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.

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by Micah Zenko
September 9, 2011

U.S. President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney meet at the White House on January 29, 2008 (Jim Young/Courtesy Reuters).

U.S. President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney meet at the White House on January 29, 2008 (Jim Young/Courtesy Reuters).

 

- Julian E. Barnes, Adam Entous,  Siobhan Gorman, “U.S. Eyes Covert Plan to Counter Iran in Iraq,” Wall Street Journal, September 6, 2011.

- Dane Schiller, “Mexican Military Flies Over South Texas,” Houston Chronicle, September 5, 2011.

“ The flight is one of as many as 10 in the past 17 months in which South Texans—in broad daylight—have spotted Mexican military helicopters hovering overhead. The aircraft was so close to the ground military personnel could be seen inside, Gonzalez said.

While an array of U.S. federal and state agencies declined to comment, a Mexican government official confirmed that Mexican military helicopters have permission to use Texas as a staging ground for missions into Mexico to fight drug traffickers.”

- Angel Rabasa, John Gordon IV, Peter Chalk, From Insurgency to Stability:Volume 1, RAND Corporation, 2011 (20).

“The former officials we interviewed explained that, although the State Department’s [Office of the Coordinator for Reconstruction and Stabilization] Planning Framework is intended to harmonize relevant civilian and military processes to the extent feasible, the two communities generally continue to pursue different approaches to responding to conflicts and other types of contingencies that might require the United States to conduct [stabilization and reconstruction operations].

DoD and the services have systemized their own planning for a full range of contingencies, including SROs. Where SROs are concerned, the military’s key contingency planning activity is conducted by geographic combatant commands (COCOMs), organizations that have no direct counterparts in DoS. In contrast, U.S. civilian agencies continue to employ a relatively ad hoc approach to contingency response.”

- Dick Cheney, In My Time, August 30, 2011 (471-472).

“At another session later that month [June 2007] with most of the National Security Council present, I again made the case for U.S. military action against the reactor. Not only would it make the region and the world safer, but it would also demonstrate our seriousness with respect to nonproliferation. It would enhance our credibility in that part of the world, taking us back to where we were in 2003, after we had taken down the Taliban, taken down Saddam’s regime, and gotten Qaddafi to turn over his nuclear program. But I was a lone voice. After I finished, the president asked, ‘Does anyone here agree with the vice president?’ Not a single hand went up around the room. I had done all I could, and I’m not sure the president’s mind would have changed if the others had agreed with me. He had decided to recommend to the Israelis that we take the diplomatic path.”

- United States Government Accountability Office, “Nuclear Nonproliferation: U.S. Agencies Have Limited Ability to Account for, Monitor, and Evaluate the Security of U.S. Nuclear Material Overseas,” September 2011 (8-10).

“DOE, NRC, and State are not able to fully account for U.S. nuclear material overseas that is subject to nuclear cooperation agreement terms because the agreements do not stipulate systematic reporting of such information, and there is no U.S. policy to pursue or obtain such information.”

“DOE and NRC do not have a comprehensive, detailed, current inventory of U.S. nuclear material overseas that would enable the United States to identify material subject to U.S. nuclear cooperation agreement terms.”

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