1 December 2018

A First: Leaders of US, Japan, India to Meet on 2018 G20 Sidelines for Trilateral

By Ankit Panda

U.S. President Donald J. Trump, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will meet on the sidelines of the upcoming 2018 G20 leaders’ summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in what will be the first trilateral leaders’ meeting of the three countries.

In a briefing on Tuesday, U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton noted that Trump would meet Abe for a bilateral summit and that meeting would transform at some point into a trilateral meeting” with the Indian prime minister.

Bolton addressed the topic in the context of a question he received at a White House briefing on whether Trump would meet bilaterally with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Bolton said that Trump wouldn’t meet the Saudi crown prince given his long list of sideline meeting in Buenos Aires, including the trilateral.

India Struggles to Compete With China’s Digital Silk Road

By Chan Jia Hao and Deepakshi Rawat

The concept of digital connectivity in the Belt and Road Initiative in the last few years has been moving forward, but is less noticed by international observers than high-profile physical infrastructure projects like ports and railways. Nevertheless, building capabilities in emerging technologies appears to have taken off in parallel to the broader BRI agenda.

Currently, China has the highest number of AI-related academic papers and more than a fifth of the world’s artificial intelligence patents. Chinese homegrown companies like Baidu and Tencent are now consistently producing research output that rivals that of Google. According to the Next Generation Artificial Intelligence Development Plan, AI will create entirely new sectors of the economy, which are estimated to be worth 150 billion Chinese yuan ($21.6 billion) by 2030. It was also recently reported that China plans to build a $2.1 billion technology park dedicated to developing AI near Beijing. China sees AI as a core technology which is vital to its economic growth in the coming years, leading to a wave of investments in research and development as well as talent acquisition.

India’s smartphone revolution is a phenomenon on the scale of Independence in 1947


Media headlines reporting research results often distort findings — substituting ‘newsworthiness’ for accuracy. The newsworthiness falls into two broad categories: “Whatever you thought you knew about this subject is completely wrong” or “research confirms what we knew to be right all along”. So, when a headline on BBC World this week announced that “a rising tide of nationalism in India is driving ordinary citizens to spread fake news”, we should wonder which of the two newsworthy categories it falls into.

Unless you’ve been blissfully living under a rock somewhere without internet, the BBC’s principal claims aren’t too surprising: A lot of fake news that is circulated seeks to promote pride in national identity; Right-wing networks are better organised to push such narratives; and finally, there is “overlap of fake news sources on Twitter and support networks of Prime Minister Narendra Modi”.

Why Balochs Are Targeting China

By Muhammad Akbar Notezai

Why Balochs Are Targeting China
Over the years, China-Pakistan relations have evolved positively. The mainstream media of the two countries always features the mantra of friendship and brotherly ties. Despite that, however, from day one China has been concerned about one thing in Pakistan: security. Both religious extremists and Baloch separatists have reportedly killed Chinese citizens inside Pakistan in the past.

The most recent incident came on November 23, 2018, when three heavily armed militants from the Baloch Liberation Army (BLA) targeted the Chinese consulate in Karachi. Two police officers and two visa applicants were killed. The Chinese officials inside the consulate remained safe, and the Baloch militants were killed in retaliatory firing.

Back in August, a suicide bomber attacked a bus carrying Chinese engineers in Balochistan’s Chaghi district. Aside from the attacker, there were no fatalities, but three of the Chinese engineers were injured along with three security personnel. The BLA was behind that attack as well.

Dismantling Pakistan’s Tribal Areas

By Farid Alam

On May 31, 2018, Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas, or FATA, formally ceased to exist. Home to five million people, and covering more than 27,000 square kilometers, these seven tribal districts have attracted enormous international attention in the last two decades due to their shared border with war-torn Afghanistan. The government of Pakistan has now brought an end to FATA’s century-old special status by merging the tribal agencies with the neighboring province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP).

Prior to the merger with KP, FATA was governed by a special set of laws known as the Frontier Crimes Regulations, enacted in 1901 by the British Empire to confront Pashtun insurgents. Poor governance and decades of warfare in neighboring Afghanistan had rendered the region vulnerable to continuing insurgency and deprivation. This in turn had a spillover effect on health, education, and livelihoods and caused the dislocation of a substantial portion of the tribal population to other parts of the country. UNDP’s 2017 Human Development Report ranked FATA lowest in the country on its human development index (HDI). The merger of FATA with Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa represents an opportunity and a new hope for peace and prosperity.

