ISIL: Britain Joins the Air Battle, and More…
Sep27

ISIL: Britain Joins the Air Battle, and More…

Two Royal Air Force Tornado GR4 aircraft prepare to depart RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus, armed with Paveway IV laser guided bombs, in support of OP SHADER on the 27th of September 2014. Photo British MOD. CODA 1: Our newest partner in the battle against ISIL terrorists has just confirmed that Royal Air Force jets have conducted armed reconnaissance operations over areas of Iraq. The British Ministry of Defense: Royal Air Force Tornado GR4...

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Women Fighting the Islamic State
Sep26

Women Fighting the Islamic State

The history of women serving in armed conflicts probably goes back hundreds of years — if not longer. In the United States, during the American Revolution, women served on the battlefield as nurses, water bearers, laundresses and saboteurs. Ever since then, their roles in the military have continued to expand in numbers, skills and responsibilities. But, it would still be more than 150 years — World War II — before...

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Obama to the UN
Sep26

Obama to the UN

Two days ago, in an address to the United Nations General Assembly, President Barack Obama laid out the intent of the United States and the role of our nation in the world. He made clear that the United States was not fighting or isolating Islam, and that the faith is an important part of American identity. The Islamic State in the Middle East poses a threat to its stability and the security of an international community. And, while...

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The Ebola Crisis: International Efforts Intensify
Sep25

The Ebola Crisis: International Efforts Intensify

In his excellent column on the rapidly escalating Ebola epidemic, Brij Khindaria, expresses some skepticism over the slow manner in which the international community, including the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United States have reacted and over the lack of credible solutions. But Khindaria also lays some of the blame on “the governments on the front lines” who seem to be more interested in getting external financial and...

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After Initial Successes, Coalition Air Strikes Against ISIL Continue
Sep25

After Initial Successes, Coalition Air Strikes Against ISIL Continue

After yesterday’s strikes on oil refineries in eastern Syria controlled by ISIL terrorists, initial assessments are that the strikes were successful in rendering all 12 of the targeted modular refineries inoperable, according to Pentagon Spokesman Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby. Six U.S. jets, joined by 10 fighter aircraft from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, participated in the strikes. See the lead graphic by DOD. The...

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WHO, Obama and the Ebola riddle
Sep25

WHO, Obama and the Ebola riddle

The so far limited Ebola crisis has the makings of a global epidemic to which the international community, including the World Health Organization and United States, do not have credible solutions. The virus is not contagious but is extraordinarily lethal with a 50% kill rate and is becoming endemic in a few countries. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has already warned that 1.4 million people may be affected in the...

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New Airstrikes Target ISIL Oil Refineries
Sep24

New Airstrikes Target ISIL Oil Refineries

The U.S. Central Command (Centcom) reports that U.S. and allied Arab countries aircraft attacked ISIL in Syria today, using a mix of fighter and remotely piloted aircraft to conduct 13 airstrikes against 12 ISIL-controlled modular oil refineries in remote areas of eastern Syria near Mayadin, Hasakah, and Abu Kamal. The attacks are part of an effort to deprive ISIL of one of its major sources of revenue. Centcom describes the...

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Despite Rising Voice of Climate Movement, Global Leaders Dither
Sep24

Despite Rising Voice of Climate Movement, Global Leaders Dither

Despite Rising Voice of Climate Movement, Global Leaders Dither By Nick Cunningham The largest ever gathering for climate action took place in New York on Sept. 21, just two days ahead of a major negotiations on a climate treaty between global leaders at the United Nations. The “People’s Climate March” attracted an estimated 400,000 people and the message to the political class was clear: stop dithering – it’s time for meaningful...

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The F-22 Raptor Makes its Combat Debut
Sep23

The F-22 Raptor Makes its Combat Debut

I have written plenty about the sad demise of one of the most controversial weapon system programs: the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor fighter program. The $66.7 billion program was cancelled in 2009 by Secretary of Defense Robert Gates after only 187 aircraft had been ordered, in spite of the Air Force wanting to build 750 of them and in spite of the U.S. Air Force claiming that the F-22 with “Its combination of stealth, supercruise,...

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(Updated) Successful Syrian Strikes ‘Only the Beginning’
Sep23

(Updated) Successful Syrian Strikes ‘Only the Beginning’

Update: Video of the guided missile destroyer USS Arleigh Burke launching Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles (TLAM) against ISIL targets in Syria from the Red Sea. (U.S. Navy video by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Carlos M. Vazquez II) Warning: Turn volume down. Original Post: Army Lt. Gen. William C. Mayville Jr., director of operations for the Joint Staff, during a press briefing at the Pentagon today, described the airstrikes...

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Air Strikes in Syria: First After Action Report
Sep23

Air Strikes in Syria: First After Action Report

From U.S. Central Command Public Affairs: U.S. military forces and partner nations, including the Kingdom of Bahrain, the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, undertook military action against ISIL terrorists in Syria overnight, using a mix of fighter, bomber, remotely piloted aircraft and Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles to conduct 14 strikes against ISIL targets. An F/A-18C...

