Articles

When a federal judge ordered the release of 17 Guantanamo Bay detainees earlier this month, it was the first real chance in the seven-year history of the prison camp that any of the prisoners might be transferred to the United States. In making his ruling, the judge categorically rejected the Bush administration’s claim that any of the released prisoners, who are all Chinese Muslims, were “enemy combatants” or posed a risk to U.S. security. The decision was temporarily suspended by the appeals court, but the judge was on solid ground.

Monday, Oct 13, 2008 New America paper on Afghanistan

In late May, some 40 Pakistani journalists received a summons to an unusual press conference held by Baitullah Mehsud, the rarely photographed leader of the Pakistani Taliban, who is accused of orchestrating the 2007 assassination of Benazir Bhutto, sending suicide bombers to Spain earlier this year, and dispatching an army of fighters into Afghanistan to attack U.S. and NATO forces in recent months. Surrounded by a posse of heavily armed Taliban guards, Mehsud boasted that he had hundreds of trained suicide bombers ready for martyrdom.

Sunday, Sep 28, 2008 The First McCain Obama Debate

(CNN) — Toward the end of Friday’s presidential debate, the conversation turned to Iran and there was a long back-and-forth between the two candidates about what kind of conditions should be set for any discussions with the Iranian government.

Wednesday, Sep 17, 2008 Al Qaeda and Yemen

After al Qaeda blew up the USS Cole in October 2000 killing seventeen American sailors, I visited Yemen to check out Osama bin ­Ladens’s ancestral village in the Hadramaut region, in the south of the country. His father, Mohammed, left there as a teenager in 1931 to seek his fortune in what is now Saudi Arabia.

Tuesday, Sep 16, 2008 Comprehensive Al Qaeda Reading List

This  reading list is the one I gave  my students at Harvard’s Kennedy School in 20008.

Friday, Sep 12, 2008 Afghan Civilian Casualtoes

This week, as we remember the nearly 3,000 American citizens who died in the rubble of the World Trade Center and the Pentagon or in a remote field in Pennsylvania on Sept. 11, 2001, we also should think about the civilians who are still dying in Afghanistan. Consider, for instance, the recent American airstrikes on Azizabad, a village in western Afghanistan, on Aug. 22. The United Nations, Afghan government officials and independent witnesses all say that the United States killed about 90 civilians in these strikes, most of them women and children. Cellphone videos of the scene show motionless children lying under checkered shawls and veiled women shrieking alongside them.

Seven years after 9/11 the author of the largest mass murder in American history is free, almost certainly living in Pakistan, which is, at least nominally, a close ally in the US-led ‘war on terror’. As he no doubt savors the anniversary of his greatest “triumph” Osama bin Laden seems untroubled by serious kidney illness as was once rumored, nor does he appear to be troubled by American efforts to find him.

In late May, some 40 Pakistani journalists received a summons to an unusual press conference given by Baitullah Mehsud, the rarely photographed leader of the Pakistani Taliban, who is accused of orchestrating the 2007 assassination of Benazir Bhutto, of sending suicide bombers to Spain earlier this year, and of dispatching an army of fighters into Afghanistan to attack U. S. and NATO forces in recent months. Surrounded by a posse of heavily armed Taliban guards, Mehsud boasted that he had hundreds of trained suicide bombers ready for martyrdom.

Thursday, Sep 04, 2008 Boots on the Ground in The National

If the 20th century really began with the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand in August 1914, which set in motion the start of a series of intra state wars so brutal they killed tens of millions, then surely the beginning of this century was announced by the attacks of September 11, the harbinger of a new kind of war waged with spectacular acts of terrorism by non-state20groups that seem likely to be a defining feature of the century to come.

Two decades after al-Qaeda was founded in the Pakistani border city of Peshawar by Osama bin Laden and a handful of veterans of the war against the Soviets in Afghanistan, the group is more famous and feared than ever. But its grand project — to transform the Muslim world into a militant Islamist caliphate — has been, by any measure, a resounding failure.

UPCOMING EVENTS

Tuesday, August, 21, 2018 Modern Warfare Symposium, Global SOF, Ft. Bragg, N.C.

Friday, September, 07, 2018 DARPA D60 Symposium, Washington DC

Tuesday, September, 25, 2018 Global SOF Symposium, Madrid, Spain

Monday, October, 22, 2018 Conference of European Armies (CEA). Wiesbaden, Germany

Tuesday, November, 13, 2018 Proxy warfare conference, Global SOF, New America, ASU, New America DC

Monday, April, 29, 2019 Future of war conf, DC

MORE EVENTS »

RECENT FILMS

2017

LEGION OF BROTHERS, CNN Films

2016

"We Got Him": President Obama, Bin Laden, and the Future of the War on Terror, CNN

2016

Homegrown: The Counter-Terror Dilemma, HBO

ALL FILMS »