Browsing Master's Program in International Affairs (MPIA) Capstones by Title
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Now showing items 24-30 of 30
Princeton University Press ( 2007)[more][less]
Description: Students researched the diary of George Bush, 41st President of the United States, written during the time that he served as the Chief of the U.S. Liaison Office in Beijing (1974-1975). Searching through archives and preparing text and footnotes, the students contributed work for an upcoming publication from Princeton University Press, expected in 2008. Students also presented their work to interested parties within the Bush School and Library.
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Landrum, William W.; Llewellyn, Benjamin B.; Limesand, Craig M.; Miller, Dante J.; Morris, James P.; Nowell, Kathleen S.; Sherman, Charlotte L. ( 2010)[more][less]
Abstract: Eurasia is a major source of oil and natural gas, and events in the region have a great potential to destabilize global security patterns. Supplies of natural gas and oil from Eurasia are vital for the functioning of European economies, and also important to US efforts to reduce its reliance on Middle Eastern energy resources. Presently, pipelines in Eurasia stretch across thousands of miles throughout unstable political regions. Disruptions in gas and oil supplies negatively affect the economies and politics of the region. Future pipeline projects – such as the Nabucco pipeline – are highly controversial, and Russia’s efforts to control oil and gas supplies in the region have recently intensified. Russia has gained increased influence in its neighborhood by consolidating control of regional energy production and infrastructure. This project claims that Russia is using its energy monopoly to further its geostrategic aims: ensuring political influence in nearby countries, obtaining a rise in commodity prices, and returning to multi-polarity in which Russia maintains clear regional hegemony. On the other hand, the US has four key interests in Eurasia. These include averting tensions with Russia, stabilizing the flow of oil and natural gas to Western Europe, maintaining US regional access for counterterrorism operations, and promoting democratic regimes to reduce Russian influence. In this light, the report argues that the US must promote development of pipelines that bypass Russian control and advance alternative domestic sources. These actions will ease European dependence on Russian energy, shield Europe from disruptions in supply, and decrease Russia’s ability to exert influence through energy policy. Other options include promoting a common European Union energy policy to increase influence in energy markets, push for increased gas storage across Europe to provide temporary relief against gas disruptions, and explore increased US and European cooperation with Russia on energy market access.
Files in this item: 1Thornton_Fall2009.pdf (12.24Mb)
Napper, Ambassador Larry; Joint Readiness Training Center (JRTC) at Ft. Polk, Louisiana ( 2008)[more][less]
Description: Two separate but parallel capstones combined intensive classroom study and civilian support field exercises to US military counterinsurgency operations, focused on the model of interagency Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRT) deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan. Students visited JRTC in Louisiana March 2008 to play a PRT role during the training of a US Army Combat brigade en route to Iraq. Upon return from Louisiana, students prepared a written After Action Report and Lessons Learned that included recommendations for future PRT role players and trainers for the JRTC.
Files in this item: 1Napper_2008.pdf (1.421Mb)
Napper, Ambassador Larry; Nuclear Nonproliferation Office of the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) ( 2009)[more][less]
Description: This capstone project conducted a focused examination of the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) and identified options for U.S. policy makers by designing a simulated interdiction operation. The simulation involved a cargo aircraft carrying sensitive nuclear components bound for Iran that stops for refueling in a Central Asian country, thus creating the opportunity for cooperative action. Capstone students joined students from Texas A&M's Department of Nuclear Engineering to construct and execute a mini-move simulation. In addition to a literature review and interviews with PSI experts, the students conducted an initial play of the simulation for the client along with an after action report.
Files in this item: 2Napper_Spring2009.pdf (744.8Kb)(more files)
Napper, Ambassador Larry; Department of State ( 2007)[more][less]
Description: Students worked to develop an extensive database on contemporary Uzbekistan through library and online research and interviews with leading American and foreign experts on Uzbekistan and the region. In order to explore the challenges, opportunities, and policy options that will confront U.S. policy-makers, Bush School students constructed and executed a multi-move simulation. The simulation did not provide definitive answers, as different players in the simulation and future U.S. policy-makers may reach different conclusions on the most effective and constructive policy options.
Files in this item: 1Napper_2007.ppt (254.4Kb)
U.S. Strategic Options towards Iran: Understanding the U.S.–Iranian Relations through Iranian Domestic PoliticsAbernathy, Jacob; Blanco, David; Kingsley, Marlee; Kramer, Michael; Lopacka, Karolina; Mauel, Heather; Peacock, Mike; Stotts, Katherine; Varela, Marques; Young, Krysten ( 2014)[more][less]
Abstract: The ongoing nuclear negotiations between the P5+1 and Iran have made greater progress on more substantial issues than any previous talks. This report argues that Iran’s unprecedented willingness to negotiate is strongly influenced by two factors: a united P5+1 and more importantly, a convergence of interests among Iran’s domestic factions. While there has long been knowledge of the challenges posed by Iran’s often-competing factions, no other study pinpoints them as a primary variable in the nuclear negotiations. Based on 50 interviews with high-level Iran experts and government officials and independent research, our study provides a unique framework for understanding the dynamics of Iranian domestic politics and its impact on the efficacy of U.S. policies. This study considers three scenarios the U.S. could encounter on July 20, 2014, when the current Joint Plan of Action (JPOA) expires: the P5+1 and Iran could sign a comprehensive deal; another interim deal could be reached; or negotiations could break down. The common thread throughout these recommendations is that the U.S. must find a way to capitalize on the factional convergence and avoid undermining it. The U.S. should always negotiate with Iran as a unitary actor, rather than favor certain factions; avoid measures that prompt one faction to undercut another faction; and understand that while not unique in having domestic competition, Iran’s political factions have a stronger effect on the success of negotiations than many have realized. If a comprehensive agreement is reached, we recommend pursuing limited engagement that seeks to broaden cooperation with Iran by working on issues that interest all Iranian factions, while also having deterrent threats in place should Iran renege. In the case of another interim deal, we recommend that the U.S. embrace balanced diplomacy, which increases the level of positive and negative inducements meant to persuade Iran to reach a comprehensive agreement. This recommendation, which mimics current U.S. policy, should focus solely on nuclear issues, unlike the first scenario. If nuclear negotiations break down, we recommend coercive diplomacy that involves gradual pressure, ranging from increased sanctions to authorizing the use of force. The challenge here is credibly threatening Iran without alienating the other P5+1 members or pushing Iran’s factions to unite against the United States. In all future negotiations, the U.S. should capitalize on Iranian domestic convergences and engage Iran as a whole.
Files in this item: 123 April Capstone Paper FINAL.pdf (309.5Kb)
Coffman, Amy Beth; Crump, James Andrew; Dickson, Robbi K.; Mueller, Meaghan; Pulis, Sarah L. ( 2010)[more][less]
Abstract: Only Ukraine's civilian and military leadership can determine the best course of action Ukraine should undertake to secure the Black Sea region (BSR). By analyzing Ukraine's precarious security environment and assessing the current security situation in the Black Sea, this paper first sought to identify a prototype for Ukraine's role in the BSR. However, the result of this search was a clear realization of Ukraine's unique situation. Ukraine is a nation with divisionary demographics, external pressures on internal politics, and mixed ideas about economic opportunities and priorities in a neighborhood of states with competing influences and capabilities.
Files in this item: 1Thornton_Fall2010.pdf (2.035Mb)