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The experts at CNA are often asked to comment on issues in the news. The views expressed in these articles are their own.

2018 News Archive

  • March 1, 2018

    The CNA study Development of the Squad: Historical Analysis says, "the U.S. Army was unable to field an effective LMG as a replacement for the BAR. This was to prove a critical weakness, particularly in light of the conference attendees' observations that in order to fire or maneuver, the squad needed to be equipped with the suppressive fire of an organic LMG. Rifle fire, even if automatic, was inadequate."

    Marine Corps Gazette: "The 15-Marine Rifle Squad"

  • February 21, 2018

    Michael Kofman says, "Some policymakers believe Russia has an offensive nuclear strategy, but there is nothing to support this since asymmetric escalation when you're winning is not really credible."

    Defense News: "Out of Moscow: Washington Got the Basics of Russian Nuclear Strategy All Wrong"

  • February 20, 2018

    Ken Gause says, "North Korea's motives for the charm campaign are twofold: 1) drive a wedge between the U.S. and South Korea and 2) relieve the economic pressure caused by the sanctions."

    The Korea Herald: "Will Inter-Korean Detente Continue After Olympics?"

  • February 20, 2018

    Samuel Bendett says, "The key here is that the Russians are starting to move away from 'regular' UAV designs and are beginning to experiment with a variety of UAV design and applications."

    The National Interest: "Here Is How Russia Hopes to Dominate the Drone Market"

  • February 19, 2018

    Ken Gause "forecast recently that Kim will reinstate Hwang in order to keep Choe in check."

    The Chosunilbo: "Purged N.Korean Apparatchik Reappears in Public"

  • February 18, 2018

    Michael Kofman says, "PMCs have shown that they can make the difference on distant battlefields and are a useful offset when Russia wants to keep its own military footprint small. They are also an effective tool in support of state-sponsored insurgency or unconventional warfare because they are deniable and disposable."

    The Cipher Brief: "Deniability and De-Escalation: Russia's Use of Military Contractors in Proxy Wars"

  • February 18, 2018

    Michael Kofman says, "We don't know concretely who is paying [the mercenaries], but they are supported, deployed and moved about by Russian military, so we can draw some conclusions from that,"

    Los Angeles Times: "Russia's Shadowy World of Military Contractors: Independent Mercenaries, or Working for the Kremlin?"

  • February 16, 2018

    Jonathan Schroden says, "There has been an uptick in drone strikes in the tribal areas of Pakistan going back to the fall of last year and continuing since then."

    Military Times: "DOD IG: Too Soon to Tell If Trump's South Asia Strategy Will Break the Taliban"

  • February 16, 2018

    Vera Zakem says, "We have to look beyond these 13 individuals and we really have to be looking at the very expansive and comprehensive effort Russians have engaged in the interference of the United States election."

    BBC: "Russians Indicted for Meddling in U.S. Election"

  • February 13, 2018

    Ken Gause says, "This can only be achieved by engagement or the military option. I prefer the former to the calamity that could come with the latter. ... I absolutely do believe the US and North Korea should talk without preconditions. Diplomacy is the art of the possible, not the art of the perfect."

    The Korea Herald: "Trump Should Give Talk With North Korea a Chance"

  • February 13, 2018

    Michael Kofman says Damascus "needs these oil and gas facilities to sustain whatever rump state that is left and let it survive. The key fault line now, and the reason for the fighting, is energy resources."

    The Wall Street Journal: "Russians Among Those Killed in U.S. Airstrike in Eastern Syria"

  • February 10, 2018

    VOA: Umida Hashimova: Uzbekistan Is Interested in Our Presence in the United States [Uzbeck]

  • February 9, 2018

    Ken Gause says, "Accidents of birth have also worked in Ms. Kim's favor. Kim Jong Un has an older brother, Kim Jong Chol, but a Korean emphasis on age-based seniority makes it hard for him to play a public supporting role to the leader."

    The Wall Street Journal: "Sister Act: Rapid Rise of North Korean Leader's New Top Aide"

  • February 9, 2018

    Zack Gold says, “What we need to be looking for is whether this is a large-scale offensive that will end tomorrow, or whether the Egyptian military is really intent on invading and clearing territory and holding that territory for a longer time.”

    The Wall Street Journal: "Egypt Starts Anti-ISIS Operation in Restive Sinai"

  • February 8, 2018

    Julia McQuaid says, “Iran is one example of water stress triggering unrest on the low end, whether those are riots, protests or strikes. Cape Town could potentially be another example.”

