ISIS De-Demonized: A Review Article

Only honest responsible government (not externally imposed) in Arab countries will deprive ISIS of nourishment. Until then, the U.S. can win battles, with drones, with proxies, with whatever else comes to hand, but the Middle East will remain in turmoil. And terrorism in the U.S. will continue to be largely locally grown, a product of our own gun-happy culture. Read more »

Public Diplomacy Highlighted in TED Talks

These TED talks are example of how diplomacy can take a sensitive topic and neutralize it. Jobrani’s cultural appeal through comedy gives him an opportunity to showcase a positive side of the Middle East to international audiences. Ghosh’s straight forward and direct talk speaks to how a religious conception has changed and how the narrative can be reclaimed in order to help a group of people reclaim their religion and livelihood. TED talks discussing examples of public diplomacy should be given more attention in the media as one of the ways to avoid misperceptions of groups and nationalities so that relationships can be built and maintained.

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After Taking SEALs Hollywood, Navy Slams Commandos for Videogame

For over a year, the U.S. military has pimped out its elite Navy SEALs to Hollywood, and is preparing for a major movie about the bin Laden raid, directed by an Oscar winner. Yet it may have just ended the careers of seven SEALs, including some who helped take out bin Laden, for consulting on a videogame the military says is too realistic for its comfort. Read more »

Alternative to Bin Laden Raid: A Teeny, Tiny Missile Strike

There was better evidence Saddam had WMD than that Osama was at the Abbottabad compound in May 2011. Oh, and the alternative to raiding the compound was shooting it with a missile; torture contributed to the evidence leading the U.S. to bin Laden; and the SEALs could have taken al-Qaida's leader alive. These are just some of Mark Bowden's conclusions from his brand new book on the raid, "The Finish." Read more »

The Missing Narrative on al-Qaeda

by Karina Sandhu Beginning September 11, 2001 and ending on May 2, 2011, in the eyes of many Americans, the terrorist organization al-Qaeda, was born, raised, lived, and died. Despite the fact that al-Qaeda was founded in 1989 and continues to exist today, many American citizens seem to have forgotten about the organization. And why wouldn’t they? As recently as September 11, 2012 we were told by CNN’s Fareed Zakaria that currently “al-Qaeda is a […] Read more »

Apple, Bing Maps Reveal Secret Sites

A top-secret base in Taiwan, revealed on an Apple Map. The Navy SEALs' rehearsal site for the Osama bin Laden raid, found on Bing. Once again, commercial satellites have snapped images of things that governments would rather hide from public view. And once again, those governments are finding that there's not much they can do, once this sensitive imagery ends up online. Read more »

AWOL From Obama’s Speech: U.S. Mission After Bin Laden

Perhaps you haven't been paying too much attention to the news lately. If so, the Democratic Party has a message for you: Barack Obama ordered the hit on Osama bin Laden, and Mitt Romney most definitely did not. What President Obama didn't say in Charlotte during his renomination speech, however, is where he -- and U.S. national security -- goes from here. Read more »

Abbottabad Revisited

Controversy over the ex-Navy SEAL's book has overshadowed the critical information gained last May from the 17 documents retrieved from the compound in Pakistan on the al-Qaeda organization and bin Laden’s last months as leader. Read more »