May 19, 2015

Another annoying selfie

I have often noted in my presentations that the terrorism analysis business is booming – pun intended.  By some estimates, more than 10,000 books on terrorism have been published since 9/11, and that is just counting the English-language ones. Many of these books are excellent and insightful: some are atrocious.  The same can be said for […]

May 19, 2015

Welcome back Khadr? (with apologies to Elizabeth May)

I know, I know.  Not another op-ed piece on Omar Khadr, Canada’s most famous child soldier or terrorist scion (take your pick).  There are probably few Canadians more controversial or more polarizing than the son of a former (i.e. deceased) Al Qaeda lieutenant. What more can be said?  His family pedigree is well known (the […]

May 19, 2015

What terrorism and Mark Twain have in common

I cannot count the number of times a news article or an op-ed piece has declared that a terrorist group is “on the run” or “dying” or “facing serious challenges”.  Without demeaning the efforts of military operations or counter-terrorism efforts, it is best to be careful when declaring victory.  While groups may undergo serious hits […]

May 18, 2015

Rusty spring

Former senior CIA officer Mike Morrell admitted last week that the US government badly misunderstood and misdiagnosed the Arab Spring which began in Tunisia in December 2011.  There was  a lot of optimism at the time in the West over the events across the Arab world as long suffering and oppressed populations in a number of […]