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Not a common global home, but a fine mess

transcript of presentation by Carl Conetta on the “World Security Situation – Russia, Iraq and Syria, and Beyond” panel of the Economists for Peace and Security conference in Washington, DC, 17 November 2014. Full transcipt and video of panel presentations by Richard Kaufman, Carl Conetta, Bill Hartung, Heather Hurlburt and others at the Economic and Security Future Conference.

panel one EPS 1114

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Reasonable Defense: A Sustainable Approach to Securing the Nation

(printable PDF version) (summary) (appendix of tables and charts) by Carl Conetta, PDA Briefing Report #21, 14 November 2012.  Argues for a new balance among the various instruments of  national power reflecting today’s strategic conditions.  Taking a realistic view of security needs, the report advocates a military 20% smaller than today’s.   It advances a “discriminate defense” strategy that would focus the military on cost-effective missions and save $550 billion more than official plans over the next decade.   Main report includes 9 tables.  Appendix has 18 additional tables and charts addressing personnel, force structure, and budgets.
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Strategic Adjustment to Sustain the Force: A Survey of Current Proposals

(printable PDF version) by Charles Knight, PDA Briefing Memo #51, 25 October 2011. A survey of five proposals by independent experts for adjusting US global strategy to new fiscal realities in ways that enhance security while avoiding ‘hollowing’ of the forces.
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Forceful Engagement: Rethinking the Role of Military Power in US Global Policy

(printable PDF version) (HTML version) (summary) by Carl Conetta, PDA Briefing Report #22, 01 December 2008. The US has been using its armed forces beyond the limit of their utility. The result is not just diminishing returns, but negative ones.
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A Prisoner to Primacy

(printable PDF version) (HTML version) by Carl Conetta, PDA Briefing Memo #43, 05 February 2008. The United States is entering a period of policy transition, but there is a dearth of new thinking regarding security policy. The debate remains paralyzed by 9/11 and mesmerized by military primacy. Progress depends on rethinking the role of force.
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Cul de Sac: 9/11 and the Paradox of American Power

(printable PDF version) (HTML version) by Carl Conetta, PDA Research Monograph #13, 05 February 2008. Post-Cold War US security policy evinces a disturbing paradox: it has been delivering less and less security at ever increasing cost. The reasons reside not in the differences between the Bush and Clinton administration, but in their points of similarity.
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Pyrrhus on the Potomac: How America’s post-9/11 wars have undermined US national security

(printable PDF version) (HTML version) by Carl Conetta, PDA Briefing Report #18, 05 September 2006.  A net assessment of America’s post-911 security policy shows it to be “pyrrhic” in character: although progress has been made in disrupting Al Qaeda, the broader effect has been to increase the threat to the United States, while weakening the nation’s capacity to respond effectively.
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Dissuading China and Fighting the ‘Long War’

(printable PDF version) by Carl Conetta, World Policy Journal, 01 July 2006. The 2006 US Defense Review advanced two new strategic vectors for the US armed forces – one targets a putative “global Islamic insurgency”; the other puts America on a collison course with China. 

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Mechanized Tube Artillery as an Integral Element of Expeditionary Forces

(printable PDF version) (HTML version) by Lutz Unterseher, Guest Publication, Studiengruppe Alternative Sicherheitspolitik, Berlin, Germany, May 2006. In seeking improved strategic mobility of indirect fire assets nations are advised to trade on tactical performance with care. 
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A Few Thoughts on the Evolution of Infantry: Past, Present, Future

(printable PDF version) (HTML version) by Lutz Unterseher, Guest Publication, Studiengruppe Alternative Sicherheitspolitik, Berlin, Germany, May 2006. Subduing resistance and guarding the peace in modern interventions requires high quality infantry, but it is erroneous to think the job could be done by elite SOF forces, because there can never be enough of these. The vast majority of the all-volunteer armies in the industrial West face a problem when it comes to attracting sufficient personnel: relatively few recruits are good enough to receive the more demanding training needed — creating a dilemma that has rarely been addressed and one that certainly is yet to be solved by today’s armies.
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We Can See Clearly Now: The Limits of Foresight in the pre-World War II Revolution in Military Affairs (RMA)

