Foreign Matters

Could Killing Taliban Chief Undermine International Norms?

The killing of Taliban chief Akhtar Mohammad Mansour and the tactics used to carry it out – a series of drone strikes in a region of Pakistan where U.S. kinetic operations had never taken place – has raised important concerns...http://www.redandbluepolitics.com/2016/05/could-killing-taliban-chief-undermine.html

 

Can 'leadership decapitation' strikes defeat ISIS?

This article first appeared on The HillTo read in full, please follow link...http://www.redandbluepolitics.com/2016/04/can-leadership-decapitation-strikes.html

 

U.S. Strike against Al-Qaeda in Syria Stays True to Past Policy While Raising More Questions

The U.S. announced it was responsible for killing a top al-Qaeda ideologue in Syria recently.  The airstrike that targeted Abu Firas al Suri – a so-called legacy member of al-Qaeda who fought in Afghanistan in the 1980s...http://www.redandbluepolitics.com/2016/04/us-strike-against-al-qaeda-in-syria.html

 

U.S. Appears to Take Notice of Growing Al-Qaeda Threat

It’s been said many times in the recent past, and worth reiterating; al-Qaeda is playing the long game.  It always has demonstrated a model of longevity as compared to its former kin the Islamic State group...http://www.redandbluepolitics.com/2016/03/us-appears-to-take-notice-of-growing-al.html

 

Technology's Impact on Intelligence Collection

This article orginially appeared on The Hill.  To read in full, please follow link...http://www.redandbluepolitics.com/2016/03/technologys-impact-on-intelligence.html

 

How Much of a Threat is the Islamic State in Afghanistan?

With many concerned about a resurgent Taliban in Afghanistan – along with its support groups such as al-Qaeda and the Haqqani Network – the emergence of an Islamic State group cell, or province, in Afghanistan has many worried as well...http://www.redandbluepolitics.com/2016/02/what-threat-does-islamic-state-pose-in.html

 

How to (not) end wars

This article originally appeared on The HillTo read in full, please follow link...http://www.redandbluepolitics.com/2016/02/how-to-not-end-wars.html

 

Obama Uses Final State of the Union to Look Toward Future and Double Down on his Foreign Policy Approach

As was expected, President Obama’s eighth and final State of the Union address did not possess the teeth of previous speeches.  Though lacking far-reaching policy proposals and goals, President Obama used the address to tee-up his legacy by...http://www.redandbluepolitics.com/2016/01/obama-uses-final-state-of-union-to-look.html

 

Deployment of U.S. Troops to Syria Demonstrates Difficulty in Keeping Promises

The White House announced today that it is sending a small contingent of Special Forces to Syria as part of the anti-Islamic State group fight.  White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest confirmed the number of troops deployed will be less than 50 with a mission of...http://www.redandbluepolitics.com/2015/10/deployment-of-us-troops-to-syria.html

 

Parsing Through Counterterrorism Drone Policy

This article first appeared on The Hill.  To read in full, please follow link...http://www.redandbluepolitics.com/2015/10/parsing-through-counterterrorism-drone.html

 

Are There U.S. Combat Troops in Iraq?

There has been much fuss surrounding the death of a U.S. commando last week in Iraq during a mission to rescue hostages from the Islamic State group. The raid was launched by Kurdish Peshmerga soldiers with U.S. Special Operations Forces serving in an advisory role...http://www.redandbluepolitics.com/2015/10/are-there-us-combat-troops-in-iraq.html

 

Russian buildup in Syria shows need for broader US strategy

This article was originally published on The Hill.  To read in full, please follow link...http://www.redandbluepolitics.com/2015/09/russian-buildup-in-syria-shows-need-for.html

Is U.S. Approaching Mission Creep Against the Islamic State?

The current U.S. efforts against the Islamic State group have continuously been compared to U.S. efforts in Vietnam during the 1960s through a single term: mission creep.  At every step of the way, the Obama administration...http://www.redandbluepolitics.com/2016/01/is-us-approaching-mission-creep-against.html 

 

Drone Strikes by UK and Pakistan Raise Old Questions

The use of unmanned aircraft by the United States in the realm of counterterrorism has become a lightning rod of sorts.  While an invaluable tool for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR), a second function involving lethal strike capabilities...http://www.redandbluepolitics.com/2015/09/drone-strikes-by-uk-and-pakistan-raise.html

 

How Much of a Threat is the Islamic State in Afghanistan?

With many concerned about a resurgent Taliban in Afghanistan – along with its support groups such as al-Qaeda and the Haqqani Network – the emergence of an Islamic State group cell, or province, in Afghanistan has many worried as well...http://www.redandbluepolitics.com/2016/02/what-threat-does-islamic-state-pose-in.html

 

Can the US really destroy terrorist groups like ISIS?

This article originally appeared on The Hill.  To read in full, please follow link...http://www.redandbluepolitics.com/2015/08/can-us-really-destroy-terrorist-groups.html

 

Has the government lost sight over direction of conduct for military operations?

This article originally appeared on The HillPlease follow link to read in full...http://www.redandbluepolitics.com/2015/07/has-government-lost-sight-over.html

 

U.S. Drone Base in Northern Africa?

According to reporting by the Wall Street Journal, the U.S. is interested in establishing drone bases in North African nations.  Talks continue between the U.S. and regional partners regarding where such bases and their drones could be stationed...http://www.redandbluepolitics.com/2015/07/us-drone-base-in-northern-africa.html

 

Syria: The Land of Opportunity

Syria’s ongoing civil war and its spill-over into neighboring Iraq, despite its gross humanitarian destruction, has become a beacon for non-state actors, quasi-state actors, and regional powers - all vying for greater legitimacy...http://www.redandbluepolitics.com/2015/07/syria-land-of-opportunity.html

 

What the Death of top al-Qaeda Figure Means in Practical Terms

The killing of Nasir al-Wuhayshi, the leader of al-Qaeda’s most deadly and feared affiliate by U.S. officials – al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) – and al-Qaeda core’s general manager (sometimes referred to as al-Qaeda’s Number 2...http://www.redandbluepolitics.com/2015/06/what-death-of-top-al-qaeda-figure-means.html

 

What is the Obama Administration’s ISIS strategy?

