The CSS Blog Network

Extended (Nuclear?) Deterrence: What’s in a Word?

Image courtesy of DVIDS/Ronald Gutridge

This article was originally published by the ASPI’s The Strategist on 22 January 2019.

Over recent years, a somewhat geeky debate has emerged among the exponents of deterrence and assurance. Although the discussion typically occurs between Americans and nationals of an allied country, it’s overly simplistic to describe it as one between the US and its allies—the divisions aren’t that clear-cut.

The debate is part philosophical and part phraseological. At its core sits a single adjective. Some Americans (including policymakers) say that what the US offers its allies is ‘extended deterrence’. But a number of allied nationals (again, including policymakers) find the phrase underwhelming; they’d prefer that it read ‘extended nuclear deterrence’. And so we come directly to the crux of the argument: the presence or absence of the word ‘nuclear’ in the assurance that the US provides to its allies.

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A European Security Council: Added Value for EU Foreign and Security Policy?

Image courtesy of European Parliament/Flickr. (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

This article was originally published by the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP) on 2 January 2018.

A European Security Council (ESC) would – so the German government has suggested – make the European Union (EU) better prepared for making decisions about inter­national politics and thus better able to act. It believes that if the EU and its member states do not manage to take and implement coherent decisions more quickly, their ability to (further) enforce European rules and strengthen multilateral formats will be weakened. The EU-27’s diplomatic, financial and military resources should there­fore be supplemented by a format for more effective intergovernmental cooperation. However, this idea can only take shape if the German government can demonstrate the added value of such a body, and if it shows more willingness itself to shape for­eign policy within the EU framework.

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Empowering European Defense: A 21st Century US Army Strategy

Image courtesy of DVIDS/Bill Boecker

This article was originally published by the Small Wars Journal on 19 December 2018.

Since the close of the Second World War the United States has retained a significant ground force presence in Europe to defend against Russian aggression. While laudable during the halcyon days of the Soviet Empire, it is past time for this anachronistic policy to end. Europe now has the unrealized economic and political capacity to overmatch a weakened Moscow that can only provoke with economic and informational warfare while accosting weak states along its borders.[1] In the 21st century, the United States Army should accordingly adopt a more dynamic strategy for how it contributes to European security and would join a potential, though improbable, NATO war to defeat Russia.

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Artificial Intelligence and the Military: Technology Is Only Half the Battle

Image courtesy of Mike Mackenzie/Flickr. (CC BY 2.0)

This article was originally published by War on the Rocks on 25 December 2018.

What will advances in artificial intelligence (AI) mean for national security? This year in War on the Rocks, technical and non-technical experts with academic, military, and industry perspectives grappled with the promise and peril of AI in the military and defense realms. War on the Rocks articles discussed issues ranging from the different ways international competitors and military services are pursuing AI to the challenges AI applications present to current systems of decision-making, trust, and military ethics. War on the Rocks contributors added to our understanding of the trajectory of military AI and drew attention to critical remaining questions. A key takeaway is that technical developments in AI probably represent less than half the battle in attempting to effectively integrate AI capabilities into militaries. The real challenge now, both in the United States and abroad, is going beyond the hype and getting the right people, organizations, processes, and safeguards in place.

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Is China Ahead of America in Next-Generation Unmanned Aircraft?

Image courtesy of Timothy Walter/US Navy

This article was originally published by War on the Rocks on 13 November 2018.

The China Airshow in Zhuhai is the annual exhibition that China uses, for both political and commercial reasons, to display the progress of her aerospace capabilities. Like previous editions, this year’s event saw China unveil several technologies, including a thrust-vectoring low-bypass turbofan engine and a jam-resistant and counter-stealth quantum-radar. The bulk of the attention, however, went to the mockup of a new stealth drone, the CH-7, that resembles Northrop Grumman’s XB-47B demonstrator.

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