Defense Horizons


No. 75-76, July

Valued Sustainable Services: Building Partnership Capacity through Collaborating Approaches
The Valued Sustainable Services (ValSServ) concept is an approach to building the capacity of local populations. It emphasizes the interdependency among telecommunications, reliable power, and information-sharing support, and encourages projects to...
Read preview Overview
Sharing to Succeed: Lessons from Open Information-Sharing Projects in Afghanistan
The sharing of information in complex civil-military operations (1) is important, yet actors rarely do it well. U.S. and allied military forces must be able to communicate, collaborate, and exchange information effectively with the local populations...
Read preview Overview

No. 74, October

Public-Private Cooperation in the Department of Defense: A Framework for Analysis and Recommendations for Action
In 2010, a National Defense University (NDU) research project called TIDES (1) (Transformative Innovation for Development and Emergency Support) was invited to partner with a company to produce a tradeshow about humanitarian assistance and disaster...
Read preview Overview

No. 73, September

Toward the Printed World: Additive Manufacturing and Implications for National Security
Additive manufacturing (AM)--commonly referred to as "three-dimensional" or "3D" printing--is a prospective game changer with implications and opportunities that affect not just the Department of Defense (DOD) but the economy as a whole. The technology...
Read preview Overview

No. 72, August

Preparing the Pipeline: The U.S. Cyber Workforce for the Future
In 2008, the Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative listed "expanded cyber education" as one of its key recommendations. In 2009, the Partnership for Public Service produced a report stating that the current pipeline of cybersecurity workers...
Read preview Overview

No. 71, January

Maximizing the Returns of Government Venture Capital Programs
The stories of Google and Segway certainly end differently. With a market capitalization of over $180 billion, Google is arguably the biggest success in the information technology (IT) industry in the last decade. The phrase google it has worked its...
Read preview Overview

No. 70, December

STAR-TIDES and Starfish Networks: Supporting Stressed Populations with Distributed Talent
Overview The Department of Defense increasingly is involved in postwar stabilization and reconstruction, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief missions, capacity-building of partner nations at home and abroad, and other such complex operations....
Read preview Overview

No. 69, November

To Build Resilience: Leader Influence on Mental Hardiness
Overview The military profession is inherently stressful and is getting more so for U.S. troops, who are deploying more often and for longer periods of time on missions that are multifaceted, changeable, and ambiguous. Such stressful conditions...
Read preview Overview

No. 68, September

Cyberspace and the "First Battle" in 21st-Century War
Overview Wars often start well before main forces engage. In the 19th and early 20th centuries, combat often began when light cavalry units crossed the border. For most of the 20th century, the "first battle" typically involved dawn surprise attacks,...
Read preview Overview

No. 67, May

Breaking the Yardstick: The Dangers of Market-Based Governance
Overview In the middle of the last century, America became a superpower. It happened, in part, because of a well-balanced technological partnership between the Federal Government and commercial sector. After winning a world war against fascism,...
Read preview Overview

No. 66, March

A 21st-Century Concept of Air and Military Operations
Toward a New Concept Air operations are a significant component of 21st-century U.S. and allied joint and coalition operations. As fifth-generation aircraft enter service in larger numbers, they will generate not only greater firepower, but also...
Read preview Overview

No. 65, January

From Sputnik to Minerva: Education and American National Security
Overview This paper examines how external challenges have prompted national investments in education to enhance American national security. Rather than focusing primarily on traditional professional military education, this analysis examines how...
Read preview Overview

No. 64, November

Lessons of Abu Ghraib: Understanding and Preventing Prisoner Abuse in Military Operations
Overview The abuse of prisoners by U.S. Soldiers at Abu Ghraib had broad strategic consequences, leading many people around the world to question the legitimacy of U.S. goals and activities in Iraq. This paper draws on extensive unclassified...
Read preview Overview

