All Columns

Syrian rebels from the “Al-Qasas Brigade” or “Justice Brigade” run through an olive grove to avoid Syrian Army snipers, Oct. 20, 2012 (photo by Flickr user syriafreedom licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license).
Strategic Horizons

U.S. Support for Syrian Rebels Serves Political, not Military, Purposes

By Steven Metz
, , Column

Supporting the Syrian rebels is a key component of President Barack Obama’s strategy against the so-called Islamic State, but it entails many tradeoffs. Backing the rebels makes little sense from a purely military standpoint, but it does make sense from a broader policy perspective. more


Diplomatic Fallout

Frustrations Mount for Both the U.S. and Its Foes at the U.N.

By Richard Gowan
, , Column

Criticisms by Vladimir Putin and Samantha Power of the international system last week are illustrations of a well-established paradox: While many countries believe the U.S. wields too much influence, American policymakers are repeatedly frustrated by the system’s failure to deliver in major crises. more

Strategic Horizons

Updated Weinberger Principles Still a Guide for Use of U.S. Force

By Steven Metz
, , Column

In 1984, at the height of the post-Vietnam malaise, then-Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger suggested a set of principles to guide the use of the American military. Since then, the principles fell by the wayside, resulting in renewed malaise. It might be time to dust off the Weinberger principles. more

Strategic Horizons

The U.S. Army Makes Its Case for Post-COIN Relevance

By Steven Metz
, , Column

Since the end of the Iraq and Afghanistan counterinsurgencies, the U.S. Army has struggled to reinvent itself and preserve its force structure. This week it released a new roadmap intended to explain its value in the tumultuous and complex security environment that the U.S. faces. more