Defense Strategy

Must Read

Cairo Review of Global Affairs: Freezing Aid without a Strategy

Author: Jonathan Guyer

"Beltway analysts draw the same conclusion: U.S. aid has not bought leverage over Egypt. Their argument is that cutting aid is futile and actually detracts from U.S. interests. It's quite a tautology. Since American assistance doesn't buy leverage, Washington should keep the aid flowing. If we agree that American assistance doesn't do much, then why continue it?"

See more in Egypt; Defense Strategy


Walking Loudly and Carrying a Big Stick

Author: Micah Zenko
Foreign Policy

A divergence of opinions between males and females is an "enduring characteristic of polls on the use of military force, regardless of the weapons system employed, military mission undertaken, whether the intervening force is unilateral or multilateral, and the strategic objective proposed," says Micah Zenko. Citing polls from the early 1990s to today, he investigates why this persistent difference in opinion exists and what it may mean for U.S. foreign policy.

See more in United States; Defense Strategy; Defense Technology; Drones

Must Read

The Rise of the Pasdaran: Assessing the Domestic Roles of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps

Authors: Frederic Wehrey, Jerrold D. Green, Brian Nichiporuk, Alireza Nader, Lydia Hansell, Rasool Nafisi, and S. R. Bohandy

Never solely a military organization in the traditional sense, Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC)—also known as the Pasdaran (Persian for "guards")—has seen a significant expansion and diversification of its domestic roles since the election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in 2005.

See more in Defense Strategy; Iran

Primary Sources

U.S. Coast Guard: Arctic Strategy

Coast Guard Commandant Admiral Robert Papp released this maritime governance document on May 21, 2013, which will "guide our efforts in the region over the next 10 years" based on "three key objectives: improving awareness, modernizing governance, and broadening partnerships."

See more in Arctic; Defense Strategy; Oceans


America's Best Options in Syria

Author: Gregory D. Koblentz
Atlantic Monthly

Gregory Koblentz argues that the United States' best option for a response to the conflict in Syria is not simply arming the rebels, pushing for UN sanctions, indicting Assad, or pressuring Russia—rather, it is a combination of all four.

See more in Syria; United States; Defense Strategy

Primary Sources

U.S. Armed Forces White Paper: Strategic Landpower

Authors: Raymond Odierno, James F. Amos, and William H. McRaven

U.S. Army, U.S. Marine Corps, and U.S. Special Operations formed a task force on January 28, 2013 to study the application of landpower to achieve national objectives and focus on engagement and preventing war. In May 2013, the task force released a white paper that emphasized the need to understand the physical, cultural, and social environments involved in conflict.

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Ask CFR Experts

Will China extend its influence in the Indian Ocean by building a naval base in Gwadar, Pakistan?

Asked by Hassan, from National University Of Sciences and Technology

To date, Chinese officials have asserted that their interest in Gwadar is strictly a commercial effort to provide another energy corridor for Middle East oil, and Pakistani government officials stridently affirm this position. New Delhi, on the other hand, has expressed "concern" about the true motivations in developing Gwadar, suspecting that it is a Sino-Pak effort at encirclement.

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See more in China; India; Pakistan; Defense Strategy