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Cayias, JenniferA Strategic Analysis of the Chechen Wars: The Keystone of Good Leadership
Master of Arts, The Ohio State University, 2012, History
At the start of the First Chechen war, the Russian Federation had recently inherited a fractured polity. New leaders tried to piece together a new identity and grand strategy for a state that was still coming to terms with the fact that it was no longer the center of a union. Its new borders were unstable and unsecure, and secession of any one republic threatened a potential chain reaction throughout the region. What Russia needed was a strong, experienced leader, with a clear sense of direction and purpose for the Russian Federation. While many factors contributed to Russia’s domestic troubles, Boris Yeltsin proved unequal to the task of effectively consolidating and directing what remained of the Russian Republic. In the case of Chechnya, after the collapse of the Soviet Union the Russian military still retained a vast arsenal and reserves of manpower, which could have overwhelmed Chechnya from the outset – had they been well coordinated and directed. Dzhokhar Dudaev was exactly what Chechnya needed. He had decades of experience in the ranks of the Russian military and thoroughly understood their tactics, and he also had experience in irregular warfare from his service in the Soviet war in Afghanistan. And, of course, he was very familiar with the irregular and unconventional style of warfare that traversed Chechen history. In 1994 and 1995 Dudaev proved his ability to out-strategize the dysfunctional Russian forces, both politically and militarily. In 1996, two factors brought him down: the sheer mass of the Russian forces sent to Chechnya and their tactical adjustments, as well as undermining from competing Chechen factions. His death to a Russian air strike in that same year hamstrung the Chechen government with weak leadership that resulted in disaster for the nascent Chechen state. Neither the 1994 war nor that of 1999 was won or lost solely by the actions of one side or one leader. A mosaic of complex factors, acting on both sides, contributed to the origins, developments, and outcomes of each war. Technological, training, and coordinative flaws in the Russian strategy during the first war were largely rectified in the second. Additionally, the image of potentially legitimate statehood and victimization that the Chechens enjoyed at the start of the first war vanished by the second, causing the republic to lose its badly needed public support in both Russia and abroad in the international community. While noting the complexity of factors involved in the outcome if each war, key individuals at the helm of each polity created successes and failures out of the assets and liabilities at hand. Similarities between the origins of each war, contrasted with the stark differences in how forces executed their operations and the results they achieved, exemplify the significance that leadership has on an army’s success or failure.

Committee:

Peter Mansoor, PhD (Advisor); Nicholas Breyfogle, PhD (Committee Member); Peter Hahn, PhD (Committee Member); Theodore Hopf, PhD (Committee Member)

Subjects:

History; Military History; Russian History; Slavic Studies

Keywords:

Chechnya; Chechen Wars; Dudaev

Moore, Christopher D.Beyond a Contest of Wills: A Theory of State Success and Failure in Insurgent Conflicts
Doctor of Philosophy, The Ohio State University, 2008, Political Science

Within a large and growing literature on insurgencies, scholars have engaged in fierce debate about the determinants of conflict outcomes. Having noted that materialcapability is a poor predictor of conflict outcomes, intense disagreement has arisen over why this is the case. Some argue that insurgencies are defeated through military and police means of punishment and prosecution. This is referred to as the combat model. Others argue that insurgencies are ultimately defeated through political means, and I refer to this as the social model. Why each of these two processes is thought to be more effective is rarely well explained or specified by their proponents.

Because each of these model yields different and competing expectations for the outcomes of insurgent conflicts, I evaluate their relative merits in this study. To evaluate these two competing schools of thought in the security studies literature, I present a conditional theory of insurgent outcomes that predicts when the combat and social models will be relevant. In order to do this, I approach insurgencies using scholarship from the study of terrorism, deriving three archetypical motivational logics of insurgency action: strategic, organizational, and extremist. From the scholarship on insurgencies, I also develop a typology of counterinsurgency strategies focusing on three broad but distinct strategic approaches: policing, accommodation, and reciprocal punishment. The combination of a particular insurgent motivation with a particular counterinsurgent strategy will result in an increase or decrease in insurgent violence.

I hypothesize that this conditional model will better predict insurgent outcomes than either the combat model or the social model alone. However, even if it does not, its evaluation will still serve as a useful comparison of the relative merits of those two models. To test the model I code statements made by leaders of insurgencies to discern their motivations and compare these codings to the organizational dynamics and actions of the insurgency to arrive at a categorization of the group according to one of the dynamics I described. I also code statements and policies enacted by the government that make up its counterinsurgency strategy in order to arrive a coding of its strategic behavior. Based on the combination of these two codings, I predict either insurgent success or failure in that given time period. Then, I track insurgent incidents and insurgent-caused fatalities as a means of evaluating this prediction. I make predictions and evaluate their results in four case studies: The Chechen insurgency against Russia (1994-present), the PIRA insurgency against Great Britain (1969-1999), the LTTE insurgency against Sri Lanka (1976-present), and the Algerian insurgency against France (1954-1962).

