A Far-From-Exhaustive American Foreign Relations Reading List

It’s that time of year again… Football is coming back, the leaves will soon start changing color, and my anxiety level and hatred of undergrads starts to spike again school begins again. Entering my second year of grad school, I realize that my already not-so-prolific blogging will likely become even less frequent in the coming months. Not only do I have to finish my coursework and assistant teach this year, I also have make significant progress in every grad student’s favorite pastime: comps reading.

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I do plan on continuing to blog throughout the semester, but it . . .
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Arming the Syrian Rebels Is Not a Romantic Pursuit

Ben Hubbard of the Associated Press filed a fascinating yet sobering report last week after being embedded with Syrian opposition fighters for two weeks. The report provides great insight into the debate over arming the Syrian opposition. It paints a picture of groups that are disorganized and lacking in basic communication. As the fighting becomes bloodier and the chaos grows, it becomes more evident that a U.S. or NATO intervention would be subject to numerous unintended consequences. Specifically, arming the wrong opposition groups should be a main concern. But relying on the hope that the C.I.A. can acquire sufficient . . .
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Turning Down the Volume on the Iran Debate

Pundits, academics, and the mainstream media have turned the volume up to eleven on the “Bomb Iran” debate in the past two months. Much of the discussion has been healthy, indeed necessary when discussing matters of nuclear proliferation and war. But much of the reporting and opining has also been reckless fear-mongering (see Glenn Greenwald’s assessment). And most arguments for a preemptive strike are premised on the assertion that the Iranian regime will eventually pursue nuclear weapons, if it is not already.

So it is refreshing to see a few major outlets cutting through the noise and stepping back . . .
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Ghostbusters and Grand Strategy

The blogging here at Hegemonic Obsessions has been a little slow with the holiday festivities and whatnot, so I thought I'd get us back on track by piggybacking off a fun post from Dan Drezner's blog at Foreign Policy.  The other day on Twitter (yes, I was shamed into joining Twitter and go by the handle @MattFay1) Prof. Drezner asked his loyal followers to submit to him YouTube clips that best represented American grand strategy, and he would post them on his blog with his thoughts on what each meant about U.S. foreign policy.  In honor of my submission . . .
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Obama's Confused, Pragmatic Policy on Libya

The Washington Post published an editorial Saturday, April 16, “The Libya Stalemate,” lamenting President Obama’s hesitation to increase the U.S. role in Libya.  They also do not appreciate the President leaving our NATO allies, specifically Britain and France, high and dry when we have the military capabilities to do whatever it is they want us to help them do.

According to The Post, only the unique capabilities of the U.S. military can tip the balance in favor of the rebels or at least effectively protect civilians and enforce the UN resolution.  But The Post concludes Mr. Obama is stubborn . . .
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The Reading List: Cyberwar, American Exceptionalism and Libya, and Democratic Peace Theory

Keeping up with foreign policy news and international relations literature is a never-ending task. There is just too much good stuff being written. “The Reading List” is our semi-regular column featuring noteworthy articles and books we've read recently. Not everything on this list is new, but always worthy of your time.

Wow. It’s been over a month since last time. Apologies all around, though I guess the events in Egypt, Japan, and Libya are decent enough excuses for procrastination and distraction. We’ve also been keeping busy with other stuff, including write-ups and reviews of Robert D. Kaplan’s new book Monsoon . . .
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