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  • Author: Jacob Heilbrunn
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The National Interest
  • Institution: The Nixon Center
  • Abstract: SINCE SEPTEMBER 11, 2001, the United States has damaged its reputation and national security by lurching from one war to the next. Afghanistan, which began triumphantly for the Bush administration, has devolved into a protracted and inconclusive war in which the Taliban is making fresh inroads as American and allied forces hand over security to the Afghan army. Then there is Iraq. It was purveyed by the Bush administration to the American public as a mission that could be accomplished swiftly and smoothly. Neither occurred. Since then, President Obama's self-styled humanitarian intervention in Libya has led to instability, allowing local militias, among other things, to pretty much bring the oil industry to a standstill by disrupting major export terminals. Most recently, it looked as though Syria might be Libya all over again-an American president embarks on an uncertain crusade, and Britain and France join to provide the necessary diplomatic persiflage for justifying a bombing campaign.
  • Topic: Security, War
  • Political Geography: Britain, Afghanistan, France, Libya, Syria
  • Author: Thomas de Waal
  • Publication Date: 05-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The National Interest
  • Institution: The Nixon Center
  • Abstract: The typical vision of Chechnya: a violence-filled land of terrorists fighting for independence from the Kremlin's iron grip. The reality is a land torn between nationalism and a Russian civic identity.
  • Topic: Nationalism, War
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Russia, Chechnya
  • Author: Bruce Riedel
  • Publication Date: 07-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The National Interest
  • Institution: The Nixon Center
  • Abstract: IN DECEMBER 2007 Benazir Bhutto said, "I now think al-Qaeda can be marching on Islamabad in two to four years." Before this interview could even be published she was murdered, most likely by the Pakistani Taliban, an al-Qaeda ally. Benazir's words now look all too accurate. A jihadist victory in Pakistan, meaning the takeover of the nation by a militant Sunni movement led by the Taliban, would have devastating consequences. It would create the greatest threat the United States has yet to face in its war on terror. Pakistan as an Islamic-extremist safe haven would bolster al-Qaeda's capabilities tenfold. The jihadist threat bred in Afghanistan would be a cakewalk in comparison. The old Afghan sanctuary was remote, landlocked and weak; a new one in Pakistan would be in the Islamic mainstream with a modern communications and transportation infrastructure linking it to the world. The threat would be almost unfathomable. The implications would be literally felt around the globe. American options for dealing with such a state would be limited and costly.
  • Topic: Islam, War
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Afghanistan, United States