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Steve Coll |
Pulitzer Prize-winner Steve Coll is dean of the Columbia University School of Journalism and a staff writer at The New Yorker.
"War on Terror," an Insider's View: A Conversation with Harold H. Koh | 02/28/14
Harold Hongju Koh, James Traub
As legal adviser to the State Department from 2009 to 2013, Harold Koh was responsible for making judgments about the most difficult issues in the "war on terror": drone strikes, military tribunals, preventive detention. This fascinating and revealing conversation explores Koh's moral convictions and the inner workings of government.
The Future of American Warfighting: Lessons of the Contemporary Battlefield | 02/27/14
Noah Shachtman, Patrick J. Mahaney, Jr., Ben FitzGerald
What are the ethical and legal questions raised by unmanned aerial vehicles, drones, and surveillance? How do they affect combatants, decision-makers, and civilians? An expert panel explores these crucial issues.
The Fog of Peace: The Human Face of Conflict Resolution | 02/25/14
The courageous Gianni Picco played a central role in negotiating the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan, met with Saddam Hussein to bring an end to the Iran-Iraq War, and traveled to both Beirut and Tehran to rescue 11 hostages and 91 other prisoners. How did he do it? By treating adversaries as individuals, not just government representatives.
Rules of Engagement: The Legal, Ethical and Moral Challenges of the Long War | 02/13/14
Kenneth Anderson, Charles A. Blanchard, Robert Grenier
Can the drone campaign be legally and morally justified? What are the limits to the president's authority when it comes to targeted killing? Don't miss this discussion with Robert Grenier, former CIA counterterrorism director; Charles Blanchard, former general counsel of the U.S. Air Force; and Kenneth Anderson, professor of law at American University.
The Future of Transatlantic Security Cooperation after 2014 | 01/07/14
Brian Hensarling, Marco Overhaus, Adam Jarosz, Matthew Kroenig, Zornitsa Stoyanova-Yerburgh, Thomas A. Walsh
2014 may be a turning point for transatlantic security cooperation. This paper identifies the three most relevant "drivers" in this regard: financial and resource constraints, a turn towards a more inward-looking perspective in EU and NATO capitals, and shifting power relations in the international system. The paper concludes with policy recommendations.
Ethics Matter: The Future of War, with Andrew Exum | 12/19/13
Andrew Exum, James Traub
Andrew Exum is a scholar, author, and former U.S. Army officer. In this revealing talk, he describes, in vivid detail, his days leading platoons in Iraq and Afghanistan; insights gained while working at the Pentagon; the successes and failures of America's counterinsurgency efforts; and the growing civilian-military divide, especially in the Northeast.
The Constitution Project: Task Force Report on Detainee Treatment | 11/27/13
David Gushee, David R. Irvine
In many instances, U.S. forces used interrogation techniques which constitute torture; the nation's most senior officials bear ultimate responsibility; and there is no evidence that torture produced significant information of value. These are the unanimous conclusions of the task force on detainee treatment, as discussed here by two of its members.
Important Choices: Foreign Policy and Defense Spending | 10/07/13
Lawrence Korb, David C. Speedie
How much does the U.S. actually spend on defense and where does that money go? Lawrence Korb, an expert on the federal budget, the military, and national security, discusses the tough choices the U.S. needs to make on defense spending; relations with Iran; Syria; NATO; and nuclear weapons.
U.S. Policy on Iran and the Middle East: Where Do We Go From Here? | 09/27/13
Gary Sick, David C. Speedie
Are we on the brink of a new era in Iran-U.S. relations? Maybe. Iran expert Gary Sick discusses President Rouhani's UN speech, which took place just before this event, plus previous missed opportunities and the current possibilities of rapprochement. While condemning the regime, he sees an opening for constructive negotiations.
The Fate of Cultural Property in Wartime: Why it Matters and What Should Be Done | 09/17/13
Jennifer Otterson Mollick
Cultural property protection in conflict is often neglected as people argue that the lives of individuals in warzones are far more important than old buildings, pots, and books. However, it is not a question of prioritizing. We must not dismiss cultural property protection in conflicts as secondary to humanitarian tragedy, but as part of the effort to save humanity.
Ethics Matter: Jeremy Scahill on the World as a Battlefield | 06/13/13
Jeremy Scahill, Marlene Spoerri
In the name of the "war on terror," the U.S. is conducting covert warfare and targeted killings, and it dismisses the resulting deaths of innocent civilians as "collateral damage." What are the ethical and practical repercussions of these policies? Jeremy Scahill's blistering talk ranges from Iraq to Afghanistan, Yemen, and Somalia.
Foreign Policy Begins at Home: The Case for Putting America's House in Order | 06/06/13
Richard N. Haass
We have been guilty of overreaching abroad and underachieving at home, says Richard Haass, and these sins are really two sides of the national security coin. After all, "our capacity to act abroad is obviously directly limited and affected by the capacities we have created here at home, whether the capacities are military or economic or human."
Afghanistan: What Went Wrong? | 05/24/13
Review essay in "Washington Monthly" by Global Ethics Fellow Roland Paris, based on four books that offer insights into “what went wrong” with the international effort to stabilize Afghanistan after 2001.
Ethics on Film: Discussion of "Zero Dark Thirty" | 03/11/13
A fictional adaptation of the CIA's hunt for Osama bin Laden, this blockbuster has reignited the debate surrounding the CIA's use of "enhanced interrogation techniques"--i.e. torture. The movie has also sparked a discussion over the ethical responsibilities of filmmakers.
Ethics on Film: Discussion of "Zero Dark Thirty" | 03/11/13
A fictional adaptation of the CIA's hunt for Osama bin Laden, this blockbuster has reignited the debate surrounding the CIA's use of "enhanced interrogation techniques."
Going to Tehran: Prospects for U.S.-Iranian Engagement | 01/30/13
Flynt Leverett, Hillary Mann Leverett
Americans' view of Iran as an illegitimate system in imminent danger of overthrow is wrongheaded, wishful thinking, say the Leveretts. The U.S. needs to come to terms with the Islamic Republic of Iran, not as a favor to Iran, but to save its own position in the Middle East and avert another war. Nixon went to China. Obama needs to go to Iran.
Talibanistan: Negotiating the Borders Between Terror, Politics, and Religion | 12/12/12
Peter Bergen, Anand Gopal
"Talibanistan" is the nickname for the embattled territory from Kandahar in Afghanistan to Pakistan's Northwest Frontier Province and Federally Administered Tribal Areas. Two experts explode some of the myths about Afghanistan and discuss the U.S. presence there, both past and future.
The New Assassination Bureau: On the 'Robotic Turn' in Contemporary War | 11/06/12
Caroline Kennedy, Nicholas Rengger
When the film "2001" first came out, the plot--in which a robot faces an ethical decision--seemed like pure science fiction. Today it's becoming reality. This essay examines the legal and ethical dilemmas created by increasing automation in warfare, including what the authors believe is the most problematic area of contemporary war: the use of drones.
Syria: The Fall of the House of Assad | 10/23/12
David W. Lesch
David W. Lesch has traveled to Syria repeatedly since 1989 and met President Bashar al-Assad several times in the mid-2000s. He discusses the conflict in the influential Middle Eastern nation, why an American intervention is a dangerous idea, and why Assad has cracked down so absolutely.