The World Without America

Let me posit a radical idea: The most critical threat facing the United States now and for the foreseeable future is not a rising China, a reckless North Korea, a nuclear Iran, modern terrorism, or climate change. Although all of these constitute potential or actual threats, the biggest challenges facing the US are its burgeoning […]

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Boston Bombing Shows America Has Grown Up

Public reaction to the Boston Marathon bombings and the identity of the perpetrators reveal a very different nation from the one reflected in the traumatised and occasionally hysterical responses to the terror attacks of September 11, 2001. The magnitude of the two attacks was, of course, very different — thousands were killed and major national […]

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Looking At Afghanistan Differently

Afghanistan‘s future will not be determined by the thousands of lives tragically lost, the billions spent, or the number of international troops that will remain after 2014. The number of troops on the ground — whether foreign or Afghan — will not decide our future. We can only secure Afghanistan’s success if we first secure sustainable economic […]

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The Syrian Muddle And The United States

So has the time finally come when America and its allies will take action, send in the bombers, declare a no-fly zone? It seems not. For there is a matching shout from the West: “It’s Iraq all over again.” Indeed, if there are any polls suggesting intervention would be a vote-winner, governments across the world […]

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Why There Were No Good Guys In 2003

Much is already known about the lies, deceptions, and institutional failures which made the invasion of Iraq possible, and detail has emerged about the effect on the Iraqi population of the invaders’ chemical weapons and depleted-uranium ammunition. Yet the central assemblies of the two countries which led the invasion bear the heaviest responsibility. They failed […]

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How the Military Rules Israel in War and Peace

Two new books lament the outsized role of the military in Israeli national security decisionmaking, blaming the generals for favoring force over diplomacy. But the military has sometimes been a force for peace and moderation, and in truth the persistence of the Arab-Israeli conflict is the result of far more than just Israel’s bureaucratic politics. […]

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Getting Ahead Of The Sum Of All Fears: The Hindu

While India focuses on China’s strategic modernisation programmes, Pakistan competes with India. This triangular nuclear interaction is too complex for traditional arms control and too dynamic for laissez-faire policies. Beijing and New Delhi have adopted a relatively relaxed approach to implementing the requirements for nuclear deterrence. In both countries, national security is equated primarily with […]

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The Evolution of Irregular War

Pundits and the press too often treat terrorism and guerrilla tactics as something new, a departure from old-fashioned ways of war. But nothing could be further from the truth. Throughout most of our species’ long and bloody slog, warfare has primarily been carried out by bands of loosely organized, ill-disciplined, and lightly armed volunteers who […]

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India-Pakistan: The Establishment Strikes Back

In the last two years India and Pakistan have managed to rebuild ties after the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks struck a devestating blow to bilateral relations between the two countries. However, the escalation of tensions over the latest incident on the Line of Control (LoC) threatens this normalization of ties. In 2012, after much discussion and deliberation, both countries […]

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