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August 31, 2017

U.S. Foreign Policy
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 …

Bookshelf and model drone in Micah Zenko's office at the Council on Foreign Relations.

August 17, 2017

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.

A Bitcoin coin

August 9, 2017

Foreign Aid
Why Cutting Foreign Aid Benefits Terrorists

President Trump's proposal to cut USAID funding will not help the United States fight terrorism. 

Shadow on USAID boxes

August 2, 2017

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. …

A sign indicating a route to Qatar embassy in Bahrain

June 23, 2017

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…

woman looks into a book

June 19, 2017

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…

Iraq Mosul airstrikes civilians

May 25, 2017

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…

Afghan security forces

May 18, 2017

Iran
Is Iran’s Election a Litmus Test for the Next Supreme Leader?

Iranians are heading to the polls this Friday to decide Iran’s next president: incumbent Hassan Rouhani or his challenger Ebrahim Raisi. A victory for Raisi could mean he is being tested out for a po…

a girl holds a poster of Rouhani

May 8, 2017

Human Trafficking
Sex Trafficking and the Refugee Crisis: Exploiting the Vulnerable

Caroline O’Leary is an intern in the Center for Preventive Action at the Council on Foreign Relations. April was Sexual Assault Awareness Month, which brought a deserved spotlight to the 5,551 cas…

A migrant woman stands outside a tent at a makeshift camp on the Greek-Macedonian border

April 28, 2017

United States
Trump’s First 100 Days: A (Third) Conversation with Elizabeth Saunders

Following our conversations in the heat of the 2016 presidential campaign a year ago and post-election last December, Elizabeth Saunders joined me again, this time to discuss President Donald Trump’s…

Tump100