Book Chapters

Security Assistance

In David Galbreath and John R. Deni, eds., Routledge Handbook of Defence Studies, Routledge, 2018

Security assistance has long been an important instrument of many states’ broader national security strategy.  When wielded successfully, it proves an effective, efficient means of achieving state objectives.  For security assistance contributors, providing training and equipment to other states can augment security regionally and globally, extend influence, develop future coalition partners, and/or promote security sector reform.  For recipients, security assistance represents a useful means of building military capabilities and capacity, typically more quickly than if they were to rely solely on domestic production or technology.  However, there are several challenges facing both contributor and recipient states as they pursue their respective objectives through security assistance, meaning that security assistance, while a useful tool for a variety of states, often remains a blunt, imperfect instrument.

Force Posture after NATO's Return to Europe: Too Little, Too Late

In Rebecca R. Moore & Damon Coletta, eds., NATO's Return to Europe: Engaging Ukraine, Russia, and Beyond, Georgetown University Press, 2017

Two and a half decades of a steadily declining Russian security threat to the heart of Europe has resulted in a diminished NATO force posture.  The seemingly relentless downsizing of the allied force posture in Europe reflected a realistic, if somewhat naïve, assessment of the security threat facing the West.  Today, in the face of a renewed Russian threat, the alliance is learning that its present force posture is probably incapable of deterring Moscow and evidently unable to effectively reassure nervous allied populations in the Baltic States and Poland.  In response to the challenge from Moscow, the alliance has made halting, limited efforts to adjust its force posture over the last 12-18 months.  More effective posture adjustments – including and especially the permanent stationing of allied troops east of Germany – are unlikely in the short to medium term, thanks mostly to disagreements within the alliance over the nature of NATO’s relationship with Russia.  As a result, and perhaps somewhat ironically, Eastern allies are likely to turn increasingly to bilateral solutions to their security challenges, undermining the potential role of a multilateral alliance like NATO, obviating many benefits of alliance membership, and most likely increasing security costs for many allies.

Fulfilling NATO's Missions: The Need for New Structures and Instruments

In Assessing Leadership in Transatlantic Security Cooperation, German Marshall Fund of the U.S., 2015

The Russian-induced security crisis that Europe now finds itself navigating has in many ways breathed new life into NATO.  The crisis presents both an opportunity and a challenge to address some fundamental problems in where and how NATO provides security for its member states.  The Wales summit was a resounding success in terms of identifying some of the ways in which NATO will seek to overcome these challenges and subsequently protect and promote the security interests of its members.  What needs attention now is the means, including the tools and structures, through which the alliance fulfills its missions.

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization's (Re)Engagement on Energy Security: Managing Unmet Expectations

In John R. Deni, ed., New Realities: Energy Security in the 2010s and Implications for the U.S. Military, U.S. Army War College Press, 2015.

The role of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in energy security has been growing in recent years, in practical terms and certainly rhetorically. However, the results of NATO’s efforts have been decidedly mixed. On the one hand, the alliance has clearly become engaged in what appears to many member states as a compelling security issue. On the other hand though, there remains a rather conspicuous lack of progress or activity much beyond the realm of operational energy security.

"Perfectly Flawed? The Evolution of NATO’s Force Generation Process"

This chapter addresses the way in which NATO member states provide forces for various allied operations. The chapter begins by placing NATO’s force generation process in the context of military integration among the member states. It summarizes how three phenomena over the last 20 years – an increase in NATO’s political level of ambition, a corresponding increase in the number of actual alliance military operations, and a simultaneous drawdown in military force structure by all members – resulted in increased military integration since the end of the Cold War. This increase in military integration manifested itself in several ways, including the development and evolution of the force generation process. The chapter then describes and explains how the force generation process developed and evolved, with particular attention paid to the role of operations in Afghanistan (and to a lesser degree, in Libya). The central argument is that both bureaucratic processes at the state level and international bargaining at the system level resulted in a force generation process that is perfectly flawed – that is, destined to fall short of providing sufficient forces in almost every instance, yet designed to do so in order to mitigate overall mission risk while still incentivizing member states to develop and maintain advanced, expeditionary military capabilities.

“Culture, institutions and defence cuts: overcoming challenges in operational energy security”

In Transatlantic Energy Relations (edited with Karen Smith Stegen), Routledge, 2013.

Given the dramatic defence spending cuts occurring on both side of the Atlantic, the time would seem ripe for greater transatlantic cooperation in operational energy security – that is, the energy necessary to train for, deploy to, conduct, and redeploy from combat operations. However, with few exceptions, the prospects for greater cooperation in this area – in terms of common strategies, plans, doctrine, materiel and training, for example – appear quite low. Europe remains hobbled by institutional, organisational, and fiscal limitations, while the USA – largely for cultural reasons – struggles to overcome an episodic commitment to energy security.

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© 2014-2019 by John R. Deni