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Armed drones can be tactically useful. But are they helping advance the strategic goals of U.S. counterterrorism? Drones are not helping to defeat al Qaeda, and they may be creating sworn enemies out of a sea of local insurgents. It would be a mistake to embrace drones as the centerpiece of U.S. counterterrorism.
White House national security officials have released two key documents. The first, US Policy Standards and Procedures for the Use of Force in Counterterrorism, lays out the standards now being used to decide whether to deploy ‘lethal force’ outside the battlefield. The White House has also released the transcript of a background briefing for journalists, in which anonymous senior administration officials offer their interpretation of the new guidance.
Progressive Democrats in Congress are ramping up pressure on the Obama administration to release the text of Trans-Pacific Partnership, a secretive free trade agreement with 10 other nations, amid intensifying controversy over the administration’s transparency record and its treatment of classified information.
Events in the greater Middle East are making it difficult for the United States to limit its involvement there. The irony is inescapable: a decade ago, Washington chose to immerse itself in the region when it did not have to, but now that most Americans want little to do with the region, U.S. officials are finding it difficult to turn away.
Drone warfare is here to stay, and it is likely to expand in the years to come. Washington must continue to improve its drone policy, spelling out clearer rules for extrajudicial and extraterritorial killings so that tyrannical regimes will have a harder time pointing to the U.S. drone program to justify attacks against political opponents.
Far from being a passive victim, the United States has fostered as rich a tradition of illicit trade as any other country in the world. Since its founding, the United States has had an intimate relationship with clandestine commerce, and contraband capitalism was integral to the rise of the U.S. economy.
The combination of a strong, rising China and economic stagnation in Europe and America is making the West increasingly uncomfortable. By buying companies, exploiting natural resources, building infrastructure and giving loans all over the world, China is pursuing a soft but unstoppable form of economic domination.
Economic growth, when widely shared, does more than increase living standards, it helps ease tensions within societies. Trade has an important role to play in boosting both growth and security, even more so when complemented by policies to ensure that its benefits are widely shared. Geopolitics is back. Or at least it should be – what we have been seeing instead is a paradox.
Dr. Richard Haass is president of the Council on Foreign Relations. Previously, he was director of policy planning for the Department of State, U.S. coordinator for policy toward the future of Afghanistan, and U.S. envoy to the Northern Ireland peace process.
American University professor Akbar Ahmed’s new book, The Thistle and the Drone, cautions wisely about the geostrategic dangers that can result if Washington is seen as using force disproportionately or carelessly in ways that hurt innocent people. However, the United States has made huge progress in minimizing civilian casualties.
In 2001, George W. Bush signed a military order concerning the “Detention, Treatment, and Trial of Certain Non-Citizens in the War Against Terrorism.” Suspected terrorists could be imprisoned without charge, denied knowledge of the evidence against them, and, if tried, sentenced by courts following no previously established rules.
For a country exhausted after more than a decade of war, remote-controlled drones are undeniably tempting. Obama has yet to explain the basics of the broader policy, but that wall of silence is starting to erode. This new pledge of accountability comes amid growing international criticism.
The Supreme Court on Tuesday turned back a challenge to a federal law that broadened the government’s power to eavesdrop on international phone calls and e-mails. The ruling illustrated how hard it is to mount court challenges to a wide array of antiterrorism measures, including renditions of terrorism suspects to foreign countries and targeted killings using drones.
The IISS Geo-economics and Strategy Programme is designed to analyse global economic trends, their impact on the global governance agenda and their meaning for the global distribution of power. Its broad and global scope will allow for a comprehensive examination of the structural economic changes that are shaping today’s international strategic relationships.
Now, more than ever, the United States might be tempted to pull back from the world. That would be a mistake, since an engaged grand strategy has served the country exceptionally well for the past six decades — helping prevent the outbreak of conflict in the world’s most important regions, keeping the global economy humming, and facilitating international cooperation.
The United States has consistently spent hundreds of billions of dollars per year on its military. This undisciplined, expensive, and bloody strategy has done untold harm to U.S. national security. This undisciplined strategy has done untold harm to U.S. national security. It is time to abandon the United States’ hegemonic strategy and replace it with one of restraint.
The Obama administration’s attempt to develop a more coherent doctrine of cyber-warfare is sensible so long as it is not just an excuse for hyping something that has yet to kill anybody. The essence of cyber-warfare is ambiguity and uncertainty, that makes policy both hard to construct and harder still to explain.
The Brennan nomination crystallizes the ways in which Obama has also cemented and expanded the Bush approach to counterterrorism. We have a far-flung drone campaign that deals death, even to American citizens, on the say-so of the president and a secret administration “nominations” process.
President Barack Obama has closely followed the policy of his predecessor, President George W. Bush, when it comes to tactics used in the “war on terror” — from rendition, targeted killings, state secrets, Guantanamo Bay to domestic spying, according to Michael Hayden, Bush’s former director of the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Security Agency.
The Center for Constitutional Rights, non-profit legal and educational organization committed to the creative use of law as a positive force for social change, is dedicated to advancing and protecting the rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Human Rights Watch is one of the world’s leading independent organizations dedicated to defending and protecting human rights. By focusing international attention where human rights are violated, we give voice to the oppressed and hold oppressors accountable for their crimes.
The National Security Archive is an investigative journalism center, a research institute, an archive of U.S. documents, a public interest law firm defending and expanding public access to government information, a global advocate of open government, and an indexer and publisher of former secrets.
The mission of the International Insurance Relations Committee is to strengthen the international insurance regulatory system and provide a forum for cooperative efforts between the NAIC, international regulators, and multi-national associations of regulators on issues of mutual interest.
In their New York Times article, Secret Kill List Proves a Test of Obama’s Principles and Will, Jo Becker and Scott Shane discuss the Obama Administration’s approach to the fight against terrorism. The article is the third in a series of articles, called A Measure of Change, that assess President Obama’s record.
Fareed Zakaria hosts CNN’s flagship foreign affairs show, is Editor-at-Large of TIME Magazine, and a Washington Post columnist. He is also a New York Times bestselling author of the books: The Post-American World: Release 2.0, The Future of Freedom: Illiberal Democracy at Home and Abroad.
Joseph S. Nye, Jr., is University Distinguished Service Professor and former Dean of the Kennedy School at Harvard University, and author of the book: The Future of Power in the 21st Century, which provides a roadmap for a foreign policy to deal with the challenges of a global information age.
Defense spending accounted for about 20 percent of total federal spending in 2011. The Congressional Budget Office analyzes the budgetary effects of proposed legislation related to national security and assesses the cost-effectiveness of current and proposed defense programs.