The Great Debate

When Palmyra rivaled the Roman Empire

By Mike Duncan
May 25, 2015
Tourists take pictures at the ancient Palmyra theater in the historical city of Palmyra

Tourists take pictures at the ancient theater in the historical city of Palmyra, April 18, 2008. REUTERS/Omar Sanadiki

To recapture Ramadi from Islamic State, Iraq must use this formula

By Hayder Al-Khoei
May 18, 2015
Displaced Sunni people, who fled the violence in the city of Ramadi, arrive at the outskirts of Baghdad

Displaced Sunnis, who fled the violence in the city of Ramadi, arrive at the outskirts of Baghdad, April 17, 2015. REUTERS/Stringer

Last of Saddam Hussein’s lieutenants may have fallen in Iraq, but Baathists fight on

By Mohamad Bazzi
May 6, 2015
The body of a man believed to be Ezzat al-Douri, is seen as it is delivered by fighters of the Shiite militia group Kataib Hezbollah, to the Iraqi government in Baghdad

The body of a man believed to be Ezzat al-Douri, is seen as it is delivered by fighters of the Shiite militia group Kataib Hezbollah, to the Iraqi government in Baghdad, April 20, 2015. REUTERS/Stringer

Better the dictator you condemn than the insurgents you can’t control

By John Lloyd
May 1, 2015
Fighters from Misrata fire weapons at Islamic State militants near Sirte

Fighters from Misrata fire weapons at Islamic State militants near Sirte, March 15, 2015. Militants loyal to Islamic State, the group which has seized much of Iraq and Syria, have established a larger presence in central Libya in recent weeks. REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic

An ancient imam at the center of Iran nuclear deal

By Mohamad Bazzi
April 13, 2015
Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei speaks in Tehran

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei speaks in Tehran, January 8, 2007. REUTERS/Stringer

With Shi’ite militia victory over Islamic State in Tikrit, Iraq still loses

By Maria Fantappie and Peter Harling
March 30, 2015
Iraqi security forces cover their ears as a rocket is launched during clashes with Islamic State militants at a frontline in Tikrit

Iraqi security forces cover their ears as a rocket is launched during clashes with Islamic State militants at a frontline in Tikrit, March 28, 2015. REUTERS/Thaier Al-Sudani

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