All Columns

President Barack Obama salutes as he arrives on the South Lawn of the White House, Sept. 12, 2014 (AP photo by Evan Vucci).
The Realist Prism

Obama’s Muddled Messaging Encourages U.S. Allies to Free Ride

By Nikolas Gvosdev
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The Obama administration has still not found the appropriate balance in its foreign policy rhetoric between making the case for continued U.S. leadership of the international system and encouraging other countries to help lighten America’s load by taking up more of the burden. more


Strategic Horizons

Can U.S. Build a Better Iraqi Army the Second Time Around?

By Steven Metz
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For the U.S., getting out of Iraq required rebuilding the Iraqi army. But the raw material that U.S. military advisers and trainers had to work with was not optimal. To defeat the Islamic State group, the Iraqi army will have to be organized on professional and not sectarian grounds. more

Diplomatic Fallout

Ebola Crisis Offers Ban Ki-moon a Last Chance to Lead

By Richard Gowan
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U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon revealed a new side to his character over the past week: Action Ban. A self-confessed fan of action movies, Ban must daydream of tackling threats with the speed and stern decisiveness of on-screen world leaders. Yet to date, he generally hasn’t done so. more

Strategic Horizons

U.S. Strategy for Defeating the Islamic State Group Won't Work

By Steven Metz
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President Barack Obama’s strategy for dealing with the Islamic State group appeals to a weary nation, but it is unlikely to work because it violates two cardinal rules of strategy: The resources are not commensurate with the objectives, and the coalition’s objectives are not in sync. more