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Author Archives: Charles Duelfer

US Intelligence and the Press

Yesterday, George Mason University’s Schar School of Policy and Government hosted an interesting discussion moderated by Michael Morell and four prominent Washington journalists regarding coverage of intelligence by journalists.  The journalists were Andrea Mitchell, long-time NBC correspondent who has covered … Continue reading

Posted in Intelligence, journalism coverage, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Space News – And National News

Tuesday this week, in a speech before the National Space Council, Vice President Pence announced that the US would land its astronauts on the Moon again within five years.  He said: “And I’m here, on the President’s behalf, to tell … Continue reading

Posted in NASA, Space | Leave a comment

The Value of Allies – It’s Personal

In his resignation letter, Secretary of Defense General Mattis called out the importance of Allies for US national security.  I expect his eloquent statement will be long-quoted by those involved in foreign policy.  But I bet it resonates even more … Continue reading

Posted in Allies, Iraq, NATO | Leave a comment

Syrian CW Use – Why? There’s a good reason

Many have wondered why Syrian would continue to use chemical munitions recognizing that the international community would condemn such actions. After all, they received some measure of positive recognition when acceded to the Chemical Weapons Convention in 2013 and allowed … Continue reading

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

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 | 1 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

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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

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

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