No. 63, May

The Role of Medical Diplomacy in Stabilizing Afghanistan
Overview Comprehensive stabilization and reconstruction of Afghanistan are not possible given the current fragmentation of responsibilities, narrow lines of authorities, and archaic funding mechanisms. Afghans are supportive of U.S. and international...
Read preview Overview

No. 62, February

So Many Zebras, So Little Time: Ecological Models and Counterinsurgency Operations
Overview Force ratios are an important variable in warfare and in nature. On the Serengeti, large zebra herds are constantly hunted by small prides of lions. But with their overwhelming majority, why don't the zebras unite and attack the lions?...
Read preview Overview

No. 61, January

Cyber Influence and International Security
Overview Cyber influence is an ongoing source of power in the international security arena. Although the United States has an enormous cyber information capacity, its cyber influence is not proportional to that capacity. Impediments to American...
Read preview Overview

No. 60, December

Organizing for National Security: Unification or Coordination?
Overview Experience gained from the 9/11 attacks, combat in Iraq and Afghanistan, disaster assistance during and after Hurricane Katrina, and the ongoing war on terror provides the basis for amending our anachronistic national security structures...
Read preview Overview

No. 59, November

Strategic Fragility: Infrastructure Protection and National Security in the Information Age
Overview Modern societies have reached unprecedented levels of prosperity, yet they remain vulnerable to a wide range of possible disruptions. One significant reason for this growing vulnerability is the developed world's reliance on an array of...
Read preview Overview

No. 58, September

The Comprehensive Approach Initiative: Future Options for NATO
Overview Experience has shown that conflict resolution requires the application of all elements of national and international power--political, diplomatic, economic, financial, informational, social, and commercial, as well as military. To resolve...
Read preview Overview

No. 57, July

Privatizing While Transforming
Overview The Armed Forces of the United States are designed to be supported by capabilities provided by civilians. The Army, for example, depends not only on Reserve and National Guard components for warfighting elements, but also on private contractors...
Read preview Overview

No. 56, June

Responding in the Homeland: A Snapshot of NATO's Readiness for CBRN Attacks
Overview The possibility of North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) members having to respond to a chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear (CBRN) incident is not a hypothetical scenario reserved for training exercises. Indeed, a number...
Read preview Overview

No. 55, February

I-Power: The Information Revolution and Stability Operations
Overview Information and information technology (I/IT) can significantly increase the likelihood of success in stability operations--if they are engaged as part of an overall strategy that coordinates the actions of outside intervenors and focuses...
Read preview Overview

No. 54, August

Lee's Mistake: Learning from the Decision to Order Pickett's Charge
I think that this is the strongest position on which to fight a battle that I ever saw. --Winfield Scott Hancock, surveying his position on Cemetery Ridge It is my opinion that no 15,000 men ever arrayed for battle can take that position. ...
Read preview Overview

No. 53, July

Countering Terrorism across the Atlantic?
Overview Differences in strategic vision and concepts of security are central to the U.S. and European Union (EU) approaches to counterterrorism. While the United States conceives of a war against terrorism, Europe does not. As a result of different...
Read preview Overview

No. 52, March

Creating a NATO Special Operations Force
Overview In the post-9/11 security environment, special operations forces (SOF) have proven indispensable. SOF units are light, lethal, mobile, and easily networked with other forces. While the United States and its North Atlantic Treaty Organization...
Read preview Overview

No. 52, February

Custer in Cyberspace
Overview The combination of abundant networked information and fluid, unfamiliar situations in the current era makes it at once possible and imperative to improve decisionmaking in combat. The key to improvement is to integrate faster reasoning...
Read preview Overview

No. 50, October

Sweden's Use of Commercial Information Technology for Military Applications
Overview Sweden, a nation of only 9 million people with a political climate that has fostered a posture of nonalignment for over half a century, has nevertheless maintained highly credible, modern, and high-technology military forces. Sweden has...
Read preview Overview

