"Despite the headlines about bombings in Baghdad, the situation has improved immeasurably," writes Max Boot, referring to the better security in Iraq on his most recent trip. Nevertheless, he cautions that, "there is no room to be complacent," as there is much work yet to be done.
Authors: Charles A. Kupchan and Steven Simon Financial Times
"General Stanley McChrystal's plan to pursue counterinsurgency in the countryside is a bridge too far," write Steve Simon and Charles Kupchan, arguing, instead, that Afghanistan policy should be focused on establishing control in strategic locations.
Leslie H. Gelb comments, "The president's decision to send Georgian troops to Afghanistan will infuriate Moscow -- and reveals his lack of appreciation for exactly what it takes to accomplish big priorities."
Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and President Barack Obama struck a note of cooperation in their latest meeting. But some Western observers worry the Obama administration is not focused enough on Iraq's simmering problems.
In this opinion piece Jawad Al Bolani, the interior minister of Iraq, writes that the June 30th withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq's major cities is the start of a highly uncertain period for Iraqi democracy rather than a historical endpoint to be celebrated.
Anthony H. Cordesman argues in a Washington Post op-ed that the United States runs the risk of making Iraq "the forgotten war," which could have dire consequences for the country's post-withdrawal prospects for peace.
The evolving strategy in Afghanistan includes seventeen thousand more U.S. troops and plans to outbid the Taliban for the loyalty of their tribal allies on both sides of the Afghan-Pakistani border. But Gen. David McKiernan, commander of the effort, says no plan defined in purely military terms can succeed.
Stephen Biddle, a senior defense and counterterrorism analyst, says that President Obama's schedule for reducing and then ending the U.S. deployment in Iraq "is a reasonable compromise between several conflicting demands."
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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.
The author examines Pakistan's complex role in U.S. foreign policy and advocates for a two-pronged approach that works to quarantine threats while integrating Pakistan into the broader U.S. agenda in Asia.