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Analysis and Commentary

Beyond Privacy & Security: The Role Of The Telecommunications Industry In Electronic Surveillance

by Mieke Eoyang, David Forsceyvia Aegis
Monday, April 11, 2016

The court fight between Apple and FBI over access to a terrorist iPhone is just the latest chapter in the long-running tension between security professionals trying to get access to information and communications companies who hold user data. The debate is often framed as a balance between government power and individual privacy.

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Hidden Debt, Hidden Deficits: How Pension Promises Are Consuming State And Local Budgets

by Joshua D. Rauhvia Analysis
Monday, April 11, 2016

Most state and local governments in the United States offer retirement benefits to their employees in the form of guaranteed pensions. To fund these promises, the governments contribute taxpayer money to public systems. Even under states’ own disclosures and optimistic assumptions about future investment returns, assets in the pension systems will be insufficient to pay for the pensions of current public employees and retirees.

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Are Traditional US Security Guarantees Still Sufficient?

by Angelo M. Codevillavia Analysis
Thursday, March 24, 2016

To defend allies against nuclear-armed nations we must become able to protect ourselves against missile attack. Our missile defense programs are not serious about that and cannot lead to that. To avoid defending ourselves, we defend allies badly. The United States has shelved the technologies that make for seriousness in missile defense: launching surface-based interceptors on the basis of data from orbit and striking missiles as they rise into space with orbit-based lasers. Taking these technologies off our shelf before others develop them is essential if our guarantees are to safeguard rather than endanger all concerned.

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A Single British Soldier: On Extended Deterrence and Security Guarantees for America's Allies

by Josef Joffevia Analysis
Thursday, March 24, 2016

Reliable guarantees do not come on paper, as the protector can always opt out. The most effective pledge in history, by the United States to Cold War Europe, did not rest on the NATO treaty, which contains no automatic obligation. The real commitment was embodied in 300,000 US troops plus their nuclear weapons on the firing line. These kept the peace because they spelled out to the Soviet Union that an attack on the allies was an attack on America itself. This lesson holds for the future, as well. The guarantor must tie his hands, and he does so with maximal credibility by putting his own forces in harm’s way.

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A Winning Strategy: Combine Military Force With Good Governance

by Kori Schakevia Analysis
Thursday, March 24, 2016

The United States has been unable to translate frequent tactical successes into strategic victories in most of its recent overseas interventions for two reasons: first, because our political leaders have not defined clear political end states; and second, because we have relied too heavily on military means instead of crafting an integrated mix of political, diplomatic, economic, intelligence, information, and cultural elements. Our outcomes have been actually worse than just successes that are not quantifiable: we are telegraphing to allies and to enemies an incapacity to act strategically.

Analysis and Commentary

Trends And Predictions In Foreign Intelligence Surveillance: The FAA And Beyond

by David S. Krisvia Aegis
Thursday, February 25, 2016

It is a strange time for national security. Beginning in 2013, Edward Snowden’s leaks caused the U.S. government to significantly reduce the scope, and increase the transparency, of its foreign intelligence surveillance, while the President urged caution and restraint in response to the extraordinary rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

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Pragmatic Engagement Amidst Global Uncertainty: Three Major Challenges

via Analysis
Friday, December 11, 2015

The United States is exceptionally secure, but many Americans do not feel secure. This anxiety stems from the fact that the United States faces several long-term threats that may or may not emerge. The Hoover Institution’s Working Group on Foreign Policy and Grand Strategy has produced a national security strategy that acknowledges this uncertainty and hedges as well as engages, recognizing that resources are not limitless.

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Why America Can't Win Its Wars

by Peter R. Mansoorvia Analysis
Thursday, December 10, 2015

Poor strategic decision making since 2001 has involved the United States in messy civil wars that will take years, if not decades, to resolve. In Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya, regime change has come easily, but a limited commitment to stabilizing those nations has resulted in messy, bloody, and expensive aftermaths. Those wars show that military success alone cannot ensure a stable post-conflict outcome. Only the presence of US military forces, economic aid, and a long-term political commitment from US policy makers to rebuild and restore defeated nations can ensure enduring peace.

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The White House’s Seven Deadly Errors

by Mark Moyarvia Analysis
Thursday, December 10, 2015

Seven broad errors account for America’s recent inability to turn tactical successes into strategic victories. In every instance, responsibility for the error has belonged to the White House. Excessive confidence in democratization and poor choices of allies left sustainment of strategic gains to governments incapable of preserving domestic order. Attempts to defeat insurgencies on the cheap, by speeding up counterinsurgency or relying on surgical strikes, allowed insurgencies to survive. Refusal to commit or maintain US ground forces undercut American efforts to assist and stabilize allies. By conveying intentions of military withdrawal, the United States encouraged opportunists to side with its enemies.

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How We Fight in the Twenty-First Century: Winning Battles While Losing Wars

by Bing West via Analysis
Thursday, December 10, 2015

The intent of this essay is to shed light upon why the United States is performing so poorly in twenty-first-century warfare. War is the act of relentlessly destroying and killing until the enemy is broken physically and morally, and no longer resists the advancement of our policy objectives. By that definition, President Obama eschews war. Plus, our generals have imposed rules of engagement that prevent the application of our relative advantages in air and precision firepower. Our enemies do not fear us and our friends do not trust us. Sensible steps can turn that around, but that depends upon the next commander in chief. Our beloved nation does not have a martial spirit, and perhaps does not need one. It does need a military inculcated with a warrior spirit.

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