Posts in Modern War Institute
It's Time to Bring Back this Cold War Agency and Stop Ceding the Propaganda War to Russia

The United States has recently been ridiculed for losing the ongoing information war, and has fallen victim to successive propaganda and disinformation campaigns orchestrated by Russia without a significant response. Given Russia’s aggressive meddling in the 2016 US elections, along with other concerted efforts to delegitimize Western democracies and their institutions, it is imperative for the United States to adequately respond to Russian “active measures” in the information environment.

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War Books: 1LT Adam Maisel on Intelligence, Forecasting, and Modern War

Top Books

Alec Ross, The Industries of the Future

Ross served as a senior adviser to the State Department on innovation and his book envisions the generally positive effects of five key areas in technological advancement: robotics, genomics, the increased importance of big data and analytics, the rise of cryptocurrencies, and the importance of the cyber domain. Though optimistic, Ross does not shy away from the negative impacts these advances may have on society and their impact on warfare. Reading between the lines, Ross offers a primer on future trends that will have significant impact on the battlefield in the decades to come.

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The Adviser's Dilemma: Endemic Challenges and Unrealized Opportunities in the Training Mission in Afghanistan

As the Trump Administration prepares to roll out its Afghanistan policy, much remains unclear on one of the most critical functions: advising of Afghan defense and security personnel. Though preliminary plans recommended to the president call for an increase of between 3,000 and 5,000 US troops and loosening of Obama-era restrictions on military advisers’ proximity to the frontlines, little has been said to address the incoherence of advising efforts across the country.

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The Ghosts of Soviets Past: Do Bulgaria's Historical Russian Ties Spell Trouble for NATO on the Black Sea Coast?

The November election of Rumen Radev as president of Bulgaria has contributed to growing concerns that several former Soviet satellite states are drifting back into the orbit of Putin’s Russia. European anxieties have remained heightened since the 2014 Russian annexation of Crimea, state-sponsored proxy war in Ukraine’s eastern borderlands, and a myriad of other events including meddling in elections that allow Russia to impose soft power. A rash of pro-Russian candidates have expanded Russian influence over former Soviet states, and many worry that Bulgaria may become the next Trojan horse state.Considering Russian President Vladimir Putin’s unabashed ambitions to restore Russian greatness by hook or by crook, such political shifts take on more alarming context.

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An Outdated Message to Garcia: Why Hubbard's Essay Needs to be Shelved for Good

Long a staple of military professional reading lists, “A Message to Garcia,” written by Elbert Hubbard continues to be considered among the most important literary works on leadership—and followership. It held a place of prominence on the Marine Corps Commandant’s reading list from the first list in 1989 all the way through 2015. We have both personally witnessed it being praised in various military education and professional development venues. And our experiences raised serious questions about the work’s enduring value. The lesson intended to be derived from the story is unclear, and its applicability to the modern military professional is far from certain. Despite being written over a century ago for a world that no longer exists, “A Message to Garcia” is still frequently referenced as a seminal text for young officers and NCOs. It’s time to retire it from that vaunted position in the professional development canon.

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