The Great Debate

Why arming U.S. allies can be like sending weapons straight to the enemy

By David Axe
March 25, 2015
A member of the Kurdish peshmerga forces sit with a weapon during an intensive security deployment against Islamic State militants in Makhmur

A member of the Kurdish peshmerga forces sit with a weapon during an intensive security deployment against Islamic State militants in Makhmur, on the outskirts of the province of Nineveh August 7, 2014. REUTERS/Stringer

A strategy for defeating Islamic State from an unlikely source

By Jack Goldstone
March 11, 2015
Shi'ite fighters fire a rocket during clashes with Islamic State militants in Salahuddin province

Shi’ite fighters fire a rocket during clashes with Islamic State militants in Salahuddin province, March 1, 2015. REUTERS/Ahmed Al-Hussain

Iraqi heritage damaged by all sides of the conflict – even U.S.

By Peter Van Buren
March 10, 2015
Iraqi children run in front of a temple in the historic city of Hatra, 350 kilometres north of Baghd..

Iraqi children run in front of a temple in the historic city of Hatra, north of Baghdad, Dec. 6, 2002. Reports say Islamic State destroyed at least parts of the city, REUTERS

Taking back Tikrit and Mosul from Islamic State could make life worse for residents

By Peter Van Buren
March 4, 2015
Shi'ite fighters fire a rocket during clashes with Islamic State militants in Salahuddin province

Shi’ite fighters fire a rocket during clashes with Islamic State militants in Salahuddin province March 1, 2015. REUTERS/Ahmed Al-Hussaini

Why do European Muslim girls look to Islamic State for marriage material?

By Barbara F. Walter
March 4, 2015
Handout CCTV image shows British teenage girl Amira Abase walking through security at Gatwick airport before boarding a flight to Turkey


Left to right: Kadiza Sultana, Amira Abase, Shamima Begun. The British teenagers walk through security at Gatwick airport before boarding a flight to Turkey, Feb. 17, 2015. REUTERS/Metropolitan Police/Handout via Reuters

The cracks in Islamic State’s business plan are starting to show

By Ora Szekely
February 20, 2015
File photo of displaced people from the minority Yazidi sect, fleeing violence from forces loyal to the Islamic State in Sinjar town, walking towards the Syrian border

Displaced people from the minority Yazidi sect, fleeing violence from forces loyal to the Islamic State in Sinjar town, walk toward the Syrian border, Aug 11, 2014. REUTERS/Rodi Said/Files

Iraqis may fear Shi’ite militias more than Islamic State

By Mohamad Bazzi
February 19, 2015
A fighter from the Shi'ite Kata'ib Imam Ali (Imam Ali Brigades) militia runs as they search a house after taking control of a village from Islamist State militants, on the outskirts of Dhuluiya

A fighter from the Shi’ite Imam Ali Brigades militia runs after taking control of a village from Islamist State militants, on the outskirts of Dhuluiya, north of Baghdad, Dec. 29, 2014. REUTERS/Stringer

‘American Sniper’: The war we wished for just might win the Oscar

By Allen Steinberg
February 19, 2015
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Bradley Cooper playing Chris Kyle in ‘American Sniper.’ REUTERS/Warner Bros. Entertainment

Time to end the authorization for endless war

By Steve Vladeck
February 11, 2015
U.S. President Obama thanks members of  the U.S. military for their service after meetings with military senior leadership for an update on the campaign to combat Islamic State at the Pentagon in Washington

President Barack Obama thanks members of the U.S. military for their service after meeting with military senior leadership to hear an update on the campaign to combat Islamic State at the Pentagon in Washington, October 8, 2014. REUTERS/Gary Cameron

Life is harsh under Islamic State. But what’s the alternative?

By Aki Peritz
February 9, 2015
Man walks down a street filled with abandoned vehicles and debris from damaged buildings in the northern Syrian town of Kobani

A man walks down a street in the northern Syrian town of Kobani, January 30, 2015. REUTERS/Osman Orsal