Micah Zenko

Politics, Power, and Preventive Action

Zenko covers the U.S. national security debate and offers insight on developments in international security and conflict prevention.

You Might Have Missed: Libya Edition

by Micah Zenko Thursday, August 25, 2011

A man holds a weapon and a Kingdom of Libya flag as people gather near the courthouse in Benghazi on August 22, 2011 (Esam Al-Fetori/Courtesy Reuters).

–Joby Warrick and Scott Wilson, “U.S. Presses Libyan Rebels to Preserve Order,” Washington Post, August, 22, 2011.

“’This is precisely the way that we had been saying the strategy was suppose to work,’ said Ben Rhodes, the deputy national security adviser for strategic communications.”

–Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham, “Graham and McCain on the End of Qadaffi Regime in Libya,” joint statement, August 22, 2011.

“Americans can be proud of the role our country has played in helping to defeat Qaddafi, but we regret that this success was so long in coming due to the failure of the United States to employ the full weight of our airpower.” (3PA: A remarkable statement from Sen. Graham who in early April offered perhaps the best burden-sharing quote ever: “”When we call[ed] for a no-fly zone, we didn’t mean our planes.”) Read more »

You Might Have Missed

by Micah Zenko Friday, August 19, 2011

Welcome to a new semi-regular feature of 3PA: “You Might Have Missed.” The objective of this format will be to present news articles, speeches, reports, books, and recent bits of information that could be of interest to readers of this blog, but went unreported in the mainstream media. When possible, I will also highlight quotes, facts, or data that were buried in these publications and provide analysis for how they relate to current or past events. Read more »

What Does Libya Cost the United States?

by Micah Zenko Thursday, August 11, 2011

Woman holds poster of Libyan leader Gaddafi during protest over recent NATO air strike in Majar, in front of Hungarian embassy in Tripoli

A woman holds a poster of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi during a protest over the recent NATO air strike in Majar, in front of the Hungarian embassy in Tripoli August 11, 2011. Libyan officials said dozens of civilians had been killed in the NATO strike on a cluster of farmhouses east of Tripoli, but the alliance said it hit a legitimate military target (Paul Hackett/Courtesy Reuters).

Read more »

Ten Whats With…Kevin Benson

by Micah Zenko Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Kevin Benson (Courtesy Univ. of Kansas, Creative Commons License).

Quick Bio (2-3 sentences): I was raised in Wisconsin and left after high school to go to West Point, 1973-1977.  I served on active duty in the U.S. Army for thirty years during which my wife and daughter endured eighteen moves, including overseas to Germany.  I recently completed a PhD in American History and am teaching at Fort Leavenworth, KS.  I work for AECOM.

What is the most interesting project you are currently working on?

The most interesting project I am working on is the development of a three-day course on critical thinking for the U.S. Army School of Command Preparation.  The three-day program is a part of a ten-day course for colonels who are selected for brigade command.   The men and women who are selected to command brigades in our army form the pool from which most of the general officers that form the senior leadership of the army are chosen.  The project I am a part of is designed to enhance the abilities of these men and women to think critically, accept alternative perspectives, and develop more nuanced concepts for operations.

What got you started in your career?

When I was a young lad I read about soldiers in American history.  One of my grandfathers fought in World War I and my uncle and my father fought in World War II.  While they were not professional soldiers, their service inspired me.  When I read about West Point the idea of being an army officer and commanding soldiers really took hold.  I’ve never had a “mid-life crisis” because I had the privilege of serving something larger than myself as well as jumping from perfectly functioning airplanes, shooting tanks, and commanding American soldiers.  The responsibility of command is like no other responsibility.  Leading and training soldiers is very satisfying. Read more »