Benjamin Runkle Articles


The Gulf We’ve Left in Our Wake

Another Obama retreat.
Oct 26, 2015

Theodore Roosevelt summarized his approach to diplomacy with the maxim “Speak softly and carry a big stick.” Time and again, President Obama has chosen the opposite tack. Perhaps nowhere has his policy of speechifying without substance to back up the rhetoric been more problematic than in the Persian Gulf. 

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The Bin Laden Raid, a Year Later

Al Qaeda is down but not out.
May 14, 2012

Even before the celebrations a year ago had ended, terrorism experts were debating the strategic significance of Osama bin Laden’s death at the hands of U.S. Navy SEALs. Some argued that bin Laden would prove irreplaceable to al Qaeda; others claimed he had been in hiding so long he was operationally and strategically irrelevant to the war on terror. Of course, it was too soon to know for sure.

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Target Neutralized

The mixed history of strategic manhunts.
May 16, 2011

Before Osama bin Laden’s body was even cold—or wet, depending upon how quickly it was committed to the Arabian Sea—the debate over the significance of his demise at the hands of U.S. Navy SEALs was underway. Some suggest he will prove irreplaceable to al Qaeda, a uniquely inspiring leader and fundraiser without whom the terrorist organization will succumb to centripetal forces.

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