Shadow Government

The West Needs a New Strategy for Pakistan

A new report by the German Marshall Fund and the Swedish Defense Research Agency argues that the United States and Europe should adopt a fresh approach to Pakistan as the decade-plus conflict in Afghanistan winds down. We now need a policy that focuses squarely on Pakistan rather than one in which that pivotal country is treated as an adjunct of a policy towards Afghanistan. As Western forces depart the region, violent extremism engulfs the Middle East, China and India assert their growing regional influence, and Pakistan's internal instabilities mount, a new situation in the region requires a new approach.

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What Hagel's Resignation Says About Obama's Flawed Leadership

As a supporter of President George W. Bush's decisions to invade Afghanistan and Iraq and the surge, I did not welcome Chuck Hagel as President Obama's choice for secretary of defense. But the president has a right to choose whom he wants, and it was obvious that Hagel had been chosen because he and Obama shared views and had built up a cordial relationship from their days in the Senate. The primary criteria by which Hagel was chosen was that he would support both the downsizing of the military and the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq and Afghanistan.

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Hagel's Departure Is Bad News for the Asia Rebalance

Peter Feaver is right when he says that Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel's performance would not make the top 10 list of national security woes plaguing this administration. In the "don't do stupid stuff" category, he is a star player compared with the rest of the national security team. And viewed from Asia, particularly our allies, his departure will cause as much angst as head-scratching. A frequent refrain from allied officials in the region these days is something along the lines of, "Well, at least we can work with the Pentagon for the next two years since they actually want to get things done."

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What Hagel Got Right

"Scapegoat," the term Peter Feaver employed in reacting to the firing of Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, actually was a goat that the Bible tells us carried the sins of the Israelites with it as it was sent off to meet its death in the desert. And scapegoat is the perfect simile for this decent man who never had a chance in the dysfunctional Obama administration. His performance at his confirmation hearings notwithstanding, Hagel performed creditably as secretary, despite the fact that, like Jim Jones, he was shut out of the president's inner circle from his very first day in office.

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A Bad Deal With Iran in the Nuclear Talks Could Destabilize the Middle East

"In the case of Iran getting the bomb, I've always assumed that the roughly 200 weapons ... in Pakistan now were rent-a-bombs for Saudi Arabia -- that the moment Saudi Arabia sees that the Iranians have the bomb ... they'll use their Hertz preferred credit thing to get a couple of bombs sent over." -- Sen. Mark Kirk to Foreign Policy Initiative, Foundation for Defense of Democracies, and the Bipartisan Policy Center briefing on Capitol Hill, Nov. 20, 2014

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