Terrorism has changed dramatically in recent years. Attacks by groups with defined chains of command have become rarer, as the prevalence of terrorist networks, autonomous cells, and, in rare cases, individuals, has grown. This evolution has prompted a search for a new vocabulary, as it should... Lazy talk of “lone wolves” obscures the real nature of the threat against us, and makes us all less safe.
What began in 2001 as a focused effort to topple the Taliban and rout al Qaeda has become an endless, costly, and unrealistic effort with no clearly discernible endpoint... It has become our forgotten war, and the chief aim of those in charge of the operation seems to be keeping it off the front pages... And make no mistake, it is a war. Afghan civilian casualties hit a new high in 2016, and government security forces suffered more than 15,000 casualties and more than 5,000 killed.
numerous nations, from Denmark to Indonesia, have developed methods for nudging young men and women back from the extremist brink—a process known as deradicalization ... many of those ventures lack any kind of scientific rigor. Some, like Saudi Arabia’s government-run counseling program for prison inmates, claim suspiciously high success rates yet don’t permit any outside scrutiny; others are staffed by people who act on intuition rather than in ways validated by data.
In a kind of jihadi shell game, this summer the Nusra Front rebranded itself as the Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, or J.F.S., which means the Front for the Liberation of Sham, an area that includes Syria and parts of neighboring countries. It announced that it no longer had ties with any external group. Al Qaeda publicly concurred ... In jihadi-speak, this is known as “marbling”: local groups variegate their formal ties with global movements when strategically or financially convenient.
While losing 47 percent of the territory it once controlled in Iraq and 20 percent in Syria...the Islamic State has inspired or directed terrorist attacks in the United States, France, Belgium, Bangladesh, Yemen, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and, most deadly of all, Iraq itself. Put differently, Freedman’s warning that destroying an enemy’s center of gravity may simply drive it to adapt rather collapse is proving true, pushing the conflict with the Islamic State in new directions.
Fifteen years later, every American port screens cargo using billions of dollars’ worth of technology, including radiation detectors. Containers that register high on a threat matrix (based on information sent in advance about the content and its shippers) are singled out for additional screening; many containers are screened in foreign ports by U.S. Customs inspectors before they set sail. The system is far from airtight. But the port inspectors have come a long way
How are drones transforming our definition of what it means to be at war? ... it is blurring the distinctions between war and peace, war and policing, and it is creating an intermittent, endemic, very low-level asymmetric warfare ... The Obama administration has insisted it doesn’t need any authorisation from Congress to undertake these strikes in Yemen, Somalia or Pakistan ... according to the Obama administration...the initial authorisation for these actions came immediately after 9/11
it is worth noting that the United States has been facing a refugee crisis for a long time, we have just been calling them undocumented immigrants ... the specifics of the Syrian conflict and the state of current affairs in Mexico and Central America are, of course, vastly different. But there are indeed parallels ... Much like the violence in Guatemala, the chaos in Syria is directly linked to vested U.S. interests and foreign policy.