Looking for some interesting reading? You might try these essays and interviews, which were the ten most viewed items on apholt.com in 2015. It’s been a good year for this little blog.
10. An Interview with Dr. Florin Curta on Communism, Faith, and Academia.
An interview with my good friend, mentor, and one of the leading historians of the early Middle Ages on his life under communism in Romania and now as a leading American academic. This interview has staying power as it was originally the second most viewed item of 2014 and continues to be popular (with daily referrals from search engines) in 2015. Continue reading
Blackwater vs. ISIS? An Interview with Patrick Minor.
In response to the challenges posed by the rise of ISIS in Syria and Iraq, President Obama developed a plan that involved a coalition of European and Arab states that provided air-support to localized forces that resisted ISIS, including Kurds, a reconstituted Iraqi Army, tribal militias, and Syrian rebels. This patchwork of often poorly trained or poorly equipped ground troops, although having occasional success, has so far done relatively little to turn back ISIS’ gains. ISIS still controls, for example, lands between Syria and Iraq that cover a greater amount of territory than Britain. It also continues to engage multiple opponents on multiple fronts while drawing enthusiastic recruits from all over the world.
Rather than depending solely on a hastily constructed alliance of Kurds, Syrian rebels, and Iraqi soldiers, Eric Prince, the founder of the controversial Blackwater security group, had another suggestion. Prince, whose company had sent thousands of experienced, well trained, well equipped, and well paid fighters into Iraq and Afghanistan, suggested such forces could be used in the fight against ISIS as well.