Iraq

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At its core, Islamic State’s runaway success is not down to its military capability. Rather, it is due to Iraq’s political circumstances. Reuters

One year on, Islamic State is here to stay – so what next?

There are three key reasons why success for the West hasn’t followed. Together, these reasons point towards an urgent need to shift strategy to avoid a stalemate.
If their deaths fighting for Islamic State in Iraq are confirmed, Khaled Sharrouf and Mohamed Elomar would be far from the first foreign fighters to be killed in the history of combat. Facebook

Foreign fighters aren’t a new problem, so heed history’s lessons

Foreign fighters have always posed a dual challenge: how to stop them going and what to do if they return. History offers lessons on managing these problems, including that it's hard to stop them leaving.
Iraqi troops training with the US Army June 2015. US Army/Reuters

The politics of paralysis: What the Fed and Iraq have in common

On the face of it, Iraq and the US Federal Reserve share little. One is a country plagued by division, war and mayhem since the US invasion of 2003. It is a brutal world where there are no friends, few…
Australia’s reaction to revelations that its citizens were fighting for IS follows a pattern of intellectual and state fear-mongering. AAP/Lukas Coch

Radical Islam and the West: the moral panic behind the threat

If governments are to maintain public support for their military ventures, war narratives must be kept simple and consistent. The underlying message must not change: the West is always the innocent victim of terrorism, never its perpetrator.
Tony Abbott said Australia was talking with our friends and partners about ‘how the Iraqi forces might be better helped’. AAP/Dean Lewins

Government wants improvement in use of its Iraq contribution

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has flagged that Australia would like to see its substantial military contribution to the war against Islamic State more effectively used.
What possesses a Queensland teenager like Oliver Bridgeman to go to fight in Syria? Online propaganda is not an adequate explanation on its own. Facebook

IS radicalises Western youth via the internet? It’s not that simple

Simplistic views of terrorist recruitment focus on online messages to Western youth. Foreign fighters are coming from many other countries, lured by many means, and we need more sophisticated responses.

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