NATO Nuclear Weapons and the Defence and Deterrence Posture Review: A Non-consensual Debate

Wilbert van der Zeijden. Open Security, 07 May 2012.
http://defensealt.org/Jcdn7A

Excerpt:

Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany have acknowledged publicly that they would like to see the US nuclear weapons all three are hosting removed from their territories. Yet the debate in NATO on this issue lacks transparency and accountability.

Military base issues limit Pentagon’s options for post-war Afghanistan

Carlo Munoz. The Hill, 06 May 2012.
http://defensealt.org/IDlUxL

Excerpt:

President Obama’s pledge to not build any permanent military outposts in Afghanistan could throw a wrench in the Pentagon’s postwar plans for the country, once U.S. troops leave in 2014. The president’s promise, made during Tuesday’s nationally televised speech from Afghanistan, is an integral piece of a postwar agreement between Washington and Kabul.

The Realists in Tehran

Sergey Markedonov. The National Interest, 4 May 2012.
http://defensealt.org/J9a1FN

Excerpt:

The Iranian problem stands out on the international agenda. But it is much broader and more diverse than Iran’s desire to acquire a nuclear bomb. Iran is accused of being a source of both regional instability and far-reaching geopolitical ambitions. Although today’s Iran demonstrates a desire to play in the international geopolitical game, it remains primarily a regional power with a significant presence in the Middle East, Central Asia and the South Caucasus.

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.