Op-Eds & Commentaries



On 9/11, DHS is missing in action

December 30, 2013

On the 12th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, the United States finds itself without a secretary of homeland security in place, or even nominated.

NATO Meeting to Address Alliance Cybersecurity and Defense

July 01, 2013

At the beginning of June, NATO marked a first — namely the “first-ever” Alliance meeting of ministers dedicated exclusively to the subject of cyber defense. For months, if not years, cyber threats have seized prime space above the fold and around the world. From Manhattan to Paris and beyond, the fifth domain after land, sea, air, and space has brought us vulnerabilities, as well as amazing advances. And just as NATO has grappled with re-defining its mission and revisiting its capabilities to deal effectively with threats in the post-Cold War world, the Alliance now faces the vexing challenge of figuring out how best to secure itself while its constituent members — including those most militarily powerful — each tackle the same question from their respective national perspectives. All of this comes at a time when countries are strapped for funds and citizens have little appetite for additional defense expenditures.
In the months ahead, NATO will decide how to support members that are the target of cyber attack and request aid.

It's the Ideology, Stupid

June 03, 2013

In his counterterrorism address earlier this month, President Obama said the United States would need to use “all elements of national power to win a battle of wills and ideas.” Yet a strategy to counter Internet-facilitated radicalization remains the biggest missing dimension of U.S. counterterrorism statecraft to date.

While Congress Dithers, Cyber Threats Grow Greater

July 24, 2012

Cybersecurity is an urgent priority -- national and economic security are at stake -- yet we do not yet have in place the legislation needed to deal with the threat. From network attacks to network exploitation the threat is real and emanates from a range of sources, including China, Russia, Iran and North Korea, transnational criminal organizations, and hackers for hire. Now is the time to act.

Educating Our Guardians (PDF)

July 18, 2012

As the recent storms that led to widespread power and communications outages demonstrate, disaster preparedness in the public and private sectors is lacking in the Washington area. The long-term solution to this problem is neither political nor technological. Rather it is education that will improve the nation’s resilience for disasters in the future.

Is America's View of Iran and Hezbollah Dangerously Out of Date?

March 20, 2012

For the past decade, U.S. Government analysts have understandably focused on Al Qaeda, resulting in a lesser reservoir of U.S. intelligence on, and perhaps even a bit of a blind spot about, Hezbollah. Yet Hezbollah’s activities have grown global, ranging from West Africa to the Tri-Border Area of Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay.

Defense Cyber Strategy Avoids Tackling the Most Critical Issues

July 28, 2011

Summer in Washington is not usually the time when major news breaks. This year is proving the exception as lawmakers and the White House struggle with the debt ceiling. Amid this economic activity, the Defense Department on July 14 issued its Strategy for Operating in Cyberspace.

How to Beat al Qaeda at Its Own Game

August 11, 2010

The story of Badr al-Harbi is a case study of a battleground in the war on terror that has long been ignored: the struggle to control the narrative.

All Hands – and Eyes – Needed on Deck

May 28, 2010

"A spate of recent cases, from Christmas Day to Times Square, have highlighted the shrinking distance between Aden or Abuja and Manhattan or Manchester.

Storm Surge

October 05, 2009

As the Philippines struggles to address the damage wreaked by Tropical Storm Ketsana, a political storm is also brewing. Filipino senators are currently calling on the government to renegotiate the country's Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) with the United States.

To Beat Terrorists, Use Judo, Not Boxing

August 13, 2009

Noordin Top, likely mastermind of multiple bombings in Indonesia - including the most recent attack on the Ritz-Carlton and J W Marriott hotels in Jakarta, was apparently nearly killed in a government raid on his hideout in a remote area of central Java.

A Message to Congress from National Security and Terrorism Experts (PDF)

July 10, 2009

Blocking the government from bringing any Guantanamo detainees to the U.S. is unnecessary and harmful to our national security.

Metro's Crash Reveals Gains in Preparedness

June 28, 2009

The response to the tragedy demonstrated that an increased focus on local and regional readiness since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks has better prepared the Washington area not only for acts of terrorism but also for the full range of emergencies that can strike a region.

Defeating Somali Pirates Won't Be Easy

February 03, 2009

Pirates were on the wane and marginalized to a select few global waterways only a few years ago, but their attacks have skyrocketed off Somalia's coast, the longest in Africa and located along one of the most heavily trafficked shipping lanes in the world.

In Afghanistan, Hit 'em Where They Aren't

September 29, 2008

Recent US attacks inside Pakistan's Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) follow the prevailing, conventional logic: To win in Afghanistan, kill, coerce, and capture in Pakistan.

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