The Taliban’s Battle Plan

By Michael Semple

Zalmay Khalilzad, the United States’ envoy for Afghan reconciliation, has breathed new life into attempts to conduct peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban. Having met with Taliban representatives in Qatar and lobbied leaders in Afghanistan and Pakistan, Khalilzad now says he is “cautiously optimistic” about reaching a peace deal by April of next year.

Yet as far as Taliban leaders are concerned, the group has little reason to commit to a peace process: it is on a winning streak. The Taliban control key Afghan highways and are conducting targeted assassinations across the country. They have made important territorial gains and now have complete or partial control over some 250 of about 400 districts.

These gains are not sufficient to pose an existential threat to an Afghan government with U.S. backing, but they have emboldened the Taliban to keep fighting, in the hope of eventually eroding U.S. resolve. Even if Khalilzad manages to bring the Taliban to the table, don’t expect his efforts to produce a lasting peace anytime soon.

A Pivotal Year Ahead for Afghanistan

By Omar Samad

Even as another turbulent year draws to a close in Afghanistan, 2019 could end up becoming a pivotal one for a nation caught between geopolitical power projections, evolving peace and political pressures, and contrasting visions for the future—unless there is a concerted effort to agree on an inclusive, practical, and timebound political process that includes a peace plan.

Over the past two weeks, a spate of suicide attacks and assassinations, deadly ambushes of security forces, ethnic and communal provocations, and closure of transportation arteries have caused disruptions and left hundreds of civilians and security forces dead and injured across the country. Although undocumented, dozens of Taliban and IS-KP fighters (a local outfit tagged as Islamic State Khorasan Province) and scores of civilians living under their control are also reported to have been killed in sporadic clashes.

To make matters worse, Kabul experienced violent street protests and new political tension following the two-day detention of an ethnic Hazara militia leaderearlier this week.

India will stay relevant in Afghanistan, Taliban or no Taliban

By Pranay Kotasthane

The action is fast and furious. Taliban representatives have attended peace talks in Moscow for the first time. Almost simultaneously, the US special envoy has broken a taboo and opened direct talks with the Taliban office in Qatar. Pakistan has released one of the founding members of the Taliban after eight years. In Afghanistan itself a US general has been wounded in a Taliban attack and there are daily reports of the ever increasing numbers of Afghans getting killed by Taliban terrorists.

Such is the fluid state of political affairs in Afghanistan today that these highly divergent events are all unfolding concurrently.

Amidst all these fast-moving political developments, it was the Moscow round of talks that attracted the most attention in India. India has consistently maintained that it supports an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned reconciliation process. So, sending retired diplomats as observers at the Moscow round of talks naturally sparked speculation that India was reversing its policy on Afghanistan. Interestingly, some commentators have, in the past, accused India of doing exactly the opposite — blocking attempts by the Afghan government to negotiate with elements such as the Taliban.

Russia's Relationship With China Will Change Northeast Asia

by Lyle J. Goldstein

The many naysayers on the China-Russia partnership may want to take another look at this. For decades, it has been modish to suggest that this bilateral linkage is either negligible or highly problematic. So the logic goes: the two Asian giants put up a rather good show, but “the emperor has no clothes.” The trading relationship is not too stellar, transport links are limited, military cooperation seems mostly symbolic, and the cultures could not be further apart, seemingly. Then, there is that nasty history from the late 1960s that neither country wants to raise, but deep down still impacts the psychology of both powers, preventing them from developing genuine “fraternal affection.” There is a grain of truth in each of these common tropes, but it would be a major mistake to overlook the impressive growth trajectory that is apparent in the Russia-China bilateral relationship.

After Election, Taiwan’s Grand Strategy Is in Doubt

by Charles I-hsin Chen

If the best reason to explain President Tsai Ing-wen’s landslide victory in the 2016 Taiwan election was her opposition to the economic integration between Taiwan and China, then the remedy she vowed was the New Southbound Policy (NSP). In her inauguration, she declared the pursuit of more economic engagements with South and Southeast Asian Countries, plus Australia and New Zealand. It has been nearly two years since the first budget, passed by the legislature, was spent on the first day of 2017. However, this new grand economic strategy for Taiwan may have brought back limited substance.

