ISIS’ Reversion into an Insurgency: 4 Reasons Why it Doesn’t Really Matter

On May 21st, ISIS spokesman Abu Mohammed al-Adnani stated in a much hyped message that the much heralded Islamic State “does not fight to keep territory.” Initially one might be tempted to say that this sort of statement undermines the movement’s own message, strategy and heralds the beginning of the end. The Iraqi Army and Read more about ISIS’ Reversion into an Insurgency: 4 Reasons Why it Doesn’t Really Matter[…]

Maintaining the Status Quo ≠ Advancing U.S. National Interests

In the wake of the nuclear parameters framework agreement, the Obama administration is facing criticism for mishandling American relations with countries in the Arab world. As David Rothkopf argues in Foreign Policy, “although [Obama] raised hopes of a new, better era in regional relations…ultimately, his only real efforts to change relations ‘for the better’ in Read more about Maintaining the Status Quo ≠ Advancing U.S. National Interests[…]

Cyberwarfare and the Danger of David’s Sling

Dr. Tim Kirk SONY executives never saw this coming.  Apparently no one else did either, although it happened before:   SONY was warned against releasing “The Interview”, a farcical comedy about assassinating the beloved/despotic North Korean political leader, Kim Jong-Un. Onlookers supposed those North Korean threats against the film referred to a subsequent missile launch demonstration that Read more about Cyberwarfare and the Danger of David’s Sling[…]

When Hypocrites Take the Hippocratic Oath

Or, Undoing the “Arab Spring” Earlier this month, the White House unveiled its new foreign policy credo: “Don’t do stupid shit.” While many lamented the modesty of this approach, acting with restraint in order to limit iatrogenesis is certainly a worthy goal—and an approach with wide and enduring popular support—in fact, this is the vision Read more about When Hypocrites Take the Hippocratic Oath[…]

Elections in Syria, Algeria and Egypt: A Theater of the Absurd

Algeria’s presidential election this past April was theater of the absurd–complete with wheelchair-bound President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, age 77, casting a ballot accompanied by his little nephew and grown men in the street kissing portraits of the beloved president. Bouteflika, who’s been in power for 15 years and unable to campaign for himself, was reelected in Read more about Elections in Syria, Algeria and Egypt: A Theater of the Absurd[…]

Libya: More Good News for People Who Love Bad News

In a recently-published article for The National Interest, I explored the profound depth and scale of the problems facing Libya. That article ended on a cautiously optimistic note: while many of the endemic problems were set to persist indefinitely, there seemed to be a breakthrough between the central government and the Eastern rebels, which would allow Read more about Libya: More Good News for People Who Love Bad News[…]

Ethics and Methods in Conflict

On Wednesday, January 29 in the University of Arizona Student Union’s Kiva Room, the Southwest Initiative for the Study of Middle East Conflicts and the University of Arizona School of Journalism convened an interdisciplinary panel to talk about issues for academics, journalists, and researchers working in conflict zones: Ethics and Methods in Conflict panel Featuring Read more about Ethics and Methods in Conflict[…]

Regaining Legality: The Rendition Of Abu Anas Al-Libi

After 12 years of war, it is temping to interpret the increased use of drones in the U.S. counterterrorism campaign as a sign that officials now prefer to kill terror suspects rather than risk lives detaining them. These days, nostalgic interrogators and analysts see drone strikes as the new paradigm in counterterrorism, one with a Read more about Regaining Legality: The Rendition Of Abu Anas Al-Libi[…]

Abu Anas Arrested: But will a too-late victory for America hasten the early demise of Libya?

Image: Libyans burn an American flag in protest of al-Libi’s “kidnapping” On October 5th 2013, in a joint operation between the CIA and U.S. Special Forces, the United States captured and extracted Nazih Abdul-Gamed al-Ruqai, known popularly as Abu Anas al-Libi (not to be confused with the late Abu Yaya al-Libi of AQSL). Abu Anas Read more about Abu Anas Arrested: But will a too-late victory for America hasten the early demise of Libya?[…]

Moammar Gaddhafi, Giantslayer

The Libyan Intervention in Retrospect It would not be surprising if there are many in the Obama Administration who occasionally think, “I miss Moammar Gaddhafi.” And if no one there is thinking that, they should. And not just because of the camping trips he would take in New York City, his amazing sense of style, his Read more about Moammar Gaddhafi, Giantslayer[…]

A Tale of Two Consulates

Even Coppola couldn’t whip this one up… It’s been the weirdest of times, for sure. L’affaire Petraeus has shed some light on the military-intelligence complex that generally avoids the myopic scrutiny of the public. It’s not the lack of transparency nor the vicious post-election politicizing, but rather the feckless improvisation behind the skirts of the Read more about A Tale of Two Consulates[…]

How’s that double standard working out for ya?

Bahrain: How’s that double standard working out for ya?   It is no secret that there is a clear double standard in US policy regarding the popular protests sweeping across the Middle East and North Africa. The US will intervene–whether in physical or more rhetorical forms–where it benefits or at least does not negatively impact Read more about How’s that double standard working out for ya?[…]

Everything you always wanted to know but were afraid to ask

Chad: Axis of what again? In a recent interview with the continent’s most respected weekly news magazine, Jeune Afrique, the president of Chad Idriss Deby claimed that al-Qaeda in the Land of the Islamic Maghreb (AQLIM) activists raided Libyan army depots and seized significant quantities of weapons. He made specific reference to surface-to-air missiles that Read more about Everything you always wanted to know but were afraid to ask[…]

And now for something completely different…

Brother can you spare an atom? As the news from Japan continues to worsen. many countries around the world have begun to reconsider their plans to expand nuclear power generation. What is not widely known is that the Arab world is still likely to see some of the biggest growth in nuclear energy, thanks to Read more about And now for something completely different…[…]