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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Showing posts for "Military Operations"

Ukraine Isn’t a U.S. Priority, As Policymakers Demonstrate

by Micah Zenko
U.S. Senator John McCain and other members of the delegation walk as they visit Kiev, Ukraine, on March 14, 2014. (Stringer/Courtesy Reuters). U.S. Senator John McCain and other members of the delegation walk as they visit Kiev, Ukraine, on March 14, 2014. (Stringer/Courtesy Reuters).

The Russian coercive de facto annexation of the Crimean province of Ukraine poses a dilemma for U.S. policymakers. They claim the need to “send a strong message” to Russian President Vladimir Putin to deter him from authorizing a direct military incursion into the remainder of Ukrainian territory. According to anonymous Pentagon officials, there are around twenty thousand Russian troops poised near the eastern Ukrainian border, including mechanized, infantry, and special operations forces. Read more »

Highlights Of U.S. Special Operations Command

by Micah Zenko

U.S. Special Operations Command in Review of the Defense Authorization Request for FY2015 and the Future Years Defense Program,” Senate Armed Services Committee, Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities, March 11, 2014. Read more »

You Might Have Missed: Cyberattacks, Asia Pivot, and the U.S. Military and Human Rights

by Micah Zenko
Pro-Russian men hold Russian flags in front of armed servicemen near Russian army vehicles outside a Ukrainian border guard post in the Crimean town of Balaclava March 1, 2014. (Ratner/Courtesy Reuters) Pro-Russian men hold Russian flags in front of armed servicemen near Russian army vehicles outside a Ukrainian border guard post in the Crimean town of Balaclava March 1, 2014. (Ratner/Courtesy Reuters)

Zachary Fryer-Biggs, “DoD Official: Asia Pivot ‘Can’t Happen’ Due to Budget Processes,” Defense News, March 4, 2014.

“Right now, the pivot is being looked at again, because candidly it can’t happen,” Katrina McFarland, assistant secretary of defense for acquisition, told Aviation Week’s Defense Technologies and Requirements conference in Arlington, Va… Read more »

You Might Have Missed: Israeli Drones, Benghazi, and the NSA

by Micah Zenko
Israel Aero Space Industries (IAI) Heron 1 unmanned aerial vehicle at the airbase in Switzerland on September 20, 2012 (Wiegmann/Courtesy Reuters). Israel Aero Space Industries (IAI) Heron 1 unmanned aerial vehicle at the airbase in Switzerland on September 20, 2012 (Wiegmann/Courtesy Reuters).

Jim Garamone, “Special Ops Forces in Transition, Pentagon Official Says,” U.S. Department of Defense, February 12, 2014.

Network threats present new challenges and require new ways of planning, the assistant secretary told the audience, and cyber operations come to mind first. “As we continue to work our doctrine for response in the cyber realm,” he said, “it is entirely possible that SOF units, or even individuals, would be called upon to act online or offline to address these threats.” Read more »

Tracking Civilian Deaths in Afghanistan

by Micah Zenko

This blog post was coauthored with my research associate, Amelia M. Wolf.

Since the Afghanistan war began twelve years and four months ago, the fate of innocent civilians has been a constant focus of Afghan and international audiences. Trying to understand and assign responsibility for harm to noncombatants in an insurgency/counterinsurgency conflict has been tremendously difficult, due to the obstacles faced by reporters and human rights investigators to obtain direct access to alleged victims, and the motivated biases of combatants to defend their targeting practices. Recently, the office of Afghan President Hamid Kharzai has taken to distributing demonstrably fake evidence to attempt to blame the United States for civilian deaths, and blamed the U.S. military for terrorist attacks overwhelmingly believed to have been committed by the Taliban. Read more »

You Might Have Missed: Afghanistan, Targeted Killings, and U.S. Policy Priorities

by Micah Zenko
A U.S. soldier at the site of a suicide attack on a NATO base in Zhari on January 20, 2014. (Nadeem/Courtesy Reuters) A U.S. soldier at the site of a suicide attack on a NATO base in Zhari on January 20, 2014. (Nadeem/Courtesy Reuters)

Alice K. Ross, “Leaked official document records 330 drone strikes in Pakistan,” Bureau of Investigative Journalism, January 29, 2014. Read more »

You Might Have Missed: USS Cowpens, French Reapers, and the World Economic Forum

by Micah Zenko
The guided-missile cruiser USS Cowpens maneuvers into position during a replenishment-at-sea. Cowpens is on patrol with the George Washington Carrier Strike Group supporting security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region. (Barnes/Courtesy U.S. Navy) The guided-missile cruiser USS Cowpens maneuvers into position during a replenishment-at-sea. Cowpens is on patrol with the George Washington Carrier Strike Group supporting security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region. (Barnes/Courtesy U.S. Navy)

Samuel J. Locklear III, Commander of U.S. Pacific Command, “Department of Defense Press Briefing by Admiral Locklear in the Pentagon Briefing Room,” U.S. Department of Defense, January 23, 2014. Read more »

Tracking U.S. Targeted Killings

by Micah Zenko

In January 2013, we released a report that called on President Obama to reform U.S. targeted killing policies in non-battlefield settings. Included in that report was a chart that estimated the number of strikes, total fatalities, and civilian fatalities through the end of 2012. The data was based on averages within the ranges provided by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, Long War Journal, and New America Foundation.  We have updated our chart to display all known U.S. targeted killings in non-battlefield settings from the first one on November 3, 2002, through the end of 2013. Read more »

You Might Have Missed: Drones, U.S. Arms in Iraq, and Civil-Military Relations

by Micah Zenko
A man looks at the site of bomb attack at a marketplace in Baghdad's Doura District on December 25, 2013. At least 20 people were killed in bomb attacks in Christian areas of Baghdad on Wednesday. Two bombs also went off in a crowded market in a separate, mostly Christian, area in Doura killing another six people and wounding 14. (Ahmed Malik/Courtesy Reuters) A man looks at the site of bomb attack at a marketplace in Baghdad's Doura District on December 25, 2013. At least 20 people were killed in bomb attacks in Christian areas of Baghdad on Wednesday. Two bombs also went off in a crowded market in a separate, mostly Christian, area in Doura killing another six people and wounding 14. (Ahmed Malik/Courtesy Reuters)

 

 

 

 

Unmanned Systems Integrated Roadmap: FY2013-2038,” U.S. Department of Defense, 2013.

 Inventory of DoD UAS (page 5) Read more »

You Might Have Missed: Terrorist Attacks, Victory 206, and U.S. Armed Forces

by Micah Zenko
An Afghan policeman keeps watch on October 18, 2013, at the site of a car bomb attack launched by Taliban fighters on a convoy of vehicles in Kabul, Afghanistan. (Mohammad Ismail/Courtesy Reuters) An Afghan policeman keeps watch on October 18, 2013, at the site of a car bomb attack launched by Taliban fighters on a convoy of vehicles in Kabul, Afghanistan. (Mohammad Ismail/Courtesy Reuters)

Despite Fewer Attacks in Western World, Global Terrorism Increasing,” National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism, December 19, 2013. Read more »