The top brand in jihad

If you ever thought you’d see the day when people talked about jihadi networks the way they talk about competing cola brands, give yourself a gold star. Me, I’m a little shocked at how fast we’ve gone from ironically referring to Al Qaeda’s “brand” to unironically seeing Al Qaeda’s new competitor putting out an actual… Continue reading The top brand in jihad

ISIS’s success is more about Iraq than about the Iraqi army

While ISIS consolidates and extends its gains in Iraq, capturing the mostly Sunni (but also mostly Turkmen, not Arab) city of Tal Afar in the north and pushing toward Samarra, which is also mostly Sunni but is home to one of the holiest Imami Shiʿa shrines in the world, a considerable amount of discussion has… Continue reading ISIS’s success is more about Iraq than about the Iraqi army

Is there a problem in the US intelligence community?

At this point, after it was caught completely unawares by ISIS’s move against Mosul and on toward Baghdad and before that was totally surprised by Russia’s move into Crimea, should we start being worried about the capabilities of the US intelligence community? That’s the question Shane Harris is asking at Foreign Policy. The problem is… Continue reading Is there a problem in the US intelligence community?

What’s happening in Iraq, part 2: whose fault is it?

Now we come to the subject of blame. Who lost Mosul? Naturally, this being a day ending in the letter “y,” you’ve got the folks who are blaming Obama, because he’s been “indifferent” to Iraq, and because he foolishly convinced Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to let American forces leave Iraq despite the fact that… Continue reading What’s happening in Iraq, part 2: whose fault is it?

Let’s try (and fail) to figure out what the hell is happening in Iraq, OK?

Alright, so, Iraq. Hoo-boy. I briefly touched on this situation the other day, when my reserves of brain power were at a definite ebb, and, while I’m not sure they’re in much better shape now, the situation in Iraq is spiraling out of control, and I wouldn’t be very good at this foreign policy blogging… Continue reading Let’s try (and fail) to figure out what the hell is happening in Iraq, OK?

Iraq is falling apart, even more so than usual

I don’t really have the brain power left right now to write anything interesting about this, but there was absolutely huge news out of Iraq today when fighters from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) seized control of Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city and the capital of the northern Nineveh Province. The Iraqi government… Continue reading Iraq is falling apart, even more so than usual

You ain’t never caught a rabbit and you ain’t no friend of mine

In a move with fairly wide-ranging implications for global Islamic terrorism and the Levant region, Al-Qaeda Central (AQC) has issued a communique denying any link between itself and the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). As you know, ISIS has been embroiled in a civil war within a civil war, in recent weeks spending… Continue reading You ain’t never caught a rabbit and you ain’t no friend of mine