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  • Author: Artem Kochnev
  • Publication Date: 01-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies (WIIW)
  • Abstract: The paper investigates determinants of investments in state capacity and institutional change in contemporary Ukraine. After formulating a simple sequential two-stage model of investments in state capacity, the paper estimates autoregressive distributed lag and vector autoregressive models to verify its predictions. The paper finds little evidence for the impact of conflict intensity and access to international credit on the pace of reform progress. It finds a statistically significant effect for the intensity of political competition and changes of real wages, albeit these results are sensitive to robustness checks.
  • Topic: Economics, International Political Economy, War, Labor Issues, Credit, International Business, State Capitalism, Models
  • Political Geography: Ukraine
  • Author: Jon Bateman
  • Publication Date: 10-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Cyber insurance is a promising way to contain the havoc cyber attacks wreak, but endless lawsuits hamper its effectiveness. Reforms and new solutions are sorely needed. Insurance is one of the most promising tools for addressing pervasive cyber insecurity. A robust market for insuring cyber incidents could, among other things, financially incentivize organizations to adopt better cyber hygiene—thereby reducing cyber risk for society as a whole. But cyber insurance is not yet mature enough to fulfill its potential, partly due to uncertainty about what kinds of cyber risks are, or can be, insured. Uncertainties in cyber insurance came to a head in 2017, when the Russian government conducted a cyber attack of unprecedented scale. Data-destroying malware called NotPetya infected hundreds of organizations in dozens of countries, including major multinational companies, causing an estimated $10 billion in losses.1 NotPetya showed that cyber risk was greater than previously recognized, with higher potential for “aggregation”—the accumulation of losses across many insurance policies from a single incident or several correlated events. NotPetya also exposed a serious ambiguity in how insurance policies treat state-sponsored cyber incidents. Some property and casualty insurers declined to pay NotPetya-related claims, instead invoking their war exclusions—long-standing clauses that deny coverage for “hostile or warlike action in time of peace and war” perpetrated by states or their agents.2 War exclusions date back to the 1700s, but they had never before been applied to cyber incidents. This novel use of the war exclusion, still being litigated, has raised doubts about whether adequate or reliable coverage exists for state-sponsored cyber incidents. Some observers have asked whether such incidents are insurable at all, given the potential for aggregated cyber losses even more catastrophic than those of NotPetya.3 And while the war exclusion has attracted the most attention, another exclusion—for terrorism—presents similar challenges to cyber claims.
  • Topic: Terrorism, War, Cybersecurity, Non-Traditional Threats
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Afrah Nasser
  • Publication Date: 10-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: After Yemen’s 2011 uprising broke out, the country went through a series of political upheavals and cycles of violence that tore the country apart, including the start of a full-scale civil war in 2014 and the Saudi- and UAE-led intervention in 2015. In a context where civilians have been deliberately attacked by all sides, COVID-19 has added a new layer to the unspeakable suffering for millions of civilians in Yemen, whilst Europe has reacted with development aid but has thus far failed to support need for accountability in the conflict.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, Health, War, Coronavirus, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Yemen, Saudi Arabia
  • Author: Jyrki Kallio
  • Publication Date: 10-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Speculation is rife that China could take advantage of the potential confusion during the US presidential election and invade Taiwan. Although China has never relinquished the military option for resolving the Taiwan issue, there are sound reasons to downplay the risk of a military confrontation at the present time.
  • Topic: War, Military Strategy, Elections, Conflict
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Taiwan, Asia, North America
  • Author: Gian Piero Siroli, Gotz Neuneck, Paolo Cotta-Ramusino
  • Publication Date: 11-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs
  • Abstract: Since its foundation, the Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs (Pugwash) has continued to bring together, from around the world, influential scientists, scholars, experts and public figures concerned with reducing the dangers of armed conflict, especially regarding nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction, and with understanding the new threats related to new technologies, while seeking cooperative solutions. Pugwash held three workshops on the topic of cyber security and warfare between December 2018 and January 2020, gathering a total of about 60 experts and practitioners from Europe, North and South America, and Asia, focusing on a broad set of specific themes. The first workshop (Geneva, Switzerland, December 2018, hosted by the GCSP) discussed battlefield digitalization and offensive cyber capabilities, weapon-system vulnerabilities, and the implications of Artificial Intelligence (AI). The second workshop (Bariloche, Argentina, October 2019, supported by INVAP, Global Security Foundation and KPMG) focused on “Cybersecurity in Latin America”. The third workshop (Geneva, Switzerland, January 2020, sponsored by the Mission of Brazil to the UN Office in Geneva) focused on “Cyber Security and Warfare,” and included discussions on international cooperation, the multi-stakeholder approach, and implications of AI and autonomous weapons systems. Reports are available on the Pugwash website1. The participants, who came from many countries, carried out an analysis and reflection on various aspects of the cyber ecosystem in the context of international stability and security, and reviewed current initiatives included within the international agenda. Better definitions, a common nomenclature, and reliable communication between responsible stakeholders—based on the principles of International Humanitarian Law and the experiences of arms control for risk reduction, self-restraint and crisis management--might be useful or necessary. Sound technical analysis and forensics are a precondition to understanding the different threats and vulnerabilities of the cyber-sphere. Detailed proposals for discussion and implementation were elaborated during the workshops.