Part I focused on the Obama administration’s recent decision to send additional U.S. troops to Iraq to serve as trainers for Iraqi Security Forces as well as the opening of a fifth U.S. facility.  Given many statements in the press and government to the effect...http://www.redandbluepolitics.com/2015/06/what-is-obama-administrations-isis.html

 

What Does the New Troop Announcement Tell us About Obama’s ISIS Strategy?

To date, the strategy has not worked according to plan.  In fact, the president has announced that an additional 450 “advisers” will be deployed to Iraq to train Iraqi security forces in a fourth location “to conduct similar activities in more areas...http://www.redandbluepolitics.com/2015/06/what-does-new-troop-announcement-tell.html

Al-Qaeda is Still Seen as a Larger Threat Than ISIS

Headlines such as one that ran in the New York Times recently that question whether the Islamic State (IS) group, also known as ISIS or ISIL, or the al-Qaeda franchise is more of a threat, demonstrates how much of an impact IS...http://www.redandbluepolitics.com/2015/08/al-qaeda-is-still-seen-as-larger-threat.html

 

Drone Diplomacy

The United States is considered one of, if not the go-to nation when conflict strikes somewhere on the globe.  The U.S. provides billions of dollars of monetary and military aid to partner nations to address security concerns and to quell threats...http://www.redandbluepolitics.com/2015/06/drone-diplomacy.html

 

Syria Raid Should Reignite AUMF Debate

Some have referred to the Special Operations Forces raid that took place on early Saturday morning in Syria, which led to the capture of an Islamic State (IS) group wife, the death of a mid-level IS leader, and a trove of intelligence as...http://www.redandbluepolitics.com/2015/05/syria-raid-should-reignite-aumf-debate.html

 

The Counterterrorism Approach to the Islamic State

Despite a few trial and error approaches, the president seems to favor the counterterrorism (CT) program his administration has constructed as the model for direct action against terrorist entities. Which is to say that among other approaches, such as mirroring President Bush’s surge...http://www.redandbluepolitics.com/2015/05/the-counterterrorism-approach-to.html

 

Rebel Gains in Syria Are Cause for U.S. Concern: Military and Diplomatic Implications

Rebel factions in Syria continue to make substantial gains against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces.  Gulf and regional parties who have long supported the plight of Syrian rebels to oust the country’s dictator appear to be losing patience...http://www.redandbluepolitics.com/2015/05/rebel-gains-in-syria-are-cause-for-us.html

 

What Should American Foreign Policy Look Like?

As Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) says, the world is on fire. The Middle East is awash with strife and conflict, Russia has rediscovered their assertiveness, China has become more active in the South China Sea, and the cyber domain...http://www.redandbluepolitics.com/2015/04/what-should-american-foreign-policy_27.html

 

Is Global Hegemony Possible Today?

The United States, from the conclusion of World War II until now, was always either the sole or one of two “global hegemonies,” with the other being the Soviet Union prior to its demise. With the rise of non-state and state actors fomenting unrest...http://www.redandbluepolitics.com/2015/04/is-global-hegemony-possible-today.html

 

U.S. Ensuring Security Over Legal and Human Rights Safeguards?

There has been a great deal of attention paid to Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi’s first visit to the United States this week as head of state.  Much of the focus has been on the list of asks Mr. Abadi was slated to request from President Obama...http://www.redandbluepolitics.com/2015/04/us-ensuring-security-over-legal-and.html

 

The Breakup of al-Qaeda and US Policy Implications

There has been very limited reporting in the past week revealing that al-Qaeda’s global leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri is thinking of disbanding the terrorist organization Osama bin Laden founded over two decades ago...http://www.redandbluepolitics.com/2015/04/the-breakup-of-al-qaeda-and-us-policy.html

 

Why the Islamic State and not Jabhat al-Nusra?

“The strategy has not changed…The focus remains to drive ISIL out of Iraq,” Col. Wayne Marotto, task force public affairs officer, stated in a release regarding the anti-Islamic State (IS) group coalition...http://www.redandbluepolitics.com/2015/04/why-islamic-state-and-not-jabhat-al.html

 

What is a Successful U.S. Counterterrorism Policy in Yemen?

Journalists, pundits, experts, and everyone in between have been mercilessly pounding White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest for his refusal to admit that the U.S. counterterrorism model has failed in Yemen...http://www.redandbluepolitics.com/2015/03/what-is-successful-us-counterterrorism.html

 

AUMF, politics and the future of conflicts

 This article originally appeared on The Hill.  To read in full, please follow link...http://www.redandbluepolitics.com/2015/03/aumf-politics-and-future-of-conflicts.html

 

Implications of Boko Haram’s Pledge to the Islamic State Group

Last Saturday, the brutally fierce Nigerian based Islamist militant group Boko Haram’s leader, Abubakr Shekau pledged fealty to the leader and self-proclaimed caliph of the equally brutal Islamic State group, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi...http://www.redandbluepolitics.com/2015/03/implications-of-boko-harams-pledge-to.html


US Policy in Syria Faces Evolving Challenges

If reports to the effect of Jabhat al-Nusra (JN) separating from al-Qaeda in Syria and forming their own brand are true, things could become much more complex for the United States. According to Reuters, some leaders from JN...http://www.redandbluepolitics.com/2015/03/us-policy-in-syria-faces-evolving.html

 

