What Obama doesn’t get about the Islamic State
They do not claim to be at war with the United States. They are at war with the United States. Even Obama’s own deputy national security adviser, Ben Rhodes, admitted that the Foley execution “represents a terrorist attack against our country.” And for the Islamic State, that was only the beginning. It will not be satisfied with killing one U.S. citizen in the deserts of the Middle East. It wants to kill many thousands right here in the United States of America.
Destroy the ‘Islamic State’
Today’s ongoing tragedy would have been entirely avoidable had Obama not withdrawn U.S. forces from Iraq in 2011. By so doing, he eliminated a considerable element of U.S. leverage in Baghdad, one that had significantly limited Iran’s ability to expand its influence inside Iraq. With substantial U.S. forces still present, Iraq’s various ethnic and confessional groups were more likely to make progress knitting together a sustainable national government and to lessen their profound, longstanding mistrust, which existed well before the Islamic State erupted from Syria
No Reply from America?
The president’s words were so vague and weak that Secretary of State John Kerry apparently felt he had to weigh in. So he took to Twitter, the bully pulpit of the 21st century, shortly after the president left for a round of golf, to send a tougher message. “ISIL will be destroyed/will be crushed,” Kerry tweeted.
The Islamic State’s campaign of terror will take more than words to stop
For three years the United States stood aside as the Islamist extremists built up their strength inside Syria. Washington was surprised in June when they burst into Iraq, captured Mosul and threatened Baghdad and surprised again this month when they threatened Kurdistan. Now, according to most accounts, they are consolidating their hold inside a large swath of territory spanning the two nations even as they fight to expand. They are training hundreds of foreign terrorists, including from Europe and the United States, who could easily slip back into their home countries with malign intent. They proudly proclaim their enmity to America. America needs a genuine strategy in response.
Gen. Keane: ISIL Can’t be Defeated by Air Power Alone
We can stop ISIL to a certain degree with air power, but we cannot defeat it,” Keane said. He called for “a combination of ground forces, Peshmerga and some reconciled Sunni tribes” to destroy ISIL. Those operations will require thousands of advisers.
Missing the Big Picture
Leave it to Barack Obama’s own former secretary of state to acknowledge the fatal flaw of his foreign policy: a total absence of strategic thinking.
No Maliki, No More U.S. Excuses
America's unique advantage in Iraq was not only the ability to bring superior firepower to bear on any conflict. It was our proven capacity to serve both as a balancer and honest broker among factions. The full withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq—which Mr. Obama now, incongruously, blames on his predecessor—deprived Iraq of its best political problem-solver.
Mugged by reality in the Middle East
This is what the complete collapse of a foreign policy doctrine looks like. In the absence of stabilizing U.S. leadership, the Middle East has become a regional Sunni-Shiite proxy war in which the most radical and ruthless thrive.
Obama administration shows little urgency for stemming Islamic State violence
The disconnect between the unnerving assessments of the Islamic State and the apparent lack of urgency in confronting it reflects a mix of political and military constraints. Among them are no clear military strategy for reversing the group’s recent territorial gains, a war-weariness that pervades the Obama administration and the country, and significant uncertainty about the extent to which the Islamic State is prepared to morph from a regional force into a transnational terrorist threat that could target Europe and the United States.
The Abandoned War
What is happening in Iraq is exactly what we fought to prevent with the surge in 2007 and 2008. It is heartbreaking commentary on President Obama’s recklessness that we are now in an arguably worse position, with fewer options to reverse it. He never ended the Iraq War, as he so proudly said. He only abandoned it.
Obama is an unreliable ally
Those around the world who are looking to the United States for support against intimidation, oppression or outright massacres have learned a tough lesson in the past few years: This U.S. president, despite his bold pronouncements and moral posturing, cannot be counted on.
The Cost of American Indifference
The Obama administration often either denies any responsibility for the current global chaos or claims that it erupted spontaneously. Yet most of the mess was caused by, or made worse by, growing U.S. indifference and paralysis.
