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Our Kind of War

How do we justify our military actions and what is Congress’s role? Legend has it that the late Congressman Charlie Wilson from Texas had managed to singlehandedly defeat the Soviet aggressors in Afghanistan in the 1980s by orchestrating an extraordinary covert operation that took ragged bands of fearless mujahedeen fighters to deliver a


Desperate but not serious

“The situation in Iraq is grave and deteriorating. There is no path that can guarantee success, but the prospects can be improved.” A select few foreign policy and Middle East experts will quickly recognize the origin of this sobering assessment, but for the most casual observers of world events this statement perfectly captures the latest


Fight Club: Who is in charge here?

Last December, the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) conducted a drone strike in Yemen that appears to have gone horribly wrong by mistakenly targeting a wedding convoy and killing scores of civilians. By early January of this year, U.S. officials had launched an internal investigation of the strike and in April, The New York Times 


A History of Violence

Last Friday Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) announced that he would appoint a select committee to further investigate the September 11, 2012 terrorist attacks on the U.S. diplomatic compound and the CIA facility in Benghazi, Libya. This decision comes in the midst of a midterm election season and predictably it has generated panoply of partisan


“Tell Me How This Ends”

“Tell me how this ends” This is what former CENTCOM Commander and CIA Director David Petraeus had posited to journalist Rick Atkinson back in early 2003 when he was still a commanding officer of the 101st Airborne Division and in preparation to invade Iraq. While General Petraeus had made this comment with respect to the


Drone Games

A little less than a year ago, President Obama delivered a major national security policy address at the National Defense University. The speech outlined specific proposals for revising important pieces of several thorny national security issues such as the closing of the Guantanamo Bay Prison and a long-overdue review of the broad counterterrorism authorities vested


Whose Bill Is It Anyway?

Congressman Mike Rogers’s recent announcement that he will not seek reelection this November received a fair amount of news coverage. This is hardly surprising since he is the Chairman of the high-profile House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. While the media reported widely on the “succession race” for the chairman’s job, another consequential development barely