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ISIS is What it Says it Is

ISIS-What-ISIS-Really-Wants

The Atlantic has a fascinating cover story by Graeme Wood titled “What ISIS Really Wants.”

ISIS Has Arrived In Libya, Just How Big A War Are We Looking At?

ISIS Fighters

ISIS apparently now has a foothold in Libya, and is making inroads in Yemen.

Denmark Terror Attacks and Machine-Gun Censorship

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Yet another attack on religious freedom in Europe.

Authorizations to Unlimited Military Force

FRANCE 24 | Screen grab of map showing areas controlled by the Islamic State group in Syria and Iraq 14 October 2014

Daniel Larison is far less ambivalent about our war on ISIL than me.

Obama’s ISIL AUMF A Convenient (But Necessary) Excuse

Obama talks about a three-year limit on the authorization of the use of military force against the Islamic State in legislation he is sending to Congress, during his remarks from the White House in Washington

Explaining my ambivalence around the latest escalation in our intervention.

Crafting Defense Strategy from an Astrategic Security Strategy

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The last of my four pieces analyzing the revised National Security Strategy has posted at RealClearDefense.

IR TOs WH NSS

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Most in the international relations community are not amused by the president’s National Security Strategy.

Obama To Seek Authorization For A War That He Already Started

Obama Syria

President Obama will ask Congress to authorize a war he started six months ago.

Obama’s National Security Strategy Is Better Than His ‘National Security Strategy’

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My latest for War on The Rocks, “IS OBAMA REAL(IST) CONFUSED?”

The Domestic Side of National Security

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Another commentary on the National Security Strategy, this one at The Hill.

Obama’s National-Security Wish List

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The first installment of my analysis of the National Security Strategy.

Sending Arms To Ukraine Is A Foolish Idea

Russia Ukraine Flags

Pressure is building on the Administration to send military aid to Ukraine, but it would be a very bad idea.

Why Congress is AWOL on National Security Policy

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Has the legislative branch abdicated its responsibility in US foreign policy?

Report: Bowe Bergdahl To Be Charged With Desertion, Unlikely To Serve Time In Prison

Bowe Bergdahl

Reports indicate that Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl is likely to be charged with desertion for leaving his post in 2009, but he’s unlikely to serve time in prison.

Small Drone Crashes On White House Lawn

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A device that has since been identified as a “small drone” was found early this morning on the White House lawn: A small drone was found on the White House grounds early Monday, news reports said, but officials said it was recovered and posed no ongoing threat. White House press secretary Josh Earnest, speaking to […]

ISIS Gaining Ground . . . But We’ve Stopped Their Momentum!

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ISIS owns more territory than it did when the US bombing campaign began.

John Kerry Outsources American Foreign Policy To James Taylor

John Kerry JJames Taylor

With some still criticizing the Administration for not sending a higher-ranking officials to Sunday’s unity rally in Paris, Secretary of State John Kerry decided it might be a good idea to stop by Paris on the way home from India. And, to show our French friends that America stands beside them in the fight against […]

Why The GOP Is Likely To Cave In The Fight Against Obama’s Immigration Law Changes

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Even with a House and Senate majority, the GOP is unlikely to get what it wants in its current immigration battle with the President.

Next Charlie Hebdo Cover Has Muhammad Saying ‘Je suis Charlie’

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Their editor and nine colleagues dead, their offices destroyed, the newspaper is not missing a beat.

Obama’s Absence From Paris Rally: Egregious Diplomatic Error, Or Much Ado About Nothing?

World Leaders Paris

Some are criticizing the President for not going to Paris for yesterday’s rally.

German Newspaper Firebombed After Republishing Charlie Hebdo Images

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The terrorism wave that began with the massacre at the Charlie Hebdo offices has not ended with the killing of the perpetrators. A follow-on attack has occurred in Germany and there are reports of “sleeper cells” being activated in France.

Petraeus Committed Felonies, FBI Finds

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David Petraeus provided highly classified secrets to his mistress. Will he be charged?

Charlie Hebdo Suspects Dead After Dual Standoffs

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The men responsible for the Charlie Hebdo massacre are dead, but the problems for France, and the rest of Europe, may just be at the beginning.

Will The Paris Terror Attack Undercut Republican Efforts On DHS Budget?

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The terror attack in Paris seems likely to undercut GOP efforts to use the DHS budget to attack the President’s immigration policies.

Terror Attack Kills 11 at French Satirical Newspaper Charlie Hebdo

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At least 11 are dead and 10 wounded in an attack on free expression.

You Can Now Watch The Interview Online Too

Sony Pictures Cancels Releaase Of "The Interview" After Hacker Threats

In addition to the limited theatrical release announced yesterday, Sony is now making The Interview available online through a number of digital distributors for less than you’d pay at the movie theater: LOS ANGELES — Three digital distributors joined an expanding effort to save “The Interview,” as Sony Pictures Entertainment disclosed the first deals to show the […]

Sony To Allow Limited Screenings of The Interview

Sony Pictures Cancels Releaase Of "The Interview" After Hacker Threats

Reversing a previous decision, Sony will allow The Interview to be screened in a small number of theaters.

Army Investigation Of Bowe Berghdahl Referred To Top General

Afghanistan Captured Soldier

The Army’s investigation of the disappearance five years ago of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl has been referred to a top General, who will decide if a court martial should be convened.