Legitimizing Hamas’s War Criminality
Kerry seems oblivious to the strategic reality that Hamas launched its rockets in the hope not of defeating Israel but of ending its intra-Arab isolation (which it brilliantly achieves in the Qatar-Turkey peace proposal). Hamas’s radicalism has alienated nearly all of its Arab neighbors.
The Gaza Cease-Fire Fiasco
Credibility comes from following through on threats and promises, such as "red lines" in Syria or assertions that this or that leader "must go." This Administration has spent five years drawing lines in the Middle Eastern sand that are blown away with the next news cycle.
Obama failed to stop the Islamic State when he had the chance
The consequences of Obama’s failure to act may be felt far from Iraq. In January, at the very same time Obama was dismissing the Islamic State, the terrorists’ leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, issued a stark warning: “Our last message is to the Americans. Soon we will be in direct confrontation, and the sons of Islam have prepared for such a day. So watch, for we are with you, watching.” The Islamic State has larger ambitions than simply establishing an Islamist state in Iraq and Syria.
A New Disorder
In Iraq, the president was willing to sacrifice the hard-won gains of U.S. military and diplomatic personnel in the pursuit of his overriding objective—getting out. The United States hadn’t created a stable and peaceful Iraq when the president was sworn in on January 20, 2009. But we had largely defeated our enemies there, and even opponents of the war acknowledged the very real prospect of a relatively secure, democratic Iraq. We lost Iraq by choice.
Al Qaeda Targeting U.S. Infrastructure for Digital 9/11
Al Qaeda, nation states, and criminals are preparing for major cyber attacks against U.S. infrastructure that could be comparable to the devastating September 11 attacks on New York and Washington, a senior Justice Department official said on Thursday.
How to Isolate Allies and Reward Enemies
U.S. officials should be devising incentives for a humane revolution in Palestinian politics. That's a worthy exertion. Shutting down Ben Gurion Airport isn't.
The vacant presidency
The world is aflame and our leader is on the 14th green. The arc of history may indeed bend toward justice, Mr. President. But, as you say, the arc is long. The job of a leader is to shorten it, to intervene on behalf of “the fierce urgency of now.” Otherwise, why do we need a president? And why did you seek to become ours?
Officials: U.S. knew 3 days before Mosul fell that Islamic State was moving forces
“ISIL is no longer simply a terrorist organization,” McGurk said. “It is now a full-blown army seeking to establish a self-governing state through the Tigris and Euphrates Valley in what is now Syria and Iraq.”
Syrian death toll and extremist threat increases, but the U.S. does little
It’s not easy at this late stage for the United States to intervene in Syria or Iraq in a way that would be constructive. But if one principle seems obvious, it is that moderate forces willing to fight the Islamic State should be aided — and quickly. Foremost among these are Syria’s secular rebels. The independent militia of Iraqi Kurdistan, which faces the Islamic State along a 900-mile front, is another clear candidate. Mr. Obama’s decision to stand back from Syria and Iraq has done much to create the present threat to the United States. Continued passivity will only make it worse.
Obama Pushes For Ceasefire To Save Hamas
President Barack Obama Monday demanded that Israel stop its efforts to destroy the tunnels used by Hamas to launch rocket and jihad attacks against Israeli civilians, and called for a ceasefire on terms favorable to Hamas.
9/11 Commission Returns, Warns of ‘Nightmare Scenario’
The current report says the U.S. homeland faces increasing threats — not the least of which are cyberattacks — from Islamist terrorists but that much of the public seems unworried.
Al Qaeda renews its oath of allegiance to Taliban leader Mullah Omar
As part of its announcement, the Islamic State said that all other jihadist groups, and even all Muslims, owe Abu Bakr al Baghdadi (now called "Caliph Ibrahim") their loyalty. This was a direct attempt to usurp the authority of al Qaeda emir Ayman al Zawahiri and could be read as a challenge to all other senior jihadists around the globe as well.
