Strategic Perspectives 35

Russia and Saudi Arabia: Old Disenchantments, New Challenges

The Joseph Biden administration can manage its recalibration of relations with Saudi Arabia without unwarranted fear that Riyadh will view Russia as a safe-harbor alternative to the United States on a myriad of state-to-state interactions that are most important to the Kingdom. While Russia’s transactional approach to foreign partners has at times given it advantages in some areas over the more value-based framework of U.S. foreign relations, there clearly have been limits to the Russian style of dealing with Saudi Arabia in this century.


The PLA Beyond Borders: Chinese Military Operations in Regional and Global Context

The PLA Beyond Borders: Chinese Military Operations in Regional and Global Context

No longer confined to China’s land territory or its near abroad, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is conducting increasingly complex operations farther and farther from China’s continental borders. Within Asia, the PLA now regularly operates into the far reaches of the South China Sea and deep into the Western Pacific, enforcing China’s territorial claims and preparing to counter U.S. intervention in a regional conflict. Beyond Asia, the PLA is present on the ground, at sea, or in military exercises with foreign partners across the Indian Ocean and into the Middle East, Africa, and Europe. Foreign militaries now regularly encounter the PLA, whether in tense incidents or friendly contacts, on their home turf and in the global commons.


Iran in Latin America: Malign Alliances, “Super
Spreaders,” and Alternative Narratives

Iran in Latin America: Malign Alliances, “Super Spreaders,” and Alternative Narratives

Iran's ongoing and multifaceted campaigns of disinformation and carefully curated messages—coordinated with Russian and Venezuelan state media companies and thousands of allied Internet and social media accounts—pose a strategic challenge to U.S. interests and regional efforts to promote stability, democratic values, and the rule of law.


PLA Overseas Operations in 2035: Inching Toward a Global Combat Capability

PLA Overseas Operations in 2035: Inching Toward a Global Combat Capability

Over the past decade, China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has followed two general development trajectories. The primary focus has been on deterring adversaries and building the capability to fight high-intensity, short-duration wars around China’s periphery—what the PLA often refers to as “informationized local wars.” A secondary focus has been on nontraditional security operations, such as peacekeeping, maritime law enforcement, and humanitarian assistance/disaster relief (HA/DR).


Joint Force Quarterly 101

Joint Force Quarterly 101 (2nd Quarter, April 2021)

In 1993, General Powell encouraged members of the joint force to “Read JFQ. Study it. Mark it up—underline and write in the margins. Get mad. Then contribute your own views.” What do you think? How do you read JFQ? How can we make it better suited to the world you find yourself in? We are soon posting up a way for you to provide us more feedback. Watch this space. In the meantime, read on!


PRISM Vol. 9, No. 2

PRISM Vol. 9, No. 2 (March 2021)

The global COVID-19 pandemic of 2020-2021 has catalyzed a re-examination of what national security consists of, and what responsibilities the world’s armed forces must or should assume to meet such non-military challenges. Yet the competition between the United States and its adversaries has intensified, requiring that the national security enterprise retain traditional capabilities while keeping up with the fierce pace of technological innovation. PRISM V.9,N.2 authors address the emerging challenges armed forces must meet, offer perspectives on competitors, and suggest major changes in the innovation ecosystem.


Lt. Gen. Michael Plehn, Bio (U.S. Air Force photo by Eric Dietrich)

NDU Welcomes 17th President

On 3 Feb, National Defense University (NDU) welcomed Lieutenant General Michael T. Plehn, USAF, as its 17th president. The Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General John E. Hyten, USAF, presided over the change of presidency ceremony in which responsibility transferred from Vice Admiral Frederick J. Roegge, USN, to General Plehn.


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