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.
In Financial Times, Philip Gordon argues we must deal with the causes of the so-called Islamic State and not just the symptoms: that means empowering the Sunnis of Iraq, and an agreement by the regional powers to end the war in Syria.
Writing in the International New York Times, John Bellinger argues that referral of war crimes of the so-called Islamic State is far from a futile gesture. Such international arbitration, he notes, will simplify prosecution in the event that Islamic State leaders are captured alive.
One day, historians will have their hands full debating the causes of the chaos now overtaking much of the Middle East. To what extent, they will ask, was it the inevitable result of deep flaws common to many of the region's societies and political systems, and to what extent did it stem from what outside countries chose to do (or not to do)?
The Obama administration will be tempted to take a victory lap because of recent news that Kurdish militiamen have regained control of Kobani, a Syrian town near the border with Turkey. ISIS forces that had been attacking it for months have melted away. This is, to be sure, a nice achievement, but its wider significance is limited.
Ed Husain comments on the attack on Charlie Hebdo employees in Paris, France, arguing that “Islam and Muslims are secure in the west because of freedom of speech, conscience, press and religion. To attack those freedoms is to attack Islam’s existence.”
Imagine President Franklin Roosevelt announcing at the end of 1944, after the liberation of France but before the final defeat of Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan, that World War II was over and that U.S. forces were ending combat operations. Instead we would support our allies, from Britain to China, in their fight against the Axis powers.
The authors argue that the United States has responded inadequately to the rise of Chinese power and recommend placing less strategic emphasis on the goal of integrating China into the international system and more on balancing China's rise.
Campbell evaluates the implications of the Boko Haram insurgency and recommends that the United States support Nigerian efforts to address the drivers of Boko Haram, such as poverty and corruption, and to foster stronger ties with Nigerian civil society.
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