Thursday, December 29, 2016

The COIN Conundrum: The Future of Counterinsurgency and U.S. Land Power

The 95 page monograph can be downloaded directly at this link: http://www.strategicstudiesinstitute.army.mil/pubs/download.cfm?q=1336  I have pasted the summary below.  Although I am a little partial to the work that has been done in the Philippines I find his recommendations quite unusual and one I cannot completely agree with, namely that the Philippines provides the model for future COIN campaigns.

It could, instead, try to train two-speed soldiers capable of conducting conventional and unconventional operations; or, it could keep COIN as a core function of an enhanced SOCOM with the capability to train conventional forces in unconventional tactics should a large expeditionary COIN mission be deployed. This monograph concludes that the forth option best equips the Army for the contemporary security environment. It then makes specific recommendations for implementing this option and suggests the Joint Special Operations Task Force (JSOTF)-Philippines as the model for future COIN campaigns. Finally, the monograph maintains that an enhanced special operations forces (SOF) capability will not adversely affect preparation for conventional war-fighting. Improving the conventional forces’ tooth-to-tail ratio, continuing to develop labor-saving technologies, and relying on contractors to perform support functions can offset reallocation of personnel to SOCOM.

What I find incredible is that the author bases his recommendations on two sources (and Greg's is an excellent source but I would think the author would have turned to the recent comprehensive RAND study by Linda Robinson and her team (http://www.rand.org/pubs/research_reports/RR1236.html) :

83. Details on SOF support for Philippine military from Jim
Michaels, “Philippines a model for counterinsurgency,” USA
03-30-secretwar30_ST_N.htm, accessed on November 27, 2015.

84. Colonel Gregory Wilson, “Anatomy of a Successful COIN
Operation: OEF-PHILIPPINES and the Indirect Approach,” Military
Review: The Professional Journal of the U.S. Army, Vol. LXXXVI,
No. 6, November-December 2006, p. 6. 77

85. Ibid., pp. 7-8.

86. Michaels, “Philippines a model for counterinsurgency.”

I have long argued that OEF-P is not a model in itself.  It was suited for the conditions that existed there (political, cultural, and security).  I can sum up the lessons from OEF-P that are enduring that provide only basis for a model:  conduct a thorough assessment/estimate to gain as complete understanding of the situation as possible, develop and execute a campaign plan that supports US policy and national strategy and that is appropriate for the situation: one that supports a friend, partner, or ally in its internal defense and development programs to help them to defend themselves against lawless, subversion, insurgency, and terrorism in complete synchronization with the US country team while respecting and protecting host nation sovereignty.  That is the "model" in a nutshell.  

The COIN Conundrum: The Future of Counterinsurgency and U.S. Land Power

The COIN Conundrum: The Future... Cover Image








Brief Synopsis

View the Executive Summary

Counterinsurgency (COIN) continues to be a controversial subject among military leaders. Critics argue that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have made the U.S. military, particularly the Army, "COIN-centric." They maintain that equipping U.S. forces to combat insurgency has eroded their conventional war fighting capabilities. Those committed to preserving and even enhancing COIN capabilities, on the other hand, insist that doing so need not compromise the ability of the military to perform other tasks. They also point out that the likelihood of even a mid-level conventional war remains low while the probability of unconventional engagements is high. This monograph reviews the COIN debate, analyzes current force structure, and concludes that contrary to the more extreme positions taken by critics and proponents, the U.S. military has achieved a healthy balance between COIN and other capabilities.

SUMMARY
The debate over counterinsurgency (COIN), seemingly
dormant since the end of the Vietnam War, has
been rekindled by the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Since the 2006 publication of the U.S. Army/
Marine Corps Field Manual (FM) 3-24, Counterinsurgency,
practitioners and scholars have argued over
the efficacy of COIN. Supporters insist that the new
approach outlined in the manual led to the creation of
a strategy that defeated the Iraqi insurgents between
2006-2009. Critics argue that the surge of 30,000 additional
troops, robust conventional operations, and the
end of the Shia uprising—not a new COIN strategy—
caused violence in Iraq to decline dramatically. They
point to the failure of the campaign in Afghanistan as
further evidence that COIN does not work. In an era
of declining Pentagon budgets, this debate has significant
implications for U.S. land forces.
This monograph considers the place of COIN in
U.S. Army doctrine, training, and resource allocation.
It begins with a brief overview of the U.S. military’s
historical experience combating insurgency before
considering the recent campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The monograph then examines in detail the contemporary,
scholarly, and professional debate over
the efficacy of COIN and its place in U.S. defense planning.
Recognizing that consideration of this important
issue must be grounded in an examination of the
contemporary security environment, the monograph
reviews official threat assessments. It then considers
the current U.S. military capacity for addressing identified
threats. That capacity includes force structure,
doctrine, and learning institutions.

