Kori Schake

@ISIS Is #Winning

Why is a barbaric medieval caliphate so much better at social media than Washington?

The Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham is running a brilliantly effective social media campaign. With the group rebranded as the Islamic State (IS), its grisly messaging gets attention and discourages resistance to its military operations, both where it is fighting and among countries that might be inclined to intervene against it. After it took Mosul, IS streamed video of its men executing dozens of captured Iraqi soldiers -- which very likely helped encourage the choice of Iraqi security forces to quietly desert their posts. IS live-tweeted its military advance through Iraq, showcasing the bravery of its fighters and what little resistance Iraqi security forces offered. It threatened decapitations in London's Trafalgar Square. And as the United States was busy playing its World Cup round-of-sixteen game, IS tweeted a picture of a decapitated head with the caption that it was the Islamic State's ball.

Continue Reading

Why America's Friends Are Wishing for the Good Old Days of George W. Bush

The Obama administration has achieved a landmark heretofore considered impossible: they are making America's allies homesick for the administration of George W. Bush. This week, news broke that Poland's foreign minister was caught on tape earlier this year disparaging the United States. Radek Sikorski bitterly said Warsaw's ties to Washington were "worthless," then followed it up with some even saltier language. It's actually a measure of America's importance that the surreptitious recording caused a sensation, forcing Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk to face a confidence vote in Parliament. The indiscretion will probably cost Sikorski his prospects for the job of EU foreign policy chief. But he's not wrong about America. The United States has become an exasperating ally, and even countries that are inclined to support us are hedging against because of the Obama administration's conduct. Neither our threats nor our assurances are believed. Clawing back that credibility will be an expensive undertaking.

Continue Reading

How to Lose Friends and Alienate Allies

Why America’s friends in Europe are wishing for the good old days of George W. Bush.

The Obama administration has achieved a landmark heretofore considered impossible: they are making America's allies homesick for the administration of George W. Bush. This week, news broke that Poland's foreign minister was caught on tape earlier this year disparaging the United States. Radek Sikorski bitterly said Warsaw's ties to Washington were "worthless," then followed it up with some even saltier language. It's actually a measure of America's importance that the surreptitious recording caused a sensation, forcing Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk to face a confidence vote in Parliament. The indiscretion will probably cost Sikorski his prospects for the job of EU foreign policy chief. But he's not wrong about America. The United States has become an exasperating ally, and even countries that are inclined to support us are hedging against because of the Obama administration's conduct. Neither our threats nor our assurances are believed. Clawing back that credibility will be an expensive undertaking.

Continue Reading

Withdrawal Symptoms

Obama pulled the United States out of Iraq without actually ending the war. And now we're paying for it.

So this is what a "responsible withdrawal" from Iraq looks like?

Mosul overrun by terrorists more virulently dangerous than al Qaeda. Iraqi security forces throwing off their uniforms and fleeing, leaving all their high-end hardware -- paid for by the American taxpayer -- in the hands of our enemies. Iranian Revolutionary Guard forces streaming into Najaf and Karbala to protect Shiite Muslim holy sites. Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki still incapable of building cross-sectarian cooperation even when ISIS is 60 miles outside of Baghdad. Kurdish paramilitary forces stepping in to protect only Kurdish areas, setting the boundaries for a secession bid. Militias forming to protect communities where the state has failed. Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani issuing a call to arms. Jihadists are about to achieve control of a country, a sanctuary in which to train more jihadists and to plot attacks against the "far enemy." That would be us. The narrative of jihad will cement into a Sunni-Shiite conflict instead of a struggle by moderates of all faiths against barbaric violence in the name of religion, creating the circumstances for the next round of warfare in the Middle East.

Continue Reading

The War We Won, and the Wars to Come

D-Day is a hallowed day and, fittingly, follows close after Memorial Day, when we Americans grieve and celebrate our war dead. On June 6, 1944, 150,000 American, British, and Canadian troops took the beachhead at Normandy against withering fire and fought their way into Nazi-occupied Europe. The young men who defeated Hitler's Wehrmacht are now old men, and we haven't much longer to thank them for the world they bequeathed us. We all ought to take the opportunity to shake the hands and kiss the cheeks of the men who really did make the world safe for democracy. 

Continue Reading