Articles and Op-Eds
- "The issue of apologies"
Professor Christine Fair tackles the issue of the U.S. apology to Pakistan and the relationship between the two countries in an article appearing in a publication geared toward Pakistani audiences. "Though a temporary workaround to open the ground routes was found, the fundamental differences in the countries’ strategic priorities haven’t been addressed," says Dr. Fair. In her view, "(w)ith such starkly different accounts of history and responsibility, the deal that has been tentatively inked is bound to fail."
- "A Bitter Bargain After US Apologizes, Pakistan Reopens Supply Routes"
Professor Christine Fair analyzes the accomodation that led to the United States' formal apology for accidentally killing Pakistani border troops and the subsequent reopening of NATO supply routes through Pakistan. In Dr. Fair's view, "sooner or later, this breakthrough will lead to the next break down." She argues that "(w)hile this deal may save Washington money in the short term, it will pay grievously in the long term as Afghanistan again reverts to being Pakistan's terror field."
- "The Salafi Awakening"
Professor Daniel Byman and coauthor Zack Gold chart the rise of the Salafi movement as a political force in Egypt. They detail both its religious and philosophical orthodoxy and its surprising political malleability and pragmatism as it participates in the new Egyptian democratic process. "Engagement now is particularly important, as the political agendas and priorities of the Salafi groups are still in flux," the authors conclude. "U.S. influence will be limited at best, but Washington is far more likely to have influence now than in the years to come."
- "What to Do About Pakistan"
Professor Christine Fair makes the case for reformulating the ongoing American approach toward Pakistan. "At long last, it seems, various agencies of the United States government have come to the conclusion that Pakistan cannot be changed," writes Dr. Fair. She proposes continued engagement where it is feasible, coupled with a strategy of containing threats eminating from Pakistan while drawing down the overt American presence in the region.
- "No More Half Measures"
Professor Daniel Byman dismisses the viability of a Yemen-like facilitated transition in leadership and argues in favor of open American support for the Syrian opposition in its fight against the regime of Bashar al-Assad. "Such a Goldilocks approach, however, would neither satisfy the aspirations of the Syria people nor advance U.S. strategic interests," argues Dr. Byman. "The opposition, in the end, is the key to both ousting Assad and ensuring that any replacement regime is better for Syria and for U.S. interests."
- "Risk and Rivalry: Israel, Iran and the Bomb"
Professor Colin Kahl and his coauthors analyze the longstanding and highly charged dynamic between Israel and Iran, which has been amplified recently by reports of continued advances in Iran's clandestine nuclear weapons program. "The authors recommend that while preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons should remain an urgent priority, rushing into preventive war would risk making the threat worse and force should be seen as a last resort."
- "The Arab Spring and its Influence on Al-Qa`ida"
Director Bruce Hoffman analyzes the implications of recent political upheaval in the Middle East for the continued fortunes of Al-Qai'da. In particular, Prof. Hoffman identifies the limited influence of the Arab Spring on the periphery of the Muslim world, where regional affiliates of the terrorist network appear to be thriving the most, as well as the destablizing effects of turmoil that might be exploited by extremist recruiters.
- "More Military Spies"
Professor Jennifer Sims analyzes the creation of the Defense Clandestine Service and finds that the CIA is not opposed to the move as one might think. She identifies four specific reasons why CIA views a greater military human intelligence capacity as a good thing.
- "What Osama Was Thinking at the End"
Director Bruce Hoffman discusses the contents of documents seized from Osama bin Laden's hideout in Abbottabad. "The picture that emerges from the seized Arabic-language documents is of a leader involved in both al Qaeda's day-to-day operations and long-term strategy," says Professor Hoffman, which stands in contrast to the "extravagant and incorrect claims about the weakness of al Qaeda and the irrelevance of its founding leader" that had been made in the years leading up to his death.
- "Keeping on Offense: The Next President Should Keep After al Qaeda but Mend Relations with Congress on Terrorism"
Professor Daniel Byman and his Brookings colleague Benjamin Wittes publish a policy brief offering recommendations on counterterrorism policy to the next U.S. president. The authors argue that while the president should continue to put pressure on al Qaeda, he must also work with Congress to agree upon "a durable legal framework for counterterrorism activities."
- "Preparing for Failure in Syria"
Professor Daniel Byman offers his read on how to make the best of a bad situation and stave off catastrophe in Syria. "Although Assad is the heart of the problem, without a clear successor his removal could lead to further fracturing within Syria," warns Dr. Byman, who advocates that Western powers take steps to bolster and unify the opposition movement. "Although continued bloodshed makes the announcement of a new Syrian government unrealistic, it would be useful to have a framework for such a government in place so that diplomats can move quickly should an opportunity arise."
- "Beyond ‘hearing’ range"
Professor Christine Fair discusses the political and ethnic dynamic in Balochistan, as well as the context and subtext behind a recent Congressional hearing on the topic. In Dr. Fair's view, "holding US Congressional hearings and subsequent proclamations of support for one ethnic group in a diverse province like Balochistan does nothing but exacerbate Pakistan’s long-standing concerns about its territorial integrity and will likely galvanize the state’s worse impulses in Balochistan rather than dampening the same."
- "Pakistan in 2011: Ten Years of the “War on Terror”"
Professor Christine Fair surveys the state of Pakistan in 2011. She finds that, in addition to well-known challenges from militant groups, "economic growth remains inadequate to provide jobs for its ever-growing population, and both the civilian and military leaderships appear unwilling to make structural economic changes to attract vital international developmental aid."
- "We Can Live with a Nuclear Iran"
Director of Studies Paul Pillar lays out his case for why a military strike on Iran's nuclear program should be averted. "No one knows what the full ramifications of such a war with Iran would be, and that is the main problem with any proposal to use military force against the Iranian nuclear program," argues Dr. Pillar. "Why would anyone, weighing all the costs and risks on each side of this issue, even consider starting a war with Iran?" he asks.
- "Too Many Secrets?"
Professor Jennifer Sims finds that "(w)e are riding a tiger: an outdated classification system that threatens either to overwhelm us with data or to deliver vital secrets to our adversaries." She details the nature and gravity of this threat, as well as proposing a series of ameliorative steps that could be taken. "The goal must be to make classification and declassification easier, simpler, less costly and more responsive to the needs of national security professionals and the citizens they work to protect," Dr. Sims maintains.
- "Before attacking Iran, Israel should learn from its 1981 strike on Iraq"
Professor Colin Kahl offers a re-examination of the Israeli attack on the Iraqi nuclear reactor at Osirak, the presumed success of which is often cited in support of a similar strike on Iran's nuclear facilities. In Dr. Kahl's view, "a closer look at the Osirak episode, drawing on recent academic research and memoirs of individuals involved with Iraq’s program, argues powerfully against an Israeli strike on Iran today."
- "The Iran containment fallacy"
Professor Colin Kahl lays out his view of why those who dismiss the possibility of containing Iran and advocate a military strike against its nuclear program are commiting a logical fallacy. In his view, "paradoxically, the most likely road to containment is the very course war proponents advocate: a near-term preventive strike on Iran's nuclear program." Dr. Kahl finds that the result of a preemptive strike "would be the worst of all worlds: an Iran emboldened to go for a bomb and a requirement for post-war containment without the international cooperation required to actually implement such a policy."
