Analysis & Commentary


28th August 2015 - Standpoint

This Deal Is No Deal

Emanuele Ottolenghi

The nuclear deal the six world powers and Iran signed in Vienna in July will not prevent a nuclear-armed Iran. All it will do is postpone Iran getting the bomb. In exchange for Tehran’s acquiescence, the deal legitimises Iran’s nuclear achievements and strengthens its regime.

28th August 2015 - FDD Policy Brief

Interviewing Scientists is Key to Iran’s PMD

Amir Toumaj

A fatal flaw of last month’s Iran nuclear deal is its failure to account for possible military dimensions (PMDs) of Tehran’s previous nuclear work. That failure could be rectified, at least in part, by demanding that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) be allowed to interview...

27th August 2015 - NOW Lebanon

Turkey – Where Everyone Believes God is On Their Side

Aykan Erdemir

Six days after Turkey reluctantly joined the US war effort against ISIS with its first-ever strikes in Syria, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu addressed his party’s legislators in parliament and declared, “Allah bizden yanadır”– “God is on our side.”

27th August 2015 - The Long War Journal

Taliban Mass in Northern Afghanistan to Swear Allegiance to New Emir

Bill Roggio

Hundreds of heavily armed Taliban fighters gathered in the open in the northern Afghan province of Kunduz to pledge an oath of allegiance to Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansour, the new emir of the group.

27th August 2015 - The Washington Post

Using Financial Sticks to Control Iran

Juan Zarate, Chip Poncy

As Congress considers the Iranian nuclear deal, it should also prepare a strategy to use U.S. financial and economic power aggressively against a broad array of Iranian threats. If the deal is adopted, the risks from an enriched, emboldened Iran will only grow. These risks should not be...

26th August 2015 - FDD Press

Improving the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action

Mark Dubowitz, Annie Fixler

The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) negotiated between the P5+1 and Iran places term-limited constraints on Iran’s nuclear activities in exchange for the lifting of many of the most impactful global sanctions.

26th August 2015 - The Long War Journal

Taliban Takes Another District in Southern Afghanistan

Bill Roggio

The Taliban overran the Musa Qala district center when Afghan forces fled after several days of fighting. The fall of Musa Qala puts the Taliban in effective control of northern Helmand, and will allow it to threaten the provincial capital of Lashkar Gah.

26th August 2015 - National Review - Co-written by Peter Vincent Pry

Obama’s Arms-Control Delusion

James Woolsey

Advocates of the Obama administration’s nuclear deal with Iran argue that, despite the duplicity of the Iranian regime, the deal will work because arms control worked to contain the nuclear threat from the “evil empire” that was the Soviet Union.

26th August 2015 - The Long War Journal

Jihadists Say Nephew of 9/11 Mastermind Killed in Raid by Pakistani Intelligence

Thomas Joscelyn

Jihadists, including at least one senior al Qaeda member, are claiming that the nephew of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (KSM) was killed in a raid by Pakistani intelligence in Karachi. KSM’s nephew has been identified by these online sources as Idris al Balushi (or al Baluchi), indicating his...

25th August 2015 - The Long War Journal

Jundallah Emir Killed in Northern Afghanistan, NDS Claims

Bill Roggio

The National Directorate of Security, Afghanistan’s intelligence service, claimed it killed the leader of Jundallah’s fighters who are based in the country in an airstrike in Kunduz province yesterday.

25th August 2015 - The Long War Journal

US Adds Haqqani Network Commander to List of Global Terrorists

Bill Roggio

State described Aziz as “a senior member of the Haqqani Network and brother to Haqqani Network leader Sirajuddin Haqqani.” Aziz replaced Badruddin Haqqani, his brother, who was killed in a US drone strike in August 2012, as a senior military commander.

25th August 2015 - PolicyWatch - Washington Institute for Near East Policy

Maximal Exposure, Minimal Presence: Iran’s Military Engagement in Iraq

Ali Alfoneh

Although Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force (IRGC-QF) and its commander, Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani, remain involved in Iraq, the actual scope of their military engagement seems inversely proportional to the intense Iranian social media and press coverage of their operations...

25th August 2015 - The Washington Times

The Parchin Precedent

Clifford D. May

Initially, I thought the news was beyond parody. The Associated Press last week ran a story headlined: “U.N. to let Iran inspect nuke work site.” I soon realized that this revelation — a secret side agreement under which Iran is to police its own suspected nuclear weapons facilities...

24th August 2015 - The Washington Post

Don’t Call Obama’s Iran Diplomacy ‘Reaganesque’

John Hannah

Brent Scowcroft’s Aug. 23 op-ed, “An epochal moment,” endorsing the Iran nuclear deal, hardly came as a shock. He’d already previewed his support to several columnists this month. More surprising was Scowcroft’s attempt to link the Obama administration’s diplomacy to President...

24th August 2015 - The Long War Journal

Central Asian Groups Split Over Leadership of Global Jihad

Thomas Joscelyn, Bill Roggio

The Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) and the Islamic Jihad Union (IJU), two Central Asian groups that have been allied with al Qaeda in the past, have taken different sides in the ongoing struggle between the Islamic State and al Qaeda for the leadership of the global jihad.

23rd August 2015 - Foreign Affairs

Trading Peace in Egypt and Israel

Oren Kessler

This year marks the tenth anniversary of an Egyptian-Israeli economic partnership that has quietly pumped billions into Cairo’s vulnerable economy. The free-trade framework known as Qualifying Industrial Zones, or QIZs, is one of the few points of economic normalization to have grown out...

23rd August 2015 - The Long War Journal

The Islamic State’s Supporters Want Mokhtar Belmokhtar Dead

Thomas Joscelyn

The Islamic State’s supporters in Libya have continued their “wanted dead” campaign by targeting Mokhtar Belmokhtar, an al Qaeda leader who has long been loyal to Ayman al Zawahiri. The Islamic State’s loyalists have released an online poster for Belmokhtar (seen above), just as they...

23rd August 2015 - The Jerusalem Post

Analysis: Why Europe is Not Likely to Enforce Iran Deal

Benjamin Weinthal

With the reopening of the UK’s embassy in Tehran on Sunday, a new wrench has been tossed into the nuclear deal approval process: Britain’s likely reluctance to enforce violations.

21st August 2015 - The Long War Journal - Co-written by Caleb Weiss

Islamic State Attacks Iraqi Troops Near Fallujah

Bill Roggio

The Islamic State killed more than a dozen Iraq of soldiers and policemen in an attack near Fallujah in Anbar province, where the government has been trying to dislodge the group for the past year.

21st August 2015 - MilitaryEdge.org

Iran’s Military Is No Match for Its Rivals – But That Could Soon Change

Patrick Megahan

Iran, despite its belligerent behavior and support for terrorism, is not a formidable conventional military force. The Islamic Republic has a handful of weapon systems that make it asymmetrically dangerous, but its military is largely outdated thanks to years of international sanctions and...

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