Adapting to war in the 21st Century: In Conversation with LTG Robert Caslen, Jr., Superintendent, USMA at West Point

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  • Why the U.S. has struggled, despite having the largest defense budget in the world, in combatting non-traditional threats from states and non-state actors with extremely limited resources.
  • How the world’s foremost military academy needs to and can adapt to deal new and ever-changing threats.
  • What it takes to fight against extremist ideologies, whether in Afghanistan, Pakistan or beyond.

<Listen to the 8 minute conversation on the Foreign Policy Association website>

 

A Middle East Hat Trick for the President?

The three most dangerous issues that confront U.S. national interests in the Middle East, President Obama pointed out in his Sept. 23, 2013, speech at the United Nations, are Syria’s civil war, the nuclear stand-off with Iran, and resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Official White House photo by Pete Souza

With this week’s agreement to begin direct negotiations with Iran, and the joint U.S.-Russian deal to force Syria to destroy its chemical weapons, President Obama has significantly increased the odds of resolving two of them. And he has set the stage for finally ending the impasse on the long festering Israeli-Palestinian dispute.

Whether one thinks the turn of events in Syria and Iran were stage managed by the Obama team, or as many of his critics claim the lucky result of a muddled and fumbling U.S. policy, the fact remains that the Obama administration is on the cusp of engineering a major reset of the Middle East’s geopolitical landscape…

<Read Full Article on the Foreign Policy Association website>

The U.S. Should Give Egypt’s Military 48 Hours to Restore Civilian Rule

July 9, 2013    Sarwar A. Kashmeri

It is a truth universally acknowledged (my apologies to Jane Austen) that the removal of a country’s elected leader by its military is deemed a military coup. So while I agree with President Obama’s pragmatic refusal to so label the recent overthrow of Egypt’s President Morsi, this finesse of terminology had better be a temporary equivocation.

Should the Egyptian military continue on its present path of jailing Muslim Brotherhood leaders and running roughshod on the nascent Egyptian democracy, however flawed it may be, President Obama should publicly begin calling what just took place in Egypt a “military-coup” and give the Egyptian military 48 hours to produce a road map to restore civilian rule. (That’s the amount of time the Egyptian generals gave Morsi, the country’s first elected leader, to work out a deal with the opposition and restore calm to Egyptian streets.) Failing which U.S. military aid to Egypt should be cut off.

<Read Full Column on Huffington Post>

What Susan Rice Could Learn From Former Manhattan D.A. Robert Morgenthau

Robert Morgenthau, the legendary Manhattan District Attorney, used to have a framed Oliphant cartoon in his office. It comically depicted the attempt by the newly inaugurated President Nixon to fire Morgenthau, a Democrat, from his then position as U.S. Attorney of the Southern District of New York, arguably the most influential federal jurisdiction in the country. Morgenthau refused, until he was sure Nixon would replace him with someone who would be non-partisan and of a caliber that this office with its wide remit including Wall Street traditionally demands. The hilarious cartoon’s frames begin with a fiery Nixon giving a direct order to Morgenthau to leave and then transitions through succeeding frames after the D.A. refuses the president’s direct order, to the final frame that has Nixon finally begging him to leave.

The situation in Syria now appears to resemble the mid-point of the Oliphant cartoon…

<Read Full Column on the Huffington Post>