Defense and Security

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.

See more in Defense Strategy; United States

Foreign Affairs Article

The Cuban Missile Crisis at 50

Author: Graham Allison

Fifty years ago, the Cuban missile crisis brought the world to the brink of nuclear disaster. Every president since John F. Kennedy has tried to learn from what happened back then. Today, it can help U.S. policymakers understand what to do -- and what not to do -- about Iran, North Korea, China, and presidential decision-making in general.

See more in Cuba; History and Theory of International Relations; Proliferation

Foreign Affairs Article

Obama's New Global Posture

Authors: Michèle Flournoy and Janine Davidson

Tough economic times are often met in Washington with calls for retrenchment. But for decades, write two former top Pentagon officials, long-term forward deployments of U.S. forces and robust alliances have guaranteed stability and uninterrupted trade, the very conditions the United States needs for economic prosperity. The Obama administration gets it.

See more in United States; Defense Budget

Foreign Affairs Article

National Insecurity

Authors: Paul D. Miller, Micah Zenko, and Michael Cohen

Given the threats it faces, from nuclear-armed autocracies to terrorists, the United States cannot afford to scale back its military, argues Paul Miller. Micah Zenko and Michael Cohen reply that the danger of these challenges is vastly exaggerated and that an overly militarized foreign policy has not made the country safer.

See more in United States; Homeland Security

Foreign Affairs Article

Chinese Computer Games

Author: Adam Segal

In March 2011, the U.S. computer security company RSA announced that hackers had gained access to security tokens it produces that let millions of government and private-sector employees, including those of defense contractors such as Lockheed Martin, connect remotely to their office computers.

See more in China; Cybersecurity