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NSA Prof Tom Johnson’s New Article on Political Legitimacy and Why We Are Failing in Afghanistan
December 14, 2018

NSA Prof Tom Johnson has coauthored a new article with Dr. Larry Goodwin titled “Political Legitimacy: Why We Are Failing in Afghanistan,” published by Strategy Bridge. In the article, the authors review the history of Afghanistan from the 1970s on as background for the state’s problems with legitimacy. They also discuss U.S. strategic and governance efforts in Afghanistan. Finally, the authors conclude that the country “needs a serious anti-corruption campaign, effective service delivery, and national security institutions that see themselves as protectors of the people and not just an ethnolinguistic group or political faction” as well as breathing room and greater internal revenue.

To read the article, click here.



Stanford Publishes Book by Former NSA Student
December 1, 2018

After earning his master’s in the NSA Department in 2006, Ty Groh, U.S. Air Force, went on to complete his doctorate at Georgetown University in 2010. NSA Associate Prof. Anne Clunan served as the external member of his committee. Stanford University Press has just published his doctoral dissertation as a book, Proxy War: The Least Bad Option. While the United States has indirectly intervened in international conflicts on a relatively large scale for decades, little is known about the immediate usefulness or long-term effectiveness of contemporary proxy warfare. When neither direct military involvement or complete disengagement are not viable, Groh finds that proxy warfare is the least bad of the bad options available. He explains the hazards and rewards of this strategy and how to deploy it effectively through an examination of ten understudied and uncommon cases. Also, he presents a complete theoretical model of proxy warfare that can be applied to a wide range of situations. Proxy warfare is increasingly likely, and Groh provides the necessary insight to understand how and when to deploy it.

To read more about the book, click here.




NSA Professor Thomas Bruneau Talk on Future of Military Contractors
October 18, 2018

NSA Professor Thomas Bruneau has been featured in the Monterey Herald because of his talk on 19 October 2018 at the luncheon to the World Affairs Council of Monterey. The focus of Dr. Bruneau’s talk is contracting security support in Iraq and Afghanistan. In the interview with the Herald, Dr. Bruneau said, “As working for the U.S. Government, and especially the Defense Department, there are a whole series of constraints, trainings and general oversight on what we, even as civilians, let alone uniformed military can and cannot do” —constraints that do not necessarily apply to security contractors. However, according to Dr. Bruneau, downsizing in the military has left the Department of Defense (DoD) with little choice but to turn to contractors. And it has. In fiscal year 2017, DoD spent “obligated more money on federal contracts than all other government agencies combined,” a total of $320 billion (more than half its budget). Dr. Bruneau has previously published a book on the topic, Patriots for Profit (Stanford University Press, 2011).

To read the Herald article, click here.



NSA Professor Ostovar’s New Article: The Grand Strategy of Militant Clients: Iran’s Way of War
October 17, 2018

NSA Professor Afshon Ostovar has had a new article titled “The Grand Strategy of Militant Clients: Iran’s Way of War” in a recent edition of Security Studies. In the article (from the abstract), Dr. Ostovar argues that militant clients should be understood as a pillar of Iran’s grand strategy and an extension of its military power. He examines why Iran has relied on militant clients since the 1979 revolution and the benefits and costs of its client approach. In evaluating these, he identifies five main areas where Iran has gained from its client strategy: 1) maintaining independence from the West; 2) successfully exporting its religio-political worldview; 3) extending its military reach and power; 4) reducing political costs of its foreign activities; and 5) establishing needed regional allies. He further identifies the main dangers that Iran faces by continuing its strategic behavior: 1) increased pressure from the United States and a broader US military regional footprint; 2) more unified regional adversaries; 3) the risk of unintended escalation with the United States and regional adversarial states; and 4) enduring regional instability and insecurity, and 5) the exasperation of domestic political tensions and economic challenges.   

