AUTHOR ARCHIVES

James Kitfield

James Kitfield James Kitfield a senior fellow at the Center for the Study of the Presidency & Congress and a Defense One contributor. He is a former senior correspondent for National Journal and has written on defense, national security and foreign policy issues from Washington, D.C. for more than two decades.
Results 31-40 of 179

African Terrorist Threat Not Far From Obama’s Mind

June 27, 2013 When President Obama lands in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, next week, he will see a city that reflects the rapid changes that are reshaping Africa. The traffic-snarled streets are a riot of bright color, with buildings painted in splashes of pink and orange sherbet, and pedestrians dressed in blaring red...

Analysis: What Is a ‘Red Line’ Worth?

May 3, 2013 The United States can’t bluff. That is the consensus inside the White House on the issuing of “red lines,” including President Obama’s publicly declared prohibition against Syria using or transferring its chemical weapons, or Iran acquiring a nuclear bomb. “We’ll be in the [White House] security room, and [the president]...

How the Government Searches for the Boston Marathon Bomber

April 18, 2013 When FBI special agent Richard DesLauriers promised that “We will go to the ends of the Earth” to find the terrorists responsible for the bombing of the Boston Marathon and bring them to justice, he was not making an idle threat. The post-9/11 record strongly suggests that the U.S. authorities...

Plenty of Clues, Few Leads on Motive of Bomber

April 17, 2013 For a generation of Americans that collectively bears the psychic scar tissue of Sept. 11, 2001, any act of terror invokes memories of the terrorist attack that reshaped their lives and largely defined the past decade. So the nearly simultaneous bombings of the Boston Marathon that killed three and injured...

Outsourcing the Fight Against Terrorism

March 11, 2013 MANDA BAY NAVAL BASE, Kenya—The C-12 twin-engine turboprop drops through a break in the clouds, and Kenya’s tropical Lamu Archipelago, surrounded by coral-green waters, emerges like a lost continent. Cuticles of virgin white beach line a jungle that stretches back into the country’s interior. Banking, the pilot spots a short...

Obama and Karzai: Iraq redux?

January 10, 2013 When President Obama and Afghan President Hamid Karzai sit down to lunch at the White House tomorrow, they will attempt to hash out a workable separation agreement. The White House would like to withdraw as many of the remaining 68,000 U.S. troops from Afghanistan as rapidly as possible between now...

Analysis: The military knows it has a morality problem

December 7, 2012 It has not been a good year for America’s armed forces. David Petraeus’s extramarital affair dominated headlines; 25 instructors are under investigation for systematic sexual abuse of cadets at Lackland Air Force Base; and a rash of senior officers -- at the rank of colonel or higher -- have been...

Analysis: The path to war with Iran

September 24, 2012 In an endless campaign season filled with forgettable speeches and debates, few Americans will recall March 4, 2012, as particularly noteworthy. On that Sunday afternoon, President Obama appeared before the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, where he was expected to give a boilerplate talk about close U.S.-Israeli ties. Instead, Obama...

Defense Department struggles to deal with sexual assaults

September 18, 2012 LACKLAND AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- Every Friday, on a grassy parade ground ringed by vintage warplanes, a freshly minted class of airmen takes the oath of duty and is officially “welcomed into the blue.” Young men and women who arrived at basic training as confused and frightened individuals seven...

Afghanistan: Eyeing the exits

August 3, 2012 During the presidential-election campaign the positions of President Obama and presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney have converged on the issue of withdrawing most U.S. forces from Afghanistan by the end of 2014. Neither the Obama administration nor the Romney campaign has made clear, however, how fast the remaining force of...