December 2011: The Tobin Project supports two research inquiries in National Security

The Tobin Project is pleased to support two unique research projects being undertaken by Benjamin Valentino (Dartmouth College, Government) and Audrey Kurth Cronin (George Mason University, Public Policy).

In August 2011, the Tobin Project convened a meeting on how regional diplomacy in South Asia could end the crisis in Afghanistan, where the U.S. has been embroiled in an increasingly unsustainable conflict. Building on a short paper that she wrote for the meeting, Audrey Kurth Cronin’s research project examines the viability of neutralization as a political solution to end the war in Afghanistan, reduce threats to the U.S., and increase stability in South Asia. Professor Cronin will draw on international and Islamic law and the history of neutral states to determine whether a non-aligned, neutral Afghanistan could help bring peace to a troubled region.

Afghanistan is one of many security commitments that the U.S. maintains around the world. In August 2011, Benjamin Valentino led a seminar to evaluate the U.S.’s portfolio of security commitments and explore how these might be restructured to better suit the current and future international system. Professor Valentino discovered a lack of data on U.S. public opinion toward overseas commitments, and specifically, about why the public holds particular opinions about certain commitments. He decided to undertake a poll himself, with support from the Tobin Project. The data from the poll will inform future academic and policy discussion about U.S. security commitments.

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