Hackers are often mistakenly portrayed in popular culture as inarticulate geeks donning hoodies or ninja suits. However, the opposite is true, and policymakers in Washington could benefit from a deeper understanding of who hackers are and what they have to offer.
Pentagon and White House officials can’t agree on whether Russia is an “existential threat” to the United States, nor about what the top threats to the country even are. Micah Zenko discusses how this inhibits government effectiveness and what needs to be done to address it.
There is growing risk of a violent uprising in the West Bank that could be costly to Israelis and Palestinians and harmful to U.S. interests. Steven Simon suggests measures to reduce the probability of West Bank violence and minimize its consequences.
Who are the real winners of the Iran nuclear deal? Defense planners in U.S. Central Command and the Pentagon, says Micah Zenko, because “concepts, informal arrangements, and detailed plans that go into defense planning would have all been vastly more difficult, costly, and risky.”
The potential chaos highlighted by a 2011 Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) Contingency Planning Memorandum, "Post-Qaddafi Instability in Libya," has come to fruition. Daniel P. Serwer outlines the unfolding crisis and recommends steps the United States, Europe, and Arab countries can take to help mitigate the fallout.
Did you know that private contractors in Afghanistan outnumber U.S. troops three to one? Micah Zenko examines the extensive role of private contractors in military operations abroad that U.S. policymakers fail to acknowledge.
There has been a recent shift in America’s counterterrorism ideology, argues Micah Zenko, which accepts the idea that the United States is in a perpetual war with terrorism and fails to recognize that the U.S. counterterrorism policy is failing. “The only ideology that the United States can influence or control is its own.”
The United States provides the greatest financial support to peace operations in Africa. Drawing on a new Council Special Report, Paul D. Williams discusses the United States’ efforts to “shape the strategic direction and design of peace operations on the continent.”
Ambiguity in cyberspace—in terms of who is responsible for and the intent of a cyberattack—poses a growing risk of unnecessary military escalation in and outside the cyber domain. Benjamin Brake details how the Obama administration can strengthen its ability to correctly and efficiently attribute an ambiguous attack, reduce the likelihood of its escalation, and mitigate the consequences.
In a new Council Special Report, Enhancing U.S. Support for Peace Operations in Africa, Paul D. Williams argues that greater U.S. involvement is necessary to enhance the quality and success of peacekeeping missions.
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.
Territorial disputes in the South China Sea continue to be a source of tension and potential conflict between China and other countries in the region. Bonnie S. Glaser argues that the United States should help lower the risk of conflict in the region, including the potential for dangerous military incidents involving U.S. and Chinese military forces.
The United States is now engaged in yet another military intervention in the Middle East—this time in Yemen. Micah Zenko argues that what has become the standard operating procedure for how the United States goes to war should be alarming, particularly when the latest intervention “lacks clear courses of action, coherent objectives, or an intended end state.”
Venezuela is in a state of protracted crisis. Ambassador Patrick Duddy updates his 2012 Contingency Planning Memorandum to reflect the current likelihood of significant political instability in Venezuela and the options available to the United States.
U.S. military and intelligence officials often conceive of the complexity of the world in terms of the volume of total issues, rather than evaluating the prioritization of those issues. CPA's Micah Zenko examines how the U.S. military thinks about complexity.
The United States should position itself to take advantage of a post-Mugabe transition by working with other countries of the southern African region to limit the risk of civil violence in Zimbabwe and lay the groundwork for a better future.
In this CSR, coauthored by Paul B. Stares and Micah Zenko sponsored by the Center for Preventive Action, evaluates the U.S. system for foreseeing and heading off crises and assesses in detail current U.S. practices with regard to different types of preventive action. More
This report, authored by Bronwyn E. Bruton and sponsored by the Center for Preventive Action, argues that the current U.S. policy of supporting the TFG is unlikely to succeed and ineffective foreign meddling threatens to prolong and worsen the conflict. Instead, the United States should pursue a strategy of "constructive disengagement" while still maintaining support for localized development initiatives and humanitarian assistance. More