Issues

Op-Ed

Obama's Armed Drones in Iraq Reek of Mission Creep

Author: Micah Zenko
Foreign Policy

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.

See more in Pakistan; Iraq; Drones; Counterterrorism

Op-Ed

Three Misconceptions About Drones

Author: Janine Davidson
Defense One

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).

See more in United States; Drones

Op-Ed

Drone Proliferation: What We Have to Fear

Author: Sarah Kreps
The Hill

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.

See more in Global; Drones

Op-Ed

The US Can Still Help Save Syria — and Iraq

Author: Elliott Abrams
Standpoint

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.

See more in Syria; Iraq; Peace, Conflict, and Human Rights

Op-Ed

In Iraq, What Exactly Was the Alternative?

Author: Emerson Brooking
Council on Foreign Relations

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.

See more in Iraq; Defense Strategy

Primary Sources

U.S. Department of Justice Memo: Applicability of Federal Criminal Laws and the Constitution to Contemplated Lethal Operations Against Shaykh Anwar al-Aulaqi

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.

See more in United States; Organization of Government; Terrorism and the Law

News Release

Michael Levi Named Director of Maurice R. Greenberg Center for Geoeconomic Studies

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.

See more in Global; Economics