Landpower: CENTCOM, SOUTHCOM, EUCOM and Discourse

by Scott Forster
In this update we take the reader around the world ending with three thoughtful articles in Discourse


“What Will Happen to Syria’s Christians?” published 5 May 2014 by USAWC Press. USAWC SSI’s Dr. Andrew Terrill writes that Syrian Christians are, in most cases, sympathetic to the secular minority Assad regime which traditionally has given them security, although not democracy. The problem for these Christians is that most of them would prefer the Assad regime over Islamic radicals like the al-Qaeda linked Al Nusra Front, but they do not wish to move so close to Assad that they inevitably would be punished to the same extent as pro-Assad Alawites if the Islamist rebels eventually manage to win the civil war.


“The Evolution of Los Zetas in Mexico and Central America” published 25 Apr 2014 by USAWC Press. Dr. George W. Grayson writes the United States has diplomatic relations with 194 independent nations. Of these, none is more important to America than Mexico in terms of trade, investment, tourism, natural resources, immigration, energy, and security. In recent years, narco-violence has afflicted Mexico with more than 50,000 drug-related murders since 2007 and some 26,000 men, women, and children missing. Washington policymakers, who overwhelmingly concentrate on Asia and the Mideast, would be well-advised to focus on the acute dangers that lie principally below the Rio Grande, but whose deadly avatars are spilling into our nation.


“The POST “Post Cold War” Era in Europe” published 24 Apr 2014 by USAWC Press. USAWC SSI’s Dr. Jeffrey D. McCausland writes that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine reflects neither strategic wisdom nor military strength. It is important to realize that the longer-term threat posed by this new era does not herald a return to the Cold War.


“How to Tell If America Will Remain a Global Superpower“ published 30 Apr 2014 in World Politics Review. USAWC SSI’s Steve Metz addresses the US role as an international superpower and that opponents are capitalizing on America’s faltering will and confidence. Still, the rumors of America’s demise may be premature.

“Doing More: Landpower and Alliances” published 6 May 2014 by War on the Rocks. USAWC SSI’s John R. Deni op-ed in War on the Rocks provides an overview of the SSI publication “Augmenting Our Influence: Alliance Revitalization and Partner Development” that discusses:
• Pursuing U.S. Strategic Interests in the Asia-Pacific: Pivoting Away from Disorder?
• Military Soft Power in the 21st Century: Military Exchanges and Partner Development
• Rebalancing and the Role of Allies and Partners: Europe, NATO, and the Future of American Landpower

“U.S. Military Learns COIN Lessons, but They Might Not Be Enough” published 7 May 2014 in World Politics Review. USAWC SSI’s Steven Metz writes that Military doctrine institutionalizes the recent experience of the armed forces and identifies “best practices” for future operations. Now the Pentagon is determined to preserve at least some counterinsurgency capability and to continue refining its thinking with two new counterinsurgency doctrine manuals—a joint one released last November and an updated Army/Marine Corps publication that will hit the streets in the next few days.

We hope you will enjoy these insightful works and we always look forward to your feedback either through Landpower or directly to me.