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    Afghanistan: Levin Sets Low Bar for Future Troop Levels

    With the 2014 deadline for the end of U.S. combat operations in Afghanistan fast approaching, there are many questions regarding the number of troops that will remain in the country. In a recent statement, Senator Carl Levin (D–MI) told reporters, “The number I think [will] be a small number.… My … More

    Security Remains Elusive in Somalia

    Al-Shabaab, the al-Qaeda-linked group operating out of Somalia, has reportedly lost one of its most visible fighters, Omar Hammani, an American born and raised in Daphne, Alabama. Hammani is believed to have been killed on September 12. He moved to Somalia in 2006 to fight for al-Shabaab and was added … More

    Who Are the Rebels in Syria?

    No one knows for certain the number of organized opposition groups in Syria and opposition militia forces fighting in the Syrian civil war. These irregular guerrilla forces fighting primarily against the Syrian army range from secular groups to Salafi Islamist militants. The Islamist factions are reportedly split between groups that … More

    Pakistan Threat Growing

    Yesterday’s revelation in The Washington Post about the large portion of the U.S. intelligence budget going toward collection efforts on Pakistan is not surprising. What is surprising is that that the Obama Administration publicly downplays the terrorist threat that continues to emanate from the Afghanistan–Pakistan region. According to the article, … More

    Fighting New Terror Threats Requires Defining Them

    The way the U.S. President talks about terrorism matters. As chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, Representative Michael McCaul (R–TX), recently put it, “Great leaders do not tell their constituency what they want to hear; they tell them what they need to know.… The American people deserve to make … More

    Israel and Palestine Talks: Kerry Should Learn from the Past

    A recent poll shows that most Israelis are pessimistic that the new round of talks with  Palestine will succeed. A majority of Israelis also oppose withdrawing to pre-1967 borders and recognizing a Palestinian “right of return.” History indicates that, if both sides are not ready for peace negotiations, those negotiations … More

    U.S. Embassies Remain Closed: 5 Heritage Must-Reads on Counterterrorism

    Twenty U.S. embassies and consulates remain closed throughout the Middle East, Africa, and Asia this week. The State Department says that “current information suggests that al-Qaida and affiliated organizations continue to plan terrorist attacks both in the region and beyond, and that they may focus efforts to conduct attacks in … More

    Al-Qaeda Hub: East Africa

    Four U.S. embassies in sub-Saharan Africa—in Burundi, Madagascar, Mauritius, and Rwanda—remain closed this week in addition to the embassy closures in the Middle East and North Africa. Concerns over terrorist plots in east Africa are not new to the region: 15 years ago today—August 7, 1998—the U.S. embassies in Kenya … More

    Afghanistan: Withholding Helicopter Training Undermines U.S. Mission

    A lot of American blood has been spilt and a lot of treasure has been spent since 2001 to ensure that Afghanistan won’t once again become a base from which terrorist organizations can strike globally. Worryingly, a key part of the U.S. and NATO strategy there—building the capabilities of the … More

    Government Investigation Reveals Inadequate Security at U.S. Embassies

    Recent testimony has revealed the fragile nature of the security of many American embassies. State Department officials Gregory B. Starr and Bill A. Miller testified that 10 months after the attack that killed four Americans in Benghazi, 15 diplomatic posts in high-threat areas fail to meet safety and security standards. … More