To read the article, click here


NSA Department Appoints a New Chair: Professor Clay Moltz
September 20, 2018

Professor Clay Moltz will assume the duties of the Chair of the Department of National Security Affairs effective 24 September 2018. From 2012–16, Prof. Moltz served as the NSA Department’s Associate Chair for Research, while also directing the Center on Contemporary Conflict (CCC) and the Project on Advanced Systems and Concepts for Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction (PASCC). He is the recipient of the 2015 Carl E. and Jesse W. Menneken Award for Significant Research and Sustained Contributions to the Navy and the Department of Defense as well as the 2010 Richard W. Hamming Award for Interdisciplinary Achievement. Prof. Moltz joined NPS in 2007, and he holds a Ph.D. in political science from the University of California at Berkeley and an M.A. and B.A. from Stanford University. 


NSA Dr. Naazneen Barma Recipient of 2018 Richard W. Hamming Teaching Award
August 28, 2018

NSA Dr. Naazneen Barma has received the NPS Academic Year 2018 Richard W. Hamming Teaching Award in recognition of her exceptional teaching. Professor Barma excelled in all three criteria for the Hamming award: outstanding teaching, excellence in thesis supervision, and strength of contribution to NPS students beyond the classroom. She has worked with nearly 50 completed theses (as either advisor, co-advisor, or second reader), including some theses that have won awards. Additionally, Dr. Barma has served as academic associate for three different curriculum and certificate programs for the department. She has also supported non-traditional programs such as the Center on Civil-Military Relations and the Pacific Fleet Regional Security Education Program. Dr. Barma also contributes lectures at conferences and workshops.

For example, in May 2018, Professor Naazneen Barma joined an impressive lineup of scholars and practitioners recently at a conference in Washington, DC to discuss the changing nature of warfare and possible new strategies for the U.S. and its allies. Hosted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), the conference was titled “The Future of Force.” The conference featured all-female panels as part of a new initiative by CSIS and the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies to connect female scholars and leading national security officials.

For more information on the conference, click here

To view the complete conference, click here.



New NPS Milestone: 100th Book Published by NSA Faculty
August 21, 2018

NSA Professor Robert E. Looney is editor of a new handbook published through Routledge, titled Handbook of International Trade Agreements: Country, Regional and Global Approaches. The handbook explores international and regional preferential trade agreements through which countries with similar interests can benefit from economic liberalization and expanded trade. It also explores the strengths and weaknesses of these agreements as well as how agreement members can sustain growth and prosperity given the perpetual challenges of the global economic environment.

Also, NSA Professor Anne Clunan contributes a chapter titled “Neoliberal Globalization and its Opponents." 

This is the 100th book published by the current NSA faculty members! To see the complete list, click here



India’s Wars: New Chapter and Article by Professor S. Paul Kapur
August 8, 2018

NSA Professor S. Paul Kapur, a leading specialist on India-Pakistan relations, recently published a book chapter titled “India’s Wars” in The Oxford Handbook of India’s National Security. This handbook is the first comprehensive analysis of India’s national security challenges. It focuses on India’s external as well as internal security challenges and traditional as well as non-traditional challenges to India’s national security. The handbook also focuses on the major theoretical approaches to India’s national security and on the relationship between national security and state-making. In his chapter, Professor Kapur discusses the claim that “Indian national security policy has been characterized by passivity, emphasizing caution over risk taking, and often achieving indecisive outcomes” and argues this is not the whole story as India has been reactive, proactive, or chosen not to respond to provocations. Inconclusive outcomes resulted not necessarily from caution but political goals seeking to maintain status quo in the region.

Professor Kapur also has a new article in East Asia Forum titled, “Asia’s Nuclear Nemeses.” In the article, he discusses how China and Pakistan view India’s nuclear developments, including the most recent test of its Agni V intermediate-range ballistic missile, in the context of strategic competition. Moreover, in discussion about the South Asian nuclear developments, he argues, “the greatest regional danger stems from Pakistan’s emergent battlefield nuclear capability.”

