Ambassador Jett is a professor of international affairs at Penn State University. A former career diplomat, he was U.S. ambassador to Peru and Mozambique, and he has served on the National Security Council and in American embassies in Argentina, Israel, Malawi and Liberia.
Ever since the Cold War ended, it has been harder to identify America's enemies. In the wake of the terrorist attacks of 9/11, it has also become harder to identify America's friends, and this has complicated both defense strategy and foreign policy. Responding to threats in today's more complex world calls for more than a simplistic approach to determining who is our friend and who is our enemy. Efforts to make the country safer can make it less secure if the United States does not choose those it helps with as much care as those it hates. Nowhere is this more true than in the Middle East.
When the Iron Curtain was still tightly shut, the triumph of democracy and capitalism over communism was an absolute necessity. That need provided the basis for America's defense strategy and much of its foreign policy, and it made determining who was on America's side relatively easy. There were overreactions to those considered to be insufficiently anti-Communist, and some who made the enemies list were popularly elected democrats whose main offense was that they were considered leftists. Actions against them were justified by the fact that America considered itself in a fight for its very survival.
Today, even though the terrorist attacks of 9/11 made clear the harm that could be caused by nonstate actors, there is no existential threat to the country. A September 2010 assessment of the threat of terrorism by the Bipartisan Policy Center concluded, "Al-Qaeda or its allies continue to have the capacity to kill dozens, or even hundreds, of Americans in a single attack."1 While any terrorist attack is to be taken seriously and any loss of life regretted, if that is the best the terrorists can do, then the number of Americans at risk is fewer than die each year in bicycle accidents.
Since there is therefore no main threat, just a host of lesser ones, the bigger danger is overreacting to one of them. An overreaction runs the risk not just of wasting resources, but of actually making the nation less secure by creating more adversaries.
An article written by Secretary of Defense Robert Gates entitled "Helping Others Defend Themselves" illustrates this problem.2 Gates describes what he sees as "the main security challenge of our time" and prescribes the best way to deal with it. The essay was published in Foreign Affairs, which many regard as the voice of the foreign-policy establishment. Because almost anything the defense secretary wants to publish can find its way into Foreign Affairs, and because it will be taken seriously by powerful people, the article should be read carefully. In this case, it also deserves attention because there is good reason for disagreeing with both the assessment of the problem and the proposed solution.
In the post-Cold War world, there is no "main" security challenge. There is instead an array of threats to national security, some new and some old. Only recently have government officials had to worry about a cyber attack, for instance. Terrorism, on the other hand, has been a threat for as long as someone has been willing to kill innocent civilians to make a political point. And it will continue to be a threat in the future, as there is never a final victory over a tactic. The real security challenge today is to confront these dangers, whether new or old, in a way that does not waste resources or produce a response that may be more damaging than the threat itself.
For Secretary Gates, the main security challenge is the possibility of "a city poisoned or reduced to rubble by a terrorist attack" emanating from a state that cannot govern itself or secure its own territory. He recommends responding to this threat by expanding American efforts to build the governance and security capacity of other countries, especially those that have the potential to become failed states.
The examples he cites in making his case are curious, even though they are the focus of news stories on a daily basis. He asserts that the United States failed to undertake the measures he recommends in both Afghanistan and Pakistan, to the detriment of national security. He notes, "In the decade before the 9/11 attacks, the U.S. government essentially abandoned Afghanistan to its fate." He adds that after 9/11 until fairly recently, "The military services did not prioritize efforts to train the Afghan and, later, the Iraqi security forces, since such assignments were not considered career enhancing for ambitious young officers." With regard to Pakistan, he observes that at the same time Afghanistan was being abandoned, "Washington cut off military-to-military exchange and training programs for well-intentioned, but ultimately shortsighted and strategically damaging, reasons."
These descriptions oversimplify both the nature of the relationship with these countries and the policy options available. The United States actually began to ignore Afghanistan as soon as the Soviets left in 1989 after a decade of secretly building up the mujahideen insurgents. Aid to the Afghan resistance was initiated in the Carter administration as a result of the Russian invasion. It was greatly accelerated under President Reagan, thanks in no small measure to Congressman Charlie Wilson, who was obsessed with the situation and crusaded for an ever-expanding American role.
