Foreign Policy

Is Bin Laden Winning?

  • By
  • Robert Wright,
  • New America Foundation
September 11, 2012 |

If in 2001, a few hours after the 9/11 attacks, you had described to Osama bin Laden the world that would exist exactly 11 years later, how would he have reacted?

There's one aspect of the current world we know he would frown on--the part about his bones lying at the bottom of the sea. And he'd probably be disappointed that there have been almost no successful radical Islamist terrorist attacks on American soil since the one he engineered.

Still, there's a lot for him to like, and it's far from clear that America is decisively winning the war he started 11 years ago today.

Programs:

11 Years After 9/11: Who Are the Terrorists?

  • By
  • Peter Bergen,
  • Jennifer Rowland,
  • New America Foundation
September 11, 2012 |

On August 15, Floyd Lee Corkins allegedly walked into the Family Research Council in Washington, a conservative think tank, and shot the building manager Leo Johnson in the arm, saying something along the lines of, "I don't like your politics," as he did so.

What's Missing From the U.S. Campaign Debate? The Rest of the Planet.

  • By
  • Charles Kenny,
  • New America Foundation
September 9, 2012 |

Foreign policy got short shrift in this year’s Republican and Democratic conventions. In their acceptance speeches, both candidates made brief obeisance to the moth-eaten chimera of energy independence, promised trade deals that would create jobs at home, and pledged to counter threats in the Middle East. Romney did vow global military dominance. Obama at least mentioned Afghanistan and Iraq and cited his administration’s efforts to get tough with China. But did either candidate attempt to explain how America’s national interests are connected to the fortunes of the rest of the planet?

What's Not Wrong With Drones?

  • By
  • Rosa Brooks,
  • New America Foundation
September 6, 2012 |

For many on the political left, and more than a few in the middle, drone strikes are the paradigmatic example of U.S. militarism run amok. I'm not crazy about the way the United States has been using drone strikes myself, but many of the most common objections to drones don't hold up well under scrutiny.

Let's review the case against the drones.

1. Drone strikes kill innocent civilians.

A Changing of the Guard

  • By
  • Fred Kaplan,
  • New America Foundation
September 7, 2012 |

The conventions these past two weeks—and particularly the final speeches Thursday night—have cemented the fact that the Democratic party is now the party of national-security policy; not just a wise or thoughtful foreign and military policy, but any kind of thinking whatsoever about matters beyond the water’s edge.

For anyone who’s followed American politics the past 40 years, since the election between George McGovern and Richard Nixon, this is a staggering shift.

Drone Is Obama's Weapon of Choice

  • By
  • Peter Bergen,
  • Megan Braun,
  • New America Foundation
September 6, 2012 |

Covert drone strikes are one of Obama's key national security policies. He has already authorized 283 strikes in Pakistan, six times more than the number during President George W. Bush's eight years in office.

As a result, the number of estimated deaths from the Obama administration's drone strikes is more than four times what it was during the Bush administration -- somewhere between 1,494 and 2,618.

Highway Robbery

  • By
  • Rosa Brooks,
  • New America Foundation
August 22, 2012 |

In August 2003, some colleagues and I were held up by armed bandits on the highway in Fallujah, Iraq. (Don't ask why I was dumb enough to be wandering around Fallujah.) My bandit -- there were quite a few of them, but I like to think of the guy who stuck a gun in my face as my bandit -- was straight out of central casting, complete with a red kerchief around his mouth and nose to disguise his facial features.

The Pivot to Africa

  • By
  • Rosa Brooks,
  • New America Foundation
August 16, 2012 |

"A squirrel dying in front of your house may be more relevant to your interests right now than people dying in Africa," Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is said to have remarked. For most Americans occupying the now-now-now world of Facebook, this probably feels apt. And until just over a decade ago, Zuckerberg's statement might equally have applied to Pentagon strategists. A 1995 strategy document from the Defense Department was hardly less blunt: "[U]ltimately we see very little traditional strategic interest in Africa."

Condoleezza Rice Has a Lot of Nerve

  • By
  • Fred Kaplan,
  • New America Foundation
August 31, 2012 |

To watch Condoleezza Rice, the face of George W. Bush’s foreign policy, stand before a convention of cheering Republicans and condemn Barack Obama for diminishing America’s standing in the world—one can only gasp at the magnitude of chutzpah in one woman.

Book review: ‘No Easy Day: The Firsthand Account of the Mission That Killed Osama bin Laden’

  • By
  • Peter Bergen,
  • New America Foundation
August 30, 2012 |

Even before the book went on sale, the announcement by the publisher Dutton that the pseudonymous Mark Owen, one of the SEALs on the mission that killed Osama bin Laden, would be publishing an account of his role in the raid quickly propelled “No Easy Day” to the No. 1 slot on Amazon, displacing “Fifty Shades of Grey.”

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