The True Origins of ISIS

A poster in Baghdad depicts a man painting over a picture of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.MOHAMMED HATO / AP A secret biography suggests that Abu Ali al-Anbari defined the group’s radical approach more than any other person. by Hassan Hassan Co-author of ISIS: Inside the Army of Terror Most historians of the Islamic State agree that the group emerged out of al-Qaeda in Iraq as a response to the U.S. invasion in 2003. They also agree that it was shaped primarily by a Jordanian jihadist and the eventual head of al-Qaeda in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. The Jordanian had a dark vision: He … Continue reading The True Origins of ISIS

The Longest Conflict in World History may be the Root of War Today

by Markab Algedi The number one enemy of the US/NATO side of world power is Iran. Libya was first, now they want Syria, but the real target has always been Iran: why? The answer to this question may be in part found in ancient history. Ever heard the expression “all roads lead to Rome?” That means that the Western power cliques find root in Ancient Rome, whether it’s simple reverence for their ways, like the way the White House was situated on “Capitol Hill,” named after the Roman Capitoline Hill, or if the root is more literal. England was once … Continue reading The Longest Conflict in World History may be the Root of War Today

Ethics on the battlefield

Korengal Valley, Afghanistan, 2007. Photo by Tim Hetherington/Magnum The soldier in battle is confronted with agonising, even impossible, ethical decisions. Could studying philosophy help? by Andy Owen is the author of All Soldier’s Run Away: Alano’s War, the Story of a British Deserter (2017). He lives in London. Edited by Nigel Warburton When I attended the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in 2002-3, the leadership training was excellent. It included discussion of the British Army’s values and the laws of armed conflict. However, I received no ethics training for the occasions when neither values nor laws would fully prepare me to make complex moral decisions in … Continue reading Ethics on the battlefield

“Highly Secure”? Security Guards at US Nuclear Weapons Base Used LSD

The Mind Unleashed By Jake Johnson / Creative Commons / Common Dreams There are a lot of safe and responsible places people have found over the years to ingest hallucinogens in order to experience their pleasures and explore the challenges their potent properties can present, but it’s a judgement statement to declare that a U.S. military base which houses some of the world’s most powerful atomic weapons would qualify as such a place. Nevertheless, the Associated Press reports Thursday that U.S. service members charged with guarding U.S. nuclear weapons at a “highly secure” military facility in Wyoming “bought, distributed and used the hallucinogen LSD and other mind-altering illegal … Continue reading “Highly Secure”? Security Guards at US Nuclear Weapons Base Used LSD

Are Suicide Bombings Really Driven by Ideology?

image edited by Fernando Kaskais The surprising anthropology of group identity. BY BRIAN GALLAGHER Harvey Whitehouse doesn’t like how New Atheists like Richard Dawkins make religion out to be a mere “set of propositions” amounting to a “failed science.” In a 2013 YouTube video, Whitehouse—the director of the Institute of Cognitive & Evolutionary Anthropology at the University of Oxford—strolls through a park and says, “Clearly religion is not just that.”1 The point of religion is not to produce a rational understanding of nature, according to Whitehouse. It is “more about building cohesion and cooperation in groups, among other things,” he … Continue reading Are Suicide Bombings Really Driven by Ideology?

War Is All About the Impulse to Reproduce

‘Why We Fight’ by Mike Martin A new book argues the urge to pick up arms has a lot more to do with evolutionary psychology than anything you learned in history class by Hussein Kesvani In the Western world at least, war — and the violence that comes with it — is portrayed as the last possible resort, and the culmination of economic, social and political factors made by rational actors, whether they be nation states, political leaders or military generals. But the forthcoming book Why We Fight by Mike Martin, a former British army officer turned research fellow at the War Studies Department of King’s College London, argues that’s misguided. Instead, he believes that … Continue reading War Is All About the Impulse to Reproduce

The Army Is Afraid Soldiers Will Be Distracted From Information Overload. AI Could Help.

image edited by Fernando Kaskais by David McNally/U.S. Army/Victor Tangermann Sometimes there’s just too much going on for your brain to handle. Like: when you’re zooming down the highway, trying to find your exit, and your friend in the passenger seat is telling a story about this total dick at work. Are you just giving the appropriate amount of nods and affirmative grunts? Probably the latter, because there’s too much else going on for you to care about how many times your friend’s lunch was stolen out of the company fridge (at a more focused moment, you probably would have said something appropriate, … Continue reading The Army Is Afraid Soldiers Will Be Distracted From Information Overload. AI Could Help.