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Blogs

Politics, Power, and Preventive Action

Zenko covers the U.S. national security debate and offers insight on developments in international security and conflict prevention.

Latest Post

Signing Off

Today is my last day at the Council on Foreign Relations after eight and one-half fun and fulfilling years. An archive of everything I authored or co-authored remains here. Subsequently, this is the final post of this blog after more than 400 posts. Read More

Terrorism and Counterterrorism
Bitcoin for Bombs
Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are gaining traction as a source of funding for terrorist groups, such as the self-proclaimed Islamic State. Counterterrorism policies should respond accordingly.
Foreign Aid
Why Cutting Foreign Aid Benefits Terrorists
President Trump's proposal to cut USAID funding will not help the United States fight terrorism. 
Middle East and North Africa
Geopolitical Information Blockades: A New Norm?
The information blockade on Qatar is an example of states increasingly using internet access policies as a tool against foreign adversaries—and being more brazen about it than they have in the past. 
  • Politics and Government
    Hedgehogs, Foxes, and Superstar Intellectuals: A Conversation with Daniel Drezner
    Podcast
    I was joined this week by Daniel Drezner, professor of international politics at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and regular contributor to the Washington Post. Professor…
  • Trade
    What Americans Really Think About Trade: A Conversation with Alexandra Guisinger
    Podcast
    Senior Fellow Micah Zenko speaks with Temple University Assistant Professor of Political Science Alexandra Guisinger about her new book, American Opinion on Trade: Preferences Without Politics, and how gender and race affect support for trade protection.
  • Middle East and North Africa
    Tahrir Square, Six Years Later: A Conversation with Steven A. Cook
    Podcast
    Zenko is joined by Steven A. Cook, CFR's Eni Enrico Mattei senior fellow for Middle East and Africa studies. They discuss Cook's latest book, False Dawn: Protest, Democracy, and Violence in the New Middle East, and U.S. policy in the Middle East and North Africa.
  • U.S. Foreign Policy
    You Might Have Missed: Academic Journals VI
    This is the sixth blog post in this series. The previous five were published in February, July, and October 2015, and January and May 2016, and highlight earlier academic findings. This post was coau…
  • Defense and Security
    Why Are Civilian Deaths in Iraq and Syria from U.S. Airstrikes Up 60% Under Trump?
    Today, I have an op-ed in the New York Times, which they titled: “Why Is the U.S. Killing So Many Civilians in Syria and Iraq?” The piece documents the sudden increase in civilian deaths from the U.S…
  • Cybersecurity
    The Need for New Cyber Thinking: A Conversation with Beau Woods
    Podcast
    I spoke with the brilliant Beau Woods, security researcher, deputy director of the cyber statecraft initiative at the Atlantic Council, and founder of Stratigos Security. Woods is also the co-founder…
  • Afghanistan
    Did Killing Mullah Mansour Work?
    In May 2016, President Barack Obama authorized a U.S. military drone strike that killed Taliban leader, Mullah Akhtar Mansour. A year later, we can judge whether this leadership “decapitation” strike achieved its intended political objectives.