For more on the handbook, click here

To read "Asia's Nuclear Nemeses," click here



Environmental and Urban Security Risks, New Chapter on Climate Change Impact by NSA Professor James Russell
July 24, 2018

NSA Professor James Russell has just contributed a chapter titled “Environmental and Urban Security Risks: The Looming Symbiotic Crises of the Mediterranean Rim Cities” to Eckart Woertz’s new monograph, “Wise Cities” in the Mediterranean? Challenges of Urban Sustainability, which Barcelona Centre for International Affairs released recently. Overall, the work looks at common urban challenges, such as “environmental degradation, gentrification and growing inequality, climate change, provision of services, mass urbanisation, migration, and the fourth industrial revolution” that Mediterranean cities face. Professor Russell’s chapter focuses specifically on the impacts of the pressures of systemic environmental changes and persistent political instability, which create challenges in urban environments bordering the Mediterranean. He argues, “combined pressures could manifest themselves as unrest against city and state governance around the rim of the Mediterranean as these cities cope with the strains of population movements that will only gather momentum as the environmental pressures of higher temperatures, sea level rise and fresh water scarcity collide with inadequate urban infrastructures.” He also cautions that these impacts are likely to fall mainly on the city governments, with little support or relief from their states. 

Click here to read the chapter. 



SIGS Dean Wirtz and NSA Professor Dahl Publish on ISIS and Intelligence
July 2, 2018

SIGS Dean James Wirtz and NSA Professor Erik Dahl each contributed a chapter to a new book published by Brookings Institution Press titled The Future of ISIS: Regional and International Implications. The book is the first major study to consider the future prospects for the Islamic State, and to examine what the global community can do to counter it.


Dean Wirtz and Professor Dahl both address the challenges that the rise of ISIS has posed for the American Intelligence Community. Although some intelligence officials have warned of the threat ISIS poses, senior leaders have acknowledged that they underestimated the speed of ISIS’s rise. Dean Wirtz argues that ISIS represented a qualitatively different kind of threat than the United States has faced before, which has made it especially difficult for intelligence agencies to provide “actionable” intelligence. And Professor Dahl suggests that the failure to properly understand ISIS illustrates the growing challenges faced by American intelligence as it grapples with threats from nonstate actors and from intangible events such as the rise of social movements and increasing regional instability.

For more information on the book, click here




New Publications on Ideological Vulnerabilities of Islamist Extremism by NSA Professor Hafez
June 19, 2018

Professor Mohammed Hafez, NSA Department Chair, has published two new articles illuminating the ideological vulnerabilities of Islamist extremism. In “Apologia for Suicide,” he explains how jihadists violate Islamic jurisprudence through their tendentious rationalization of suicide attacks. This article is part of a 2018 Oxford University Press book, Martyrdom, Self-Sacrifice, and Self-Immolation, comparing suicide across multiple religious traditions. In his recent article, “Fratricidal Jihadists,” Professor Hafez explains how extremists are prone to recurring strategic errors that alienate their supporters and drive a wedge with potential allies. It appears in this summer 2018 issue of Middle East Policy.

In addition to the recent publications, on 31 May, Professor Hafez appeared on stage with Rukmini Callimachi, New York Times investigative journalist, to discuss Inside ISIS and the making of the Caliphate. The event was hosted by the San Francisco Commonwealth Club.

Professor Hafez will be turning over responsibilities as NSA Chair in September 2018 and will begin a sabbatical at the Institute of International Studies at the University of California, Berkeley.

To read “Apologia for Suicide,” click here.

To read “Fratricidal Jihadists,” click here

To watch the panel discussion, click here. After an intro by the host, the panel discuss starts about 8 minutes in, and Professor Hafez appears after that. 



NSA Department to Have New Chair: Professor Clay Moltz
June 19, 2018

Professor Clay Moltz will assume the duties of as the new Chair of the Department of National Security Affairs effective 1 October 2018 and continue to 30 June 2021. He was strongly recommended by the search committee in his department after the current chair, Professor Mohammed Hafez, announced that he will be stepping down after five years of service to take sabbatical next year. In his announcement on the subject, NPS Provost Steve Lerman said, “I thank Mohammed for his great work, and I am confident that the department’s tradition of excellent leadership will continue under Clay.” Thank you Professor Hafez and congratulations to Professor Moltz! 


