Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (SIGIR) Stuart Bowen produced this final report for Congress, released March 6, 2013. The report details how much money was spent and which programs it funded over the nine year reconstruction in Iraq, and seven lessons the United States can learn about stabilization and reconstruction efforts. Other quarterly reports to Congress and the legislation that created SIGIR are also available.
Pundits tend to treat terrorism and guerrilla tactics as something new, but nothing could be further from the truth. Although the agendas have changed over the years -- from tribalism, to liberalism and nationalism, to socialism, to jihadist extremism -- guerrilla and terrorist warfare has been ubiquitous throughout history and consistently deadly.
Micah Zenko says, "Most analysts and journalists have focused on President Obama's expanded scope, intensity, and institutionalization of targeted killings against suspected terrorists and militants. However, perhaps the enduring legacy of the Obama administration will be its sustained, rigorous effort to shape and define-down the idea of war."
Gayle Tzemach Lemmon says that the war in Afghanistan, which has spanned a decade and cost more than 2,000 American lives, has now faded to one key, albeit short-sighted, question: How many U.S. troops will remain after 2014?
Kenneth Anderson and Matthew C. Waxman say some view automated technology developments as a crisis for the laws of war. But provided we start now to incorporate ethical and legal norms into weapons design, the incremental movement from automation to genuine machine autonomy already underway might well be made to serve the ends of law on the battlefield.
The female veterans who filed the lawsuit say combat exclusion is unfair and outdated, based on stereotypes, inhibits recognition and promotion of servicewomen—and ignores the realities of the modern battlefield, says Gayle Tzemach Lemmon.
Osama Suleiman, a Syrian immigrant to Britain and head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, has taken on the task of counting the death toll in Syria through hours of videos shot by activists and journalists in the country.
Gayle Tzemach Lemmon says, in Thursday night's debate, Vice President Biden worked to portray Paul Ryan as the candidate most in favor of continuing the unpopular fight in Afghanistan, a war that President Obama advanced and that the public no longer backs.
Authors: Stephen Biddle, Jeffrey A. Friedman, and Jacob Shapiro International Security
Examining the decline of violence in Iraq at the end of 2007, Stephen Biddle, Jeffrey A. Friedman, and Jacob Shapiro argue, "A synergistic interaction between the surge and the [Sunni] Awakening was required for violence to drop as quickly and widely as it did: both were necessary; neither was sufficient."
In the wake of a tense ASEAN meeting, CFR fellow Joshua Kurlantzick and CSIS senior fellow Bonnie Glaser discuss the rising tensions between China and other Asian countries over the South China Sea and implications for U.S. foreign policy in the region.
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.