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Foreign Policy

TESTIMONY: The Islamic State: A Persistent Threat

July 29, 2014
Though the challenges to American interests in the Middle East could hardly be more complex or interrelated, I will attempt to focus sharply on the danger posed by the so-called Islamic State, which today controls approximately 30 percent of Syria and significant portions of Iraq.

Boots on the Ground or Robots in the Sky

  • By
  • Evelyn Crunden,
  • New America Foundation
January 22, 2014 |

Creating "Red Phones" for Cyberspace

July 22, 2013

Remember the “red telephone” that metaphorically connected the Oval Office and the Kremlin during the Cold War? It was part of a broader effort to build trust by facilitating information sharing and early warning systems. Experts call these Confidence Building Measures, or CBMs. Recent headlines would suggest we need more CBMs in cyberspace.

Working Together to Limit Cyber-Danger

June 24, 2013

To address cyber-threats, nations need to work together to draw up rules that protect us from two kinds of harm: aggressive states and non-state actors using the Internet for malicious purposes.  At present, there’s a lack of trust between established and rising powers and the rest of the world.  Thus, international bodies can be helpful to bridge that mistrust and to solve some of the challenges.  Those international bodies should integrate input from non-governmental experts both from the private sector and the NGO community.  All these parties need

The Real Risk of Cyber Warfare

February 21, 2013

This week, the New York Times published allegations tying the Chinese military to hacking against the United States. The coverage is the latest of a series of articles exposing governmental hacking generally. Last year, the New York Times reported that the U.S.

Will A New Policy Help Iranian Citizens Lift the "Electronic Curtain"?

June 5, 2013

In the past, it’s been difficult for Iranian activists to access critical communications tools – but not because of the Iranian regime. Instead, it was due (at least in part) to confusing sanctions regulations which made it legally and politically risky for American companies to export their products. The good news: The U.S. government decided to do something about those convoluted regulations.

APPENDIX: How Dangerous are Freed Guantanamo Prisoners?

June 5, 2014

As of June 5, 2014, 620 Guantanamo prisoners have been released or transferred abroad. Of those 620, we have identified 54 who are either confirmed to be or suspected of engaging in militant activities against either the U.S. or non-U.S. targets. We have placed them in the following categories:

Category 1: GTMO detainees confirmed to be engaging in militant activities against U.S. targets.

TOTAL: 15, 2.4%


April 24, 2013

The CIA drone program began quietly under President George W. Bush with one strike in Yemen in 2002, and then a smattering of strikes in Pakistan between 2004 and 2007 before a more sustained campaign in 2008. During his two terms in office, Bush authorized a total of 48 strikes in Pakistan.

TESTIMONY: After the Withdrawal

March 21, 2013

This past Saturday, March 16, 2013 marked an extraordinary moment in Pakistan’s history, as this is the first time that a civilian government has served its entire five-year term (from 2008 to 2013). And, for the first time in its history, the Pakistani military appears both unwilling and unable to mount a coup against any civilian government. The military has mounted four coups since Pakistan’s independence in 1947.

The Conflict in Syria

  • By
  • Brian Fishman,
  • New America Foundation
  • and Radha Iyengar, RAND Corp.
March 19, 2013

This paper concludes that the most likely medium-run end state to the conflict in Syria is de facto partition of the country into a region controlled by the current regime and another region divided among various rebel factions. Of the potential end states analyzed here, de facto partition is not only the most likely, it is also the worst for U.S. interests. The analysis is based on a series of decision matrices that are standard in the Multi-Attribute Decision Making approach, a method of systematically comparing objectives across a range of national interests.

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