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Global Master of Arts Program II, Third Term, 2005-2006 - page 13 / 15

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Discussion Questions

  • 1.

    Seyom Brown argues that since the early 1990s, there has been an increasing disposition on the part of U.S. administrations (both Republican and Democrat) to threaten or to use military force. Are Brown's eight guidelines for the use of military force, drawn largely from the just war tradition in political philosophy, practical when the primary threats to the United States are likely to emerge from non-state actors or "failed" states?

  • 2.

    Thomas Mahnken and James FitzSimonds seek to explain why Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and the civilian leadership of the Defense Department have not had greater success in their efforts to fundamentally transform the armed services. According to Mahnken and FitzSimonds, "Broad support of the officer corps is a key element in force transformation." Thus far, however, the officer corps, though open to the idea of change in the abstract, does not appear to support changes that would create new services or devalue currently dominant weapons systems." Drawing upon what you learned in the "Leadership and Management" modules, what are some of the fundamental obstacles to military transformation? Has the "global war on terrorism," including military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, derailed or facilitated military transformation?

  • 3.

    Peter Singer examines the emergence and growing influence of privatized military firms (PMFs), defined as "profit-driven organizations that trade in the professional services intricately linked to warfare." How has the outsourcing of various combat and combat support functions altered the relationship between the sovereign state and warfare? Do you agree with Singer's conclusion that, "consideration of the impact of the broader military outsourcing market would make theories of deterrence, conventional arms races, and conflict formation more reflective of the real world"?

FINAL RESIDENCY 12 to 24 March 2006 Tufts University, Medford/Somerville campus

Session 1: "Nation Building" and Operations Other than War (Iraq and Afghanistan) Required Reading

James L. Dobbins, et al. America's Role in Nation-Building: From Germany to Iraq (Santa Monica: RAND, 2003), pp. 1-55 and pp. 129-222.

Daniel Byman, "Five Bad Options for Iraq," Survival, vol. 47, no. 1 (spring 2005), pp. 7-32.

Ivan Arreguín-Toft, "How the Weak Win Wars: A Theory of Asymmetric Conflict," International Security, vol. 26, no. 1 (summer 2001), pp. 98-128.

Recommended Reading

Kimberly Zisk Marten, Enforcing the Peace: Learning from the Imperial Past (New York: Columbia University Press, 2004).

David M. Edelstein, "Occupational Hazards: Why Military Occupations Succeed or Fail," International Security, vol. 29, no. 1 (summer 2004), pp. 49-91.

Conrad C. Crane and Andrew W. Terrill, Reconstructing Iraq: Insights, Challenges, and Missions for Military Forces in a Post-Conflict Scenario (Carlise, Penn.: Strategic Studies Institute, U.S. Army War College, 2003).

Eric Carlton, Occupation: The Politics and Practices of Military Conquerors (New York: Routledge, 1992).

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