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cover art for It’s Time to Retire the Term ‘Proxy War’

Angry Planet

It’s Time to Retire the Term ‘Proxy War’

One of the persistent themes of Angry Planet has been that smaller countries in the spheres of influence of great powers have far greater control over their destinies than it would appear. If the recent fighting in the Middle East has taught us anything, it’s that local partners have plans of their own and it’s impossible for a patron to have complete control over what happens on the ground.


On this episode of Angry Planet, Barbara Elias of Bowdoin College comes on to make the case for retiring the term ‘proxy war.’ It’s a wide ranging conversation that covers Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, and Vietnam. Tune in for a worthwhile discussion of geopolitical semantics and stick around for a wild story of million dollar goats in Afghanistan. 


Afghanistan’s Failed Goat Farm Is the Perfect American Disaster


Local Partners Are Not Proxies: The Case for Rethinking Proxy War


Why Allies Rebel: Defiant Local Partners in Counterinsurgency Wars


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