No. 47, July

The Changing Landscape of Defense Innovation
Overview In a rapidly evolving business environment, many successful companies have transformed themselves by reexamining their core missions and competencies and exploiting innovation in nontraditional ways. General Electric still manufactures...
Read preview Overview

No. 48, May

A New Military Framework for NATO
Overview Although Americans and Europeans do not always agree on political strategies in the Middle East, they have a compelling reason to reach an accord on the need to strengthen North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) military forces for future...
Read preview Overview

No. 37, January

XVIII Airborne Corps: Spearhead of Military Transformation
Overview War transforms armies. Combat accelerates transformation by moving it out of the realm of academic debate and endless speculation about the future to a pragmatic approach focused on fielding new capabilities within new combat formations...
Read preview Overview

No. 46, December

Military Transformation and Joint Experimentation: Two Views from Above
Overview Military transformation--"a process that shapes the changing nature of military competition and cooperation through new combinations of concepts, capabilities, people and organizations"--is on the minds and agendas of everyone dealing with...
Read preview Overview

No. 45, September

Needed-A NATO Stabilization and Reconstruction Force
Overview At the Istanbul Summit in June 2004, NATO endorsed the further transformation of military capabilities to make them "more modern, more usable, and more deployable to carry out the full range of Alliance missions." The Istanbul Communique...
Read preview Overview

No. 42-44, July 15

NATO Technology: From Gap to Divergence?
Overview A widening technology gap between the United States and other NATO members will challenge the ability of NATO to function as a cohesive, multinational force. Over several decades, great disparities in the funding of defense research and...
Read preview Overview
Global Networks: Emerging Constraints on Strategy
Overview If current trends in communications technologies and services persist, the United States will be hard pressed to keep a strategic advantage in network capability. The international telecommunications system is rebalancing into four major...
Read preview Overview
Defense Laboratories and Military Capability: Headed for a BRACdown?
Overview For 150 years, military laboratories have made vital contributions to national defense. In recent years, they have been significantly reduced in number by several rounds of base realignment and closure (BRAC). Even so, they remain the primary...
Read preview Overview

No. 41, July

Alternative Approaches to Army Transformation
Overview Army transformation is an attempt to provide future forces with enhanced capabilities in lethality, survivability, and mobility, both strategic and tactical. Alternatives to achieving these goals differ in emphasis on weight and reliance...
Read preview Overview

No. 39, April

The Science and Engineering Workforce and National Security
Overview Trends in the American science and engineering (S&E) workforce and national research and development (R&D) funding patterns and priorities have troubling implications for the economic and national security of our nation. Especially...
Read preview Overview

No. 38, January

Dirty Bombs: The Threat Revisited
Overview Nuclear radiation, invisible and detectable only with special instruments, has the power to terrify--in part because of its association with nuclear weapons--and to become an instrument of terrorists. Radioactive isotopes can be spread...
Read preview Overview


Alternative Governance: A Tool for Military Laboratory Reform
Overview Throughout the Cold War, the United States maintained an edge over adversaries by fielding technologically superior warfighting systems. This strategy depended on a strong research and development (R&D) effort in both the public and...
Read preview Overview
Hydrogen as a Fuel for DOD
Overview Energy issues have been at the center of the national security debate for some time, and the current situation in the Persian Gulf underscores the strategic importance of sound energy policy. Activities or developments--geopolitical, environmental,...
Read preview Overview

No. 31-32, September

Technology, Transformation, and New Operational Concepts
Overview Throughout history, technology has been central to warfare, often giving qualitative advantages to numerically inferior forces. Typically, the rate of technology development has been relatively slow and the introduction of new weapons systems...
Read preview Overview
A New PPBS Process to Advance Transformation
Overview The Office of the Secretary of Defense has released its first Transformational Planning Guidance to steer the Armed Forces through a joint process of transformation. This is a strong step in the direction of making transformation and innovation...
Read preview Overview

