The US blueprint for operations in Syria included a “by, with, and through” approach to working with local proxies to fight ISIS insurgents. The approach also formed the framework for the United States–Syrian Democratic Forces partnership. However, the US–SDF relationship was never stable and ultimately broke down. In this paper Dylan Maguire examines the inherent challenges in the US–SDF relationship, as well as potential improvements that could be made to the US proxy selection framework to ensure more effective and sustainable proxy relationships in the future.
"A Perfect Proxy?" is the latest contribution to the Proxy War Project, which aims to develop new insights for resolving the wars that best the Arab world. PWP is jointly directed by Ariel Ahram (Virginia Tech) and Ranj Alaaldin (Brookings Doha Center) and funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York.Book Details
The 1960s was a time of reform and revolution in America, brought on by individuals willing to challenge political, social, and cultural norms. Politics, Power, & Playboy explores the American mindset during this turbulent and transformative time in American history. Each chapter examines instances of Americans confronting power, whether it be public support for President John F. Kennedy, antiwar protests at Virginia universities, the sexual revolution, or the Black Power and Black is Beautiful movements. Altogether, these chapters will help readers appreciate the crucial events and movements of a decade that would deeply shape the course of American history.
This is a volume in the Virginia Tech Student Publications series. Books in this series are authored and edited by Virginia Tech undergraduate or graduate students and published in collaboration with Virginia Tech Publishing. Politics, Power, & Playboy grew out of the Spring 2019 undergraduate capstone history research seminar, “America in the 1960s,” at Virginia Tech.Book Details
The civil war in Yemen is less a single war than a mosaic of interlinked conflicts. Although the conflict is often framed as a proxy war between Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE, Yemeni actors tend to follow their own internal logic. This paper examines how international agendas intersect with Yemeni agendas and the impact this has on war and peace. It focuses on both Iranian-aligned groups, such as the Houthis, and the various groups that have entered into alliance with Saudi Arabia and the UAE, such as the Hadi government, various Salafi-inspired groups, and southern separatists.Book Details
This paper examines the impact of foreign interventions on Libya’s civil wars since the 2011 uprisings. Although Libya’s conflict is often described as a battle between the Government of National Accord in Tripoli and General Khalifa Haftar’s forces in the east, the war is actually an agglomeration of microconflicts. This paper reviews how disparate militias in Libya have engaged with foreign sponsors, including the US, France, Russia, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and others. Libyan actors have consistently used foreign assets to pursue their own agenda, making them unruly and unreliable proxies in the greater Middle East contest.Book Details
Iraq has seen an efflorescence of both terrorist groups, like Al-Qaeda in Iraq and the Islamic State, and progovernment militia forces, like the Popular Mobilization Forces and the Kurdish Peshmerga. The US and Iran compete for influence by providing training, financing, and direct military support to progovernment militia forces. Yet neither outside actor has been able to assert hegemony over these Iraqi forces. Iraqi actors may accept outside support, but they also fiercely guard their independence and autonomy.Book Details
In this volume of timely essays, Max O. Stephenson Jr. offers unique insight into the state of politics and policymaking in the United States. Covering the period 2010-2018, his essays chronicle a growing crisis in American governance with many of the nation’s professed values and principles increasingly under attack—including the rule of law, freedom of speech, freedom of the press and the ability of a share of its citizens otherwise eligible to vote to exercise their right to do so. But Stephenson does more than sound a warning cry. He urges all Americans to reclaim self-governance and democracy by embracing the central values and core purposes underpinning the United States. Max O. Stephenson Jr. is Professor of Public and International Affairs at Virginia Tech where he also directs the Virginia Tech Institute for Policy and Governance (VTIPG).Book Details