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Yes, the Aircraft Carrier Is Still Viable

in In Depth

Reuters // The aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) transits the Gulf of Aden in this U.S. Navy handout picture taken Oct. 23, 2014.Michael Carl Haas (The Diplomat) — Over the last several months, the debate about the future of the United States’ nuclear-powered carrier (CVN) fleet has picked up speed again, with several major contributions coming from both sides of the aisle.

Back in October, Seth Cropsey, Bryan McGrath, and Timothy Walton published their very detailed take on how to keep the carrier weapon system in the game.

Not long after, well-known carrier critic Jerry Hendrix followed up on his earlier thinking on the subject in Retreat from Range: The Rise and Fall of Carrier Aviation. Most recently, Kelley Sayler contributed a study on the Growing Threat to U.S. Aircraft Carriers. The issue was also discussed at length in House Armed Services Committee hearings on February 11, 2016.

Analysis: What Indonesia Knows About Blocking the Islamic State

in Analysis

Anwar Mustafa/AFP/Getty Images // Relatives and mourners arrive for the funeral of a terror attack victim at a cemetery in Boyolali, Indonesia's central Java island, on January 17, 2016.Joshua Kurlantzick (Bloomberg) — In the wake of last week's attacks in Jakarta, which killed seven people, fears are growing that the largest Muslim-majority nation in the world is going to be hit by a wave of Islamic State-linked bombings and shootings.

The potential for mayhem seems obvious. Indonesia’s open society and high social media penetration make it easy for young Indonesians to access Islamist sites and Facebook pages, and the Sunni Muslim insurgency has released several videos in Indonesian in an apparent recruiting effort.

Indonesia is a country of thousands of islands, with porous borders and many soft targets: The militants launched bombs and opened fire in broad daylight in one of the busiest neighborhoods in Jakarta.

Let’s Not Give Suicide Bombers So Much Credit—Sometimes They Have No Strategy

in In Depth

Reuters // A man leads an injured boy by the hands after the suicide attack in Jalalabad, Afghanistan.Simon Cottee (The Atlantic) — In his edited collection on “suicide missions,” the sociologist Diego Gambetta described his childhood admiration for Pietro Micca, a solider in the artillery regiment of the Duke of Savoy in what is now northern Italy.

“In 1706, as the French were besieging Turin,” Gambetta wrote, Micca “realized that a party of the besiegers had succeeded in penetrating the network of tunnels that were part of the city citadel, and would have no doubt been able to take it.”

Instead of trying to save himself, Micca heroically fought back, sacrificing himself for his comrades and city: “Despite having too short a fuse to run away in time, Micca ordered his companion to go before blowing himself up with a few barrels of gunpowder so as to destroy and block the tunnels.”

Analysis: ISIS' Next Target

in Analysis

tephanie Keith/Reuters // People gather at a makeshift memorial for the victims of the Belgium attacks in Brussels, in Union Square in the Manhattan borough in New York, March 22, 2016.Robin Simcox (Foreign Affairs) — The recent attacks in Brussels show that terrorists’ ability to strike at the heart of Europe remains apparently undiminished. Early reports suggest a death toll of around 31, with more than 100 injured. The Islamic State (ISIS) has claimed responsibility for the attack.

Belgium may seem an unlikely hub of jihadism, but despite being a small and peaceful nation, Belgian connections to militancy are long established.

In the 1990s, bullets and guns made their way from local jihadi crooks in Brussels to the Groupe Islamique Armé, Algerian terrorists aiming to establish an Islamic state in Algeria. Throughout that decade, a smattering of Belgian residents headed off to fight in various foreign conflicts, including the one in Chechnya.

Analysis: The Sun Sets on Libya Dawn

in Analysis

Roberto Schmidt/AFP/Getty Images // Libyan rebels are silhouetted at sunset on March 7, 2011. Three years later, an Islamist coalition would mount another revolt meant to topple the country's newly elected government.Stratfor — For the Islamist government in Tripoli, the arrival of a new unity government in the Libyan capital spells the beginning of the end of its hold on power. The General National Congress, or GNC, has controlled Tripoli since the violent Libya Dawn uprising in 2014.

Now a newly formed unity government is ready to take over the country, and the GNC is more or less powerless to oppose it. After months of organizing in Tunis, the unity Government of National Accord (GNA) entered Libya's capital March 30.

Less than 48 hours later, the prime minister of the GNC, Khalifa Ghwell, finally rescinded his threats to violently force the new government out and fled to his hometown, the coastal city of Misrata.

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