Archive for April, 2012

What if realists were in charge of U.S. foreign policy?

Stephen M. Walt. Foreign Policy, 30 April 2012.
http://defensealt.org/JXUjc5

Excerpt:

The liberal/neoconservative alliance is responsible for most of America’s major military interventions of the past two decades, as well as other key initiatives like NATO expansion. By contrast, realists have been largely absent from the halls of power or the commanding heights of punditry. That situation got me wondering: What would U.S. foreign policy have been like had realists been running the show for the past two decades?

Editor’s Comment:
Unfortunately we’d only be a little better off. What has been missing is any effort to construct a new international politics following the Cold War. Realism reflects the war system within international politics and will not serve to transcend it.

One U.S-Afghan Security Pact, Two Very Different Missions

Spencer Ackerman. Danger Room, 23 April 2012.
http://defensealt.org/JCKNPc

Excerpt:

To be blunt: Afghanistan is valuable to the United States because it’s the most logical place from which to conduct a war in Pakistan that’s primarily fought by armed drones and occasionally special operations forces. It’s not really valuable in and of itself. The U.S. interests in Afghanistan, as defined by the Obama administration, are to keep Afghanistan from internal collapse so al-Qaida doesn’t return.

On the hook in Afghanistan for at least another decade

Philip Ewing. DoD Buzz, 23 April 2012.
http://defensealt.org/Ic1h0p

Excerpt:

Washington had no good choices on Afghanistan. The White House probably hopes its agreement will give enough distance that most American troops can come home and force the Afghans to step up, as planned, but also keep Afghanistan close enough that it doesn’t again offer a vacuum to be filled by terrorists. So after more than 10 years, all that’s certain is that the next 10 years in Afghanistan will be critical.

Time to get U.S. nukes out of Europe

Stephen M. Walt. Foreign Policy, 18 April 2012.
http://defensealt.org/Ifat2Q

Excerpt:

There’s an overwhelming case for removing these archaic and unnecessary weapons from the European continent. Ideally, we would do this as part of a bilateral deal with Russia, but we ought to do it even if Russia isn’t interested.

Editor’s Comment:

Couldn’t agree more!

Air Force Ramps Up Drone War

Jefferson Morley. Salon.com, 5 April 2012.
http://defensealt.org/Hmesu7

Excerpt:

… the Reapers are now launched from two locations and carry out five sorties per day. The Air Force anticipates that activity will double in 2013 to four locations and 14 sorties a day. By 2015, the scope of the Reaper program is expected to double again to nine locations carrying out 46 sorties a day. By 2016, the plan is that Reapers will be launched from 11 locations carrying out 66 sorties per day.