Micah Zenko says John Brennan, chief adviser to President Obama on counterterrorism issues, has a unique and unprecedented role in shaping and implementing the president's vision for protecting the United States, its allies, and its interests from politically motivated violence.
The State Department published this Fact Sheet, issued by the Co-Chairs (Turkey and the United States) of the Global Counterterrorism Forum for the June 7, 2012, GCTF Ministerial-Level Plenary in Istanbul.
This Georgetown Journal of International Law article conducts a historical survey of assassinations and targeted killings, following up with a legal analysis of the bin Laden killing as a precedent for future American counterterrorism operations.
This Congressional Research Service report outlines the background and history of recent Navy irregular warfare and counterterrorism activities, a number of which may pose critical oversight issues for Congress.
This Congressional Research Servicereport details the background and issues surrounding Special Operations Forces (SOF), elite military units with special training and equipment that can infiltrate into hostile territory through land, sea, or air to conduct a variety of operations, many of them classified.
Authors: Peter Lampert Bergen and Jennifer Rowland
The CIA's drone program, while successful, has been largely unpopular in Pakistan. But drone strikes are decreasing since they peaked in 2010. Peter Bergen and Jennifer Rowland of CNNask: Is it because of politics or because we're running out of real targets?
The Washington Post profiles the head of the CIA's Counterterrorism Center, who for six years has been architect of the agency's drone campaign, and has led its pursuit of Osama bin Laden. Surly and profane, he has outlasted three CIA directors and served two presidents.
In the New York media, fighting and personalities in the FBI and NYPD are frequently covered like a dysfunctional celebrity marriage, with perceived betrayal and reconciliation spilling into the news, writes Adam Goldman of the Associated Press.
Authors: John McCain, Joseph Lieberman, and Lindsey Graham
John McCain, Joseph I. Lieberman and Lindsey Graham, members of the Senate Armed Services Committee, believe President Obama should "resist the short-sighted calls for additional troop reductions" in Afghanistan.
Obama's targeted drone strikes--even on Americans--aren't illegal, writes Jack Goldsmith for Foreign Policy. In fact, he writes, there's a solid legal foundation and a number of checks and balances upholding his right to take out terrorists.
Targeted killings have become a central component of U.S. counterterrorism operations around the globe. Despite pointed criticism over transparency and accountability issues, analysts say the controversial practice seems likely to expand in the future.
Pakistani journalist Najam Sethi discusses the factors behind anti-Americanism in Pakistan. He says the two countries have failed to develop a strategic relationship because of their differences in Afghanistan.
The White House released this strategy document in December 2011. The introduction states, "The SIP details how we are implementing the National Strategy for Empowering Local Partners. ...The SIP provides a blueprint for how we will build community resilience against violent extremism. It does not address our overseas CVE efforts, other than ensuring we coordinate domestic and international activities."
Detainee policy that would mandate military custody for al-Qaeda suspects captured in the United States could have a detrimental impact on U.S. counterterrorism operations, say CFR legal experts Matthew C. Waxman and John B. Bellinger III.
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 the United States has responded inadequately to the rise of Chinese power and recommend placing less strategic emphasis on the goal of integrating China into the international system and more on balancing China's rise.
Campbell evaluates the implications of the Boko Haram insurgency and recommends that the United States support Nigerian efforts to address the drivers of Boko Haram, such as poverty and corruption, and to foster stronger ties with Nigerian civil society.
Koblentz argues that the United States should work with other nuclear-armed states to manage threats to nuclear stability in the near term and establish processes for multilateral arms control efforts over the longer term.
Learn more about CFR’s mission and its work over the past year in the 2014 Annual Report. The Annual Report spotlights new initiatives, high-profile events, and authoritative scholarship from CFR experts, and includes a message from CFR President Richard N. Haass. Read and download »