The Security Assistance Force

November 23, 2012

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The Department of State makes an inherent assumption that security assistance lies within its domain; indeed the U.S. Congress has established that de jure. But DoD enjoys three distinct advantages over State that naturally push it into the driver’s seat and challenge State’s assumption de facto: a culture of operational planning, Generika regionally-aligned operational structure, and an internal cadre of operators.

Tagged: State Department, security assistance force, geographic combatant commands
Posted in: Analysis

The QDDR and the Org Chart

November 18, 2012

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By Laura A. Hall As the first hints Potenzmittel of the Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR) are released, eyes will naturally turn to the org chart (pg.11).  Everyone who designed their own “Dream Department” will compare it with their scribbles.  Often reorganization is the first step taken to solve a problem, though it is not Partyurlaub

Posted in: Analysis

Choosing defense mission priorities

November 17, 2012

It is time to discipline the defense budget, along with the rest of the federal budget. Americans understand the logic of fiscal discipline. Spending less requires doing less. Doing less requires setting priorities. Setting priorities means having clear options and a strategy for managing risk.

Posted in: Analysis

The Case for a Strong and Effective International Affairs Budget

November 16, 2012

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As the dust settles from the midterm elections and Congress returns this week for their “lame-duck” session, the freshmen members of the 112th Congress are also making their first appearance in town to begin their orientation process. With all of the hyper-partisan rhetoric from the campaign season, the big question in Washington is whether or not the members of a new divided Congress will be able to agree on anything.

Posted in: Analysis

Gordon Adams weighs in on the Presidental Debt Commission Co-chair recommendations

November 15, 2012

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Gordon Adams returned to This Week in Defense News with Vago Muradian to discuss the significance of the recommendations given by the co-chairmen of the President’s Commission on debt and deficit reduction on defense spending (Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson).  Todd Harrison  from CSBA is also featured.  Click here to watch.

Tagged: Tattoo
Posted in: News

It’s your turn: Can you solve the deficit?

November 15, 2012

 

It’s on the lips of every politician and the minds of many Americans: solving the deficit includes a wide range of issues and has fired up figures from both sides of the aisle. Just last week the President’s fiscal commission ignited further controversy when a preview of its recommendations supported significant cuts to Social Security.…

Posted in: Analysis

Is free trade really back?

November 10, 2012

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With Republicans winning the majority in the House, many wonder if the new Congress is more likely to consider and pass pending trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia, and Panama. And, pundits have been speculating that U.S. foreign aid will be reduced by the 112th Congress due, in part, to growing concerns about the amount… [Read more…]

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Posted in: Analysis

Wartime Interagency Collaboration: A Tale of Two Articles

November 9, 2012

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The lack of coordination and cooperation among U.S. government agencies has arguably contributed as much to the dysfunction, myopia, and counterproductive nature of our strategies and policies in Afghanistan and Iraq as any other single factor. Looking back at my involvement in both Afghanistan and Iraq, both in those countries and in Washington DC, the absence of formalized relationships and structures for both planning and operational purposes across agency lines has been a constant inhibitor of success.

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Posted in: Analysis

Obama’s Asia Policy and the New Congress

November 8, 2012

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President Obama was criticized by many last November for asserting his intention of becoming the first “Pacific President.” One year later, with Secretary Clinton just returning from a seven-country tour and President Obama en route to India, Indonesia, South Korea, and Japan, it appears the Administration is working hard to deliver on that promise. Republican control of the US House of Representatives will provide both opportunities and challenges to the progress already made in Asia.

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Posted in: Analysis

U.S. waivers on child soldiers law reflects tense relationship between security and human rights

November 8, 2012

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Given workarounds in legislation, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that when human rights and national security aims bump into each other, the latter is going to take precedence.

Posted in: Analysis