Date of Award


Degree Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Social Science and Global Studies

Committee Chair

Dr. Iliyan Iliev

Committee Chair School

Social Science and Global Studies

Committee Member 2

Dr. Marek Steedman

Committee Member 2 School

Social Science and Global Studies

Committee Member 3

Dr. Joseph Weinberg

Committee Member 3 School

Social Science and Global Studies


This paper examines the role that the President, the public, and the media played in troop deployment during the Afghanistan War. I hypothesized that each variable would influence troop deployment. Using a linear regression, I found that there is a positive relationship between the media and troop deployment. I concluded that media coverage did not influence troop deployment, but highlighted what was happening in Afghanistan. With the public, there is a negative relationship between the public and troop deployment. While troops increased, the public decreased in their support for the war. I conclude that the public did not have a direct influence over troops because troop numbers increased while the public’s support fell. Lastly, I concluded that the President does not influence troop deployment. Using a change-point model, I found that there was one point in troop deployment that was significant. On August 5, 2014, there was a drastic decrease in troop deployment. This was due to NATO stating that the mission in Afghanistan was complete and all troops needed to be removed from the area by the end of 2015. The last finding shows how economic and troop casualties are the primary influence over troop deployment. As there are more casualties, more troops are deployed. As the economy falls, troop numbers increase. This is due to the higher pay in the military versus civilian pay and other incentives to join. All in all, this research seeks to empirically test how outside players impact foreign policy.

Available for download on Friday, June 26, 2026