Mershon Center for International Security Studies
September 26 , 2017
In This Issue
About Mershon Memo
Mershon Memo is a weekly e-mail newsletter distributed by the Mershon Center for International Security Studies, part of the College of Arts and Sciences at The Ohio State University.
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Mershon Events
Friday-Saturday, September 29-30, 2017

Culture of Military Organizations
120 Mershon Center, 1501 Neil Ave.

Peter MansoorThis project aims to explore the impact of the culture on the development of effective military organizations and therefore its impact on security from 1861 to the present. The effectiveness of military organizations is dependent on a number of components, among them organization, doctrine, training, weapons technology, leadership, morale, discipline and cohesion, endurance, and the ability to adapt to volatile and uncertain combat environments. Underlying these factors is organizational culture, a vital wellspring of the effectiveness of armies, navies, and air forces throughout history. Yet organizational culture has been largely understudied as a component of military effectiveness. This project aims to fill that void. Organized by Peter Mansoor, Gen. Raymond E. Mason Jr. Chair in Military History. Read more and register at
Monday, October 2, 2017

Jennifer Lerner
4 p.m., 035 Psychology Building, 1835 Neil Ave.

Jennifer Lerner Jennifer Lerner is professor of public policy and management at Harvard Kennedy School of Government and co-founder of the Harvard Decision Science Laboratory. Her research examines human judgment and decision making. Together with colleagues, she has developed a theoretical framework that successfully predicts the effects of specific emotions on judgment and choice outcomes. At this event, Lerner will present a series of studies from her lab revealing that incidental anger systematically biases judgment and decision making by heightening perceptions of controllability and certainty, decreasing perceptions of risk, and increasing risk taking. Read more and register at
Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Sean Kay
3:30 p.m., 120 Mershon Center, 1501 Neil Ave.

Sean Kay Sean Kay is Robson Professor of Politics and Government at Ohio Wesleyan University. He is also an associate at the Mershon Center. Kay has published widely on international security issues including  NATO and the Future of European Security (1998); Global Security in the Twenty First Century: The Quest for Power and the Search for Peace (3rd edition, 2015); America's Search for Security: The Triumph of Idealism and the Return of Realism (2015); and Rockin' the Free World! How the Rock and Roll Revolution Changed America and the World (2017). At this event, Kay will present his new book which uses interviews with more than 60 American and international rock and roll performers, songwriters, producers, managers, and non-profit activists to show how rock and roll has been a platform of power advancing progress. Live music included! Read more and register at
Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Michael Fischerkeller
3:30 p.m., 120 Mershon Center, 1501 Neil Ave.

Michael Fischerkeller Michael Fischerkeller is a research staff member at the Institute for Defense Analyses, where he supports U.S. regional and functional and multinational force commanders, including deployments to U.S. Pacific Command, Iraq and Afghanistan. He earned a Ph.D. in international relations and research methods from Ohio State and was a post-doctoral fellow at the Mershon Center. This presentation will offer the bases of an argument that, within cyberspace, the protection or advancement of national interests cannot rest on deterrence as the central strategy but can be realized through a strategy that captures and takes advantage of unique characteristics of the domain - a strategy of persistence. Read more and register at
Thursday, October 19, 2017

James Fearon
3:30 p.m., 120 Mershon Center, 1501 Neil Ave.

James Fearon James D. Fearon is Theodore and Frances Geballe Professor in the School of Humanities and Sciences and professor of political science at Stanford University. His research focuses on political violence - interstate, civil, and ethnic conflict in particular. In addition he has worked on aspects of democratic theory and the impact of democracy on foreign policy. Fearon was elected member of the National Academy of Sciences in 2012 and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2002. In this presentation, Fearon will argue that arms are useful not only for deterrence or taking territory, but also because they influence the resolution of a set of disputed issues. It is shown that states can cooperate on the issues by limiting military competition, but only as far as a "war constraint" allows. Read more and register at
Mershon News
Conference to examine effect of organizational culture in military

Peter Mansoor
The U.S. military has had a checkered record of success in wars waged since 1945. Part of the explanation behind the failures (Vietnam, Somalia, Iraq, and Afghanistan) lies in the failure of military organizations to adapt to the type of wars in which they found themselves engaged.

