AccoladesA Collection of Student Scholarship

2017 Accolades

Accolades entries are organized by degree program. Each program section includes an overview of the featured student works followed by a listing of individual project abstracts for easy browsing.

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Master of Arts in Military History View all accolades »

Students in the Master of Arts in Military History program examine the role of the military and war throughout history, looking at differing historical interpretations and various types of historical knowledge.

  • 2017
  • Master of Arts in Military History

From Deterrence to Weinberger Doctrine: How Lebanon Changed Reagan’s Foreign Policy

Author: Jeffry Stoker
Abstract:

The first three years of the Reagan presidency saw an awkward implementation of military force to support diplomatic goals. For Secretary Weinberger, Lebanon in the fall of 1982 was one such instance. Secretary Weinberger was deeply concerned with this deployment because there was no clear objective for the Marines to accomplish. Secretary Weinberger also was concerned that military intervention in this crisis would not find support in Congress or with the American public. During President Reagan’s first term in office the Administration, Congress, and the American public at large were greatly affected by the tragedy of Vietnam.  Military intervention outside the United States was, at the time, difficult for many to support. Secretary Weinberger, and many Pentagon officials, felt using military force in this instance would become something akin to Vietnam.

  • 2017
  • Master of Arts in Military History

Impacts of Failed Alliances on the Warsaw Uprising of 1944

Author: Shannon Reck
Abstract:

This paper explores how the Allies, who were initially promised the full support possible to an eventual national uprising, reneged in an effort to retain the Soviet Union as an ally against the Germans. 

  • 2017
  • Master of Arts in Military History

Japanese War Crimes in China: A Strategy of Popular Annihilation

Author: Virginia Hudgins
Abstract:

During the Second Sino-Japanese War and throughout World War II, Japanese soldiers committed atrocities on an incredible scale that included mass killings, rape, arson, and biological warfare. In China, these war crimes continued for eight years and resulted in the deaths of approximately 10 million Chinese civilians. The International Military Tribunal for the Far East (IMTFE) concluded in their “Judgment of 4 November 1948” that – based on the available evidence and testimony – “only one conclusion [was] possible – the atrocities were either secretly ordered or willfully permitted by the Japanese Government or individual members thereof and by the leaders of the armed forces.”  The IMTFE lacked crucial evidence. First, they were unaware of the actual start date of the atrocities. As a result, the war crimes seemed to begin randomly, and so could not be tied to a strategic motive. Second, they were unaware of the Japanese biological warfare program. The American government made a deal with Japanese scientists to trade immunity for information. Thus, the highest levels of the Imperial Japanese government could claim ignorance of certain atrocities, and the absence of command control for others. There were none that required specific funding and organization – until the biological warfare program surfaced. These two pieces of evidence change the narrative of the Japanese atrocities from disconnected actions with no clear strategic value to purposeful and planned war crimes that evolved as strategy dictated. The Japanese war crimes in China were essentially attempted genocide.

  • 2017
  • Master of Arts in Military History

Narcocaudillos: A New Technique for Conducting Asymmetrical Warfare

Author: Patrick Simon
Abstract:

The narcocaudillos of Mexico converted from mere smugglers to arbiters of political power willing to initiate insurgencies when the federal government challenged their authority and threatened their economic standing. Many scholars disagree with this assessment and believe that an insurgency must have political-military goals; however, Mexican narcocaudillos are conducting an insurgency with a business-commercial motive based on the new urban insurgency model. They outsource functions outside of their scope of interest to the Mexican federal government, functions such as international political relations and military power, while maintaining tangible political authority throughout the country domestically. Thus, increasing their freedom of movement. Their strategy and methods are more reminiscent of traditional insurgents rather than smugglers or criminal syndicates.  This study forwards the claim that Mexican narcocaudillos conduct an insurgency in Mexico that adheres to the new urban insurgency model. This claim is convoluted at best given the preconceived notions on the concept of insurgency itself to include the belief that non-state actors must have a political-military motivation before being labeled an insurgency. The motives of non-state actors should not solely determine whether the group receives the designation of insurgent.

  • 2017
  • Master of Arts in Military History

Operation Cobra in 1944 in the European Theater of Operations (ETO)

Author: Carl Wayne Lowe
Abstract:

The unrecognized key factors that contributed to the performance of the United States Army Armored Force before Operation Cobra in 1944 in the European Theater of Operations (ETO). The interconnection of equipment, doctrine, and organization make it difficult to analyze and identify all the factors involved in determining the success or failure of U.S. forces at the beginning of World War II. Historians examining the mechanization of the United States Army and the transformation of cavalry during the interwar period cite the resource constrained environment, the competition between the Cavalry Branch and the Infantry Branch, the friction within the Cavalry Branch between the horse and mechanization factions, and the decentralized mechanization priorities as major factors affecting what occurred during that time. Most historians agree that these factors contributed to the marginal performance of the United States Army Armored Force in the European Theater of Operations before Operation Cobra in 1944. Many historians state these factors led to inferior tanks, organization, and doctrine. This paper examines three additional key factors that also contributed to the United States Army Armored Force’s marginal performance in the ETO before Operation Cobra in 1944: 1) the failure to deploy the M6 series of heavy tanks; 2) the failure of the U.S. Army education system to inculcate the doctrine with commanders and planners; and 3) the impact of the 90-division decision on the organization, rotation, and employment of armored forces and individual replacements.

  • 2017
  • Master of Arts in Military History

Phil Sheridan’s War: The Pacification of the American Frontier and Total War in the Trans-Mississippi West

Author: Robert Ranstadler
Abstract:

This investigation is principally concerned with the application, applicability, and repercussions of total war in the modern era. The Post-Civil War United States was a financially fractured and socially divided nation that ambivalently endorsed General Philip Sheridan’s unrestricted strategy in the American West. Many social, political, and economic factors facilitated the U.S. Army’s eventual triumph on the Great Plains, while simultaneously contributing to the subsequent collapse of Amerindian society on the frontier. Previously established comparative and causative historiographic arguments explicate several cultural connections that prescribed the course and outcome of the Great Plains Wars. The author demonstrates that the Clausewitz’s Trinity, when framed within the appropriate interdependent and practical context, is greater than the sum of its theoretical parts. A final supposition explores the potential application of such studies in the mitigation and abatement of future conflicts.     

  • 2017
  • Master of Arts in Military History

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
  • Master of Arts in Military History

The Military-Industrial Complex and the Role of General Dynamics Corporation during the 1990s

Author: William Crusselle II
Abstract:

The bond between the U.S. government, military, and corporations in what is known as the “Iron Triangle” or the Military-Industrial Complex (MIC) continued into the 1990s.  Businesses, such as General Dynamics Corporation (GDC), have an intrinsic history within the MIC. GDC played one of the most crucial roles for the MIC during WWI, WWII, and the Cold War as well as for a majority of the twentieth century. Focusing on the impact of the MIC during the 1990s, specifically the role GDC played, circumstantial evidence has shown that a corporate entity, gradually affected U.S. diplomatic affairs as well as military policy after the Cold War and during the 1990s —the Cold War never truly ended, policies were carried over, and corporations simply adapted to maintain the status quo. The MIC was a necessary yet dangerous national security requirement to maintain U.S. economic and political stability.