and Russia pose.
griffith  australia  grand_strategy  china  russia  us 
8 weeks ago
A Geostrategic SWOT Analysis for Australia
June 2019 Australian National University paper
This paper critically reflects on the circumstances Australia and its neighbours face through the prism of a Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) analysis, focusing on Australia’s internal strengths and weaknesses as well as its external opportunities and threats
anu  australia  security 
9 weeks ago
Diplomacy Surrounding the Korean Peninsula
June 2019 Atlantic Council report
The purpose of this report is to review the potential outcomes of nuclear negotiations with North Korea, identify their likely effects on US force posture in the region, and propose responses by the US and its allies.
atlantic_council  korean_peninsula  diplomacy 
9 weeks ago
Sustainable Defense: More Security, Less Spending
June 2019 Center for International Policy report
This report will demonstrate that an alternative defense strategy that avoids unnecessary and counterproductive wars, reduces the U.S. global military footprint, takes a more realistic view of the primary security challenges facing the United States and its allies, and reduces waste and inefficiency could save more than $1 trillion in projected spending over the next decade, while providing a greater measure of security.
center_for_international_policy  budget  defense  security 
12 weeks ago
An Unnatural Partnership? The Future of U.S.-India Strategic Cooperation
May 2019 SSI report
As global competition with an increasingly assertive Chinese Government expands, the strategic relationship between India and the United States is assuming ever-greater importance. From a superficial perspective, a strategic partnership seems to make a great deal of sense for both countries. Yet, enormous political, cultural, and structural obstacles remain between them, which continue to slow the progress in security cooperation to a crawl, relative to China’s economic and military advances. The authors explore these impediments frankly and suggest practical ways to build trust and establish confidence.
ssi  india  cooperation 
12 weeks ago
Addressing China's Rising Influence in Africa
May 2019 Chicago Council on Global Affairs report
China is now the largest trading partner for the African continent, and China’s Export-Import Bank aims to invest more than $1 trillion in the continent by 2025. In addition, China has now surpassed the United States government in total agriculture R&D funding. China has increased its presence in African development—a trend that will persist because its model is extremely attractive to both China and
many African nations.

China’s growing contributions to African development should not automatically be feared, but their increased presence should create a recalibration in US approaches to development. Current US National Security Advisor and former Ambassador John Bolton in his announcement of the administration’s Prosper Africa initiative cast China’s presence in Africa as a strategic challenge for the United States.
chicago_council  china  africa 
12 weeks ago
Strengthening the U.S.-Pacific Islands Partnership
May 2019 CSIS report
The United States has long enjoyed strong ties and warm relationships with countries in the region, but the calls for significantly boosting levels of engagement, dialogue, and cooperation commensurate with the region’s strategic significance are new.

In this context, CSIS was pleased to organize a conference on the theme of “Strengthening the U.S.-Pacific Island Partnership” in Nadi, Fiji from March 4-5, 2019 in partnership with the Department of State. The conference gathered thought leaders from the United States and 11 Pacific Island nations, including Fiji, the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea, Palau, and Tuvalu, among others, to explore avenues for deeper cooperation and to build stronger people-to-people ties across the Pacific. Over the course of two days, conference attendees discussed a range of issues of mutual concern, including sustainable economic development, maritime security, connectivity, and resilience. This report draws on this dialogue, which as far as we are aware was the first of its kind.
csis  pacific  relations 
12 weeks ago
Forward defence in depth for Australia
June 2019 ASPI Strategic Insights
The strategic assumptions that underpinned defence policy choices in the 2016 Defence White Paper were made in the years preceding the release of that document and extend from earlier white papers, including those released in 2009 and 2013.

Their foundation goes back to the days of the 1986 Dibb Report and the 1987 Defence White Paper. In the next Defence White Paper, which could emerge as early as 2021, a continued approach that places too much emphasis on defending the inner arc—notably the ‘sea–air gap’—would not adequately address emerging strategic risks to regional stability.

The strategic environment has evolved at such a pace that policies announced in 2016 have been overtaken by events. It’s time for a review of Australian defence strategy. It’s time for something new.
aspi  australia  defense  policy  white_papers  strategy 
june 2019
ANZUS and alliance politics in Southeast Asia
June 2019 ASPI Strategic Insights
Discussion over the future of US alliance politics in Asia has recently intensified. China’s power is growing, and US President Donald Trump is showing antipathy towards what he views as insufficient allied efforts to support America’s defence strategy in the region.

