Security

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Snapshot,
Gideon Rose
Snapshot,
Philippe Bolopion and Belkis Wille

The Saudi Arabia-led bombing campaign in Yemen is off to a dreadful start, at least when it comes to the civilian toll. And now that the United States has offered its support, it will be associated with the bloodshed.

Snapshot,
Andrew F. March and Mara Revkin

Debating whether ISIS is really "Islamic" or is better understood as an exotic apocalyptic death cult does not bring the world closer to understanding how the group governs. Indeed, whatever it believes about the apocalypse, it sees itself as creating a distinctive legal order for the here and now, one that is based on a literal (if selective) reading of early Islamic materials and a long-standing theory of statecraft and legal authority.

Snapshot,
Geoff D. Porter

From conflict in Mali to Libya's dangerous morass, Algeria has never faced such serious threats directly on its own borders. For the moment, the country appears determined to follow its usual strategy of pushing for political solutions to the external crises while beefing up its internal security as a safeguard if these solutions fail. The problem with this strategy is that asks too much from ordinary Algerians, who can only hope that it’s the best way to protect the normalcy that they hold so dear.

Snapshot,
Timothy H. Edgar

Since 2013, when Edward Snowden revealed that the NSA had been spying on private communications on a mass scale, U.S. President Barack Obama has faced pressure to tighten privacy laws. The administration has made more progress than many think.

Snapshot,
Paul Hidalgo

Al Shabab has been pushed out of its strongholds and cut off from its financial lifelines. And that is why the group’s ability to so easily attack within Kenya is so puzzling. Kenyan leaders have long blamed Somalia-based fighters and the country’s minority Muslim population. But the truth is that the main culprits are the culture and policies of the government itself.

Snapshot,
Andrew S. Erickson and Conor M. Kennedy

Recent satellite images show that the Spratly islands are growing at a staggering pace. Tons of sand, rocks, coral cuttings, and concrete are transforming miniscule Chinese-occupied outcroppings into sizeable islands with harbors, large multi-story buildings, airstrips, and other government facilities. The parties behind the construction and defense of these islands remain a thinly veiled secret.

Snapshot,
Dalia Dassa Kaye

Fears that a deal will lead to a major readjustment in U.S. regional strategy are overblown. Even if the administration is interested in reorienting its regional policies, there are a number of obstacles that will stand in the way. In other words, as significant as a final nuclear agreement would be, it may not prove transformative.

Postscript,
Michael Bröning

The establishment of a truly representative Arab army operating under the auspices of a reformed Arab League would be a welcome addition to the region, but the proposed “unified Arab force”—helpful in glossing over tensions among Sunni states but detrimental to relations between the Arab League and Iran—is not.

Snapshot,
Joshua Meservey

Al Shabab was once one of the premier terror groups in the world. Years before ISIS gobbled up sections of Syria and Iraq, al Shabab conquered and then governed most of southern Somalia. But the group has been in decline since its apex in 2010, and it is now fighting back through gruesome attacks in Kenya.

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