    CNA: “Water Stress a Compounding Factor in Global Unrest and Terrorism”

  • February 7, 2018

    Ken Gause says, "Kim Yo Jong's power exists because of proximity to the leader himself, she is the person that he trust more than anyone else in the regime."

    CNN: "Kim Jong Un's Powerful Sister Going to the Olympics"

  • February 5, 2018

    CNA's Military Advisory Board writes, "As senior military officers, we see water stress—the lack of adequate fresh water—as a growing factor in the world's hotspots and conflict areas, many of vital interest to the United States."

    New Security Beat: "The Role of Water Stress in Instability and Conflict"

  • February 5, 2018

    Jeffrey Edmonds says, "It certainly makes the system more robust, a layered defense is always better than a single defense layer."

    Business Insider: "Russia's Newest Anti-Air Missile Shows How Its Air Defenses Outpace America's"

  • February 5, 2018

    Michael Kofman says, "I don't think Priboy is anything other than a model ship, same goes for the Lavina."

    The National Interest: "Russia's New Helicopters Are Preparing for War"

  • February 5, 2018

    Michael Kofman says, "It's principally a third strike weapon designed to ensure that Russia has a viable nuclear deterrent which cannot be intercepted by missile defenses."

    WTOP: "Russia Building Devastating Nuclear Weapon; Pentagon Seeks to Counter"

  • February 3, 2018

    Jeffrey Edmonds says, "Both from Trump's point of view and from the Russians point of view, the passing of sanctions by Congress confirmed for both that there was one large bureaucratic body here in the United States that is not very favorable when it comes to Russia."

    Deutsche Welle: "U.S. Congress Could Clash With Trump Administration on New Russia Sanctions"

  • February 3, 2018

    Zack Gold says, "The Israeli strikes inside of Egypt are almost at the same level, every time anyone says anything about the nuclear program, they have to jokingly add 'according to the foreign press.' Israel's main strategic interest in Egypt is stability, and they believe that open disclosure would threaten that stability."

    The New York Times: "Secret Alliance: Israel Carries Out Airstrikes in Egypt, With Cairo's O.K."

  • February 1, 2018

    "Brian McCue's U-Boats In the Bay of Biscay: An Essay on Operations Analysis is a classic. After World War II intelligence was declassified in the 1980s, McCue used these files to show quantitatively the advantage of breaking the enemy code by determining how many attacks days U-boats achieved in the Battle of the Atlantic."

    Proceedings Magazine, Feb 2018: "The Master of Fleet Tactics Unleashed"

  • February 1, 2018

    CNA Military Advisory Board member Brigadier General Gerald Galloway [Ret] says, "Have you solved the problem of the inequities that might exist over the use of that water at the lowest level? Is the farmer at the end of the irrigation canal going to get any water?"

    New Security Beat: "A Matter of Survival: Learning to Cooperate Over Water"

  • February 1, 2018

    Michael Kofman says, "The Russian military is incredibly good at killing things if it can find them, but it always historically struggles at seeing on the battlefield."

    Breaking Defense: "Electronic Warfare Trumps Cyber For Deterring Russia"

  • February 1, 2018

    Michael Kofman says, "There are quite few T-90s in the force and the T-90 does not dramatically improve on the capabilities of the T-72B3M."

    The National Interest: "Get Ready, NATO: The Russian Army Is Getting New T-90M Main Battle Tanks"

  • February 1, 2018

    Samuel Bendett says, "This unmanned helicopter will enhance the military capabilities of the nation's armed forces, as well as serve as a useful addition to the civilian sector such as emergency and first responders."

    The National Interest: "Is the Russian Military Going Robot?"

  • February 1, 2018

    Samuel Bendett says, "What's evident now is that Russia's plan to more closely integrate their EW forces with air/missile defenses is coming to fruition."

    Breaking Defense: "Electronic Warfare Trumps Cyber For Deterring Russia"

  • February 1, 2018

    Vera Zakem says, "Dezinformatsiya, as Russians call it, is meant to instill fear and confuse audiences, blurring the lines between truth, falsehood, and reality."

    The Wilson Quarterly: "Putin's Postmodern War With the West"

  • January 30, 2018

    Michael Kofman says the Russians are "also investing in capacity and how they can spread it across the force," when it comes to electronic warfare.

