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  • Originally published 12/11/2017

    How Central Command Beat ISIS

    Brian Glyn Williams

    And the three ways that post-Caliphate ISIS terrorism will continue to gust across the globe.

  • Originally published 08/10/2017

    Kissinger Warns Trump

    ISIS Is Keeping Iran in Check, You Must Not Let Tehran Fill the Void

  • Originally published 01/20/2017

    IS in Syria destroys part of Roman theater in Palmyra

    Islamic State militants have destroyed parts of the second-century Roman amphitheater and an iconic monument known as the Tetrapylon in Syria's historic town of Palmyra, the government and experts said Friday.

  • Originally published 10/18/2016

    7 Things to Know about Mosul

    Juan Cole

    The Iraqi government has announced that the campaign to take the large northern city of Mosul back from ISIS. So what is the significance of Mosul as a city?

  • Originally published 07/08/2016

    Is ISIS in Retreat?

    John Prados

    A lesson from World War II suggests its adoption of costly suicide bombings is evidence it is.

  • Originally published 04/27/2016

    Bill to protect antiquities worldwide goes to Obama

    Late in the day, April 26, 2016 and with final House passage, the US government has approved its final amended version of H.R. 1493, "The Protect and Preserve International Cultural Property Act" agreed to in the Senate by Unanimous Consent.

  • Originally published 04/01/2016

    Should we 3D print a new Palmyra?

    Emma Cunliffe

    Many argue that 3D printing fails to capture the authenticity of the original structures, amounting to little more than the Disneyfication of heritage.

  • Originally published 12/30/2015

    Defeating an Insurgency by Air

    Christopher A. Lawrence

    We cannot think of a single insurgency that was defeated by airpower, primarily defeated by airpower, or even seriously undermined by airpower.

  • Originally published 12/30/2015

    In Retrospect: A Year of Sharpening Contradictions

    Juan Cole

    We have a model for response to terrorist provocation and attempts at sharpening the contradictions. It is Norway after Anders Behring Breivik committed mass murder of Norwegian leftists for being soft on Islam. The Norwegian government launched no war on terror.

  • Originally published 12/28/2015

    ISIS vs. History

    Allen Fromherz

    What the rise and fall of a 12th-century Islamic empire does (and doesn’t) tell us about the rise (and fall?) of ISIS.

  • Originally published 12/24/2015

    How Saddam Hussein Gave Us ISIS

    Kyle W. Orton

    The Islamic State was born when the desperate dictator turned to religion to shore up his teetering regime.

  • Originally published 12/21/2015

    Now ISIS is destroying gravestones in Mosul

    There are reliable reports that armed groups from ISIS have begun a determined and systematic campaign to destroy all grave stones in all the cemeteries of the city.

  • Originally published 12/21/2015

    A Medieval Antidote to ISIS

    Mustafa Akyol

    Could a long-forgotten Islamic doctrine hold the key to defeating the radicals in Iraq and Syria?

  • Originally published 12/14/2015

    The Return of History

    Aatish Taseer

    The Islamic State’s treatment of history is particularly extreme, but a similar return of history is occurring with varying degrees of intensity all across the old world.

  • Originally published 12/03/2015

    Beyond ISIS

    Andrew J. Bacevich

    The Folly of World War IV

  • Originally published 11/30/2015

    Who is Right in Syria?

    Lawrence Davidson

    Stability can only be assured by the reimposition of order by Damascus. The folks in Washington, Paris and Ankara might not like that, but they are not the ones facing a future of anarchy. 

  • Originally published 11/20/2015

    Ignoring the Lessons of 9/11

    Ryan Lizza

    The 9/11 Commission Report warned that no terror group should ever be allowed a sanctuary. ISIS is now safely operating in one the size of Indiana.

  • Originally published 11/11/2015

    The New Monument Men Outsmart ISIS

    Founded in 2012 by Roger Michel, the Institute for Digital Archaeology is a joint effort between Harvard University and Oxford University to create an open-source database of high-resolution images and three-dimensional graphics of things like paper and papyrus documents, epigraphs and small artifacts.

