October 20, 2014

By Lisa M. Ruth

Ragtag rebels fighting independently of each other with hit-and-run tactics are harassing the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. They are adding to the chaos and confusion in Syria’s three-year civil war, but they are unlikely to accomplish much with their pinprick tactics against the powerful terrorist army.

Freelance Rebels Hitting ISIS Unlikely to Change Ground War
Smoke rises over Kobani from a U.S. airstrike Monday. (Gokhan Sahin/Getty Images)
EU-Russian Standoff Traps Moldova, Europe’s Poorest Nation
September 4, 2014
As the standoff between the European Union and Russia over the fate of Ukraine and the other former Soviet republics of Eastern Europe intensifies, the Kremlin seems likely to increase its efforts to destabilize Moldova — the continent’s most impoverished country. Russian President Vladimir Putin is likely to punish Moldova for moving closer with the EU.
Russia, Iran Eying Sanctions-Busting Barter Deal
September 4, 2014
Russia and Iran are negotiating an agreement to trade oil for goods in a barter deal that would violate international sanctions on Iranian oil exports. Moscow and Tehran have signed a preliminary agreement, and both sides have powerful incentives to move forward.
Nightmare in Libya: Unlikely Player Takes on the Jihadists
September 3, 2014
The West has been mesmerized by the social-media-savvy Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. But who is dealing with out-of-control Libya, where the government admits it has no authority over its own ministry buildings in Tripoli and where 11 airliners have gone missing, posing a 9/11 anniversary terrorist threat?
S. Asia Also Alarmed by ISIS Threat From Returning Jihadists
September 3, 2014
From Pakistan to Indonesia, countries across southern Asia are intensifying counterterrorism operations over growing fears of radical Islamists returning home after fighting with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. Their concerns — like those in Europe, the United States and northern Africa — are proving well-founded, as local militants strive to hitch their fortunes to the brutal terrorist army.
US Navy Drone Could Protect Against Carrier-Killing Missiles
September 3, 2014
The U.S. Navy is successfully testing a combat drone that can launch and land on aircraft carriers – one of the most difficult maneuvers in aviation. A squadron of these armed unmanned vehicles could eventually fly bombing missions over Iraq against extremist groups without the risk of losing pilots. Their long range would also allow U.S. aircraft carriers to stay out of the death zone and be protected from China’s huge arsenal of “carrier-killing” ballistic and cruise missiles.
Russia Watches ISIS Advances With Growing Alarm
September 2, 2014
After defying the West with its aggression in Ukraine, Russia suddenly finds itself facing the same national security threat as the West. Russian leaders worry about the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria and the influence the terrorist army could have on its own rebellious majority-Muslim region of Chechnya.
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