In the News

LESSONS ENCOUNTERED: Learning from the Long War 
Lessons Encountered: Learning from the Long War began as two questions from General Martin E. Dempsey, 18th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff: What were the costs and benefits of the campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan, and what were the strategic lessons of these campaigns? The Institute for National Strategic Studies at the National Defense University was tasked to answer these questions. The editors composed a volume that assesses the war and analyzes the costs, using the Institute’s considerable in-house talent and the dedication of the NDU Press team. The audience for this volume is senior officers, their staffs, and the students in joint professional military education courses—the future leaders of the Armed Forces. Other national security professionals should find it of great value as well.

Don't Repeat Mistakes Against Boko Haram in Cameroon  
October 2, 2015  - By Hilary Matfess in America Al Jazeera
Boko Haram’s spate of attacks in Cameroon and the government’s heavy-handed response highlight the need for a regional governance strategy to respond to the crisis, not merely a military one.

Tanzania's Election Run-Up Suggests Backsliding Away From Democracy

September 30, 2015 - By Hilary Matfess in IPI Global Observatory
The lack of attention being paid to Tanzania’s upcoming elections reflects a general tepid enthusiasm for what portends to be the country’s closest election in its history. But in the details of the run-up to the election, one can see signs of the country’s vulnerabilities: smoldering anti-democratic tendencies, and a political system shaken by rumors. The seeming respect for term limits in Tanzania belies a corrupt system of hand-chosen successors and insider-party politics. Does this mean that the country’s stability is threatened, as its citizens prepare to cast their votes in October?

PRISM The Reviews
CCO’s most recent PRISM issue is online now! This issue is a compilation of previously published book reviews, and is intended to serve as a resource and baseline for scholars and educators in the field of complex operations. The titles cover a wide range of issues, including reconstruction, stabilization, irregular warfare, domestic politics, and statebuilding. The collection of 36 book reviews includes Fred Kaplan’s well-read The Insurgents, Henry Crumpton’s The Art of Intelligence, the recently published thriller Ghost Fleet by P.W. Singer and August Cole, and Dr. Collins’  Understanding the War in Afghanistan. Become part of the debate--see what readers have to say about these noteworthy publications! 

2015 Civil Affairs Symposium:  Civil Affairs: A Force for Engagement and Conflict Prevention
19 - 22 November   Joint Base San Antonio/Fort Sam Houston Mission Training Complex

Foreign Policy Research Institute The Best of FPRI's Essays on National Security 2005-2015
New E Book from FPRI has been issued which captures the best short essays over the last decade published by the Institute, which has been ranked as the best small think tank in the country the past two years.  

Should you worry about China’s investments in Africa?
September 9, 2015 - by Hilary Matfess in Washington Post's Monkey Cage 
Recently, news broke that China sold more than $20 million worth of arms and ammunition to the government’s South Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) last year. The news came just as the two sides in South Sudan’s civil war, led by South Sudan’s president Salva Kiir and rebel leader (and former vice president) Riek Machar signed a peace deal. Some of the news coverage portrayed China as a threat to peace across the continent, in keeping with past news coverage suggesting that China is surpassing the U.S. in influencing African policy. Further, a U.N. panel expressed concern that its South Sudanese investments are dragging out the conflict there.

Rwanda and Ethiopia: Developmental Authoritarianism and the New Politics of African Strongmen
September 1, 2015 -  by Hilary Matfess in Africa Studies Review
Current classification systems create typologies of authoritarian regimes that may overlook the importance of national policies. Rwanda and Ethiopia in particular are perplexing case studies of post-1990s governance. Both nations are characterized by high growth economies with significant state involvement and the formal institutions of democracy, but deeply troubling patterns of domestic governance. This article proposes a new category of authoritarianism called “developmental authoritarianism,” which refers to nominally democratic governments that provide significant public works and services while exerting control over nearly every facet of society. The article then reflects upon the durability and implications of this form of governance.


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