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  • Originally published 01/28/2014

    The Pacific Pivot

    Why America’s strategic rebalance is really just retreat.

  • Originally published 10/20/2013

    Why Things are Looking Good for Israel

    The Arab Spring, Iranian sanctions, the Syrian civil war, and the fall of the Brotherhood in Egypt have all strengthened the Israeli strategic position.

  • Originally published 03/22/2013

    The Iraq War: A Failure of Presidential Leadership

    2nd Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division during the Battle of Fallujah in 2004. Credit: DoD.In Supreme Command: Soldiers, Statesmen, and Leadership in Wartime, Eliot Cohen argues that civilian leaders need to be deeply involved in the creation and execution of military strategy. His examination of Abraham Lincoln, Georges Clemenceau, Winston Churchill, and David Ben-Gurion shows that civilian leaders who immerse themselves in politico-military decision-making fare better than those who leave the most important decisions to their generals. Cohen published his book in 2002, just in time for President George W. Bush to read it during a vacation in Texas, about six months before U.S. forces invaded Iraq.

  • Originally published 03/21/2013

    Stephen M. Walt: The Dearth of Strategy on Syria

    Stephen M. Walt is the Robert and Renée Belfer professor of international relations at Harvard University....When Franklin Roosevelt took the United States into World War II, he did so on the basis of very clear strategic reasoning. As outlined by the 1941 "Victory Program," he understood that if Germany defeated the Soviet Union and was able to consolidate the industrial power of Europe, it might pose a potent long-term threat to U.S. security. That logic led him to back Great Britain through Lend-Lease and to work assiduously to bring the U.S. into the war. Going to war was a big step back then, it's no accident that this was the last time Congress issued a formal declaration of war. 

  • Originally published 03/20/2013

    David Ignatius: The Painful Lessons of Iraq

    David Ignatius is a columnist for the Washington Post.Ten years ago this week, I was covering the U.S. military as it began its assault on Iraq. As I read back now over my clips, I see a few useful warnings about the difficulties ahead. But I owe readers an apology for being wrong on the overriding question of whether the war made sense.Invading Iraq to topple Saddam Hussein a decade ago was one of the biggest strategic errors in modern American history. We’ll never know whether the story might have been different if better planning had been done for “the day after,” or the Iraqi army hadn’t been disbanded, or several other “ifs.” But the abiding truth is that America shouldn’t have rolled the dice this way on a war of choice....