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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Paul Eaton Quoted in New York Times on ISIS Strategy

New Military Campaign Extends a Legacy of War By Peter Baker September 10, 2014 | The New York Times Barry Pavel, a former Obama national security aide now at the Atlantic Council, said the president might be acting too tentatively. “I’m not sure half-steps into Syria are ultimately going to achieve the president’s goals,” he said. “It’s a fine strategy for contain and disrupt. It’s not a strategy for defeat by any means. If you want to defeat ISIS, you have to go all-in to Syria, which the president isn’t prepared to do.” But others warned against that sort of thinking, viewing it as Mr. Bush’s approach all over again. Such advocates expressed concern that Mr. Obama would be too precipitous in hunting down ISIS,… Read More ›

IraqIslamic StateSyriaWednesday, September 10, 2014

How Obama Can Really Defeat ISIS in Syria, Iraq and Beyond | Paul Eaton

How Obama can really defeat ISIS in Syria, Iraq and beyond By Major General Paul Eaton, James G Stavridis, and Michael D Barbero September 10, 2014 | The Guardian A Real Coalition of the Willing, by Ret. Maj. Gen. Paul D. Eaton Goals: don’t degrade and destroy without diplomacy The disrupt-and-defeat phase may be coming, but the US would be foolish not to apply our diplomatic, economic and military power simultaneously. This means developing a a coalition to deploy joint ground forces – to encircle ISIS and reduce it territorial control. This means filling the vacuum with help from Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Iraqi, Iran and Jordan. And it means isolating ISIS, denying access to the international banking system while ID-ing its donors – and punishing them. We… Read More ›

Monday, September 8, 2014

How (and How Not) to Consider a Possible AUMF Against the Islamic State

As the debate continues about how to respond to the Islamic State, Washington is already showing signs of considering an Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) to authorize expanded operations in Iraq and potentially Syria. While any expanded operations should be specifically authorized by Congress, it remains premature to consider an AUMF to deal with the Islamic State as the Administration has yet to fully articulate a strategy, although it appears President Obama may take a further step towards doing so on Wednesday during a scheduled public address. Nonetheless, there are a number of basic considerations for assessing any potential AUMF in the future: namely, any such measure should apply the lessons of the much maligned 2001 AUMF by being as specific as possible,… Read More ›

NATOFriday, September 5, 2014

Articulating a Strategy to Fight the Islamic State

The Obama Administration is cautiously escalating its efforts to defeat the Islamic State, building an international coalition to support ongoing operations that have included advising Iraqi Security Forces and Kurdish Peshmerga and supporting offensives in Iraq against the Islamic State with airstrikes. But as the United States increases its efforts to push back the Islamic State, it is now more critical than ever to frankly assess the threat the organization poses and formulate clear goals and a sustainable strategy for defeating the Islamic State. The United States needs clear goals and a fully-articulated strategy to avoid mission creep and the risk of miring itself in a potentially long, costly, and inconclusive conflict. The United States needs an honest, clear-eyed assessment of the Islamic State and… Read More ›

IraqIslamic StateSyriaFriday, August 29, 2014

Six Strategies Obama Could Use to Fight the Islamic State | Paul Eaton

Six Strategies Obama Could Use to Fight the Islamic State By Maj. Gen. Paul Eaton, Maj. Gen. Charles J. Dunlap, Michael Hirsh, Douglas Feith, Lt. Gen. David Barno, and Adm. James Stavridis August 29, 2014 | Politico Lead a Diplomatic and Economic Offensive, by Ret. Maj. Gen. Paul Eaton The Islamic State has demonstrated that it understands the principles of war—mass, objective, offensive, surprise, economy of force, maneuver, unity of command, security and simplicity—and can apply them. It has surprised the United States and our allies and has taken the initiative. They are politically and militarily disciplined, ruthless and effective. The United States and whatever coalition we are able to assemble to fight this organization needs to be similarly focused. To date, more than two months into this fight, the… Read More ›

IraqThursday, August 21, 2014

NSN Special Update – Military Action in Iraq: Assessing the Legal Authorities

  Limited airstrikes by the United States against the Islamic State are entering their third week. The stated objectives of the strikes, which have hit about 90 targets so far, is to protect American personnel in Iraq and facilitate humanitarian relief. President Obama has signaled that military operations may increase in intensity and scope on the condition that a new government is formed in Baghdad that is inclusive of Iraq’s minority populations, especially its Sunni population. With Prime Minister Nouri al-Malaki having committed to step aside earlier in the month, Prime Minister designate Haider al-Abadi is pressing ahead in attempts to form a unity government. These developments in Washington and Iraq are increasing the possibility of a sustained American air campaign that may escalate in… Read More ›

AUMFWednesday, August 13, 2014

Defense News on NSN AUMF Repeal Report

Think Tank Lays Out Steps To ‘Cap’ Then ‘Roll Back’ Post-9/11 Military Force Resolution By John T. Bennett August 12, 2014 | WASHINGTON — A group of US national security experts is pushing a piecemeal plan to update the measure authorizing the war against violent extremist groups for the first time since September 2001. The left-leaning National Security Network (NSN) on Tuesday released a report that proposes “an incremental approach … that would cap the scope of the authorization now and roll back its scope over time, ending in its eventual expiration.” The think tank sees a “realistic window of opportunity … emerging to refine the law by bringing [the 2001 authorization of the use of military force, or AUMF] in line with historical… Read More ›

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