One may not find a word of “China” written in official guidelines, but there is no need to make it clear that the major target of this policy is to develop new markets sufficient enough to replace China’s. As Tsai stressed on her first day of presidency, “We will also promote a “New Southbound Policy” in order to elevate the scope and diversity of our external economy and to bid farewell to our past over-reliance on a single market.” Though her expression was implicit, most listeners could not misunderstand to whom her finger was pointing at.

A Possible Upside to the US-China Trade War

By Yigal Chazan

With the world braced for further escalations in the U.S.-China trade war, Southeast Asian economies are experiencing some benefit from the dispute, which appears to be accelerating the relocation of manufacturing capacity from the Chinese mainland to the region.

While export-orientated ASEAN members are unlikely to escape the economic harm caused by the tit-for-tat tariffs imposed by Washington and Beijing on each other’s products, it may be mitigated by the shift in production, helping to sustain the region’s healthy growth – with the likes of Vietnam, whose GDP rose by 6.98 percent between January and September, an eight-year high, set to be among the main beneficiaries.

Operation Red Sea: The Chinese Public's Introduction to Beijing's New Navy

By Robert Farley

Although it largely escaped the notice of American audiences, Dante Lam’s Operation Red Sea served to introduce the Chinese public to its new navy. Directed by Lam and starring Zhang Yi, Hai Qing, and Huang Jingyu, the film was a huge success, making $579 million domestically, enough for second place all time in the Chinese box office. In addition to being an enjoyable enough action-thriller, Operation Red Seaopens a valuable window onto how the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) wants to manage its public image.

The sometimes convoluted plot boils down to crisis response off the coast of Africa. Loosely based on PLAN anti-piracy ops, and on the rescue of Chinese citizens from Aden, Yemen during the civil war, the film opens with a commando attack against a group of pirates who have seized a freighter, and then develops into a much larger raid to rescue Chinese hostages from Islamic State-affiliated terrorists.

3 Reasons Why Trump Can't Win a Trade War With China

By Fatih Oktay

Both the rhetoric and actions of the Trump administration point to the rising probability of an economic war between the United States and China. To have a chance of winning such a war, the Trump administration needs to get the rest of the world on its side. This is not likely to happen for three reasons: the United States’ economic leverage is not strong enough; national interests in much of the rest of the world are not aligned with such an arrangement; and the U.S. is at a comparative disadvantage in terms of resources.

Tariff hikes don’t have much chance of breaking China. Nowadays exports are about 20 percent of China’s GDP; exports to the United States make up about 18 percent of China’s exports, and the domestic value added of Chinese exports is about 70 percent. Multiplying these, one gets the total share of U.S. exports in China’s GDP as about 2.5 percent. With this rather low level of dependency, the impact of tariff hikes on the Chinese economy will not be hard to manage with monetary and fiscal policies. The impact may be magnified through changes in expectations that lead to reduced consumption and investment expenditures, or these may trigger a crisis in the highly leveraged economy, but judging by its past performance, Chinese government is likely to be able to contain these risks.

Google employees sign letter against censored search engine for China

Julia Carrie Wong 

A woman carries a fire extinguisher past the logo for Google at the China International Import Expo in Shanghai earlier this month. Photograph: Ng Han Guan/AP

A group of Google employees published an open letter on Tuesday calling on their employer to cancel its plans to build a censored search engine for China, the latest expression of worker unrest at a company that earlier this month saw thousands stage walkouts over its handling of sexual misconduct cases.

Ex-staffer pressures Google over China project ahead of Senate hearing

Why Putin Is Pressuring Ukraine

by Nikolas K. Gvosdev

In salons and seminars in Washington, Russia (and China) is routinely described as a “revisionist” power. This is usually accompanied by anguished commentary that the “postwar liberal international order” is being undermined—and calls for the United States to do “something” to demonstrate that it still has the capacity to lead in the global environment. Yet the revisions continue because, despite the steps taken by the United States and the European Union, the rewards of revision continue to outweigh the costs.