  • Originally published 10/05/2015

    ISIS Destroys Triumphal Arches in Palmyra, Syria

    Another landmark structure in Syria’s ancient city of Palmyra has been deliberately destroyed by Islamic State militants. The building involved this time was a set of triumphal arches, erected in the second century.

  • Originally published 09/28/2015

    Assad drops barrel bombs on Palmyra

    Almost a third of the walls of the 13th-century Mamluk citadel, a Unesco world heritage site, had been badly damaged in the latest bombardment.

  • Originally published 07/22/2015

    ISIL Leader’s Loot

    On May 15, 2015, U.S. Special Operations Forces recovered a cache of hundreds of archaeological and historical objects and fragments during a raid in al-Amr (eastern Syria) to capture ISIL leader Abu Sayyaf.

  • Originally published 07/03/2015

    And now this, ISIS?

    Now they have destroyed a tomb dating back to the 13th century. 

  • Originally published 07/01/2015

    Did Obama Really “Cut and Run” and “Abandon” Iraq to ISIS?

    Brian Glyn Williams

    Far from ending the conflict and creating an inclusive, multi-ethnic state, Shiite prime minister, Nouri al Maliki's anti-Sunni policies directly led to the rise of ISIS. He, along with Paul Bremer, is the man most responsible for creating ISIS.

  • Originally published 06/22/2015

    This is One Reason the World Is on Fire

    Lawrence Davidson

    Millions of people, Muslims, Jews and Christians and others not only still idealize a religiously imagined past, but want, in one way or another, to import that past into the present.

  • Originally published 06/11/2015

    The Necessity Of Iraqi Sunni Independence

    Dr. Alon Ben-Meir

    The lack of a clear American strategy in Iraq to which President Obama recently admitted (“We don’t yet have a complete strategy because it requires commitments on the part of the Iraqis”) is baffling

  • Originally published 06/09/2015

    Bush was wrong on Iraq, says Rumsfeld

    “The idea that we could fashion a democracy in Iraq seemed to me unrealistic. I was concerned about it when I first heard those words."

  • Originally published 05/25/2015

    Ramadi and Palmyra Blues

    Andrew Meyer

    Both critics and supporters of Obama apparently think Iraqis need more training.  This is specious.  They could use their own air force but we won't let them have it.  Too risky. 

  • Originally published 05/16/2015

    ISIS is threatening Palmyra, the Venice of Syria

    Islamic State militants move to within a few miles of one of the world's oldest and most important archaeological cities, Palmyra, in the latest stage of their campaign in Syria.

  • Originally published 04/03/2015

    Mosul is an Endangered Historic City!

    Ihsan Fethi

    "There are many lessons to be learnt by the world from this new type of conflict where it involves the high jacking of a historic city by terrorists with fierce disregard for history."

  • Originally published 04/01/2015

    Satellite Images Don’t Lie

    Stephen H. Savage

    What it’s like to be an archaeologist watching ISIS and other groups destroy important sites in the Middle East.

  • Originally published 02/27/2015

    Empowering Jihad: The Deadly Myth of a 'Root Cause'

    Phyllis Chesler

    Blaming Islamist horrors on poverty only obscures the true problem: Jihadists are driven by an ideology — one that yearns to "restore" a mythical caliphate, one governed by the most austere version of Sharia law.

  • Originally published 12/12/2014

    An Arab Prince Denounces Islamism

    Daniel Pipes

    The crown prince of Bahrain (an island kingdom in the Persian Gulf and home to the U.S. Navy's Fifth Fleet), candidly analyzed the Islamist enemy and suggested important ways to fight it.

  • Originally published 11/28/2014

    ISIS destroying sites in Salah-ad-Din Province

    Until the past week, there were few reports of the destruction of antiquities and cultural heritage sites, possibly because ISIS forces were hard pressed on multiple fronts.

  • Originally published 10/29/2014


  • Originally published 10/17/2014

    Selective Memory and the CIA

    Max Boot

    "Talk about politicized intelligence. At least that’s what it would be called if the president in office were a Republican."

  • Originally published 10/02/2014

    How Not To Understand ISIS

    Alireza Doostdar

    Sensationalist accounts of “shari‘a justice” notwithstanding, we do not have much information about how ISIS administers the lives of millions of people who reside in the territories it now controls.