The Changing U.S. National-Security Outlook
During a hearing of the House Armed Services Committee last September, Representative Randy Forbes (R., Va.) posed two questions to the four chiefs of staff — Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines: 1) Could you carry out military requirements under the latest Defense Strategic Guidance, assuming the ten-year budget cuts stay in effect? And: 2) Could you prevail in more than one regional conflict at the same time? One by one, the four chiefs replied to both questions: “No.” The Army chief, General Raymond Odierno, elaborated: “In fact, it is my opinion that we would struggle to meet even one major contingency operation.” Unless we stop the diminution of military capability we’ve already suffered and reverse the decline, as General Odierno said elsewhere, “we may have to brutally accept more risk, where in the past we have reduced risk.”
Israel holds moral high ground in Gaza
— Israel accepts an Egyptian-proposed Gaza cease-fire; Hamas keeps firing. Hamas deliberately aims rockets at civilians; Israel painstakingly tries to avoid them, actually telephoning civilians in the area and dropping warning charges, so-called roof knocking. "Here's the difference between us," explains Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. "We're using missile defense to protect our civilians, and they're using their civilians to protect their missiles."
Terrorism deniers exposed
Over the long run, the United States needs to devote sufficient resources—from signals collection capabilities to human intelligence collectors—to understand and counter Salafi-jihadist threats in these areas.” That the extent of the jihadists’ expansion comes as a surprise and that we have no discernible strategy along these lines speaks volumes about the incompetency and irresponsibility of the Obama/Hillary Clinton/John Kerry foreign policy.
ABC News’ Jonathan Karl Lists Everything Going Wrong with Obama Foreign Policy
Karl proceeded to list off deteriorating security situations around the world: “I think — you know, you see a wide range of people looking at a — you know, basically an all-out war, what’s looking like an all-out war in Israel, in the Palestinian territories. You see the situation with a terrorist group taking over vast territory in Iraq and in Syria. You see Russian aggression in Ukraine. You see just –concerns about Chinese aggression in the South China Sea. It doesn’t seem like a time to be touting tranquility on the international scene.”
The Cheneys and the Alliance for a Strong America
“From our perspective, we looked at what was happening first and foremost with this president and his policies, and recognized that it is critically important that those of us who understand the importance of American strength in the world, who understand the importance of America playing a leadership role in the world, who understand the importance of, as my dad said, beginning to rebuild our defenses, beginning to rebuild the defense budget, who understand that the president has also disseminated our intelligence activities in many ways—that we speak out, that we educate people, that we advocate on behalf of these policies that we feel are very important,” Liz Cheney said. “It’s about the future.”
Another swing and a miss for Obama’s foreign policy
President Obama has described his foreign-policy doctrine as an attempt to hit singles, doubles and the occasional home run. But at this stage of the game, it looks as though he has popped out, grounded into a double play and been hit by a pitch. His attorney general, Eric Holder, said Sunday that the threat of undetectable explosives from Syria is “more frightening than anything” he has experienced in office. And the Wall Street Journal ran a front-page article Monday reporting that “the breadth of global instability now unfolding hasn’t been seen since the late 1970s” and that “U.S. global power seems increasingly tenuous.”
Holder: Terrorist Bomb Partnership Gives US ‘Extreme, Extreme Concern’
New intelligence reports indicate that Yemeni bomb-makers are joining terrorists in Syria to build new types of virtually undetectable bombs, says Attorney General Eric Holder.
Obama Contends With Arc of Instability Unseen Since ’70s
A convergence of security crises is playing out around the globe, from the Palestinian territories and Iraq to Ukraine and the South China Sea, posing a serious challenge to President Barack Obama's foreign policy and reflecting a world in which U.S. global power seems increasingly tenuous.
