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.
The author of Ashley’s War, the story of a groundbreaking all-women special ops team in Afghanistan, explains how the movement to allow women in ground combat parallels the push to legalize same-sex unions.
Authors: Ray Takeyh and Roger I. Zakheim Wall Street Journal
Signals from the United States that it has no intent to use force against Iran has weakened America’s deterrence posture, argues CFR’s Ray Takeyh. The Islamic republic has, as a result, become more comfortable resuming its nuclear activities.
Did you know that private contractors in Afghanistan outnumber U.S. troops three to one? Micah Zenko examines the extensive role of private contractors in military operations abroad that U.S. policymakers fail to acknowledge.
Ashley's War, by CFR Senior Fellow for Women and Foreign Policy Gayle Tzemach Lemmon, gives an inside look at the first-ever all-female, all-Army team to serve on the battlefield alongside Special Operations Forces in Afghanistan—despite the official ban on women in ground-combat units.
Writing for the New York Times and Women in the World, Janine Davidson reviews Gayle Tzemach Lemmon’s Ashley’s War. She discusses the institutional and physical challenges faced by this historic band of female battlefield operatives, and reflects on her own experience as the first woman to pilot C-130s in the Air Force.
Yesterday I wrote “here we go again” with President Obama agonizing over another major foreign-policy decision–whether or not to arm Ukraine–even as our enemies push ahead with great determination and cunning. Today we are seeing yet another Obama MO: the tendency, once endless administration deliberations are finished, to produce a split-the-difference solution that doesn’t accomplish as much as it should.
Syria is a hard one. The arguments against the United States’ taking a more active role in ending the vicious three-year-old conflict there are almost perfectly balanced by those in favor of intervening, especially in the aftermath of the painful experiences of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Even as ISIS is losing a little ground at Kobani, it is gaining strength elsewhere and the new Iraqi interior minister's ties to Iran compromises the response, writes Max Boot for the Wall Street Journal.
The Council on Foreign Relations' David Rockefeller Studies Program—CFR's "think tank"—is home to more than seventy full-time, adjunct, and visiting scholars and practitioners (called "fellows"). Their expertise covers the world's major regions as well as the critical issues shaping today's global agenda. Download the printable CFR Experts Guide.
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.
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 »