The Strategic Studies Institute is the U.S. Army's institute for geostrategic and national security research and analysis. The Strategic Studies Institute conducts strategic research and analysis to support the U.S. Army War College curricula, provides direct analysis for Army and Department of Defense leadership, and serves as a bridge to the wider strategic community.
Policy and Research Papers
In the year since the revolution, Tunisia has achieved what no other Arab Spring country has managed: peaceful transition to democratic rule through national elections widely viewed to be free and fair. The legacy of the previous regime, however, remains. Dr. Querine Hanlon assesses the prospects for Security Sector Reform (SSR) in Tunisia and concludes that Tunisia’s new government faces major challenges dismantling and reorienting the mandate and institutional culture of Tunisia’s labyrinth of security institutions. Serious SSR will be critical for building trust in the new governments and its security institutions and essential if Tunisia’s transition to democratic rule is to succeed in the long term.
Author Michael J. Metrinko offers information applicable to all advisors (not only military) and to all contexts (not only Muslim). The paper provides a functional example of effective strategic advising and a good snapshot of the activities of an external strategic advisor.
Hard Power and Soft Power: The Utility of Military Force as an Instrument of Policy in the 21st Century
A U.S. report by Colin Gray from the Strategic Studies Institute (SSI) based at the U.S. Army War College discussing the future of hard and soft power in military operations.
Recent events in Mali, Libya, Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, and elsewhere demonstrate that building professional indigenous forces is imperative to regional stability, yet few success stories exist. Liberia is a qualified “success,” and this study explores how it was achieved by the program’s chief architect. Liberia suffered a 14-year civil war replete with human rights atrocities that killed 250,000 people and displaced a third of its population. Following President Charles Taylor’s exile in 2003, the U.S. contracted DynCorp International to demobilize and rebuild the Armed Forces of Liberia and Ministry of Defense; the first time in 150 years that one sovereign nation hired a private company to raise another sovereign nation’s military. This monograph explores the theory and practice behind the successful disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration (DDR) of the legacy military and security sector reform (SSR) that built the new one. It also considers some of the benefits and difficulties of contracting out the making of militaries. This is significant since the private sector will probably participate increasingly in security sector reform. The monograph concludes with 28 concrete recommendations for practitioners and 6 recommendations for the U.S. Army on how to expand this capability. Finally, this monograph is written by a practitioner for practitioners.
As the Arab Spring has renewed Western interest in the political, as well as military, role of Arab armed forces, reform—rather than mere assistance—is crucial. In this monograph, the author focuses on the structural aspects of reform from which the Arab Spring forces would benefit. Seven features are identified which need to be addressed when attempting Arab military reform in the countries affected by large-scale unrest in 2011: an unclear mandate, over-politicization, a challenging ongoing security situation, limited resources, lack of civilian oversight, pockets of paramilitary activity, and, in parts, as well as the lack of an institutional perception of reform need. Their origins are elaborated as much as recommendations for what outside assistance can achieve.
The article is available here.
Until a few years ago, the relationship between Washington and Ankara was perennially troubled and occasionally terrible. Turkey opposed the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq and complained that the Pentagon was allowing Iraqi Kurds too much autonomy, leading to deteriorating security along the Iraq-Turkish border. Disagreements over how to respond to Iran’s nuclear program; U.S. suspicions regarding Turkey’s outreach efforts to Iran and Syria; and differences over Armenia, Palestinians, and the Black Sea further strained ties. However, Turkey is now seen as responding to its local challenges by moving closer to the West. The United States has called the U.S.-Turkish relationship a “model partnership” and Turkey “a critical ally.” For a partnership between Turkey and the United States to endure, Turkey must adopt more of a collective transatlantic perspective, crack down harder on terrorist activities, and resolve a domestic democratic deficit. At the same time, Europeans should show more flexibility meeting Turkey’s security concerns regarding the European Union, while the United States should adopt a more proactive policy toward resolving potential sources of tensions between Ankara and Washington that could worsen significantly at any time.
The paper is available here.
This monograph examines the relationship between organized crime, internal violence, and institutional failure in Guatemala. It aims to increase awareness of this growing threat to regional security and to provide a granular, textured case study of a phenomenon that, while most striking in Guatemala, is present throughout Latin America as a whole. Organizationally, the monograph comprises three substantive sections. The first, offers an overview of the emerging security environment in Latin America, examining
organized crime as a form of irregular warfare. The second, zooms in on Guatemala, exploring the origins, nature, and effects of the current crisis in that country. The third, considers the implications for Guatemalan and U.S. policy.