Bin Laden’s Odd Religious Library

Osama bin Laden spent the latter years of his life portraying himself as an authority on Islamic law who was qualified to order Muslims around the world to strike Western targets — and then capable of giving them the purported scriptural justifications for their actions.

Observation Deck

Writing From a War Zone Doesn’t Make You Anne Frank

The 15-year-old diarist was a singular talent. Let’s stop pretending every young woman tweeting her life under fire is doing the same.

Best Defense

‘Team of Teams’: The new McChrystal book is good but a bit heavy on SEAL role

A book release with a more promising premise is hard to imagine: the inside story on the military’s elite Joint Special Operations Task Force adaptation in the War on Terror, reversing the outcome from failure to success.

Best Defense

‘Team of Teams’: Good on JSOC in Iraq, but not that much new for business types

Team of Teams, by General Stanley McChrystal, Tantum Collins, David Silverman, and Chris Fussell, is essentially two books.

Best Defense

‘Team of Teams’: What Tom thinks

I liked the book more than either of these guys.

Best Defense

Quote of the day: Wanna learn about God? Interrogate an extremist fighter

This is from God Is Not Here, a powerful new memoir by Army Lt. Col. Bill Edmonds: “There is no better place to learn about God than from killers who use God to justify their killing.”

Best Defense

Another compilation of military reading lists: Some U.S. Army favorites, plus a provocative one from a smart admiral

6011656420_1ce669c6f6_bI was looking for something else the other day and noticed this Army compilation of reading lists.

Tea Leaf Nation

Xi Jinping’s Problems Are ‘Monumental’

Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson on Beijing’s massive ambitions and deep-rooted problems … plus how the Chinese president lights up a room.

Best Defense

‘Ghost Fleet’: Now sailing your way

The ferocious pollen assault on D.C. this week has had me reeling for the last couple of days, so I used the enforced downtime to read Ghost Fleet, a neat new thriller by P.W. “Wired for War” Singer and August Cole.

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    March 2015 Issue Cover