Putting the Islamist “win” in Tunisia in Context

by Jeffry R. Halverson Put him in power and see how wise he is. – Ernest Hemingway, A Farewell to Arms I have spent an inordinate amount of time studying Islamist ideologues and their ideas during my relatively short lifetime. I’ve never read War and Peace, but I have read Milestones and The Neglected Duty. In recent months, the Tunisian Islamist and leader of Ennahda, Rachid Ghannouchi, has occupied a good deal of my attention. […] Read more »

U.S. Material Support Laws: The Next Don’t Ask-Don’t Tell?

In late September the United States formally ended its “Don’t Ask-Don’t Tell” (DADT) policy for gays and lesbians in military service, ending a policy criticized for many years as discriminatory and leading to unequal enforcement. But the DADT concept appears … Continue reading Read more »

GWOT weekly round-up (October 21)

Drones & Cyberwarfare Tim Maurer argues that cyber-warfare has the potential to save live, especially compared to conventional conflicts. Robert Prescott criticises the use of drone strikes. Libya Barry Rubin discusses Gaddafi’s death. Rolling Stone magazine looks at the events … Continue reading Read more »

Al Qaida and Its Media Shortcomings: A Possible Improvement Coming

Last night I guest lectured in Stephen Tankel’s class on Al Qaida and information operations.  We were discussing AQ’s lack of television stations and one student noted that the convergence between television and the Internet will probably solve that problem for Al Qaida (or its successors) in the medium term.  After all Al Qaida has a robust […] Read more »

Extremism and Contested Tunisian Identity in Kairouan

by Jeffry R. Halverson I recently traveled to Tunisia where I visited the ancient holy city of Kairouan. Elections for the constituent assembly to produce a new Tunisian constitution are less than two weeks away and there is a lot of discussion taking place about the nature of Tunisian identity and the role of Islam in Tunisian society. Islamists, both mainstream and radical, obviously envision a prominent role for Islam. However, my experiences in Kairouan, […] Read more »

GWOT weekly round-up (October 7)

Afghanistan Ahmad Majidyar analyses Karzai’s decision to suspend talks with the Taliban. China Foreign Policy dissects some common assumptions about US-China policy. Cyberwarfare & Drones Wired suggests that terrorists and insurgent groups may be developing the capacity to use robots … Continue reading Read more »

Washington’s ‘different kind of war’ raises again difficult legal questions for British politicians

Following the killing of Anwar Al-Awlaki in Yemen and the continuing use of military commissions to prosecute alleged terrorists, Jason Ralph analyses the evolving character of the War on Terror as it enters its second decade. The killing in Yemen … Continue reading Read more »

Another Bombing in Indonesia, Another Struggle over Framing

by Chris Lundry On Sunday, September 25, a lone suicide bomber detonated a bomb at a Protestant Church in Surakarta (Solo), Central Java, as services were letting out. Along with the bomber, one congregant was killed and several wounded from the shrapnel composed of nails, bolts and buckshot. In the ensuing week there has been a struggle over how the event should be framed, with most Islamist groups denying responsibility. The bomber has been identified […] Read more »