The old Greek proverb, “Bean by bean the sack is filled,” is apropos here. At some point, revisions create facts on the ground that become the new normal, the next “status quo.” Ever since taking office, Vladimir Putin has not hidden his desire and interest in revising the post–Cold War settlement. Over time, what has changed are his methods. In the early 2000s, he hoped for cooperative revisions with the United States and the European Union; since his 2007 address at the Munich Security Conference, he has opted to test the resilience of the West to uphold the status quo that emerged in the aftermath of the 1989–1991 collapse of the Soviet bloc.

Elections Staged in Ukraine’s East Under Russian Control

By: Vladimir Socor

Kremlin-orchestrated, internationally unrecognized “elections” were held on November 11 in the Donetsk and Luhansk “People’s Republics” (DPR, LPR), Russian-controlled territories in Ukraine’s east. The final returns, made public on November 14, serve to confirm and prolong the authority of the “head of the republic” (“glava respubliki,” would-be president) and the “people’s council” (would-be legislature) in each of the two territories.

The DPR’s “interim acting head,” Denis Pushilin, is credited with 61 percent of the votes cast (the remainder being shared by four also-rans). Pushilin’s political organization, Donetsk Republic, is attributed 72 percent of the votes cast in the “parliamentary” election, versus 26 percent to the Free Donbas group. The former has a nomenklatura flavor, the latter a populist flavor; and both are billed as movements, rather than parties.

U.S. Setting Up Observation Posts in Syria to Keep ISIS From Entering Turkey

Terri Moon Cronk

U.S. forces are establishing observation posts in Northeast Syria to further deny escape routes to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, the spokesman for Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve told Pentagon reporters today.

Army Col. Sean Ryan, speaking via teleconference from Baghdad, updated reporters on ongoing operations in Iraq and Syria to defeat ISIS.

The spokesman said the observation posts will be set up to deter ISIS fighters that try to flee the middle Euphrates River valley into Turkey to the north.

“These observation posts will provide additional transparency and will better enable Turkey's protection from ISIS elements,” Ryan said.

Defense Secretary James N. Mattis announced the observation posts last week in a press briefing with Pentagon reporters.

America’s Forgotten War in Syria Isn’t Stopping

by Adam Taylor 

The United States is fighting a war in Syria. It’s a quiet war with debatable legal standing, but it is a real war nonetheless. Estimates of the number of U.S. troops there over the past year run anywhere from about 500into the thousands.

In theory, at least, the U.S. presence in Syria is about defeating the Islamic State, the extremist group that controlled major chunks of Syria and Iraq in recent years and later orchestrated or inspired terrorist attacks in Europe and North America. Today, the U.S. government claims the Islamic State is near total defeat.

Yet the Trump administration has declared it will be in Syria indefinitely. Does that mean that the enemy is not, in fact, as defeated as it seems? Or does it mean that the mission has crept beyond the Islamic State? In this case, the answer may be both.

The Islamic State has lost almost all of the territory it held at the peak of its power in 2014 and 2015. This is largely thanks to a U.S.-led military intervention — particularly the use of American air power — that began under the Obama administration and continued under the Trump administration. It is also a success that came at a high cost to Syrian civilians, according to groups such as Amnesty International.

But if the Islamic State is down, it is not yet out…

U.K. Relationship With U.S., Role in Global Defense Unlikely to Change After Brexit

By: John Grady

Sailors assigned to the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77) watch as the Royal Navy aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth II (R 08) pulls into Naval Station Norfolk, Va. Oct 27, 2018.

The United Kingdom’s security relationship with the United States will remain “exceptional, uniquely wide and deep” even as the U.K. prepares to depart from the European Union next year, Britain’s top envoy to the United States said.

That relationship, Kim Darroch said Monday at the Hudson Institute in Washington, is built on trade, security, culture and more.

Zeroing in on security, Darroch said the two are tied to $150 billion in trade agreements for the next 10 years covering weapons and systems from F-35s, P-8A Poseidon aircrafts, ballistic-missile submarines and nuclear modernization programs.

Countering Terrorism Online: Can New Public-Private Approaches Turn the Tide?

By: Alicia Chavy

A YouTube search for “Anwar al-Awlaki” returns 40,000 hits.[i] The poster child for the use of the internet to radicalize others online, Awlaki was a master of creating propaganda materials targeted at Western Muslims. By making jihadist materials available in English, Anwar al-Awlaki and Al-Qaeda-affiliated Samir Khan revolutionized how terrorist organizations connected with a new generation attuned to digital communications technologies. Al-Awlaki’s online efforts exemplify how digital technologies have ignited terrorist groups’ causes, recruitment, and radicalization processes in the past decade. The Internet and other digital platforms have also enhanced terrorists’ access to logistical support and propaganda and improved their ability to embed themselves within local and diaspora communities. In response, governments have cooperated with the private sector to develop some promising new approaches to counter extremist messaging, take down radical online content, and generate innovative technological tools to undermine terrorist groups’ use of digital technologies.