- "Rohrabacher's "Blood Borders" in Balochistan"
Professor Christine Fair details the motivations behind a recent Congressional hearing on Balochistan at which she testified. "When I sought guidance about the precise issues I should discuss in my testimony, the committee staff member told me, in some exasperation, that 'we want to stick it to the Pakistanis,'" Dr. Fair relates. "I can say with some certainty that the hearing and the Resolution that followed it have much more to do with partisan politics, and possibly resource-grabbing, than with any interest in the ongoing human rights crises in Balochistan," she finds.
- "The Odd Couple"
Professor Daniel Byman recounts the complex history of contacts between al Qaeda and the Islamic Republic of Iran. Dr. Byman notes that "Shared enemies drive Iran and al Qaeda together, but mutual suspicion keeps the partnership tactical and gives both sides reasons to play it down." He adds: "Although Iran and al Qaeda often have wildly different goals, they both want to weaken and hurt many of the same adversaries. Both are willing to fight and cooperate at the same time."
- "The Effectiveness of Counterinsurgency Principles against Criminal Insurgency"
Recent graduate Michael Burgoyne (SSP'11) publishes his thesis under the aegis of Small Wars Journal. The work addresses the effectiveness of counterinsurgency principles against criminal insurgencies through a case study analysis of Colombia’s fight against the Medellin and Cali Cartels and Rio de Janeiro’s efforts against favela gangs.
- "Can we help Syria without making things worse?"
Professor Daniel Byman surveys the various options facing U.S. policymakers with respect to the growing internecine violence in Syria. "As recent U.S. interventions have shown, the United States can be moved to help and advance freedom and its interests in the Middle East - but it can also make things worse or trip over unanticipated consequences," says Dr. Byman. "This knowledge should not be an excuse for standing by while Assad slaughters his people, but it should shape how the world responds."
- "Finish Him"
Professor Daniel Byman argues that without international intervention, there's a good chance that Syria's dictator, Bashar al-Assad, could still rule for years. Dr. Byman finds that "the Syrian dictator is not strong enough to subdue the opposition, but they are not strong enough to oust him - a scenario for continued civil war." Outside involvement is therefore the only way to avoid a protracted and bloody stalemate, in his view.
- "Supremely Irrelevant"
Professor Colin Kahl argues that Iran has failed miserably in its attempts to take advantage of the Arab Spring for its own purposes. "The perception of Iranian meddling has also decimated Tehran's "soft power" appeal across the Arab world," says Dr. Kahl. "This is not just a temporary setback for Iran, but a sea change that could deeply undermine its regional ambitions."
- "Security Sector Governance in Pakistan: Progress, But Many Challenges Persist"
In this paper, published under the aegis of the Centre for International Governance Innovation, Professor Christine Fair "examines the prospects for security sector governance in Pakistan and identifies the reforms necessary for the government to make meaningful strides in this area." Her investigation yields the finding that "Improved security governance in Pakistan is identified as a growing priority for the country’s citizens and its government, the region and the international community, but there is a lack of political will for such change. Real progress in this area will require Pakistan’s military to step down and its civilian institutions to step up."
- "Not Time to Attack Iran"
Professor Colin Kahl argues that a military strike against Iran should be a last resort and pushes back against arguments that it is a preferred course of action. According to Dr. Kahl, "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." Instead, he calls for the U.S. to "provide Iran with a clear strategic choice: address the concerns of the international community regarding its nuclear program and see its isolation lifted or stay on its current path and face substantially higher costs."
- "The American-Pakistani Cold War?"
Professor Christine Fair compares U.S.-Pakistani relations to the dynamic between the superpowers that prevailed during the Cold War. "The Cold War offers insights for how the United States might view Pakistan’s place in its national-security strategy," states Dr. Fair. "...(B)y remembering that when the Soviet Union collapsed, the global order did not come under threat due to its nuclear arsenal, the United States and its partners can undercut Pakistan’s most potent strategy for wresting political and financial rents from the international community: nuclear blackmail."
- "Pakistan's Slow-Motion Coup"
Professor Christine Fair warns of a creeping retrenchment by Pakistan's military forces that threatens the country's status as an independent civilian-led democracy. "In the old days, Pakistani generals sent tanks to oust a government," says Dr. Fair. "Now they plant stories in the press and manipulate the legal system."
- "Think Again: Intelligence"
Director of Studies Paul Pillar makes the case that America's foreign policy screw-ups come from bad leaders, not lousy spies. "On major foreign-policy decisions... intelligence is not the decisive factor," argues Professor Pillar. "The influences that really matter are the ones that leaders bring with them into office: their own strategic sense, the lessons they have drawn from history or personal experience, the imperatives of domestic politics, and their own neuroses."
- "Increasing Social Conservatism in the Pakistan Army: What the Data Say"
Professor Christine Fair interrogates popular beliefs about Islamization of the Pakistan Army officer corps and the polity from which the army recruits. This study finds that, as recently as 2002, districts that produce army officers are actually more socially liberal and urban than is commonly believed. The essay discusses the implications of the changes in the officer corps and concludes with a call for a robust research agenda on the Pakistan Army.
- "Obama Should Apologize"
Professor Christine Fair argues that President Obama should formally apologize to Pakistan for the casualties caused by U.S. and NATO forces when they mistakenly engaged Pakistani military personnel on November 27, 2011. "(N)either the United States nor Pakistan will benefit from a continued and escalating standoff," says Dr. Fair. "The United States claims to promote democracy, accountability, justice, law and order, and human rights. Now is the time to prove it. Pakistanis need to know that their lives matter as much as those of others."
- "A Religion of Peace? Islam and Support for Political Violence"
Discussions of how to deal with terrorism around the world have repeatedly touched on whether Islam contributes to a uniquely virulent strain of non-state violence targeted at civilians. These popular debates almost always conceive of “Islam” in general terms, not clearly defining what is meant by Islamic religious faith. The authors address this debate by designing and conducting a large-scale public opinion survey in Pakistan. They find that neither personal religious piety nor support for political Islam is correlated with support for militant organizations. However, Pakistanis who believe jihad is both an external militarized struggle and that it can be waged by individuals are more supportive of militant groups than those who believe it is an internal struggle for righteousness.
- "After the hope of the Arab Spring, the chill of an Arab Winter"
Professor Daniel Byman takes stock of the developments since the heady days of the Arab Spring and finds a distinct chill has settled over previously inflamed polities. ""It is too soon to say that the Arab Spring is gone, never to resurface," says Dr. Byman. "But the Arab Winter has clearly arrived." From a policy perspective, he cautions that "(d)istrusted and broke, the United States can do little to make the Arab Winter better, but it can do a lot to make it worse."
- "Plausible Culpability"
Professor Daniel Byman warns against reflexive dismissal of the purported plot by elements within the Iranian government to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the United States. Despite the risky, clumsy, and seemingly outlandish nature of the alleged plan, Dr. Byman highlights the ways in which it bears a resemblance to other past conspiracies. "A little skepticism is healthy in how we interpret the claims and evidence presented by our own intelligence agencies, but giving Iran a pass on this outrageous plot just because the operation went awry would be a mistake," he writes.
- "Doubling Down on Civilian Engagement in Pakistan"
In light of steadily deteriorating relations between the U.S. and Pakistan, South Asia expert Christine Fair offers a proposal for enhanced civilian engagement with the Pakistani body politic. "Despite the widening gap in U.S. and Pakistani interests and objectives, the United States must continue to try and engage Pakistan, particularly its civilian institutions, in the hope that one day Pakistan will be more firmly controlled by civilians," states Professor Fair. "That is the most likely path toward a Pakistan that is stable and at peace with itself and its neighbors."
- "Pakistan in Afghanistan: Friend or Foe?"