Building on this analytical framework, this monograph
considers four options vis-à-vis COIN. The
Army could revert to the post-Vietnam Era approach,
focusing on conventional war and relegating COIN
to a small Special Operations Command (SOCOM).
It could reconfigure its force structure to focus on
unconventional threats. It could, instead, try to train
two-speed soldiers capable of conducting conventional
and unconventional operations; or, it could keep
COIN as a core function of an enhanced SOCOM with
the capability to train conventional forces in unconventional
tactics should a large expeditionary COIN
mission be deployed. This monograph concludes that
the forth option best equips the Army for the contemporary
security environment. It then makes specific
recommendations for implementing this option
and suggests the Joint Special Operations Task Force
(JSOTF)-Philippines as the model for future COIN
campaigns. Finally, the monograph maintains that an
enhanced special operations forces (SOF) capability
will not adversely affect preparation for conventional
war-fighting. Improving the conventional forces’
tooth-to-tail ratio, continuing to develop labor-saving
technologies, and relying on contractors to perform
support functions can offset reallocation of personnel
to SOCOM.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Special Operations Forces: Let SOF be SOF

Pretty powerful BLUF here.  While I am a little bit partial to SOF I do have to say that there is no one force or one capability or one instrument of national power that is a war winner (or war preventer) by itself.  I do worry that there are some (not this author of course) who view SOF as a silver bullet or a substitute for using other tools when they may be more appropriate to include large scale employment of conventional forces.  To me the solution to the "problem" of employment of SOF lies with strategists and campaign planners and the requirement to employ the right forces for the right missions.

The future of global security—from both non-state and state actors—will depend on preventing slow-burning and asymmetric threats from sowing instability abroad. Fully supporting the roles and resources of special operations is the best, most effective way to ensure America retains its strength and security.

...
Recommended Changes:

Equalize funding, resourcing, and personnel between direct and indirect SOF missions.
Decrease deployment rates to support the long-term readiness of the force.
Leverage the Army and U.S. Marine Corps to serve greater roles in indirect GCC operations.
SOF operational planning and synchronization should be pushed down to the Theater Special Operations Commands (TSOCs).
Strengthen SOF personnel and operational oversight.

Some important recommendations but I have a few quick comments:

I disagree with the use of the word equalize in terms of funding.  I think that the special warfare and surgical strike missions should be correctly resourced.  That does not necessarily mean they should be equal.  

Decreasing deployment rates is necessary but I worry too much that the pendulum will swing too far.  Soldiers join SOF to deploy overseas.  What we need is the correct priority placed on deployments  - they must support campaign objectives and strategies and not simply a deployment because someone wants to io They want to do this and if they are deprived because they have to be "rested" based on some arbitrary time criteria morale will suffer.   Effective Special Warfare (which includes UW and counter-UW and supports Political Warfare) is counter-intuitively characterized by slow and deliberate employment – long duration actions and activities, relationship establishment, development, and sustainment. These are long term activities and required investment in people and commitment of time.

I chuckle (respectfully) at the comment about Marine history and small wars.  I remember the pull between small wars and amphibious operations and Major Ellis' work in the interwar years.  I think a similar tug of war exists in the Corps today and one also in the Army between large scale military operations versus engagement, building partner capacity stability operations and counterinsurgency.

Yes, TSOCs should be the focal point for SOF campaigning in theater.  If they cannot be properly resourced(with personnel and forces) for campaigning then they will require long term and continuous augmentation from the SOF CONUS base.

The 2017 NDAA is going to codify the oversight function with the establishment by law of the Special Operations Policy Oversight Council and the insertion of the ASD SO/LIC into the ADCON chain of command giving ASD SO/LIC a service like responsibility and authority.  This may be a major inflection point for SOF.

