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.

Ten Whats With…Daniel Markey

by Micah Zenko Tuesday, November 26, 2013
No Exit from Pakistan:America's Tortured Relationship with Islamabad by Daniel Markey

Daniel Markey is Senior Fellow for India, Pakistan, and South Asia at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), where he specializes in security and governance issues in South Asia. He has published a book on the future of the U.S.-Pakistan relationship, No Exit from Pakistan: America’s Tortured Relationship with Islamabad (Cambridge University Press, October 2013). Read more »

You Might Have Missed: Afghanistan, Threat Deflation, and Signature Strikes

by Micah Zenko Friday, November 22, 2013
Students gather at the site of a suspected U.S. drone strike on an Islamic seminary in Hangu district, bordering North Waziristan, November 21, 2013 (Syed Shah/Courtesy Reuters).

The Uses of Force,” Economist, November 23, 2013.

It’s too easy to use force,” says Admiral Mike Mullen, a former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. “It’s almost the first choice.”

Security and Defense Cooperation Agreement Between the United States of America and the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan,” Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs, November 20, 2013. Read more »

Will Afghanistan Allow U.S. Drone Strikes into Pakistan?

by Micah Zenko Thursday, November 21, 2013
Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai speaks during the opening of the Loya Jirga, in Kabul November 21, 2013 (Omar Sobhani/Courtesy Reuters).

Yesterday, the CIA was suspected of conducting a drone strike consisting of three or four missiles that destroyed part of a madrasa in the Hangu district of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province in Pakistan. The strikes killed either five or six people, who were reported to be members of the Haqqani Network, which has been involved in many suicide and roadside bomb attacks against U.S. forces in Afghanistan.  Of more than 350 CIA drone strikes in Pakistan since 2004, yesterday’s strike was just the fourth outside of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). Read more »

You Might Have Missed: Nuclear Iran, Drone Markets, and Terrorism

by Micah Zenko Friday, November 15, 2013
John Kerry, U.S. secretary of state, Catherine Ashton, European Union high representative for foreign affairs, and Mohammad Javad Zarif, Iran foreign minister, during the third day of nuclear talks in Geneva on November 9, 2013 (Jean-Christophe Bott/Courtesy Reuters).


Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement and Relevant Provisions of Security Council Resolutions in the Islamic Republic of Iran,” International Atomic Energy Agency, November 14, 2013.

Since Iran began enriching uranium at its declared facilities, it has produced at those facilities: Read more »

You Might Have Missed: FAA UAV Roadmap, Salaries of Congress, and Blackwater

by Micah Zenko Friday, November 8, 2013

Despite Challenges, Africans Are Optimistic about the Future,” Pew Research, November 8, 2013.

The world’s two leading powers, the U.S. and China, enjoy mostly positive images in Africa. Both nations receive higher favorability ratings in Africa than in the other regions included in the 2013 survey. Across the eight African nations, a median of 73% express a positive opinion of the U.S., while 65% hold this view about China. Globally, the U.S. generally gets higher marks than China on this question. Read more »

You Might Have Missed: Drones, al-Shabaab in Somalia, and the NSA.

by Micah Zenko Friday, November 1, 2013

Michael R. Gordon and Eric Schmitt, “As Security Deteriorates at Home, Iraqi Leader Arrived in U.S. Seeking Aid,” New York Times, October 31, 2013.

Until now, Mr. Maliki was reluctant to openly ask for United States support. A former American official said that in 2012 Mr. Maliki was on the verge of asking the United States to fly reconnaissance drones over Iraq to help pinpoint the growing terrorist threat but backed off at the last moment when the request became public. Read more »