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Policy White Papers


Read the 2011-2012 PIPS Policy Brief Book (pdf).

Educational Reform and Information Technology: Combating Radicalism in Pakistan
By Allison Baer 

White Paper (pdf)


Pakistan’s dysfunctional education system is a major contributor to continuing radicalization in the country, which undermine its political and economic stability. Previous top-down efforts to reform Pakistan’s education system have met with little success, largely due to government corruption and program inefficiency.

This brief proposes that the United States lead the international community in supporting a grass-roots initiative to reform Pakistan’s education system. Working through the non-profit Pakistan NGO, The Citizens Foundation (TCF), the international community will combine informal internet education with traditional educational resources to empower the reform efforts of moderates. This approach will involve: (1) the review and further develop the TCF curriculum and teacher training programs; (2) the creation of a free internet-based database in which TCF’s curriculum and training programs would be available; and (3) the construction of urban education centers—similar to the former United States Information Agency Libraries and Information Resources Centers—in Pakistan’s provinces. The aim is to provide moderates with the training and material support necessary to establish better public schools, reform the education system, and reduce radicalization in Pakistan.

The Active Denial System: Obstacles and Promise
By Benjamin Buch and Katherine Mitchell

White Paper (pdf)


The Active Denial System (ADS) is a non-lethal weapons technology that uses millimeter-wave directed energy to arrest and deter potential adversaries. Developed by the Air Force Research Laboratory and the Department of Defense’s Non-Lethal Weapons Directorate, ADS provides U.S. troops with a highly effective means of responding to potential threats, while also preserving human life.

Despite its promise, ADS has confronted non-technological challenges in its deployment, most recently in Afghanistan. This report analyzes the psychological, sociological, political, and operational barriers to the use of non-lethal directed energy weapons. It surveys the psychological and sociological biases against radiation-based and non-lethal technology and how these prejudices were overcome in the past. It also examines potential human rights concerns and political complications that might arise from the deployment of ADS in peacekeeping and COIN operations. Given these obstacles and concerns, the report proposes 14 recommendations for the use of ADS moving forward, focusing on: (1) optimal theaters of deployment, 2) means of employment, (3) public opinion, and (4) technical modifications. In addition to these recommendations, this report outlines model domestic and foreign deployments for ADS under current technical limitations. 

A New ‘Freedom’ Fighter: Building on the T-X Competition
By Peter Klicker

White Paper (pdf)


The development and deployment of state-of-the-art fighter aircraft gives the United States dominance in the air but prevents the U.S. government and aerospace industry from fulfilling the demand of less advanced foreign air forces for low-cost jet fighters. China, in contrast, has succeeded in this market segment for decades and will further its competitive posture in the years to come. U.S. efforts to fill this fighter gap through the Light Air Support (LAS) program have focused on identifying a turboprop aircraft for close air support or counterinsurgency (COIN) operations. Many foreign air forces, however, have been reluctant to spend scarce resources on armed turboprops, which they view as having limited capability.

This brief proposes that the U.S. Air Force (USAF) instead capitalize on the existing T-X competition, which seeks a replacement for large numbers of T-38 training jets, to develop a low-cost fighter for export. During the Cold War, the United States sold a significant number of militarized jet trainers, such as the F-5 and the A-37, to partners in the developing world. The practice of turning a jet trainer into a low-cost, easily maintained, fighter was a success and should be revived. This program will allow the United States to strengthen its joint military efforts with partner states, bolster its aerospace industry, and counter rising Chinese influence.

Making the Grade: An International Regulatory Framework for Cybersecurity
By Emily Pehrsson

White Paper (pdf)


Vulnerable states, defined as states unable or unwilling to crack down on cyber crime within their borders, threaten U.S. cybersecurity. Current U.S. policy offers technology transfers to like-minded states to secure their cyber networks, without requiring these states to make cybersecurity a domestic policy priority. This brief proposes a voluntary, private-sector based cybersecurity grading system paired with security incentives administered through NATO to encourage improvements in cybersecurity. Participating states will be awarded grades based on the quality of their cybersecurity infrastructure. Incentives will increase incrementally with each security grade attained and include access to: (1) law enforcement training programs; (2) NATO cyber rapid reaction teams; (3) limited technology transfer; and (4) intelligence sharing. The proposed framework would initially apply to NATO members and would later be expanded to select non-member states. The grades framework and incentives will act as a short to medium-term incentive for the rapid development of international cybersecurity standards and reduce long-term costs for the United States.

Crowdsourcing Global Security: Fighting Pandemic Disease in the Information Age
By Efrat Rosenzweig

White Paper (pdf)


Pandemic disease constitutes a threat for which we are nationally and globally unprepared. Left unchecked, pandemic disease can lead to millions of deaths, shifts in the balance of power, resource wars, mass migration, and state failure. The ability to prevent pandemics hinges on early detection. Epidemiological surveillance in areas where novel viruses are likely to emerge, however, is rudimentary, allowing most diseases to spread undetected. Reliance on inadequate reporting is a dangerous oversight that potentially compromises national and global stability.

This brief proposes an alternative method of preventative surveillance that uses crowdsourcing technology to provide states with real-time data on potential epidemiological threats. Based on reporting by health professionals, this system will create a map on which clusters of similar cases indicating a possible epidemic could be observed. Ultimately, information sharing between states in the field of public health will provide a basis for increased cooperation to combat other transnational security threats, including organized crime and terror.