Dick and Liz Cheney: The Truth About Iraq, and Why It Matters
In The Weekly Standard, Vice President Dick Cheney and Liz Cheney write of the work we must do to defeat ISIS in Iraq, prevent the growth of a terrorist state in the Middle East, and why we must move globally to get back on offense in the war on terror.
Israel Under Attack, Obama Remains Silent
Israel is under attack by the terrorist group Hamas. Prime Minister Netanyahu has discussed this with French president Hollande and with German chancellor Merkel. But not with President Obama, who has not seen fit to call Netanyahu or take a call from him.
Gaza Rockets Reaching Deeper Into Israel
Over the past two days, Gaza militants have sent rockets deeper into Israel than ever before, raising the stakes of Israel's own air campaign against the territory's Hamas leadership.
Liz Cheney on the Laura Ingraham Show
Liz Cheney appeared on the Laura Ingraham Show, July 9, 2014
Podcast: Obama’s Middle East Peace Push Has Backfired
The WEEKLY STANDARD podcast with senior editor Lee Smith on his recent Tablet column "America Is the Arsonist of the Middle East."
State Dept. Will Not Defend White House Criticism of Israel
Obama administration in disarray on Israel crisis, officials say
In the Middle East, Obama’s retreat has created a catastrophic vacuum of power.
Report: Chinese Hacked into the Federal Government’s Personnel Office
Chinese hackers penetrated the databases of the federal government’s personnel office, which contains files on all federal employees, including thousands who have applied for top-secret clearances, the New York Times reported Wednesday night.
ISIS Militants Seize Nuclear Materials In Iraq That Could Be Used For WMDs
Insurgents in Iraq have stolen nearly 88 pounds of uranium compounds, Reuters reported Wednesday.
U.S. Cuts Defense Budget, While Russia and China Spend More
As the U.S. military scales back its size, capabilities and war plans, the latest defense strategy out of the Pentagon assumes increased allied contributions to their own security. This heightened reliance on friends and allies to do more militarily so the U.S. does not have to, however, is in contradiction with the reality that many of these same countries are reducing their defense alongside America’s.
A Congressional Mistake on Intelligence
Even as the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, or ISIS, seeks to consolidate territory across Iraq and Syria, they are already threatening attacks on U.S. soil. Using the hashtag "CalamityWillBefallUS" to chronicle their terror plans, ISIS threats have included, "believe me 11th of Sep. is just a picnic if we compare it to our coming strikes."
Hayes Podcast: Chaos at the Border and in the Middle East
The WEEKLY STANDARD podcast with senior writer Stephen F. Hayes on the chaos at the border and in the Middle East and President Obama's do-nothing role.
America Is the Arsonist of the Middle East
John Kerry’s failed peace negotiations set off the spiral of violence between Israel and the Palestinians
Floodgates open as ISIS takes over swaths of both Syria and Iraq
After three years of seesaw battles with the regime, Syrian rebels now face another daunting challenge: fending off radical Sunni militants who are taking over swaths of the country.
Border crisis could provide cover to ISIS operatives, say experts
The border crisis could be the perfect opportunity for Islamic terrorists looking to sneak sleeper cells into the U.S., say experts.
ISIS: It’s Not Just Iraq And Syria
On June 29th, the terror army known as ISIS changed its name. It declared itself a caliphate and changed its name to the Islamic State. This was a shortening of the group’s prior name which was listed in most news reports as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. Perhaps it was only natural for journalists to report the name of the group as being the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria given that nearly all of the group’s activities were contained in those countries.
Palestinian Terror Groups Threaten Third Intifada
Multiple Palestinian terror groups renewed calls for violence against Israel and urged Arabs to rise up over the weekend, causing concern that a third Palestinian intifada could break out amid escalating violence between the Israelis and Palestinians.
Given the duties and mission of the real secretary of defense in the Obama administration, Tim Howard could take over the SecDef’s office in the Pentagon’s E-Ring tomorrow, and who would notice?
