CSS Research and Policy Seminar with Bridget Coggins

Bridget Coggins, associate professor of political science at the University of California, Santa Barbara and visiting scholar at the Center for Strategic Studies, presented her second book, Anarchy Emergent: Political Collapse and Non-Traditional Threat in the Shadow of Hierarchy, at the CSS Research and Policy Seminar on October 28. The forthcoming book explores the idea of state failure, investigating whether failed states cause non-traditional threats, such as terrorism and piracy, or not.

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DIPLOMACY BY FORCE. U.S. special forces are taking the place of ambassadors. That’s a problem. Monica Toft in Tufts Magazine

A STRONG LEGACY OF U.S. LEADERSHIP AND ENGAGEMENT IN GLOBAL POLITICS has been reduced today to what I call kinetic diplomacy—diplomacy by armed force.

As of March 2018, the Trump administration had appointed only 70 of 188 U.S. ambassadors. Meanwhile, it increased the deployment of special operations forces to 149 countries, up from 138 in 2016 during the Obama administration (the use of military force also expanded under Obama). By October, after a concerted effort by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, 127 ambassadors had been appointed. Still, ambassadors are operating in just two-thirds of the world’s capitals, while special operations forces are active in three-fourths of them.

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Monica Toft in Newsweek – U.S. WARS AROUND THE WORLD: MARCH HAS A BLOODY LEGACY OF CONFLICTS AND MILITARY ACTION

“It’s simply a mess,” Toft told Newsweek, also noting the ongoing war in Afghanistan—the longest in U.S. history. “We have no grand strategy for what the U.S. interests are and how to secure those interests. The U.S. loves military force; you might say we are addicted to it. Contemporary history has shown that force can only get you so far, and perhaps even profoundly, in the modern era is far less likely to achieve what you set out to achieve.”

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