James Stavridis

Wake Up and Smell the Turkish Coffee

It’s time for NATO to get involved in Syria and Iraq, perhaps even putting limited Special Forces troops on the ground.

As ISIS consolidates its position across the Syrian and Iraqi divide, NATO must realize that it is only a matter of time before a wave of EU-passport-bearing jihadists will be headed back home to wreak havoc. Those AK-toting fundamentalists are a bit busy at the moment destroying two Shiite/Alawite regimes in Iraq and Syria, respectively, but the eye of Sunni extremism will inevitably turn its attention to the capitals of Europe. This means NATO must begin now to do all it can to undermine this potential future threat, and the key will be along the Turkish border.

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The Ghosts of Religious Wars Past Are Rattling in Iraq

How the lessons of the European wars of the Reformation -- hundreds of years old -- can help stave off the lethal mix of religious radicalization and politics.


"I cannot and I will not recant anything, since it is neither safe nor right to go against conscience. May God help me. Amen." —Martin Luther, reply to the Diet of Worms, April 1521

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The Real Winner in Afghanistan's Election

Why the Taliban can’t prevent the monumental success that marks this weekend’s ballot.

We don't know yet who will prevail in Afghanistan's approaching presidential runoff, but we already know the big winner -- the Afghan people. The big loser, of course, is the Taliban and their al Qaeda allies.

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What the President Meant to Say…

The two big things missing from Obama’s speech are the keys to working with foreign partners on massive global problems.

On a gray and drizzly day at West Point, President Barack Obama laid out an incomplete message for the ears of the graduates of the Class of 2014 as they took their place in the Armed Forces of the United States. 

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Hey Boss, a Little Help Here?

In Putin's Russia, strategy drives you!

TOP SECRETFROM: Russian Strategic PlannerTO: President Vladimir PutinSUBJECT: Request for Guidance1. Mr. President, we are doing very well in executing your strategic direction. After humiliating the West in 2008 by seizing two valuable regions of annoying and tiny Georgia (Abkhazia and South Ossetia), we have consolidated our diplomatic triumph by achieving recognition of them as independent nations by four other countries around the world. True, they are costing us a great deal of hard cash to prop them up, but they are happily independent and will no doubt vote consistently with us in the U.N. General Assembly if they are ever granted membership (perhaps in late 2080).2. I am even happier with our work in regaining Crimea for Russia! Despite the imposition of some trivial sanctions, our actions were approved by a total of 10 stalwart friends and allies in the U.N. General Assembly (Belarus, Cuba, Nicaragua, North Korea, Syria, Venezuela, and several others). A fine group of partners. The remaining countries that either condemned us or abstained will no doubt over time see the wisdom in our actions.3. Clearly our campaign to subvert Ukraine is working well. The Little Green Men of Russia are having enormous impact and will mount a lethal campaign that will at the least create real havoc in Ukraine. NATO slumbers and we move out. What could be better?

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