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Author Archives: Charles Duelfer

Syria Strike – Before and After – Watch for Russian Action in Ukraine

Putin will respond to action as would be expected.  It is a safe bet that Russia will amp up pressure in other areas such as Ukraine. Secretary of State Tillerson, who, with General McMaster put forward a strong case for … Continue reading

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Syria CW – Time to dust off Obama’s military options

Syria certainly looks to have used chemical agent in Khan Sheikhun. This instance is a really big deal for a number of reasons–and President Trump will need to act. First, whereas Syria has been dropping chlorine in “barrel bombs” over … Continue reading

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A License to Receive Intelligence?

Should government officials be licensed or pass a test before they can receive intelligence? The debate about whether to believe intelligence reporting on Russian hacking of the DNC highlights a chronic problem.  Steps were taken to improve collection, analysis and … Continue reading

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Leaks to Come under Trump?

Overtime there is a transition from an experienced President at the end of an eight year term to a new President who inevitably is inexperienced and from a different party, there is some degree of friction from the permanent government … Continue reading

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President with Global Investments – Unprecedented? Really?

Many commentators have been claiming that Trumps global investments are unprecedented.  His financial interests are certainly worth thinking about, but such issues are not unprecedented.  I am reminded of the following story I heard as a young staffer at OMB … Continue reading

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Trump and Intelligence Community

Does the President need to know what is true or what everyone thinks is true?   This question that did not first arise with Donald Trump’s election.  It is a function of the growing power of social media.  Political leaders … Continue reading

Posted in Intelligence, Iraq, Russia, WMD | 1 Comment

Can Iraq be a Solution Instead of a Problem?

There is an opportunity for the US to recalibrate its approach and objectives in Iraq. It could be a positive rather than a negative and its tied to our approach to Iran. The following piece ran in the Cipher Brief … Continue reading

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Trump vs The Federal Bureaucracy?

How will the bureaucracy respond to President Trump? There is in impression, though no real data that I am aware of, that most federal workers tend toward the democratic side of the political spectrum. I recall the distrust that accompanied … Continue reading

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Mosul and Washington – Between Administrations

The period of time prior to a presidential election is always a vulnerable time for the United States. It is especially so at the end of a two-term administration. The current administration is less focused on new policies than locking … Continue reading

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CW in Syria – Assad will be around longer than Obama

Consider:  Would the events below and ponder whether they would be taking place if the Obama administration were not so obviously just running out the clock?  It’s a safe bet that Bashar al-Assad will be in power longer than Barack … Continue reading

Posted in Iran, Iraq, ISIL, ISIS, Mosul, Russia, Sunni, Syria, Syria CW, Syria CW, United Nations, WMD | Leave a comment