Professor Christine Fair reviews the shift in American appraisals of Pakistan's role in Afghanistan. "What is becoming increasingly clear is that a strategic relationship is not possible when strategic interests diverge so starkly," writes Professor Fair. "Observers on both sides are quietly asking whether the other is a problematic partner, an outright foe or both."
- "Mapping U.S.-Pakistan Relations: Past, Present, and Future"
Professor Christine Fair lays out the tortuous history of the relationship between the United States and Pakistan and lays out her forecast of what the future may hold. "The United States and Pakistan need to forge a more sustainable relationship based upon a cold assessment of reality," says Dr. Fair. "The only way forward is to think smaller, and focus on outcomes of democratization and human development rather than strategic shifts. A lower profile is critical, as the United States could hardly be more despised in Pakistan."
- "More Than a Feeling"
Professor Daniel Byman assesses the death of Anwar al-Awlaki and its implications for the continuing battle between the United States and the many factions of al Qaeda. In Dr. Byman's view, "No terrorist leader is irreplaceable, and AQAP and other groups have a deep bench. But a deep bench is not an infinite one, and the jihadist cause will have a tough time replacing someone like Awlaki."
- "American Perceptions of Terrorism in the Post-9/11 Decade"
Director of Studies Paul Pillar explores a set of questions related to the American public's understanding of terrorism since the 9/11 attacks. How has 9/11 molded American attitudes about terrorism during the subsequent decade? To what extent do popular attitudes and perceptions conform with, or differ from, actual threats of terrorism today? Have counterterrorism policies been driven more by public perceptions than by the terrorist reality?
- "Countering Ayman al-Zawahiri’s Democracy Narrative"
Current SSP student Michael Orzetti explores the possibility of finding a counter to critiques of democracy by radical Islamists like Ayman al-Zawahiri that would find resonance among even deeply pious followers of Islam. He proposes that "the West ought to craft a narrative insisting that the type of sharia law and governance envisioned by Zawahiri compels one to be a 'good Muslim' under threat of legal punishment rather than by true desire to please Allah," the consequence of which is that "their own capacity for holiness is diminished."
- "Is Pakistan's Army as Islamist as We Think?"
Professor Christine Fair looks at new evidence that suggests Pakistan's army may be even more liberal than Pakistani society as a whole. According to Professor Fair, while "the Pakistani Army has long relied on Islam within the institution," she can find "no systematic evidence that conservative areas are producing more officers than other areas."
- "Deterring Enemies in a Shaken World"
Professor Daniel Byman reviews "Counterstrike: The Untold Story of America’s Secret Campaign Against Al Qaeda" by Eric Schmitt and Thom Shanker. "With the death of bin Laden and the transformation of Egypt, Libya and other countries during the Arab Spring, Al Qaeda is at a crossroads," Prof. Byman concludes. "While it is too early to declare Al Qaeda defeated, Americans should take comfort in this book’s reminder that their government can adapt to meet threats as they change, keeping them safer — if not necessarily safe — from terrorism."
- "The Future of Al-Qaida"
Professor Daniel Byman looks at the challenges the terrorist organization is likely to face in the coming decade and how it may respond to them. "It would be a mistake to count Zawahiri and al-Qaida out. Al-Qaida has been declared dead repeatedly, only to rise again," he warns.
- "The History of Al-Qaida"
Professor Daniel Byman reviews the history of Al-Qaida with an eye toward the question of why it has been so resilient. "Although 9/11 was a high point for al-Qaida terrorism, it also brought the organization to the brink of ruin," he notes.
- "After the Breakup: What Next for U.S.-Pakistan Relations"
Professor Christine Fair forecasts what a U.S.-Pakistan relationship might look like after an end to the close military-intelligence partnership that has overshadowed all other facets of bilateral relations. "The most likely path to a stable Pakistan involves empowering civilians to exert control over its security and foreign policies," she finds.
- "The Phantom Menace"
SSP Professor Daniel Byman and SFS Professor Charles King describe the threat to regional and international security posed by "phantom states: places that field military forces, hold elections, build local economies and educate children, yet inhabit the foggy netherworld between de facto existence and international legitimacy."
- "Lashkar-e-Tayiba and the Pakistani State"
Professor Christine Fair charts the rise and trajectory of Lashkar-e-Tayiba, the most prominent of the Pakistani militant groups currently operating. Finding that "conventional understanding of Pakistan’s reliance upon militant groups, framed within the logic of Pakistan’s external security preoccupations, is dangerously incomplete," Prof. Fair goes on to highlight the critical role that domestic politics plays in Pakistani militancy.
- "Have the Arab Uprisings Made Israel Less Secure?"
Professor Daniel Byman discusses the possible consequences of the Arab Spring for Israel's security - and its perception thereof. "Change is sweeping the Arab world, whether Israel wants it or not," says Dr. Byman. "If Israel fails to change its policies, its worst fears are more likely to come true."
- "Norway's Oklahoma City?"
Professor Daniel Byman, offering a rapid reaction to the terrorist killing spree in Norway, notes that "the scene of destruction in downtown Oslo does beg the question: why haven't there been more large-scale terrorist attacks on the U.S. homeland?"
- "How India's Voters Can Stop Terrorism"
Professor Christine Fair lays out the ways in which political pressure from the Indian public may be critical in improving state security institutions and reducing India's vulnerability to terrorism.
- "The Challenge of Gaza: Policy Options and Broader Implications"
Professor Daniel Byman and co-author Gad Goldstein analyze the ways in which the status of peace talks actually impacts the political and security situation in the Middle East broadly and Gaza in particular. Only through understanding the myriad interconnected and mutually reinforcing factors shaping the dynamic, which the authors lay out, can policymakers hope "to assess options, determine the benefits and drawbacks of the alternative policies, and make strong, informed decisions."
- "Pakistan's Middle Class Extremists"
Professor Christine Fair and her colleagues report the findings of their research into the connection between income and support for militancy in Pakistan. They find that "there is no evidence that economic development changes attitudes toward violent militant groups, or even that it is the poor whose attitudes are problematic." Rather, support for militants is higher among elites and the middle class than among the lower classes, who tend to bear the brunt of militant attacks.
- "Obama's Nuclear Upgrade"
Professor Keir Lieber and co-author Daryl Press describe the Obama administration's plans to modernize the U.S. nuclear arsenal, even as it publicly proclaims its goal of a world free of nuclear weapons. Professors Lieber and Press assess this approach to be pragmatic and worthwhile, but caution that "an effective campaign to explain this policy to the public" will be vital to ensuring that the plans are carried out.
- "Israel’s Pessimistic View of the Arab Spring"
Professor Daniel Byman analyzes the pessimistic and cynical reactions toward the Arab Spring emanating from Israel. Prof. Byman finds that while the fears expressed have varying degrees of validity, "dismissing Israeli concerns would be a mistake," as they are likely to shape - and perhaps further complicate - the security dilemmas in the region.
- "Preventing Violent Radicalization in America"
CSS Visiting Fellow Peter Neumann assesses violent radicalization in America and proposes countermeasures in this report under the auspices of the BPC's National Security Preparedness Group.
- "The Road From Abbottabad Leads to Lame Analysis"
Professor Christine Fair offers a response to Christopher Hitchens' article "From Abbottabad to Worse" published in Vanity Fair. In critiquing the piece, she concludes that "accounts like that of Hitchens and others here and in Pakistan dims the prospects for salvaging a relationship that is extremely important for the United States if not for Pakistan."
- "Beware the perils of a Libya after Gaddafi has gone"
Professor Daniel Byman cautions against viewing Gaddafi's ouster as a panacea, highlighting the dynamic and undetermined variables that may radically alter Libya's future.