AUMF Sunsets and Concluding Wars

There is still much to be said about the draft or working language President Obama presented to Congress for authorization to use force against the Islamic State group two weeks ago. One of the most ironic headlines surrounding congressional reaction...http://www.redandbluepolitics.com/2015/02/aumf-sunsets-and-concluding-wars.html

 

Obama and Libya

As the saying goes, hindsight is always 20/20, and it cannot be overstated when examining the situation in Libya today. When looking back from the initial domestic uprising, the NATO intervention, and its morphing into...http://www.redandbluepolitics.com/2015/02/obama-and-libya.html

 

Parsing Through a US-Boko Haram Policy

Security analysts have called for a more coherent strategy from the United States regarding the burgeoning insurgent group in Nigeria, Boko Haram. While it is flippant to assume that the administration is not taking the Boko Haram...http://www.redandbluepolitics.com/2015/02/parsing-through-us-boko-haram-policy.html

 

War on Terror 2.0

This article originally appeared on The HillPlease follow link to read in full...http://www.redandbluepolitics.com/2015/02/war-on-terror-20.html

 

Combating the Islamic State Group: US Officials Not On Same Page

Since the Islamic State group's epic split with al-Qaeda and their incursion into Iraq, analysts, commentators and most importantly, US officials have offered recommendations on how to defeat them. The current US strategy for combating...http://www.redandbluepolitics.com/2015/02/combating-islamic-state-group-us.html

 

Yemen and the Houthis: The Afghan Model and US Policy Implications

The Arab Gulf region is reeling from the meteoric rise of the separatist Houthi group that has taken control of Yemen’s capital and caused President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi to resign.  The United States is watching closely as Yemen...http://www.redandbluepolitics.com/2015/01/yemen-and-houthis-afghan-model-and-us.html 

 

Obama, Assad and the Syria Conundrum

The current US policy in Syria reflects the how mindful the Obama administration is of Saddam Hussein, the invasion that ended his 24 year rule in Iraq and the impending chaos that ensued.  President Obama’s Syria policy has been victim to harsh criticism...http://www.redandbluepolitics.com/2015/01/obama-assad-and-syria-conundrum.html

 

1State of the Union: Obama’s Foreign Policy Goals Do Not Match Realities

The State of the Union lately has been more along the lines of wishful thinking than a launching pad for meaningful policy. By the admission of President Obama’s own administration, Politico reported “White House officials aren’t holding their...http://www.redandbluepolitics.com/2015/01/state-of-union-obamas-foreign-policy.html

 

ISIS vs. al Qaeda: Global reach and influence

This article first appeared on The Hill.  To read in full, please follow link...http://www.redandbluepolitics.com/2015/01/isis-vs-al-qaeda-global-reach-and.html

 

Will the US Drone War End?

With the formal conclusion of US-led hostilities in Afghanistan, new attention has been focused on the role the US will play as trainers and advisers to the Afghan National Security Forces.  Specifically, what the US counterterror (CT) mission against terrorist...http://www.redandbluepolitics.com/2015/01/will-us-drone-war-end.html

 

Terror Attacks in France Could Bring Terrorist Competition Fears to Fruition

No terrorist group has taken responsibility for the deadly and tragic terrorist attack in France yet.  Many terrorist groups, including al-Qaeda and the Islamic State Group, have criticized and condemned the French news outlet that was attacked...http://www.redandbluepolitics.com/2015/01/terror-attacks-in-france-could-bring.html

 

Clarification on US Funding Request to Train and Equip Iraqi Tribes

In a post published earlier this week, I discussed a funding request the Department of Defense submitted to Congress that included up to $24 million for equipment to arm Sunni tribes in Iraq to bolster their stand against the Islamic State who has trampled over western Iraq...http://www.redandbluepolitics.com/2014/12/clarification-on-us-funding-request-to.html

 

The plan to train and equip the Iraqi national guard

This article originally appeared on The Hill.  Please follow link to read in full...http://www.redandbluepolitics.com/2014/12/the-plan-to-train-and-equip-iraqi.html

 

The Drone War: Mitigating Collateral Damage

Since the terror attacks on 9/11, the United States has been in what is referred to as the "Forever War," or a perpetual war against violent extremism to keep the Homeland and Americans safe.  A key component for continuing to keep...http://www.redandbluepolitics.com/2014/12/the-drone-war-mitigating-collateral.html

 

Senator Paul's Proposal to Declare War Against the Islamic State Group

Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) who is expected to be a 2016 presidential contender has struggled to dispel preconceived notions regarding his stance on US foreign policy.  Specifically, Paul is trying to shake the notion that he is an isolationist...http://www.redandbluepolitics.com/2014/11/senator-pauls-proposal-to-declare-war.html

 

Policy Change for US in Afghanistan Drawdown Should Not Be Very Surprising

Friday, the New York Times reported a change in the Afghanistan policy discretely expressed by President Obama.  The president has authorized "American forces to carry out missions against the Taliban and other militant groups...http://www.redandbluepolitics.com/2014/11/policy-change-for-us-in-afghanistan.html

 

Is the United States in Danger of Losing Key Counterterror Partners?

Turmoil has overwhelmed two nations, which President Obama has revered as key allies in the fight against terrorism; Yemen and Somalia.  Yemen is currently enveloped in an uprising of disaffected Shiites who have banded together and captured the capital...http://www.redandbluepolitics.com/2014/11/is-united-states-in-danger-of-losing.html

 

The Obama Administration's New Strategy to Combat the Islamic State: Addressing the Assad Regime

CNN reported yesterday that President Obama has ordered his national security team to reevaluate their strategy and approach to fighting the Islamic State (IS). Up to this point, the mission, as defined by the president, was to degrade and ultimately destroy IS...http://www.redandbluepolitics.com/2014/11/the-obama-administrations-new-strategy.html

 

Reasons for a new counterterrorism framework

This  article originally appeared on The Hill.  To read in full, please follow link...http://www.redandbluepolitics.com/2014/11/reasons-for-new-counterterrorism.html

 

Assessing the Anti-Islamic State Efforts Thus Far

The United States has been militarily striking the Islamic State (IS, ISIS, ISIL) for roughly three months.  It is just over one month, though, since the United States and their unlikely Arab coalition partners began hitting IS targets inside Syria...http://www.redandbluepolitics.com/2014/10/assessing-anti-islamic-state-efforts.html

 

Russia-US: Stuck Between a Rock and a Hard Place on Syria

President Obama has had his differences with Russian leader Vladimir Putin.  Russian aggression in Ukraine has struck a chord with President Obama and he has mobilized western allies to isolate Russia from the rest...http://www.redandbluepolitics.com/2014/10/russia-us-stuck-between-rock-and-hard.html

 

Is Modern Terrorism Blurring International Relations Principles?