While much attention has been understandably directed towards the US’s security ties with Japan and South Korea during Trump’s ongoing efforts to negotiate a denuclearisation agreement with North Korea, US strategic relations with Southeast Asia and its neighbours—what’s termed here as the ‘southern flank’—are also critical to Washington’s own long-term geopolitical interests and to that region’s sustained economic growth and geopolitical stability.
aspi  australia  new_zealand  china  southeast_asia  alliances 
june 2019
Navigating the Belt and Road Initiative
June 2019 Asia Society Policy Institute report
ASPI’s new report integrates international standards, Chinese domestic guidelines, and lessons learned from BRI’s first five years to conceptualize a blueprint for successful projects and to surmount the challenges that BRI projects have faced thus far. The report and a "BRI Matrix" within it offer guidance on the management of BRI projects to improve the likelihood that they yield beneficial and sustainable developmental, economic, environmental, civic, and social outcomes.
china  asia_society 
june 2019
Why America Needs a New Way of War
June 2019 CNAS report
This paper is intended to lay the intellectual foundation for developing a new American way of war. Its primary purpose is to identify the problems this new way of war is attempting to solve. Secretary of Defense James Mattis was fond of quoting Albert Einstein’s remark that if you have an hour to save the world, you should spend 59 minutes defining the problem and one minute to solve it. This paper represents the “problem definition” for a new American “way of war.” Accordingly, it will first define the concept of a “way of war” and explain why it is important. Then it will situate the discussion within the strategic context of the NDS, which provides the vision for U.S. defense strategy in an era of great-power competition. The body of the paper will examine the current American way of war, the key assumptions that underpin it, and why these are no longer valid, and the assumptions that ought to guide a new American way of war.
cnas  warfare 
june 2019
The U.S. Army and the Battle for Baghdad Lessons Learned — And Still to Be Learned
June 2019 Rand book
The U.S. Army's many adaptations during the Iraq War were remarkable, particularly in the areas of doctrine, organization, training, materiel, personnel, and leader development and education. The Army has already institutionalized some of those adaptations; however, other important lessons have not yet been institutionalized. In an effort to help the U.S. Department of Defense and the Army retain institutional knowledge and capabilities and fully prepare leaders for future conflicts, RAND researchers recount the Army's efforts in the Iraq War, especially in Baghdad, and offer lessons learned and recommendations. For example, if the United States engages in a similar conflict in the future, the Army should prepare to prevent insurgencies; provide robust division, corps, and theater headquarters; and consider making advisement a necessary assignment for career advancement. Instability and insurgency are part of the future, and if history is any guide, the United States will look to the Army to deal with these challenges. Thus, the ultimate goal of this report is to help the Army continue to institutionalize the lessons from the Iraq War and the Battle for Baghdad to minimize the amount of adaptation the Army will have to undergo when it is called to serve in similar circumstances.
rand  army  iraq  lessons_learned 
june 2019
ADVANCING WOMEN LEADERS IN AFRICA
July 2017 Wilson Center toolkit
A Policy Toolkit from Her Excellency Dr. Joyce Banda, Former President of Malawi
This toolkit [was created] to provide actionable steps to implement the recommendations. The toolkit is meant to inspire and provide examples of how policymakers, civil society, community leaders, and the international community can work together to develop a critical mass of women leaders in political positions across Africa to ensure good governance and economic stability, and greater stability overall.
wilson_center  women  leadership  africa 
june 2019
women’s role in disaster management and its implications for national security
July 2017 APCSS paper
[The] paper examines societal roles that create greater susceptibility to disaster impacts and case studies where the inclusion of women in disaster management is reducing these impacts on the most vulnerable portions of society.
apcss  women  disaster  case_studies 
june 2019
Step Back: Lessons for U.S. Foreign Policy from the Failed War on Terror
June 2017 Cato policy analysis
The lessons from the War on Terror indicate that it is time for the United States to take a different approach. Policymakers need to acknowledge that although terrorism is a serious concern, it represents only a modest security threat to the American homeland. Further, the United States should abandon the use of military intervention and nation building in the War on Terror. Instead, the United States should push regional partners to confront terrorist groups abroad, while the U.S. returns to an emphasis on the intelligence and law enforcement paradigm for combating the threat against the American homeland.
