Challenges in the Asia-Pacific Theater for US and Partner Nation Special Operations Forces
by Robert Haddick
Issue Date: October 2014
Haddick discusses why USSOF and partner nation SOF in the Asia-Pacific region should prepare for expanded regional roles and responsibilities. China's reemergence as a global power and its pursuit of its security interests have exposed increasing friction between it and its neighbors and the United States. Haddick asserts that a competitive and sustainable response to the looming security challenge in the Asia-Pacific region will include not only naval and aerospace components, but also diplomatic, information, political, and economic tools. In addition, US and coalition partners must prepare for the likelihood that the security competition in the region will eventually manifest itself in various forms of irregular and unconventional conflict. US and partner SOF will have critical roles to play in a truly competitive response to the growing security competition in the Asia-Pacific region. The goal of an effective competitive strategy will be to sustain an open-ended peacetime competition with China that successfully perpetuates the current rules-based status quo.
Islam: Ideology, Culture, and Conflict
by Roby Barrett
Issue Date: December 2014
Dr. Roby Barrett's work in this report is more than historical scholarship; it argues for an understanding of the Islamic World, Islam's roots, and how those roots explain the political challenges of today. He peels back the layers of Islam to reveal the pretense behind the idea of Islam as an ideology. The central theme of this monograph is that rather than being a unified community, Islam is actually an "imagined community" riven with fractures that help explain contemporary issues. This argument is broken down into three critical areas: historical conflicts within Islam, the shifting US role relative to Islam, and contemporary Islam, including radicalism and the issue of a fractured community. The insights provided by Dr. Barrett in this monograph invite the reader to rethink how we should approach the situation in the Middle East.