More Small Wars

Counterinsurgency is Here to Stay

Foreign Affairs

November/December, 2014

Although the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are far from the costliest the United States has ever fought in terms of either blood or treasure, they have exacted a much greater toll than the relatively bloodless wars Americans had gotten used to fighting in the 1990s. As of this writing, 2,344 U.S. troops have been killed in Afghanistan and 4,486 in Iraq, and tens of thousands more have been injured. The financial costs reach into the trillions of dollars.

Yet despite this investment, the returns look meager. Sunni extremists from the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), also known as the Islamic State, and Shiite extremists beholden to Iran have divided the non-Kurdish parts of Iraq between them. Meanwhile, the Taliban and the Haqqani network remain on the offensive in Afghanistan. Given how poorly things have turned out, it would be tempting to conclude that the United States should simply swear off such irregular conflicts for good.

Read more: More Small Wars

The War on ISIS: More Than One Battle

In the Vietnam War, saving Khe Sanh seemed essential. Turned out it wasn’t.

The Wall Street Journal

October 22, 2014

On Jan. 21, 1968, North Vietnamese troops attacked the U.S. Marine garrison at Khe Sanh in South Vietnam near the border with Laos. A 77-day siege ensued, with the U.S. pouring in ever more firepower. The U.S. would drop 100,000 tons of bombs because Gen. William Westmoreland was determined that Khe Sanh not become another defeat like Dien Bien Phu, which had effectively ended France’s colonial presence in Vietnam 14 years earlier.

Read more: The War on ISIS: More Than One Battle

Obama's Own JV Team

After the bin Laden raid, the deluge.

The Weekly Standard

September 26, 2014, VOL. 20, NO.04

Last week brought a reminder of what the United States has lost since Bob Gates and Leon Panetta left the Obama cabinet. Both are straight shooters with a centrist, hardheaded sensibility. 

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We Can't Afford to Let ISIS Run Wild in Iraq

A successful military intervention isn't just possible; it's essential

The Spectator

August 16, 2014

Iraq is a bloody mess. The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria has extended its hold from eastern Syria into western and northern Iraq, massacring Shi’ites, Christians and Yazidis wherever it can. Meanwhile in Baghdad there has been a constitutional crisis, with Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki threatening to cling to power at gunpoint even though his own political bloc has chosen a different candidate.

Read more: We Can't Afford to Let ISIS Run Wild in Iraq

Book Review: 'The Invisible Bridge' by Rick Perlstein

The mid-1970s brought a crime wave, meat and gas rationing, a deep recession, workers idled at Christmastime—then came Ronald Reagan.

Wall Street Journal

August 1, 2014

Rick Perlstein has established himself as one of our foremost chroniclers of the rise of the modern conservative movement. It's an unexpected niche for a card-carrying liberal. But if he's occasionally tart in his comments about conservatives, he is not entirely unsympathetic either. In fact, he reserves some of his most cutting barbs (and there are many in his well-crafted if slightly over-caffeinated works) for clueless establishment liberals who all too readily dismissed the significance of conservative champions such as Barry Goldwater, Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan.

Read more: Book Review: 'The Invisible Bridge' by Rick Perlstein

A Strategy to Defeat ISIS in Syria and Iraq

Prepared Statement BY MAX BOOT

U.S. House Committee on Armed Services

2nd Session, 113th Congress

July 29, 2014

Hearing on Iraq and Syria

Chairman McKeon, Ranking Member Smith, members of the committee:

Read more: A Strategy to Defeat ISIS in Syria and Iraq

“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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