cato  counterterrorism 
june 2019
India and the United States in the Trump era: Re-evaluating bilateral and global relations
June 2017 Brookings report
Donald Trump’s election at a time of growing and converging interests between India and the United States necessitates a re-evaluation of several aspects of Indian domestic and foreign policy. This paper identifies four areas in which Trump’s election affects Indian interests: bilateral relations (encompassing trade, investment, immigration, and technological cooperation), the Asian balance of power, counterterrorism, and global governance. It argues that India must continue to engage with the Trump administration and other stakeholders in the United States—including the U.S. Congress, state governments, and the private sector—in all of these areas. New Delhi must attempt to convince Washington that India’s rise is in American interest. This idea provided the underlying logic behind the Clinton, Bush, and Obama administrations’ engagement with India, but it will be more difficult to sustain given the United States’ new political realities and impulses.
brookings  india 
june 2019
Chinese Cyber Diplomacy In A New Era Of Uncertainty
June 2017 Hoover paper
After initially taking a relatively defensive, reactive position on the global governance of cyberspace, China under President Xi Jinping has adopted a more activist cyber diplomacy. This foreign policy has three primary goals: limit the threat that the internet and the flow of information may pose to domestic stability and regime legitimacy; shape cyberspace to extend Beijing’s political, military, and economic influence; and counter US advantages in cyberspace and increase China’s room of maneuver. Measured against its objectives, China’s diplomacy would appear relatively successful. The greatest uncertainty for Beijing moving forward is the state of US-China relations.
hoover  china  cybersecurity  diplomacy 
june 2019
The Copenhagen City and Port Development Corporation: A model for regenerating cities
June 2017 Brookings report
This paper explores how the Copenhagen model can revitalize cities and finance large-scale infrastructure by increasing the commercial yield of publicly owned land and buildings without raising taxes. The approach deploys an innovative institutional vehicle—a publicly owned, privately run corporation—to achieve the high-level management and value appreciation of assets more commonly found in the private sector while retaining development profits for public use. The model reflects what Dag Detter and Stefan Fölster describe in their forthcoming book, “The Public Wealth of Cities” (Brookings Institution Press, 2017), as capitalizing on unknown or radically undervalued and underleveraged assets.
brookings  infrastructure  ports 
june 2019
Preparing North Korean Elites for Unification
May 2017 Rand report
This report examines what could be done to convince North Korean elites that unification would be good for them. It describes five areas of concern that North Korean elites would likely have about the outcomes of unification and proposes policies that the ROK government could adopt that would give North Korean elites hope that unification would be acceptable for them. The author proposes unification policies in these five areas of concern that the ROK government should consider with urgency; it may take years for North Korean elites to believe that the ROK is prepared to act in a manner favorable to them, and it is unclear that unification is that far off.
rand  korea_north  korean_peninsula 
june 2019
China’s Role in North Korea Nuclear and Peace Negotiations
May 2019 USIP report
This is the second in the Senior Study Group (SSG) series of USIP reports examining China’s influence on conflicts around the world. A group of fifteen experts met from September to December 2018 to assess China’s interests and influence in bringing about a durable settlement of the North Korean nuclear crisis. This report provides recommendations for the United States to assume a more effective role in shaping the future of North Korea in light of China’s role and interests. Unless otherwise sourced, all observations and conclusions are those of SSG members.
usip  china  korea_north  nuclear_weapons  peace 
june 2019
Beating the Americans at Their Own Game: An Offset Strategy with Chinese Characteristics
June 2019 CNAS paper
China surpassed the United States in purchasing power parity in 2014 and is on track to have the world’s largest GDP in absolute terms by 2030. In comparison, our Cold War adversary, the Soviet Union, was hobbled by unsustainable economic contradictions that ultimately crumbled under pressure. At the height of its power, its GDP was roughly 40 percent the size of the United States’.

