In The National Interest, Bruce Riedel comments on the al-Qaeda plot to terrorize "Obama's city" of Chicago on the eve of U.S. elections back in 2010, noting that the Saudi spy who defected to our allies underscores the importance of U.S. alliances in the Middle East.
The drone war against al-Qaeda's leaders--and, increasingly, their Pakistan-based Taliban allies--has been waged with little public discussion or congressional investigation of its legality or efficacy, even though the offensive is essentially a program of assassination that kills not only militant leaders, but also civilians in a country that is, at least nominally, a close ally of the United States.
Osama bin Laden's top deputy, former Egyptian doctor Ayman al-Zawahiri, is taking questions from his friends and enemies alike on four al-Qaida-sanctioned jihadist Web sites. Providing a one-off advice column is just one way in which the international terrorist organization has adopted Web 2.0.
This policy paper from Jake Lipton, a research assistant at the Washington Institute says that recent bomb attacks in North Africa highlight the danger of al-Qaeda's network as a vehicle of attack against U.S. interests across the region, and perhaps beyond. It argues that such attacks could also inspire local militants throughout Africa to stage their own operations in an effort to draw support from broader jihadist networks.
Analysis by Greg Grant published on Govexec.com of the resurgence of the Taliban in Afghanistan, and of the growing importance of the Taliban’s sanctuaries in Pakistan around the city of Quetta. He says the U.S.-led coalition faces an emboldened and more effective Taliban today than it did six years ago, and that U.S. and NATO emphasis on Taliban body counts is meaningless because the Taliban have demonstrated they can raise and disband a fighting force at will.
The "July War" showcased Hizballah's evolution into an adaptive, skillful, cohesive fighting force capable of registering some measure of success on the battlefield against a much larger and better equipped enemy, says this report from the Washington Institute.