Archive

Archive for the ‘military and defense’ Category

Sleep in the Military: Promoting Healthy Sleep Among U.S. Servicemembers

April 14, 2015 Comments off

Sleep in the Military: Promoting Healthy Sleep Among U.S. Servicemembers
Source: RAND Corporation

Sleep disturbances are a common reaction to stress and are linked to a host of physical and mental health problems. Given the unprecedented demands placed on U.S. military forces since 2001, there has been growing concern about the prevalence and consequences of sleep problems for servicemembers. Sleep problems often follow a chronic course, persisting long after servicemembers return home from combat deployments, with consequences for their reintegration and the readiness and resiliency of the force. Therefore, it is critical to understand the role of sleep problems in servicemembers’ health and functioning and the policies and programs available to promote healthy sleep. This report provides the first comprehensive review of sleep-related policies and programs across the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), along with a set of actionable recommendations for DoD, commanders, researchers, and medical professionals who treat U.S. servicemembers. The two-year multimethod study also examined the rates and correlates of sleep problems among post-deployed servicemembers, finding negative effects on mental health, daytime impairment, and perceived operational readiness. The research reviewed evidence-based interventions to treat sleep disturbances among servicemembers and veterans and exposed several individual- and system-level barriers to achieving healthy sleep. Implementing evidence-based treatments is just one step toward improving sleep across the force; as the research recommendations highlight, it is equally important that policies and programs also focus on preventing sleep problems and their consequences.

The Ukrainian Crisis and European Security: Implications for the United States and U.S. Army

April 13, 2015 Comments off

The Ukrainian Crisis and European Security: Implications for the United States and U.S. Army
Source: RAND Corporation

Vladimir Putin’s decision to annex Crimea and attempt to destabilize eastern Ukraine have sparked widespread concern among Western policymakers that Russia has embarked on a confrontational national security policy that could have far-reaching implications for Russia’s relations with the United States and for European stability. The annexation of Crimea challenges two basic assumptions underlying U.S. policy toward Europe in the post–Cold War era: (1) that Europe is essentially stable and secure, thereby freeing the United States to focus greater attention on other areas, particularly Asia and the Middle East, and (2) that Russia had become more of a partner than an adversary. The annexation of Crimea and attempt to destabilize eastern Ukraine suggests that both these assumptions need to be revisited because Russia can hardly be viewed as a partner. The requirement that NATO may now have to build a much more robust deterrence and defense posture in Eastern Europe would require the Army and the Air Force to revisit their planning assumptions that have minimized U.S. military commitments to the region since the end of the Cold War.

2015 Global Aerospace & Defense Outlook: Growth for commercial aerospace; defense decline continues

April 13, 2015 Comments off

2015 Global Aerospace & Defense Outlook: Growth for commercial aerospace; defense decline continues
Source: Deloitte

Revenue and earnings growth in the commercial aerospace sector is expected to be a bright spot and driving force behind the global aerospace and defense (A&D) industry performance in 2015. While the rate of growth for the overall industry has been slowing over the last two years as a result of declines in defense sector spending, the commercial aerospace sector is likely to enjoy close to an 8 percent growth rate according to the Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (Deloitte Global) Manufacturing Industry group 2015 Global aerospace and defense industry outlook.

The commercial aerospace sector is expected to set new records for aircraft production in 2015. The accelerated replacement cycle of obsolete aircraft with next generation fuel-efficient aircraft, and growing passenger travel demand, especially in the Middle East and the Asia-Pacific region are key drivers behind this trend.

Global revenues in the defense sector will likely continue to decrease in 2015 at an estimated 1.3 percent. Yet, defense spending is increasing in several areas of the globe, especially in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Saudi Arabia, India, South Korea, Japan, China, and Russia, as these countries equip their militaries with modern defense platforms and technologies. The report noted that escalating tensions between nations and damaging cyber-attacks may have an impact on future spending in the sector.

Over the next few years, the defense sector will be challenged in two major ways: how to grow profitably in a declining market and what actions are necessary to cut costs to maintain acceptable financial performance. Successful defense companies are addressing these challenges by branching out into adjacent markets, focusing on foreign military sales, and investing in next generation product development in cyber security, defense electronics, precision strike, unmanned systems, and advanced analytics.

