As the U.S.-led coalition force enters its fifth year in Iraq, a look back at two pivotal insurgencies from the mid-20th Century provides crucial lessons for our future actions in Iraq. Both the British experience in Malaya and the French experience in Algeria contain exceptional insights that are worthy of reconsideration as we refine our counterinsurgency actions. Though they differed in some important ways, those two counterinsurgencies show how the basic aims of most insurgencies, and therefore the strategies needed to defeat them, are fundamentally the same. These similarities remain despite the technological modernization and profound advances in warfighting that […]

While the Bush administration’s efforts to contain Iran have found some resonance with the region’s Sunni Arab political establishment, a recent survey conducted in six Middle Eastern states reveals that the strategy to galvanize an anti-Iranian coalition has not made an impact on the climate of opinion formed in the Arab street. Pro-Western Sunni Arab regimes, especially Saudi Arabia, have raised concerns about an Iranian arc of influence stretching through Iraq and Syria to southern Lebanon, a development that, ironically, has been partially aided by the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. But the July-August 2006 war between Israel and Hezbollah opened […]

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — In the coffee shops and tea houses of this modernized, stylish city, the hushed talk is of a faltering economy, rising racial tensions, and the man Malaysians either love or loathe. Old political warhorse Mahathir Mohamad, now 81 and recovering from a recent heart attack, has yet again demonstrated his refusal to retire gracefully with the mantle of respected elder statesman. After antagonizing his anointed successor as prime minister on a range of issues — even accusing the Abdullah Badawi government of presiding over a police state — and recently wading in on the side of […]

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