Khashoggi’s Death is the Crisis We Have Been Waiting For

“Alas, I am a wretch! Because of the terrors I have sufferedI bring pleasure to my enemies and toil to my friends.” —Theogenis of Megara 隔岸觀火 —《三十六計》 The President’s statement on U.S.-Saudi relations has caused understandable upset and predictable uproar. Most of these reactions are explicitly framed in terms of values. They need not be. […]

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China Was Never an Empire of the Mind

“Let us go forward as with other matters and other measures similar in aim and effect – let us go forward in malice to none and good will to all. Such plans offer far better prizes than taking away other people’s provinces or lands or grinding them down in exploitation. The empires of the future […]

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Sunzi on ISIS

ISIS fighters near Mosul, in the 2014 advance against the city.  Image source: “ISIS in Mosul, thousands of Refugees Flee,” Rodaw.com (9 July 2014). Last week Strategy Bridge published an interesting piece by Sebastian Bae. In it Bae analyzes the United States’ strategy to defeat ISIS through the lens of the Sunzi and its precepts. […]

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The Future of the Fertile Crescent: Thoughts from Nibras Kazimi

Yesterday I was delighted to discover that Nibras Kazimi has started blogging in English again. Kazimi has played the part of both activist and analyst over the last decade, working out of Washington DC or Iraq as the occasion required. At the height of the old strategy blogosphere he was running one of the sharpest blogs on […]

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The Fight Against ISIS: A Few (Unorthodox) Points For Discussion

Source: Max Fischer and Zack Beauchamp, “14 Maps that Explain ISIS,” Vox.com (25 September 2014) This week has seen a flurry of commentary and discussion about ISIS and the proper way for France and the United States to respond to the attacks in Paris. I find myself repeating a similar set of points in many […]

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Notes From All Over (3/09/15): Chinese Media, Ancient War, and Strategic Theory

A collection of articles, essays, and blog post of merit. TOP BILLING  “Down With the Nihilists!” and “Love Thy Country““T.J. Ma.” Chublic Opinion. (31 & 6 August 2015). I was led to this blog by the recommendation of Kaiser Kuo and instantly knew that it needed to be on the blog roll. “T.J. Ma” writes […]

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Iran: The Debate We Should Be Having

Major religions in the Middle EastImage Source: Columbia University’s Gulf 2000 Project I am not a specialist in arms control or nuclear technology. I must rely on the judgement of others with relevant expertise to assess the viability of the new agreement with Iran. This makes things difficult, for the opinions of experts I trust […]

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A Civilization Is at Stake Here

Perhaps the most predictable fall-out of Graeme Wood’s influential cover article for The Atlantic,  “What the Islamic State Really Wants,” is another round of debate over whether or not the atrocities committed by ISIS and other armed fundamentalist terrorist outfits are sanctioned by the Qur’an, Hadith, and other Islamic texts, and if not, whether these […]

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