Author profile: Aaron Francis O. Chan

‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell’ and military defiance of civilian control

Aaron Francis O. Chan • Jan 25 2011 • Essays
When president Clinton sought to allow homosexuals to join the US military, the American officer corps was so outraged that it even made the dispute public. The only word that describes such explicit military resistance to civilian preferences is disobedience. This essay seeks to establish how the military found public support and claimed legitimacy for its open defiance of civilian control.

A Study of Self-Help in Anarchic International Systems

Aaron Francis O. Chan • Jul 27 2010 • Essays
The debate between “rationalists” and “reflectivists” has emerged as a central axis of contention in International Relations (IR) theory. Rationalists treat sovereign states as rational, self-regarding units, leading both Neorealists and Neoliberal Institutionalists to conclude that anarchic conditions create a “self-help” international system. Reflectivists, a broad church that includes postmodernists, critical theorists, and other anti-positivists, see no automatic link between anarchy and self-help.

Public War, Private Soldiers

Aaron Francis O. Chan • Sep 30 2009 • Essays
On September 16, 2007, the issue of private military firms exploded out of the dry confines of academic debate and into the public consciousness as bright, bloody pictures blanketed the newspapers and television networks that had long ignored the subject. Seventeen Iraqis had been violently killed and more than twenty others wounded while they went about their business in Nisour Square, in the heart of Baghdad’s once fashionable Mansour District.

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