Defense and Security

Op-Ed

The True Forever War

Author: Micah Zenko
ForeignPolicy.com

Advanced technologies have altered the relevancy of the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF), however a repeal of the AUMF is unlikely, argues Micah Zenko. "These technologies greatly change the calculus for civilian officials, and they have lowered the threshold for when presidents authorize the use of force."

See more in United States; Military Operations

Ask CFR Experts

How will the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan affect U.S.-Pakistan relations?

Asked by Ahner Abdullah

Many Pakistanis are inclined to view 2014 as the beginning of a new U.S. abandonment of Pakistan. This perspective is inspired both by a long history of ups (1950s, 1980s, early 2000s) and downs (1960s, most of the 1970s, and 1990s) in the relationship between Washington and Islamabad, as well as by the coming military drawdown from Afghanistan.

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See more in Asia and Pacific; United States; Defense and Security

Must Read

European Council on Foreign Relations: Syria's Uprising Within an Uprising

Author: Rania Abouzeid

"The armed Syrian opposition, in all of its disparate glory, has long talked of a revolution after its revolution to unseat Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, a period when scores would be settled between various anti-Assad groups…. Elements of all of these various fault lines had become frontlines during isolated bouts of rebel infighting over the past year or more, but the decision by so many different groups to take on ISIS at the same time, and in so many locations, was surprising. What was also surprising was how quickly ISIS was initially routed from some areas."

See more in Syria; Defense and Security; Terrorism

Must Read

New Yorker: The Syrian War's Private Donors Lose Faith

Author: Elizabeth Dickinson

"Since the Syrian revolution began, in 2011, private Kuwaiti donors like Herbash have been among its most generous patrons, providing what likely amounts to hundreds of millions of dollars to the armed opponents of Assad…. As the war took a more sectarian and extremist turn, so, too, did its private funders."

See more in Syria; Wars and Warfare

Op-Ed

Uniform Fix

Author: Micah Zenko
ForeignPolicy.com

"This habit of policymakers exalting the military as exemplars of accomplishment—in effect, asking generals and admirals to "save us from ourselves"—should be brought to a dignified end," writes Micah Zenko.

See more in United States; Military Leadership

Must Read

New America Foundation: Do NSA's Bulk Surveillance Programs Stop Terrorists?

Authors: Peter Lampert Bergen, David Sterman, Emily Schneider, and Bailey Cahall

"Surveillance of American phone metadata has had no discernible impact on preventing acts of terrorism and only the most marginal of impacts on preventing terrorist-related activity, such as fundraising for a terrorist group.... The overall problem for U.S. counterterrorism officials is not that they need vaster amounts of information from the bulk surveillance programs, but that they don't sufficiently understand or widely share the information they already possess that was derived from conventional law enforcement and intelligence techniques."

See more in United States; Defense and Security

Must Read

Harper's Magazine: The Pious Spy: A Taliban Intelligence Chief's Death and Resurrection

Author: Mujib Mashal

"Perhaps Ahmadullah no longer feels that his life is at risk. Unlike al-Qaeda, the Taliban have emerged from the past decade remarkably unscathed. Many of the group's leaders have vanished into tribal areas along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, and others live in urban areas—such as Quetta and Karachi—where U.S. drones could not reasonably operate. Still, if Ahmadullah who is no older than forty-seven, has any hope of playing a role in Afghanistan's future, he will have to emerge at some point from 'under the grave.'"

See more in Afghanistan; Intelligence