How Obama Could Salvage His Hapless ISIS Strategy

Sunni Arabs, trained by the U.S. in the Kurdish region of Iraq, could form an effective fighting force.

Wall Street Journal

SEP 30, 2015

Even as Russia launched airstrikes Wednesday against rebel forces in Syria, Obama administration officials and U.S. military leaders claim that the campaign against Islamic State is working. The facts suggest otherwise.

Read more: How Obama Could Salvage His Hapless ISIS Strategy

The Killing of an American Jihadi

What made Awlaki such a compelling figure for extremists? He was charismatic and glib, but the key was his fluent English.

Wall Street Journal

SEP 22, 2015



By Scott Shane

(Tim Duggan, 396 pages, $28)

Since the rise of Islamic State, it’s been easy to overlook terrorist organizations like al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). Yet not long ago AQAP was the terrorist group most feared by American officials—and it is still the one most focused on American targets.

Read more: The Killing of an American Jihadi

Consistently Wrong

The president's happy talk and sad results

The Weekly Standard

AUG 10, 2015

President Obama is putting on the hard sell to market the nuclear deal he reached with Iran. On July 14, in announcing the agreement, he said: “This deal shows the real and meaningful change that American leadership and diplomacy can bring—change that makes our country and the world safer and more secure. We negotiated from a position of strength and principle—and the result is a nuclear deal that cuts off every pathway to a nuclear weapon.”

He promised that this agreement would put Iran and the entire region on a path away from “violence and rigid ideology,” a path towards “tolerance and peaceful resolution of conflicts,” a path that “leads to more integration into the global economy, more engagement with the international community, and the ability of the Iranian people to prosper and thrive.” In conclusion, he said, “This deal offers an opportunity to move in a new direction. We should seize it.”

Stirring words. But are they credible? Aside from the specifics of the Iran deal, it is possible to look back on the president’s litany of pronouncements about the Middle East to assess the reliability of his promises. Here are a few highlights.

Read more: Consistently Wrong

Why is the Iran deal bad? Think North Korea.

Los Angeles Times

JUL 21, 2015

Is Iran more like North Korea or Libya? That is the question politicians and the public must ask themselves as they consider President Obama's nuclear deal.

Read more: Why is the Iran deal bad? Think North Korea.

War Is...

How do charges of Israeli crimes in the Six-Day War match up with similar charges against American forces in other wars?

Mosaic Magazine

JUL 13, 2015

Martin Kramer has performed a valuable public service by investigating the origins of the film Censored Voices and its claims of Israeli soldiers committing war crimes during the Six-Day War. Beyond the specifics of this particular documentary and that particular conflict, his article, “Who Censored the Six-Day War?,” raises larger issues relating to actual or imaginary war crimes committed by the armed forces of liberal democracies, whether Israeli or American, British or French.

Read more: War Is...

Our Most Peculiar President

How did a man with such a hard-right reputation become one of the most liberal presidents ever?

The Wall Street Journal

JUN 19, 2015


By Evan Thomas 
Random House, 619 pages, $35


By Tim Weiner 
Henry Holt, 369 pages, $30

Has the United States ever had a weirder president than Richard Nixon? The fact that his only close competitors in this regard are his predecessor, Lyndon Johnson, and his indirect successor, Jimmy Carter, could help to explain why the ’60s and ’70s were such troubled times for this country. But even LBJ (who loved to lecture aides while sitting on the toilet) and Mr. Carter (who claimed to have been attacked by a “killer rabbit” and to have experienced “lust in his heart”) could not match Nixon for sheer bizarreness. Evan Thomas’s terrifically engaging biography contains many choice examples.

Read more: Our Most Peculiar President

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“Destined to be the classic account of what may be the oldest . . . hardest form of war.” —John Nagl, Wall Street Journal


"Enormous, brilliant and important…. Terrific… Astute… Boot’s Invisible Armies should be required reading in the White House and Pentagon." —Michael Korda, Daily Beast

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