Then, as now, the elections were the focus of considerable international attention. Then, as now, the elections were a total fiction.
Back during the Bush administration, Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage famously called Hezbollah the “A Team of terrorists,” adding, “al-Qaeda is actually the B Team.” How do these two organizations compare today?
In his 6,000-word speech at the National Defense University last week, President Obama devoted only one paragraph to the ideology of those who proclaim themselves America’s enemies. But those 101 words are worth a closer look.
‘Humans are great at self-delusion,” the polymathic philosopher Nassim Nicholas Taleb has observed. I’m confident he’d agree that the humans who populate the foreign-policy community are no exception.
Inspire is a glossy, English-language, online magazine published by al-Qaeda. It was conceived by Anwar al-Awlaki, the American-born cleric and al-Qaeda leader, who also contributed editorials.
I would argue that it is in America’s interest to support such people — in Syria, in Egypt, in Iraq, in Afghanistan, pretty much everywhere. Such people should not be orphans while terrorists, totalitarians, and tyrants of all stripes receive abundant support from Iran, Russia, Gulf petro-princes and, more often than not, the United Nations
The detention camp at Guantanamo Bay was established in 2002 to hold the most dangerous of those captured in what the Bush administration called the Global War on Terrorism. Controversy over the facility has simmered ever since.
Defense policies are not created in a vacuum. They are designed to meet threats. Over time, threats change in ways that are difficult to predict. In the past, America’s enemies generally wore uniforms and confronted American soldiers on a foreign field of battle. Today, America’s enemies may wear backwards-facing baseball caps and attack marathon runners along with the men, women, and children cheering for them on a sunny April afternoon in New England.
Last year, the White House announced a “pivot” toward Asia, a “rebalancing” of what National Security adviser Tom Donilon called “all elements of U.S. power.”
North Korea may be an economic basket case with a GDP that is less than half that of Ethiopia, and with much of the population malnourished and lacking even an electric light to turn on when darkness falls. Most North Koreans enjoy no freedoms or human rights, and an estimated 200,000 are confined to concentration camps.
In much of what we now call the Muslim world, Muslims are fighting Muslims. The conflicts fall into two broad categories: those in which militants battle militants, and those in which militants battle moderates. The outcomes of these conflicts matter.
Meeting with King Abdullah II in Jordan last Friday, President Obama was gracious enough to mention the monarch’s great-grandfather, King Abdullah I, who “gave his life in the name of peace.” To Western ears, that sounded like a tribute. To Arab and Muslim ears, it may have sounded like a warning.
Chuck Hagel deserves praise — four words I did not expect to be writing — for announcing an expansion of the U.S. missile-defense system. Fourteen additional ground-based long-range missile interceptors are to be installed in Alaska by 2017 at a cost of $1 billion.
Perhaps because St. Patrick’s Day is coming up, I’ve found myself re-reading Edmund Burke and Conor Cruise O’Brien — and drinking Irish whiskey. I first became acquainted with these three sources of stimulation back in 1978. That was also my first brush with terrorism.
If you suffer a heart attack but your doctor thinks you've got a nasty case of indigestion, the medicine he prescribes probably won’t cure you. The same applies to policy-making and legislating: Misunderstand the problem, and you’re likely to come up with a useless — or damaging — response.
Two points are vital to understanding the sanctions being imposed on Iran: They are unlikely to succeed — if success is defined as stopping the regime’s rulers from developing nuclear weapons — yet they are an essential component of any serious and strategic policy mix. Let us count the ways.
Next month, both President Obama and newly minted secretary of state John Kerry head for the Middle East. They should listen to a range of views, see the sights, and pause to smell the hummus. As for policies, this would be a good time to consider a few adjustments. Below is a briefing — a briefer briefing than they will get from their advisers — on the state of the states, the players in play, and some different approaches to contemplate.
‘Think about the mothers!” That was the anguished cry of one of the protesters from Code Pink, the left-wing women’s group that four times interrupted John Brennan’s confirmation hearing last week.
It’s difficult not to like Salam Fayyad. The prime minister of the Palestinian Authority has an avuncular demeanor and old-fashioned professorial charm. He boasts a doctorate in economics from the University of Texas at Austin and remains loyal to the Longhorns.
This small, working-class Israeli city on the edge of the Negev Desert, home to refugees from Muslim lands, Ethiopia, Eastern Europe and elsewhere, is world-famous for one thing only: The missiles that have rained down on it for years, fired from Hamas-controlled Gaza just a mile away.
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