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Kathy Gilsinan

Associate editor at The Atlantic Kathy Gilsinan is an associate editor at The Atlantic, where she covers global affairs. Previously, she was an associate editor at World Politics Review.
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An American Citizen Tried to Join ISIS. Does That Make Him an ‘Enemy Combatant’?

November 8, 2018 A 13-month legal saga ended quietly last week when an American citizen accused of joining isis went free. For more than a year, the U.S. military had held him in Iraq without charging him. At one point, the government offered to release him somewhere in Syria with a cellphone and...

Why Haven’t Terrorists Hit the US with a Devastating Cyber Attack?

November 1, 2018 “The FBI assesses the cyberterrorism threat to the U.S. to be rapidly expanding,” said one law-enforcement official, testifying before Congress. “Terrorist groups will either develop or hire hackers, particularly for the purpose of complementing large physical attacks with cyber attacks.” That assessment was made nearly 15 years ago. In the...

If Not Pipe-Bombs, What Counts as Terrorism in 2018?

October 26, 2018 Recent mornings have brought a series of fast-breaking reports, one after another, of pipe bombs mailed to prominent figures, from Democratic politicians to the actor Robert De Niro. Suspicious packages kept coming on Friday, including an explosive device addressed to Democratic Senator Cory Booker. But according to CNN's Jake Tapper,...

If the Pipe-Bomb Mailings Weren't Terrorism, What Is?

October 26, 2018 The morning had brought a series of fast-breaking reports, one after another, of pipe bombs mailed to political figures, including several Democratic politicians. But according to CNN’s Jake Tapper, a spokesperson for the National Counterterrorism Center had told the network that the center didn’t see a nexus to terrorism. If...

The Khashoggi Affair Will Change the US-Saudi Relationship

October 16, 2018 Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has arrived in Riyadh with instructions to get to the bottom of a journalist’s disappearance from a Saudi consulate in Istanbul, while an outpouring of leaks from Turkish intelligence seem to point to a case of murder, perhaps orchestrated at an official level. The U.S.-Saudi...

America Is Not Ready for Exploding Drones

August 7, 2018 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro was intoning something about economic renewal, flanked by his wife and a handful of high officials, in a country gripped by poverty, starvation, and shortages. Then, in a moment broadcast live on television that has since gone viral, his wife’s face changed. For an instant she...

America Is Not Ready for Exploding Drones

August 7, 2018 Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro was intoning something about economic renewal, flanked by his wife and a handful of high officials, in a country gripped by poverty, starvation, and shortages. Then, in a moment broadcast live on television that has since gone viral, his wife’s face changed. For an instant she...

America Is Not Ready for Exploding Drones

August 7, 2018 Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro was intoning something about economic renewal, flanked by his wife and a handful of high officials, in a country gripped by poverty, starvation, and shortages. Then, in a moment broadcast live on television that has since gone viral, his wife’s face changed. For an instant she...

America and North Korea Are Having Two Different Conversations

July 9, 2018 Maybe it was inevitable. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made his third trip to Pyongyang determined to put meat on the bones of a skeletal summit declaration co-signed by Trump and Kim last month—one that offered the tantalizing possibility of a transformed relationship and a denuclearized North Korea, with no...

What Does It Mean for North Korea to Fly a Missile Over Japan?

August 29, 2017 North Korea staged its 18th, and perhaps most provocative, missile test of the year Monday night Eastern Time over Japan’s northernmost main island, following a month in which North Korean and American leaders have traded threats. The missile, whose launch was confirmed by the Pentagon and South Korea’s joint chiefs...