War on the Rocks

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The Speech That Shaped the Cold War World Order

On March 5, 1946, Winston Churchill delivered a speech at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri. This speech, known as “The Sinews of Peace” speech, became famous for the phrase that Churchill coined about the fall of the “Iron Curtain” across Europe.   To mark its 75th anniversary, the Clements Center assembled a panel to discuss […] The post The...

Advantage At Sea Requires Rethinking Influence

Editors note: This essay is the sixth in a series of eight articles, “Maritime Strategy on the Rocks,” that examines different aspects and implications of the recently released tri-service maritime strategy, Advantage at Sea: Prevailing with Integrated All-Domain Naval Power. Be sure to read the first, second, third, fourth, and fifth articles. We thank...

Five Reasons Not to Split Cyber Command from the NSA Any Time Soon – If Ever

In the waning days of President Donald Trump’s administration, a group of outgoing political appointees unexpectedly pushed through the acting secretary of defense to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff a hotly disputed plan to split the U.S. Cyber Command from the National Security Agency (NSA). This idea is a contentious and recurring […] The...

The Color of Money

Chris, Zack, and Melanie sit down to discuss U.S. sanctions programs and how to make them more effective. In a recent War on the Rocks article focused on sanctions, Edward Fishman argues that the United States needs to take a hard look at our economic statecraft. Why have sanctions become the go-to answer to so […] The post The Color of Money appeared...

ARIA to Progress? The British Advanced Research and Invention Agency Should Learn More from Defense

A new star has appeared in the constellation of British quasi-autonomous non-governmental organizations — the Advanced Research and Invention Agency (ARIA). While the creation of a research and development body modeled on the American Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) has been mooted for some time, it is only now that the government has published...

Restraint, Not Superiority, in Space

In 1977, U.S. National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski argued that the existence of Soviet anti-satellite weapons was “no adequate reason” for the United States to develop its own space weapons. Does his logic apply today? The establishment of the U.S. Space Force has placed a spotlight on both the necessity and vulnerability of space systems....

Time For A Fully Integrated Dual-Fleet Force Model

Editors note: This essay is the fifth in a series of eight articles, “Maritime Strategy on the Rocks,” that examines different aspects and implications of the recently released tri-service maritime strategy, Advantage at Sea: Prevailing with Integrated All-Domain Naval Power. Be sure to read the first, second, third, fourth, and sixth articles. We thank...

Economics, National Security, and the Competition with China

Bookended by the global financial crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic over the last 13 years, the world has been presented with a third existential shock that is the defining drama of these early decades of the 21st century: a more truculent and assertive China. Once viewed by liberal-leaning democracies simply as a formidable consumer and […] The post...

How to Asymmetrically Out-Compete Xi Jinping’s One Belt One Road Initiative

Beijing’s One Belt One Road project is an aggressive attempt to expand Chinese influence in the Indo-Pacific. Indeed, Chinese President Xi Jinping calls it “a project of the century.” But for Washington to respond head-on, trying to match it port-by-port or road-by-road, would simply allow China to set the agenda. Instead, the United States should […]...

Trust and Tech: AI Education in The Military

The average life expectancy of a non-instrument trained pilot in instrument conditions is 178 seconds — or so says a 1954 study that pilots have referenced ever since. The point made by the aphorism is that once a pilot enters the clouds, instinct is of very little help in keeping the airplane upright. Learning to […] The post Trust and Tech: AI Education...

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