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 "National Security"

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

by Micah Zenko
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). 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 »

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

by Micah Zenko
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). 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: Benghazi, Syria, and China’s Aid

by Micah Zenko
Attack on U.S. Consulate in Benghazi The U.S. Consulate in Benghazi is seen in flames on September 11, 2012 following an attack on the compount that resulted in the death of U.S. Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens and three other staff members (Al-Fetori/Courtesy Reuters).

Art Swift, “For First Time, American’s Views of Russia Turn Negative,” Gallup, September 18, 2013. Read more »

You Might Have Missed: Drone Strikes in Yemen, AQAP, Kissinger on Africa

by Micah Zenko
A military police trooper checks a car at a checkpoint in Sanaa A military police trooper checks a car at a checkpoint in Sanaa, Yemen, on August 6, 2013. The United States told its citizens to leave the country and ordered the evacuation of non-essential government staff out of Sanaa because of a terror threat (Khaled Abdullah/Courtesy Reuters).

Maria Abi-Habib, Margaret Coker, and Siobhan Gorman, Yemen Steps Back From Terror-Plot Claims, Highlighting U.S.’s Challenge, The Wall Street Journal, August 7, 2013. Read more »

Recommended Reading For the Fall Semester

by Micah Zenko
A series of books in former South African president and anti-apartheid leader Nelson Mandela's office in Johannesburg (Sibeko/Courtesy Reuters). A series of books in former South African president and anti-apartheid leader Nelson Mandela's office in Johannesburg (Sibeko/Courtesy Reuters).

A friend who teaches U.S. foreign policy at a public policy school asked me for a few reading recommendations for the fall semester. Specifically, she requested books or reports written in the past academic year that she might have missed. Below you will find some works worth adding to your fall syllabus if you teach foreign policy or national security to undergraduate or graduate students. Read more »

You Might Have Missed: Drone Strikes, Armed Conflict Data, and Snowden’s Fate

by Micah Zenko

Hope Hodge, The Pentagon’s Hollywood Liaison, Army Times, July 8, 2013.

The U.S. military has played a supporting role in blockbuster films almost since the invention of the silver screen…

Since 1989, Philip Strub has headed up the Defense Department’s Film and Television Liaison Office, where filmmakers can ask the Pentagon for assistance on their projects, from consultation on uniforms and military procedures to use of real military aircraft and equipment. Not every production gets the green light; Strub vets scripts to ensure they portray the U.S. military accurately and positively… Read more »

Refining the Obama Administration’s Drone Strike Narrative

by Micah Zenko
Drone An X-47B pilot-less drone combat aircraft is launched for the first time off an aircraft carrier, the USS George H. W. Bush, off the coast of Virginia on May 14, 2013 (Reed/Courtesy Reuters).

Last night, NBC News ran an extremely rare story that aptly challenged the veracity of U.S. government claims about the precision of CIA drone strikes in Pakistan. Part of the title used by NBC was misleading: “Exclusive: CIA Didn’t Always Know Who it Was Killing in Drone Strikes, Classified Documents Show.” Read more »

You Might Have Missed: Syrian Air Defenses? Drones, and Benghazi

by Micah Zenko
Witnesses Mark Thompson, acting deputy assistant secretary of state for counterterrorism, Gregory Hicks, foreign service officer and former deputy chief of mission/charge d'affairs in Libya at the State Department, and Eric Nordstrom, diplomatic security officer and former regional security officer in Libya at the State Department, are sworn in at the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on the 2012 attacks in Benghazi, Libya, on May 8, 2013 (Gripas/Courtesy Reuters). Witnesses Mark Thompson, Gregory Hicks, and Eric Nordstrom are sworn in at the May 8, 2013, House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on the 2012 attacks in Benghazi, Libya (Gripas/Courtesy Reuters).

Sea Power in the Pacific, Drones in Lebanon, and America’s “Dirty Wars”

by Micah Zenko
The littoral combat ship USS Freedom (LCS 1) departs for a deployment to the Asia-Pacific region, in San Diego Bay, California. (Christine Walker-Singh/Courtesy Reuters). The littoral combat ship USS Freedom (LCS 1) departs for a deployment to the Asia-Pacific region, in San Diego Bay, California. (Christine Walker-Singh/Courtesy Reuters).

David C. Gompert, “Sea Power and American Interests in the Western Pacific,” Rand Corportation, to be published June 3, 2013,  pp. 160-162.

If we are indeed in for a change in the basic premise of sea power, the main reason would be that globalization is making cooperative maritime security more attractive and even compelling. But why would globalization favor cooperation over confrontation at sea? This is a legitimate question: After all, economic interdependence did not prevent naval rivalry or, for that matter, world war a century ago. More to the point at hand, why would the common economic interests of China and the United States, including secure trade, foster maritime cooperation when such an approach was not pursued by Great Britain and Germany, also major trading partners when they became rival sea powers? The answer is complex but worth examining. Read more »

You Might Have Missed: Spending on Overseas Bases, Drones over Boston, and Benghazi

by Micah Zenko
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry speaks with U.S. Ambassador to South Korea Sung Y. Kim at Seoul Air Base (Paul J. Richards/Courtesy Reuters). U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry speaks with U.S. Ambassador to South Korea Sung Y. Kim at Seoul Air Base (Paul J. Richards/Courtesy Reuters).

Donna Cassata, “Report: US Footing Greater Bill for Overseas Bases,” Associated Press, April 17, 2013.

The United States is footing more of the bill for overseas bases in Germany, Japan and South Korea even as the military reduces the number of American troops in Europe and strategically repositions forces in Asia, a congressional report says. Read more »