    USNI News: "Russian Operations, Exercises Have Better Integrated Electronic Warfare"

  • January 24, 2018

    Alarik Fritz says, "The submarine force that they have is essentially their capital ships. They're a concern for us and they're highly capable—and they're a very agile tool of the Russian military."

    The National Interest: "Why Are Russian Nuclear Attack Submarines Firing Torpedoes At Each Other?"

  • January 23, 2018

    Jeffrey Edmonds says, "This dashed any hopes in the Kremlin of getting back to business as usual with the United States. Fortified the belief among Russia's elite, and its population for that matter, that there is a large contingent within the U.S. government that is anti-Russian and Trump doesn't have the power to overcome it."

    Newsweek: "What Did Putin Want From Trump and What Did He Actually Get?"

  • January 22, 2018

    Dov Zakheim says, "If you don't come up with a strategy, you are never going to justify getting the money."

    Ecommerce-Journal: "New National Defense Strategy Lists China, Russia as Threats"

  • January 22, 2018

    Paul Schwartz says, "Since 2014, Russia has clearly emerged as NATO's most significant state-based security challenge."

    Marine Corps Times: "Peer Competitors Ready to 'Hand It to Us,' Marine General Says"

  • January 21, 2018

    Samuel Bendett says, "Soratnik testing in Syria may have in fact taken place considering the mine clearing UGVs that Russia has tested there and is planning to use from now on."

    The National Interest: "Russia Tests New "Unmanned Ground Combat Vehicle" in Near Combat Conditions"

  • January 18, 2018

    Julia McQuaid says while water stress doesn't lead straight to conflict, "It can be catalyst, It can be a thing that breaks the system."

    The New York Times: "Warming, Water Crisis, Then Unrest: How Iran Fits an Alarming Pattern"

  • January 18, 2018

    Ken Gause says the only way to stop North Korea from putting a miniaturized nuke on top of a missile is "to have some carrots along with the sticks."

    OZY: "Get a Sneak Peek at Trump's Year Two Checklist"

  • January 18, 2018

    Michael Kofman says, “In terms of establishing viable air defenses against opponents with fifth generation aircraft, it's quite clear how Russia is trying to tackle the problem of stealth."

    The National Interest: “Could Russia's S-400 Do the Unthinkable: Kill a F-22, F-35 or B-2 Bomber?”

  • January 18, 2018

    Michael Kofman says, “Russian intelligence gathering ships don’t come around for port of call visits or flag waving.”

    CNN: “Military: Russian Spy Ship Moving Toward U.S.”

  • January 17, 2018

    Samuel Bendett says, "We are talking about a very wide aperture for a drone-borne attack—from small quadrocopters, to plane-like UAVs that attacked Hmeimim, to potential coordinated swarms made up of small and large drones."

    The National Interest: "'Swarm' Strikes Are the U.S. Military's Worst Fear"

  • January 16, 2018

    David Knoll says, "Looking at non-state actor drone operations in the last 2-3 years, I would expect to see more efforts to launch swarm drone attacks by non-state groups in the future."

    The National Interest: "Could This be the U.S. Military's Secret Weapon to Stop a 'Swarm' Strike?"

  • January 16, 2018

    Samuel Bendett says, "Robust EW defenses—in fact, the Russians are already talking about bolstering their EW even more following this Syria attack."

    The National Interest: "Could This Be the U.S. Military's Secret Weapon to Stop a 'Swarm' Strike?"

  • January 12, 2018

    Samuel Bendett says, "sophisticated UAV education and knowledge is spreading and more and more people are starting to get access to what was once very classified and proprietary data, including technologies that enable UAV flight and operation."

    The National Interest: "Who Attacked a Russian Military Base With a 'Swarm' Strike?"

  • January 11, 2018

    Michael Kofman says, "The most effective resource is an organization that doesn't know it's being used."

    The Moscow Times: "The Specter of Kaspersky Looms Over Russian Cybersecurity Firms"

  • January 10, 2018

    Dmitry Gorenburg says, "We often overestimate how much governments in capitals have control over the rebel groups they sponsor."

    Business Insider: "Russia Is Blaming Turkey for Attacks on Its Military Bases in Syria — After Hinting the U.S. Was Responsible"

  • January 10, 2018

    Ken Gause says, "There's a lot of money to be made on that border, and there are a lot of connections between the operators on the border and their patrons back in Beijing."

