Trump’s Faith In Military Does Not a Strategy Make

After five months in office, President Trump has still not articulated a strategy for the conflicts. That’s a greater cause for concern than how he chooses to delegate to a military for which he remains ultimately responsible, says political scientist Peter Feaver. “They haven’t figured out what their strategy is going to be, so there’s a cart-before-the-horse aspect,” says Feaver.

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The Hardest Part of Trump’s National Security Strategy to Write

Sometime this year, the Trump administration intends to release the legislatively mandated National Security Strategy (NSS). “… The very act of drafting the NSS serves as a (modest) disciplining device on an administration, obliging the team to confront hard truths about previous policy statements and efforts,” writes political scientist Peter Feaver. “Which brings me to the question I have been pondering for quite a while: how hard will it be for President Trump’s team to draft such an NSS? The answer I keep coming to is: pretty hard.”

 

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Could ISIS Have Been Averted? US Not to Blame

“The United States is not to blame for the rise of the Islamic State. Nor is the United States all-powerful, capable of preventing any evil in the world. Far from it. But different U.S. policies might have better positioned it in the fight against the Islamic State,” writes political scientist Peter Feaver.

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Growing Military Clout Could Shift Foreign Policy

Generals dominate just about every big national security decision President Trump makes. Chastened by the losses in Iraq, will military officers take a more cautious view? “The conventional wisdom on this is probably wrong,” says political scientist Peter Feaver, a national security adviser in George W. Bush’s White House. “Empirically, the military is more reluctant to use force . . . but if force is used, then they want it to be used without restraint.”

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Policymakers Must Prepare For New ISIS Threats In The Future

“It is imperative that the United States and local allies learn how to respond to ISIS’ presence in the physical and cyber domains now. If we cannot learn to outpace ISIS, we will not be ready for the group that surpasses it,” writes Andrew Byers, a visiting assistant professor of history who has served as an intelligence and counterterrorism analyst.

Read More in The Hill

 

Trump Call On Afghan Surge: Another Step Away From ‘America First?’

Trump is “having trouble sticking to the ‘America First’ approach to foreign policy that he advocated in the campaign, and there’s a reason for that,” says public policy professor Bruce Jentleson, a former State Department policy planning official. “He’s finding out that ‘America First’ is hard to do in a way that doesn’t leave you shooting yourself in the foot.”

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On Israeli Airstrikes in Syria — Lawful and No Need for Transparency

“… The facts are scarce about what intelligence or legal theory the Israelis relied upon to launch their attack (assuming it was them).  However, my guess is that they knew there were Hezbollah weapons in the warehouses that were being transshipped to the Israeli frontier, and that for legal justification, they relied upon the concept of anticipatory self-defense,” writes law professor Charles Dunlap.

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Risky Brinkmanship With an Unstable North Korean Regime

“We should hope that the United States is not resolved to risk major catastrophe in an exchange in which a victory only produces marginal gains. In this case, an adage from another early 1980s movie, ‘WarGames,’ applies: ‘The only winning move is not to play,’ ” writes political scientist Kyle Beardsley.

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U.S. Cyber Defense ‘Terrible,’ Former NSA Director Says

“Over the last decade cyber has become an element of national power used by us and by our adversaries. We need the defensive architecture that allows industry to defend itself long enough for government to (then) come in and help,” Gen. Keith Alexander, former commander of U.S. Cyber Command and former director of the National Security Agency said in a speech at Duke.

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Khizr Khan: ‘The Country Remains Divided’

Khzir Khan is a lawyer whose son was killed while serving in the Iraq war. He and his wife, Ghazala, entered the national spotlight when he addressed the Democratic National Convention in July and offered to lend Donald Trump his personal pocket Constitution. Since then, he has continued to speak out on behalf of Muslim-Americans and veteran families. “Now, as we continue to speak, the country remains divided,” Khan told Zach Fuchs, managing editor of Duke Political Review.

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3 Questions Trump Must Answer After His Syria Strike

“Candidate Trump repeatedly promised that he would not simply conduct American foreign policy in the way Obama did. By punishing Assad for his brazen violation of international law and basic human decency, Trump took a significant step forward in fulfilling that campaign promise,” writes political scientist Peter Feaver. “But Trump also promised that his approach would produce more lasting success than Obama’s. Whether he fulfills that promise will depend on what comes next, not on what happened Thursday.”

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How to Handle North Korea? Apply Pressure — Then Wait

“Last year alone, North Korea conducted two nuclear weapons tests and 24 missile tests, with more this year, including a new missile test on April 5, clearly intended to overshadow and complicate the first meeting this week between President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping. To avoid past failures in trying to thwart North Korea, the Trump administration should initiate bilateral diplomatic talks with the communist nation immediately,” writes Andrew Byers, a visiting assistant professor of history and an intelligence analyst.

Read More in The Hill