- "The Maturing Revolution in Military Affairs"
Adjunt Professor Barry Watts revisits the notion of a Revolution in Military Affairs in light of the technological developments of recent and coming years. Prof. Watts forecasts a variety of possible changes in warfighting, such as "the end of stealth" and a sharp decline in the utility of aircraft carriers.
- "The Five Habits of Highly Effective Terrorist Organizations"
Professor Daniel Byman details five organizational principles that successful terrorist organizations follow in pursuit of their aims.
- "Baffled by The Taliban Shuffle"
Professor Christine Fair reviews "The Taliban Shuffle" by Kim Barker, the former South Asia correspondent for The Chicago Tribune.
- "Human Intelligence in Counterinsurgency: Persistent Pathologies in the Collector-Consumer Relationship"
Current SSP student Michael Gallagher writes about the frequent failures of human intelligence collection with respect to effectively informing counterinsurgency operations.He argues that "counterinsurgency doctrine fails to recognize that the most critical element of HUMINT work is not the relationship between a source and his handler, but rather the relationship between a HUMINT collector and his supported operational consumer."
- "Libyan Limbo"
Professor Daniel Byman and co-author Matthew Waxman offer a number of reasons that explain the durability of Muammar al-Qaddafi and his regime despite the NATO-led campaign seeking his ouster. They point to the central argument of their book - that "political constraints often bind the United States and its coalition partners much more tightly than their adversaries, and in ways that offset advantages in raw military power" as directly applicable in this case.
- "Misnomers and Misdirection"
Professor Daniel Byman takes issue with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's statement that Hamas is the Palestinian version of al Qaeda. According to Prof. Byman, "the differences between Hamas and al Qaeda often outweigh the similarities. And ignoring these differences underestimates Hamas's power and influence - and risks missing opportunities to push Hamas into accepting a peace deal."
- "Try to see it my way"
Professor Christine Fair lays out the each side's opposing perspectives on the U.S.-Pakistan relationship and urges both parties to carefully consider each others' views and grievances. In her view, "both need to find a way of sustaining a relationship on the areas of convergence while managing and, over time, mitigating the gross areas of dangerous divergence."
- "Al Qaeda’s Terrible Spring"
Professor Daniel Byman explains why "Bin Laden’s death could not have come at a worse time for al Qaeda" and details how a confluence of events may conspire to doom the long-resilient organization.
- "Poverty and Support for Militant Politics: Evidence from Pakistan"
Professor Christine Fair and her co-authors investigate the relationship between income and affection or enmity toward militant groups among Pakistanis. The study finds that "longstanding arguments tying support for violent political organizations to individuals’ economic prospects - and the subsequent policy recommendations - may require substantial revision."
- "Al Qaeda's New Boss and His Challenges Ahead"
SSP student David de Sola reviews the challenges that Al Qaeda and its new leadership face in the wake of the death of Osama bin Laden. According to de Sola, "the worst thing that could happen to al Qaeda or any group like it is to become irrelevant, and that is precisely what al-Adel and al-Zawahiri have to deal with right now if they want the organization as it existed before bin Laden's death to survive."
- "Terrorism After the Revolutions"
Professor Daniel Byman assesses the ways in which the Arab Spring might impact jihadist groups, positively or negatively. He argues that "to prevent those groups from seizing the opportunities now open to them, Washington should keep the pressure on al Qaeda and work closely with any newly installed regimes."
- "Should the U.S. Cut Off Aid to Pakistan?"
Three SSP-affiliated experts on Pakistan offer their takes on whether the United States should adjust, suspend, or even terminate its extensive aid to Pakistan in light of increasingly strained relations between the two countries.
- "The Debacle That Didn't Happen"
Professor Daniel Byman and SSP student Phillip Padilla, a former member of U.S. Special Operations Command, provide a counterfactual scenario that highlights many of the potential stumbling blocks that could have derailed the raid on Osama bin Laden's Abbottabad compound.
- "The Leaderless Jihad’s Leader"
Director Bruce Hoffman offers a fresh assessment of the debate over the nature of al Qaeda - top-down or bottom-up - in light of the information cache taken from Osama bin Laden's compound. He finds that al Qaeda central has maintained a central, operational role and that "far from having become an operational anachronism, bin Laden remained a driving force behind al Qaeda’s undiminished terrorist ambitions."
- "Zawahiri's Big Challenge"
Professor Daniel Byman assesses the strengths and weaknesses that Ayman al-Zawahiri possesses as the presumptive leader of Al-Qaida. "He will find it hard to assume Bin Laden's mantle, and even if he does so, his hold on the leadership of al-Qaida may prove precarious," finds Prof. Byman.
- "Spies, Lies and Pakistan"
Professor Christine Fair takes on some of the "numerous fundamental problems" with the portrayal of the Osama bin Laden raid and its repercussions. She cautions that failing to address these problems could have significant consequences for the U.S.-Pakistan relationship.
- "The bin Laden aftermath: The U.S. shouldn't hold Pakistan's military against Pakistan's civilians"
Professor Christine Fair cautions against hasty punitive reactions to the discovery that Osama bin Laden had been hiding in an upscale city in Pakistan, a stone's throw from the national military academy. "While these urges are understandable, this would be a strategic blunder for several reasons," she argues.
- "Where Luck Comes In"
Director of Studies Paul Pillar offers his take on the question "Why Did It Take So Long to Find Bin Laden?" posed in NYT's "Room for Debate" feature.
- "What to Read on Bin Laden and Al Qaeda"
Professor Daniel Byman provides a primer on seminal and must-read works about Al Qaeda and its late founder.
- "Think Again: Al Qaeda"
Professor Daniel Byman takes aim at a number of common assumptions regarding Osama bin laden and Al Qaeda as part of Foreign Policy's "Think Again" series.
- "The Taliban Is Not the Enemy"
Professor Christine Fair forecasts the post-bin Laden war on terror in Afghanistan and Pakistan. She cautions that the Taliban-focused nature of U.S. engagement in the region could greatly limit any effect the killing on bin Laden has on the larger effort.
- "Al-Qaida After Osama"
Professor Daniel Byman assesses the future prospects of Al-Qaida following the death of its leader and founder. He stresses that while the organization's core has been materially degraded since 9/11 and will continue to remain under heavy pressure, Al-Qaida affiliates are an increasing danger and may feel emboldened in the wake of bin Laden's death.
- "Bin Laden's Death Shatters Conventional Wisdom"
Director Bruce Hoffman recounts the various ways in which the circumstances surrounding Osama bin Laden's death ran counter to prevailing assumptions about his status and activities. Prof. Hoffman also discusses important questions that remain open going forward.
- "OBL is Dead, Al Qaeda Isn't"
Professor Daniel Byman provides a rapid reaction to the killing of Osama bin Laden. Prof. Byman cautions against overestimating the effect this event will have on the broader war on terrorism, while also noting its substantial symbolic importance.
- "ISI Boxes CIA into a Corner"
Professor Christine Fair assesses the Raymond Davis affair as a "well-calibrated event" that was facilitated and subsequently exploited by the ISI in order to "wrench concessions from Washington but not bring the wrath of the United States upon Pakistan."
- "On a Collision Course"
Professor Christine Fair forecasts the future of the relationship between U.S. and Pakistani intelligence services, finding that "the United States and Pakistan have strategic interests that are increasingly on a collision course."
