Counterproductive Counterterrorism in Afghanistan and Yemen

A U.S. soldier and an Afghan tactical air controller. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Lucas Hopkins

by Paul R. Pillar Fighting terrorism has been the most commonly invoked rationale for U.S. involvement in overseas military conflicts during the past two decades. But much of that involvement has sustained and strengthened, rather than weakened, international terrorism. Recent… Continue Reading  

The Legacy of Infinite War

Army Lt. Gen. Austin S. Miller testifying before the Senate Armed Services Committee

by Nick Turse Raids by U.S. commandos in Afghanistan. (I could be talking about 2001 or 2018.) A U.S. drone strike in Yemen. (I could be talking about 2002 or 2018.) Missions by Green Berets in Iraq. (I could be talking about 2003 or 2018.) While so much about… Continue Reading  

The Islamic State Threat to Syria’s Regime

Still from an IS video

by Giorgio Cafiero The Islamic State (ISIS or IS) has lost 98 percent of the territory that it controlled in Iraq and Syria several years ago, a territory equivalent in size to Great Britain. Yet any doubt that IS remains… Continue Reading  

Iraq’s Paramilitary Groups

Popular Mobilization Forces in Iraq (Wikimedia Commons)

by International Crisis Group At the end of 2017, when Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared victory over the Islamic State (ISIS or IS), he thanked not just the state’s armed forces but also an array of autonomous armed groups.… Continue Reading  

China Adds Security Component to Belt and Road Initiative

Hung Chung Chih via Shutterstock

by James M. Dorsey China appears to be shifting gears in its multi-billion dollar Belt and Road initiative. Long projected as driven by economics and the benefit of infrastructure linkages, China appears to be increasingly adding a security component to… Continue Reading