  • Topic: Security, War, Cybersecurity, Conflict, Artificial Intelligence
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Zainab Saleh
  • Publication Date: 10-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs at Brown University
  • Abstract: For decades, U.S. policy actions towards Iraq have had devastating consequences for the Iraqi people. This paper situates the U.S. “war on terrorism” in Iraq since 2003 within a longer trajectory of U.S. intervention in that country since the 1960s and shows that we can only understand the full human costs of current interventions when we see them in broader historical context. The author, Zainab Saleh, an assistant professor of anthropology at Haverford College, was born in Iraq and lived there until 1997. Later, she conducted ethnographic research with Iraqis who had migrated to London since the late 1970s. The Iraqis she knew and met felt they were pawns at the mercy of global powers. When the U.S. invaded Iraq and brought down Hussein in 2003, Iraqis saw the United States' true motive as continuing a well-established pattern of pursuing U.S. economic interests in the region. Since the 1960s, Iraqi arms purchases have bolstered American military-industrial corporations and stable access to Middle East oil has secured U.S. dominance in the global economy. The paper tells the story of one Iraqi woman, Rasha, who was forced by the violence in her country to flee to London. Rasha’s displacement and her family’s history of dispossession – her father imprisoned, her family impoverished, friends murdered and her own life threatened – show the deep human effects of decades of U.S. intervention. In 1963, under pretext of protecting the region from a communist threat, the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency backed a coup by the Arab nationalist Ba‘th party after Iraq nationalized most of its oil fields. During the 1980s, the United States supported Saddam Hussein’s regime and prolonged the Iran-Iraq War in order to safeguard its national interests in the region, including weakening Iran to prevent it from posing a threat to U.S. power. After Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1990, U.S. policy shifted from alignment to “dual containment” of Iraq and Iran, a posture which culminated in the Gulf War of 1991 to drive Iraq out of Kuwait. In the 1990s, the United States justified its imposition of economic sanctions by claiming a goal of disarming Iraq of weapons of mass destruction and protecting allies. In 2003, the U.S. packaged its invasion of Iraq as delivering U.S. values—namely, freedom and democracy—to the Iraqi people. Saleh writes, “The imperial encounter between Iraq and the United States has made life deeply precarious for Iraqis. For decades, they have lived with fear for their own and their family’s lives, the loss of loved ones and homeland, the realities of economic hardship, and the destruction of the fabric of their social lives.”
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, War, History, Counter-terrorism, Military Intervention
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Jessica Katzenstein
  • Publication Date: 09-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs at Brown University
  • Abstract: Six years after the germinal United States protests against anti-Black police violence in Ferguson, MO, and months after the 2020 police killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, police in mine-resistant vehicles have once again occupied both the streets and mass public attention. In 2014, images from the Ferguson protests—of snipers pointing semiautomatic rifles into crowds and officers tear-gassing unarmed civilians—prompted activists and politicians to compare the St. Louis suburb to occupied Gaza, Ukraine, or Iraq. During the summer of 2020, as the U.S. witnessed its largest public uprisings since the 1960s, police militarization again came under scrutiny. The Department of Homeland Security flew surveillance aircraft over protests in 15 cities, as officers on the ground deployed flash-bang grenades, sound cannons, rubber bullets, and tear gas against peaceful demonstrators. Since protests began, at least 14 local law enforcement agencies in 10 states have received free mine-resistant vehicles built for the U.S. military. In response, some lawmakers have revived efforts to curtail such transfers of military equipment. Reform groups are advocating to demilitarize the police by limiting when and how they can use armored vehicles and camouflage uniforms.
  • Topic: War, Law Enforcement, Protests, War on Terror
  • Political Geography: North America, United States of America
  • Author: Heidi Peltier
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs at Brown University
  • Abstract: Since September 11, 2001, United States military spending has grown rapidly, as has the portion of that spending that pays for military contractors. These contracting companies engineer and manufacture equipment, build and repair infrastructure around the world, provide services like cafeterias and other facilities support, and even replace troops in many war zones. In 2019, the Pentagon spent $370 billion on contracting – more than half the total defense-related discretionary spending, $676 billion, and a whopping 164% higher than its spending on contractors in 2001. Over nearly two decades, government officials, private companies, and conservative think tanks have sold the idea that military contractors are a cost reducer, yet in reality, the growth in military contracting—or what I call the “Camo Economy”—has actually increased the overall cost of this country’s military operations. It’s a Camo Economy because the U.S. government has used the commercialization (often mislabeled “privatization”) of the military as camouflage, concealing the true financial and human costs of America’s post-9/11 wars. Regarding human costs, in 2019, there were 53,000 U.S. contractors compared to 35,000 U.S. troops in the Middle East. Since the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, an estimated 8,000 U.S. contractors have died, in addition to around 7,000 U.S. troops. America’s post-9/11 wars, which the Costs of War project defines as U.S.-led military operations and other government programs around the world that have grown out of President George W. Bush's "Global War on Terror" and the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, have cost U.S. taxpayers over $6.4 trillion. Defense spending now accounts for more than half of all discretionary spending, a category that also includes education, transportation, and healthcare – virtually everything the government does other than Medicare and Social Security. Most of these inflated costs are due to payments to overly expensive military contractors.
  • Topic: War, Armed Forces, Military Affairs, Economy, Commercialization
  • Political Geography: United States of America
  • Author: Heidi Peltier
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs at Brown University
  • Abstract: Throughout the 18 years the U.S. has been engaged in the “Global War on Terror,” mainly in Iraq and Afghanistan, the government has financed this war by borrowing funds rather than through alternative means such as raising taxes or issuing war bonds. Thus, the costs of the post-9/11 wars include not only the expenses incurred for operations, equipment, and personnel, but also the interest costs on this debt. Since 2001 these interest payments have been growing, resulting in more and more taxpayer dollars being wasted on interest payments rather than being channeled to more productive uses. This paper calculates that the debt incurred for $2 trillion in direct war-related spending by the Department of Defense and State Department has already resulted in cumulative interest payments of $925 billion. Even if military interventions ceased immediately, interest payments would continue to rise, and will grow further as the U.S. continues its current military operations. War is expensive — in terms of lives lost, physical damage to people and property, mental trauma to soldiers and war-zone inhabitants, and in terms of money. The expense of war is not restricted to the annual budgetary costs of the war spending itself, but also depends upon the way in which war is financed. When war is financed through debt, the costs are much greater than when it is financed through taxation or other revenues, since interest payments must be made as long as the debt is outstanding. In fact, interest payments can sometimes grow to beyond the level of the debt itself, as will likely be the case with the post-9/11 wars. If war spending ceased immediately, interest payments on the $2 trillion of existing war debt would rise to over $2 trillion by 2030 and to $6.5 trillion by 2050. These interest payments will grow larger as the U.S. continues its post-9/11 military interventions and continues amassing debt to pay for the costs of war.
