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Geopoliticus: The FPRI Blog

Seven Flaws In the U.S. Strategy to Counter ISIS

Posted by Clint Watts
September 18, 2014 - 9:36am

(Editor's Note: This blog post is derived from Clint Watts' Ginsburg Lecture delivered at the National Liberty Museum on September 16, 2014.)

The past week’s debate on how to counter ISIS has proven just how effective terrorism is as a tactic for extremist groups.  Two videos showing the beheading of American hostages have provoked the largest U.S. response since the attacks of 9/11,... Read more... Tags: U.S. Strategy, Counterterrorism, ISIS, iraq, Syria, Saudi Arabia, foreign fighters

Turkey’s Shifting Strategic Culture: Part I

Posted by Michael Noonan
September 17, 2014 - 10:15am

By Ryan Evans

When Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was recently sworn in as the President of the Republic of Turkey, the ceremony did not lack in symbolism, much of it contradictory.

Erdoğan represents a shift in the nature of the Turkish state. He is a fundamental departure from every Turkish national leader before him and the most consequential Turkish political figure since Mustafa Kemal Atatürk himself. Erdoğan emerged on the national stage out of the country’s... Read more... Tags: Turkey, Strategic Culture, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk

China and the Islamic State

Posted by Felix K. Chang
September 17, 2014 - 8:12am

The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria might seem far removed from China.  But the spread of its sort of Islamic militancy knows few boundaries.  On Monday, Indonesian authorities arrested seven men who had sought to meet Indonesia’s most-wanted Islamic terrorist.  Four of them, travelling on forged Turkish passports, turned out to be Chinese Uighurs.  Jakarta is now investigating whether the men are linked to the Islamic State.  That follows comments made this summer by the Islamic State’s... Read more... Tags: China, Islamic State, ISIS, East Turkestan Islamic Movement, ETIM, New Silk Road, Shanghai Cooperation Organization, SCO, Uighur, Xinjiang, abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, Xi Jinping, Barack Obama

The Paradox of History

Posted by Michael Noonan
September 11, 2014 - 5:09pm

By John R. Haines 


"When one's conclusions can be no more extensive than one's premises, one is bound to be at a standstill.  Everything must be foreknown or foreseen...Believing in this with pathetic loyalty, we have not understood for the most part that experience is not the guide of our lives but the trial to which we submit our dreams."

... Read more... Tags: President Barack Obama, 9/11, History

The U.S. Can’t Destroy ISIS, Only ISIS Can Destroy ISIS – The Unfortunate Merits of the “Let Them Rot” Strategy

Posted by Clint Watts
September 7, 2014 - 10:35pm

During the early 1990s the Algerian government fought one of the nastiest civil wars in recent history against a broad-based Islamist insurgency.  The Armed Islamic Group (GIA) conducted a brutal insurgent campaign employing vicious terrorist tactics on par with today’s modern menace the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (known by the acronyms ISIS, ISIL or IS for Islamic State – you pick the one you... Read more... Tags: ISIS, iraq, Syria