It is worth noting that in the first few years after the Russian withdrawal, Gates went from being deputy national security adviser to director of central intelligence. He does not address his part in the policy of abandonment, however, or whether he recommended a different course at the time.
One of the reasons for the abandonment was that, after having helped force the Russians to withdraw, the United States had no clear interests in the country and, most important, no good local actors to support. The mujahideen quickly reverted to the tribal and clan infighting that is still a signature characteristic of the country to this day. President Najibullah, a Soviet puppet, was not overthrown until 1992. Even when he was, it just set off more fighting among the remnants of the mujahideen until the Taliban finally took control of the country. They, as is well known, provided a base for al-Qaeda and leaders like Osama bin Laden, who gained much of his experience in the use of violence by being part of the American-backed Afghan resistance.
The United States could have immediately picked its favorite warlord following the Soviet withdrawal and attempted to ensure his success, but the only sure result of that course would have been to make the fighting among Afghans even worse and identified one faction as America's favorite. Intervening in complex situations does not guarantee a good outcome and carries with it the possibility of unintended consequences. That should be clear from the fact that the billions of dollars in weapons provided the mujahideen in order to force the Russians out helped pave the road to the terrorist attacks of 9/11.
As for the more recent failure to build capacity in Iraq and Afghanistan, the fault does not lie with "ambitious young officers" avoiding assignments they do not find career enhancing. The fault lies with Mr. Gates's predecessor, who set the priorities in these operations and failed to place any importance on training in either country. Thanks to those priorities, Afghanistan was again abandoned, this time in the rush to invade Iraq.
To the extent there was a plan for what to do once the military campaign in Iraq was won, it appears that the idea was to turn the country over to the Pentagon's favorite Iraqi exiles, who were supposed to take charge of the government and rebuild the armed forces. The exiles in question were more popular in the Pentagon, however, than in Iraq, and they proved to have no ability to control the situation.
Once the American proconsul, Ambassador Paul (Jerry) Bremer, disbanded the Iraqi army and banned Baath party members from government jobs, the insurgency was created, along with the quagmire that Iraq has become. While in recent years, training the local forces has been made a priority, progress has been painfully slow. Even today, in areas like Mosul, the security forces are widely considered more a cause of the security problem than the answer to it.3 Just building up the military is not a solution to a security problem if those forces are more interested in fighting for whatever political or ethnic faction they identify with than defending the nation as a whole.
When it comes to Pakistan, its relations with the United States have been even more complex and volatile than Afghanistan.4 This is largely due to the fact that Pakistan has engaged in three full-scale wars with its neighbor, India, and has developed nuclear weapons to meet the threat it perceives that India poses. Pakistan's location next to Afghanistan made it a crucial player in the effort to supply weapons to the mujahideen. That geographic position continues to make it a key player today as the United States tries to stabilize Afghanistan.
Because of Pakistan's ability to support or threaten American interests, aid provided to and through that country has been repeatedly turned on and off as one issue or another came to dominate the bilateral relationship. The $4 billion in aid provided to Pakistan during the 1980s was justified to Congress on the basis that it would support the Afghan resistance and help meet Pakistan's security concerns — and thus encourage it not to acquire nuclear weapons.5 Apparently the Pakistani armed forces did not share the latter assessment. They pocketed the money and built the bomb anyway. In 1990, President Bush suspended the assistance program because of Pakistan's nuclear activities.
For more than half its time as an independent country, Pakistan has been ruled by military governments. When democratic administrations have been in power, they were generally corrupt, weak or both. Even today, it is unclear to what extent the democratic government in Pakistan is in control. There are reports that Pakistan's military intelligence agency was directly involved in supporting the terrorist attack in Mumbai in 2008 that resulted in the deaths of 173 people.6 And there are numerous reports that it continues to assist the Taliban in Afghanistan, despite currently receiving $1 billion a year in U.S. funds.7 If a democratic government were really in charge, this would not happen. The problem is, therefore, that the Pakistani military is too strong rather than too weak.
The $4 billion in aid provided in the 1980s, half of which went to the military, did not prevent Pakistan from acquiring nuclear weapons, nor did it lessen the tense relationship with India. While giving more aid might buy some measure of cooperation on Afghanistan, it will not solve the underlying problem of civilian control or deter Pakistan from supporting terrorist organizations if its military leaders think it's a good idea.