Lastly I wonder if this is not a Freudian slip:  :-)

The future of global security and the fight against counterterrorism—from both non-state and state actors—will depend on preventing slow-burning and asymmetric threats from sowing instability abroad. Fully supporting the roles and resources of special operations is the best, most effective way to ensure America retains its strength and security.
Are we fighting against terrorists or are we fighting against the overemphasis on the counterterrorism mission?



Special Operations Forces: Let SOF be SOF

defense360.csis.org · by Kristen Hajduk · December 21, 2016

Overview

Thus far, the incoming Trump Administration has expressed interest in easing restrictions and White House oversight on military decision-making. A willingness to place more agency in the hands of operators could provide breakthrough opportunities and flexibility for Special Operations Forces (SOF) as they continue to combat terrorism.

Bottom Line

The future of global security—from both non-state and state actors—will depend on preventing slow-burning and asymmetric threats from sowing instability abroad. Fully supporting the roles and resources of special operations is the best, most effective way to ensure America retains its strength and security.
Download full report

Issue

The U.S. Special Operations Command’s (USSOCOM) direct action missions provide immediate response capabilities during violent conflict. This includes counterterrorism (CT), high-value targeting, countering weapons of mass destruction, personnel recovery, and hostage rescue operations. These direct operations buy time for longer-term indirect approaches—including civil affairs, building partner capacity, information operations, and special reconnaissance—to take effect. Indirect operations address the sources of terrorism or instability by increasing partner nations’ resilience and rule of law.
Military and civilian leaders have responded to the evolving threat of terrorism by emphasizing direct action missions. In 2006, USSOCOM was named as the lead command for all operations against al Qaeda (AQ). It was successful in severing AQ from its sources of power: people, money, and influence. This success and continued demand for special operations have led to slightly increased personnel numbers and larger budgets.
As USSOCOM became increasingly involved in CT operations, the demands on SOF created historically high rates of deployment. During any single year, SOF are deployed to nearly 75 countries around the globe, with some operations requiring up to a dozen raids each evening. The resulting demands on SOF have led to concerns for the chronic neglect of indirect missions and the future of SOF readiness. The following recommendations are designed to give the Department the flexibility to engage, support, and deploy SOF effectively and efficiently.

Recommended Changes

Equalize funding, resourcing, and personnel between direct and indirect SOF missions. SOF’s value has equal footing in direct action and indirect activities in support of Geographic Combatant Command (GCC) missions. Whereas direct action may effectively target terrorists, indirect operations support stability and counteract sources of instability, preventing conflict or enabling host-nation forces to prevent or address conflict themselves. Without equal emphasis on indirect missions, SOF will fall back on an unending target list—perpetually repopulated with new individuals—without any off-ramps to stabilization and political reconciliation.
Today, the DoD Unified Command Plan gives USSOCOM responsibility to lead direct operations for combatting terrorism, however, the command has no formal authority to coordinate the indirect DoD activities that counter the sources of instability. This gap should be closed, with the Secretary of Defense naming USSOCOM as the DoD operational lead command for all indirect activities in support of CT. USSOCOM could then develop a template for long-term, indirect operations based on past successes with partner countries.
Decrease deployment rates to support the long-term readiness of the force. Return SOF personnel to 1:2 dwell time (also referred to as “days at home”). SOF personnel have not achieved sufficient dwell rates since before 9/11, and SOF senior leaders have observed the force “fraying around the edges” since that time. Deploying at these historically high rates withholds much needed time for them to recuperate between deployments, receive additional training, and spend much-deserved time with their loved ones. Allowing for reasonable dwell time provides opportunities for operations to devote time to develop intellectual capital, maintain and improve foreign language skills, and generally foster a force of strategically-minded leaders. Leaders must not sacrifice the strategic readiness of SOF for short-term tactical or operational gains.
Leverage the Army and U.S. Marine Corps to serve greater roles in indirect GCC operations. The size of SOF cannot be quickly surged. The force can reasonably grow at a rate of 3-5% each year without sacrificing quality. Adding to this burden are GCC requirements for SOF, which continue to grow exponentially in order to meet the demands of their respective operational environments. Therefore, the best way to preserve the high quality of the SOF while meeting the increasing GCC demands is to leverage the conventional forces to fill non SOF-specific requirements. To provide this support, the Services may have to resist the singular focus on high-end warfighting at the expense of the urgent need for indirect operations.
In Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom, the Army proved its ability to adapt conventional units to civil affairs missions with relative rapidity and ease. The Army’s manpower, organizational reach, and historical experience can support this partnership by increasing the number of active duty civil affairs units and conducting the bulk of civil affairs operations and some information operations overseas.