If that is not concerning enough for U.S. strategic planners, Chinese technological capabilities are growing as rapidly as its economic power. The Soviets were never able to match, much less overcome, America’s technological superiority. The same may not be true for China—certainly not for lack of trying. Indeed, China is keenly focused on blunting the U.S. military’s technological superiority, even as it strives to achieve technological parity, and eventually technological dominance.

Chinese strategists do not explicitly describe their aims in this manner. Nevertheless, after considering what the Chinese military has accomplished technologically in little more than two decades and what they plan to do in the decades to come, any objective assessment must at least consider the possibility that the U.S. Joint Force is close to becoming the victim of a deliberate, patient, and robustly resourced military-technical offset strategy. The purpose of this paper is to describe this strategy and outline its key lines of effort.
cnas  china 
june 2019
Thucydides’ Other “Traps”: The United States, China, and the Prospect of “Inevitable” War
June 2019 Institute for National Strategic Studies report
This case study examines the Thucydides Trap metaphor and the response it has elicited. Hewing closely to what the historian of the Peloponnesian War actually says about the causes and inevitability of war, it argues that, while Thucydides’ text does not support Allison’s normative assertion about the “inevitable” result of an encounter between “rising” and “ruling” powers, the History of the Peloponnesian War (hereafter, History) does identify elements of leadership and political dynamic that bear directly on whether a clash of interests between two states is resolved through peaceful means or escalates to war. It is precisely because war typically begins with a considered decision by a national command authority to reject other options and mobilize for conflict (and thus always entails an element of choice) that insight from Thucydides’ History remains relevant and beneficial for the contemporary strategist, or citizen, concerned in such decisions.
inss  china  conflict 
june 2019
China's Changing Role in the Middle East
June 2019 Atlantic Council report
A quiet shift in geopolitics has been taking place, with East Asia and the Middle East drawing closer together. Energy trade explains part of this, as Japan, South Korea, and China are consistently among the largest export markets for Middle East oil and gas. In the case of China, the relationships have moved beyond economic interests to incorporate strategic concerns as well. The Atlantic Council's Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East report has released a new report by Dr. Jonathan Fulton on this subject: "China's Changing Role in the Middle East." The report analyzes China’s presence in the Middle East, examines the response of Middle Eastern states, and explores how US-China competition plays out in the region: are their interests compatible, creating opportunities for cooperation, or do they diverge to the point that competition is the most likely outcome?
atlantic_council  china  middle_east  geopolitical 
june 2019
Indo-Pacific Strategy Report: Preparedness, Partnerships, and Promoting a Networked Region
June 2019 DOD report
Advancing this Indo-Pacific vision requires an integrated effort that recognizes the critical linkages between economics, governance, and security – all fundamental components that shape the region’s competitive landscape. The Department of Defense, in partnership with other U.S. Government Departments and Agencies, regional institutions, and regional Allies and partners, will continue to diligently uphold a rules-based order that ensures peace and prosperity for all.
dod  indo_pacific  national_security 
june 2019
Power and Motivation in China’s Foreign Policy
May 2019 East Asia Institute working paper
In this paper, the author seeks to ascertain the characteristics of China’s foreign policy, and to clarify developments in the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) promoted by the Xi Jinping administration as well as changes in China’s foreign policy, on the basis of China’s execution of its foreign policy since the end of the Cold War.
eai  china  foreign_policy 
june 2019
The Geopolitics of Information
May 2019 Belfer Center paper
To compete and thrive in the 21st century, democracies, and the United States in particular, must develop new national security and economic strategies that address the geopolitics of information. In the 20th century, market capitalist democracies geared infrastructure, energy, trade, and even social policy to protect and advance that era’s key source of power—manufacturing. In this century, democracies must better account for information geopolitics across all dimensions of domestic policy and national strategy.
belfer_center  geopolitical  national_security_strategy  information 
june 2019
Strategy to Ask: Analysis of the 2020 Defense Budget Request
May 2019 CNAS report
Aware that the 2019 budget request did not fully support the NDS, and anticipating disappointment even before that budget’s release, Deputy Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan promised a “masterpiece” for 2020. Thus the critical question this report asks is: Has he made good on that promise? In other words, does the “ask” (the defense budget request) fully implement the strategy? In short, the answer is that the budget request is largely supportive of the strategy but contains some critical points of divergence, explored fully below.
cnas  budget  defense 
may 2019
Caliphate in Decline: An Estimate of Islamic State's Financial Fortunes
March 2017 International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation report
The so-called Islamic State has often been described as the richest terrorist organization in the world.

This estimate of Islamic State revenues for the years 2014–2016 results from a collaboration between EY and the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation (ICSR), King’s College London. It is based on a systematic review of open source information about the finances of Islamic State in its core territory in Syria and Iraq.