Aside from historical arguments about the policy options in those particular countries, there are other reasons to question the argument that a terrorist attack from a failed state is the "main security challenge of our time."
Before the breakup of the Soviet Union, war planners could concentrate on a few predictable scenarios like an invasion of Western Europe through the Fulda Gap by the Warsaw Pact's armored columns. The post-Cold War reality is that there is no "main" security challenge. This makes planning much more difficult. There are instead many small challenges, each of which could, in the worst possible case, pose a serious threat to national security. Despite post-9/11 hysteria, none of them poses an existential threat to this county.
The worst case is also, almost always, the least likely one. In today's world, the challenge is deciding how many resources to throw at a particular problem if it is a low-probability event. With a wide array of threats, devoting too much to any one of them is unwise. As Iraq has demonstrated, there are only so many two-trillion-dollar missions that can be accomplished without damaging the armed forces.
The complexity and challenges faced by today's military planners were demonstrated in April 2010, when the Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College held its twenty-first annual strategy conference.8 The theme of the meeting was "Defining War for the Twenty-First Century," but none of the speakers really succeeded at that task. Instead, the panorama they presented was a laundry list of potential threats rather than a clear or concise vision of what war will be like in the years ahead. War, like the other security threats America faces, will come in many different shapes and sizes in the future.
In part because of this, there was also little discussion of which of the potential scenarios require a military response and which do not or should not. It is always good to have a can-do attitude, except in a can't-do situation, where the best course may be to do nothing at all since the use of force will only make things worse. For all its high-tech weaponry and special-operations forces, the U.S. military is still a blunt instrument when the enemy is hard to identify. It can project lethal force with speed and power to any point on the globe, but it cannot be wielded like a scalpel. Because of the potential for collateral damage and unintended consequences, it is often possible a military response can create bigger threats to national security than the one it was designed to address.
Many of the threats to national security today cannot be met with a strictly military response. It is hard to identify, target and eliminate a terrorist; they do not wear uniforms or play by the rules of conventional warfare. It is also harder to do it without causing the kind of collateral damage that creates more terrorists than it eliminates. It is therefore a real question whether terrorism or an overreaction to it is the bigger threat to national security.
As the Army's new counterinsurgency manual indicates, force-protection measures that alienate the population can ultimately make the force less safe. The manual did not end the argument, however. In the Rolling Stone article that brought about General Stanley McChrystal's dismissal, one Special Forces operator discussing the general's insistence on avoiding civilian casualties said, "His rules of engagement put soldiers' lives in even greater danger. Every real soldier will tell you the same thing."9
The issue also came up at the confirmation hearings of General David Petraeus to replace McChrystal. According to one newspaper report, Petraeus told the Senate Armed Services Committee that he would "take a new look at the rules governing the use of heavy firepower in the Afghan war, which have cut down on U.S. airstrikes and civilian casualties but have been bitterly criticized by American forces, who say they have made the fight more dangerous."10
While there is an understandable desire to protect American troops, the counterinsurgency manual's cautioning that the ultimate cost of overprotection can be less protection is well founded. A detailed analysis of data concerning civilian casualties in Afghanistan concluded, "If counterinsurgent forces wish to minimize insurgent recruitment, they must minimize harm to civilians despite the greater risk...."11
If today's threats are hard to prioritize and easy to overreact to, this would suggest some caution is needed in deciding whom the United States should help and how. Like enemies, friends are sometimes hard to identify. In addition, resources are still limited, and the danger of making a situation worse, while trying to make it better, is very real.
It is difficult to know which friends to help and how. Beefing up the military of any government at risk is not a small task. A recent article in Foreign Policy notes that there are 33 wars currently underway in the world.12 That is a lot of countries and conflicts where the armed forces of whoever is in power will be used to keep them in power with little thought to damage, intentional or collateral, to their own citizens. Each year, Foreign Policy issues what it calls the "Failed States Index."13 It lists the 60 nations in the world that are in critical condition, in danger or on the borderline when it comes to political stability.
During the Cold War, Jeane Kirkpatrick, the American ambassador to the United Nations during the Reagan administration, argued that the United States should support authoritarian governments as long as they supported Washington's policies. She asserted they could be led to democracy by example and were less repressive than revolutionary regimes. In practice this led to the embracing of rightwing dictators and some vicious rebel groups.
