International Security Program

Archives: International Security Program Articles and Op-Eds

Right-Wing Extremist Terrorism as Deadly a Threat as al Qaeda?

  • By
  • Peter Bergen,
  • Jennifer Rowland,
  • New America Foundation
August 7, 2012 |

The word "terrorism" in the United States usually brings to mind plots linked in some way to al Qaeda, while the danger posed to the public by white supremacists, anti-abortion extremists and other right-wing militants is often overlooked.

The Faith that Faith Produced

  • By
  • Haroon Moghul,
  • New America Foundation
August 7, 2012 |

I was washing dishes in the kitchen when I stopped believing in God. Years later, I’m often unsettled at how much of my life I’d spent in that kitchen and how little of it I can recall, except for that one moment. Overwhelmed by constant desperation, I turned suddenly courageous, pondered what might happen if He didn’t exist, decided that He didn’t, and then He was gone. I think the rapid departure hit me the hardest. How had I been so easily taken in? I was raised to believe I should be Muslim, before everything and after everything.

An American Abroad

  • By
  • Steve Coll,
  • New America Foundation
August 6, 2012 |

The humid lull between the party primaries and the party conventions is the traditional moment for a Presidential challenger to peacock abroad as a prospective Commander-in-Chief. Four years ago, Barack Obama cruised the Iraqi war zone in a helicopter, dazzled throngs in Europe with his then fresh rhetoric of change, and charmed American soldiers in a Kuwaiti gymnasium, where, with preternatural nonchalance, he lofted a three-point shot toward a distant rim. He drained the three, the soldiers roared, and, somewhere back home, John McCain slumped deeper into gloom.
 

A Clean Slate

  • By
  • Shamila Chaudhary,
  • New America Foundation
August 5, 2012 |

It is hard to imagine a truly clean slate for the two countries given the preponderance of differences on national security. But Corker probably did not mean as much. Rather, he likely meant that being perceived as too forward-leaning on Pakistan during an election year would lead to more opposition attacks on the Obama administration’s foreign policy. A similar dynamic exists in Pakistan for the incumbent Pakistan People’s Party government as it heads into national elections. Without the threat of being kicked out of office, both governments may finally be able to figure it out.

The Limits of Drone Warfare

  • By
  • Philip Mudd,
  • New America Foundation
August 3, 2012 |

The impact of drones in the counterterror campaign is hard to overstate:  terror groups, like many organizations, develop into global threats not because they can recruit suicide bombers but because they have leaders with vision, capability, commitment, and experience.  Tactical leaders might view a local government as their primary adversary; strategic leaders, from Osama bin Laden to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in Iraq to Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen, have broader horizons.

Thought Cloud

  • By
  • Rosa Brooks,
  • New America Foundation
August 2, 2012 |

One of the biggest misunderstandings about the civilian-military gap is that it is cultural -- the national security version of the red state-blue state divide.

Generals Are from Mars, Their Bosses Are from Venus

  • By
  • Rosa Brooks,
  • New America Foundation
July 25, 2012 |

Most Americans know roughly as much about the U.S. military as they know about the surface of the moon. It's not that we don't like the military -- we love it! We just don't have a clue who's in it, what it does, what it costs us, or what it costs those who join it. And as a nation, we don't particularly care, either.

What's Working in Pakistan

  • By
  • Peter Bergen,
  • New America Foundation
July 23, 2012 |

Pakistan can't get no respect.
 
In 2007, Newsweek published an influential cover story proclaiming it "the most dangerous country in the world."
 
The bill of particulars for this indictment typically includes the inarguable facts that the Taliban is headquartered in Pakistan, as is what remains of al-Qaeda, as well as an alphabet soup of other jihadist terrorist groups.
 
And in 2011, it became embarrassingly clear that Pakistan had harbored Osama bin Laden for almost a decade, even if unwittingly, in a city not far from the capital, Islamabad.

Partners or Adversaries?

  • By
  • Shamila Chaudhary,
  • New America Foundation
July 22, 2012 |

Each time the routes closed, I recall US policymakers waiting with bated breath for them to open again. In those days the dependency on Pakistan for the transport of Nato supplies, especially fuel, was much higher than it stands today.

Civilian Casualties Plummet in Drone Strikes

  • By
  • Peter Bergen,
  • Jennifer Rowland,
  • New America Foundation
July 13, 2012 |
Last week, a U.S. drone attack killed 19 suspected Taliban militants at a compound in North Waziristan on the Afghan border, according to Pakistani intelligence officials.
 
Dawn, a leading English-language Pakistani newspaper, later reported that the drone actually launched two separate strikes, the second of which occurred "when tribesmen were still carrying out rescue work," and killed an additional three people.
 
It was unclear whether the three were civilians or militants.
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