Latest in ISIS

AUMF Reform

Section-by-Section Analysis of Rep. Schiff's AUMF Proposal

As several colleagues noted last week, Representative Adam Schiff has revived his effort to get Congress to replace the 2001 and 2002 AUMFs with a new “Consolidated AUMF” that would explicitly name the Islamic State (he had a similar bill in the last Congress, which Jack endorsed here). What follows below is a section-by-section analysis of H.J. Res.

Annals of the Trump Administration

Annals of the Trump Administration #7 (Prequel Edition): Shaping the War Obama Will Leave to Trump

With less than two months to go before it hands over power to the Trump administration, the Obama administration is continuing to fine-tune the legal, policy, and institutional architectures that guide its approach to the ongoing conflict with al Qaeda. Under that heading, I want to flag some important recent developments.

1. AUMF expansion: al Shabaab is now a full-fledged "associated force"

Omphalos

Breaking Down Trump’s Middle East Policy

The greatest challenge when trying to anticipate what a Trump administration has in store for Middle East policy is Donald Trump himself. His shifting positions over the course of the campaign have made his actual intent difficult to decipher, and he has pointed to his own unpredictability as an asset in international affairs. Drawing on what little platform he had, it seems that Trump is prepared to shift U.S. relations in the region in dramatic ways, but his ambitions may prove difficult to implement.

Omphalos

Between Iraq and a Hard Place: How the Battle in Mosul Will Affect ISIS Control in the Region

Editor's Note: With the operation in Mosul well underway, Iraq expert and Brookings Doha visiting fellow Ranj Alaaldin sat down with Brookings Doha’s Communications Assistant Sumaya Attia to discuss why Mosul’s liberation may not be limited to an ISIS defeat, as well what to expect for the future stabilization of Iraq. This interview has been lightly edited for length and clarity.

Middle East Ticker

Middle East Ticker: Islamic State Faces Symbolic Battle and Remembering Shimon Peres

Syrian Rebels Advancing on Symbolic Islamic State-Occupied Town

Free Syrian Army rebels, backed by the United States and bolstered by Turkey’s Euphrates Shield intervention, are advancing on the Islamic State stronghold of Dabiq, located north of Aleppo along the western edge of the Islamic State’s territory.

Omphalos

Thinking Beyond the Defeat of the Islamic State

Many of the current crises in the Middle East stem from past American successes. After 9/11, American forces overthrew the Taliban in Afghanistan and Saddam Hussein in Iraq. Later in the decade, the United States pushed al-Qaeda in Iraq to the edge of defeat, and in 2011, it helped topple Qaddafi in Libya. In each of these and in other cases, the United States proved skilled in defeating its foes but was not prepared for the problems that followed.

Interrogation: Criminal: Miranda

Interrogating Ahmad Khan Rahami

Police in New Jersey have located and arrested Ahmad Khan Rahami, the prime suspect in the Chelsea and New Jersey bombings. Rahami fired on the officers who found him, striking two of them and then being shot himself (in the shoulder, possibly). He is now in custody and receiving medical care at a hospital in Newark. And now officials face an important—and potentially quite controversial—set of decisions regarding how to go about interrogating Rahami.

Foreign Policy Essay

The Islamic State's "Homo Jihadus"

Editor's Note: It's hard to know what aspect of the Islamic State is most disturbing, but high on the list is the use of children as suicide bombers and executioners. Jacob Olidort of the Washington Institute draws on his study of Islamic State textbooks to explain how such practices are part of the Islamic State's broader indoctrination goals and why the United States and its allies should step up efforts to counter these.

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