No. 29-30, July

Beyond the Mainland: Chinese Telecommunications Expansion
Overview In most countries, expansion of the telecommunications network beyond national borders has followed diplomatic and business expansion. On this basis, an informed practitioner might be expecting the Chinese telecommunications system to spread...
Read preview Overview
Moore's Law: A Department of Defense Perspective
Overview The past 50 years have seen enormous advances in electronics and the systems that depend upon or exploit them. The Department of Defense (DOD) has been an important driver in, and a profound beneficiary of, these advances, which have come...
Read preview Overview

No. 28, June

Transforming NATO Command and Control for Future Missions
Overview No military function is more critical to operational success than effective command and control ([C.sup.2]). There also is no more daunting military function to get right when it comes to the employment of complex multinational formations...
Read preview Overview

No. 26-27, May

Transformation and the Defense Industrial Base: A New Model
Overview American force transformation is about building a new expeditionary model with flexible, modular forces that can be managed on a global basis to protect U.S. interests. Breaking the tyranny of geography on military forces is a key aspect...
Read preview Overview
The Air Force: Science, Technology, and Transformation
Overview A unique connectivity exists in the Air Force between science, technology, and transformation. From the defining moment of powered flight in 1903 to the creation of the Air Force as a separate service in 1947 to the present, these three...
Read preview Overview

No. 24-25, March

NATO Defense Science and Technology
Overview The accord establishing the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in 1949 provided the framework for the greatest international mechanism ever in defense science and technology. From its earliest days, NATO involvement in science and...
Read preview Overview
Biology and the Battlefield
Overview The military and the life sciences have been intertwined throughout history. Biology has often been a source of offensive weapons, ranging from the hurling of plague victims over the walls of Kaffa (which probably started the 14th-century...
Read preview Overview

No. 23, February

Decision Dominance: Exploiting Transformational Asymmetries
Strategy is the science of making use of space and time. I am more jealous of the latter than the former. We can always recover lost ground, but never lost time. --August Graf von Gneisenau (1) Overview This paper introduces a new operational...
Read preview Overview

No. 21, January

The Silence of the Labs
Overview Something important to the Nation's defense has vanished, yet the top Pentagon brass never noticed. Not the stuff of headlines, this loss would not arouse public concern, especially during these times of terrorist massacres, anthrax attacks,...
Read preview Overview

No. 22, December

The Emergence of Mini UAVs for Military Applications
Overview The successes of the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) in Afghanistan most likely will accelerate the introduction of UAVs into the military force structure. What emerged in Afghanistan was a tiered observation-detection-targeting system consisting...
Read preview Overview

No. 18-20, October

High-Energy Lasers: Technical, Operational, and Policy Issues
Overview After more than 30 years of technology development and many billions of dollars in investment, the Department of Defense is poised to operationally deploy its first high-energy laser (HEL) weapon system, the airborne laser. The unique attributes...
Read preview Overview
Effects-Based Operations: Building the Analytic Tools
Overview The U.S. military, under the guidance of the Secretary of Defense, is moving toward a new concept of military planning and operations that is agile and adaptable to the conflict at hand. The aim is to develop capabilities that can rapidly...
Read preview Overview
From Petro to Agro: Seeds of a New Economy
Overview Winston Churchill is said to have stopped predicting future events because the future was just "one damned thing after another." Nonetheless, we need to keep an eye on the future and speculate as to what the next damned thing might be....
Read preview Overview

No. 16-17, August

The Virtual Border: Countering Seaborne Container Terrorism
Overview America's potential vulnerability to terrorist attack through exploitation of the global trade and transportation system is now widely recognized. The sheer magnitude and diversity of this global system coupled with the permeability of...
Read preview Overview
Computer Simulation and the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty
Overview All nuclear weapons now in the American stockpile were developed with the aid of computer models validated by comparison with nuclear tests. However, those models required the use of parameters that were not well understood and often needed...
Read preview Overview

