Defence

Judy Asks: Is Turkey Damaging NATO?

Agatha 1a

A selection of experts answer a new question from Judy Dempsey on the foreign and security policy challenges shaping Europe’s role in the world. Judy Dempsey Carnegie Europe Federiga Bindi Yes, it is. In Afrin, Turkish forces have launched a ground offensive against U.S.-backed Syrian-Kurdish militia. In other words, Turkey is indirectly attacking its main NATO ally. It is doing so with Russian support, as Moscow controls the skies in the area—the last act in the rapprochement between the two ... Read More »

The Korean Peninsula Crisis: Beyond Fire and Fury

Oft 1a

Two Crisis Group reports detail how a nightmarish war on the Korean peninsula is closer than ever in recent history, and how the Winter Olympics and North Korea’s need to show economic progress in its 70th anniversary year offer opportunities for diplomacy and de-escalation. ICG North Korea’s nuclear and missile tests combined with bellicose rhetoric from the U.S. mean the risk of a catastrophic war on the Korean peninsula is higher than at any time in recent history. Yet a short ... Read More »

How to Avoid Making ‘the Afghanistan Mistake’ in Africa

Cur 4d

Drones and special forces are no more likely to “end” terrorism in Africa than they have in Afghanistan and throughout the Middle East. Lyle J. Goldstein The National Interest Africa policy is back in the news for all the wrong reasons. The president’s dreadful remark during the immigration discussion has not improved his standing among diplomats and does indeed threaten to cast Washington’s Africa policies under a new pall. However, this most recent blunder seems quite trivial in comparison to the four ... Read More »

Is America’s Alliance with Turkey Worth It?

Tr tank & 3 Tr flags 1a LLLL

The most basic feature that the United States should expect from an ally is consistent, reliable behavior that benefits U.S. policy objectives. Ted Galen Carpenter The National Interest  Ideally, since America regards itself as a champion of democracy and freedom, an ally should embody those values as well, but Washington has never been a stickler for that standard. Indeed, the United States has a sordid history of collaboration with undemocratic, even odious, regimes when U.S. leaders believed that the relationship ... Read More »

The F-35: How Taiwan Could Really Push Back Against China

Eft 4d

For the first time, an American National Security Strategy (NSS) explicitly mentions Taiwan. Michael Mazza Gary Schmitt The National Interest The NSS includes a commitment to “maintain our strong ties with Taiwan in accordance with our ‘One China’ policy, including our commitments under the Taiwan Relations Act to provide for Taiwan’s legitimate defense needs and deter coercion.” The NSS language on Taiwan parallels Congress’s increased interest in strengthening ties with Taipei. Last summer, Senators Tom Cotton and Corey Gardner introduced ... Read More »

Russia, Iran open their arms as Turkey loses patience with U.S.

Mune 2b

LONDON — Relations between the U.S. and Turkey have hit a new low over Washington’s support of militias battling the Islamic State, according to analysts. F. Brinley Bruton NBC News The government in Ankara views the Kurdish fighters as terrorists. Experts warn that the crisis is resulting in Turkey — a longtime American ally with NATO’s second-largest standing army — turning away from the West and toward Russia and Iran. U.S. military support for Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which are ... Read More »

Rex Tillerson signals an open-ended US military presence in Syria

Nelm 1a

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson signaled for an open-ended US military presence in Syria as part of a broader strategy. Tillerson also called for “patience” on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s removal. David Brunnstrom, Reuters  Business Insider The United States on Wednesday signaled an open-ended military presence in Syria as part of a broader strategy to prevent Islamic State’s resurgence, pave the way diplomatically for the eventual departure of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and curtail Iran’s influence. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, in a speech at Stanford ... Read More »

Turkey, Russia blast U.S.-backed Syria force as “terrorist army”

Cema 3c

BEIRUT – Russia, Turkey and the Syrian government on Monday denounced the U.S.-led coalition plans to form a Kurdish-led border force to secure the areas along Syria’s international border to the north with Turkey and to the east, with Iraq. CBS News AP The coalition told The Associated Press Monday that 230 new cadets have already been recruited to the force, which is anticipated to reach 30,000 troops in the next several years. According to the coalition, the core of ... Read More »

From Siberia to Crimea: The Revenge of History in U.S.-Russian Relations

Udr 8h

One is tempted to conclude that the Washington foreign-policy establishment has learned little over the past century Lyle J. Goldstein The National Interest Strolling the cavernous and well-appointed halls of Russia’s carefully renovated Central Naval Museum [Центральный Военно-морской Музей] near the Neva River in St. Petersburg, one can find an assortment of interesting artifacts, not least the small skiff in which Peter the Great learned to sail more than three centuries ago now. Among the many captured battle standards from Sweden, Turkey ... Read More »

Revising or Applying the Just War Tradition?

