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National Security

Ironies in Obama’s U.N. Address

In his United Nations address, President Barack Obama had a tough-love message for the Islamic world: Grow up. Share power. And deliver the goods to your people so they won’t be attracted to extremism.

The United States is leading the military campaign to confront a new tide of extremism, but the president laid the onus of ending a global threat on the regimes in the Islamic world, especially the Middle East. Left unsaid was the ironic fact that several of those autocratic countries are participating in the new coalition against the Islamic State.

Americanasaurus and the March to War in Syria

George Kennan once compared democracy (a.k.a. America?) to a large, lumbering pre-historic animal.

The Woman IS Wants to Trade Hostages For

Pakistani Aafia Siddiqui is currently serving an 86 year sentence in a Texas jail. She was the woman Islamic State said they wanted to trade for the lives of, first, James Foley and then, Steven Sotloff. There was no deal and both men were beheaded. But what do we know about her? Aafia Siddiqui's sister speaks about her family’s response and Michael Kugelman of the Woodrow Wilson Center provides his analysis of the situation.

Jane Harman on Face the Nation

Jane Harman was featured as a panelist on Face the Nation on Sunday to talk about the U.S. response to ISIL and President Obama’s foreign policy. Also on the panel were Senator Joe Lieberman, former CIA Deputy Director Mike Morell, and Bob Kagan of Brookings.

The Coalition of Convenience

In an effort to avoid any parallels to Bush 43's war in Iraq, the Obama administration has studiously avoided the use of the term "coalition of the willing" in its campaign to line up allies in the fight against the Islamic State (IS). It's just as well.

New Book on the Secret History of the Predator Drone

WASHINGTON – has named Wilson Center Global Fellow Richard Whittle’s new book Predator: The Secret Origins of the Drone Revolution one of September’s fifteen best new history books.

Predator, which Henry Holt and Company will release Sept. 16, is described by publishing world bellwether Kirkus Reviews magazine as "endlessly interesting and full of implication."

Kirkus gave Predator a "starred review," reserved for "books of exceptional merit."

Why NATO Needs Turkey in the Fight Against ISIS

President Obama said that NATO is prepared to combat the threat from ISIS on Friday. Rep. Ed Royce and Jill Dougherty talk about what the strategy for defeating ISIS might look like and whether Turkey and other countries in the Middle East will be committed to the fight. 

Bad as Baghdadi? Pakistan’s Most Dangerous Man

With the Pakistani press fixated on impending anti-government protests in Islamabad, a major terrorist attack launched in mid-August on the other side of the country went largely unreported.

U.S. Seeking to Build Coalition to Take on ISIS

Aaron David Miller speaks with Luke Russert of MSNBC to discuss efforts by the U.S. to build a coalition to take on ISIS. Miller comments that "this is a very risk averse president, and a relatively risk averse American population, we are not going to forge the kind of coalition which allows for thousands of boots on the ground in Iraq and Syria. The situation is "exacerbated by the fact that we are going to have to rely on regional allies."