This would be the worst possible time to close Guantanamo

Washington Post

DEC 10, 2015

The Obama administration’s decision to send the Joint Special Operations Command into battle against the Islamic State is a small step toward getting rid of the counterproductive prohibition on “boots on the ground” — really a prohibition on U.S. troops going into combat — that has hindered attempts to defeat the terrorist state. The Special Operations task force that apparently will be stationed in Irbil in northern Iraq will not, by itself, be a game-changer. But it will be a real help, especially in gathering intelligence about the Islamic State.

Read more: This would be the worst possible time to close Guantanamo

Why Air Power Alone Won't Beat ISIS

Wars aren’t won simply by bombing the enemy, yet this delusion has bipartisan, multinational support.

Wall Street Journal

DEC 8, 2015

Ever since the dawn of the air age more than a century ago, military strategists have been prone to the delusion that bombing by itself can win wars.

Today the air-power fantasy is that dropping enough bombs on Islamic State jihadists will get the job done in Iraq and Syria. The approach is a bipartisan, indeed multinational, daydream, shared by Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump and Ted Cruz, and now by Britain and France as well. 

Military history offers little justification for such faith.

Read more: Why Air Power Alone Won't Beat ISIS

How to Defeat ISIS

Prepared statement by
Max Boot
Jeane J. Kirkpatrick Senior Fellow for National Security Studies
Council on Foreign Relations

Before the
Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade Subcommittee of the Committee on Foreign Affairs
United States House of Representatives
1st Session, 114th Congress


DEC. 2, 2015
Hearing on “The Paris Attacks: A Strategic Shift by ISIS?”

Chairman Poe, Ranking Member Keating, members of the subcommittee:

Thank you for inviting me here to testify about the most pressing national security threat that we face—the Islamic State of Syria and Iraq, a.k.a. ISIS or ISIL. The recent terrorist attack in Paris which killed 129 people, along with other attacks from Sharm al-Sheikh to Beirut to Tunis, demonstrate this group’s range and murderous effectiveness. ISIS is spawning “provinces” from Libya to Afghanistan to Nigeria. That ISIS is now threatening to attack the United States should cause us great concern. Mass-casualty attacks such as the one in Paris (or earlier in Mumbai) are easy to carry out and hard to stop. We are every bit as vulnerable as France.

Read more: How to Defeat ISIS

To Defeat ISIS, It Must Be an American Fight

New York Times

NOV 17, 2015

"It cannot be an American fight," Hillary Clinton said of ISIS. She is wrong. It is an American fight, one that will not succeed without American leadership. 

Far from being “contained” — as President Obama said in an interview that aired the morning of the Paris attacks — ISIS is using its operational base in Iraq and Syria to mount an increasingly dangerous terrorist offensive. In the past few weeks alone, the group has been tied to attacks in Paris, Sharm el-Sheikh, Beirut and Baghdad. Like previous totalitarian movements, ISIS, if left undefeated, will continue to expand its reign of terror.

Read more: To Defeat ISIS, It Must Be an American Fight

Ahmad Chalabi's bad advice on nation-building in Iraq

Los Angeles Times

NOV 5, 2015

The death of Iraqi politician Ahmad Chalabi has brought forth many critical obituaries, and a few glowing eulogies that focused on his pro-democracy rhetoric while ignoring his actual record as an ally of Muqtada Sadr and an enabler of Shiite Muslim death squads. Chalabi was truly the master of the long con: He continues to deceive his admirers from beyond the grave.

Read more: Ahmad Chalabi's bad advice on nation-building in Iraq

Super K, Revisited

National Review

OCT 19, 2015

Kissinger: 1923–1968: The Idealist, by Niall Ferguson (Penguin, 1,008 pp., $39.95)

‘SURELY no statesman in modern times, and certainly no American secretary of state, has been as revered and then as reviled as Henry Kissinger.” So begins Niall Ferguson’s monumental biography, the first volume of which takes the story from Kissinger’s birth until his appointment as national-security adviser by President-elect Ri chard Nixon in 1968.

Read more: Super K, Revisited

“Destined to be the classic account of what may be the oldest . . . hardest form of war.” —John Nagl, Wall Street Journal


"Enormous, brilliant and important…. Terrific… Astute… Boot’s Invisible Armies should be required reading in the White House and Pentagon." —Michael Korda, Daily Beast

Other Books