Warlords are often necessary tools of statecraft, but support for them often comes at the expense of building a functioning central government.
Daniel Byman is foreign policy editor of Lawfare. He is a senior fellow at the Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution, where he focuses on counterterrorism and Middle East security. He is also a professor at Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service.
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Both sides are sending mixed messages, which can be disastrous for deterrence.
The current Iraqi power structure, with Iranian support, will use a mix of repression, cooptation, and limited concessions to weaken the opposition. Will the U.S. have any impact on events in Iraq?
The reported killing of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi during a Special Operations Forces raid is an important milestone in the war against the Islamic State—and, more generally, in the struggle against terrorism. President Trump, who announced al-Baghdadi’s death in remarks on Oct.
“My problem isn’t terrorists, it’s the KKK,” a senior social media company executive told us. We’d asked him about the challenges of countering terrorist groups like the Islamic State, only to receive an education about the difficulties of countering nonviolent hate groups. He had a point.
On August 3, a shooter opened fire at a crowded Walmart in El Paso, Texas, killing 22 people. Shortly beforehand, it seems that he posted a screed on the online messageboard 8chan, framing the shooting as an act of terrorism against what he saw as the increasing Latino population of Texas.
The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the horrific terrorist attacks on Easter Sunday on churches in Sri Lanka, which killed more than 300 people. It appears that the group may have worked with a local radical Islamist group, National Thowheeth Jama’ath, mixing the resources and capabilities of both.