Max Brooks

Editor’s note: MWI Non-Resident Fellow has gathered a broad collection of books that, together, help to conceptualize the many challenges posed by insurgencies. The books he has identified are below.

Insurgencies, guerrilla warfare—whatever we chose to call this type of violence, it is, by far the deadliest threat to those who serve in uniform. Since the middle of the last century, over a quarter of a million Americans were killed or wounded in Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan. And those are just the big ones. As tragic as these figures might be, an even deeper tragedy might be the forgotten lessons that could prevent future casualties.

Every time America wades into a counterinsurgency, those on the ground pay, in blood, for priceless knowledge in the art of how to fight. And yet, every time, that priceless knowledge seems worthless when it comes to future study. The post–Vietnam retreat to the Fulda Gap left the post–9/11 military completely unprepared for Afghanistan or Iraq. As a senior Iraq strategist told me, “I deployed with two duffle bags; one for my gear and the other with books I had to read.” On the subject of Afghanistan, an MWI colleague confessed, “We barely knew anything about the Soviet experience.” That experience is now almost old enough to vote, and yet, despite the nearly two-decade experience with counterinsurgency, the center of strategic gravity is even now, shifting right back to conventional, set-piece combat.

Russia’s Middle Eastern Position in 2025

By Stephen Blank


Through 2025, Russia will continue to enjoy the prominence it now possesses in the Middle East and can be expected to succeed in this quest because it has strategically built and deployed the instruments of power necessary to sustain such a position, all things being equal. Those instruments comprise diplomatic, military and economic elements of power as well as the fact that Russia has leveraged its position in Syria to obtain partners and even enablers for itself who now have and will continue to have over time a serious stake in the success of Russian regional policies. Moreover, Russia is eagerly building up military sinews to retain power projection capabilities throughout the Middle East and Africa for the period up to and even beyond 2025.


Vice President Pence in Asia: Economic Outcomes

Vice President Mike Pence conducted a weeklong tour of Asia this month, standing in for President Trump at the annual Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit and events organized by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) where he announced a series of economic initiatives with regional partners and held talks with numerous heads of government. In his public remarks, Pence reinforced the impression that the United States views itself in a zero-sum economic competition with China in the Indo-Pacific region.

Q1: What happened at APEC, and why does it matter?

A1: The economic centerpiece of Pence’s trip was the annual APEC Leaders’ Meeting in Papua New Guinea. For the first time in the forum’s history, the meeting concluded without a joint communiqué. According to Papua New Guinea prime minister Peter O’Neill, disagreements on trade between “the two big giants in the room”—China and the United States—were the cause of the impasse. The U.S. and Chinese foreign ministry statements on the matter, as well as media reports, suggest that the United States’ proposed language regarding “combat[ing] unfair trade practices,” which the Chinese side found unacceptable, viewing this as “excusing protectionism and unilateralism.” According to one report, the Chinese side also took umbrage at the wording on sustainable development. Although a source told CNN that every country but China had reached consensus on the communiqué, Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi accused “individual economies” of refusing to accept “reasonable advice for revision” from other parties as well.

Who is Trump's trade war really helping?

Jeff Spross

Hopes were high that a meeting between Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping, at the G20 summit in Argentina this Friday, could produce a deal to ratchet back Trump's tariffs. But on Monday, the president told the Wall Street Journal that outcome was "highly unlikely" — and then threatened to tighten the screws on China even further.

Yet if Trump really wants to help American workers, then he needs to demand the right concessions from China.

Right now, he isn't.



During a televised speech on Monday in which he outlined his case for imposing martial law, Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko claimed that his country’s intelligence service had evidence that Russia was preparing a ground attack.

Poroshenko's speech was given after Russia blocked three Ukrainian navy vessels from passing from the Black Sea into the Sea of Azov via the Kerch Strait on Sunday. The incident was a major escalationof the tensions that have existed between the two countries ever since Russia annexed the Crimean Peninsula from Ukraine and began backing armed separatists in the country in 2014. Poroshenko is close to imposing martial law in Ukraine, which would allow the military to run the country, saying it was necessary for Ukraine’s security.