  • Topic: Debt, War, Armed Forces, Military Spending
  • Political Geography: North America, United States of America
  • Author: Ian Anthony
  • Publication Date: 11-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Stockholm International Peace Research Institute
  • Abstract: The inadequate response to the use of chemical weapons by a state against its own population was an important catalyst leading to the creation of the 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC). A great deal has been achieved under the CWC, which is an important example of how multilateral cooperation can succeed. Recent cases of confirmed use prove that the task of eliminating chemical weapons is not complete. Chemical weapons are once again being used on the battlefield and as terror weapons. Moreover, their use in targeted attacks against politically exposed persons presents a new challenge to the commitment made by CWC states parties that chemicals will be developed and produced exclusively for peaceful use. When they come together to review the CWC in late 2020, the states parties will have to assess whether their response to the challenges posed by the use of chemical weapons has been proportionate to the threat. If not, then they will have the responsibility to create the new capacities, invent the new instruments and develop the new initiatives that will make their efforts more effective. This SIPRI Policy Paper provides an explanation of the context for some important recent decisions and an analysis of them. It also proposes some actions that CWC states parties could take together in support of the effort to eliminate the threat of chemical weapons.
  • Topic: Treaties and Agreements, War, Weapons , Disarmament, Chemical Weapons
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Syria
  • Author: Sebastian Horn, Carmen M. Reinhart, Christoph Trebesch
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW)
  • Abstract: Official (government-to-government) lending is much larger than commonly known, often surpassing total private cross-border capital flows, especially during disasters such as wars, financial crises and natural catastrophes. We assemble the first comprehensive long-run dataset of official international lending, covering 230,000 loans, grants and guarantees extended by governments, central banks, and multilateral institutions in the period 1790-2015. Historically, wars have been the main catalyst of government-to-government transfers. The scale of official credits granted in and around WW1 and WW2 was particularly large, easily surpassing the scale of total international bailout lending after the 2008 crash. During peacetime, development finance and financial crises are the main drivers of official cross-border finance, with official flows often stepping in when private flows retrench. In line with the predictions of recent theoretical contributions, we find that official lending increases with the degree of economic integration. In crises and disasters, governments help those countries to which they have greater trade and banking exposure, hoping to reduce the collateral damage to their own economies. Since the 2000s, official finance has made a sharp comeback, largely due to the rise of China as an international creditor and the return of central bank cross-border lending in times of stress, this time in the form of swap lines.
  • Topic: Debt, International Political Economy, War, History, Financial Crisis, Trade, Banking
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Neta C. Crawford
  • Publication Date: 11-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs at Brown University
  • Abstract: Since late 2001, the United States has appropriated and is obligated to spend an estimated $6.4 Trillion through Fiscal Year 2020 in budgetary costs related to and caused by the post-9/11 wars—an estimated $5.4 Trillion in appropriations in current dollars and an additional minimum of $1 Trillion for US obligations to care for the veterans of these wars through the next several decades. The mission of the post-9/11 wars, as originally defined, was to defend the United States against future terrorist threats from al Qaeda and affiliated organizations. Since 2001, the wars have expanded from the fighting in Afghanistan, to wars and smaller operations elsewhere, in more than 80 countries — becoming a truly “global war on terror.” Further, the Department of Homeland Security was created in part to coordinate the defense of the homeland against terrorist attacks. These wars, and the domestic counterterror mobilization, have entailed significant expenses, paid for by deficit spending. Thus, even if the United States withdraws completely from the major war zones by the end of FY2020 and halts its other Global War on Terror operations, in the Philippines and Africa for example, the total budgetary burden of the post-9/11 wars will continue to rise as the US pays the on-going costs of veterans’ care and for interest on borrowing to pay for the wars. Moreover, the increases in the Pentagon base budget associated with the wars are likely to remain, inflating the military budget over the long run.
  • Topic: War, Budget, Counter-terrorism, Military Spending
  • Political Geography: South Asia, Middle East, United States of America
  • Author: Robert E. Hamilton
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Foreign Policy Research Institute
  • Abstract: The war in the eastern Ukrainian region known as the Donbas has killed over 13,000 people, displaced millions, and led to the worst rupture in relations between the Russian Federation and the West since the end of the Cold War. The war was caused by inherent cleavages in Ukrainian society, combined with clumsy and self-interested intervention by outside powers. The war’s effects on Ukraine have been profound: the collapse of the post-Soviet Ukrainian political elite; billions of dollars in direct and indirect losses to the Ukrainian economy; a wholesale restructuring of the Ukrainian armed forces; social dislocation and psychological trauma; and unprecedented environmental damage. Despite these sad legacies, there are reasons to be optimistic that a settlement to the conflict is in view. The exhaustion and frustration of people in the separatist-controlled regions, Russia’s changing policy on the war—at least in part a result of rising frustration among the Russian public—and the election of a new Ukrainian government without regional ties or ties to networks of oligarchs all contribute to the possibility of peace. But in order for peace to endure after the war, the Ukrainian state must construct a broad-based, civic national identity, and it must tackle the country’s endemic corruption. The international community must be engaged in both crafting a settlement to the war and helping Ukraine deal with its consequences. External observers may be inclined to point to social division and corruption as the internal causes of the war, and argue that Ukraine has to fix itself before the outside world can intervene to help. And this is true as far as it goes. But it is also true that the outside world contributed to the start of war in Ukraine by making the country the object in a geopolitical tussle between Russia and the West. Any honest accounting of the war’s history must acknowledge this fact. And any fair treatment of Ukraine after the war should seek to compensate it through significant, long-term assistance.
