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National Security Watch

This series is designed to provide news and analysis on pertinent national security issues to the members and leaders of the Association of the United States Army and to the larger policymaking community. The content may represent the personal opinions of the author(s) and not necessarily the position of the Association or its members.

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U.S. Army Europe and 7th Army: A Model of Strategic Flexibility
(National Security Watch 08-2, 23 June 2008) discusses the new changes and challenges the command is undergoing during its sixth decade of service to the United States. Since its inception during World War II and vital role in Europe during the Cold War, USAREUR has continuously transformed to meet the defense needs of the U.S. military. The shift in security concerns for the U.S. government since the Cold War has resulted in a concurrent shift in mission for the command. USAREUR missions have included operations in the Balkans, Bulgaria and Romania. USAREUR has also played an essential supporting role in the war on terrorism, with operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Currently, USAREUR is currently undergoing its largest transformational effort to date.

U.S. Africa Command: A New Way of Thinking
(National Security Watch, 13 March 2008) discusses the establishment of AFRICOM, which provides the United States an opportunity to rearrange its current military orientation on the continent, address traditional and developing issues for U.S. security in Africa, and provide security and development assistance for 53 African countries. The primary mission for AFRICOM, created in October 2007, is to promote U.S. national security objectives by working with African states and regional organizations to strengthen stability and security on the African continent. The primary purpose of AFRICOM is to serve as a supporting structure to already existing U.S. and international programs in Africa. AFRICOM hopes to provide support to Africans to build democratic institutions and establish good governance, while focusing on tasks such as peacekeeping, security, counterterrorism, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.

The Korean Peninsula and the Future of Eighth U.S. Army
(National Security Watch, 26 September 2007) discusses the U.S. role on the Korean Peninsula and the future of Eighth U.S. Army in Korea. For more than half a century, the United States has remained committed to helping South Korea defend itself against external aggression. North Korean nuclear weapons and missile technology make it more dangerous today than ever before.

U.S. Army North/5th Army: Building Relationships to Defend the Homeland and Meet Emerging Regional Challenges
(National Security Watch 07-1, 15 February 2007, PDF 709K) discusses U.S. Army North/5th Army (USARNORTH) and its area or operations, including the continental United States, Alaska, Canada and Mexico. The United States must protect and defend its citizens against disasters—whether manmade or natural—on its soil. In a globalized world, nations have been forced to redefine their concept of security, looking beyond traditional military threats to the growing threats posed by unstable political, economic and social environments. USARNORTH is charged with Army homeland defense and civil support operations and army-to-army theater security cooperation with Canada and Mexico in order to “protect the American people and their way of life.

U.S. Army South and the Transition to 6th Army: Rising to Face New Challenges in Central and South America and the Caribbean
(PDF, 714K, National Security Watch 06-5, 1 December 2006) describes 6th's Army's role in the Army's reorganization from threat- to capabilities-based command structures. Given the history of U.S. involvement in the region, the United States should devote some attention and resources to strained relationships in Latin America, particularly to the issues of counternarcotics, immigration and respect for democratically elected regimes. 6th Army will play a vital role in achieving U.S. policy objectives in Central and South America and the Caribbean, including economic stability and cooperation on multinational security and humanitarian operations

The Army in U.S. Strategic Command: Thinking Globally, Acting Jointly
(PDF, 779K, National Security Watch 06-6, 1 December 2006) briefly analyzes STRATCOM's organization, capabilities and goals as a critical component to U.S. defense. STRATCOM is the chief unified command for both space operations and strategic threat management for the entire military. It encompasses Space and Missile Defense Command (SMDC) and Army Forces Strategic Command (ARSTRAT), making the Army a full, joint partner in space operations and providing capabilities not found in other services.

"Natural Allies" in an Uncertain World: The United States and India (09/06/2006)
(PDF 221K, National Security Watch 06-4, 1 September 2006) Examines the history of and the issues facing the often tenuous U.S.-Indian relationship: terrorism, Pakistan and Kashmir, nuclear proliferation, trade, energy security and the rise of China. India is a strong, democratic country in the critical and often dangerous neighborhood of South Asia, but despite sharing the same democratic values as the United States, relations have been strained for almost 60 years. However, because of the overlap in U.S. and Indian interests, strong bilateral relations in recent years have provided the United States the possibility of a partner in addressing global challenges.

The Cruise Missile Threat: Prospects for Homeland Defense (06/13/2006)
(PDF 240K, National Security Watch 06-3, 1 June 2006) analyzes the cruise missile threat and the Defense Department's plans to protect the United States from these dangerous weapons. With the advent of more easily attainable missile guidance and weapons technology, a wide variety of potential adversaries can now buy or build a cruise missile. The threat of an attack is ever more plausible and the necessity for a coherent defense is increasingly urgent. However, cruise missile defense must be more than a DoD function; it must be an integrated combination of active defense and offensive efforts, and senior leaders must move expeditiously to provide all necessary resources, especially funding, as quickly as possible.

