National Security Network

Obama Administration

Obama Administration

Afghanistan

The Challenge of Resurrecting Afghanistan

Report 20 July 2009
The situation in Afghanistan is one of the most challenging foreign policy issues confronting the Obama administration. July is already the deadliest month of the war Coalition forces, as U.S. and Coalition forces have sought to regain the initiative against the Taliban in southern Afghanistan. This offensive takes place after seven years of neglect and mismanagement by the Bush administration.
More »
Russia

This is What Diplomacy Looks Like

Report 7 July 2009
After eight years of the U.S. leaving international summits empty handed with no deliverables to speak of, the U.S.-Russian summit that wrapped up in Moscow today stands in stark contrast. President Obama, determined to reset U.S.-Russian relations and place them on a more productive and business-like track, focused on a number of core issues – arms control, Afghanistan, military cooperation, and proliferation threats. On each he achieved important deliverables. After eight years of inept diplomacy, it is refreshing that an American administration is finally able to use diplomacy as a tool to enhance American security. Yet many extreme conservatives seem to be fighting the Cold War all over again.
More »

North Korean Fireworks No Cause for Hysteria

Report 30 June 2009
North Korea is likely to grab headlines over the coming July 4th weekend, as the regime has pledged to fire a missile toward Hawaii. But as David Sanger explains, “if your holiday plans call for spending the day on Diamond Head, it is probably not worth cancelling your plans: There is no evidence yet the North’s missiles can reach that far, and their aim is singularly unimpressive.” Nevertheless, North Korea is a real and serious security challenge – a challenge that worsened greatly over the last eight years under President Bush.
More »
Terrorism & National Security

The Tragic Legacy of Abu Ghraib

Report 24 April 2009
Five years ago, Dan Rather of CBS News reported systemic abuse of prisoners under U.S. control at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. The shocking photos not only brought shame to the United States but served as a tremendous recruiting tool for Al Qaeda and Iraqi insurgents.
More »
Pakistan

Pakistan Descends

Report 23 April 2009
This crisis is critical to the security of the United States. Pakistan possesses nuclear weapons, has served as safe haven for al Qaeda and other international terrorist groups, has frequently gone to war with India, and holds some of the keys to U.S. efforts in Afghanistan. Yet despite Pakistan’s critical importance, we are only now emerging from eight years without a comprehensive Pakistan strategy.
More »
Terrorism & National Security

Fear, Failed Policies Have Not Made America Safer

Report 20 April 2009
This weekend conservatives renewed their efforts to defend the failed legacy of the Bush era and sow public fear to undermine the new Administration. 
More »
Diplomacy

Developing a Partnership with Mexico

Report 16 April 2009
President Obama embarks on his first trip to Mexico this week in an effort to warm up a cool relationship and turn rhetoric into substance on the shared challenges the two countries face.  The Obama administration has recognized that the challenges facing Mexico are serious foreign policy concerns for the United States and that they can only be overcome by both countries taking shared responsibility to address them.
More »
Terrorism & National Security

Passing the First Test

Report 13 April 2009
The successful operation to free Captain Richard Phillips off the coast of Somalia is a small but significant victory for the Obama national security team. However, this small incident represents a much larger and continuing problem. The challenge going forward will be addressing piracy in the context of Somalia’s greater problems and the US’s many competing priorities -- and finding approaches that will be effective in the context of the difficult US history there.  
More »
Iraq

Passing Responsibility to the Iraqis

Report 8 April 2009
During his trip to Iraq yesterday the President reaffirmed his commitment to withdraw all American forces by the end of 2011, redefine the mission to focus on training and counterterrorism, and send a clear message to the Iraqis and the world that America’s troop presence in Iraq is coming to an end. 
More »

Reengaging the Issue of Non-Proliferation and Leading by Example

Report 6 April 2009
Nuclear weapons present perhaps the greatest threat to our global security.  Yet, for eight years the Bush administration shunned the global arms control regime that has played such a crucial role in preventing the further spread of nuclear weapons.  This week, President Obama sent a very clear signal that non-proliferation is back at the top of the agenda. 
More »