Author Archives: Thomas Joscelyn & Bill Roggio

Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD's Long War Journal. Thomas Joscelyn is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Senior Editor for FDD's Long War Journal.

Taliban justifies 9/11 attack, blaming America’s ‘interventionist policies’

The Taliban describes al Qaeda’s Sept. 11, 2001 attack on the US as a “heavy slap on their dark faces,” claiming it “was the consequence of their interventionist policies and not our doing.” Additionally, the Taliban says it will not talk to the Afghan government, will fight Afghan security forces to the end, rejects the presence of foreign forces on Afghan soil, and calls western culture uncivilized.


Analysis: US military ends reporting on security situation in Afghanistan’s districts

The U.S. military and NATO have stopped producing an assessment that was considered key for measuring progress against the jihadist insurgency in Afghanistan, according to a report released on April 30 by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR). The metric, which tracked district stability, was one of the “most widely cited Afghan security […]


Why the Taliban should be required to renounce al Qaeda in any deal with US

Zalmay Khalilzad, the Trump administration’s top envoy for talks with the Taliban, claims that he is already satisfied with the Taliban’s counterterrorism assurances. But the Taliban’s close relationship with al Qaeda stretches from the 1990s until today. The Taliban should be required to publicly renounce al Qaeda in any final deal with the US. Even then, the break would need to be verified.






Newly released interrogation files demonstrate Iran’s long game in Iraq

A newly released interrogation report shows that Qayis al-Khazali identified Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis and Abu Mustafa al-Sheibani as the two individuals Iran trusted “the most with attempting to implement the Iranian agenda in Iraq.” The pair went from being marginal players shortly after the US-led invasion in 2003 to leading the Iranian-backed Popular Mobilization Forces, one of most powerful and influential military organizations in Iraq.