In November, I pointed out that the irregular warfare-heavy think tank known as the Center for a New American Security was basically President Obama’s shadow Pentagon. Well, it’s pretty much entirely out of the shadows. One of its co-founders, Michele Flournoy, was confirmed Monday as undersecretary of defense for policy. Now, Laura Rozen reports, the reach of CNAS expands deeper into the Pentagon, as fellows Colin Kahl becomes deputy assistant secretary of defense for the Middle East and Vikram Singh takes an advisory position on Af-Pak.
Both Kahl and Singh have serious Pentagon experience and deep knowledge about their subject matter, which — ahem — is why I keep quoting them. (Still, though, Laura got the scoop. No respect, I tell you…) And going off of their published work, what may be the most interesting aspects of how they treat their Pentagon jobs is the non-military, whole-of-government focus they bring. A paper Kahl co-authored last year on Iraq with Flournoy and their CNAS colleague Shawn Brimley outlines a diplomatic strategy for using military drawdowns in Iraq and to pressure the Iraqi government into accepting a more stable ethno-sectarian political order. Singh just co-authored a new CNAS paper endorsing a thorough counterinsurgency campaign in the eastern Afghanistan provinces, alongside “much greater commitment to good governance and to providing for the needs of the Afghan people where they live.” Given that his old boss Flournoy is now co-chair of the administration’s Af-Pak strategy review, chances are that paper will be fairly influential.
In addition to being a rising Pentagon star, I should add, Kahl is also an acknowledged expert on IDM, and his disdain for so-called “candy-ravers” is well known. It’s a shame that the deputy assistant secretary job isn’t a Senate-confirmable position, because I’d like to hear him provide a for-the-record taxonomy on the differences between trance and ambient. Any true counterinsurgent would recognize the value of drawing such distinctions.
$1.3 Million for Brown
The GOP’s candidate in the Massachusetts special election raised more than one million dollars -- double the goal -- in a 24-hour moneybomb on the Ron Paul
$1.89 billion given to states to fight HIV
The federal government Monday announced more than $1.89 billion in funding to states to fight the HIV epidemic with access to care and with more cash for the failing AIDS Drug Assistance Program. According to an HHS press release , $813 million of that money will go directly to the ADAP programming. An additional $8,386,340 will be issued as a supplement to 36 states and territories currently facing a litany of unmet needs and access issues.
$1.3 trillion in federal spending unaccounted for, report finds
Despite calls for independent bodies to keep government accountable, the Sunlight Foundation’s most recent Clearspending report has found the federal
1. Brian Schweitzer
As governor of Montana, Schweitzer doesn’t represent one of the most highly populated, high-profile electoral states in the country. But this
1 Brigade and 1 Battalion
ISTANBUL – It’s 10 p.m. in the lowest level of the Istanbul airport. In 20 minutes I’ll be allowed to board my plane to Kabul, bringing me to the
$1 Million for Toomey
Pat Toomey, the former Club for Growth president and leading Republican candidate in Pennsylvania’s 2010 Senate race, has announced a $1 million haul in the
1. Lindsey Graham
Sen. Graham (R-S.C.) is typically regarded as a reliable vote for his party, but he took the bold step of breaking with his fellow Republicans to join Kerry
#1 in Conspiracy Theories
Andrew Young’s tell-all biography of John Edwards, hitting shelves next week, is surging in one Amazon.com category in particular. #1 in Conspiracy
Ten Loopholes That Can’t Make It Into FinReg
Dan Pfeiffer, the White House communications director, wrote a blog post that lists the loopholes lobbyists most want inserted into Sen. Chris Dodd’s (D-Conn.)
Bachmann uncomfortable over earmarks ban
Republicans appear to have boxed themselves into a corner with their portrayal of earmarks as wasteful spending, as many of them have backed a moratorium on
Troubled mine holds hope for U.S. rare earth industry
China currently controls 97 percent of the world’s rare earth production. The Mountain Pass Mine could change that -- if it can overcome serious environmental concerns.