• Michel Duclos in Rudaw: ‘No easy solution’ for French ISIS fighters: fmr ambassador

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  • The ‘Caliphate:’ Gone by Tonight or With Us for Decades?

    US President Donald J. Trump’s announcement that ISIS (ISIL, Islamic State, Daesh) “will be gone by tonight” is welcome news.  An important battle in Syria has been won.  But the war will continue.  It will rage throughout the Muslim world until political legitimacy fills vacuums of governance that Islamist extremists will continue to contest; legitimacy that can only come about through the voluntary consent of the governed.  This is a war for the hearts and minds of Sunni Muslims; not buildings and trackless desert.
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  • Some Child Soldiers Get Rehabilitation, Others Get Prison

    He was just a 14-year-old schoolboy when the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) took over his city, Mosul, in northern Iraq. His school soon shut down. With little else to do, he said, he joined ISIS to make money. He said he received twenty days of training, and then worked as a cook, making about $50 a month. “I never wanted to fight,” he said. “That’s why I stayed a cook.”
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  • Fried Quoted in NBC News on Sending Captured ISIS Prisoners to Guantanamo

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  • Stein Quoted in The New York Times on US-Turkey Tensions Potentially Stalling Progress on ISIS Fight

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  • Can The West Be Saved?

    An unholy alliance of Russia, the Islamic State, and far-right Western politicians and political movements is threatening democracies in the West.

    The Western populists—playing off fears created by the Islamic State and cooperating both formally and less openly with Russia—seek to move democracies in the West away from a political system that is based on the rule of law and toward a more centralized system.

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  • Miscalculations, Machismo, and Military Misjudgment Could Create New Global Hot Spots

    Connecting 2017’s political and military missteps to 2018’s global economic outlook

    The shift toward nationalist populism, demonstrated by the sweeping political changes around the world in 2017, has throughout history been a harbinger of global instability and conflict, and could directly affect both the international security landscape and global economy in 2018.

    Looking back, it is hard to believe how quickly the geopolitical landscape has changed in just one year.  Through 2017, elections all over the world brought new forces to power, challenged the political establishment, introduced new tensions into global politics, and exacerbated old ones.

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  • ISIS, Syria, and Iraq: A Year-End Appraisal

    As 2017 closes, so does the physical “caliphate” of a pseudo-religious criminal enterprise known by the names ISIS, ISIL, Daesh, and Islamic State. But killing the caliphate is only step one. Keeping it dead will be a generational struggle.

    Rooted in al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) and supplemented by pro-Saddam Hussein Iraqi Baathists, ISIS seized the Syrian city of Raqqa from Syrian rebels in 2013 and, from there, invaded Iraq in 2014. For over three years an American-led military coalition has sought to degrade and destroy a ruthless collection of murderers, rapists, thieves, and terrorists; a band of criminals drawn from the dregs of the Sunni Arab world seeking to mask crude depredations by purporting to act in the name of Islam.

    The Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) and other brands of murderous extremism are the results of political illegitimacy. Legitimacy exists when there is societal consensus that a political system is right and just: consensus...

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  • Tillerson's Takes on US Foreign Policy: A Year in Review

    Diplomatic negotiations with "no preconditions" will be the US approach to solving the problem of North Korea, while working in concert with friends and allies, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said at the Atlantic Council on December 12.

    “We’re ready to talk any time North Korea would like to talk,” said Tillerson, “and we’re ready to have the first meeting without preconditions.”

    “Let’s just meet and let’s – we can talk about the weather if you want. We can talk about whether it’s going to be a square table or a round table if that’s what you’re excited about. But can we at least sit down and see each other face to face?” he added.

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  • Cole Quoted in Wired on Tracing ISIS' Weapons Supply Chain Back to the US

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