U.S. military

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Foreign Policy Essay

A Competing Risks Approach to Security Sector Assistance for Fragile States

Editor's Note: Helping other countries' militaries and intelligence services is a vital part of whatever we're calling the war on terrorism these days. These programs, however, are often seen as one of two extremes: a panacea or an afterthought. Steve Watts of RAND calls for treating these programs with the analytic seriousness they deserve. He notes the range of potential problems and recommends using risk assessments to think about security sector assistance in a more sophisticated way.

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Foreign Policy Essay

Djibouti’s First, But Will it Last?

Editor's Note: The United States has long depended on a worldwide network of military bases to project power, reassure allies, contain enemies, and fight terrorism. Indeed, as the Islamic State has metastasized, the Pentagon is considering expanding the U.S. basing network in the developing world, particularly in Africa. Renanah Miles and Brian Blankenship of Columbia University describe how China and other countries are joining this quest for bases. They argue the resulting competition is creating a market, and a dysfunctional one, for access.

Foreign Policy Essay

Understanding the U.S. Military’s Morale “Crisis”

Editor’s Note: The U.S. Army and the military as a whole seem to have fallen on hard times: polls, studies, and tragedies like suicides and drug abuse all suggest an institution in crisis. Raphael Cohen of RAND questions this picture, pointing out that while the military has real problems, some are exaggerated and a few are even improving. Rather than focusing on benefits or other issues, Cohen argues the morale problems stem in part from concerns over the military’s accomplishments.

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