"While it was not the first country where the United States used drones, [Pakistan] became the laboratory for the targeted killing operations that have come to define a new American way of fighting, blurring the line between soldiers and spies and short-circuiting the normal mechanisms by which the United States as a nation goes to war."
As the French-led military forces retake northern Mali, [AQIM emir Abdelmalek] Droukdel's eight month old letter should resonate as an ominous warning as it points to a long-term strategic plan to outlive the intervention and sets the stage for a potentially successful return. Clearly, under Droukdel's leadership, AQIM has no intention of relinquishing northern Mali.
Authors: Mark Mazzetti, Charlie Savage, and Scott Shane
This account of what led to the [Anwar al-]Awlaki strike, based on interviews with three dozen current and former legal and counterterrorism officials and outside experts, fills in new details of the legal, intelligence and military challenges faced by the Obama administration in what proved to be a landmark episode in American history and law.
Speaker: Hina Rabbani Khar Presider: David E. Sanger
Hina Rabbani Khar, the minister for foreign affairs for Pakistan discusses the implications of U.S. and NATO troop reduction and withdrawal from Afghanistan, U.S.-Pakistan relations, and details surrounding the U.S. operation that killed Osama Bin Laden.
A "disposition matrix," the continuously expanding database that highlights intelligence on targets and strategies for handling them, has become an important aspect in one of the most difficult categories of suspected terrorists: U.S. citizens.
White House counterterrorism adviser John O. Brennan is compiling a "playbook" that will lay out the administration's procedures for the targeted killings that have come to define its fight against al-Qaeda and its affiliates.
Micah Zenko examines the public comments of John Brennan, Obama's closest adviser for intelligence and counterterrorism issues, and finds that there are seven half-truths and direct contradictions between stated U.S. policies and actual practices.
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 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.
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.
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.
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 »