Syria

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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.
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.
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.
After witnessing the rise and fall of many empires, the ancient site of Palmyra is under threat from Islamic State. Phillip George

Islamic State may finally efface the traces of lost empires at Palmyra

Conflict involving Islamic State has raised the prospect of the destruction of Palmyra, a World Heritage site in Syria. It's not the first time the region has been invaded, but it may well be the last.
A Syrian boy sits on the rubble of a demolished house. Many ordinary Syrians just want peace – though not necessarily if that means appeasing their nation’s ruthless leader. AAP Image/ Care Australia/ Alain Lapierre

Western leaders must heed Syrian concerns before appeasing Assad

While many insist that the West should appease Syria's Assad regime, this ignores the wishes of many ordinary Syrians – who are the key to defeating Islamic State and other extremists in Syria.
President Barack Obama and his inner circle follow the assassination of Osama bin Laden, which made headlines worldwide but is seemingly unimportant four years on. EPA/Pete Souza/White House handout

Osamacide, ‘justice’ and the deadly legacy of Bin Laden

Memories of the killing of Osama bin Laden are fading, but the legacies of al-Qaeda and the war on terror's many 'own goals' haunt us in the form of multiplying threats and lost civil liberties.

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