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  • [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...
  • 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...
  • On 21 May ISIS spokesman Abu Muhammad al-Adnani called on the group's supporters to conduct attacks during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. The message has been an effective one, as demonstrated by a number of attacks perpetrated and claimed by ISIS, including the latest in Baghdad . Each is...
  • The shocking attack by three terrorists on Kemal Ataturk airport has justifiably horrified us all. And on the assumption that it has been carried out by Islamic State (the target selection of a tourism hub & lack of claim are similar to other such attacks) it reinforces the view that IS is...
  • The controversy surrounding the the release of a draft cable critical of US government policy written by 51 State Department employees has garnered headlines, not so much for the fact that people within the bureaucracy are critical of the President's Syria strategy (given the complexity of the...
  • After the worst mass shooting in modern US history, theories and accusations abound. This was a hate crime against the LGBT community, not a terrorist incident; the perpetrator was religious/not religious; he was mentally ill/not mentally ill; may or may not have pledged allegiance to ISIS prior to...
  • The reported death of another Australian fighting for the Kurdish YPG is sad news. But he was engaged in illegal activity, a point made clear by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. Some argue that, given the circumstances surrounding the battle against IS, we should treat such volunteers differently...
  • For such a nondescript city in Iraq, Fallujah has name recognition beyond its importance. In Western military circles at least the name is synonymous with the 2004 battle that turned into the bloodiest urban assault undertaken by the US military since Vietnam. Iraqi soldiers at Garma, part of the...
  • Most people will perhaps by now have an inkling that the war against Islamic terrorism will go on much longer than the wars in Syria or Iraq. The narrative is too compelling for some to give up, governance too poor to stop people being attracted to that narrative, and identities too complex to...
  • The death last week of Mustapha Badredinne, Hizbullah's chief of military operations in Syria, was certainly big news. His death highlights once again the cost in senior personnel that the civil war is exacting on the Lebanese Shi'a group. In December last year, Samir Kuntar was killed in an...

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