It is arguable whether getting into bed with dictators and warlords helped America win the Cold War. One thing it did do, however, was make a mockery out of any American claim of respect for human rights and democracy. Some would assert that the United States has to employ an undated version of the Kirkpatrick Doctrine in waging the so-called War on Terror. That cannot be done extensively without embracing repressive regimes and leaving the rest of the world with the impression that America will jettison its values the moment it perceives any threat to its security. Such a policy will encourage new recruits and additional support for terrorist organizations just as surely as killing civilians in Afghanistan does.
If the secretary of defense says the way to counter the biggest threat to national security is to arm other countries, then any regime that fears its own people can declare itself America's friend and line up for military assistance. The secretary did note that coordination with the State Department "will ensure that urgent requirements for military capacity building do not undermine the United States' overarching foreign-policy priorities." No diplomat is going to have much success trying to prevent an effort to deal with the biggest threat America supposedly faces, however, even if that effort is ill advised. And the defense establishment, once given the order to charge, tends to go at any task with far more enthusiasm and energy than subtlety and judgment.
The reality is that it will be impossible not to get into bed with repressive governments and thereby undermine American credibility and interests worldwide if the focus is on states that may fail. The human-rights organization Freedom House issues a report each year where it divides the world into three categories — countries that are free, those that are partly free and those that are not free.14 In the most recent Freedom House ranking, 47 countries (24 percent) were rated not free, 58 countries (30 percent) fell into the partly free category and 89 were deemed free (46 percent).
Looking at just the 60 countries on the Failed States Index, however, gives a much starker picture. According to the Freedom House survey, just under half are not free and just over half are partly free. There are no countries in the world that are both unstable and democratic.
Transparency International, another NGO, ranks 178 countries in the world on the basis of the public perception of the degree of corruption in their governments. Countries are assigned a grade on a scale of 1 to 10. Denmark, New Zealand and Singapore topped the 2010 survey as the least corrupt, with all three scoring 9.3. Somalia, Myanmar, Afghanistan and Iraq were viewed as the most corrupt, with scores in the 1.1 to 1.5 range. Again, all the countries in the Failed States Index were clustered at the bottom, with the critical countries graded at 2.0, those in danger 2.4 and the borderline states at 2.9.
To put it most succinctly, helping friends like these defend themselves means helping the world's most repressive and corrupt governments defend themselves from their own people.
If the main security challenge today really is a terrorist attack from a failed state, and it is believed that such a threat can be averted by beefing up the capabilities of the military of the failing state, there will be tremendous pressure to aid any country that calls itself a friend of the United States. This will occur even when such aid weakens, rather than strengthens, the government at risk.
Some would argue that it is not that difficult to determine which countries deserve help and to know when it will be effective. Here are some examples of cases where that is not the case and where American assistance, no matter how well intentioned, is quite likely to be counterproductive, in the same way that excessive force-protection measures can lessen security instead of enhancing it.
The first case in point is Somalia, the quintessential failed state. It ranks as the most unstable country in the world in the Failed States Index for 2010. It has also been a vexing problem for the United States for nearly 20 years. The situation in 1993, so graphically portrayed in Mark Bowden's book Blackhawk Down, demonstrated that military interventions, even for the best of purposes, could result in an even worse outcome than doing nothing at all.
Nothing has changed for the better in that chaotic country since 1993. A recent report by the Council on Foreign Relations reviewed the situation there.15 Despite the possibility that Somalia may provide a sanctuary for al-Qaeda and has become a source of piracy that threatens vital international shipping lanes, the report proposes a radical shift in American strategy. The report judges the current approach of providing diplomatic and military support to the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) to have been ineffective, costly and, worst of all, to have isolated the TFG and encouraged cooperation among its enemies. Instead, the report recommends admitting the TFG is incapable of delivering basic services or improving security and adopting a strategy of "constructive disengagement."
Essentially this would mean letting the Somalis sort out who is in charge and accepting whoever takes power, as long as the regime permits humanitarian relief efforts and refrains from both regional aggression and support for international terrorism. The report also suggests continued airstrikes targeting foreign terrorists but argues against an overly aggressive military response to piracy.
Having friends like the TFG puts the United States into situations that are at times hard to defend. It is among the most persistent violators when it comes to employing child soldiers,16 and some U.S. assistance is being used to pay its troops, including those children. While it is a fact that the United States and Somalia are the only two UN member countries that have not ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child,17 it is unlikely that American taxpayers really want to pay to keep 12-year-old combatants in the fight.
