Wars & Military Operations

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Kerry for Keeping Option to Use Ground Forces ‘In the Event Syria Imploded’

(HTML version) by Charles Knight, Huffington Post, 06 September 2013. “A punishment raid is one thing, but using armed force to attempt to prevent proliferation from Syria is very different sort of activity. In the event of a chaotic collapse of the Assad regime and the disintegration of the Syrian military U.S. air-strikes alone will not be able to stop proliferation of the chemical weapons.”
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Rethink Afghanistan

(video) a film by the Brave New Foundation, featuring several interview segments with Carl Conetta, 2009.
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Dust-up between the NYT and the White House masks willful ignorance

(HTML version) by Charles Knight, Oped News, 13 December 2008. The recent dust-up between the New York Times and the White House over whether “faulty intelligence” caused the Bush government to invade Iraq only serves to perpetuate a misleading narrative which seeks to shift the blame for a disastrous American war.
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Forceful Engagement: Rethinking the Role of Military Power in US Global Policy

(printable PDF version) (HTML version) (summary) by Carl Conetta, PDA Briefing Report #22, 01 December 2008. The US has been using its armed forces beyond the limit of their utility. The result is not just diminishing returns, but negative ones.
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Yes, We Really Must Talk With Iran

(HTML version) by Charles Knight and Chris Toensing, CommonDreams.org, 28 October 2008. If American troops are ever to come home from Iraq and Iraqis are to have a decent chance at peace and prosperity, the United States must open up a new chapter in its Middle Eastern diplomacy.
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Like a Mirage in the Desert: Full Withdrawal May Recede into the Time Horizon

(HTML version) by Charles Knight, Presentation at the United States Institute of Peace panel on “The Future of the U.S. Military Presence in Iraq” (as prepared), 25 July 2008 .

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Iraq Withdrawal (an interview of Charles Knight)

(audio) Charles Knight. Interview on CounterSpin, Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting. 18 July 2008.
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Quickly, Carefully, and Generously: The Necessary Steps for a Responsible Withdrawal from Iraq

(printable PDF version) (HTML version) (summary) by Task Force for a Responsible Withdrawal from Iraq.  A Commonwealth Institute publication, 01 June 2008. Twenty-five initiatives the US can and should take to reduce violence and regional instability as the US leaves Iraq. Preface by U.S. Representative James P. McGovern (MA – 03).
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Symposium: The Role of Force & the Armed Forces in US Foreign Policy — What have we learned?

Security Policy Working Group, 10 April 2008.

  • Andrew Bacevich, “The Origins and Demise of the Bush Doctrine of Preventive War”
  • Carl Conetta, “Out from the House of War: A Litmus for New Leadership in Security Policy” (printable .pdf)
  • David Gold, “How Much Defense Can We Afford? (printable .pdf), as republished in Challenge (Sept/Oct 2008)
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What Next for Iraq?

(HTML page with link to audio) Carl Conetta. Interview with Terry Gross, Fresh Air, National Public Radio, 17 January 2008.
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Ideas, Homework, and Message

(HTML version) by Charles Knight, Common Dreams, 14 January 2008. Randall “Randy” Watson Forsberg was best known as the creator of the Nuclear Freeze, an idea that blossomed into a movement in the early 1980s. In today’s political culture she would be seen as a great messenger.   She derived her messages from research and analysis.
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A Note on the State of Israel

(HTML version) by Lutz Unterseher, Universities of Osnabrueck and Muenster, November 2007. Focuses on selected aspects of Israel’s military security. It looks at the basic pattern of this country’s recent war against Hezbollah in 2006, and attempts to give a sketch of the problems affecting Israel’s military position today. In addition to objective factors, the subjective side is considered: in the form of impressions gained in casual conversations with Israeli citizens.
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U.S. Out of Iraq How?

(HTML version) Interview with Carl Conetta in Mother Jones, 18 October 2007.
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Is Worry about Pakistani Nukes Serving to Keep the U.S. in Iraq?

(HTML version) by Charles Knight, PDA commentary, July 2007.

