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Mershon Center for International Security Studies

Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud

Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, president of the Federal Republic of Somalia, said he has begun to lay the foundation for a stable and effective government, but it will take time to reach the ultimate goal of uniting his country under one flag.

Mohamud made these remarks to an audience of about 200 in the Ohio Union on the campus of The Ohio State University on Monday, September 23. Ohio State was his last stop on a two-day visit to Columbus, which is home to some 30,000 Somalis, the second largest Somali population in the United States.

Elected president of Somalia in 2012, Mohamud is leading the first constitutional government of Somalia in 20 years. Over the past 12 months, Mohamud has focused his efforts on four priorities: security, legal reform, public finances and economic recovery.

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Daniel Sui

The Ohio State University’s Department of Geography and Center for Urban and Regional Analysis (CURA) will undertake a study of sustainable community redevelopment in Columbus’ Greater Hilltop Area in partnership with U-Haul International Inc., which will provide support and funding of the study.

"This project is an excellent example of a university-industry partnership helping local communities to achieve the goals of urban sustainable development,” said Mershon affiliate Daniel Sui, geography chair and professor.

“For years, U-Haul has been a corporate leader in supporting sustainability research and outreach and we are delighted to work with them to revitalize one of the most depressed areas in the city of Columbus.”

Sui and Maria Manta Conroy, associate director of CURA and professor of city and regional planning, will focus on the potential role that different development strategies can have in contributing to the economic, social and environmental sustainability of the Greater Hilltop community.

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Bear Braumoeller

Countries May Simply Have Less Ability to Fight

COLUMBUS, Ohio – While some researchers have claimed that war between nations is in decline, a new analysis suggests we shouldn’t be too quick to celebrate a more peaceful world.

The study finds that there is no clear trend indicating that nations are less eager to wage war, said Bear Braumoeller, author of the study and associate professor of political science at The Ohio State University.

Conflict does appear to be less common than it had been in the past, he said. But that’s due more to an inability to fight than to an unwillingness to do so. 

"As empires fragment, the world has split up into countries that are smaller, weaker and farther apart, so they are less able to fight each other," Braumoeller said.  "Once you control for their ability to fight each other, the proclivity to go to war hasn’t really changed over the last two centuries."

Braumoeller presented his research Aug. 29 in Chicago at the annual meeting of the American Political Science Association.

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Mershon Center affiliate Peter Mansoor was quoted in a speech by Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.) on the House floor last week paying tribute to civilians who have served in difficult regions around the world.

Here's what Rep. Wolf said: "Dr. Peter R. Mansoor, the Raymond E. Mason Jr. Chair in Military History and the former Executive Officer to Gen. David Petraeus, when he was commander of the multinational forces in Iraq had this to say about civilian service: 'The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have been difficult ventures, but the nation could not have achieved its objectives in either conflict without the support of American civilians, who came to the fight with a number of critical specialties and who shouldered more of the load than their numbers would suggest. The Nation owes our civilian veterans a great deal of gratitude for their service in the nation's wars since 9/11.'"

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