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.
In her three year tenure as CEO of General Dynamics Phebe Novakovic, a former CIA operative, has led the company to record earnings with her “back-to-basics” approach. However, she may have to adapt her strategy to stay profitable in the coming years and to meet the demands of a flat pentagon budget.
Authors: Farideh Farhi, Sarah Birke, Matthew Levitt, Hussein Ibish, and Chuck Freilich
The nuclear deal inked by Iran and major powers has implications not just for proliferation, but Middle Eastern security as well. Five experts weigh in on what the deal means for regional powers and conflicts.
For the past several years, the Obama administration’s strategy for Afghanistan has rested on the basic assumption that although no reasonable amount of U.S. money or troops could win the war against the Taliban outright, a limited American commitment to Afghanistan’s security forces and government would enable Kabul to hold on long enough to reach a negotiated truce with insurgent leaders.
As offensive cyber activity becomes more prevalent, policymakers will be challenged to develop proportionate responses to disruptive or destructive attacks. Tobias Feakin outlines the variables that each state should consider in determining the appropriate response to a state-sponsored cyber incident.
Recent developments—Russian aggression in Ukraine, China’s expanding territorial claims, and the need to modernize the US nuclear arsenal—have caused scholars to revisit a labyrinthine world of nuclear strategy largely neglected since the end of the Cold War. But this new wave of theory has resurrected some dubious arguments.
Hackers are often mistakenly portrayed in popular culture as inarticulate geeks donning hoodies or ninja suits. However, the opposite is true, and policymakers in Washington could benefit from a deeper understanding of who hackers are and what they have to offer.
With two women set to become the first graduates of the U.S. Army Ranger School on Friday, CFR senior fellows Gayle Tzemach Lemmon and Janine Davidson explain the significance of the graduation and its implications for military operations and strategy.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe spoke on August 14, 2015, commemorating the end of World War II. South Korean President Park also spoke on this topic on August 15. See CFR.org's timeline, "Last Days of Imperial Japan" for background information.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry held a press conference after the P5+1 and Iran negotiations concluded on August 14, 2015. He discussed how the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action addresses Iran's pathways to building a nuclear weapon.
The future of the Japan–South Korea relationship depends on the ability of their leaders to address the past and to build a new partnership based on mutual understanding and trust, writes CFR's Scott Snyder.
The authors argue that the United States has responded inadequately to the rise of Chinese power and recommend placing less strategic emphasis on the goal of integrating China into the international system and more on balancing China's rise.
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.
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