The self-declared Islamic State has released a video showing the beheading of a second US journalist. The US has few easy options to navigate a complex, multi-front war in Iraq and Syria.
Videotaped atrocities in an attempt to spread fear are nothing new for IS. But it appears to be stepping up its propaganda as world powers start to engage in halting its spread.
Midwesterner Douglas McCain was killed over the weekend. His radicalization fits a pattern of foreigners who fight for militant groups.
Islamic State militants had demanded millions of dollars for James Foley's release. While the US government refuses to pay ransoms to kidnappers, some European governments have done so in the past, enriching Al Qaeda and its affiliates.
That's a popular claim. But there's not much evidence to support it.
The prime minister said a unity government, which the US has urged to reduce Sunni support for the insurgency in Iraq, would be a 'coup against the constitution.'
John Kerry said the Sunni Arab uprising in Iraq posed an 'existential' threat to the country today. But what the US can or should do about it is something else again.
It's worth listening to those who've devoted their lives to studying war and the region.