The Cable

U.S. Airstrikes in Syria Would Raise Legal Questions

As Pentagon planners lay the groundwork for possible airstrikes against Islamic State jihadists in Syria, U.S. government lawyers are grappling with their own struggle: fashioning a legal argument for justifying attacks against extremists in a country that has not formally authorized U.S. action.

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Russian Troops in Ukraine Shape NATO's Counter to Putin

NATO's response to Russia's latest incursion into Ukrainian territory came into focus on Tuesday -- and it's forceful.

Russian tanks, troops, and artillery reportedly crossed into a previously unbreached border of eastern Ukraine on Tuesday, Aug. 26, opening a third front near the city of Novoazovsk and leading Ukrainian forces into a chaotic retreat. Western officials told the New York Times that they fear Russia is carving out a land bridge to the Crimean peninsula, which Russia annexed earlier this year.

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How NATO Could Confront the Putin Doctrine

As talks involving Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Ukrainian counterpart, Petro Poroshenko, get underway in Belarus, evidence mounted that Russia is escalating its incursion of Ukrainian territory by sending troops and a column of tanks into eastern Ukraine.

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Of Course the U.S. Knew About Airstrikes on Libya

Two airstrikes in the past week on Islamist militias fighting for control of Tripoli, Libya, are raising questions about who was behind the attacks and whether the United States knew about or condoned them. On Saturday, Aug. 23, Agence France-Presse reported that Islamist militants in Libya pointed the finger at Egypt and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The Egyptian military quickly denied any involvement. On Monday, the New York Times reported that American officials confirmed that the Egyptians and Emiratis had launched the strikes, but said they'd caught the United States by surprise.

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