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.
The graduation of two female officers from the U.S. Army’s elite Ranger School is very much in the news this August. Odds are strong that all military occupations will be opened to women, certainly within the next few years if not the next few months. This opening to women comes on the heels of the Defense Department’s 2011 decision to lift the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. Both decisions may help the military attract and retain the high-quality workforce it needs for the future.
This edition of FYSA falls near the first anniversary of my taking the helm of the International Security Program (ISP). Currently, ISP is home to about 40 scholars working in seven major research areas. Our program content will continue to grow in 2015 to ensure we provide the finest scholarship on issues important to U.S. national security today and tomorrow.
With all of the international turmoil that has swirled this summer, it is worth pausing to ask what effect world events are having on the debate in Washington over the federal budget and sequestration. The short answer is not much, even though the geopolitical challenges should spur conversations about the budget and the impact funding has on the United States’ ability to lead a response to the turmoil.
Russia’s bold, duplicitous, and unapologetic annexation of Crimea came as a surprise. Could such land grabs be duplicated elsewhere in the world? There are a number of long-standing territorial disputes around the globe the U.S. should watch, beyond Ukraine, to identify selective and convincing displays of U.S. commitment and interest that might deter future adventurism.
Almost every day, we see an article or hear a discussion on U.S. security policy toward China. However, there are three main touchstones to remember when sorting through the incoming information. First, U.S. security strategy and policy toward China need to be much better interwoven horizontally and vertically. Second, war between the United States and China is not inevitable. Lastly and most importantly, being effective at foreign policy matters. If we fail to shape East Asia’s understanding of our interests, then small incident by small incident, our credibility and power will erode.