North Korean Internet Connections Collapse

North Korea

What does exist of North Korea’s connection to the Internet has largely collapsed in what may be an attack from outside sources: SAN FRANCISCO — North Korea’s already tenuous links to the Internet went completely dark on Monday after days of instability, in what Internet monitors described as one of the worst North Korean network […]

US Ground Troops Fighting ISIL

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The ground troops that United States has not sent into Iraq to fight ISIL are reportedly in Iraq fighting ISIL.

In Responding To North Korea’s Cyber Attacks, The U.S. Has Limited Options

North Korea

There’s not a whole lot the United States can do to respond effectively and proportionally to North Korea’s hacking attack against Sony.

Obama: Sony Attack ‘Vandalism’ Not War

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President Obama believes the North Korean attack on Sony was “an act of cyber vandalism” rather than “an act of war.”

Obama Faults Sony For Pulling ‘The Interview’ From Theaters, Vows Response To North Korea

Obama Makes Statement On U.S.-Cuba Policy

President Obama criticized Sony for backing down, and said that the U.S. would respond to North Korea’s cyber attack “at a place and time we choose,”

Did 24 Help Make Torture Acceptable?

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In the wake of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on C.I.A. torture, some have suggested that eight years of Jack Bauer helped make torture more acceptable to the American public.

F.B.I. Charges North Korea With Being Behind Hacking Attacks On Sony

North Korea Military Parade

The U.S. Government has formally charged North Korea with responsibility for the hacking attack on Sony. How to respond to that attack is a more complicated question.

Rand Paul Breaks With Other 2016 GOP Contenders In Backing Obama’s Opening To Cuba

Senate Homeland Security Holds Hearing On Federal Programs Equipping Police Departments

Rand Paul is one of the few Republicans who seems to be evaluating the new policy toward Cuba through something other than an outdated Cold War perspective.

Iraq And Afghanistan Wars Cost $3 Trillion

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The costs of more than a decade of war are far higher than many ever thought, and we’re still paying the price for the fiscal irresponsibility of the Bush Administration while they were being fought.

Sony, “The Interview,” and Running Government Like a Business.

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It strike me that the situation with Sony and The Interview is a good example of why you can’t run government like a business. While the US government would have to make calculations about warding off future attacks, national reputations, etc. in the face of terrorist threats, all Sony (And AMC, etc.) had to do […]

Sony Pictures Pulls ‘The Interview’ After Cyber Attacks, Threats; North Korea Suspected

Sony The Interview

With major theater chains having pulled out, Sony bowed to the inevitable, but now there appears to be proof that a foreign power is behind the Sony hacking attacks and threats of violence.

Obama’s Cuba Policy Shift Faces Headwinds On Capitol Hill

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The fate of Cuba policy in Congress is far from certain, but what is certain is that following through on President Obama’s historic and necessary changes will face resistance.

Sony Hacking Scandal Elevates To Threats Of Terrorism If Film Is Released

Sony The Interview

Hackers who have divulged embarrassing secrets from deep within Sony Pictures are now threatening violence if a film about a plot to kill Kim Jong Un is released.

Sowell Deploys a TTBS

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As a follow-on to my post the other day (On Ticking Time Bombs) I see that Thomas Sowell is joining in the fun: If you knew that there was a hidden nuclear time bomb planted somewhere in New York City — set to go off today — and you had a captured terrorist who knew […]

Taliban Attack On Pakistan Kills Up To 126, At Least 100 Children

Pakistan School Attack

A day of terror at a school in Pakistan.

Sydney Hostage Taker Man Haron Monis: Lone Wolf Terrorist, Or Lone Nut? Does It Matter?

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Was Man Haron Monis a terrorist, or just a lone nut who had latched on to the rhetoric of ISIS to justify his own delusions? In the end, it hardly matters.

On Ticking Time Bombs

Nuclear Explosion

The “ticking time bomb scenario” is a TV trope and, therefore, is a terrible guide for making policy.

The Amorality Of Dick Cheney And The Right In Response To The Truth About C.I.A. Torture

Dick Cheney

Vice-President Cheney’s amoral defense of torture has come to define how most conservatives view the issue, and that’s a problem.

What Does “Linked to Terrorism” Mean?

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A question occurs in response to Doug Mataconis’ post this morning:  what does "linked To terrorism" mean?*   After all, we often want to know if a given act of violence is “terrorism” or not (and we seem, collectively, to react differently if an act is “terrorism” or not). If an armed individual holds hostages because […]

Hostage Crisis In Sydney, Australia Cafe Apparently Linked To Terrorism

APTOPIX Australia Police Operation   TOK801

A hostage crisis has been unfolding overnight at a cafe in Sydney, Australia that has apparent links to international terrorism.

Hayden and “Rectal Hydration”

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Via The Hill:   Ex-CIA director defends rectal rehydration “These were medical procedures,” Hayden said during a tense interview on CNN’s “The Lead with Jake Tapper.” He added that the method was used because detainees were dehydrated, and that giving them intravenous fluids with needles would be dangerous.  ”I’m not a doctor,” he said. “What I […]

Rationalizing Torture

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I would recommend the following (audio only at the moment):  What Is Torture? Our Beliefs Depend In Part On Who’s Doing It. The piece is about social science research on torture and notes, among other things, 1.  Humans are likely to define “torture” differently if it their group doing it versus when other groups do […]

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