Tag: defense department

Waking Up to Afghanistan’s Realities

THE GUARDIAN 12/03/08 By Michael Shank and Shukria Dellawar With Robert Gates remaining at the helm of the US defence department for another term, Barack Obama signals that the Pentagon’s modus operandi changes little. There are pros and cons to this. The good news: lessons learned from George Bush’s administration […]

Talking with the Taliban

THE GUARDIAN 10/14/08 By Michael Shank Wandering seven long years in the mountains and deserts of Afghanistan with hardly an end in sight, the US has just been offered a most fortuitous fix. It likely eludes America’s current president and queuing candidates, Barack Obama and John McCain, but not for […]

A Whole, Different View

THE HILL 09/30/08 By Michael Shank and U.S. Representative Danny Davis (D-Ill.) In forming the foundation of our country’s defense strategy, George Washington tilted the tenor of this town in a specific direction, noting that, “to be prepared for war is one of the most effectual means of preserving peace.” […]

Obama, McCain Don’t Grasp Roots of Pakistan’s Instability

THE HILL 09/12/08 By Michael Shank (Regarding article “McCain, Obama applaud Musharraf’s resignation,” Aug. 18.) Have presidential candidates Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Barack Obama (D-Ill.) learned nothing from the resignation of Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf? Both noted the exit of coup-installed Musharraf should “open the door to cooperation…in the […]

Poppy Crop Destruction Drives Farmers Towards Taliban

FINANCIAL TIMES 04/12/08 By Michael Shank Sir, With reference to your report, “US seeks Afghan heroin action” (April 5/6): the American proclivity for short-term, high-visibility gains precludes, yet again, sound strategy. Aerial spraying does not constitute an effective poppy eradication programme. Critically, this counter-narcotics strategy ignores the demand side. If […]

Reducing Taliban Recruitment by Development

JOURNAL OF INTERNATIONAL PEACE OPERATIONS Vol. 3, No. 1, July-Aug 07 By Michael Shank United States Secretary of Defense Robert Gates’ recent commentary that “things are slowly, cautiously headed in the right direction” in Afghanistan convinced very few. General Dan McNeill, commander of NATO’s International Security Assistance Force, seconded the […]

The Need for a Robust Security Strategy in Iraq

JOURNAL OF INTERNATIONAL PEACE OPERATIONS Vol 2, No. 5, March-April 07 By Michael Shank The 43rd M√úNICH Conference on Security Policy, an annual February forum discussing security and foreign policy challenges in European and American relations, brought the latest chastisement of United States security policy, this time by the Germans. […]

Understanding Political Islam in Somalia

CONTEMPORARY ISLAM No. 11562, March 07 By Michael Shank Preface By the time this article is published, much will have transpired in recent months within Somalia. Between December 2006 and January 2007, the Ethiopian and United States governments invaded Somalia by land and air, respectively, ousting the ruling Union of […]