Janine Davidson

Defense in Depth

Janine Davidson examines the art, politics, and business of American military power.

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The World Next Week: Gulf States React to the Iran Deal; Twenty-Fifth Anniversary of the Invasion of Kuwait

by Janine Davidson
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, pictured, accompanied by Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir, speaks at a joint news conference at the Chief of Mission Residence, Paris, France, Friday, May 8, 2015, following a meeting with the foreign ministers of the Gulf Cooperation Council. (Courtesy Reuters/Andrew Harnik/Pool

I had the opportunity to appear again on CFR’s “The World Next Week,” a weekly podcast in which I served as co-host alongside Robert McMahon. The whole episode is worth a listen. Among other things, we discussed the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)’s reaction to the Iran deal, the twenty-fifth anniversary of Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait, and the cumulative cost of U.S. operations against the self-declared Islamic State. Read more »

What’s on “Defense in Depth’s” Summer Bookshelf?

by Janine Davidson
A U.S. Army combat tank team member reads a book sitting beside his M1A1 Abrams tank in the desert outside Kuwait City, March 14, 2003. (Courtesy Reuters)

I was invited to appear on CFR’s “The World Next Week,” a weekly podcast hosted by Jim Lindsay and Robert McMahon (the whole episode is worth a listen). This week was about books, books, books: what people have read, what they want to read, and what texts they think provide the best window into the world and how it works. Here are my top three picks:

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Appearance on Defense News TV: the ISIS Coalition and the Challenge of Leverage

by Janine Davidson
iraq-isis-shiite-maliki Mehdi Army fighters loyal to Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr march during a military-style training in the holy city of Najaf, June 18, 2014. (Ahmad Mousa/Courtesy Reuters)

I appeared on a Defense News TV panel alongside Michael O’Hanlon of the Brookings Institution and General Chuck Wald, U.S. Air Force (retired), to assess the military options available to the United States in wake of continuing gains by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) against the Iraqi government.  This comes on the heels of President Obama’s June 19 announcement that he will send up to the 300 military advisers to Iraq. As we discuss, there are several important considerations to bear in mind: Read more »

Struggling to Wrap Your Head Around the Iraq Policy Debate? Read This, That, and These.

by Janine Davidson
iraq Members of the Iraqi Special Operations Forces stand guard during an intensive security deployment in Baghdad's Amiriya district, June 18, 2014. (Thaier Al-Sudani/Courtesy Reuters)

There’s little doubt that the security situation in Iraq is fast-moving; if you’re reading this even a few hours from now, the terrain will likely have shifted again. Amid the rhetoric about who to blame and what the United States should do next, it’s easy to lose sight of the broader picture—as well as the history that got us to this point.  Here are some of the best resources I’ve found to acquaint readers with some of the deeper issues at play:

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Interview with KQED Radio: the Afghanistan Drawdown and the Strength of Enduring Alliances

by Janine Davidson
us allies U.S. marines participate in a U.S.-South Korea joint landing operation drill in Pohang, March 31, 2014. (Kim Hong-Ji/Courtesy Reuters)

I was recently interviewed by KQED Radio’s “Forum with Michael Krasny,” alongside Richard Haass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations, and Barry Pavel, vice president and director of the Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security at the Atlantic Council. Regular readers of this blog will be familiar with many of the themes discussed. Among my observations: Read more »

Interview with CTV News: More on Putin’s ‘Clever’ Strategy

by Janine Davidson
armored pro-russian guards apcs An armed man, wearing black and orange ribbons of St. George - a symbol widely associated with pro-Russian protests in Ukraine, stands guard with armoured personnel carriers seen in the background, in Slaviansk, April 16, 2014. (Gleb Garanich/Courtesy Reuters)

I was recently interviewed by CTV News’ Kevin Newman Live to discuss the deteriorating situation in Ukraine and Putin’s pioneering form of warfare. My assessment should be familiar to readers of this blog: “Even though there are these suspiciously well-trained militants in Ukraine, Putin can still somehow claim plausible deniability.”

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