History / Intelligence / Iraq

The Chilcot Report

Professionally, I do a lot of work on the decision to go to war with Iraq. That involved a lot of work with now-declassified documents pertaining to Iraq, its alleged nuclear, biological and chemical programs in the 1990s, efforts to procure something called yellowcake, alleged connections to al-Qaeda, and so on. I read books, I watch videos, I study memoirs, and I swim through history. This morning, the British government finished and posted to its website (here) a 6505 page, 6.5 million word report summarizing British involvement in Iraq, from the run-up and decision to invade, to the withdrawal

Iraq

Tehran and Yemen

I’ll be honest – I was pleasantly surprised to see that the good folks at Huffington Post had, um, convinced someone to let them post one of an article about Iran and Iranian support to the “civil war” in Yemen, right there on the Huffington Post website. They convinced Dr. Majid Rafizideh, president of the International American Council of the Middle East (it doesn’t have a Wikipedia page – so…) to write an article,¬†Six Reasons Why Iran Will Not Leave Yemen, presumably for free. I’ll skip linking to the original post – not just because it’s on Huffington, but

Iran / Iraq / Syria / etc.

Frontline: The Secret History of ISIS

It is good to see organizations like PBS take on the history of ISIS, with their piece this week, The Secret History of ISIS. It’s not horrible, and it’s good to see that they were able to interview some of the key players – original sources matter. You should make time to watch it; it’s about 45 minutes in length, and it will stream on just about any device. Three things, though, after you watch it. 1) Frontline does a good job of pointing out that Al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) / Islamic State of Iraq (ISI) had been

Intelligence / Iraq / Syria

American strategy and politicization

Geoff Arnold pointed me towards a great article in The American Conservative, The Pentagon Fights Back. I’m going to plan to use it in future iterations of one of the classes I teach, ISSA 3302, Fundamentals of Intelligence Analysis, specifically during the section about the perils of politicization. Giraldi makes a good point, comparing current American actions and apparent strategy to a thinking of that of 1938 in Munich. I don’t think it’s just Rwanda that hangs over the head of this Democratic administration (Bill Clinton regrets how he handled it), but other atrocities and acts of genocide, to