Estimates vary widely. It remains impossible to say exactly how much money Islamic State has at its disposal.

The group’s most significant sources of revenue are closely tied to its territory. They are: (1) taxes and fees; (2) oil; and (3) looting, confiscations, and fines. We have found no hard evidence that foreign donations continue to be significant. Similarly, revenues from the sale of antiquities and kidnap for ransom, while difficult to quantify, are unlikely to have been major sources of income.

In the years since 2014, Islamic State’s annual revenue has more than halved: from up to $1.9b in 2014 to a maximum of $870m in 2016. There are no signs yet that the group has created significant new funding streams that would make up for recent losses. With current trends continuing, the Islamic State’s “business model” will soon fail.
icsr  isis  finance  terrorism 
may 2019
Delivering on sustainable infrastructure for better development and better climate
Dec 2016 Brookings report
This report assesses the constraints that are holding back the scaling of sustainable infrastructure and how to vastly expand infrastructure while avoiding the mistakes of the past. It proposes how to revamp policy and financing frameworks so as to give traction to the implementation of the SDG agenda and to meet the ambitions of the Paris agreement to sharply curb carbon emissions.
brookings  infrastructure 
may 2019
Women and Terrorism: Hidden Threats, Forgotten Partners
May 2019 Council on Foreign Relations discussion paper
U.S. policymakers overlook the roles that women play in violent extremism—including as perpetrators, mitigators, and victims—and rarely enlist their participation in efforts to combat radicalization. This omission puts the United States at a disadvantage.
cfr  women  terrorism  radicalization 
may 2019
A Theory of Engagement With North Korea
May 2019 Belfer Center discussion paper
At the Hanoi Summit in February 2019, the United States and North Korea reached a familiar impasse—diplomacy broke down over the appropriate order of near-term steps, and the world was left wondering whether any package of rewards would be enough to incentivize denuclearization.

