The RAND Blog

March 2009

  • Afghanistan

    commentary

    Ultimate Exit Strategy

    Karl F. Inderfurth, James Dobbins

    Mar 26, 2009

    International Herald Tribune

    Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has described the upcoming high-level conference on Afghanistan at The Hague as a "big-tent meeting, with all the parties who have a stake and an interest in Afghanistan." With the situation in that country growing more precarious by the day, those attending this meeting must also think big, write Karl F. Inderfurth and James Dobbins.

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  • France

    commentary

    France's Creeping Reintegration

    F. Stephen Larrabee

    Mar 24, 2009

    GlobalSecurity.org

    At the upcoming NATO summit in Strasbourg-Kehl, French President Sarkozy is expected to formally announce France's return to NATO's integrated military command, from which President de Gaulle withdrew France in 1966. The full reintegration of France into NATO, if confirmed, will remove an important irritant in U.S.-French relations and open up new possibilities for strengthening U.S.-European cooperation more broadly, writes Stephen Larrabee.

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  • Iran

    commentary

    Iran's New Contender

    Alireza Nader

    Mar 24, 2009

    Project Syndicate

    Iran's presidential race just got more interesting, with former Prime Minister Mousavi throwing his hat in the ring and former President Khatami withdrawing his. This development poses the most significant challenge yet to current President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad - and a potential opportunity to alter the relationship between Iran and the West, writes Alireza Nader.

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  • International Diplomacy

    commentary

    U.S.-NATO Immersion Course

    Robert E. Hunter

    Mar 10, 2009

    The Washington Times

    At a major conference in Munich last month, Vice President Joseph Biden underscored the U.S. determination to rebuild strong and productive relations with its European allies. No issue matters more than Afghanistan, writes Robert Hunter.

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  • Iraq

    commentary

    Is Iraq Safe Yet?

    Lowell H. Schwartz

    Mar 5, 2009

    Project Syndicate

    The Obama administration's decision to withdraw the bulk of United Sates troops from Iraq over the next 19 months has sparked fears that Iraq will once again plunge into the wide-scale and debilitating violence that it endured from 2004 to 2007. Those fears are, for the most part, overblown, writes Lowell Schwartz.

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  • commentary

    Afghanistan: The Regional Solution

    F. Stephen Larrabee

    Mar 4, 2009

    CNN.com

    The Obama Administration's decision to commit another 17,000 troops to Afghanistan is unlikely to have an important effect unless it is part of a broader shift in U.S. and coalition strategy, write F. Stephen Larrabee and Julian Lindley-French.

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  • Military Strategy

    commentary

    Wanted Dead or Alive? When We Don't Get Our Man

    Benjamin Runkle

    Mar 3, 2009

    International Herald Tribune

    On his first day in office, President Barack Obama issued a dramatic series of executive orders intended to symbolize a change of direction in America's "war" on terrorism. Despite the headlines these orders generated, a more significant policy shift may have been the one signaled the week before his inauguration, writes Benjamin Runkle.

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  • Iran

    commentary

    To Talk with Iran, Stop Not Talking

    James Dobbins

    Mar 3, 2009

    The Washington Post

    If the dominant imperative is to stop Iran from getting the bomb, every month counts. Perhaps the simplest -- and certainly the quickest -- way to launch a dialogue with Iran, and the one least likely to play unhelpfully into the upcoming Iranian election, would be to simply stop not talking to Tehran, writes James Dobbins.

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