Defense and Security

Foreign Affairs Article

A Tale of Two Wars

Author: Zbigniew Brzezinski

Richard Haass' perceptive insider's account of the policymaking leading up to both Iraq wars -- one a "war of choice," the other a "war of necessity" -- holds key lessons for future U.S. leadership in the Middle East and beyond.

See more in Iraq; Wars and Warfare

Foreign Affairs Article

A Disciplined Defense

Author: Richard K. Betts

The United States now spends almost as much on defense in real dollars as it ever has before -- even though it has no plausible rationale for using most of its impressive military forces. Why? Because without political incentives for restraint, policymakers have lost the ability to think clearly about defense policy. Washington's new mantra should be "Half a trillion dollars is more than enough."

See more in Defense Strategy

Foreign Affairs Article

The Long Road to Pyongyang

Author: Michael J. Mazarr

The outcome of the North Korean nuclear saga has been held up as an example of the Bush administration defying its bellicose reputation and using multilateralism and diplomacy to defuse a crisis. But in fact, the story is one of extremely poor policymaking and a persistent failure to devise a coherent strategy -- with the result that North Korea has managed to dramatically expand its nuclear capability.

See more in North Korea; Proliferation

Foreign Affairs Article

Who Lost Iraq?

Author: James Dobbins

The current debate over the United States' failures in Iraq needs to go beyond bumper-sticker conclusions -- no more preemption, no more democracy promotion, no more nation building -- and acrimonious finger-pointing. Only by carefully considering where U.S. leaders, institutions, and policies have been at fault can valuable lessons be learned and future debacles avoided.

See more in Iraq; Wars and Warfare; United States

Foreign Affairs Article

Nuclear Insecurity

Author: Wolfgang K.H. Panofsky

The Bush administration has adopted a misguided and dangerous nuclear posture. Instead of recycling antiquated doctrines and building a new generation of warheads, the United States should drastically reduce its nuclear arsenal, strengthen the international nonproliferation regime, and move toward the eventual elimination of nuclear weapons.

See more in Proliferation

Foreign Affairs Article

Overhauling Intelligence

Author: Mike McConnell

Sixty years ago, the National Security Act created a U.S. intelligence infrastructure that would help win the Cold War. But on 9/11, the need to reform that system became painfully clear. The Office of the Director of National Intelligence is now spearheading efforts to enable the intelligence community to better shield the United States from the new threats it faces.

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Foreign Affairs Article

Bush and the Generals

Author: Michael C. Desch

The rift between U.S. military and civilian leaders did not start with George W. Bush, but his administration's meddling and disregard for military expertise have made it worse. The new defense secretary must restore a division of labor that gives soldiers authority over tactics and civilians authority over strategy -- or risk discrediting civilian control of the military even further.

See more in Defense Strategy