Presidents and Chiefs of State

Article

The Legal Legacy of Light-Footprint Warfare

Authors: Matthew C. Waxman and Jack Goldsmith
The Washington Quarterly

The expanded use of light-footprint warfare–including drones, cyber-operations, and Special Operations Forces–has established precedents constituting a remarkable legacy of presidential power to use military force, posing a distinctive challenge to U.S. democracy and military strategy ahead.

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Foreign Affairs Article

Obama's Way

Author: Fred Kaplan

On January 28, 2009, barely a week into his presidency, Barack Obama met with the U.S. military’s top generals and admirals on their own turf, inside “the tank,” the Joint Chiefs of Staff’s conference room on the second floor of the Pentagon. A senior official recalled the new president as “remarkably confident—composed, relaxed, but also deferential, not trying to act too much the commander in chief.”

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Op-Ed

An Earful for Vladimir Putin in Latest ‘Direct Line’ Call-In Show

Author: Stephen Sestanovich
Wall Street Journal

It’s easy to snicker at Vladimir Putin’s annual televised call-in extravaganza, known as “Direct Line.” The show’s campy, “Dear Leader” deference would hardly be greater if Kim Jong Un were its star. Still, Mr. Putin’s performance is a valuable political barometer. The questions allowed and the answers they generate tell us how the Kremlin views the country’s mind and mood.

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Article

Why Credibility Matters

Author: Stephen Sestanovich
The Atlantic

President Obama has a clear idea of what unsound foreign policy choices are, which he has real determination to avoid.  He has made such understandings and determination the organizing framework of a downsized, less expensive, more risk-averse foreign policy. For better or worse, this is his “doctrine.” It is helping him to clean the policy arena. What it may not do is sustaining the American role in the world that he himself claims to want.

 

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Op-Ed

David Cameron’s Tea Party Problem

Author: Sebastian Mallaby
Washington Post

The United States is not the only place possessed by populism, and this week the results from Iowa coincided with a new lurch toward the gutter in formerly sane Britain. The country once governed by Bill Clinton-imitating centrists is now beset by its own version of Trump-Cruzery: a xenophobic nativism that would divorce Britain from Europe in defiance of ordinary good sense.

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