North America

Primary Sources

Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR): Leading Through Civilian Power

The Department of State and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) release the Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR), which "identifies major global and operational trends that constitute threats or opportunities, delineates priorities and reforms, to ensure our civilian institutions are in the strongest position to shape and respond to a rapidly changing world." The first QDDR was published in 2010.

See more in United States; Grand Strategy; Diplomacy and Statecraft

Primary Sources

Department of Defense Strategy for Operating in Cyberspace

The first Department of Defense strategy report on cyberspace was released on July 14, 2011 and an update to the strategy was released April 23, 2015. The strategy outlines the three missions in the cyber domain: to defend Department of Defense networks, systems, and information; to defend the U.S. homeland and U.S. national interests against cyberattacks of significant consequence; and to provide integrated cyber capabilities to support military operations and contingency plans.

See more in Cybersecurity; United States

News Release

Ashley's War: The Untold Story of the First All-Female, All-Army Team on the Special Ops Battlefield, by CFR's Gayle Tzemach Lemmon

Ashley's War, by CFR Senior Fellow for Women and Foreign Policy Gayle Tzemach Lemmon, gives an inside look at the first-ever all-female, all-Army team to serve on the battlefield alongside Special Operations Forces in Afghanistan—despite the official ban on women in ground-combat units.

See more in United States; Afghanistan; Military Operations


Book Reivew: Band of Sisters: Elite Group of Female Army Soldiers Battled Under Harrowing Conditions

Author: Janine Davidson
New York Times

Writing for the New York Times and Women in the World, Janine Davidson reviews Gayle Tzemach Lemmon’s Ashley’s War. She discusses the institutional and physical challenges faced by this historic band of female battlefield operatives, and reflects on her own experience as the first woman to pilot C-130s in the Air Force.

See more in United States; Women; Military Operations

Primary Sources

Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015 (TPA-2015)

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and House Ways and Means Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) introduced this legislation on April 16, 2015. The legislation allows the White House to continue pursuing trade deals such as the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) and Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP) and allows Congress to vote on the treaties.

See more in United States; Trade; Congresses, Parliaments, National Legislatures


Kill > Capture

Author: Micah Zenko

The Obama administration's stated policy since 2011 has been to capture suspected terrorists—such as U.S. citizen Mohanad Mahmoud Al Farekh in Pakistan—rather than target them with drone strikes. However,  as Micah Zenko points out, Al Farekh’s case is the rare exception and, since 2011,  the United States has conducted an estimated 215 drone strikes, killing 1,271 individuals.

See more in United States; Presidents and Chiefs of State; Drones