Defense and Security Articles

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel listens as President Barack Obama talks about Hagel’s resignation during an event in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, Nov. 24, 2014 (AP photo by Susan Walsh).
The Realist Prism

Obama Faces Nothing but Problems in Finding Hagel Replacement

By Nikolas Gvosdev
, , Column

U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel apparently drew the short straw and emerged as the first sacrificial victim dispatched by President Barack Obama after the dismal midterms. Obama must locate a new defense secretary who can be part of his inner circle rather than being held at arm’s length. more


Diplomatic Fallout

Bold or Not, Next U.N. Secretary-General Faces World of Pain

By Richard Gowan
, , Column

Earlier this month a campaign was launched to overturn the “outdated and opaque” process for selecting the U.N. secretary-general. But with global divisions threatening the organization’s ability to improve international cooperation, it’s questionable how much impact the post can really have. more

Strategic Horizons

Understanding the Enemy: Inside the Mind of the Islamic State

By Steven Metz
, , Column

This week, military planners from more than 30 countries are gathered in Florida to plot their approach against the so-called Islamic State. Meanwhile, IS is mulling its strategy as well. Both know that if their strategies are to work, they must first try to get inside the mind of their enemy. more

How Argentina Became the Newest Drug Trafficking Hub

By Benoît Gomis
, , Briefing

Compared to some of its neighbors, Argentina has been relatively unscathed by the effects of drug trafficking. However, a recent increase in drug-related problems, including cocaine trafficking, has exposed some of Argentina’s key structural weaknesses, underscoring the need for comprehensive reform. more

Global Insider

Vietnam’s Modernizing Navy Confronts China’s Sea Power

By The Editors
, , Trend Lines

As China attempts to assert maritime claims against Vietnam, Vietnam in turn has been expanding its navy and courting new allies, like India. In an email interview, Abhijit Singh, a research fellow at India’s Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, discusses the Vietnamese navy's capabilities. more

Diplomatic Fallout

U.N.’s Syria Cease-Fire Plan a Risky Gamble, but Worth It

By Richard Gowan
, , Column

Is the U.N. heading for another diplomatic humiliation in Syria? A proposal for a series of local cease-fires between the government and some rebel groups, beginning in Aleppo, has received some slight encouragement from the Syrian regime and a great deal of criticism from outside observers. more

World Citizen

Houthi Rise in Yemen Puts Saudi Arabia, Iran on Crash Course

By Frida Ghitis
, , Column

One look at a map shows why Yemen has the potential to create serious problems not just for its neighbors but also for the global economy. The country’s troubles have escaped the spotlight mostly because the troubles elsewhere in the region look more acute. That, however, is likely to change. more

Justice Deferred: Rule of Law in Central America

By Michael Allison
, , Feature

One of the primary historical causes of political violence in Central America has been the absence of democratic rule of law. Since the 1990s, reformists have mobilized to strengthen institutions in Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras. However, these efforts have been for the most part unsuccessful. more

Global Insider

New Leadership Unlikely to Shift Priorities for Pakistan’s ISI

By The Editors
, , Trend Lines

Last week, Lt. Gen. Rizwan Akhtar took over as head of Pakistan’s Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI). In an email interview, Frederic Grare, senior associate and director of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace’s South Asia program, discussed the evolution of ISI. more