The Islamic State is by far the most successful terrorist group in modern, and possibly of all, times.  Their meteoric rise from a local al-Qaeda cell to an insurgency that existentially threatens the region deserves prompt action.  However, the correct course of action...http://www.redandbluepolitics.com/2014/10/is-modern-terrorism-blurring.html

 

Striking a balance with US military intervention

This article originally appeared on The HillPlease follow link to read in full...http://www.redandbluepolitics.com/2014/10/striking-balance-with-us-military.html

 

The Khorasan Group: More on Imminence, Legal Authority, and Reports of Fabrication

More and more reports are surfacing questioning, and some outright denying, the existence of the so-called Khorasan Group.  The group's name and reference came as a surprise to many Americans the day after the United States initiated air strikes...http://www.redandbluepolitics.com/2014/09/the-khorasan-group-more-on-imminence.html

 

The Threat of Imminence: Examining Threats Against the West Inside Syria

The United States and Arab coalition partners have officially begun their incursion into Syria striking various targets of different terrorist factions.  Many US lawmakers and members of the media have been playing up the threat level that terrorist groups...http://www.redandbluepolitics.com/2014/09/the-threat-of-imminence-examining.html

 

The US Strikes in Syria Constitute War

Despite what the administration may say, the new offensive in Syria indicates a new war.  President Obama has worked hard and ran on a platform to end the (dumb) wars the United States was engaged in prior to his election...http://www.redandbluepolitics.com/2014/09/the-us-strikes-in-syria-constitute-war.html

 

More on Foreign Fighters

The United States and the west in general face a myriad of threats on a daily basis.  What makes the Syrian civil war a diverse and unique threat against the United States and the west is the flow of foreign fighters traveling to the region...http://www.redandbluepolitics.com/2014/09/more-on-foreign-fighters.html

 

Syrian Military Strategy Beginning to Take Shape

The House of Representatives last night approved an amendment to a broader bill that will allow the government to fund the training of Syrian rebels who will serve as the primary fighting force for the United States against the Islamic State inside Syria...http://www.redandbluepolitics.com/2014/09/syrian-military-strategy-beginning-to.html

 

President Obama's Strategy in Syria: A Year in Review

President Obama is discussing with members of his administration options for a diplomatic and military strategy inside Syria to address radical Islamic militants.  Is it coincidence that almost a year ago to the day, the president...http://www.redandbluepolitics.com/2014/08/president-obamas-strategy-in-syria-year.html

 

Non-Military Options in Combating the Islamic State and their Message

The Islamic State (formerly ISIS or ISIL) now has the full attention of the United States.  This after the beheading of an American journalist in a retaliatory effort against US air strikes at militant advances in northern Iraq...http://www.redandbluepolitics.com/2014/08/non-military-options-in-combating.html

 

Potential Strategy Behind Islamic State’s Brutal Execution Video 

The brutal execution of an American photojournalist by radical Islamic militants has been described by some as quintessential terrorist rhetoric. According to former CIA and NSA director General Michael Hayden...http://www.redandbluepolitics.com/2014/08/potential-strategy-behind-islamic.html

 

The Islamic State is Troublesome Even for Other Terrorist Groups

The Islamic State militants have raised the bar for terrorism.  Their unprecedented seizure of territory and disregard for western drawn borders has created an alarming predicament for western governments, and subsequently...http://www.redandbluepolitics.com/2014/08/the-islamic-state-is-troublesome-even.html

 

The World War II Model Regarding United States Intervention into Global Conflicts

Many believe the United States has become weak on the world stage under President Obama.  Vladimir Putin has become drunk with power and embolden by inaction to influence the unrest in Ukraine among pro-Russian separatists...http://www.redandbluepolitics.com/2014/08/the-world-war-ii-model-regarding-united.html

 

The Islamic State May Run The Risk of Pushing Away Sunni Muslims

Though it does not appear so now as the previously hesitant United States has officially authorized and used military force against the Islamic fighters, there are some indications that the Islamic State may fizzle or lose support...http://www.redandbluepolitics.com/2014/08/the-islamic-state-may-run-risk-of.html

 

The Israeli-Hamas Conflict: A Chance for the United States to Rebuild Alliances in the Region?

The United States appears to be a bystander in the Israeli-Hamas conflict currently.  The peace process between Israel and Palestine initiated by Secretary of State John Kerry broke down as well as cease-fire proposal...http://www.redandbluepolitics.com/2014/08/the-israeli-hamas-conflict-chance-for.html

 

The Foreign Fighter Crisis

 This article originally appeared on The HillPlease follow link to read in full...http://www.redandbluepolitics.com/2014/08/the-foreign-fighter-crisis.html

 

What is the United States Doing in Syria?

