By Colin P. Clarke (Ph.D., '11) & Chad C. Serena (Ph.D., '10)
As he promised on the campaign trail, President Donald Trump has moved quickly against the Islamic State, directing the Joint Chiefs of Staff to develop an aggressive plan to defeat the group and temporarily banning citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S. Critics of the ban believe it will actually weaken domestic counterterrorism efforts and bolster Islamic State propaganda and recruitment. But there is another glaring hole in this strategy as it is currently comprised: it fails to address another half-dozen or so other terrorist groups throughout the world that threaten American security and global order.
David J. Hickton, former United States Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania, has been appointed founding director of the University of Pittsburgh Institute for Cyber Law, Policy and Security.
Dr. Michael Poznansky, assistant professor of international affairs and intelligence studies, spoke with KDKA host Robert Mangino about the latest developments between the U.S. Intelligence Community and President-elect Trump. The discussion focused on the recent upheaval over President-elect Trump’s “Tweets” regarding the intelligence community assessment of the Russian government’s attempt to interfere with the presidential election.
The Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Pittsburgh invites applications and nominations for a non-tenure-stream faculty position as a Senior Lecturer in Intelligence Studies to begin in the fall term of 2017 (authorization pending). This is a three-year contract position with the possibility of renewal. The successful candidate will have at least a master’s degree in international affairs (or a related field) and expertise in the intelligence field based on at least ten years of professional experience working for one or more U.S. intelligence agencies.
Dennis Gormley was among an international group of security specialists invited to address the Hague Code of Conduct Regional Seminar held at the University of Jordan, in Amman, on September 28. The Hague Code of Conduct against Ballistic Missile Proliferation (HCoC) is the only existing multilateral instrument that specifically deals with ballistic missiles. Since the signing of the HCoC in 2002 at The Hague, the number of subscribing states has increased from 93 to 138.
Commanding Military Power offers a new explanation of why some armed forces are stronger than others. Ryan Grauer advances a ‘command structure theory’ which combines insights from organization theory, international relations, and security studies literatures to provide a unique perspective on military power. Specifically, armed forces organized to facilitate swift and accurate perception of and response to battlefield developments will cope better with war’s inherent uncertainty, use resources effectively, and, quite often, win. Read more.
GSPIA Professor Phil Williams and co-author, Dr. Dighton Fiddner, explore one of the most significant features of cyberspace in their new book: Cyberspace: Malevolent Actors, Criminal Opportunities, and Strategic Competition. The authors believe that cyberspace is becoming an increasingly risky place for the entire spectrum of users: nation-states, nongovernmental and transnational organizations, commercial enterprises, and individuals. It is also a space of opportunities—for benevolent, neutral, and malevolent actors. Moreover, the authors identify and assess the challenges and threats to security that can arise in cyberspace because of its unique characteristics both as a distinct strategic domain and as something linked land, air, sea, and space military domains. In the final section, the authors discuss a variety of responses, with some suggesting that the options being pursued most vigorously by the United States are poorly conceived and ill-suited to the tasks at hand. Read more.
Planners and evaluators must try to anticipate how threats and operating environments will change during a deployment. Accurately defining expected threats and resourcing the military to counter them is the sine qua non of military readiness. As threats and operational environments rapidly evolve, they make it harder to define, measure, and produce the desired levels of military readiness.
GSPIA alumni Chad Serena (PhD '10), a political scientist, and Colin Clarke (PhD, '12), an associate political scientist at the RAND Corporation, recently produced two editorials published by Reuters. In their article, “A new kind of battlefield awaits the U.S. military – megacities,” they write on the growing trend of warfare in cities, especially in cities with a population of ten million or greater, and explore the unique challenges that urban combat presents. They argue that in order to adapt to new battlefields and defeat violent non-state actors while protecting civilians, improvements in monitoring, collecting, and interpreting data are imperative.
Since Barack Obama’s start of the U.S. presidency, America faces a conundrum: how can the United States at once reassure its allies and partners by demonstrating the potency of its unrivalled conventional superiority without unsetting the very strategic stability it asserts is so central to achieving the goal of a nuclear weapons-free world? This paper by Dennis M. Gormley, senior lecturer at GSPIA, addresses the difficult question of how missile defense and conventional precision-guided weapons complicate achieving deep cuts in nuclear weapons - particularly with a view to the strategic relationships to Russia and China.
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