Foreign Policy Blogs

Security

U.S. Supports Sunni Extremists in Syria–Can Saudis Keep Them on the Reservation?

U.S. Supports Sunni Extremists in Syria–Can Saudis Keep Them on the Reservation?

Not so long ago, after twelve hours in the air, I found myself stranded at an international airport at 2 in the morning. The flight had been delayed—my pre-arranged pickup had abandoned his mission or just not shown up, and there was one taxi about to pull out and head home for the night. I was still 90 miles from my room for the night, and offered him twice the normal rate to take on one last fare, which he pointed out, wasn’t even close, direction-wise, to his own waiting bed. But for twice the money, and for Allah, he would do it.

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U.S. Employs Straw Purchaser to Transfer Lethal Weapons to Syrian Rebels: Another Violation of the Arms Export Act?

U.S. Employs Straw Purchaser to Transfer Lethal Weapons to Syrian Rebels: Another Violation of the Arms Export Act?

The irony, of course, is that the FSA is just an umbrella term for a loose aggregation of Sunni militias whose best units–and consequently the fighters awarded the most money and the most lethal weapons– are, according to its own reports, puritanical Islamic jihadists, shouting ‘death to the United States and the West’ even as these targets scramble to comply with strategies the Saudis clearly believe are in their own best and immediate interests.

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Iran: Cutting the Gordian Knots

Iran: Cutting the Gordian Knots

The good news in nuclear arms control this last week was of course China’s rather surprising decision to join in international sanctions against North Korea. The single most important thing about sanctions, almost always, is not their material effect but, rather, when the sanctions are universal,  the moral and political …

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The Four Statesmen Return to the Rostrum: Take Action on Proliferation Risks Now

The Four Statesmen Return to the Rostrum:  Take Action on Proliferation Risks Now

In what seems to be a response to the Corker/Inhofe op-ed in the Wall Street Journal of last week, elder statesmen George Shultz, Bill Perry, Henry Kissinger and Sam Nunn reiterated their call for more urgent progress on reducing nuclear risks, particularly proliferation.  This is their fifth article …

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The CTBTO IMS: More Bang for the Buck (Pun Intended)

The CTBTO IMS:  More Bang for the Buck (Pun Intended)

In two previous posts, I wrote about the work of three Ohio State University researchers who are using GPS to detect covert nuclear tests.  Now, there is word that the  International Monitoring System (IMS) of the the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) is of increasing …

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Old Thinking, New Realities

Old Thinking, New Realities

In an OpEd in Tuesday’s Wall Street Journal, Senators Bob Corker, currently Ranking Member on the Foreign Relations Committee, and James Inhofe, well-known global warming skeptic and Ranking Member on the Armed Services Committee, opined about how the administration’s commitment to eliminating nuclear weapons was 1) dangerous, 2) …

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ICE Agents Claim Napolitano Forcing Them to Violate U.S. Law–New Immigration Directives Invitation to Terrorists and Cartels

ICE Agents Claim Napolitano Forcing Them to Violate U.S. Law–New Immigration Directives Invitation to Terrorists and Cartels

Staying alive at DHS is a full-time occupation. One slip-up, the chain quivers, the blame starts its downward flow, and if you’re an agent, you’re pulling duty in Pembina, ND, or spending the rest of your working life doodling on a yellow legal pad in an empty room at HQ/DC. So believe me when I tell you that it takes more than a fit of pique to file a legal complaint against DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano, as the National Ice Council has done on behalf of eleven agents who believe that recent policy directives on prosecutorial discretion and the Dream directive on deferred action—are forcing them to choose between enforcing immigration and deportation laws passed by the US Congress in 1996 and their professional careers. Christopher Crane, head of the Council, reports that agents who continue to enforce laws currently on the books—ignoring policy directives from the top instructing them neither to apprehend, arrest, or depart aliens who’ve entered the US illegally or who’ve overstayed their visas (even illegals serving time in US prisons for felonies and misdemeanors)—are targets for disciplinary action….

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Cyber Espionage: Reducing Tensions Between China and the United States

Cyber Espionage: Reducing Tensions Between China and the United States

I appeared on the talk show “The Fresh Outlook” this weekend to discuss cybersecurity issues and China.  Here is a link to the video. I argued for a more nuanced, less panicky approach when dealing with China on this sensitive subject.
Here are some more thoughts:
The most …

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Cybersecurity: Top Challenges and Six Big Policy Action Ideas

Cybersecurity: Top Challenges and Six Big Policy Action Ideas

My colleague Dr. Greg Austin and I wrote a short discussion paper titled “Cybersecurity: Crime Prevention  or Warfare?”  for the 49th Munich Security Conference which took place this February in Munich, Germany. We identified some of the top challenges pertaining to cybersecurity …

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North Korean Nuclear Test: What Is the Nature of the Threat?

North Korean Nuclear Test: What Is the Nature of the Threat?

 
From a global perspective, any new entry into the “nuclear club” is high undesirable as such: With every new entrant, there is an exponential increase in the political complexity of achieving total nuclear disarmament — or, to put it more simply, there is an additional obstacle in the way of …

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Benghazi, Adequate Security, and Reporting What You Know before You Know It

Benghazi, Adequate Security, and Reporting What You Know before You Know It

Hillary Clinton’s testimony before Congress the other week brought the country’s attention back to the Benghazi attack of Sept. 11, 2012. It is a topic that I find fascinating, less for what it says about U.S. foreign policy than for what it says about domestic politics and the processes of …

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GailForce: Does Congress REALLY Want to Maintain Our Military Readiness?

GailForce:  Does Congress REALLY Want to Maintain Our Military Readiness?

Judging by the budget gridlock the answer seems to be no.  As mentioned in my last blog, I spent last week in San Diego attending West 2013, a Navy/ Marine focused conference co-sponsored by AFCEA International and the U.S. Naval Institute.  The conference theme was:  Pivot to the Pacific What …

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Nuclear Weapons Accomplishments in the Chu Years

Nuclear Weapons Accomplishments in the Chu Years

Departing Energy Secretary Steven Chu’s farewell letter is not the usual five paragraphs consisting of gradiose claims and bromides for the ages. At more than 3,750 words, it is the length of a college term paper or a magazine feature article. As …

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Zero Dark Thirty (2012)

Zero Dark Thirty (2012)

This film is riveting.
It is a fictional look at the hunt for and eventual killing of Osama bin Laden, the man who is believed to have masterminded the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States.
Jessica Chastain rightfully won the best actress in a drama at the Golden Globes. …

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GailForce: Thoughts On President Obama’s Speeches on Inauguration Day

GailForce:  Thoughts On President Obama’s Speeches on Inauguration Day

I first became fully politically aware around the age of 10. Since that time there have been three speeches that resonated with me, meaning I felt the speakers were expressing their true beliefs as opposed to simply spouting political rhetoric. The first was President John F. Kennedy’s inauguration address. The …

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Senior Blogger

Patrick Frost
Patrick Frost

Patrick Frost recently graduated from New York University's Masters Program in Political Science - International Relations. His MA thesis analyzed the capabilities and objectives of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in Central Asia and beyond and explored how these affected U.S. interests and policy.

Areas of Focus:
Eurasia, American Foreign Policy, Ideology, SCO

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