A Monthly Newsletter of the CSIS International Security Program

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Arming Libya: A Calculated Risk
Anthony Bell | 16 June

While Libya continues to be awash with weapons five years after the revolution that overthrew Muammar Qaddafi, subsequent years of fighting have left many sides short of ammunition and other supplies. There is a need to allow the forces fighting the Islamic State’s expansion in Libya to have access to the means to prosecute the fight. The move is, however, a calculated risk that may inflame the civil war tearing the country apart.

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Some Rules Aren’t Meant to be Broken: Reestablishing Humanitarian Principles
Sarah Minot | 7 June

In recent conflicts, the traditional rules of humanitarian neutrality and efforts to avoid civilian targeting have eroded. Long standing norms rooted in the Geneva Convention have been dramatically violated in recent years as the frequency and severity of attacks against health workers, facilities, and civilians have increased.

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THE ARMY MODERNIZATION CHALLENGE: A HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE
Rhys McCormick | 31 March

Are the trends seen in Army modernization today similar in nature to trends of the previous drawdowns, or is this time different? Historically, the decline in army modernization follows the same general pattern: After a period of growth, Army modernization total obligation authority (TOA) peaks between 27 percent and 31 percent of overall Army TOA. After hitting that peak, the Army modernization budget rapidly declines for the next few years, before leveling off. The Army modernization budget then generally holds relatively steady for a few years at that new budget level, before once again increasing.

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DEFENSE “SEED CORN” R&D PRESERVED IN 2015 AS TROUGH IN WEAPONS SYSTEMS DEVELOPMENT CONTINUES
Jesse Ellman | 31 March

After five years of drawdown, two questions have loomed large: “When will defense contracting hit bottom?” and “Are future capabilities being preserved despite the current drawdown?”

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Sight Unseen – Russian Auxiliary Submarines and Asymmetric Warfare in the Undersea Domain
Kathleen Weinberger | 31 March

Much attention has been given to the Russian navy’s fleet of attack submarines and their new class of ballistic missile submarines. Often overlooked, however, is Russia’s fleet of smaller “auxiliary” submarines, which have the ability serve as special mission vessels with unique and highly asymmetric capabilities.

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Who’s the Fairest of Them All: The Effects of Bid Protests on the Acquisition System Challenge
Kaitlyn Johnson | 31 March

The Defense-Industrial Initiatives Group hosted a panel discussion with current and former government and industry experts on bid protest procedures and the impact on the acquisition process.

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Reflections: Improving the Interagency Process
John Hamre | 26 February

CSIS played a substantial role in laying the foundation for the landmark Goldwater-Nichols legislation. Last December, we decided we needed to assemble leading defense intellectuals to help support the rising interest in defense reform. We recently polled that group and found that the greatest frustration and perceived need for reform is in the interagency coordination process

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From the Director’s Chair
Kathleen Hicks | 26 February

This issue marks a transition for For Your Situational Awareness (FYSA). The International Security Program (ISP) began this publication in November 2013 as a way to highlight the work of our many talented scholars. FYSA will continue to publish pieces that cross these and other lines of research underway in ISP, but beginning in March, we will focus this site on the work of our talented junior staff: ISP’s research assistants, research associates, interns, and visiting fellows.

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Army Contracts Decline Shows Signs of Plateau in FY2015
Jesse Ellman | 26 February

Since 2008, the Department of Defense’s (DoD) contracting portfolio has faced significant resource pressures, as a result of the ongoing budget drawdown, sequestration, and its aftermath. With FY2015 contract data now available through the Federal Procurement Data System (FPDS), CSIS has begun to examine whether the trends observed in the first two years of the post-sequestration defense contracting environment would continue to hold. For the Army, at least, the data shows a notable slowing of the decline in contract obligations in 2015.

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A Surer Footing for a Light Footprint Strategy in Libya
Anthony Bell | 26 February

Five years after the revolution in Libya erupted against the Muammar el-Qaddafi regime in February 2011, the United States is once again contemplating a military intervention in the North African country. The need for U.S. action against the Islamic State in Libya is stark. The Islamic State (IS) first emerged in Libya in late 2014 by gaining small numbers of adherents from the country’s patchwork of Islamist militant organizations. Since then, the Islamic State has managed to establish cells across the country.

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