Hurricane Irene: Ongoing Response and Recovery

Ed. Note: Cross-posted from the FEMA blog. Administrator Craig Fugate (right) goes over a map of Ludlow with Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin (center) and General Dick Harris, Brigadier General, Vermont National Guard in Ludlow, VT. They ... Read more »

President Obama Salutes the Extraordinary Decade of Military Service by the 9/11 Generation

President Obama today praised the extraordinary decade of service rendered by the 9/11 Generation of our military, the more than five million men and women – all of whom voluntarily joined the armed forces over the past ten years. He also paid ... Read more »

An Appeal for Funding

Kandahar & London An Appeal for Funding (This is a joint post by Alex Strick van Linschoten, Felix Kuehn and Anand Gopal) I wouldn’t normally put something like this up on the blog, but after over a year or so of asking around (without success) we’re trying all options. For several years now, Felix, Anand and I have been [...] Read more »

Indonesia Events Show Increasing Extremist Influence

by Chris Lundry The past couple of weeks have been interesting in Indonesia, especially for those concerned with religion and conflict in the world’s most populous Muslim country. Ahmadiyya sentences. On February 6 in Banten, West Java, some 1000 villagers attacked a house with several members of Ahmadiyya inside. Ahmadis consider themselves Muslims, but many Muslims consider Ahmadis heretics because of their belief that Mirza Ghulam Ahmad was a prophet who came after Mohammad. The […] Read more »

Beware the “Crusaders” My Friend; The Jaws That Bite, The Claws That Scratch

Interesting use of the epithet “Crusaders,” this time by Gaddafi’s government.  I had not been previously aware of Arab governments using the term.  Rather, I thought that this was generally a bit of jihadist terminology. Did I miss something?  Or are Gaddafi’s people trying to claim the mantle of Islam in the Libyan civil war? Read more »

Net-Worth of Congressional Dept Panel Members

There is an old adage that a group typically won’t vote to reduce it’s own power. It isn’t a far jump to extend this to tax increases: few people are likely to vote an increase in their own taxes. This got me wondering about the new Congressional “super committee” appointed to propose a solution to […] Read more »

Has al-Qaeda Become a Toxic Brand?

by Steven R. Corman In business marketing, branding means creating demand for a product by creating an image that is appealing to potential consumers.  This probably brings to mind successful brands like Coca-Cola, Disney, and Nike.  But brands can also become “toxic.” Recent evidence suggests al-Qaeda may now be one such failed brand. Brands become toxic when they are initially strong and well known, then negative events transform their image in a way that turns […] Read more »

US Special Operators Killed in Afghanistan: Waiting for the Other Shoe to Drop

News reports and the Pentagon have nearly two dozen US special operators and an unspecified number of Afghans killed in Afghanistan today when the Taliban shot down their helicopter.  Reportedly the helicopter was carrying a “quick reaction force” (QRF), raising the question of whether there were friendly casualties in the engagement that the WRF was […] Read more »