Modern conflict cannot end with force alone. This truth has emerged as the debate over how to fight and end unconventional war rages at the center of foreign policy. American interventionism polarizes experts worldwide, creating ideological hostilities and strategic disagreements. Following the invasion of Iraq in 2003 and the swift defeat of its defending forces, the United States reaffirmed dominance on conventional warfare. Arrogance being a byproduct of dominance, the subsequent campaign would be rife with sectarian violence, corruption, and a failed nation-building campaign. This grand and costly social engineering experiment resulted not in a prosperous and viable state, but in a dysfunctional, violent, and deeply fractured Iraq.
Conflict in Afghanistan has developed along a similar orbit. Through direct involvement in arrests of corrupt officials, kidnapping recoveries, counter-terrorism, and ...view middle of the document...
From counter-insurgency to covert action, decades of intervention by the U.S. and Western allies has undoubtedly inspired pretext for the next generation of extremism and violence. While many have deconstructed the fallacies of intervention and nation-building strategies, constructive alternatives are less forthcoming. Through rigorous study and research at Georgetown’s Security Studies Program, I look to both expand my core understanding of security issues and further the conversation that may well define the future of policy.
While offensive operations comprise the façade of defense strategy, National Security reaches much further into society. From foreign debt and trade deficits to energy dependency and food security, almost every societal element participates in long-term stability. Applied security solutions, then, must derive from an amalgamation of fields- economics, sociology, politics, engineering and others. Can smallholder farming prevent civil unrest? How are village stability operations like venture capitalism? How do political incentives affect economic prosperity? The United States faces a world in which the instrument of military force alone cannot guarantee political goals, and that which constitutes victory is often obscure. Future success will be contingent on the proper weighting of political, economic, and social goals as we adapt thinking towards a holistic approach to security issues.
This ideology augurs both academic and professional objectives. I intend to use graduate school explicitly as a platform for a career in human intelligence. In Georgetown, I seek an educational atmosphere that offers rigorous academics, international relevance, and meticulous scrutiny of polemic topics. The Sub-state Violence and Terrorism concentration is a natural progression from my current role, as scholastic examination of micro and macro themes will undoubtedly benefit my ground-truth perspective. Closing the divergence between political purpose and security strategy will undoubtedly require many thinkers and doers; I intend to be among them.