IS now controls significant territories in Iraq and Syria, equaling a small European state. At the same time, despite having a nearly identical view of Islam, IS and al-Qaeda are deadly enemies at present, which may confuse people in the West.
In our rush to return to war in Iraq we are playing into the Islamic State's hands, just as we played into the hands of al Qaeda in Iraq in 2004 and into Osama bin Laden's larger strategy with our morally disastrous Global War on Terror.
Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama may (or may not) have hugged it out, but there is no mistaking that the former secretary of state is looking to create some distance between herself and the president she served.
Congressional outcry over President Obama's exchange of Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl for five Taliban leaders, is not due to any real or perceived violation of trust or of the law. It is due to the atrocious addiction to warmongering that has plagued our government for longer than we would like to admit.
Having sought medical care from the Miami Veterans Administration hospital for my PTSD, years after my return from the Iraq war, I know from personal experience how detrimental it can be for veterans to have to wait weeks, or months, for much-needed medical attention.
No one can scientifically predict the future consequences of drone strikes, cruise missile attacks, and night raids. But from my experience in several undeclared war zones across the globe, it seems clear that the United States is helping to breed a new generation of enemies.
Another president has now assured us that someday, in a distant future, in a way that we might not even notice, we might possibly find ourselves approaching the sort-of-end of what will have been a 20- or 30-year conflict.
Watching the television coverage of the Boston Marathon attacks, I found myself thrown five years back to a battlefield in Afghanistan. I've spoken with numerous veterans today and all echoed the same fear -- the tactics of our enemies abroad may finally have followed us home.
Had you been able to time-travel back to the Cold War era to inform Americans that, in the future, our major enemies would be in Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia, Mali, Libya, and so on, they would surely have thought you mad (or lucky indeed).
Whilst equipment, intelligence, training and support from American, British and French special forces will add steel to the operation, it will nevertheless involve difficult desert fighting conditions against a well-armed enemy.
We have made torture a national policy, we have besmirched our good name in the eyes of the world, we have been passive accessories in repealing some of our most cherished liberties, we lie with impunity and we accept lies from our rulers as natural and necessary.
Militarism in the U.S. seems to have a gravitational force pulling a wide array of resources and sectors into its orbit. Our involvement with Iraq serves as a case study for how deeply rooted militarism is in American culture and political life.
With the United States now well into the second decade of what the Pentagon has styled an "era of persistent conflict," the war formerly known as the global war on terrorism (unofficial acronym WFKATGWOT) appears increasingly fragmented and diffuse.
Without any real public deliberation or contemplation, the U.S. rolled out the Global War on Terror playbook that instead of bringing security, has brought an expanded list of reasons to grieve and things to think about on this anniversary.