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  • A year ago I wrote about the rather facile argument the government ran when announcing its expansion of air operations inside Syria, which suggested it could somehow bomb IS targets in eastern Syria without becoming involved in the broader Syrian conflict. As I explained then, that claim didn't...
    19 September 2016
  • In this Lowy Institute Analysis, Research Fellow Dr Rodger Shanahan and Nonresident Fellow Lydia Khalil argue that an increasing number of foreign fighters are likely to leave Syria and Iraq in the coming months and years, especially after the collapse of Islamic State’s caliphate, exacerbating the...
    13 September 2016
    Analysis
  • Ronald Reagan famously said of a nuclear agreement with the then Soviet Union that it was based on an attitude of 'trust, but verify'. Perhaps slightly contradictory but very realpolitik nonetheless. Thirty years later, Secretary of State John Kerry's admission that the latest Syrian cessation of...
    12 September 2016
  • Originally published in The Australian Financial Review .
    10 September 2016
    Commentary
  • The latest online magazine from Islamic State features an Australian flavour, among some other interesting aspects. First is the name change; no longer is 'Dabiq' the title (unless this masthead continues to put out editions separately); 'Rumiya' (formal Arabic for Rome) has replaced 'Dabiq'. As...
    7 September 2016
  • [youtube:piqR5EA2Z9A] Given the widespread use of social media in the contemporary age, and the lack of basic humanity shown by both the regime and the opposition forces, the Syria conflict should on the face of it engender a feeling of repulsion at the actions of both sides. And to a degree it...
    22 August 2016
  • During the Vietnam War the Vietcong coined the term 'hanging onto the belts' of the enemy as a way of blunting the United States' overwhelming superiority in fire support. In essence the tactic required the Vietcong to fight American and allied forces in such close quarters that indirect fire...
    9 August 2016
  • [youtube:XOJpzGws4mY] Any marketer will tell you that when you think you've got a good product but it's not selling, then it's time to change the marketing. With that in mind, we should lend little weight to yesterday's announcement by the leader of Jabhat al-Nusra (JAN), Muhammad al-Jawlani, that...
    29 July 2016
  • [youtube:lfOiA35F79s] It has been written before , quite correctly, that a key strategy in dealing with the terrorist threat is national resilience. And one part of developing such resilience is language. The wrong choice of words can unnecessarily inflame or sensationalise a situation. Conversely...
    21 July 2016
  • Although coups and the Turkish military used to be synonymous, this weekend's attempted coup, while disturbing, was in the end not a very well executed one. The plan was launched after working hours and while President Recep Erdogan was on holidays, which showed a sense of timing. Apart from this...
    18 July 2016

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