(printable PDF version) (HTML version) by Carl Conetta, PDA Research Monograph #12, 02 March 2006. “Military transformation” and the idea of a “Revolution in Military Affairs” are prominent themes in US defense planning. However, the example of revolutionary change during the Second World War suggests that forecasting such revolutions poses a daunting, if not insurmountable challenge.
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Arms Control in an Age of Strategic and Military Revolution

(printable PDF version) (HTML version) by Carl Conetta, Presentation to Einstein Forum, Berlin, 15 November 2005. Changes in the nature of warfare, military technology, and the global strategic environment pose new challenges for arms control. The article critically examines new forms of strategic warfare, cyberwar, so-called “precision” conventional warfare, and less lethal weaponry.
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The Bush Doctrine: Origins, Evolution, Alternatives

(printable PDF version) by Mark Gerard Mantho, PDA Guest Publication, April 2004. The Bush administration’s national security doctrine represents the most sweeping change in U.S. foreign policy since World War II and was the conceptual underpinning of the President’s decision to invade Iraq. Yet few Americans realize where the policy came from, who crafted it, or even what it is.
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Disappearing the Dead: Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Idea of a “New Warfare”

(printable PDF version) (HTML version) (summary)  (summary PDF version) by Carl Conetta, PDA Research Monograph #9, 18 February 2004. Examines the Pentagon’s treatment of the civilian casualty issue in the Iraq and Afghan wars, reviews the “spin” and “news frames” used by defense officials to shape the public debate over casualties, and critiques the concept of a “precision warfare” as misleading. Case studies include the Baghdad bombing campaign. An appendix provides a comprehensive Guide to Surveys and Reporting on Casualties in the Afghan and Iraq Wars.
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Saving General Shinseki: on the future of wheeled armor

(printable PDF version) (HTML version) by Lutz Unterseher. PDA Guest Publication, February 2004. Presents the specifications for a ‘hybrid’ combat vehicle featuring: considerable, versatile firepower (kinetic energy and fragmentation) without the weight penalty of a main gun system; a high degree of crew protection; better strategic mobility than current tracked armor; superior operational mobility; and acceptable tactical mobility.
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The New Occupation: How Preventive War is Wrecking the Military

(HTML version) by Charles Knight and Marcus Corbin, Security Policy Working Group Commentary, 04 January 2004.
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European Armed Forces of Tomorrow: A New Perspective

(printable PDF version) (HTML version) (Leicht gekuerzte deutschsprachige Fassung der Studie) by Lutz Unterseher. PDA Guest Publication, 20 October 2003. Models an integrated European Armed Forces. Details the conceptual framework, strategic orientation, key functions, posture, resources, personnel, and budget of a viable all European force, as a complement to a foreign policy of reconciliation.
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Catastrophic Interdiction: Air Power and the Collapse of the Iraqi Field Army in the 2003 War

(printable PDF version) by Carl Conetta. PDA Briefing Memo #30, 26 September 2003. Examines how air power helped bring about the collapse of the Iraqi Republican Guard and regular army in the 2003 war. Compares the air campaigns of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Desert Storm, and estimates combatant casualties due to air interdiction in the 2003 war.
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Prevention or Preemption?: Towards a clarification of terminology

(HTML version) by Volker Kroening, MdB, PDA Guest Commentary, March 2003.
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9/11 and the Meanings of Military Transformation

(HTML version) by Carl Conetta, Project on Defense Alternatives, 06 February 2003. This article examines a ten-year failure to adapt US security policy to post-Cold War realities and assesses how well three different concepts of military transformation correspond to these new realities. Originally published in Security After 9/11: Strategy Choices and Budget Tradeoffs by the Security Policy Working Group, January 2003 (.pdf file). A compilation of eight articles that gauge the cost and effectiveness of post-9/11 US security policy offering assessments of counter-terrorism, homeland security, and military transformation policies in light of alternative options and budget tradeoffs. Executive summaries and author contact information included.
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The “New Warfare” and the New American Calculus of War

