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Afghanistan war

Hard Lessons from America’s Longest Wars

Posted by James Kitfield on


This is one of two pieces by our contributor James Kitfield, who’s won more Gerald Ford Defense Reporting awards than anyone else (3), on the challenges and mistakes America has made in grappling with the complex threat of global terrorism. As James puts it in his summary sentence: U.S. counterterrorism forces continue to learn and adapt… Keep reading →

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Clash of Strategies: Capability Or Capacity, Today Or Tomorrow?

Posted by Mark Cancian on


As the Pentagon finishes its strategic review, the stage is set for another struggle over whether to ready for a high-end war with Russia or China or just manage the current, much lower intensity battles around the world. In military terms it’s a choice between capability and capacity. The outcome will shape the four services… Keep reading →

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My 911 And The Future Of the Afghan War

Posted by Robbin Laird on


Robbin Laird is an old defense hand. Today, he’s a consultant and a member of the Breaking Defense Board of Contributors, but he served as special assistant for the head of the Defense Intelligence Agency from 1979-1983 and also worked on the National Security Council for two presidents. Here’s the piece he posted on his website, Second Line… Keep reading →

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Afghans Want More US Troops? Show Us Results

Posted by Daniel DePetris on


It looks as if the Trump administration will soon send 3,000 to 5,000 U.S. troops to fight in Afghanistan, the theater of America’s longest war. The mission — training and advising (and bolstering) the Afghan national security forces — will remain the same even though we’ve seen this play out more than once: the verdict… Keep reading →

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Buy A New Helo Engine? The Army Thinks It Can, Thinks It Can…

Posted by Richard Whittle on


After more than seven years of designing and testing how to make new, more powerful, and incredibly fuel efficient engines for its AH-64 Apache attack helicopters and UH-60 Black Hawk utility birds, the Army has issued a Request for Proposals (RFP). The Army’s “top aviation priority” thus takes a baby step closer to becoming a… Keep reading →

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Proxy War Protocols: How To Make Syrian Opposition Work

Posted by James Kitfield on


If the United States arms the so-called “moderate Syrian opposition” to try and overthrow both ISIL and Bashar al Assad, president of Syria, will it work? A close look at the United States’ long and checkered history backing proxy forces reveals a very mixed record when we arm surrogates. The ledger includes historic fiascos such as the… Keep reading →

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How To Defeat ISIL? The Governance Problem

Posted by Howard Bloom on


Howard Bloom is, for lack of a better term, an original thinker. He penned “The Lucifer Principle: A Scientific Expedition into the Forces of History,” “Global Brain: The Evolution of Mass Mind from the Big Bang to the 21st Century,” and most recently, “The Mohammed Code.” Bloom wrote this op-ed for us in response to the question… Keep reading →

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The New Great Power Triangle Tilt: China, Russia Vs. U.S.

Posted by James Kitfield on


WASHINGTON: The careful diplomatic stagecraft behind President Barack Obama’s recent European visit to celebrate the 70th anniversary of D-Day and to rally the Western alliance against Russia’s aggression in Ukraine was all but swept aside by strong new currents in geopolitics. While Obama talked tough in Poland to reassure NATO’s vulnerable eastern members, Russian President… Keep reading →

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Will Putin Push Sweden Toward NATO?

Posted by Annelie Gregor on


Sweden, long the major neutral power in northern Europe, has climbed quietly and elegantly out of its cozy perch to great effect since the fall of the Berlin Wall. Today, with Russia’s Vladimir Putin bearing his chest and threatening his neighbors with threats that sound awfully familiar to a lot of older Europeans, some commentators have… Keep reading →

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The Obama Doctrine: When Does Caution Become Retreat?

Posted by James Kitfield on


When James Kitfield contacted us last year about writing for us, we were pleased because few writers have such a gift for spotting major strategic issues and writing about them first and writing about them with grace and clarity. The following piece in which he asks the seminal question — is America in global retreat… Keep reading →

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