9:33 AM, Nov 24, 2014 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
So Chuck Hagel has been fired as defense secretary. We were critical of his appointment, and opposed his confirmation by the Senate. But let's be clear: Hagel has done what he was asked and what was expected of him at the Pentagon. To the degree he has deviated from the Obama White House line, he's been more right than wrong (e.g., on the threat the Islamic State poses).
So why has he been fired? Because the Obama White House needs a scapegoat. President George W, Bush fired Don Rumsfeld in connection with a change in strategy (the surge) and to bring in someone of independent stature. That's not the case today. President Obama continues to want a Pentagon with weak leadership and little independence. There's therefore no reason to expect the next two years of Obama foreign and defense policy to be any better than the past two.
7:25 AM, Nov 19, 2014 • By THOMAS JOSCELYN
An ex-Guantanamo detainee based in northern Pakistan is leading an effort to recruit jihadists for the Islamic State, an al Qaeda offshoot that controls large portions of Iraq and Syria.
Abdul Rahim Muslim Dost, who was detained at Guantanamo for three years, has sworn allegiance to Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al Baghdadi. Dost’s oath of allegiance was issued on July 1, just two days after Baghdadi named himself “Caliph Ibrahim I” and declared that his Islamic State was now a “caliphate.”
Nov 17, 2014, Vol. 20, No. 10 • By THE SCRAPBOOK
With the Republicans winning control of the Senate last week, The Scrapbook is hopeful that the country might be protected from the Obama administration’s worst foreign policy instincts, especially regarding Iran. At the end of this month, the interim agreement with Tehran over its nuclear program expires, and many are concerned that the White House is likely to settle for a very bad permanent agreement. After all, Obama aides have made it clear that an Iran deal is Obama’s foreign policy priority—as central to his legacy, they say, as the Affordable Care Act.
1:08 PM, Nov 1, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Democratic senator Jeanne Shaheen told reporters Friday that issues regarding national security and the threat from Islamic terrorist groups like ISIS don't "come up very often" when she campaigns across New Hampshire.
At an event in Claremont, a reporter asked Shaheen about how issues of national security resonate in New Hampshire, given how both James Foley and Steven Sotloff, the Americans murdered by ISIS in the Middle East, have connections to the state.
12:33 PM, Oct 31, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
If one objective of the bombing campaign in the Mideast was to stop – or, at least, reduce – the flow of fresh recruits to ISIS, then it has failed. As Greg Miller of the Washington Post reports
11:26 AM, Oct 31, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
In the fight against ISIS in Iraq, Anbar province is decisive and to turn things around there:
9:21 AM, Oct 31, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Republican Scott Brown took issue with Democratic senator Jeanne Shaheen's characterization of the American military operations in the Middle East as an "occupying force" in the two candidates' final debate Thursday evening. The New Hampshire politicians were debating the use of U.S. troops against ISIS forces in Iraq and Syria.
"I don't think we want tens of thousands of American troops as an occupying force for sixty years, as we've had in Korea," Shaheen said.
7:23 AM, Oct 29, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
James Jeffrey, the former U.S. ambassador to Iraq, tells Frontline that "everyone" warned the Obama administration about ISIS--and that they did nothing.
Watch the clip here:
"The administration not only was warned by everybody back in January, it actually announced that it was going to intensify its support against ISIS with Iraqi armed forces, and it did almost nothing."
4:35 PM, Oct 28, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
The ISIS campaign in Iraq proceeds where it cannot be seen and meets little resistance. The U.S. says it has a plan by which government forces will go on the offense and retake lost territory … beginning in a few months.
2:11 PM, Oct 28, 2014 • By DAVID ADESNIK
Did Rand Paul just become a supporter of George W. Bush’s freedom agenda? “The world does not have an Islam problem,” Paul explained a few days ago. “The world has a dignity problem, with millions of men and women across the Middle East being treated as chattel by their own governments.” Such words clearly echo President Bush’s declaration that, “Sixty years of Western nations excusing and accommodating the lack of freedom in the Middle East did nothing to make us safe – because in the long run, stability cannot be purchased at the expense of liberty.” Few statements have provoked more ire from committed realists, which is what Rand Paul says he is.
The case for a major new U.S. military base.Nov 3, 2014, Vol. 20, No. 08 • By JONATHAN FOREMAN
It is not clear at the time of writing if Turkey will or will not allow the United States to use the NATO air base at Incirlik for airstrikes against ISIS forces in Syria and Iraq. On October 13, national security adviser Susan Rice announced that Turkey had finally agreed to the use of the base, only to be contradicted the very next day by Turkey’s foreign minister. A subsequent press report claimed that the Turks were allowing their American allies to fly reconnaissance drones from Incirlik but no manned aircraft.
4:12 PM, Oct 21, 2014 • By STEPHEN SCHWARTZ
Recently, some media commentators have argued that, rather than the product of a simple confrontation between Sunni and Shia Muslims in Syria and Iraq, the rise of the so-called “Islamic State” should be perceived as an eruption into those countries of Wahhabism, the only interpretation of Islam recognized as official in Saudi Arabia.
7:24 AM, Oct 17, 2014 • By JERYL BIER
Rear Admiral John Kirby appeared at a joint press briefing with spokesperson Jen Psaki at the State Department Thursday and addressed the ongoing airstrikes against the Islamic State (ISIL) in Iraq and Syria.