Even though Russian military resources have been arguably stretched beyond capacity by recent interventions in Ukraine and Syria, Russia can effectively weaken ISIS by carrying out a high-intensity, low-cost campaign in Iraq.
The war in Afghanistan is now in its fifteenth year, making it the longest war in our history. By turning from fighting the terrorists in Afghanistan who attacked us, to Iraq, which had not, President George W. Bush did not "keep us safe.
I recently spoke with Yanar Mohammed about the impact of the U.S. military invasion and occupation of Iraq, the people's uprisings in Tahrir Square, Baghdad, and the horrific violence, fear and trauma that Iraqi women face daily.
The roots of Sunni Islam's ailments it must be noted are not entirely to do with religion, as most journalists, politicians and "experts" in Europe and across the Atlantic never tire of repeating. Rather than scripture and theology, it is in politics and economics, in power balances, foreign interventions and the scramble for influence and resources that the causes of its ills reside.
Because of the importance of the first debate of the season for Democrats, we're devoting the entire column today to scrutinizing the various talking points (good and bad) delivered by the candidates.
The characters in Orhan Pamuk's novels are complex, hybrid identities. They are neither purely Islamic traditionalists nor secular fundamentalists, but, as Turkey's most celebrated writer and Nobel laureate has put it, of "two souls." "To have two souls," Pamuk once told me, "is a good thing. That is the way people really are. We have to understand that, just like a person, a country can have two souls." Mustafa Kemal Atatürk's military-allied, authoritarian and Western-oriented modernization from above bolstered one aspect of that soul in the last century. Over the last 13 years, current Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's Islamic-based AKP has bolstered the other aspect through democratic modernization from below. In the process, political space has opened up not only to the influence of conservative rural Anatolia but also for other plural constituencies from Kurds to the gay community. By trying to close that plural space now through increasingly autocratic tendencies -- in the midst of the Syrian civil war spilling over its borders -- Erdoğan has polarized the "two souls" of Turkey. For Pamuk, "to have democracy is precisely to have a dialogue between these two souls." "I am worried," he says, "because I know that in the end Erdoğan wants to govern alone at all costs. He does not want to share power." (continued)
The sudden launch of Russia's military operations in Syria late last month caught the United States and regional players by surprise.
A capital city in Iraq is in turmoil. The government has been hit hard by collapsing oil prices and is under pressure from an array of activist groups to reveal the fate of missing oil revenues, and be far more transparent.
Brandon Caro's debut novel, Old Silk Road, is an important, tough read, both for the dirt-under-its-nails portrayal of soldiers, and for a complex plot that rewards a reader with insights into America's longest war, in Afghanistan.
In Ukraine as in Syria, Putin is winging it. With Ukraine, however, the expedition is across the border and the lay of the land somewhat more familiar. In Syria, despite surveillance drones and guided missile technology, Putin is literally flying blind.
Criticism of Russia's projection of force into Syria is often laced with predictions of an impending Russian quagmire, in the fashion of the Soviet misadventure of the 1970s in Afghanistan. Nothing could be farther from the truth.
Last month's tragic crane collapse in Mecca and stampede in Mina certainly damaged Saudi Arabia's prestige and have raised further question about Riyadh's capacity to effectively administer the Hajj.
Political pundits in the U.S. are working overtime trying to get in to the mind of Vladimir Putin and explain to the world why Mr. Putin has decided to jump into the fray in Syria.
In 2001 Ann Wright served as the first political officer in the newly reopened U.S. Embassy in Kabul. Two years later she was one of three diplomats to publicly resign from the Foreign Service due to disagreements with the Bush Administration's foreign policy on Iraq and other issues.
First came Fallujah, then Mosul, and later Ramadi in Iraq. Now, there is Kunduz, a provincial capital in northern Afghanistan. Together, these setbacks have rendered a verdict on the now more-or-less nameless Global War on Terrorism.
Critics who claim that Muslims are more prone to religious extremism and violence have either forgotten or consciously ignore the West's own dark history of genocide. Christopher Columbus is not someone to be honored.