Syria has been one of the worst policy failures of the Obama presidency and for good reason - there are no good options.  The civil war, which has been raging for over three years, has attracted thousands of foreign fighters and created several battle...http://www.redandbluepolitics.com/2014/08/what-is-united-states-doing-in-syria.html

 

2011 Libyan Intervention: Drawing Conclusions Today

U.S. diplomats' return to Libya could be more hazardous than exit.”  This startling statement was also the title of a recent article in Reuters, which astutely articulated the grave concerns and potential political backlash of returning American diplomats to Libya...http://www.redandbluepolitics.com/2014/07/2011-libyan-intervention-drawing.html

 

The Enigmatic Israel-Hamas Conflict

The Israel-Hamas conflict is not new.  What makes this renewed military offensive particularly intriguing is Israel's tactical goal as opposed to an overall strategic one.  Amid peace negotiations between Israel and Palestine brokered by the United States...http://www.redandbluepolitics.com/2014/07/the-enigmatic-israel-hamas-conflict.html

 

The United States and Iraqi Kurds

The potential three state divide in Iraq has made saving the country much more challenging.  More specifically, the issue of an independent Kurdistan has made unification significantly onerous.  From the lens of the United States...http://www.redandbluepolitics.com/2014/07/the-united-states-and-iraqi-kurds.html

 

Go It Alone Against Russia?

Many scholars, officials, industry experts and even citizens have expressed concern regarding the foreign policy of the United States.  Setting aside the crisis in Iraq and Syria for a moment, there is still a conflict between Ukraine and Russia...http://www.redandbluepolitics.com/2014/07/go-it-alone-against-russia.html

 

Legal Constraints and Cover Regarding Middle Eastern Intervention

President Obama has been mulling overt military action in Iraq ever since the Islamic State (IS) (formerly the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham or ISIS) began taking swaths of territory with relative ease.  The president has since deployed approximately...http://www.redandbluepolitics.com/2014/07/legal-constraints-and-cover-regarding.html

 

Egypt's Democratic Reconstruction

As the United States celebrates its independence today, it is important for other nations not to forget the struggle for governance under democracy.  Chief among them is Egypt.  Ever since Egypt ousted their leader, Hosni Mubarak...http://www.redandbluepolitics.com/2014/07/egypts-democratic-reconstruction.html

 

Pakistan’s New Terror Crackdown and US Involvement

The Middle East continues to be one of the most volatile places on Earth with terror attacks running rampant from Syria, to Iraq, to Pakistan.  The attack on the airport in Karachi, Pakistan and the attacks that followed demonstrate a potential...http://www.redandbluepolitics.com/2014/06/pakistans-new-terror-crackdown-and-us.html

 

The United States Should Fear Al-Qaeda in Yemen More than ISIS

The situation in Iraq is troubling.  Radical al-Qaeda separatists have overrun the Iraqi army in Western Iraq and now control territory from Aleppo in Syria to within 100 miles of Baghdad in Iraq.  Senator Lindsey Graham...http://www.redandbluepolitics.com/2014/06/the-united-states-should-fear-al-qaeda.html

 

Why Afghanistan Will Not Become Iraq: Differences and US Interests

The United States is preparing to conclude combat operations in Afghanistan by the end of 2014 and maintain a residual training force there for two years.  With terrorist activity at highest levels since the United States invasion of Iraq...http://www.redandbluepolitics.com/2014/06/why-afghanistan-will-not-become-iraq.html

 

The World Should Pay Closer Attention to Pakistan's Nuclear Weapons

It appears that peace talks between the Pakistan government and the Pakistani Taliban, Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), are over.  Last weekend, Pakistan's busiest airport was under siege from militants who later affirmed that their ultimate...http://www.redandbluepolitics.com/2014/06/the-world-should-pay-closer-attention.html

 

United States Takes Diplomatic Aim at Somalia

Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman outlined the United States' policy toward Somalia Tuesday in a speech at the United States Institute for Peace in Washington.  As part of her address, she stated that the president...http://www.redandbluepolitics.com/2014/06/united-states-takes-diplomatic-aim-at.html 

 

Negotiating With Terrorists

When is it permissible to negotiate with terrorists?  United States' policy for a long time was that the United States would not engage with terrorist actors.  This policy shifted over the weekend.  President Obama exchanged five prisoners...http://www.redandbluepolitics.com/2014/06/negotiating-with-terrorists.html

 

Al-Qaeda's Evolving Threat and U.S. Strategy to Combat It: Part II

Thirteen years and two wars later, the United States is still at war, or "engaged in an armed conflict" as some describe it.  Yet they are not at war in the typical sense of the word especially in terms of how the United States Constitution defines...http://www.redandbluepolitics.com/2014/06/al-qaedas-evolving-threat-and-us.html

 

Al-Qaeda's Evolving Threat and U.S. Strategy to Combat It: Part I

Thirteen years and two wars later, the United States is still at war, or "engaged in an armed conflict" as some describe it.  Yet they are not at war in the typical sense of the word especially in terms of how the United States Constitution...http://www.redandbluepolitics.com/2014/05/al-qaedas-evolving-threat-and-us_30.html

 

The Importance of Bringing the Afghanistan War to a Close

President Obama announced this week that the combat mission in Afghanistan is coming to a close.  Provided the newly elected leader of Afghanistan signs the bilateral security agreement to keep US forces there, the president...http://www.redandbluepolitics.com/2014/05/the-importance-of-bringing-afghanistan.html

 

United States Caught Between a Rock and a Hard Place on Assistance to Nigeria

In a television appearance this week, Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein, (D-CA) rhetorically asked "how far the United States is willing to go to save" the kidnapped Nigerian schoolgirls, even if the host country is...http://www.redandbluepolitics.com/2014/05/united-states-caught-between-rock-and.html

 

Iraq Cracks Down on Terror-Stricken Anbar Province: Terrorists on the Run? 

The Iraqi government has launched an initiative to take back the western Iraqi province of Anbar from the hands of radical terrorists.  Iraq is taking aim at the eastern Anbar city of Fallujah, which earlier this year was claimed by the al-Qaeda...http://www.redandbluepolitics.com/2014/05/iraq-cracks-down-on-terror-stricken.html

 

Is Syrian Peace Unachievable?

