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Military and Homeland Defense

One Year After Westgate Terrorist Attack

September 21 marks the one-year anniversary of the Nairobi Westgate Attack in Kenya. The brutal terrorist and hostage attempt carried out by al-Shabaab terrorists killed 65 people and included a standoff that lasted four days. Kenya has turned a corner in the global battle against terrorism, and there are lessons here for the United States.

Recalling the Unforgetable and Adapting Every Day After

It’s hard to believe it’s been 13 years since the September 11 attacks. Every generation witnesses horrors but in recording those experiences and sharing them with others we impart the painful lessons learned to lead us to ways to stop them from ever occurring again.

The ISIS Fight – Do We Have Your Attention Yet?

There are no words to describe the horror of the video showing the execution of American journalist James Foley at the hands of ISIS. Today, radicalization is spreading, and religious, civic, and cultural leaders on every continent have a responsibility to step forward to address it. Sadly, those voices don’t seem to be as loud or as savvy as the video we all saw last week.

How Should the U.S. Respond in Iraq?

The self-titled Islamic State (aka ISIS) continues its push against targets in Iraq, Syria and even Lebanon, while U.S. airstrikes begin to degrade their capabilities. Is it enough? Here are some important questions we should be asking about the situation in Iraq and the threat from ISIS.

Deals with the Devil – The Release of Sgt. Bergdahl

The release of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, the last American POW in Afghanistan, ends a more than dozen-year American conflict in Afghanistan. The five senior Taliban leaders exchanged for Sgt. Bergdahl, however, will continue to set off debates on the left and right sides of the political aisles.

Top 3 Security Issues to Watch in 2014

Of all the big stories to keep your eye on for 2014, what are three, base-level “working-stiff” issues? They are mobile computing, defense readiness, and the connection between Special Operation Forces and intelligence. If we can get these right, it would take us a long way towards better security.

Johnson Nominated for DHS Secretary – What Does That Tell Us?

The anticipated nomination of Jeh Johnson to become the fourth DHS Secretary is welcomed news almost any way you look at it. Johnson’s prodigious resume and professional history is being chronicled by the homeland security, defense and legal establishment writers. Most of those stories will focus on Johnson’s past experience at the Pentagon, but here are the five most pressing issues he ought to address in his confirmation hearing, as well as his tenure as Secretary (should that occur).

NATO Meeting to Address Alliance Cybersecurity and Defense

At the beginning of June, NATO held the first Alliance meeting of ministers dedicated exclusively to the subject of cyber defense. this comes at a time when countries are strapped for funds and citizens have little appetite for additional defense expenditures. In the months ahead, NATO will decide how to support members that are the target of cyber attack and request aid. As always, the real test resides in the manner and extent to which agreed-upon principles are operationalized.

The Duck Quacks but are We at Cyber War?

You have heard the saying, if it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, and looks like a duck, it must be a duck. News sources and government officials tell us we live in a world of constant cyber attack, so we must be at war, right? In cyber world, this kind of talk is harmful and obscures the new world in which we really exist. We are not at war – we are in conflict, and some of the tools we are using cross interesting and controversial 20th-century political lines.

Not Your Father's Internet – Mounting Digital Challenges in 2012

There are few spots left around the world without Internet access, and few people who cannot reach out to access it. It has been relatively free of state interference and American dominated. However, the Net has had mounting problems, and 2012 has marked the end of the old Internet as we knew it. The days of an American-controlled freewheeling Internet with unlimited access and relatively cost-free access are over.