- "Libya's Rebels: Approach With Caution"
Professor Daniel Byman lays out the potential pros and cons for the West of directly aiding the Libyan opposition. He cautions that doing so, while attractive from the perspective of foregoing having to deploy Western troops on the ground, would also "(increase) the political burden the allies must bear."
- "Explaining the inexplicable: murder at Mazar"
Professor Christine Fair looks at the roots of the mob violence that took place in Mazar-i-Sharif and other parts of Afghanistan in early April. Although the proximate cause was a mock trial and burning of the Quran by Florida pastor Terry Jones, Prof. Fair finds other factors and actors - including Afghan President Hamid Karzai - to be of central importance.
- "Pakistan’s Security-Governance Challenge"
Professor Christine Fair analyzes the ways in which the Pakistani government's struggles with "security governance" have ensured that the military remains the country's dominant political actor. “The military will never stay in the barracks until other institutions have developed enough credibility to counter the army’s,” she finds.
- "The Long War Is Against Terrorism"
Prof. Daniel Byman weighs in on the NYT's "Room for Debate" forum with his response to the question "Is There an Obama Doctrine?" Dr. Byman emphasizes keeping terrorism, and al-Qaeda in particular, at the focal point of American strategic or doctrinal thinking.
- "What the no-fly zone in Iraq reveals about the challenges in Libya"
Professor Daniel Byman looks at the American experience of trying to effect regime change in Iraq throughout the 1990s and early 2000s as a guide to understanding and meeting the challenges of the ongoing situation in Libya.
- "What's Next for Yemen?"
Professor Daniel Byman assesses the political and social dynamic in Yemen in light of the growing likelihood that President Ali Abdullah Saleh will be forced to leave his position as the country's ruler.
- "The Changing Pakistan Army Officer Corps"
Assistant Professor Christine Fair and Shuja Nawaz of the Atlantic Council's South Asia Center offer an in-depth examination of the geographical recruitment base of the Pakistani Army. They find that the Pakistan Army has been successful at broadening its base, while some groups remain highly under-represented. Additionally, the officer corps is found to come increasingly from urban areas.
- "Don't Blame the Spies"
Director of Studies Paul Pillar calls for a more serious and dispassionate reception of intelligence analysis on the part of politicians and the public. He urges the body politic to "realize that the CIA is not the Department of Avoiding Surprises."
- "What government transparency could mean for Japan's nuclear disaster"
Director of Intelligence Studies Jennifer Sims discusses the importance of openness and transparency in the Japanese government's response to its nuclear disaster.
- "Cyberdeterrence between Nation-States: Plausible Strategy or a Pipe Dream?"
Jonathan Solomon (SSP'11) assesses the plausibility of states employing deterrence strategies in the cyber realm. He focuses his attention on identifying which strategies make the most sense for the U.S. to pursue.
- "Over Reliance on Foreign Assistance"
Director of Intelligence Studies Jennifer Sims contributes to an ongoing discussion on the site of The New York Times. She identifies some reasons for the perceived poor performance of U.S. intelligence agencies in forecasting the Arab Spring.
- "The End of Qaddafi?"
Professor Daniel Byman gauges the possibilities for the overthrow - or retrenchment - of the Libyan regime of Muammar Qaddafi.
- "Diplomatic duplicity"
Professor Christine Fair analyzes the Raymond Davis affair and identifies it as "iconic of the challenges of U.S.-Pakistani relations." In Prof. Fair's view, the evidence points to "an orchestrated media frenzy galvanized by an inflammatory ambiguity deliberately fostered by the Pakistani government."
- "Operation Opera: an Ambiguous Success"
Joshua Kirschenbaum (SSP’07) is a writer on foreign affairs based in Los Angeles. In this piece, Kirschenbaum assesses the counter-proliferation strategy behind – and implications of – the 1981 bombing of the Osirak facility in Iraq by the Israeli Air Force. Did the raid, in toto, raise or lower the risk of regional proliferation in the Middle East?
- "Why the Pakistan Army is Here to Stay: Prospects for Civilian Governance?"
Professor Christine Fair explores the prospects for civilian governance over Pakistan’s military in the policy-relevant future. She argues that while conventional wisdom places the onus disproportionately upon the military’s penchant for interventionism, the army has intervened only with the active assistance of civilian institutions, which are subsequently further eroded with every military takeover.
- "Egypt 2012: What If the Muslim Brotherhood Comes to Power?"
Professor Daniel Byman forecasts the possible repercussions of the Muslim Brotherhood coming to power in Egypt. Dr. Byman finds extreme scenarios to be unlikely, but holds that "even a middle ground could be troubling."
- "How Egypt Looks From Osama Bin Laden's Cave"
Professor Daniel Byman assesses the upheaval in Egypt through the prism of its implications for al-Qaeda and its core leadership.
- "The U.S.-Pakistan F-16 Fiasco"
Professor Christine Fair critiques the oft-cited but frequently incomplete and distorted renderings of the failed U.S. sale of F-16s to Pakistan. Prof. Fair places this breakdown, and the narratives around it, in a deeper historical context of bilateral relations, which are continually complicated by such distortions.
- "OK, So We Don't Like the Old System: But What Now?"
Professor Daniel Byman offers his reaction to Peter Bergen's "The Longest War." Prof. Byman poses a number of questions in response to the book, as well as offering praise for the overall work.
- "What Pakistan Did Right"
Professor Christine Fair assesses the Pakistani government's response to the massive flooding in 2010. She finds that in many ways, the state was able to mitigate the situation quite successfully, given the large number of challenges it faced.
- "Was it tragedy in Tucson? Or terror?"
Professor Daniel Byman looks at the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and others in Tucson through the context of debates over the definition of terrorism.
- "The Millitant Challenge in Pakistan"
Professor Christine Fair examines Pakistan’s use of asymmetric warfare as an instrument of foreign policy toward India since 1947 and in Afghanistan since the 1960s.
- ""Counterterrorism Plus" Is the Way Forward in Afghanistan"
Professor Christine Fair critiques the current U.S. counterinsurgency strategy in Afghanistan and argues instead for the "Counterterrorism Plus" policy advocated by Vice President Joe Biden, among others.
- "A Piece of the Global Puzzle"
Johan Bergenas, a December 2010 graduate of SSP, has published his thesis as a report under the aegis of the Henry L. Stimson Center, where he is a Research Associate. In this work, Bergenas identifies the importance of regional organizations in implementing UN Security Council Resolution 1540, looking particularly at the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and League of Arab States in the Middle East.
- "Al Qaeda's M&A Strategy"
Professor Daniel Byman assesses the strategy of "franchising" and relying on local affiliates that Al-Qaeda has turned to with greater frequency in the recent past. This strategy carries both risks and possible rewards, not just for like-minded terrorist organizations but also for those who seek to counter them, argues Prof. Byman. "There is no one-size-fits-all strategy," he finds.
- "Congo: No Stability in Kivu Despite Rapprochement with Rwanda"
Guillaume Lacaille (SSP'03), Central Africa Senior Analyst at the International Crisis Group, has helped produce this report, which criticizes the strategy that has emphasized a military solution to defeat militias and reclaim land and resources in the North and South Kivu provinces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
- "Averting Our Eyes: The Shameful International Response to Pakistanis' Suffering"
Professor Christine Fair analyzes and critiques Western narratives and responses toward Pakistan's relief efforts in the aftermath of the August 2010 floods.
- "India in Afghanistan, part II: Indo-U.S. relations in the lengthening AfPak shadow"
In the second part of her analysis of India's role in the ongoing conflict in Afghanistan, Professor Christine Fair explores Indian grievances toward U.S. policy in the region and lays out the strategic calculus facing India given current and expected conditions.
