Issue Brief Series

Issue Briefs are intended to promote better policy by providing context and evidence to help assess current, past, and potential future approaches to issues of ongoing strategic and tactical significance.  Designed to be timely and relevant, Issue Briefs aim to help leading policymakers, academics, and observers better understand important debates, frame key questions, and challenge underpinning assumptions. Comments should be directed to cchs@gwu.edu.

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Putin’s Russia: A Geopolitical Analysis

November 21, 2014

The speed and audacity of Russia's annexation of Crimea earlier this year shook Eastern Europe and surprised the West. Yet the conflict in Ukraine is just one symptom of a much broader challenge, and one which the West has yet to recognize fully and respond to accordingly. Russian President Putin is much more of a revolutionary than people give him credit for being. In fact, however, he wants to reshape the world and reshuffle the international economic deck.

This Issue Brief examines events in Ukraine and beyond from a strategic perspective; and then offers a series of action recommendations intended to respond effectively to these geostrategic developments.

Raising The Bar On Cybersecurity and Acquisition

October 15, 2014

This Issue Brief explores the nexus of acquisition, components, and cybersecurity — first from the standpoint of potential vulnerabilities, and then from the perspective of remedying of them. The discussion begins in a DOD context, and subsequently expands to include critical infrastructure, and the Internet of Things. The report concludes with a series of action recommendations, targeted to different stakeholders in the defense realm, to bring the acquisition of components into alignment with a robust cybersecurity posture.

Detainee Release and Global Public Safety: Terrorist Disengagement and Deradicalization Programs—The Way Ahead

June 05, 2014

In exchange for the release of U.S. Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl earlier this month, the Obama Administration agreed to the release of 5 "senior Taliban figures" being held at Guantanamo Bay. Reactions to this news have varied widely and as noted in a Washington Post article in the immediate aftermath, the exchange begs the question: "How many of the detainees transferred out of the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, have returned to the fight?" Speaking about the Bergdahl/Taliban exchange in particular, one Senator has suggested that, after the 5 Taliban figures are released into Qatari custody, they will be going into a program for "re-acclimating" them.

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