U.S. Foreign Policy Articles

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


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

The Realist Prism

For U.S., Middle East ‘Moderates’ a Fool’s Errand

By Nikolas Gvosdev
, , Column

The elusive unicorns wandering the forests of America’s Middle East policy are the so-called moderates who will battle the extremists on behalf of the West. There is a touching faith in the existence of these moderates. However, finding them has proved to be an impossible challenge. more

Strategic Horizons

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

By Steven Metz
, , Column

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

Strategic Horizons

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

By Steven Metz
, , Column

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

Strategic Posture Review: South Korea

By Richard Weitz
, , Report

As a fully democratic and developed country, South Korea has realized its aspirations to become a major international player. Nonetheless, the persistent threat from North Korea, along with the challenge of having three of the world’s most powerful countries as neighbors, continues to constrain South Korea.

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