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National Security

The ISIS Primer

By Cameron Glenn
 

The Islamic State emerged with breathtaking speed in 2014 after seizing large swaths of Iraq and Syria. It has since overtaken al Qaeda as the dominant worldwide jihadist organization. ISIS has since achieved what had been al Qaeda’s longtime goal – establishing a global caliphate with its own government, economy and army. The following is an overview of the origins, structure, leadership, and ideology of ISIS.

The Paris Attacks: New Pressure on the Obama Administration

Wilson Center Middle East Program Director Henri Barkey describes new pressure on the Obama Administration in the aftermath of the attack on Paris.

Chapter 22 Update: National Security and Climate Change

I’ve been asked to write a few pages of commentary, reflecting upon ideas contained in the chapter I wrote in 2013, for Energy and Security: Strategies for a World in Transition.  To do this, however, requires a kind of running start beginning further back in my past, rather than a standing jump from the near-present. Three documents are involved: “Implications of Severe Climate Change in 30 Years”; [1]  “Energy, Homeland and National Security”;[2] and  “National Security, Energy, Climate Change: New Paradigm, New Strategy, New Governance” (the chapter cited earlier).[3]

Internships with the Cold War International History Project

Fall Semester Application Deadline is 15 July 2019

Program Intern (Cold War History)

Call Number: WC-CWIHP-FA2017-I-18
 

Background

The Cold War International History Project (CWIHP) at the Woodrow Wilson Center accepts internship applications throughout the year. The summer semester deadline in 30 March, the fall semester deadline is 15 July, and the spring semester deadline is 15 November.

ISIS Rising: Overestimating the Threat?

For obvious reasons, ISIS remains a major focus of security discussions. But is it possible that we are overestimating the threat? A recent Wilson Center panel considered the possibility that the Islamic State, like the mythological Icarus, may be headed for a crash of sorts. 

Insights from a National Dialogue on Climate Change, Energy, and Security

In the midst of a minefield on day two of Desert Storm Task Force Ripper, Marine Corps Operations Officer Richard Zilmer stepped out of his armored personnel carrier, squinted up at the sky, and saw nothing but black from horizon to horizon. Iraqi forces, trying desperately to blunt the attack of coalition armies, had set fire to hundreds of Kuwaiti oil wells and oil-filled trenches.

What Stood Out From Obama’s Speech on Iran Deal at American University

President Obama is likely to get his Iran deal through Congress, but that’s because of his advantages in congressional math, not thanks to his powers of persuasion. Wednesday’s address was no uplifting moment like that at American University in 1963 when President John F. Kennedy delivered his “we all breathe the same air” speech in an effort to market the advantages of agreements with the Russians.

Taliban Leader Mullah Omar’s Death Confirmed

Asia Program Senior Associate, Michael Kugelman speaks about the significance of the confirmed death of Taliban Supreme Leader Mullah Omar.

Turkey's New Role in the Fight Against ISIS: Game Changer?

Turkey has finally acceded to America’s request that it open up its southern airbases to U.S. aircraft combatting the Islamic State. The decision has been seen as a major breakthrough in the fight against ISIS and has been accompanied by a Turkish announcement that it too would actively join the anti-ISIS coalition. However, the situation has been complicated by Turkey’s simultaneous decision to also attack the Turkish-Kurdish insurgent group, the PKK, with which it had been engaged in peace talks.

The Other Nuclear Deal

The political class in Washington is consumed at the moment with parsing each clause in last week’s nuclear agreement with Iran for secret meanings, hidden loopholes and possible portents. That America would come to terms on a topic of such political and strategic sensitivity with a state long viewed with suspicion, if not outright antagonism, alarms some and angers others. Questions of who snookered whom abound. Sound familiar?

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