Analysis & Commentary


28th April 2016 - War on the Rocks

How the Islamic State’s Propaganda Feeds Into Its Global Expansion Efforts

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

Even before the dramatic blitzkrieg the Islamic State launched through northern Iraq in June 2014, the group had been focused on expanding its presence beyond Syria and Iraq. The group has by now declared wilayats (provinces) in West Africa (Wilayat Ifriqiyah, the organization formerly known...

27th April 2016 - Quoted by Jamie Dettmer - Voice of America

Hezbollah Develops New Skills in Syria, Posing Challenges for Israel

John Cappello

When Hezbollah first intervened on the side of President Bashar al-Assad in Syria, Israeli defense analysts saw the foray as a blessing — better to have their Lebanese arch-enemy entangled in a war in Syria.

27th April 2016 - BBC

Newsday

Tony Badran

FDD fellow Tony Badran joined BBC to discuss the cessation of hostilities in Syria and the discussions on the conflict in Geneva.

27th April 2016 - Tablet Magazine

Why Bashar al-Assad, the ‘Teflon Don’ of the Middle East, Can’t Be Touched

Tony Badran

John Gotti may have once held the title, but the late Gambino crime family boss had nothing on the “Teflon Don” of the Middle East, Bashar Assad. Had Gotti lived to see it, he would be astounded by how easily the two-bit head of a Syrian crime family is getting away with mass murder....

27th April 2016 - Quoted by Jeff Seldin - Voice of America

IS at Weakest Point Since Start of Bombing Campaign, US Says

Thomas Joscelyn

Efforts to squeeze the Islamic State (IS) in Iraq and Syria have put the self-declared caliphate on shaky ground, leaving the terror group in perhaps its most vulnerable state since the start of the U.S.-led bombing campaign, according to U.S. officials.

27th April 2016 - Jamestown Foundation

Recent Attacks Illuminate the Islamic State’s Europe Attack Network

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

The recent major terrorist attacks in Paris and Brussels represent a watershed moment not just for the Islamic State (IS), but for the entire jihadist movement.

26th April 2016 - MilitaryEdge.org

The Saudi-Led Coalition Is Not Ready To Fight The Islamic State

Patrick Megahan

President Barack Obama and Defense Secretary Ashton Carter visited Saudi Arabia last week hoping to reassure nervous Gulf allies that American security commitments remain in force in the wake of last year’s Iran nuclear deal. In exchange, the White House was hoping to encourage the Gulf...

26th April 2016 - Quoted by Ruthie Blum - The Algemeiner

Former White House Adviser: Thanks to Israel, the US ‘Dodged a Bullet in Syria’

John Hannah

The United States “dodged a bullet in Syria… all courtesy of the Israelis,” former US Vice President Dick Cheney’s national security adviser asserted on Monday.

25th April 2016 - Foreign Policy

It’s the Proliferation, Stupid

John Hannah

As the world prepares for a possible fifth nuclear weapons test by North Korea (and second since January), here’s something worth keeping in mind: The greatest threat we face from Kim Jong Un is probably not a suicidal attack against the United States or our allies in Northeast Asia with...

25th April 2016 - Syndicated

The John Batchelor Show

Bill Roggio, Thomas Joscelyn

FDD senior fellows Bill Roggio and Thomas Joscelyn discuss al-Qaeda's fights in Yemen, Syria, Somalia, and Libya.

25th April 2016 - i24 News

i24 News Evening Edition

Tony Badran

FDD fellow Tony Badran comments on the U.S. decision to send additional special operators into Syria.

22nd April 2016 - Quoted by Sean Savage - JNS

As Israel asserts Golan control, the move is a civil war’s one point of agreement

Jonathan Schanzer

With Syria’s civil war raging on in its sixth year, neighboring Israel has largely managed to keep a comfortable distance from the bloody conflict, in no small part thanks to the Jewish state’s strong presence in the strategic Golan Heights—a territory that has belonged to Israel for...

22nd April 2016 - The Long War Journal

Syrian jihadist group Sham al Islam appoints new leader

Bill Roggio

Harakat Sham al Islam, a Moroccan-founded group allied with al Qaeda and other Syrian jihadist organizations, appointed a new leader after its previous emir resigned due to “his health and work-related issues.” The jihadist group, founded by former Guantanamo Bay detainees, is listed by...

22nd April 2016 - Quoted by Shane Harris - The Daily Beast

Parents Sue Assad for Son’s Beheading by ISIS

Thomas Joscelyn

There may be some justice after all for Steven Sotloff, the journalist whose gruesome killing at the hands of an ISIS executioner was seen around the world in a propaganda video in 2014.

19th April 2016 - Quoted by Jim Randle - Voice of America

IS Terror Group Raises Millions from Plundered Relics

Yaya J. Fanusie

The Islamic State (IS) may have raised as much as $100 million by digging up and selling priceless antiquities from territory it controls, according to experts consulted by a U.S. congressional panel.

19th April 2016 - Quoted by Matt Piotrowski - The Fuse

Oil Sits At Center Of Next President’s Foreign Policy Challenges

Clifford D. May, Mark Dubowitz, Aykan Erdemir

With international events happening at a quick pace and relationships with allies and enemies in flux, the next president will have a long list of foreign policy challenges, with major oil-producing countries as top concerns. Speakers at this week’s Foundation for Defense of Democracies...

18th April 2016 - Syndicated

The John Batchelor Show

Bill Roggio, Thomas Joscelyn

FDD senior fellows Bill Roggio and Thomas Joscelyn discuss the spring offensive in Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria.

16th April 2016 - Quoted by Alex Rowell - NOW Lebanon

Iranian boots on the ground

Amir Toumaj

The first deployment of foreign regular army ground troops to the front lines of the five-year-long battle between supporters and opponents of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad came with rather less fanfare and controversy than might have been expected.

15th April 2016 - Quoted by Jamie Dettmer - Voice of America

In Race to Capture Syria’s Raqqa, Assad May Have Edge

Jonathan Schanzer, Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

Islamic State-controlled territory in Syria has shrunk by nearly a quarter in the past few months, but Kurds, Syrian rebels and forces loyal to embattled President Bashar al-Assad have all grabbed pieces of the self-styled caliphate.

13th April 2016 - Quoted by Russ Read - The Daily Caller

Former Top US General In Iraq Says Beating ISIS Would Require 50,000 Troops

Retired Army Gen. Ray Odierno believes it will take around 50,000 troops to destroy Islamic State, and as the former commander of U.S. forces in Iraq for several years during the wave and occupation, he knows what it takes to fight terrorism.

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John Cappello

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Tony Badran

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Mark Dubowitz

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Eric S. Edelman

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Aykan Erdemir

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