Charles Duelfer | Charles Duelfer

Author Archives: Charles Duelfer

Kim Jong Un – We have no clue what motivates/deters him….

The September 18, 2017 New Yorker had a very good article about Kim Jong Un by Evan Osnos.  He made the point that we really have no idea what motivates him (or perhaps more importantly, would deter him).  And, or … Continue reading

Posted in Iraq, North Korea | Leave a comment

Iraq – Avoiding the Next Insurgency

It is blindingly obvious that while ISIS soon may be expelled from Mosul, absent any further US policy change, there will be a renewed insurgency fueled by disaffected Sunni groups. This is depressingly similar to Spring 2003. I was in … Continue reading

Posted in Iran, Iraq, ISIL, ISIS, Mosul, Sunni | Leave a comment

Syria CW Use – Why?

The headline news of Syrian use of Sarin last month has faded from memory.   Even the US strike against the Syrian base at Khan Sheikhoun seems to have sunk beneath the daily harangue of Trump news. The military strike seems … Continue reading

Posted in ISIS Chemical Weapons, Russia, Syria, Syria CW, United Nations, WMD | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Russia, Syria, Syria CW, United Nations, WMD | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Intelligence, Russia, Syria, Syria CW, Syria CW, United Nations, WMD | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Intelligence | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Intelligence | Tagged | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Iran, Iraq, ISIL, ISIS | Leave a comment