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Archive for the 'CPASS' Category

Colin H. Kahl, associate professor for the SSP program, recently wrote a rebuttal to an article in Foreign Affairs arguing that it was time to attack Iran saying that Washington should not choose war when there are still other options. He went on to say that Washington should not base decisions off of best-case scenarios of how it hopes the situation would turn out.

In "Time to Attack Iran" (January/February 2012), Matthew Kroenig takes a page out of the decade-old playbook used by advocates of the Iraq war. He portrays the threat of a nuclear-armed Iran as both grave and imminent, arguing that the United States has little choice but to attack Iran now before it is too late. Then, after offering the caveat that "attacking Iran is hardly an attractive prospect," he goes on to portray military action as preferable to other available alternatives and concludes that the United States can manage all the associated risks. Preventive war, according to Kroenig, is "the least bad option."

But the lesson of Iraq, the last preventive war launched by the United States, is that Washington should not choose war when there are still other options, and it should not base its decision to attack on best-case analyses of how it hopes the conflict will turn out. A realistic assessment of Iran's nuclear progress and how a conflict would likely unfold leads one to a conclusion that is the opposite of Kroenig's: now is not the time to attack Iran.

Click here to read Kahl's whole piece in Foreign Affairs on why it's "Not Time to Attack Iran".

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CPASS Associate Director David Maxwell wrote two articles last month for Small Wars Journal. The first was about the death of Kim Jong Il and the challenges and opportunities the US, the international community and for the Republic of Korea.

The real opportunity is not to exploit the current events to cause a regime change for which no one is prepared, but to exploit the opportunity over the next two or more years to conduct the effective preparations necessary to deal with regime collapse on terms that the ROK and US desire. 

The second article focused on professional military education and how a better system could look.

A core curriculum is key to ensuring that the joint military has a common basis for understanding joint and combined military operations and strategy.  A common, foundational educational experience can provide the basis for career long interoperability in the joint force, the ability to have a common understanding for the American Way of War and most importantly provide the basis for development of successful campaign plans and strategies.  Ideally, such a common educational experience should be provided to national security professionals, military and civilian alike; however, the civilian aspect is beyond the immediate scope of this paper but should be considered.

In addition to a common core curriculum there may be value in a common educational framework for career military personnel.  The US military has been known as an institution that provides excellent educational and training opportunities to allow military and civilian personnel to develop to their full potential.  This should be sustained and built upon.

For a more in-depth analysis on military education read the full article at the Small Wars Journal.

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SFS Professor Bruce Hoffman and Dr. Sarah Fainberg discussed the implications of the assassination of Osama Bin Laden on both the Islamic world and the United States. Watch this episode of Faith Complex below or at the Chronicle of Higher Education.

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SFS Professor and South Asia expert Christine Fair testified before the House Foreign Affairs South Asia Subcommittee about Pakistan and argued that that the nation has been taking advantage of "our stupidity, our gullibility."

I think what the Pakistanis are taking advantage of historical events -- and this has been true of every single period of engaging them -- saying that they support our strategic interests while taking advantage of our stupidity, our gullibility to take the massive aid that they get and funnel it into systems that really target their security interests, which have always been and always will be India-centric.

Read the full article here.

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SFS Professor Daniel Byman urged readers not to dismiss the failed assassination plot against the Saudi ambassador to the United States with incredulity that Iran is responsible.

The incredulity takes three forms:  the Iranians would never conduct such an operation because it goes against their interests; the Iranians are too competent for such a cartoonish plot; and if Iran did do such a thing, it must have been a rogue operation by junior intelligence officers. All these arguments are plausible -- and all are probably wrong.

The suspected Iranian agent, Mansour Arbabsiar, allegedly met with a Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) source whom he tried to hire for murder. "They want that guy done," he reportedly told the agent, referring to the Saudi ambassador. "If the hundred [of collateral victims] go with him, [expletive] them," according to the U.S. government complaint. Arbabsiar also "met several times in Iran" with Ali Gholam Shakuri, a senior member of Iran's paramilitary Quds Force, a special unit of the country's Revolutionary Guards that has carried out many terrorist attacks. Shakuri in turn informed the head of the Quds Force, who reports directly to Iran's Supreme Leader. There are also intercepted phone calls between Arbabsiar and Shakuri, which is hard evidence to dismiss. And then there is the money -- $100,000 -- transferred for the plot. Together this is pretty damning evidence.

