Tag Archives: diplomacy

Combatting the ISIL Dragon the Right Way

Some policy makers in the US are grandstanding about the Islamic State organization, and how it is the latest in a series of dragons that the US military must slay to save the world (metaphor and hyperbole are mine). Ignored … Continue reading

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What is the State Department Doing for Syria?

Many months before the March 2003 military invasion of Iraq, the State Department’s Future of Iraq team was hard at work developing contacts, analyses, and recommendations about a multitude of key civilian functions that would be critical for the effective … Continue reading

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The Rewards of Real Partnership

Recent coalition air assaults in Syria – a rarity for the Arab world – show us a glimpse of the rewards of our strategic partnerships in the Middle East. The US benefits tangibly from the willingness of Middle East partners … Continue reading

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Foreign Affairs Back on the Track

The foreign policy train is back on its diplomatic rails. Look at Syria and Iran today. The conundrum of Egypt and the rest of the Arab Awakening. The transition to post-2014 Afghanistan. Even a faint glimmer of renewed hope in … Continue reading

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Reflections on John Nagl’s Lessons from Iraq

Read John Nagl’s op-ed in today’s New York Times. He highlights three nuggets worth extracting from America’s otherwise painful Iraq experience. John is as usual an insightful, experienced voice of military theory and practice. He overlooks, however, a critical dimension … Continue reading

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Book Review: “America’s Other Army”

I have recently reviewed an outstanding book by veteran journalist Nicholas Kralev entitled America’s Other Army: the U.S. Foreign Service and 21st Century Diplomacy. It presents the strongest arguments for better utilization of our nation’s diplomatic and development potential, something with … Continue reading

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Secretary Kerry’s Opportunity in the Sahel

US military forces are upgrading their support to French, Malian, and other African forces in Northern Mali. The latest operation seems to be adding unmanned aerial vehicle capabilities based in neighboring Niger. This is an important step, but by no … Continue reading

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The False Appeal of US Military Intervention in Syria

There is much clamor in the media for a stepped-up US military role in Syria to even the military playing field for the opposition, prevent more bloodshed as we said we should in Libya, and “prove” our support for the … Continue reading

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America’s Role in Syria

The Syria crisis is a complex and “wicked” problem for US policy. Our first objectives should be to provide significant humanitarian assistance and do what we can to accelerate an end to the fighting, as Secretary Clinton recently said in … Continue reading

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Education for the Crisis After Next

Here’s the good news: the US government is getting smarter at the strategic level about the need to respond collectively to crisis. Interagency fora at the cabinet and subcabinet levels are working better than before (sometimes), and financial resources are … Continue reading

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