CRS — A Shift in the International Security Environment: Potential Implications for Defense–Issues for Congress (March 20, 2015)

April 6, 2015 Comments off

A Shift in the International Security Environment: Potential Implications for Defense–Issues for Congress (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists)

World events since late 2013 have led some observers to conclude that the international security environment is undergoing a shift from the familiar post-Cold War era of the last 20-25 years, also sometimes known as the unipolar moment (with the United States as the unipolar power), to a new and different strategic situation that features, among other things, renewed great power competition and challenges to elements of the U.S.-led international order that has operated since World War II.

A shift in the international security environment could have significant implications for U.S. defense plans and programs. A previous shift in the international security environment—from the Cold War to the post-Cold War era—prompted a broad reassessment by the Department of Defense (DOD) and Congress of defense funding levels, strategy, and missions that led to numerous changes in DOD plans and programs.

A new shift in the international security environment could similarly have a number of implications for U.S. defense plans and programs. Of perhaps the greatest potential significance, such a shift could lead to a change in the current overall terms of debate over U.S. defense plans and programs.

When Jihadis Come Marching Home: The Terrorist Threat Posed by Westerners Returning from Syria and Iraq

April 2, 2015 Comments off

When Jihadis Come Marching Home: The Terrorist Threat Posed by Westerners Returning from Syria and Iraq
Source: RAND Corporation

Although the numbers of Westerners slipping off to join the jihadist fronts in Syria and Iraq are murky, U.S. counterterrorism officials believe that those fighters pose a clear and present danger to American security. This Perspective seeks to examine the scope of the threat posed by Western fighters who return to their homes after fighting in Syria and Iraq; what can be done to reduce the threat, and whether military action is necessary in combating it, as well as whether a more ambitious American military intervention in Iraq and Syria is required.

CRS — Health Care for Veterans: Traumatic Brain Injury (March 9, 2015)

March 31, 2015 Comments off

Health Care for Veterans: Traumatic Brain Injury (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via Homeland Security Digital Library)

In recent years, Congress, the Department of Defense (DOD), and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) have increased attention to traumatic brain injury (TBI), which is known as a “signature wound” of Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom (OEF/OIF). Although the early stages of TBI treatment may occur within the military health care system (if the injury occurs during military service), this report focuses on the VA health care system. In FY2015, VA spending for TBI is estimated to be $234 million. The VA projects the 10-year (FY2016–FY2025) costs of TBI to be $2.2 billion (including $0.5 billion for OEF/OIF veterans).

The type of treatment needed depends on the severity of the injury. Most cases of mild TBI— representing the majority of injuries—resolve without medical attention. Moderate or severe TBI requires immediate treatment. In the case of servicemembers, treatment begins at the site of the event and continues at a military treatment facility. Once stabilized, servicemembers may remain at a military treatment facility or be sent to VA medical facilities.

Lessons from 13 Years of War Point to a Better U.S. Strategy

March 31, 2015 Comments off

Lessons from 13 Years of War Point to a Better U.S. Strategy
Source: RAND Corporation

The rise of irregular threats and the decline of national budgets have posed an acute dilemma for those crafting U.S. global strategy. More than ever, U.S. civilian and defense leaders are being called on to find ways to achieve satisfactory outcomes to multiple simultaneous conflicts at an acceptable cost.

In particular, U.S. land forces face the need to become more agile in adapting their strategy as circumstances warrant and more capable of working with all manner of partners. The growing role of special operations forces (SOF) represents an important potential advantage in this regard, but future threats call for a broader array of options for the application of joint, interagency, intergovernmental, and multinational power. Future U.S. land operations will likely require not just a greater use of SOF but also improved interaction with conventional forces.

The performance of the past 13 years also suggests a need to remedy the nation’s strategic deficiencies at the levels of policy and strategy. Moving forward, war and statecraft should be viewed along the same spectrum, with the exercise of national power understood as a marriage of force and diplomacy — a marriage that wields the various elements of national power in a coordinated, seamless manner.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,031 other followers