U.S. Army soldiers search one of Saddam Hussein’s palaces damaged after a bombing, in Baghdad, April 7, 2003 (AP photo by John Moore).
Ever since Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the invasion of Ukraine last week, comparisons to the United States’ 2003 invasion of Iraq have inevitably and understandably emerged. After all, at transformative moments in world history like the one we’re currently witnessing, analysts naturally draw historical analogies to make sense of contemporary events, mining the past in search of patterns and causal connections that bear some resemblance to what is unfolding today. And while no two situations are ever exactly alike, the comparison to Iraq in 2003 is particularly important, since it has considerable bearing on whether and how the United [...]
Anthony Shadid during a talk at the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum in Oklahoma City, April 7, 2011 (AP photo by Sue Ogrocki).
The nature of Anthony Shadid’s work is sometimes misunderstood. After his death 10 years ago this week, he was celebrated as one of the greatest journalists of his era, which he most certainly was. On multiple occasions he was recognized as one of the best at his craft, but he was so much more. Better understanding what Anthony did in his lifetime can help those of us who are still endeavoring to make narrative sense of a world in constant flux. Anthony was a brilliant thinker, reporter, writer and storyteller who, during a critical decade of history from 9/11 to [...]
Syrian Democratic Forces soldiers hold a position in Hassakeh, northeast Syria, Jan. 27, 2022 (AP photo by Baderkhan Ahmad).
The Islamic State, or ISIS, made global headlines recently on account of two significant developments in Syria: a prison uprising in Hasakeh in late January and the raid by U.S. special operations forces a week later, on Feb. 3, that resulted in the death of ISIS leader Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurashi. Both events have focused attention on the Islamic State’s capacity to wage insurgency and mobilize militants in its former territory. But another factor that is potentially more important in assessing the group’s future prospects is the large number of ISIS members and sympathizers languishing in detention nearly four years [...]
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