CNA Publication Archive: 2020

August 5, 2020

Over the last 15 years, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has conducted an ambitious campaign to increase the efficacy of its external propaganda. Drawing from primary Chinese languages sources, this study identifies and traces the origins of the overarching objectives of these efforts. In addition, it outlines the concrete steps that Beijing has taken to date to strengthen Chinese foreign-directed media. Using translated professional journals, the study also analyzes how Chinese subject matter experts in their own words assess Beijing's successes and shortcomings in improving the reach and resonance of China's external propaganda. This research was conducted on behalf of the US Indo-Pacific Command's China – Strategic Focus Group in support of USINDOPACOM requirements.

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July 27, 2020

On June 24, 2020, CNA's Strategy and Policy Analysis program hosted an on-the-record virtual event about Diego Garcia to discuss how developments in sovereignty politics could affect US and allied military basing rights around the world in an era of great power competition. The event featured Mauritius' Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Jagdish Koonjul, CNA's vice president and general counsel, Mark Rosen, and CNA's Strategy and Policy Analysis research program director, Nilanthi Samaranayake. Ambassador Koonjul read a prepared statement expressing Mauritius' readiness to permit the US military to maintain its base on Diego Garcia if the Chagos archipelago returns to Mauritian administration. The speakers gave an overview of the current legal and diplomatic situation surrounding the Chagos archipelago and explored whether the US would or should maintain its current position in support of the United Kingdom. They also discussed the challenges and opportunities for future US cooperation with Mauritius in the Chagos archipelago.

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June 12, 2020

This is an informal working translation into English by the CNA Russia Studies Program of the Russian Federation document "Foundations of State Policy of the Russian Federation in the Area of Nuclear Deterrence." The original Russian-language document was approved by decree N 355 of the President of the Russian Federation dated June 2, 2020, and is available at http://publication.pravo.gov.ru/Document/View/0001202006020040.

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June 12, 2020

Maritime security operations sustain and enforce the rule of law and good order at sea. Yet in an era of great power competition (GPC), do those activities support national strategy? This paper offers a structure for answering that question, placing maritime security in the context of GPC by describing competition as a function of control for the international system. The framework introduced in this paper demonstrates that maritime security is an important component of maintaining a system that benefits US security and prosperity. The framework also shows that there are two roles for maritime security in GPC—avoiding corrosion of the US-led system by great powers and avoiding corrosion caused by lesser powers. These two approaches have different implications for Navy deployment, procurement, and employment policy. Consequently, although our analysis suggests that maritime security is integral to GPC, its roles can vary, pulling resources in divergent directions according to policy priorities.

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May 13, 2020

On April 30, 2020, CNA's Strategy and Policy Analysis (SPA) program hosted an on-the-record virtual event to analyze great power competition (GPC) as a concept for US national strategy and defense planning and for what it means to compete as US policy evolves. The discussion was motivated by CNA's recent publication Great Power Relations: What Makes Powers Great and Why Do They Compete? The event, built on themes from our report, explored the implicit theoretical assumptions on which GPC is based, the strategic implications of what it means to be a great power, and the role of cooperation with competitors even in an era of GPC. The discussion took particular aim at how these issues converge in the arena of day-to-day competition. The event featured CNA analysts Dr. Joshua Tallis and Dr. David Knoll and the director of CNA's SPA program, Ms. Nilanthi Samaranayake.

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April 30, 2020

Enlisted recruiting is the heart of the All-Volunteer Force (AVF). The young men and women the Services recruit will define what the military force will look like in numbers and characteristics. Because the military is a hierarchical organization—that is, people enlist in the military as youth and advance through the ranks as they age—the Services must find recruits with the attributes that will make them successful Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines today and in the future. To sustain the volunteer military, the Services need to attract a sufficient number and quality of recruits to maintain their desired force profiles, by years of service and paygrade. For a constant enlisted force endstrength, annual military enlistments must equal annual separations. If there is an increase in the number of people who leave the Service or if endstrength increases, recruiters must work harder to achieve higher recruiting goals to make up the difference [1]. In short, a successful volunteer military begins with recruiting—the engine of the AVF. If the Services do not recruit what they need, the AVF's viability is questioned, the force is degraded, military readiness is threatened,

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April 13, 2020

This paper assesses the evolution in Russian military strategy on the question of escalation management, or intra-war deterrence, across the conflict spectrum from peacetime to nuclear war. Russia's overarching approach to deterrence, called "strategic deterrence," represents a holistic concept for shaping adversary decision making by integrating military and non-military measures. Key concepts in Russian military thinking on deterrence include deterrence by fear inducement, deterrence through the limited use of military force, and deterrence by defense. These approaches integrate a mix of strategic nonnuclear and nuclear capabilities, depending on the context and conflict scope. In a conflict, Russian escalation management concepts can be roughly divided into periods of demonstration, adequate damage infliction, and retaliation. Russian strategic culture emphasizes cost imposition over denial for deterrence purposes, believing in forms of calibrated damage as a vehicle by which to manage escalation. This so-called deterrent damage is meant to be dosed, applied in an iterative manner, with associated targeting and damage levels. Despite acquiring nonnuclear means of deterrence, Russia continues to rely on nuclear weapons to deter and prosecute regional and large-scale conflicts, seeing these as complementary means within a comprehensive strategic deterrence system. The paper summarizes debates across authoritative Russian military-analytical literature beginning in 1991 and incorporates translated graphics and tables. The concluding section discusses implications for US and allied forces.

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April 13, 2020

This report offers an overview of the main debates in Russian military thought on deterrence and escalation management in the post-Cold War period, based on authoritative publications. It explores discussions by Russian military analysts and strategists on "regional nuclear deterrence," namely the structure of a two-level deterrence system (regional and global); debates on "nonnuclear deterrence" and the role of strategic conventional weapons in escalation management; as well as writings on the evolution of damage concepts toward ones that reflect damage that is tailored to the adversary. Russian military thinking on damage informs the broader discourse on ways and means to shift an opponent's calculus in an escalating conflict. The report concludes with summaries of recent articles that reflect ongoing discourse on the evolution of Russia's strategic deterrence system and key trends in Russian military thought on escalation management.

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February 27, 2020

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has embarked on a campaign to shape what audiences around the world read, hear, and watch. The purpose of this report is to provide a practical framework for identifying Beijing's efforts to influence the global media environment and placing them into context.

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January 30, 2020

What does great power competition mean and why might it be happening? This paper deconstructs those questions to take a deeper look at what makes powers great and how various explanatory frameworks within international relations scholarship predict great power interaction under different conditions. The intention here is to pull the critical assumptions built into policy documents and senior leader statements to the forefront, facilitating dialogue on a rapid and dynamic shift in US national security focus. In other words, this paper is designed to explore the most critical features of emerging strategic documents, the "what" and the "why" of great power competition.

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