Defense and Security
The Islamic State, or ISIS, is the first terrorist group to hold both physical and digital territory: in addition to the swaths of land it controls in Iraq and Syria, it dominates pockets of the Internet with relative impunity. But it will hardly be the last. Although there are still some fringe terrorist groups in the western Sahel or other rural areas that do not supplement their violence digitally, it is only a matter of time before they also go online.
See more in Syria; Global; Cybersecurity; Counterterrorism
The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), reached by Iran, six other countries, and the European Union in Vienna in July, has sparked a heated political debate in the United States.
See more in Iran; Weapons of Mass Destruction
See more in Iraq; Territorial Disputes; Terrorist Organizations and Networks
The events of the past five years have put an intense strain on the relationship between the United States and its traditional partners in the Arab world, particularly the countries that belong to the Gulf Cooperation Council: Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.
See more in United States; Middle East and North Africa; Weapons of Mass Destruction
Israeli national security strategy can seem baffling.
See more in Israel; Regional Security
In the last year, some 39,000 migrants, mostly from North Africa, tried to make their way to the United Kingdom from the French port of Calais by boarding trucks and trains crossing the English Channel.
See more in United Kingdom; NATO
In February 2015, when U.S. President Barack Obama released his second and final National Security Strategy—a formal outline of the administration’s foreign policy—it was met with the usual fanfare.
See more in United States; Regional Security
Ashton Carter has an unusual background for a secretary of defense. Before assuming the United States’ top military post in February, he studied medieval history and particle physics as an undergraduate at Yale, got a Ph.D. in physics as a Rhodes scholar at Oxford, and taught international affairs at Harvard. He also served as an assistant secretary of defense in the Clinton administration and as an undersecretary and then the deputy secretary of defense under President Barack Obama.
See more in United States; Defense Strategy
Peace talks, if not peace itself, may be close at hand in Afghanistan. Over the past few months, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and the Afghan Taliban have made unexpected strides toward talks.
See more in Afghanistan; Wars and Warfare
On March 17, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu won reelection, thanks in part to a desperate last-minute pledge to his right-wing base that the Palestinians would never get a state so long as he was in power. After the election, he tried to walk his comments back, but Palestinian observers weren’t buying it.
See more in Palestine; Wars and Warfare
In 2008, the actress and activist Mia Farrow approached the private security company Blackwater and some human rights organizations with a proposition: Might it be possible to hire private military contractors to end the genocide in the Darfur region of Sudan?
See more in United States; Defense and Security
Better safe than sorry. Gretchen West (“Drone On,” May/ June 2015) argues that the growing U.S. drone industry “faces a major regulatory obstacle” in the form of the Federal Aviation Administration. She’s right that the agency needs to make some basic decisions about how to regulate drones—and soon, lest the United States surrender its technological edge.
See more in United States; Drones
Until recently, most Europeans believed that their post–Cold War security order held universal appeal and could be a model for the rest of the world. This conviction was hardly surprising, since Europe has often played a central role in global affairs. For much of the last three centuries, European order was world order—a product of the interests, ambitions, and rivalries of the continent’s empires.
See more in Europe; Wars and Warfare
At the end of World War II, the United Kingdom built memorials to every military branch save one: the Royal Air Force’s Bomber Command. The group had skillfully carried out its mission, leveling German cities in raids that killed hundreds of thousands of civilians. But by 1945, the British public had developed second thoughts about the morality and efficacy of that mission.
See more in United States; Intelligence
In past years, Andrew Krepinevich, Jr., has argued for a U.S. military operational concept in the Pacific theater called “Air-Sea Battle.” This concept relies heavily on preemptive deep strikes in the early stages of a conflict and would have been highly escalatory.
See more in Asia and Pacific; Defense and Security
A close call. It is tempting to view the chaos in Libya today as yet one more demonstration of the futility of U.S.-led military interventions. That is precisely the case that Alan Kuperman makes in his article (“Obama’s Libya Debacle,” March/April 2015), which asserts that NATO’s 2011 intervention in Libya was “an abject failure” that set free Libya’s vast conventional weapons stockpiles, gave rise to extremist groups, and even exacerbated the conflict in Syria.
See more in Libya; NATO
See more in Middle East and North Africa; Intelligence
On Monday, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will travel to New York to convince the world that the United States is working toward a world free of nuclear weapons. He has a stronger case than you might think.
See more in Global; Nonproliferation, Arms Control, and Disarmament
Regulating the Rise of Post-Snowden Spyware
See more in Global; Cybersecurity
To deter Chinese expansionism, the United States must deny China the ability to control the air and sea around the “first island chain”—Japan, the Philippines, and Taiwan—and offset the PLA’s efforts to destabilize the region’s military balance.
See more in United States; China; Preparedness