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Cyberspace in Peace and War December 21, 2017 — Martin Libicki has been a prolific writer in the field of information warfare since the mid-1990s. In this newer work, published by the Naval Institute Press, he aggregates his thinking during the past several decades into a single book. Cyberspace in Peace and War draws from work performed at RAND, both solely and with colleagues, and from lecture interactions with his students at various universities, to present a streamlined and consolidated overview of activities within and enabled by information technologies. MORE

International Conflict and Cyberspace Superiority: Theory and Practice December 21, 2017 — Cyberspace Superiority is a compelling mix of advanced technological know-how and easy-to-understand writing. Bryant, a Lieutenant Colonel who is a career fighter pilot and earned his Ph.D. in military strategy, first examines whether cyberspace is a “global common”—i.e. a shared resource like the oceans, atmosphere, space, and Antarctica. The answer may well determine the future nature of cyber hostilities but, with the issue as yet unsettled, Bryant posits a far more pressing question—is superiority in cyberspace “a useful construct for thinking about and planning for nation-state conflict in cyberspace?” MORE

Warnings Finding Cassandras to Stop Catastrophes December 21, 2017 — Every day we hear warnings—from parents concerned about the personal safety and good health of their children, to government officials worried about protecting the citizenry from external adversaries and the forces of nature. Distinguishing serious warnings of impending catastrophe from those that are frivolous may mean the difference between life and death, success and failure, freedom and oppression. MORE

Cognitive-Emotional Conflict - Adversary Will and Social Resilience December 21, 2017 — Today’s information sharing tools let adversaries interfere more directly than ever with a targeted nation’s political processes and the minds of its citizens. Operating effectively in such “cognitive-emotional conflict” requires that information-based capabilities be employed and countered in agile, integrated ways across the military, government, and society. Coherent narratives tied to strategy and backed by actions are important. Technical cyberspace activities need to be well-coordinated with content-based approaches like military information operations, government-wide messaging, and intelligence gathering (including all forms of security). Even more important is to build a society’s resilience against persistent, disruptive, or disinformation campaigns that aim to undermine citizen confidence and core beliefs. MORE

Prologue December 21, 2017 — Nearly a half century ago in October 1969, computer programmers at the University of California, Los Angeles used a primitive Department of Defense computer network called ARPANET to send the first messages to computers at Stanford Research Institute. This quiet event, considered by some to be the birth of the internet, ignited a technological movement within the computer and information industries that eventually transformed the world into a globally connected society utterly dependent on instant access to information, yet increasingly vulnerable to network intrusions by those who seek to steal sensitive data or disrupt cyber infrastructure. MORE

Effective, Legitimate, Secure: Insights for Defense Institution Building December 1, 2017 — Effective, Legitimate, Secure: Insights for Defense Institution Building offers an introduction to the concept of Defense Institution Building and argues that establishing effective and legitimate defense institutions to undergird a partner’s defense establishment is the only way to ensure long-term security. MORE

Introduction: Defense Institution Building: A New Paradigm for the 21st Century November 20, 2017 — Today, the United States faces a security paradox. On the one hand, the U.S. military is unrivaled in size, strength, capacity, and budget; on the other hand, the global operating environment of the 21st century is diffuse and complex. Beyond the rise of geopolitical challenges from China, Iran, North Korea, and Russia, threats to the United States are increasingly unpredictable and often asymmetrical. From terrorist groups that thrive in the absence of strong governance to transnational criminal networks unhindered by state borders, such challenges stipulate that no single nation, regardless of its traditional military might, can completely address its security objectives alone. The United States is no exception. Developing a network of competent partners that can share the burdens and responsibilities of global security, embracing a strategy of coalition and cooperation, is therefore vital to U.S. interests. MORE

Acknowledgements November 20, 2017 — Defense institution building (DIB) must be studied, understood, and refined as a discipline in order to generate the knowledge and skills necessary to effectively support partner nations in building professional defense institutions. Yet, while DIB has grown in importance in the past two decades, the development of DIB programs at the Department of Defense (DOD) has primarily been a bottom-up effort, leaving a vacuum in top-level thinking on the issue. Despite growing knowledge and experience gained regarding DIB in recent years, there remains a gap in dedicated literature on this relatively new discipline. Aware of this gap, Thomas (“Tommy”) Ross approached the National Defense University during the summer of 2015 with the idea of developing a book devoted entirely to DIB. As the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Security Cooperation, Tommy recognized both the importance and the underutilization of DIB as a key instrument in the security assistance and cooperation toolkit, as well as the extent of untapped knowledge and expertise in the nascent DIB community. MORE

1. DIB in the Broader Security Architecture November 20, 2017 — Give us the tools,” Prime Minister Winston Churchill said in his famous Lend Lease radio address, to “finish the job.”1 The United States has been “giving tools” to strategic allies for the better part of a century. Historically, this assistance was used to buttress the defense sectors of key allies like Greece, Turkey, Israel, and Egypt against state threats.2 Although the programs varied across countries, U.S. security assistance throughout the Cold War involved long-term efforts to build infrastructure, such as runways, and the provision of major weapons systems, such as tanks or fighter jets, to countries seen as essential in the fight against communism. With few exceptions, little attention was paid to how these countries’ security sectors functioned internally or how their security institutions were managed and led. MORE

2. Defining the Discipline in Theory and Practice November 20, 2017 — January 2012 brought one of the more unexpected and profound international crises in recent years: the establishment of an al-Qaeda-controlled terrorist safe haven spanning a region the size of Texas, within a five-hour flight of western Europe. Groups of Tuareg rebels returning home after the collapse of Qaddafi’s Libya started an armed uprising in northern Mali that would soon be co-opted by al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), sparking the utter collapse of state security in the region. The Malian Army should have been prepared for this challenge. For the previous 10 years, the United States had spent tens of millions of dollars training and equipping Malian forces to confront terrorist groups and to maintain control of their sovereign territory. In the three years leading up to the crisis, U.S. special operations forces had particularly focused efforts on training an elite counterterrorism unit, the Compagnie de Forces Speciales (CFS). MORE

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