State of Play

Stories of America’s actions in the world.

The Embassy to Sisi

How the American envoy tried to persuade General Sisi with lessons from The Iliad.

Is the NSA Under or Out of Control?

Revelations about NSA compliance raise questions, but don’t prove deliberate misconduct

Nice Air Force: Do You Need It?

MG McConville on why artillery is better than helicopters

Recently over at War is Boring, University of Kentucky professor…

The Miranda Detention: Troubling From All Sides

David Miranda’s detention was a terrible mistake. But that doesn’t mean he’s innocent

Updated Below

Glenn Greenwald’s husband, David Miranda, was detained by the UK government at Heathrow airport this weekend, held for nine hours, questioned on the Guardian’s reporting into surveillance…

How to Speak Softly

Why President Obama’s do-nothing Egypt policy is Washington’s best option

When a political crisis with dramatic implications and a furious…

Turkey’s Foreign Policy Needs a Reset

Turkey’s current situation proves that the AKP’s foreign policy approach has roundly failed

It’s Time to Call Out Russia

President Obama needs to respond to the Kremlin’s nasty behavior

President Obama decided to cancel a one-on-one meeting with Russian president Vladimir Putin next month.He canceled for a host of reasons, not the least of which is Russia’s decision to grant Edward Snowden asylum.Nevertheless, there is a rising chorus of foreign…

Medical aid group leaves Somalia

A blow to the country’s “success story”

In a dramatic move, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) announced today that, after 22 years…

Book of Sand: How America’s Yemen Policy Has Come to Resemble Salih’s Disastrous Rule

The “war on terror” has, since its birth in the smoldering horror of 9/11, carried within it the seeds of deep, cynical irony. The battle cry against the enemies of freedom turned into an exercise in torture and surveillance, set against a bored backdrop of reality TV and economic catastrophe…

Face It: Privacy is Dead

But do we accept that or build a better internet?

On July 27 through August 1, the Black Hat conference took place in Las Vegas, where…

More Encryption Is Not the Solution

Cryptography as privacy works only if both ends work at it in good faith


The recent exposure of the dragnet-style surveillance of Internet traffic has provoked a number of responses that are variations of the general formula, “More encryption is the solution.” This is not the…

Iran’s Homegrown Oil Tankers

Despite erroneous media reports suggesting Iran delivered its first Aframax tanker to Venezuela’s PDVSA in October 2012, the tanker could…

Getting XKeyscore Right

Thinking critically about what we know of NSA surveillance

On July 31, Guardian columnist Glenn Greenwald published a story about an NSA…

If I Told You, I’d Have To Kill You

Secrecy and transparency in tension

What we don’t know intrigues us. What someone else knows but we don’t feels unfair. What…

A fire-side chat between 2 thriller scribes. 

An interview between me and “Limitless” author Alan Glynn. A free-wheeling, sit-down summit about the state-of-the-world…

The Appalling Violence in South Sudan

Time to tell the whole story of what’s happening in Jonglei

Just over a month ago, I sat with a woman named Mary in a…

Manning’s Conviction

Bradley Manning was rightly convicted, but his case is still troubling

On July 30, Judge Colonel Denise Lind read the verdict in Bradley

The International War Criminal Went Down to Georgia

How American politics influence international justice 

Globalization, however clumsily or precisely it is defined, has always had many contradictory faces. Proponents will rightfully point out its benefits: Some will make vague claims about McDonald’s and wars, while others will, less tritely, point to the…

Snowden Burst America’s ‘Intelligence Bubble’

By revealing the National Security Agency’s PRISM program and vast global data mining operations, Edward Snowden did more than unleash a diplomatic and intelligence crisis of strategic consequence. He also burst the “intelligence bubble” that has grown in the United States since 9/11, concluding yet another chapter in America’s boom and bust…

State of Play
State of Play

Stories of America’s actions in the world.

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