In a new Managing the Atom Discussion Paper, Christopher Lawrence outlines an alternative conceptual framework for engaging North Korea. Rather than offering rewards for nuclear rollback, the approach focuses on building credibility around the notion of a shared political future. Lawrence suggests that physical actions—such as shared investments in integrated rail, electricity, or mining infrastructure—speak more credibly about the political future for all the parties involved than do written commitments or more transient “carrots” and “sticks.” The international relationships created by infrastructure projects may alter North Korea's security calculus over time, and incrementally reduce its dependence on nuclear weapons. Drawing lessons from the 1994 Agreed Framework, Lawrence reinterprets the history of nonproliferation engagement with North Korea, and illuminates possible opportunities to break the diplomatic impasse after the Hanoi summit.
belfer_center  korea_north  denuclearization 
may 2019
Practical Terrorism Prevention: Reexamining U.S. National Approaches to Addressing the Threat of Ideologically Motivated Violence
February 2019 Rand report
"The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's (DHS's) Office of Policy requested that the Homeland Security and Operational Analysis Center examine past U.S. CVE [countering violent extremism] and current terrorism prevention efforts, evaluate the DHS and interagency posture for federal efforts, and explore policy options to strengthen terrorism prevention going forward. Researchers found that current terrorism prevention capabilities are relatively limited. Most initiatives are implemented locally or outside government, and only a subset receive federal support. Among interviewees in law enforcement, government, and some community organizations, there is a perceived need for a variety of federal efforts to help strengthen and broaden local and nongovernmental capacity. However, doing so will be challenging, since concerns about past counterterrorism and CVE efforts have significantly damaged trust in some communities. As a result, terrorism prevention policy and programs will need to focus on building trust locally, and designing programs and federal activities to maintain that trust over time."
rand  terrorism  prevention 
may 2019
Preventing Extremism in Fragile States: A New Approach
February 2019 U.S. Institute for Peace report
From the Executive Summary: "We need a new strategy to prevent the spread of extremism, which threatens our homeland, our strategic interests, and our values. Our current focus on counterterrorism is necessary, but neither sufficient nor cost-effective. Congress has charged this Task Force with developing a new approach, one that will get ahead of the problem. [...] We need a new strategy because terrorism is not the only threat we face. Terrorism is a symptom, but extremism--an ideology calling for the imposition of a totalitarian order intent on destroying free societies like ours--is the disease. Extremism both preys on fragile states and contributes to chaos, conflict, and coercion that kills innocents, drains U.S. resources, forecloses future market opportunities, weakens our allies, and provides openings for our competitors."
usip  terrorism  counterterrorism 
may 2019
Beyond Hybrid War: How China Exploits Social Media to Sway American Opinion
March 2019 Recorded Future report
"Recorded Future analyzed data from several Western social media platforms from October 1, 2018 through February 22, 2019 to determine how the Chinese state exploits social media to influence the American public. This report details those techniques and campaigns using data acquired from Recorded Future® Platform, social media sites, and other OSINT [open-source intelligence] techniques. This report will be of most value to government departments, geopolitical scholars and researchers, and all users of social media."
recorded_future  china  social_media  opinion 
may 2019
HealthWeb navigator
links to evaluated, non-commercial, health-related resources on the web that are selected by librarians and information professionals at over 20 leading academic medical centers in the Midwest. Browsing and searching.
health  database 
may 2019
Medical / Health Sciences Libraries on the Web
links to academic, hospital, and military medical libraries and many other medical sites in the U.S. and around the world. The home page also has a link to a selected list of free full-text online electronic medical journals.
medical  libraries 
may 2019
MedLine Plus
From the National Library of Medicine - consumer-oriented health information
nlm  medlineplus  health 
may 2019
PubMed
comprises more than 29 million citations for biomedical literature from MEDLINE, life science journals, and online books. Citations may include links to full-text content from PubMed Central and publisher web sites.
pubmed  health  database 
may 2019
Twitterfall
lets users follow events as they unfold on twitter by filtering tweets by topic. MUST HAVE TWITTER ACCOUNT AND BE LOGGED IN.
twitter 
may 2019
Acquisition Research Program
at the Naval Postgraduate school
Established in 2003, Naval Postgraduate School’s Acquisition Research Program (ARP) provides leadership in innovation, creative problem solving and an on-going dialogue, contributing to the evolution of Department of Defense acquisition strategies. Each May the ARP hosts an Annual Acquisition Research Symposium in Monterey, California which draws a diverse audience of influential attendees from academe, government, and industry who are well placed to shape and promote future research in acquisition.
acquisitions 
may 2019
The Expanding China-Russia Defense Partnership
May 2019 Hudson Institute paper
The United States and its allies must nonetheless plan for future military contingencies in which China or Russia could exploit U.S. conflicts with one of them to achieve gains at U.S. expense. In the case of a NATO-Russian conflict in Europe, U.S. allies in Asia will need to prepare for Chinese opportunistic aggression, while the converse would prove true regarding Russia during major Sino-U.S. confrontations in Asia. The Russian government has already displayed its proclivity—in Georgia, Ukraine, and Syria—to employ military force to achieve strategic targets of opportunity. The Chinese government could well make similar calculations in the future.
hudson_institute  china  russia  defense 
may 2019
Targeted Interoperability A New Imperative for Multinational Operations
March 2019 Rand book
Significant literature exists on all types of interoperability, with the common refrain being that more and better interoperability is needed. And, with few exceptions in recent decades, the United States tends to engage with multinational partners and allies in military operations, thus bringing multinational interoperability to the fore. So, with all this interest, why is the United States not interoperable when and how it wants? There are several reasons, including a lack of understanding of the significant resources that interoperability takes, a reluctance to expend time and money when the value of doing so is not clear, and a one-size-fits-all attitude toward finding solutions. This report looks at what motivations exist for building interoperability and defines a reasonable framework from which to work if and when interoperability needs and investments meet strategic language. The framework proposed has three main parts. First, the authors catalogued nearly 200 programs into ten categories, which comprise "activities" that in one way or another increase interoperability between the United States and its partners. Those activities help to build five main interoperability "outputs": having common equipment, sharing the art of command, having individual interoperability, having interoperable communication and information systems equipment, and having interoperable processes. The "outcomes" are what those outputs lead to. Those are predicated on having specific abilities to share services between at least two partners. The framework necessarily stops short of broader operational outcomes — like winning a war or deterring conflict — as the basic interactions that translate interoperability into qualitative goals of legitimacy or deterrence are not known.
rand  operations  multilateral 
may 2019
Terrorist Use of Cryptocurrencies: Technical and Organizational Barriers and Future Threats
March 2019 Rand report
Given the key role of funding in supporting terrorist operations, counterterrorism finance (CTF) efforts often focus on tracking money and preventing financial transactions that might be used to support attacks and other terrorist activities. However, the success of these strategies in reducing terrorist access to official currencies has raised concerns that terrorist organizations might increase their use of such digital cryptocurrencies as Bitcoin to support their activities.