I find that the conditional model of insurgent conflict correctly predicts the change in insurgent violence in nine of 14 strategic periods, representing 75 of the total 97 years under analysis. The social model correctly predicts 10 of the 14 strategic periods, representing 70 of the 97 years. The combat model correctly predicts four of the 14 strategic periods, representing 27 of the 97 years. Overall, I found that the conditional performs as well as the social model in predicting insurgent conflict outcomes, and much better than the combat model. The results of this study indicate that scholars of insurgency and violence in general should give greater consideration to both the strategic choices of states and the motivations of the insurgents themselves.

Committee:

Donald Sylvan, PhD (Committee Co-Chair); Richard Herrmann, PhD (Committee Co-Chair); John Mueller, PhD (Committee Member); Alexander Thompson, PhD (Committee Member)

Subjects:

Political Science

Keywords:

insurgency; conflict; terrorism; Sri Lanka; Northern Ireland; Chechnya; Algeria; counterinsurgency

Wilson, Ann ConnerPutnam’s Two-Level Game: Case Studies of Serbian and Russian Reactions to the Kosovar and Chechen Independence Movements
Master of Arts, The Ohio State University, 2010, Slavic and East European Studies
This paper uses Robert Putnam’s Two-Level Game Theory of International Relations to explain the differing outcomes of the secessionist movements in Serbia and Russia. The paper begins by exploring the theoretical approaches, advantages, and disadvantages of the two-level game in international relations literature. The paper then addresses two case studies – Russia and Serbia – and their reactions to the secessionist movements within their individual territories. Following the case studies, a further explanation of the two level game played in the case studies is explored. Through the lens of the two-level game, it is argued that international relative balance of power played the major role in determining the ultimate result – Russia retained Chechnya while Serbia essentially lost Kosovo.

Committee:

Dr. Trevor Brown (Advisor); Dr. Goldie Shabad (Committee Member); Dr. Kamoludin Abdullaev (Committee Member)

Subjects:

International Relations; Political Science; Russian History

Keywords:

Russia; Serbia; Two-Level Game; Putnam; Kosovo; Chechnya

Souder, Eric MatthewThe Circassian Thistle: Lev Nikolaevich Tolstoy's 'Khadzhi Murat' and the Evolving Russian Empire"
Master of Arts, Miami University, 2014, History
The following thesis examines the creation, publication, and reception of Lev Nikolaevich Tolstoy’s posthumous novel, Khadzhi Murat in both the Imperial and Soviet Russian Empire. The anti-imperial content of the novel made Khadzhi Murat an incredibly vulnerable novel, subjecting it to substantial early censorship. Tolstoy’s status as a literary and cultural figure in Russia – both preceding and following his death – allowed for the novel to become virtually forgotten despite its controversial content. This thesis investigates the absorption of Khadzhi Murat into the broader canon of Tolstoy’s writings within the Russian Empire as well as its prevailing significance as a piece of anti-imperial literature in a Russian context.

Committee:

Stephen Norris, Ph.D. (Advisor); Daniel Prior, Ph.D. (Committee Member); Margaret Ziolkowski, Ph.D. (Committee Member)

Subjects:

History; Literature; Russian History; Slavic Literature; Slavic Studies

Keywords:

Leo Tolstoy; Tolstoy; Khadzhi Murat; Hadji Murat; North Caucasus; Chechnya; Daghestan; Russian Empire; Russian Literature; Censorship; Literary Criticism; Empire; Nicholas I

Pokalova, ElenaShifting Faces of Terror after 9/11: Framing the Terrorist Threat
PHD, Kent State University, 2011, College of Arts and Sciences / Department of Political Science

This dissertation focuses on post-9/11 counterterrorism and analyzes how the “war on terror” has affected ways of addressing ethno-nationalist separatist conflicts. With the US-led counterterrorist operations in Afghanistan and Iraq following September 11, 2001, military means of fighting terrorism have become more widespread and more acceptable in the eyes of the international community. Ways of addressing terrorism have changed. However, such changes have not been limited exclusively to the threat of terrorism but have affected other phenomena, including ethno-nationalist separatism. The “war on terror” has presented governments with a discursive construct that some states have extrapolated to their separatist challenges. The dissertation analyses how the “war on terror” has enabled some governments to frame their ethno-nationalist separatist conflicts as a terrorist threat and to justify the use of military force against them under the banner of counterterrorism.

The findings of the dissertation indicate that the evolution of the concept of “new” terrorism following September 11 has resulted in a tendency to blur the distinctions between the different types of terrorist threats (ethno-nationalist, religious, left- and right-wing). The subsequent blurring of the boundaries between Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups has resulted in the extension of the application of the term terrorism to other phenomena. As the case study of the Russo-Chechen ethno-nationalist separatist conflict reveals, the “war on terror” has been instrumental in the efforts of the Russian government to frame the unpopular conflict as part of the war, and to justify the use of military force as a counterterrorist operation. Similarly, the dissertation investigates how governments in China, Turkey, and Sri Lanka have resorted to terrorist framing in efforts to employ the military solution against separatism while receiving domestic and international support for their actions.

Committee:

Andrew Barnes, PhD (Committee Co-Chair); Landon Hancock, PhD (Committee Co-Chair); Steven Hook, PhD (Committee Member); Karl Kaltenthaler, PhD (Committee Member)

Subjects:

Political Science

Keywords:

terrorism; counterterrorism; war on terror; Chechnya; ethno-nationalism; Uyghur; Kurdish; Tamil