Dawn of the Jihadi Drone Wars

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) reported February 23 that it had downed an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) over the Mediterranean after it was launched from the Gaza Strip. According to IDF sources, an Israeli F-16 shot down the UAV, which it said belonged to Hamas, before it was able to cross into the country’s airspace. […]

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Covering the Bases: Reassessing U.S. Military Deployments in Turkey After the July 2016 Coup d’État

Download the full report here (PDF). The Republic of Turkey has been a reliable staging point for U.S. forces for more than six decades. Turkish bases have historically provided the U.S. military easy access to multiple theaters without having to build new infrastructure or forge new agreements. Today, American forces in Turkey are targeting the […]

Defeating the Islamic State’s Suicide Drivers

The Pentagon announced last week that it will deliver 2,000 AT-4 anti-tank rockets to help Iraqi forces combat the Islamic State (IS), after the jihadist group seized Ramadi, the strategically important Anbar province capital. While not a sophisticated or expensive weapon, the AT-4 could prove a valuable addition to the arsenals of Iraqi ground forces […]

Washington’s Bad Military Bets in the Middle East

Last month, the Houthis took over Yemen, delivering a blow to Washington’s counterterrorism strategy, which held out Yemen as one of the few bright spots in an otherwise chaotic Middle East. Adding insult to injury, as Washington took steps to shutter its embassy earlier this month, the Houthis took all U.S. embassy vehicles parked at […]

French Deployments in the Middle East and North Africa

France is conducting multiple operations against Islamist militant groups throughout the Middle East and North Africa. This map displays the largest French deployments underway in the region. View the full map here. Sahel As part of Operation Barkhane, the French have 3,000 troops deployed across the Sahel region. Their mission is assist the countries of Mauritania, Mali, […]

B-1s Continue to Prove Worth Over Iraq

As the air war over northern Iraq expanded over the last week, Pentagon officials for first time acknowledged that land-based bombers have begun conducting strikes against the Islamic State, or ISIS, as it is formerly known. Though the specific bomber type was not named, B-1B Lancers are widely believed to be the bombers providing much […]

Iraqi Military’s Lack of Airpower Enabling ISIS’s Advance

This week’s stunning advance by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham (ISIS) presents some serious questions about the legitimacy of Iraqi security forces (ISF) and Washington’s policy of giving billions in military aid to troubled Middle Eastern governments. Since the fall of Fallujah in early January, the Iraqi military has failed to put down the […]

An Edge in the Desert

Weapons are pouring into the Middle East at an unprecedented rate. The Pentagon recently announced that it would sell six tilt-rotor Osprey aircraft to Israel for $1.3 billion, American hardware (including Apache helicopters) is being rushed to the Iraqi government to help in its battle against al Qaeda, and Washington has also restored military aid to Egypt after a brief hiatus. But Uncle […]