The rise of ISIS starts with a Jordanian thug named Abu Musab al-Zarqawi who founded ISIS' parent organization, al Qaeda, in Iraq. What gave Zarqawi the opportunity to create al Qaeda in Iraq? It was, of course, George W. Bush's decision to invade Iraq in 2003.
Abu Musab al-Suri is someone I got to know pretty well because he's a Syrian. Very bright guy, lived in London. He actually was the person who took myself and correspondent Peter Arnett and the cameraman, Peter Juvenal, to interview bin Laden for his first TV interview.
When Abu Zubaydah was shown a series of photos of al Qaeda members by Soufan, he identified one of them as the operational commander of 9/11, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.
The deep problems that afflict the Middle East are not easy to fix, but they must be dealt with if we are not to see a son of ISIS, or even a grandson of ISIS, developing in the years to come.
Keeping a relatively small, predominantly U.S. Special Forces presence in Afghanistan to continue to train the Afghan army past December 2016 is a wise policy that would benefit both Afghans and Americans.
Bannon should never have had a permanent seat on the NSC, as he is a political operative, and the NSC has traditionally been a place where American interests are considered rather than narrow Republican or Democratic interests.
A key flaw of the Obama administration's approach to Afghanistan has been constantly announcing proposed withdrawal dates for U.S. forces, which has enabled the Taliban to believe they can simply wait out the clock.
Western Mosul is the historic heart of one of the oldest cities in the world. Its narrow streets and alleyways are impassable for armored vehicles.
Pakistan's key leaders have succumbed to the assassin's bullet or bomb or the hangman's noose, and the country has seen four military coups since its birth in 1947. Yet the Pakistani polity has limped on.
When Congress passed the Authorization for the Use of Military Force immediately after the 9/11 attacks, no one could have imagined this authorization would continue to be the basis for American wars that persist a decade and a half later.
The Trump administration launched the cruise missile strikes in Syria, an act of war, without a U.N. resolution or Congressional authorization.
More than a decade and half after 9/11, U.S. military actions in countries such as Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan and several other Muslim nations are governed by the Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) that was passed in the days immediately after 9/11.
The sitting prime minister, Jose Aznar, who had strongly backed the U.S.-led Iraq War, was unseated by a challenger who then pulled Spanish troops out of Iraq. The Madrid terrorist attacks are generally regarded as being the key to why Aznar, who had been leading in the polls, was defeated.
Mohammed Taheri-Azar, a naturalized U.S. citizen hailing from Iran, crashed his SUV into a crowd at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2006, injuring nine people.
If the CIA and other U.S. intelligence agencies were private companies and were chronically unable to accomplish one of their key missions, their shareholders would have long ago revolted, fired their management, and their stock would be trading at values near zero.
Rather than making loose and unsubstantiated claims that Obama and Clinton created ISIS, it would behoove Trump if he advanced some real policy ideas about how to solve the Syrian and Iraqi civil wars. Of course, to do that he would have to get beyond the inflammatory slogans and sound bites that have characterized his campaign.
ISIS may be a perversion of Islam, but Islamic it is, just as Christian beliefs about the sanctity of the unborn child explain why some Christian fundamentalists attack abortion clinics and doctors.
How can you prevent an attack by returning foreign fighters if you are not cognizant of their names and links to ISIS?
Afghanistan's winters in the north are legendarily harsh, and southern Afghanistan, by contrast, is bleak desert. These difficulties are compounded by the fact that Afghanistan is one of the world's most heavily mined countries.
Compounding Iraq's problem is that its economy is highly dependent on oil.