Janine Davidson

Defense in Depth

Janine Davidson examines the art, politics, and business of American military power.

These Captured Letters Reveal Al Qaeda’s How-To Manual

by Janine Davidson Wednesday, August 6, 2014
al-qaeda-lessons A suspected al Qaeda militant holds his head as he stands with co-defendants behind bars at the state security court of appeals in Sanaa March 26, 2013. The court on Tuesday upheld jail sentences ranging from four to 10 years against 10 defendants convicted of having links to al Qaeda, the state Saba news agency reported. (Khaled Abdullah/Courtesy Reuters)

The New York Times has published letters exchanged in mid-2012 between two senior Al Qaeda leaders, in which Abu Basir of the Arabian Peninsula tries to impart guidance to Abdelmalek Droukdal, leader of Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM). Buried in Basir’s letters are a fascinating series of “lessons learned” by the aging terror network. I’ve highlighted four here:

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Weekend Reader: D-Day, Prisoners of War, and the Last Navajo Code Talker

by Janine Davidson Friday, June 6, 2014
d day anniversary British World War II veteran Frederick Glover poses for a photograph as soldiers parachute down during a D-Day commemoration paratroopers launch event in Ranville, northern France, on June 5, 2014. Some 3,000 veterans are among those attending ceremonies across the northern French coastline where Allied forces landed in the largest seaborne invasion in history to help speed up the defeat of Nazi Germany in World War II. (Thomas Bregardis/Courtesy Reuters)

D-Day: Seventy Years Ago Today. Our own William J. Parker offers an excellent commemoration for today’s anniversary. Elsewhere, The National Interest reminds us that hindsight is 20/20: the success of the landings at Normandy was far from a sure thing, and even as General Eisenhower did all he could to ensure D-Day’s success, he also prepared for the worst. Elsewhere, Foreign Policy reports on a forgotten massacre at Oradour-sur-Glane—one of the worst committed in occupied France—in the midst of the hasty Nazi withdrawal.

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