A second case is Kyrgyzstan, a Central Asian country where most of the population is nominally Muslim.18 Fomented by poverty, nepotism and corruption, popular revolts ousted the president in 2005 and again in 2010. Tension between the Kyrgyz and Uzbek communities has resulted in several outbreaks of interethnic violence, raising tensions and adding to political instability. As the International Crisis Group recently reported:
The situation in southern Kyrgyzstan remains unpredictable and volatile. The Provisional Government's handling of the situation has been less than assured, and it has itself admitted that its security forces lost control, and in some cases disobeyed orders.19
Should the United States, seeing the potential for Islamic terrorism in a predominantly Muslim nation, build up the president-of-the-day's military forces? When that president proves to be no better than his predecessors, would he not use the military to suppress any opposition to the government and thereby create an opportunity for Islamic terrorism?
Then there is the case of Cameroon, a country that has been relatively stable for the last 28 years, the period of time President Paul Biya has been in power. Unfortunately, according to a recent report by the International Crisis Group, that stability is increasingly at risk because of Biya's megalomania:
The ruling party is weakened by intense internal rivalries over control of resources and positioning for the post-Biya period. Having done away with the constitutional limitation on the number of presidential terms, Biya, who is at the same time feared and opposed within his own party, is deliberately maintaining uncertainty over whether he will stand again. It is likely that he will wish to stay in power indefinitely. His eventual demise could trigger a major crisis. The security forces, a pillar of support for the regime, are also divided. A small number of elite units have good equipment and training, while the rest lack resources. The military as a whole suffers from tensions between generations, not least because the refusal of older generals to retire blocks promotions for more junior officers. Some members of the security forces are also widely believed to be involved in criminal activities.20
If the United States were to strengthen Biya's army, it would likely be used to help keep him in power until his own mortality imposes term limits. And that aid would go to rewarding select units for their loyalty to the president rather than making the entire force more professional. This is what happened with President Samuel Doe in the 1980s; Liberia spent the entire decade of the 1990s in a state of civil war as a result.
A final example is the Sahel, an area where there is a danger that jihadist movements like al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) could gain a foothold. A recent report by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace found the region characterized by lightly patrolled borders, sparsely populated areas and recent terrorist activity.21 While this would indicate real potential for a growing threat, it also holds real potential for an overreaction that would make matters worse.
The report points out that there are terrorist networks in Mauritania, Mali and Niger but that they have little popular support. It concludes that AQIM:
• Poses more of a security threat than a direct political threat to governments;
• Is weakened by internal rivalry and its partnership with criminals, limiting its broader appeal;
• Is interested in finding new recruits but has no grand plans for Africa; and
• Will need to Africanize some of the central leadership of al-Qaeda, which is essentially Arab, to overcome the ethno-racial divisions and prove it is serious about jihad in Africa.
The report recommends providing equipment to security forces in the Sahel countries and encouraging cooperation on security matters among them to help reduce the opportunities for AQIM to grow. But it cautioned that direct intervention from the United States or Europe would strengthen AQIM. A heavy American presence and major training programs could therefore weaken, rather than strengthen, the capacity of the local governments to deal with the situation.
As these examples demonstrate, there is no shortage of complex situations where American efforts may backfire. This calls for a cautious approach when considering outside intervention and recognition that it may well be counterproductive. Each case needs to be examined carefully to determine if something positive can be done.
Here are some recommendations for a policy more suited to today's world than an approach where any regime that claims to be a friend of the United States gets help defending itself. These recommendations probably have little chance of being adopted, however. The defenders of the status quo, aggressive policies and the military-industrial complex will argue against them on the grounds that they somehow compromise national security. As this is being written, events in Egypt are still unfolding, and its political future is still unclear. Regardless of the outcome, it should provide the lesson that was not learned from Iran under the shah: close relationships with dictators can provide short-term stability but prove to be long-term disasters.
First, there needs to be recognition that terrorism is but one of many threats and not the most serious one, even if hyping the threat has become a cottage industry in the wake of 9/11.22 The potential damage from climate change, in a worst-case scenario, for instance, is far greater than that from a terrorist attack. Since much of the threat of terrorism gets translated by politicians into Islamophobia, elevating terrorism to an all-consuming fear cannot help but make relations with Muslim countries much more difficult.
