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Obama's Armed Drones in Iraq Reek of Mission Creep

Author: Micah Zenko
Foreign Policy

The pentagon last week acknowledged that the United States deployed armed drones to Iraq to provide surveillance and strike capabilities as the crisis with the Islamic State of Iraq and and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS) continues to deteriorate. However, Micah Zenko points out that while numerous U.S. officials have called for the deployment of drones, these demands have not been accompanied by justifications, and there is still no precise goals for the deployment.

See more in Pakistan; Iraq; Drones; Counterterrorism

When All You've Got Is an F-16...

Author: Micah Zenko
Foreign Policy

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.

See more in United States; Defense Strategy

The Less Things Change...

Author: Micah Zenko
Foreign Policy

It's been a year since Obama's big speech about reforming the U.S. targeted killing program. Here are 10 things about the forever war that have hardly budged at all.

See more in United States; Drones

Space Jam

Author: Micah Zenko
ForeignPolicy.com

Micah Zenko considers the prosaic, though important, matter of how U.S. civilian and military officials think about national security space issues.

See more in United States; Space

How to Avoid a Naval War With China

Authors: William J. Parker III and Micah Zenko
ForeignPolicy.com

Though tensions between the United States and China are high, a war between the two countries is not preordained, write Micah Zenko and William Parker III. There are numerous tools available to avert possible escalation, which, if applied properly, could lead to positive near and long term implications.

See more in China; United States; Sovereignty; Wars and Warfare

The Drone Invasion Has Been Greatly Exaggerated

Authors: Micah Zenko and Sarah Kreps
ForeignPolicy.com

It is a common misperception that drones are proliferating widely throughout the world, when in reality, this is an over exaggerated and misleading assumption. Micah Zenko and Sarah Kreps argue that this "apparent runaway train of drone proliferation (and its misreported uses) is actually stymieing efforts to promote or influence responsible armed-drone exports and their uses."

See more in Global; Drones

When Terrorism (That Never Happened) Made Headlines in Sochi

Author: Micah Zenko
ForeignPolicy.com

For months ahead of the Winter Olympics in Russia, politicians and the media discussed the possibility of a terrorist attacks during the games. Micah Zenko reveals the truth about the likelihood of a terrorist attack in Sochi, analyzes how policymakers and the media misinformed the public, and discusses how the situation could have been handled better.

See more in Russian Federation; Terrorist Attacks; Media and Foreign Policy

The More You Talk, the Less You Know

Author: Micah Zenko
ForeignPolicy.com

"The smartest folks I know in just about every academic or policy field, don't tweet, blog, or actively appear in the media," Micah Zenko wrote on Twitter earlier this week. In his latest ForeignPolicy.com article, Micah responds to the reactions he received to his Tweet, and discusses the social media presence of area experts and policy makers.

See more in Global; Politics and Strategy

When Reagan Cut and Run

Author: Micah Zenko
ForeignPolicy.com

On February 7, 1984, President Ronald Reagan withdrew the U.S. Marines from Lebanon—an action that was "perhaps the most purposeful and consequential foreign-policy decision of his presidency," Micah Zenko writes. In this article, Zenko discusses the unclear and unachievable mission of the United States in Lebanon, and Reagan's subsequent decision to withdraw.

See more in Lebanon; History and Theory of International Relations

They Who Must Not Be Named

Author: Micah Zenko
ForeignPolicy.com

The annual worldwide threat briefings of the intelligence community began with Director of National Intelligence James Clapper's briefing to the U.S. Senate, during which he discussed the top threats facing the United States in 2014. In his article, Micah Zenko discusses the one thing that will remain shrouded from the American public—exactly who the United States is at war with.

See more in Global; Intelligence; Terrorism

The True Forever War

Author: Micah Zenko
ForeignPolicy.com

Advanced technologies have altered the relevancy of the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF), however a repeal of the AUMF is unlikely, argues Micah Zenko. "These technologies greatly change the calculus for civilian officials, and they have lowered the threshold for when presidents authorize the use of force."

See more in United States; Military Operations

Uniform Fix

Author: Micah Zenko
ForeignPolicy.com

"This habit of policymakers exalting the military as exemplars of accomplishment—in effect, asking generals and admirals to "save us from ourselves"—should be brought to a dignified end," writes Micah Zenko.

See more in United States; Military Leadership

Words of Unwisdom

Author: Micah Zenko
ForeignPolicy.com

The past year was filled with unusual, hypocritical, depressing, and inspiring quotes from U.S. policymakers. Micah Zenko has sifted through congressional hearings, press conferences, news articles, and reports to bring you 2014's top 20 notable foreign policy comments from U.S. government.

See more in United States; Politics and Strategy

Cloudy with a Chance of Conflict

Author: Micah Zenko
ForeignPolicy.com

To help U.S. officials and policymakers focus on the most important conflict prevention demands, CFR's Center for Preventive Action produced its sixth annual Preventive Priorities Survey (PPS), which evaluates ongoing and potential conflicts based on their likelihood of occurring in the coming year and their impact on U.S. interests. Micah Zenko discusses the process, findings, and utility of the PPS.

See more in Global; Conflict Assessment

Conflict Avoidance

Author: Micah Zenko
ForeignPolicy.com

"Conflict prevention's placement as a policy goal deep within the National Security Strategy (NSS), and the lack of specificity about how this is pursued, says a lot about how the U.S. government thinks about preventing future wars," Micah Zenko writes. Heprovides a series of recommendations to address under-prioritization and under-development of conflict prevention in U.S. policies and strategies.

See more in United States; Conflict Prevention