The Syrian civil war continues to ravage the broader Middle East with no end in sight.  Surrounding nations have really felt the brunt of unintended side effects such as millions of displaced refugees and terrorist central...http://www.redandbluepolitics.com/2014/05/is-syrian-peace-unachievable.html

 

Boko Haram: Kidnap-For-Ransom Strategy

The recent uproar over the kidnapping of teenaged Nigerian school girls has garnered global furor.  It was suspected that the Nigerian terrorist organization Boko Haram was responsible and only recently did they claim responsibility for the...http://www.redandbluepolitics.com/2014/05/boko-haram-kidnap-for-ransom-strategy.html

 

What Are Experts Saying About President Obama's Trip to Asia?

This week, President Obama will embark on a much anticipated trip to Asia.  So far, the administration's "pivot to Asia" strategy has been neglected due to several factors.  The president even had to cancel his last trip in the fall because the federal government...http://www.redandbluepolitics.com/2014/04/what-are-experts-saying-about-president.html

 

If Ukraine is so Important to Putin, Let Him Have It!

Many lawmakers have been critical of President Obama's strategy and reluctance in Ukraine.  The situation is continuing to escalate and disaster may be around the corner.  It appears as if Russia is moving in to try and take parts of eastern Ukraine after...http://www.redandbluepolitics.com/2014/04/if-ukraine-is-so-important-to-putin-let.html

 

Record Absence in U.S. Drone Strikes

Ninety-six days.  That is how long it has been since a US drone strike in Pakistan.  Is this a signal that there is a change in policy among those in the Obama administration, or is it simply diplomatic restraint?  What has the US done in other regions where...http://www.redandbluepolitics.com/2014/04/record-absence-in-us-drone-strikes.html 

 

U.S. Skepticism for Providing Lethal Aid to Syrian Rebels

The policy of the United States towards Syria has been called into question by many lawmakers such as Senators Bob Corker (R-TN) and John McCain (R-AZ) as having "no military options on the table."  "What is our strategy in Syria? I don't...http://www.redandbluepolitics.com/2014/04/us-skepticism-for-providing-lethal-aid.html


 

Reforming Global Nuclear Security: A Worthwhile Legacy for President Obama?


This week in The Hague, Netherlands, the Nuclear Security Summit concluded with world leaders converging to discuss the dangers of nuclear arsenals and methods for pushing forward without them.  This push has been a major policy initiative...http://www.redandbluepolitics.com/2014/03/reforming-global-nuclear-security.html

 

Why the War on Terror Will Never End

The events of September 11, 2001 forever changed the game.  It brought the turmoil overseas right to the doorstep of America.  Up to that point, such tragedies seemed to occur in unstable nations thousands of miles away.  The American people never...http://www.redandbluepolitics.com/2014/03/why-war-on-terror-will-never-end.html

 

Political Calamity is Contributing to US Foreign Policy Woes

The United States has become a conglomeration of political infighting where compromise is a dirty word and every major issue has political consequences.  It's no surprise Washington has received the lowest approval numbers ever...http://www.redandbluepolitics.com/2014/03/political-calamity-is-contributing-to_18.html 

 

Is the Use of Nuclear Weapons Obsolete?

Is the use of nuclear weapons obsolete?  This is a question that has gained traction recently, post-Cold War with radical nations either acquiring or pursuing nuclear capabilities.  The other side of the coin is nuclear energy and not necessarily acquiring nuclear capabilities for weapons...http://www.redandbluepolitics.com/2014/03/is-use-of-nuclear-weapons-obsolete.html

 

The US Drone War and Human Rights

The United States has maintained an international persona as a champion of human rights.  President Obama has, in a way, personified this message with his 2009 Nobel Peace Prize.  However, covert action overseas and legal positions...http://www.redandbluepolitics.com/2014/03/the-us-drone-war-and-human-rights.html

 

Is The United States a State Sponsor of Terrorism?

The ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict has contributed to mass casualties over its lifespan.  Secretary of State John Kerry has established that brokering a peace agreement between Israel and Palestine is a top priority for this...http://www.redandbluepolitics.com/2014/03/is-united-states-state-sponsor-of.html

 

Using Russia's Human Rights Record as a Guide to Crimea Occupation

Russia has not been a champion of human rights recently.  In fact their track record on the subject led many to believe the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi would be a cause for concern with many gay athletes participating, a group which does not enjoy...http://www.redandbluepolitics.com/2014/03/using-russias-human-rights-record-as.html

 

A Military Build-up is the Wrong Way to Deal with Russia

Ukraine is on "the brink of disaster," according to Ukrainian interim Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk.  The United Nations and world leaders have been meeting around the clock to discuss how to address the current situation...http://www.redandbluepolitics.com/2014/03/a-military-build-up-is-wrong-way-to.html

 

Ongoing Skepticism in Libya: Part II

Yesterday, this blog outlined and identified the current situation in Libya and why it still poses a risk to the United States' security.  Now it will look at how the United States has combated this problem in the past (in Libya and elsewhere) as well as what the...http://www.redandbluepolitics.com/2014/03/ongoing-skepticism-in-libya-part-ii.html 

 

Ongoing Skepticism in Libya

Last week, President Obama decided to continue Executive Order 13566, which was signed back in 2011 and established a national emergency in response to the conflict in Libya, eventually leading to the toppling of the Moammar Gadhafi...http://www.redandbluepolitics.com/2014/02/ongoing-skepticism-in-libya.html

 

Turmoil in Egypt: Could Law, Order, and Peace be in the Near Future?