Historical Role

The USMC can draw upon its historical role in small wars, doubling down on USMC cultural and structural attributes that make them more efficient at indirect missions.
Download full report
Similarly, leverage the U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) to support building partner capacity and security cooperation activities. The USMC unit structures could be a substitute for USSOCOM’s small-unit, indirect operations with host nations. The USMC already has manpower and resources—such as air, naval, amphibious, ground capabilities—integrated down to the tactical level. The USMC can draw upon its historical role in small wars, doubling down on USMC cultural and structural attributes that make them more efficient at indirect missions.
SOF operational planning and synchronization should be pushed down to the Theater Special Operations Commands (TSOCs). Each GCC has a TSOC responsible for meeting theater-unique special operations requirements. TSOCs should serve a greater role in operational planning in support of GCC-wide strategies and help coordinate activities with the U.S. embassies within the area of responsibility. They should ensure alignment of country-level planning across the various SOF units assigned within the GCC. TSOCs can be powerful influences within the GCC—especially when the GCC headquarters are not located within the GCC for security reasons—like U.S. Central Command and U.S. Africa Command. USSOCOM can realize the potential of TSOCs by ensuring the highest-performing personnel in command of and deployed to TSOCs.
Strengthen SOF personnel and operational oversight. Seek statutory adjustments to combine the responsibilities of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low-Intensity Conflict with the Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence into a unified Under Secretariat for Special Operations and Intelligence (USD(SO&I)). This will allow for more collaboration between covert and overt activities conducted by the Department. It will also create one point of contact for coordination of paramilitary activities between SOF and the intelligence community. Last, increase the manpower and resources that support the ability of USD(SO&I) to provide independent assessments and departmental oversight of USSOCOM, information, and intelligence activities.
The future of global security and the fight against counterterrorism—from both non-state and state actors—will depend on preventing slow-burning and asymmetric threats from sowing instability abroad. Fully supporting the roles and resources of special operations is the best, most effective way to ensure America retains its strength and security.

DOD watchdog lists top 10 challenges for 2017

A fascinating list from the IG.  Not everything on the list is what I would expect from the IG but I am glad to see eevrything on the list.  The 130 page report can be downloaded here: http://www.dodig.mil/IGInformation/archives/2017_Oversight%20Plan_Final_Signed_508.pdf

Here is the summary of the "Management Challenges" (which I find an interesting way to phrase these).
1.    Countering Global Strategic Challenges
a.    Global Threats From China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea
b.    Interagency cooperation
2.    Countering Terrorist Treat
a.    Developing Security Forces
b.    Insider Threats
3.    Enabling Effective Acquisition and Contract Management
a.    Linking requirements to military plans
b.    Contract management oversight
c.    Illegal Technical Transfer
4.    Increasing Cyber Security and Cyber Capabilities
a.    Offensive and Defense Operations
b.    Technology Platforms/Infrastructure
5.    Improving Financial Management
a.    Financial auditability
b.    Eliminating improper payment
6.    Protecting Key Defense Infrastructure
a.    Installations, Energy, Environment
b.    Space
c.    Defense Industrial and Technology Base
7.    Developing Full Spectrum Total Force Capabilities
a.    Posture and Structure of the force/Building a diverse force despite Capabilities Despite Budget Pressures
b.    Chemical, Biological, Nuclear, Radiological, and Explosive Issues
8.    Building and Maintaining Force Readiness

a. Equipment Accountability and Reset
b. Suicide Prevention
c. Healthcare – Cost, Fraud, Access to Care
d. Talent Management, Force of the Future
9.    Ensuring Ethical
a.    Accountability, Integrity, Whistleblower Issues
b.    Sexual Assault Prevention and Response
10.    Promoting Continuity and Effective Transition Management
c.     Leadership Changes
d.    Planning and Internal Controls

