Smart Targeting of ISIS

by Paul R. Pillar Eric Schmitt reports in the New York Times that the U.S. military is refraining from attacking some sites it knows are ISIS facilities, including at the group’s principal headquarters in Raqqa, Syria, to avoid the significant… Continue Reading  

Gregory D. Johnsen: John Brennan is the wrong man for the CIA

Gregory D. Johnsen, a Princeton scholar who has emerged as a key Yemen analyst, explains why promoting John O. Brennan to CIA director following David Petraeus’ resignation is counterproductive: Mr. Brennan is the president’s chief counterterrorism adviser and the architect of… Continue Reading  

Drones and COIN, Post-Petraeus

By Paul Mutter In what is sure to be one of the most glaringly obvious headlines written about the General Petraeus-Paula Broadwell affair, the Washington Post writes: “Petraeus hoped affair would stay secret and he could keep his job as… Continue Reading  

WaPo on the “disposition matrix,” the CIA’s next-generation kill list

By Paul Mutter The Washington Post‘s Greg Miller has begun a three-part series on the future of the Obama Administration’s counterterrorism drone strike program, which will include a “next-generation targeting list” (aka “kill list”) in the form of a “dipposition matrix”. Though… Continue Reading  

Inside a Foundation for Defense of Democracies Sponsored Junket to Israel

by John Walbridge I am in Israel at the moment, having just completed a terrorism tour for academics sponsored by a group called the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD). The organizer described them as “hawkish,” which is certainly true.… Continue Reading