How James Mattis Tried to Explain Trump to the World

“Just as Mattis sought to reassure nervous allies, back home there were numerous reminders that the populist and intemperate impulses of his boss will not be tamed.”


Please Back Away From the Partisan Brink

The politics of deep division are making it very difficult for government to do its job.

Advice And Comment

Balance of Power

Gen. Martin Dempsey’s take on managing a force drawdown amid myriad crises around the globe.


Behind Eric Shinseki's Downfall

The VA secretary who was looking for a second chance after Iraq was undone by an overwhelmed health system and Washington's hyper-partisan health care politics.


African Terrorist Threat Not Far From Obama’s Mind

President's trip is focused on increased trade and development, but terrorist and extremist groups see growing opportunities in Africa too.


Analysis: What Is a ‘Red Line’ Worth?

Syria is testing the U.S., and other country's may follow.


How the Government Searches for the Boston Marathon Bomber

The FBI may have been most transformed by post-9/11 reforms.


Plenty of Clues, Few Leads on Motive of Bomber

Bombings could be the work of al-Qaida affiliates, domestic right-wing extremists, or lone-wolf terrorists.


Outsourcing the Fight Against Terrorism

The United States is using local soldiers to fight al-Qaida allies in East Africa.


Obama and Karzai: Iraq redux?

Leaders will try to agree on terms of separation.


Analysis: The military knows it has a morality problem

Sexual abuse. Adultery. Misconduct. Suicide. Has the U.S. military lost its way?


Analysis: The path to war with Iran

The United States and Iran are on a collision course, and neither side is blinking.


Defense Department struggles to deal with sexual assaults

Nearly 20,000 service members are raped or sexually assaulted each year by predators who often evade punishment.


Afghanistan: Eyeing the exits

Neither Obama nor Romney has made clear how fast the remaining force of 68,000 U.S. troops should be pulled out before the deadline.


WikiLeaks' collateral damage

Almost no player in the episode has escaped unscathed.


Senate minority leader accuses Justice of misleading Congress

Republican lawmakers say Attorney General Eric Holder withheld key evidence about a sting operation that ended in the murder of a Border Patrol agent.


Iran containment strategy cast in doubt

A country willing to attempt an assassination on U.S. soil defies the “rational actor” presumption that lies at the heart of nuclear deterrence.


Domestic policy in Washington, Baghdad at play in troop-level decision

Reports that the Pentagon may leave only a token U.S. force in Iraq by year’s end suggest strategic calculations have been trumped by national concerns.


Deficit debate drags military into political fray

The Pentagon is understandably nervous that the congressional deficit-reduction super committee will fail, automatically triggering as much as $1 trillion in cuts to defense spending.


General gives upbeat assessment of progress in Afghanistan

Gen. David Petraeus says U.S. and allied forces have arrested the Taliban's momentum in many parts of the country, and reversed it in important areas.