Read the full article at Foreign Policy.

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SFS Distinguished Professor Andrew Natsios recently wrote about foreign aid programs for US News & World Report. Natsios argues that participation in foreign aid bolsters national security measures.

One of the most important duties—if not the primary duty—of the federal government under the U.S. constitution is national defense. While our armed forces remain essential in protecting our national defense they are not enough; today national defense must be defined more broadly than simply a strong military. This is one reason former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, dozens of retired senior military officers, and major business leaders are leading an effort to protect the U.S. government's foreign aid program. It is the reason General David Petraeus, one of the most visionary military officers of our era, has consistently argued larger aid budgets protect our troops by making conflict less likely.

Head over to US News & World Report to read the full article about the relationship between foreign aid and national security.

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At the Foreign Policy website, SFS' Christine Fair summarizes her analysis of information regarding officers recruited into Pakistan's army.  She writes on what her research reveals:

Four key findings emerge.... First, among the demographic variables, districts with more people who could do basic math were more likely to produce officers. This suggests that foundational human capital matters to the Army, as expected.

Second, districts with more private high schools in a district are less likely to produce officers than those with fewer private high schools. This is consistent with the conventional wisdom that the Army no longer recruits from Pakistan's elite families.

Third, as in the United States, the presence of retired officers is a strong and significant predictor of recruitment outcomes. This suggests that retirees create positive, pro-military environments conducive to recruitment....

Fourth, our analysis of social liberalism characteristics suggests that in many ways more liberal districts are producing officers.

Read the full piece at ForeignPolicy.com.

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Georgetown's Center for Peace and Security Studies and its Mortara Center for International Studies convened three panels of faculty experts this past Friday to discuss the trajectory of the war on terrorism over the next decade.

Moderated by recent alumni of the Security Studies Program (SSP), the discussions explored the long-term impact of 9/11 on U.S. intelligence efforts, foreign policy and the missions in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Jennifer Sims, director of intelligence studies and visiting professor in the SSP, surveyed the intelligence landscape after a decade of change.

“Looking back, history tells us that [the United States] did pretty well,” argues Sims, a recipient of the intelligence community’s highest civilian award, the National Distinguished Service Medal. “We captured bin Laden and we foiled plots against the United States. We’re succeeding, but we also had some big misses.”

Click here to read the full story.

 

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SFS' Security Studies Program (SSP) has reason to be proud as a recent alumna and a current student took first and second place respectively in a national essay contest commemorating the September 11th attacks.

Sara Moller (G’06), won first place and a scholarship of $20,000 in the National Richard A. Clarke Graduate Student Monograph Contest sponsored by the California-based Center for First Amendment Studies.

Second place and a scholarship of $10,000 went to Dimitar Georgiev (G’13).

“It’ a great honor and also very personal for me,” Moller says. “For my generation and many others 9/11 was a defining moment. ... It forced me to re-examine what I thought I knew and believed about the world.

Her monograph titled, “Lessons Learned and Unlearned: The Tenth Anniversary of September 11, 2001” made several policy recommendations, including an overhaul of the Department of Homeland Security.

Read the full story from Georgetown University's Office of Communications.

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SFS' Security Studies Program (SSP) has reason to be proud as a recent alumna and a current student took first and second place respectively in a national essay contest commemorating the September 11th attacks.

Sara Moller (G’06), won first place and a scholarship of $20,000 in the National Richard A. Clarke Graduate Student Monograph Contest sponsored by the California-based Center for First Amendment Studies.

Second place and a scholarship of $10,000 went to Dimitar Georgiev (G’13).

“It’ a great honor and also very personal for me,” Moller says. “For my generation and many others 9/11 was a defining moment. ... It forced me to re-examine what I thought I knew and believed about the world.

Her monograph titled, “Lessons Learned and Unlearned: The Tenth Anniversary of September 11, 2001” made several policy recommendations, including an overhaul of the Department of Homeland Security.

Read the full story from Georgetown University's Office of Communications.

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