American Drone Addiction

A MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aerial vehicle prepares to land after a mission in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. The Reaper has the ability to carry both precision-guided bombs and air-to-ground missiles.

Being against the usage of unmanned aerial vehicles, also known as “drones,” for any situation with no exceptions is, to be frank, idiotic and pointless.

UAVs are more precise than conventional weaponry at reducing civilian casualties. They also intrinsically prevent the loss of American military life in combat.

A MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aerial vehicle prepares to land after a mission in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.… [Read more]

Al Qaeda in Libya?

While many jihadi organizations adopt the symbols and rhetoric of Al Qaeda, such as the flag above--a variation of the original Al Qaeda flag now used by Al Qaeda in Iraq--this does not make these organizations the same entity as the original Al Qaeda central.

While Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s impassioned back-and-forth with Senators Ron Johnson and John McCain were the highlights of her testimony during the Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s hearing on the 2012 Benghazi attack for most media outlets, my attention was drawn to another portion of the hearing.

During his questioning of Clinton, Ranking Committee Member Sen.… [Read more]

Right or Left: The Incomplete Portraits of Al Qaeda

Al Qaeda's ideology stems from much more than a "blowback" reaction to U.S. foreign policy. It is also motivated by a visceral hatred of Western and/or secularized societies and principles. Pictured above is Sayyid Qutb, whose views on secularism and the West inspired aspects of Al Qaeda's ideology.

Every year around this time—the time near the anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks—numerous articles and TV segments sprout up professing to explain the true motivations of “those who hate us,” or, in other words, of the broadly-based Al Qaeda movement. And every year, I find that most of these assessments come up a little short.… [Read more]

The Real Story of Heroin and the Middle East

Middle_East_Oil&Gas

Most everyone is aware that heroin is a problem in the Middle East. However, not everyone realizes that the Middle East produces more of the drug than any other place on Earth, or that the market there is run mostly by the Taliban and Al Qaeda (different organizations with similar goals who compete for these ends) — which is a major source of income for both sides.… [Read more]

In Defense of Reason Part 1: Yippie Ki Yay

Peace Middle East - Creative Commons

On May 1, 2012 President Barack Obama announced a new agreement between the United States and Afghanistan at Bagram Air Force Base. The President outlined a fairly modest exit strategy in which he confirmed the departure of 23,000 American combat troops by 2014, emphasized the training of 352,000 Afghani soldiers by U.S. personnel, and committed both American military and financial support to Afghanistan over the next decade.… [Read more]

Against Ending A War?

Peace Sign

Polls have said for several years that the majority of Americans are against the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.  We’re still a long away from peace but, for many, President Obama’s announcement that the troops will be pulled out of Iraq to come home in time for the holidays was a welcome announcement.  Of course, we all know you can’t please everyone….[Read more]