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Cassidy, Robert M.

Cassidy, Robert M.

PERSONAL:

Education: Boston University, master's degree; Tufts University Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, master's degree, Ph.D.; École Militaire, French Joint Defense College, diplome d'etudes supérieure de défense.

ADDRESSES:

Office—Center for Advanced Defense Studies, 10 G St. N.E., Ste. 610, Washington, DC 20002.

CAREER:

United States Military Academy, West Point, NY assistant professor of international relations; U.S. Army, 4th Infantry Division, brigade operations officer during Operation Iraqi Freedom, squadron executive officer of the 1-10 Cavalry, 82nd Airborne Division, troop commander in the 1-17 Cavalry, became lieutenant colonel. Also served as battalion commander and special assistant to Commanding General of U.S. Army forces in Europe. Fellow, Center for Advanced Defense Studies, Washington, DC; member, Royal United Services Institute Advisory Board.

WRITINGS:

Russia in Afghanistan and Chechnya: Military Strategic Culture and the Paradoxes of Asymmetric Conflict, Strategic Studies Institute (Carlisle Barracks, PA), 2003.

Peacekeeping in the Abyss: British and American Peacekeeping Doctrine and Practice after the Cold War, Praeger (Westport, CT), 2004.

Counterinsurgency and the Global War on Terror: Military Culture and Irregular War, Praeger Security International (Westport, CT), 2006.

Contributor to periodicals, including Parameters, Military Review, RUSI Journal, Small Wars and Insurgencies, Fletcher Forum of World Affairs, and Defense Concepts.

SIDELIGHTS:

Robert M. Cassidy, an officer in the U.S. Army, has taught at the United States Military Academy and is a fellow of the Center for Advanced Defense Studies, a national security group in Washington, DC, that promotes research and education in global security, cognitive studies, and information sciences. Cassidy's primary areas of interest are counterinsurgency, stability operations, and military culture.

In his 2004 book Peacekeeping in the Abyss: British and American Peacekeeping Doctrine and Practice after the Cold War, the author focuses on military ef- forts by the U.S in Somalia and on British intervention in Bosnia. Discussing these efforts up to 1995, Cassidy examines military culture in terms of the culture's predilections and preferences concerning the use of force. "The author … makes the argument that the first iteration of post-Cold War peace operations doctrine, as well as the conduct of operations in Bosnia and Somalia, was a direct outcome of longstanding military culture and the great powers' inability to keep tempo with changes in the international environment," wrote Kimberly C. Field in Parameters.

Cassidy analyzes and describes how military culture affects military operations. He is also concerned with military peace operations and conflicts that do not lie within normal military conflicts. He presents his theory concerning the military cultural traits and methods of force that are most adaptable for nontraditional operations. Cassidy begins by assessing cultural characteristics and preferences within the military in Great Britain and the United States. In the book's second part, he analyzes how these preferences specifically impacted post-Cold War doctrine for peace operations. "Readers will appreciate this book's well-researched facts and analysis, but my strong recommendation to read it is based rather on the applicability of the questions it raises to current operations," commented Field.

Counterinsurgency and the Global War on Terror: Military Culture and Irregular War, published in 2006, was called "a very timely, interesting, and thought-provoking book" by Political Science Quarterly contributor Dessie P. Zagorcheva. In the book, Cassidy presents his view of the adjustments that need to be made in what many call the "global war on terrorism" (GWOT). According to Cassidy, government personnel and agencies have been calling the war on terror the Long War, which Cassidy sees as being more fitting in relation to what he calls a long-term global insurgency and counterinsurgency. Foreign Affairs contributor Lawrence D. Freedman commented that, "after contemplating the possibility of a global Islamist insurgency, he looks at the would-be counterinsurgents who are attempting to cope with the resulting asymmetric struggle."

Writing in the book's preface, the author notes: "Al Qaeda and its affiliates comprise a novel and evolving form of networked insurgents who operate globally. They have harnessed the advantages of globalization. They employ terrorism as tactics, subsuming this terror within their overreaching aims to undermine the Western system of states. Placing the war against al Qaeda and its allied groups and organizations in the context of a global insurgency also presents implication for doctrine, interagency coordination, and military cultural change. Military cultural change is a precondition to military transformation."

The author's discussion of insurgencies and counterinsurgencies is based on the belief that the military has to both know its enemy and know itself. He examines al Qaeda and associated networks in depth and discusses the problems in taking on a large counterinsurgency. He includes historical examples of past conflicts of this type and offers recommendations for how to best face terrorism and counterinsurgencies in the twenty-first century. Writing for Parameters, William Flavin commented that "this is a valuable book containing information that the professional soldier and administrator will find useful and should be a welcome addition to the professional officer's library."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

BOOKS

Cassidy, Robert M., Counterinsurgency and the Global War on Terror: Military Culture and Irregular War, Praeger Security International (Westport, CT), 2006.

PERIODICALS

Army, May, 2007, Mike Burke, "Counterunsurgency Techniques Revisited," review of Counterinsurgency and the Global War on Terror, p. 96.

Business & Commercial Aviation, February, 2007, Frank Hoffman, review of Counterinsurgency and the Global War on Terror, p. 41.

Choice, January, 2005, P.F. Diehl, review of Peacekeeping in the Abyss: British and American Peacekeeping Doctrine and Practice after the Cold War, p. 929.

Foreign Affairs, November-December, 2006, Lawrence D. Freedman, review of Counterinsurgency and the Global War on Terror.

Journal of Military History, January, 2005, John P. Cann, review of Peacekeeping in the Abyss, p. 291.

Parameters, spring, 2005, Kimberly C. Field, review of Peacekeeping in the Abyss, p. 134; winter, 2007, William Flavin, review of Counterinsurgency and the Global War on Terror, p. 144.

Political Science Quarterly, spring, 2007, Dessie P. Zagorcheva, review of Counterinsurgency and the Global War on Terror, p. 163.

Reference & Research Book News, August, 2004, Robert M. Cassidy, review of Peacekeeping in the Abyss, p. 189; August 1, 2006, review of Counterinsurgency and the Global War on Terror; May 1, 2008, review of Counterinsurgency and the Global War on Terror.

ONLINE

Center for Advanced Defense Studies,http://www.c4ads.org/ (August 28, 2008), author profile.

Praeger Security International,http://www.greenwood.com/psi/ (August 28, 2008), author profile.

Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College,http://www.strategicstudiesinstitute.army.mil/ (August 28, 2008), author profile.

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