Would The Public Follow Trump Into War?

Political scientist Peter Feaver, who served as a senior adviser on the national security council for strategic planning under President George W. Bush, says international doubts won’t make it impossible for foreign leaders to back Trump if they support his strategy — as demonstrated by the unanimous recent United Nations vote tightening economic sanctions on North Korea. But these widespread reservations, he adds, will make other leaders more cautious about supporting his initiatives.

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Military Bases Named For Confederate Leaders

“Let’s not be in any doubt about what Braxton Bragg represents. He was a slaveholder who fought against the U.S. Army in order to preserve the South’s ‘peculiar institution.’ The time has come for Fort Bragg and the other bases named after Confederate generals to be renamed in honor of individuals who fought to defend the United States and the values that the U.S. Army is pledged to defend,” writes Michael Newcity, a professor of Slavic and Eurasian Studies.

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Is Treaty Banning Nuclear Weapons Immoral?

“Americans are not naïve about the risks nuclear weapons pose, but they have long valued freedom over safety. Nuclear weapons can defend not just lives, per se, but a way of life. But it seems treaty advocates prefer to avoid the risks that nuclear weapons might pose, even at the possible cost of freedom, writes law professor Charles Dunlap, executive director of the Center on Law, Ethics and National Security at Duke Law.

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Bringing Back the Draft

Peter Feaver, a political science professor and author of ­numerous works on national security, says the argument for the draft is a backdoor approach to ending the current types of interventionist wars we are fighting. “That is an argument about American grand strategy masquerading as being about the all-volunteer force,” he says. Feaver is skeptical that the ­American military might find itself in such a ­predicament as to need large numbers of troops from a draft, noting the “U.S. military has the wherewithal to do most of the missions needed.”

Read More in the Military Times

Trump White House Tests Capacity For Outrage

The president signed his hotly contested travel ban on visitors from selected Muslim-majority countries at the Pentagon and publicly opined about how troops had voted for him and complained about the news media in front of military audiences. The comment was a mistake, says political scientist Peter Feaver. “While there is a legitimate role for senior brass to explain military affairs to the public, it is not good for civil-military relations to have the military viewed as a special interest group pleading for bigger budgets.”

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Finding The Truth in Complex Civilian-Casualty Investigations

“I contend that while witness interviews are certainly valuable, research in recent years shows that allegedly ‘eyewitness’ accounts carry their own risks and limitations,” writes law professor Charles Dunlap. “Accordingly, I believe that human rights organizations ought to rethink the extent to which they rely (over rely?) on such testimony to – as they put it – form the “bedrock” of their investigations, particularly in contested war zone areas.”

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Amnesty Says Possible War Crimes In Mosul by U.S.-Led Coalition

Retired Air Force Maj. Gen. Charles Dunlap, now a law professor at Duke, questions Amnesty’s claim that coalition forces may have committed war crimes. “The law – which even in this context carries, as Amnesty International should know, a presumption of innocence – typically demands evidence of the attacker’s beliefs and intent before ascribing criminal liability. I didn’t see much of that in the report,” he says.

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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