- "India in Afghanistan, part I: strategic interests, regional concerns"
Professor Christine Fair lays out India's regional and broader strategic interests with regard to Afghanistan and highlights Indian activities that have been pursued to further those interests.
- "Enemies among us: Domestic radicalization rises with exclusion"
Current SSP student Germain Difo, together with American Security Project executive director James Ludes, publishes a piece that connects radicalization among domestic Muslims to feelings of marginalization, otherness, and exclusion from the perceived American mainstream.
- "The real question about Pakistan's border closure"
Professor Christine Fair asks why attacks on the supply line to Afghanistan have not been more common. She hypothesizes that the "trucking mafia" and other interest groups who profit from the supply corridor have had a vested interest in maintaining its stability.
- "India in Afghanistan and Beyond: Opportunities and Constraints"
In this report, Professor Christine Fair outlines India’s current interests in Afghanistan, how it has sought to achieve its aims, and the consequences of its actions for India, Pakistan, and the international efforts to stabilize Pakistan and Afghanistan. She argues that India’s interests in Afghanistan are not only Pakistan-specific but also tied to India’s desire to be seen as an extra- regional power moving toward great power status.
- "Not at the forefront of flood relief"
Professor Christine Fair pushes back against the common but inaccurate narrative that Pakistani militant groups like Lashkar-e-Taiba have been at the forefront of humanitarian relief efforts in the country.
- "Iran Goes Nuclear: An Analysis of the Bushehr Nuclear Plant and Israeli-Palestinian Peace Talks"
Renanah Miles, presently enrolled in the Security Studies Program, analyzes the interplay between Iran's nuclear ambitions and the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.
- "The Saudi Option"
Security Studies Program student Tristan Abbey co-writes a piece that explores the possibility of a military strike on Iran undertaken by Arab states in order to derail the Iranian nuclear weapons program.
- "Assessing the Terrorist Threat"
CSS Director Bruce Hoffman has co-written a comprehensive assessment of the terrorist threat to the United States. Published under the auspices of the Bipartisan Policy Center, the report details key trends and draws on extensive research to provide a thorough review of the state of the "War on Terrorism."
- "Cyber Deterrence: Tougher in Theory than in Practice?"
Will Goodman (SSP'09) has published his SSP master's thesis on cyber deterrence. Mr. Goodman argues that cyber attacks are ultimately inseparable from the physical domain, and the principles behind physical deterrence therefore hold in the cyber realm as well.
- "The Nuclear Domino Myth"
Current SSP student Johan Bergenas critiques the common view that an Iranian nuclear capacity will precipitate a regional nuclear arms race. The historical record does not support such a "nuclear domino theory," argues Bergenas.
- "Yes, America Is Exporting Terrorism"
Director of Studies Paul Pillar highlights the findings of a CIA Red Cell assessment, recently disclosed by WikiLeaks, which describes the implications of American terrorists operating abroad. The existence of these individuals could lead to friction between the U.S. and other nations, Dr. Pillar warns, and a rethinking of America's approach to global counterterrorism may be required.
- "How to Handle Hamas: The Perils of Ignoring Gaza's Leadership"
The full version of Professor Daniel Byman's analysis of how to deal with Hamas in a way that mitigates its role as a spoiler in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.
- "The Way of War"
CSS Director Bruce Hoffman marks the passing of World War II bagpiper Bill Millin by discussing the evolution of war since Millin's era, particularly with respect to the differences between 'mass war' and conflicts in which one side is composed of a relatively small number of combatants.
- "Plodding Ahead Despite Knowing Better"
Director of Studies Paul Pillar analyzes errors in some commonly stated claims about the counterinsurgency effort in Afghanistan. Continuing operations in that country have as much to do with institutional inertia as with any cognitive calculations, Dr. Pillar argues.
- "Drones Over Pakistan – Menace or Best Viable Option?"
Professor Christine Fair analyzes the debate over the utility and morality of American use of drone attacks in Pakistan. She notes changes in Pakistani public opinions and calls for a more nuanced understanding of the issue.
- "Is Legitimacy for Real?"
Continuing his guest posting at Foreign Policy, Professor David Edelstein tackles realist perceptions of legitimacy as applied to the use of force. What are the sources of legitimacy, how is it perceived by different actors, and what role should it play in the realist's - and the statesman's - conceptual framework?
- "Why Realists Don't Go for Bombs and Bullets"
Writing on the Foreign Policy blog of Stephen Walt, Professor David Edelstein discusses the seemingly counterintuitive hesitancy among realists to advocate for the use of American military force abroad. Prof. Edelstein probes the reasons behind this outcome and asks a number of important questions that arise as a result.
- "American Jihad, Part II"
CSS Director Bruce Hoffman continues his analysis of the apparent surge in terrorist plots on American soil and poses a number of serious and salient questions about how this threat should be regarded.
- "Can Clapper Hunt?"
Dr. Jennifer Sims, CSS Director of Intelligence Studies, discusses the nomination of James Clapper to be Director of National Intelligence. Is Clapper's military background a help or a hindrance? What kind of background would make a candidate ideally suited for this position? Dr. Sims reviews examples from history to arrive at some answers to these and other, related questions.
- "Is Pakistan a failed state? No."
Professor Christine Fair disputes the frequent perception of Pakistan as a failed state, on par with the world's worst-governed territories. Prof. Fair points to signs of progress that are often missed by the metrics employed to gauge states' functionality.
- "Latter-Day Sultans"
CSS Director Daniel Byman describes how a clique of Western-educated 'fortunate sons' in the Middle East is set to take over the sclerotic dictatorships of their fathers. Dr. Byman warns against perceiving these transitions as true changes in the regimes, arguing that they are merely manifestations of the further entrenchment of current ruling elite.
- "Off and Running: The Middle East Nuclear Arms Race"
Adjunct professor Richard Russell evaluates the potential emergence of a regional nuclear arms race in the Middle East, spurred by Iran’s suspected pursuit of nuclear weapons.
- "Islam, Militancy and Politics in Pakistan: Insights from a National Sample"
Professor Christine Fair and her colleagues use data from an innovative nationally representative survey of Pakistanis to study beliefs about political Islam, Sharia, the legitimacy and efficacy of jihad, and attitudes towards specific militant organization - issues are the forefront of US policy towards Pakistan. The results shed new light on the politics of militancy and Islamic identity in Pakistan.
- "The Case for Calling Them Nitwits"
CSS Director Daniel Byman and Professor Christine Fair describe how the images of piety, discipline, and savvyness that terrorist and insurgent groups project are often starkly and comically at odds with reality. Acklowleding this fact could prove useful in the larger battle against these entities, they argue.
- "Drone Wars"
Professor Christine Fair argues that much of the criticism lobbed at the United States' use of drones in Pakistan is off target, given the available alternatives.
- "Examining the Protective Effects of Mindfulness Training on Working Memory Capacity and Affective Experience"
Professor Elizabeth Stanley and her colleagues investigate the impact of mindfulness training on working memory capacity and affective experience. The findings suggest that sufficient mindfulness training practice may protect against functional impairments associated with high-stress contexts.
- "Coming to America"
CSS Director Daniel Byman argues that there is a growing danger of attacks on U.S. soil by groups affiliated with, but not formally part of, al-Qaida. He also discusses the difficulty in classifying these "affiliate" organizations.
- "Jean-Claude Trichet, Call Your Office"
SSP student Trister Abbey and co-author Scott Palter argue against the conventional narrative that describes the EU bailout of Greece as a tug
of war between proto-federalists in Brussels and self-satisfied
Germans in Berlin. Instead, they propose that a third key player, the
European Central Bank in Frankfurt, has made its moves largely unnoticed.
