The Saudi Collapse

The Saudis are doubling down on their denial that they had anything to do with the disappearance of Washington Post journalist and sometime Saudi insider Jamal Khashoggi: “enemies of the Kingdom,” they say are responsible. Nowadays that includes an awful lot of people, as the Washington cognoscenti rush to distance themselves from a regime once … Continue reading “The Saudi Collapse”

Trump’s Middle East Delusions Persist

Jason Greenblatt, Donald Trump’s No. 2 special envoy to the Middle East behind son-in-law Jared Kushner, assures us that his boss’s plan to settle the Palestine-Israel “conflict” once and for all is still in the works and is going to be great. (It’s a conflict in the same way that a confrontation between a car … Continue reading “Trump’s Middle East Delusions Persist”

The Syrian Chess Board

The Syrian civil war has always been devilishly complex, with multiple actors following different scripts, but in the past few months it appeared to be winding down. The Damascus government now controls 60 percent of the country and the major population centers, the Islamic State has been routed, and the rebels opposed to Syrian President … Continue reading “The Syrian Chess Board”

World War Two’s Covert Ops Are Failing in the Post-War World

Before President Barack Obama authorized clandestine operations to defeat Syrian President Bashar al Assad in 2013, he asked the CIA to write the history of its secret wars. The classified document, say those who have read it, is a record of failure from Albania to Cuba to Angola to Nicaragua. Yet Obama went ahead with … Continue reading “World War Two’s Covert Ops Are Failing in the Post-War World”

If You Forget About a War, It’s Time to End It

You’d hardly know it from the news, but we’ve been continuously at war in Afghanistan since 2001. The war quietly turned 17 on October 7. Unfortunately, America’s amnesia didn’t prevent Command Sergeant Major Tim Bolyard from being killed in Afghanistan in early September during his eighth combat tour and 13th deployment. Eight combat tours – … Continue reading “If You Forget About a War, It’s Time to End It”

The Shaky Case That Russia Manipulated Social Media to Tip the 2016 Election

In their long recapitulation of the case that Russia subverted the 2016 election, Scott Shane and Mark Mazzetti of The New York Times painted a picture of highly effective Russian government exploitation of social media for that purpose. Shane and Mazzetti asserted that “anti-Clinton, pro-Trump messages shared with millions of voters by Russia could have … Continue reading “The Shaky Case That Russia Manipulated Social Media to Tip the 2016 Election”