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Anthony H. Cordesman holds the Arleigh A. Burke Chair in Strategy at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and is a national security analyst for ABC News on a number of global conflicts. He is a former Professor of National Security Studies at Georgetown Universitymarker and fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars at the Smithsonian Institutionmarker.

Cordesman has served as national security assistant to Senator John McCain of the Senate Armed Services Committee and civilian assistant to the Deputy Secretary of Defense. He was also the former director of intelligence assessment in the Office of the Secretary of Defense,

Cordesman also served in other government positions, including at the United States Department of Statemarker, Department of Energy, and director of International Staff at NATOmarker. He has carried assignments posts in Lebanonmarker, Egyptmarker, Iranmarker, Turkeymarker, the United Kingdommarker, West Germanymarker and has worked "extensively" in Saudi Arabiamarker.

Cordesman has authored over 50 books on U.S. security policy, energy policy, and the Middle East, and continues to provide commentary and analysis on a blog.

Gaza War analysis

On February 2 2009 Cordesman published an analysis of the war in Gaza. The report relied on Israeli briefings before and after the conflict, including visits to the Israeli Defense Spokesman, interviews with Arab officials, and experts. The report analyzes the views and reactions of Arabs, but emphasized that Hamas has not provided more than "minimal details on the fighting, other than ideological and propaganda statements."

Cordesman points out improvements in the capability of the Israeli Defense Forces since the fighting against Hezbollah in 2006. He believes the military used "decisive force" against legitimate military objectives, in spite of their very real humanitarian cost.

Cordesman's analysis also claimed that Israel did not violate the laws of war. In an article in CounterPunch, Norman Finkelstein said that this assumption lacked credibility because it relied solely on information from Israeli Ministry of Defense press releases whilst ignoring information that was readily available from the United Nations, NGOs and News reports.

War in Iraq and Afghanistan

He has criticized the Bush Administration's efforts in both the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. According to an article in National Business Review, Cordesman was said to have been only "48 per cent” convinced on the need to invade Iraq in 2003, but contends that "concerns over Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction were valid." He considers the current "chaos" in Iraq as the result of "pre-existing fractures in the country’s social makeup", and a "tribal, clan-based society."

Iraqi Security Forces: A Strategy for Success

In 2006, Cordesman published Iraqi Security Forces: A Strategy for Success, documenting "both the initial mistakes and the recent changes in U.S. policy that now offer real hope of success in Iraqmarker.". Michael Rubin of the Middle East Quarterly has accused the book of being a "typical work for [Cordesman] with much information but little analysis"

Israel Attack on Iran's Nuclear Program

In March 2009, Cordesman issued a detailed assessment entitled “Study on a Possible Israeli Strike on Iran’s Nuclear Development Facilities." He concludes with the opinion that "Any realistic resolution to the Iranian nuclear program will require an approach that encompasses Military, Economic, Political interests and differences of the West vs Iran. There will be no lasting resolution to the Iranian nuclear program until the broader interests of Iran, the US, the region and the world are addressed. Iran should be engaged directly by the U.S. with an agenda open to all areas of military and non-military issues that both are in agreement or disagreement."


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