The Great Debate

Petraeus: A loss of real military standards

By Thomas E. Ricks
November 12, 2012

 The sudden departure of General David Petraeus from the CIA probably tells us more about the state of our nation than it does about Petraeus. President Barack Obama should not have accepted his resignation.

Why ‘peace’ was catchphrase in presidential debate

By Gayle Tzemach Lemmon
October 23, 2012

Foreign policy attempted to take center stage at the presidential debate Monday evening but failed resoundingly. For the candidates agreed to agree on a number of key issues — the timeline for ending America’s longest war, support for Israel, and the importance of diplomacy and sanctions in Iran. Nation-building at home trumped nation-building abroad, and small business won as many mentions from the nominees as the death of Osama bin Laden. It was no accident that the contenders talked about teachers more than Libya.

Can Romney put foreign policy in play?

By Gayle Tzemach Lemmon
October 5, 2012

This piece was updated after GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s major foreign policy address on Monday. It reflects Romney’s remarks.

Are we deluding ourselves about Afghanistan?

By Daniel L. Davis
April 25, 2012

Over the past month, a veritable who’s who of American opinion makers have been on the major television networks and in the most prestigious print media strongly reinforcing the notion that America’s mission in Afghanistan is “on track.” To be sure, they admit, there are “challenges” and “rough patches,” but the overall trajectory of the war is going according to the timelines laid out in the 2010 Lisbon Agreement. With so much star power locked virtually arm in arm, there are few who would publicly contend with such a group; most accept their stance without challenge.

Who’s to blame when an injured soldier kills civilians?

By Mac McClelland
March 23, 2012

“It would probably be best for the military if they could execute Bales right now and send his pieces to Afghanistan.” That’s what National Veterans Foundation founder Floyd Meshad told me this week while we were talking about Staff Sergeant Robert Bales and the insanity or diminished-capacity defense Bales’s attorney apparently intends to use. Bales was formally charged today with slaughtering 17 Afghan civilians earlier this month in Kandahar.

Awlaki and the Arab autumn

By David Rohde
September 30, 2011

By David Rohde
The opinions expressed are his own.

The death of Anwar al-Awlaki this morning is welcome news, but Washington policymakers should not delude themselves into thinking the drone that killed him is a supernatural antidote to militancy. Yes, drone strikes should continue, but the real playing field continues to be the aftermath of the Arab spring; namely vital elections scheduled for October in Tunisia and November in Egypt.

Don’t overestimate Afghanistan pessimism

By James Dobbins
September 29, 2011

This is a response to Rory Stewart’s book excerpt “My uphill battle against the Afghanistan intervention.” David Rohde’s response can be read here and Anne-Marie Slaughter’s response can be read here.

Where the Afghanistan effort broke down

By Anne-Marie Slaughter
September 26, 2011

This is a response to Rory Stewart’s book excerpt “My uphill battle against the Afghanistan intervention.” David Rohde’s response can be read here.

Creating a “light, long term footprint” in Afghanistan

By David Rohde
September 22, 2011

By David Rohde
The views expressed are his own.

This is a response to Rory Stewart’s book excerpt, “My uphill battle against the Afghanistan intervention.”