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Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Senator John McCain and Ranking Member, Senator Jack Reed hosted a hearing to explore the U.S. policy and strategy in the Middle East. CSBA Counselor Eric Edelman was invited to give testimony.
Choosing analytic criteria for making strategic choices or judging historical outcomes is a recurring, if not universal, problem. It recurs because no general method for choosing appropriate criteria is known to exist despite the early hopes for methodological innovations ranging from macroeconomic models to operations research, systems analysis, and game theory.
Statement Before the Senate Armed Services Committee on Recommendations for a Future National Defense Strategy
Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Senator John McCain and Ranking Member, Senator Jack Reed hosted a hearing for outside experts to explore recommendations for a future national defense strategy. CSBA President and CEO Dr. Thomas G. Mahnken was invited to give testimony.
The United States has a long history of engaging in irregular wars and countering insurgencies, one that predates its independence. To understand what worked, what did not, and why, this study assesses the measures, both coercive and benign, that the United States has used in a limited number of pivotal cases to determine if U.S. irregular warfare and counterinsurgency (COIN) approaches have changed significantly over the past two centuries. It also makes recommendations for the future.
U.S. foreign policy is likely to be wracked by crises in the coming years. Yet crises are often symptoms of deeper structural transformations, and the fundamental fact of international politics today is that the post-Cold War era has reached its end. That period was defined by uncontested U.S. and Western primacy, a marked decline in ideological struggle and great-power conflict, and a historically remarkable degree of global cooperation in addressing international disorder. Today, however, the international system has reverted to a more contested state. The core characteristics of the emerging era are the gradual but unmistakable erosion of U.S. and Western primacy, the return of sharp great-power competition across all three key regions of Eurasia, the revival of global ideological struggle, and the empowerment of the agents of international strife and disorder. Moreover, the impact of these forces is magnified by growing uncertainty about whether the traditional defenders of the post-Cold War system will be able and willing to play that role in the future. Dealing with the dangers and dilemmas posed by the new global politics will be a generational task. Yet understanding the basic nature of the age is the critical first step.
Dealing With Allies in Decline: Alliance Management and U.S. Strategy in an Era of Global Power Shifts
Dealing with Allies in Decline: Alliance Management and U.S. Strategy in an Era of Global Power Shifts is the latest study by CSBA Senior Fellow Hal Brands. In the monograph, Brands argues that although America's alliances are a source of great geopolitical strength, the difficult reality is that shifts in global economic and military power have left many of America's traditional allies with significantly diminished relative standing and capabilities.