Foreign Affairs



National Security Confirmations: Politics Beyond the Water’s Edge

Katina Slavkova | April 4, 2018

March 2018 marked a curious milestone for national security that may portend some unexpected clashes ahead for President Trump and congressional overseers.  New personnel selections have dredged up divisive political memories; while the choice of Mr. Bolton (for National Security Advisor) may draw more commentary, Gina Haspel (for CIA Director) will draw the oversight that


At the Water’s Edge: Is House Intelligence Oversight As Good As It Gets?

Katina Slavkova | December 18, 2017

There is a common adage in national security and foreign policy debates that “partisan politics stop at the water’s edge.” This famous statement was first coined by the influential chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Sen. Arthur Vandenberg (R-MI) who, at the outset of the Cold War, overcame his political


Our Kind of War

Katina Slavkova | July 14, 2016

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

Katina Slavkova | October 31, 2014

“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


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