New Articles on Programing Challenges and Command and Control by NSA Professor Young
June 1, 2018

In early 2018, Defense & Security Analysis published an article by NSA Professor Thomas-Durell Young titled “Programming Challenges and Impediments to reform: Identifying Pragmatic Solutions.” Using two of his recently published essays, Professor Young assesses the dismal record of performance of Planning, Programming, and Budgeting System in enabling communist legacy defense institutions in both Central and Eastern Europe to develop viable defense plans, and he argues the need for deep reforms in the region’s defense institutions. To guide this reform effort, he suggests pragmatic solutions to improve these organizations’ ability to produce viable defense plans.

Also in early 2018, the journal Comparative Strategy published an article by Professor Young, titled “Can NATO's ‘New’ Allies and Key Partners Exercise National-level Command in Crisis and War?” In the article, Professor Young posits that most post-communist members of NATO and key partners continue using communist concepts of command, such as hyper-centralizing decision making, collective decision making, and unclear chains of command and alignment of authority with responsibility, at the national level of governance. He also argues that these weaknesses could have the unexpected consequence of compromising “new” allies’ national sovereignty in crisis and war.

To read the article in Defense & Security Analysis, click here

To read the article in Comparative Strategy, click here



Two New Articles by NSA Professor Rachel Sigman
May 7, 2018

Recently, NSA Professor Rachel Sigman has had two new articles published. The Political Science Research and Methods has published “Democracy for All: Conceptualizing and Measuring Egalitarian Democracy” (co-authored with Staffan Lindberg of the University of Gothenburg) and The Washington Post blog Monkey Cage has published “Will ‘Ghana First’ Protests Threaten a U.S. Military Agreement?” According to the abstract of the “Democracy for All,” the authors explore the concept of egalitarian democracy as a regime providing de facto protection of rights and freedoms equally across the population, distributing resources in a way that enables meaningful political participation for all citizens and fosters an environment in which all individuals and social groups can influence political and governing processes.

In the “Ghana First” article, Professor Sigman discusses the Ghanaian protests over the United States and Ghana updating their 1998 Status of Forces Agreement, which protestors fear could compromise Ghana’s sovereignty. To understand the protests, she examines Ghana’s internal politics and the question as to whether the protests could spread to other countries.

To read “Democracy for All,” click here

To read the Money Cage article, click here



NPS is #1 in Homeland Security Education
April 12, 2018

US News recently ranked the Naval Postgraduate School at number one in the area of homeland/national security and emergency management, even topping schools such as Harvard. This is because of the programs of Center for Homeland Defense and Security (CHDS), housed under the School of International Graduate Studies, Department of National Security Affairs. Established post 9/11 with funding from U.S. Department of Homeland Security as a means to educate senior level homeland security officials across the different levels of government, the crown jewel of CHDS programs remains its 18-month hybrid master’s degree program. In response to the news, SECNAV tweeted, “I am proud to announce that @NPS_Monterey has been ranked as the #1 graduate school for Homeland/National Security & Emergency Management by #usnews, above Harvard & Columbia, & continues to be a center of excellence for the DoD and USCG."-#SECNAV76.”



Water Thieves or Political Catalysts? Joint Article by Former NSA Student and Professor Baylouny
March 14, 2018

NSA Professor Anne Marie Baylouny and former NSA student LT Steve Klingseis have written a joint article titled, “Water Thieves or Political Catalysts? Syrian Refugees in Jordan and Lebanon,” which has just been published in the spring 2018 edition of the Middle East Policy. In the article, they discuss the water crisis in Lebanon and Jordan, which has been exacerbated by the influx of a huge number of Syrian refugees. The authors caution about the consequences of inaction regarding the water crisis, noting “water is not a luxury, and its lack holds long-term implications for health, sanitation, development and social movements.”  

