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Unconventional Weapons

Vol. 9 No. 1 | 2022 Edition
Whitaker & Schille

Stagnant Things: The Department of Defense's Response to Information Warfare

Thomas Whittaker & Mike Schwille

The information environment — too often a buzzword for defense technology firms and military academics — is the highly energetic arena where foreign adversaries and non-state actors alike shape the narrative of the great power competition.

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Thomas Whittaker is an operations researcher and defense consultant. His primary research and areas have included Operations in the Information Environment, Psychological Operations, strategic communications, and behavioral science. As a defense contractor, he has worked in various research and consultancy roles in support to the Department of Defense, intelligence community, and the U.S. Army special operations community. He is a U.S. Army reservist qualified in the Psychological Operations field. Mr. Whittaker is currently completing his M.S. in National Security from Liberty University and received his B.A. in Political Science from Grove City College.

Mike Schwille is senior policy analyst at RAND. His primary research interest focuses on the integration of information into combined arms warfare. He has experience with Joint, Army and Marine Corps concept development, Operations in the Information Environment, countering A2AD strategies, strategic workforce analysis and force development. While at RAND, he has led projects relating to Information Operations Intelligence Integration, the creation of the Army’s Information concept, and tactically focused Information Operations. He also has intelligence community and military experience focusing on target development, mapping social and cultural networks, and building partner capacity. He is qualified as a Civil Affairs, Psychological Operations and Information Operations Army Reservist and has deployed multiple times with the U.S. Army to the Middle East and Africa. He earned his M.A. in international development studies from George Washington University.

William Spiegelberger

The Russian Constitution guarantees freedom of speech. The problem today is that it doesn’t guarantee freedom after speech. A little over a decade ago the Russian Parliament began enacting punitive laws targeting disfavored individuals and penalizing the dissemination of disfavored views on selected topics. The results have sometimes been surreal. In 2009, the police arrested journalist and activist Roman Dobrokhotov for brandishing a blank piece of paper. Five years later, in 2014, protesters were taken into custody for holding up their empty hands as if they were wielding placards.

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William R. Spiegelberger was Director of the International Practice Department at Rusal (Moscow) from 2007 to 2017, board member of Strabag SE (Vienna) from 2015 to 2018, and has served on the National Advisory Council of the Harriman Institute (New York) for several years. He is author of the book The Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards in Russia, and several articles on Russia law and state policy. He received his undergraduate and law degrees from Columbia University.

Abstract Linear Background

Kafka in the Kremlin – The Sorry State of Freedom of Speech in Russia

William Spiegelberger
Keith Preble

Well into its second year, the Biden administration has continued to grapple with persistent foreign policy challenges while new ones have emerged: North Korea has not curtailed its weapons of mass destruction (WMD) programs; negotiations with Iran on resuscitating the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) remain stalled; and a Russian troop buildup near Ukraine may signal a potential invasion and full-scale conflict. In confronting these and other challenges, the United States continues to use economic sanctions as a mean of punishing, signaling, and coercing rivals into changing their foreign policy behaviors. As a tool of American economic
power, policymakers often see sanctions as “Goldilocks” instruments that are “just right,” albeit ones that require time and patience to facilitate policy change.

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Keith A. Preble (Twitter: @poliscikeith) is Research Fellow at the Center for Policy Research at the University at Albany, SUNY. He is working on the Project on International Security, Commerce, and Economic Statecraft (PISCES).

Green and Yellow

Sanctions Run Amok – The Undermining
of U.S. Power

Keith Preble
Matthew Kroenig

The Logic of American Nuclear Strategy
A Conversation with Matthew Kroenig

Interviewed by Dylan Land

Fletcher Security Review (FSR): Your book, The Logic of American Nuclear Strategy, lays out a theory of deterrence that incorporates nuclear balances of power into games of brinkmanship, which you label “superiority brinkmanship synthesis theory.” Can you briefly describe what the theory predicts and how it advances our current thinking of U.S. nuclear policies?

Matthew Kroenig (MK): The superiority brinksmanship synthesis theory builds on the scholarship that has come before it. Thomas Schelling came up with the idea of brinkmanship, where he argued that competitions among nuclear states become games of nuclear chicken in which neither side wants the crash — nuclear war — but they both want to get their way. Each side wants to force the other to swerve. How can you do that when you can’t threaten to fight a nuclear war that could result in your own destruction?

This piece is offered in PDF format for easier reading. Download the PDF to read more.

Matthew Kroenig is Deputy Director of the Atlantic Council’s Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security and a professor in the Department of Government and the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. His latest book is The Return of Great Power Rivalry: Democracy Versus Autocracy From the Ancient World to the U.S. and China. Dr. Kroenig has served in several positions in the U.S. Department of Defense and the intelligence community in the Bush, Obama, and Trump administrations, including in the Strategy, Middle East, and Nuclear and Missile Defense offices in the Office of the Secretary of Defense and the CIA’s Strategic Assessments Group. Dr. Kroenig is also Director of the Global Strategy Initiative and Deputy Director of the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council.

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