Janine Davidson and Sam Ehrlich, writing in Defense One, evaluate recent remarks by Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Johnathan W. Greenert. According to his speech, the Navy remains focused on the Asia-Pacific rebalance and confident in a 317-ship navy by 2025.
Once again, Pakistan is suffering from a self-induced political crisis. For days, street protests led by opposition politicians Imran Khan and Tahir-ul-Qadri have paralyzed Islamabad and threatened the government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
"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.
While a fresh face at the helm of the Pakistani military undoubtedly raises American hopes for a less frustrating relationship, Daniel Markey writes that Washington should keep its expectations firmly in check and at least one eye out for trouble.
Senior defense leaders frequently repeat five particular assumptions about the future of the military, which are rarely questioned by Congress, the media, or defense analysts. Micah Zenko highlights these assumptions and their contradictions.
"Suleimani took command of the Quds Force fifteen years ago, and has sought to reshape the Middle East in Iran's favor: assassinating rivals, arming allies, and directing a network of militant groups that killed hundreds of Americans in Iraq. And yet he has remained mostly invisible to the outside world. 'Suleimani is the single most powerful operative in the Middle East today,' a former C.I.A. officer in Iraq, told me, 'and no one's ever heard of him.'"
"The liberals and revolutionaries who are now dancing in the streets must not rest on their laurels, but must begin agitating for a sustained national dialogue to reinterpret the proper role of the armed forces in the life of the country," writes Steven Cook.
Throughout Chuck Hagel's marathon confirmation hearing, America's decade-long war in Afghanistan was noticeably overlooked. But it is curious to see the next secretary of defense receive so few inquiries from senators about the war whose end he will presumably oversee in the coming years, says Gayle Tzemach Lemmon.
In a review of Stanley McChrystal's My Share of the Task, Max Boot says throughout McChrystal's career, the general was unshakably dedicated to his soldiers, to his wife, and, above all, to the Army and nation.
David Ignatius says in looking at a possible nomination of Chuck Hagel for secretary of defense, the issue for the White House "is whether Hagel would be the best manager during an important inflection point in Pentagon history."
Max Boot reviews The Generals by Thomas E. Rick, a book that traces the evolution of prevailing attitudes toward the promotion and relief of generals from the 1940s to present day, seeking to discover how the Army changed so dramatically in the past sixty-plus years and the consequences for the future of American military power.
CFR's James M. Lindsay remembers President Harry Truman's announcement on April 11, 1951, that he had dismissed General Douglas MacArthur as commanding general of U.S. forces in Korea, and discusses the principle of civilian control of the military.
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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 »