Foreign Policy Blogs

U.S. Defense

An Effective U.S. Airpower Strategy against the Islamic State

An Effective U.S. Airpower Strategy against the Islamic State

American airpower employed against IS lines of communication can be effective at halting its momentum and supporting Iraqi forces in driving it back, but only if the Obama administration couples airstrikes with a strategy to undermine the Islamic State’s strongholds in Syria.

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GailForce: President Obama’s Terrorism and National Security Strategy Part II

GailForce:  President Obama’s Terrorism and National Security Strategy Part II

This week marks the 71st anniversary of the Battle of Midway.  The battle took place 4 – 7 June  in 1942 and proved to be the turning point in the war against Japan, just 6 months following the devastating Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.  Winston Churchill summed it up best:
“This …

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Chuck Hagel on “A Republican Foreign Policy”

Chuck Hagel on “A Republican Foreign Policy”

Nearly nine years ago, Senator Hagel charted out “A Republican Foreign Policy” in the July/August 2004 issue of Foreign Affairs. Hagel summarized this foreign policy with seven principles:
1)      Leadership in the Global Economy: “The rule of law, property rights, advances in science and technology, and large …

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Another Bank “Pays to Play”– AML Policies Built to Fail?

Another Bank “Pays to Play”– AML Policies Built to Fail?

Given the criminal billions available to ambitious ‘private wealth handlers’ inside the world’s biggest banks, the historic willingness of financial institutions to ‘look the other way,’ and the paltry repercussions, fines and deferred prosecution, for AML (anti-money laundering) non-compliance—it’s clear that powerful incentives continue to drive (and reassure) high-wire account executives ISO under-the-table commissions from traffickers (1-2 percent), and big bonuses from appreciative employers…

For years, the US government, along with FATF (the talking head for the AML community), has told banks the key is to ‘know your customer.’

Wrong.

The message should be “Know your banker.”

Listen.

The easiest way for criminals to launder dirty dollars is simply to pay a banker to do it, someone who manages millions a year for a financial institution that will never look him in the eye and announce, no-punches-pulled, that money laundering is a criminal offense, the kind that can land you in jail.

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GailForce: Afghanistan and Iraq Lessons Learned

GailForce:  Afghanistan and Iraq Lessons Learned

Been off the blogosphere for the last month because of a project I was working on.  Thought I’d get back into the saddle by looking into the latest on Afghanistan.  On July 10th in response to a reporter’s question, Pentagon Press Secretary George Little said the surge had been a …

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GailForce: Threat of Cyber War is Not Hype Part II

GailForce:  Threat of Cyber War is Not Hype Part II

In my last blog, I ended with a quote from a 2011 Foreign Affairs magazine article written by former U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense William J. Lynn III.  In the article he stated the Department of Defense has a five pillar strategy for operating in cyberspace:
“…treating cyberspace as …

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Did US Officials Throw Shakil Afridi to the Dogs?

Did US Officials Throw Shakil Afridi to the Dogs?

Grumbles have been filtering out lately, from the CIA and other agencies running covert ops, that The Rule is lately being violated, sacrificed to the needs of self-promoting administration officials (Leon Panetta? 60 Minutes?) who simply cannot keep their mouths shut, cheerleaders jazzed by pre-election jitters who rush to claim kudos for their boss via contacts with the mainstream press–oblivious to the blowback suffered by US intelligence or the foreign nationals who do risk, despite the financial benefits, prison sentences or execution on their own turf.

Such is the case with Shakil Afridi, the 48 year old Pakistani physician recruited and paid (well, no doubt) by the CIA to help in the identification of Osama bin Laden prior to the assault on the dictator’s compound by US special forces. Clearly, Afridi did the US a great service. And the mainstream press recognizes this, all, without exception, on fire with righteous indignation about Pakistan’s decision to allow Afridi to be tried in Pakistan for treason and sentenced to 33 years in prison.

Isn’t Pakistan our friend?

Grow up…

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GailForce: The Threat of Cyberwar Is Not Hype

GailForce:  The Threat of Cyberwar Is Not Hype

In the March/April 2012 issue of Foreign Policy Magazine, Thomas Rid wrote an article called Think Again:  Cyberwar.  The subtitle was:  Don’t Fear the Digital Bogeyman Virtual Conflict is Still More Hype Than Reality.  He states his premise up front:
“Time for a reality check:  Cyberwar is still more …

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Iran’s Nuclear Program: How to Succeed in Baghdad?

Iran’s Nuclear Program: How to Succeed in Baghdad?

 
The following is a guest appearance by Lawrence J. Korb, a Senior Fellow at American Progress. Mr. Korb is also a senior advisor to the Center for Defense Information and an adjunct professor at Georgetown University. Mr. Korb was also assistant secretary of defense during the administration of President Reagan. The …

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Video: Moving Beyond War

Video: Moving Beyond War

Andrew Bacevich, author of Washington Rules:  America’s Path to Permanent War (2010) and The Limits of Power: The End of American Exceptionalism (2008), and professor of International Relations at Boston University, offers his expert commentary on American warmongering in a new video interview. “Whatever threat Iran poses is very, very …

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GailForce: Afghanistan: Are Media Reports Providing an Accurate Picture of What’s Going On?

GailForce:  Afghanistan: Are Media Reports Providing an Accurate Picture of What’s Going On?

In the late 1960’s, I spent my junior year of college studying in Europe. Before the start of the year, I along with all the other student participants did a 21 day whirl wind tour of the continent. It’s one of the highlights of my life but I had a …

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Pioneer on the Combat and Career Frontlines

Pioneer on the Combat and Career Frontlines

Foreign Policy Association’s defense blogger, Gail Harris, was recently profiled in a BBC News video entitled, Pioneer on the Combat and Career Frontlines. Harris, who is an integral part of the Foreign Policy Blogs team, is an expert on U.S. intelligence and defense, with nearly three decades of …

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GailForce: Afghan and Iran Reflections Continued

GailForce:  Afghan and Iran Reflections Continued

As promised, here are more of my thoughts on current happenings in Afghanistan and Iran. Yesterday I blogged about Afghanistan so this blog will focus on Iran. This past Sunday evening I was pleasantly surprised to see Meir Dagan, the former head of the Israeli Mossad their equivalent to the …

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GailForce: Reflections on Recent Events in Afghanistan and Iran

GailForce:  Reflections on Recent Events in Afghanistan and Iran

I’ve not had time to blog in the last couple of weeks because of travel but thought I’d offer my thoughts on the crises with Afghanistan and Iraq. Starting first with Afghanistan, like many I was horrified by the massacre of 16 Afghans, to include 9 children, allegedly by an …

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Obama Administration Weighs Options in Syria

Obama Administration Weighs Options in Syria

With pressure rising to undertake some sort of action to assist the besieged rebels in Libya, the Obama administration has begun drawing up options. It appears that no final decision has been made as of yet. So far, the options do not include the use of military force, the establishment …

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