Of especially grave concern is the movement into Syria of bomb makers and military tacticians. As Iraq’s jihad was for much of the past decade, Syria’s is now becoming the “destination jihad” du jour.
Iraq: Where Terrorists Go to School, Jessica Stern, the New York Times
Don’t Give Them Any Ideas!
[Novelist John] Le Carré is not a hunter himself, but he nodded at the people he knew and mounted a casual and running defense of fox hunting, as if he were doing color commentary from the 18th hole at the Masters. It’s an ancient part of the rural culture, he said. It’s egalitarian in this area (some 300 miles west-southwest of London), not an upper-class diversion. … “At least they aren’t hunting that poor goddamn thing with drones.”
John le Carré Has Not Mellowed With Age, Dwight Garner, the New York Times
Islamist terrorists provoke the governments they oppose into responding in ways that seem to prove that these governments want to humiliate or harm Muslims. Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib, and “extraordinary rendition” have become for Muslim youth symbols of the United States’ belligerence and hypocrisy.
Mind Over Martyr, Jessica Stern, Foreign Affairs (PDF of entire article)
Putting Jihadists on the Couch
Self-awareness is not a characteristic of most terrorists. And to be effective those fighting them have to try to understand them better than they understand themselves.
The Terrorist Tipping Point: What Pushed the Tsarnaev Brothers to Violence?, Christopher Dickey, the Daily Beast
Nuclear Weapons No Shortcut to National Security
While the United States would like to be able to rely more on its European allies, many experts doubt that even the strongest among them, Britain and France, could carry out their part of another Libya operation now, and certainly not in a few years. Both are struggling to maintain their own nuclear deterrents as well as mobile, modern armed forces. The situation in Britain is so bad that American officials are quietly urging it to drop its expensive nuclear deterrent.
“Either they can be a nuclear power and nothing else or a real military partner,” a senior American official said.
Shrinking Europe Military Spending Stirs Concern, Steven Erlanger, the New York Times
Cross-posted from the Foreign Policy in Focus blog Focal Points.