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War and Poverty, Peace and Prosperity

(HTML version) Conference sponsored by the Economists for Peace and Security, Levy Economics Institute, Bard College, Annandale on Hudson, NY, 30 May – 01 June 2007.  (transcript) Session 4: “Rethinking Post-Cold War US Security Policy: What went wrong?  How do we get it right?” Session co-organized by Carl Conetta of the Project on Defense Alternatives; Moderator: Winslow Wheeler, Strauss Military Reform Project.
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Congressional withdrawal plans, permanent bases in Iraq, increase in ground troops

(HTML version) by Bipasha Ray. Defense Analysis Bulletin #4, 01 May 2007.
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No Good Reason to “Grow” the US Army and Marine Corps

(HTML version) by Carl Conetta, Common Dreams, 01 February 2007.
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No good reason to boost Army, Marine Corps end strength

(printable PDF version) (HTML version) by Carl Conetta, PDA Briefing Report #20, 31 January 2007. The proposal to add 92,000 personnel to US ground forces will combine with other initiatives to greatly increase America’s capacity to sustain large, protracted ground operations overseas. And it will enable an indefinite stay in Iraq. The rationale for this capability misconstrues the lessons of the Iraq war and America’s true security requirements. The memo also reviews recent and possible future deployment patterns.
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US aid to Afghanistan, Taliban in government, Afghan casualties, permanent bases in the Mideast

(HTML version) by Bipasha Ray. Defense Analysis Bulletin #1, 24 January 2007.
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Resolving Iraq: Progress depends on a short timeline for US troop withdrawal

(printable PDF version) by Carl Conetta, PDA Briefing Memo #40, 18 January 2007.  The memo argues that the large-scale US military presence in Iraq makes sustainable progress toward peace and stability there impossible. It advances an alternative approach to stabilizing Iraq that hinges on a short timeline for US troop withdrawal and a new international effort including Iraq’s neighbors.

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A Troop Surge Can’t Win a Victory from a Bad Decision for War

(HTML version) by Carl Conetta, PDA Commentary in Common Dreams, 10 January 2007.

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Outside View: How Bush Strategy Failed

(HTML version) David Isenberg. United Press International, 27 September 2006.
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War & Consequences: Global Terrorism has Increased Since 9/11 Attacks

(HTML version) (printable PDF version) by Carl Conetta, PDA Briefing Memo #38, 25 September 2006. The memo analyzes the change in the incidence of terrorism since 11 September 2001, finding a distinct increase. It also summarizes the findings of various studies on the relationship between the Iraq war and terrorism which show that in the words of one, the Iraq war “has reinforced the determination of terrorists who were already committed to attacking the West and motivated others who were not.”

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Fighting on Borrowed Time: The Effect on US Military Readiness of America’s post-9/11 Wars

(printable PDF version) (HTML version) by Carl Conetta, PDA Briefing Report #19, 11 September 2006. To sustain today’s wars, the Bush administration has adopted a policy of “risk displacement”. High optempo is maintained in Iraq and Afghanistan at the expense of readiness elsewhere and for other missions. The policy also saps future readiness. It may take the US military half a decade to recover.
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Pyrrhus on the Potomac: How America’s post-9/11 wars have undermined US national security

(printable PDF version) (HTML version) by Carl Conetta, PDA Briefing Report #18, 05 September 2006.  A net assessment of America’s post-911 security policy shows it to be “pyrrhic” in character: although progress has been made in disrupting Al Qaeda, the broader effect has been to increase the threat to the United States, while weakening the nation’s capacity to respond effectively.
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Kind’s Stance on War in Iraq Inspires DeNure’s Campaign

(HTML version) Reid Magney. La Crosse Tribune, 03 September 2006.
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Dissuading China and Fighting the ‘Long War’

(printable PDF version) by Carl Conetta, World Policy Journal, 01 July 2006. The 2006 US Defense Review advanced two new strategic vectors for the US armed forces – one targets a putative “global Islamic insurgency”; the other puts America on a collison course with China. 

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We Can See Clearly Now: The Limits of Foresight in the pre-World War II Revolution in Military Affairs (RMA)

(printable PDF version) (HTML version) by Carl Conetta, PDA Research Monograph #12, 02 March 2006. “Military transformation” and the idea of a “Revolution in Military Affairs” are prominent themes in US defense planning. However, the example of revolutionary change during the Second World War suggests that forecasting such revolutions poses a daunting, if not insurmountable challenge.
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Deadly Days Put Iraq on ‘Brink of Civil War’

(HTML version) Thomas Caywood and Brian Ballou. Boston Herald, 24 February 2006.
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Pressure mounts on Blair as British fatalities reach 100

(HTML version) Kim Sengupta and Terri Judd. The Independent, UK, 01 February 2006.
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