The U.S. plan to arm Syrian rebels to fight the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria looks eerily similar to the infamous 1961 failed Bay of Pigs operation. Micah Zenko argues that a clarification of phase two—how the United States will support the armed rebels once they are trained and equipped—is needed before the United States proceeds.
President Obama’s strategy in Syria and Iraq is not working. The president is hoping that limited airstrikes, combined with U.S. support for local proxies, will “degrade and ultimately destroy” the Islamic State.
During a 2+2 meeting in October 2013, Japanese and U.S. defense ministers called for the revision of the 1997 Guidelines for U.S.-Japan Defense Cooperation. On October 8, 2014, they released an interim report on the revisions and a final version is expected by the end of the 2014. This revision is part of the Obama Administration's strategy to rebalance to Asia.
Despite the recent parliamentary approval authorizing cross-border operations into Syria and Iraq, and even at the risk of jeopardizing peace talks with the Kurds as the city of Kobani remains under siege, Turkey is not fully committed to confronting ISIS militants head-on, says CFR's Steven A. Cook.
Janine Davidson argues in Defense One that the United States' military rebalance to the Asia-Pacific quietly continues apace, despite new and emerging security threats in the Middle East. She draws on evidence from a recent speech by Deputy Secretary of Defense Robert O. Work.
On August 9. 2014, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel spoke at the Observer Research Foundation in New Delhi about the U.S.-India cooperation and about U.S.-India military-to-military relations. Secretary Hagel discussed India's contributions to regional security and joint military exercises like MALABAR and economic partnerships such as the U.S.-India Defense Trade and Technology Initiative (DTTI).
In his testimony before the House Armed Services Committee, Max Boot advocates for a prudent and limited deployment of American trainers, special operators, air controllers and intelligence agents to mobilize indigenous opposition to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
In his efforts to save Iraq, President Obama is right to demand more power-sharing and other political reforms from Iraqi leaders before the United States offers more military assistance. But Obama should not think he can hold off offering such assistance until he secures those reforms—not if he wants to prevent the bloody breakup of the country and a wider regional war.
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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.
Koblentz argues that the United States should work with other nuclear-armed states to manage threats to nuclear stability in the near term and establish processes for multilateral arms control efforts over the longer term.
The authors argue that it is essential to begin working now to expand and establish rules and norms governing armed drones, thereby creating standards of behavior that other countries will be more likely to follow.
Learn more about CFR’s mission and its work over the past year in the 2014 Annual Report. The Annual Report spotlights new initiatives, high-profile events, and authoritative scholarship from CFR experts, and includes a message from CFR President Richard N. Haass. Read and download »