Second, a military response is not the best solution to every threat to national security and should be used only when necessary. This is not to say there should be no training of foreign military personnel. It should be done on an individual basis, however, after the potential trainee has been vetted for human-rights concerns. And such training should be long-term courses in the United States for middle-grade officers, where the potential for having a real impact on future military leaders is much greater. The recent announcement of increased cooperation with the Indonesian Special Forces, a unit with a long history of human-rights abuses, is an example of the wrong kind of military relationship. That announcement undoubtedly confirmed in the minds of many that U.S. policy is duplicitous, hypocritical and oblivious to such concerns.23
Third, the recently created African Command should be abolished and replaced by some version of the previous organization, in which African countries were divided among other commands. The bureaucratic reality is that having a four-star general roaming the continent looking for things to do will only ensure that bilateral relationships with those countries are dominated by military affairs. African leaders understand this; virtually none of them are willing to provide a location in their countries for AFRICOM's headquarters.
Fourth, if the U.S. government is serious about wanting to see fewer failed states, it should provide much more assistance to the democratic institutions that make governments more stable: a just judicial system, a free press, an independent legislative branch and a civil-society sector that can check corruption. Funding for education is far more effective at preventing conflict, and therefore state failure, than is spending on arms and military training. As Nicholas Kristof of The New York Times observed, "One study published in 2006 suggested that a doubling of primary school enrollment in a poor country was associated with halving the risk of civil war. Another found that raising the average educational attainment in a country by a single grade could significantly reduce the risk of conflict."24
More money for development and less for defense is, regrettably, unlikely. Congress is consistently more willing to waste money on weapons programs, even unwanted and unworkable ones, than to spend it on democracy programs. Both President Bush and President Obama struggled for five years to eliminate funds for a second engine for the F-35 joint strike fighter that the Pentagon believes is unnecessary.25 The House Armed Services Committee last May added $50 million for an airborne laser that "experts agree doesn't work"26 and Secretary Gates canceled last year. Yet, at the same time, Congress contemplates cutting $4 billion from the foreign-affairs budget, even though Gates and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs both testified against such a move, arguing that starving the State Department and USAID would increase the chances for future conflicts.27
A poster child for perverted spending priorities would be Yemen, where President Ali Abdullah Saleh has international donors concerned about his country's burgeoning al-Qaeda branch. In a place where one child in 10 does not survive and half of those that do are stunted by malnutrition, the United States has pledged to spend $300 million to combat terrorists — even though, according to a former Associated Press and Washington Post bureau chief, the biggest threat the country faces is the corruption and incompetence of its president.28
Defense spending is always going to be easier to fund than foreign assistance, in part because aid is hard to sell to a clueless public. It is the only government program in a recent survey that a majority of Americans wanted to cut in order to reduce the budget deficit.29 This is in no small part because the public has no understanding of how little is spent. Respondents in a recent poll believed on average that a quarter of the federal budget goes to foreign aid and thought 10 percent was about right.30 The real amount is less than one percent.
Finally, the military should adjust its thinking, even if political leaders do not seem capable of doing it. Tom Ricks, the former Washington Post military-affairs correspondent, turned his blog over to a guest columnist recently.31 The writer, a faculty member at West Point, argued that too many of its graduates "are more bureaucratic than professional, lacking the expert knowledge of their trade and the flexibility to be effective in the complex environments they'll soon encounter." He asked whether the Academy's emphasis on engineering should still outweigh language, culture, history and politics.
Military education, in an era when there is no main challenge to national security, must teach the military skills required but also prepare members of the armed forces to deal with all the challenges they will face. This, too, is unlikely to happen. As a result, the United States will always be preparing to fight the last war instead of the next one.
1 Peter Bergen and Bruce Hoffman, "Assessing the Terrorist Threat," A Report of the Bipartisan Policy Center's National Security Preparedness Group, September 10, 2010.
2 Robert M. Gates, "Helping Others Defend Themselves: The Future of U.S. Security Assistance," Foreign Affairs, May/June 2010.
3 Leila Fadel, "Mosul Struggles with Ethnic Divides, Insurgency," The Washington Post, July 24, 2010.
4 For a short but useful recap of a difficult relationship, see K. Alan Kronstadt, "Pakistan-U.S. Relations," Congressional Research Service, Issue Brief for Congress, January 25, 2005, http://www.fas.org/man/crs/IB94041.pdf.
