The story of how private military security companies came to play a pivotal role in wartime operations is an important one, and Ann Hagedorn, a former reporter for the Journal, was right to take it on.
Some Israelis worry that America's fight against the Islamic State is distracting from the Iranian nuclear challenge. But the idea that the U.S. would make additional concessions to Iran in the nuclear negotiations because of the anti-Islamic State group effort is not based on realities on the ground.
A December 2013 workshop evaluated possible outcomes from the Syrian civil war, but the period through August 2014 brought many changes. A reassessment of the workshop's findings shows that while a regime victory now appears to be likely, it would not be as big of a blow to ISIS due to the group's territorial gains in Iraq.
More than any other option, employing air power decisively to deny ISIL the ability to use its armor and artillery has the potential to immediately and dramatically shift the battlefield balance against it.
Movement toward sharply lower oil prices should be a prominent component of any strategy directed at disabling many of the world's most disruptive threats: Iran's nuclear development, ISIS, Hamas attacks on Israel, and Russia's threat to Ukraine.
More than 60 countries have joined the coalition against ISIS, with at least 12 participating in the air campaign. Eventually, this will be an impressive armada, but the campaign is still in its first stage, and most of the coalition participants joined the effort only recently.
The Syrian conflict has been the main contributor to the largest refugee crisis since the 1994 Rwandan genocide—and the problem can be expected to get worse as the fighting continues. Small steps are being taken to meet the needs of women refugees but more needs to be done.
Defeating ISIL will not come from “winning hearts and minds” and soft power, nor will it come from a handful of precision airstrikes. It will require hard, bloody ground combat. The United States may not want to admit this, but it is the grim truth nonetheless.
In domestic debates about what the United States should do to blunt the threat posed by ISIS, Americans often forget the adversary also has options. A determined force, ISIS will counter the bombing campaign.
Areas that have long been a focal point for defense planning — Europe, the Middle East and East Asia — are all facing profound and unsettling change, and the United States may no longer have the luxury of choosing among regions.
The Islamic State is the world's richest terrorist group, with estimated assets of $1 billion to $2 billion. Airstrikes may disrupt the flow of oil and profits, but they won't lead to the group's financial ruin anytime soon. The Islamic State will bring in an estimated $100 million to $200 million this year.
With the signing of international security agreements this week, there's been a resurgence of hope that a bright future for Afghanistan is possible. But that future will ultimately be determined only by the Afghans.
There are legitimate questions about how to best go about preventing ISIL from consolidating its control over Iraq and Levant. But this is very different from arguing that ISIL is not a threat and that the United States therefore should stand aside as it does so.
If the public inflexibility of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and his foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif isn't mere diplomatic posturing, they would be gambling not only with their own political futures, but the futures of 80 million Iranians as well.
The United States and five of its partner nations are conducting strikes against ISIS terrorists in Syria using fighters, bombers, remotely piloted aircraft, and Tomahawk Land Attack missiles. RAND experts discuss the bombings and possible ramifications.
On Sunday, Ashraf Ghani was declared the victor in a contest to determine Afghanistan's next president. The process has been infuriating but the end product of this mess was the best possible outcome: best for Afghanistan, best for the region, and best for the United States.
In Mali, France stopped jihadists from taking over, ejected them from the country almost entirely, and struck a major blow to their ability to threaten France and the region. This success story provides important lessons for the U.S. debate about how to deal with ISIS.