This is a bitter legacy for the past three American administrations and for all their international partners in inhuman, uncaring policies that have wrecked the lives and futures of hundreds of millions of people.
Syria, Turkey, Iraq, Lebanon, and Iran effectively have to be seen as a single geo-strategic arena in which hundreds of local and national actors engage one another—and many have links to other regional players and global powers.
There are tens of thousands of more terrorists operating in the world today than there were in September 2001 when the global war on terror was launched. Something is not working here.
Al-Qaeda’s operational shift towards Syria underlines the dangers created by crumbling states in the Levant.
We will get nowhere other than where we are today if we all refuse to analyze the deeper drivers of radicalism that feed tens of thousands of recruits to these killer organizations.
Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi rarely allows himself to be seen in public, hence his nicknames the “phantom” and the “invisible sheikh.” A veteran journalist pieces together the story of the most feared jihadist leader since Osama Bin Laden.