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Breaking News: U.S. Airstrikes Underway Against ISIL in Syria
Sep22

Breaking News: U.S. Airstrikes Underway Against ISIL in Syria

Update” Reuters reports: Several Arab nations are involved in the ongoing U.S.-led operation, a defense official said. A diplomatic source identified the nations as Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. . Another U.S. official said the Arab nations will be dropping bombs, not just providing support. Up to 20 locations have been targeted in the operation, many of the sites in Raqqa, the official said....

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(Updated) Will the Neocons Eat French Fries Once Again?
Sep22

(Updated) Will the Neocons Eat French Fries Once Again?

Update: More information on the French air strikes in Iraq, courtesy AP/Stars and Stripes: France is conducting the operations in Iraq from French Air Base 104 inside Al Dhafra base near Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates. French jets began flying reconnaissance missions Monday over Iraq. . The base, with about 750 French service personnel and six Rafales, is 1,700 kilometers (1,050 miles) from Mosul, meaning that the...

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Why a UN Climate Agreement Cannot be Reached
Sep22

Why a UN Climate Agreement Cannot be Reached

This week the UN will convene a climate summit where Secretary General Ban Ki Moon will ask leaders to bring “bold announcements and actions that will reduce emissions, strengthen climate resilience, and mobilize political will for a meaningful legal agreement in 2015.” For those who have marched in cities around the world this weekend demanding change, the summit offers a new opportunity to finally set the world on a corrective path...

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Pondering The Obamalypse, What Hummingbirds Tells Us & Other Musings On The Autumnal Equinox
Sep22

Pondering The Obamalypse, What Hummingbirds Tells Us & Other Musings On The Autumnal Equinox

The eve of the first day of autumn at the mountain retreat began with a stroll to the road and our mailbox under a sunlit canopy of leaves just beginning to turn to the sublime reds, oranges, yellows and browns of the season. The mailbox disgorged a phone bill, the new issue of Vanity Fair (“Hell in the Ebola Hot Zone!”), several advertising circulars and some dragon smoke. Alas, as I walked back to the house, my mind was...

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U.S. Military Mission to Fight Ebola:  What Does Victory Look Like?
Sep20

U.S. Military Mission to Fight Ebola: What Does Victory Look Like?

In an August 22 column on the Ebola crisis, we noted that the current outbreak of Ebola in West Africa — “the worst in recorded history” — had claimed 1,350 lives. Less than a month later the World Health Organization reports that the number of people in West Africa who have contracted and died from Ebola has doubled to 2,622. On Thursday, in an emergency session convened by the United States, 131 members of the United Nations...

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Russians Must Prepare for Lengthy Stand-Off with the United States (Izvestia, Russia)
Sep20

Russians Must Prepare for Lengthy Stand-Off with the United States (Izvestia, Russia)

Is there a solution to the Ukraine crisis short of all-out war in the heart of Europe? For Russia’s Izvestia, Sergei Karaganov, chairman of Russia’s Council for Foreign and Defense Policy, lays out the challenges for Moscow as it seeks to navigate difficult sanctions imposed by the United States and its allies, endure long enough to weaken the basis of U.S. power, and overcome what he perceives as Washington’s...

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A wistful ‘no’ in Scotland (UPDATED Dionne column)
Sep19

A wistful ‘no’ in Scotland (UPDATED Dionne column)

WASHINGTON — Scotland’s referendum on independence was decided by voters whose hearts said yes but whose heads said no. This is why the energy of the campaign in one of the most consequential democratic consultations in history was with the “Yes” side. Passion, imagination and hope are always more inspiring than reason, calculation and doubt. This kept the polls close leading into Thursday’s vote, but...

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Do ‘Civilized’ Nations Have What It Takes to Defeat ISIS?
Sep19

Do ‘Civilized’ Nations Have What It Takes to Defeat ISIS?

Does the “civilized” world have what it takes to defeat the self-declared Islamic State, otherwise known as ISIS? To be sure, the U.S. has launched air strikes on ISIS targets over Iraq, Congress and President Barack Obama finally seem in gear, and there are ongoing efforts to put together a coalition involving NATO and countries such as Saudi Arabia to combat the world’s leading producer of snuff videos. French...

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United Kingdom remains united: Scotland votes “No” on independence
Sep19

United Kingdom remains united: Scotland votes “No” on independence

History and tradition have prevailed in Scotland. The United Kingdom remains united: Scotland has voted “No” to independence and you can almost hear and FEEL the sigh of relief from British Prime Minister David Cameron and from Washington, where a formally downsized U.K. could have had a slew of implications. Scotland has voted to stay in the United Kingdom after voters decisively rejected independence. With the results in...

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