LT Klingseis has graduated from Naval Postgraduate School and will soon be attending Department Head School at the Surface Warfare Officers School in Newport, RI. Previously, he taught navigation, seamanship, and ship handling.

Click here to read the article.  



Professor Anne Clunan Has New Article on Russia and the Liberal World Order
March 12, 2018

The journal Ethics and International Affairs has just published a new article by NSA Professor Anne Clunan, titled “Russia and the Liberal World Order.” In the article, Professor Clunan discusses three forms of liberalism and Russian views on the “liberal world order.” She concludes that while Russian leaders are obviously not satisfied with the United States and the European Union, they are not inherently opposed to a liberal world order. 

Click here to read the article.



“Archives and Inference:” NSA Professor Darnton’s Article Explores US Entry in WWII
February 1, 2018

The journal International Security has published a new article by NSA Professor Christopher Darnton, titled “Archives and Inference: Documentary Evidence in Case Study Research and the Debate over U.S. Entry into World War II.” In the article, Professor Darnton critiques the use and misuse of primary sources in international relations research, including arguments over whether public opinion constrains presidents with respect to the use of force. In the article, he offers several recommendations for how to execute more rigorous and persuasive case studies. He argues that instead of cherry-picking evidence to support an argument, scholars and students need to think strategically about the selection and deployment of primary sources. 

For more information, click here



New Article on Afghanistan's Electoral Representative Democracy by NSA Professor Tom Johnson
January 5, 2018

The journal Small Wars & Insurgencies recently published an article by NSA Professor Tom Johnson titled “The Illusion of Afghanistan's Electoral Representative Democracy: The Cases of Afghan Presidential and National Legislative Elections.” In the article, Professor Johnson examines structural problems including fraud, ethno-linguistic block voting, and the single non-transferable vote, all of which have impacted the development of Afghan democratic elections. He argues that the challenge of the current Afghan government and future elections is to the Afghan people while not repeating the electoral mistakes of the past—a daunting task, especially given “the context of massive government corruption and a continuing, significant Taliban insurgency wrapped in the narrative of jihad.”

To read the article, click here




Graduating NSA Student, MAJ William Swenson, Is Medal of Honor Recipient
December 18, 2017

NSA student graduate, MAJ William D. Swenson (US Army), is a recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor, which is the highest and most prestigious military decoration awarded for exceptional valor. MAJ Swenson made it a point that he did not want this news out while he was attending NPS, so the department waited until his graduation ceremony to recognize him for earning such a distinction as a captain. Click here for more information.


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Latest News

NSA Prof Tom Johnson’s New Article on Political Legitimacy and Why We Are Failing in Afghanistan
NSA Prof Tom Johnson has coauthored a new article with Dr. Larry Goodwin titled “Political Legitimacy: Why We Are Failing in Afghanistan." Read More

Stanford Publishes Book by Former NSA Student
Stanford University Press has just published former NSA student Tyrone Groh's doctoral dissertation as a book, Proxy War: The Least Bad Option. Read More

NSA Professor Thomas Bruneau Talk on Future of Military Contractors
NSA Professor Thomas Bruneau has been featured in the Monterey Herald because of his talk on 19 October 2018 at the luncheon to the World Affairs Counsel of Monterey. Read More

NSA Professor Ostovar’s New Article: The Grand Strategy of Militant Clients: Iran’s Way of War
NSA Professor Afshon Ostovar has had a new article titled “The Grand Strategy of Militant Clients: Iran’s Way of War” in a recent edition of Security Studies. In the article (from the abstract), Dr. O... Read More

NSA Department Appoints a New Chair: Professor Clay Moltz
Professor Clay Moltz will assume the duties of the Chair of the Department of National Security Affairs effective 24 September 2018. From 2012–16, Prof. Moltz served as the NSA Department’s Associate ... Read More

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