Near the end of the Cold War 30 years ago, Régis Debray, the French philosopher and pal of Che Guevara, predicted that the Third World was "bidding its farewell to arms" as the geopolitical conflicts associated with the famous Russian-made Kalashnikov rifle were fading into history. He thought the quest for God, particularly in relation to Islam, would fill the ideological void, and computers would provide a way out of underdevelopment. Debray was both more right and wrong than he knew. As he did not foresee, YouTube and Twitter would become effective propaganda tools for crusading Islamist jihadis and Kalashnikovs would come back in a big way not only as a weapon of choice for theCharlie Hebdo murderers in Paris and the Islamic State in Syria -- but for the separatists in Ukraine as well. History reminds us often enough that what we bid farewell to can return with a vengeance. In a moving tribute to the Christian men beheaded by ISIS in Libya this week, WorldPost Middle East Correspondent Sophia Jones shines a light on their lives through a visit with the families of their Coptic community in Al Aour, Egypt. See her interviews on CNNand MSNBC. (continued)
For anyone who served on the ground in Iraq there is something horrifying about the idea of the ideologically blind, strategically ignorant "thinkers" -- Paul Wolfowitz chief among them -- who sent us into a misguided war without a plan to win the peace coming back into office. And yet, Jeb wants to get the gang back together.
We don't talk much about the scale of human suffering in Southeast Asia that came from U.S. intervention. American involvement in the Middle East could usefully be informed by the Asian experience, however: namely, that war has long-lasting consequences for the local populations, to say nothing of broader impacts.
"As long as I still have my hands, I will not stop this work," he says, "not even for a moment."
Unless the United States is prepared to expect severe casualties to hundreds maybe thousands of our forces, we must keep boots off the ground. Our air forces are doing a reasonably effective job with so far no casualties to us, we must keep it that way.
His ninth John Wells thriller, Twelve Days, has ex-CIA agent Wells and his associates uncovering a huge plot: a secret plan to convince the President to attack Iran and ignite a war.
Late last month, ISIS was driven out of the Syrian city of Kobani, thanks to over 100 days of US-led airstrikes and the actions of Kurdish fighters. But this could also be bad news for other parts of the country and potential targets abroad, as this Sunni extremist organization reorients its focus. What can we expect of ISIS in the coming months?
Military force alone has never eliminated ideological terror groups. With respect to Daesh and its ilk, it is more reasonable to consider force as a tactic to degrade them, contain them; while to ultimately destroy them it will take a strategy to invalidate them ideologically and culturally.
Even before American hegemony emerged after World War II, birthday boy George Washington's Farewell Address admonition to avoid "permanent alliances" and focus on neutrality had long since been ignored. Now we have a worldwide web of alliances, mostly of our own instigation, and involvement in a whole host of wars.
The whole idea of European integration was to anchor Germany in Europe to avoid another world war and to spread prosperity across the continent with a single market and common currency. Russia agreed to German unification after the Cold War in exchange for the West not absorbing Europe's eastern frontier into its sphere of influence. Now democratically elected governments in Athens and Kiev -- and the responses in Berlin and Moscow -- are challenging both post-Cold War arrangements. Angela Merkel, as chancellor of Europe's unrivaled power, has become, for better and worse, the crisis manager in the middle. (continued)
It seems today that ISIL has not taken advantage of the many groups that have pledged baya to it, but with defeats in Iraq this trend could change and ISIL could develop a global planning and attack network.
Obama's war powers proposal justifies operations against vaguely defined "associated" people and entities. Put that together with the post-9/11 authorization for anti-Al Qaeda operations and you have a blank check to do pretty much anything, anywhere, any time against anyone who evinces admiration/sympathy/solidarity for Isis or Al Qaeda.
The limits under Obama's proposed authorization are an important distinction, which we hope will carry on through future administrations. However, on maybe the most important limit -- the limit on types of operations our ground troops can be committed to -- the language is too broad, and leaves too much room for drawn-out combat missions.
Simon collected 27 Emmy Awards and four Peabody Awards over nearly 50 years of brilliant journalism. It is shocking that, after covering war zones from Vietnam to the Middle East, and violent uprisings from Northern Ireland to Tiananmen Square, his life ended in the back seat of a town car on New York City's West Side Highway.
At the level of global affairs, there hasn't been anything like ISIS since Genghis Khan left immense piles of skulls outside conquered cities and dared the world to gang up against his Mongol horde. Genghis Khan didn't negotiate. The only word in his diplomatic vocabulary was capitulation. So too with ISIS and its dream of a caliphate of the oppressed.
If Americans utilized the outrage over American Sniper, the Brian Williams saga, and Kanye West rushing the stage at the Grammys, and aimed this vitriol at President Obama's request for a new war, we could possibly avert yet another colossal mistake.