Op-eds

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Afghanistan

Shortly after toppling the Baathist regime, the U.S. military contracted with a local Iraqi firm to run a major public opinion survey in Baghdad. The effort was massive: in-person interviews nearly every month over a five-year period across the city’s nine urban and rural municipalities. In total, some 200,000 residents were randomly sampled...

In a recent New York Times opinion piece, “Where Terrorism Research Goes Wrong,” social psychologist Anthony Biglan argues that, given the importance of antiterrorism programs and the huge resources devoted to them, far too few are subjected to randomized controlled trials (RCTs) evaluating their efficacy. To his knowledge only two such studies...

A new research program is using the Hoover Archives to study the original Russian-language records of the Soviet Union’s long involvement in Afghanistan, including the ten years of intense military conflict there. Dubbed Mining Afghan Lessons from Soviet Era (MALSE), the program explores ways in which the United States and coalition forces...

Colombia

Colombia’s stubborn insurgencies are creeping out of the jungle and to the negotiating table. Against the backdrop of recent intense fighting, the government of Colombia and the largest insurgent group that seeks to topple it — the FARC — have agreed to begin negotiations to end the nearly 50-year old conflict. They will begin talks in Oslo on...

Iraq

But almost entirely unnoticed is how the Iraqi government has responded. Central to the battle for the hearts and minds of Iraq’s Sunnis is the supply of electricity. The United Nations released satellite imagery this summer comparing a large swath of northern Iraq between May and June showing significant reductions in night lights (and,...

Shortly after toppling the Baathist regime, the U.S. military contracted with a local Iraqi firm to run a major public opinion survey in Baghdad. The effort was massive: in-person interviews nearly every month over a five-year period across the city’s nine urban and rural municipalities. In total, some 200,000 residents were randomly sampled...

The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is now in complete or partial control of more than a dozen Iraqi cities in Sunni-dominated areas of Iraq, which has set off an urgent debate over what the Iraqi government might do to reestablish control over its territory and whether the U.S. government should play a role in supporting such efforts....

When the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria poured out from the eastern deserts of Syria into Iraq’s second-largest city last month, it was an image out of the eighth century: bearded Islamist marauders summarily executing unbelievers, pillaging as they went. But underneath that grisly exterior lurks something more modern and more insidious. As...

In a recent New York Times opinion piece, “Where Terrorism Research Goes Wrong,” social psychologist Anthony Biglan argues that, given the importance of antiterrorism programs and the huge resources devoted to them, far too few are subjected to randomized controlled trials (RCTs) evaluating their efficacy. To his knowledge only two such studies...

Mexico

In a recent New York Times opinion piece, “Where Terrorism Research Goes Wrong,” social psychologist Anthony Biglan argues that, given the importance of antiterrorism programs and the huge resources devoted to them, far too few are subjected to randomized controlled trials (RCTs) evaluating their efficacy. To his knowledge only two such studies...

Pakistan

In a recent New York Times opinion piece, “Where Terrorism Research Goes Wrong,” social psychologist Anthony Biglan argues that, given the importance of antiterrorism programs and the huge resources devoted to them, far too few are subjected to randomized controlled trials (RCTs) evaluating their efficacy. To his knowledge only two such studies...

Philippines

In a recent New York Times opinion piece, “Where Terrorism Research Goes Wrong,” social psychologist Anthony Biglan argues that, given the importance of antiterrorism programs and the huge resources devoted to them, far too few are subjected to randomized controlled trials (RCTs) evaluating their efficacy. To his knowledge only two such studies...

Others

Over the weekend, U.S. President Donald Trump issued an executive order freezing entry into the United States for citizens from seven countries for 120 days. The action led to protests at airports in New York, Washington, D.C., and other cities, where refugees—including legal permanent residents—were detained. Later that day, a federal judge...

On January 27, true to his campaign promise to suspend Muslim immigration, U.S. President Donald Trump signed an executive order restricting all immigration from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen, and indefinitely barring Syrian refugees from entering the United States. By doing so, the Trump administration has taken a...

Recent attacks in Istanbul and Berlin remind us that preventing violent extremism must be a policy priority for the incoming Donald Trump administration. The last decade has shown that our good intelligence will never prevent every terrorist attack, and our aggressive reactions will never kill or scare away every potential terrorist. But we can...

In recent weeks, ISIS has suffered territorial losses on multiple fronts, including in Iraq, Libya, and Syria. The organization may look nearer to defeat than at any time in the past two years, but there is still a great deal of fighting to be done before the group is destroyed, or more likely beaten back to an underground terrorist...

That leaves patience, containment, and humanitarian aid as the least-bad policies while waiting for this awful war to play itself out.

In 2003, David Petraeus, then a division commander in Iraq, famously asked “tell me how this ends?” in reference to the conflict just starting there. It was a good question then, and it’s a good question...

The Islamic State attacks in Paris exposed two vulnerabilities. The first is ours, to the threat posed by skilled, suicidal fighters. Yet the massacre also exposed a weakness of Islamic State, one that threatens its very existence. The threat posed by suicide attackers is all too real, and as long as the conflict in Syria and Iraq continues,...

A new research program is using the Hoover Archives to study the original Russian-language records of the Soviet Union’s long involvement in Afghanistan, including the ten years of intense military conflict there. Dubbed Mining Afghan Lessons from Soviet Era (MALSE), the program explores ways in which the United States and coalition forces...