Palestinian Militants Speak With Many Tongues on Iran Support
Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad used to be close with Iran. For years, the militant groups relied on a steady pipeline of weapons and financial support to fight Israel, and Iran reciprocated as an opportunity to exert its influence in a largely Sunni region where Israel is widely despised. But those... Read more
Syrian Rebels’ Message to America — Send More Tank-Killing Missiles
Syrian rebels are using anti-tank missiles provided by the United States to strike back hard against government forces and their allies. Many of the missiles are American-made TOWs, one of the most commonly used anti-tank guided missiles, or ATGMs, in the world. TOW stands for “tube-launched, optically tracked, wire-guided missile”... Read more
The Mysterious Ideology Behind Sudan’s Toughest Rebels
This is part three of a three-part series. Read part one and two. The Justice and Equality Movement, or JEM, is the most successful rebel army in Sudan. It has far greater reach and more battlefield successes than its competitors. Which isn’t that peculiar. What’s far stranger is that the JEM follows a mysterious,... Read more
Nicaragua Descends Into Absolutism
The bland, bleak cityscape of Managua fails to welcome its visitors. The Nicaraguan government has tried to solve this problem by constructing garish metal trees at landmarks, intersections and roundabouts. Yet, as irony would have it, these artificial plants have come to represent the decadence of president Daniel Ortega. Ortega’s cult... Read more
Stranded in Enemy Territory, a Rebel Splinter Faction Got Stuck
This is part two of a three-part series. Read part one. At first glance, the Sudanese People’s Liberation Movement/Army-North presents a positive alternative to Sudan’s ruling regime. The rebel group champions an ideology known as “New Sudan,” which envisions a united country built on democracy and equality, in contrast to Khartoum’s... Read more
A Rebel Army Tried to Build a New Sudan, Then Fell Apart
This is part one of a three-part series. Sudan, fractured by ethnic and religious conflict since its independence, seems to welcome civil war. For decades, a government controlled by Arab Muslims from the north has oppressed and persecuted minorities at the margins and peripheries of the country.  But war has fractured... Read more
Forty-Five Seconds
Forty-five seconds of swirling dust was all it took to kill two U.S. Marines and injure 20 other service members. On May 17, 2015, a Marine Corps V-22 Osprey tiltrotor — a $70-million hybrid aircraft that takes off like a helicopter but cruises like an airplane thanks to its... Read more
An Islamic Hate Group Stalks the Streets of Jakarta
Shortly before Islamic State terrorists launched a bloody attack in Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia, on Jan. 14, I was in the city for research. As chance would have it, I decided to conclude my recent trip to Indonesia by looking into an Islamic hate group. The Islamic Defenders... Read more
The War’s Over in Indonesia’s Central Sulawesi — But No One Knows Why
I recently took my first road trip through the mountainous countryside of an Indonesian island. Sulawesi, unlike Aceh, could be a tourist attraction with its beautiful beaches and blue skies. But few tourists travel to Central Sulawesi. My guide and I journeyed from Palu, the provincial capital, to Poso,... Read more
GAM Militants Didn’t Fight For Sharia Law
The quiet outskirts of Banda Aceh, the capital of a province once known as Indonesia’s bloodiest, hid a history of violent revolution and counterrevolution. During a recent visit, I wanted to see who had won this farflung territory. Aceh, the westernmost region of Sumatra, has a long history of insurgency.... Read more
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