The CSS Blog Network

10 Conflicts to Watch in 2019

Image courtesy of DVIDS/Christian Simmons.

This article was published by the International Crisis Group on 28 December 2018.

As U.S. leadership of the international order fades, more countries are seeking to bolster their influence by meddling in foreign conflicts. In this new era of limit testing, Crisis Group’s President Robert Malley lists the Ten Conflicts to Watch in 2019.

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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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What Does the US Troop Withdrawal Mean for Syria?

Image courtesy of DVIDS/Nicole Paese.

This article was originally published by the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) on 19 December 2018.

On Wednesday, the White House announced that it will “fully” and “rapidly” withdraw the U.S. military presence in Syria, where approximately 2,000 U.S. troops have been stationed in the northeastern, Kurdish-controlled part of the country, near its border with Turkey. USIP’s Mona Yacoubian examines the implications of the troop withdrawal and its broader impact on the Syria conflict.

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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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Russia’s Approach to the Development of Intermediate-Range Missiles

Image courtesy of Jacob Smith/DVIDS

This article was originally published by the Polish Institute of International Affairs (PISM) on 14 November 2018.

Russia will present the expected withdrawal of the United States from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Elimination Treaty (INF) as a step forcing a military response from Moscow. Even if the Russian Federation were to violate the INF by deploying new cruise missiles with a range greater than 500 km, the U.S. withdrawal from the treaty creates opportunity to blur responsibility. In the event of divided opinions within NATO, Russia’s position in arms control might be stronger vis-à-vis Europe and, indirectly, the United States. Moreover, Russia will continue expansion of its arsenal of ground-launched missiles.

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