DOJ court documents in Benghazi suspect case put video narrative to rest
Court documents filed by the U.S. Justice Department in the criminal case against Benghazi attack suspect Ahmed Abu Khatallah provide unprecedented details about the evolution of the assault and further shatter the Obama administration's initial claim that it sprouted from protests over an anti-Islam film.
How Obama Lost the Middle East
In his first term, Barack Obama all but declared victory in America’s Middle East struggles. As he precipitously pulled out all U.S. peacekeepers from Iraq, the president had his own “Mission Accomplished” moment when declaring the country “stable,” “self-reliant,” and an “extraordinary achievement.”
The Unmaking of a President
President Obama is beset and overwhelmed by crises of his own making. His notion of retrenchment and “ending” wars has backfired spectacularly in the Middle East. Syria and Iraq are fast becoming the staging ground for a jihadist state.
Deadly Violence Escalates in Israel After Palestinian Youth, Israeli Teens Killed
Violent clashes erupted in Jerusalem over the killing of an Arab teenager that Palestinians blamed on Jewish settlers, raising fears of a spiral of vengeance spurred by the earlier killings of three Israeli teenagers.
Did Benghazi terrorists steal valuable intel during attacks?
Those responsible for the deadly Benghazi terror attacks took computers containing 'extremely valuable' information from the US consulate.
U.S. Nuke Sites Dismantled Security to Save Money, Report Warns
The organization responsible for securing America’s highly sensitive nuclear sites has been suffering from a “chaotic” and “dysfunctional” security policy that has endangered the country’s nuclear sites and left them vulnerable to attack, according to a new report by the government’s watchdog group.
The Islamic State’s rivals in Syria reject announced Caliphate
Nine leading rebel groups in Syria have rejected the Islamic State's claim that it has established a Caliphate stretching across parts of Iraq and Syria.
Bias Against Israel
Moments after the news broke today that the bodies of the teenagers had been found, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said the U.S. was "urging restraint"—that is, urging Israel not to respond to the murder of its citizens.
Fighting Intensifies After Ukraine’s Poroshenko Declares End to Cease-Fire
Ukrainian forces used aircraft and artillery against pro-Russian separatists in the east of the country early Tuesday, as fighting intensified after President Petro Poroshenko declared an end to a 10-day unilateral cease-fire that had failed to stop the violence.
Susan Rice Accuses Republicans in Senate of Harming National Security
Writing on the White House blog, Ambassador Susan Rice, the president’s national security advisor, accuses the Senate of harming national security by not confirming more ambassadorial nominees.
Iraqi troops, insurgents battle for Tikrit
The Iraqi military offensive to retake Tikrit, the provincial capital of Salahaddin province, appears to have suffered its first setback as the military withdrew troops from the city after heavy fighting.
ISIL Staged ‘Mass Executions’ in Iraq’s Tikrit
Photograph and satellite imagery indicate that Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) insurgents have carried out mass executions in the northern Iraqi city of Tikrit, Human Rights Watch reported on Friday.
ISIS gains in Iraq put Saudi forces on highest alert
King Abdullah has ordered that "all necessary measures" be taken to protect Saudi Arabia against terror threats, the state-run SPA news agency reported Thursday.
Hillary Clinton’s latest falsehood on Iraq
Liz Cheney, who served in the State Department under President George W. Bush and is now heading a pro-defense group, Alliance for a Strong America, with her father, former vice president Dick Cheney, told me: “She has apparently forgotten that the military commanders requested nearly 20,000 stay behind forces. President Obama said no. The military then asked for 10,000. President Obama said no. President Obama said he would leave no more than 3500 troops in Iraq, an amount everyone involved knew was insufficient, and was not surprisingly rejected by [Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki].”
GOP Should Listen to Cheney – Not Paul – on Iraq
Republican insider Ed Rogers, writing for the Washington Post, has urged Republicans to heed Sen. Rand Paul and ignore the metastasizing catastrophe in Iraq. To paraphrase Rogers’ argument, party members should focus their attention exclusively on the economy and Obamacare, and leave bloody Iraq to the bloody-minded Iraqis.
