Daniel Byman

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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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Terrorism

The Attacks in Sri Lanka and the Threat of Foreign Fighters

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.

Iran

The Iranian Revolution and Its Legacy of Terrorism

The 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran has proved one of the most consequential events in the history of modern terrorism. The revolution led to a surge in Iranian-backed terrorism that continues, albeit in quite different forms, to this day. Less noticed, but equally significant, the revolution provoked a response by Saudi Arabia and various Sunni militant groups that set the stage for the rise in Sunni jihadism. Finally, the revolution sparked fundamental changes in American counterterrorism institutions and attitudes.

Syria

Trump’s Syria Pullout: A Quick Assessment

Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared on Order from Chaos.

“We have defeated ISIS in Syria, my only reason for being there during the Trump Presidency,” the president tweeted to explain his sudden decision to withdraw the several thousand U.S. troops stationed in Syria within 30 days. Trump’s decision has a few potential positives, but overall the decision is a poor one—made far worse by the lack of a process and preparation.

Politics & National Security

How Might a Democratic Congress Improve Counterterrorism and Middle East Policy

The power balance in Washington has shifted at least a little now that the Democrats have won the House. In addition to being able to pass legislation and shape the budget, Democrats now have the power to investigate, conduct hearings, and otherwise hold the executive branch accountable for the first time since the Senate flipped in 2014—and then, of course, a Democrat was in the White House.