The use of drone strikes against terrorist targets has become one of the most controversial aspects of President Obama’s national security efforts. Critics on the left have called Obama the “drone president,” and even the celebrated 16-year-old Pakistani activist, Malala Yousafzai, chided him in the White House recently, telling him that “drone attacks are fueling terrorism.”
Yet drones are just one of three principal U.S. counterterrorism tools, and not necessarily the most important. Special Operations forces are now relying on a more balanced mix of tactics: Launching raids and developing partner forces offer more versatility than drone strikes and will probably become the wave of the future as America’s big wars wind down.… Seguir leyendo »
1.- Reform or Go Home.
By David Kilcullen, a former adviser to Gen. David Petraeus and the author of The Accidental Guerrilla: Fighting Small Wars in the Midst of a Big One.
Counterinsurgency is only as good as the government it supports. NATO could do everything right — it isn’t — but will still fail unless Afghans trust their government. Without essential reform, merely making the government more efficient or extending its reach will just make things worse.
Only a legitimately elected Afghan president can enact reforms, so at the very least we need to see a genuine run-off election or an emergency national council, called a loya jirga, before winter.… Seguir leyendo »
It is not a stretch to say that Barack Obama faces stiffer, more vexing challenges on more fronts than any president in recent memory. In the coming weeks, the Opinion section will publish a series of Op-Ed articles by experts on the most formidable issues facing the new president. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are the subject of today’s articles.
1) The Little Battles We Must Win.
2) A War Presidency, On Two Fronts.
3) How To Leave Iraq, Intact.
4) The ‘Good War’ Isn’t Worth Fighting.
5) Out Of Conflict, a Partnership.
6) One Surge does Not Fill All.
7) Thanks, But You Can Go Now.
Headlines and heated rhetoric to the contrary, the withdrawal of American combat troops from Iraq has never been a question of whether, but rather of when and, more important, how. The task facing President-elect Barack Obama is accomplishing the drawdown without reigniting the war and — if possible — in a way that helps Iraq move toward reconciliation.
The “when” question was answered at least provisionally this month by the Dec. 31, 2011, deadline set in the accord reached between the United States and Iraqi governments (and is scheduled to come up for a vote in the Iraqi Parliament next week).… Seguir leyendo »