US Opinion and Commentary

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Baghdad’s Political Battle and the War Against ISIS

Posted May 2nd, 2016 at 1:57 pm (UTC-5)
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Turmoil in Baghdad is a phrase too often seen and heard in the media since 2003. This weekend was no different, when anti-government protesters stormed the Iraqi parliament building Saturday, sending lawmakers fleeing for safety. While the protesters have retreated, their demands for good governance has not. U.S. Vice President Joe Biden was in Baghdad Thursday to demonstrate support for Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and his attempt to form a new cabinet. It was 10 years ago, almost to the day, when then Senator Joe Biden suggested partitioning Iraq into Shiite, Sunni and Kurdish autonomous regions, with a central government in charge of common interests. The partition did not happen, but the political turmoil has continued. Ripples from the current political crisis in Baghdad are felt hundreds of miles north in Mosul, where the Iraqi army, Kurdish peshmerga and U.S. military forces among others are planning an offensive to free the city from Islamic State rule. But without a political solution in Baghdad, military success in Mosul seems less and less likely.

Leave Root Causes Aside – Destroy the ISIS State

Posted April 29th, 2016 at 4:36 pm (UTC-5)
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Admittedly the costs of destroying ISIS as a jihadist ideological movement…are daunting. But that isn’t, or shouldn’t be, the mission. The mission should be crushing ISIS as a state and as a military and economic power. That is a different challenge, and one far more responsive to conventional military power.

Targeting Hospitals in Syria

Posted April 29th, 2016 at 2:30 pm (UTC-5)
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To the amazement of many, Syria’s “cessation of hostilities” generally held for two months. To the surprise of none, it crumbled this week with devastating consequences. More than 200 people have been killed this week in Aleppo between rebel attacks on government-controlled neighborhoods and government air-strikes on rebel-held territory. Most alarming was Wednesday night’s air raid on Aleppo’s Quds hospital, killing more than 20 people, including six staff members. Targeting hospitals wreaks havoc beyond the rubble. There are now two fewer doctors, two fewer nurses to care for Aleppo’s traumatized survivors. The message is clear: no place is safe. Secretary of State John Kerry condemned the attack and blamed the Syrian government for it. With several dozen more American troops deployed to Syria in the battle against Islamic State, can Kerry and other diplomats who brokered the last cessation of hostilities duplicate their magic?

Obama’s Last Chance to End the ‘Forever War’

Posted April 27th, 2016 at 1:08 pm (UTC-5)
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There is a good reason the founders gave Congress the authority to declare war and the president the authority to wage it. The decision to go to war — even when carried out remotely from the air with minimal risk to Americans — is simply too important to entrust to a single branch of government.

Obama Ramps Up ISIS Fight

Posted April 25th, 2016 at 3:18 pm (UTC-5)
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Among the new deployments are American special operations forces. Last week, the president authorized sending more American military support to assist Iraq in retaking the city of Mosul

In Merkel, Obama Finds Like-minded Ally

Posted April 25th, 2016 at 12:09 pm (UTC-5)
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They are both calm, cool and collected. Neither are prone to melodrama; rather, they look for practical solutions. And they have both demonstrated maturity by getting past a nasty spat prompted by revelations that the U.S. government was listening in on German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s telephone conversations for several years. Shortly after arriving in Germany on Sunday for his final visit, Obama praised Merkel for sticking to a welcoming policy towards migrants even as Europe capitals have been shaken by deadly terrorist attacks carried out by ISIS: “What’s happening with respect to her position on refugees here, in Europe. She is on the right side of history on this,” he said. In return, officials say Obama hopes to get more support to fight ISIS militants, and for a trade deal with the European Union. As the president winds down his two-terms in office, he seems driven to secure America’s best friends and raise the public discourse during a particularly pugilistic American election season that will determine his successor.

Giving Iraq a Fighting Chance

Posted April 18th, 2016 at 11:34 am (UTC-5)
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It is all too clear, however, that Iraq cannot succeed in defeating ISIS—or in creating some form of stability and security—without a major U.S. “train and assist” mission to aid the Iraqi army. It is also clear that there can be no security or stability in Syria until ISIS loses its power base in Iraq.

Islam and the Radical West

Posted April 12th, 2016 at 4:57 pm (UTC-5)
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If Islamism is their ideological drug of choice, the political orthodoxies of the modern left are their gateway to it. Take the most recent issue of Inspire. Mixed in with step-by-step photos on how to build a timed hand grenade…there’s an article on the oppression of blacks in America, starting with the killing of Ferguson’s Michael Brown.

The End of the American Empire

Posted April 12th, 2016 at 4:53 pm (UTC-5)
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Congress may be on strike against the rest of the government, but our soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines remain hard at work….The major achievement of multiple interventions in the Muslim world has been to demonstrate that the use of force is not the answer to many problems, but there are few problems it cannot aggravate

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.”

Kerry in Baghdad: “Daesh Is Unequivocally Losing Ground…leaders…Fighters…Cash”

Posted April 8th, 2016 at 3:47 pm (UTC-5)
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Secretary of State John Kerry declared “Daesh’s days are numbered” and delivered a strong endorsement of Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi.

President, NATO Chief Examine Security Threats

Posted April 7th, 2016 at 3:02 pm (UTC-5)
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“We [are] reinforcing the imporance of us staying focused on ISIL (ISIS) and countering the terrorism that has seeped up into Europe and around the world,” President Barack Obama

A Muslim View of Radical Islam

Posted April 6th, 2016 at 10:17 am (UTC-5)
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While we blame ourselves for what is happening, Muslims are continuing to protect their own, even those who have committed terroristic acts they would never dream of committing themselves. They protect and enable those who are living out their faith according to the Koran. I know because I was once one of them until I […]

Nuclear Nightmares, From Bin Laden to Brussels

Posted April 1st, 2016 at 12:24 pm (UTC-5)
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We’re sure delegates from more than 50 nations are patting themselves on the back for all their progress over the past six years…. Our conclusion: There’s been progress, but it’s short of awesome.

Does Terrorism Work as a Political Strategy? The Evidence Says No

Posted April 1st, 2016 at 8:48 am (UTC-5)
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Over a decade ago, I began publishing the first systematic studies on the political effects of terrorism. What I’ve found is that terrorism is actually a surprisingly ineffective political instrument.