Egypt has been in a state of unrest for the last three years.  It had previously been ruled with an iron fist under Hosni Mubarak for 30 years until 2011 when protesters stormed Tahrir Square and demanded his ouster.  Following Mubarak's exit from...http://www.redandbluepolitics.com/2014/02/turmoil-in-egypt-could-law-order-and.html

 

US Policy Makers Need a New Terrorism Strategy

Despite many beltway insiders dubbing President Obama's administration as President Bush's third term, the two have utilized contrary methods for curtailing terrorism.  That's not to say both have used similar methods either, most notable...http://www.redandbluepolitics.com/2014/02/us-policy-makers-need-new-terrorism.html

 

Sanctions: An Auxiliary Alternative versus Drone Strikes in Pakistan

While the Pakistani government is negotiating with members of the Taliban, they have asked the United States to halt drone strikes in their country.  In fact, a United States drone has not struck the nation of Pakistan since late last year.  The United States...http://www.redandbluepolitics.com/2014/02/sanctions-auxiliary-alternative-versus.html

 

Targeting American Citizens: Legal Constraints Between Constitution, Executive, and Congress

The Obama administration is again contemplating the legal ramifications of targeting an American citizen who has decided to take up arms against the US.  Due to the ongoing nature of this decision and the Justice Department's case building process, the location...http://www.redandbluepolitics.com/2014/02/targeting-american-citizens-legal.html

 

Pakistan/Afghan Relations

The Washington Post reported yesterday that the Obama Administration has temporarily put a stop to drone strikes in Pakistan.  Relations post-Osama bin Laden raid between the United States and Pakistan have been less than familiar.  Pakistan...http://www.redandbluepolitics.com/2014/02/pakistanafghan-relations.html

 

The United States Is Still Committed to Iraq

It's been two years since the United States withdrew from Iraq.  Iraq has since been in a state of turmoil with corrupt public officials, nefarious relationships with other nations, and a resurgent al-Qaeda.  The United States has worked hard...http://www.redandbluepolitics.com/2014/02/the-united-states-is-still-committed-to.html

 

US Interest in Bahrain: A Regional Struggle for Dominance

At Wednesday's Senate Intelligence Committee hearing assessing the threats of terrorism, many topics were covered: how Syria has become a magnet for terrorism and trains foreign troops who can then go back to their home countries and wage...http://www.redandbluepolitics.com/2014/01/us-interest-in-bahrain-regional.html

 

Threats to the Intelligence Community and National Security

In today's Senate Intelligence Committee hearing examining the "Current and Projected National Security Threats Against the United States," there was a mixed bag of comments from Senators ranging from praise to condemnation.  Many...http://www.redandbluepolitics.com/2014/01/threats-to-intelligence-community-and.html

 

Implications of Future in Afghanistan from State of the Union Address

Afghan President Hamid Karzai has made the lives of those in the Obama administration extremely difficult.  President Obama ideally wants to keep troops in Afghanistan after America's longest war comes to a close in 2014 for two purposes: to...http://www.redandbluepolitics.com/2014/01/implications-of-future-in-afghanistan.html 

 

How the United States is able to Ensure Foreign Interests Through Military Aid

President Obama has been trying to focus on the United States' relationship with Asia as part of his "pivot to Asia," however, problems in the Middle East continue to overshadow his plans.  Many Asian countries feel they are being put on the...http://www.redandbluepolitics.com/2014/01/how-united-states-is-able-to-ensure.html

 

The Importance of Geneva II: Syrian Peace Talks

On January 22, major world powers will gather in Geneva to discuss peace talks regarding the troubling situation in Syria.  Officials are describing Geneva II, as it is being referred to, as the best potential for a peaceful solution in Syria.  It also broke last week that...http://www.redandbluepolitics.com/2014/01/the-importance-of-geneva-ii-syrian.html 

 

The Fall of Fallujah

The fall of Fallujah to Islamic terrorists in Iraq is a troubling situation for the world community - especially for President Obama.  Many Americans died in one of the bloodiest battles of the Iraq War to capture Fallujah and now they are bearing witness...http://www.redandbluepolitics.com/2014/01/the-fall-of-fallujah.html

 

President Obama's Terrorism Problem

There seems to be some truth to the second term malady presidents suffer from.  President Obama's first term foreign policy victories were salient and he appeared to have a clear goal.  Aside from the Green Revolution, President...http://www.redandbluepolitics.com/2013/12/president-obamas-terrorism-problem.html

 

The Iran Nuclear Deal: Does It Further U.S. National Security? "The Answer is Yes"

Skeptics of the interim deal with Iran question 1) Iran's commitments and 2) Iran's trustworthiness given a rocky and unstable history.  Secretary of State John Kerry today tried to quell these feelings of inadequacy towards...http://www.redandbluepolitics.com/2013/12/the-iran-nuclear-deal-does-it-further.html

 

Are Drones Really Working? A New Model for Combating Terrorism

The Obama Administration has been under fire for their drone program not just by human rights organizations for alleged war crimes against civilians, but also from within the United States for not shifting the program to the Pentagon from...http://www.redandbluepolitics.com/2013/12/are-drones-really-working-new-model-for.html

 

Why Policymakers Need to Give the Iran Deal A Chance

While many are touting Saturday's/Sunday’s interim deal with Iran as a great step forward, many in Congress are expressing skepticism.  House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) said in a statement “Loosening sanctions and...http://www.redandbluepolitics.com/2013/11/why-policymakers-need-to-give-iran-deal.html

 

The Future of Security in Somalia

There is no question that security and peace in the Middle East is tantamount to life or death in foreign policy today.  With various terrorist groups making their mark known, security and governance must be supported by the international...http://www.redandbluepolitics.com/2013/11/the-future-of-security-in-somalia.html

 

Boko Haram: A New Terrorist Group

This week, the United States Department of State designated Boko Haram as a foreign terrorist organization.  The organization is located in Nigeria and has a loose affiliation with al-Qaeda.  Boko Haram's record thus far includes various...http://www.redandbluepolitics.com/2013/11/boko-haram-new-terrorist-group.html

 

Al-Qaeda's Resurgence?

