The United States' war in Afghanistan may be over, but the debate over the legacy of America's longest war has just begun. The U.S. defeat raises many questions. For the future of American defense strategy, one big question perhaps stands out above all: Does the United States still have the grit necessary to fight and win long wars?
Oct 4, 2021 Lawfare
Israel's strategy in Gaza of repeatedly cutting back Hamas's military capabilities before it gets strong enough to do Israel any serious harm is known as “mowing the grass.” Unfortunately this approach offers no alternative to continued bloodshed.
Jun 22, 2021 The National Interest
What should the U.S. Defense Department do during peacetime if the United States is not competing with China and Russia? Simply put, it should prepare to win the next war, while defeating any military aggression below the threshold of conflict.
May 18, 2021 The Hill
Book Review: 'Liberalism, the Blob, and American Foreign Policy: Evidence and Methodology' by Robert Jervis
Robert Jervis' “Liberalism, the Blob, and American Foreign Policy: Evidence and Methodology” is a thoughtful review of two books written by prominent international relations theorists John J. Mearsheimer and Stephen M. Walt. Jervis focuses his critique primarily on methodology and argues that the actual historical record is more complicated than either Mearsheimer or Walt suggests.
Mar 12, 2021 H-Diplo
Various U.S. administrations have long wanted U.S. allies to do more, but in many parts of the world the most logical partners are authoritarian states with different interests than those of the United States. The sale of military equipment to the United Arab Emirates provides just the latest example.
Mar 1, 2021 Lawfare
Enacted in 2016, the Iran nuclear deal was predicated on a geopolitical context that no longer exists. Addressing Iran's nuclear program today may require a different solution.
Mar 1, 2021 The Hill
Voices on the left and right have proposed downsizing America's overseas military footprint. While the merits of basing in a particular location should be open to debate, the underlying twin logics of deterrence and reassurance behind permanently stationing American forces overseas remain operationally, economically, and strategically as sound as ever.
Jan 14, 2021 War on the Rocks
Why does the United States send foreign countries American taxpayer money? The answer, in short, is because it serves U.S. self-interest to do so. Aid is not some act of charity at the American taxpayers' expense; it can help keep Americans safer, more prosperous, and secure.
Dec 30, 2020 The Hill
What will the next decade of warfare look like? Raphael Cohen led a project to answer that question for the U.S. Air Force. The team considered not just technological or force changes, but also how global politics, economics, and the environment will shift and evolve between now and 2030.
Sep 8, 2020
Even before the pandemic, the United States faced a growing strategic predicament: U.S. challenges are mounting, and America's international commitments increasingly outstrip its means to fulfill them.
May 26, 2020 The Hill
Commentators have predicted that the outbreak will upend how we think about the flow of people and goods across borders and leave a markedly different world in its wake. But while COVID-19 will change the mechanics of globalization, it will likely not spell globalization's death knell.
Apr 13, 2020 Lawfare
Over the last several decades, Americans' trust in their government and its institutions crumbled. Beyond that, the value of truth and expertise, the common bedrock of sound policymaking, was decaying in American society. COVID-19 might present an opportunity to correct some of these ills.
Apr 10, 2020 Fox News Channel
Captures and strikes are important accomplishments and the countless nameless professionals who carry them out deserve the credit for executing them. But leaders are charged with something larger and should be judged by a higher standard: namely, seeing beyond the illusion and producing actual strategic victories.
Jan 22, 2020 War on the Rocks
Given the heightened tension between the United States and Iran and the ongoing instability in Iraq, the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad may very well be attacked again. If such an attack were to be successful, it would be more akin to the fall of the U.S. Embassy in Saigon than the U.S. mission in Benghazi.
Jan 6, 2020 Fox News Channel
President Trump halted a retaliatory strike against Iran on the basis that it would have claimed many Iranian lives and was not proportionate to shooting down an unmanned drone. There are many good reasons to avoid attacking Iran, but if Washington must resort to force in the future, it should avoid the flawed logic of proportionality.
Jul 1, 2019 The Hill
Politics loves its historical analogies and today, perhaps, there is no more common a comparison to the Trump presidency than the Reagan administration. Reagan's tenure was marked by his successful competition with the Soviet Union. Does Reagan provide a blueprint for triumphing over modern Russia?
May 13, 2019 Lawfare
They've been called political warfare, measures short of war, gray zone warfare, and a host of other terms. Russia has used a wide range of hostile measures to expand its influence and undermine governments across the European continent. These tactics should be appreciated for what they are: part of a larger, coherent Russian effort, but ultimately not an insurmountable one.
Feb 26, 2019 War on the Rocks
States have been building walls since ancient times. Some were arguably quite successful, others less so. At the core of prudent policy lies a basic question: What can walls realistically accomplish?
Jan 8, 2019 Fox News Channel
United States presidential administrations from Clinton to Trump have championed different approaches to military and defense policy. The verbiage of the National Defense Strategy, however, remains relatively the same and the numbers reflect more incremental rather than monumental shifts.
Apr 25, 2018 War on the Rocks
The United States' principal adversaries are fighting and gaining ground by employing a host of tactics short of all-out war. This form of warfare, once called political warfare, is back with a vengeance, empowered by new tools and techniques.
Apr 13, 2018 The National Interest
The gap between Americans' confidence in the military versus its civilian counterparts has widened over the last several decades. This has led former military officers to play an increasingly prominent role in politics and changed the civil-military balance in potentially unhealthy ways.
Dec 18, 2017 Lawfare
After a decade of operating against Hamas in Gaza, the Israel Defense Force has learned many lessons about urban warfare against hybrid adversaries. The last confrontation teaches five basic lessons that apply well beyond Gaza.
Aug 3, 2017 War on the Rocks
Strategies fail because leaders are unwilling to make difficult decisions at the risk of being wrong. Can the new U.S. administration succeed in fixing the strategy process?
Mar 20, 2017 Lawfare
Secretary of Defense James Mattis will need to lay the intellectual groundwork to fulfill President Trump's promise of “a great rebuilding” of the United States military. History suggests that how the strategies are developed may be as important to their success as what they say.
Mar 2, 2017 RealClearDefense
The military's discontent may stem from dissonance between the commitment to, and pride in, the mission in Iraq and Afghanistan and the knowledge that these sacrifices have not yielded the desired results. Those wars arguably have prompted a crisis of confidence within the military itself.
Jun 29, 2015 Lawfare
Defeating ISIL will not come from winning hearts and minds and soft power, nor will it come from a handful of precision airstrikes. It will require hard, bloody ground combat. The United States may not want to admit this, but it is the grim truth nonetheless.
Oct 13, 2014 Lawfare
For all the attempts to find technological quick fixes or enforce a permanent settlement, Operation Protective Edge has highlighted that a war of attrition, known as a 'long war,' remains the only viable strategy in the current environment.
Sep 3, 2014 The American Interest