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Tag Archives: Foreign Policy

Revised Counterinsurgency Field Manual

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Thursday, May 22, 2014 at 6:51 AM

The revised COIN Field manual is available here.  I have not read it but Small Wars Journal has critical commentary by Charles Dunlap, Bing West, Adam Elkus, and Robert Cassidy, and Ganesh Sitaraman weighs in at Foreign Policy. Update: Steve Aftergood of Secrecy News has a review here.

The Foreign Policy Essay: “2013 – The Year We Lost Iraq?”

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Sunday, January 5, 2014 at 10:00 AM

Violence in Iraq in 2013 was worse than at any time since 2008 – when Iraq was still in the throes of its all-out civil war that had led to over 100,000 deaths. And Iraq’s problems are getting worse, not better. Although there are many differences, the situation in Iraq today reminds me in some . . .
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Obama and Alexander, Bush and Tenet

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Friday, October 11, 2013 at 8:40 AM

Over at Foreign Policy, Shane Harris has a piece suggesting that folks at NSA feel abandoned by President Obama’s failure to defend the agency aggressively: Gen. Keith Alexander and his senior leadership team at the National Security Agency are angry and dispirited by what they see as the White House’s failure to defend the spy agency against . . .
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Unearthed Documents Show that NSA Illegally Spied on Senators, Civil Rights Leaders, and the Media*

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Friday, September 27, 2013 at 5:34 PM

* – Or, at least, it did over forty years ago. In a new piece at Foreign Policy, Matthew M. Aid and William Burr report on a recently declassified NSA history that discloses the targets of NSA surveillance during the late 1960s and early 1970s, including sitting Senators and Martin Luther King, Jr. In these documents, . . .
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Shane Harris on Nathan Myhrvold’s Paper

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Friday, September 20, 2013 at 6:48 AM

Over at Foreign Policy, Shane Harris has a story about Nathan Myhrvold’s Lawfare Research Paper Series paper: “Strategic Terrorism: A Call to Action.” Along the way, it also contains some nice words about Lawfare. It opens: Add to Nathan Myhrvold’s already eclectic résumé—which includes ex-chief technology officer of Microsoft, co-founder of one of the world’s largest patent-holding firms, and author of . . .
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Shane Harris on General Alexander

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Friday, September 13, 2013 at 9:04 AM

Shane Harris has a long piece in FP about NSA Director Keith Alexander entitled The Cowboy of the NSA.  Harris shows, with nice detail and color, how Alexander has engaged for years in an all-out drive to collect more and more data.  But as the title suggests, the thrust of the story is that General . . .
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Worth Reading On Syria

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Monday, September 2, 2013 at 6:12 AM

A few items that are in my opinion worth a read: Opinio Juris is having an insta-symposium on Syria.  I recommend in particular Marty Lederman’s two posts on the relevance of the U.N. Charter to the coming authorization debate in Congress.  (Largely overlooked in the President’s speech on Saturday was his back-of-the hand dismissal of . . .
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Big News in National Security Journalism

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Monday, June 10, 2013 at 2:29 PM

From FishbowlDC: Noah Shachtman of Wired’s Danger Room will be Foreign Policy’s new Executive Editor of News after Susan Glasser stepped down last week. And Shane Harris of Washingtonian magazine will also join the magazine as a senior writer.

A Crash Course on Chechnya and Kyrgyzstan

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Friday, April 19, 2013 at 11:21 AM

It has been widely reported that the two prime suspects in the Boston marathon bombings—one who was killed in a shootout early this morning—are ethnic Chechens. The brothers allegedly lived in Kyrgyzstan with their family before moving to the United States in 2002, and reports say they are citizens of that country. Here is a running . . .
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Thoughts on Possible End to CIA Targeted Killing

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Wednesday, March 20, 2013 at 6:53 PM

As Jack mentioned, Dan Klaidman of the Daily Beast reported today that “the White House is poised to sign off on a plan to shift the CIA’s lethal targeting program to the Defense Department.” Over at ForeignPolicy.com, I just published a brief essay on this matter.  In short: Many critics of the government’s targeted killing . . .
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AUMF Reform: A Response to Brooks and Others

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Friday, March 15, 2013 at 5:21 PM