  • Topic: War, Territorial Disputes, Conflict, Separatism
  • Political Geography: Russia, Eurasia, Ukraine, Eastern Europe
  • Author: Dyan Mazurana, Anastasia Marshak, Teddy Atim
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Feinstein International Center, Tufts University
  • Abstract: Few large-scale, structured surveys have been conducted on the prevalence of alleged war crimes or crimes against humanity committed by warring parties against civilians and how this relates to disability. Using data from a panel survey carried out in 2013, 2015, and 2018 that is representative of all of Acholi and Lango sub-regions in northern Uganda, this working paper reports the prevalence of alleged war crimes or crimes against humanity for individuals and households; their association with disability; and the resulting effects over time on people’s lives in terms of food security, wealth, access to basic services, and healthcare. The study contributes to an understanding of people who have experienced alleged war crimes or crimes against humanity that affect them physically and psychologically; the relationship between experience of these alleged crimes and their experience of disability; the effects of these crimes on their wealth, food security, and access to livelihood and social protection services; the effects of these crimes on their access to basic and therapeutic healthcare; and a better understanding of the key obstacles faced by victims of these alleged crimes when they are unable to receive basic and therapeutic healthcare.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Human Rights, War, Conflict
  • Political Geography: Uganda, Africa
  • Author: Feng Jin
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Pacific Forum
  • Abstract: The issue of gray zone conflict between the US and China has attracted much attention in recent years. “Gray” indicates actions below the threshold of war, yet beyond normal diplomacy. The fundamental characteristics of gray zone activity include that they are well-planned, designed to be ambiguous amid strategic competition, and intended to leave opponents unable to launch an effective response. What demands special attention is that gray zone activity could cause unintended escalation, and that assertive responses to them may not be the best option. For instance, the United States’ gray zone retaliation to China’s activities in the South China Sea is hardly helpful to contain China’s activities, but certainly slow the pace of resolving the South China Sea dispute through negotiation and dialogue and jeopardize bilateral strategic stability. In the United States, current studies on the gray zone issue view the activity conducted by “measured revisionists” (such as Russia, China and Iran) as a major challenge to US national interest and the US-led international order. Today, as China and the United States are dancing on the precipice of a trade war, the geopolitical rivalry between the two countries raises major concerns and the possibility of a new Cold War has been discussed with increasing frequency. Although the United States and China are highly interconnected in many ways, entanglement also creates friction. In this context, the gray zone issue between China and the United States has a significant role in the relationship. How do we understand gray zone conflict? What challenges does the current gray zone activity pose to China and the United States? What measures should be taken to address such challenges?
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Diplomacy, War, Peace
  • Political Geography: United States, China
  • Author: Jonathan Spyer
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Security (JISS)
  • Abstract: Regional rivals clash via proxies in Tripoli fight.
  • Topic: War, Military Strategy, Conflict
  • Political Geography: Africa, Libya
  • Publication Date: 08-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Security (JISS)
  • Abstract: More than a decade of civil strife has opened up the region for the escalating state-to-state conflict.
  • Topic: Nuclear Weapons, War, Military Strategy, Conflict, Regional Power
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East, Israel
  • Author: Eran Lerman
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Security (JISS)
  • Abstract: What Can and Should Be Done to Limit the Scope of the Turkish Assault on Rojava?
  • Topic: War, Military Strategy, Conflict
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, Middle East, Asia, Kurdistan
  • Author: David M. Weinberg
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Security (JISS)
  • Abstract: The IDF must return to the fundamentals: ground maneuver to achieve “hachra’a” – decisive outcomes.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, War, Military Strategy, Conflict, Israel Defense Forces (IDF)
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel
  • Author: Prasenjit Duara
  • Publication Date: 08-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper identifies historic patterns in the dialectic between nationalism and development across various East, South, and Southeast Asian nations. Nationalism as the rationale for development is used by regimes to achieve high levels of growth, but also generates exclusivism and hostilities, often in order to integrate a political core. Popular nationalism has also dialectically reshaped the goals and patterns of development during the post-Second World War period. The region is divided into zones shaped by twentieth-century historical and geo-political conditions. Colonial and Cold War conditions were as important as internal political and ethnic circumstances. Turning points in the dialectical relationship were common within a region. More recently, a common transregional pattern has emerged with neoliberal globalization being accompanied by exclusivist nationalism.
  • Topic: Development, Nationalism, War, History, Colonialism
  • Political Geography: Asia
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The United States, its allies, and international organizations are just beginning to come to grips with the civil dimensions of "failed state" wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, the Sudans, Syria, and Yemen. In each case, it is clear that the civil dimension of the war will ultimately be as important as the military one. Any meaningful form of "victory" requires far more than defeating the current extremist threat in military terms, and reaching some temporary compromise between the major factions that divide the country. The current insurgent and other security threats exist largely because of the deep divisions within the state, the past and current failures of the government to deal with such internal divisions, and the chronic failure to meet the economic, security, and social needs of much of the nation's population. In practical terms, these failures make a given host government, other contending factions, and competing outside powers as much of a threat to each nation’s stability and future as Islamic extremists and other hostile forces. Regardless of the scale of any defeat of extremists, the other internal tensions and divisions with each country also threaten to make any such “victory” a prelude to new forms of civil war, and/or an enduring failure to cope with security, stability, recovery, and development. Any real form of victory requires a different approach to stability operations and civil-military affairs. In each case, the country the U.S. is seeking to aid failed to make the necessary economic progress and reforms to meet the needs of its people – and sharply growing population – long before the fighting began. The growth of these problems over a period of decades helped trigger the sectarian, ethnic, and other divisions that made such states vulnerable to extremism and civil conflict, and made it impossible for the government to respond effectively to crises and wars.
