What future does the United States Army face? During eight years of operations in Iraq and 10 years in Afghanistan, the Army has shifted from being a force focused on high-intensity conventional operations to one more comfortable fighting a dispersed enemy intermingled with the population. However, operations are winding down in Iraq, and an endpoint seems to be nearing in Afghanistan. Armed with the collective experience developed in the War on Terror, how will the Army move forward to face new challenges and threats? The answers involve political and military considerations that may contradict each other. The fact that the […]

It wasn’t very long ago when American interest in the Middle East focused with piercing intensity on the minutest of developments in Iraq. Over time, however, the gradual drawdown of U.S. forces, the uprisings in the Middle East and public exhaustion with the draining American misadventure in Mesopotamia conspired to take Baghdad out of the headlines. That is about to change. The coming months will bring Iraq back to the foreground. A number of crucial events and opposing forces are now converging, and they will determine whether Iraq, the country Americans spent so much blood and treasure to turn into […]

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The slow-burning war pitting militarized Kurdish groups in Iraq against the governments of Turkey and Iran has escalated since mid-August. Most notably, Turkish fighter jets have flown multiple bombing runs on bases of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK). The Turkish bombing campaign, occurring inside northern Iraq, is reportedly being conducted in retaliation for a series of PKK attacks that have left more than two dozen Turkish soldiers dead since the beginning of the summer. Meanwhile, a PKK offshoot known as the Party for a Free Life in Kurdistan (PJAK) is engaged in ongoing clashes with Iranian forces, with Iranian officials […]

Editor’s note: This is the first in a two-part series on the impact of Sept. 11 on U.S. foreign policy. Part I examines the militarization of U.S. foreign policy following Sept. 11. Part II will examine ways to reverse this trend. On Sept. 11, 2001, nearly 3,000 Americans were killed in the single deadliest terrorist attack in American history — the work, not of a foreign army, but of al-Qaida, a nonstate actor. The U.S. wasted little time in responding. The Taliban government in Afghanistan that had provided safe haven for the terrorist group was quickly deposed by a combination […]