Starvation as Siege Tactics: Urban Warfare in Syria

by Nils Hagerdal

Famine is on the rise across conflict zones worldwide. Yet in Syria – unlike other contemporary wars – the phenomenon is concentrated in urban areas, and intensified significantly after 2015. To explain these outcomes I delve into the nature of urban warfare. Urban combat operations favor the defender, and many military organizations resort to siege warfare to conquer urban territory; starvation remains a powerful siege tactic.

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Karim Elkady for Oxford Research Encyclopedias: US-Egypt Relations

Since the 1830s, Egyptian regimes sought US government support to assist Egypt in gaining its independence and enable it to act freely in the region. Since 1974, the Egyptian–US strategic partnership emerged, especially after the Camp David Accords, to protect the region from the Soviet Union, the Islamic Republic of Iran, and Iraq under Saddam Hussein, and then to contain the rise of terrorism.

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CSS Research and Policy Seminar with Burak Kadercan

On May 13, 2020 Burak Kadercan, associate professor of strategy and policy at the Naval War College, presented several draft chapters from his new book, Shifting Grounds: The Social Origins of Territorial Conflict. His study builds on existing social constructivist research on territory and territoriality in international relations and political geography, and examines the interactive relationship between territory and war from conceptual, theoretical, and historical standpoints.

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Where US Sees Democracy Promotion, Russia Sees Regime Change

By Benjamin Denison

American efforts at democracy promotion and Russian allegations of American interference in Russian domestic politics are not new. As Russia continues to see regime change lurking behind democracy promotion efforts and other tools of American statecraft, I believe that the best way for the U.S. to move forward is to try to change the perception that it is uniquely interested in overthrowing the current regime in Moscow.

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The dangers of enflaming false revisionist history in the Balkans

By Sidita Kushi

The United States has been bullying its staunchest ally and calling it diplomacy. The Trump administration’s strong-arming of the small Balkan nation of Kosovo – inciting a US-backed governmental collapse amidst a pandemic – mirrors a broader trend of declining US diplomatic capacity and international legitimacy. Now analysts with no expertise in the region are coming out of the woodwork to defend the administration by rewriting history. But no amount of genocide denial and hyper-partisan delivery of half-truths can cover up the fatal policy flaws.

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Monica Toft will teach Fletcher Summer Live

Contemporary Challenges in International Security (July 6-29)

The causes of war and political violence dominate international relations. International trade and cooperation remain important, but for most scholars of international relations and, more importantly, most policy makers, international security issues often take pride of place. This course surveys scholarly and policy literature on international relations theory, with a focus on international security as it has evolved in the past, the present, and as it might do in the future.

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