The Only Known Known: Rumsfeld, Iraq and the End of Both

Photo Credit: Master Sgt. Cecilio Ricardo/DVIDS By Scott Strgacich On June 17, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to repeal the 2002 Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) against Iraq. Donald Rumsfeld, the war's chief architect, died just two weeks later at age 88.  Prepare for the impending onslaught of respectable opinion. Eulogies … Continue reading The Only Known Known: Rumsfeld, Iraq and the End of Both

Long Wars and Their Discontents

  By Scott Strgacich One day in 14th century Italy, two friars entered the castle of Sir John Hawkwood, the storied English mercenary captain, to petition him regarding some minor business. “May God give you peace, my lord,” they began. “May God take away your alms,” Sir John responded venomously. “Do you not know that … Continue reading Long Wars and Their Discontents

Syria, Yugoslavia, and A Lesson for America

Yugoslavian Army General Headquarters building damaged during NATO bombing. Source: Not Home at Wikimedia By Coleman Hopkins President Trump’s recently expressed desire to withdraw US forces from Syria has set off neoconservative and progressive critics who charge that such an action would put the security of America’s regional allies at risk, and would even advance … Continue reading Syria, Yugoslavia, and A Lesson for America

An (In)Visible Enemy: Climate Change

Thwaites Glacier. Image credit: NASA   By Natalie Wu With the conclusion of the Iraq War and the winding down of the War in Afghanistan, there has been a new consensus in Washington D.C. that "great power competition” is replacing terrorism as the primary threat to U.S. national security. This viewpoint is most clearly articulated … Continue reading An (In)Visible Enemy: Climate Change

How One Activist Thinks the US Can Help Solve Bahrain’s Problems

Maytham Al Salman by @BahrainRights on Twitter By Matthew Petti BEIRUT―"I'm not part of the opposition, and I never was," says Bahraini activist Maytham Al Salman. "I would characterize myself as a Bahraini being, looking for peace and stability." But his own government disagrees. When we meet at the Beirut offices of Bahrain Interfaith, where … Continue reading How One Activist Thinks the US Can Help Solve Bahrain’s Problems

Violating the Iran Nuclear Deal: Reducing American Leverage

By Keith Blankfield Graffiti on the wall of the closed US embassy in Tehran.  © David Holt On May 8, 2018, US President Donald Trump announced his decision to impose new sanctions on Iran, thus violating the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and jeopardizing the 2015 nuclear nonproliferation agreement between Iran and the West. Like … Continue reading Violating the Iran Nuclear Deal: Reducing American Leverage

Why the Shia-Sunni Divide Doesn’t Matter As Much As You Think It Does

By Matthew Petti The mainstream American view of politics in the Muslim world, and particularly the Middle East, is driven by sectarian identity politics. Persians are Shi'ite, the conventional wisdom goes, and most Arabs are Sunni, so the two factions have coalesced around Iran and Saudi Arabia in the continuation of an age-old struggle for … Continue reading Why the Shia-Sunni Divide Doesn’t Matter As Much As You Think It Does