Archive for the ‘Assessments’ Category

Why they hate us?: How many Muslims has the U.S. killed in the past 30 years?

Stephen M. Walt., 30 November 2009.


Yet if you really want to know “why they hate us,” … the fact remains that the United States has killed a very large number of Arab or Muslim individuals over the past three decades.

Editor’s Comment:

And no amount of “public diplomacy” or “American narrative” will win friends when the U.S. is responsible for killing sons and daughters of people in their home land. That is a basic piece of strategic wisdom!

Winning in Afghanistan: A Message from Ambassador Eikenberry

Karl E. Eikenberry. Embassy of the U.S.A., Kabul, 08 November 2009.

Ambassador Eikenberry’s Cables on U.S. Strategy in Afghanistan

Karl W. Eikenberry. The The New York Times has published two cables authored by the U.S. Ambassador to Kabul addressed to Secretary of State Clinton. The first is dated 06 November 2009 and is entitled “COIN Strategy: Civilian Concerns”. The second is dated 09 November 2009 and is entitled “Looking Beyond Counterinsurgency in Afghanistan”.

Editor’s Comment:

Quibble: COIN is a tactic, not a strategy. Non-quibble: Wars are rarely decided at the tactical level.

Together Toward Nuclear Zero: Understanding Chinese and Russian Security Concerns

Cristina Hansell and Nikita Perfilyev. The Nonproliferation Review, November 2009.


…if Chinese military experts decide that China needs the capability of a maneuvering warhead to evade missile defense interceptors, they may need to test the redesigned warheads. It is not clear that the Obama administration, however, will be willing to back down on missile defense in order to obtain Chinese agreement on a CTBT. Without a CTBT, though, further progress toward disarmament is unlikely; the nuclear weapon states’ commitment to NPT Article VI will not be taken seriously by non-nuclear weapon states, and the possibility of a future arms race (instigated in large part by the fear of U.S. missile defenses and precision weapons) is increased.

Public Opinion on Global Issues: A Web-based Digest of Polling from Around the World

Council on Foreign Relations, November 2009.

Project website —


Publics around the world—including in the United States—are strongly internationalist in orientation. They believe that global challenges are simply too complex and daunting to be addressed by unilateral or even regional means. In every country polled, most people support a global system based on the rule of law, international treaties, and robust multilateral institutions. They believe their own government is obliged to abide by international law, even when doing so is at odds with its perceived national interest. Large majorities, including among Americans, reject a hegemonic role for the United States, but do want the United States to participate in multilateral efforts to address international issues.

Welcome to 2025: American Preeminence Is Disappearing Fifteen Years Early

Michael T. Klare. Tom Dispatch, 26 October 2009.


How much longer will Washington feel that Americans can afford to subsidize a global role that includes garrisoning much of the planet and fighting distant wars in the name of global security, when the American economy is losing so much ground to its competitors? This is the dilemma President Obama and his advisers must confront in the altered world of 2025.

article references

Assessment of US Strategy in Afghanistan

Ravi Rikjye. Intelligence, 29 August 2009.

Foreign Policy Address at the Council on Foreign Relations: Hillary Rodham Clinton

Hillary Rodham Clinton. U.S. Department of State, Washington, DC, 15 July 2009.