President Obama has maintained that the efforts of the United States have kept al-Qeada on the run.  These efforts included beefing up drone strikes after the announcement of a drawdown in Afghanistan, covert action carried out by Special Forces, and...http://www.redandbluepolitics.com/2013/11/al-qaedas-resurgence.html

 

More Controversy for the Drone Program: CIA and Continued Covert Action

As if the United States' drone program could not receive anymore bad PR, Foreign Policy Magazine came out with a piece yesterday affirming that the controversial program will not be shifting from the CIA to the Department of Defense as had originally...http://www.redandbluepolitics.com/2013/11/more-controversy-for-drone-program-cia.html 

 

Iran and the Negotiating Table

What would happen if Iran were to achieve what many describe as the unthinkable; a nuclear weapon?  This very topic has driven both sides to the negotiating table and next week in Geneva talks will continue.  Today, three distinguished...http://www.redandbluepolitics.com/2013/11/iran-and-negotiating-table.html

 

Syria: Press the Pause Button

This weekend, the Washington Post redirected shell-shocked Americans from the government shutdown back to the situation in Syria.  Although President Obama was rescued by Vladimir Putin, the conflict is not over and those still involved are hopeful the world...http://www.redandbluepolitics.com/2013/10/syria-press-pause-button.html 

 

The War on Terror: U.S Forces Conduct Two Raids Against High Value Targets

 News broke this weekend of two Special Forces raids conducted by the United States against two "high value" targets in the global terror network.  The first raid, which was unsuccessful, occurred in a coastal town in Somalia which was aimed... http://www.redandbluepolitics.com/2013/10/the-war-on-terror-us-forces-conduct-two.html

 

Obama’s “Zig and Zaging”: How He Has Fought Terrorism Abroad vs. The Bush Administration 

President Obama’s missteps recently involving the Syrian civil war have given birth to a new beltway phrase:  zig and zag.  Many pundits have been referring to the zigs and zags Obama has made when addressing Syria such as his original “red line”...http://www.redandbluepolitics.com/2013/09/obamas-zig-and-zaging-how-he-has-fought.html

 

Should We Trust President Rouhani? 

NBC’s Ann Curry was the first Western journalist to gain access to interview newly elected Iranian president and former nuclear negotiator Hassan Rouhani. The Islamic Republic of Iran is secretive by nature which makes this interview...http://www.redandbluepolitics.com/2013/09/should-we-trust-president-rouhani_19.html 

 

Nation Building: How Syria is Different From Libya, Iraq, and Other International Interventions 

The ongoing debate over United States intervention in Syria has dominated the news circuit recently.  Many Americans are concerned about our intervention and do not want to get bogged down in another unwinnable, costly war...http://www.redandbluepolitics.com/2013/09/nation-building-how-syria-is-different.html 

 

How Important is Congressional Authority: War Declarations and Authorizations 

Why is President Obama, as Rep. Peter King (R-NY) says, abdicating or delegating his authority to Congress regarding military action towards Syria?  The answer seems simple, but there may be several underlying tones and changes...http://www.redandbluepolitics.com/2013/09/how-important-is-congressional.html 

 

President Obama Has Dug Himself Into A Hole: How Will The Crisis In Syria Play Out? 

Secretary of State John Kerry issued a fiery and booming proclamation concerning the chemical weapons attack on civilians in Syria recently.  Kerry is insinuating inevitable military intervention by the United States...http://www.redandbluepolitics.com/2013/08/president-obama-has-dug-himself-into.html 

 

The Egypt Crisis

Egypt is the largest Arab state in the world which makes their unsettling situation worthy of scrutiny.  It has been nearly seven weeks since the Egyptian military ousted the democratically elected Muslim Brotherhood member...http://www.redandbluepolitics.com/2013/08/the-egypt-crisis.html 

 

Implications of Syrian Conflict 

With all the recent developments in Egypt, it seems many Americans have forgotten about the situation in Syria.  The last major development concerning the United States was President Obama's authorization to arm the rebels...http://www.redandbluepolitics.com/2013/07/implications-of-syrian-conflict.html 

 

In the Name of National Security

Recently Time magazine featured an article linking National Security and freedom.  Their key emphasis was whether or not Americans are willing to sacrifice their freedoms for greater National Security.  This made me ponder...http://www.redandbluepolitics.com/2013/05/in-name-of-national-security.html

 

Syria

Things are starting to heat up in Syria.  Recently United States intelligence has reported that the Syrian government has used chemical weapons against the rebels.  This is exactly the "in" conservatives and neo-cons need to...http://www.redandbluepolitics.com/2013/05/syria.html

 

Modern Warfare

Over the course of time, warfare has drastically morphed from swords and shields, to bows and arrows, to muskets and bayonets, to B-52 bombers.   Strategy in war has also evolved.  Some such as Alexander the Great to Napoleon...http://www.redandbluepolitics.com/2013/02/modern-warfare.html 

 

The Middle East: 

 Aside from the stark geographical differences between the east and the west, the ideals and ways of life are unlike anything Americans can and ever will understand.  At the beginning of the conflict in Iraq, Neoconservative...http://www.redandbluepolitics.com/2012/12/the-middle-east.html 

 

A History of Isolationism Gone Awry 

The United States of America had a very simplistic view when it came to foreign policy from its origin: isolationism.  America had fought in a bloody war against England to gain its independence and many authors of the...http://www.redandbluepolitics.com/2012/11/a-history-of-isolationism-gone-awry.html 

 

State Soveriegnty 

Going along with the theme this week of foreign policy associated with the last presidential debate, I though I would discuss an issue that does not get much attention, state sovereignty.  This is the basic doctrine...http://www.redandbluepolitics.com/2012/10/state-soveriengty.html 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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