5 The Pressler Amendment and Pakistan's Weapons Program (Senate, July 31, 1992), http://www.fas.org/news/pakistan/1992/920731.htm.
6 Michael Hughes, "India Too Complacent about Pakistan Complicity in Mumbai Attacks," Huffington Post, July 20, 2010; and Varghese K. George, "Rarely at Home," Hindustan Times, July 24, 2010.
7 Mark Mazzetti, Jane Perlez, Eric Schmitt, and Andrew W. Lehren, "Pakistan Aids Insurgency in Afghanistan, Reports Assert," The New York Times, July 25, 2010.
8 Strategic Studies Institute, "America and Its Profession of Arms: Is the Relationship Healthy?" December 3, 2010, http://www.strategicstudiesinstitute.army.mil/conf/.
9 Michael Hastings, "The Runaway General," Rolling Stone, June 22, 2010, http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/17390/119236.
10 Elisabeth Bumiller, "Petraeus Pledges Look at Firepower in Afghanistan," The New York Times, June 29, 2010.
11 Luke Condra, Joseph Felter, Radha Iyengar and Jacob Shapiro, "The Effect of Civilian Casualties in Afghanistan and Iraq," NBER Working Paper No.16152, July 2010, http://papers.nber.org/papers/w16152#fromrss. Interestingly, this report found an increase in the number of willing combatants, violent incidents and long-term radicalization in Afghanistan as a result of civil casualties caused by NATO forces, but did not find such an effect in Iraq.
12 Kayvan Farzaneh, Andrew Swift, and Peter Williams, "Planet War," Foreign Policy, February 22, 2010, http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2010/02/22/planet_war.
13 See "Failed State Index 2010," Foreign Policy, http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2010/06/21/2010_failed_states_ind….
14 See Freedom House, "Freedom in the World 2010: Global Data," http://www.freedomhouse.org/uploads/fiw10/FIW_2010_Tables_and_Graphs.pdf.
15 Bronwyn E. Bruton, "Somalia—A New Approach," Council on Foreign Relations Press, March 2010, http://www.cfr.org/publication/21421/somalia.html.
16 Jeffrey Gettleman, "Children Carry Guns for a U.S. Ally, Somalia," The New York Times, June 13, 2010.
17 See "Convention on the Rights of the Child," Children's Rights Campaign, http://childrightscampaign.org/crcindex.php.
18 "Kyrgyzstan Country Profile," BBC News, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/country_profiles/1296485.stm.
19 International Crisis Group, "Kyrgyz Provisional Government Must Intensify Stabilization Efforts in South," Media Release, June 16, 2010.
20 International Crisis Group, Cameroon: The Dangers of a Fracturing Regime, June 24, 2010.
21 Jean-Pierre Filiu, "Could Al-Qaeda Turn African in the Sahel?" Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, June 2010, http://carnegieendowment.org/publications/index.cfm?fa=view&;id=40966.
22 See, for instance, John Mueller, Overblown (Free Press, 2006).
23 Niniek Karmini, "U.S. to Resume Ties with Indonesia's Special Forces," The Washington Post, July 22, 2010.
24 Nicholas D. Kristof, "What Oman Can Teach Us," The New York Times, October 13, 2010.
25 Christopher Drew, "House Votes to End Alternate Jet Engine Program," The New York Times, February 16, 2011.
26 "Mr. Gates and the Pentagon Budget," The New York Times editorial, May 16, 2010.
27 Micah Zenko and Rebecca Friedman, "Preventing Tomorrow's Wars," Baltimore Sun, June 21, 2010.
28 Ellen Knickmeyer, "Our Man in Sanaa," Foreign Policy, October 1, 2010.
29 "This Week's Economist/Yougov Poll," The Economist, April 7, 2010, http://www.economist.com/blogs/democracyinamerica/2010/04/economistyoug….
30 "American Public Vastly Overestimates Amount of U.S. Foreign Aid," November 29, 2010, WorldPublicOpinion.org.
31 Thomas E. Ricks, "West Point Faculty Member Worries It Is Failing to Prepare Tomorrow's Officers," posted by Ricks on his blog on foreignpolicy.com, June 11, 2010, http://ricks.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2010/06/11/west_point_faculty_memb….
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