ISP Brief May 2020

Colleagues,

I hope you're staying well in this uncertain time. Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, the International Security Program has maintained its focus on bringing you the most relevant and important analysis. CSIS’s reach over this period has only increased—in most cases, our viewership has even doubled. I am including some of those impressive statistics here, alongside our usual highlights of the incredible work our ISP team is doing.



Dr. Kathleen Hicks
Senior Vice President
Henry A. Kissinger Chair
Director | International Security Program
CSIS | Center for Strategic and International Studies
1616 Rhode Island Ave, NW | Washington, DC 20036


Featured

Moscow's War in Syria

A new report from the Transnational Threats Project examines Russia’s military and diplomatic campaign in Syria, the largest and most significant Russian out-of-area operation since the end of the Cold War. The report concludes that Russia was relatively successful in achieving its main near-term political and military objectives in Syria, including preventing the collapse of the Assad regime (an important regional partner) and thwarting a possible U.S. attempt to overthrow Assad.

Partners, Not Proxies: Capacity Building in Hybrid Warfare

The United States and its allies lack a coherent approach for integrating partners into civilian-led, competitive strategies against rivals who leverage hybrid warfare tools. In a new report, the Cooperative Defense Project outlines how a principled approach to selecting and investing in partners, rather than casting them as proxies, will increase U.S. and allied strategic action and operational effectiveness.
Photo: Petras Malukas/AFP/GettyImages

Assessing the Industrial Base Implications of the Army's Future Vertical Lift Plans

As the Future Vertical Lift programs down-select to a smaller pool of competitors, understanding the industrial base implications of the Army’s FVL plans is crucial. A new report from the Defense-Industrial Initiatives Group presents a detailed analysis of the industrial base implications of the Army’s approach to vertical lift modernization.

Photo: U.S. Air Force by TECH. SGT. Cecilio M. Ricardo Jr.

Forecasting Covid-19's Course

The future course of Covid-19 remains highly uncertain. In a new piece, director of the Risk and Foresight Group Samuel Brannen and CSIS Energy Program director Sarah Ladislaw find that the virus will dictate recovery at every turn. They developed and analyzed three possible scenarios of how Covid-19 will play out domestically.

Online Conference: Future Strategy Forum: Cooperation and Conflict in Time of Covid-19

The Future Strategy Forum is an initiative to connect scholars who research national security with its leading practitioners. The 2020 Future Strategy Forum: Cooperation and Conflict in the Time of Covid-19 will feature a virtual keynote discussion with the Hon. Michèle Flournoy on June 2nd, followed by three panels over three days exploring how Covid-19 will impact national security.

Click below to tune in to all of the events:
Tuesday, June 2 at 9 am: Keynote with Hon. Michèle Flournoy
Wednesday, June 3 at 1 pm: Covid-19 and Grand Strategy
Thursday, June 4 at 1 pm : Covid-19 and the Military
Friday, June 5 at 1 pm: Covid-19 and Democracy and Governance

International Perspectives on Space Weapons

The Aerospace Security Project examines how existing international agreements define and limit space weapons and weapons-related activities, proposed international agreements and the reactions of other nations to these proposals, and current developments that relate to space weapons and the weaponization of space.
Photo: UN Geneva/Flickr


ISP Spotlight: Thank You For Your Service Podcast

CSIS re-launches the Thank You For Your Service podcast on June 12th. Hosted by Dr. Alice Friend of CSIS and Dr. Jim Golby of the Clements Center at the University of Texas-Austin, the podcast focuses on civil-military relations in the United States.

Each episode explores a theme such as "the meaning of service" or "the legacy of war" and balances serious discussions of new research with friendly debates about movies and references to civ-mil relations in pop culture. Episodes include guests like former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff retired Admiral Mike Mullen, award-winning novelist Elliot Ackerman, and former Under Secretary of the Navy Janine Davidson. Alice and Jim will talk to civilians, veterans, and active duty military personnel and engage with listeners across the country to paint a rich picture of civil-military relations today.


