THINK TANK CENTRAL

Your single destination for high-quality content from top think tanks around the world. Fresh reports and analysis as they are released to ensure valuable thought leadership work isn’t lost in the daily noise.

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To pay for the controversial wall along America’s border with Mexico, hire more immigration agents to police it and deport illegal immigrants, and boost defense spending, the Trump administration wants to cuts billions from three agencies that are also vital to US national security: the State Department, Coast Guard and Transportation Security Administration.

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In “Transatlantic Security Cooperation in the Middle East: Recommendations for the New Administration” by the Center for a New American Security, Ben Fishman, the former Director for North Africa and Jordan on the National Security Council, and Erik Brattberg, a Senior Fellow at the McCain Institute for International Leadership, argue that the new administration will need to identify a set of common objectives with an increasingly fragmented Europe. They further state that the administration will need to work in tandem where those objectives align and divide responsibilities based on resource constraints and comparative advantages. Finally, they make a series of recommendations for how the administration can achieve those objectives.

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In this report by the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, Hal Brands and Peter Feaver assess America’s strategic options after ISIS by examining four politico-military strategies for counter-terrorism. They conclude that an enhanced version of the approach that the Obama administration took to defeating ISIS represents the best strategy for waging a dangerous conflict that is likely to endure for many years.

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As more countries acquire drones, will their widespread availability lead to greater military adventurism and conflict? Will countries be more willing to put a drone in harm’s way? If so, how will other nations respond? Would they be more willing to shoot down a drone than a human-inhabited aircraft? And if they did, are those incidents likely to escalate? To help answer these questions, in 2016 the Center for a New American Security conducted a survey experiment to better understand how experts and the general public viewed the use of force with drones.

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In this report, authors Eric S. Edelman and Whitney Morgan McNamara of the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments outline a number of options the United States has for countering and limiting Russian political-military moves. Absent steps in this direction, the United States will find it difficult to meet the challenges that Russia has managed to present to European security. The result might well be a European security order that is less stable and less conducive to national prosperity than what we have experienced since the end of the Cold War.

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With the U.S. presence in Afghanistan nearing its 16th year, the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) has released a report making concrete recommendations for how the Unite States can work toward a successful outcome while limiting the risks and costs of open-ended engagement or an abrupt withdrawal. The report, “Focused Engagement: A New Way Forward in Afghanistan,” is written by CNAS Adjunct Senior Fellow Christopher D. Kolenda, who served four tours of duty in Afghanistan as a commander and a senior advisor to three commanding generals.

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In “Tracking the Trends and Numbers: Islam, Terrorism, Stability and Conflict in the Middle East,” Anthony Cordesman of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, writes that far too much of the current U.S. debate over immigration and terrorism is focused on fear, rather than on an effort to understand the forces driving unrest and extremism in Islam and the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, or on the data available on the trends involved. The Burke Chair at CSIS has prepared a detailed overview of these trends and the data available in graphic and map form.

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In its report, “Alternative Future Fleet Platform Architecture Study,” the US Navy argues it needs 355 ships to support US strategy and address future threats. The study is one of three mandated by Congress in the National Defense Authorization Act 2016 to help shape Navy shipbuilding and force structure. The other two are: the “Navy Future Fleet Platform Architecture Study” by the MITRE Corporation – one of America’s federally funded research and development centers – that concluded that the US Navy needs 414 ships t0 support US strategy and confront threats in 2030; and “Restoring American Seapower” by the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments that concludes the Navy needs 350 ships. Links to all three reports can also be found on this site.

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In its “Navy Future Fleet Platform Architecture Study,” the MITRE Corporation – one of America’s federally funded research and development centers – concluded that the US Navy needs 414 ships t0 support US strategy and confront threats in 2030. The study is one of three mandated by Congress in the National Defense Authorization Act 2016 to help shape Navy shipbuilding and force structure. The other two are “Restoring American Seapower” by the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments that concludes the Navy needs between about 340 and 380 ships — depending on ship counting rules — and the Navy’s own internal study, “Alternative Future Fleet Platform Architecture Study,” which found a need for 355 ships. Links to all three reports can be found on this site.

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In “Breaking Aleppo,” the Atlantic Council uses innovative open source methodologies, digital forensic research, forensic architecture, and geolocation analysis to produce a ground-breaking report capturing the final months of the breaking of Aleppo. Drawing from a vast team of international partners, the report lays out the facts and fictions of the conflict, serving as a reminder that the atrocities of Aleppo should not be so easily forgotten.

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