  • Topic: Security, War, Fragile/Failed State, ISIS, Conflict
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Africa, United States, Iraq, Middle East, Yemen, Syria, Somalia, South Sudan, Sundan
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs
  • Abstract: On 19-20 December 2018 Pugwash held a workshop in Geneva, co-sponsored and hosted by the Geneva Center for Security Policy (GCSP), on the topic of cyber security and warfare. The meeting gathered together 20 experts and practitioners from Europe, North and South America, and Asia, for a broad set of discussions. Below is a summary of some of the key points that arose over the one-and- a-half days of discussions1, followed by a list of possible areas of further future exploration.
  • Topic: Security, War, Cybersecurity, Conflict
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 02-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Geneva Centre for Security Policy
  • Abstract: En 2004, le leader d’Al-Qaida, Ayman al-Zawahiri, déclarait: “Plus de la moitié de la lutte a lieu dans les médias… nous sommes au cœur d’une bataille médiatique dans la course pour gagner les esprits et les cœurs de notre Oumma (Communauté musulmane)”[1] Alors que l’incitation à la violence est largement connue du grand public, un autre pan entier de la stratégie de communication djihadiste l’est beaucoup moins : l’utilisation de la poésie, de la musique ou encore de la narration comme vecteur de son idéologie, notamment au travers de plateformes en lignes.[2] La pieuvre artistique et médiatique mise en place par l’État Islamique depuis sa création lui a permis d’exploiter toutes les possibilités du web. Que ce soit à travers la publication de revue et communiqués ou encore la production de vidéos et photos, tous les volets de la stratégie de l’État Islamique ont eu pour cœur opérationnel internet et ses milliers de fenêtres qu’il ouvre vers le reste du monde.[3] Ainsi, l’Etat Islamique est actif en ligne sur tous les fronts : diffusion de son idéologie, levée de fonds, recrutement de sympathisants, coordination et revendication de ses attaques, etc.
  • Topic: Security, War, Islamic State, Peace
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Author: David Carment
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Canadian Global Affairs Institute (CGAI)
  • Abstract: Today’s geopolitical conflicts, especially among great powers, involve a desire to fundamentally revise the order of alliances as well as solidify new norms of conduct. The purpose of our paper is to delineate two distinct phenomena in international affairs – hybrid warfare, which emphasizes the tactical level and grey-zone conflicts, which incorporates a long-term strategic dimension into international disputes. We argue that hybrid warfare can be a tactical subset of grey-zone conflict deployed under certain conditions and in varying degrees. We examine four case studies: China’s application of ‘unrestricted warfare’, Russia’s strategy of ‘hybrid balancing’, ‘regional hybridism’ practiced by Israel and ‘restricted hybridism’ applied by Canada/NATO globally. We conclude that the solution to challenges from Russia and China is not a military one but a political and collective one based on baseline requirements for building resilience. Israel, on the other hand, is largely uninterested in the revision of order of alliances and will continue to utilize its tactical advantage vis-à-vis regional neighbors to achieve victories in short conflicts. We conclude that NATO (and Canada) should work more closely with the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe and the European Union to effectively extend security guarantees to its members. In doing so Canada and likeminded countries will involve the costs of engaging in hybrid warfare and the subsequent erosion of democratic accountability.
  • Topic: NATO, War, Geopolitics, Hybrid Warfare
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Eurasia, Middle East, Canada, Israel, Asia
  • Author: Vivian Newman Pont, Maria Paula Ángel, María Ximena Dávila
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Dejusticia
  • Abstract: The drive to conduct this research was born out of the tension that developed on May of 2017 in the context of the journalistic coverage of the exhumations of those who died in the Bojayá massacre. Thus, this document has the purpose of asking and answering, from a socio-legal perspective, the following question: How can the events related to the armed conflict and to the transition to peace be narrated without violating the right to privacy of the victims? Or, how can a journalist record a dramatic event or recount an injuste that moves readers while respecting the limits of the private lives of the victims? To answer the question, this document examines the tensions between rights that can arise out of narrating the transition to peace as part of the journalistic profession, with the hope that the conclusion set forth is valid not only for the Bojayá case, but also in future transition years, as both victims and society in general benefit from a free and responsible press and the respect for private lives.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, War, War on Drugs, Freedom of Expression, Peace, Repression, The Press
  • Political Geography: Colombia
  • Author: Yaakov Amidror
  • Publication Date: 02-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Security (JISS)
  • Abstract: It must be made clear to Israel’s rivals in both the north and the south that they will pay a very serious price for attacking Israel.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, War, Military Strategy, Conflict
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel
  • Author: Jonathan Spyer
  • Publication Date: 09-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Security (JISS)
  • Abstract: Israel has fully joined the battle in Syria—but it’s not clear it can achieve any of its goals there.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, War, Military Strategy, Conflict, Israel Defense Forces (IDF)
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East, Israel
  • Author: Efraim Inbar
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Security (JISS)
  • Abstract: In the absence of a clear American or Turkish determination to confront Iranian encroachment, only Israel has the power to stop it.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, War, Military Strategy, Conflict
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East, Israel
  • Author: Dzianis Melyantsou
  • Publication Date: 03-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Transatlantic Relations
  • Abstract: This paper is part of CTR's Working Paper Series: "Eastern Voices: Europe's East Faces an Unsettled West." The new geopolitical environment formed after the annexation of Crimea and the war in the Donbas, together with emerging threats and challenges, are pressing both Belarus and the West to revise their policies in the region as well as their relations with each other. In this new context, Belarus is seeking a more balanced foreign policy and, at least towards the Ukrainian crisis, a more neutral stance.
  • Topic: International Relations, Diplomacy, International Trade and Finance, War, Territorial Disputes, Foreign Aid, Sanctions, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Ukraine, Belarus, Crimea, United States of America, European Union
  • Author: Patrick Martin
  • Publication Date: 04-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for the Study of War
  • Abstract: ISIS is waging a renewed offensive campaign in recaptured areas that could exploit vulnerabilities in the Iraqi Government’s ability to respond amidst accelerating political competition before upcoming elections.