Publications

READ - "World Order after Covid-19" by Samuel Brannen, Kathleen Hicks, Seth Jones, Rebecca Hersman, and Todd Harrison

READ - "IDF Should Invest in its Non-Commissioned Officers" by Edmund X. Loughran

READ - "What Does Consolidation Mean for Performance? Concentration, Competition, and Defense Contracting Outcomes" by Gregory Sanders and Zachary Huitink

READ - "Covid-19 Response Update: May 15-May 22" by Mark Cancian and Adam Saxton

READ - "Will U.S. Sanctions Snapback Force Iran Out of the NPT?" by Eric Brewer

READ - "Prioritizing Weapon System Cybersecurity in a Post-Pandemic Defense Department" by Morgan Dwyer

READ - "Career Military Officers and Political Appointments" by Alice Hunt Friend and Risa Brooks

READ - "Covid-19 Response Update: May 8-May 15" by Mark Cancian and Adam Saxton

READ - "Mapping Stabilization in Post-Peace Accord Colombia" by Melissa Dalton, Janina Staguhn, and Erol Yayboke

READ - "Special Commentary: Memorandum for SECDEF: Restore 'Shock' in Strategic Planning" by John Schaus, Nathan Freier, and Robert Hume

READ - "Special Commentary: Covid-19 and Indo-Pacific Strategy: Korea is Up, China is Down, and the U.S. (for now) is Out" by John Schaus and Nathan Freier

READ - "Covid-19 Response Update: April 24-May 1" by Mark Cancian and Adam Saxton


Multimedia

WATCH - In a new CSIS PreView video, Melissa Dalton explores how a principled approach to security partnerships, rather than casting them as proxies, and integrating them into a civilian-led campaign for hybrid warfare will increase U.S. and allied strategic action and operational effectiveness.

WATCH - Seth Jones and Brian Katz discuss their latest report, "Moscow's War in Syria" which explores how, unlike Moscow’s approach in Afghanistan in the 1980s, Russian political and military leaders adopted a vastly different approach in Syria beginning in 2015.

LISTEN - Smart Women, Smart Power host Beverly Kirk spoke with ISP's Melissa Dalton, Counterpart International's Mehreen Farooq, and Laura Rosenberger of the German Marshall Fund discuss the need for the U.S., Canada, and their allies to develop a more coherent strategy for security partners in conflict situations. Listen on Apple Podcasts and Spotify .

LISTEN - On the latest Defense 2020 podcast, Kathleen Hicks hosts a two-part discussion with Melissa Dalton (CSIS), Ambassador Reuben Brigety (George Washington University), and J amie Fly (Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty) on the issues surrounding nuclear weapons and arms control. Listen on Apple Podcasts and Spotify .

WATCH - Todd Harrison explains how the Artemis Accords, a new NASA initiative for establishing partnerships with other nations to get back to the moon, can enhance peaceful relations between space-faring nations.

LISTEN - Kathleen Hicks joined the Things That Go Boom podcast to discuss the term "great power competition" and how Covid-19 will affect the global world order.

LISTEN - Smart Women, Smart Power host Beverly Kirk interviewed Christen Brandt, co-founder and Chief Programs Officer of She’s the First , on how Covid-19 is impacting girls around the globe. They discuss the parallels with the Ebola crisis and what lessons learned can be applied today, and why this issue must be prioritized by the international community. Listen on Apple Podcasts and Spotify .

WATCH - Andrew Hunter joined Government Matters to discuss the impact the Covid-19 pandemic has had on the defense supply chain, particularly the lower levels.


LISTEN - On the Defense 2020 podcast, host Kathleen Hicks continues a discussion on on the issues surrounding nuclear weapons and arms control with Rebecca Hersman (CSIS), Alexandra Bell (Center for Arms Control & Non-Proliferation), and Rebeccah Heinrichs (Hudson Institute). Listen on Apple Podcasts and Spotify .

LISTEN - Todd Harrison joined BlogTalkRadio to discuss how Covid-19 will affect the defense budget.

LISTEN - Alice Hunt Friend joined the Power Problems podcast to discuss the increasingly strained relations between civilian and military leaders in the Trump administration.


Combating Covid-19 Weekly Update

Given the rapid changes to information surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic, we've made it easier to track what is happening within DoD and the services. ISP's Mark Cancian and Adam Saxton provide timely updates on how DoD and the military are coping with Covid-19, including interactive charts on the total number of cases and Covid-19 deployments within the Department and Services. You can keep up with their updates here .

Check out all of ISP's Covid-19 content on the Defense 360 website.


