Accolades A Collection of Student Scholarship

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Found 8 Accolades
  • 2017

Preemptive Self-Defense, Customary International Law, and the Congolese Wars

Author: Patrick Kelly
Abstract:

Perhaps no event—aside from the Rwandan Genocide itself—demonstrated both the failings and urgent need for effective international law than the First and Second Congolese Wars. However, these conflicts occurred not merely due to a state of lawlessness, but rather, state actors—notably Rwanda and Uganda—would claim their actions were completely in keeping with international rules governing military intervention. In contrast, the Democratic Republic of the Congo alleged violations of both international and humanitarian law occurred from such acts of armed intervention.

Initially considered invalid by the ICJ—which claimed the actions of both countries were not in keeping with the language of the UN Charter and, thus, in violation of international humanitarian and human rights obligations—the actions of Rwanda and Uganda were not entirely different from that described in the National Security Strategy of 2002. What seems to have undergone a change is the acceptance of preemptive self-defense—especially when combating non-state actors like al-Qaeda and the Taliban. Certainly, the post-9/11 security demands of the international community motivated this change. The ICJ has yet to review the matter of preemptive self-defense; however, the practice and policy of states—most notably the United States—has instead begun to incorporate a claim of preemptive self-defense into customary international law. Retrospective analysis would likely see the actions of Rwanda and Uganda, at least in part, validated. The effects of this development have yet to be fully experienced, though if nothing else, it demonstrates the dynamic nature of customary law.

  • 2017

Reducing the Negative Effects of Tribalism: Promoting Character Building and Cooperation in Today’s Combat Forces

Author: Luke Knapp
Abstract:

In the majority of conflicts that the United States and its Western allies are currently engaged, counter-insurgency operations are the preferred method of operation against irregular enemies such as the Afghani Taliban and the self-proclaimed Islamic State of Daesh. This style of warfare requires appealing to the local populace and working well with the partner nation’s forces, yet U.S. military operations often engender two dispositions among its troops that may inhibit such cooperative efforts. These two dispositions are predatory aggression caused by prolonged engagement in combat and tribalism growing out of small unit cohesion. While not inherently counterproductive, they can cloud the warfighter’s mind and cause him to make poor ethical decisions. A careful look at these dispositions leads one to deduce they are both natural among soldiers and may assist in accomplishing conventional, military versus military missions.  However, the inability of warfighters to realign to the new fight against an irregularly structured enemy and relinquish the biases created by predatory aggression and tribalism may cause mission failure. Measures to address these naturally developing dispositions among the combat troops should focus on character development and constructive bias mitigation.

  • 2017

The Influence of Theater Logistics on the Humanitarian Intervention in Somalia from 1992–1995

Author: Michael Gaulin
Abstract:

The election of President Franklin D. Roosevelt marked a significant change in America’s approach to naval rearmament. In the depths for the Depression, shipbuilding initially represented an opportunity for employment relief using emergency relief funds.  Soon thereafter, Representative Carl Vinson sponsored legislation to restore the US Navy to the maximum size allowed by treaty. The Vinson-Trammell Act of 1934 gave the president authority to rebuild the Navy, and in the process, reinvigorate the American shipbuilding industry in advance of the emergency and wartime building programs of the 1940s. The long-range, deliberate building plan authorized in the Vinson-Trammell Act and implemented by the US Navy using private and public shipyards provided a vital opportunity to rebuild the physical infrastructure and skilled labor force. This provided a core of experienced shipbuilders that allowed America to surge warship production and out build the Axis during World War II.

  • 2017

Failed Reconstruction in the Forever War

Author: Peter Bue
Abstract:

This research paper addresses the question of why post-war reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan have failed. It explains how following the success of the conduct of America’s Operation Enduring Freedom, Afghanistan went through a complex transition from a state of war to a state of peace. The end of the war brought security, political, economic, and social problems that must be examined in order to ascertain why reconstruction efforts failed.

  • 2017

Russia Vs. the West

Author: Christophe Barbier
Abstract:

My research will focus on Russia’s relations versus the Western world from the past to the present day. Russia's vision and perception toward the West since the end of the Cold War have changed the world, and the idealism for the West and Russia have distanced themselves both diplomatically and politically. For viewers to understand the implication of this research analysis, I will examine Russia’s brutal past, the Russian Revolution of 1917, the unending Cold War’s with renewing tensions today and the fall of Communism which precipitated the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1989. In this Master’s research paper, I will analyze the underlying causes of tensed diplomatic tensions, unconstructive ties with the West and deteriorating relations that continue exacerbate any diplomatic relations from leading to constructive, forward thinking, and successful outcomes that prevent both hemispheres from reaching a stable footing in international affairs. Lastly, I will investigate and bring forth to the readers tangible evidence that Russia and the West will continue for years to come to be suspicious and skeptical of one and another. East-West’s problematic political discourses compounded by construed, distrustful, and complicated bilateral relations with in the crossfire NATO and the European Union could substantially destabilize peace and security and reshape the world itself between the East and the West.

  • 2017

Budget Home Expansion

Author: Guido Rivas
Abstract:

This project will generally consist of the planning necessary for research, design, and implementation of a business model that will provide tools, materials, and detailed instructions for a home expansion using a modular design deliverable. Materials are delivered to a client with pre-cut and marked members along with the proper tools for optimal project completion. The client will have access to detailed instructions from initial survey to final inspection by the local governance. The goal of this project is to enable the budget minded client with novice to intermediate knowledge of general construction to have hands-on involvement in the expansion of their residential home.

  • 2017

Fallmerayer and the Bulgarian Church Schism: The Effect of the Threat to Greek Identity on Religious Ecumenism in the Nineteenth Century

Author: Jason Britton
Abstract:

The integrity of nineteenth century Neohellenic culture and heritage was threatened by the writings of the German historian, Jacob Philip Fallmerayer in the 1830s. Fallmerayer's attack on the basic nature of Greek ethnicity created a cultural mindset that permeated Greek society to its highest levels in the Ottoman Empire, rekindling a century’s old rift between the Greek and Bulgarian Orthodox communities of the Rum millet. In this time of Balkan national awakening, Orthodox religious tradition served as a repository of cultural heritage suppressed under Ottoman rule. The "National Church" came to be seen as a means of legitimating a particular community's "nationhood" status. Fallmerayer's challenge went to the heart of the Hellenic character of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the right of national church autonomy based on ethnicity, culture, and language. The Greeks had fought for, and won, this right from the Porte during the Greek War of Independence during the early decades of the nineteenth century. Less than fifty years later the Ecumenical Patriarchate would refuse the Bulgarians’ request for the same right, and ultimately declare their Slav antagonists, schismatic. When Fallmerayer brought into question the authenticity of Modern Greek ethnic heritage he helped set in motion an ethnophyletic controversy that split the Orthodox Church in the Balkans.

  • 2017

The Impact of the Personal Rivalry Between Patrick Henry and Thomas Jefferson on Early Virginia and National Politics

Author: John McNeer
Abstract:

This paper analyzes the personal rivalry that arose between Patrick Henry and Thomas Jefferson and its impact on early political and legal reform in Virginia, the Federalist-Anti-Federalist Debate, and early national politics. The paper also describes the influences and different perspectives of both men and how they affected Virginia and national politics.