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: Iraq
  • Author: Sandro Knezović, Nani Klepo
  • Publication Date: 02-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for Development and International Relations (IRMO)
  • Abstract: Contemporary international relations are carrying a wide range of challenges that have led to the necessity to rede�ine existing national and international strategies grounded predominantly on conventional state-based threats. Recognising vulnerability to non-conventional challenges, contemporary strategies are increasingly acknowledging the importance of the changing character of warfare. Namely, not only have the non-conventional threats become increasingly perilous, but the overlapping of different classes of threats have dramatically increased the complexity of existing challenges. This leads to a conclusion that future con�licts are very likely to be multidimensional, with blurring and combined forms of combat characterised by expanding dynamics and growing destructiveness, frequently called hybrid. Due to the fact that it includes a wide range of fairly unconsolidated categories, the term itself had received a signi�icant amount of criticism related to an alleged lack of conceptual clarity. Still, while the mainstream transatlantic security policy elites largely operate in traditional terms and only modestly use the contemporary framework of strategic thinking, the challenges and increasingly assertive opponents are following a different path.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, War, Military Strategy
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Miles M. Yu
  • Publication Date: 06-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Project 2049 Institute
  • Abstract: The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) utilizes its own narrative of the Korean War to fulfill the Party’s strategic interests. Historical evidence, illustrated in this paper, proves that the Korean War began on June 25, 1950 as a result of a long and arduous preparation and agreement among the three protagonists—Joseph Stalin, Mao Zedong, and Kim Il-sung. Today, significant research and historical documents prove the CCP’s creation of a false record of the Korean War, which remains integral to Maoist historical nihilism and employed by the Party to ensure regime survival. Following the 67th anniversary of the beginning of the Korean War, it is necessary to examine the Korean War’s historical legacy and the role of the manipulation of historical narratives in communist China.
  • Topic: War, History, Political Parties, Narrative
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, South Korea, North Korea
  • Author: Shelley Liu
  • Publication Date: 10-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Afrobarometer
  • Abstract: How does civil war affect society and citizen interaction with politics? Civilians who live through warfare face numerous challenges that can have permanent effects on society even after peace is achieved. This project uses the Liberian civil wars as a case study to examine the impact of war through one channel – disruptions in education for an entire generation of children. The paper shows that negative effects of war on education and economic outcomes clash with citizen expectations for post-war democracy, leading to negative consequences for the democratization process. Specifically, educational deficiencies in this particular generation of young adults decrease job prospects, breeding resentment against the promises of democracy. This extends to the political sphere, such that those who lost out on educational opportunities due to war exhibit lower engagement, less desire to engage with democratic processes, and a greater rejection of democracy altogether.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Civil War, Education, War, Children, Youth
  • Political Geography: Africa, Liberia
  • Author: Melissa Rary
  • Publication Date: 04-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center on Human Rights Education, University of Denver
  • Abstract: While the idea of women as combatants in the US military is relatively new, some stories of women in war goes back to Greek myths of armies of goddesses at war. Still, this subject gets very little, if any, press in the news. Women are often seen as victims of war, but some women may also be perpetrators. Beyond simply fighting on the ground, Dara Cohen explores the idea of women as perpetrators of wartime sexual violence. She points out that in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, 41% of female sexual violence victims were victimized by females, as were 10% of male victims. She argues that within armed groups, women face many of the same pressures to commit similar forms of violence as their male counterparts. Women have been used historically in various roles during recruitment and combat, including being a nurse, cook, telephone operator, or journalist. Some conflicts have also seen a rise women used as a recruiting tool, or as wives, to young men joining forces. In the Second World War, the Soviet Union used female soldiers to encourage their male counterparts to join the forces. Of the 820,000 women who served in the Red Army, 15% of those were combatants. ISIS recruits young women in a similar way, promising them marriage to ISIS fighters and offering them a meaningful role in a big world. They are then used as mothers, wives, nurses, recruiters, and general supporters of ISIS.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, War, Feminism, Conflict
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Wolfgang Mühlberger
  • Publication Date: 10-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The September ceasefire in Syria expired after the scheduled duration of a week due to the bombardment of sensitive targets by the brokers – instead of being extended and shored up by a political track. Agreeing on the modalities without the ability or willingness to enforce them, makes ceasefires futile and undermines peace negotiations.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, War
  • Political Geography: Syria
  • Author: Jacqueline Lopour
  • Publication Date: 03-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Humanitarian crises across the world are the worst since World War II, and the situation is only going to get worse. According to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), almost 60 million people worldwide have been forcibly displaced from their homes — that is approximately one in every 123 people on the planet (UNHCR 2016a). The problem is growing, as the number of those displaced is over 60 percent greater than the previous decade. As a result, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has announced the first ever World Humanitarian Summit to be held May 23-24, 2016. The world’s attention is focused on the Syrian refugee crisis, which has displaced 11 million people. But in doing so, the global community has lost sight of an equally severe humanitarian and displacement crisis — the situation in Yemen. Yemen now has more people in need of aid than any other country in the world, according to the UNOCHA Global Humanitarian Overview 2016. An estimated 21.2 million people in Yemen — 82 percent of the population — requires humanitarian aid, and this number is steadily growing (UNOCHA 2016a).
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Development, Human Rights, Humanitarian Aid, Poverty, War, Refugee Issues
  • Political Geography: Yemen, Global Focus
  • Author: Alexa L. Wesner
  • Publication Date: 04-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Ambassadors Review
  • Abstract: Since the end of the Second World War, the United States and Austria have enjoyed one of the most mutually beneficial and prosperous relationships in the world. Born from a shared desire for lasting peace and nourished by trade, education, and people-to-people exchanges, Austria and the United States share an intertwined past and interconnected future. Today, our shared democratic ideals and our willingness to work together to combat global threats serve as an example of collaboration on the world stage. But since the earliest days of the modern era, our common goals have been underwritten by a series of often-overlooked exchange programs that have exposed thousands of people to the significance of our shared values. The intimate human bonds built by exchange participants continue to weave an increasingly beautiful, intricate, and durable social fabric that strengthens our bilateral relationship.
