David Ignatius / Politics

James Clapper: We Underestimated the Islamic State

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. has made the same mistake in evaluating fighters from the Islamic State that it did in Vietnam -- by underestimating the enemy's will, according to James Clapper, the director of national intelligence.

Clapper's comments ...

U.S. Boots Already on the Ground

WASHINGTON -- Here's a national-security riddle: How can President Obama provide limited military support on the ground to help "degrade and ultimately destroy" the Islamic State without formally violating his pledge not to send U.S. combat troops...

The Advantage of the Reluctant Warrior

WASHINGTON -- President Obama certainly didn't go looking for another war in the Middle East. Indeed, he contorted himself almost to the breaking point to avoid one. But as he explained to the country Wednesday night, he had no choice but to ...

Stepping Warily Onto the battlefield

WASHINGTON -- For President Obama, this is gut-check time on Iraq. He is moving the nation back onto a pitiless battlefield, with a war plan that is long on good intentions and short on clarity about the ultimate mission.

It's a wrenching moment:...

Building a Strategy -- With Caution

WASHINGTON -- The United States imprudently rushed into war in Iraq in 2003. At least nobody can make that criticism this time around.

The administration is moving cautiously to fulfill President Obama's promise to "degrade and destroy" the ...

Confirm the Ambassadors

WASHINGTON -- Talk about America's decline is usually wrong. But how else would you describe a country that, in a world of exploding tensions, is unable to confirm dozens of ambassadors to foreign posts because of partisan political squabbling?

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