- "Three Years Together: The New U.S.-Mexico Security Relationship"
SSP student Iñigo Guevara discusses the past "Three Years Together" during which U.S.-Mexican relations have been dominated by security concerns and what this development holds for the future of cooperation between the two countries.
- "American Jihad"
Professor Bruce Hoffman surveys U.S. anti-terrorism efforts at home and abroad and finds them disjointed and often ineffective.
- "Should Pakistan Get a Nuke Deal?"
Professor Christine Fair argues that the United States should be open to the possibility of a civilian nuclear agreement with Pakistan - provided Pakistan is willing to end its support of various militant groups in the region.
- "Lesson from Iraq: Engage the tribes"
John McCary (SSP'07) analyzes the viability of tribal engagement as a strategy in Afghanistan based on the results of its application in Iraq.
- "War Games: Civil-Military Relations, c. 2030"
Raphael Cohen (SSP'11), a former active-duty Army intelligence officer, forecasts where current trends in civil-military relations may lead. Differentiation and specialization among both servicemembers and civilians are likely to transform the tradition civil-military divide into something much more complex, Cohen believes.
- "The Semantics of Terrorism"
Professor Paul Pillar responds to Paddy Hillyard's essay "What is Terrorism," offering his take on the loaded meaning and uses of the term.
- "NATO Supply Routes Through the South Caucasus"
Tamerlan Vahabov (SSP'10) discusses the importance of NATO supply routes through the South Caucasus and Central Asia as a result of operations in Afghanistan.
- "Pakistan Needs Its Own Nuclear Deal"
Professor Christine Fair argues that a policy centered on a conditions-based civilian nuclear deal could finally offer the right set of carrots to ensure Islamabad's counterterror cooperation.
- "On-site Inspections under the 1996 Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT): Modalities"
Adjunct Professor Edward Ifft discusses the inspections aspect of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty implementation regime.
- "Students Islamic Movement of India and the Indian Mujahideen: An Assessment"
Assistant Professor Christine Fair assesses the organization, ideology, and membership of the Students Islamic Movement of India and the Indian Mujahideen, as well as India’s ability to contend with this domestic security threat.
- "Terrorism's New Avatars"
Adjunct professor Bruce Riedel discusses the place of Yemen in the larger global battle against al Qaeda.
- "Our Two-Faced Friends in Sanaa"
In light of the recent surge of attention being paid to Yemen as a key front in counterterrorism efforts, Daniel Byman warns that the regime in Sanaa fights al-Qaida and like-minded jihadists, but it also knowingly tolerates and aids them.
- "An Operational Framework for Resilience"
This article offers an operational framework that can prove useful to the Department of Homeland Security and stakeholders at all levels, both public and private, as a basis for incorporating resilience into our infrastructure and society in order to make the nation safer.
- "Al Qaeda’s Yemen Connection, America and the Global Islamic Jihad"
Adjunct professor Bruce Riedel authors an expert backgrounder on the Northwest Flight 253 bombing attempt, which underscores the growing ambition of al Qaeda's Yemen franchise.
- "Are We Winning? Measuring Progress in the Struggle Against al Qaeda and Associate Movements"
Adjunct Professor Bernard Finel and Christine Bartolf (SSP'09) author the 2009 edition of the American Security Project's annual report on the state of the "war on terror." According to the report, overall Islamist terrorist violence has risen 20-30 percent since last year – which is the highest point it has ever been at.
- "Are We Winning?"
SSP adjunct professor Bernard Finel and Holly Gell (SSP'08) co-author an American Security Project Report that measures progress – or lack of progress – in the struggle against violent jihadism.
- "The Al-Qaeda Fallacy"
Professor Paul Pillar critiques the prevailing discourse about terrorism, which posits al-Qaeda as the singular manifestation of the enemy.
- "Homeland Insecurity"
The U.S. is facing rising terror threats from its own citizens. What made the country safer after 9/11 is changing, and not for the better, argues CSS Director Daniel Byman.
- "The Nukes We Need"
Associate Professor Keir A. Lieber argues that the Obama administration is right that the United States can safely cut some of its nuclear arsenal, but it must retain the right capabilities. Otherwise, the United States' adversaries might conclude -- perhaps correctly -- that Washington's nuclear strategy rests largely on a bluff.
- "Speaking of Pakistan"
The U.S. and India must take steps to deepen their cooperation against South Asian terrorism.
- "Afghanistan Is Not Making Americans Safer"
Professor Paul Pillar on troop levels in Afghanistan and U.S. home grown terrorists.
- "The United States and Mexico: Mutual Problems, Joint Solutions"
SSP student Iñigo Guevara writes that upon assuming the presidency in December 2006, Felipe Calderon engaged in an all-out war against organized crime. His strategy is to use the military as the centerpiece of national security policy.
- "Mind Fitness: Improving Operational Effectiveness and Building Warrior Resilience"
- "Today’s complex, fluid, and unpredictable operational environment both demands more from the military in terms of mission requirements and exposes troops to more stressors and potential trauma than ever before."
- "The Equifinality of War Termination: Multiple Paths to Ending War"
- Our theory contributes an alternative domestic politics pathway to traditional bargaining models of war termination. In bargaining models, the rational updating process that produces an overlapping bargaining space can develop a significant lag that extends the war beyond a logical ending point. We posit that a change in the domestic governing coalition is often necessary to kick-start this updating process once it has become bogged down through preference, information, and entrapment obstacles. We demonstrate that domestic coalition shifts are a critical path to peace, using survival analysis techniques on Bennett and Stam’s (1996) war-level dataset of wars (1862-1990) and a new belligerent-level dataset of wars (1945-2006). These tests show that because war policies can become institutionalized over time, there is a very strong link between coalition shifts and war termination.
- "Ending the Korean War: The Role of Domestic Coalition Shifts in Overcoming Obstacles to Peace"
- Bargaining models of war suggest that war ends after two sides develop an overlapping bargaining space. Domestic mechanisms—domestic governing coalitions, a state’s elite foreign policy decisionmaking group, and their role in ending interstate war—are critical in explaining how, when, and why that bargaining space develops. Through preference, information, and entrapment obstacles, wars can become “stuck” and require a change in expectations to produce a war-terminating bargaining space. A major source of such change is a shift in belligerents’ governing coalitions. Events in the United States, China, and the Soviet Union during the Korean War illustrate the dynamics of these obstacles and the need for domestic coalition shifts in overcoming them before the conflict could be brought to an end.
- "Do Targeted Killings Work?"
Daniel Byman comments on the use of drone strikes against al Qaeda and the Taliban.
- "Is Iran Ripe for Revolution?"
Are the demonstrations today the beginning of a velvet revolution comparable to those that swept dictators from power in Eastern Europe, or will June 2009 be remembered like June 1989, when Chinese troops quashed pro-democracy demonstrators in Tiananmen Square?
- "The Bully Wins"
The impact of Iran’s presidential election may have as much to do with the dispute over the result as with who was officially declared the winner.
- "The Drone War"
"Daniel Byman, who runs the Security Studies program at Georgetown, has studied the effects that targeted assassinations have on terrorist groups."
- "Parthian Shot"
Paul Pillar reviews two books on Iran, including SSP alumnus Steve Ward's book Immortal: A Military History of Iran and Its Armed Forces.
- "Japanese Counterinsurgency in the Philippines: 1942-45"
SSP student Brian Hardesty's article on Japanese counterinsurgency is published in the Small Wars Journal.