Liz Cheney: US Allies Angered Over Possible Iran Collaboration
Allies of the United States are "apoplectic" over the news that the Obama administration is considering working with Iran to assist the government of Iraq in fighting militants overrunning their country, Liz Cheney told talk show host Rush Limbaugh.
Jihadists Step Up Recruitment Drive
Sunni jihadist group that has seized vast territories in Iraq and Syria is parlaying its battlefield successes into a recruitment drive that is attracting more foreign fighters, say Western and Arab officials.
White House to Congress: We Did Not See ISIL Coming
Senior Obama administration officials’ closed-door briefing to senators Tuesday night revealed that the White House did not anticipate and was not prepared for the rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS), which has wreaked havoc in Iraq and seized many key cities in recent weeks.
President Obama reaches new low on Iraq
President Obama receives his worst marks yet for handling the situation in Iraq, with 52 percent disapproving and strong negative sentiment now outpacing strong approval by 2 to 1 (34 to 17 percent) in a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.
Sunni Rebels Take Complete Control of Iraq’s Largest Oil Refinery
Local tribal leaders have negotiated the peaceful surrender of the last remaining Iraqi soldiers trapped in the oil refinery at Beiji, ending a two-week siege and dealing a sharp blow to the Iraqi government's efforts to protect crucial infrastructure and oil installations vital to the country's economy.
Will Obama repeat his Iraq mistakes in Afghanistan?
If you like the unfolding disaster in Obama-abandoned Iraq, you are going to love Obama-abandoned Afghanistan.
The Welcome Return of the Cheneys
Shhh — Don't tell anybody, because it's a big secret: The Cheneys of Wyoming, father and daughter, were largely right about Iraq back in 2003, and they are correct now as well.
Obama’s Iraq: Mosul has fallen, and al Qaeda is on the march towards Baghdad
Mosul, Iraq's second-largest city, has long been hard for the central government to control because of its combustible mix of Arabs and Kurds. The first time I visited Mosul was in August 2003 when a tenuous calm was maintained by the 101st Airborne Division. Its commander, a then-obscure two-star general named David Petraeus, had on his own initiative opened the Syrian border to trade, struck deals with Syria and Turkey to provide badly needed electricity, restored telephone service, and held elections to elect local leaders. Along the way he also managed to kill Saddam Hussein's poisonous offspring Uday and Qusay.
The Man Who Broke the Middle East
There’s always Tunisia. Amid the smoking ruins of the Middle East, there is that one encouraging success story. But unfortunately for the Obama narratives, the president had about as much as to do with Tunisia’s turn toward democracy as he did with the World Cup rankings. Where administration policy has had an impact, the story is one of failure and danger.
Iraq Insurgents Reaping Wealth as They Advance
When Qaeda-style insurgents overran the northern city of Mosul, among the war booty they seized were what they claimed were five American-made helicopters.
Anti-American cleric’s militia displays its might in Iraq
The al Qaeda-inspired militant group known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, now controls a key border crossing. The post is in the town of al Qaim, about 200 miles west of Baghdad, and opens a strategic supply line between Syria and Iraq.
Iraq Situation Report: June 20, 2014
The Institute for the Study of War Iraq Update: Iraq Situation Report.
Pakistan’s nuclear security faces insider threat
The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan’s (TTP’s) recent attack on Karachi’s Jinnah International Airport has reignited security concerns about Pakistan’s sensitive installations. On earlier occasions, the TTP has attacked several heavily-guarded State installations — the Mehran naval base in 2011, the Minhas airbase (possibly a nuclear weapons storage base) and the Peshawar airport in 2012.
Sunni Extremists in Iraq Occupy Hussein’s Chemical Weapons Facility
Sunni extremists in Iraq have occupied what was once Saddam Hussein's premier chemical-weapons production facility, a complex that still contains a stockpile of old weapons, State Department and other U.S. government officials said.
