The pentagon last week acknowledged that the United States deployed armed drones to Iraq to provide surveillance and strike capabilities as the crisis with the Islamic State of Iraq and and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS) continues to deteriorate. However, Micah Zenko points out that while numerous U.S. officials have called for the deployment of drones, these demands have not been accompanied by justifications, and there is still no precise goals for the deployment.
The prospects for a comprehensive nuclear deal with Iran before a looming deadline look promising, but the United States and its negotiating partners still must clear major obstacles, says expert Suzanne Maloney.
Janine Davidson discusses three misconceptions about the United States' increasing deployment of unmanned aerial vehicles: that they "cause" disproportionately high civilian casualties, that they inherently cost less than manned aircraft, and that most of them are weaponized (in fact, less than one percent carry weapons at any given time).
Serious questions about drone proliferation and the United States' role must be answered," writes Sarah Kreps. She discusses a recent report coauthored with Micah Zenko, including the threat and consequences of proliferation, and policies the Obama administration should implement to regulate the export and use of armed drones.
After the 20th century's list of events of mass murder — from the Ukraine famine of the early 1930s and the Holocaust in the 1940s, to the Balkans wars and the Rwanda genocide of the 1990s — the cries of "never again" and the assertion of a "responsibility to protect" gave some hope that mass killing would not recur in the 21st century. Then came Darfur in the new century's first decade, and now Syria in the second. Mass killing has very clearly not been eliminated, nor has the "international community" developed a response that will avert it or bring it to a quick end.
Emerson Brooking examines arguments made by critics of the 2011 U.S. withdrawal from Iraq. He concludes that their most commonly articulated position—that U.S. troops should have simply stayed "until the job was done"—does not represent a viable strategy. In fact, it represents the opposite of strategy.
This U.S. Court of Appeal's Second Circuit ruled that this redacted version of a 2010 Justice Department memo, which "signed off on the effort to target Anwar Al-Awlaki, an American citizen deemed a terrorist, for killing without a trial," had to be released, in response to FOIA requests filed by the New York Times and the American Civil Liberties Union.
The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) is pleased to announce that Michael A. Levi, David M. Rubenstein senior fellow for energy and the environment and director of the program on Energy Security and Climate Change, has been named director of the Maurice R. Greenberg Center for Geoeconomic Studies (CGS). Founded in 2000, the CGS is one of the premier venues for informed analysis on the global economy and foreign policy—from international economic cooperation to the uses of economic statecraft, national security consequences of economic developments, and domestic U.S. economy.
The Council on Foreign Relations' David Rockefeller Studies Program—CFR's "think tank"—is home to more than seventy full-time, adjunct, and visiting scholars and practitioners (called "fellows"). Their expertise covers the world's major regions as well as the critical issues shaping today's global agenda. Download the printable CFR Experts Guide.
The authors argue that it is essential to begin working now to expand and establish rules and norms governing armed drones, thereby creating standards of behavior that other countries will be more likely to follow.
The author examines Pakistan's complex role in U.S. foreign policy and advocates for a two-pronged approach that works to quarantine threats while integrating Pakistan into the broader U.S. agenda in Asia.