Defense and Security

Foreign Affairs Article

A Hard Education

Authors: Gideon Rose and Jonathan Tepperman

After 13 years of war, the loss of many thousands of lives, and the expenditure of trillions of dollars, what has the United States learned? The answer depends on not only who is asking but when.

See more in Afghanistan; Iraq; Wars and Warfare

Foreign Affairs Article

Pick Your Battles

Author: Richard K. Betts

For more than a decade now, U.S. soldiers have been laboring under a sad paradox: even though the United States enjoys unprecedented global military dominance that should cow enemies mightily, it has found itself in constant combat for longer than ever before in its history, and without much to show for it.

See more in United States; Wars and Warfare

Foreign Affairs Article

Withdrawal Symptoms

Author: Rick Brennan

In a speech at Fort Bragg on December 14, 2011, President Barack Obama declared that the U.S. military would soon depart Iraq, ending one of the longest wars in American history.

See more in Iraq; 9/11 Impact

Foreign Affairs Article

The Good War?

Author: Peter Tomsen

In the concluding pages of his fascinating memoir, War Comes to Garmser, Carter Malkasian, a Pashto-speaking U.S. diplomat who was stationed in a volatile region of Afghanistan in 2009–11, voices a fear shared by many of the Westerners who have participated in the Afghan war during the past 13 years: "The most frustrating thing about leaving Garmser in July 2011 and now watching it from afar is that I cannot be certain that the [Afghan] government will be able to stand on its own. ... The British and the Marines had put the government in a better position to survive than it had enjoyed in the past. What they had not done was create a situation in which the government was sure to win future battles against Taliban [fighters] coming out of Pakistan."

See more in Afghanistan; Defense and Security

Op-Ed

Delhi, Dhaka and a New Moment

Author: Alyssa Ayres
Indian Express

At a public meeting in Assam a few days ago, Prime Minister Narendra Modi stated his government’s intention to pursue the Land Boundary Agreement (LBA) with Bangladesh. While resolving the border with Bangladesh may seem like a quiet regional development compared with the turmoil in Afghanistan or competition with China, it will in effect deliver a political hat-trick of historic proportion.

See more in India; Pakistan; Territorial Disputes

Foreign Affairs Article

A Reunified Theory

Authors: John Delury, Chung-in Moon, and Sue Mi Terry

North Korea’s implosion is imminent, South Korea’s absorption of the North will represent a boon to all, and policymakers in Washington and Seoul should start planning for a military intervention to reunify the Korean Peninsula -- at least according to Sue Mi Terry (“A Korea Whole and Free,” July/August 2014).

See more in North Korea; Regional Security

Foreign Affairs Article

An Army to Defeat

Author: Kenneth M. Pollack

Syria is a hard one. The arguments against the United States’ taking a more active role in ending the vicious three-year-old conflict there are almost perfectly balanced by those in favor of intervening, especially in the aftermath of the painful experiences of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

See more in Syria; Military Operations

Primary Sources

CIA Fact Sheets and Statements on the Senate Intelligence Committee's Study on the Former Detention and Interrogation Program

The Senate Intelligence Committee began investigating the use of torture by the CIA to obtain information from detainees about terrorist plots. Their study was completed in December 2012 and was released December 9, 2014, after the CIA and the Senate Intelligence Committee debated how much information should be released. The CIA released its redacted June 2013 response to the study and the Director of the CIA John Brennan gave a new statement on December 9, 2014. The CIA also prepared a fact sheet on the history of the program and its responses to the Senate Intelligence Committee's main findings.

See more in United States; Terrorism and the Law; Intelligence

Primary Sources

Senate Intelligence Committee: Study on the Central Intelligence Agency's Detention and Interrogation Program

The Senate Intelligence Committee began investigating the use of torture by the CIA to obtain information from detainees about terrorist plots. The report covers the history of the interrogation program, the value of information obtained from torture techniques, and the CIA's and other government officials public statements about the "enhanced interrogation" program. The Senate Intelligence Committee concludes that the torture program was ineffective and that some techniques were harsher than admitted previously. The report was completed in December 2012 and was released December 9, 2014, after the CIA and the Senate Intelligence Committee debated how much information should be released. Senator Dianne Feinstein, who led the investigation, stated that the classified, unredacted version of the report could be released later if necessary. The CIA released its own fact sheet and response.

See more in United States; Terrorism; Intelligence

Op-Ed

P5+1 Talks Are Not (Just) about Iran

Author: Adam Mount
National Interest

Following Secretary of State John Kerry's announcement that the deadline for negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program would once again be pushed back, Adam Mount argues in the National Interest that applying more sanctions would eliminate any hope for a deal to end the Iranian nuclear program.

See more in Global; Weapons of Mass Destruction

Op-Ed

The Problem With the Torture Report

Author: Micah Zenko
ForeignPolicy.com

Though the release of the executive summary of the Senate’s report on the CIA’s post-9/11 detention and interrogation program is a worthwhile effort, this report will cover little new ground, Micah Zenko argues. Rather, a more public account, including interviews with torture victims and interrogation technique used by the Department of Defense, is needed. Zenko provides guidelines for and questions to think about while reading the report.

See more in United States; Intelligence

Primary Sources

Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Position Paper on the Matter of Jurisdiction in the South China Sea Arbitration

In 2013, the Philippines appealed to the United Nation's Convention on the Law of the Sea in settling claims to territory in the South China Sea. On December 7, 2014, the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs released the Chinese government's response, arguing that the Convention does not apply to the dispute in the South China Sea.

See more in China; Philippines; Territorial Disputes; Oceans

Audio

The Implications of Drones on U.S. Foreign Policy

Speakers: Micah Zenko and Sarah E. Kreps

Micah Zenko, CFR’s Douglas Dillon fellow in the Center for Preventive Action, and Sarah E. Kreps, associate professor of government at Cornell University, discuss the increased tactical use of unmanned aerial systems and the ramifications for U.S. foreign policy, as part of CFR's Academic Conference Call series.

See more in United States; Drones