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Research and Publications

The Center for Security Studies engages a large and experienced faculty who are security specialists. They publish regularly in leading scholarly and popular journals, as well as serve as advisers or analysts to leading security organizations and government agencies. Their research examines many contemporary security challenges, such as intelligence reform, comparative counterterrorism, military occupation, global intelligence networks, the intelligence-policy relationship, the role of regional organizations in international peace operations, nuclear programs, and the rise of paramilitary groups.

The prestigious Security Studies Program adjunct faculty builds on this foundation, providing a wide range of first-hand experience to the SSP students. The distinguished adjunct professors’ contribution enables the SSP to stay at the forefront of today’s security issues.

  • 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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