In a recent Foreignpolicy.com essay, Rosa Brooks warns against some recent stirrings for a new or expanded Authorization for the Use of Military Force to deal with post-al Qaida threats.  Brooks cites in that category the recent Hoover Institution Task Force on National Security and Law policy paper, A Statutory Framework for Next Generation Terrorist . . .
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Joel Brenner on Chinese Cyber Espionage

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Saturday, March 9, 2013 at 10:15 AM

Joel Brenner, the former National Counterintelligence Executive at ODNI has an interesting piece in Foreign Policy, entitled “Gray Matter.” [Free login required]. Here’s an excerpt: We’re in a strategic trap that’s partly economic and partly in our heads. We tend to think strategic relationships are governed by an on/off toggle switch between peace and war. . . .
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Readings: Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) Letter to John Brennan, CIA Director Nominee, on Targeted Killing of US Citizens Abroad

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Monday, January 14, 2013 at 5:29 PM

John Brennan, nominated by President Obama to become the next CIA director, will apparently face some tough questioning from Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) at his Senate confirmation hearings (reportedly set for Thursday, February 7, 2:30 pm).  Sen. Wyden has sent Brennan a letter (obtained by Wired’s DangerRoom) on the refusal of the Administration to release . . .
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Readings: David Cole on Civil Society and Individual Rights After 9/11

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Saturday, November 17, 2012 at 7:22 PM

Georgetown law professor David Cole has a new article up on SSRN, “Where Liberty Lies: Civil Society and Individual Rights after 9/11.”  It offers something of a retrospective on the role of civil society organizations in defending a vision of individual rights under the Constitution in the years following 9/11 – these organizations include, Cole . . .
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Lawfare Podcast Episode #22: Stephen Tankel on Pakistan, the Endgame in Afghanistan, and LeT

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Thursday, November 15, 2012 at 8:13 AM

This is the latest piece in the interview series I have done over the last few months with terrorism and regional experts about non-legal issues of pertinence to Lawfare readers. For this episode, I interviewed American University professor and nonresident scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Stephen Tankel. (The other interviews in this . . .
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You Decide Whether or Not to Attack Iran

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Tuesday, November 13, 2012 at 9:45 PM

I’m not really an Iran person, and I don’t have strong feelings about the right or wrong way to handle the Iranian nuclear program. But I nonetheless enjoyed—and found rather informative—this Truman National Security Project online war game, entitled Tell Me How This Ends, which lets you make key decisions regarding whether how to escalate the U.S. response to . . .
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DCIA Petraeus Resigns

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Friday, November 9, 2012 at 3:26 PM

So reports NBC News, which apparently obtained a copy of Petraeus’ statement to the CIA workforce.  From the NBC report’s opening: CIA Director David Petraeus resigned Friday, citing an extramarital affair he had. Multiple sources tell NBC News that Mike Morrell, the deputy CIA director and a longtime CIA officer, would likely be offered the . . .
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Iran, Military Strikes, and the Limits of WMD Intelligence [UPDATED]

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Thursday, August 16, 2012 at 11:42 AM

For readers following closely the issue of possible military strikes (Israeli or U.S.) against Iran’s nuclear facilities, I recommend reading Jeffrey Lewis’s analysis at foreignpolicy.com of the U.S. intelligence assessments. Besides parsing the various National Intelligence Estimates on the Iranian program and dispelling some myths about them, he makes important points about why it is . . .
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The Drunken Predator Speaks

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Saturday, July 21, 2012 at 8:55 PM

Over at Foreign Policy, the mysterious author of the @drunkenpredator Twitter feed has an essay that begins: Every morning, the hangar doors roll open and the sunlight flares my electro-optical sensors. I drag myself onto the flight line, load up my pylons with Hellfire and Griffin missiles, and try to get some coffee into my . . .
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Senator Feinstein on the Obama Administration and Targeted Killing

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Wednesday, March 21, 2012 at 2:39 PM

Earlier this week I published a piece on the Foreign Policy page that defended the legal infrastructure for the Obama’s administration’s targeted killing program.  At the end I made the following proposal as a way for Congress to help the president convey to the public credibly that his largely secret targeted killing policies were lawful and carefully . . .
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