Abdication has a price
Yes, it is true that there was no al-Qaeda in Iraq when George W. Bush took office. But it is equally true that there was essentially no al-Qaeda in Iraq remaining when Barack Obama took office.
Vice President Dick Cheney & Liz Cheney Announce “Alliance For A Strong America”
Vice President Dick Cheney and Liz Cheney released a video announcing the formation and launch of The Alliance for a Strong America, a 501(c)4 grassroots organization that will advocate for a restoration of American strength and power.
Extremists Said to Take Control of Iraq’s Biggest Oil Refinery
Iraq's biggest oil refinery fell to Islamic extremists Wednesday morning, after army helicopter gunships failed to beat back an attack on the facility 130 miles north of Baghdad, according to refinery workers, eyewitnesses and an Iraqi army officer who fled the scene.
Dick and Liz Cheney act to counter Obama’s failed foreign policy
Former vice president Dick Cheney and his daughter Liz have seen quite enough of the Obama administration's foreign policy debacles. Rather than simply take to the airwaves, they have decided to do something about it and about the political environment concerning national security.
U.S. Forces Capture Key Benghazi Suspect
U.S. operatives captured a senior suspect in the 2012 attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, in a nighttime raid on Libyan soil that set the stage for a high-profile trial of an alleged terrorist in U.S. civilian court.
Why Delta Force Waited So Long to Grab a Benghazi Ringleader
In echoes of the raid to capture Osama bin Laden, Delta Force operators practiced the raid to capture Ahmed abu Khatallah on a mock-up of his compound at Fort Bragg before going into the real thing.
Iraq Situation Report: June 17, 2014
The Institute for the Study of War Iraq Update: Iraq Situation Report.
The United States should not cooperate with Iran on Iraq
The United States would be making a historic error if it were to assist such an Iranian-orchestrated ethnic-cleansing campaign with air power or even with diplomatic support. Not only would this be morally reprehensible, it would be strategically stupid because it would convince the region's Sunni Muslims that the United States is siding against them with Iran and its regional allies. This could lead Sunni states such as Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates to support extremists such as ISIS, further feeding the growing sectarian conflict across the region.
The Collapsing Obama Doctrine
Rarely has a U.S. president been so wrong about so much at the expense of so many. Too many times to count, Mr. Obama has told us he is "ending" the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan—as though wishing made it so. His rhetoric has now come crashing into reality. Watching the black-clad ISIS jihadists take territory once secured by American blood is final proof, if any were needed, that America's enemies are not "decimated." They are emboldened and on the march.
Their 9/11 Role: The Taliban Five are even worse than you’ve heard.
One of the five senior Taliban leaders transferred to Qatar in exchange for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl played a key role in al Qaeda's plans leading up to the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Mohammad Fazl, who served as the Taliban's army chief of staff and deputy defense minister prior to his detention at Guantánamo, did not have a hand in planning the actual 9/11 hijackings. Along with a notorious al Qaeda leader, however, Fazl did help coordinate a military offensive against the enemies of the Taliban and al Qaeda in Afghanistan the day before. And Osama bin Laden viewed that September 10 offensive as an essential part of al Qaeda's 9/11 plot.
Iraq unraveling as top Shiite cleric issues call to arms
The likely breakup of Iraq into feuding ethnic and sectarian bastions accelerated Friday as Iraq's senior Shiite Muslim cleric broke years of support for the central government and decreed that every able-bodied Shiite man had a religious obligation to defend the sect's holy sites from rebellious Sunni Muslims led by fighters from the extremist Islamic State of Iraq and Syria
What the U.S. Gave Up to Get Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl Back
Most of the reaction to Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl's release after five years as a captive of the Taliban has been celebratory, but a pair of lawmakers questioned whether the deal reached with the Taliban was legal and whether the price paid was too high.