Janine Davidson discusses three misconceptions about the United States' increasing deployment of unmanned aerial vehicles: that they "cause" disproportionately high civilian casualties, that they inherently cost less than manned aircraft, and that most of them are weaponized (in fact, less than one percent carry weapons at any given time).
Serious questions about drone proliferation and the United States' role must be answered," writes Sarah Kreps. She discusses a recent report coauthored with Micah Zenko, including the threat and consequences of proliferation, and policies the Obama administration should implement to regulate the export and use of armed drones.
After the 20th century's list of events of mass murder — from the Ukraine famine of the early 1930s and the Holocaust in the 1940s, to the Balkans wars and the Rwanda genocide of the 1990s — the cries of "never again" and the assertion of a "responsibility to protect" gave some hope that mass killing would not recur in the 21st century. Then came Darfur in the new century's first decade, and now Syria in the second. Mass killing has very clearly not been eliminated, nor has the "international community" developed a response that will avert it or bring it to a quick end.
Emerson Brooking examines arguments made by critics of the 2011 U.S. withdrawal from Iraq. He concludes that their most commonly articulated position—that U.S. troops should have simply stayed "until the job was done"—does not represent a viable strategy. In fact, it represents the opposite of strategy.
The Middle East that Obama inherited in 2009 was largely at peace, for the surge in Iraq had beaten down the al Qaeda-linked groups. U.S. relations with traditional allies in the Gulf, Jordan, Israel and Egypt were very good. Iran was contained, its Revolutionary Guard forces at home. Today, terrorism has metastasized in Syria and Iraq, Jordan is at risk, the humanitarian toll is staggering, terrorist groups are growing fast and relations with U.S. allies are strained.
In his efforts to save Iraq, President Obama is right to demand more power-sharing and other political reforms from Iraqi leaders before the United States offers more military assistance. But Obama should not think he can hold off offering such assistance until he secures those reforms—not if he wants to prevent the bloody breakup of the country and a wider regional war.
Reflecting on a speech by Zbigniew Brzezinski, Janine Davidson considers the most effective steps to deter Russian President Vladimir Putin from further aggressive acts against Ukraine. She concludes that there are concrete military options that can deter without provoking—and these are the ones NATO should follow.
A. Michael Spence urges China's leaders to be steady-handed and sensible in their foreign policy and domestic reform agendas so as to maintain the kind of economic stability necessary for complex structural changes to work their way through the Chinese economy with minimal disruption.
Max Boot argues that the U.S. needs special operations forces on the ground to call in airstrikes and advise Iraqi security forces. At the same time, President Obama must pressure the Iraqi government to make more inclusive reforms.
Following the meeting between Dilma Rousseff and Joe Biden on the margins of the World Cup, Julia Sweig reflects in her column on the significance of the thaw in U.S.-Brazil relations after a year marked by the Snowden revelations, cyberspying, and postponements.
Authors: Max Boot and Michael Doran Washington Post
Boot and Doran argue that there is more to Iran's relationship with ISIS than meets the eye, and that cooperating with Iran to defeat ISIS would in fact further the goals of the U.S.'s long-time enemy.
U.S. policymakers are calling for airpower and bombings in Iraq, just two days after the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham captured territory in the north. Micah Zenko discusses why policymakers so quickly resort to bombing as a policy option, and the unfortunate consequences of this limited discourse.
Yanzhong Huang argues that the BRICs grouping of countries, which makes sense in the coordination of global macroeconomic policy, cannot be assumed to be relevant in the development of any global health policy.
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.