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.

Meet Foreign Policy Interrupted

by Micah Zenko Thursday, January 16, 2014
Madeline Albright, former U.S. secretary of state, arrives in London on December 5, 2005. (Hird/Courtesy Reuters) Madeline Albright, former U.S. secretary of state, arrives in London on December 5, 2005. (Hird/Courtesy Reuters)

Elmira Bayrasli and Lauren Bohn are co-founders of Foreign Policy Interrupted, an important and unprecedented new initiative that aims to increase the number of female voices in foreign policy. Working from the ground up through a cohesive fellowship program, including media training and meaningful mentoring at partnering media institutions, FPI helps women break both internal and external barriers to more and better representation in and on the media. I was fortunate to learn more about FPI recently. Read more »

Mapping Global Conflict

by Micah Zenko Monday, January 6, 2014

We are excited to announce the launch of the Center for Preventive Action’s new interactive guide to U.S. conflict prevention priorities in 2014. The Global Conflict Tracker is based upon the findings of our Preventive Priorities Survey (PPS), which evaluates ongoing and potential conflicts based on their likelihood of occurring in 2014 and their impact on U.S. interests. Read more »

Tracking U.S. Targeted Killings

by Micah Zenko Tuesday, December 31, 2013

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 Friday, December 27, 2013
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 Friday, December 20, 2013
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 »

You Might Have Missed: Drone Strikes, Malaria, and Defense Contractors

by Micah Zenko Friday, December 13, 2013
Foreign contractors arrive at the site of a blast in Kabul, Afghanistan, on December 17, 2012. (Mohammad Ismail/Courtesy Reuters) Foreign contractors arrive at the site of a blast in Kabul, Afghanistan, on December 17, 2012. (Mohammad Ismail/Courtesy Reuters)

Hakim Almasmari, “Yemen says U.S. drone struck a wedding convoy, killing 14,” CNN, December 13, 2013.

A U.S. drone mistakenly targeted a wedding convoy in Yemen’s al-Baitha province after intelligence reports identified the vehicles as carrying al Qaeda militants, two Yemeni national security officials told CNN on Thursday. Read more »

Guest Post: The Humans Behind Remotely Piloted Aircraft

by Guest Blogger for Micah Zenko Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Travis, a 432nd Wing/432nd Air Expeditionary Wing Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) sensor operator, and Ben, a 432nd Wing/432nd AEW RPA pilot, fly an MQ-1 Predator during the wings 2 million flying hour milestone on October 22, 2013. (Courtesy U.S. Air Force) Travis, a 432nd Wing/432nd Air Expeditionary Wing Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) sensor operator, and Ben, a 432nd Wing/432nd AEW RPA pilot, fly an MQ-1 Predator during the wings 2 million flying hour milestone on October 22, 2013. (Courtesy U.S. Air Force)

Priscilla Kim is an intern in the Center for Preventive Action at the Council on Foreign Relations.

The U.S. Air Force trains more remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) pilots than traditional fighter and bomber pilots combined—350 RPA pilots compared to 250 fighter and bomber pilots in 2011. Additionally, one in every three planes is unmanned, and the Pentagon intends to double the number of unmanned aircraft systems from 340 to 650 by 2021. If RPA proliferation is not complemented with policy changes that effectively address the concerns of RPA pilots, there could be damaging overall effects for U.S. military forces. Read more »

You Might Have Missed: Snowden, Homeland Security, and Drone Strikes

by Micah Zenko Friday, December 6, 2013

Karen Parrish, “Hagel Arrives in Bahrain for Speech at Dialogue,” American Forces Press Service, December 5, 2013.

Hagel noted during a press conference yesterday that even as it focuses more attention on the Asia-Pacific, the United States is fully engaged around the world. Read more »

Ten What’s With…Daniel Markey

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