Defense and Security

Foreign Affairs Article

Nuclear Waste

Authors: James Blackwell and Barry Blechman

Barry Blechman and Russell Rumbaugh (“Bombs Away,” July/August 2014) have revived an old argument: U.S. tactical nuclear weapons are militarily useless, and so there is no reason for Washington to keep them in Europe.

See more in Europe; Defense and Security

Op-Ed

2014: The Year in Cyberattacks

Author: Sharone Tobias
Newsweek

While Sony may have dominated the news toward the end of 2014, three major cyberattacks against U.S. companies shook the corporate world earlier this year: Target opened the year by announcing in January that hackers had stolen personal information from an estimated 110 million accounts; hackers accessed approximately 83 million J.P. Morgan Chase accounts in August; and Home Depot confirmed that its payment system was breached in September, compromising an estimated 56 million accounts. Here’s a look back at the details of each of those attacks, and how they affected the conversation about cybersecurity in the United States and the corporate sector.

See more in United States; Cybersecurity

Op-Ed

Rebrand It However You Want, but Afghanistan Is Still at War

Author: Max Boot
Los Angeles Times

Imagine President Franklin Roosevelt announcing at the end of 1944, after the liberation of France but before the final defeat of Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan, that World War II was over and that U.S. forces were ending combat operations. Instead we would support our allies, from Britain to China, in their fight against the Axis powers.

See more in Afghanistan; United States; Wars and Warfare; Terrorist Organizations and Networks

Primary Sources

UN Arms Trade Treaty

The United Nations General Assembly adopted the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) on April 2, 2013. The press release says the treaty makes it "harder for human rights abusers, criminals and arms traffickers to obtain weapons" and gives a brief history of the treaty from the 1990s. ATT went into effect December 24, 2014. The United States signed the treaty, but Senate has not yet ratified it.

See more in Global; Arms Industries and Trade; Treaties and Agreements

Audio

Media Conference Call: North Korean Cyberattack on Sony Pictures (Audio)

Speakers: Adam Segal and Scott A. Snyder
Presider: Robert McMahon

Adam Segal, CFR senior fellow for China studies, and Scott A. Snyder, CFR senior fellow for Korea studies, discussed the cyberattack on Sony Pictures and the studio's decision to cancel its release of The Interview, a comedy that reportedly depicts the assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

See more in North Korea; Cybersecurity; Homeland Security

Transcript

Media Conference Call: North Korean Cyberattack on Sony Pictures

Speakers: Adam Segal and Scott A. Snyder
Presider: Robert McMahon

Adam Segal, CFR senior fellow for China studies, and Scott A. Snyder, CFR senior fellow for Korea studies, discussed the cyberattack on Sony Pictures and the studio's decision to cancel its release of The Interview, a comedy that reportedly depicts the assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

See more in North Korea; Cybersecurity; Homeland Security

Primary Sources

National Defense Authorization Act, 2015

The National Defense Authorization Act of 2015 was signed on December 19, 2014 as Public Law 113-291, "to authorize appropriations for fiscal year 2015 for military activities of the Department of Defense, for military construction, and for defense activities of the Department of Energy, to prescribe military personnel strengths for such fiscal year, and for other purposes." It requires a regular report on U.S. support operations in Afghanistan through 2017.

See more in United States; Defense Budget

Audio

Media Call on Peshawar School Attack

Following the Pakistani Taliban's December 2014 attack on a school in Peshawar, Pakistan, CFR Senior Fellow Daniel Markey and Adjunct Senior Fellow Farah Pandith discussed the attack itself, the Taliban, the Pakistani political scene, the attack's likely implications, and how this might relate to U.S. policy.

See more in Pakistan; Defense and Security

Op-Ed

Beyond Borders: Fighting Data Protectionism

Author: Karen Kornbluh
Democracy: A Journal of Ideas

The free flow of information across borders is essential for the modern economy, but a growing number of countries have erected restrictions curtailing a free and open Internet. Karen Kornbluh discusses what diplomatic and policy steps the United States can take to safeguard the free flow of information worldwide.

See more in United States; Cybersecurity

Primary Sources

Submission by Denmark to the UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS)

UN Convention on the Law of the Sea Treaty covers a variety of ocean-usage issues such as transit, mining, research, pollution, and resource management and sets out guidelines for nations. Territorial claims can be submitted to the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf. On December 15,  2014, Denmark and Greenland submitted a claim to part of the Arctic, including the North Pole, which Russia and Canada each claim as their territory.

See more in Arctic; Denmark; Oceans; Territorial Disputes

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