Contrary to how some understand the U.S. withdrawal in Afghanistan, the lesson extremists are taking from the Taliban’s success is not simply that jihad works, but that diplomacy and engagement are a necessary part of the process, which includes reassuring the West about external threats emerging from their areas.
If the evacuation of Afghanistan tested U.S. partnerships in ways that revealed something short of solidarity, building and sustaining an allied strategy for political transition in Syria can provide the corrective.
Local ‘uprising’ armed groups with fighting experience and a young provincial governor intent on change in an area long known for having hosted the founder of al Qaeda seem to be keeping the Taliban offensive at bay. For now.
In the dusty farms and villages of Sinjar, the interests of Iran and Turkey collide. Here in northern Iraq, Tehran is allying with non-state actors in order to further its own interests — this time with the controversial PKK group, which will bring it into conflict with Ankara.
Every generation of American diplomats has a figure who becomes the face of the era in foreign policy, a Dean Acheson, Henry Kissinger, or Richard Holbrooke. The years of pain and sorrow otherwise known as the Forever Wars may have found their own symbol in Brett McGurk.
Documents and pictures, made public in English by New Lines for the first time, that indicate Qardash was in fact a leading figure among Iraqi jihadist groups over the past two decades who has steadily worked his way up the security and religious hierarchy within the Islamic State group.
Even though Kurds produced many legends in Islamic history, like Saladin, contemporary Kurds invoke folkloric figures and battles. The central role of these legends explains the secularism of Kurdish resistance and why Islamism has not gained ground among Kurds today