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    Welcome to the Center for Security Studies, bringing together experts and scholars from every discipline who study international security issues.

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    Security Studies Program

    The Security Studies Program (SSP) is the nation’s preeminent professional Master of Arts program devoted to security studies.

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    "China's Roles in the World"

    On April 25, the U.S. Institute of Peace and the Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service invited students, practitioners, and academics to attend "China’s Roles in the World," a daylong conference exploring China’s growing role in the global economic, military and political realms and implications for regional security and U.S. policy.

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    Ethos and Profession of Intelligence

    The Central Intelligence Agency and Georgetown University are proudly hosting their first joint conference on national security and intelligence, titled "The Ethos and Profession of Intelligence," on June 11, 2014.

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    Georgetown Security Studies Review (GSSR), the official online academic review of Georgetown University’s Security Studies Program, was founded and is operated entirely by SSP students.

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    Rebalance to Asia

    CSS, CSIS, USSC, and the Asian Studies Program hosted a conference on the US rebalance to Asia titled "A One Year Assessment: Where have we been and where are we going?"

Georgetown University’s Center for Security Studies (CSS) in the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service offers an expansive curriculum, in-depth research, and critical dialogue on security issues.

CSS in Profile

  • Still Not Time to Attack Iran by Colin Kahl
    January 7, 2014
    Building on his earlier article “Not Time to Attack Iran” (2012), SSP associate professor Colin Kahl argues that new developments in US-Iranian diplomatic relations since 2012 reinforce his original conclusion: “force is, and should remain, a last resort, not a first choice.”
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  • Outside Support for Insurgent Movements
    September 20, 2013
    When assessing insurgencies, understanding the role of transnational factors is vital. This article explores how outside powers support an insurgency, focusing on four types of actors: states, diasporas, refugees, and other insurgencies. It also examines the pitfalls and limits of outside support and assesses why such support is so hard to stop. The article concludes by offering implications for the conflict in Syria and discussing several policy implications with a particular emphasis on why outside support is hard to stop.
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  • A Western Insurgency in Afghanistan
    June 21, 2013
    SSP Visiting Professor and Director of Teaching Dr. Robert Egnell has a new essay in the Joint Forces Quarterly from the National Defense University. Abstract: Misreading previous counterinsurgency lessons has contributed to a variety of problems for the coalition effort in Afghanistan by providing a flawed analysis of what needs to be done there and not adequately connecting tactical operations with coalition objectives that continually shift. A U-turn is suggested, with the coalition taking the initiative with an insurgency of its own that draws on public sentiments already in place with a significant number of Afghans. With the locals buying in, Western political and military advisors and materiel can aid in bringing changes the populace wants. Reversing the thrust will get the coalition out from under the weaknesses of counterinsurgency and offer a new perspective for future operations.
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  • Why Drones Work
    June 19, 2013
    Despite President Barack Obama’s recent call to reduce the United States’ reliance on drones, they will likely remain his administration’s weapon of choice. Whereas President George W. Bush oversaw fewer than 50 drone strikes during his tenure, Obama has signed off on over 400 of them in the last four years, making the program the centerpiece of U.S. counterterrorism strategy. The drones have done their job remarkably well: by killing key leaders and denying terrorists sanctuaries in Pakistan, Yemen, and, to a lesser degree, Somalia, drones have devastated al Qaeda and associated anti-American militant groups. And they have done so at little financial cost, at no risk to U.S. forces, and with fewer civilian casualties than many alternative methods would have caused.
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  • Discriminate Power: A Strategy for a Sustainable National Security Posture
    May 21, 2013
    Longtime and now-retired SSP adjunct professor Michael Mazarr (NSSP'89) has published the results of extensive research into "A Strategy for a Sustainable National Security Posture." Members of the Strategy Study Group that helped compose the report include current SSP adjuncts T.X. Hammes and Thomas Lynch, as well as former SSP Associate Director Bernard Finel.
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  • Is the War on Terrorism Over? Long Live Unconventional Warfare
    May 21, 2013
    Associate Director David Maxwell, in response to increasingly frequent arguments that the "war on terror" concept is played out or obsolete, suggests a different prism through which to analyze Al Qaeda: unconventional warfare, which the group is waging against the United States and its allies. "In so doing we can then commence on developing a counter-unconventional warfare strategy and with that strategy employ the right means and ways to achieve our ends which must be the defeat of specified threats that are waging unconventional war," argues Maxwell.
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  • If All Else Fails: The Challenges of Containing a Nuclear-Armed Iran
    May 13, 2013
    Professor Colin Kahl, together with current SSP student Raj Pattani and CNAS Research Associate Jacob Stokes, has published a report that details a comprehensive strategy for containing a nuclear-armed Iran. Such planning and preparation is needed, they say, "not because the United States wants to take this path, but because it may eventually become the only path left."
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  • Mr. Obama, Don’t Draw That Line
    May 4, 2013
    Professor Daniel Byman argues against setting red lines and ultimatums in a cautionary piece in The New York Times. "In practice, red lines often create perverse incentives and encourage the enemy to continue aggression even as it avoids a red line," warns Dr. Byman. He highlights the U.S. response - or lack of response - in the ongoing Syrian conflict as a prime example of the perils of declaring red lines.
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  • Civil-military coordination for operational effectiveness: Towards a measured approach
    April 30, 2013
    Director of Teaching Robert Egnell has published his recommendations for reducing the friction between military and civilian authorities overseeing complex operations. Writing in a special issue of the journal Small Wars & Insurgencies, Professor Egnell "seeks to answer more specific questions about when coordination is necessary for effectiveness, what its aims are, what actors need to be involved, and to what extent and at what level of command the actors need to be coordinated."
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Center for Security Studies3600 N Street, NWWashington, DC 20007CSS Phone: (202) 687.5679 Fax: (202) 687.5175securitystudies@georgetown.eduSSP Phone: (202) 687.5679 Fax: (202)

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