Assistant professor of government Jennifer Taw has landed a nice spot in TIME onlinea Sept. 21 Q&A with author Mark Thompson on her brand new book: Mission Revolution: The U.S. Military and Stability Operations (Columbia University Press, 2012).
Released just days ago, Taw's book examines the military's sudden embrace of stability operationsoperations other than war, including peacekeeping activities, population control, and counter-narcotics efforts and its implications for American foreign policy and war.
"Through a detailed examination of deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan, changes in U.S. military doctrine, adaptations in force preparation, and the political dynamics behind this new stance," the publishers write, "Taw connects the preference for stability operations to the far-reaching, overly ambitious American preoccupation with managing international stability."
In her TIME Q&A, Taw says she wrote the book after working on issues related to operations other than war and stability for a long time. "When Department of Defense Directive 3000.05 elevated stability operations to a primary mission it struck me as deeply significant." Read the full interview online.
Taw says theTIME interview was mediated through the publisher. "I was very grateful for the opportunity to have my book profiled on the Battleland Blog."
The CMC professor says that after working on the book for a year, production took another 12 months. "I was fortunate to have a sabbatical while I was writing it," she says, "which allowed me to travel to Washington, D.C., for interviews, and also afforded me plenty of time to really get into the material and put it together."
Taw received her Ph.D. in political science, with a concentration in international relations, from the University of California, Los Angeles. Before she began teaching, she spent 10 years at RAND doing research on security and stability operations. Her current research interests include the effects of domestic politics on interventions. She is co-author on the third and fourth editions of World Politics in a New Era.
When Taw joined CMC in fall 2007, we asked her what she would be doing if she hadn't become a professor:
"I would have most likely ... never learned about Facebook, thereby saving myself countless hours of procrastination, thus allowing me to open a bakery/bookstore, write novels and academic tomes, and finally learn how to play my guitar," she said. "Or I just might have stuck with policy analysis, becoming another lost voice against relying on the limited, short-term application of military force to achieve complex political ends."
Apart from scholarly pursuits and the thrill of authorship, Taw told us that one of her greatest satisfactions is connecting with students and setting them on the right path.
"A student messaged me yesterday from an internship abroad to let me know that what we had covered in the classroom was proving helpful to him in real, practical terms," Taw says with pride. "That's hugely gratifying. And that's also the goal: to impart skills and knowledge that each student can use to help leverage his or her individual potential."