Articles

Academic articles by CFR fellows and experts.

Millennium Challenge: The Real Story of a Corrupted Military Exercise and Its Legacy

Author: Micah Zenko
War on the Rocks

Millennium Challenge 2002, a U.S. military red teaming exercise, was doomed to fail from the start. In an excerpt from his book, Red Team: How to Succeed by Thinking Like the Enemy, Micah Zenko tells a more comprehensive version of the story than has ever been told, featuring interviews with numerous leaders of the military exercise.

See more in United States; Intelligence

Why Obama’s National Security Strategy Seems a Lot Like Bush’s

Author: Matthew C. Waxman
Time.com

Matthew Waxman reviews Charlie Savage’s new book Power Wars: Inside Obama’s Post-9/11 Presidency. Waxman writes about the ways in which Savage explains the different styles, and yet remarkable continuity, in foreign policy between President Obama and his predecessor, President Bush. Waxman notes that Savage’s novel contribution is the way he not only demonstrates the surprising continuity in their two foreign policies but in explaining the cause of that continuity.

 

See more in United States; Presidents and Chiefs of State; Diplomacy and Statecraft

Why Your Secure Building Isn’t

Author: Micah Zenko
Medium

Though employees may think their company’s office building is secure, the outward appearance of security is rarely correlated with the actual protection of that building, or the people and contents within. In an excerpt from his book, Red Team: How to Succeed by Thinking Like the Enemy, Micah Zenko details how penetration tests are used to identify vulnerabilities in a building’s physical security.

See more in United States; Intelligence

How the NYPD Stops Terror Attacks

Author: Micah Zenko
The Daily Beast

The New York Police Department runs simulated exercises, called tabletop exercises, to test the responses and decision-making of senior commanders in advance of prominent events (the Thanksgiving Dayparade), in response to complex threats (missing radioactive material), or for new potential perpetrators (lone wolf attackers). Micah Zenko explores the use of NYPD tabletop exercises in his new book, Red Team: How to Succeed by Thinking Like the Enemy, including his firsthand experience attending one.

See more in United States; Terrorism and the Law

5 Things That the President of Nigeria Can Do to Get His Country Back on Track

Author: Matthew Page
The Washington Post

President Muhammadu Buhari, who was inaugurated May 29, is the antithesis of the stereotypical Nigerian politician: incorruptible, soft-spoken, self-effacing and deliberate. He embraces the nickname “Baba Go-Slow and Steady.” Buhari’s unhurried style has its downsides, however: It took him an unprecedented four months to name a solid but unextraordinary cabinet.

See more in Nigeria; Presidents and Chiefs of State

Inside the CIA Red Cell

Author: Micah Zenko
ForeignPolicy.com

Micah Zenko gives the first, ever look inside the CIA’s Red Cell—a unit tasked with conducting alternative analyses to anticipate threats and challenge conventional thinking. This is an excerpt of his book, Red Team: How to Succeed by Thinking Like the Enemy.

See more in United States; Intelligence

Authors: Edward Alden and Rebecca Strauss
Quartz

Management theorist Peter Drucker famously declared that companies must “innovate or die.” Washington today is full of similar warnings, based on the premise that the US is losing its innovation edge. The fear is that industrial and technological advancements in other countries—and in China in particular—threaten to leave us behind.

See more in United States; Competitiveness

Testing Putin in Syria

Author: Richard N. Haass
Project Syndicate
There has been no shortage of scrutiny of what Russian President Vladimir Putin is up to in Syria and why, writes CFR President Richard N. Haass. Much of the analysis, though, has been narrowly focused on the short term and may be too negative in assessing his actions’ likely long-term consequences.

See more in Syria; Russian Federation; Conflict Assessment

Obama’s ‘Atrocity Prevention Board’ — Abandoned, but Not Forgotten

Author: Elliott Abrams
National Review

In April 2012, Barack Obama went to the Holocaust Museum to declare, in solemn tones, that the lessons of the Holocaust and other episodes of genocide must be learned — and under his leadership American would learn them. Never again! he said. And he called that day for establishing a new government body called the Atrocity Prevention Board.

See more in United States; Presidents and Chiefs of State