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  • Book Review: Maxwell Taylor’s Cold War: From Berlin to Vietnam by Ingo Trauschweizer

    Book ReviewMaxwell Taylor’s Cold War: From Berlin to Vietnam by Ingo Trauschweizer. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 2019. 328 pp. ISBN: 978-0813177007.

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
  • The Next War to End All Wars

    As in pre–World War I (WWI) politics, the SCS is ripe for conflict, and de-spite all DIME efforts, the United States faces an impossible battle in securing peace because of fierce geographic, historical, and nationalistic roadblocks. Due to their resources and natural boundaries, the physical regions of the SCS (like those of pre-WWI Alsace-Lorraine before it) make control of its resources and security highly desirable to its neighbors. Historically, both areas possess parallel trajectories, beginning with golden ages, humiliating declines, and preconflict struggles. Finally, each period’s nationalistic culture fervently escalates tensions regardless of US diplomacy and military presence. If the United States properly understands its casted role, it will transition from prevention to preparation for the upcoming multinational conflict.

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
  • Lassoing the Haboob: Countering Jama'at Nasr al-Islam wal Muslimin in Mali, Part II

    This piece provides two strategic recommendations, both of which are inspired by lessons learned from US and international actions in Afghanistan. I argue that by developing policy based on the successes and failures of international efforts in the Middle East and South Asia, the international community might be able to ensure that the situation in Mali does not follow a similar path.
  • A Peacekeeping Mission in Afghanistan: Pipedream or Path to Stability?

    This article analyzes how an international peacekeeping operation (PKO) can support an intra-Afghan peace settlement by mitigating information and commitment problems and fostering compliance during the settlement’s implementation phase. To frame the information and commitment problems currently hindering an intra-Afghan settlement, the author briefly reviews noncooperative bargaining theory, its application to civil conflicts, and how PKOs can lessen mutual uncertainty and foster stability. Anchoring this research on Afghanistan, the author analyzes the first peacekeeping mission in Afghanistan, the 1988–1990 United Nations Good Offices Mission in Afghanistan and Pakistan (UNGOMAP). UNGOMAP’s eventual failure to foster peace highlights Afghanistan’s complexities and the dangers of an insufficiently resourced PKO operating in a state without a viable, incentive-compatible settlement. The author applies these lessons to policy analysis, where he explores possible PKO options and their potential for incentivizing compliance with a future intra-Afghan deal. Though a viable PKO currently seems improbable given Afghanistan’s ongoing violence and the Taliban’s insistence on the complete withdrawal of foreign forces, future conditions may change, and the author highlights necessary prerequisites where a PKO may become possible. If designed properly, an Afghanistan PKO can fill a critical monitoring and verification capacity and bolster Afghanistan’s prospects for long-term stability.
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