Defense Strategy

Foreign Affairs Article

The Quality of Command

Author: Robert H. Scales

The argument of Thomas Ricks' new book, The Generals, is simple: since the end of World War II, the combat performance of the U.S. Army has been subpar, primarily because the highest-ranking generals have been reluctant to fire underperforming generals lower in the chain of command.

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Primary Sources

Department of Justice Memo: Lawfulness of a Lethal Operation Directed Against a U.S. Citizen who is a Senior Operational Leader of Al Qa’ida or An Associated Force

NBC News published this Department of Justice confidential white paper on February 5, 2013, which outlines the legal framework that would allow the U.S. government to "use lethal force in a foreign country" against a U.S. citizen highly involved with al-Qaeda or its associates. A bipartisan group of U.S. senators requested all classified documents related to the legality of targeted killings of Americans be released.

See more in Defense Strategy; Terrorism and the Law; Intelligence

Primary Sources

Renewal of U.S. Security Cooperation With Bahrain, May 2012

The U.S. State Department released this statement on May 11, 2012. Most of the details about the original 1992 U.S.-Bahrain defense agreement are classified; according to a press conference after the statement, this renewal includes providing "additional items and services to the Bahrain Defense Force, the Coast Guard, and National Guard...for the purpose of helping Bahrain maintain its external defense capabilities."

See more in Bahrain; Defense Strategy; Human Rights