Middle East & North Africa

235 Items

A satellite view of Djibouti, showing the U.S. Navy’s Camp Lemonnier (bottom) and the People’s Liberation Army Support Base (top).

2020 Google Earth / Maxar Technologies, used with permission.

Paper

Cooperation, Competition, or Both? Options for U.S. Land Forces vis-à-vis Chinese Interests in Africa

| June 2020

This paper responds to a topic from the Army War College’s Key Strategic Issues List, 2018-2020: Evaluate the ramifications of China’s and/or Russia’s interests in Africa for U.S. land forces and suggest options, both to compete and to cooperate, to further U.S. interests.

While U.S. land forces may benefit from competition or cooperation with Chinese elements in Africa, I judge that they possess limited agency to compete or cooperate in the context of these definitions. Therefore, I will take a whole-of-government approach to furthering U.S. interests in Africa vis-à-vis China.

AP Photo/Evan Vucci

AP Photo/Evan Vucci

Analysis & Opinions - The New York Times

State Dept. Investigator Fired by Trump Had Examined Weapons Sales to Saudis and Emiratis

| May 18, 2020

The State Department inspector general fired by President Trump on Friday was in the final stages of an investigation into whether the administration had unlawfully declared an “emergency” last year to allow the resumption of weapons sales to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates for their air war in Yemen.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, listens to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad during their meeting in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, Russia, Thursday, May 17, 2018.

Mikhail Klimentyev, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP

Analysis & Opinions - The Washington Post

Russia’s Scavenger Diplomacy Is in Full Effect in the Middle East

| May 08, 2020

While most of the world has been on lockdown from the novel coronavirus, the wars and political machinations of the Middle East have continued. Amid this turmoil, Russia has been making steady progress in what State Department spokesman Morgan Ortagus described as its “malign engagement” in the region.

President Donald Trump, joined by from left, Gen. David Berger, Defense Secretary Mark Esper, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley, and Gen. Joseph M. Martin, pauses as he speaks to media during a briefing with senior military leaders in the Cabinet Room at the White House in Washington, Monday, Oct. 7, 2019.

(AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

Paradoxes of Professionalism: Rethinking Civil-Military Relations in the United States

    Author:
  • Risa Brooks
| Spring 2020

The U.S. military’s prevailing norms of military professionalism are poorly suited to meet today’s civil-military challenges. They undermine the military’s nonpartisan and apolitical ethos, weaken civilian leaders' control of military activity, and undercut the country’s strategic effectiveness in armed conflict.

U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Jennifer Oberg, background, a communications maintenance instructor, and Senior Airman Raquel Martinez, foreground, check a ground control station during training

USAF

Analysis & Opinions - Real Clear Defense

AI and Quantum Supremacy Will Not Defeat Revolutionary Warfare

| Nov. 13, 2019

Nathaniel Moir writes that Revolutionary Warfare is not insurgency or guerrilla warfare: It is driven by ideology and commitment, not technology. Revolutionary Warfare's foundation is the perceived legitimacy of its political rationale among the population in which it is propagated. No matter how expertly or technologically advanced contemporary conflict is fought, it will not compensate for lack of political rationale.

What To Look For In Any Deal Between the U.S. and the Taliban

AP/Alexander Zemlianichenko

Analysis & Opinions - Bloomberg Opinion

What To Look For In Any Deal Between the U.S. and the Taliban

| Aug. 08, 2019

For many, like me, who worked on policy toward Afghanistan for years, recent leaks about an impending agreement between the U.S. and the Taliban bring mixed emotions. It is impossible to separate any deal from President Donald Trump’s persistent declarations that he wants to withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan now. Such assertions weakened the hand of America’s negotiators and inevitably color any agreement – whatever its merits – with “America First” and the sense that the U.S. is cutting and running.  Nevertheless, if a deal materializes, it could represent the best opportunity in years to secure American interests and downsize U.S. military commitment in Afghanistan.

Soldiers marching with national flags in parade

AP Photo/Ron Edmonds

Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

Buying Allies: Payment Practices in Multilateral Military Coalition-Building

    Author:
  • Marina E. Henke
| Spring 2019

Many states have been paid to join multilateral military coalitions. These payments are largely covered by “pivotal states”—those that care the most about an operation’s success—and take the form of deployment subsidies and political side deals to attract critical contributors to the mission.

Afghan National Army-Territorial Force members prepare for an exercise at the Kabul Military Training Center in Kabul, Afghanistan, June 11, 2018. (Tech. Sgt. Sharida Jackson/Air Force)

Associated Press

Analysis & Opinions - Miami Herald

Peace with the Taliban? Trump Warned of Afghan Pullout Risks

| Jan. 30, 2019

Trump administration claims of progress in talks with the Taliban have sparked fears even among the president's allies that his impatience with the war in Afghanistan will lead him to withdraw troops too soon, leaving the country at risk of returning to the same volatile condition that prompted the invasion in the first place.

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Press Release - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Gen. Lori J. Robinson Joins Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center as Senior Fellow

| Dec. 17, 2018

Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs has named General (ret.) Lori J. Robinson a non-resident Senior Fellow. After 37 years of military service, Gen. Robinson retired this year as Commander, United States Northern Command and North American Aerospace Defense Command.