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Archive for the ‘Military Files’ Category

Stratfor: Defining al Qaeda

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“Defining al Qaeda is republished with permission of Stratfor.”

By Scott Stewart

The Obama administration’s efforts to counter the threat posed by al Qaeda and the wider jihadist movement have been a contentious topic in the U.S. presidential race. Political rhetoric abounds on both sides; administration officials claim that al Qaeda has been seriously crippled, while some critics of the administration allege that the group is stronger than ever. As with most political rhetoric, both claims bear elements of truth, but the truth depends largely on how al Qaeda and jihadism are defined. Unfortunately, politicians and the media tend to define al Qaeda loosely and incorrectly.

The jihadist threat will persist regardless of who is elected president, so understanding the actors involved is critical. But a true understanding of those actors requires taxonomical acuity. It seems worthwhile, then, to revisit Stratfor’s definitions of al Qaeda and the wider jihadist movement. Read the rest of this entry »


Written by Theophyle

October 19, 2012 at 10:09 am

Borderlands Europe (1)

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Geopolitical Journey, Part 2: Borderlands is republished with permission of  STRATFOR.

By George Friedman

A borderland is a region where history is constant: Everything is in flux. The countries we are visiting on this trip (Turkey, Romania, Moldova, Ukraine and Poland) occupy the borderland between Islam, Catholicism and Orthodox Christianity. Roman Catholic Hapsburg Austria struggled with the Islamic Ottoman Empire for centuries, with the Ottomans extending northwest until a climactic battle in Vienna in 1683. Beginning in the 18th century, Orthodox Russia expanded from the east, through Belarus and Ukraine. For more than two centuries, the belt of countries stretching from the Baltic to the Black seas was the borderland over which three empires fought. Read the rest of this entry »

Metal Allies

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The new face of a faceless global war: drones and the CIA.

By William Saletan

In the decade since Sept. 11, 2001, the United States has developed an air force of drones to fight its new enemies. Faced with terrorists willing to take any life, we built machines that hunt and kill but don’t bleed.

In the next decade, our reliance on drones and the spies who support them may increase for a different reason: We’re losing friends.

Since Sept. 11, the U.S. drone fleet has grown from a few dozen to 7,000. The Air Force now trains more pilots to operate drones than to fly bombers or fighter jets. Spy drones have flown extensively in Afghanistan and Iraq, where we’ve fought ground wars. But killer drones have been particularly useful in Pakistan, where we can’t send troops. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Theophyle

July 5, 2011 at 8:54 am

Wary Powers Set to Square Off

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By Loretta Chao, Jason Dean and Bob Davis

China’s President Hu Jintao landed in Washington for a summit that will help to define a new relationship between the world’s longtime superpower and its rising Asian rival, at a time when their bonds have been frayed by mutual suspicions and an ideological gulf. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Theophyle

January 19, 2011 at 2:29 pm

Ron Ben-Yishai:Pyongyang has the edge

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Op-ed: North Korea’s belligerent policy of brinkmanship backed by vast military superiority.

North Korea is currently facing major domestic distress. The sanctions imposed on it and its agricultural difficulties have led to serious hunger, the UN reports. Yet instead of suspending its nuclear program and ballistic missiles and resuming talks with the US, China, Russia, Japan and South Korea (which promised generous aid in food and fuel,) Pyongyang is attempting to extort them via war threats and provocations. This, in essence, is the backdrop for the grave incident where the communist country shelled a South Korean island not too far from the two Koreas western border. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Theophyle

November 25, 2010 at 9:07 am

WikiLeaks and the Culture of Classification

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WikiLeaks and the Culture of Classification is republished with permission of STRATFOR.”

By Scott Stewart

On Friday, Oct. 22, the organization known as WikiLeaks published a cache of 391,832 classified documents on its website. The documents are mostly field reports filed by U.S. military forces in Iraq from January 2004 to December 2009 (the months of May 2004 and March 2009 are missing). The bulk of the documents (379,565, or about 97 percent) were classified at the secret level, with 204 classified at the lower confidential level. The remaining 12,062 documents were either unclassified or bore no classification. Read the rest of this entry »

Hezbollah prepares hit list to avenge Mughniyeh killing

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‘Deck of cards’ features top Israeli officials Shiite group holds responsible for Mughniyeh killing.

By Roee Nahmias

Hezbollah has prepared a deck of playing cards serving as a hit list of senior Israeli officials it holds responsible for the February 2008 assassination of senior member of the organization, Imad Mughniyeh, in Damascus. Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Rai Al-Aam has publicized a hit list of senior Israeli officials. At the top of the list, constituting the “ace card” is Mossad Director Meir Dagan. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Theophyle

September 16, 2010 at 8:49 am