"The incoming secretary of defense will have a very full plate just dealing with the myriad foreign policy and force structure challenges arising out of the last couple years. But the latest Military Times survey suggests that he should squeeze one more topic onto his agenda: the morale of the rank and file."
"Much of the struggle to ensure the deal’s success will come after the ink is dry. A host of obstacles could undermine the future agreement’s sustainability, and even the most favorable deal reached by the end of the new extension period would represent the start of the real work rather than a victory."
"It is telling that the White House sent out the campaign spinners and not the foreign policy experts to sell this particular line. There are few serious experts with real experience in government willing to defend the President's recent handling of foreign policy."
"At almost every turn, the Obama administration has been wrong-footed by events in Ukraine. To catch up, the president and his advisors will have to think more strategically and candidly. And to do that, they will have to start asking and answering questions like these."
In Foreign Policy, AHS speaker Peter Feaver discusses the quality and reliability of the U.S. command-and-control system:
"The string of horrifying stories may just be coincidence, but they sure look like they point to a wetware problem. The senior nuclear commanders have assured the defense secretary that there is no systematic wetware problem. Proving that is the case will be the vital mission of Hagel's review panel."
In Foreign Policy, AHS speaker Peter Feaver presents a valentine for the National Security Council Staff:
"'What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet' -- or, more in Shadow Government's bailiwick, would a National Security Council (NSC) staff smell as good as a National Security Staff (NSS)? National Security Advisor Susan Rice thinks the NSC staff would be sweeter than the NSS, and I am inclined to agree with her."
In Foreign Policy, AHS speaker Peter Feaver questions whether military officers speak out too much:
"This public role is tricky. The military must be wary lest it find itself carrying political water for an administration unwilling or unable to defend its own policies. The military also must speak without subverting the chain of command and the integrity of the internal policymaking process. That means that the military must be careful not to speak with the intention of mobilizing public opinion against administration policy; that was the line that Fallon crossed."
On Wednesday in Foreign Policy's Shadow Government blog, AHS speaker Peter Feaver predicts that the recent evidence of Assad's atrocities is not enough to change the Obama Administration's policies:
"President Barack Obama already knows that Assad has committed mass atrocities, but the president has decided not to act decisively regardless. The photographic evidence released this week makes it harder to believe that the administration can really deal with Assad, but the president is committed to that course, and it will probably take something more than horrifying evidence of Assad's atrocities to shift Obama off that course."