Upcoming Events
 

Online Event: Challenges to the Industrial Base during Covid-19

May 28, 2020 at 3:00 p.m. EDT
Hosted by Andrew Hunter, Defense-Industrial Initiatives Group

Online Event: AI, Defense, and Intelligence: A Conversation with JAIC Director Lt. Gen. John N.T. “Jack” Shanahan

May 29, 2020 at 9:30 a.m. EDT
Hosted by Brian Katz and Lindsey Sheppard, International Security Program

Online Conference: Future Strategy Forum: Cooperation and Conflict in the Time of Covid-19

June 2-5, 2020
Hosted by Kathleen Hicks and Beverly Kirk, International Security Program and Johns Hopkins University SAIS
Tuesday, June 2 at 9 am: Keynote with Hon. Michèle Flournoy
Wednesday, June 3 at 1 pm: Covid-19 and Grand Strategy
Thursday, June 4 at 1 pm : Covid-19 and the Military
Friday, June 5 at 1 pm: Covid-19 and Democracy and Governance

Online Event: Book Discussion: A Novel of the Real Robotic Revolution with P.W. Singer

June 3, 2020 at 4:00 p.m. EDT
Hosted by Kathleen Hicks, International Security Program

Online Event: Book Talk: Shields of the Republic: The Triumph and Peril of America's Alliances with Mira Rapp-Hooper

June 15, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. EDT
Hosted by Kathleen Hicks, International Security Program

Online Event: Maritime Security Dialogue: The Role Of Unmanned and Small Combatants in Distributed Maritime Operations with RADM Casey J. Moton, USN

June 23, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. EDT
Hosted by Kathleen Hicks, International Security Program and Vice Admiral Peter H. Daly, USN (Ret.), Chief Executive Officer, U.S. Naval Institute

Save the Date

June 10, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. EDT
Online Event: The Military and Pandemics: Early Lessons and Future Actions hosted by Mark Cancian


In Case You Missed It

Online Event: Who Makes Cyberspace Safe for Democracy?

Hosted by Suzanne Spaulding
Featured guests: Congressman Jim Langevin (D-RI) and David Sanger (New York Times)

Online Event: The Russian Campaign in Syria: Assessing Russian Strategy, Goals, and Operations Hosted by Seth Jones
Featured guests: Brian Katz (CSIS), Shannon Culbertson (CSIS), and Jason Gresh (CSIS)

Online Event: Pursuing Effective and Conflict-Aware Stabilization (Part 2) Hosted by Melissa Dalton and Erol Yayboke
Featured guests: Elizabeth Hume (Alliance for Peacebuilding), Michele Piercey (Chemonics, International), and Eythan Sontag (U.S. Department of State)

Online Event: Will Covid-19 Mark the End of Mass Protests? Hosted by Sam Brannen
Featured guest: Yasmeen Serhan (The Atlantic)

Online Event: NASA's Moon to Mars Plan with Administrator Jim Bridenstine Hosted by Todd Harrison
Featured guest: Jim Bridenstine (NASA)

Online Event: Pursuing Effective and Conflict-Aware Stabilization (Part 1) Hosted by Melissa Dalton and Erol Yayboke
Featured guests: Elizabeth Hume (Alliance for Peacebuilding), Michele Piercey (Chemonics, International), and Eythan Sontag (U.S. Department of State)

Online Event: Establishing a Bipartisan Covid-19 Commission Hosted by Kathleen Hicks
Featured guests: Representative Stephanie Murphy (D-FL) and Representative John Katko (R-NY)


Media Highlights

“Neither China nor the U.S. come out of this looking good,” said Kathleen Hicks when discussing how Covid-19 will affect countries around the world. “The real issue becomes how do other players weigh those factors, their sense that the U.S. is less likely to lead?”" in Bloomberg News on May 17, 2020.

On the possible reduction in military spending from the effects of a country-wide shutdown, Todd Harrison said, "If we see 2 to 3 percent [cuts] a year over five years, then DOD is going to have to go back and take a new look at its strategy" in The Washington Post on May 15, 2020.

On the Pentagon's tricky decision to continue with the JEDI cloud project, Andrew Hunter said, “The key thing JEDI offers that isn’t easily obtained elsewhere is the security features... If they can conclude the protest relatively quickly, that’s the fastest path to secure cloud," in Breaking Defense on May 4, 2020.

On the Trump administration's release of the Executive Order on Strengthening National Resilience through Responsible Use of Positioning, Navigation and Timing Services, Lindsey Sheppard said, “I do appreciate the administration highlighting the challenges and vulnerabilities given that it is kind of a niche expert community, and even within that expert community there’s antibodies to recognizing that there isn’t going to be a technology solution that’s going to get you as good as GPS,” in National Defense Magazine on May 8, 2020.

On how Covid-19 will impact the only permanent U.S. military base in Africa, Alice Hunt Friend says, "The installation itself is fairly sprawling, but they still live in quarters together, so there’s only so much spreading out they can do, because it’s really hot there... There’s only so much time you can spend outdoors. Cubicle life is not great for social distancing," in F oreign Policy on May 1, 2020.