Middle East Strategy and Obama

Iranian Nuclear Deal - Middle East Strategy - Aegis Academy“You made some comments in the newsletter introduction last week about Obama’s speech at the UN. While there is no shortage of critics of Obama’s lack of a strategy in the region [Middle East] what I don’t see is anyone offering an intelligent alternative. What do you think we should do in the Middle East?”. ~ Don K.

Don, thanks for the question. First and foremost, as most of you are aware, I consider Obama’s foreign policy to be his largest failing and undoubtedly view our actions in the Middle East through that lens. Despite that caveat, I will attempt to explain a thought process I do not agree with, while pointing out competing opinions on the subject.

The most common mistake I see people make when discussing Obama’s strategy in the Middle East is to claim that it does not exist. That is very different from claiming it is … Read more »

A Semester Abroad: Arrogance, Apathy, and Ignorance, Part 2

Traveling abroad is an opportunity for endless enrichment experiences. Traveling to unfamiliar territory also inevitably invites the opportunity for security threats. In the last article of this series, “ Arrogance, Apathy, and Ignorance: What a Student Traveling Abroad Ought to Know“, I provided an introduction to my own travel experiences in Moscow, Russia as a student in a direct exchange program. I briefly shared about how my arrogant attitude towards my own status as an American citizen not only revealed my naivety about foreign cultures, but may have also resulted in the piano bar attack I described.


In “A Semester Abroad: Arrogance, Apathy, and Ignorance, Part 2” I would like to elaborate on the piano bar attack using a lens more analytical than theoretical. In doing so I will outline some of the mistakes that I made — be they false assumptions, improper preparation, or just plain old stupidity … Read more »

Dabiq #4 – An ISIS recruiting tool

Dabiq # 4 – A look at the ISIS recruiting publication

Dabiq is a town in Syria near the border of Turkey with a number of Islamic cultural references. It was most likely chosen as the name of the ISIS recruiting publication due to the location being one of two places specifically identified in the Quran (Dabiq being the one under ISIS control at the moment) to watch for signs that judgement day was approaching. There are references to the arrival of “Romans”/Cursaders in Dabiq being one of the final indicatorsDabiq 4 - ISIS - Aegis Academy. The cover of issue 4, shown here, displays an ISIS flag being flown over the Vatican. The document is 53 pages long, and I will attempt to summarize the highlights and takeaways in considerably less than that.

First it is important to recognize that this is an ISIS recruiting tool aimed directly at Western English speaking Muslims. While … Read more »

Its not the Coke, Its the Character… An open letter to Trey Radel

Trey RadelDear Representative Radel,

I appreciate the fact that you are admitting you have a problem. I appreciate you accepting personal responsibility for your “bad choices”. It is truly commendable that you are seeking treatment for your alcoholism and substance abuse issues. I can only imagine what an immensely challenging and difficult step that is to take. I am hopeful that your attempts to mend the relationship with your wife and son are successful. I wish you nothing but success as you start the process of repairing the damage you have done in your personal life.

As a taxpayer, I am less concerned with your personal problems. You are an elected lawmaker of this nation. If you disagree with the drug laws and policies of this country then change them. That is exactly what you were elected to do.  Supporting the drug testing of food stamp recipients, while accepting your public … Read more »