Longform’s Picks of the Week

The best stories from around the world.

Best Defense

In Tikrit, no matter who wins, we lose

In the 1981 movie, “Zorro the Gay Blade,” Zorro’s brother tells a peasant: “There is no shame in being poor, only in dressing poorly.” There is a corollary to that in war: There’s no shame in fighting, only in fighting poorly.

The Cable

Air Force Veteran Charged With Trying to Join the Islamic State

An Air Force vet has been charged with trying to join the Islamic State. He appears to be the first veteran to make the attempt.


How to Win Friends and Influence Iraqis

The United States has taken a back seat to Shiite militias and Iranian commanders in the battle for Tikrit. Does that make Washington all but irrelevant in Baghdad going forward?


The Real War on Christianity

In the Middle East, the Islamic State is crucifying Christians and demolishing ancient churches. Why is this being met with silence from the halls of Congress to Sunday sermons?

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    March 2015 Issue Cover