US Opinion and Commentary

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Counter Terror Smarter

Posted October 26th, 2016 at 1:58 pm (UTC-5)
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We can’t keep responding to attacks the same way and expecting a different result. There is a better way to counter terrorism, and a more effective model that we can adopt, but first government officials must abandon failing strategies.

Underestimating al Qaeda

Posted October 21st, 2016 at 4:31 pm (UTC-5)
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At this point, al Qaeda is objectively quite a bit stronger than ISIS is….Al Qaeda itself has enormous ability right now to inflict significant damage through terrorism and military means in multiple regions simultaneously….If another group like ISIS emerges, it would most likely be from an al Qaeda affiliate.

After ISIS: A New ISIS

Posted September 20th, 2016 at 2:40 pm (UTC-5)
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Without its strongholds in Raqqa in Syria and Mosul in Iraq, ISIS will not disappear but will splinter into territorial and terrorist offshoots. ISIS pockets could either regroup in unstable areas of the region, as has already been demonstrated in Libya, or stir trouble in places with symbolic resonance, such as Turkey and Saudi Arabia.

9/11 15 Years Later

Posted September 12th, 2016 at 3:28 pm (UTC-5)
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15 years later, the scourge of terrorism is still with us.
Granted, we haven’t seen an attack on the scale of what happened on September 11, 2001. But terrorism continues to consume a large amount of this nation’s resources and seep into the consciousnesses of many Americans.
Osama bin Laden has been killed, but al Qaida is still an active threat.
Saddam Hussein was captured and executed, but Iraq is now the nesting ground for Islamic State, which started as an al Qaida offshoot.
What have we learned in the past 15 years that can make the next 15 years safer for America and the rest of the world?

The Giant al Qaeda Defeat that No One’s Talking About

Posted May 2nd, 2016 at 4:32 pm (UTC-5)
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The United Arab Emirates, under the banner of a Saudi-led coalition, late last month delivered a major blow to the most lethal Al Qaeda group on the planet—Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), the primary Islamic extremist group operating in Yemen.

Stop Asking “Why Do They Hate Us?”

Posted April 12th, 2016 at 4:04 pm (UTC-5)
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Those who fail to understand the ideology of Islamism will remain confused by it, attributing the violence to hatred because they don’t understand the real motives. So like battered spouses, victims of Islamist violence continue trying to alter their behavior in futile attempts to make “them” love “us.”

Afghanistan War: Just What Was the Point?

Posted February 25th, 2016 at 2:20 pm (UTC-5)
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Fatigue was always going to be the decider. Western fatigue with the horrors their troops saw, and with the violence inflicted daily on Afghans themselves. The fatigue of the financial cost, where a power station that was barely ever switched on cost Uncle Sam a third of a billion dollars.  

Closing Guantanamo

Posted February 23rd, 2016 at 5:17 pm (UTC-5)
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While campaigning for president in 2008, Barack Obama said he would close the terrorist detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. On January 22, 2009, his second day in office, President Obama ordered Guantanamo closed within a year. Tuesday, with 613 days left in his presidency, Obama sent to Congress a plan to close Guantanamo. While campaigning for president in 2008, Barack Obama said he would close the terrorist detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. On January 22, 2009, his second day in office, President Obama ordered Guantanamo closed within a year. Tuesday, with 613 days left in his presidency, Obama sent to Congress a plan to close Guantanamo. There are several reasons for Obama’s inability to fulfill his promise: the slow grind of the U.S military justice system; difficulty finding nations willing to accept detainees once their risk is suitably assessed; congressional legislation that blocks any detainee from being transferred to U.S. soil. Nearly 800 detainees have been held at Guantanamo since President George W. Bush opened it in 2002, following the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. According to a detailed study by The New York Times, 242 detainees were in the facility when Obama was inaugurated and 91 remain as of today. If the reaction from many in Congress and Republicans running for President are an indication, it’s unlikely closing Guantanamo will be part of the Obama legacy.

A Multinational, Multidimensional Strategy Against the Islamic State

Posted November 16th, 2015 at 12:51 pm (UTC-5)
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By Barbara Slavin Among the most unhelpful suggestions in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks in Paris was Republican Mike Huckabee’s proposal that President Barack Obama cancel the recently signed nuclear agreement with Iran. Huckabee’s reasoning: “Radical Islamists, whether Sunni or Shia, are a clear and present danger to civilization.” Never mind that Iran is […]

9/11 in 2015

Posted September 11th, 2015 at 3:12 pm (UTC-5)
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Cloudless blue skies with a hint of the coming autumn temperatures greeted Washingtonians Friday morning, delivering an eerie familiarity of how the day began Tuesday, September 11, 2001. Among the big news stories expected that day, Michael Jordan’s announcement he was coming out of retirement to play for the Washington Wizards. That and much more was rendered insignificant as the day’s events unfolded. Everything changed after the four-pronged attack on New York and Washington, killing nearly 3,000 people and leaving physical and emotional scars on countless more. The United States waged a war on the terrorists who launched these attacks, a war that endures 14 years later, with no end in sight. On this day of service and remembrance, some ask when the war will end while others find new ways to keep alive the memories of those who died for future generations.

For the U.S., the Choice Between Saudi Arabia and Iran Should be an Easy One

Posted July 14th, 2015 at 2:59 pm (UTC-5)
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The turmoil in the Middle East in recent years has forced many nations to reevaluate their relations with the countries of the region. It is only natural that the U.S. would do so as well. However, and despite their ideological and sometimes political differences, the U.S. and Saudi Arabia have managed to sustain what has been a mutually beneficial relationship.