  • Originally published 10/01/2014

    ISIS selling Iraq’s artifacts in black market

    Speaking at a conference at the U.N. cultural agency UNESCO in Paris, France's ambassador to UNESCO Philippe Lalliot warned that Iraq’s cultural heritage is in “great danger.”

  • Originally published 09/25/2014

    The Ancestors of ISIS

    David Motadel

    Jihadist states have a history, and it shows they always fail.

  • Originally published 09/23/2014

    Shock & Awe In Syria: It never Works

    Juan Cole

    "The US belief in air power is touching, but in fact no conflict has ever been quickly brought to an end where US planes have been involved."

  • Originally published 09/22/2014

    The Vietnamization of the War on ISIS?

    Max Boot

    The comparison may be unfair, but it is also inevitable when one reads that “the U.S. military campaign against Islamist militants in Syria is being designed to allow President Barack Obama to exert a high degree of personal control, going so far as to require that the military obtain presidential signoff for strikes in Syrian territory.”

  • Originally published 09/02/2014

    How America Made ISIS

    Tom Engelhardt

    The American record in these last 13 years is a shameful one. Do it again should not be an option.

  • Originally published 08/25/2014

    The Caliphate Brings Trauma

    Daniel Pipes

    "Declaring the caliphate on June 29 was a major event; and the caliphate is an institution whose time has long passed and, therefore, whose revival bodes much trauma."

  • Originally published 08/08/2014

    It's Deja Vu All Over Again in Iraq

    Juan Cole

    Obama’s hope that the so-called “Islamic State” can be stopped by US air power is likely forlorn. The IS is a guerrilla force, not a conventional army.

  • Originally published 07/03/2014

    The Caliphate Fantasy

    Khaled Diab

    "The problem with this new caliphate is that it is ahistorical, to say the least."

  • Originally published 07/02/2014

    The Acute Danger of Iraqi Dams

    Daniel Pipes

    It's been apparent at least since the American-led invasion of Iraq in 2003 that the Mosul Dam, Iraq's largest, could spell devastation for Iraq due to a combination of faulty construction, governmental indifference, and an ongoing civil insurrrection.

  • Originally published 07/02/2014

    Iraq Must Not Come Apart

    Leslie H. Gelb

    Such a rupture would ignite terrible slaughter inside the country and unsettle the Middle East as a whole.

  • Originally published 06/24/2014

    Fixing the world after Iraq

    Louis René Beres

    How shall we effectively improve our chances for surviving and prospering on this endangered planet?

  • Originally published 06/18/2014

    Deconstructing The Iraq And Syria Conflicts

    Dr. Alon Ben-Meir

    The current escalating sectarian violence between the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and Iraqi forces and the unending civil war in Syria are now intertwined and neither can be resolved without the other, which requires a dramatic change in the political and military landscape in Syria and Iraq.

  • Originally published 06/18/2014

    Turkish Support for ISIS

    Daniel Pipes

    The Turks offered far more than an easy border crossing: they provided the bulk of ISIS' funds, logistics, training and arms.

  • Originally published 06/17/2014

    The Hour of ISIS Power: How Did It Come To This?

    Timothy R. Furnish

    No longer merely a terrorist organization, it has now formed a renegade military theocracy and is in the process of creating a new Sunni territorial state in the Middle East.

  • Originally published 06/16/2014

    7 Myths about the Radical Sunni Advance in Iraq

    Juan Cole

    Already in the past week and a half, many assertions are becoming commonplace in the inside-the-Beltway echo chamber about Iraq’s current crisis that are poorly grounded in knowledge of the country.

  • Originally published 10/23/2013

    How to Claim a Continent

    Adam Clulow

    Sovereignty claims as used by Christopher Columbus, Vasco da Gama and a host of lesser known explorers, adventurers and settlers.

  • Originally published 09/28/2014

    Obama's Playing “Small Ball” in Iraq and Syria

    Mark Byrnes's Facing Backwards

    Small ball may be the right approach in this case, but it would have been better if the president had not appeared to be calling his shot and pointing to the stands.