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SSP graduate students' awards and fellowships 2011-12

Miranda Priebe and Nathan Black have received Smith Richardson Foundation World Politics and Statecraft Fellowships.

Mark Bell has won the CSIS Project on Nuclear Issues essay competition.

David Weinberg has received an award for excellence in diplomatic or military history from the George C. Marshall Foundation and Baruch Family Fund.

Joshua Itzkowitz Shifrinson has been awarded both the Woodrow Wilson Center Title VIII Eastern European Studies Reserach Grant and an O'Donnell Research Grant from the Scowcroft Institute and the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library.

Roger Peterson awarded an Arthur and Ruth Sloan Chair

Roger Petersen has been awarded an Arthur and Ruth Sloan Chair. His new title will be Arthur and Ruth Sloan Professor of Political Science.

SSP graduate students' awards and fellowships 2010-11

Peter Krause and Tara Maller have accepted 2010-11 predoctoral fellowships in the International Security Program at Harvard University's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs.

The Ithiel de Sola Poole Award, for outstanding first-year PhD student, has been awarded to Christopher Clary.

Barry Posen Elected to American Academy

Barry PosenBarry Posen, Ford International Professor of Political Science and Director of the MIT Security Studies Program was elected membership to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences on April 19, 2010. He's among two hundred and twenty-nine leaders in the sciences, social sciences, the humanities, the arts, business and public affairs to have been elected membership in 2010 to the prestigious honorary society. Posen joins other CIS scholars who also are Academy members, including: Suzanne Berger, Philip Khoury, Richard Samuels, and Eugene Skolnikoff.

Taylor Fravel selected for National Asia Program

Taylor FravelM. Taylor Fravel, the Cecil and Ida Green Career Development Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science was one of 39 scholars selected for the first class of research associates and fellows of the National Asia Research Program (NARP), a joint project of the National Bureau of Asian Research and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. The fellows and associates presented their work at the inaugural Asia Policy Assembly in Washington on June 17-18, 2010. Click here for MIT news article.

Congressional Testimony

On February 23, 2010, Cindy Williams testified before the Senate Budget Committee at a hearing, "Defense Budget and War Costs: An Independent Outlook." In her written statement, she points out that contrary to conventional wisdom, past increases in defense spending do not necessarily augur future growth. Dr. Williams was joined at the witness table by Paul K. Van Riper (LtGen, USMC, Ret.) and by Dr. Gordon Adams. Dr. Williams and Dr. Adams co-authored the book Buying National Security: How America Plans and Pays for Its Global Role and Safety at Home, published by Routledge (December 2009).

Carl Kaysen, 89, MIT Professor Emeritus

Carl KaysenCarl Kaysen, David W. Skinner Professor of Political Economy (Emeritus) and beloved member of the MIT Security Studies Program passed away on February 8, 2010. His contributions to intellectual life were immense, as was his influence on national policy. A national security expert, Kaysen had an illustrious career: he was professor of economics at Harvard University, deputy special assistant for National Security Affairs to President John F. Kennedy, director of the Institute of Advanced Study at Princeton, vice chairman and director of research for the Sloan commission on higher education, and director of MIT’s Program in Science, Technology, and Society. He also chaired the Committee on International Security Studies (CISS) of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Click here for press release.

Breakthroughs Manuscript now available

To mark the 65th anniversary of Operation Cobra, the breakout of U.S. and British forces from the Normandy Penninsula on July 25, 1944, we post a study that has languished for fifteen years in the files of the MIT Security Studies Program, Breakthroughs:  Armored Offensives in Western Europe, 1944. We hope that it will be of some interest to students of armored warfare, and offer it as a modest tribute to the allied soldiers who liberated Western Europe from the Nazi regime. 
--Barry R. Posen

Peter Krause's paper cited in Senate report

As the Obama Administration readies to implement troop increases in Afghanistan, policy makers are seeking to understand the military lessons of the past eight years. A Senate Committee on Foreign Relations report entitled "Tora Bora Revisited: How We Failed to Get Bin Laden and Why it Matters Today" was released on 30 November 2009, drawing in part on the research of Peter Krause, a Ph.D. candidate in Political Science with the Security Studies Program. Peter's article "The Last Good Chance: A Reassessment of U.S. Operations at Tora Bora" was published in Security Studies, vol. 18 no. 4 (October 2008), pp. 644-684. The Senate report noted that "Krause's well-documented article is the most thorough examination of the alternatives available to military commanders at Tora Bora."

Congressional Testimony

Cindy Williams was invited to testify on October 27, 2009 before the Subcommittee on Technology and Innovation of the Committee on Science and Technology of the U.S. House of Representatives. The subject of the hearing was "Research Priorities in the Science and Technology Directorate of the Department of Homeland Security." Click here for a written transcript of her testimony. See also an article in the November 6, 2009 issue of Science Magazine titled "Peer Review Not Popular at Homeland Security".

SSP Research Affiliate Launches Web Resource on Energy Security and the Strait of Hormuz

Over the past year or two, on a fairly regular basis, Iranian threats to disrupt oil flows out of the Persian Gulf have bumped up the price of oil. In fact, threatening to "close the Strait of Hormuz" is now a key part of Iran's foreign and military policy. It is their routine response to American attempts to stop their nuclear program, and every time Israeli politicians discuss Iran, Iranian leaders talk about their ability to cut off the world's oil. Iranian actions--including well publicized military exercises, weapons tests, and incidents in the Strait with the U.S. Navy--seem to back up their saber rattling, putting the world and especially the oil market on hair-trigger alert. Before we give the Iranians too much credibility (hence too much power to influence world events), we should ask, "Could Iran pull it off? How much could they succeed?" SSP Research Affiliate Eugene Gholz and a group of his graduate students at the University of Texas at Austin have created a web resource with information to help assess military threats to oil flows and their implications for the global oil market and for American national security policy. The site includes information on the strategic geography of the region, on how the oil market works, on how tankers and insurance firms have responded to military attacks in the past, on how the various weapons that might be used against tankers work and on how effective they might be in stopping a tanker's transit, along with other relevant topics.

SSP Director Barry Posen receives Noble Patron of Armor Award

On March 25, 2008, in a ceremony at Major General Robert Durbin's home at Fort Riley, Kansas, where he commands the First Infantry Division,  SSP Director Barry Posen was recognized as a "Noble Patron of Armor," a new award of the U.S. Armor Association. The Noble Patron of Armor Award is presented to recognize those individuals who have significantly contributed to the operational success, or the morale and welfare, of armor and cavalry organizations. MG General Durbin was an SSP Military Fellow, May 1995-May 1996.

SSP graduate students awarded fellowships 2009-10

Paul Staniland has been awarded a 2009-10 Dissertation Fellowship from the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation.

Keren Fraiman, Stephanie Kaplan, Peter Krause, and Caitlin Talmadge are among the 18 MIT doctoral students awarded this year's CIS summer study grants.

Paul Staniland has been awarded a 2009-10 predoctoral fellowship in the Program on Order, Conflict, and Violence at Yale University's MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies.

Sarah Zukerman has been awarded a 2009-2010 pre-doctoral fellowship at the Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC) at Stanford University's Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies.

Paul Staniland, Caitlin Talmadge, Sarah Zukerman, and Andrew Radin have all received Smith Richardson Foundation World Politics and Statecraft Fellowships.

Claire Bai has received a Graduate Student Life Grant, awarded by the Office of the Dean for Graduate Education.