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The outlook for Iraq seemed very different 11 years ago when I rolled from Bashir airfield, which my brigade had taken by airborne insertion, through Erbil amid cheering crowds. Moving into Kirkuk, we faced little resistance but were close enough to Iraqi soldiers that cigarettes were still …
WASHINGTON — What would an effective, quick response to the catastrophic civil wars in Iraq and Syria look like? Sometimes in foreign policy, as in sports, it can be useful to visualize the right technique and then hit the ball.
White House officials recently made a low-key announcement that President Barack Obama has authorized the transfer of arms to Syria’s rebels. This 180-degree shift in the administration’s policy, after two years of hand-wringing and diplomatic posturing, was announced by an obscure National …
WASHINGTON -- For nearly a decade I have had the privilege of teaching veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, though they have taught me more.
WASHINGTON -- Washington superlawyer Joseph Califano once passed a message to a client being grilled by a congressional committee that read: "Keep cool in Kabul." That phrase has a certain piquancy now, but Califano simply wanted to calm the witness, slow the process a bit and get everyone t…
WASHINGTON — So it turns out that the top brass at the CIA had an inbox of secrets of the all-too-human, sexual variety. Titillating, unquestionably. But what about the other secrets — the intelligence secrets that are the agency's reason for existence? How are they doing on this score?
HELENA -- Payday loans, some believe, began way back among the Roman soldiers in the time of Caesar.
KABUL — A week ago, late on the night that President Barack Obama announced he would be withdrawing troops from Afghanistan faster than the military had wanted, Gen. David Petraeus held a videoconference from Washington with his senior staff, who were assembled in Kabul for their 7:30 a.m. m…
WASHINGTON — One consequence of the early “war on terror” years was that the lines between CIA and military activities got blurred. The Pentagon moved into clandestine areas that had traditionally been the province of the CIA. Special Forces began operating secretly abroad in ways that worri…
WASHINGTON — Osama bin Laden’s death was announced by the president on May 1, a date that once had worldwide significance on the revolutionary calendar of communism, which was America’s absorbing national security preoccupation prior to Islamic terrorism. Times change.
WASHINGTON — Sixty years ago, American politics was embittered by an accusation couched as a question: “Who lost China?” The implied indictment was that America had fumbled away a possession through incompetence or sinister conniving.