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Revamp NATO to Fight Radical Islam

Feb. 16 2017

Surveying NATO’s checkered record since the fall of the Soviet Union, Rafael Bardají and Richard Kemp argue that the alliance must be expanded and revamped to save it from obsolescence.

NATO should accept that we are all under attack by Islamist extremist forces of all kinds. President François Hollande said that France was at war, and the rest of the allies cannot sit idle by his side. NATO must make the fight against Islamic terrorism its core mission. . . .

In order to reinforce our Western world, NATO must invite to become members countries that are alike in the defense of our values and with the willingness to share the burden in this civilizational struggle. It should [therefore] invite without delay Israel, Japan, Singapore, and India to become members.

Defense expenditures should be revised and increased, but ceilings and burden-sharing are not the problem. We don’t expend more because current leaders do not feel compelled to do so. Furthermore, to spend more on the same will not change our ability to confront the threats and challenges we face. There is a myriad of things that can be done to put NATO back on track. . . .

But above all, what NATO needs is a vision and an impulse to transform from the new U.S. president and administration. Yes, Mr. President, we agree with you that NATO has become obsolete. But we believe you can make it relevant again. Your allies will follow.

Read more at Telegraph

More about: Donald Trump, Francois Hollande, NATO, Politics & Current Affairs, Radical Islam

Getting It Right in Afghanistan

Aug. 23 2017

While praising the president’s announcement Monday night that the U.S. will be sending 4,000 more troops to Afghanistan, Thomas Joscelyn and Bill Roggio express their “doubt [that] this will be enough to win the war.” They also warn against the dangers of a complete or partial American withdrawal and offer some strategic recommendations:

Al-Qaeda is still a significant problem in South Asia—a potentially big one. President Obama frequently claimed that al-Qaeda was “decimated” and a “shadow of its former self” in Afghanistan and Pakistan. That wasn’t true. The Obama administration’s counterterrorism campaign dealt significant blows to al-Qaeda’s leadership, disrupting the organization’s chain of command and interrupting its communications. But al-Qaeda took measures to outlast America’s drones and other tactics. The group survived the death of Osama bin Laden and, in many ways, grew. . . .

Al-Qaeda continues to fight under the Taliban’s banner as well. Its newest branch, Al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent, is deeply embedded in the Taliban-led insurgency. . . . There’s no question that Islamic State remains a serious problem in Afghanistan and Pakistan, but it still doesn’t threaten the Afghan government to the same degree that the Taliban/al-Qaeda axis does. . . .

Iran remains a problem, too. The Iranian government has supported the Taliban’s insurgency since 2001. Although this assistance is not as pronounced as Pakistan’s, it is meaningful. The U.S. government has also repeatedly noted that Iran hosts al-Qaeda’s “core facilitation pipeline,” which moves fighters, funds, and communications to and from South Asia. Any successful strategy for turning the Afghan war around will have to deal with the Iranian government’s nefarious role. The Russians are [also] on the opposite side of the Afghan war.

Read more at Weekly Standard

More about: Afghanistan, Al Qaeda, Iran, Taliban, U.S. Foreign policy