Clearly the United States needs a cyberdeterrent capacity — the ability to do unto adversaries anything they might try to do unto us. One problem, however, is that it can be difficult to prove the source of a cyberattack, such as that which Vladimir Putin did not acknowledge launching, but almost certainly did launch, in 2007 […]
“VOA will present the policies of the United States clearly and effectively, and will also present responsible discussion and opinion on these policies.” — VOA Charter
Republican front-runner Donald Trump would go farther, having described the 28-state alliance as “obsolete” more than once during his push for the GOP presidential ticket. Members don’t pay up their fair share, or at all, and the clunky security organization is ill-suited for the war on terror, according to Trump. After the deadly terrorist attacks on Brussels, which just happens to be NATO’s homebase, and moves by Russian President Vladimir Putin in Ukraine and elsewhere, others have also raised questions about the relevance of the alliance in a shifting world order.
But this week while hosting NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at the White House, President Barack Obama declared NATO “…a linchpin, a cornerstone of our collective defense and U.S. security policy.” Still, influential pundits and columnists have raised legitimate concerns about NATO’s lack of agility, bloated bureaucracy and lopsided financing that leaves the military bills largely in the hands of the United States.
There have been other public figures (former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates for one) to voice dim views of NATO, originally created in 1949 after the Second World War—a time when the Soviet Union was fully intact and on a mission to expand. Which raises yet another set of questions: has NATO evolved along with the world? And is the alliance equipped to respond to modern threats?
Today, the first civilian government in 54 years assumed power in Myanmar, led by democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi. If hopes are high, expectations are even higher. It has been a long, painful road to this moment and much work is ahead. How the Burmese military behaves in the new era will be a key measure of how quickly democracy takes root. Although Suu Kyi does not hold the office of the presidency due to her late husband’s nationality, under the new government, power resides with her—if she is allowed to exercise it. The days ahead will reveal whether or not the same military structure that kept her under house arrest for much of the 1990s is ready to stand down.
The truth is that … the real story of the Arab Spring wasn’t one about individual people being heroic or wicked. Rather, it was a less cinematic — but far more important — story about the dangers of brittle dictatorships and weak state institutions.
By US Secretary of Defense Ash Carter Today, the Iran deal provides the opportunity to address an even greater nuclear threat. Congress should support it because, once implemented, the deal will remove a critical source of risk and uncertainty in a vitally important but tumultuous region.
Ever since Islamic State militants took control of the Iraqi city Ramadi, the success of the Obama administration’s policy to quash the extremists has been revisited many times over. The territorial gains have shaken up the debate over how to get a handle on the group, which has roiled Syria, Iraq – and US policymakers.