No. 15, July

Biological Weapons: Toward a Threat Reduction Strategy
Overview A decade ago, the U.S. military and its allies had a close call with biological weapons (BW) in the war to expel Iraq from Kuwait. Iraqi BW could have inflicted horrific casualties on coalition forces, but the war stopped short of the contingency...
Read preview Overview

No. 14, June

Toward Missile Defenses from the Sea
Overview Developments of the past 18 months have created new possibilities for the sea basing of national defenses against intercontinental ballistic missiles. Some conceivable designs would enhance U.S. prospects for defeating a rogue state missile...
Read preview Overview

No. 13, May

Relevancy and Risk: The U.S. Army and Future Combat Systems
Overview In the post-Cold War geostrategic environment, the U.S. Army has been challenged to balance its ability to conduct a major theater war with its requirement to deploy to numerous small-scale conflicts. To realize the capabilities it needs,...
Read preview Overview

No. 11-12, April

Computer Games and the Military: Two Views
Overview Simulations are a critical aspect of U.S. military training. Commercial computer games are a growing part of our entertainment industry. The two fields have much in common, and the military can learn from the successful experience of the...
Read preview Overview
The Airborne Laser from Theory to Reality: An Insider's Account
Introduction and Scientific Background Albert Einstein spent World War I in Berlin, where he developed a theory that described electromagnetic radiation in equilibrium with atoms that could emit and absorb radiation. The innovation in Einstein's...
Read preview Overview

No. 8-10, March

Small Security: Nanotechnology and Future Defense
Overview Scientists believe that nanotechnology will soon give humans the ability to move and combine individual atoms and molecules into microscopically tiny mechanical, electrical, and biological "machines" that will replace many of today's production...
Read preview Overview
Nonlethal Capabilities: Realizing the Opportunities
Overview The use of lethal force has not always been appropriate to handle situations that the U.S. military has faced in the post-Cold War world. Nonlethal weapons offer a precision, accuracy, and effective duration that can help save military...
Read preview Overview
Rediscovering the Infantry in a Time of Transformation
Overview In the summer of 2001, the Bush administration expressed impatience with the military services, suggesting that unspecified legacy capabilities had to give way to a "transformation" that would be based upon "stealth, precision weaponry,...
Read preview Overview

No. 7, February

Global Trade: America's Achilles' Heel
Overview Much has been written in the aftermath of September 11 on the porosity of America's borders and the failure of various agencies to share, fuse, analyze, and exploit available information to stop foreign threats before they enter the country....
Read preview Overview

No. 5, November

Adapting Forces to a New Era: Ten Transforming Concepts
Overview A key Department of Defense goal is to build highly capable forces whose mastery of high-tech warfighting will allow decisive victories against new threats and well-armed opponents in future operations. A set of new operational concepts,...
Read preview Overview

No. 3-4, October

UCAVs-Technological, Policy, and Operational Challenges
Overview The Bush administration and Congress are in concert on the goal of developing a fleet of unmanned aircraft that can reduce both defense costs and aircrew losses in combat by taking on at least the most dangerous combat missions. Unmanned...
Read preview Overview
Maritime Access: Do Defenders Hold All the Cards?
Overview National security strategy depends on sustaining access to world markets for American commerce in peacetime and for the Armed Forces to various parts of the globe in times of crisis or war. Potential nation-state adversaries understand...
Read preview Overview

No. 2, September

Resurrecting Transformation for the Post-Industrial Era
Overview We must hold our minds alert and receptive to the application of unglimpsed methods and weapons. The next war will be won in the future, not in the past. We must go on, or we will go under. --General of the Army Douglas A. MacArthur,...
Read preview Overview

No. 1, June

Managing Change: Capability, Adaptability, and Transformation
Overview The Bush administration defense review is pointing to an era of far-reaching change in military strategy, forces, and technology. To succeed, this effort must be guided by a new set of strategic precepts. Since 1997, the precepts of shape,...
Read preview Overview
Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.