William Drozdiak

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A child who was injured in Israeli bombardment is carried to the entrance for emergency treatment at Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday. (Mahmud Hams/AFP/Getty Images)

As I watch the daily scenes of carnage in newscasts from Israel and Gaza, I vividly recall a conversation with a leading Hamas official more than a quarter-century ago that foreshadowed the pervasive misery we see today.

In the summer of 1997, two suicide bombers killed 16 people in a Jerusalem market. After sifting through the shredded corpses, Israeli investigators came to suspect that, after a relatively quiet period, the Palestinian resistance group Hamas had carried out yet another gruesome terrorist attack in the manner of earlier suicide bombings that had murdered dozens of Israelis.

I was on a reporting stint in Israel for the Post at the time, and I wanted to go to the source of such evil brutality and find out how it could ever be rationalized.…  Seguir leyendo »

A child who was injured in Israeli bombardment is carried to the entrance for emergency treatment at Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday. (Mahmud Hams/AFP/Getty Images)

As I watch the daily scenes of carnage in newscasts from Israel and Gaza, I vividly recall a conversation with a leading Hamas official more than a quarter-century ago that foreshadowed the pervasive misery we see today.

In the summer of 1997, two suicide bombers killed 16 people in a Jerusalem market. After sifting through the shredded corpses, Israeli investigators came to suspect that, after a relatively quiet period, the Palestinian resistance group Hamas had carried out yet another gruesome terrorist attack in the manner of earlier suicide bombings that had murdered dozens of Israelis.

I was on a reporting stint in Israel for the Post at the time, and I wanted to go to the source of such evil brutality and find out how it could ever be rationalized.…  Seguir leyendo »

Soldiers of the French military mission in Mali fold a French flag at an undisclosed military installation on Aug. 11. (Etat Major des Armées/AFP/Getty Images)

The withdrawal of the last remaining French troops from Mali this month has inflicted a serious blow to Western military efforts to curtail a growing Islamist threat spreading across the Sahel region of Africa.

The failure of the French military mission, which included up to 5,000 soldiers in what became known as Operation Barkane, demonstrates the perplexing difficulties of waging a counterinsurgency campaign against regional remnants of al-Qaeda and Islamic State. It also raises concerns that Russia and China might step into the geopolitical void left by frustrated and impatient Western governments.

As the United States ponders the lessons of its 20-year struggle against the Taliban in Afghanistan, which ended in a chaotic exit one year ago, France is reconsidering its own strategy in coping with the proliferation of Islamist militants in many of its former African colonies.…  Seguir leyendo »

As exasperation grows in Europe about U.S. leadership of the Atlantic alliance, France has taken the bold and unprecedented step of pledging to extend its nuclear deterrent to cover German territory in the case of armed aggression.

The French action comes as perhaps the strongest signal yet that European governments are reevaluating basic defense doctrines that have underpinned the Western alliance for the past 70 years. Senior officials in France and Germany say Europe needs new security concepts that address the rise of China, the return of Russia as a belligerent actor and the disengagement of the United States.

The implicit French promise is contained in a 16-page treaty signed in the town of Aachen, Germany, last month by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron.…  Seguir leyendo »