Clapper Under the Bus

When President Obama attributed the rise in Iraq of the Islamic State, or ISIS, to the failures of the U.S. intelligence community earlier this week, naming and blaming directly National Intelligence Director Gen. James Clapper, he was attempting to deflect criticism of his own incompetence. He was discussing the fact that ISIS, right under his […]

What if ISIS Didn’t Exist?

What if the so-called Islamic State (IS) didn’t exist? In order to answer this question, one has to liberate the argument from its geopolitical and ideological confines. Flexible Language Many in the media (Western, Arab, etc.) use the reference "Islamist" to brand any movement at all whether it be political, militant or even charity-focused. If […]

The Imponderable Will To Fight in Iraq

American officials underestimated ISIL’s threat, according to their Commander-in-Chief. Only last winter, Obama himself described ISIL as a "JV Team.” Yet a year ago, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin warned Americans of exactly that ISIL threat in an extraordinary New York Times op-ed. In the essay titled "A Plea for Caution from Russia: What Putin Has […]

Baghdad Bombed As Forces Retake More Towns; 175 Killed Across Iraq

At least 175 people were killed in Iraq today, mostly militants. Another 75 were wounded, mostly civilians in a bombing in southern Baghdad.

Entering the Intelligence Labyrinth

Originally posted at TomDispatch. What are the odds? You put about $68 billion annually into a maze of 17 major intelligence outfits. You build them glorious headquarters. You create a global surveillance state for the ages. You listen in on your citizenry and gather their communications in staggering quantities. Your employees even morph into avatars […]

China Is a Paper Tiger

The rise of China as America’s chief rival on the international stage has long been a staple of our foreign policy pundits’ alleged wisdom. The Chinese, simply by virtue of their enormous population, have been deemed the inheritors of the earth. China, we are told, has been in the process of overtaking us in terms […]

Attack of the Five Monarchies

It is the irony of ironies. A cadre of repressive monarchies is chosen to liberate the captive peoples of Iraq and Syria from the tyranny of ISIS. Combating a group known for its violent sectarianism, the five Arab allies ordered by the United States to participate in the bombing campaign against ISIS are themselves the […]

3,790 Killed Across Iraq in September

Updated at 7:58 p.m., Sept. 30, 2014 has determined that at least 3,790 people were killed across Iraq during September. These numbers include militants, even foreign ones, killed in Iraq. Another 1,949 were wounded. The violence also left 126 dead and 184 wounded across Iraq on Tuesday.

DHS Is a Mess

After an intruder was able to jump over the fence and enter the White House, the Secret Service, an agency in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), is talking about augmenting security procedures and widening the White House security perimeter to include surrounding areas in the executive mansion’s neighborhood. Because I work across Lafayette Park […]

Most Americans Say US Gives Too Much Aid to Israel

Most Americans believe the United States is giving too much foreign aid to Israel according to an online survey. The American Public Opinion on U.S. Aid to Israel (PDF) survey was fielded via Google Consumer Surveys between September 26-29, 2014 as a necessary follow-up to the release of the influential Chicago Council on Global Affairs […]