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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Three Lingering Questions For Trump's New Plan to Fight ISIS

March 19, 2017 Right now, the U.S. military is finalizing its options in Syria for President Donald Trump. The troop caps of the Obama era are a thing of the past. At least for now. These personnel limits, so popular among some in Washington, served as brakes against accelerating conflicts, made art of...

Want to Win Wars? Fund Soft Power, Trump’s Generals Say

March 2, 2017 “We never win, and we don't fight to win,” President Trump said this week, unveiling a budget that would boost defense spending by double-digits while cutting the State Department by 37 percent. But those leading America’s military effort have never been more vocal about the need for development dollars and...

Don’t Blame Trump for the Yemen Raid’s Outcome

February 2, 2017 Blame for the Yemen raid going terribly wrong is now being placed squarely on the desk of the new president. Reports surfaced on Thursday night to say that President Trump had authorized the raid in Yemen, which targeted Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula without sufficient intelligence and backup planning....

No Turning Back? First Woman Makes Army’s Elite 75th Ranger Regiment, Big Step For Women in Combat

January 19, 2017 History has been made. The U.S. Army’s 75th Ranger Regiment has become the first special operations unit to have a woman meet the standards of its selection course. Last month a female officer completed Ranger Assessment and Selection Program 2, or RASP 2, earning the right to don the prized...

Still Fighting, US Troops from Syria to Afghanistan Await Trump Orders

January 7, 2017 More U.S. special operations forces to Iraq? More U.S. troops in Syria? Stay in Afghanistan? Calm Turkey or stick with the Syrian Kurdish forces doing the fighting? Try for both? Welcome to Trump’s foreign policy options: same as the old ones, only more so. President-elect Trump takes office with no...

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...

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