Another Afghan Surge Is a Terrible Idea
How many soldiers does America need to turn the tide in Afghanistan? The Taliban controls half the country and continues to gain ground. The Pentagon and generals in the field want U.S. president Donald Trump to send an additional 3,000 to 5,000 soldiers to Afghanistan to help win the... Read more
‘Lately I Feel Like I Have Been Cleaning Up After Attacks a Lot’
Enayatullah Noori, a 30-year-old employee of Roshan, the Afghan telecom, stood outside the site of the explosion, dressed in a traditional Afghan outfit and a brown jacket, covered in blood. “This is not my blood,” he explained. “It’s the blood of my colleagues.” Noori was on his way to... Read more
The West’s War on Terror Depends on the Wrong Allies
The same week that U.S. Pres. Donald Trump inaugurated a new effort to enlist the Sunni Arab world’s help in bringing jihadist terrorism to an end, a troubled young British man blew himself up at a pop singer’s concert in Manchester, killing 22 people—mostly young girls. This was the... Read more
‘I Scribbled Whatever I Could So They Would Stop Beating Me’
A recent United Nations report makes clear that sexual violence is a widespread phenomenon in contemporary wars. However, while the document largely focuses on non-state actors and small or pariah states in Africa and the Middle East, it ignores several larger countries where armed groups are frequently connected to... Read more
These Are the States and Armed Groups That Use Rape as a Weapon
In May 2017, the office of the U.N. Secretary General presented its annual report on conflict-related sexual violence. The report identifies 38 armed groups and eight government security forces in 19 countries the United Nations has documented as perpetrating systematic rape, sexual assault and coercion as part of their... Read more
After Bailing Out Assad, the Russian Military Risks a Syria Quagmire
It has been well over one year, seven months since Russia’s military intervened in Syria’s civil war. From the get-go the Kremlin brushed aside claims that its campaign would lead to an Iraq or Afghanistan-like quagmire. Relying heavily on air power, Russia helped the Syrian regime to rebound from a... Read more
Misrata Militants Are Winning the Air War in Southwest Libya
On May 18, 2017, the Third Force — a Misrata-based Libyan militia — attached the Libyan National Army’s Birak Al Shati air base 80 kilometers north of Al Sebha in southwestern Libya. The region is valuable for its oil infrastructure and age-old smuggling routes. At least 134 people —... Read more
A Narco Airstrip in Guatemala Is a Just a Hop Away From a Military Outpost
This article originally appeared at InSight Crime. A news organization in Guatemala discovered a clandestine drug trafficking airstrip located in the vicinity of a military post and property owned by a transnational company, raising questions about ties between organized crime and elites in the area and the difficulty of... Read more
Despair, Broken Bodies — The Real Cost of Trump’s Saudi Arms Deal
The first time Wael saw his reflection in the mirror, his world fell apart. “I didn’t look at my face for two years,” the 28-year-old from Yemen explains. “When I saw myself, I was destroyed. I completely lost myself.” Wael is one of the many Yemeni patients receiving treatment... Read more
We’ve Spotted Some Secret Iraqi Spy Planes
On May 10, 2017, a ceremony took place at Al Muthana air base in Iraq in the presence of Iraqi air force commander Gen. Anwar Hamad Amin. In the background of photos taken that day, a De Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter with an Iraqi flag on the tail... Read more
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