Tag Archives: Iraq

Defeating ISIL

To defeat ISIL we (all of us) must defeat ISIL’s appeal. Defeating ISIL’s appeal will build antibodies and anti-viruses against those who, inevitably, will seek to succeed the defeated ISIL. Military strategies will not defeat ISIL or its would-be successors. … Continue reading

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Who Are Syria’s Future Leaders?

A dual international strategy for Syria is materializing: military operations against ISIL and diplomatic efforts for a transition in Damascus. However, the general public knows a lot more about the former than the latter. The media focus much more attention … 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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Stop Hand-Wringing Over the Syrian “Dilemma”

I read much hand-wringing over the supposed dilemma in our Syria policy: we want to remove the Asad government, yet necessary attacks on the Islamic State group tend to keep Asad in power. Which do we want more? This conundrum … Continue reading

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GET IRAQ RIGHT FIRST

US intervention in Iraq and Syria is the right policy, but we should get Iraq right first. If the Iraq policy is succeeding, we are more likely to achieve our goals in Syria. If we bite off more than we … Continue reading

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Ambassador Robert Ford Right Nominee for Embassy Cairo

If President Obama nominates Amb. Robert Ford to be the next US ambassador to Egypt, American interests in that troubled nation will be extremely well served. To Egyptian citizens who are vocally fretting about American policy toward Egypt: you will … Continue reading

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Syria and Iraq: US Leadership for International Intervention

Syria and Iraq demand immediate international intervention. Yet, there is far too much complaining about US reluctance – how little America is doing, how urgent deeper American involvement is, even how the Obama administration is/will be to blame for whatever … 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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Crisis Education: the Military-to-Civilian Transition

Did the US military depart Iraq in 2011 lock, stock, and barrel? Or were some supplies, equipment and services transferred over to the civilian authorities that remained? How long did the logistical transition to civilian responsibility last? How well was … Continue reading

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Transition to Civilian Lead

Vice President Biden wrote in a NYT op-ed article this weekend about the U.S. transition from military to civilian lead in Iraq. His reinforcement of the notion that America is not “disengaging” from Iraq in the military drawdown applies equally … Continue reading

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