International Security News

What Inhibits a ‘Complete Strategy’ for Fighting ISIS

Jun 09, 2015
"The Obama administration and its critics in Congress should stop using language like “defeat.” This isn’t World War II. Eliminating ISIS requires fixing Syria and Iraq, creating well-governed, functional states. And not even the hawks in Congress are prepared to expend the resources required for that," writes Aaron David Miller.

U.S.-China Relations and Regional Order

Jun 08, 2015
Not only is the world in transition, but the process of transition in East Asia has speeded up since the global financial crisis in 2008, and especially since the leadership change in China two and a half years ago. Is the United States keeping up with these changes or is it mired in an effort to protect the status quo, while ceding to others control over the direction of change? Does China have the capability to contest the U.S. position as the guarantor of East Asian security?

5 Reasons the U.S. Cannot Defeat ISIS

Jun 06, 2015
"Even if we finesse the problem and use Obama's clever turn of phrase, to "ultimately defeat" ISIS, as our goal, we had better get used to a very long war. Even with such a war, victory as conventionally defined may still be elusive," writes Aaron David Miller.

America's Shocking Ignorance of Afghanistan

Jun 05, 2015
"The basic debate regarding whether U.S. efforts in the country should be focused on counter-insurgency or counter-terrorism has always framed the Afghan state as incidental to Western aims and efforts. Why? A basic ignorance about Afghanistan and a profound unwillingness on the part of policymakers to address this intellectual illiteracy lie at the core of any answer," writes Benjamin Hopkins.

De Souza Discusses Demographic Resilience in Latest SAIS Review of International Affairs

Jun 02, 2015
In the latest edition of the Review of International Affairs, Roger-Mark De Souza examines the ways in which demographic trends influence security considerations, highlighting some key considerations in light of the reality of climate change and drawing policy implications for the security, humanitarian, and development communities. De Souza suggests that when countries find ways to harness population dynamics they enhance their “demographic resilience” and find ways to plan for the shocks and stresses associated with climate change that may increase their conflict potential.

How Supplying Sunni Tribes Could Backfire on the U.S.

May 30, 2015
"If the U.S. opens an assistance conduit to the tribes, it could have major consequences among Shiites: It could weaken Mr. Abadi in the eyes of his Shiite constituency; it could undermine the premise of central government the U.S. is trying to support; it could even lead Iran to more aggressively push their Shiite militias in Iraq, further weakening the idea of centralized authority," writes Aaron David Miller.

A Warning in Iran’s Closed-Door Trial of Reporter Jason Rezaian

May 26, 2015
"The ministry, aided by a pliant judiciary, may be trying to make an example of Mr. Rezaian. His experience serves as a warning to other Iranians or dual nationals who work for foreign news agencies in Iran or universities and think tanks abroad. The message? Such Iranians should not feel free, or safe, to travel between Iran and the U.S. or Europe," writes Haleh Esfandiari

Obama's Arab Security Strategy: An Old Doctrine Gets Put to the Test in Yemen

May 18, 2015
"Yemen couldn’t be a worse place to put the American Gulf security plan to the test. It is a certified failed state with an impeccable record of sucking outside powers into a treacherous tribal quicksand," writes David Ottaway.

No Simple Answers to Questions About U.S. Leadership

May 18, 2015
"We are entering an era of difficult international transitions; and changing times require new thinking — not only by the Obama administration but by the presidential aspirants who wish to lead this country in a troubled time," writes Haleh Esfandiari.

How Durable is the China-Russia ‘friendship?’

May 13, 2015
China and Russia have options to forge an essentially cooperative relationship. However, limits to their partnership could grow over time given the two nations’ differing trajectories and historical grievances.

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