US Opinion and Commentary

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Defeat Islamic State with Culture War

Posted September 2nd, 2015 at 8:29 am (UTC-4)
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The United States should instead focus on identifying reliable, local counter-narrators and amplify their voices across different platforms. Members of local communities, viewed as more trustworthy and culturally aware, have a vital role to play in developing counter-narratives to ISIS that resonate within the communities that are being targeted by the extremist group.

Are We Doing Enough to Stop ISIS?

Posted September 1st, 2015 at 5:40 pm (UTC-4)
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With reports of female sex-slaves, including a young American hostage, the destruction of ancient ruins and the latest execution posted online, there are worries that the world has come to accept — and expect — the extreme brutality of Islamic State fighters. The current US strategy is quietly being debated once again, with some observers calling for more American engagement.

Countering Violent Extremism: Falling Through the Cracks of Development and Security

Posted August 28th, 2015 at 3:08 pm (UTC-4)
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CVE prioritizes a role for civil society, as these organizations are often viewed by communities as more credible than local governments or law enforcement. They are also better positioned to identify local-level drivers of violent extremism, and more suited to work with neglected groups through education, interfaith dialogues, and arts and sports activities.

It’s Not Too Late to Save Iraq and Syria

Posted August 26th, 2015 at 12:25 pm (UTC-4)
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To enable military success against the Islamic State, we must first have in place a political strategy to mobilize significant Sunni Arab opposition to this terrorist group, both within Syria and Iraq and in the broader region. The biggest impediment to such a strategy is the administration’s ill-considered and unreciprocated outreach to Iran.

Time is Running Out to Defeat ISIS

Posted August 21st, 2015 at 1:07 pm (UTC-4)
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While the United States can’t fight the ideological battle directly, by using military and diplomatic means it can buy the time necessary for regional leaders to marshal a response and launch a more effective ideological counterattack. If this doesn’t occur, it is possible that the ideological damage inflicted by ISIS could become permanent

Making A State By Iron and Blood

Posted August 20th, 2015 at 10:34 am (UTC-4)
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As everyone from Mao to Kissinger is said to have said, insurgents don’t need to “win” in order to succeed; they just need to not lose. Stick around long enough … eventually your opponents will tire of fighting, and they’ll either give up and leave, or give up and negotiate.

Force 2025 and Beyond: How the Army is Preparing for Its Future

Posted July 31st, 2015 at 2:21 pm (UTC-4)
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Global instability, coupled with the reduction in military capabilities of many of our allies, has emboldened potential adversaries and magnified the risk to U.S. interests around the world. The Army is meeting this challenge — to change itself and improve land power capabilities — through a strategy called Force 2025 and Beyond.  

The Golden Age of Terrorism

Posted July 29th, 2015 at 2:50 pm (UTC-4)
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Terrorists’ bombs going off frequently in New York, Washington, Chicago, and Los Angeles. More than a hundred hijackings of airplanes in the States. These weren’t the acts of ISIS-inspired terrorists in recent times, but of terrorists in America during the 1970s.

ISIL Cannot be Defeated Without Concerted Turkish Involvement

Posted July 29th, 2015 at 11:02 am (UTC-4)
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Despite facing this extraordinary array of power, ISIL manages to hang on, and in some cases even expand. And no one can say with any confidence when or how it will be defeated. How can that possibly be?

The Emerging Threat of the Lone Wolf in the Fight Against Terror

Posted July 24th, 2015 at 8:37 am (UTC-4)
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The new lone-wolf era will test this country’s ability to balance security and civil liberties, hopefully more wisely than was the case in the overreaction after Sept. 11, 2001. It’s a delicate task. More attacks will drive new calls to crack down through surveillance and more aggressive policing — creating more jihadists.

It’s Not the Taliban – It’s the Islamic State

Posted July 21st, 2015 at 12:47 pm (UTC-4)
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Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani is now offering a new rationale for keeping American forces in Afghanistan, suggesting that the Islamic State — which has begun to make its presence felt with bombings mainly in the country’s east — poses a potential threat that must be confronted before it spreads.

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-4)
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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.

The Right Path to Counter Daesh

Posted July 10th, 2015 at 11:08 am (UTC-4)
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Daesh may be capable of dramatic acts of violence, but people across the globe and in the Middle East overwhelmingly reject its vision. We want to harness that rejection of Daesh and strengthen popular support for a different path, by giving a platform to those billions that are too often sidelined by Daesh’s headline grabbing violence.

A Sunni Solution to ISIS

Posted July 9th, 2015 at 3:28 pm (UTC-4)
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Increasingly, the Iraqi Sunnis are demanding their rights. They want a Sunni Regional Government, similar to the Kurdish Regional Government, with a Sunni militia, like the Peshmerga, to protect the population. Why should Washington support such a solution?

The U.S. Military Should “Go Small” to Defeat ISIS

Posted July 2nd, 2015 at 2:51 pm (UTC-4)
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Static, fortified bases cede the initiative to the enemy. In modern warfare, being static means being vulnerable to both precision and asymmetric attack. Unconventional and light is the better approach—even if it carries a higher degree of tactical risk.