Future Logistics Themes: Discovering Innovative Solutions to Army Logistics Processes for Moving and Sustaining Combat Power (05/03/2006)
(PDF 223K, National Security Watch 06-2, 1 May 2006) Briefly examines the future of Army logistics. Shaping a long-term vision for Army logistics requires identifying and preparing to leverage critical research advancements that will profoundly affect Army logistics in future joint operational environments. Knowledge of anticipated developments in scientific, engineering and technology disciplines will generate innovative solutions to logistical challenges. Insights gained and products developed from advances in the application of knowledge, energy and materials science will provide significant benefits to Army and joint logistics in the decades to come.

Military Compensation: Balancing Fairness and Sustainability (02/01/2006)
(PDF 189K, by Cathleen McCracken. National Security Watch 06-1, 7 February 2006) briefly examines the issues being discussed by the Defense Advisory Committee on Military Compensation (DACMC), a panel of civilian experts in the field of pay, chartered by Secretary Rumsfeld. The panel will make recommendations to the drafters of the Tenth Quadrennial Review of Military Compensation (QRMC), mandated every four years by title 37, United States Code. The QRMC is a complete review of military compensation, with particular emphasis on retirement benefits, health care, special and incentive pays, quality of life and reserve component compensation.

A New Look at Requirements: The Joint Capabilities Integration and Development System (10/20/2004)
( PDF 180K, by Courtney Wirwahn, National Security Watch 04-1, 20 October 2004) Takes a look at JCIDS, which replaces the Requirements Generation System as a new tool to jointly identify needed future concepts for the armed services and provide integrated and interoperable capabilities that work across the services.

Homeland Security and Homeland Defense: Protection from the Inside Out (10/31/2003)
( PDF 181K, by Courtney Wirwahn, National Security Watch 03-3, 31 October 2003) Examines the roles of U.S. Northern Command, Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security and local first responders in securing and defending our nation -- and the need to transform current processes and responsibilities to facilitate effective, efficient Army involvement in the homeland defense mission.

The 2002 Unified Command Plan: Changes and Implications (02/21/2003)
( PDF 621K, by Peter Gillette, National Security Watch 03-2, 21 February 2003) The 2002 UCP shifted emphasis from regional theaters to strategic global functions. The Army’s place in the plan appears to be shifting as well.

Department of Homeland Security: Pros, Cons and Opportunities (01/31/2003)
( PDF 58K, by Peter Gillette, National Security Watch 03-1, 31 January 2003) Discusses the new Department of Homeland Security’s organization, its missions and the Army’s role in homeland security.

The United States and the Island Nations of Southeast Asia: Potential Pitfalls of a One-Note Policy (04/01/2002)
( PDF 432K, by Steven Mullen, National Security Watch 02-1, 1 April 2002) Examines how counterterrorism efforts could overshadow other U.S. interests in the island nations of Southeast Asia.

Legacy Force Recapitalization: An Urgently Needed Program for Today's Army (11/20/2001)
( PDF 47K, by Douglas R. Bush, National Security Watch 01-3, 20 November 2001) Explores the importance of the Army's program to refurbish, rebuild and selectively upgrade Legacy Force equipment.

The Commission on National Security/21st Century: A Hart-Rudman Commission Primer (04/06/2001)
( PDF 103K, by Charles Lathrop and Mackenzie M. Eaglen, National Security Watch 01-2, 6 April 2001) Reviews the Commission's three reports which provide recommendations for a security strategy and implementation plan.

A New Look at Readiness: Solving the Army's Quandary (03/30/2001)
( PDF 99K, by Mackenzie M. Eaglen, National Security Watch 01-1, 30 March 2001) A brief examination of readiness and how it is measured.

Son of QDR: Prospects for the Army (07/15/2000)
( PDF 189K, by John Kreul, 15 July 2000)

The Army's Unsung Heroes: Full-Time Support to the Army National Guard & Army Reserve (07/03/2000)
( PDF 188K, by Charles Lathrop, 3 July 2000)

Backing Into the Next Balkans? (06/15/2000)
( PDF 195K, by John Kreul, 15 June 2000)

Colombia: A Vital U.S. Interest? (05/16/2000)
( PDF 211K, by Brian S. Priestly, 16 May 2000)

The Threat of Terrorism Against the U.S. Homeland -- What Part Should the Military Play in the Federal Response? (05/02/2000)
( PDF 177K, by John Kreul, 2 May 2000)