    The New York Times: "Businesswoman's Fate a Test of China's Resolve on North Korea"

  • January 8, 2018

    Ken Gause says, "Its strategy exists in a gray zone. Therefore, engagement is vital to moving forward and not falling back into the hole we found ourselves in 2017, when we relied on pressure and preconditions to solve the North Korea problem."

    Yonhap News Agency: "Koreas Sit Down for Talks Amid Hopes for Better Ties"

  • January 8, 2018

    Ken Gause says, "The Seventh Party Congress welcomed the rise of many new faces, and that indicates that it has appointed its loyalists."

    El Mundo: "Kim Jong-Un, a Very Skillful Dictator and a Little Erratic" [Spanish]

  • January 8, 2018

    Samuel Bendett says, "It's very likely that such parts were most likely acquired commercially, in which case we are entering a dangerous terra incognita with respect to unsanctioned UAV use by non-state and terrorist organizations."

    The National Interest: "Russia Came Under Attack by a 'Swarm' In Syria, Says Report"

  • January 8, 2018

    Sarah Vogler says, "After all that's been said, the war of words between the two men over the course of the past few weeks and months; it would be very difficult for Kim Jong Un to meet with Donald Trump one on one at this point. Korean culture is very rooted in respect and the legitimacy of the ruler."

    CNN: "Rare North and South Korea Peace Talks Begin Soon"

  • January 4, 2018

    Samuel Bendett says, "[Russians] are seeking to rapidly develop new UAV with strike capabilities and this new drone could be a test bed for that platform."

    The National Interest: "Russia Is Developing a Mysterious Unmanned Strike Aircraft"

  • January 3, 2018

    Joshua Pollack says, "There's nowhere in the world that I know of where there is a button. Since [Kim Jong Un] doesn't sit at his desk 24 hours a day, I'm pretty sure he's got some kind of command and control arrangement that follows him around, the same as the U.S. president and the Russian president."

    Vice News: "Kim Jong Un Kicked off 2018 by Pressing Trump's Buttons"

  • January 3, 2018

    Michael Kofman says, "The Delta IIIs, for sure, have to go, and Delta IV by the end of the 2020s. How many they actually build will depend in great deal on the state of arms control agreements and overall composition of Russian nuclear forces."

    The National Interest: "Russia Is Getting Ready to Build a New Set of Deadly Nuclear Missile Submarines"

  • January 3, 2018

    Michael Kofman says, "This is part of an overall Russian strategy to bolster its conventional deterrence, and ability to retaliate with long range conventional weapons."

    The National Interest: "The Russian Navy's Master Plan to 'Sink' the U.S. Navy Is Now Clear"

  • January 1, 2018

    Ken Gause says, "By taking a mixed approach to Seoul and Washington, North Korea seems likely to continue with its strategy of trying to drive a wedge in the alliance."

    Yonhap News: "N.K.'s Olive Branch Toward Seoul Targets Breakthrough Amid Sanctions: Experts"

  • March 13, 2018

    In 2018, CNA's Executive Sessions on Policing will take a look at Innovative Approaches to Reducing Violent Crime. On March 13, experts will convene to review how local police agencies are using innovative approaches in the use of technology, intelligence, and analytics to support their efforts to reduce violent crime.
    Learn more and register here.

  • January 31, 2018

    Nilanthi Samaranayake says, “Smaller Indian Ocean countries are getting sucked into a discourse about strategic competition. We’re increasingly seeing the politicization of infrastructure, especially in maritime domain.”

    American Center New Delhi: Panel Discussion on Maritime Security in the Indo-Pacific

  • January 18, 2018

    CNA analysts Nilanthi Samaranayake and Mary Ellen Connell discussed France's strategic interests in the Indian Ocean region with Dr. Iskander Rehman of the Pell Center for International Relations and Public Policy.

  • February 16, 2018

    Jeffrey Edmonds writes, "The National Security Strategy (NSS) and the National Defense Strategy (NDS) describe the United States as coming to terms with an emerging new world order, one fraught with great power competition, populism and terrorism."

    Tampa Bay Times: "Perspective: A National Security Strategy of Coming to Terms With Competition"

  • February 14, 2018

    Michael Kofman writes, "the story of Russian casualties among supporting PMCs (mercenaries belonging to private military companies) has proliferated across the internet and newspaper articles, with many of the facts and figures inaccurate."

    Russian Military Analysis: "U.S. Strikes and Russian PMC Casualties in Syria – Fact vs Fiction"

  • February 7, 2018

    Steven Klein writes, "The frequency spectrum is of vital importance to the military; many warfighting systems including radars, communications and other sensors depend on unfettered access to spectrum for their successful operation in combat."

