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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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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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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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Why I Stopped Using the “S” Word…and You Should Too
Todd Harrison | 29 January

It comes in many forms: sequester, sequestration, and (my personal favorite) sequestrable—as in “sequestrable budgetary resources.” Whether used as a noun, verb, or adjective, the “s” word has in many ways become synonymous with its four-letter counterpart, meaning something vulgar, offensive, and detestable. Everyone dislikes the “s” word, and for good reason. But I am increasingly dismayed at how the “s” word gets thrown around carelessly by senior policymakers as a way of avoiding a more difficult discussion.

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NATO Enlargement: Getting to “Yes” on Montenegro
Lisa Samp | 18 December

The NATO Alliance will grow from 28 to 29 members with the addition of Montenegro in the next year or two. Reaching consensus on Montenegro’s invitation was not without challenges. Indeed, the issue remained unresolved heading into the last weeks and days before the ministerial. Skeptics were hesitant to risk Russia’s ire over a country whose case, in the view of some, is not particularly compelling.

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Kremlin Presents an Intractable Challenge in Europe for the United States
John O'Grady | 18 December

Russia’s irredentist and revisionist narrative, coupled with its willingness to use military aggression irrespective of basic protocols of international law, creates an unstable security paradigm in Europe. Russia now presents an intractable challenge in Europe for the United States.

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A Future for U.S.-Thailand Relations?
John Schaus | 30 November

U.S.-Thailand relations have been at a strategic standstill. A coup by the Thai military against the democratically elected government resulted in the United States halting nearly all senior-level engagements.

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