December 8, 2020
By Daniel R. Mahanty and Elias Yousif
When Biden takes his seat behind the Resolute desk, he will face the competing demands of ending America’s “forever wars” and simultaneously countering lingering threats of terrorism. Biden’s immediate predecessors chose to navigate these narrow straits by limiting the role of conventional U.S. forces in favor of drone strikes and the deployment of Special Operations Forces in secret, all under a permissive and expansive interpretation of what “war” actually means.
With its dependence on secretive programs that lack critical safeguards of oversight and accountability, this “Goldilocks approach” has effectively worked to obscure the true political, human and financial costs of nearly two decades of war.