- "Less is Not More in Aghanistan"
SSP student Seth Rosen's opinion piece is published in the World Politics Review.
- "Beyond Waterboarding: What Interrogators Will Be Allowed to Do"
Paul Pillar comments on the status of interrogation techniques under the Obama administration.
- "Talking with Insurgents: A Guide for the Perplexed"
Talking with insurgents is often a necessary first step toward defeating them or reaching an acceptable compromise. These talks must often be done even as insurgents shoot at U.S. soldiers, and they in turn, shoot at them. Daniel Byman offers a guide on engaging with insurgents.
- "Taliban vs. Predator: Are Targeted Killings Inside of Pakistan a Good Idea?"
Targeted killings of enemy leaders have high costs, high risks, and limited benefits -- but are still a sensible way to combat al Qaeda and the Taliban in Pakistan. Article Link
- "How to Discourage the Speaking of Truth to Power"
Professor Paul Pillar writes on the damage done by the saga of the aborted appointment of Charles "Chas" Freeman as chairman of the National Intelligence Council.
- "The Age of Woman"
Bruce Hoffman reviews the changing roles of women in national security and counterterrorism.
- "Restoring the Balance: A Middle East Strategy for the Next President"
Restoring the Balance: A Middle East Strategy for the Next President is the final product of an eighteen month Saban Center at Brookings-Council on Foreign Relations project, including the contribution of Bruce Reidel.
- "Security First: U.S. Priorities in Israeli-Palestinian Peacemaking"
Montgomery Meigs contributes to commentary and recommendations on the Dayton Mission
- "An Autopsy of the Iraq Debacle: Policy Failure or Bridge Too Far?"
This article examines whether the outbreak of an insurgency after the U.S. invasion of Iraq was an avoidable policy failure or whether the structural conditions surrounding the occupation made such an outbreak inevitable.
- "The Anbar Awakening: An Alliance of Incentives"
SSP graduate John McCary writes on "The Anbar Awakening: An Alliance of Incentives" in January 2009 issue of The Washington Quarterly.
- "The Tao of the Arab Center"
Professor Paul Pillar reviews possibilities for the new U.S. admnistrations' policies in the Middle East for the National Interest.
- "Are We Winning? Measuring Progress in the Struggle Against Violent Jihadism"
Adjunct Professor Bernard Finel and Holly Gell (SSP'08) co-author an American Security Project Report showing that the US is not winning the “War on Terror.”
- "Characteristics of troop Contributors to Peace Operations and Implications for Global Capacity"
Professor Donald Daniel and Leigh C. Caraher (SSP'05) collaborated on this article, which addresses two basic questions: Do most of the countries that have participated in peace operations in 2001-04 exhibit particular characteristics? If so, what are the implications for increasing the number of sustained and substantial contributors in the near term?
- "Al Qaida at 20: Is the Movement Destined To Fail?"
On Aug. 11, 1988, al-Qaida was founded. Yesterday, Daniel Byman examined Osama Bin Laden's impressive successes; today he explains why Bin Laden's movement may fail and fragment in the years to come on Slate.com.
- "Rogue Operators"
In "Rogue Operators," Daniel Byman takes a closer look at how government passivity to terrorism rather than active support poses the greatest danger.
- "Cell Phones in the Hindu Kush"
Photos taken by Bruce Hoffman and Seth Jones during their trip to Afghanistan. Click here to read their article in the National Interest, "Cellphones in the Hindu Kush."
- "Cell Phones in the Hindu Kush"
Photos taken by Bruce Hoffman and Seth Jones during their trip to Afghanistan. Click here to read their article in the National Interest, "Cellphones in the Hindu Kush."
- "When to Leave Iraq: Today, Tomorrow, or Yesterday?"
- Dr. Colin Kahl and Dr. William Odom analyze the implications of continued U.S. presence in Iraq as opposed to withdrawal from it.
- "No More. No Torture. No Exceptions."
SSP Faculty, Paul Pillar contributes to a series of articles on the use of torture.
- "The Changing Nature of State Sponsorship Terrorism"
CSS Director, Daniel Byman writes on "The Changing Nature of State Sponsorship Terrorism," Brookings Institution.
- "Iran, Terrorism, and Weapons of Mass Destruction"
This article reviews Iran's past and current use of terrorism and assesses why U.S. attempts to halt Iran's efforts have met with little success.
- "Intelligent Design? The Unending Saga of Intelligence Reform"
Paul R. Pillar reviews books on intelligence reform - two new books, Tim Weiner's Legacy of Ashes and Amy Zegart's Spying Blind, distort the historical record. A third, by Richard Betts, rightly observes that no matter how good the spies, failures are inevitable.
- "Veterans and Colleges Have a Lot to Offer Each Other"
Sens. James H. Webb Jr. and Chuck Hagel, in their eloquent call for a new GI Bill for today's veterans, convincingly argue that our troops deserve more educational support than our government provides. The senators, both Vietnam veterans themselves, point out that today's educational benefits cover only 13 percent of the cost of attending Columbia University and 11 percent for Harvard Law School, effectively excluding many deserving veterans from attending elite institutions.
As a citizen I can only agree. And as an educator who runs a large master's-level program dedicated to security studies, I believe that the benefits of such an effort would go well beyond the individual soldiers who would receive a better education. Civilians, future administrations, and society as a whole would benefit greatly if more retired and active-duty soldiers went to civilian educational institutions.
- "Informed Decisions: Process Before Policy"
Paul Pillar, SSP Core Faculty, writes the initial essay in a weekly series that the American Security Project recently launched on "Iraq: Lessons Learned".
- "U.S. Counter-terrorism Options: A Taxonomy"
CSS Director Daniel Byman authors "U.S. Counter-terrorism Options: A Taxonomy" in Survival, Autumn 2007, vol.49. no. 3
- "Opium Licensing in Afghanistan: Its Desirability and Feasibility"
The licensing of opium for medical purposes in Afghanistan, most prominently advocated by the Senlis Council,1 would reduce some of the negative effects of unmitigated illicit drug production. It would also eliminate several important negative side-effects of standard counternarcotics policies.
- "Measuring Progress in Iraq"
Nobody seems to know how to talk about and evaluate “progress” in Iraq, or the lack thereof. In the context of the confusion, progress should be evaluated along several dimensions: type, location, causal direction, and possibilities for aggregation and sustainability.
- "The Sorcerer’s Apprentice"
When the two most powerful Americans in Iraq, Gen. David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker, testify before Congress next week, expect a lot of debate over whether Iraq has met Congress’s benchmarks for success. But don’t be fooled. The most important improvements in Iraq have little to do with the U.S. troop surge and even less to do with the central government.
- "Al-Qaeda: Beginning of the End, or Grasping at Straws?"
Since early September, there has been a flurry of media reports and commentaries suggesting that the Saudi religious establishment has turned against Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda; that a split has occurred among the Taliban, Ayman al-Zawahiri and bin Laden; and that al-Zawahiri has pushed bin Laden aside, sidelined him, and seized control of al-Qaeda. Hopefully this troika of al-Qaeda disasters is deadly accurate, but each merits consumption with a large grain of salt.
- "Salute and Disobey?"
- Did the Bush administration disregard military expertise before the Iraq war? Should military leaders have done more to protest in response?
- "Intelligence, Policy and the War in Iraq"
During the run-up to the invasion of Iraq, writes the intelligence community's former senior analyst for the Middle East, the Bush administration disregarded the community's expertise, politicized the intelligence process, and selected unrepresentative raw intelligence to make its public case.