  • Topic: Politics, War, Bilateral Relations, Global Security
  • Political Geography: Austria, United States of America
  • Author: Jason Stearns
  • Publication Date: 03-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Global Peace Operations Review
  • Abstract: Since October 2014, the region around the town of Beni in north eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DR Congo) has been the site of some of the worst massacres in the country’s recent history. Over five hundred people have been killed and tens of thousands have fled their homes. The UN mission and the Congolese government have publicly stated that the massacres are the work of Ugandan rebels from the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF). Research by the Congo Research Group (CRG) based on interviews conducted with over a hundred witnesses and local leaders indicates that the definition of the ADF needs to be revised. Rather than a foreign Islamist group driven by revenge, our research points to a group that has forged strong ties with local interest groups and militias over the course of twenty years of insurrection around Beni. Moreover, our preliminary findings indicate that responsibility does not lie with the ADF alone. In addition to commanders directly tied to the ADF, members of the Forces armées de la République démocratique du Congo (FARDC), the national army; former members of the Rassemblement congolais pour la démocratie—Kisangani/Mouvement de libération (RCD– K/ML); as well as members of communal militias have also been involved in attacks on the civilian population.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, United Nations, War, Peacekeeping
  • Political Geography: Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Author: Andrew Shaver, Jacob N. Shapiro
  • Publication Date: 02-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Empirical Studies of Conflict Project (ESOC)
  • Abstract: Scholars of civil war and insurgency have long posited that insurgent organizations and their state enemies incur costs for the collateral damage they cause. We provide the first direct quantitative evidence that wartime informing is affected by civilian casualties. Using newly declassified data on tip flow to Coalition forces in Iraq we find that information flow goes down after government forces inadvertently kill civilians and it goes up when insurgents do so. These results have strong policy implications; confirm a relationship long posited in the theoretical literature on insurgency; and are consistent with a broad range of circumstantial evidence on the topic.
  • Topic: War, Insurgency, Counterinsurgency, Information Age, Civilians, Casualties
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Middle East
  • Author: Alexandra Francis
  • Publication Date: 09-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: The Syrian refugee crisis has exacerbated endemic political, economic, and resource challenges in Jordan. As the conflict in Syria enters a protracted state and public discontent and other tensions rise, Jordan has limited its humanitarian response. Yet, the roots of the kingdom’s challenges run deeper than the refugee crisis and if left unaddressed will be harbingers of instability. If Jordan is to confront its national challenges and continue to provide a safe haven for Syrian refugees, the country will depend on increased international support.
  • Topic: Humanitarian Aid, Political Economy, War, Refugee Issues
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Syria, Jordan
  • Author: Paul D. Williams
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: The number of UN peacekeepers is at a record high, with nearly 110,000 uniformed deployed "blue helmets" worldwide, most of them in Africa. But the status quo is "untenable," warns Paul D. Williams, author and associate professor of international affairs at George Washington University, in a new Council Special Report, Enhancing U.S. Support for Peace Operations in Africa. Unrealistic mandates, unsustainable supplies of personnel, hostile host governments, and mission creep have undermined peace operations, Williams writes. "Given the growing interest in fostering a stable and prosperous Africa, the United States should wield its political influence to address these challenges."
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Humanitarian Aid, War, Fragile/Failed State, Peacekeeping
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Timothy Frye
  • Publication Date: 09-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Arnold A. Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies
  • Abstract: What are public attitudes in Russia toward the war in Ukraine? Is this Putin’s war, or do his narrative on Ukraine and the policies he has followed toward that country resonate with Russian citizens? If the war has popular support, to what extent is this the case and why?
  • Topic: International Relations, War, Public Opinion
  • Political Geography: Russia, Ukraine
  • Author: Alexander De Juan
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: Does extraction increase the likelihood of antistate violence in the early phases of state building processes? While much research has focused on the impacts of war on state building, the potential “war‐making effects” of extraction have largely been neglected. The paper provides the first quantitative analysis of these effects in the context of colonial state‐building. It focuses on the Maji Maji rebellion against the German colonial state (1905–1907), the most substantial rebellion in colonial Eastern Africa. Analyses based on a newly collected historical data set confirm the correlation between extraction and resistance. More importantly, they reveal that distinct strategies of extraction produced distinct outcomes. While the intensification of extraction in state‐held areas created substantial grievances among the population, it did not drive the rebellion. Rather, the empirical results indicate that the expansion of extractive authority threatened the political and economic interests of local elites and thus provoked effective resistance. This finding provides additional insights into the mechanisms driving the “extraction–coercion cycle” of state building.
  • Topic: Economics, War
  • Political Geography: Africa, Germany
  • Author: Sarah Wolff
  • Publication Date: 10-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The death of Aylan, a 3-year-old boy on a Turkish beach, prompted European leaders and public opinions to acknowledge that Europe is the deadliest migration destination in the world. In spite of this disturbing truth, there is little agreement on an EU solution to the Syrian refugee crisis. In September 2015, the EU Interior Ministers struggled to agree over the relocation of 120,000 refugees through a common compulsory mechanism, as Eastern European countries oppose the idea of “sharing the burden.” Progress regarding other solutions such as a European rescue at-sea-mission, the delivery of humanitarian visas or the opening of legal means of migration have also met strong member state resistance. If Europe is not up to the task, can international organisations (IOs), often critical of European states for their inaction, impulse change? What influence do IOs have on EU and Mediterranean migration and refugee policies? This paper investigates how IOs have been trying to frame an alternative debate and the challenges they meet in promoting transregional governance.
