The RAND Corporation. July 31, 2013.
The United States’ nuclear deterrence is no more effective than its ability to carry out nuclear operations and other states’ perceptions of this ability. The U.S. Air Force (USAF) has prioritized the reinvigoration and strengthening of its nuclear enterprise. However, there are inherent challenges to sustaining the capabilities of nuclear systems of systems. Perhaps the most pressing challenge currently facing the Air Force nuclear enterprise is sustaining the mission in the face of budgetary constraints. This report proposes possibilities for addressing this challenge. [Note: contains copyrighted material].
http://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/technical_reports/TR1200/TR1240/RAND_TR1240.pdf [PDF format, 40 pages].
Council on Foreign Relations. July 30, 2013.
Military budgets are only one gauge of military power. A given financial commitment may be adequate or inadequate depending on the number and capability of a nation’s adversaries, how well a country invests its funds, and what it seeks to accomplish, among other factors. Nevertheless, trends in military spending do reveal something about a country’s capacity for coercion. Policymakers are currently debating the appropriate level of U.S. military spending given increasingly constrained budgets and the winding down of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The following charts present historical trends in U.S. military spending and analyze the forces that may drive it lower. [Note: contains copyrighted material].
Center for Strategic and International Studies. July 26, 2013.
The Brookings Institution. June 24, 2013.
Arguably, the most important U.S. strategic base in the heart of the Middle East lies in the small island country of Bahrain. Over the past two years, Bahrain has seen dramatic increases in Shia Muslim sectarian protests and political unrest resulting from a lack of democratic reforms with the ruling Al-Khalifa family. To date, the Bahraini government has controlled the protests, sometimes harshly. [Note: contains copyrighted material].
http://www.brookings.edu/~/media/research/files/papers/2013/06/24%20us%20strategic%20access%20middle%20east%20bahrain%20mcdaniel/24%20us%20strategic%20access%20middle%20east%20bahrain%20mcdaniel.pdf [PDF format, 39 pages].
RAND Corporation. May 17, 2013.
Current DoD force planning processes assume that U.S. military interventions are serially independent over time. This report challenges this assumption, arguing that interventions occur in temporally dependent clusters in which the likelihood of an intervention depends on interventions in the recent past. The author used data on 66 U.S. Army contingency and peacekeeping deployments of at least company size between 1949 and 2010 and found evidence of temporal dependence between military interventions even when controlling for political, economic, and other security factors. [Note: contains copyrighted material]
http://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/research_reports/RR100/RR192/RAND_RR192.pdf [PDF format, 81 pages].