efense

DOD watchdog lists top 10 challenges for 2017

Shutterstock image (by alienant): An aerial view of the pentagon rendered as a vector. 
The Department of Defense Office of Inspector General has released its 2017 Oversight Plan that outlines 10 areas of focus, including cyber.
"Increasing Cyber Security and Cyber Capabilities" is one of the DOD's performance and management challenges the watchdog will audit in 2017, along with other areas such as acquisition, countering the terrorist threat and force readiness.
"The DOD OIG identified these challenges based on our oversight work, research, and judgment; oversight work done by other components within the DOD; input from DOD leaders; and oversight projects by the Government Accountability Office," the report states. "While we solicited input from the DOD, we identified these challenges independently."
"The DOD continues to face significant challenges in protecting and securing its networks, systems, and infrastructure from cyber threats and in increasing its overall cyber capabilities," according to OIG, despite some strategic progress from Cyber Command.
The report reiterates what top Pentagon officials have been saying throughout 2016:  cyber threats to the DOD continue to increase, and nation states such as Russia, China, Iran and North Korea are investing heavily in "sophisticated campaigns to penetrate and compromise DOD's networks."

Last week, the DOD OIG released a summary report of 21 audits conducted between Aug. 1, 2015, and Jul. 31, 2016. That report made 61 specific recommendations the DOD needs to take to improve cybersecurity. Those recommendations were added to 138 outstanding items from previous audits.
The coming year will bring more than 12 tech-related audits covering the defense of DOD networks, developing cyber capabilities and infrastructure, cyber offensive and defensive operations, and building and retaining the cyber workforce.
The audits will drill down on specific topics such as implementation of the Joint Information Environment, physical access controls, security controls over contractor systems, insider threat programs and cyber threat indicator sharing.
The Oversight Plan states that DOD continues to face challenges "in developing or acquiring unique cyber capabilities to conduct defensive and offensive operations."
The report also says that DOD does not have "an effective cloud computing implementation strategy or process to collect data and measure the effectiveness and efficiency of the DOD cloud initiative."
The DOD did not have any comment on the OIG Oversight Plan.

About the Author
Sean Carberry is an FCW staff writer covering defense, cybersecurity and intelligence. Prior to joining FCW, he was Kabul Correspondent for NPR, and also served as an international producer for NPR covering the war in Libya and the Arab Spring. He has reported from more than two-dozen countries including Iraq, Yemen, DRC, and South Sudan. In addition to numerous public radio programs, he has reported for Reuters, PBS NewsHour, The Diplomat, and The Atlantic.
Carberry earned a Master of Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School, and has a B.A. in Urban Studies from Lehigh University.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

2,900 explosions in a day. Heavy artillery and tank fire returns to the front lines in Ukraine.



Have we forgotten about Ukraine?  There should be no doubt that Russia is conducting unconventional warfare in Ukraine but on a much grander scale.  They are exploiting a resistance movement (even a fabricated one) but employing military and non-military instruments of power and from a military perspective not relying solely on special operations forces but a selective use of its conventional military power.  This is why I say that unconventional warfare does not solely belong to special forces or even the military writ large.  (http://warontherocks.com/2013/08/unconventional-warfare-does-not-belong-to-special-forces/)

We should pay attention to Nate Freier and his Army War College writing team and their report called Outplayed: Regaining Strategic Initiative in the Gray Zone, http://www.strategicstudiesinstitute.army.mil/pubs/download.cfm?q=1325 and these words:

Joint ground force commanders—but especially the U.S. Army—will benefit from a thorough reimagining of the potential of expeditionary forces and operations. As it ap­plies to the gray zone, U.S. ground forces need the capability to deploy in large numbers to perform a wide range of missions: enable and support allies, partners, and sister U.S. joint forces; build foreign partner capacity; counter adversary unconventional warfare (UW) campaigns; and perform more traditional offensive and defensive operations (of­ten against hybrid opponents). This requires examining and developing capabilities to defeat A2AD and rapidly delivering ground capabilities on short notice and limited advanced planning. 

This study found UW to be a final area of unique ground force vulnerability for the United States and its partners as they assess and contend with gray zone challenges. As currently defined by American Joint military doctrine, UW is the collection of activi­ties that enable the overthrow of a government through proxy actors in overtly denied areas.  U.S. UW vulnerability emerges in both an offensive and defense context. Offensively, UW provides U.S. decision-makers with a baseline capability for covert degrada­tion of an adversary’s control over contested territory. Defensively, Russian and Iranian UW efforts are currently presenting U.S./partners thorny challenges in Europe and the Middle East. In both instances, U.S. forces are increasingly unfamiliar with the associ­ated ground force demands that might result.

For example, SOF UW competency has atrophied with the substantial counterinsur­gency and counterterrorism demands of the last decade and a half. For their part, GPF have never been required to understand UW as a concept. Improvement is essential on both counts. 