Many experts said Russia’s attack on Ukrainian naval ships on Sunday was a game changer.

What changes will the Corps' experiments in the information environment bring?

By: Todd South 

As the Marine Corps enters its third and final year of the reconstituted Sea Dragon experiments, past, present and future efforts are all aimed at how the Marines can throw more weight into the naval warfighting punch.

Brig. Gen. Christian F. Wortman, commanding general of the Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory, outlined the past year’s work focusing on logistics modernization and previewed next year’s focus: the information environment.

The infantry battalion was a previous focus, and experiments led to the adoption of new gear and the downsizing and reconfiguring of the rifle squad.

The Corps has successfully tested a single operator controlling six drones at once.

The Army is rapidly regrowing electronic warfare

By: Mark Pomerleau

Following intense focus on building its cyber force for the last several years, the Army now wants to ensure every level of battlefield leadership has electronic warfare capabilities at their disposal.

“We have really focused on ... bringing cyber, electronic warfare and information operations capabilities across all echelons of the Army,” Brig. Gen. Jennifer Buckner, director of cyber within the Army’s G-3/5/7, told reporters during a media roundtable at the CyCon conference in Washington Nov. 15.

The growth of the electronic warfare force will include planners on staffs at all echelons who will provide commanders both cyber and EW plans as well as electronic warfare operators.

The Army is undergoing several force design updates to keep pace with adversaries.

Electronic Warfare Funding Up, But Short of DSB Marker


Navy EA-18G Growler with jamming pods

AOC: Electronic warfare has come a long way since Pentagon legend Paul Kaminskiwarned that “years of neglect” had left the US dangerously behind Russia and China. But has the Defense Department made the $2.3 billion a year increases in EW spending that Kaminski and the respected Defense Science Board said was necessary back at the 2014 Association of Old Crows conference, months after Russian jammers fried the Ukrainian army’s communications? No — not yet.

“We have not achieved $2.3 billion in budget growth,” Pentagon EW acquisitions director Bill Conley told me. “We are continuing to add investment (and) we are addressing the most pressing gaps.”

Pentagon Builds Mega-Database For Spectrum & Electronic Warfare


An Army soldier sets up a highband antenna in Afghanistan.

AOC: With so many troops, tanks, ships, and planes transmitting on so many different frequencies that they accidentally jam each other hundreds of times a year, the US military lives and dies by the radio frequency spectrum. That’s why the Defense Information Services Agency (DISA) is pulling together data from all four armed services to create a single massive database of signals, the Joint Spectrum Data Repository.

The JSDR won’t just keep American communications officers from mistakenly scrambling each others’ signals, either. By providing a comprehensive baseline of what friendly transmissions look like, the mega-database will make it easier for Signals Intelligence (SIGINT) and Electronic Warfare (EW) troops to hone in on enemy transmission.

The Fight So Far

By LTG Michael K. Nagata

Achieving significantly greater strategic success against terrorism remains within America’s grasp, but only if we are willing to be as adaptive and flexible—indeed more so—than our terrorist adversaries have proven to be. Achieving this will require us to make investments, adopt practices, and make choices we previously have not. The purpose of this narrative is to encourage a larger and more effective discussion about these investments, practices, and choices. Although the U.S. Government (USG) has frequently claimed to take a whole-of-government approach in utilizing all elements of national power to fight terrorism, our struggle against the Islamist State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has demonstrated that we must strengthen our emphasis and resourcing of non-kinetic counterterrorism (CT) efforts to match the strengths that we and our allies have developed since 9/11 in kinetic efforts.
Where We Have Been

According to a recent U.S. Army-sponsored RAND study, since 9/11 the United States has deployed more than 2.7 million military service members and government civilians to conduct or support dozens of CT campaigns and military operations; many of which endure to this day.2 During these years, the United States has developed extraordinary capabilities and strengths for contesting terrorism, ranging from precise military actions to capture or kill terrorist leaders, to impressive law enforcement operations to bring terrorist perpetrators to justice, to sophisticated intelligence operations to enable both ourselves and our international partners to disrupt dangerous terrorist plots, and beyond.