Current cryptocurrencies are not well matched with the totality of features that would be needed and desirable to terrorist groups but might be employed for selected financial activities. The authors' research shows that, should a single cryptocurrency emerge that provides widespread adoption, better anonymity, improved security, and that is subject to lax or inconsistent regulation, then the potential utility of this cryptocurrency, as well as the potential for its use by terrorist organizations, would increase. Regulation and oversight of cryptocurrencies, along with international cooperation between law enforcement and the intelligence community, would be important steps to prevent terrorist organizations from using cryptocurrencies to support their activities.
rand  terrorism  finance 
may 2019
Improving Gender Diversity in the U.S. Coast Guard
April 2019 Rand report
The U.S. Coast Guard aims to attract, recruit, and retain a workforce from all segments of American society. Currently, however, women leave the active-duty Coast Guard at higher rates than men. This report documents the results of a mixed-methods study designed to help identify the root causes of female attrition in the active-duty Coast Guard. The study conducted a statistical analysis of Coast Guard personnel data to examine gender differences in retention trends and whether certain career and personnel characteristics could help explain the gender gap in retention. The study also conducted 164 focus groups with 1,010 active-duty Coast Guard women to better understand potential barriers to female retention; 27 focus groups with 127 active-duty men were also conducted to help identify retention factors that resonate with both men and women and those factors that may be unique to women. Based on the study findings, the report provides recommendations to help mitigate identified barriers and improve female retention within the Coast Guard.
rand  coast_guard  women  gender  retention 
may 2019
Do Differing Analyses Change the Decision? Using a Game to Assess Whether Differing Analytic Approaches Improve Decisionmaking
April 2019 Rand report
The decision analysis community faces obstacles in moving new methods, tools, and paradigms from the academy to the boardroom or the White House Situation Room. Change requires investments of time and resources that are hard to justify if one cannot show the value proposition of an innovative approach — that is, that it truly improves decisionmaking processes and the resulting decisions. However, without an application to evaluate, such evidence may be in short supply, and the approach may therefore not be adopted. In this report, RAND researchers examine that value proposition by comparing the effects of two different analytic inputs on a sample U.S. Department of Defense decision about future force structure. The researchers designed a structured comparison game in which groups of mid-level and senior players simulating defense officials were briefed with two different types of pregame analysis: (1) a traditional, scenario-based analysis, common in force planning efforts, and (2) a novel analysis using RAND's Robust Decision Making (RDM) method. The type of analysis presented appeared to influence the decisionmaking process and resulting decisions; however, the influence of player experience seemed to be larger than that of the analysis presented. The researchers found that the analytic community could use such structured comparison games to assess how policymakers ingest and use analysis. This kind of approach could increase the utility of policy recommendations in the future by providing a window into how analysis is interpreted and used by decisionmakers.
rand  decision_making 
may 2019
Countering Violent Extremism in Australia and Abroad: A Framework for Characterising CVE Programs in Australia, the United States, and Europe
March 2019 Rand report
This report documents an effort to help CVE program directors and policymakers in Australia place their efforts in context and identify promising approaches internationally. The authors developed a general framework for characterising CVE programs and then interviewed project staff at and collected information on two promising Australian CVE programs. Using this framework and the results of the interviews and data collection, the project team analysed the Australian programs to identify their primary characteristics, and then examined publicly available information to identify programs in Europe and the United States with goals, approaches, and target populations similar to the Australian programs. This method for mapping programs against goals and activity types could facilitate information exchange across countries.
rand  counterterrorism  australia  europe 
may 2019
Taiwan’s Geopolitical Challenges and Domestic Choices: A State of Ambiguity
April 2019 Chatham House briefing
This briefing considers heightened tensions in the region and the Trump administration’s more forceful China Policy in the context of recent developments within Taiwan’s domestic politics, the current status of its relationship with the US and China, and its efforts to increase its presence in the international community.
chatham_house  taiwan 
may 2019
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