Op-Eds

Published opinions and arguments by CFR fellows and experts.

Obama Prefers Special Ops to Combat Forces in the War on Terrorism. It's Not Working.

Author: Max Boot
Los Angeles Times

Last week the Defense Department announced a couple of significant appointments: Gen. Joseph Votel, head of Special Operations Command, or SOCOM, would become head of United States Central Command, in charge of all military operations in the Middle East. Lt. Gen. Raymond “Tony” Thomas, head of the Joint Special Operations Command (composed of the Army's Delta Force, Navy SEALs and other “Tier 1” forces) would gain an extra star and replace Votel as overall head of special operations.

See more in United States; Defense Strategy; Presidents and Chiefs of State

Executing Foreign Policy

Author: Richard N. Haass
Project Syndicate

The implementation phase of major multinational agreements reached in 2015, from the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal to the Iran nuclear accord, will likely be more trying than the negotiation process, writes CFR President Richard N. Haass.

See more in Global; Diplomacy and Statecraft

The Crisis Manager’s Cheat Sheet for 2016

Author: Micah Zenko
ForeignPolicy.com

Micah Zenko highlights the findings of the Center for Preventive Action’s 2016 Preventive Priorities Survey, which identifies plausible sources of conflict or instability and ranks them based on their likelihood of occurring in the coming calendar year and their potential impact on U.S. interests.

See more in Global; Preparedness; Conflict Prevention

What Syria’s Refugees Told Me: The Ongoing Crisis and Our American Values

Author: Gayle Tzemach Lemmon
FOX News

I sat in the resort town of Izmir, Turkey, in a clean and dimly lit living room filled with eight children sporting sweet smiles and bare feet. They played and joked like children anywhere, except they were undernourished and underdressed for the biting winter chill that was pushing me to zip up my lined winter parka.

See more in Syria; United States; Refugees and the Displaced