(HTML version) by Carl Conetta, PDA Briefing Memo #26, 30 September 2002. US methods of warfare have changed substantially since the Cold War’s end. So have the norms governing the use of force. Since 11 September 2001 there has been an increased impetus to more fully exercise US military primacy and test the promise of the new warfare. Unfortunately, this impetus has not been matched with adequate analysis of either the new methods or the new norms of war.
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The Pentagon’s New Budget, New Strategy, and New War

(HTML version) by Carl Conetta. PDA Briefing Report #12, 25 June 2002. Examines the new US military strategy as codified in the September 2001 Quadrennial Defense Review and practiced in the Afghan war. The report contrasts the new QDR with its 1997 predecessor, paying special attention to the Bush administration’s “new concept of deterrence.” Published in Hegemonie oder Stabilität: Alternativen zur Militarisierung der Politik, edited by Volker Kröning (MdB), Lutz Unterseher, and Günter Verheugen (Hrsg.) Bremen: Edition Temmen, August 2002.
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A Response to Ivan Eland’s “Bush Versus the Defense Establishment” in Issues in Science and Technology Forum, Fall 2001

(HTML version) by Charles Knight, PDA Commentary, Fall 2001. The most profound effect of new technologies in military affairs is not an expanding choice of hardware but rather the opportunities technological developments provide to reorganize the way humans do their military work.
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What Justifies Military Intervention?

(HTML version) commentary by Charles Knight, 27 September 2001. Examines the problems for international security associated with U.S. military intervention abroad. Includes a Postscript on the “war on terrorism” (revised 01 March 2002) and Selected Readings on the doctrines of Just War, Total War, and Strategic Bombing (revised 01 March 2002).
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A New US Military Strategy: Issues and Options

(HTML version) by Carl Conetta and Charles Knight, PDA Briefing Memo #20, May 2001. Reviews the principal strategy debates of the 1990s with an eye toward the options under consideration by the Bush administration.
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Rotocraft for War: Descending on a Military Dilemma

(HTML version) by Dr. Lutz Unterseher, PDA Briefing Memo #19, May 2001. Offers a critical assessment of the value of combat helicopters in modern war with examination of the technical characteristics and limits of combat helicopters, the doctrine for their use, and issues of cost. Case studies include the Gulf War, Vietnam, and Afghanistan.
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Concepts for Transformation from Breaking the Phalanx

(PowerPoint Presentation) by Col. Douglas A. Macgregor, a briefing for the Raytheon Corporation, 19 February 2001. In the aftermath of the Kosovo conflict there has been a broader and deeper recognition that the Army must change if it is to remain strategically relevant. Col. Macgregor offers a vision of a modular Army comprising various types of basic combined-arms units that would be much smaller than today’s divisions, but larger and more capable than today’s brigades. This is an Army that is not only rapidly-adaptable and rapidly-deployable, but also “joint” and “combined” from the bottom up. See also The Macgregor Briefings: An Information Age Vision for the U.S. Army.
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Can the United States Spend Less on Defense? — Toward a Smaller, More Efficient, and More Relevant US Military

(HTML version) PDA Briefing Memo #17, October 2000. Examines issues of threat assessment, strategy, and force management, identifying options for moving toward a smaller, less expensive US military. It concludes that in several ways current US strategy is unnecessarily ambitious and that the armed forces are poorly adapted to present day needs. It suggests adjustment in several areas, including regional war preparations, military presence abroad, and the diplomatic activity of the US military. The memo also proposes a variety of structural reforms to increase the efficiency of the armed forces.
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Kosovo and the Just War Tradition

(printable PDF version) by Bjørn Møller. Guest Publication.  Paper for the Commission on Internal Conflicts at the 18th International Peace Research Association conference in Tampere, 05-09 August 2000.
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Wheels or Tracks? On the “Lightness” of Military Expeditions

(HTML version) by Dr. Lutz Unterseher, PDA Briefing Memo #16, July 2000. Can the US Army hope to achieve its vision of a “full-spectrum” ground force riding entirely on wheeled vehicles? This paper examines the key technical and tactical issues and reviews the history of the “wheels vs. tracks” debate, looking both at operational experience and recent technological developments.
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