Rebrand it however you want, but Afghanistan is still at war

Los Angeles Times

DEC 29, 2014

Imagine President Franklin Roosevelt announcing at the end of 1944, after the liberation of France but before the final defeat of Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan, that World War II was over and that U.S. forces were ending combat operations. Instead we would support our allies, from Britain to China, in their fight against the Axis powers.

Read more: Rebrand it however you want, but Afghanistan is still at war

The North Korean Menace

The Weekly Standard

BY MAX BOOT and SUE MI TERRY
DEC 20, 2014

December 17 was already an important milestone for the North Korean regime: It’s the day the “Dear Leader,” Kim Jong-il, died in 2011, opening the way for his son Kim Jong-un to succeed him as absolute dictator. That anniversary was marked Wednesday with commemorations to signal the end of a traditional three-year period of mourning and the emergence of Kim Jong-un as a leader in his own right.

Read more: The North Korean Menace

The COINdinista

Commentary Magazine

DEC 1, 2014

Knife Fights: A Memoir of Modern War in Theory and Practice
By John Nagl
Penguin, 288 pages

When the U.S. military found itself bogged down in Iraq and Afghanistan in the years after 9/11, it was forced to rediscover the tenets of counterinsurgency—a strategic approach to war-fighting that had been all but forgotten following the unpleasant ending of the conflict in Vietnam. That transformation was led in large part by a small cadre of officers who had studied guerrilla warfare at a time—the 1990s—when few thought this arcane discipline had any relevance for future conflict.

Read more: The COINdinista

Why America Won’t Pay Ransom to Islamic State

France, Germany and others shell out millions to terrorists, ensuring more kidnappings and bankrolling violence.

Wall Street Journal

NOV 28, 2014

The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria announced on Nov. 16, in another grisly video, that it had beheaded American aid worker and former U.S. Army Ranger Peter Kassig. He became the third American victim of ISIS’s beheadings, after journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff. Two Britons have also been beheaded, aid workers David Haines and Alan Henning.

Read more: Why America Won’t Pay Ransom to Islamic State

Chuck Hagel's firing won't help U.S. foreign policy

Los Angeles Times

NOV 24, 2014

It is a time-honored tradition in American politics: Whenever the president turns unpopular, he fires someone and brings in a tried and tested veteran to clean house. Thus in 1987, in the middle of the Iran-Contra affair, out went Donald Regan as Ronald Reagan's White House chief of staff, to be replaced by steady old hand Howard Baker. In 1994, after Bill Clinton had stumbled on issues including gays in the military and healthcare, out went Mack McLarty as White House chief of staff, to be replaced by steady old hand Leon E. Panetta. In 2006, after the disasters of the Iraq war and the loss of the Senate to Democrats, out went Donald H. Rumsfeld as George W. Bush's defense secretary, to be replaced by steady old hand Robert M. Gates.

Read more: Chuck Hagel's firing won't help U.S. foreign policy

The U.S. strategy against the Islamic State must be retooled. Here’s how.

Washington Post

NOV 14, 2014

This commentary was adapted from a CFR Policy Innovation Memo.

President Obama’s strategy in Syria and Iraq is not working. The president is hoping that limited airstrikes, combined with U.S. support for local proxies, will “degrade and ultimately destroy” the Islamic State. But while U.S. actions may have blunted the Islamic State’s expansion, they have not shaken the terrorist group’s control of an area the size of Britain. If the president is serious about dealing with the Islamic State, he will need to increase America’s commitment well beyond his recent decision to deploy 1,500 more advisers.

What will it take to achieve the president’s objective?

Read more: The U.S. strategy against the Islamic State must be retooled. Here’s how.

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“Destined to be the classic account of what may be the oldest . . . hardest form of war.” —John Nagl, Wall Street Journal

 

"Enormous, brilliant and important…. Terrific… Astute… Boot’s Invisible Armies should be required reading in the White House and Pentagon." —Michael Korda, Daily Beast

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