Current Projects

Strategies and Tactics in Armed Conflict (STAC)

Lethal Aid and Human Security Conference 2017


Who Wins? Predicting Strategic Success and Failure in Armed Conflict
Oxford University Press, July 2012

“Sullivan’s work gives us new insights into understanding war outcomes, and in particular when strong states will get into wars they cannot win.  Distinguishing between ‘brute force’ and ‘coercive’ objectives, Sullivan emphasizes the need for states to match means (destructive capacity and tolerance for costs) to war aims if they are to avoid costly defeats.”

—D. Scott Bennett, Distinguished Professor of Political Science, The Pennsylvania State University, author of The Behavioral Origins of War

Refereed Journal Articles

Lethal aid and human security: The effects of US security assistance on civilian harm in low- and middle-income countries
Conflict Management and Peace Science. February 2023

Arms for education? External support and rebel social services
with Reyko Huang
Journal of Peace Research. 2021; 58(4): 794-808

Explaining How Human Rights Protections Change after Internal Armed Conflict
with Johannes Karreth and Ghazal Dezfuli
Journal of Global Security Studies. 2020; 5(2): 248–264

Arming the Peace: Foreign Security Assistance and Human Rights Conditions in Post-Conflict Countries
with Leo J. Blanken, and Ian C. Rice
Defence and Peace Economics. 2020; 31(2): 177-200.
Arming the peace_Appendix

Strategies and Tactics in Armed Conflict: How Governments and Foreign Interveners Respond to Insurgent Threats
with Johannes Karreth
Journal of Conflict Resolution. 2019; 63(9): 2207-2232.

The Conditional Impact of Military Intervention on Internal Armed Conflict Outcomes
with Johannes Karreth
Conflict Management and Peace Science, 2015; 32(3): 269-288.

What Do We Know about Civil War Outcomes?
with Allison Shelton and Szymon Stojek
International Studies Review, 2013; 15(4): 515–538.

U.S. Military Aid and Recipient State Cooperation
with Brock Tessman and Xiaojun Li
Foreign Policy Analysis, 2011; 7(3): 275–294.
Reprinted in Milner, H.V., and D. Tingley. 2013. Geopolitics of Foreign Aid. Vol. II. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.

Should I Stay or Should I Go Now? Partisanship, Approval and the Duration of Major Power Military Interventions
with Michael Koch
Journal of Politics, 2010; 72(3):616-629.

Military Intervention by Powerful States, 1945-2004
with Michael Koch
Journal of Peace Research, 2009; 46(5):707-18.

Sustaining the Fight: A Cross-Sectional Time-Series Analysis of Public Support for Ongoing Military Interventions
Conflict Management and Peace Science, 2008; 25(2):112-135.

At What Price Victory? The Effects of Uncertainty on Military Intervention Duration and Outcome
Conflict Management and Peace Science, 2008; 25(1):49-66.

War Aims and War Outcomes: Why Powerful States Lose Limited Wars
Journal of Conflict Resolution, 2007; 51:496-524.

Disaggregating Peace: Domestic Politics and Dispute Outcomes
with Scott Gartner
International Interactions, 2006; 32:1-25.

Other Publications

The Ecosystem of Dark Networks: A Biological Perspective
with Matthew Mars and Judith Bronstein
CTX, 2015; 5(3).

Bang for the Buck? Assessing U.S. Military Aid and Recipient State Cooperation
with Brock F. Tessman
Security and Defense Studies Review, 2012; 13: 11-31.

Key Findings: Is Military Aid an Effective Tool for U.S. Foreign Policy?
Scholars Strategy Network Policy Brief. May 2012.

Review of Sarah Kreps Coalitions of Convenience: United States Military Interventions After the Cold War
H-Diplo/ISSF Roundtable Reviews, Volume IV, No. 7 (2012).


Does Security Assistance Work? Why It May Not Be the Answer for Fragile States
Irregular Warfare Initiative, Modern War Institute at West Point, November 2021

Military Aid Worsens Human Rights Conditions in Post-conflict Countries
Peace Science Digest, July 2020

Is it ever a good idea to arm violent non-state actors?
The Conversation, July 2017

Why Can’t America Win a War These Days?, March 2013

Twisting Arms Isn’t as Easy as Dropping Bombs
Washington Post, January 2007; A02.

Superpowers Often Lose Small Wars to Weaker Nations
ABC News, June 2007