    CHIPS: "Spectrum Management: Competition for a Scarce Resource"

  • February 6, 2018

    Jeffrey Edmonds writes, "United States and Western commentary on Russian nuclear doctrine often focuses on Russia's intention to use low-yield nuclear weapons in a conventional conflict, raising the stakes for the West."

    The National Interest: "How America Could Accidentally Push Russia into a Nuclear War"

  • February 6, 2018

    Michael Kofman writes, "Russia's Aerospace Forces have shown dramatic progress compared to their performance in the 2008 Russia-Georgia war. Military reforms launched that same year and a large modernization program in 2011 have left their mark."

    The Moscow Times: "Starving Wolf No Longer: Can Russia Sustain Its Military? (Op-ed)"

  • February 2, 2018

    Paul Saunders writes, "All in all, the U.S.-Qatar Strategic Dialogue and the public statements accompanying it were necessary and constructive correctives."

    The National Interest: "Trump Leans Toward Qatar in the Saudi Spat"

  • January 30, 2018

    Michael Kofman writes, "The National Defense Strategy's urgency is valid and its desire to focus on inter-state conflict meritorious. It's tone and framing is, in many ways, a good start. But it betrays a poor understanding of the nature of the problem and the adversaries with whom we are competing."

    War on the Rocks: "Searching for Strategy in Washington's Competition With Russia"

  • January 25, 2018

    Samuel Bendett writes, "In certain aspects of the field of unmanned military systems, Russia may be inching ahead of its competition in designing and testing a wide variety of systems and conceptualizing their future use."

    Defense One: "Russia Is Poised to Surprise the U.S. in Battlefield Robotics"

  • January 24, 2018

    Dmitry Gorenburg writes, "The Russian Air Force has been substantially modernized and upgraded as part of the current State Armament Program (SAP-2020)."

    Russian Military Reform: "Russian Air Force Procurement Plans"

  • January 24, 2018

    Michael Kofman writes, "Syria has tested every world leader individually and collectively, and has laid bare the failure of international institutions to deal effectively with the problems those institutions were designed to manage and prevent."

    Military Review: "What Kind of Victory for Russia in Syria?"

  • January 18, 2018

    Admiral James Foggo III writes, “The strong relationship between the U.S. and France is a natural “fit” for us to lead and promote the tenets of maritime security and greater freedom of navigation throughout the Indian Ocean.”

    CNA: Statement on U.S.- France Naval Cooperation

  • January 18, 2018

    Dmitry Gorenburg writes, “Kazakhstan’s size would make Russia reluctant to undertake a full-scale military intervention. Still, there are circumstances under which the Russian leadership would feel pressure to use force to intervene in Kazakhstan.”
    Russian Military Reform: “Russian Military Intervention in Kazakhstan”

  • January 17, 2018

    Umida Hashimova says, "When Uzbekistanis elected Shavkat Mirziyaev as their president on December 4, 2016, they entered 2017 with a healthy dose of skepticism that real change would follow."

    The Jamestown Foundation: "A Year in Review: Uzbekistan Pursues Liberalization at Home, Neighborly Relations Abroad"

  • January 12, 2018

    Rear Admiral Paul Becker writes, "Securing interests in the Indo-Pacific will require Washington's strategic communications to be consistent, coherent and focused."

    The Cipher Brief: "The 'Indo-Pacific': Redrawing the Map to Counter China"

  • January 11, 2018

    Steven Wills writes, "[The Littoral Combat Ship] makes an ideal patrol platform for counternarcotics and counterpiracy missions because of its shallow draft, high speed, and large helicopter, unmanned aircraft and boat facilities."

    Real Clear Defense: "LCS: Beyond the Modules"

  • January 9, 2018

    Brian McCue writes, "The Department of Defense is committed to lowering the prevalence of sexual assaults and increasing the proportion of these assaults that are reported."

    Phalanx: "The Prevalence of Sparsely Reported Events" [Page 17]

  • February 13, 2018

    In a new report, CNA analysts have undertaken an effort to map the Russian media environment and examine Russian decision-making as it relates to the media through a series of scenarios that range from crisis to steady state. Read more.

  • February 8, 2018

    An elite advisory group of retired admirals and generals from across the military services has warned that water stress will play an increasingly important role in global security. Read more.


Fiona Gettinger
Communications Associate

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Arlington, VA 22201

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