Gayle Tzemach Lemmon

Council on Foreign Relations Gayle Tzemach Lemmon is a regular contributor to Defense One. Lemmon is the author of Ashley's War: The Untold Story of a Team of Women Soldiers on the Special Ops Battlefield and a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.
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As Trump Waits, So Do US War Fighters, Planners

November 27, 2016 With President-elect Donald Trump about to become commander in chief, America has not seen this many questions around U.S. national security policy since the late 1960s, if ever. And if there is one thing that challenges war planning it is uncertainty. Because whether we like to discuss it or not,...

Enough, America. Stop Talking About Election Day Revolution.

November 5, 2016 Armed insurrection. Rigged elections. Revolution. The threat of violence spilling into the streets if one candidate wins and another loses. What country are we speaking about? Not the ones in which our service members are serving. Not Iraq or Afghanistan or Syria. We’re talking about ours. The divided United States...

There’s a Way Obama’s White House Can Save Syrian Lives, There’s Just No Will

October 6, 2016 When it comes to the ongoing and increasingly brutal war in Syria that is killing kids and bombing families, the United States may be able to take military action — and may even see the Joint Chiefs and others in the interagency pushing more vocally for it in the aftermath...

When Women Lead Soldiers Into Battle

September 9, 2016 The ban on women in ground combat, which stood in some form ever since women were first permanently integrated into the U.S. military in 1948, has been lifted and all combat roles are now open to women. Since Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced the new policy last December, the American...

When Allies Become Enemies (Before the War is Over), Obama's ISIS Plan Has Another Problem

August 31, 2016 The killing of Islamic State co-founder, operations overseer, and key spokesman Abu Muhammad al-Adnani is good news for the U.S. military and its coalition of forces fighting the terrorist group inside Syria. But it comes after a week that has shown just how hard it is for the U.S. to...

Gold Star Families Deserve Better Than One News Cycle

July 31, 2016 For those who have long been waiting for war to feel as personal to the American public as it is to Gold Star families, the moment has arrived. America’s wars have at last hit home. But it is too easy to pile onto Donald Trump. Now is also a good...

What Comes Next After Raqqa and Mosul?

July 6, 2016 Who will get to Raqqa first? What happens after Mosul falls? And what comes next for Syria and Iraq? President Barack Obama is on the verge of seeing the central tenet of his Middle East strategy hit on-the-ground reality. After the U.S. special operations war against ISIS ends – the...

The Latest Taliban Leader’s Death Changes What, Exactly?

May 24, 2016 In the aftermath of the drone strike that killed Taliban leader Mullah Mohammad Akhta Mansoor in Baluchistan, Washington is debating what his death means and what message the strike sends. What is certain is that the attack has become a Rorschach test for those favoring and opposed to peace talks....

If Diplomacy Fails, Then What for Syria?

May 19, 2016 As fighting rages on in Syria, world leaders in Vienna on Tuesday pledged to turn the limited “cessation of hostilities” into a nationwide ceasefire heralding progress toward full peace and a political end to the war. Yet the question remains, as it has for years: If diplomacy fails, then what?...

Petty Officer Keating Died 2 Miles From the Syrian Front. How Far Are You?

May 5, 2016 Two hospitals bombed in the space of only a few days, killing doctors, mothers, and babies. More than 250 dead just since April’s end. Welcome to life and death in Aleppo. Have most of us even heard of it? On the ground in Syria’s flashpoint city, the carnage has been...

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