Cultural predilection towards major combat operations has shaped the mindset of the officer corps and stifled creativity, resulting in failed approaches to conflicts that refused to conform to established norms. The armed forces of other nations have experienced similar issues, sometimes resulting in catastrophic or near-catastrophic defeats (e.g., Soviet Union in Afghanistan from 1979-1988).

Organized by Peter R. Mansoor, Gen. Raymond E. Mason Jr. Chair of Military History, the Culture of Military Organizations conference will explore the impact of the culture on the development of effective military organizations and therefore its impact on security from 1861 to the present. It will take place Friday, September 29, through Saturday, September 30, at the Mershon Center for International Security Studies, 1501 Neil Ave.

The conference will explore the impact of organizational culture on the U.S. Civil War, the British, German and Indian armies, the Red Army and Imperial Japanese Army, Israeli Defense Forces, Iraq Army Maritime Forces, U.S. Army and Marine Corps, and Aerospace forces.

This is a working conference designed to produce an edited volume that serves military officers, national security policy makers, military historians, political scientists, sociologists, and others interested in how military organizational culture impacts the use of force and security in the world throughout history and today.

Read more at If you would like to attend, please contact Steven Blalock at
Other Events
Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Peter Mansoor
5:30 p.m., 130 Page Hall, 1810 College Road

Peter MansoorThe United States initially sent military forces into Afghanistan following the devastating attacks on September 11, 2001, in an attempt to dismantle al-Qaeda and dispel global terror. Sixteen years and three administrations later, U.S. troops remain in Afghanistan without any plans of withdrawal, making the war in Afghanistan the longest in U.S. history. Please join us as we discuss the ongoing conflict and examine the nation's plans for the future with Peter Mansoor, Gen. Raymond E. Mason Jr. Chair in Military History, in an event moderated by Scott Levi, associate professor of history. For those of you unable to attend, this event will be streamed via Facebook Live on the Glenn College Facebook page. The room will be equipped so our audience can listen and participate remotely. Read more and register
Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Lori Esposito Murray
11:30 a.m., Boat House at Confluence Park, 679 W. Spring St.
Sponsored by Columbus Council on World Affairs

Lori Esposito MurrayIn June 2017, Secretary of Defense Mattis in testimony before the House Armed Services Committee identified North Korea aggressively improving its nuclear and missile capabilities as one of the five top threats to peace and security and the international order. What do we know about North Korea's nuclear capabilities and intentions? Are we on the brink of war on the Korean peninsula? What are the key factors influencing the United States' relationship with Russia and China right now? Will the nuclear agreement with Iran hold? What are the implications for the region and for the global community? Lori Esposito Murray, adjunct senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, will help us put these critical topics into context. Read more and register
Other News
Connect and Collaborate funding available

Connect and Collaborate funding available for faculty, staff and student engagement. The Connect and Collaborate Grants Program incentivizes faculty, staff, students and their public/private sector community partners to submit letters of intent for programs which have the potential to catalyze engaged, collaborative teaching, research and service activities benefiting the community and university. Grants up to $70,000 are available. Letters of intent are due Friday, Sept. 29. Read more:
Undergraduates invited to apply for Propel Ohio summit

Propel Ohio is a leadership program that promotes civic engagement and inspires undergraduate students to grow into civic leaders in Ohio. Undergraduate students are invited to apply to participate in Propel Ohio: Collegiate Leadership Summit 2017, which will be held on Friday, Nov. 17 at the University of Akron. The program will actively engage with college students on issues that affect childhood poverty, including food security, inequities in education, and homelessness. The application deadline is Tuesday, October 10. Read more:
Apply for the Fulbright-Hays doctoral fellowship

The Office of International Affairs is seeking applicants for the Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad Fellowships. The U.S. Department of Education-funded grants provide support for advanced graduate students studying modern foreign languages and area studies. All doctoral degree candidates proposing full-time dissertation research abroad on topics that develop research knowledge and capabilities in world areas not commonly taught in U.S. institutions are encouraged to apply. Read more
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