Monthly Archives: November 2013

Book thoughts: “The Dispensable Nation” by Vali Nasr (2013)

A Middle East scholar and former aide to the late diplomat Richard Holbrooke at the State Department, Vali Nasr holds back no punches. His latest book, The Dispensable Nation, rips into the Obama administration—particularly the White House—on one foreign policy … Continue reading

Posted in Afghanistan, Book reviews, Central Asia, Iran, Middle East and North Africa, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, South Asia, US policy | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

After Westgate, assessing a terrorist group’s “strength,” “weakness,” and strategy

One of the principal analytical errors committed by journalists and “experts” in international affairs is to hastily transform a singular data point into a “trend.” A case in point: after the recent, horrible terrorist attacks at the Westgate Shopping Center … Continue reading

Posted in Al Qaeda, East Africa, Kenya, Somalia, terrorism | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments