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.
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.
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.
Writing in Defense One, Janine Davidson pushes back against criticism of the U.S. military’s deployment to Liberia to help fight the Ebola virus. In fact, she argues, the U.S. military is the institution best equipped to overcome this challenge.
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.
The U.S.-led coalition to combat the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) includes fifty-five states, nine of which have taken part in military operations or stated their willingness to do so. However, over time, CPA's Micah Zenko argues, these commitments will diminish as the mission shifts, resources dwindle, and national support decreases, just as was the case in the Iraq War and 2011 intervention in Libya.
Writing in Defense One, Janine Davidson and Emerson Brooking assess the ramifications of the anti-ISIS air campaign's expansion into Syria. They argue that the campaign will be stymied without robust regional partnerships. They conclude that, should the campaign escalate further, both domestic funding and political authorization will become significant issues of debate.
American leaders repeatedly offer unrealistic and outrageous counterterrorism strategies that are destined to fail. This is no different for the Obama administration's policy to "destroy" the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, says Micah Zenko.
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 2015 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 »