  • Topic: Humanitarian Aid, Migration, War, Immigration, Border Control
  • Political Geography: Europe, Middle East
  • Publication Identifier: 978-88-98650-66-8
  • Publication Identifier Type: DOI
  • Publication Date: 09-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Never before was the lack of a single European government, or at least of a strong and effective European governance, as acutely felt as in these days. With wars and failed states in the neighbourhood, and an unstoppable exodus crossing Europe, the continent appears at once more interdependent and more fragmented than ever. A coherent model of governance, competent and cohesive, but above all empowered by a full democratic investiture, would be needed everyday, to cope with daily emergencies while painstakingly devising and developing a long-term strategy where such emergency responses would be framed. Instead, in spite of the remarkable efforts of creative leadership made by the Commission, we are “governed” (but the term sounds like a gross overstatement) by subsequent extraordinary summits, each summoned to remedy the failures of the previous one. What can thus be expected and what should be asked, in such dire circumstances, to the next of these ad hoc European Council meeting, scheduled on Wednesday 23 September?
  • Topic: Migration, War, Fragile/Failed State, Governance, European Union
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Publication Identifier: 978-88-98650-58-3
  • Publication Identifier Type: DOI
  • Author: Liam P. Walsh
  • Publication Date: 12-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: Beginning in 2013, the U.S. Army began an effort to “engage regionally and respond globally.” A central tenant of this strategy, building upon National strategic guidance, is the necessity to build partner capacity. Army units, through the regionally aligned forces concept, may find themselves conducting security force assistance (SFA) missions across the globe as a means to achieve these ways. However, after examining the Army’s SFA mission in Operation IRAQI FREEDOM from 2003-10, it becomes apparent that institutional and organizational shortcomings plagued the Army’s initial efforts in this critical aspect of the campaign. Many of these shortcomings remain in the Army today, particularly within the Army’s core formation—the brigade combat team (BCT). This monograph examines the Army’s role in conducting SFA in Iraq, drawing key lessons for the Army’s experience there, and then provides recommendations as to how the Army can better optimize the BCT to conduct SFA, while still retaining its core mission to fight and win America’s wars.
  • Topic: National Security, War, Military Strategy, Military Affairs
  • Political Geography: Iraq, United States of America
  • Author: Dr. Shima D. Keene
  • Publication Date: 12-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: While supporters claim that drone warfare is not only legal but ethical and wise, others have suggested that drones are prohibited weapons under International Humanitarian Law (IHL) because they cause, or have the effect of causing, indiscriminate killings of civilians, such as those in the vicinity of a targeted person. The main legal justification made by the Barack Obama Administration for the use of armed drones is self-defense. However, there is ambiguity as to whether this argument can justify a number of recent attacks by the United States. In order to determine the legality of armed drone strikes, other factors such as sovereignty, proportionality, the legitimacy of individual targets, and the methods used for the selection of targets must also be considered. One justification for the ethical landscape is the reduced amount of collateral damage relative to other forms of strike. Real time eyes on target allow last-minute decisions and monitoring for unintended victims, and precise tracking of the target through multiple systems allows further refinements of proportionality. However, this is of little benefit if the definition of “targets” is itself flawed and encompasses noncombatants and unconnected civilians. This monograph provides a number of specific recommendations intended to ensure that the benefits of drone warfare are weighed against medium- and long-term second order effects in order to measure whether targeted killings are serving their intended purpose of countering terrorism rather than encouraging and fueling it.
  • Topic: Human Rights, War, Counter-terrorism, Ethics
  • Political Geography: United States of America
  • Author: Dr. Christopher Sims
  • Publication Date: 12-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: The Human Terrain System embedded civilians primarily in brigade combat teams (BCTs) in Iraq and Afghanistan between 2007 and 2014 to act as a collection and dispersal mechanism for sociocultural comprehension. Set against the backdrop of the program’s evolution, the experiences of these social scientists clarifies the U.S. Army’s decision to integrate social scientists at the tactical level in conflict. Based on interviews, program documents, material from Freedom of Information Act requests, and secondary sources, this book finds a series of limiting factors inhibiting social science research at the tactical level, common to both Iraq and Afghanistan. Complexity in integrating civilians into the military decision-making cycle, creating timely research with a high level of fidelity, and making granular research resonate with brigade staff all contributed to inhibiting the overall effect of the Human Terrain System. Yet, while high operational tempo in contested spaces complicates social science research at the tactical level, the author argues that there is a continued requirement for a residual capability to be maintained by the U.S. Army.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, War, Military Strategy, Military Affairs
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Iraq, United States of America
  • Author: Dr. W. Andrew Terill
  • Publication Date: 11-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: In an unexpected effort to protect a key Middle Eastern ally, the Kremlin intervened in Syria with military forces in late September 2015. This effort was undertaken to protect the Bashar Assad regime from Islamist and secular rebels now threatening his regime. Moscow initiated this action with a limited force that may be primarily designed to prevent Assad’s ouster but does not have the capabilities to help him retake large tracks of the country from the rebel groups that are now holding them. The Russian leadership made the decision to use military units in Syria at some political cost, aware that it was poisoning relations with many conservative anti-Assad Arabs and complicating its troubled relationship with Western powers.1 At some point, the Russians will have to consider the questions of how well these efforts have met their goal of bolstering the regime and what will be their next moves. They may also be rapidly faced with pressure to escalate their commitment to support the regime, if current actions do not produce meaningful results. They may also learn the painful lesson of other great powers, that military intervention in the Middle East is often much more problematic than national leaders initially expect.
  • Topic: Political Violence, Civil War, Islam, Politics, War, Military Strategy, Military Affairs
  • Political Geography: Russia, Middle East, Syria
  • Author: Dr. David Lai
  • Publication Date: 10-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: The Chinese government conducted a military parade to commemorate the “70th Anniversary of the Victory of the Chinese People’s War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression and the World Anti-Fascist War” on September 3, 2015. Although Chinese President Xi Jinping uttered “peace” 18 times in his brief opening remarks and Chinese government propaganda flooded China’s media with massive unqualified praise afterward, this show of force was by no means a blessing for peace. On the contrary, it arguably will cast a shadow over China’s outreach in the Asia-Pacific region for years to come.
  • Topic: War, Governance, Peacekeeping, Military Affairs
  • Political Geography: Japan, China, Asia-Pacific