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Gayle Tzemach Lemmon

Council on Foreign Relations Gayle Tzemach Lemmon is a regular contributor to Defense One. Lemmon is also a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and the author of The Dressmaker of Khair Khana.
Results 1-10 of 31

Obama Insiders Divided About Shifting Fight From Assad to ISIS

February 3, 2015 In 2011, President Barack Obama said, “For the sake of the Syrian people, the time has come for President Assad to step aside.” Three and a half years, 200,000 deaths and more than 3 million refugees later, Assad shows no signs of abandoning the Syrian presidency. The mission that “Assad ...

If Only America Cared About Actual Wars as Much as War Movies

January 6, 2015 If only America cared as much about the actual wars men and women in uniform are fighting as the country does about the films depicting their heroic deeds. The film “American Sniper” about legendary Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle broke box office records this holiday season when the picture earned ...

Is Obama’s ‘Iraq First’ Strategy Working Against ISIS?

December 18, 2014 When it comes to U.S. military action against the Islamic State, the Obama administration is pursuing an Iraq first policy of strengthening Baghdad while taking back terrain the group has claimed in the country. In Iraq, unlike in Syria, the United States notes it has a government that invited them ...

How Afghans Feel About the Direction of Their Country

December 2, 2014 As Afghanistan looks toward its future, with a new president at the helm and the U.S. military presence drawing down, security remains among the country’s most daunting challenges going forward. Yet the growth of the country’s economy and political protections for Afghan women are also cause for concern for a ...

The Search for the Plan To Destroy ISIS

November 24, 2014 The United States has promised that America will “degrade and destroy” ISIS in a “targeted, relentless counterterrorism campaign.” But two and a half months in, ISIS’s appeal shows little sign of waning. And the question is, even if the U.S. is able to kill the elusive architect of ISIS’s ascent, ...

Promises of Syrian Rebel Train-and-Equip Program Meet the Battlefield’s Realities

October 10, 2014 As the fight for the key Syrian border town Kobani unfolds in real time before the world, the limits of U.S. military involvement are on stark display as well. “Airstrikes alone are not going to do this. They're not going to fix this. They're not going to save the town ...

Fight the Islamic State in Iraq? Sure. In Syria? Not So Much

September 16, 2014 Iraq was once seen as the wrong war; now, it has become the more palatable one. In its place is Syria, which has become the pariah nation at the core of the conflict, the country no one wants to touch. As the Obama administration takes to Capitol Hill to explain ...

‘No Boots on the Ground’ Doesn’t Mean No Combat in Iraq

September 10, 2014 President Barack Obama is due to address the nation in prime time on Wednesday to lay out his plan to fight the Islamic State. He already has made a “no boots on the ground” pledge that he will not return the U.S. to war in Iraq. The five-word phrase has ...

Obama Insiders Frustrated Over Reluctance to Attack Syria and Iraq

August 22, 2014 President Barack Obama recently dismissed his critics who argue that arming the Syrian moderate opposition long ago would have made a difference in the fight against Bashar al-Assad. But louder than ever those critics – some from within his own administration – are saying, “We told you so.” That notion, ...

The White House Must Delegate More National Security, Officials Say

August 4, 2014 From the Gaza war to Ukraine, Iraq, Syria and the Afghan elections, there are so many conflicts occurring at once that the Obama administration’s tight-gripped method of handling global crises at the top is starting to show cracks. Former senior Defense Department and State Department officials are saying the growing ...