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Archive of Articles in the "Afghanistan" Category

Post-ISIS Strategy Needed In Both Iraq And Syria

[ Posted Monday, July 10th, 2017 – 17:54 PDT ]

Within days, the Iraqi city of Mosul will be declared completely liberated from the Islamic State. Within weeks (a few months, at most), the battle for Raqqa in Syria will also be over, driving the Islamic State from their biggest strongholds within their self-proclaimed caliphate. Much will be made of these two victories on American television, no doubt. Both victories were long-planned and hard-fought, so the celebrations will indeed be well-earned. Today it was reported that the celebrations in Mosul have already begun. But the fall of Mosul and Raqqa mean that the fight against the Islamic State will have truly entered its end stage, in both Iraq and Syria. What Americans should be asking during this period is what are we going to do after the Islamic State becomes truly stateless? A military and diplomatic strategy needs to be in place when this happens, and so far few in Washington seem to want to address it.

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Friday Talking Points [443] -- You Crazy, Lunatic, 70-Year-Old Man-Baby

[ Posted Friday, June 30th, 2017 – 17:04 PDT ]

That's a doozy of a subheading, but we felt it was completely appropriate this week. It is a direct quote, from conservative (and "Never Trump") commentator Ana Navarro. During an interview with Wolf Blitzer, Navarro responded to Trump's recent tweetstorm attacking Mika Brzezinski by calling on Republicans to say to Trump (either on television or personally) the following: "Listen, you crazy, lunatic, 70-year-old man-baby, stop it. You are now the president of United States, the commander-in-chief and you need to stop acting like a mean girl because we just won't take it." We've saved her entire rant for the talking points, because it is indeed worth reading in full; but because it was the most forceful pushback on Trump we heard all week, we thought it deserved headline status. Tell us what you really think, Ana!

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Friday Talking Points [441] -- Happy Birthday, Mr. President

[ Posted Friday, June 16th, 2017 – 17:00 PDT ]

President Donald J. Trump turned 71 years old this week. He held a party and invited all his cabinet members, who were all allowed to sing his praises in a manner one reporter summed up as: "honestly this is like a scene from the Third World." The internet, of course, had a field day afterwards. But it's pretty easy to understand why Trump felt the need to hold a public ass-kissing event to celebrate. After all, pretty much all of his other birthday presents were stinkers.

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From The Archives -- The How-Many-Years' War

[ Posted Monday, May 29th, 2017 – 17:10 PDT ]

Being in the midst of history sometimes mean events are not seen in the "big picture" view that historians often later take, when looking back at the period. Case in point: what will America's ongoing war eventually be known as? To date, we've been at war since October 2001, or a mind-boggling period of 15 years. This war was initially called "The Global War On Terror" by the Bush administration, which lumped in the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq with all the skirmishes in various other North African and Middle East countries. The Obama administration has dropped the term, but they've never really replaced it with anything else. But what I wonder this Memorial Day is what it will be called in the future. Right now, it'd be the "Fifteen Years' War" -- but few expect all conflicts will end by the time the next president is sworn in, so eventually that number will likely be higher.

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Friday Talking Points [434] -- 99 Days And Counting...

[ Posted Friday, April 28th, 2017 – 16:09 PDT ]

Tomorrow, in case you hadn't heard, will be Donald Trump's 100th day as president. Grading his performance has been a weeklong event in the media. Rather than our normal Friday format, what follows is our honest evaluation of Trump's first 100 days, which might be summed up as: "Coulda been better, coulda been a lot worse."

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Assessing Trump's Military Actions

[ Posted Thursday, April 20th, 2017 – 17:24 PDT ]

There seems to be a higher-than-usual amount of attention on grading President Donald Trump's first 100 days in office. We're still more than a week away from the milestone, yet both the media and the White House already seem to be at fever pitch over how history will see Trump's first 100 days. Maybe it's just my own perception, but I don't seem to remember quite this level of intensity for the past few presidents, or at least not this early on the calendar.

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Pondering Cultural Consolidation

[ Posted Monday, January 16th, 2017 – 17:43 PST ]

Today is when America celebrates Dr. Martin Luther King Junior's birthday, so I thought it would be an appropriate day to discuss a cultural change in America over the polite terminology used to identify what might be called characteristics of (take your pick) race, ethnicity, or cultural identity. I'll warn you from the start, however, that this is not the usual discussion most people would associate with today's holiday, but rather something which has left me scratching my head trying to figure out the reasoning behind. I will begin with one of the usual discussions people have today, and then branch off from there, in an attempt to relate it all in a loose fashion to Dr. King's holiday.

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Obama's First Overridden Veto

[ Posted Thursday, September 29th, 2016 – 17:23 PDT ]

With only about four months left to go in his second term in office, President Barack Obama just had his first veto overturned by Congress. Considering Obama's rather aloof attitude towards Congress (including even members of his own party), what is extraordinary isn't so much that Obama just got overturned -- it's that it hasn't happened before now. The contentiousness between the White House and the Capitol has been pretty fierce during Obama's term, but up until this week none of his vetoes has been overturned.

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First Debate Reactions

[ Posted Monday, September 26th, 2016 – 22:27 PDT ]

Well, the first presidential debate is a done deal, and as always I like to quickly type out my own personal reactions before reading everyone else's, to give you an opinion uninfluenced by the herd mentality of the rest of the media.

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Lauering The Bar

[ Posted Thursday, September 8th, 2016 – 16:21 PDT ]

One of the risks I regularly take as a blogger is to write and publish my own reactions to major political events (like debates) before I even look at what anyone else is saying. This assures the reader that my opinions and perceptions will be untainted by groupthink, and solely my own. I cannot follow the pack, as it were, if I have no idea where they're headed. But, as with any risk, occasionally it puts me in a position at odds with the political universe.

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