Over the last year, faculty in ASU’s Kay Bailey Hutchison Center for Security Studies (CSS) have been publishing books in their respective areas of expertise at an increasingly rapid pace.
The fact that ASU is predominantly a teaching university rather than a research institution makes this an even more impressive achievement.
Dr. Casey Jones, CSS director, said, “The breadth and diversity of the CSS scholarly activities and creative endeavors yield fertile ground for publications. Consequently, not only does CSS faculty research regularly appear in leading academic journals, book chapters, books and texts, the media often cite their work. Additionally, the publications inspire student knowledge, advance department disciplines and contribute to the center’s academic reputation.”
Last summer, Dr. William Taylor published his first book, titled “Every Citizen a Soldier: The Campaign for Universal Military Training After World War II,” through Texas A&M University Press as part of the Williams-Ford Military History Book Series.
While working on the book, Taylor was awarded prestigious grants and fellowships to fund his research by the Harry S. Truman Library, George C. Marshall Research Library, Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation, Dwight D. Eisenhower Foundation and Society for Military History. Earlier this year, “Every Citizen a Soldier” won a Crader Family Book Prize Honorable Mention from the Crader Family Endowment for American Values.
Taylor is currently working on his second book, “In Defense of Democracy: American Military Service from World War II to Operation Enduring Freedom,” which will be published by University Press of Kansas in 2016.
Celso’s examination of al-Qaeda’s decline since the 9/11 attacks focuses on the terror organization’s mutation and fragmentation. The discussion spans the war on terror, analyzing major post-9/11 attacks, the failed jihadist struggle in Iraq, al-Qaeda’s affiliates, and the organization’s future prospects after the death of Osama Bin Laden and the Arab Spring.
The book has been highly praised by various experts, including Dr. Charles P. Neimeyer, director of the U.S. Marine Corps History/Gray Research Center in Quantico, Va.; Dr. Robert Nalbandov, an assistant professor in the Department of Political Science at Utah State University; and Celso’s fellow ASU authors Dr. Bruce Bechtol Jr. and Dr. Robert Ehlers Jr.
Descriptive and analytical, “Border Security” is designed to offer students in border and homeland security and criminal justice a balanced and up-to-date overview of border security, as well as the constant evolution it has experienced over the past 109 years.
The book has drawn rave reviews from such experts as retired U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Robert Scales, former commander of the Army War College; El Paso Times journalist Diana Washington Valdez, author of “The Killing Fields: Harvest of Women” about violence on the El Paso/Juarez border; and Dr. Robert Bunker, distinguished visiting professor and Minerva Chair in the Army War College Strategic Studies Institute.
Also earlier this year, Dr. Robert Ehlers Jr. published his second book, “The Mediterranean Air War: Airpower and Allied Victory in World War II,” as part of the University Press of Kansas Modern War Studies series. It is the first one-volume history of the vital role of airpower during the three-year struggle for control of the Mediterranean Basin during World War II—and of its significance for the Allied successes in the war’s last two years.
Ehlers’ first book, “Targeting the Third Reich: Air Intelligence and the Allied Bombing Campaigns” (2010), won the Best Air Power History Book Award from the U.S. Air Force Historical Foundation. It also led to Ehlers being featured in a pair of World War II documentaries that aired on the BBC in Great Britain and on PBS and the Discovery Channel in the U.S. One of the documentaries, “3-D Spies of WWII,” was also carried for several years on Netflix.
But perhaps the most celebrated author at ASU is Dr. Bruce Bechtol Jr. Acknowledged by both his peers and the international media as one of the foremost experts on North Korean military and political issues, he has published four books on North Korea and is currently conducting grant-funded research for a fifth.
Bechtol’s most recent book, published in spring 2014, is titled “North Korea and Regional Security in the Kim Jong-un Era: A New National Security Dilemma” and earned Bechtol a spot on C-SPAN2’s “Book TV” program. In fact, Bechtol has been on “Book TV” episodes to discuss each of his four books.
His forthcoming fifth book, tentatively titled “North Korean Proliferation to Terrorist Groups and Rogue States: An International Security Dilemma,” has him conducting grant-funded research in South Korea, Israel, Ethiopia and other world regions as he investigates the sale and trade of weapons from North Korea to various terrorist groups.
All of the books published by CSS faculty are available on Amazon and other online booksellers.