U.S. Army Rangers assigned to 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, fire a 120mm mortar during a tactical training exercise on Camp Roberts, Calif., Jan. 30, 2014. Rangers constantly train to maintain the highest level of tactical proficiency. (US Army photo by Pfc. Nathaniel Newkirk/Not Reviewed)

Review of Dubik’s Just War Reconsidered Surely it was not a coincidence that my exposure to James M. Dubik’s Just War Reconsidered coincided with my reading of a memoir by one of now retired Lt. General Dubik’s esteemed U.S. Army colleagues. J. Daryl Charles Providence As Dubik informs the reader, General Stanley McChrystal, who commanded special operations forces in Iraq and later in Afghanistan, took the responsibilities for that command with utmost seriousness. During the dark period of the Iraq conflict in ... Read More »

Feature: Israel’s tiny navy plays key role in national defense

Xinhuanet logo 1a LLLL

JERUSALEM, Jan. 11 (Xinhua) – The Israeli navy plays a major role in the country’s defense, although it has enjoyed less of the limelight that other units in the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) have. Keren Setton Editor: Jiaxin The navy is the smallest unit of the IDF, with tens of marine vessels at service. But it is responsible for protecting Israel’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and is also tasked with safeguarding newly found natural gas reserves and curbing potential threats ... Read More »

Be afraid, be very afraid: North Korea’s long-term strategy

Udr 3c

The TV camera focuses on Kim Jong-un. “Fellow countrymen, I am determined to make sure that you have not endured your many sacrifices in vain,” he says. Bradley Martin Asia Times “We have forced the world to notice us and respect us, and now we need to translate that achievement into food, clothing and shelter for our long-suffering population. “Today, I am ordering military storehouses opened. We will distribute a million tons of war-reserve rice to our citizens, who need ... Read More »

The US ‘Betrayed’ Russia, but It Is Not ‘News That’s Fit to Print’

Kohen 1a

New evidence that Washington broke its promise not to expand NATO “one inch eastward”—a fateful decision with ongoing ramifications—has not been reported by The New York Times or other agenda-setting media outlets. Stephen F. Cohen The Nation Stephen F. Cohen, professor emeritus of Russian Studies and Politics (at NYU and Princeton), and John Batchelor continue their (usually) weekly discussions of the new US-Russian Cold War. (Previous installments, now in their fourth year, are at TheNation.com.) Cohen returns to a subject ... Read More »

The World According to H.R. McMaster

Makm 1a

Why is he so worried about North Korea? Why is H.R. McMaster so alarmed by North Korea? Uri Friedman The Atlantic Why does Donald Trump’s national-security adviser insist—more vigorously than any administration official except the president himself—that Kim Jong Un must be denied the capability to place a nuclear warhead on a missile that can reach the United States, even if this requires initiating a military conflict with the North that could devolve into a cataclysmic war? While Secretary of ... Read More »

Israeli air strikes, rockets hit Syria: Syrian army

Melo 1a

The Israeli army overnight carried out air strikes and fired rockets at targets in Syria, causing damage near a military position, the Syrian army said in a statement on Jan. 9. DAMASCUS – Agence France-Presse Hurriyet Israel’s army has carried out several attacks on the Syrian army and its ally Lebanese Shiite movement Hezbollah since the start of the conflict in Syria in 2011 The Israeli air force carried out strikes on the Qutayfeh area northeast of Damascus, causing the ... Read More »

Statement of the National Coalition to Prevent an Iranian Nuclear Weapon

Des 5e

The United States together with the UK, France, Germany, China, Russia and Iran should continue to implement rigorously the JCPOA. A TNI Exclusive The National Interest Prevention of an Iranian nuclear weapon is a vital U.S. national security objective. The multilateral nuclear agreement with Iran, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), assures that if it continues to comply with it, Iran cannot acquire a nuclear weapon for at least 13 years, after which time the parties can either implement ... Read More »