Outside Publications

Outside Publications

Wither and Die: Cutting the Islamic State Group Off From New Revenues Will Hasten its Defeat

The Islamic State group is the ultimate predatory state. It has obtained vast amounts of financial and other resources in a relatively short period of time by theft or extortion. The fact remains, however, that most of its revenues are unsustainable, which is a significant organizational weakness that will likely be its downfall. The Islamic State group must either grow or die.

Five Key Takeaways from the New U.S. National Military Strategy

General Martin Dempsey, outgoing Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has just released a new, remarkably readable National Military Strategy (NMS). This document, alongside the President’s National Security Strategy (NSS) and the Secretary of Defense’s National Defense Strategy (NDS), forms the three pillars  of top-level U.S. defense strategy.

Hacking OPM

The year 2014 was not a great one for American security interests, from the Russian invasion of Crimea to the rise of the Islamic State and China’s creeping expansionism in the South China Sea, but decades from now we may look back and say that the most significant setbacks occurred in the cyber realm.

America’s July 4 Military Nightmare: With Our Recent History, Could We Even Beat the British Today?

At 9:44 p.m. on July 27, 1953, Private First Class Harold B. Smith had just sixteen more minutes of the Korean War to survive before the cease-fire came into effect at 10:00 p.m. You can imagine this twenty-one-year old marine from Illinois, out on combat patrol that evening, looking at his watch. Smith didn’t have to be in Korea. He had already served his time in the Philippines. But he volunteered for the fight. He also didn’t have to be on patrol that evening.

The Middle East In Conflict: The Empires Strike Back

The past four years have witnessed a series of convulsions in the Middle East that threaten to overwhelm the nearly century-old legacy of the Westphalia-like, post World War I European order, exemplified by the 1916 Sykes-Picot Agreement. The relatively short-lived Arab Spring, highlighted by the emergence, and then overthrow of the first-ever Muslim Brotherhood government in the region, was followed in turn by an increasingly violent insurrection in the Sinai.

Hindu Nationalism and the Foreign Policy of India’s Bharatiya Janata Party

Despite India being a predominantly Hindu country, its nationalist movement was mostly secular. Indeed the principal architect of India’s foreign policy, Jawaharlal Nehru, was a staunch secularist. More to the point, the makers of India’s post-independence constitution envisaged it as a secular, democratic republic. Consequently, religion, especially in the first several decades of India’s independence, played little or no role in its foreign policy.

Forgetting Afghanistan

Since publishing a book on America’s age of unwinnable conflicts a couple of weeks ago, I’ve been asked hundreds of questions about topics ranging from ISIS to Ukraine, from the military-industrial complex to reinstating the draft.

But I can’t recall a single person asking me about the war in Afghanistan.

Obama Cedes Mideast to Iran

The United States is on the verge of giving up its influence in the Middle East and the Persian Gulf. The most obvious indication of this abdication of power and influence is the flawed — nay disastrous — nuclear agreement with Iran. But it is also confirmed by the de facto U.S. acquiescence in Iranian violations of freedom of navigation, a cornerstone of American foreign policy for decades.

Putin Celebrates Stalinism. Again.

Russian President Vladimir Putin on May 10 once again justified the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact as a statesmanlike act of defending Russia's national interests. This time Putin did so with German Chancellor Angela Merkel next to him.

Obama Torpedoes the Nuclear Navy

President Obama, possibly unaware of the implications, has made a mistake by nominating Adm. John Richardson as the new chief of naval operations. Adm. Richardson likely would do a fine job in that important role, but by trying to move him from his current position as director of the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program, the president has crossed a line and created a precedent that could have grave consequences for the effectiveness of the nation’s nuclear fleet.