The Islamic State, The 30 Years’ War, and How This Wretched New War May Be Worth Fighting After All

The Islamic State is everything horrible that's been brewing the Middle East since 1979 finally come to fruition.  At long last, all those nasty clerics who have been saying "Islam is the solution" have territory and intend on holding it. But as backwards as the political program of the Islamic State is, the entire affair … Continue reading The Islamic State, The 30 Years’ War, and How This Wretched New War May Be Worth Fighting After All

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The view from Raqqa: The many, many challenges of the Islamic State

Welcome to a world of imagination! So you go to bed one night and you wake up the next day in the body of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi - the leader of ISIS.  Now you might think you can imagine your way out of this scenario, since we're in a land of magic and wonder, but much like the … Continue reading The view from Raqqa: The many, many challenges of the Islamic State

The Kings, Sheikhs, and Dictators of the Middle East Have United Against ISIS (Or: How To Make Frenemies)

What with all the classic American media fear mongering of how ISIS is going to come to your house this weekend and totally ruin your landscaping and maybe also behead you, it’s easy to lose track of what’s actually rational to worry about. With 100% honesty, no Westerners but the specialists, soldiers, and statements involved … Continue reading The Kings, Sheikhs, and Dictators of the Middle East Have United Against ISIS (Or: How To Make Frenemies)

Obama Has Given Everyone A Glimpse of A World Without America

There was some positive feedback last July when I wrote about a World Without America.  The underpinning idea of the series was simple: a world with many equal powers is way more dangerous than one with just one superpower. Having a world cop isn't as bad as the alternative. Now, a bit over a year … Continue reading Obama Has Given Everyone A Glimpse of A World Without America

Putin Should Scare The Hell Out Of Just About Everyone

In April, Russia invaded Crimea.  Behind a smokescreen of propaganda, Putin made it out like he was liberating Crimea's Russians from a proto-fascist regime in Kiev that was bent on butchering its opponents in the aftermath of its most recent revolution.  Western powers struggled to figure out a response; most of them hoped beyond hope … Continue reading Putin Should Scare The Hell Out Of Just About Everyone