 A sharper offensive UW instrument will be an important tool for pressuring active gray zone revisionist powers who themselves employ UW to aggressively undermine U.S. partners. Likewise, deep understanding of UW on the part of GPF forces will en­able them to engage in defensive UW activities to generate greater resilience among the same at risk partners. Finally, a more robust ground force UW capability that can understand, prosecute, and defend against it, employing the widest set of military and non-military tools, may require a new military competency in “political warfare.” This specific focus would enable both conventional and SOF to grasp the underpinnings and requirements necessary for prosecuting offensive and defensive UW activities against sophisticated gray zone actors.



Excerpt:

While Russia continues to support the separatists, the West has buttressed the Ukrainian war effort through training programs and nonlethal aid that includes vehicles, counter-artillery radar, body armor and night-vision equipment. The most recent defense bill passed by the U.S. Congress allocated an additional $50 million for Ukrainian military assistance in 2017, bringing the total to $350 million.

2,900 explosions in a day. Heavy artillery and tank fire returns to the front lines in Ukraine.

The Washington Post · by Thomas Gibbons-Neff · December 20, 2016

A soldier of the separatist self-proclaimed Lugansk People’s Republic walks in a field near the line of contact with the Ukrainian army at the so-called Svitlodarsk bulge in the Luhansk region. (Alexander Ermochenko/Reuters)
An early morning artillery barrage started the latest bloody scrap in eastern Ukraine Sunday as Russian-backed militants and government troops clashed near the town of Svitlodarsk.
A spokesman for the Ukrainian military, Col. Andriy Lysenko, said that five soldiers were killed and 16 wounded during the day-long battle and that Russian-backed separatist forces had attempted to break through government lines. It was the largest single loss of life for Ukrainian troops in five months.
A resident in a nearby separatist-controlled town, who asked not to be identified for personal security reasons, dismissed the idea that any separatist troops had attempted to attack and said the fighting was merely “rocket-tennis” between the two sides.
Lysenko said the Russian-backed fighters suffered about 50 casualties, but that figure could not be independently confirmed.
The site Censor.net, quoting an unnamed Ukrainian defense official, said that four bodies held by Ukrainian authorities were not claimed by the militants, suggesting that the deceased were either Russian soldiers or citizens.
An international monitoring group documented almost 3,000 explosions in the region Sunday — up from 700 on Saturday and 100 on Friday. The majority of Sunday’s detonations were recorded around Svitlodarsk. Despite multiple cease-fire attempts and efforts to remove heavy weapons from the front lines, the day-long bombardment, which included tanks, rocket artillery and howitzers, laid bare the shortcomings of international efforts to quell the conflict.
The fighting sent the residents of Svitlodarsk to their basements, and around nightfall, as temperatures dipped below freezing, the town lost power and gas. Utilities were restored around midnight, according to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, which has observers on the ground.
Social media accounts that follow the conflict indicated that shelling in the area started again Monday night.
Since summer 2014, the front line in eastern Ukraine has been mostly static, and both sides have been relegated to exchanging artillery and machine-gun fire across a heavily mined no man’s land. Svitlodarsk is near the border between the two breakaway territories known as the Luhansk People’s Republic and the Donetsk People’s Republic and represents a Ukrainian-controlled bulge along the front line.
In talks brokered by France and Germany, Ukraine and Russia agreed upon a series of cease-fires known as the Minsk Agreements to stop the conflict, but both sides continue to clash daily. Earlier this month, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg encouraged allies to maintain economic sanctions on Russia until there is a lasting cease-fire.
While Russia continues to support the separatists, the West has buttressed the Ukrainian war effort through training programs and nonlethal aid that includes vehicles, counter-artillery radar, body armor and night-vision equipment. The most recent defense bill passed by the U.S. Congress allocated an additional $50 million for Ukrainian military assistance in 2017, bringing the total to $350 million.
It is unclear how President-elect Donald Trump will approach the conflict. His pro-Russian statements have put both NATO allies and the Ukrainian government on edge.
Since the conflict in Ukraine began in April 2014, nearly 10,000 people have been killed and more than 20,000 wounded, according to a United Nations report in June. More than 1.6 million Ukrainians have been internally displaced by the conflict.

We Need a Radical New Approach on North Korea

I strongly disagree with ending the "one Korea policy" As Jay Lefkowitz argues.  I would submit that we have had a "one Kore...