Academic journal article Parameters

From the Editor

Academic journal article Parameters

From the Editor

Article excerpt

Steven Metz's Special Commentary, "Has the United States Lost the Ability to Fight a Major War?" opens our Summer issue. Metz asks whether the pendulum has recently swung too far in the direction of counterinsurgencies and stability operations; if so, what steps should the US defense community take to bring it back toward center? He also suggests the ability to wage a major war has an important deterrence value.

Our first forum, The US Military in Africa, features two articles with contrary perspectives regarding how effective US security assistance in ceratin areas can be. The first perspective is represented by Kristen Harkness in "Security Assistance in Africa: The Case for More." Harkness suggests US security assistance can encourage reform, if properly targeted and supported. Kersti Larsdotter offers a contrary argument in "Security Assistance in Africa: The Case for Less." She maintains US security assistance to African states has more often than not fallen into the wrong hands, particularly in the Great Lakes region, and thus has led to a recurring cycle of turmoil and violence. Her remedy is to treat the countries within that area collectively, and within the parameters of a comprehensive regional strategy.

The second forum, Threats Within and Without, considers how to address two different types of self-radicalized terrorists: those who inflict harm on their fellow citizens, and those who migrate to foreign lands to fight. In the first article, "Insider Threats and Organizational Root Causes: The 2009 Fort Hood Terrorist Attack," Amy Zegart endeavors to shed light on the organizational practices and procedures that permitted, or at least failed to prevent, Major Nidal Hasan's mass shooting on November 5, 2009. …

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