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Ivan Arreguin-Toft

Ivan Arreguin-Toft

Former Research Fellow, International Security Program, 2002-2009

 

 

By Program/Project

 

International Security

AP Photo

June 30, 2009

"Peace with Honor?"

Op-Ed, Foreign Policy

By Ivan Arreguin-Toft, Former Research Fellow, International Security Program, 2002-2009

"'Peace with honor.' This was the Nixon administration's euphemism for disengagement from South Vietnam, a place where corruption and incompetence had long doomed any hope of victory; even a victory as modest as the simple negative objective of preserving the political independence of tiny South Vietnam."

 

 

March 30, 2007

"Why Victory Became Defeat in Iraq"

Op-Ed, Nieman Watchdog

By Ivan Arreguin-Toft, Former Research Fellow, International Security Program, 2002-2009

As long as there was an army to fight, the U.S. was unstoppable, writes a Harvard scholar who studies asymmetric conflicts. But once we lost the Iraqi people, all the power in the world wasn’t enough to achieve victory. (Second of two parts.)

 

 

March 23, 2007

"How a Superpower Can End Up Losing to the Little Guys"

Op-Ed, Nieman Watchdog

By Ivan Arreguin-Toft, Former Research Fellow, International Security Program, 2002-2009

A Harvard scholar explores the implications of his recent research on asymmetric conflicts, which shows that strong actors are losing to the weak more and more often over time, and gleans some important lessons about the United States and Iraq. (First of two parts.)

 

 

2007

"How to Lose a War on Terror: A Comparative Analysis of a Counterinsurgency Success and Failure"

Book Chapter

By Ivan Arreguin-Toft, Former Research Fellow, International Security Program, 2002-2009

"If it is true that every strategy has an ideal counterstrategy, then understanding how to counter terrorism demands some understanding of terrorism as a strategy."

 

 

December 2005

How the Weak Win Wars: A Theory of Asymmetric Conflict

Book

By Ivan Arreguin-Toft, Former Research Fellow, International Security Program, 2002-2009

"In How the Weak Win Wars, Arreguin-Toft means to convince the reader that when the very strong meet the weak in asymmetric armed conflict, strategy matters more than power. Despite minor excursions in his conclusions, he achieves this goal through expert scholarly analysis and a writing style that elucidates complex topics with facility. His work is extremely relevant in the current geopolitical context and serves as a warning to US policy makers to get military strategy right, regardless of relative power. Arreguin-Toft's argument makes perfectly clear the perilous consequences of neglecting the importance of strategic interaction."

— Edward Bradfield, Harvard International Review (Summer 2005)

Read the entire review.

 

 

October 25, 2004

"'Peace with Honor' in Iraq"

Op-Ed, Boston Globe

By Ivan Arreguin-Toft, Former Research Fellow, International Security Program, 2002-2009 and Monica Duffy Toft, Former Associate Professor of Public Policy; Former Board Member, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs; Former Director, Initiative on Religion and International Affairs.

"The only other remaining policy option is to expand military service, and if history is any guide, providing security in Iraq will require an army of at least a million soldiers."

 

 

August 2003

"The [F]utility of Barbarism: Assessing the Impact of the Systematic Harm of Noncombatants in War"

Conference Paper

By Ivan Arreguin-Toft, Former Research Fellow, International Security Program, 2002-2009

Under what conditions does barbarism — a state or non-state actor’s deliberate and systematic injury of non-combatants during a conflict — help or hinder its military and political objectives?

 

 

October 2002

"Tunnel at the End of the Light: A Critique of US Counter-terrorist Grand Strategy"

Journal Article, Cambridge Review of International Affairs, issue 3, volume 15

By Ivan Arreguin-Toft, Former Research Fellow, International Security Program, 2002-2009

"This essay introduces a theoretically grounded critique of US counterterrorist grand strategy in reaction to the destruction of the World Trade Center's twin towers in New York and a portion of the Pentagon in Washington, DC, on September 11th 2001."

 

 

Summer 2001

"How the Weak Win Wars: A Theory of Asymmetric Conflict"

Journal Article, International Security, issue 1, volume 26

By Ivan Arreguin-Toft, Former Research Fellow, International Security Program, 2002-2009

Ivan Arreguín-Toft of Harvard University offers a theory of asymmetric conflict to explain “how a weak actor’s strategy can make a strong actor’s power irrevlevant.” According to Arreguín-Toft, the interaction of actor strategies is the best predictor of asymmetric conflict outcomes. After providing quantitative and qualitative tests of his theory, he considers some of the implications of his thesis for both theory building and policymaking.

 

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